The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 31, 2013, 06:24 PM   #1
Brutus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 11, 2005
Posts: 378
9mm target loads

Managed to find some Lee 9mm carbide dies at Cabelas today also bought some 124gr. Ranier fmj bullets. So the question is what do I load them up with?
Powder is still really scarce around here but what I have on hand suitable for 9mm is:
WW231
WW WSF (never used it before but I was able to buy a can)
Universal clays
AA #7

My CZ pistols seem most accurate with 124 gr. +P factory offerings, not so much with WW white box or Federal bulk ammo would like to duplicate the premium ammo performance. Never reloaded 9mm before because ammo was cheap. In addition I'm up to the challenge of fine tuning loads for my specific pistols. Please keep in mind that powders like Tightgroup or power pistol are just not available around here.

Last edited by Brutus; September 2, 2013 at 01:21 PM.
Brutus is offline  
Old August 31, 2013, 09:32 PM   #2
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 2,281
If you have 231, today is your lucky day. Although it's a bit on the fast side for the 124's, it'll still do nicely.

Start around 4.0g's. You should be able to work up to the high 4's, maybe touch 5.0. Expect velocities to be between 900 to 1000 fps.

Not rocket-fast for 9mm, but it'll feed nicely and be a decently hot round. They'll be a good, consistent round.
__________________
If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck." -- Allen West, quoting Marine 1st Sgt Jim Reinfinger
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old August 31, 2013, 09:40 PM   #3
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 2,281
I didn't see your AA7 the first time I read it.

Now AA7 leans a bit to the slow side for 124's (I'm a "fast powder centric" loader, so you'll get some differing opinions here. This one is mine.)

But. . . you can still make some good rounds - especially if your CZ has a long barrel (5+").

Start in the 7.5g neighborhood. You can probably work up to the 8.5g or so. Because it's a slow(er) powder, you'll find it flashy. But it'll make your bullets go fast. You should be able to get them into the 1150 FPS neighborhood or so.
__________________
If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck." -- Allen West, quoting Marine 1st Sgt Jim Reinfinger
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old August 31, 2013, 09:46 PM   #4
Hammerhead
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 31, 2004
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,584
I load 9mm 124 grain plated bullets to Hodgdon's data for jacketed bullets, staying 10% below max. Universal is my choice.

Did you find Universal recently, or was it some you had?
Hammerhead is offline  
Old August 31, 2013, 10:00 PM   #5
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 2,281
To chime in again (I'm at work, so I'm doing this on-the-fly):

I have no experience with Clays or WSF - so I'm leaving them be.

If it were me loading, I would save the AA7 for 147 grain bullets, and load the 231. 231 won't give you the max velocity, but it will yield a good, consistent, clean burning round. Although 231 is fast and is best suited for lighter bullets (115g) it has a way of behaving very consistent when given a little extra weight to push - that's the best way I can describe it. It's also economical to load with.
__________________
If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck." -- Allen West, quoting Marine 1st Sgt Jim Reinfinger
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old August 31, 2013, 10:48 PM   #6
OnTheFly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 9, 2007
Location: SE Nebraska
Posts: 779
If by "WSF" you are talking about Winchester Super Field, then...

In my Xdm 5.25 I load a 124gr FMJ or CMJ with 4.8 grains of Winchester Super Field. It is a recipe I got from a fellow USPSA competitor and instructor. I load the rounds with a pretty short OAL of 1.12" if I remember correctly.

I chronoed the rounds and came up with a power factor (per USPSA) in the low 130's. Then shot the Area3 match and their chrono came up with nearly identical numbers.

It has worked great for me.

