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Old August 20, 2002, 01:01 AM   #1
co772
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Which powder and primer for 9mm?

I finally "bit the bullet" and ordered a Lee 35th Anniversary Kit along with 9mm dies, case length gauge, and cutter and lock stud from Midway. Now it is time to figure out what to load. I think I am going to start with a 115 gr. LRN that is available here. What would be a good, cheap, readily available powder and primer for general plinking for someone with ABSOLUTELY no reloading experience? I will maybe start loading .38 special soon, so it would be an advantage if the powder and primers are interchangable if possible? Thanks for any help!

(The gun is a Ruger P-95, if that matters.)

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Old August 20, 2002, 04:16 AM   #2
WESHOOT2
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THOUGHTS (everybody has a beginning)

Any small pistol non-magnum primer; suggest starting with Remington brand.

For powder try the oh-so-forgiving Vihtavuori Oy 3N37.
Or Hodgdon HS6.
Or a million other choices.................

HIGHLY RECOMMEND using bullets in the 124-125g range, because they offer more surface for case engagement.

BULLET SETBACK IS YOUR ENEMY.

Might look into Rainier 124g TCJ-RN, or lead bullets from www.pennbullets.com.

OAL = 1.140"-1.160". Finish using a LEE Carbide Factory Crimp die.
Load your primers using a RCBS hand-priming tool.
Get a cheap set of dial calipers and use them.
LEE chamfer tool, about $3.
Lyman or RCBS Scale Weight Check set, about $20, but priceless; use religiously.

Primers will work for both, and so will HS6. But don't be too cheap, because you won't be satisfied.

And always always always wear safety glasses. Always.


Oh, and have fun!

Ask here, or e-mail direct; we want you to enjoy your new hobby safely.
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Old August 20, 2002, 06:40 AM   #3
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Win231 is a pretty versatile powder, I use it in 9x18 (Makarov), 9x19 (the "normal" 9mm), .45acp, and also for shooting reduced-load cast bullets in 6.5x55 Swedish. I don't know about .38 special.

It seems to measure consistently in the RCBS powder hopper feeder thing (whatever it's called).

Regards.
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Old August 20, 2002, 08:24 AM   #4
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co772: I've had good luck loading 9mm with 700-X powder. I used to shoot trap and skeet a lot, and used the same powder to load 12 gauge. Bought in 12 pound kegs, it was pretty cheap.

Primers - Winchester Small Pistol. I had bad luck with CCI, so I swore off them a long time ago.

I don't load 9mm's any more - when 100 rounds of white-box Winchester USA ammo cost under $11 at Wally World, it isn't worth my time to load this caliber.

You mentioned using lead bullets "available here." Should be OK in a Ruger, but if your 9mm happens to be a Glock, this is not recommended, as the polygonal rifling tends to collect leading. As the lead accumulates, pressures rise. If you were casting your own bullets out of a hard, known alloy, this might be less of a concern, but if you're buying bullets locally, there's no telling how they'll perform from lot to lot.
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Last edited by HankB; August 20, 2002 at 12:57 PM.
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Old August 20, 2002, 09:18 AM   #5
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I have tried pretty much every powder out there for the 9mm and found that Alliant Power Pistol is THE powder for the 9mm. It usually offers one of the top velocities for a given bullet weight. It meters well. My fired brass looks like it just came out of the tumbler.
I am a die hard cast bullet shooter. I have a cast bullet load/and mould for just about every caliber I own. But, after firing maybe 10k cast or plated 9mm bullets, I have never found one that was really accurate in 9mm. They suffice for most uses, but I have always been disappointed by their accuracy. Depending on how much you shoot, it might be worth it to buy jacketed bullets. Midway and others have Winchester and Remington jacketed bullets in bulk that arn't all that much more expensive than cast.
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Old August 20, 2002, 10:06 AM   #6
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I'll second Remington primers. I've used Remington primers exclusively, all types, for over 20 years without a single problem.

Medium burning rate powders such as Alliant Power Pistol Hodgdon HS-6, Alliant Herco and AAC#7 are, IMNSHO, the best powders available for the 9MM AND the 38 Special. AAC#5 and Hodgdon Universal are quite good as well. These powders work best in factory duplication loads. They are suitable for +P loads as well.

