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Old 08-25-2011, 10:08 PM   #1
Marksman
 
Joined: May 2011
From: Woodinville WA
Posts: 255
Wazzup with 9mm?

So I've been reloading 9mm for a few months now. It's my first handgun reload, and my first on a progressive press. No problems. I'm probably more careful than I need to be. I usually count up 20 cases and load up 20 primers in the feed tube. Don't want to go too fast until I really know my press and what I'm doing. I probably go through the 20 in under 6 minutes, which is plenty fast enough for me at this point going from a single stage and powder trickler. Then it's 20 more primers in the tube, wash, rinse repeat. As I've never had any light or heavy powder charges (RCBS powder check/lockout die in place) I should probably just buck up and load the full 100 primers in the tube. Maybe next month...


That's just some background to let you know where I'm coming from in terms of exprience, which is precious little. I was wondering if anyone has knowledge of how loads are developed, especially OAL. I measured some 115 grn FMJ factory loads at 1.15. But my manual, and yes, I should probably have more than one, gives me an OAL of 1.09 for 115 grn. I understand how OAL can play around with pressure, and I'm very happy with the accuracy and gun function of 4 grns with a recipe that lists the "starting" grains as 3.5, and top listed as 4.8. 3.5 gave me 2 stovepipes out of 20, and 4 has been very accurate, and at about 500 rounds malfunctions from the gun. but I'm just wondering how this stuff gets figured out!
 
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:49 AM   #2
Gunslinger
 
dsolie's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
From: Olympia, WA
Posts: 42
Usually to develop a proper load, you need a chronograph. that was you can get an average speed of the bullet, which does help you "see" what different pressures do to the bullet. Overpressure will speed up the round as well as deform the brass (bad).

You also didn't mention the type of powder you use?

The 9mm I load, I use 4.8gr HP38, CCI Small Pistol primers with115gr X-Treme Copper Plated Bullets.

We have our OAL between 1.08-1.15 depending on the brass.
 
Old 08-26-2011, 08:19 AM   #3
Marksman
 
Joined: May 2011
From: Woodinville WA
Posts: 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsolie View Post
Usually to develop a proper load, you need a chronograph. that was you can get an average speed of the bullet, which does help you "see" what different pressures do to the bullet. Overpressure will speed up the round as well as deform the brass (bad).

You also didn't mention the type of powder you use?

The 9mm I load, I use 4.8gr HP38, CCI Small Pistol primers with115gr X-Treme Copper Plated Bullets.

We have our OAL between 1.08-1.15 depending on the brass.
I'm using bullseye. Like I said. Near zero experience here and it seems like bullseye is like ordering vanilla at an ice cream store... You know what you are getting.

So are you measuring volume of the brass and then shooting them through the chrono to settle on your OAL?
 
Old 08-26-2011, 08:44 AM   #4
Marksman
 
Joined: May 2011
From: NW Quadrant WA State
Posts: 288
I use the pistol to determine the OAL.

Every bullet has a slightly different shape depending on FMJ, FP, HP, etc. There are two dimensions that are critical, what the magazine will allow for an OAL and then what maximum length will chamber fully.

I have found an OAL of 1.125 works best in both my Sig P-229 and my CZ75 SP-01. While I could go longer for the Sig, the CZ has a shorter chamber and longer OAL's tend to prevent the slide from going fully into battery.

I am a fan of the "longest OAL your firearm will shoot reliably. Remember that Factory ammo is designed to fit the largest number of firearms possible so don't consider the OAL of a factory round to be the ONLY length that's proper.

I also like 124 gr for my 9mm and 1200 fps. Since 9mm is my SD carry weapon I practice with ammo similar to what I will shoot if a defense situation presents itself.

Powder wise, Bullseye is too slow (speed yield) for my needs. I use Power Pistol for practice loads and Vihtavouri 3N37 for my Self Defense loads (I could care less what M. Ayoob says). Practice bullets are Montana Gold and SD bullets are GDHP's.

Both, when loaded to almost exactly 1200 fps (strangely 6.4 grains of either powder), hit the same point of aim at 25 yards with phenomenal accuracy at lesser SD distances.

