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Old November 28, 2012, 12:40 AM   #1
yetavon
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9mm + Tightgroup+Berrys = confusion

Kind of a newbe could use some help. I have been reloading for my Makarov for years. Monkey see monkey do education, never a problem in about 5000 rounds with a Lee aniversary set. Now have a P89 Ruger and working on reloading it. I ended up picking up Tightgroup for powder and Berrys 124 gr HBFP jacketed bullets. There seems to be limited published data for Berrys but alot of people using them. Seen loads from 3.5 to 4.8,and confused about pressures with the hollow base and OAL. Started by checking headspace at the max OAL 1.169 they fit in but dont like to feed up the clip, dropped back to 1.155 for my 1st test rounds. Pulled my dummie bullet and appears I have my seating die set right, light line where the case pressed in but not cut into the plating.
4 rounds with 3.6 Gr shot well, cases landed about 1 ft away. Next 4 with 3.8 Gr and had a sharp report,larger grouping and cases landed 2.5-3 ft away. Winchester factory rounds are landing 9-10 ft away. recoil for all 3 feel the same. Now pondering my next step, increase my load or drop my OAL?
I'm just paper target shooting for fun.
Thanks for any input, have already learned a ton and just scratched the surface.
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Old November 28, 2012, 07:39 AM   #2
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Hodgdon says a Titegroup load for a 125gr. FMJ should range from 4.1 to 4.4 grains. Berry's bullets work well at mid-level FMJ loads and below, so I would think you should be OK at about 4 grains to start, however if the gun groups well at 3.6 gr. then by all means use that. I load all my Berry's 115 gr. plated RN 9mm to 1.14", but with the flat nose on your bullets you might try something as short as 1.12" if you are having feeding problems. 1.169" is the absolute max for 9mm Parabellum and it doesn't surprise me that you have feeding problems using a HBFP bullet set to that OAL.

Next time you try Berry's, try the 115 gr. plated bullets, you will save some money and they work great for 9mm.
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Old November 28, 2012, 12:54 PM   #3
serf 'rett
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Welcome to the forum!

I don't use Titegroup, so can't help you there, but I do use the Berry’s 124 HBFP. I’ve been using these bullets for a couple of years; in fact, I’ve loaded around 3250 of them. I also use and like the Berry’s 124 HBRNTP bullets. The Flat Point version makes a cleaner hole in the IDPA targets, so it is a little easier for my poor old eyes to register hits (and misses). I like both of these hollow back bullets because the weight is forward, the bullet is longer, resulting in increased surface area of bullet to bore contact and better bullet to bore seal; all of which can produce better groups.

After I figured out an initial problem with the HBFP, it has been smooth sailing. The first cartridges I loaded with these bullets had an overall length of 1.120 inches. What I failed to notice was the 124 HBFP bullet shape is different, in that it has a “wide” tip. Those first rounds I loaded were to long for one of my pistols, a Springfield XDm, resulting in the round head spacing off the lands instead of the cartridge case mouth. I had to do a little tinkering to get my cartridge overall length right for that pistol. I used a few fired cases, tensioned as needed to grip a bullet, to determine the approximate distance to the lands in that pistol. Using a 0.015 inch set back off the lands, my final COAL came to around 1.070 inches.

You may have already checked your COAL in your pistol. If you haven’t, you need to do this to confirm the rounds are headspacing off the case mouth not the bullet nose.
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Old November 28, 2012, 01:26 PM   #4
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I've been loading the Berry's 124gr FP and like them a lot. I pretty much always load Berrys but have had to scrounge my starting data by looking at similar bullets and using online recipes from TFL and others. It's hard to know what on line data you can trust but if you hit enough sources, you start to see a pattern of what's low, high and the range in the middle.

For the 124gr FP, (I don't use the hollow back but the front profile is I think the same), you have to seat them much deeper for them to seat correctly in the barrel. The FP shortens the bullet and therefore the OAL as well and the FP also have a sharper shoulder to clear. If I want them to work in every gun, I have to go to less than 1.100 OAL (1.106 - 1.108). That's pretty short. If I for go the 5906, then I can get by with 1.120 for an OAL which isn't bad, it's only a little less internal volume than I have when I use the 115gr RN from Berrys (seated to about 1.152).

