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Old June 10, 2014, 03:32 PM   #1
jclayto
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Looking for a powder recommendation: 9mm subgun

I am reloading for a full auto Uzi in 9mm, but can't seem to make a load warm enough with my current components. As you know, powder is pretty scarce these days so I would like to pick your collective brains before I start the search for new powder.

I am not asking for recipes that are potentially unsafe or above published load data, but instead, powder/load recommendations that should cycle well with a heavy open bolt. The gun runs 100% with Winchester white box ammo and Winchester Nato so I am fairly certain the gun is not to blame.

I currently have plenty of Titegroup and Bullseye powder on hand.

The best running load I have tried so far is a 124g precision delta FMJ over 4.4 titegroup at 1.140. It works, but its still a little on the finicky side. I loaded the same load at 1.150 based on a another Uzi owners suggestion and had worse than normal results.

Last week I tested some 115 Grain thick plated RN bullets. The manufacturer suggest FMJ load data since these are thick plated.

I loaded 4.4g Titegroup, 4.6g titegroup, 4.6g bullseye all at 1.150 and had no luck. Lots of failures to feed and full auto burst were very inconsistent in rate of fire.


From my research I am starting to believe that neither bullseye nor titegroup is suitable for my needs. I seem to be finding suggestions of 231 on a lot of full auto forums. Does this sound reasonable? Is there another powder that I might could safely load a little warmer? (Again, within published specs)

I could also stand to replace my Lee second edition manual, so I am open to manual suggestions as well
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Old June 10, 2014, 03:34 PM   #2
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Bullseye will work better than TG. (BE loads hot *remarkably* well in 9mm) but you really need to get your hands on some AA#7.
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Old June 10, 2014, 03:53 PM   #3
ligonierbill
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Power Pistol? It's my go to for 9 mm and .40. You can load it pretty hot, but I can't say how it will work in your Uzi. Usually available, too.
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Old June 10, 2014, 05:12 PM   #4
jclayto
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Thank you both for the suggestions. Both of those are powders that I have not considered and will add to my wish list.


Bob, do you remember roughly what data you are using for the BE? My Lee manual shows a the minimum and maximum load to be 5.0 grains under a 115. I have a really old manual that I seldom use that list a 4.4-5.0 range which is where I came up wit the 4.6 test load earlier. I would like to warm that up, and make shorten it up a bit to see where it goes.
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Old June 10, 2014, 05:50 PM   #5
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Win 231 might work but won't give you a hot load, it is too fast a powder.

Now Power Pistol would be the best choice since it has more punch per grain than the others.

As always, work your way up to a safe pressure 0.2 of a gain at a time.

Stay safe and shoot straight.
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Old June 10, 2014, 06:10 PM   #6
jmorris
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I have run 3.4g of TG with a 147@1.160 with good results out of a lot of subguns, except the ported barrel of the MP5 SD.
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Old June 10, 2014, 06:17 PM   #7
zxcvbob
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PM sent with BE load data. It's +P or better so I don't want to post it, I suggest you just use it as a reference point rather than actually load it.
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Old June 10, 2014, 06:21 PM   #8
SHR970
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AA#7: It was originally developed for this application with heavy bullets.

HS-6 another good powder for this as well a Longshot and Sillhouette.

You want / need a powder with a longer recoil impulse to move that heavy blow back bolt design with enough energy and pulse duration.

TG and BE are a bit on the fast side for this application. It's not that they can't be made to work but they don't work well.
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Old June 10, 2014, 07:56 PM   #9
jmorris
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This is 3.1 of VV N310 with a Berrys 147@1.160.



It is my "minor" load for gun games and runs best in 9mm ARs, right on the edge for some sub guns and like The TG load I posted above a no go with the ported MP5 SD (runs fine in a regular MP5 though).