With 9mm there are as many "recipes" and suggestions as there are people loading for this caliber. If they "work", that's all that matters.
 
Old 08-26-2011, 08:32 PM   #5
Gunslinger
 
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From: Olympia, WA
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Well said!!!
 
Old 08-29-2011, 07:44 PM   #6
Marksman
 
Joined: May 2011
From: Woodinville WA
Posts: 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by deadshot2 View Post
I use the pistol to determine the OAL.
Just got back from four days down south... And by that I mean Stevenson WA

So how do you determine what chambers best? my gun seems to shoot great with 1.15 and 1.09, and I haven't really done much in between. When I get my bullet seated and brass crimp setup on a new load with a longer oal, I do drop a cartridge into the barrel of my M&P and visually confirm it seats completely. I also cycle a round or two from the mag through the gun.
 
Old 08-30-2011, 08:14 AM   #7
Marksman
 
Joined: May 2011
From: NW Quadrant WA State
Posts: 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by philster View Post
Just got back from four days down south... And by that I mean Stevenson WA

So how do you determine what chambers best? my gun seems to shoot great with 1.15 and 1.09, and I haven't really done much in between. When I get my bullet seated and brass crimp setup on a new load with a longer oal, I do drop a cartridge into the barrel of my M&P and visually confirm it seats completely. I also cycle a round or two from the mag through the gun.
When working up a load for my 9mm's I usually just pull the barrel out and use it as a guide. I try to get the longest OAL that will cycle reliably without jamming it into the lands. Since bullet profiles vary by type, each configuration has a slightly different length.

I am not as concerned about OAL and accuracy in my pistols as none of them are "paper punchers". Powder loads seem to have more of an effect on accuracy than length. Considering that a pistol is more of a defense/close in combat weapon those "one hole groups are not as important. While a 1" group @ 100 yards won't even get you notice with a bunch of rifle shooters, Most pistol shooters are mostly concerned with hitting the 8" circle in an IDPA target (or 6"X6" "Head Shot") at maximum distances of 15 yards.

Consider also that longer/shorter rounds also have lower/higher pressures which can effect speed. I prefer to manage speed with powder loads and use a 110% reliable OAL for function. For me, the seater die for my 9mm loads hasn't changed for several years now. As for Crimp on a 9mm, I only crimp enough to bring the case mouth back in contact with the bullet using a lee factory crimp die. Any more just damages the bullet and if excessive can cause the case to headspace on the extractor rather than case mouth. This brings on a whole different set of issues, not that contribute to performance or accuracy.

Last edited by deadshot2; 08-30-2011 at 08:18 AM.
 
Old 08-30-2011, 10:08 AM   #8
Marksman
 
Joined: May 2011
From: Woodinville WA
Posts: 255
Okay got ya! So I'm on the right track at least! I do exactly what you do, but have yet to consider getting that close to the rifling. I'm going by the crimp info that came in my loading manual (never reloaded auto pistol before), which was .005 to no more than .01 at the mouth less than the head measurement. I haven't mentally woken up yet, so you'll have to excuse me if I drop a "0" here or there...

I am looking for slightly more than IDPA accuracy, in that I just want to push things out a little and keep everything well in the black at 25 yds with the possibility of more 9s than 8s IF if do everything right and take my time. Currently I'm working on "no 7s" and it's going well. The flyers are clearly user error, and they are usually goofy like 9 in the black and one at 12 noon almost off the paper

But really I just want to have fun without blowing up my gun, and whatever is holding my gun... I figure in time I'll pick up tips here and there like the help you and desolie, are giving me and may eventually know enough to have pet loads.

Thanks for that!
 
Old 08-30-2011, 12:39 PM   #9
Marksman
 
Joined: May 2011
From: NW Quadrant WA State
Posts: 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by philster View Post

I am looking for slightly more than IDPA accuracy, in that I just want to push things out a little and keep everything well in the black at 25 yds with the possibility of more 9s than 8s IF if do everything right and take my time. Currently I'm working on "no 7s" and it's going well. The flyers are clearly user error, and they are usually goofy like 9 in the black and one at 12 noon almost off the paper
I found that by working more on "sight alignment" I was able to get "more in the black" at 25 yards. By getting the front sight post more precisely center in the rear notch before launching the round paid big dividends. The sight radius on a pistol is so short, a small error at the sight is a far bigger error at the 25 yard line.