I target 1.116 OAL (+/- .002). I started with Unique around 4.8gr but wasn't 100% happy (although I love it for the 115gr). So I switched to Power Pistol and really like the results. I've been using 5.7gr of Power Pistol which is a bit on the heavy side but I am looking for punch when I'm shooting the 124gr FP (otherwise I'd just shoot the 115's). I'd back off quite a bit when starting. Of course Titegroup will be different yet (not sure how it relates to Power Pistol or Unique).
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Old November 28, 2012, 01:30 PM   #5
serf 'rett
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Not the same powder..

..nope, one of the powders I use is W-231, which is a fast burning powder like Titegroup. A fellow gave me about three pounds of W231 which was likely over 25 years old. When I tested the old W231 powder, I used R-P brass, Wolf SP primers and the Berry’s 124 grain HBFP bullet. The range I tested was 3.2 to 4.2 grains, in 0.2 grain steps. My most accurate load was at 3.6 grains. I also used the same bullet for another test with new W231 powder, R-P brass and CCI500 primers. The best group for that test was at 4.0 grains W231. Same brass, same bullet, same COAL, same 3.2 to 4.2 grain charge range, but new powder and different primer, yet different charge weights produced the best groups.

The point is simple. If you are into making custom rounds for your firearm, you may need to do more testing and tinkering to find the brass, primer, powder, length, etc., etc. which is the most accurate in your pistol(s). Shoot the targets at a set distance using a bench and supports as needed to provide a stable platform, and then compare the results. I found it very interesting to watch groups open and close with small changes in charges or components.
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Old November 28, 2012, 01:34 PM   #6
serf 'rett
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Note: your Titegroup is much faster than Unique or the even slower Power Pistol. A little Titegroup goes a long way.
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Old November 28, 2012, 02:05 PM   #7
sfchemist
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Question for serf 'rett

serf,
I'm brand new to reloading and I have a question on one of your previous comments:

"Those first rounds I loaded were to long for one of my pistols, a Springfield XDm, resulting in the round head spacing off the lands instead of the cartridge case mouth. I had to do a little tinkering to get my cartridge overall length right for that pistol. I used a few fired cases, tensioned as needed to grip a bullet, to determine the approximate distance to the lands in that pistol"

I'm not sure what you mean about the round head spacing off the lands???
Do you insert a cartridge into the barrel's breech?? And then what??

I know this is a silly question but I've heard about this headspace issue before and I'm just a little confuse. I do use a Wilson Gage which seems to work very well. Oh, I'm loading .40 for an XDM.

Thanks
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Old November 28, 2012, 06:28 PM   #8
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The Berry's 124gr HBFP bullet is my favorite 9mm projectile. I load mine to 1.100" for my P89. I do not use TG though, only N320 with HP38/W231 as a secondary option.
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Old November 28, 2012, 06:54 PM   #9
BigJimP
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Like others advised....using TiteGroup the published minimum is 4.1 grains at 1069 fps....and max is 4.4 grains at 1136 fps....

I'd suggest you not be a "chemist" and ever go below the published Minimum or Maximum...on any powder / but especially not a powder like TiteGroup that is a relatively hot powder.

Berry's are not Jacketed bullets...they're plated bullets....although they tell you to use mid-range jacketed load data ...they also tell you not to exceed 1250 fps....on their website....so I'd suggest you visit there as well.

http://www.berrysmfg.com/default.aspx?n=562957

Overall length on FP bullets can always be a feeding issue / and seating any bullet too deep in the case can significantly increase pressures.../ I'd certainly keep your loads at the published minimum of 4.1 grains until you work out the feeding issues on these bullets.
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Old November 28, 2012, 08:12 PM   #10
serf 'rett
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sfchemist - Welcome to The Firing Line forum.

I didn't want to hijack the thread with a long diatribe on headspacing so I sent you a PM (private message) and also emailed a copy.
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Old November 28, 2012, 08:15 PM   #11
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Related Question about Berry's:

I began reloading some 9mm Berry's and was told to NOT crimp the case. I never have with no problems in several hundred rounds.

