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Old April 5, 2008, 07:24 PM   #1
Al Norris
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Did Dumb Thing - Need Help

Okay. In retrospec, I went and did something kinda dumb.

Last weekend, MidwestUSA had some bullets on sale. Specificly, some SPEER 9mm (.355) 135gr EFMJ. Now, I haven't shot any EFMJ, only read about them. Morever, I was thinking that at 135gr, they would fill the bill for my KelTec P11, which doesn't like 147gr bullets at all (they won't stabilize) and that 135gr was a good compromise. Even if the P11 doesn't like these, my P-89 will digest anything I feed it!

At $8.25/hundred, I bought 500 of them last Saturday. They shipped Monday and I received them Thursday (standard UPS). (these were all gone in a few minutes!)

So what was the dumb thing? I didn't look at my loadbooks for data on these puppies. They ain't listed. No way, no how.

So now I've got 500 bullets that I don't know exactly what to load to.

My Lyman's (P&R 3rd) has the following data for the powders I use:

130gr Sie FMJ
HS-6 6.0 - 6.5
HP-38 3.9 - 4.4
Titegroup 3.8 - 4.2
147gr Spr TMJ
HS-6 4.8 - 5.8
HP-38 3.5 - 4.1
Titegroup 3.2 - 3.6
If I extrapolate, I think I get something like:
HS-6 5.2 - 6.0
HP-38 3.7 - 4.2
Titegroup 3.5 - 3.9
I've contacted Speer's and they say, "buy the manual." Hodgdon's hasn't shot these and won't extrapolate. sigh...

Any help, anyone has would be appreciated.
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Old April 5, 2008, 07:33 PM   #2
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According to Hodgdon's web site a 130 grain with Titegroup is 4.1 start and 4.4 max. I loaded up some Zero 135 grain today with 4 grains of Titegroup but I won't be shooting them until tomorrow. These are my first loads with the 135 grain but 4.0 looked safe to start for me.
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Old April 5, 2008, 07:52 PM   #3
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Al,

The only safe thing to do is to use the 147 grain 'start' data. If I were you I would start with HS6 as it should be kinder in the pressure department.

My understanding of the EFMJ is that it has a plastic ball, etc. under the nose and this may make the bullets longer than a conventional FMJ in any given weight. Bearing surface affects pressure, which is why I'd lean toward the 147 grain data.

PS- Don't feel bad. I recently ordered a set of Houge's for my SP101, just certain that I was getting Pachmayr's. Duuh.
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Old April 5, 2008, 10:04 PM   #4
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I guess I'd give Hodgdon a pass if they don't have that bullet and haven't tested it (it sure as heck isn't a standard weight or design, to say the least)
But:
Quote:
I've contacted Speer's and they say, "buy the manual."
What a bunch of D*CKS! "Buy the manual."
Pompous asses. Every other component company out there urges you to contact them for their assistance. "We are reloaders, too!" they all say. Enthusiasts.

Speer. Dinks. I have one of their manuals (Speer #11, I think) and it does NOT impress me in the slightest. Never has. I'd look up your bullet for you, but I doubt it's in there... even so, I lent that book to a buddy across town some months ago so I don't actually have access to it. Sorry.

But man, that's pathetic.

If it were me, I'd make a handful at 3.3 grains, 3.6 grains and 3.9 grains of Titegroup. By handful, I mean I'd make up literally 5 or 6 cartridges in each power level, and then get those to a range and test fire for safety, then for function. If they operate the pistol well AND there's not multiple signs of pressure, then start rolling out more of the same and accuracy test them.

I recently made two different 9mm loads with Titegroup:
3.6 grains of Titegroup pushing 125 grain cast LRN
4.2 grains of Titegroup pushing 124 grain FMJ
...niether showed any signs of excess pressure and operated the pistol perfectly well.
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Old April 5, 2008, 11:02 PM   #5
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It's NOT in the Speer manual

I have the latest Speer manual (#14) and there is NO data for a 135 gr bullet in the 9 mm case. Not any bullets of that weight, not to mention the EFMJ type. So, I do NOT understand Speer's techs telling you that. (I am assuming that you are right that it is a Speer product - - I have not heard about it. It sounds like a Federal bullet type I have seen advertised, but is heavier. Speer and Federal are owned by the same company, now.)

