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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well duh.

New to reloading 45 acp and was going for a low power range round.

Had CFE pistol , small primers and 230 fmj, coal 1.260 . I loaded 5.2 - 5.6g a couple weeks ago and all functioned.

This week went down to 5.0g and no joy, also some 5.2 started to not cycle.

Thought about it and remembered just lightly lubing the frame, maybe it ran dryish. Then remember that the guys that were running these poofers had used low power springs.

Big duh moment.

So with a standard (probably worn) spring how many fps would be the lowest that's still reliably full function. Book max is 6.8g at 900 fps.

775 - 800 fps?

Air gun Trigger Wood Grey Gun barrel
 

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Most factory 230gr .45 ammo realistically comes in around 800fps or a little over (WW "White Box" 230gr ball is factory rated at 835fps FWIW). Anything around 800fps SHOULD cycle the gun just fine unless you put a heavy (over 16 lbs) recoil spring in it or have some other problem. Your gun (Armscor?) isn't a tightly fitted match gun so you shouldn't HAVE to "run it wet" just to get it to function (although running it generously lubed is not a bad idea IMO).
 

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As bullet weight and velocity go lighter and slower recoil and or main spring weights can be decreased . You should buy some different and lighter recoil springs and main springs so your pistols reliable with your load . Maybe try a 18lb main spring first then a 14lb recoil spring BUT besure your lower powder level is safe with the bullet you use . Lighter than suggested loads can cause pressure spikes with some powders. I have zero time with CFE pistol but your loads seem lite for that powder type bullet weight . You might want to try a different powder for slower softball loads as CFE Pistol is better for fast to +P loads .

I've loaded some 165gr at 675fps BUT I use a powder that still fills a case well and I run lite 12lb recoil spring and 18lb main spring . Basically a 9mm load for energy . Its mostly trial and error .
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys.

I will increase powder for about 800 fps. Should be 5.8 or 6.0g don't have my book handy.

I have a new spring and follower for the old Wilson Combat magazine on the way and a new WC slide stop to replace the well worn (original).

This old thing will get a complete spring replacement, sights maybe a mag well.
Will be checking barrel bushing and link as soon as I read more on it.

Some type of refinishing will be done as the factory finish is a lost cause.

It is 100 degrees daily in N Texas so I have all summer to learn about 70's series 45's.

This is as much fun and work as getting an ar to shoot sub moa with mid tier parts. Lol
 

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Most of my range loads are with 230 gr bullets and run just about 775-785. Function just fine with a standard 16# recoil spring. Pleasant to shoot and I can run 300 in a range session without the arthritis and old joints complaining very much.

My 50’ bullseye loads run just below that with 200 gr H&G 68’s and the gun I use with that has a 14# recoil spring.

I’m sure you will come up with something that works well for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The fact that the gun functioned with ammo on the 700 fps range let's me figure the spring is worn out or was changed from original (not likely).

And yes arthritis is a big concern for me as well.
 

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I used to use 4.0/Bullseye/200 gr. LSWC for falling plates and indoor practice, but it took a worn-out "stock" spring, or a lighter spring for it to operate in my GM. I tried 4.0/Bullseye/230 gr. LRN with a newish stock spring, and it functioned and shot very well. I recall that I increased the crimp by 1/4 turn, to better assure function, but I'm not sure it was entirely necessary. In terms of velocity, I'm FAIRLY certain that I was breaking 700 f/s, but I think it unlikely that I was breaking 750 f/s.

Unless you are using a chronograph, I'm not sure that anyone can give you a "minimum velocity for function" in your pistol. If someone blurts one out, and you select a load in a loading manual that gets close, it may or may NOT function in YOUR pistol, for the load selected may not perform in your firearm in exactly the way it did in the loading manual's.
If you have plenty of ~230 gr. projectiles and Bullseye, I'D suggest loading 10 each at 3.9. 4.0, 4.1 & 4.2/Bullseye/230 gr. LRN, and expect reliable function with the latter 2 charge weights. If the lighter two operate as desired, then all well and good. If you use a different propellant, you'll have some "figurin" to do, but it can be done.
 