I would avoid the super fast powders like Bullseye, 231, HP-38 Titegroup and Red Dot unless you are going to load very light mid range target loads. These fast powders are just fine for light loads, but the medium burning powders are more forgiving if you load to factory specs and/or +P. (AND the mediums will overflow the case in the event you accidentally get a double charge.)

125 GR bullets are fine, but my personal preference is for the Remington 115 GR FMJ for all of my practice loads.

A good "rule of thumb" for reloading, especially for a new reloader, is to stick to the medium bullet weights. No lighter than 115 in 9MM and no heavier than 125. As you gain experience, you may wish to experiment with the super light 90-100 grainers, or the 147 GR cannonballs. In .38 Spec stick to 125-158 and you should be okay.

Good luck, and good shooting!
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Old August 20, 2002, 10:19 AM   #7
Mike Irwin
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WW231 and Remington primers.

WW231 and Winchester primers.

WW231 and Federal primers.

Those were my choices, in order, when I was still loading 9mm. Now it's just too cheap to bother with.
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Old August 20, 2002, 02:47 PM   #8
co772
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Thank you all for the help! I ended up getting 125 gr. LRN, W231 powder, and Winchester small pistol primers. I think, once the reloading kit arrives, I will try 3.5 grs. of the 231. Does this sound reasonable?? Is there any other things I should watch out for? Thanks a lot!!




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Old August 20, 2002, 03:35 PM   #9
Mike Irwin
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Watch your over-all length.

Too long is bad.

Too short can be REALLY bad, as it can cause pressures to jump dramatically.
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Old August 20, 2002, 06:32 PM   #10
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my pet 9mm practice load -

4.4 gr VV N320
Winchester SP primer
Federal Brass
115 gr Winchester JMJ RN

Very pleasing to shoot and accurate.
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Old August 20, 2002, 10:47 PM   #11
co772
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Thank you again!

Do I have anything with this setup to measure the overall length?


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Old August 21, 2002, 12:40 AM   #12
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Suggest getting at least two different reloading manuals and reading each one from cover to cover at least two times.

Don't load with distractions.

Do enjoy.

Sam
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Old August 21, 2002, 10:21 AM   #13
Mikul
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I swear by 231. It is a very forgiving powder, but stay away from the upper ranges if you value brass life. The fast powder slowly bulges the cases out near the head.

As much as I swear by 231 I have recently switched to WSF (Winchester Super-Field). It's a slightly slower powder so it should resolve my bulging problem with maximum charges.

Primers don't seem to matter much. I use Winchester because after 25,000 rounds I've never had a hiccup and because they're the cheapest ones at the gun show.

I use 124gr jacketed rounds because my carry rounds are 124gr and accuracy-wise, my gun doesn't care. I use jacketed because my H&K hates lead or even plated rounds. I have found a place that sells Star Bullets for $35/1000 which is the cheapest I've found anywhere.

I adjust my crimp as tight as possible without denting the bullet. This means pulling a bullet every time I adjust the die, but it really isn't that bad and it assures that I have enough crimp without harming accuracy.

Overall length is a personal thing. You'll have to find out which one your gun prefers. It will effect both feeding and accuracy. My gun likes it at 1.120".
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Old August 21, 2002, 10:39 AM   #14
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I use the following load in IDPA : HS6 7.6grs, CCI 500, West Coast 115 RN, and any sorted case(mostly Win,Fed,Star Line), OAL is 1.140, Vel out of a 92FS is about 1235 from 6 feet.
I use the same load for practise but use mixed cases of Win,Rem,Fed,Star Line.

Mark
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Old August 21, 2002, 01:26 PM   #15
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3.8gr Titegroup under a 124gr RN (I use plated) is a very mild load that I've found to be acceptably accurate. Depending on the gun, slightly more may shoot better (4.4gr is the listed max, but don't take my word for it).

A 10 to 15%-reduced-from-max load of W231 under a 115gr Rainier HP is another light/accurate load, but may not feed well (feeds in a CZ and a Steyr, chokes in a Beretta).

