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Old August 20, 2000, 11:58 PM   #1
jdthaddeus
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I am confused. Do lead bullets take more powder or less than FMJ?

My loading manuals are all over the place and I can't figure it out. Some show more for lead bullet, some less.

I am trying to load 125gr 9mm lead bullets to 1250fps with Power Pistol.

I have scoured every loading manual I can find and I can only get load data for FMJ 124gr bullets. It is the Alliant manual and it says to load 124gr FMJ with 6.6gr PP to get 1235fps and 34k pressure.

I have seen huge variations in the amount of powder charge difference bewteen lead and FMJ (as much as .5gr or more), so I don't want to make assumptions here.

For the same velocity and more importantly same pressure, should I use a little more powder or less powder with lead bullets?

Thanks!
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Old August 21, 2000, 07:24 AM   #2
jetrecbn1
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I always AssUMEd less. I think it's because there is less friction with lead bullets, and lead bullets seem to foul the bore at high velocity. You may get similiar performance of the FMJ by using Hardcast bullets. Don't know.
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Old August 21, 2000, 10:43 AM   #3
alan
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Not familiar with the particular powder you mentioned, but it sounds to me that the velocity you mentioned with 125 grain bullets might be a bit high.

In general, lead bullets take LESS powder than similar weight jacketed bullets, for a given velocity, or so I understood.
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Old August 25, 2000, 02:02 AM   #4
Rocky Road
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jd---
In general, lead pistol bullets will attain same velocity with LESS powder than it takes to get jacketed bullets to that velocity. Figure the jacketed bullets have a LOT more friction in the barrel, so it takes more pressure to overcome it. This equates, usually, to more powder.

You write:
"I am trying to load 125gr 9mm lead bullets to 1250fps with Power Pistol."

One reason you have trouble finding data for this load is that it will be immensely unsatisfactory. I must admit that I have zero experience with Power Pistol, but my Alliant powder brochure shows it is one notch of relative quickness down from Unique. I have a ton of experience (well, several hundred pounds of experience) with Unique. That said, please bear with me, because I believe there is a valid parallel to be drawn.

It is possible you could reach 1250 with Unique and a 125 cast but it would probably be horribly inaccurate and certain to lead up your barrel immediately.

The recommended loads of Unique with the 125 lead run from about 4.0 to 4.5 of Unique, with book velocities of 900 to 1000 fps.

There is no published load with a Jacketed bullet and Unique that will get you very close to 1250. I have one, it is safe in my guns, but it is not in the book.

The most knowledgable authority on 9 x 19 handloading I know is TFL's own Stephen Camp. He spent untold hours (y mucho dinero) trying for a combination of decent accuracy and respectable velocity out of 9 mm lead bullet loads, using several different powders and bullets. He even went to the extremes of having bullet moulds custom made and custom altered. (Can you say OBSESSIVE?) He attained some modest success but concluded that the result is not worth the effort. Good jacketed bullets are too plentiful and too inexpensive to warrant the exertion. In other cartridges, yes, lead bullets make good economic sense and give excellent results. Not in 9 x 19.

I independantly reached the same conclusion, but with a lot less dedicated effort. I am a LOT lazyer that Steve.

Sounds as if you've found very close to your goal load with the reference you quote,
" I can only get load data for FMJ 124gr bullets. It is the Alliant manual and it says to load 124gr FMJ with 6.6gr PP to get 1235fps and 34k pressure." Okay, you have to pay about a third more for the FMJ bullets, a thousand at a time. Believe me, friend, they are well worth it.

For up close practice from the holster, use the moderate velocity, lead bullet loads. Easy on the pistol, accurate, inexpensive. For the max effort, jacketed is the efficient way to go.

Best regards,
RR


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---The Second Amendment ensures the rest of the Bill of Rights---

[This message has been edited by Rocky Road (edited August 25, 2000).]
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Old August 25, 2000, 10:01 AM   #5
Bottom Gun
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It's my understanding that lead bullets are easier on the bore by a factor of 10.
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Old August 27, 2000, 10:38 AM   #6
WESHOOT2
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Think it matters if your lead bullet mikes at .355" and your barrel slugs at .358"?
Or how about if your lead bullet mikes at .357" and your barrels slugs at .3565"?

As Speer says "But not always...."

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Old August 27, 2000, 03:04 PM   #7
Nukem
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Most loading manuals try to keep the speed of lead bullets down to avoid barrel leading problems. I'm not all that sure that lead is slicker against steel than gilding metal either.
If lead seals better than gilding metal, then why gaschecks?

