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Old July 11, 2012, 02:52 PM   #1
Stressfire
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Recipe for 9mm Para

Hi all,

Well got the press just about up and running. Ran a couple of dummy rounds to check the sizer, expander, and seater and compared to a factory round - pretty much dead on (+/- .001")

So am looking for a decent "recipe" for loading with Bullseye and 115gr Hornady FMJ. Any good ones? I would like to stay below max load for now (manual I have has 4.6-4.7 as max for Bullseye). They will primarily be used for target loads out of a Beretta 92FS

As a second question - FMJ is a bit on the pricey side. How well does cast lead perform in 9mm? Any differences in loading? Don't really want to get 500 of them just to find out that my gun hates them
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Old July 11, 2012, 03:39 PM   #2
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Bullseye is an easy powder to work with. It will safely load down to where your gun will no long cycle but works just fine at max load. Me throwing out a specific grain would just be naming a random number, I've seen max loads range from 4.3 to 5.0 for 9mm 115 FMJ.

When I was a newer reloader I also tended to shy away from max load. The honest truth is max load is only as "hot" as any practice ammo you buy off the shelf at wal-mart. I've never seen a published max load that exceeded the 9mm's 35k PSI even though +P does exactly that and is safe to shoot in essentially all modern 9mm guns. For example in Alliants 2004 manual they list 5.0 grains of bullseye as having 31k psi, well below 35k which would be perfectly safe as well. I think every reloader should stick to doing what they are comfortable with but there is nothing inherently dangerous with maximum load.

On the topic of cast bullets, they are not a one size fits all type thing like jacketed. If you want to save some money over buying FMJ bullets you could look at plated bullets like Berrys. They will use the same load data as jacketed and the 9mm can't push them fast enough to expose their imperfections. With cast it is largely a matter of what is your bore diameter at the grooves. In a perfect world every 9mm barrel would measure .355 but thats not always the case. When you shoot a .356 bullet in say a .357 barrel the accuracy can be non-existent with some bullets even key holing, trust me I've tried it.

If you have a micro meter or even a good digital caliper you could slug your bore, a quick google search will explain that process. But I'm of the opinion that if you aren't shoot huge amounts of bullets there isn't enough cost savings compared to plated bullets. Give those a try, powdervalley.com sells them for around $70 per thousand.
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Old July 11, 2012, 03:48 PM   #3
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Well, the manual I have is for load data is a 1986 Reloader's bible But, then again, it's age matches that of my press.

I got a couple freebie manufacturers' data books from my reloader supply shop. Hercules lists 4.6 as max, but the current Hornady manual lists 4.7.

I was planning to start with the standard 10% reduction and work up.

I suppose I was wanting to see if anyone had any "pet" loads that ran well in a Beretta.

Plated was a good suggestion - I was curious about those and will have to look into those
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Old July 11, 2012, 04:06 PM   #4
Adamantium
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I've got the same manual, its recommendations are fine as well.

Quote:
I suppose I was wanting to see if anyone had any "pet" loads that ran well in a Beretta.
If only reloading was so simple . The honest truth is each gun is an individual, even among the same brand and model. Really though the difference between an average load and a great load in a mass produced pistol is going to be about an inch at 25 yards. Unless you have a ransom rest or are very good shooting from a sandbag you probably won't notice the difference.
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Old July 11, 2012, 06:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
If only reloading was so simple . The honest truth is each gun is an individual, even among the same brand and model.
I figured, but thought a good place to start might be nice.

Something tells me that this hobby is going to result in more reading than actual activity...Doh!
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Old July 11, 2012, 06:26 PM   #6
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Yep - more reading, which is followed by testing and retesting until the universe comes into alignment.

Then you just got to try that new powder, bullet, primer, COAL, etc., etc. and the process starts over.

My "pet" load will likely not be what your pistol likes. In fact, I see differences between my two 9mm pistol when sending the same load configuration down range.
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Old July 11, 2012, 06:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
As a second question - FMJ is a bit on the pricey side. How well does cast lead perform in 9mm? Any differences in loading? Don't really want to get 500 of them just to find out that my gun hates them
My Hi-Power works great with lead round-nose bullets. Mostly I've been shooting kind-of heavy lead bullets with 4.5 grains of Bullseye -- I'm not going to give you the particulars because it's a +P load. The Hi-Power does not feed HP's or truncated cone bullets well. They jam up at the feed ramp. The new Walther P1 will feed anything, but I haven't found a load that it likes yet (haven't tried very hard.) I don't want to shoot my tried-and-true +P load in it because I don't want to wreck the gun.

Quote:
Something tells me that this hobby is going to result in more reading than actual activity...Doh!
It will at first; at least it should until you kind of know what you're doing.
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Old July 11, 2012, 08:44 PM   #8
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With the 115 grain lead I use 4.5 of Bullseye or Titegroup. Titegroup is cleaner and less spikey in hot weather. With a 125 lead, drop the charge to 4.0 grains.
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Old July 12, 2012, 12:05 PM   #9
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Thanks for the tips all

Will likely go "live" with powder this evening and try em out this weekend. We'll see what happens
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Old July 12, 2012, 02:27 PM   #10
tkglazie
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Quote:
How well does cast lead perform in 9mm?
Hard cast works well for me in my P89. Not much a P89 wont eat though.

I second the poster who said think about plated as well. powdervalley has good plated 9mm bullets for around 7cents by the 1000 (figure 8 cents with shipping). If you arent looking to break the 1200fps barrier I think Berry's makes an excellent projectile for the 9mm. I favor a 124gr HBFP myself.

On the other hand, if you want to stick with FMJ, Precision Delta will ship you 2000 FMJ for 8.5cents each. Depending on how much you shoot, that might be inexpensive enough to just skip the hard cast altogether.

With the good bullet prices that are available now you can shoot any of the 3 types of bullets (cast/plated/fmj) for roughly 6.5-8.5 cents a bullet. You might find a few cheaper, and can easily find more expensive, but if you are buying by the 1000 you can easily stay well under 10 cents a 9mm bullet.
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Old July 12, 2012, 02:32 PM   #11
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Well, if I went the way of cast lead I would likely be looking at Oregon Trail for their silver bullet line, but plated looks around the same price - give or take
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Old July 12, 2012, 02:53 PM   #12
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Oregon trail makes nice but seriously overpriced bullets. I shot them here and there before I got into casting and found them in no way superior to any other cheaper cast bullet.
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