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45 Reduced Short Line Loads - Consolidation Thread

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Tim:H11
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Post by SmokinNJokin 7/27/2016, 10:32 am

I’m bringing a recurring topic back up because there are a few questions I still have unanswered after scouring a dozen or so threads. Jon and Jerry have provided a lot of great info in the past on the subject of reduced short line loads (VERY reduced, sub 4 grains).

A lot of this stuff has been talked about in other threads, instead of peppering questions all over the place I decided to just make a new thread to consolidate.

I currently shoot only iron sights on my .45, so results should be very similar to those running frame mounts. I run a reduced short line load, and have swapped recoil springs in the past when necessary. To help keep things simple, and less expensive, I run the Nosler 185 on the long line, and keep them in dark color ammo boxes. On the short line, I use lead or the cheaper 185 hornady (for CMP) and keep them in white ammo boxes. So it is impossible to accidentally mix long/short line ammo, even if they fall out of the box.

My questions are as follows:

[list="list-style-type: decimal; direction: ltr;"]
[*]Jerry has mentioned running loads as light as 3g bullseye, and also that he prefers Vectan to some of the other powders for reduced loads. I have been using N310 and WST, are these powders that reduce well? I have no problem using different powders for long and short, as the loading process is completely different for these ammos and I generally load large batches. What powders do you recommend for very light loads?
 

[*]I use a sprinco system and like it, it allows you to run a 2-4lb lighter recoil spring than you normally would and cushions the last bit of slide travel with an additional spring. With full-power loads, the system shines. However, I wonder if it is more of a hindrance to proper operation when using very light loads and a 7-8-9 lb recoil spring.
 


[*]I have used the exact same recipes for reduced loads on my jacketed ammo as with lead, but I have often heard you cannot reduce jacketed as much. What is the reasoning behind this besides the obvious greater friction and force required to deform a jacketed bullet to rifling? Are squibs more likely with jacketed, or is it an accuracy issue? I would not mind having groups open up by an inch or so at 25yds and lose X’s if it helped avoid random 8’s.
 


[*]My .45’s all have very well radiused firing pin stops. Should I fit square stops? Does it make enough difference in recoil and cycling with reduced loads that I should do this?
 


[/list]

I appreciate the input – I know a lot of this info is stuff I could eventually figure out on my own through testing, but why re-invent the wheel -  I would rather just spend that time practicing and not worrying about ammo and function, especially if some much-smarter-than me guys already have the answers.

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Post by Jon Eulette 7/27/2016, 11:45 am

I'm only going to hit this minorly right now. Squared firing pin stop for heavier charges. Squibs are from not enough powder.......normally a reloading error.
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Post by jglenn21 7/27/2016, 12:03 pm

there are a couple of common paths for lighter(felt) short line loads..

one is to use the same bullets as your long line and simply reduce your powder charge and change your springs accordingly

another is to use much lighter bullets.. this typically means you have to use the same or a slightly increased powder charge and no change springs.

Right now I run 200gr HG 68s at both lines.. 4.0 of BE at the long line and 3.5 at the short.. this is for a slide mounted dot(sightron).. I do change my recoil spring to a 9 lb spring for the short line...

you can play with different powders for different feel on the short line.. I've found BE to what I like for the most part.. WST is very close.. N310 I find to be a bit snappy.. I do use it on my EIC loads as it works well with jacketed bullets.

as far as lighter loads with jacketed bullets I've never found them to be as accurate as the stronger loads...


I'm sure you'll get different opinions.. find what works for you


Last edited by jglenn21 on 7/28/2016, 8:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by DavidR 7/27/2016, 1:03 pm

Forget squared firing pin stop it only helps when shooting full power 230 fmj loads, What cause's a squib is the reloader, its no powder in the case. be vigilant when reloading and if you can use a rcbs lockout die it will stop a progressive press if no powder or a over charge has occurred. It makes things simpler to shoot the same bullet at 25 and 50 with the same charge if its accurate and light enough. a 185 lswc with 3.9 of bullseye is a very accurate light shooting load.
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Post by mikemyers 7/27/2016, 1:14 pm

I'm new to this forum, but have been doing "bullseye shooting" since the 1980's.  Setting up targets, and trying to get small groups.  I now do reloading.

You guys are already talking about things I never heard of before today (short line, long line), so I've got a lot to learn.


I think it fits in with this discussion, so I don't think I need to start a new thread. Last year I bought a Les Baer Premiere II.  I've been enjoying/struggling with it since then.  Either I have gotten stronger, or the gun has broken in, as I can now rack the slide - something that was durn near impossible a year ago.  Lovely gun, and my groups are between 2" and 3" at 15 yards.  Not very good.

Anyway, on to the question.  I started with Winchester White Box 230 grain bullets.  To reduce the power and the recoil, I started loading my own 230 grain bullets, with the lowest amount of Unique powder in the reloading book.  Thinking lighter would be better, I got some 185 grain Speer bullets, FMJ RN, and used Unique powder, and later Bullseye.  Again, the minimum amount noted in the Speer reloading manual.