Fly
__________________
I told my wife I was scheduling a mid-life crisis. It was either a Harley or guns. Secretly, I've already decided on guns. :-)

Bang... Bang... Bang...
OnTheFly is offline  
Old September 1, 2013, 02:30 AM   #7
Brutus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 11, 2005
Posts: 378
Generally use Universal clays for 12 gauge trap loads but given the powder shortage I've been hoarding it for .44 mag and .45 Colt target loads in lieu of finding some Unique which is my old standard.
Brutus is offline  
Old September 1, 2013, 09:24 AM   #8
voneric73
Junior Member
 
Join Date: August 13, 2013
Posts: 1
4.5 grains of winchester 231 and 124 grains lead rn works great in a smith m&p
voneric73 is offline  
Old September 1, 2013, 03:53 PM   #9
Brutus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 11, 2005
Posts: 378
Well I just got back from the range where I tried 2 new recipes with the 124gr. Rainier FMJ. bullets.
Both loads utilized Federal once fired brass a 1.155 overall length, and the same crimp. First load was 7.8gr. of AA#7 for an advertised velocity of 1120 fps. Second load was 5.0gr. of Winchester WSF for around 1065fps.( No coronagraph as I was at an indoor range. ) Both loads functioned flawlessly with no failures of any kind. Groups for both loads were a marked 25% improvement on WWB or Federal 115gr. bulk ammo. The AA#7 loads had a slight edge in the accuracy dept . but not by much. These 2 pistols ( CZ 85 Combat and a PCR) seem to thrive on hot 124gr. loads. Didn't achieve the level of accuracy I seem to get with the Premium factory +P offerings but I'm just getting started and these are plated bullets. Groups measured 2.5 to 3" at 30ft. not counting the occasional flyer from yours truly. Really liked the WSF powder it had less recoil and muzzle flash than AA#7 and seems comparable to Power pistol.
Well that's all for now, thanks for your interest
Brutus is offline  
Old September 1, 2013, 04:10 PM   #10
Clark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 4, 1999
Location: WA, the ever blue state
Posts: 3,081
Most any pistol powder works well with 9mm.

I would advise tuning the load to the recoil spring or tuning the recoil spring to the load.

You want the brass to land 5 feet away.

A) Any less and the load is too wimpy or the spring is too stiff.
You risk a stove pipe jam.

B) Any more and the load is too hot or the spring is to soft.
You risk the slide slamming into the frame that sends a shock wave through the gun and your hand.

I have loaded so hot with a low mass slide and wimpy recoil spring that the ejected case bounced off a wall and came back and cut me. Don't do that.
__________________
The word 'forum" does not mean "not criticizing books."
"Ad hominem fallacy" is not the same as point by point criticism of books. If you bought the book, and believe it all, it may FEEL like an ad hominem attack, but you might strive to accept other points of view may exist.
Are we a nation of competing ideas, or a nation of forced conformity of thought?
Clark is offline  
Old September 1, 2013, 09:31 PM   #11
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 2,281
Quote:
I have loaded so hot with a low mass slide and wimpy recoil spring that the ejected case bounced off a wall and came back and cut me. Don't do that.
"Don't do that." <-- That was a nice touch lol.
__________________
If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck." -- Allen West, quoting Marine 1st Sgt Jim Reinfinger
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old September 1, 2013, 10:19 PM   #12
wpsdlrg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 18, 2009
Posts: 471
With any 124 gr. jacketed bullets, my 9's love 4.5 - 4.8 grains of HP-38/ W231 (same powder).
wpsdlrg is offline  
Old September 1, 2013, 11:26 PM   #13
Pilot
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 21, 2000
Posts: 3,692
I've used HP-38/W231 a lot in the past for 9MM. For the last couple of years I have switched to Titegroup, and have been satisfied with the results. It is a economical powder, but you do have to stay within the load data closely. From what I read it is not as forgiving as some other powders, but I've never had issues with it, but I load for lighter to mid range loads.
__________________
Pilot

Last edited by Pilot; September 2, 2013 at 11:30 AM.
Pilot is offline  
Old September 2, 2013, 07:11 AM   #14
Brutus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 11, 2005
Posts: 378
I'd love to try some tightgroup but right now you have to use what you can get you're hands on. 1 can of WSf and 1 can of AA#7 is all I've seen in the last 9 months.
Brutus is offline  
Old September 2, 2013, 10:55 AM   #15
Colorado-Shooter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: August 13, 2008
Posts: 10
I've found 4.5 grains of Universal to outstanding with 124 grain Xtreme plated bullets.

