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Old April 27, 2008, 12:25 AM   #1
BerettaFox
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powder for 9mm?

I'm looking into buying all the things I would need to reload in 9mm. I've never reloaded before. What kind of powder should I buy if I want accurate/adequate shots? How many bullets will a pound of powder load (roughly). Or will I find out all these things when I order a press? Any good links to sites with really good deals on powder? Thanks.
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Old April 27, 2008, 12:54 AM   #2
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I'd wait until you get your equipment including your Reloading Manuals. I'd recommend buying ABC's of Reloading, Lyman's manual, and bullet and powder companies manuals. "Generally" in the manuals a middle speed powder usually works best. Faster burning powders are listed at the top of the charts and slower powders listed at the bottom of charts. You need to read all you can about reloading before you crank out the first round. Powder choice can be determined by what bullet and what bullet weight you intend to shoot. That said, a couple of powders I'd recommend are Unique and Win 231. There are several other powders that are highly recommended for 9mm and you could search reloading forums for 9mm and get a lot of opinions. I'd also try to find the powder you choose locally at a gun shop that carries reloading supplies. There are 7000 grains of powder in 1 pound of powder and a typical charge in 9mm is around 4-5.5 grains of powder so one pound should load 1400 rounds plus or minus. Some data is available on-line at powder company websites.
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Old April 27, 2008, 01:00 AM   #3
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Many answers to that! If you want to save coin, use a faster burning powder. They use lighter charges. Take a look in your loading book (if you don't have one definitely get one immediately). I would stay away from powders that don't give you wiggle room between starting loads and max loads.

www.natchezss.com www.midwayusa.com The Midway site is really nice to navigate, but both these companies have been a pleasure to do business with for me.

I use accurate no 5, but that's because I wanted a powder that would meter well (ball powder, not extruded) and work in several other calibers with heavy bullets. To get more shots, I probably could have used no 2 for my 9mm loads.

There are 7000 grains to a pound, and most loads with a 115 grain bullet will be around 5.5 grains (NOT LOAD DATA just an estimate) so you'd get about 1250 from a pound. (I hope I didn't get avdp mixed up with troy pounds) I think that's right.

My opinion is that the quality of the loader and the shooter has MUCH more to do with accuracy than the powder, especially in a pistol. But I *think* slower burning powder tends to be a little more accurate.
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Old April 27, 2008, 07:54 AM   #4
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There are many, many choices for a powder that will work in 9mm. Just in my powder box, I have Bullseye, Green Dot, TiteGroup, Accurate #7, Unique and Blue Dot, and any of those can work in 9mm.

When looking for a powder, there's a lot of different ways to decide what to buy. Each and any of these reasons is a valid, typical reason for selecting a certain powder:
  • Buy X because your local shop stocks it readily and it's easy to get
  • Buy X because it's a ball powder that meters well (that means your powder measure throws consistent charges without erratic dumps and varying charges)
  • Buy X because it's cheap by the pound (compare Titegroup to any Vihtavuori powder in prices)
  • Buy X because you plan on loading a few other calibers, and it's versatile enough to use for others
  • Buy X because it calls for a small charge, which gives you more loaded rounds per pound
  • Buy X because you have found plenty of load data available with many different bullet weights or styles
  • Buy X because it seems to give the velocity you seek with a pressure that's within the limits
  • Buy X because it seems to show the most consistent accuracy
  • Buy X because it takes a larger volume charge, which fills the case and prevents you from an accidental double charge

Now myself, personally, I stock a slew of powders because I love to experiment and I love to have options. Some of the reasons I listed are valid for some folks, but not for me. Myself, I would never choose a powder with a large volume for the select purpose of preventing a double charge. I would also never pick a powder that uses a small charge just so I could get more out of a pound. But you can bet the I avoid any powder that is overly expensive, and I do enjoy working with a fine ball powder that meters well.

As for where and how to get powders, this is a little tricky. Your best bet will be to find a local shop that you frequent that has a selection at a decent price. Prices do vary greatly... I see powders at shops for as low as $14 a pound and as high as $23 a pound depending on the store. There are two ways to get the cheapest, but niether is easy and both cost a lot of money.
1) Any/all/every powder is cheaper in bulk. Every powder comes in a one pound can (some odd IMR powders come in 8, 10 or 12 oz cans, but these are not the norm) but most powders are also available in 4 pounders and 8 pounders. You save a heap if you can buy in the large jug. BUT to be able to do that, you must be dead-sure that you'll like and use that powder... even one pound of powder lasts a long time... imagine 8 pounds of it?

2) Buying powder online -- at a place called Powder Valley. They have the best prices I've seen, but you will incur shipping fees and also hazardous materials handling extra fees. So you need to buy a lot, and find some buddies to split orders to make it worth the money.

So you see, you can save money, but you need to buy a lot and spend a large bundle to "save."

