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Old January 11, 2013, 09:23 AM   #1
hounddawg
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lead vs jacketed HP vs plated in 9MM

tried shooting off a rest yesterday for the first time with my M&P full size 9mm. I was pretty disappointed in the results. I was using hard cast 124 gr bullets with the results. Did a full ladder of W231 in .1 grain increments and was getting 4 to 6 inch groups at 15 yards. Bullets were seated to the chamber at 1.07, taper crimped to .375

I have never really shot a pistol for accuracy before so I was wondering which to try changing, bullet type or powder? There is also a chance it could have been the indian not the arrow becasue I actually did better shooting 2 hand no rest than I did off the rest although that shooting was using the last of my MBC lead bullet instead of the Penns. Not blaming the Penn bullets here just pointing out that I did make a small change there, same weight shape bullet etc

I know a lot of the serious competitors use Montana gold plated bullets and some people like the Berrys plated. I also have access to Nosler FMJ's for about the same price as plated using a group buy but would not recieve them for a couple of months

I am also wondering how much difference the powder makes, I was thinking of trying some Unique, Bullseye, and even VV N330 when/if I can find some. I have 1000 of these hard casts and 4 or 5 lbs of W231 that I would like to shoot up before any major purchases. But if I could find a powder that works with the hard casts or a bullet that works with the W231 it would be great.

If this was rifle I would know where to start but pistol accuracy is all new to me. Any suggestions from the loaders here who shoot pistols for groups before I spend a lot of money on powders and bullets and still end up going with high dollar barrel replacement would be appreciated. Thanks in advance and sorry for the rambling post but I am really in the woods here trying to figure out where to start with this.

I was unsure whether to post this in reloading or auto pistols so mods move if you feel it is the wrong forum.
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Old January 11, 2013, 01:12 PM   #2
mikld
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How well do you do with factory ammo? Any barrel leading/fouling? If the bullets aren't undersize, I'd say practice, pratice, practice. Handguns react to recoil differently when shot from a rest. A hard rest will throw the shots off much easier than a soft rest or handheld. Trigger control is essential for consistant pistol shooting. Here's a symptom chart for handguns, may help; http://www.pointmanspage.com/gallery...hart.jpeg.html
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Old January 11, 2013, 01:44 PM   #3
hounddawg
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Thanks Mike never realized that a pistol behaves differently on a rest than a rifle does.

To answer your question I do fairly well with both the lead and with factory stuff shooting freehand. I have just never concentrated on pistol accuracy before and was mainly shooting off the rest to see what my loads would chrono at and trying to minimize the chances of me nailing the chronograph. Shooting with a two handed grip not using the rest I was getting 2 inch groups. When I was chrono'ing I was resting my trigger guard on the front bag of my rifle rest, maybe that was the issue.

Thanks for the link, a few months back when I started messing with pistols a lot I used a similar one in the form of a target that is available at Sportshooter.com.

In the meantime I picked up 100 Hornady XTP 124 grain bullets at a local shop. Sure cant afford to shoot those on a regular basis. Also got a pound of Unique to try out.
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Old January 11, 2013, 08:06 PM   #4
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There shouldn't be any problem in using W231/HP-38 in your 9mm loads, but with cast bullets I've found the MOST important thing is to make certain that they are sized properly. I've ended up using .357dia. cast, 125Gr. LSWC in a couple of differnt 9mm's and 38Super with good success. I did have uneven results when using .355/.356dia. sized lead and some bore leading. That went away and the accuracy improved with larger bullets.

As far as plated and jacketed bullets go, I have never found plated bullets to be worth using as far as accuracy goes. They tend to be less expensive than jacketed and a bit more expensive than good, cast bullets, but accuracy(for me) has been lacking. Yea, they make a hole in the target, as long as you're not too particular as to where that hole appears.

If you've chosen 124XTP's to try, you've picked a great bullet. I've found them, and their similar HAP bullets to be the most accurate bullets in my 9mm's. A good, hardcast, properly sized SWC comes a close second, with plated being a distant third.
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Old January 12, 2013, 01:58 AM   #5
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well at 17 - 20 dollars a hundred I won't be shooting XTP's very much, just bought some to experiment with. I am going to play with the powder a bit but I am wondering seriously if it was my technique now. My wife pointed out the obvious to me, if the gun was shooting that bad off the rest then why was I hitting consistently freehand. This is my first attempt at shooting for accuracy with a pistol. Up to now I just plinked with the occasional IDPA match.