If it were me, I would call them back and tell them it is not in the manual. If they argued, I would ask them what page they think it is on.

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Old April 5, 2008, 11:07 PM   #6
Al Norris
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Crusty, While it's only been a couple of years or so, that I've been handloading, I have learned that Hodgdons data isn't as good as Lymans... But, that's just my opinion.

Ya just know, that I knew I was in trouble when I made that "exptrapolating" comment. Think I'm gonna use the 147gr TMJ data (which is different than Hodgdons 147gr XTP data) and go from there... No sense trying to blow myself up! The gang over in L&P would cheer too much!

Thanks for the helpful hints.

ETA: SL1! That explains why I couldn't find the critter on Speers website! I also looked at Federal, as I had thought it was Federal that made the EFMJ. Couldn't find it there either.
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Old April 6, 2008, 07:51 AM   #7
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I also have manual 13 and 14 I looked and there is no data for a 9mm bullet.

There is however on 135 grain bullet made by speer its part # 4014 check the end of your box or order slip.

That bullet is the gold dot short barrel bullet for .38 special .357 diameter, do you have calipers?. Measure the bullet above the canalure.
Dont load it as a 9mm.

http://www.speer-bullets.com/ballistics/bullets.aspx
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Old April 6, 2008, 08:15 AM   #8
Peter M. Eick
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Al,

You have a lot of factor's in play here, so when extrapolating it must be done with care. Normally you take the heavier bullet data as a starting point and work up from there. The logic is that given a heavier bullet it should have a lighter charge and working up is safer then working down.

Now when you go from a heavier bullet in 9mm to a lighter bullet, you have changed the COL and the load space for the powder. Thus you need to be careful about COL and bullet seating depth.

With the 135 seated so you have the same shank distance into the brass as the 147, then the 147 data will give you a light load. With the 135 seated deeper, you could get an overpressure load if the bullet shape is significantly different (truncated cone vs. a round nose or JHP).

So rubber meets the road time.

I would make up just a few (say 10) rounds of 147 grn start loads for your 135 and see how you like them. Watch the COL carefully to make sure they feed and function reasonably. If you are happy, keep shooting. If not enough power or too much power adjust accordingly and make 10 more. Repeat till accuracy and power requirements are satisfied.

This is my approach to delving into the brave world of no data handloading.
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Old April 6, 2008, 09:15 AM   #9
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Antipitas,

Regarding your "extrapolation" (actually "interpolation") of the available data to your 135 gr EFMJ bullets:

The bullet weight may not be the most important parameter. I do not know what these bullets are really like, so I am only working off the comment by Sarge that there may be some sort of plastic insert under the nose. If so, then the bullet will be unusually long for its weight. That would require it to be seated unusually deeply, which would make the pressure unexpectedly high.

[Oops, I see that Peter M. Eick just posted something along the lines that I am about to write.] He is right-on, as far as he goes.

To get the best estimate of the maximum load for the EFMJ bullet, it would be necessary to compare the powder space it provides with the powder space in a pressure-tested load. I don't know what bullets you have on hand, but a 124 gr and a 147 gr would be helpful.

To measure the powder space, first measure the space in an empty case. With a spent primer in a case, weigh the empty case on your scale. Then fill that case with water just even with the mouth and weigh it again. Subtract the two to get the weight of the water, only. That is your case capacity in grains of water.

To figure the remaining capacity with a bullet seated, measure the length of THAT case, a bullet by itself, and the length of the cartridge with THAT bullet seated in THAT case. Add the length of the case and the bullet, then subtract the cartridge OAL to get the seating depth. The volume of the seated part of the bullet can be calculated as the square of the bullet's diameter times pi divided by 4 and multiplied by the seating depth. This can be converted to water weight by multiplying it by 252.8 grains per cubic inch.

I'll provide an example of what I am saying for clarity: Say your seating depth is 0.3". Your 9mm bullet diameter is 0.355" So, the volume of case filled with the bullet is 0.355" x 0.355" x 3.1416 / 4 x 0.3" = 0.0297 cubic inch. Multiplying that by 252.8 grains per cubic inch gives 7.5 grains of water. Subtract that from the water weight in the full case, and you have the powder space for that bullet at that cartrige OAL.

