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Old February 25, 2014, 08:49 PM   #1
Larry K
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reloading & Competition

Have not found anything on this in any of the forums, so here goes.
Preferred Bullet weight & velocity for shooting say IDPA ( not specifically however) is there any advantage to lighter weight bullets meeting power factor numbers, or lower weight bullets also meeting power factor.
Not looking for the nth degree of accuracy ( am not that good ) but a good accurate load for shooting in IDPA or IPSA matches. Balance of recoil and accuracy. is there any real difference between say a 115gr and 124gr in 9mm, and or a 200gr v 230gr in .45acp.

Thoughts, opinions ! ! !
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Old February 25, 2014, 10:56 PM   #2
GJSchulze
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You have to make power factor in both IDPA and USPSA, other than that the best combination of velocity and weight depends on your gun. There are two things to consider. One is accuracy and the other is what runs your gun better, assuming a semi-auto. You're not trying to hit a bullseye at a great distance, so you'd be better off determining what gets your sights back on target quickest.

As far as recoil, a heavier bullet requires less powder and has less velocity. For the same power factor you will have less felt recoil with a heavier bullet. That's because the recoil of a lighter, faster bullet is snappier than a slower, heavier bullet. That's why I shoot a 9mm 147 gr bullet. Recently, after having to borrow some ammo at our regular weekly USPSA match, I discovered that this ammo got my front sight back on target quicker than what I was using, because it cycled my slide a little faster. After that I increased my load by .2 gr to match the PF of the borrowed ammo.

Another thing to consider is knocking down steel. A higher power factor will do a better job. Notice the difference between how fast a .45 knocks down a popper compared to a 9mm. Of course, hitting the popper in the right spot helps a lot.
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Old February 26, 2014, 09:06 AM   #3
g.willikers
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Different combinations of bullet weight and velocity can have different points of impact.
Less important with the generous target sizes and distances usually found in action matches.
But still something to consider if the gun has fixed, non adjustable sights.
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Old February 26, 2014, 10:47 AM   #4
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Power factors is kind of a non issue except in State or National Matches. Local clubs usually do not check power factors in matches (not saying it can't happen).

As to weight of bullet, most commercial ammo will meet match power factors. Power factor is determined by multiplying the weight by the FPS, so a 115 grain bullet at 1,200 fps would be 138,000 and 124 grain bullet at 1113 fps would be 138,000.

The more important factor would be which weight bullet YOU can shoot more accurately out of your pistol. Some guns like the heavier bullets some like the lighter ones. This you will have to determine by trial and error till you get the right brand and type. I personally do better with 124 grain jacketed hollow points, but you will have to determine that for yourself.

Good luck and shoot straight.
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Old February 26, 2014, 01:15 PM   #5
RickB
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I've never really favored particular bullet weights, except in .45 ACP, where I prefer the slightly "snappier" feel of 200s to 230s.
For 10mm I load 200s almost exclusively, but that's mostly because the 10 only really shines compared to .40 with heavy bullets.
For 9mm/.38 Super, I've shot more 130s and 135s than 147s, and I find those calibers loaded to minor, don't have much recoil one way or the other, so I just use bullets that feed reliably.
I have often heard heavy-bullet loads, of a given powerfactor, described as "soft" when compared to loads with lighter bullets.
There was an article in USPSA's Front Sight, a few years ago, in which they (I believe it was Bob Londrigan of Brazos Custom) compared heavy-bullet loads to lighter-bullet loads (180gr .40 to 155gr?) by shooting courses of fire with the different loads, and seeing how the scores fell out. The lighter-bullet loads scored better, with the conclusion that "soft is slow".
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Old February 27, 2014, 06:26 PM   #6
Larry K
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good points all. Guess I will just have to experiment a bit as I go. Still all in all it does give ya something to think about as ya go, rather than just trying willy nilly.
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Old February 27, 2014, 07:52 PM   #7
Jim Watson
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Personally, I prefer a 200 grain .45 for USPSA Major and IDPA CDP; and a 145-147 gr subsonic 9mm for USPSA Minor and IDPA ESP.
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Old February 27, 2014, 09:13 PM   #8
rdmallory
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I shoot a Sig and use the lightest load with 115gn 9mm I can get to work the slide without stove piping. ( I use HP38) I have lightened the springs a little.

I tried 124gn and went back to the hollow base 115gn. The hollow base bullet has more rifling contact.

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Old February 28, 2014, 05:09 PM   #9
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I use and recommend the 230g RN in 45 ACP for its high potential feed reliability.
I currently have weights from 162g up to 252g.

In the 9x19 I prefer lead RN bullets weighing 130--135g; these allow sufficient slide momentum for reliable function, enough slide velocity to feel quicker than 145g-and-up, and provides more dwell time and momentum for steel reactive targets. They also allow greater latitude for sight adjustment.
I currently have weights from 115g up to 151g.