The best advice-- find a store or shop that stocks some powders. Find the little load guides produced by each powder manufacturer and if you can't find those, punch them up on the web. Look for Alliant Powder, Winchester, Accurate Arms, Hodgdon and find the cartridges that you will be loading for, and find some data for the cartridge and bullet weight/style you plan to load. Then, buy one pound of a powder that you have some data for, and give it a shot.

Powder may seem expensive at $15-$25 a shot, but it lasts a LONG time, is versatile, and will safely store for decades if you don't use it often. I used to think, "God, not another new powder in my stock, and at $20 a can!" and now I think, "Hell yeah! Another new powder in my arsenal, and it cost less for a pound than a box of factory ammo and will last me forever!"
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Old April 27, 2008, 08:12 AM   #5
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Ditto, on the recommendation for Powder Valley. I usually buy two 8# containers of powder and at least 5,000 primers per order. You only pay one hazmat fee and the shipping is reasonable. Really good people to deal with.

I load a bunch of 9mm and .45ACP. AA#5 is my favorite .45ACP powder, and I started using it for 9mm, also. It's a little slower than 231, so you'll have to use a coupla more grains per charge. I've been buying 124gr. bullets for some time now...they're my favorite for plinking.

I only buy small rifle primers for use in both 9mm and .223 reloading.
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Old April 27, 2008, 09:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
I only buy small rifle primers for use in both 9mm and .223 reloading.
No kiddin-- is the idea to make it easier to buy in bulk, and you can safely use Small Rifle in the 9, or do you gain something by using Small Rifle in 9mm?
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Old April 27, 2008, 10:51 AM   #7
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I've been using HP-38 (same as W231) and HS-6 with good results.
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Old April 27, 2008, 10:58 AM   #8
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My three 9mm powders are Unique, 231 and Universal. I think I prefer Universal. Don't ask me why.
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Old April 27, 2008, 11:17 AM   #9
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that's some good advice. unless i find something screwy are most 9mm casings the same sized primer?
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Old April 27, 2008, 12:22 PM   #10
Alleykat
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Quote:
No kiddin-- is the idea to make it easier to buy in bulk, and you can safely use Small Rifle in the 9, or do you gain something by using Small Rifle in 9mm?
I doubt if I gain much with the small rifle primers, but, contrary to Large Rifle/Large pistol primers, small rifle primers are the same size as small pistol primers. Started using small rifle primers with .40 Super, some time ago, saw where others were using them for 9mm and, I believe, .38 Super, so gave 'em a try. It really is simpler for me to just use small rifle primers for both 9mm and .223 reloading.
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Old April 27, 2008, 06:46 PM   #11
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I found Power Pistol, to give me the best accuracy in 9mm. I buy all my powder and primers locally, to avoid Hazmat fees, but buy bullets online.

http://www.tjconevera.com/

http://czcustom.com/catalog/index.ph...bd9049db37d2bf
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Old April 27, 2008, 07:09 PM   #12
BerettaFox
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tomorrow

Tomorrow I'm ordering from cabela's.....

-Lee Classic Turret Reload Kit
-Lee Carbide Pistol Dies
-Winchester Bulk Pistol Bullets
-CCI Primers
-Cabela's Case Tumbler
-Cabela's Corn Cob Media w/ Brass Polish

That sound like a plan to get started loading? I got 500 rounds of dirty shell casings I shot yesterday...

Then I'm going to the gun store to get some powder. And building a workbench out of an old heavy door and some saw horses. Move over work out bench... haha.
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Old April 27, 2008, 08:56 PM   #13
Al Norris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BerettaFox
-Lee Classic Turret Reload Kit
-Lee Carbide Pistol Dies
-Winchester Bulk Pistol Bullets
-CCI Primers
-Cabela's Case Tumbler
-Cabela's Corn Cob Media w/ Brass Polish
Is that mail order your gonna do?

If so, then you will be paying a hazmat fee ($20) for the highlighted item, above.

If you can, get all of your primers and powder at some local store.
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Old April 27, 2008, 09:04 PM   #14
BerettaFox
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good call man, I didn't even think of that.... Doubles the price of them right there. Good looking out.
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Old April 27, 2008, 09:15 PM   #15
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The way I understand it, rifle primers are more powerful to ignite large, slow burning powder charges. A change like this can increase pressures (dramatically if I am understanding it correctly) and cause DANGEROUS LOADS. I don't mean to be dramatic and I may be wrong, but please be SURE it's OK, as I am pretty sure this can be quite dangerous. If I am correct, none of your load data will work for rifle primers, and the pressures will be all over the place in the realms of dangerous depending on the powder. THE LOADS IN THE BOOKS ARE FOR THE SPECIFIED PRIMERS. Please use caution.

Incidentally, they are the same size.
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Old April 27, 2008, 11:26 PM   #16
Sevens
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Quote:
Tomorrow I'm ordering from cabela's.....

