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Old June 24, 2013, 05:11 PM   #1
Wreck-n-Crew
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WST 9mm 125grn LRN Drama

Figured Id share my findings on the drama created by lack of load data on the Winchester WST Powder.

With the shortage still around when I went for supplies I got the WST as a no-choice if I were to get some loading done without searching any further for powder.

As many here already know the lack of data on a powder that is not really suited for most Hand Gun loading doesn't rear it's ugly head until you have to extrapolate the data from several forums to get a starting charge.

I found it more challenging than I would care to endure again. However I managed to compile enough from post's across several forums to have an Idea of where to start with 115 grn fmj or hornady 115 xtp hp.

The problem was magnified by the fact that I only had access to 125 grn LFP.
Referred to by my colleague as Wad Cutters. They have to be seated enough to feed properly and getting anywhere close to the Maximum OAL of a 124 GRN FMJ is not possible.

Seating the round to 1.070 or shorter I found to be necessary for the round to fully chamber. I had to settle on 1.060. From there the load was a guess more that science.

The fact that I had to have a starting point, and only comparable data I went with the low end from the characteristics of WST and comparable data composed from forum post.

Starting with a charge of 3.5grns and a seat of 1.060 I hit the nail on the head from the first try. Well at least close

Average 968fps, definitely on the low end of the charge, however the high end couldn't be much more on the load due to seating depth.

What I would like to know is how much more to reach average, or should I even push my luck?
Also is there any average increase data when dealing with so many unknown variables in powder data and the 125 grn LFP in 9mm Luger?
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Old June 24, 2013, 05:35 PM   #2
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The real question to be answered first, in my opinion, is : what do you plan on doing with the LFP loads ? If this is only to be range ammo, then what does it matter (as long as the load is accurate)? If another use is contemplated, such as SD, then it's a different matter.

By coincidence, I just completed my testing of WST with my normal cast bullets, in the 9mm. As it happens, 3.5 grains is exactly the charge I have settled on - with 125 grain cast bullets (dia. 0.356" in my guns). COL on my loads is 1.08" (simply seated to give reliable feeding in my pistols). This load is proving to be very accurate for me and reliability has been perfect, so far. I have tried both LRN and LTC bullets (125 grains for both) - same results. I did test up to 3.7 grains, with these bullets, but found no advantage that I could discern. Accuracy in my pistols was no better, certainly. I got no leading with the 3.7 grain load, just as with the 3.5 grain load. The bullets I use are about BHN 15, by the way.

I see that you are asking about "reaching average" - I assume that you mean as regards some competitive shooting rules/ specs. Can't help you there. I do know that you do have some room to move, if you want hotter loads. I cannot tell you how far you can go, but that is a matter for testing, in your pistol, anyway. Whether it is worth it - that is for you to decide.
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Old June 24, 2013, 06:45 PM   #3
Misssissippi Dave
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I have loaded quite a few rounds in 9 mm with WST powder. One thing I have noticed as you increase the speed of the bullet there is a point where the accuracy starts to get worse. This is normally the the point you have reached the max load for that round. Groups start spreading out you should back off a little. WST in 9 mm is normally good for low end to mid range for many common powders used to load 9 mm. When you load 115 grain FMJ bullets it is normally a compressed load.
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Old June 24, 2013, 07:02 PM   #4
Wreck-n-Crew
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I am just making range ammo with the 125grn LFP. Also I meant Average velocities for 125grn.

No matter how much thought, I still leave things out when I post. That's why your responses help so much and I appreciate them.

As much as I have reloaded I have always kept it simple with powders that have load data and using 115grn only in lead. But I have loaded plenty of FMJ and JHP in 115, 124 and even some in 147grn.

I had no issues with the 15grn XTP HP I loaded as some others had data on it.

My biggest fear all along was overpressure and to find I have lucked out enough to get my weight right the first time going on data from a similar powder and similar bullet, I consider myself lucky as they come.