I also use 5.3 grains of Unique with the same bullet, its a close second.
Colorado-Shooter is offline  
Old September 2, 2013, 12:31 PM   #16
Swampman1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 17, 2013
Location: South Louisiana
Posts: 411
Quote:
With any 124 gr. jacketed bullets, my 9's love 4.5 - 4.8 grains of HP-38/ W231 (same powder)
Glad you posted that, I was just going to ask about a good load for 124 gr FMJ 9mm, using HP-38
Swampman1 is offline  
Old September 5, 2013, 07:37 AM   #17
Brutus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 11, 2005
Posts: 378
Getting ready for some more range time this weekend.
This time I will try 50 rounds with 4.7gr. of universal and 50 with 4.2gr. of 231. In all of my loading manuals the highest loading listed for 124gr. bullets using 231 is 4.0/4.5gr. (speer#14 and #13). Wondering where Wpsdlrg found the:
Quote:
With any 124 gr. jacketed bullets, my 9's love 4.5 - 4.8 grains of HP-38/ W231 (same powder).
and is it considered a +P load?
__________________
To a man with only a hammer everything looks like a nail.
Brutus is offline  
Old September 5, 2013, 10:11 PM   #18
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 2,281
Yeah Speer maxes at 4.5g. Sierra maxes at 5.1g (125g bullet - close enough). I would only exceed 4.5g with caution and make sure it's working okay for MY gun.

I use AA5 for 124's anyway. It's a little slower and a little more forgiving. My go-to 124g recipe is 6.1g AA5. I may move that up a little with some further testing. Maybe.

I save my precious 231 for my .45 ACP lol.
__________________
If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck." -- Allen West, quoting Marine 1st Sgt Jim Reinfinger
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old September 5, 2013, 10:51 PM   #19
Nick_C_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2013
Location: Taxifornia
Posts: 2,281
Make no mistake:

231 (HP38) is NOT the powder to go playing how-high-can-I-load-it-up games with.

I've been loading for decades. And 231 has been a big part of my loading experience. It's great powder - one of the best at what it does. If I could only load with one powder from now 'till the end of my days, I'd choose 231 (although it sux in 357 Mag - but that's another post lol).

As a loader, what you do with 231 is find a recipe that chronographs consistently, burns clean, and is accurate (if it does the first two, it'll do the last one). It tends to have a broad window of where it works well, so achieving this goal is rarely difficult. Once you find that load recipe - you leave it alone. Then load ammo to that recipe as needed.

What you don't want to do is go loading 231 in search of its upper pressure limits - it WILL bite you. 231 can develop a sharp pressure curve with little warning - especially with 9mm.

9mm has the added problem of cartridge volume variance. If you're playing with high pressures and not sorting by headstamp, you're setting yourself up for a damaged gun (or worse).
__________________
If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck." -- Allen West, quoting Marine 1st Sgt Jim Reinfinger
Nick_C_S is offline  
Old September 6, 2013, 05:40 AM   #20
Brutus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 11, 2005
Posts: 378
Since I'm using 124gr. plated Rainiers I intend to keep velocities under 1200fps. I was just curious as to where that data came from and for what bullet.
__________________
To a man with only a hammer everything looks like a nail.
Brutus is offline  
Old September 6, 2013, 07:12 AM   #21
Revoltella
Junior member
 
Join Date: August 7, 2013
Posts: 198
When I loaded 124gr Rainier RN, I used 5.0gr of WSF at 1.169 OAL with good success.

I only load 147gr 9mm now.
Revoltella is offline  
Old September 6, 2013, 08:05 AM   #22
Brutus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 11, 2005
Posts: 378
Thanks for the reply Revoltalla,
I tried that recipe on my first go around with the only difference being a
1.155o/a compared to you're 1.169o/a. Advertised velocity was somewhere around 1065fps. Really liked the powder but it was slightly less accurate than the AA#7 load I also tried. Haven't reloaded 9mm for over 30 years, just got back into it because of escalating ammo cost and the less than stellar performance of the commercial bulk offerings available. Just curious to know if you ever chornographed that load and what pistol are you shooting?
Load data is sparse for WSF powder all I've been able to find is
Hodgden website: 4.7 @1015fps. and 5.3@1115fps.
Speer #14 lists it but for some reason they skipped 124gr. bullets and list only for 115gr. and 147gr.
__________________
To a man with only a hammer everything looks like a nail.