Using that method, you can estimate the max load data for your "unknown" bullet by taking the ratio of charge weight to powder space for pressure-tested charges of the same powder in cartridges with both a heavier and a lighter bullet.

It is safest to just use that ratio from the heavier bullet, but you could interpolate the ratio between the ratios for a heavier and a lighter bullet (the same way you interpolated the powder charges by bullet weight for your first post).

Once you know the ratio you want to use for charge weight to powder space (water weight), and you have measured/calculated the powder space (water weight) for the unknown bullet, you just multiply the powder space by that ratio to get the charge weight.

The touchiest part of this is getting the case full to the mouth, without having the water surface bulged out of nor sunk into the case. I use an eye dropper to carefully add and subtract water from the case in order to get the right amount. I use the reflection of a window or a flourescent light on the water's surface to help me see when it is flat instead of bowed in or out. It is probably best to do it a few times to make sure that you are getting a repeatable result. If you decide to use more than one case, just remember that you need to go through the whole process using the length and weight and volume measurements from each case separately.

With a case as small as the 9 mm, it may also make a significant difference if you size the case before you measure its water volume. Some people think that sizing is necessary, while others argue that the expanded case is the right volume measurement. Personally, I am in the unsized case group.

You can apply the powder space ratio to both starting and max load values. Remember to start low and work up, keeping in mind that this method is not exact for pressure estimates.

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Old April 6, 2008, 05:52 PM   #10
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Went to the range today and shot the 135 grain FMJ's. I loaded them with 4.0 grains of Titegroup with a OAL of 1.135. They shot lite, brass dropped about five feet away from me. I shot them out of a G17. I'm going to work them up now.
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Old April 6, 2008, 07:32 PM   #11
Al Norris
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I went and took some measurements and a couple of pictures. I see what you all are talking about now.

As you can see, the 135gr EFMJ (on the left) does measure .355 and is .670 in length, whereas the 147gr TMJ is .652 in length.

If I seat the EFMJ as my Lyman's says for the 147gr TMJ (@1.115 OAL), then the EFMJ will be seated .018 deeper. I would think this would increase the pressure. I can seat them to a nominal 1.133 to relieve that (both the P11 and the P-89 will take anything from 1.100 to 1.138 OAL).

Before I begin loading these guys, I'm gonna make a call to Midway on Monday to make sure of the Manufacturer (letting them know what Speer told me). Then I'm gonna call Speer and Hodgdon's and try and nail down some real data.

Should all else fail, I'll start at the low end of the 147gr TMJ HS-6 data and carefully work them up. I should have something to report, next Saturday (my next day off).
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Old April 6, 2008, 08:22 PM   #12
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Thank you for the update and the pics. Given the uncommon length/weight ratio of that bullet, I'd think the manufacturer would enclose the data in the box. It wouldn't be real hard for a novice reloader to get themselves into trouble, using a fast powder.

Anyhow...good on you for opening the topic.
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Old April 8, 2008, 07:29 AM   #13
Al Norris
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Update.

The bullet is definitely a Federal Premium bullet. After several calls to Midway, Speer and Federal yesterday, this was finally confirmed by Federal.

It appears that Federal is about to introduce a new cartridge for their Law Enforcement line of ammo. This particular bullet was an overrun after their initial testing. The overrun was sent to Speer who authorized the sale to Midway (hence the confusion at Midway as to the real manufacturer).

Should Federal complete testing and produce the cartridge, expect to see this offered to LE as: Tactical® EFMJ 9mm Luger (9x19mm Parabellum) +P 135gr. This would duplicate their Tactical® Bonded® ammunition of the same weight.

They currently have no plans of offering this bullet to the general public, and hence will offer no loaddata. I am basicly on my own, here.

Having said this, I will very carefully work up loads using data for the Speer 147gr TMJ (OAL = 1.115). I was able to get Federal to say that the OAL is 1.130 for their 135gr Tactical® Bonded®. That gives me at least some starting reference for the final cartridge.