So when you load the 125 grn with 3.5 you have a lower OAL than what I started with are they of average velocity for a 125 grn?

At least with your data I feel comfortable with shortening the OAL to 1.030 to increase pressure and velocity a little. Not to mention a piece of mind with feeding, though none of the 100 I have already shot gave me an issue in chambering.

Once again, thanks...feel much better.
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Old June 24, 2013, 07:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
When you load 115 grain FMJ bullets it is normally a compressed load.
I loaded My 115grn XTP JHP's with 4.7 grns and an OAL of 1.030 and it seemed their may have been slight compression. I think the starting load should have been more like 5.2 grns. Is that similar to what your powder charge was?
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Old June 24, 2013, 07:29 PM   #6
LSP972
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3.9 WST/124gr Bayou Bullets 'green bullet' worked well in my grandson's Beretta 92; didn't want to shoot them in my HK. Polygonal rifling and all of that... yeah, I know you can do it with no drama if you're paying attention. I've shot quite a few lead bullets through my HK45C. But I simply didn't feel like doing it with the higher pressure Euro Pellet cartridge.

I started out at 4.2, but was getting some slight primer flattening with Federal 100s. I didn't see that with Winchester SP primers, but no sense in living dangerously, eh?

Granted, I only had a thousand of them. I normally prefer to shoot jacketed bullets despite the added cost, but Donnie gave me a box and asked me to try 'em out, so I did.

Very accurate in the Beretta; I wouldn't hesitate to use them again in a conventionally-rifled 9mm.

.
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Old June 24, 2013, 07:40 PM   #7
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T'were me, I'd probably just go with loads to the lighter end so long as they are accurate and cycle reliably.

I worked up a load for the 125gr LRN using Hodgdon Universal; there's just not much data for that load (there's some, but not much). I'm in the 3.5-3.8 grain charge range (4.0 works fine, but seems to be a bit snappy), and if it works in some of my other guns I'll just stick with those. No point in using powder just to drive the bullet faster for range use only.
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Old June 24, 2013, 08:17 PM   #8
Misssissippi Dave
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I would think you could go up to 4.0 grains of powder for a max load. You are probably close to a good. With the short OAL it makes it a little more difficult to determine what might be good. When the load cycles and is accurate as well as less then 4.0 grains of power with that bullet you have probably hit it. When you get around to loading loading some 115 fmj with this powder. I like using 5.0 grains. Off the top of my head I don't remember if the OAL is 1.120 or 1.130 or possibly some place in between.
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Old June 25, 2013, 05:38 PM   #9
wpsdlrg
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" So when you load the 125 grn with 3.5 you have a lower OAL than what I started with are they of average velocity for a 125 grn?

At least with your data I feel comfortable with shortening the OAL to 1.030 to increase pressure and velocity a little. Not to mention a piece of mind with feeding, though none of the 100 I have already shot gave me an issue in chambering. "


I am assuming that this response was directed at me.....so I'll answer. "Average velocity" ?....there is no such thing. The velocity you get with a given load, in your pistol, has little bearing on anyone else. It is what it is. I can't give you a velocity number for my loads, as I haven't chrono'd them. Doesn't matter anyway. For range ammo, all that matters is accuracy (and safety, of course).

I see that you said that you were averaging 968 fps, for your 3.5 grain/ 125 gr. cast load. That is actually better than I would have expected for such a load. In any case, however, what you should be concerned about (for range ammo) is : 1) safety of the load (no problem here)....2) accuracy..... 3) reliable function in your pistol(s).... 4) lack of barrel leading (for CAST loads) . I wouldn't be concerned about the actual velocity, if I were you.

As for seating depth/ COL, you certainly are safe with the 3.5 grain load, to seat wherever you need. I wouldn't seat any deeper than necessary, in order to get reliable feeding, however. With this load, excess pressure won't be the problem. But, bear in mind that, the further away from the lands that you seat the bullet, the more likely that accuracy will suffer. So, IMO, seating deeper to up the pressure (and try to get more velocity)....is a waste of time. It may well not give you any greater velocity, anyway.