Last edited by Brutus; September 6, 2013 at 08:15 AM.
Brutus is offline  
Old September 6, 2013, 08:08 AM   #23
TimSr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 8, 2013
Location: Rittman, Ohio
Posts: 616
Somebody gave me some WSF, and it worked pretty well for mild loads. I think I was at 4.5gr before they would eject properly. I was using cast bullets.

When it comes to 9mm accurracy, I've found Blue Dot to be untouchable. It works very well, and burns clean in applications where the case has no excess capacity which makes 9mm a great place to use it. I ended up at 8.0gr, again, with cast bullets.

I also got acceptable results from Unique, and got results I was not impressed with using Bullseye.
TimSr is offline  
Old September 6, 2013, 08:23 AM   #24
Brutus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 11, 2005
Posts: 378
Well thanks a lot Timsr now I can add bluedot to the list of powders I can't get my hands on like Unique, power pistol, AA#5, tight group, ww231, hp-38.
Pretty soon I will be inquiring about 9mm recipes using 3031.
Buy the way are you casting your own bullets or buying commercial?
If your buying what brand?
__________________
To a man with only a hammer everything looks like a nail.

Last edited by Brutus; September 6, 2013 at 08:29 AM.
Brutus is offline  
Old September 6, 2013, 02:52 PM   #25
57K
Junior member
 
Join Date: March 2, 2013
Location: Heart of Texas
Posts: 788
Yeah, a lot of powders can be used to load 9mm, but if your looking for high velocity loads capable of +P, the field narrows pretty quickly. W231, Universal, WSF and AA#7 will all work for loading 9mm in general, but AA#7 is easily the best powder that you have for high velocity loads. Also, be aware that CZ 9mm's have short throats and while a 1.155" OACL may have worked for an FMJ style plated bullet, your JHP loads will need a shorter OACL. Most plated bullet makers recommend that you don't exceed 1200 FPS, but that's fast enough to eliminate all of your powders except AA#7. I certainly don't understand why you would want to use TiteGroup. It's a very fast burning powder that I would never use in high pressure cartridges like the 9mm, especially if you're after high velocity.

Medium/Medium slow burners are the way to go. I only load JHPs in 9mm and I push them to +P velocity because when I started handloading, SAAMI hadn't yet reduced the 9mm's pressure rating to 35,000 PSI/33,000 CUP. The previous pressure Max. was 35,700 CUP which is close to SAAMI's current Max. for +P at 38,500 PSI and it had existed since the 9mm was introduced in 1902. I never saw any reason to change, but finding +P data for 9mm today? Good luck. You also need to know how to determine the proper OACL for YOUR pistol. I use a lot of the Rem. standard 124 gr. JHPs, not Golden Sabers, and in my P-01 the longest possible OACL is 1.127", so I load them to 1.122" to allow .005" of freebore for the bullet "jump."

Unless you really understand what you're doing, I wouldn't advise you to attempt +P loading. A chrongraph is mandatory and so is an understanding of powders that most don't posses and as you can already see, most posters tend to recommend their personal favorite without necessarily understanding its limitations. One of the ways I determine a powder's suitability for high velocity or +P type loads is to look at the powders that IPSC shooters use to make Major 9. I don't load Major 9 and very specific pistols are used for the loads. But, there is a common theme, only powders with excellent pressure stability can be used for such high pressure/velocity loads. Using the same powders for high velocity 9mm up to +P will keep you out of trouble as will a suitably long OACL. The most common powders that you'll see 9mm Major loaders using are Silhouette, HS-6, V-V 3N37 and True Blue. Personally, I use Silhouette because I load my own defense loads and Silhouette is treated to have very low flash. It and 3N37 are so close in performance that there's no real need to pay the extra for 3N37. True Blue is also a very good choice and comes by low flash naturally. It's also a very dense ball type powder that meters like hour glass sand. It is every bit as universal in application for loading all handgun cartridges as Unique while it meters night and day better and burns cleaner. If the day comes where we can only have 1 handgun propellant, it would be True Blue for all of my handgun loading. Both Silhouette and True Blue excel in the .40 S&W and I use them both in .45 ACP loads as well, depending on the intended purpose.

AA#7 does well with 124 gr. Jacketed bullets but excels with 147s.

Last edited by 57K; September 6, 2013 at 03:05 PM.
57K is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:39 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13698 seconds with 9 queries