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Old August 26, 2012, 11:07 AM   #1
sfhurst
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9mm Match Ammo Loads

I am new to 9mm in competition. I shoot .45 NM in a lot of local matches, but just to spice things up thought I would try an M9 in CMP matches. It seems the "normal" bullet for 9mm Lugar is a 115gr, RN, FMJ. When I look at what is billed as match ammo I notice (like Corbon) the bullets used are MUCH heavier - like 147gr. On the other hand, Sierra's Load Manual say their most accurate load is with a 95gr FMJ pushed by 5gr of Bullseye.

What bullet/powder combos have others used?
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Old August 26, 2012, 11:31 AM   #2
jwrowland77
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I've been using a 115 FMJ-RN over 5.9 of Unique. Coming up this next month, Im going to be trying a 115 FMJ-RN over 4.0 of Titegroup. I shoot Steel Challenge, so all I have to hear is the ding of the steel plate.
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Old August 26, 2012, 11:41 AM   #3
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In loaded rounds, lots of folks are using the ASYM "practical match"... heavy bullet, fast VV powder... very soft shooting. Another is Federal 147 subsonic.

For a reload, try VihtaVuori N330 or Titegroup under a 147/148 gr plated bullet (Rainier or Berry's)... at about 800 fps.

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Old August 26, 2012, 01:36 PM   #4
Gerry
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I use Lyman mold #356637 which drops a 156 grain bullet (WW lead) with 2.9 grains of VihtaVuori N320. It's like shooting butter through a straw.

I've never heard of anyone shooting 115gr for match grade ammo before. Try a heavier bullet with a fast burning powder instead. You'll be pleasantly surprised.
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Old August 26, 2012, 01:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
It's like shooting butter through a straw.
Now there's a new analogy.
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Old August 26, 2012, 02:00 PM   #6
Gerry
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Quote:
Now there's a new analogy.
Hey, not that I've ever shot butter through a straw before. As everyone in the world knows, that's illegal in Canada. Eye injuries have been documented from such pranks!

In all seriousness, the load I mentioned is just over 130 power factor. With 3.1 grains of N320, we chrono'd them at just a bit under 900fps or 140 power factor! They still felt soft out of a CZ Shadow even at that excessive speed.
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Old August 26, 2012, 02:36 PM   #7
Creeper
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Never tried a 156 gr lead bullet in 9mm... but I've loaded bazillions of the VV330/147 gr combo. Super soft shooting at around 840 fps... but cycles in any pistol I've tried it in... so far.
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Old August 26, 2012, 07:16 PM   #8
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I'm thinking about stepping up in bullet weight. At minimum a 124gr. I just don't have time to work it up before next match. I've never shot a 124 or 147 out of my nine before.
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Old August 26, 2012, 08:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
I'm thinking about stepping up in bullet weight. At minimum a 124gr. I just don't have time to work it up before next match. I've never shot a 124 or 147 out of my nine before.
I've been shooting the Berry's 124 gr. HBRN-TP bullet for awhile now and like it very much. Due to the hollow base the bullet is longer and gives more bearing surface for better accuracy plus the new thick plating allow you to shoot it at Max. velocity if need. I use 5 to 5.5 grs. of Power Pistol in my loads.

I also shoot 147 gr. cast with 4.5 grs. Power Pistol it's a soft shooting load and accuracy is on par with the 124 plated bullets. I don't shoot matches just a couple 6" dia. steel plate swingers in the back yard range at about 20 yds. every couple weeks.
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Old August 26, 2012, 09:17 PM   #10
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The whole idea of either the 9x19 or the M92 being accurate is so funny.
Maybe, and I do mean maybe, the S&W 952 might get there, but the M92 seems like an accuracy nightmare to work on.
I have four .38 Supers and EVERY one of them will shoot groups under 2" at 25 yards all day, every day. I have nine 9x19s and not a single one of them will stay under 3" at 25 yards for more than an occasional group or two.
To even begin to get any accuracy from the 9x19, you have to size and sort all your brass by length. Only those cases that are 0.750-0.754" will be capable of any sort of accuracy. The shorter cases will have excess head space and the rounds are slightly crooked in the chamber. Thus, I could see a Bullseye shooter buying 50k once fired cases and sorting them all by head stamp (I have never seen any indication that this does any good in a pistol) and by sized length until he/she has enough cases of the length and head stamp they find "best." The time and effort for all this seems rather pointless just to shoot a severely modified service pistol and 9x19 in matches, when a $1500 used wadgun could do as well or better.
I have NEVER found a round nose, whether FMJ or L-RN to be close to as accurate as a JHP or L-SWC (this is from .32 to .45, with most stops in between). However, they are more aerodynamic, so they might be better out at 100 yards or so.
I like Zero 121 .38 Super JHP and MG 124gn .355 JHP in 9x19 and .38 Super for accuracy. My 9x19s do not shoot 147gn bullets as well as these JHPs or 115gn or 124gn L-SWCs. The heavy bullets are good enough for blasting plates and action pistol, but they ARE NOT accurate. I really think you need a faster twist for the heavy bullets, particularly if you want 50 yard accuracy (not even counting how little powder volume remains and how close to the edge of KB such a massively heavy bullet is in such a small case).
Also, I find that in many, many cases, a 0.356-0.357" jacketed bullet will be more accurate than the same company's 0.355" bullet. Maybe because of the extra 0.001-0.002" of case diameter to align with the chamber. Maybe due to better barrel fit or who knows why.
The thing is, to get an accurate 9x19 takes a LOT more work than to get an accurate .38 Super or almost any other cartridge (other than an accurate .380 Auto). I suppose any cartridge can be accurate, but the 9x91 may really need a complete re-work of chamber and barrel dimensions, including rifling rate.
So, I expect that 9x19 may become popular in Bullseye Service matches, but it will take several hundred thousand dollars of work by many different 'smiths to get any where close to a standard 1911 in .45 Auto. At least we have over 100 years of gunsmith knowledge of making an accurate pistil to help, so I may be overly pessimistic.
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Old August 26, 2012, 09:22 PM   #11
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I normally sort all my headstamps, along with weighing them to put them in to like groups. I also trim all my cases to ensure they are all the same length. I've never had any issues with my 9x19 as far as accuracy goes.
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Old August 27, 2012, 09:49 AM   #12
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"I am new to 9mm in competition. I shoot .45 NM in a lot of local matches, but just to spice things up thought I would try an M9 in CMP matches."

I think if you're focusing on CMP matches, you'll find that your 9mm ammo choices are limited to either 115 or 124gr. FMJ. I've found that in my stock M9, Fed. American Eagle 115FMJ is the most accurate ball ammo I've found (doing 2.5"groups at 25yds).

If you're just planning to shoot NRA bullseye, then there's alot more flexibility in loads. I like a 125gr. cast SWC over W231/HP-38 as a good economical choice for 25/50yd bullseye. My best performing loads over-all though have been 115gr Hornady XTP or 121HAP bullets over W231/HP-38 but at higher costs.
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Old August 27, 2012, 10:07 AM   #13
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holey

121g Hornady HAP
6.0g Power Pistol
CCI500 or Federal 100
New sized or used sized sorted case.
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