In summary, I would suggest not worrying about velocity.....and just focus on the reliability and accuracy of the load. You might try tweaking it a bit - maybe try 3.4 grains, 3.6 grains, etc. - and see what effect that gives you. If you are getting what you want with 3.5 grains, though....leaving well enough alone is a smart move. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"..... right ?

That is why I've elected to stick with 3.5 grains/ 125 grain (0.356") cast bullet.... as the "standard" WST load I will use. It works - no need to change it.
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Old June 25, 2013, 08:50 PM   #10
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wpsdlrg:

Thanks and I had time to think about it today as well and the accuracy was there and figure to leave well enough alone.

Thanks again everyone for your responses
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Old June 29, 2013, 07:28 PM   #11
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Wreck, I tried that 3.5 gr charge of WST with a 124 gr Phoenix LRN this afternoon....very mild ejection, ie. less than two feet from my two feet!. COL as you stated was 1.080" which I used as well and accuracy at 12 yds was less than an inch from a two handed Weaver Stance, ten rounds too...great load and no leading. I've chrono'd 3.8 gr's. at 1010 fps from my Sig 226 but the COL was 1.125". With that 3.5 gr load but shorter COL, I suspect that I'd be pretty close to your 968 fps speed as well.

This is a very mild load but quite accurate from the short line. I'll give it a try out at 25 yds later this weekend if time permits...a clean burner too.

Now if I could only find one using WST and Hornady's 125 gr XTP bullet, I'd be a happy camper...I've got 8 lbs to burn up!

BTW, I tried that same 3.5 gr load/bullet combination in a Ruger SR1911 Commander to which I've fitted a Colt Series 70 Combat Commander 9mm barrel and slide...accuracy was every bit as good as with the Sig 226. Just for grins, here's a pic of the 9mm Ruger Commander sporting that 9mm Colt slide. (I've also fitted a .38 Super Colt Slide and bbl.) Ain't she cute?

Best Regards, Rod


Ruger's SR1911 CMD with a Colt Combat Commander 9mm slide & Barsto bbl. fitted

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Old June 29, 2013, 08:25 PM   #12
Wreck-n-Crew
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Quote:
Wreck, I tried that 3.5 gr charge of WST with a 124 gr Phoenix LRN this afternoon....very mild ejection, ie. less than two feet from my two feet!. COL as you stated was 1.080" which I used as well and accuracy at 12 yds was less than an inch from a two handed Weaver Stance, ten rounds too...great load and no leading. I've chrono'd 3.8 gr's. at 1010 fps from my Sig 226 but the COL was 1.125". With that 3.5 gr load but shorter COL, I suspect that I'd be pretty close to your 968 fps speed as well.

This is a very mild load but quite accurate from the short line. I'll give it a try out at 25 yds later this weekend if time permits...a clean burner too.

Now if I could only find one using WST and Hornady's 125 gr XTP bullet, I'd be a happy camper...I've got 8 lbs to burn up!

BTW, I tried that same 3.5 gr load/bullet combination in a Ruger SR1911 Commander to which I've fitted a Colt Series 70 Combat Commander 9mm barrel and slide...accuracy was every bit as good as with the Sig 226. Just for grins, here's a pic of the 9mm Ruger Commander sporting that 9mm Colt slide. (I've also fitted a .38 Super Colt Slide and bbl.) Ain't she cute?

Best Regards, Rod
Thanks for the Intel Since my last post I have shortened the OAL a little to keep the LFP from entering the barrel because the bullet (though feeding well) was leaving lead. 100 rounds later and no lead! (first thought it was the powder).

BTW Beautiful colt. I know someone that sleeved a long 38 super barrel into a colt 1911 for competition. He loved the round and bragged on it's accuracy in matches.

Thanks again for sharing
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