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Old November 26, 2013, 05:14 PM   #1
Wreck-n-Crew
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Autocomp or WSF?

I like the results with WSF in my 9mm other than the soot but my buddy suggested (since I am almost out) Autocomp out of the 3 choices I have for the 115 GRN plated RN (just received another 1000).

I am doing a little speed competition practice (not entering any yet just preparing)and I have three choices in available powder at the moment. Another bottle of WSF, WST (fast powder fear spikes with the plated bullets), and Autocomp.

I prefer to stay in the safe zone(FPS), remain accurate (or increase it), and not be as dirty as the WSF.

I will accept accuracy over clean....Any suggestions? Am I right to bypass the WST? it is a clean burner but getting the load right for accuracy seems so touchy!
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Old November 26, 2013, 05:57 PM   #2
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WSF is a very good powder in 9mms, very good accuracy without too peaky on the pressure. WST is great in .32s, .38s, and .45s but is too fast for 9mms IMHO. The only other powder that I found that gives equal, and in some cases better, performance is Power Pistol.
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Old November 26, 2013, 06:56 PM   #3
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I load 9 mm with WST powder. 5.0 grains for 115 grain fmj works well for me. This is a compressed load and is pretty consistent. With Plated Bullets, I think 4.5 grains plus or minus .2 is pretty close to the right amount. Since each pistol is different your mileage may vary. I would not go beyond 5.0 grains.

One thing about WST powder is when it get hotter outside the speed of the bullets gets slower. I found I could not make majors in .45 auto with a 185 grain JHP bullet when it gets over 90 degrees outside. I use .2 grains less powder in the .45 load during the winter months. I also had to develop a different load in .45 using the same bullet but a different powder to make majors when it 90 or hotter here. The difference when loading this powder in .45 acp is about 1 foot per second per 1 degree in temperature. It is a little more that that from what I have seen in my pistol.

I have not clocked my 9 mm loads in varying temperatures yet. I do plan to do this starting with cold temperatures and again with mild temperatures (70's) and again in hot weather. This will take a while since we are just starting to get the cold weather now and it may not get up to 90 until June.

WSF works better as you get above mid-range with jacketed bullets. This is where I have found it starts to shine. It will definitely be above the minimum to meet power factor requirements. For plated loads this will probably near max loads. Dirty loads with WSF normally indicates to me the load is too light and more powder is needed.

Faster powders seem to burn cleaner when you are loading to only reach the minimum power factor for competition. When trying to get higher speeds the slower burning powders work better.

I have not used AutoComp so I don't know what you can expect there. I have loaded and fired several thousand 9 mm rounds loaded with WST. With 124 grain FMJ bullets I prefer AA5 powder but will switch to WSF if I run out of AA5.
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Old November 26, 2013, 07:13 PM   #4
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I have also used WST with jacketed bullets without issue but reverse temp sensitivity has been reported. What I've found is that it's more likely to occur in cool or cold conditions because in very warm conditions there isn't any velocity variation. The thing is, Hodgdon recommends against the use of WST in 9mm, even while they provide data for .40 S&W which has an even faster pressure peak where powder capacity is only slightly greater than the 9mm's while pushing much heavier bullets.

WSF is a decent enough 9mm powder but there is better. Either Ramshot True Blue or Silhouette are very well suited to the 9mm all the way up to +P and both have greater pressure stability than WSF. I tend to use True Blue as an accuracy powder, but for my +P type 9mm defense loads I use Silhouette and it burns clean while either give exceptional accuracy. I haven't used AutoComp but I keep up with it because I follow what IPSC shooters are doing in building 9mm MAJOR loads. AutoComp is getting popular, but it's because it produces more gas pressure to better work a compensator. In typical 9 x 19mm loads it can be a bit dirty according to the reports I've read. I don't load 9mm MAJOR, but for high velocity 9mm and .40 S&W I like to use the same powders because pressure stability is a serious requirement for 9mm MAJOR. www.ramshot.com data is good but a bit conservative, IMO, and my belief is that their data is worked up using minimum dimension chambers. SIERRA and SPEER data is more realistic and confirmed by my chronograph. All things considered including very low flash, there's not a better 9mm powder for defense type loads than Silhouette, but True Blue is pretty close and both are used for 9mm MAJOR. HS-6 is another one but with higher flash and 3N37 is also excellent except for the higher price. I've used and continue to use 3N37 because of the older and higher pressure data I have but I've found that Silhouette (formerly WAP) will do anything that 3N37 will do with .2 grs. less in powder charge. They are very similar powders.
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Old November 26, 2013, 08:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
All things considered including very low flash, there's not a better 9mm powder for defense type loads than Silhouette, but True Blue is pretty close and both are used for 9mm MAJOR.
Forgot to mention that low flash was one of the qualities of the Autocomp. From your responses on WST and WSF maybe Ramshot is better from a competition standpoint.

