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Old April 10, 2011, 11:22 PM   #1
Mad Martigan
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Berry's 9mm 124 hp

Woohoo! First reloading question! I'm trying to load Berry's 124gr hp plated 9mm bullets with Winchester 231. I haven't even got to the charge yet, but I'm having trouble with OAL. At the length I've used for lead (1.15in), These really don't want to fit in the chamber. Even at 1.10in its a bit of a squeeze. I've not loaded any hp before.

As far as the charge goes, I've heard people saying that plated bullets are loaded to lead specs and also that they are loaded to the low end of jacketed levels. I load lead 125gr at 3.5gr and jacketed 124gr at 4.3gr, so that's a pretty big difference.
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Old April 11, 2011, 06:28 AM   #2
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Plated bullets use jacketed load data just fine. Berry's recommends not going above 1200 fps.

For OAL before you seat it too deep make sure your seating die is still correctly adjusted and you are not leaving any bell from the expander die (too far out) or crimping too much and deforming the brass (too far in). Both can make chambering a round difficult.
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Old April 11, 2011, 09:31 AM   #3
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Yeah, it was still adjusted just fine for the cases. These bullets just don't drop freely into the chamber until seated at right around 1.07in OAL. I loaded 10 at this length with 3.8gr of win 231 to try out today. Hopefully nothing explodes.
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Old April 11, 2011, 10:15 AM   #4
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I use Berry's Bullets and am very happy with them. I load them to the exact same data as a standard FMF of the caliber and weight. A lot cleaner than cast and nowhere near the price of FMJ. It's like the best of both worlds.
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Old April 11, 2011, 10:37 AM   #5
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What firearm are you loading them for?
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Old April 11, 2011, 10:41 AM   #6
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You may want to measure some loads that function well in your gun, and try to replicate those...... mild loads are less sensitve to changes in the recipe, including seating depth. That said, make changes in small increments: the 9mm case is small, and has a high working pressure. Small changes might make for signifigant pressure increases.
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Old April 11, 2011, 10:50 AM   #7
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I plan on testing in a RI 9mm, but most shooting will be done with a 4in XD9.
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Old April 11, 2011, 11:21 AM   #8
Miata Mike
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Quote:
I load lead 125gr at 3.5gr and jacketed 124gr at 4.3gr, so that's a pretty big difference.
I loaded some 125 grain lead bullets with 3.3 to 3.7 grains of HP-38 (same as Win231) and most of them wouldn't work the action in my Ruger P95 until I got to 3.8 grains and higher. 4.0 grains worked very well for me. My OAL was 1.125.

I also have loaded Berry's 124 grain plated round nose, but not the hollow point bullet. I was able to use 1.15 with no issues. The hollow point must be shaped different enough to cause issues. I used bullseye with the plated, so I have no info on Win231 and plated.
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Old April 11, 2011, 04:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Even at 1.10in its a bit of a squeeze. I've not loaded any hp before.
Same here, I had to go down to 1.065 to make them work. I'm sticking with lead. I can buy local, so it's a win win for me.
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Old April 11, 2011, 05:15 PM   #10
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Take out your barrel and use it as a gauge. My Keltec PF9 is much more finicky than my S&W MP9. But I rarely go over 1.1 OAL. Usually 1.06 for LRN and 1.09 for JHP.

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Old April 11, 2011, 07:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
As far as the charge goes, I've heard people saying that plated bullets are loaded to lead specs and also that they are loaded to the low end of jacketed levels. I load lead 125gr at 3.5gr and jacketed 124gr at 4.3gr, so that's a pretty big difference.
Just a friendly suggestion when it comes to reloading.....get the info directly from the source rather than "heard people saying". That way, you know what the facts are and not some 2nd hand info. Besides that, when it is available online, there really is no excuse for not using the resource.

From Berry's web site......

FAQ: How do I load Berry's Preferred Plated Bullets?
Plated bullets occupy a position between cast bullets and jacketed bullets. They are soft lead, but have a hard outer shell on them. When loading plated bullets we have found best results using low- to mid-range jacketed data in the load manual. You must use data for a bullet that has the same weight and profile as the one you are loading. Do not exceed mid-range loads. Do not use magnum loads.
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Old April 11, 2011, 07:36 PM   #12
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I to struggled with the odd profile of the barry 124 hp. But after a little toying I've found that they work well with an col of 1.075. And have had good results with universal beneith the barry's bullets.
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Old April 11, 2011, 10:24 PM   #13
Mad Martigan
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Shot 10 tonight at 1.07in with 3.8gr win 231. They ran great.
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Old April 12, 2011, 07:18 PM   #14
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Basic guideline for loading 9mm, .38 Super, .40, .45ACP, etc:

Set your seating die using a factory hardball round or a JHP that's as close to hardball shape as you can get.
Your OAL will always allow your loads to fit the mag. Your load's shape will always coincide with factory hardball well enough to feed in nearly any pistol.

There are exceptions to this. Some guns just won’t handle JHPs without modification. Super short/light bullets won't seat far enough in the case to stay secure.

