Light Loads of Accurate Nitro 100 NF in 44 Mag, 357 Mag, & 45 ACP

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by MilesMcKeever, Jan 23, 2017.

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  1. MilesMcKeever

    MilesMcKeever Member

    Nov 18, 2012
    Lake Havasu City, AZ
    I am grateful for your thoughts and comments. I ask about this powder and these loads because they are not published anywhere and I have not yet tested them—I wished first to get feedback. Please note that N100 is different from N100 NF, and Accurate shows appreciably different powder charges in their published loading guides. Below are charges I propose using in batches of light target loads. Please tell me if they seem problematic regarding failure to cycle semiauto action or failure to exit barrel due to insufficient velocity. There is little data about minimum loads of Accurate N100 NF. I based these extrapolations on Accurate’s latest published material and many other sources.
    45 ACP. Mixed cases. Federal Premium Large Pistol Match primers. Light taper crimp.
    4 gr N100 NF
    - 155 gr. Lead: Missouri Bullets IDP #10-Grooveless #HT-452155GL .452” Diameter 155 Grain SWC FB – Grooveless Brinell 18 Hi-Tek 2-Extreme Coating from J&M Specialized Products P/L
    - 185 gr. Jacketed: Magnus J-187, .451”

    44 Magnum. Mixed cases. Federal Premium Large Pistol Match primers. Light roll crimp.
    5 gr. N100 NF
    - 145 gr. Lead: Matt’s Bullets Model 430-145-RN .430” Round Nose
    - 165 gr. Lead: Missouri Bullets Cowboy #12 #430165CB 430" Diameter 165 Grain TCFP Brinell 12 for Cowboy Action Velocities
    - 180 gr. Jacketed: Sierra 44 Mag 3500 .4295” diameter 180 gr. hollow cavity

    357 Magnum. Mixed cases. CCI 500 Small Pistol primers. Light roll crimp.
    3.5 gr. N100 NF
    - 105 gr. Lead: Missouri Bullets Cowboy #16 - Hi-Tek #HT-358105CB .358" Diameter .38 Special 105 Grain TCFP Brinell 12 For Cowboy Action Velocities Hi-Tek 2-Extreme Coating from J&M Specialized Products P/L
    - 110 gr. Jacketed: Hornady XTP #35700 38 Cal .357” 110 gr. XTP
    Please do not suggest a different powder until after I have burned through 8 lbs. of N100 NF… which’ll take a while. I am aware Trail Boss is fabulous for light loads in large cases.
    I did not find N100 NF loads published by Accurate for 44 Special. Also, one generally does not find minimum/light loads published for magnum cases. 45 ACP has plenty of data, many 'starting loads,' but not much in minimum loads below the starting loads—loads that have enough power reliably to cycle the action & push bullet out the barrel at 700+ fps.
    I believe standard primers are adequate for light charges of fast powder, but I could switch to magnum primers if there are reasons.

    Incidentally, if you know good inexpensive sources for the very lightest lead or coated lead bullets, or other extremely light bullets, please let me know.
    The handguns include 45 ACP Colt Mark IV Series 70 5”bbl; 45 ACP Kimber; 44 Mag S&W Model 29 8”bbl; 357 Mag Dan Wesson 8” heavy bbl.
    We have adjustable sights on all weapons and can accommodate somewhat the changed point of aim for light loads. Large targets are at 7m, 10m, and 15m.
    At the unmanaged open outdoor range, we routinely hold handguns pointed up before shooting, thus I believe the small charges of powder will flow back to rear of case near primers, thus optimizing ignition.
    I am teaching inexperienced friends—men, women, teens—about shooting; they are motivated learners, and I believe will learn faster and flinch less with mild ammo at the beginning.
    Also I have medium power and full power loads for them to use after they are familiar with functions and feel of the weapons.
    MANY THANKS for sharing your thoughts and recommendations about loading Accurate Nitro 100 NF powder.
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    Hello Miles, welcome to THR

    That definitely helps with light charges and light bullets in big cases such as .44 Mag & .45 Colt.

    I wouldn't waste jacketed bullets with those light charges, and they are also more likely to get stuck, so, as I am sure you do, always make sure each bullet exits the barrel when trying light starting charges. Getting the powder back also helps with this. I routinely test loads powder back and powder forward. Sometimes the velocity difference is quite large, and certainly low enough PF to stick bullets. Some powders do better than others, and all of them are worse the lighter they are loaded. Just a thought.

    I worked up a load with Nitro 100 NF in .45 ACP for a friend, but I can't see where I logged it, and I don't remember what charge weight it was. It was with a 230 Gr plated RN.

    Have you shot/chronoed any of these yet? The .45 ACP load looks fine to start. The .44 Mag loads look safe to start with, although maybe a hair light. Just guessing though. The .357 load seems light. I definitely would expect it to be problematic with a jacketed bullet. I doubt that bullet would leave the barrel powder forward all the time.

    It won't hurt a thing to try them all. Bring a brass rod with you and keep an eye on them to be sure they all exit the barrel. I would try the non jacketed bullets first to gain better perspective on the charge weights and adjust from there.

    That is a very well put together post, but you can tell it was done by a young man with good eyes. :D

    I hope you find this helpful. :)
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