Developing .45 bullseye load. I'm beginner, don't laugh...

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Developing .45 bullseye load. I'm beginner, don't laugh...

Post by Laminarman on Sat Apr 09, 2016 11:21 am

I have loaded mostly 9mm for shooting steel plates and self defense training and a little .38 special.  I'm a pretty new handloader.  I am going to try bullseye at a local gun club in about a month and am trying to develop a load.  I am a bit nervous but I'd like to give it a shot.  Anyways, I have a little Bullseye but 4lbs of WST.  So I have loaded my "workup loads" with 4.4, 4.6 and 4.8 of WST, COAL of 2.148 (passes the plunk test), CCI LP primers and 200gr LSWC from statelinebullets.com.  I did five of each just to see the ejection,  lockup, cycling...etc.  The gun cycles beautifully, locks open on all charges (damn, I think I may really like this WST as it's the first time I've used it.)  Seems to eject the empties about 2-5ft best on 4.8gr.  There are no pressure signs on the 4.8 at all and the recoil is nice.  That all being said now I'm going to load some at 4.6, 4.7 and 4.8 and use my new to me chronograph.  I'll fire ten shot strings. Without sounding like an idiot, what am I looking for???  Low SD?  Velocity at the upper range of what the "book" says is maximum since I'll be shooting at 50 yards?  I'm going to assume you folks use different loads for indoors 50ft vs 50 yard?  I'm concerned I might not even hit the paper but what the heck I have to give myself every edge I can.  I'm using an STI Trojan with Match Dot and trigger job by Brazos.  How would one of you "gurus" approach it from here?  Aiming to test them out in the next few days, weather pending.  I appreciate any help.

Laminarman

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Re: Developing .45 bullseye load. I'm beginner, don't laugh...

Post by dronning on Sat Apr 09, 2016 11:51 am

Your loads seem pretty hot for lead, I'm running 3.8gr of WST for the 25yd line (and indoors) and 4.2 for the 50yds line, works about the same for Zero 185gr SWCHP or 200gr SWC.

I hope you meant 1.148" OAL and that's a little on the short side.  1.20 to 1.25 is pretty common.  Most common crimp is around .469-470, again some run as low as .467 and as high as .471.

A shorter load with the same exact powder drop and bullet will yield higher pressures.  You are running a hot load with a short COL.  I'd guess you are getting very close to max pressures.

- Dave 

I am running a 12lb recoil spring and a 19lb main spring.

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Re: Developing .45 bullseye load. I'm beginner, don't laugh...

Post by JIMPGOV on Sat Apr 09, 2016 12:18 pm

NO NEED TO GO UP WITH THE CHARGES. WST IS A FINE .45 POWDER FOR BULLSEYE. I SEE STATELINE BULLETS( I'M NOT FAMILIAR WITH THEM PERSONALLY SO I LOOKED THEM UP) ARE A HARD CAST BULLET. SO 4.4 TO 4.6 GR WST IS ALL YOU'LL EVER NEED. I LOAD 4.3 WITH A 200GR SWAGED (SOFTER) BULLET. NOW THE COAL YOU STATED AS "2.148" I BELIEVE YOU HAD A TYPO. WINCHESTER DATA IS AOL 1.225" FOR A 200 GR LEAD BULLET. MOST BULLSEYE SHOOTER DON'T LOOK AT THE OAL. WE MEASURE FROM THE BASE OF THE RIM TO THE SHOULDER OF THE SWC BULLET FOR ABOUT .925". I LOAD THEM A BIT SHORTED THAN MOST AT .92" . FORGET ABOUT THE VELOCITY ISSUES THAT RIFLE SHOOTERS PINE OVER. DON'T WORRY ABOUT SD. LOAD THEM WITH THE WST , AND LEARN THE SQUEEZE THE TRIGGER. YOUR DO JUST FINE. JP

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Re: Developing .45 bullseye load. I'm beginner, don't laugh...

Post by BE Mike on Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:03 pm

Just as a rule of thumb, you might want to look for a velocity of around 760 fps, but other than that, you don't need the chronograph. Since we look only for group size (50 yards is the yardstick) we usually use a machine rest to check the accuracy instead of a chrono for SD, etc. You are looking for accuracy of around 3.5" or less at 50 yards. That will roughly shoot all ten shots into the 10 and X rings. If necessary for function, go with a lighter recoil spring (12 lb.?) instead of upping the powder charge (we don't have a minimum power factor).

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Re: Developing .45 bullseye load. I'm beginner, don't laugh...