Any issues with continuing without the crimp?


BTW, I really do like Berry's even though I only started using them because they had a "damaged" sale on bullets. Even with the occasional dent in the nose they work great and I'm sold on them.
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Old November 28, 2012, 10:14 PM   #12
yetavon
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Thanks for All the Input..Serf Hi-jack away..If you dont mind forward the headspacing info to me also....I checked at the max OAL with the barrel out, but not sure what my headspace is. At 1.155 I had no feed issues, and concerned about the increased pressures seating deeper, or do I have decreased pressure due to the hollow base? With the input and info from you guys I'll stay at 3.8 and work my OAL back before increasing my charge.
I am beginning to believe TG was not the best choice in powder,and yes alittle goes a long way.. Liked everything I've read about the Berrys, but it seems its about 50/50 on using lead vs. mid range of jacketed data. A better seal and a longer more acurate bullet is a win win to me.
Jim, I wish I had an extra bullet for every time if been to Berrys site, and the min powder charge for each one to Hodgens . I started at the min for cast and feared a squib on my 1st shot after the ejected shell went only a foot away.
Goet, From what I understand they should be crimped but very lightly. All I used was the Lee seating die, and noted the crimp line after pulling the bullet on my headspace check.I have bought the FCD but not used it. never used one for my Makarov.
Just for info I'm using once fired PPU brass and WSP primers.
Again thanks, I'm learning a ton of stuff, from here, the net and from the Lee "promotional" loading manual.
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Old November 28, 2012, 10:20 PM   #13
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serf,

Thanks a lot for the info, it's going to take me a while to digest the information but I'm starting to get a handle on things. Appreciate the help as I'm having some Berry's plated bullets delivered and I want to be very careful with these as I've only used Jacketed bullets in the past.
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Old November 28, 2012, 10:47 PM   #14
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I’m kind of lazy when it comes to 9mm loads. 115 or 124 grain bullets. Jacketed or lead. I use 4.0 grains of Titegroup for them all. Works flawlessly in my Beretta 92FS.

Same for .45acp. 200 grain LSWC or 230 grain ball. 4.0 grains of Titegroup.
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Old November 29, 2012, 04:29 AM   #15
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I use Berry2 124 gr, but in RN. 4.1 gr. Titegroup at 1.16 OAL. Haven't had a function or firing problem in any pistol I've tried it in. About 3000 rounds so far.
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Old November 29, 2012, 03:32 PM   #16
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Berry's tell you to use low to mid range jacketed data.....not cast bullet data....so going that low is not adviseable.
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Old November 29, 2012, 06:23 PM   #17
serf 'rett
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Shown below is the information I sent to sfchemist’s questions:

Quote:
resulting in the round head spacing off the lands instead of the cartridge case mouth
In a pure definition of headspace my above statement may open to debate about whether it is technically correct. In simple terms, headspace is the distance from the face of the bolt to the chamber datum which prevents further forward movement of the cartridge. In a rimless pistol, such as 9mm, 40S&W or 45ACP, the datum is supposed to be the edge of the chamber counter bore on which the mouth of the cartridge case will come to rest. Technically speaking, as I understand it, your pistol headspace would be the distance between the pistol bolt (or we could say slide) face and the internal “lip” which stops round.

My problem was simply that the bullet was coming into contact with lands (or some may say grooves) in the barrel just beyond the chamber. The cartridge case mouths were not in contact with chamber counter bore, as they should be, since the bullet contacted the lands first. I didn’t have this problem with round nose bullets, only with the 124 grain flat point bullets.

I don’t own one, but I think the Wilson Pistol Max gauge will measure case length, max chamber dimensions, and max length of loaded round. I don’t think it would help to determine whether a particular bullet profile will come in contact with the lands of a particular barrel. For example, the Berry’s 124 grain HBFP bullet, loaded to a COAL of 1.120 inches, was contacting the lands in my Springfield XDm barrel but did not contact the “lands” in my Kahr polygonal barrel; therefore, I could build longer cartridges for use in the Kahr. The Wilson gauge would tell me if I exceeded the 9mm maximum of 1.169 inches, but wouldn’t help since I had started at 1.120 inches.