Anyway I found a pound of HS6 that I had forgotten I even had so I loaded up 100 with that, going to load a hundred with this Unique. Maybe try Power Pistol or Bullseye or some other powder. Worst case scenario is I will either go back to my CZ and get a trigger job done on it or have a fitted barrel installed in the M&P
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Old January 12, 2013, 11:37 AM   #6
reloader28
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Like Springer said, your cast bullets were probly too small dia for your gun. If your shooting cast you really should slug your barrel.
If the bullets are too small dia it will not have good accuracy.
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Old January 12, 2013, 12:32 PM   #7
RC20
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I picked up a box of the Penn 120 TCs a while back

I went with the HS6 powder (my brother gave me a can.) HS6 is what the Penn owner recommends.

Results were so so. I loaded to length specified and used the charges suggested.

While he did reply the response tended to be elusive in solid data and reocmendiations.

I was shooting out of a Sig that tends to exact dimension (other guns are listed that have looser bullet and they make slightly larger diameter bullets for the looser ones like glock I believe).

Upshot was that while they are ok for practice, accuracy wise they are not all that good.

I could not get an answer for seating depth vs the HS6 power he like that would allow for the taper crimp (which I never did, just make sure that I did not repeatedly run the same round into the chamber and not shoot it).

When I pressed him he quit responding.

A random checks shows 2 gr variance in weight.

The grease grove is a bit inconsistent in that there are not full great all the way around though none had a complete lack of grease.

The grease grove falls right at the suggested seating depth which means you cannot crimp.

Ergo, to do a crimp seat out further or shorter. Shorter of course you have to check the powder depth so as not to compress the charge as 9mm is extremely sensitive to pressure. Further out you need to do a chamber check to make sure it fits the chamber right and also feeds right.

All in all, not what I expected. I hoped to match the XTP which I also load for accuracy and they were definitely not as accurate.

Disappointed and would not buy again, though the generally quality is good appearance wise and no leading. Barrel cleaned up fine. You want to shoot in the open though that's true of any hard cast with grease (synthetic in this case I believe).


Quote:
tried shooting off a rest yesterday for the first time with my M&P full size 9mm. I was pretty disappointed in the results. I was using hard cast 124 gr bullets with the results. Did a full ladder of W231 in .1 grain increments and was getting 4 to 6 inch groups at 15 yards. Bullets were seated to the chamber at 1.07, taper crimped to .375

I have never really shot a pistol for accuracy before so I was wondering which to try changing, bullet type or powder? There is also a chance it could have been the indian not the arrow becasue I actually did better shooting 2 hand no rest than I did off the rest although that shooting was using the last of my MBC lead bullet instead of the Penns. Not blaming the Penn bullets here just pointing out that I did make a small change there, same weight shape bullet etc
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Old January 12, 2013, 03:37 PM   #8
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Slugged the barrel and it was .355 on the grooves and .349 on the lands. Measured 10 bullets and all were .355 on the money. Not sure what that tells me except that the lands are .003 in height. Weighed a bunch and compared the extreme spread to some MBC cast bullets and the Hornady XTP's. Hornady was #1 with a ES of .2 and a SD of .1, the MBC's came out with a ES of .9 and a SD of .67, the Penns had a ES of 1.5 and a SD of .47
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Old January 12, 2013, 04:27 PM   #9
Misssissippi Dave
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You shouldn't be having any problems using W231 powder in 9 mm. Lead bullets do need to be .001" larger then the barrel to get a good seal. The crimp is also very important when you use lead.

I prefer to just load jacketed bullets. The crimp is not as touchy. Over crimp a lead bullet and you could easily be resizing it as well. I do use Montana Gold bullets even for just plinking ammo. The price is not as bad when you get them by the case. At the moment they are hard pressed to keep up with the demand for their bullets. Their hollow point bullets are not intended to expand. They are designed to be more accurate. This is why they should not be confused with S/D bullets.

You could use several different powders with the right bullet and get good accuracy.
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Old January 13, 2013, 06:55 AM   #10
Gerry
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Crimping is only a problem with 9mm lead bullets if you crimp. If you crimp, crimping will always be a problem to the extent of your crimp. This applies to plated and jacketed as well.

Thus instead of crimping, avoid the problem and adjust your crimp die to only remove any remaining bell at the case mouth created for accepting the bullet - and no more. That end part of your case should measure the same as just below where the bell was - in other words straight. If your bullet seating die already seems to do this (and many will), then unscrew your crimp die from its station and put it away in a drawer, or sell it on eBay.

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Old January 13, 2013, 07:36 AM   #11
hounddawg
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I am pretty much convinced at this point it is the indian not the arrow but I just double checked my crimp. Running a case through the seating dies I get .377 - .378 while a crimped case is around .373 - .374. Case wall thickness is .011 plus or minus .001 so with a bullet diameter of .355 + .020 for the case walls I don't think I am crushing the bullet at all.