People have suggested that I use 200 grain bullets, and what I've read so far on the Bullseyepistol.com website, that seems to be a reasonable thing to do.  So, two days ago, I ordered these:
   midwayusa.com/product/538777/speer-bullets-45-caliber-451-diameter-200-grain-total-metal-jacket-semi-wadcutter-match-box-of-100 

My current plan is/was to load them as before, with the minimum amount of (probably Bullseye) powder in the reloading manual.  Is there any information on this forum suggesting what loads are better for shooting paper targets?

Thanks in advance - now I'm off to find out what the difference is between long line and short line.........  I'm guessing it's the distance one will be shooting at.  (I almost always shoot at 15 yards, so I can compare targets equally.)
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Post by DavidR 7/27/2016, 1:32 pm

""I'm new to this forum, but have been doing "bullseye shooting" since the 1980's.  Setting up targets, and trying to get small groups.  I now do reloading.

You guys are already talking about things I never heard of before today (short line, long line), so I've got a lot to learn.""


Welcome, Some like to shoot a lower recoiling round at 25 yards than they do at 50 yards and some shoot the same load at both, but which ever you choose....
First thing loose all the reloading manuals as per load info for bullseye, the lowest charges they list is most times well above what is needed and accurate for bullseye. The bullet you ordered should do well with 4.2-4.4 of bullseye and can easily be used for both short and long line use, but more costly to use, being most shoot the 45 for Center fire and 45 parts of a 2700 match. that's 180 shots and add in 10 alibi rounds for each so total of 200 rounds needed to compete. You would be just as accurate and save a lot with  a 200 lswc loaded with 3.9-4.2 of bullseye it will drill the X or 10 ring at 25 or 50yds out of your les baer all day long off a bench. A box of 200 lswc will run about 50.00 or less. 
45 Reduced Short Line Loads - Consolidation Thread 1883569342 A 2700 bullseye match consists of 3 parts, 9 targets shot with a 22, a centerfire gun 32 or larger and a 45 acp each of these  is capable of  a score of 900 and has 3 targets fired at 50 yards(long line) and 6 fired at 25 yards (short line) object of the game.... get as close to a perfect score of 900+900+900 or 2700 total as possible. Record holder for Highest official fired score to date 2680 fired by Herschel Anderson in 1974 in Nashville Tn.
For all the info on bullseye check out bullseye encyclopedia .com.
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Post by mikemyers 7/27/2016, 3:11 pm

DavidR wrote:..........First thing loose all the reloading manuals as per load info for bullseye, the lowest charges they list is most times well above what is needed and accurate for bullseye. The bullet you ordered should do well with 4.2-4.4 of bullseye...........For all the info on bullseye check out bullseye encyclopedia .com.

Thanks; I've got a lot to learn, but first things first.  Bullets arrive tomorrow, and I'll check out bullseye encyclopedia right now.  Again, thank you!
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Post by rich.tullo 8/1/2016, 11:13 pm

I like CJN Casting for 200gn H&G 68 SWC, http://www.cjncasting.com/45-caliber-Semi-Wad-Cutter-bullet-p/45swc200.htm

Like these too http://www.rozedist.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=RZD&Product_Code=R186-A&Category_Code=ZSB-45ACP

Terry at Magnus is great 802 or 801  but i would  try the 802 first

http://saas.shopsite.com/magnusbullets/store/page8.html

I have been shooting 3.9 BE, 4.1 WST, 4.6 W231 for every thing,

I usually look at the factory load data and then extrapolate down generally bullseye loads are 7% lower than the minimum  

Common powders used are vvn 310, bullseye, tite group, clays, 700x, w231, wst; A mid range powder like universal is really for steel 

I am current experimenting with VV320 and I am loading 4.2 which is bew the advetised min
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Post by Tim:H11 8/2/2016, 7:54 am

Does anyone have experience that they could share with 3.0 gr of bullseye with a 200 gr LSWC?
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Post by DavidR 8/2/2016, 10:52 am

Tim:H11 wrote:Does anyone have experience that they could share with 3.0 gr of bullseye with a 200 gr LSWC?
I doubt it will function in a 1911, why are you looking to load so light?
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Post by Tim:H11 8/2/2016, 11:03 am

DavidR wrote:
Tim:H11 wrote:Does anyone have experience that they could share with 3.0 gr of bullseye with a 200 gr LSWC?
I doubt it will function in a 1911, why are you looking to load so light?

Just curious as to how light I could actually go and still have good results.
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Post by Jon Eulette 8/2/2016, 11:04 am

I've used 3.0 gr BE with 200 lswc for 25 yds but think 3.3 gr should probably be minimum. I think there isn't enough benefit from the lighter charge to go that low without a reduced/lightened slide. Mainly for reliability; cycling (temperature/cleanliness). I've used 3.3 gr regularly in 5" & 6" slide mounted scopes for several years. Not sure how much difference it makes but I hold really hard. Stuff works for me that won't function for others. So good luck Smile
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Post by DavidR 8/2/2016, 12:49 pm

Tim, no need to reinvent the wheel, just go here, its at top of the ammo page its loads from guys who have all made master or above, any of these loads will yield great accuracy from any accurate gun.

https://www.bullseyeforum.net/t1209-pet-loads-of-top-shooters-loads-from-the-past
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Post by SmokinNJokin 8/3/2016, 9:50 pm

So we drifted off topic a bit, I originally was only discussing jacketed short line data. There didn't seem to be much info out there so I went ahead and made up some lots of ammo with N310 and WST and Hornady 185 xtp ammo.

