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Old December 3, 2002, 09:44 PM   #1
Primered
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Tell Me About Reloading 9mm

Hello:

I must be doing something right because I just found out I'll be getting a S&W 952 for Christmas (or whenever S&W catches up with the demand). All well and good but I know next to nothing about 9mm. I reload for and shoot a multitude of other calibers but never 9mm. Is there a favored weight of bullet for target shooting much like a 200 gr. is for the .45? And what about powder? Are the faster powders like Clays and Bullseye the way to go here? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

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Old December 3, 2002, 11:10 PM   #2
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FREE

124g FMJ or TCJ-RN; IMI case; CCI500 primer; Power Pistol, WAP, 3N37, Silhouette, HS6; OAL 1.145-1.160", based on your gun; LEE Carbide Factory Crimp die.
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Old December 3, 2002, 11:50 PM   #3
Ala Dan
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Fuel For Thought-

Greeting's Folk's,

In handloading for the 9m/m, I've found that it is
imperative to sort cases' by head stamp;
as dangerous pressure's could arise when using
military case's. No two manufactuer's cases are
the same! If in doubt, mic a few for your-self.

Best Wishes,
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Old December 4, 2002, 12:04 AM   #4
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In my limited reloading experience, Don't bother with amerc cases. The primer holes are mostly off center & processing over a thousand cases in a day will put blisters on your hand . My favorite plinker load is 4.5gr w231 for 115gr fmj. Its mild,clean & functions in all my 9mms. I also segregate all my 9mm brass by headstamps for consistancy. Lee factory crimp dies works great.
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Old December 4, 2002, 11:36 AM   #5
AZ Jeff
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I know others have given advice that includes sorting brass by mfr., but I am an IPSC shooter, so my brass tends to get mixed up easily. I am also too lazy to sort the about 15 different brands of brass that I have managed to acquire over the years.

Thus, I take a conservative approach to avoid sorting. I use any decent brass I find (more on that in a second.) I then use 4.6 gr of WW231 behind a 115FMJ. It's a mild load, and I don't have to worry about case capacity/chamber pressure issues. It also runs in almost all my 9mm pistols quite well.

Some foreign commercial brass (Squires Bingham from the Phillipines is a good example) has such poor heat treatment from the factory that once fired brass, when resized, won't hold a crimp to prevent bullet setback upon feeding from the magazine.

I avoid that sort of stuff like the plague. Otherwise, I have found Federal, Winchester commercial, WCC "white box", Remington, IMI, Geco, and S&B all work well with this load. I have also never seen any cases with signs of high pressure using this load, in spite of using mixed brass, and I have loaded 10's of 1000's of rounds with this recipe.
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Old December 4, 2002, 03:56 PM   #6
fnbrowning
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Here are some numbers, using my Browning Hi-Power. Standard Barrel

First, I Chrony'ed two factory loadings:

Cartridge Hornady Custom
Bullet/Weight 115 gr JHP XTP

Number of Shots 10
Avg Velocity 1252.4
Avg Deviation 6.719
High Velocity 1261
Low Velocity 1238
Extreme Spread 23
Std Deviation 8.23

Cartridge Remington +P+
Bullet/Weight 115 JHP

Number of Shots 10
Avg Velocity 1318.9
Avg Deviation 51.359
High Velocity 1375
Low Velocity 1102
Extreme Spread 273
Std Deviation 80.22

Now, my loading:

Cartridge Ron's load
Primer Smith & Wesson
Bullet/Weight Hornady 115 XTP
Powder/Weight Unique 6.1
Cases Mixed, once fired

Number of Shots 10
Avg Velocity 1251.2
Avg Deviation 40.92

High Velocity 1318
Low Velocity 1051
Extreme Spread 267
Std Deviation 73.82


My cases and primers show no abnormalities. Personally, I think that I accomplished what I set out to, and this is, to duplicate the accuracy and punch of the Hornady Custom factory loading.

My load data is for information only. Do not take it as a "safe" load for your particular firearm.
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Old December 4, 2002, 04:30 PM   #7
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I use 124 gr plated round nose on top of 4.4grs of TiteGroup OAL of 1.155" Goes about 1,200fps and very accurate.
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Old December 4, 2002, 04:33 PM   #8
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DITTO MOST OF THE ABOVE.