Quote:
WSF works better as you get above mid-range with jacketed bullets. This is where I have found it starts to shine. It will definitely be above the minimum to meet power factor requirements. For plated loads this will probably near max loads. Dirty loads with WSF normally indicates to me the load is too light and more powder is needed.
Makes since and was somewhat my take on it as well, being that I am using the plated bullets with lower loads, it doesn't seem to be the best choice. And as far as the WST I get that as well with it being clean and consistent. Just concerned about the pressures with the plated bullets.

Quote:
WSF is a very good powder in 9mms, very good accuracy without too peaky on the pressure.
That's what I like about it, but I agree with Dave that the WSF really shines when you load it up like 57K likes them.... Heck I do too with the right bullet.

I am understanding some of the traits of different powders and how they are best used as well as the drawbacks. It's what makes choosing a powder not as easy if you don't have that information. Good to know the experience of others.

Guess what I really need to hear is from someone that uses it or has used it. I understand it is a fairly new powder and that shortens my constituency list here on TFL, but the responses are the pearls in my clam chowder and I appreciate them....
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Old November 27, 2013, 08:04 AM   #6
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When I do load development, I want accuracy at very safe pressure levels. 9mm and .32 S&W Longs are challenging rounds for me to get there. You can get safe loads in 9mm across a wide range of powders but to get the best performance, my experiences show greater success with more medium rate burning powders. Here is what I am looking for in performance. These are 10 shots fired standing @ 25 yards on a load I settled on with my one 9mm.



WST will shoot great but, IMHO, it is better for lower pressure stuff like this .32 and .45 Auto @ 25 yards. Good luck and YMMV.

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Old November 27, 2013, 11:02 AM   #7
Sid
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I have loaded thousands of rounds with AutoComp. It works extremely well for me. My only complaint is that it does not burn cleanly and will leave your pistol and magazine very dirty.
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Old November 27, 2013, 06:45 PM   #8
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W-n-C, the above post is exactly what I see reported. The thing about the guys who like AutoComp for their compensated pistols loading 9mm MAJOR is that 9mm Major pressures run well above +P+ or the suggestion that it not exceed 40,000 PSI. So at those pressure levels there aren't issues with its cleanliness while it produces higher gas pressure to make the compensator more effective.

And while I use Silhouette for up to and including +P loads, I have a friend from another forum who sometimes visits here and he never loads 9mm above standard pressure and doesn't really crowd the 35,000 PSI/33,000 CUP limit and Silhouette is his favorite powder for both 9mm and .40 S&W. And as I mentioned, I've made some very nice loads over the years with True Blue and it will give a bit more flexibility in that good accuracy seems to come without regard to the charge/pressure level. Plus being a very dense ball type, it meters like hourglass sand with a bulk density of 935 grams/liter. Silhouette meters very well also while its bulk density is lower at 800 grams/liter and 3N37 is slightly less dense than Silhouette. The only handgun powders outside of some of the magnum propellants that I've used that are denser than True Blue would be AA#7 and #5. My personal feeling is that the ultra consistent charge weights help account for True Blue's exceptional uniformity stats from the chrono. Then again, my +P Silhouette load with the Rem. 124 gr. JHP averages 1238 FPS from my 4.14" barreled SR9 with a standard deviation of 6 and it is accurate. But, you don't have to load +P 9mm to get very good accuracy with Silhouette and True Blue might be just a tad better across the board from lighter cast bullet loads to medium level jacketed loads.
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Old November 27, 2013, 07:41 PM   #9
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hopefully i can help shed some insight here. i load 9mm more than anything, most of which is for competition and practice. I have played with a few powders and my 9mm powder of choice is autocomp. It meters perfect, is very consistent, and shoots clean. i use autocomp in 115,124, and 147 grain bullets. all of which are plated and mostly rainier. 99% of my 9mm loading are very light and just make min powerfactor. i will say it took me some time to work up loads. 115, and 147 grain were a little touchy meaning i had big accuracy changes with charge weights and seating depth. once i got the kinks worked out its absolutely wonderful.

i also used to load 40s with it but switched to wsf. with the lighter 40 loads autocomp did have quite a bit of unburnt powder. with wsf it seemed to cut out the unburnt powder. the biggest difference for me with autocomp and wsf comes from the felt recoil. with autocomp it feels like more of a fast sharp hit, with wsf its softer and more of a punch. hopefully that will make some sense to you lol. i enjoy shooting wsf powder in the 40 more than autocomp. sorry to run of a topic a smidge but back to the 9mm.

i played with 700x for a while and although i liked the way it shot i couldnt get past the horrible dispensing issues. 700x doesn't meter well for me. 700x compared to autocomp shot cleaner but all else was about a tie.

ive heard some really good stuff from people running wst in 9 but ive yet to personally try it. me personally if i were to switch from autocomp id go to wsf out of your choices. i am a little excited about the new cfe pistol coming out in January. i will have to check some of that out.
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Old November 27, 2013, 07:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
W-n-C, the above post is exactly what I see reported. The thing about the guys who like AutoComp for their compensated pistols loading 9mm MAJOR
I am not compensated. Trying to get a mid range load to insure cycling on my unforgiving recoil spring and not over do it with the plated bullets while maintaining a clean burn needs a few more options in powder from my end.