Since Federal tests their ammo with a 4" bbl, I will be testing with my P-89 (which is good, in that the Ruger is more forgiving than the P11), using HS-6 (the more forgiving powder).
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Old April 8, 2008, 01:32 PM   #14
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let us know how things work out.
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Old April 9, 2008, 09:50 AM   #15
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Antipitas,

It looks like your most important parameter here is gonig to be seating depth. If the load data you have for the 147 gr bullet was for a 1.115" OAL and you start with your 135 gr bullet at 1.130" OAL, then the 0.015" increase in OAL will offset all but 0.003" of the 0.018" difference in bullet length. You should be OK starting with the STARTING loads for the 147 gr bullet, when you start loading for the EFMJ bullet. Just be real careful it you need to seat that blunter bullet deeper to make it feed reliably.

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Old April 9, 2008, 03:26 PM   #16
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I also purchased some of these "135" grain bullets. However the few I weighed were actually 124 grains which is the same as the bullet in the Federal 124 +P (not the personal defense) loaded round. I suggest you weigh your bullets, I have not tried to develop a load yet.
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Old April 10, 2008, 11:33 AM   #17
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The good news is that +P 9mm brass is the same as "standard" 9mm brass. Unless you really load heavy with a really short o.a.l., you're going to be o.k.
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Old April 10, 2008, 01:06 PM   #18
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Believe it or not-just for the fun of it and whatever else call the Sierra bulletsmiths--I diont have the 800 #-they do have one. They generally give ballpark figures for anybodys bullets, powder etc.

I recently bought some Berry Bullets-357s 148 ge HBWC=hollow base wad cutters. berry referred me to Speer manual. Sat Im going to the gunshop and gunshow and Im going to check the Speer #14, is current I believe. Ill either hand copy or try to get a machine copy of the pertinant page.
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Old April 10, 2008, 01:07 PM   #19
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Since my Lee Safety Scale doesn't weigh over 109.9gr, I will be taking a box over to my gunsmiths after work.

If they are the 125gr EFMJ's, then I won't have a problem. Plenty of loaddata available.
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Old April 10, 2008, 02:14 PM   #20
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Dude! You need to get a better scale!

A 5-0-5 or 5-5-5 or even better a 10-10 !

Ebay has the 5-0-5's cheap. I picked my 10-10 up there as well for 60 bucks New old stock.
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Old April 10, 2008, 07:33 PM   #21
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Old April 10, 2008, 10:23 PM   #22
Al Norris
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Not so fast Mike!

I plan on using a 50 foot lanyard....
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Old April 11, 2008, 03:51 PM   #23
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Believe-it-or-not, the Frankford Arsenal Micro digital scale that's currently on sale @ Midway for $29.99, works great. Don't know how long it'll last, as I just got one, but it checks out beautifully. It has a 750gr. capacity.
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Old April 13, 2008, 04:57 PM   #24
Al Norris
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Update:

bobh, you were right on the money. Despite what I thought I was being told by Federal.

I took a handful to Tim, my gunsmith. The weights were "all over the scale." Ended up taking the whole lot and we sorted them out. Don't know what you have, but 90% of my 500 bullets were 123gr or 125gr with the remaing 50 (10%) being right on 124gr. They were split pretty much evenly between 123gr and 125gr. sigh.

Still, at $8 a hundred, pretty cheap fun. And, to top it off, Tim sold me a "spare" 5-0-5 for $10.

So I loaded up 10 rounds of the 123gr and 10 of the 125gr, using 6.4gr of HS-6. OAL was set to 1.125. Recoil was mild in the P11 and cycled flawlessly. Grouping, at 15 feet, weren't bad, but nothing to brag about.

I want to thank you all for your input/insight.
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Old April 14, 2008, 02:56 PM   #25
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I too ordered 1000 of these from Midway and would have thought one of my loading manuals had load data for a “135 gr.” 9mm…wrong!

I found out that they are not 135 gr. but around 124 gr. as well.

I loaded up 10 test rounds per load listed below of Blue Dot. The test gun was my P95, target 15 yards, bench rested on bag.

- 6.2 gr…Cycled OK, bullets all over the target (wondered if I had lost my steady hand)

- 7.2 gr… Cycled OK, bullets all over the target but getting closer to a true group.

- 7.6 gr… Cycled OK, bullets groups about the same as 7.2 gr load (my shooting?)

- 8.0 gr… Cycled OK, bullets group more accurate. Plenty of kick.

Hope this helps
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