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Old February 9, 2013, 11:10 AM   #1
Brian Pfleuger
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Speer Manual - 357sig Data Inquiry

I have a Load Book, copyright 2004, for 357sig. The Speer data lists their 125gr GD-HP with a starting load of AA#9 being 13.1gr and max being 14.6gr.

This starting load is over EVERYONE else's max load and their max load is... well... QuickLoad thinks it would be something like 90,000psi.

I'm curious, do they still list this load in their current manual and, if not, I wonder if anyone has the previous manual(s) in question and sees this listing?
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Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; February 9, 2013 at 06:01 PM. Reason: Pressure Correction
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Old February 9, 2013, 04:53 PM   #2
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I've got Accurate's guide from 1992, but that's not helpful for .357 Sig.
But it sure does show how much they've lowered charge weights. WOW. I like to compare their '92 charge suggestions for .357 Magnum with what they print these days. Big difference!

Most of what they've listed in their older guides all have CUP listings and it appears as though once they started PSI pressure testing -- they lowered a slew of charges.

I also have Accurate's 2003 guide and it shows data for .357 Sig. No Gold Dot bullet listed of course, but it has data for a Hornady 124gr XTP.
With a COAL of 1.140", Fed 100 primer in a Federal case:
Accurate #9, start charge of 11.7gr for est. velocity of 1,276 fps
Max charge of 13.0gr for 1,387 fps.
In this particular guide, they list niether CUP or PSI. (they did in the '92 guide?!)

All of my more current Accurate guides list the same start/max charge weight of AA#9 over a 125gr FMJ slug.
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Old February 9, 2013, 05:35 PM   #3
cryogenic419
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Speer #13 page 505 starting load 13.1, max 14.6
Speer # 14 page 862 shows the same exact charges
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Old February 9, 2013, 06:06 PM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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Well, that's really astounding.

There's no way that data could be right. 13.0gr AA9 under the 124gr bullets is the "legendary" load for the Sig. It's virtually every official source's max and it's a compressed charge, which helps prevent bullet setback.

That 14.6gr load is nearly impossible. I'm not sure you could even seat a bullet.

QuickLoad thinks it would be a 122% compressed charge.

QuickLoad seems to think AA9 is faster than most data shows but even if I adjust the burn factor of so that 13.0gr matches the max pressure, which also brings it close to the predicted velocities, it still thinks 14.6gr is between 69,000 and 75,000psi, depending on the exact bullet.

I may have to write to Speer and see what they say.
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Old February 9, 2013, 08:55 PM   #5
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Hmmm.
Kinda sounds like you have a DUTY to write to Speer!
Your best bet is Ben Amonette @ ATK. He's the guy who is first to respond to technical inquiries through the Alliant data source site.

Of course, he's an ATK guy. Maybe you'd rather find a Speer-specific guy. He might be the guy to get you the contact details you need.
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Old February 9, 2013, 09:51 PM   #6
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I know nothing about 357sig but Lee's manual shows using between 11.7gr to 13gr of Accur#9 for a 124gr XTP. With a preside of 39,100
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Old February 9, 2013, 10:13 PM   #7
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I have "Speer 13" 1998 that shows 357Sig 125 gr GD 1.135" 14.6 gr AA#9.

Quickload thinks that is 66kpsi and 111% load density.
AA#9 is a ball powder with a high bulk modulus and cannot be compressed that much.


Ramshot Enforcer appears to have some similarities with AA#9:
1) Looks like the same size little balls
2) Looks like the same black color
3) Smells the same
4) It only takes 3.6% more AA#9 to reach the threshold of loose primer pocket in a Tokarev, at one zillion psi according to QL.

So to me, they are the same within the range of what I expect from a canister powder from AA.

If I plug 14.6 gr Enforcer into Quickload, I get 46k psi
I Quickload is right in it's library about Enforcer and wrong about AA#9, then I should reduce that charge by 3.6% to get a better prediction of pressure.

That would be 38.8 kpsi.

357 Sig is SAAMI registered at 40kpsi.
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Old February 9, 2013, 11:27 PM   #8
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Interesting theory, Clark.

What version of QL are you using?
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Old February 10, 2013, 04:48 AM   #9
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Brian,
My Speer #13 lists the same.

My Lee manual bought at the same time (copyright 1997, reprint 2000) doesn't list #9. But here is a comparison for #7

Speer
125 Gr GD or TMJ AA #7
11.1 12.3

Lee
124 Gr jacketed AA #7
10.5 11.0
AND Lee has the COL +.005 versus Speer

I've been chewing on these for awhile as I'm waiting on some bullets to reload my 357 sig. Let us know what you find out.
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Old February 10, 2013, 02:44 PM   #10
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I have V.3.4
see corrections in my next post


NECO sells me updates, and I bought another QL copy for the computer where I hunt.
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Last edited by Clark; February 10, 2013 at 05:23 PM.
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Old February 10, 2013, 02:54 PM   #11
Brian Pfleuger
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I've got version 3.6 and get slightly different numbers than you.