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I have zero time with CFE pistol but your loads seem lite for that powder type bullet weight . You might want to try a different powder for slower softball loads as CFE Pistol is better for fast to +P loads .
Agree, CFE-P charts pretty slow burning and will probably get erratic by or before you reach midrange velocities.

Have you got anything else?
I use Bullseye for powderpuff loads but I also use 11-12 lb recoil springs.
Somewhere 3.5-4 gr of Bull and a 200 gr bullet will be much more comfortable than hardball.
I have loaded as light as 3.1 gr Bull and a coated 230 gr RN but that is really lobbing them out there under 600 fps.
 

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FWIW- just finished developing load with Berry's HHP 230gr, CFE-P, Small Primer cases, for G30S.
Found 6.2grs CFE-P with Federal SP to be controllable, accurate, and cases so clean they almost don't need tumbling.
At range yesterday, 6" targets at 10yds, 50 double taps all stayed on target.
 

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Agree, CFE-P charts pretty slow burning and will probably get erratic by or before you reach midrange velocities.

Have you got anything else?
I use Bullseye for powderpuff loads but I also use 11-12 lb recoil springs.
Somewhere 3.5-4 gr of Bull and a 200 gr bullet will be much more comfortable than hardball.
I have loaded as light as 3.1 gr Bull and a coated 230 gr RN but that is really lobbing them out there under 600 fps.
Only reason I loaded some softball loads was for grandkids about 8 or 9 years ago . Loaded 500 after those where gone there were ready to shoot my standard practice load 230gr with 5.2gr hp-38 & a fun load is 200gr coated swc with 5.0 grs of hp-38 .
 

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5.8 with a stock setup dialed in the best accuracy for me. I laddered up to 6.4, but ended up coming right back down. 6.2 & 6.4 were just too snappy and accuracy suffered. Things were much softer around 5.6-5.8 and the groups tightened up.
 

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Hodgdon says for a 230g bullet with CFE pistol to load 6.0-6.8g of powder, why would you load Below their recommendations, seems like a squib in the making. Velocities were rated at 800 something to 900+ FPS.

Maybe look at some Accurate #2 powder, needs much less and should be much softer shooting.
 

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While at the same time, the Hornady book shows a starting load of 5.2 at 700. They show the same 6.0 at 800 as well. There is no danger of a squib here, tons of us shoot softies around 750. Just another reason to consult multiple sources when deciding on a starting point. I actually found 5.4 to be very pleasant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the warning @passx

Maybe Hodgdon decided CFE didn't preform well below 800 fps.(beginning to agree)

Lyman has 5 out of 12 230g rounds less than 700 fps.
Hornady lists 15 at 700 with 5.2g of CFE as one of them.
Lee had several loads below 700 fps

So I felt safe playing with the lower threshold, slow fire range use only.
@Nitro.45 suggestion of 5.4g works in that gun but accuracy was not good for me.
I will take the loads in the other direction with approximately 800 fps as my new attempt.

I'm pretty confident 700 fps will fully function with lower power springs.
Waiting on replacement slide stop and new mag spring for next range day probably.

Looks like a 223 test day today.
 

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With the availability and cost of powder I understand the desire to stay with one powder but there are others available that are a bit more flexible. BullsEye has been mentioned but probably nowhere to be found. Tite Group, Zip,700X, WW231 or HP-38 are versatile and will allow you to get velocities down around 750 fps and still function reliably.
 

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I still shoot the loads outlined by Kosh75287, above. The thought of getting !,750 loaded rounds out of one can of powder appeals to me. Have no idea how fast the bullets are traveling - just enough to eject and cycle. Never experienced a FTF or FTE. Both Series 70 NM Gold Cups were bought used so I have no idea of prior round count. I do employ Shok Buffs.
 

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I shoot 200g H&G 68s from Summers Enterprises over 5.4g W231 for about 790fps to 800fps and are accurate when I do my part in all of my Pro and Commander sized pistols with factory spring rates.
 

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Having good luck with 4.6 gr of W231 behind 200 gr SWC or HP, both plated, not jacketed.
I have shot a few with 4.0 gr of w231 behind those bullets, no problems, but I was warned about that not being enough to get the bullet out of the barrel. Be careful of lower end, 4.5 will work fine.
What others said about recoil springs is correct. I have a new Les Baer that shoots the 4.6gr just fine with a 14# recoil spring.
 
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