Bottom line up front: accuracy completely degraded with anything lighter than around 3.8 grains. Massive SD and spread. YRMV depending on the barrel, but mine certainly did not like very light jacketed loads. 3.8 WST is my new short line load.

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Post by Jerry Keefer 8/5/2016, 1:08 pm

SmokinNJokin wrote:Jerry has mentioned running loads as light as 3g bullseye, and also that he prefers Vectan
A slight mis print...
2.9 to be exact..
This target was shot yesterday..12 strings of rapid fire with 2.9 gr. and 185 gr. lead.. on a turning system.. The shooter must be able to "shoot the turn.." and why I am so adamantly against stationary electronic targets..
2gr. for the 52/38 at short line...
45 Reduced Short Line Loads - Consolidation Thread 20160804_124443_zpss9svwx3f
52 / 38 long line...not yesterday..just sayin..
45 Reduced Short Line Loads - Consolidation Thread 20160511_195118_zpsvfusmd6u
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Post by Jerry Keefer 8/5/2016, 8:19 pm

Sorry Chase, I tested Titegroup briefly, but the snap it produced wasn't what we were looking for.. So we didn't test any further.. Plus, everything we shoot is lead..softer recoil... When I started into bullseye in the mid sixties, jacketed bullets were very rarely seen on the line..Not as many 2600 shooters in those days, but some very nice groups where put up..Optics had not hit the scene yet.. I wouldn't even consider jacketed now..
Yes, that's her practice day..
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Post by mhayford45 6/13/2022, 10:51 am

Resurrecting this thread to discuss the perceived energy in reduced loads. 

I run a frame mounted dot. I spent last year working with 3.0-3.1 BE with a Zero 185 hpswc and a 10# recoil spring. I concluded, shooting this most of last summer, that this was not the way to go. Why, there seemed to be more energy/snap/muzzle rise imparted at the first part of shot. This seemed illogical as there is less energy and pressure with 3.0 than say 4.0. of BE. However, when I used a 14# spring with 4.0 BE for the long line, the energy seemed to come straight back with enough force that there was less muzzle rise. 

So I have been working this summer with increasing the short line load and using different springs to see how it responds in the hand. There seems to be a real correlation to load and spring combinations as to how it feels and muzzle rise.

Discussion


Last edited by mhayford45 on 6/13/2022, 2:00 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Wobbley 6/13/2022, 1:39 pm

I loaded a batch with 3.6 BE and 200 Brazos.  It just wasn’t reliable and accuracy wasn’t as good at 4 ish… so I abandoned that load.
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Post by Jon Eulette 6/13/2022, 2:05 pm

mhayford45, those charges are too low for a 16 twist barrel. I’ve found 3.4 gr BE to be minimum charge to shoot well for short line. 
3.4 for long line is very unforgiving. Tried it for quite a while and jumping to 3.6 minimum for long line helped tremendously.

I’m using 10# recoil spring in my new builds because they lock up pretty hard. I haven’t went higher than 12# in any of my builds after they’ve been shot in. Barrel fit does effect slide velocity and felt recoil.

13 twist barrels in frame mounts are a blast! I’ve ran down to 2.8 gr BE and they shoot both yard lines exceptionally well.

Wobbley; I’ve had superb accuracy from 3.6 loads in guns I have built. Typically pistols with marginally fit bottom lugs need a hotter charge to shoot more accurately.

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Post by bruce martindale 6/13/2022, 6:29 pm

Jon Eulette. Typically pistols with marginally fit bottom lugs need a hotter charge to shoot more accurately. wrote:
Jon
Hmmm, l would have thought, and even thought l xperienced the opposite. Wouldn't a heavier charge unlock sooner?

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Post by mhayford45 6/15/2022, 10:34 am

Jon,

I like the 3.4 BE with a 11 lb spring for the short line. Is a 11 lb spring to lite for my long line load of 4.0 BE? 4.0 BE give me the best groups at 50 yards in my gun.

thanks for everyone's input.
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Post by mhayford45 6/21/2022, 1:52 pm

Ok, I am not going to let this go. 

Gun with Kart barrel, 185 gr Zero SWCHP and frame mount dot:

I worked with 4.0 BE long line a 3.4 BE short line with a 11 lb spring this last weekend. I do not think this is the answer as the long lone load felt like it hammered the frame and the short line load felt snappy and crisp in my hand.

I have reviewed the loads from masters past for iron sights and think Bob Chow was on the money. However, they do not mention the springs they used. 4.0 BE gives me the best groups at 50 yards holding mostly X ring. However, I think a 12,13 or 14 lb spring to be the range for this load. Does and one know or have a recommendation and I think I will go back to 3.2-3.3 BE for the short line as this load held X at the 25 yard line and felt less snappy.

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