Do I need to adjust my load going from jacketed to cast?

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For the longest time I've been reloading 45ACP with 230gr FMJs over 5.3gr of Unique. No real scientific process behind the load, and I don't have a chronograph so I'm not sure what kind of velocities I'm getting. I just kind of fell into the load and it's always worked for me.

However, my supply of bullets has finally been exhausted, and I'm waiting for a new order to arrive. In the meantime, while cleaning out my reloading room I stumbled across a box of 230gr cast lead bullets.

What sort of differences am I going to see (besides some lead fouling) going from plated to cast lead bullets? Will I need to adjust my powder load? From what I've read, cast bullets require less powder than jacketed, but that has always been in reference to much higher velocity loads.

For me, I'm already running what I imagine to be a pretty slow load. Will I want to back off the powder even more?
 

jasons

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It's kind of hard to say without knowing what specific bullets you're using. What does your book say?
 
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For 230 grain LRN, Alliant's website gives a max load of 5.8 grains , 1.27 OAL for 850 fps.

Unique sucks at lower pressure so you wouldn't want to go too light.
 
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Plated is not the same as jacketed. Jacketed requres more powder to achieve the same velocities as cast/plated (like you mentioned). Plated just has a very, very thin layer of copper on it just to reduce fouling, but will still be as malleable as lead if you were to hit it or drop it. I use the same load data for lead as cast, but not the same for jacketed.

Figure out if it's plated or jacketed and then determine if you need to adjust or not. If it's jacketed I'd drop it half a grain and work up from there (or to starting load, whichever is closer). If it's plated, your current load should work fine, but you can dial it back a bit if it makes you feel safer.
 
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I load 115 grain FMJ 9mm heads with 4.5 grains of bullseye. I use the same load for a cast 9mm 115 grain bullet. Never had any problems........
 

jpm

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I load 115 grain FMJ 9mm heads with 4.5 grains of bullseye. I use the same load for a cast 9mm 115 grain bullet. Never had any problems........

you MAY not have a problem, but its never a good idea to assume you can use the same load for jacketed and cast/plated.

just go to the powder mfrs website and look up the load data for your powder and bullet. Takes about 2 minutes.
 
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Not trying to tell you what to do, but don't you have a manual or hopefully a couple of manuals. Before I took any advice from anyone on line I would surely read the manual. Or as Bruce Spinsteen sang, Use it Rosey, that's what it's there for.
 
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I was having a similar issue for finding a starting load with some of my lead. After checking all the reloading forums til I went blind the most common answer was to start at 10% less of your starting load for FMJ to cast.
 
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You need to adjust your load for any change in bullet. For safety, you always go back to starting load when you change bullet.
Get the Lyman cast bullet manual. Get the Lee #2 reloading manual. Those will give you data for most common lead bullet weights and powders.
 

drgrant

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With 5.3? Lol. That's already a powder puff load so switching over to lead will probably give you a nice velocity boost.

You really need to get a chronograph. You are doing yourself a disservice by not having one. An F1 Chrony is like $80 or less, just do it and get it out of the way. Relying on books sucks because they never have the same gun you do.

-Mike
 
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With 5.3? Lol. That's already a powder puff load so switching over to lead will probably give you a nice velocity boost.

You really need to get a chronograph. You are doing yourself a disservice by not having one. An F1 Chrony is like $80 or less, just do it and get it out of the way. Relying on books sucks because they never have the same gun you do.

-Mike

I agree. Got a chrony. Consistently got a 50fps increase going from FMJ to lead.
 
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Competition electronics is supposedly one of the best on the market(mine has been awesome) amd is around 100 bucks.

As far as cast bullets go, its all I use for handgun and download by 10% is a good rule of thumb.

Mike

Sent from my cell phone with a tiny keyboard and large thumbs...
 
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Competition electronics is supposedly one of the best on the market(mine has been awesome) amd is around 100 bucks.

As far as cast bullets go, its all I use for handgun and download by 10% is a good rule of thumb.

Mike

Sent from my cell phone with a tiny keyboard and large thumbs...

+1 on Competition Electronics. I have used one of their chronos for over 20 years with no problems. I recently bought one of the newer models due to the reduced size and added features and also because of CE's excellent customer service.

I bought a CE shot timer and used it for about seven years until it finally failed. CE fixed for $17.00, including shipping. I also once had a Pact timer that I paid $375 for (this was the early days of shot timers and prices were high) which I again used for about seven years until it failed. Pact refused to even open up the timer to diagnose the problem unless I agreed to pay an hourly fee! They tried to sell me a new timer instead. Avoid Pact products their CS sucks. CE is the greatest!
 
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