Also the use of the "Circle of Shame" for diagnosing the "fliers". This "chart" works great:

 
Old 08-30-2011, 02:39 PM   #10
Marksman
 
Joined: May 2011
From: Woodinville WA
Posts: 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by deadshot2 View Post
I found that by working more on "sight alignment" I was able to get "more in the black" at 25 yards. By getting the front sight post more precisely center in the rear notch before launching the round paid big dividends. The sight radius on a pistol is so short, a small error at the sight is a far bigger error at the 25 yard line.

Also the use of the "Circle of Shame" for diagnosing the "fliers". This "chart" works great:

Oh I'm in touch with my shame My known fault is the "trigger finger not placed correctly on trigger". I'm all about the 9s and 10s with my 22s. I'm just trying to get in the same real estate with 9mm but the Double action trigger pull is keeping me down! I'll rip it up 8 or 9 out of ten. I'm just looking for that last one or two to fly right!

I'll be playing with a single action 45 caliber toy starting some time around next thursday. dies and plate are on the way
 
Old 09-03-2011, 10:20 AM   #11
Marksman
 
Joined: May 2011
From: Woodinville WA
Posts: 255
Well came across a target load that works very well accuracy wise, using rainier coated RN 124 grns, 3.8 of bullseye, and an oal of 1.125. Consistently 8 out of 10 in the black, and 2 in the seven at 25 yds with my M&P which doesn't exactly have target sights...

Now I just need to find a better manual. My Lymans doesn't even have a 124 grn lead 9mm recommendation Always served me well with rifle, pistol, not so much.
 
Old 09-04-2011, 08:32 AM   #12
Marksman
 
Joined: May 2011
From: NW Quadrant WA State
Posts: 288
Quote:
Originally Posted by philster View Post
Well came across a target load that works very well accuracy wise, using rainier coated RN 124 grns, 3.8 of bullseye, and an oal of 1.125. Consistently 8 out of 10 in the black, and 2 in the seven at 25 yds with my M&P which doesn't exactly have target sights...

Now I just need to find a better manual. My Lymans doesn't even have a 124 grn lead 9mm recommendation Always served me well with rifle, pistol, not so much.
That's why I prefer the Lee 2nd Addition.

How fast do you want that bullet to go?

If I was loading for it I'd use:

3N37 6.1 Gr 1214 fps

or

Accurate #7 6.9 gr 1069 fps.

These are max loads for each powder. I've used both using Rainier plated bullets with no pressure issues. I load to 1.125" OAL which is a little short for 3N37 but I use only good brass for that powder and haven't seen any pressure issues yet. If I go out to the full 1.142" they recommend the slide won't go into battery with my CZ75 SP-01. Damn short chamber in that otherwise great firearm.

I believe that Rainier suggests using jacketed bullet data with their product unlike some "Plated" manufactures.

If you send Rainier an e-mail they'll mail you a copy of some suggested loading data. I got some last year and they definitely don't suggest "wussy" loads.

That's one thing nice about the 9mm case. It is a High Pressure case and unlike some of the straight walled pistol cases (like that favorite caliber that starts with a "4") it holds up under some mean pressures. I've been shooting "max loads" for years in my Sig and CZ. Just am careful to inspect the cases for cracks and splits after they've been loaded 6 or more times.
 
Old 09-04-2011, 12:23 PM   #13
Marksman
 
Joined: May 2011
From: Woodinville WA
Posts: 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by deadshot2 View Post
I believe that Rainier suggests using jacketed bullet data with their product unlike some "Plated" manufactures.

If you send Rainier an e-mail they'll mail you a copy of some suggested loading data. I got some last year and they definitely don't suggest "wussy" loads.
I will e-mail them. But they do recommend using lead loads on their web site. I'm fine with wussy loads for the range. But I definitely shoot enough of the full power SD loads to know what to expect. I'll check the Lee book out.
 
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