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Old December 9, 2008, 02:40 PM   #1
1911ONLY
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USPSA Major/Minor 9mm

Just getting into USPSA shooting and would like some help on figuring out a couple of things.

9mm major vs. minor. I know that the power factor is the difference but can 9mm major be bought off the shelf or do I need to load myself?

Also in the open division rules it says that minimum bullet weight for major is 112 grains but then it says that you need 165 power factor. We know that 9mm can be bought with more than 112 grains but not enough so that it gets to minimum power factor.

So what category does 124 or 147 grain 9mm ammo come in? Enough grains for major but not enough for power factor.

So whats the deal? Can someone explain this to me? Am I just not getting it? Seems a little confusing.

Thanks in advance for anyone who can help me out with this.
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Old December 9, 2008, 02:56 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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OK, power factor is muzzle velocity in fps times bullet weight in grains, divided by 1000 to give a three digit number. 165+ is Major, 125-164.99 is Minor. Under 125 is not allowed.

The reason for the 112 grain minimum weight is probably to keep shooters from dinging up the Pepper Poppers with light bullets at very high velocity.

All the factory 115, 124, or 147 grain 9mm that I know of is scored Minor, because they are not at high enough velocity (1435, 1331, 1123 fps, respectively) to reach power factor 165. You have to handload for that. And darned hot handloads at that.

Two more things to know.
1. You may shoot 9mm Major ONLY in Open Divison. Limited, L-10, and Single Stack have a .40 caliber minimum to be even considered for Major.
2. ALL calibers and loads are scored as Minor in Production Division no matter what their power factor.
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Old December 9, 2008, 04:36 PM   #3
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I know of one guy on the forum who runs a 9mm Major - yar has a custom Glock that he runs those loads through.

Jim is right though - Open division is the only division where you can shoot 9mm major loads, due to the bullet diameter restriction in Limited 10, Single Stack, and Limited.

Personal Opinions Follow

If you really want to shoot "Major" loads with a .355 diameter bullet, just get a .38 Super.
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Old December 9, 2008, 05:13 PM   #4
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Just about everyone in my area who's had a new Open division gun built, in the last two years or so, appears to have opted for Major 9 over Super. The move appears to be driven almost exclusively by the price of brass.
Some factory ammo does not even make minor, if you are shooting a Production gun with ~4" barrel.
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Old December 9, 2008, 06:19 PM   #5
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V.V. has one load in their data book that makes "major 9" using 147 grain bullets.
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Old December 10, 2008, 08:23 AM   #6
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RickB - yeah, I noticed the same trend with 9 Major guns - I don't know what it is though about running a 9mm that hot but it honestly makes me just a little nervous. I'd just rather have the .38 Super myself, and I'll eat the extra cost in bullets and brass.

Plus, .38 Super is sexay.
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Old December 10, 2008, 09:08 AM   #7
Jim Watson
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I had a 9mm Major before they reduced the power factor. It was the setup designed by Paul Miller, a 160 grain bullet loaded to 1.26" OAL and shot from .38 Super magazines. Just a Super with cheap brass. I got tired of reading the rule book to MDs and quit bothering with it, took the compensator off and made it into an IDPA ESP.
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Old December 10, 2008, 09:31 AM   #8
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Mr. Miller

He designed that 160g bullet specifically for Major Nine.

I still recommend 38 Super and family (best = 9x23) for making Major.