Try the 115's, 124's, and 147's.
But only use premium ammo. Forego the promotional and military style ammo. You'll only be seeing what the ammo's capable of.
My 9's are S&W PPC-9's. About the same as your 952, only mine use the double stack magazines and are stainless steel.
Most of the guys I compete with (NRA-PPC) use either the Winchester sub-sonic 147's or Federal 124 or 147 Hydro-Shok in factory loads. (Its expensive but they work for big agencies who buy it for them) The Speer GoldDots are good too. Also, many use the Precision Delta 115hp and 147 Precision Delta and Anderson Cartridge ammo. My guns prefer the 115 HP's. I've had outstanding luck with 124's as well, but for some reason, my guns give verticle stringing with the 147's. Not bad mind you, just a straight line up and down the target -group at 50yds. I think it is the bullet-barrel duration with the lockup-unlocking designed for the 115gr ballistics. I'm told by S&W that they changed the diminsions on the barrel and frame unlocking lugs when they developed the 6"bbl PPC-9, and the 6" I've got on order should shoot better with the 147's as the rate of twist has also been changed (They didn't say what to though).
My best reload has been 5.2gr of Win SuperField over a 115 Sierra HP seated to 1.050". However, I've had trouble getting these bullets when I need them, so, I also have tried and had good luck with the Speer 115 Gold Dots @ 1.113"oal and Hornady 115 XTP @ 1.10". I've also had good luck with 4.9gr of Win231 as well as 4.3 Bullseye. The Rainier bullets are good but vary a lot from batch to batch.
Use only Federal or Winchester brass though, and I recommend reaming the flash hole and uniforming the primer pockets as well as trimming to a uniform length. For my really serious ammo for competition I use the Federal brass and trim to a uniform length as they run a little longer than the Winchester and come closer to the maximum spec to minimize head spacing for maximum accuracy.

Your 952 is in my experience the most accurate 9mm factory gun available at any price. It also won't "bite' like the Sig210 while giving even better accuracy.
I don't know if your gun comes with a factory target, but my 5" PPC-9 came with a factory 5-shot 25yd target fired from a machine rest by Tom Gordon(S&W Perf. Ctr.) using Federal Classic 9B 115HP. (He signed it and dated it too) It was a "one-hole" group. I've stated before what it measured but was told I was full of "green garden fertilizer" so I won't repeat it. It is under 0.80" outside spread however, and can be covered with a nickle. (I've also been told that no reciprocating slide auto is capable of this kind of accuracy). I told Tom Gordon that, as well as several of my fellow competitors who own these guns; We all had a good laugh.)
See the October American Rifleman for the article on the performance center guns. The accuracy of the "Shorty .40" mentioned is typical of all the Performance Center guns I've seen and/or shot. None of the 1911's I've had built would quite come close to the S&W's. All my aquaintances and I as well spend our time testing ammo between matches and practicing to find out what shoots best and improve our skills.
The guns are a given.
I hope your 952 is this accurate. The two 952's that I saw used at the Nationals in September were touted by their owners to be just as accurate as the PPC-9's. The owners said they got them because they didn't want to wait 6+mos. for delivery and mod 39 magazines were more available and cheaper.
Let us know how it shoots. Just be prepared to be accused of lying though, by those who haven't had the good fortune to own/shoot one. Better yet, lets just keep the secret to ourselves.
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Old December 4, 2002, 10:37 PM   #9
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I don't sort my 9mm brass because I only load mild loads with 124 and 147 grain bullets. Powder and primer choices are STC at any time such that I find something new I want to try.
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Old December 5, 2002, 12:10 AM   #10
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I got best (reload) accuracy in my P210 with a Sierra 125 JHP and a load of VV N340 just below maximum. Gold Dots are good in it but not nearly as accurate in my tuned Colt 1991A1. Nosler .45s are very accurate but I have not tried their 9mm JHPs. But the only 9mm FMJs I have ever shot even close to a good JHP are Nosler. I use Federal brass for load testing.

The bulk Remington JHPs are not bad. I shoot a lot of them, they are cheaper than Sierras and not much less accurate, more accurate than FMJ and not a lot more expensive, bought in quantity. But I don't shoot them at 50 yard PPC.