-Lee Classic Turret Reload Kit
-Lee Carbide Pistol Dies
-Winchester Bulk Pistol Bullets
-CCI Primers
-Cabela's Case Tumbler
-Cabela's Corn Cob Media w/ Brass Polish
I'd suggest you punch up the same stuff on the MidwayUSA website and see how the price compares. Cabela's is a neat place to visit and their selection is decent, but Midway has done everything they can to earn my business, so I recommend them often.

I have NO IDEA if Midway is cheaper, similar, or more expensive on those items than Cabela's. I just know a helluva number of reasons to give Midway USA my business.

Good luck!
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Old April 28, 2008, 10:20 AM   #17
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BerettaFox: Does your Wall-of-China-Mart sell reloading material? If so, you will probably find primers there at a reasonable price.
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Old April 28, 2008, 10:59 AM   #18
BerettaFox
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The way Wal-Mart is going these days I seriously doubt it, I'll check though. Recently they stopped stocking 9mm ammo. Well, I don't know if they stopped stocking it, but it is backordered at that walmart as well as the rest in my area, and back ordered at the distribution warehouses. So we'll see if that one ever pans out... or not, since I'm reloading my own now.
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Old April 28, 2008, 11:53 AM   #19
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I've found that ordering a couple of 8# jugs of powder, along with at least 5000 primers from Powder Valley is still less expensive than any of my local sources, even including hazmat and shipping. Powder and primers can be shipped in the same container, with only one hazmat charge.

Small rifle primers won't dramatically change your 9mm pressures. One thing going for us 9mm reloaders is that 9mm "standard" brass is the same as 9mm +p brass.

I've only loaded about 25,000 rounds of 9mm using small rifle primers, so I guess I REALLY don't know if they're working yet.
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Old April 28, 2008, 05:21 PM   #20
BerettaFox
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The local gun store (Trader's) has Alliance Unique and other powders for the same prices as on the internet. As in the 1lb jugs, they don't sell anything bigger than that. They also sell primers at the same rate. Which is really convenient and gives me an excuse to go to the gun shop. Plus I bought Lyman's 48th Edition in reloading for the same price as the internet.
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Old April 28, 2008, 06:22 PM   #21
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I found a helluva good place this weekend-- their powder prices are almost exactly the same as Powder Valley on one pounders. Powder Valley kills 'em in primer prices, though.

But the store I found is a great gun store... so I bought one!
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Old May 1, 2008, 12:43 AM   #22
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there is no way that I am going to use small rifle primers in a pistol round unless the round is designed for this combination, just set off a rifle primer compared to a pistol primer and you will see what I mean. stick with the data that you get from a reloading manual or manuals especially if you are starting
to reload, check for double drops of powder and speed should not be a consideration at first.
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Old May 1, 2008, 05:05 PM   #23
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I actually went looking for the warnings about the power of rifle primers and couldn't find it in my books, I still am pretty sure I saw a warning somewhere. But I DID find that they are NOT the same size. The rifle primers are longer, and my Speer reloading book specifically recommends against it due to the rifle primers being longer and the primers being harder. The way it is described, rifles have a harder firing pin strike in general. So this means in a pistol with a light strike, it could possibly not fire. The high primer could also cause a slam fire in theory. I guess I am just a little nervous about the concept, but if it works for you, and you know what you are doing, more power to you!

That said, I would still pause if you are new to reloading and stick to the books. I know I still do.
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Old May 1, 2008, 05:12 PM   #24
Sevens
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Well, there is no warning that says you shouldn't load .30-06 with gasoline as a propellant, either, but you'll have a hard time finding a warning in your manual!

Fact is, small rifle and small pistol primers have the same outside physical dimensions. But large pistol and large rifle do NOT have the same dimensions-- the large rifle primer is taller than the large pistol.

You are starting to see some of the BIG handgun calibers designed around rifle primers -- not necessarily for the hotter burn of the primer, but for the increased durability of the primer cup.

That's one downside to using small rifle primers in 9mm pistol loads... the primer cup is harder and may not reliably detonate in all pistols. But if you start with a light load and develop your load properly, I wouldn't get too worked up about it being dangerous. Small rifle primers will be just as consistent as small pistol primers, hotter flame and all-- if your loads don't show signs of excessive pressure, they aren't going to somehow go nuclear on their own.
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Old May 1, 2008, 05:28 PM   #25
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Hodgdon TiteGroup is my preferred powder for 9mm ( and .40, .45acp, .38 spl, .357 mag and .44 mag ). It's a good powder.

My target load for 9mm with 124gr CMJ bullet from Montana Gold is 4.3 grains ( a lb of powder is 7,000 grains - so 1 lb of powder will give you about 1600 rounds of 9mm ) or a little over 30 boxes.

Buy all your components in case lots - 8lb kegs of powder ( $116), cases of bullets or about 3,750 bullets in a case for 124 grain($300) and cases of primers ( 5,000 to a case ) $ 140 and you'll keep your costs down. The current cost of these components will cost you about $ 5.90 a box for 9mm which is pretty good compared to $ 10 - $12 retail these days - and it'll give you a better quality cartridge. Welcome to our reloading part of the hobby - hope you have some fun with it.
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