I recommend 124g and up for making Minor (because it makes the steel fall over just the least little bit more).
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Old December 10, 2008, 01:03 PM   #9
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Browsing AA

not alcoholics anonymous! Atlanta Arms to get their ".355 major" 9x19 load data but their wesite is Archaic at best and there really isn't any load data or components list. They Don't even advertise ".355 major" anymore. I wonder why that is??? I almost drank the kool-aid my self and thought about cheaper brass being the only reason. some of the pressures are way out of SAAMI spec. I know that doesn't mean much to a smith that has a tried trued tested major 9 that will run as good as 50% of the .38 super and variants. Not to mention even the nicest 9 majors I shot friends (JL-Hardy mongoose, Milenium custom, Kodiak Precision, SVI IMM 9's, and none of them shot half as nice or tracked the dot as flat as My Brazos .38SA, my Bedell shorty .38sc, and soon my Millenium Custom hybrid gun in .38sc and .40.. People have been makin major with 147's. isnt PF the bullet weight x velocity divided by 1000 to determine PF.
To make major with a 147, you need 1125fps to make 165.37 PF. you can make major with a 125 if you can fill the case w enough powder without spilling it everywhere... thats well within saami specs.

People say they can just chuck their 9 since its so cheap. GREAT! now I gotta sift through someone elses mess of 9x19 to get to my "expensive" brass. not to mention... its littering!
The thing is... How many loads are you gonna get out of 9x19 shooting maj. PF? 3?-6?...up to ten loads before your primer pockets on the best brass loosen if the case hasn't cracked yet. I have loaded up supercomp brass maybe 20 times! (lapua, its thick!) If you can get 50% of your brass back from a match, your still loading at least 5x over w supercomp vs. the 9.

Pickin up what I'm throwin Down? YAR shoots an open glock.. a Glock will Shoot everything. they just plain out run. I dont think he tosses his brass everytime he shoots either. I wonder If I can Build an open Glock in Super???????????
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Old December 10, 2008, 02:12 PM   #10
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I know I've mentioned this before, but I'll say it again with more detail this time. Vhitavouri has load data for >1200 fps with a 147 grain bullet from a 4" barrel. The "starting load" is 1171 fps before you even work it up. Plain old 9mm brass at normal COL:

http://www.lapua.com/fileadmin/user_...deJuly2008.pdf

It's the only powder (3N38) I've ever seen that claims to accomplish this.
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Old December 10, 2008, 09:29 PM   #11
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A lot of the LE 124 gr 9mm loads run around 150 PF. The 9mm major STI/SVI guns are set up to run longer ammunition so you are getting more case volume and less pressure. I have seen HS-6, longshot, silhouette. 124gr bullets and 115. Most people are loading them to 175 PF so they are SURE they hit 165 at a chrono.

As for the poster's question, Jim Watson's post is about all you need to know.
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Old December 11, 2008, 10:04 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the info. Since I don't have much time to be reloading I think I'll just opt for 9mm minor. I have plenty of 45's that I can shoot major in (after reading the different divisions and saw what was allowed and what wasn't)

Besides, if i can shoot well with my 45 I'm sure that a 9 wouldn't be a problem and I'll get the job done a lot quicker, cheaper and will less of a pounding.
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Old December 12, 2008, 11:47 AM   #13
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there ya go

Making sense; skip Major Nine (but for the record, I've been doing so in my Witness 4.5" Nowlin non-comped barrel, and getting over thirty reloads using Speer brass cases. Just 'testing'.....).
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Old December 12, 2008, 07:16 PM   #14
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30 reloads on 9x19?

am I mistaken or did you just say you reload speer 9x19 major PF 30 times?
I take it your using the 160gr. bullet but what are using for powder? whats your OAL? I always wanted a witness open gun like Hennings. Seems like a very affordable way to get into open. you gotta pic?
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Old December 12, 2008, 08:31 PM   #15
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wrong wrong wrong

E-mail direct for load specifics.

But yep, Speer cases loaded over and over and over again.....(can you say "tight chamber"?).
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Old December 13, 2008, 10:04 AM   #16
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Weshoot2

I'm impressed! you must use the cleanest most perfect sizing dies as well! some of the guys I shoot with out here hardly even tumble their 9 brass. think that could be the culprit of looser chambers? I still like the way my dot tracks w .38sc more than all the guns I tried in 9. I like the mild pop in the hand I get out the Brazos gun with 124's and VV N-105. LOUD! but smooth, light and clean!
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