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Old July 24, 2012, 03:32 PM   #26
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Thanks for the input guys! More information is always welcome. I will continue to research this while I work on my general loading skills.
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Old July 26, 2012, 08:52 AM   #27
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AhChi WaWa,

Welcome to the forum.

Good information and a good reminder of how manual authoring practices have changed over the last 50 years. Not only do you have the greater use of pressure testing (Speer is now owned by ATK as is Alliant, so Alliant now pressure tests all Speer's load data). They used to develop it in production firearms and exactly how loose the chamber and bore might have been was catch as catch can.

Herco has vanished from a lot of manuals, but Speer #14 lists the 124 grain Gold Dot at 1.12" COL in a Speer case with a CCI 500 primer with a maximum of 8.9 grains of HS7 at 1249 fps, and 7.9 grains of Blue Dot at 1238 fps. These are not +P loads. Using a faster powder will let you use less and have less muzzle flash and blast and total recoil, but will get to higher peak pressures if you try for those same velocities. You probably don't need to go there. The same manual shows 9 grains of AA No. 7 getting to 1180 fps, and just 5.8 grains of Unique hitting that same velocity without venturing into +P territory. In between on charge weight is 6.4 grains of VV 3N37 at 1179 fps. Again, those are all manual maximums for standard pressures, so work up to them from 10% lower. Between them you should be able be able to find one that comes close to the feel as well as the performance of the factory load.

Readers note that SAAMI standard pressure and velocity data for the 9mm is taken using a 4" barrel with minimum chamber dimensions and a specified bore cross-sectional area and land and groove count. If you don't have a 4" tube, you cannot expect the same velocities as are published by 9 mm ammo makers or by the current Speer manual (also using a 4" barrel). Your chamber and bore may be a little looser, lowering pressure, but that has to be determined by careful load workup.
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Old August 5, 2012, 12:17 PM   #28
AhChi WaWa
Join Date: July 20, 2012
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Thanks UncleNick,
I agree, for most users, modern powders currently listed in the manuals are the better choice.

Not trying to hijack the thread and my apologies if it seems so... Sometimes one may happen upon a garage sale deal on an obscure powder or want to experiment with something from an older manual. Sometimes I get into a store and forget what powder I just read about and wanted to try -( was that WSF or WST in the post? so I end up with both.) All of those are reasons I ended up with some of the powders I use and some good loads were discovered by working with them, trying to duplicate factory velocities (such as the HST load) - if for no other reason than to use up what I had on hand.

I've tried HS7 in a few test loads but never found one that was accurate in my guns, while I have been able to easily stumble upon accurate loads approaching one hole groups with Herco. Another advantage is it's bulk fills most cases to where a double charge is less likely. I find it similar to Unique in its wide range of applications but a little slower burning, helping even out pressure while maintaining velocity. Below is a pic I snapped of a 9mm case with 6.1 gr of Herco - well under the max loads Speer published, you can see why I use the term 'case full of Herco'

CAUTION: The following includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The Firing Line, nor the staff of TFL assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

Out of curiosity I made up a range of loads to test after consulting several data manuals listed in my earlier post.
I used a Remington 124gr JHP, with R-P primers and nickle cases (Win, Fed & R-P) were segregated by load. I used Wolf SP primers for the 6.7 load as the R-P are all gone. All were seated to an OAL of 1.115" (Calculated to seat the bullet .020" into the case)

I loaded 5 rounds each, starting at 5.8gr of Herco, then increments of 6.1, 6.3, 6.5 & 6.7 grains. I also estimated expected velocities for each load. I fired them from my 4" 5906 over a CED chrono at 10' to targets at 10yds. It was about 85 F & Humid.

In all cases my chronograph reported about 100 fps faster than what the manuals indicated for the charge. Pressure signs began showing up with the 6.5 load but strangely enough looked normal in the 6.7 load with Wolf primers. However the cases landed 12' away instead of the normal 6-7' so there was plenty of pressure present. Maybe the Wolf primers use a thicker cup or something. I'm not sure if the temperature had anything to do with the velocity difference and I can't recall it getting my attention in the past and I usually look at those things. Here in the desert 100F is not uncommon but the humidity is usually much lower. At any rate, there is probably a good idea to reduce these loads to achieve published velocities.
The most accurate load was the 6.1 gr and is my new 'case full' load for this bullet.

Here are my results compared with expected velocities from the manuals- for informational purposes only:
Grs. fps Expected
5.8 1165 1084
6.1 1232 1126
6.3 1249 1153
6.5 1257 1181
6.7 1321 1209 <-(This load is probably over pressure - do not use)

Keep in mind this is a very small sample size so conclusions shouldn't be made without more data points. The last load looks a little out of line with the others and should be a warning that something erratic is staring to show up. I don't know and am not going to find out as I have found the better load of the bunch.

Last edited by AhChi WaWa; August 5, 2012 at 03:17 PM.
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Old August 5, 2012, 12:28 PM   #29
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Interesting stuff that Herco, it looks like little flecks of coal in the picture. Thanks for the additional information. BTW what chunk of desert are you in? It was surprisingly humid here in Vegas awhile back too 30-50% humidity...ICK!
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Old August 5, 2012, 12:31 PM   #30
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Join Date: July 20, 2012
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Yes, it's big black flakes are interesting (almost said unique.
'bout a hundred miles south of Tucson
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