14.6gr AA9 gives me between 69 and 75k psi, depending on which listed Speer GD I pick, between 119 and 122% compression.

14.6gr Enforcer gives me between 58k and 63k, at between 125 and 128% compression.

Even if you're pressure theory were correct, I can't see fitting that much powder in the case, under ordinary rules.
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Old February 10, 2013, 03:06 PM   #12
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13.1 grns of AA9 with a 125 GDHP is a mild load according to my notes. It is not that hot actually.

13.1 grns of aa9 with a 125 Speer tmj does 1361 out of my 229 sport, 12.0 grns does 1240

As a comment, scanning my reloading data, I tend to load most of my data with 13.1 grns of AA9 with a 124/125 grn bullet of some type. All of the chrono data is right around 1350 to 1370.

I consider it a pretty fun plinking load. Nothing really hot. AA9 is my standard power for the sig and I have now shot over 10,111 rounds of the stuff. AA9 is great because it does not compress and you basically seat the bullet in the powder so no setback worries. I bought 4 more lbs of AA9 about 2 weeks back just to load more sig. I am currently "out".
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Old February 10, 2013, 05:11 PM   #13
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Brian Pfleuger,

I am sorry, I was wrong, when my QL comes up the title says V3.4

But I paid for the V 3.6 update on 9/27/2010
I paid for V 3.6.2 update on 9/24/2012

Evidently the updates add info to the library about new powder and bullets, but do not change the title header when the software starts up.
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Old February 10, 2013, 06:03 PM   #14
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I ran QL, calibrating the case volume against Speer's 125 GDHP bullet at their supposed speeds from their 4" SIG 229 test barrel.
I matched velocties for the 13.1gr load of 1,287fps by using Case Vol =22.5gr(H2O)

Using that same case volume, I the ran a 14.6gr load, which at 1,421fps pretty well matched Speer's predicted 1,437.
.
.
.
.
.
Then again, Accurate does max their own load for #9 at 13.0gr...... (?)

Last edited by mehavey; February 10, 2013 at 06:21 PM.
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Old February 10, 2013, 06:41 PM   #15
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22.5gr case capacity would be almost impossibly high.

I have cases head stamped GFL, Winchester and Speer, with some nickel and mostly brass. The highest capacity I've ever measured is 19.7gr.
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Old February 10, 2013, 07:35 PM   #16
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Of course it is.
(But then we know that QL occasionally does strange things w/ straight walls -- which
requires case volume adjustment beyond p[hysical dimension to correct the internal
ballistics, and the SIG is definitely a strange case in that regard) <g>

I'd try the low load -- 13.1gr -- and see what the velocity looks like,... then decide on
the next step. (My usual methodology to be sure.)
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Old February 10, 2013, 07:36 PM   #17
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One thing to consider about the 13.0 grain load is that it is for a Hornady 124 grain XTP-HP. They are longer and I think harder than the Speer Gold Dot 125 grain bullets. So, pressures may be somewhat different.

Also, has anybody checked on the primers used in the two data sets? Using magnum primers would probably make quite a difference.

Accurate had at one point used standard primers for many of their AA-9 loads, but switched to magnum primers for several cartridges because of concerns about substitutions by handloaders. I know that happened with the .357 S&W Magnum, but I don't know about the 357 Sig loads without looking at the manuals, which are not at my current location.

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Old February 10, 2013, 10:07 PM   #18
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The Speer data shows CCI 500 (standard SP) primers and Speer brand cases, which measure 19.7gr H20 in my gun.

I'm not loading #9 anyway, I just ran across the data while browsing for ideas.

They do show a different bullet part # than is current but it's hard to believe that would make that much difference.

I still don't think you could get 14.6gr in there, unless you compress the powder with a dowel and resize the finished round.

Incidentally, Accurate's data for 130gr Sierra bullets (130gr? WTH?), stops at 12.0gr. They don't even get to 14.6gr with 100gr bullets.
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Old February 11, 2013, 11:33 AM   #19
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Compressing powder is something I have done.
For real hard compression, I put a pin gauge in a collet bullet puller die.
I do that because a bullet would yield under that much pressure and expand in diameter.
The powder may then expand the brass from hard compression.
So I resize the loaded ammo.
The cartridge must be able to fall into and fall out of the chamber or a huge pressure spike will result.

But even with a hardened steel pin gauge, AA#9 [a ball powder] is not going to compress enough to notice.

