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Old February 27, 2013, 10:34 PM   #1
TheCarDoctor
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9mm OAL Question

First time poster, long time lurker. I've reloaded rifle for most of my life but I'm reloading 9mm for the first time and have a few questions.

I'm using Red Dot powder and 100 gr Speer JHP bullets. My 1992 Hodgdon manual says that the starting charge for Red Dot with a 100 gr bullet is 4.6 gr and the max charge is 4.9 gr. However I can't find anywhere in the manual about OAL for any bullet weight. My first question is why would they not include that info? It seems to me that it would be critical information because seating depth affects (or is it effects?) pressure.

So I looked in my Speer manual (number 12) and it says the tested OAL for the 100 gr bullet I'm using is 1.050. But, none of the loads they listed use Red Dot powder. Should I just go ahead and use the 1.050 anyway?

On a side note I measured a factory loaded 115 gr JHP round (heavier that the bullets I'm using) and it measured 1.080.
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Old February 27, 2013, 11:08 PM   #2
Misssissippi Dave
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Normally OAL is specific to the gun and magazine. I have one CZ pistol needing a shorter OAL than my other pistols. I have not loaded a 100 grain bullet in 9 mm. I have loaded 115 grain bullets as long as 1.135 and know of some people that prefer 1.145". I have not loaded any bullets including 115 grain JHPs shorter than 1.080". You probably could use 1.050 through 1.120" without much of a problem.

You don't seem to have much room between minimum and maximum with that powder. I prefer powders with a wider spread between min and max load. It is easier to dial them in for me.
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Old February 27, 2013, 11:16 PM   #3
ScottRiqui
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Quote:
Normally OAL is specific to the gun and magazine.
Truth. I loaded up a bunch of .380 ACP for my Beretta 84BB, to an OAL of (I believe) 0.975". They worked great, but when I bought my Walther PPK, I found that those rounds wouldn't fit in the magazine. So now I load all my .380 to 0.965", just so they'll work in both of my guns.
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Old February 27, 2013, 11:17 PM   #4
azjohn
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I have Speer #11 manual. It lists overall length at 1.080 for 110 grain hollowpoint. 4.5 to 4.9 grains of Red Dot as the powder charge. Test gun was a Beretta 92SB. Use your barrel as a test gauge to find your oal. Length of chamber leade and the bullet ogive are what determines your seating depth. Google plunk test and see all the info you get.
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Old February 27, 2013, 11:33 PM   #5
jepp2
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Quote:
You probably could use 1.050 through 1.120" without much of a problem.
Maybe. From a functioning (fit the magazine and probably chambering) I agree. From a pressure standpoint, it all depends. You have a selected a very fast powder to start with. That gives you much less margin for error. So if you use a shorter OAL, make sure you start at the minimum (or less) charge weight.

I always use WWB as the standard. It comes at the SAAMI max of 1.169" OAL and seems to function in most pistols. Not saying it will in yours, but I tend to load long. With your shorter bullet due to the lower weight, that long of an OAL probably wouldn't have enough seating depth for bullet stability.

The 9mm "can" be very sensitive to large pressure changes with minor reductions in OAL. This is especially true with fast burning powders.
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Old February 28, 2013, 09:44 AM   #6
rlc323
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Alliant no longer lists Red Dot in their current online handgun data for 9mm or .380.

Back about 2006 or so Alliant changed the formula of Red Dot to make it cleaner burning because that is what shotgunners wanted. They raised the price of the "new" Red Dot and came out with Promo, that is said to be the formula of "old" Red Dot.

I am not sure I would use the new formulation of Red Dot with the old data without speaking with Alliant first. If you compare their current pistol data with Red Dot in .38 Special the charge weights listed are similar but not exactly the same as with the old formula. Usually the only way to make a flake powder burn cleaner is to make it burn faster, so that is likely what they did. Then to cover their rears they said no more 9mm or .380 data for new Red Dot.

If you have a supply of "old" Red Dot (I do) you can learn a lot from the old Hercules and Alliant manuals that go into better detail regarding OAL than the more recent Alliant booklet or the online source. Link below:

http://www.castpics.net/LoadData/Fre...M/Alliant.html

Personally I would not buy Red Dot for use in 9mm for the reasons Misssissippi Dave notes. There is not much room between minimum and maximum charge. I use old Red Dot because I have it left over from shotgun use and have not touched the stuff since Clays came out. Plus my barber gave me 2 pounds of it sealed in the 1lb cans a few years ago that a fellow just wanted to be rid of.

That said, I get good results with 4.3 grains of vintage 1979 Red Dot in 9mm with 115 gr FMJ Winchester hollow base bullets, seated 1.160. CCI 500 primer. They crono around 1080 fps average.
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Old February 28, 2013, 10:37 AM   #7
TheCarDoctor
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Quote:
If you have a supply of "old" Red Dot (I do) you can learn a lot from the old Hercules and Alliant manuals that go into better detail regarding OAL than the more recent Alliant booklet or the online source.
Yes, what I have is the old formula. The problem with the Hercules/Alliant booklets is that they don't list a 100 gr bullet. The closest is a 95 gr.
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