Post by Laminarman on Sat Apr 09, 2016 1:23 pm

OK, first of all, thank you everyone.  SECOND of all, this will teach me to type from upstairs while my reloading bench and notes are downstairs.  A few corrections.  First was the typo of 2".  Yes, 1" but my COAL as measured and in my notes was 1.238 NOT 2.148.  For what it's worth, I NEVER trust anything to memory and now you see why.  I write down everything as I go along.  Anyways, I did measure from the base to the shoulder and I get .9365 which makes sense I guess with my slightly longer COAL.  I wasn't aware that bullseye shooters were doing things differently, but then again, I hear you're just different anyways which is probably why I want to belong.  I have read a lot of forum posts and I see comments ranging from "don't make it so complex" to "you better weigh each bullet or you'll NEVER score well."  I just want to learn and give myself a shot getting in black consistently.  I don't have access to a machine rest so will have to do the best I can with a bag or something.  Thank you again for all the help.

Laminarman

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Re: Developing .45 bullseye load. I'm beginner, don't laugh...

Post by Wobbley on Sat Apr 09, 2016 3:44 pm

If all you have is a bag rest, a good comparison is to shoot at 35 yards.  That distance off the bags will give you an idea of your gun/load capability at 50 yards in a machine rest.  25 yards doesn't tell you much as there's a thought that lubed rocks will shoot at 25.

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Re: Developing .45 bullseye load. I'm beginner, don't laugh...

Post by Laminarman on Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:28 pm

Wobbley wrote:If all you have is a bag rest, a good comparison is to shoot at 35 yards.  That distance off the bags will give you an idea of your gun/load capability at 50 yards in a machine rest.  25 yards doesn't tell you much as there's a thought that lubed rocks will shoot at 25.

Thank you.  I'd probably do better with lubed rocks.

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Re: Developing .45 bullseye load. I'm beginner, don't laugh...

Post by SMBeyer on Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:32 pm

If you put 4-4.2 of WST behind any good 185 or 200 SWC the limiting factor of you shooting well will NOT be the ammo.  Pick a load and use it.  After a while you will begin to find what feel you like and can adjust from there.  

Have FUN!

Scott

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Re: Developing .45 bullseye load. I'm beginner, don't laugh...

Post by Kermit Workman on Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:30 pm

The sweet spot of the 200 gn. H&G 68 bullet is around 750-775 FPS. I would start with a charge of WST that would put me around that velocity.  If your Match dot is slide mounted then you may need to reduce the recoil spring to around 12 lbs, depending on the sight's weight (if slide mounted).
 The rule of thumb for OAL is to have 1/32" from the shoulder of the bullet to the case mouth.  The OAL turns out to be dependent on the nose profile of the bullet.This allows for the most reliable functioning. It is best to taper crimp to .469 to .471".
 Sand bagging should tell you a lot about your load/pistol's accuracy.
Good Luck, welcome to the madness and be safe.

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Re: Developing .45 bullseye load. I'm beginner, don't laugh...

Post by Laminarman on Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:40 am

Scott and Kermit,

Thank you so much.  Although I was told a chronograph was not necessary I used it anyways yesterday.  It was useful in that 4.4 of WST put the average velocity around 850fps out of my 5" barrel.  Dropping to 4.1 put it at 785fps.  That being said, I've loaded 20 rounds each of 4.0, 4.1 and 4.2.  I'll next just shoot and select based on group size.  I do have a slide mounted dot and the 4.1 cycled it fine with a standard spring (although I do have lower weight springs on hand.)  My goal is to not get too anal about all this but to get a pretty accurate load, then load a bunch up and practice like hell.  Many thanks.

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Re: Developing .45 bullseye load. I'm beginner, don't laugh...

Post by BE Mike on Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:54 am

That's the ticket!

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Re: Developing .45 bullseye load. I'm beginner, don't laugh...

Post by rich.tullo on Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:03 am

Slide Mounted Wad Guns Running #10 ISMI Springs and #19 Main Springs. 

I found the best accuracy with WST in the 4.0 to 4.2 range. OAL 1.23 to 1.24, Crimp 0.468 to - 0.469. I found very little difference on the short line between 185gn HG 68s and 200gn. I have not shot a match with them but Magnus 801s should print with 4.0 at 50 Yards. 

WST is temperature sensitive and runs a little faster in the cold but 4.1 should be 100% in most any conditions. 

At 4.0 and over WST is a very clean power and would shoot that over Bullseye as they are nearly identical on the speed scale and shoot about the same.