Federal 9BP (115 gr JHP, not Hydrashok) is a very accurate round when you want to treat yourself to some good factory loads.
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Old December 5, 2002, 01:11 AM   #11
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Ditto what Jim Watson said about the Rem 115 JHP's.

I've used them a lot over the past 10yrs. However, I've found the accuracy to be indistinguishable from the Rainier's, and then Rainiers are about $10.00/M cheaper. I do the bulk of my practice from the 50yd line, and it does you little good if the ammo isn't accurate enough to tell you what your doing wrong. Precision Delta used to load the Remington 115 JHP in their factory match grade ammo. They now use the Hornady as Hornady now sells in bulk to the "industry" for about the same as Remington. If I order in bulk, I can get the Hornady's for the same price as Midway sells the Remington -$49.00/M. The Hornady's are match grade all-the-way and just a bit better than the Remingtons which can be inconsistent from one batch to the next. I've heard but can't confirm that the bulk bullets they "turn loose" are actually "Seconds". Some because of cosmetics, but others for reasons that only turn up on the target. My last batch was "one of those", and I ended up using Rainiers for the "short lines" at the nationals. I used the Hornadys for the "50", and the Precision Delta factory loads for the "Distinguished" matches which require factory ammo.

I have used the Noslers, and they are as accurate as you'll get. However because of the quite rounded ogive and large hollow point, I had two 1911's with ramped barrels (one with a Kart, the other a Nowlin), and neither would feed the Noslers. The lip of the Hollow point would hang on the bottom of the feed ramp. That is the only thing I found wrong with them. They would be fine in My S&W's, but the cheapest price I've found on them is about $80.00/M.

The really neat thing about the Noslers is that they make them in .357" dia, and if you have an older .38 Super, are the best thing going for them. The Army AMU team out of Ft. Benning used them in some "Supers" they were playing with several years back which is what prompted me to try the Noslers.

I've gotten it on good reliable info that the Marine Corp used the Nosler 185 JHP's with 4.3gr of VV-N310 to hurt everyone's feelings in the Intra Service matches this year. I didn't get the oal though ! Was told they were using Starline brass but not sure, and Federal Gold Medal Match primers. Worth a try in your Match .45's. It's supposed to be about the same speed as the Federal 185 hp match load.
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Old December 5, 2002, 06:02 AM   #12
WESHOOT2
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HUGE DEVIATIONS

If I were getting 200fps + velocity deviations I would try a different chrono and/or technique.

IMNSLE very few loads will swing more than 100fps (and some of my best won't change by 10 ).
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Old December 5, 2002, 09:04 AM   #13
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WESHOOT2, I was thinking the same thing. An extreme spread of 200 fps seems very high, but I have had similar experiences with Unique in 45 ACP. I loaded some test ammo using Remington cases, WLP primers, 200gr cast LSWC seated to an OAL of 1.237". Charge weights ran from 5.4 gr to 6.2 gr in 0.2 gr increments. Results were as follows.

charge......AV fps......ES
5.4--------819-------102
5.6--------881-------157
5.8--------957-------142
6.0--------961-------173
6.2--------936-------147

This was really strange data and I have not bothered to try this again. I probably should, I might have been having a really bad day at the reloading bench. Velocities were measured at 10 feet from the muzzle using a Shooting Chrony that is usually very reliable and repeatable. By the way, the lowest velocity read was not always the first shot in the series, each series was 10 shots.
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Old December 5, 2002, 10:37 PM   #14
WESHOOT2
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RAMBLINGS...........

1) consistent light

2) tighter case sizing

3) crimp

4) primer brand

5) blast shield

6) Oehler or PACT

7) fill the case up even if you need to switch to a slower powder

8) in 9x19: WAP 3N37, HS6, Power Pistol, Silhouette

9) in 45 ACP: W231, Power Pistol, AA5, WST, Red Dot, Green Dot, Bullseye, Clays
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Old December 5, 2002, 10:39 PM   #15
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And always always always when chrono-testing repeat on a different day.
Or three.
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Old December 5, 2002, 11:06 PM   #16
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A load that has worked well for me over the last 20+ years, and tens of thousands of rounds is as follows:

Cases: Milsurp-W-W
Primer: Remington 1 1/2 standard small pistol
Bullet: Remington 115 FMJ
Powder: HS-6 from Hodgdon.
Charge: 7.2 GR
OAL: 1.125
velocity: 1250 fps (average of chronographed velocity from several different guns, including Glock, Beretta, Sig, Walther, Luger.