The groove diameter of .355 along with a bullet diameter of .355 has me mildly concerned but I was getting good velocities of 1000 - 1100 FPS on that load workup. Wish I had saved the numbers now but the groups were so bad I did not bother. However SD's were around 20 - 30 as near as I can recall.

I am going to head to the range later if I get my "honey do's" done this morning and just do some freehand practice at 15 to 25 yards using some various powders and bullets and see how it goes. Might even try some benching w/o the chrono to see how it goes but if I can get 3 - 4 inch groups consistently freehand I wont even bother with the bench stuff.

I did some reading up on pistol bench techniques and am pretty sure
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Old January 13, 2013, 10:30 AM   #12
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The bullet dia is too small.
If the gun is .355, then you need a bullet of .356 or .357. .358 might even work. We use .358 in all our 9mm's but one.

That might not be the entire fix, but it should really help improve.
My uncle was shooting 7" groups until I gave him some bigger dia bullets. Instantly went to 2-3" groups.
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Old January 13, 2013, 10:45 AM   #13
hounddawg
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going to try these Penns in the CZ75 today, never have slugged it but the MBC hard casts always did pretty well in it

question though on a plated bullet such as Montana Golds or Berrys what would I need for the M&P with the .355. Sorry for all the questions but as I have said a couple off times this pistol accuracy is a whole new ballgame for me
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Old January 13, 2013, 11:30 AM   #14
Misssissippi Dave
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Montana Gold is Jacketed not plated. You have to use more powder for jackted bullets and you can use a slightly smaller diameter. I have found their 9 mm bullets work well in all my 9 mm pistols. They also don't need any kind of lube. That means hardly any smoke.

Plated bullets you have to watch out that you don't crimp so much that you go through the thin plating when you crimp. If you do the plating will separate from the lead. Jacketed bullets don't have that problem. This is one reason why they are so much easier to load for people getting into reloading. Jacketed bullets are normally rated to higher speeds than plated are. This can be important when you load magnums.

Last edited by Misssissippi Dave; January 13, 2013 at 11:39 AM.
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Old January 13, 2013, 12:53 PM   #15
Gerry
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There is really no need to measure "crimp" to some specific addition of case wall plus bullet diameter. The bullet has already been shoved into the case, so you can use that as your guide. All you need to do is make sure the end of your case is straight and not smaller (or larger) in diameter at the very mouth than it is a little further down.

My Winchester cases loaded with plated .355 bullets are .377"-.378" at the very edge of the case mouth. They are also .377" in diameter 1/8th of an inch from the case mouth. In fact they are .377" for the first .2" of the case until the thickening inside taper begins to increase the diameter. In my situation at least, crimping to .373" would indeed be squeezing the bullet.

The case mouths loaded with my home cast .358" 9mm lead measure .380". Even those chamber just fine, so why would I crimp? If you don't visually still see a bell in your case after seating, I suggest using the barrel (removed) of your gun as a check to see if they chamber properly without the crimp operation. If they do, then I wouldn't even bother with the crimp die since it can't offer any more added value to your finished round.
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Old January 13, 2013, 02:19 PM   #16
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I shoot rainer hp out of my 44 mag for deer and they seem to shoot very well . i picked some 180 grn hard cast rn to try in 45 if not i will buy rainer or berry. i know reiner adv to load by hard cast recipe.
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Old January 13, 2013, 07:02 PM   #17
hounddawg
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shot 150 rounds today and not sure what to think. Took the CZ75 and the M&P. I shot better standing and using a 2 handed grip than I did attempting to bench. The XTB's over Unique shot the best, the HS6 with lead rounds seemed snappy and smokey but grouped about like the w231 lead rounds. Shooting at 15 yards standing I had 2 to 4 inch groups with the XTB's and 6 - 8 inch with the lead. Both the CZ and the M&P groups were similar but if I had to call it the CZ had the better of the two. I also had a Buckmark 22 with iron sights and with bulk Remington golden bullets was getting 1 - 2 inch groups same distance.

My takeaway from today is I shoot rifles better than pistols and .22 pistol better than 9 mm pistols and the CZ better than the M&P even though the CZ has the worst trigger and fixed sights.

Thanks for all the tips guys but I think my main problem is I need more practice with the 9's. Next batch will not be crimped if I can get then to chamber w/o one.
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Old January 14, 2013, 01:38 AM   #18
chris in va
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I size my cast lead to 357 for my CZ's. 355 lead is much too small.
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