Quote:
I have loaded thousands of rounds with AutoComp. It works extremely well for me. My only complaint is that it does not burn cleanly and will leave your pistol and magazine very dirty.
If it is no dirtier than the WSF (probably more dirty due what I am loading and how I load them) I think I can live with it until some more options hit the shelf. And man is it dirty! I'm sure if I can keep a can of my Powder Blast around I can make it with the Autocomp.

Guess I can grab a can of Autocomp for now and see how it performs in my 5906. I'll update as I get the numbers back. When the powder shelf gets full at the LGS I can make some powder adjustments if necessary.

Thanks again guys I appreciate it. I am almost missing the days where I used a few Aliant Powders With the occasional W@#! for all my plinking needs..."Sigh" Guess that happens to many people.
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Old November 27, 2013, 08:01 PM   #11
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I have to admit Silhouette works very well in .40 S&W. It seems to be a little better match than AA7 with a 180 grain jacketed bullet.

For loading 9 mm for speed shooting I think it might not be the best combination. This is especially true when you are trying to load for minors. The speed with 115 grain bullets is normally around 1100 fps more or less. The best powders seem to be ones you can load at or above mid range to achieve the speed you are looking for. When you load to the lower end of listed data most powders tend to become dirty and some become less accurate. Keeping this in mind, faster powders are going to be better matches in this caliber.

If you are trying to come close to some factory ammo or S/D ammo, you will need a slower powder and for S/D load a good flash suppressor is best. Silhouette has a good flash suppressor.
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Old December 18, 2013, 06:08 PM   #12
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Update:
I talked to a buddy of mine and a few others who are using it. From what I have been gathering lately is that Autocomp is good for compensated guns but not really designed for them. Also that it does just as well in non compensated guns. Mainly designed for competition shooting, thus the name Auto= semi-auto and comp= competition. The reason for it being thought of as mostly a compensated pistol powder was due to the rumor that the comp=compensated which is not the case. Who knew? (not me...).

Anyhow I finally got to the range to try a few starting/test rounds. Not having lot of data on Autocomp for 9mm I settled on an OAL of 1.155 to start with a range of charges from 4.6 to 5.0. at .2 grn increments and 5 rounds each totaling 15 rounds. I figured I was starting low and I was. I did not have Chronograph with me, I will when I return.

These were fired from My S&W 5906 indoor all bullets were 115 GRN RN plated

The 4.6 GR Failed to cycle all 5 rounds. (too light)

The 4.8 GR failed to cycle 3 rounds(too light). Slide did not lock back on final round.

The 5.0 Grn all Cycled but were noticeably too light. The slide did not lock back on the last round either. I tested for accuracy against some PMC 115 GR FMJ.

Shooting from 33' (11 yds) standing, partially supported. The 5.0 GRN hand loads all shot left (from high to low) 1.5"-3" outside of the center mass bull oval. The oval is about 2" wide and 3" in height (wish I would have taken a photo) putting them 2.5"-5" from dead center bull. All of the factory ammo was within the center bull circle no more than 1.5" from dead center bull.

I have a feeling my final load will be between 5.3 and 5.4 GRNS. When I go back I plan on loading 5 each @ 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, and 5.5 (just in case) Test for velocity and accuracy...see what I come up with.

Post note: Autocomp actually burnt much cleaner than the WSF. I understand the WSF velocities I run are a light/medium and WSF burns cleaner at higher pressures. Think I will save the last of the WSF to run up some hotter FMJ rounds and see how they perform.
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Old December 30, 2013, 02:41 PM   #13
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I've been using both Autocomp and WSF for lack of being able to find 231, Unique or anything else. On my first attempt with Autocomp I used 4.8gr's under a 124gr. Extreme FP loaded to an O/L of 1.080 and was impressed by the accuracy over WSF also it seemed cleaner burning. No failures to feed were experienced in either of my two CZ pistols. Just finished reloading 100 rounds using 5.0gr. and will let you know how they work out in my pistols.
I'm also going to load some more with WSF. Used 4.6 and 4.7 grains both were pretty sooty. So this time I'm going to up it to 5.0gr. Please keep me posted on your findings.
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Old December 30, 2013, 11:54 PM   #14
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Final Update:

I managed to test three different loads today @ 10 each

115GR RN 1.155 COl 5.2 Grn, 5.4GR, and 5.6 GR

The 5.6 GR were coming in @1090 FPS and seemed a little hotter than I wanted for the plated rounds with one round hitting 1130 FPS.

Looks like 5.4 is where I want to be, right around 1000 FPS

Surprisingly accurate, outperformed the 20 rounds of PMC factory ammo I had left over to test against. 5 of 6 rounds in the 2" center of a silhouette target fast shoot @ 7 YDS (21ft). The PMC was not even close! 6 rounds in a 6" circle. Recoil same.

Thanks guys for all the help!
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Old December 31, 2013, 11:21 AM   #15
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AutoComp runs good in the 9mm. AC isn't a bad powder as long as it is not used in low-pressure applications like 45acp, 38spl, etc.

Hodgdon's online data is very anemic though and you'll likely find their "max" to not be very max at all.
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