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Re: Developing .45 bullseye load. I'm beginner, don't laugh...

Post by Laminarman on Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:54 am

rich.tullo wrote:Slide Mounted Wad Guns Running #10 ISMI Springs and #19 Main Springs. 

I found the best accuracy with WST in the 4.0 to 4.2 range. OAL 1.23 to 1.24, Crimp 0.468 to - 0.469. I found very little difference on the short line between 185gn HG 68s and 200gn. I have not shot a match with them but Magnus 801s should print with 4.0 at 50 Yards. 

WST is temperature sensitive and runs a little faster in the cold but 4.1 should be 100% in most any conditions. 

At 4.0 and over WST is a very clean power and would shoot that over Bullseye as they are nearly identical on the speed scale and shoot about the same.

I'm crimping to .470 measured as close to the case mouth as I can see.  Can a little more crimp (or less) honestly make a difference, and why??

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Re: Developing .45 bullseye load. I'm beginner, don't laugh...

Post by BE Mike on Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:15 pm

A tight crimp with Star dies seems beneficial, but with other dies, using a taper crimp, I like just enough crimp to keep the bullet from moving forward in the case. I use .470", that you are using. I've machine rest tested tighter crimps and it had the effect of degrading accuracy the tighter I went. This was with Dillon dies.

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Re: Developing .45 bullseye load. I'm beginner, don't laugh...

Post by Laminarman on Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:44 pm

BE Mike wrote:A tight crimp with Star dies seems beneficial, but with other dies, using a taper crimp, I like just enough crimp to keep the bullet from moving forward in the case. I use .470", that you are using. I've machine rest tested tighter crimps and it had the effect of degrading accuracy the tighter I went. This was with Dillon dies.
Thanks Mike.  I use the taper/seating die as part of the RCBS three die carbide set.  I assume that still works OK?

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Re: Developing .45 bullseye load. I'm beginner, don't laugh...

Post by BE Mike on Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:27 pm

Laminarman wrote:
BE Mike wrote:A tight crimp with Star dies seems beneficial, but with other dies, using a taper crimp, I like just enough crimp to keep the bullet from moving forward in the case. I use .470", that you are using. I've machine rest tested tighter crimps and it had the effect of degrading accuracy the tighter I went. This was with Dillon dies.
Thanks Mike.  I use the taper/seating die as part of the RCBS three die carbide set.  I assume that still works OK?
Any quality taper crimp die is fine. Most folks crimp in a separate and final step.

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Re: Developing .45 bullseye load. I'm beginner, don't laugh...

Post by rich.tullo on Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:49 pm

Lee makes a low priced one that works well. 

The old school 45acp RCBS dies are ok but can drive you nuts as a tapper crimp can turn into a roll crimp as you get close to 0.469 using .452 bullets. 

Redding is the best Crimp die.

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Re: Developing .45 bullseye load. I'm beginner, don't laugh...

Post by Laminarman on Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:13 am

rich.tullo wrote:Lee makes a low priced one that works well. 

The old school 45acp RCBS dies are ok but can drive you nuts as a tapper crimp can turn into a roll crimp as you get close to 0.469 using .452 bullets. 

Redding is the best Crimp die.

Hmmm....I thought I was crazy that the case mouth looked rolled when I hit .470.  To get a true "taper crimp" type of look it measured more like .473 or so.  I've ordered the Redding from Midway USA.

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Re: Developing .45 bullseye load. I'm beginner, don't laugh...

Post by BE Mike on Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:39 am

This is probably obvious, but when you get your taper crimp die, back off your seating die so it just seats the bullet without crimping. Most folks seat the semi-wadcutter bullets so just a little bullet "shoulder" is sticking up from the case mouth. Some say just a fingernail thickness.

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Re: Developing .45 bullseye load. I'm beginner, don't laugh...

Post by Laminarman on Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:48 am

BE Mike wrote:This is probably obvious, but when you get your taper crimp die, back off your seating die so it just seats the bullet without crimping. Most folks seat the semi-wadcutter bullets so just a little bullet "shoulder" is sticking up from the case mouth. Some say just a fingernail thickness.

Thanks Mike.  Yeah, I'll have to reset the seating/crimping die so that I still measure .925 from the bottom of the case to the shoulder.  After all this is done we'll see what this gun can do.  Once I get the load dialed in I'll have to load a few hundred or more rounds to practice.  Time will be the limiting factor as it always seems to be with most people.  I appreciate the help.

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Re: Developing .45 bullseye load. I'm beginner, don't laugh...

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