All bullets are crimped with a Lee factory crimp die during loading
on a Dillon 650.
NOTE: THIS IS A=== +P=== LOAD, AND SHOULD BE WORKED UP TO IN YOUR GUN, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO USE IT!

It works for me.
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Old December 5, 2002, 11:20 PM   #17
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115 Hornady Bulk FMJ bullet, S&B brass, WSP primer, 5.0 (five) grains of AA#2 Improved. 1.140 OAL, Lee Carbide Dies on Rockchucker press. No crimp

Chrony F1 results
Kel-Tec P-11 ---------------1068FPS
S&W 5904------------------1175FPS
Marlin Camp Carbine-----1283FPS

This loading functions well in all the above, accuracy is just ok, but my shooting skills need sharpening.---------Chainsaw
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Old December 6, 2002, 11:45 PM   #18
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according to the Speer #12 manual, you should NEVER load to a COL of less than 1.080 with 115gr. bullets as pressures can rise to dangerous proportions.

Everyone has their favorite recipies and a lot have them have been posted, so I won't go into a diatribe about the best one.
Try a few and find one that works best in your particular gun.
Thats' the beauty of handloading/ reloading. The sky's the limit.
Best of luck.
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Old December 8, 2002, 09:50 AM   #19
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The only thing I can add is watch the loads with Power Pistol. I followed the Manufactures recommendations and got some "hot" loads which were +P velocities. When compared to the Hornady or Speer manuals, they were significantly less. I shot the last of them out of my P7 yesterday (+P+ rated gun) and They were definately toasty.
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Old December 9, 2002, 12:56 AM   #20
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Peter,

That is the reason that I use HS-6. I still consider Power Pistol the second best overall powder available for the 9MM, but I'm much more comfortable with HS-6

Herco is wonderful, but it doesn't flow through the measure like HS-6 or PP.
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Old December 9, 2002, 10:51 PM   #21
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Whining about the data.

There has been a couple of posts rambling on about some chronograph data. My, my, how some people can ramble on.

Okay, I will quite honestly admit that I copied straight from the spreadsheet without cleaning up the data. Now, there was one load - ONE - that accounted for the extreme spread. Could have been a defective primer. Happens to everybody. Okay, not some some people, you know who you are.

So here is my load with the ONE bad data point thrown out. Legal by the way to throw out a statistical aberration in experimental data.

Bullet/Weight Hornady 115 XTP
Powder/Weight Unique 6.1grains
Primer, Smith & Wesson
Cases Mixed, once fired

Velocity (fps) Deviation from Avg Velocity
1281 7.55
1256 17.44
1318 44.55
1285 11.55
1298 24.55
1250 23.44
1263 10.44
1262 11.44
1248 25.44

Total 11461
Number of Shots 9
Avg Velocity 1273.44
Avg Deviation 19.60

High Velocity 1318
Low Velocity 1248
Extreme Spread 70

Std Deviation 23.77
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Old December 10, 2002, 07:17 AM   #22
stans
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I was not whining about your data, just commented that Unique has given me huge extreme spreads in the 9. I was thinking that it was a result of poor metering of the small charges of this particular powder.
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Old April 2, 2007, 11:53 AM   #23
Mactrekr
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Hi Ya'll,

I'm new to reloading and could use some advice. Got a LEE 1000pro for 9mm, and 2000 remington 115gr JHP bullets, about 500 various fired once empty brass. I'm wondering if someone could give me a good recipe for a resonably hot defense load, recommend the correct primer powder and charge?

Really appreciate any help.

Mac
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Old April 2, 2007, 01:39 PM   #24
Jim Watson
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"New to reloading" and "hot defensive load" do not compute.
Buy your fighting ammunition and load for practice.
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Old April 2, 2007, 05:59 PM   #25
cheygriz
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Quote:
New to reloading" and "hot defensive load" do not compute.
Buy your fighting ammunition and load for practice.
AMEN

I've been reloading for a long, long, time, and even did it commercially for 5 years. I still buy factory ammo for serious social shooting.
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