800X is flakes and it will compress over 50%.
AA#9 is little balls, and it will not compress enough for me to measure.
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Old February 12, 2013, 03:35 PM   #20
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Brian,

I have been playing around with QuickLOAD to see what I can find-out about this question. There seem to be two parts to it. First, is it possible to get 14.6 grains of AA #9 into a 357 Sig case under the Speer 125 grain GDHP? Second, if you can, what would the pressure be?

I used the current Speer and Hornady loading manuals for the 357 Sig 124 grain XTP and 125 grain GDHP data. In Xcell, I plotted all of the data for the powders that appeared in BOTH manuals, showing velocity vs charge weight. (Unfortunately, AA #9 is not in the Hornady manual for this bullet in this cartridge.) Generally, for a given powder, the two sets of data created lines with the same slope that were off-set a little bit left or right, probably due to different lots of the powder being used in the different labs.

For AA #7, the two data sets plot as nearly a single straight line. But, Speer data goes higher (as with all of the other powders, as well). However, if I use QuickLOAD default values, I get a line that is above the actual data line by quite a bit. If I adjust the case volume in QuickLOAD to 20.80 grains of water, the QuickLOAD velocity vs charge results match the actual data very well.

Now, if I use the same case volume for AA#9, I get a load density of 101.6% with 50,582 psi and 1544 fps. So, for a case that big, QuickLoad thinks the powder will come close to fitting, but still would need a "Ba" adjustment to get pressure and velocity to match the data.

So, there is still the question about getting the powder into the case. You wrote that the largest case capacity that you have measured is 19.7 grains of water. But, the 357 Sig case changes shape a lot when it is fired, with the shoulder moving forward substantially and the whole case getting shorter.

So, I need a little more info about your case volume measurements. First, what is the capacity after it is fired, before resizing, and what is the UNSIZED length of the case used to measure that capacity. Next, what is the capacity and length of the same case after it has been sized to fit your gun?

I do not have any experience with AA #9, but I do with other fine-grained ball powers, and I find that I can fit significantly more powder into a given volume if I tap the container to settle the powder. Bulk densities greater than 1 grain of powder per grain of water capacity have been achieved without putting physical pressure on the powder charge. So, with QuickLOAD giving a powder space of 14.545 grains of H2O under the Speer bullet (with the case capacity adjusted to 20.8 grains), getting 14.6 grains of AA #9 into the case may not be such an impossible task, IF the real capacity is anywhere near that value.

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Old February 12, 2013, 04:02 PM   #21
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Steve,

I'll have to get back to you with some actual numbers but I can tell you that the 19.7gr I measured before was fired, unsized mixed headstamp. I have checked any of the current batches I'm shooting.

As a point of information, I don't recall ever seeing a max load with 124/5gr bullets higher than 13.0gr (or lower, I think. It's actually remarkably consistent, considering some variance in other data) and EVERY source I've seen lists it as compressed. It's also universally (or nearly so) accepted/expected to be a compressed charge, as it is the "standard" answer to solving bullet setback issues in the Sig.

So, whatever case capacity results in 13.0gr being compressed is probably very close to correct.
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Old February 12, 2013, 07:11 PM   #22
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Brian,

The Speer GDHP is much shorter than the Hornady XTP-HP, which is the bullet used in the 13.0 grain max charge for AA #9 found in the AA data manual and the Hornady manual.

So, even with the COL set 0.005" shorter for the Speer bullet than for the Hornady bullet, QuickLOAD thinks there is 19% more powder space (for the basic case capacity set to 20.8 grains of H2O). So, an equivalent loading density would be 1.19 x 13.0 = 15.5 grains of powder.

If we use your value of 19.7 grain H2O capacity, then the difference in powder spaces is greater: 20.8 - 19.7 = 1.1 grain difference in case capacity, which comes off the powder space. So powder spaces become 14.5 - 1.1 = 13.4 and 12.2 -1.1 = 11.1, so 13.4 / 11.1 = 1.21, or 21% more capacity with the Speer bullet. That would make the loading density equal at 1.21 x 13.0 = 15.7 grains.

But, I think we are just making a numerical game of this speculation. What we need is some solid data on the combination of capacity AND case length for both the fired and resized conditions. Then we can see what loading density we are actually talking about.

Also, have you talked to Speer yet?

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Old February 12, 2013, 07:18 PM   #23
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No, not yet. I'm seeing where we get with this first.
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Old February 12, 2013, 10:03 PM   #24
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Ok...

Fired, unsized, Speer case... 19.4gr H20

Same case, resized... 18.8gr

Case length.... .859
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Old February 13, 2013, 04:20 PM   #25
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Brian,

Didn't the case length change when you sized the case?

Steve
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