TG is a bit slower and the load I posted for it is a bit hotter too but still subsonic.
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Old June 10, 2014, 08:00 PM   #10
jclayto
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Thanks all! It sounds as if I may need to be looking for a heavier bullet as well.
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Old June 10, 2014, 08:21 PM   #11
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You need to correspond with Machineguntony. He recommended Hodgons Longshot to me and runs it on his class III toys. I tested it this past weekend along side Titegroup with a 9mm handgun. I liked the way it performed and will be making the switch, saving Titegroup for my 357.

Good luck.
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Old June 10, 2014, 08:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
From my research I am starting to believe that neither bullseye nor titegroup is suitable for my needs. I seem to be finding suggestions of 231 on a lot of full auto forums. Does this sound reasonable? Is there another powder that I might could safely load a little warmer? (Again, within published specs)
This is the only time I will ever recommend Blue Dot for any application. I am of the opinion that given the heavy breech block of your sub gun, Blue Dot will work well for you. I tested Blue Dot in my 9mm's and did not work well at low charges, but at higher charges, it burnt cleanly, velocities were high, and it over accelerated the slide. Blue Dot is a slow powder and it was evident that pressures were still high at unlock, which is bad for these lightweight semi auto pistols. I was within Hercules loading data, which gave the pressures. But, given the heavy breech bolt, found in blowback sub guns, that high residual pressure at unlock should function your sub gun better than a faster burning powder.
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Old June 10, 2014, 09:29 PM   #13
JT-AR-MG42
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IMO, the mid speed burning pistol powders will give you the results you are looking for.

Always shot the 124gr. in 9mm. Either the W-W bulk or the Hornady (now encapsulated) FMJ.

Herco is my 9mm high performance powder for the Uzi and other open bolt guns, although the load I shoot is pretty accurate in the variety of 9mm pistols I play with as well.

I shoot 6.4 grs. ( this is almost a case full, so no chance of a double charge) for 1182 fps in my Beretta M9 with a match barrel.
Got my load from the Speer No. 8 manual.

For the 147gr. sub sonic loads.
5.1grs. of AA No.5, which is the load Dr. Phil Dater always suggested, runs the guns smoothly as well.

My .02, JT
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Old June 10, 2014, 09:53 PM   #14
H-D
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In my opinion you need to stick with a lighter bullet so you can have the benefit of more powder for your cycling issues.

My pet load for 9mm (handgun) is 5.3 gr or Power Pistol under an Extreme 115gr plated bullet. I'm willing to bet this will run just like Winchester white box in your gun.
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Old June 10, 2014, 11:41 PM   #15
zxcvbob
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Quote:
In my opinion you need to stick with a lighter bullet so you can have the benefit of more powder for your cycling issues.
That's why I like 135's. They are heavy bullets, but leave more room for powder than 147's do.
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Old June 11, 2014, 08:27 PM   #16
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Magic Load Project

Last summer I began a project to look for good loads for longer barreled 9mm carbines. I selected the Hi-Point 9mm carbine, the Lage M-11 carbine, and the UZI carbine. The Lage barrel was 8", the UZI was 10" and the Hi Point was around 16 ". A good load to me meant good velocity at the Lowest SAAMI pressure level I could use to cycle the action rapidly for the Hi Point and Auto for the other two.

The key to a pleasing conclusion was adding the requirement for a single functional load for all three carbines. This made the driver to be the IMI carbine, which has a very difficult bolt cycle action. Difficult because it tends to prefer "hot" (meaning + P ) load-outs. I spent the remainder of the summer working out the safe action test loads for the IMI carbine which were well under SAAMI maximum pressure with longer (rather than short spike) pressure curves. This allows the IMI bolt to see more "average pressure" for a longer time, thus cycling the bolt at much safer pressure levels. After several hundred function-test rounds and ten or so range trips, I found four very satisfactory loads that work well in the long barrels. I believe these loads will function well in any modern, long-barreled 9mm.

Here are the magic loads.

1. 115 grain Winchester FMJ-Hollow Base (WB9MC115) bullets over 5.5 grains of Ramshot Silhouette powder.
2. 124 grain Montana Gold FMJ (MGB9124FMJ) over 5.5 grains of Ramshot Silhouette powder.