Quote:
Do you insert a cartridge into the barrel's breech?? And then what??
My country boy method is to take several empty (fired) cases and measure their length. I will make sure a bullet can be inserted yet will be held in place by case tension. I push the bullet and case into the barrel with thumb pressure until the case stops moving. Then I remove them and measure the overall length. I normally use a little overkill in this procedure, by using 5 cases, 5 bullets and 5 insertions per case/bullet combination for a total of 25 measurements. Care must be taken because sometimes the bullet can bind in the lands, yielding an over length error. Or sometimes the bullet can be pushed farther into the case resulting in an under length error. Ultimately, the OAL measurements made with the shortest case will become the control that I use to calculate the target final length. I decide how much I want the bullet spaced off the lands, generally in the range of 0.005 to 0.015 inches, and subtract that amount from the average OAL length measurements made with the shortest case.

I can also use the measurement data to calculate the average length of bullet projecting from the case mouth to the bullet tip. That bullet projection distance would be reduced by the amount I wanted to move the bullet back from the lands. Cartridges could then be built around using the bullet projection as the control point; however, doing this would make it necessary to trim pistol cases to obtain consistent OAL. I have no desire to trim pistol cases.

All of the above discussion relates to rimless pistol cases. It does not apply to rifle cases…they are a whole different kettle of fish.
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Old November 29, 2012, 09:01 PM   #18
yetavon
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Jim Thanks for your input....But Berrys site has been part of the confusion to be honest.
quoting them.
http://www.berrysmfg.com/faq-q9-c1-H...d_Bullets.aspx
"...we have found best results using low- to mid-range jacketed data in the load manual. You MUST use data for a bullet that has the SAME WEIGHT AND PROFILE as the one you are loading."
Very clear...but how many other 124 Gr HBFP bullets are there...jacketed or not?
They go on to state....
"Do not EXCEED mid-range loads"
CLEAR
Then they say...
http://www.berrysmfg.com/faq-q21-c1-...d_Bullets.aspx
"We recommend using hard cast load data or START with mid-range jacketed data..."
So I can start at but not exceed mid range jacketed loads????
"...our plated bullet has the same pressure curve as a hard cast bullet, the PUBLISHED cast data will be very close to what you will get..."

Hodgdon only lists 2 loads for Tightgroup that are close
125 GR. LCN start 3.6 max 4.0
125 GR. SIE FMJ start 4.1 max 4.4
so my range should be 3.6 to 4.25?

I have loaded around 5000 rounds of my Makarov since 96...was shown how by a friend (RIP JT) and just changed nothing....I have had no problems...but In researching info to load the luger I have both scared and educated myself.
My 9x18 load is .4 grains (all most 10%) over max of any data I can find

Last edited by yetavon; November 29, 2012 at 09:10 PM.
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Old November 29, 2012, 11:03 PM   #19
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Welcome to the forum.

In general I concur with most of your last post, but follow me in the logic of evaluating the data if you will.

From Berry's website, as I am sure you have read....
""Plated bullets occupy a position between cast bullets and jacketed bullets. They are soft lead, but have a hard outer shell on them. When loading plated bullets we have found best results using low- to mid-range jacketed data in the load manual. You must use data for a bullet that has the same weight and profile as the one you are loading. Do not exceed mid-range loads. Do not use magnum loads. ""

In general terms that means you should be using the low to mid data for 124g FMJ loads or the slightly above min to max range for lead bullets is typically a good recommendation. The two ranges overlap for use with plated bullets. Close bullet weights (a couple or five grains) in load data can be used to determine a reasonable start point.

From the Hodgdon site I see, and you should verify:
125 GR. LCN Titegroup min 3.6 max 4.0
125 GR. SIE FMJ Titegroup min 4.1 max 4.4
The prudent middle ground would be around 3.6-3.8 to 4.0 load, maybe up to 4.2 <but dont start there.

More importantly and perhaps you missed it, the Hodgdon website lists :
130 GR. BERB RN Titegroup min 3.5 max 3.9
I believe if you contacted Berry's they would help you confirm that this listing is for their bullet which is very close to the bullet you have. This range is consistent with what is noted above. The only kicker is your bullet is a HB which means you should err on the low side of a safe min starting out. Which is somewhat addressed by the fact your bullet is 124g versus this 130g.