Just some more food for thought.
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Old August 27, 2000, 06:43 PM   #8
Stephen A. Camp
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Hello. Thanks again, RR, for the kind words.
It is true that jacketed round DO wear out a bbl quicker than cast ones, but by how much I cannot say. I've never done it! I do rigorously clean my weapons and bbls after firing. If it remains a concern to you as it kind of has me, you might try what I now do with practically ALL my handgun handloads: I spray the bullets with moly. The kind I have found to bond best with bullet metal is Midway. You will note higher velocity for the same powder charge; at least I have in .357 mag and 9mm. I've tried this in several pistol calibers and several loads within each caliber. I've noted no improvement or degredation of group size out to 25 yards which is about my max distance for any kind of precision as my eyes grow older. I KNOW this is the case at 15 yards.

Examples:

9mm: 124 gr Hornady XTP over 6 gr Unique gives an average velocity of 1243 ft/sec from BHP with std factory bbl. The same load except for the bullet being moly'ed gives 1285 ft/sec.

.357 Mag: 125 gr Hornady XTP over 12 gr Blue Dot gives 1521 ft/sec and moly'ed, 1578 ft/sec.

I do note much less fouling in the bbl when using moly and that which is there comes out pretty easily, more so than when no moly is used. Be sure to really clean the bbl if you use moly as there can be some fouling beneath the moly deposited after the fouling was applied. Best.
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Old August 27, 2000, 06:50 PM   #9
Stephen A. Camp
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Hello again! Old age! I forgot to mention in my previous post that while I've noted no degredation or improvement in group size with the handguns I've used moly'ed ammo in, the same is NOT true with rifles. If you have an accuracy load for a given rifle with a jacketed bullet (no moly) and then try the same load with a moly-coated bullet, it will probably not be an accuracy load anymore. You will have to add more powder, but work up slowly. Do NOT use a hot load with a moly-coated bullet and then replace the moly'ed bullet with a non'moly'ed one until you've reduced the powder charge. IF the load is "hot" with a moly'ed bullet, it may be dangerous with one that's not and merely substituted." Best.
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Old November 9, 2010, 11:26 AM   #10
OrygunMike
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Preferred 9mm loads, Stephen?

Stephen...

I have long enjoyed reading your posts......

As I am in the midst of trying to settle on my "go to" load/loads for 9mm, I would appreciate you putting up some of your favorites.

Thanks
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Old November 10, 2010, 12:15 AM   #11
Ideal Tool
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Lead vrs. Jacketed

Hello, there was a comment made about lead being slicker than gilding metal & the need for gas-checks if lead seals bore better. The reason lead bullets tend to have greater velocity than jacketed is the fact there is less engraving pressure with the softer lead. The term "gas-check" has caused much confusion over the years, they really should have been called "driving cups", they really don't seal the bore, as gas still leaks past them, their function tends to act like wrench, which the rifling can grab onto without being worn away from friction on the bullets trip through the bore. There is a point where a lead bullet will properly seal a bore..it is a function of bullet hardness, pressure, and friction. If you exceed the bullets ability to resist further expansion, you will get deformation...bullet nose slump, collapsed lube grooves, gas cutting. Then you will have leading.
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Old November 10, 2010, 12:44 AM   #12
chris in va
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My CZ 75 slugs at .355, and a typical .356 lead boolit was giving me buckshot patterns. I switched to a .358 38 Special mold and it now shoots like a laser, almost as good as FMJ.

I don't load hot, closer to the beginning charge weight. It has to be seated to 1.00oal so have to watch the pressures.
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Old November 10, 2010, 08:12 AM   #13
dahermit
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Quote:
..their function tends to act like wrench, which the rifling can grab onto without being worn away from friction on the bullets trip through the bore...
I doubt it. Although gas checks are mostly crimp-on now, they used to be just a slip fit on the bullet's base. Seems like instead of applying torque to the lead bullet on the way down the bore, they would be loose enough just to turn on the base. I suggest that gas checks still be called "gas checks", and not, "driving cups", unless you can come up with some more convincing argument.
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Old November 10, 2010, 08:18 AM   #14
dahermit
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Quote:
...I am trying to load 125gr 9mm lead bullets to 1250fps with Power Pistol...
Which begs the question: Why are you trying to drive lead bullets that fast? If hand loading the 9MM for target practice, speed is not that important. If hand loading for defense or hunting, it would be better to use some commercial hollow points.
So, why for you want to do this?
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Old November 10, 2010, 12:51 PM   #15
DogoDon
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Hmmm, the OP posted his question back in the year 2000. He's probably not still waiting for an answer!
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