That is NOT a typo, you read it right, the SAME powder charge for both bullet weights. It gets better. Wait for it.

3. 115 grain Winchester 9mm FMJ-Hollow Base (Same part #) bullets over 6.3 grains of Alliant Power Pistol powder.
4. 124 grain Montana Gold FMJ (same part #) bullets over 6.3 grains of Alliant Power Pistol powder..

Again, the same charge weight of powder for the different bullet weights. It still gets better. Ready ?

All four magic loads have the SAME OAL. It is 1.145 inches.

The secret is in the 115 grain Winchester bullets. If you research why they were made with the hollow base, you are on to something neat. The Montana Gold bullets have almost the same side profile as the Winchesters but with a flat base.

Disclaimer : use of the above load data with bullets other than those listed must be load-worked over again.

My goal was not to review the Hi-Point carbine, just try to find good loads for it. Before this testing, when first firing the Hi Point, it wanted to jam a lot, and on all the magazines I had. The magazine springs seemed a bit stiff to me so I loaded them up about half way and stored them for a couple of weeks. Next time out, it performed flawlessly, and has ever since. In fact, I changed the scope of the project to develop a common carbine load to ADD challenge, because I cannot find ANY reasonable load that will not perform well in the Hi Point. Same for commercial ammo. I believe it will perform well on just about any standard load, and the manual states that it is designed to function with SAAMI +P loads with no limitation there.

Final project remarks. The low but longer pressure curve of these loads implies to me that for short barreled guns, these loads may not yield enough cycle force to properly function the action. Knowing they are moderate pressure loads, they should be safe to fire in any modern 9mm, but not expected to properly function in a short barrel. Only had a chance to test this once so far, and I got a pleasant surprise. A magazine full of the number 1 load above (the lowest pressure load of all four) functioned flawlessly in a 1911 style 9mm Rock Island pistol. Hmmm... Food for thought.

Special note: It has been a long time since I last tried something like this. The last time I did, I found only one low pressure load for the UZI that I liked. It was a 125 grain FMJ over 5.9 grains of Hecules Unique. So when I began this time, I started with Alliant Unique since Hercules no longer produces it, but in working up the loads, I saw pressure signs at 5.8 grains so never got to 5.9. True Blue and a couple of others I tried had similar results.

Final note: Power pistol does flash a bit so it is my day time load. Silhouette is noted for almost no visible flash so it is the indoor range load.
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Old June 11, 2014, 10:28 PM   #17
Machineguntony
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I shoot exclusively Berry's 115 grain plated bullets through my subguns, and not a single problem. Also, Berry's played bullets are the cheapest possible plated bullets, cheaper than Montana Gold or Extreme Bullets.

I use Longshot and AA5. The guns work flawlessly, so long I do not use minimal loads.
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Old June 11, 2014, 10:47 PM   #18
jmorris
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Montana gold bullets are CMJ bullets, a FMJ with a plug swaged into the bottom as well.

Berry's have always been the least expensive plated bullet for me to buy though. Make sure you don't over crimp them or you will have hunks of the plating in your suppressor (if you use one, also why a faster powder is better) and they don't like gain twist rifled barrels but they are pretty rare.
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Old June 12, 2014, 07:33 AM   #19
jclayto
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Thanks again everyone. I now have a few powders on my wish list, as in, I wish I could find any pistol powder these days.

Highrolls - Thanks for the detailed write up. Berry's now makes a 115grain hollow base bullet. They claim it to be "thick plated" so that it loads using FMJ data. I am curious if they might perform similar to the Winchester hollow base? I will also look for the Winchester hollow base.

Machineguntony - I've been following your post for a while. Congrats on an awesome toy collection!

