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Old March 5, 2011, 12:03 PM   #1
vfRVco
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9mm - is this safe?

I'm new to reloading and could use some feedback. Loaded some 9mm with 115gr FMJ using Bullseye. Lee die data said 5gr to start, Alliant guide says 4.7 max - I put in 4.6. Is that OK? Thanks.
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Old March 5, 2011, 12:06 PM   #2
mikejonestkd
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The 49th Lyman manual shows 3.5-4.8 grains of Bullseye for a 115 gr bullet. OAL of 1.090" You are starting near the top, I suggest backing off a bit and working up slowly.

The Lee book, 2nd edition, does show 5.0 as the starting and the MAX load...so that should tell you to approach with caution.
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Old March 5, 2011, 12:12 PM   #3
Stumper
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Yes that is okay.....and less than 4.6 grains of Bullseye is probably a better plinking load. _My own preference is 4.0 of Red Dot.
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Old March 5, 2011, 12:16 PM   #4
Jim Watson
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I doubt a load .1 grain off of the maximum will blow up your gun; I have loaded a lot at that level although not with BE.

You see some funny data in Lee, with the starting and maximum loads the same number. I think it is because they have a disk or dipper measure rated at 5 grains, know it has a minus tolerance and will always throw lighter, and list a nominal load range of 5 to 5 grains.
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Old March 5, 2011, 12:47 PM   #5
serf 'rett
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Your COAL?
Speer shows 4.7 gr. max with 1.135" for 115 gr. TMJ RN - which is a little longer than the Lee at 1.120"
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Old March 5, 2011, 01:05 PM   #6
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I use 4.0gr of Bullseye w/ a Rainier plated 115gr. Good, accurate plinking load in my CZ. I don't like using Bullseye for max or near max loads, opinions vary of course. Fast powders tend to make any metering errors more exciting when you already near or at max pressure. If you wish to play near the high end, you might wish to go with a slower powder. For 9mm, I like AA#5 or HS-6 for hotter loads. YMMV.
Oh yeah, get a Lyman manual for general use and perhaps one of the Bullet Manufacturer manuals for the brands you use. The Lee 2nd Edition book is another good general use book to have on hand. No such thing as TMI when reloading.
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Old March 5, 2011, 01:34 PM   #7
vfRVco
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OK thanks everyone for the input. Sounds like I'm near the upper end but still safe. I've got 150 rds loaded but haven't shot any yet. I'll back off on the next batch - is that about the size of it?
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Old March 5, 2011, 01:46 PM   #8
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Worth noting: While the pistol you own may handle a listed max loads of a given powder with no issues or negative indication. Let's say 5.0 gr is listed as max for powder XYZ. My pistol of a different brand may start show pressure signs at 4.7 gr with an otherwise identical load. All guns are different and it's alway best to know exactly where your limits are with any given combination. Hence the TMI statement in my previous post.
Multiple data sources are big help.
Start at the low end and work up toward max carefully.
Have fun.
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Old March 5, 2011, 01:55 PM   #9
Miata Mike
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In my Ruger P89 I load for, I use 124 grain Berry's plated round nose bullets with 4.3 grains of Bullseye powder at 1.15" OAL. Winchester brass and CCI small pistol primers. I personally would start lower than 4.7 grains and work my way up
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Old March 5, 2011, 02:18 PM   #10
vfRVco
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Planning to use these rds in my Ruger P85. Remington 115 FMJ w/Federal small pistol primers, misc brass. Is that safe to shoot? If not, OK dumb (novice) question; can/should I take the rds apart and start over? Either way, I'll future loads at 4gr. Thanks.
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Old March 5, 2011, 02:24 PM   #11
Jim Watson
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Quote:
Either way, I'll future loads at 4gr.
The usual starting load (for everybody but Lyman) is 90% of the maximum. (Usually written as a 10% reduction, but I prefer to figure what to use, not what to leave out.)
A 4.7 gr maximum would imply a 4.2-4.3 gr start.
A much lighter load might not function the gun.
A 1911 is very forgiving and will run down to 85% but the only 9mm I ever tried to develop a very mild load for beginning shooters in, a P225, would only go down to 88%.
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Old March 5, 2011, 02:47 PM   #12
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Maybe I'm misunderstanding your last post. I'm (we're) not telling you where you have to be, i.e. 4.0gr. Just that you need a system for arriving at what works for your application. I'm using a plated bullet which is going to have different pressure characteristics than a traditional jacketed bullet.
The way I build a new combination is as follows:

Let's say that my charge range is 4.0 to 5.0 gr of XYZ. (all other components matching brands, weights, etc.)
I will load up 15 to 20 rds each of 4.0 gr, 4.2 gr & so on. Up to 4.8 gr (my choice, I see no need for maxing out pressures for typical practice loads.) and go test them. Testing consists of verifying proper function, accuracy and all the while checking to see if there are any signs of high pressure, i.e. cratered primers, etc. I shoot them all (unless pressure signs start) and the most accurate of the different loads is the one that gets used, assuming that they all cycle the gun of course. Others may do it differently, but this works well for me.
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Old March 5, 2011, 03:27 PM   #13
vfRVco
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OK I think I understand ... load some rds at several points in a range below the max and see what works best. So what do with the rds I loaded already? Reasonably safe? Thanks for all your patience.
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Old March 5, 2011, 03:29 PM   #14
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vfRVco
OK thanks everyone for the input. Sounds like I'm near the upper end but still safe. I've got 150 rds loaded but haven't shot any yet. I'll back off on the next batch - is that about the size of it?

If you haven't fired any rounds with a lesser charge than what you have loaded in this batch then the safest thing to do would be to load a batch of lower charged rounds BEFORE you fire these higher charged rounds.

No one can know how your gun is going to behave, or how your batch of powder is going to burn, or the size of the chamber in your gun, or any of a number of other variables.

You should be starting at the lowest starting load you have found and working up to a maximum load.

There is no sense in shooting hot loads and then backing off next time. If you've safely used a higher load, backing off is pointless for safety reasons. If you want a lighter load, ok, load a lighter load but shooting a high load without working up to it is NOT safe.
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Old March 6, 2011, 01:35 PM   #15
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CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The Firing Line, nor the staff of TFL assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

Alliant web site does not show it, but previously they published a load :
9mm 5.0 gr Bullseye 115 gr FMJ 1.12" 31,000 psi, 1,180 fps 4" barrel

If I plug that into Quickload, I get:
33,000 psi 1236 fps

If I plug 4.6 gr Bullseye, 115 gr FMJ, 1.12" into Quickload, I get:
28,167 psi, 1156 fps.

For some perspective, 2 months ago I did a 115 gr work up with Bullseye and a pile of 380s
One load of interest in the work ups is 6.5 gr Bullseye .96" OAL.
Quickload thinks that is 267,000 psi, which is non sense.
One pistol got a .005" chamber bulge with .095" thick chamber walls.
If the case head looks like a .223 case head, but not as strong, .223s will give up the primer pocket in one shot at 85,000 psi, and the 380 did not give up the primer pocket, then the pressure was probably more like 60kpsi, which calculates to ~ 125ksi tension yield in the 60 year old steel. The steel is probably more like 60ksi static yield, but it is always much harder to blow up a gun than chamber pressure and steel stress yield points would suggest.
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