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Old December 29, 2013, 10:24 AM   #1
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"Best" 9mm. Luger FMJ range handloads?

For years, never handloaded for our 9mm handguns because ammo was so cheap and plentiful.

Needless to say, that ain't the case anymore, and fortunately we've got piles of the 9mm brass from the factory ammo. The pistol rotor for my LNL AP is still in it's package so with shellplate and die, I'm ready to go...

Suggestion for a 124 grain FMJ range "plinking" practice load- based on availability of bullets and powder...

And a 124 grain HP SD load, same- bullets and powder generally available (whatever that means these days).

Did a search but didn't turn up anything, link to a previous thread if this has been addressed before is appreciated.
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Old December 29, 2013, 11:43 AM   #2
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I've been reloading 9mm for several years now. Here's what I have settled on. Remember, these are my loads for my guns and may not perform as well in your guns:

125g Sierra FMJ: 6.5g HS-6 / 4.2g W231/HP-38
124g Rem Gold Dot HP: 6.2g HS-6 / 4.0g W231/HP-38

Having said that, you really should be looking at load data from both the bullet and powder manufacturers (most are available online), and then working-up your own load data from scratch.

If you don't know what the min/max loads are for your given bullet/powder combo, you should take my data (and anyone else) as a suggestion and nothing more. But, you know this already, I hope.
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Old December 29, 2013, 11:52 AM   #3
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Just for my info.; do you have a couple reloading manuals?
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Old December 29, 2013, 12:26 PM   #4
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For me it's 4.7gr of Unique behind a 115gr Berry's plated RN. Shoots dead on accurate in all of my guns. I set the bullet to 1.160 oal. 4.5 - 4.7gr all seem to work great for target loads.

My fun loads are 5.6gr of Power Pistol behind a 124gr Berry's plated FP bullet seated to 1.113" oal. This load is pretty strong.
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Old December 29, 2013, 01:56 PM   #5
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There are some Rainier 124 grain bullets available at Midway.
I've always had good luck with Rainier.

The .356" 125 grain Hornady HAP is the most accurate practice bullet I've found for 9mm. The HAP is an unfinished XTP, so they can be loaded interchangeably. The 124 grain XTP is my HP of choice, and they are usually cheaper than other HPs.

My standard load is 4.6 grains of SR-7625 under any 124/125 jacketed or plated bullet. 7625 is nice. Meters smoothly, has good bulk, burns clean and is usually available. If I'm not using 7625, I'm using 4.2 grains of Universal, another nice clean powder.
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Old December 30, 2013, 07:48 AM   #6
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These loads work well for me:

Precision Delta 124gr FMJ - 4.1gr W231 - COAL 1.135
Montana Gold 124gr CMJ - 4.1gr W231 - COAL 1.135
Montana Gold 115gr JHP - 4.7gr W231 - COAL 1.120

As always, check your manuals etc.
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Old December 30, 2013, 08:15 AM   #7
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I mostly use plated bullets, or hard cast lead for plinking. My 124 grain plated load is using 3.9 grains of Titegroup. I drop a 10th of a grain for leads, but that is not really necessary.

For 124 FMJ, 4.2 grains of Titegroup is a nice target load.

I also use 115 grain plated for target work and use 4.1 grains Titegroup for that.
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Old December 30, 2013, 08:47 AM   #8
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I use Titegroup for all my pistol loads. I have some great reloads using 4.2 grns. of it.
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Old December 31, 2013, 02:42 PM   #9
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I like Power Pistol.

I like Alliant's Bullseye and Power Pistol. Use any published load.
Your question is kind of like asking "What brand of white sugar tastes best?" They all do the same thing.
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Old December 31, 2013, 03:40 PM   #10
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For factory level velocity and particularly for JHP defense handloads, there isn't a better 9mm powder than Ramshot Silhouette. SIERRA and SPEER give safe and warmer data than Silhouette is what I use for up to +P type defense loads. 3N37 is similar but costs more and won't do anything better. True Blue may be the finest all-around powder today and can be used to load any cartridge from the .380 ACP to the .454 Casull. For my defense loads in 9mm and .45 ACP I use Silhouette.
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Old December 31, 2013, 05:47 PM   #11
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So no real consensus on powder, which is probably a good thing since it gives better "odds" at finding some in stock.

Accuracy is not a real consideration here- these are SD guns..not target.

How much of load development, if any, affects cycling of semi-auto's? IOW, HOW is load development undertaken?

I load for long-range target with our bolt guns, but plinking and SD loads for handguns is in a different zip code.
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Old December 31, 2013, 06:21 PM   #12
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I've been loading Precision Delta 124's in both FMJ and JHP with 4.6 gr of 231 or HP-38 with Tula primers for about a year now. One day I will run some over my chrony but they seem close to factory in snap and are very accurate in 4 different pistols.
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Old December 31, 2013, 06:43 PM   #13
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I have had good results using TiteGroup with FMJ, and plated bullets from 115 grains to 125 grains.
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Old December 31, 2013, 06:47 PM   #14
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One can change the recoil springs to suit the ammo, or one can change the ammo to suit the recoil springs.

I tune one or the other so the cases land 5 feet away.
That is enough to prevent a jam, and not enough for the slide to hammer the frame.

I like the ammo to fall into and out of the chamber without getting stuck.
I want a little bit of clearance all over the cartridge.
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Old December 31, 2013, 08:49 PM   #15
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IMO you do not need to "develop" a handgun load. You use the components you can gather, and use published load data. Try a few starting low and working up to max. When you are ~95% of max and your gun cycles every time, you are done. Rather than "develop" you are just making sure it works for you and your gun.
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Old December 31, 2013, 11:57 PM   #16
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In some cases you have to develop a round because there is no published data for the powder bullet combo you have. As an example 9mm 124gn HDY XTP using IMR 700X powder. You can not use standard fmj info for this bullet.

I have loaded about 100 rounds of different combinations and I am getting close.
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Old January 1, 2014, 07:14 PM   #17
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For 124gr FMJ bullets (such as Zero Bullets) I have used 4.0 to 4.1gr Titegroup, 4.5 to 4.6gr Hodgdon Universal, and 4.8 to 4.9gr Winchester Super Field (WSF). I load them near maximum OAL that will feed in my CZ 85C and not rest against the rifling. All loads were about 130 power factor. The WSF loads were probably the most accurate but had a bit more recoil. The Titegroup loads had the lightest recoil but ran hotter (temperature wise) than the others.

All of these loads came from the Hodgdon Annual Manual and are about in the middle of max and minimum charges.
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