Yes, the weights listed are correct
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Old March 1, 2014, 03:09 AM   #10
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Weshoot2, I use a FMJ-TC. They feed well and make a nice well defined hole in cardboard targets. The holes RN make leave paper hanging from the edges and for competition it's helpful to have better holes.
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Old March 1, 2014, 07:35 AM   #11
Larry K
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funny, I went away from flat nose for that very reason, the RN just seemed to make a cleaner more defined hole
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Old March 1, 2014, 09:05 AM   #12
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When I competed in uspsa I used 45acp 250gr lead and 3.3 gr of clays. Very soft recoil and sufficiently accurate. Worth a look. As previously mentioned some people prefer a faster cycle time which means higher velocity, smaller bullet. For me it was about getting back on target quickly and keeping muzzle flip to a minimum. Experiment pf is lower now, you may be able to get by with 3.1 or 3.0 gr
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Old March 1, 2014, 12:22 PM   #13
GJSchulze
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Quote:
the RN just seemed to make a cleaner more defined hole
Interesting. I shoot twice a week, USPSA and self-defense shooting practice and mine make clean round holes, with no paper sticking from the edges and a nice grease ring (although they are jacketed). I've noticed that some RN are rounder and some are more pointy, so maybe that's the difference. But people use WC and SWC so that they can make clean holes. Of course, once the targets are filled with pasters, nothing makes a clean hole.

I'll have to ask some of the other shooters what they think.
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Old March 1, 2014, 02:25 PM   #14
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since I cannot see that far

I am not interested in clean holes; I am interested in making holes.
Repeatedly and reliably.

And I've found that RN bullets increase that possibility.
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Old March 1, 2014, 02:38 PM   #15
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I could never understand the infatuation that some .45 shooters have with the semi-wadcutter. I don't know anyone who loads bullets of that type in any caliber but .45 ACP; if it were really that great a bullet, everyone would use them in every caliber.
I knew a guy who was having considerable feeding issues with SWCs, and he just kept banging his head against the wall rather than switch to a bullet that fed. You can't make holes of any kind with a gun that doesn't work.
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Old March 1, 2014, 04:37 PM   #16
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Dewc are pretty common in 38/357. 200gr Swc are typically the most accurate bullet for 45.
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Old March 3, 2014, 01:27 PM   #17
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I thought typically the 185g Nosler is the most accurate 45 ACP bullet
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Old March 3, 2014, 08:39 PM   #18
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I shoot steal, never seen any holes.


Doug
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Old March 3, 2014, 08:59 PM   #19
BillM
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I shoot USPSA, and the general wisdom (for non compensated guns) is
heavy bullet, fast powder.

I'm currently running 230 Bear Creek moly with Solo 1000 powder in
45 for Single Stack, and 147 Bayou Bullet polymer coated with
VihtaVuori N320 powder for Production division 9mm. Revolver
division loads (major PF 45 ACP) are 185 gr Berry's HBRN, and RedDot powder.

For compensated guns (open division) loads are the opposite. Lighter
bullet, slow powder.
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Old March 3, 2014, 09:14 PM   #20
1stmar
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For the longest time 200 gr. h&g #68 lead semi-wadcutter was king of accuracy. Haven't seen anything to the contrary but been out of it awhile
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Old March 5, 2014, 03:41 AM   #21
chris in va
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I've been playing around with a few 45 bullet weights and powder charges. I settled on a 230 RN traveling at 680 for our matches just for the lighter recoil. Now the stubby 160 grainers have more of a quick snap that gets you back on target quicker, but can't seem to feed reliably enough in my CZ.

Ideally I'd like a SWC so the cardboard holes are obvious to see, but haven't bought a mold yet.
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Old March 14, 2014, 02:47 PM   #22
Phidelt208
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I like Universal or tightgroup, I make powerfactor with both, in IDPA
with a 200gr lead, and a 200 gr plated berrys bullet.
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Old March 14, 2014, 03:45 PM   #23
g.willikers
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In 9mm, for knocking down poppers and plates, the heavier bullets seem to have an advantage.
The 147 grain truncated cone bullets seemed best.
Cardboard targets probably won't care.
For .45 the differences between 200 and 230 grain bullets never seemed very important one way or another.
If yours digests 200gr wadcutters, there's bragging rights involved, though.
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Old March 14, 2014, 04:15 PM   #24
kraigwy
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I want reliability.

In steel, I mostly use my Beretta, 125 gr lead RN. Not supper hot but it ALWAYS works the action. Never hit a steel target that didn't fall.

Power factor on applies if you're on the edge of the target. The center hits count as much as Major.

Bowling pins, I want to not only hit them, but take them off the table with one hit. I use my Gold Cup, and 230 gr cast RN. they work.

ICORE: I shoot 158 gr FP RN. Again not hot. It knocks over any steel I hit plus has no problem poking holes in the tombstone targets.

My main concern is reliability. Suckers got to fire when the hammer falls and they cant jam.
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Old March 14, 2014, 04:50 PM   #25
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this; always this FIRST

Quote:
main concern is reliability. Suckers got to fire when the hammer falls and they cant jam
I concur


Real life, game, it doesn't change: "First it must go bang".
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