I'm still looking for a load I'd call "REALLY accurate", but as another posted mentioned, plated bullets may be the problem. Maybe I'll break down and buy a case of Hornady's or something...
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Old August 21, 2002, 02:48 PM   #16
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Nyetter,

Buy a case of Remingtons. Just as accurate as the Hornady, and about half the price. Winchesters are excelllent as well, but usually a bit moe expensive than the Remingtons.

Unfortunately, Hornady, Speer, Sierra are extremely proud iof their FMJ bullets. Their quality is superb, but why pay the same price as you would pay for premium hollowpoints, when Remington and Winchester FMJ bullets are so ecoonomical, and just as high quality?
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Old August 21, 2002, 06:09 PM   #17
co772
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Do I have anything with this setup that could be used to measure the overall length??

Thanks


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Old August 21, 2002, 07:48 PM   #18
CHAINSAW
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772, You will need a dial caliper to measure overall length.
Also read as much as possible about your incoming equipment and read and reread a good loading manual. This is the key to understanding reloading.

I have used Accurate Arms #2 Improved powder in the 9mm with Hornady bulk 115 FMJ bullets, Winchester Small Pistol primers and most brass, for all my 9mm firearms. I load moderate loads, not max for all my practise rounds. This loading is inexpensive, functions all my 9mm firearms, and is somewhat accurate in all. I don't crimp any of my loads for the 9mm.

AA#2 IMP may not work in Sig firearms though. Welcome to reloading-------------Chainsaw
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Old August 21, 2002, 10:12 PM   #19
nyetter
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Quote:
Buy a case of Remingtons. Just as accurate as the Hornady, and about half the price.
Sheeeeeet, if I could get Remingtons for half what Hornadys cost I wouldn't be using plated!

1000 Hornady 115gr FMJ: $47
1000 Remington 115gr FMJ: $43
1000 Winchester 115gr FMJ: $40, $47 (depending on style)

As cheap as the flat-base Winchesters are, I may try them first. Though other things constant, I'd prefer either the hollow base Winchesters (more neck tension area) or the enclosed-base Hornadys (no lead vapor).

Those prices are all major bummers though. I can get plated for that much *including shipping* (these are pre-S&H prices).

444,
Your finding that plated and cast don't measure up to jacketed, how much of a difference are we talking? 2" instead of 3" at 25yds, or 2" instead of 5"?
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Old August 22, 2002, 02:49 PM   #20
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Nyetter,

Don't know where you're buying them, but with those price quotes, I would definitely get the Winchesters.

I get the Remingtons in lots of 4,000 through my gun club, which has it's own FFL, for $38/1,000 shipping prepaid. I'm not sure where the club treasurer orders them from, but the price he quoted me on the Hornadys was $56/1000.
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Old August 22, 2002, 04:16 PM   #21
nyetter
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Those prices are from Midway. The R's and W's have the advantage of being available in 2000ct orders, which lowers the price even closer to plated bullets. Montana Gold even sells in 4000ct orders.

I think I'm going to try some serious 15yd accuracy testing with plated bullets though, before I start plunking down for jacketed
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Old August 22, 2002, 04:59 PM   #22
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NYetter,

I see that you're from Denver. Try the next Crossroads of the West gun show at the Holiday Inn. Usually, (not always) there is a big dealer there that sells components at or below the online prices, and you don't have to pay shipping.

Ocassionally, the Tanner shows at the Merchandise Mart have good deals as well.

If you shoot any lead, try Denver Bullets.
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Old August 22, 2002, 05:26 PM   #23
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am I the only one still using Unique and CCI primers for 9mm???

(it's all I can get localy, no one around here has even heard of Power Pistol)

and get a kinetic (hammer type) bullet puller, when you roll up 50 or so and then realize you got the wrong charge, you will love your bullet puller...
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Old August 22, 2002, 06:12 PM   #24
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5.6 grains of Unique in front of Winchester small pistol primers pushing a 115gr West Coast RN plated bullet.

The new cleaner burning Unique really is cleaner burning.
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Old August 22, 2002, 08:46 PM   #25
co772
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Well, thank you all for your input!! I received the stuff today and have loaded up 31 rounds with 3.6 grains of W231. Tomorrow I am going to try them out and will report back, assuming I am alive and have at least two or three fingers.


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