It's a guideline, not holy writ.
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Old April 12, 2011, 07:18 PM   #15
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......see, you really can find something useful on the internet!
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Old April 15, 2011, 01:39 AM   #16
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Mr. Martigan, The nose shape of the bullet generally drives the 'max' oal you can run in 'THAT GUN with 'THAT" specific bullet.

A simple way to determine your 'MAX' oal is to use the barrel removed from the pistol as a gage.

Take a "spent/fired" case and gently insert the bullet you're testing far enough into the case to just hold. Carefully insert the bullet into the chamber and slowly push it all the way in until the case seats on the case mouth.

Gently remove the case without disturbing the bullet. Measure it. Do that 4 or 5 times to find a consistent length. That is the length that is "touching" the rifling. Subtract about .015" and that is the "MAXIMUM" oal that gun will run with that bullet. A different 'brand' of bullet will not be the same. Each different nose shape and brand has to be tested.

The .015" shorter length allows for the oal variation of your press, variations in the bullet nose shape and some 'head space' (distance to the lands/rifling) for your bullet.

What works in your XD may not work in you tactical or vice-versa. With more than one 9mm, test both pistols and load the shortest oal of the two and you can use the bullets in both guns.

With a FP or HP nose bullet, the oal will end up much shorter than a RN bullet of the same weight.

The Berry 124HP maxes out (in MY gun) at 1.06" so I run 1.045" oal in my pistol.

Hope this makes sense.

Last edited by 1SOW; April 15, 2011 at 10:45 PM.
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Old April 15, 2011, 09:50 AM   #17
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I load my 9mm with 125 gr Cast round nose bullets from Lee mold.
My load consist of 4.1 grains of Winchester 231 powder with OAL of 1.095".
From a Glock 19 pistol with LWD barrel I get 980fps.
The load is accurate and completely reliable in ALL my 9mm pistols.

I have used the same charge but with Winchester 124gr FMJ bullets loaded to 1.105" and it has proven to be completely reliable in all my 9mm carbines and SMG.
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Old April 15, 2011, 09:40 PM   #18
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I have been loading them at 1.055 O.A.L. with good success. I have been shooting them at 1075 to 1175 FPS. +/- a few FPS.
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Old April 16, 2011, 04:36 PM   #19
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Quote:
Plated bullets use jacketed load data just fine. Berry's recommends not going above 1200 fps.

For OAL before you seat it too deep make sure your seating die is still correctly adjusted and you are not leaving any bell from the expander die (too far out) or crimping too much and deforming the brass (too far in). Both can make chambering a round difficult.
Not exactly true. Depending on who makes them you will get different answers. Rainier Ballistics says to use lead data with their bullets. If you only have jacketed data to work with they say reduce the maximum charge by 10%. That translates to jacketed starting loads as the MAX charge. All anyone needs to do to verify this is to go to the Rainier Ballistics website.

Berry's says "When loading plated bullets we have found best results using low- to mid-range jacketed data in the load manual." and "Do not exceed mid-range loads."

We all need to be careful of blanket statements especially to novices.

I won't offer my load data for this combo because I haven't used it with Berry's bullets. My data is useable with Xtreme plated and Jacketed. I've run that same combo with Rainiers ONCE. They were definitely pushing the pressure envelope.
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Old April 18, 2011, 09:42 AM   #20
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All good points on what load data to use. The key factor is the 1200fps barrier, doesn't matter if the recipe was printed for lead or jacketed. Keep in mind that plated bullets have a similar pressure curve to that of a hard cast lead bullet. With the same powder charge lead and plated will shoot with a faster fps than a jacketed bullet.
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Old April 18, 2011, 12:18 PM   #21
KW Gary M
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I just shot some 9mm 124 grain RN Berry's Bullets yesterday out of my Kahr PM9 loaded with 5.0 grains of Unique. They shot great.
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Old December 17, 2012, 12:08 PM   #22
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Anyone still curious to this post and still looking for an answer, i have loaded about a thousand of the Berry's Preferred Plated 124gr Hollow points. For an OAL i found that through a S&W sigma SW9VE, 1.06-1.075 are the perfect safe zone. I use CCI 500 primers, TiteGroup with 4.2 grains of powder, range brass, and a little patience. Hope this helps!!!!
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Old December 17, 2012, 12:10 PM   #23
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Sorry for the Resurrection but i felt that the question was not answered correctly. In reloading, anything not accurate is wrong, do not take chances, measure 20 times and act once.
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Old December 19, 2012, 11:41 PM   #24
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I had the same problem (If you want to call it a problem) with that bullet. I think it has to do with the bullet shape or ogive. I had to get them down to 1.010 to get them to fit into my pistol but I can't remember the grains of Win 231 I used (I would have to go back through my records) They shot through the gun but I was uneasy going below published C O L's and just put them back in the box and stored them on the bench. I still have about 600 of them and if I get the time I was thinking about going with a less grains of powder and see if they would shoot better (More accurate) but it all comes down to my gun didn't like the bullet.

Now all that being said, Berry's Bullets are some of the best bullets I have used and their customer service is some of the best. Who knows some day I might buy a new 9mm and it just might like them.
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