I will take note of the over crimping warning. I don't have a can for the uzi yet but hope to own one someday.
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Old June 12, 2014, 03:51 PM   #20
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since forever, not guessing

Any 115g, 5.5g Unique yes Unique.
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Old June 13, 2014, 08:25 PM   #21
highrolls
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jclayto: "Highrolls - Thanks for the detailed write up. Berry's now makes a 115grain hollow base bullet. They claim it to be "thick plated" so that it loads using FMJ data. I am curious if they might perform similar to the Winchester hollow base? I will also look for the Winchester hollow base. "

Here was my thinking when I tried them. As I remember the article I read (can't locate it again without retracing my original research) the idea of the hollow base was to allow the same seating depth for the lighter bullet provided the heavier bullet had the same profile when placed side to side with the hollow base. In the case of the winchesters, it was also found to perform very close to the heavier bullet with the same powder charge, but using the winchester 125 grain flat base as the heavier bullet.

So, I walked around the gun shops comparing the winchester hollow base to various style heavier bullets until I found a side profile match on the Montana Golds. I noticed rather quickly that anything much heavier than the 125 grain weight will NOT give a side profile match, if that makes sense to you ? If it does make sense, I believe you could do the same thing with the Berry's hollow base bullet. Now, what I mean by side profile is the shape into the seater die. When the die is set for the test depth on the heavier bullet, the lighter bullet, using the same seater setting will give the same OAL seat for the lighter bullet.

The load development work was mainly on the heavier bullet. Once I found a functional load, meaning no jams, stovepipes, or even dinged cases, then I used the same charge and seat depth for the lighter hollow base and got exactly the same result as to function. I had no problem trying this because the safe charge found on the heavier bullet should be slightly safer on the lighter bullet plus the hollow base adds a bit more safety margin. But by that logic, you would NOT want to work up the loads in the reverse order, on the lighter bullet first.

Also the reply by jmorris just above yours caught my interest. When he says a faster powder is better, I noticed he is referring to the cans. For example, a really fast powder like Bullseye simply will not cycle the IMI (UZI) bolt on any non + P load I have tried. Period. Put a can on it and the loads in the 4.5 grain range for Bullseye and 125 grain bullets start to cycle. Obviously, something is changing. (Pressure curve)

Something else to watch for with the UZI is the bolt rubbing on the top cover plate. If it is doing that, it is stealing a lot of cycle force and load testing is wasted. The one I tested is the model B with the better cover plate clearance and the racheted bolt cocking device which is lacking on the model A's. Most auto UZI's I have seen are the model A's.
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Old June 16, 2014, 08:15 PM   #22
jclayto
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Thanks again HighRolls. I have yet to have luck locating powder but my eyes are open.

I would love to try my gun with a can in 9mm. I know that when I run my .22 conversion kit, it seems to be much more reliable with the can attached.

Top cover gap is definitely an issue on the Model A guns. I checked mine with a set of feeler gauges just to be sure.

I hope to be able to try the new load ideas soon.
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Old June 17, 2014, 09:54 PM   #23
Hammer1
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Mike Venturino shoots a lot of reloads through his subguns -- 9mm and 45 ACP.

He has written some magazine articles on reloading for subguns.
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Old June 19, 2014, 10:16 PM   #24
jmorris
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One other bonus using faster powders it that generally the charges are smaller.

I can get 2258 rounds out of a pound of powder using my 3.1g of N310.

A 5.0g load of a different powder would make 1400 rounds per pound.

858 more rounds per pound of powder with the smaller charge.
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Old June 20, 2014, 12:10 PM   #25
Machineguntony
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No matter what powder I use, I find that if I go below 5 grains, the action in my subguns, MP5A3 and K, will not reliably cycle.

Am I doing something wrong?

The problem with N310 is that it is about 33% more expensive than other powders. An 8 pound jug of AA or Hodgdon runs around $150, pre S&H and Haz mat. An 8 pound jug of any Vihtavuori powder runs around $200, so it kind of negates any cost savings from using less powder. Of course, if money doesn't matter, and the pain of ordering or finding more powder is the main concern, then it makes sense.

This topic of reloading for subguns/machine guns is one of my favorites.
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