This tells me you are on the right track with your initial loads. I would consider a different powder if next time, but would not hesitate to work with the Titegroup while you have it.
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Old November 30, 2012, 04:06 PM   #20
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Everything is subject to some interpretation Yetavon....

but while they say "hard cast loads" to mid range jacketed....I'm not confident that theHodgdon loads for LRN are really considered "hard cast" loads...so my interpretation is you should only go to mid-jacketed range ....to 4.2 grains....and with your min for jacketed at 4.1.../ I would then consider 4.2 as your "max" with a Berry's bullet.

So I think the range is 4.1 or 4.2 ...and with this 4.2 grain load, in the books giving you a velocity of 4.1grains at 1069 fps....and 4.4gr at 1136 fps...4.2 will give you a velocity of about 1091 fps probably.../ but the point is, you're under the velocity recommendation from Berry's - so that's good. I know I'm making some assumptions on the velocity being strictly linear...but even at the high end of jacketed bullet data, you're still under what Berry's tells you is their max velocity.

So I would adjust my press to drop 4.2 grains .../ maybe just a few hundreths lighter....but I wouldn't want anything at 4.3 or higher.../ or anything below 4.1...and TiteGroup drops so accurately, at least in my Dillon 650, that getting it right at 4.2 should not be a big deal.
--------------
Anyway, that's how I rationalize these tables....while I say 4.2 ought to be your load, I do I think setting your "target drop" for powder at either 4.1 or 4.2 is just fine / depending on how precise your equipment is dropping powder.

TiteGroup is a good powder....but its a powder that requires attention to precision.../ it would be really easy to overcharge a case with TiteGroup. If your press does not have an installed "powder check die"...I'd be extra careful / but you can do it with good procedures.
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Old December 1, 2012, 10:29 AM   #21
yetavon
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Everything is subject to some interpretation Yetavon....

LOL yes that is so true my friend... The problem is I dont know enough to make my own interpretation, and hopefully smart enough to realize that and ask.

I do have some old green dot, and will be playing with it too...and trying the TG in my Makarov...my choice for TG and Berrys was made on 1 night of info searching...a trip was bringing me by a place so I wanted to pick up some bullets and powder...Berrys because it was the best price, TG seemed the best pistol powder...
my only regret is that I didnt more learning research and experementing when I 1st started so many years ago...
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Old December 1, 2012, 11:35 AM   #22
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Quote:
I am beginning to believe TG was not the best choice in powder,and yes alittle goes a long way..
TG isn't a bad powder for 9mm. I have shot thousands of rounds with Berry's 124 grain and TG. With a FP or HP in my Glock I load 4.2 grains and a OAL of 1.12. With my CZ I use 4.2 grains but have to change the OAL to 1.036 to get them to chamber, CZ'z are known to have a short chamber. I have used WST in 9mm also and like it better but there isn't a lot of load data for that caliber and WST.
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Old December 3, 2012, 01:30 PM   #23
BigJimP
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TiteGroup is a very good powder...as long as you realize its a low volume powder --- with minimums and maximums very close together in a lot of loads.....

.....but its only a problem if you can't get your press to drop a consistent charge.

I've switched a lot of my handguns away from TiteGroup - only because a year or so, it was hard to get for some reason....and I am now using Hodgdon Universal in all of my handgun loads from 9mm to .44 mag....and in my area, 8 lb kegs of Universal are very easy to get ...my gun club often stocks 3 or 4 of the 8 lb kegs virtually all the time ( and its a powder I also use in 20ga and 28ga shotshells ) ...

but if TiteGroup is available again, I'll go back to it...
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Old December 4, 2012, 10:32 PM   #24
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I load Titegroup and Berry's 124gr RN. My load is 3.8-4.0gr and OAL of 1.15 to make power factor for action pistol. If you take plated bullets too fast they will separate the plating from the lead.
A chrono is your friend

Last edited by tul9033; December 4, 2012 at 10:49 PM.
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