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Old February 16, 2013, 04:19 PM   #1
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Using small magnum pistol primers for 9mm?

As you all know reloading components, especially primers are very hard to get right now and I just started loading 9mm and 40S&W and the only primers I could find were Federal Small Magnum Pistol primers. From what I read, people recommend that in this situation you should start out at the minimum load range to compensate for the hotter magnum primer. I did this for my 40S&W load using 180gn FMJ's and as far as I could tell it worked out fine. Recently I started loading 9mm ammo for a new Sig 9mm I just purchased and 9mm ammo is just as scarce as small pistol primers right now. I began using 115gn Speer RN FMJs in 9mm once fired brass casings and charging the rounds w/ 6.2gn of PowerPistol, which is the low minimum range according to my Speer manual (6.2 min to 6.7max). I also loaded some 124gn truncated cone speer 9mm bullets as well using 5.6gn (minimum charge value for this bullet) of PowerPistol powder. I went to the range to test my rounds and the 124gn rounds felt OK, but possibly a little more powerful than some factory 9mm rounds I also shot. The 115gn rounds on the other hand felt very hot and my Sig P226 was ejecting the casings 10 to 15 feet away! This made me a little uncomfortable to say the least. The fired brass didn't show any signs of an over pressure conditions that I could tell. I've ordered a chronograph to test the bullet velocities, but I've read that bullet velocity and barrel pressures do not track linearly. Do you folks have any words of wisdom about this observation?
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Old February 16, 2013, 08:08 PM   #2
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The harder ejection with the 115 grain bullets seems to indicate that they are hotter than you really want for you gun. Even if they are not going to blow-up the gun and hurt you, they will probably wear it out more rapidly than ammo that is only as strong as your recoil spring was designed to handle without battering the frame.

One question: Did you use the COLs listed for the particular bullets in the Speer manual? For instance, while Speer's Reloading Manual #14 uses the same data table for both the 115 grain Gold Dot Hollow Point bullet and the Total Metal Jacket Round Nose bullet, it uses an overall cartridge length of 1.125" for the GDHP and 1.135" for the TMJ RN. That 0.010" difference matters with respect to peak pressure.

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Old February 17, 2013, 09:26 AM   #3
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I load 4.5 grns of unique in my cast 125 gr 9mms out of my Beretta 92FS.

I was using standard SP primers but switched to SP Mag primers saving my standard for my 38s.

I couldn't tell much difference but then again, this wasn't a hot load to start with.

I just want them to knock over steel if I hit them. May be my imagination but they seem a bit more accurate.
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Old February 17, 2013, 10:22 AM   #4
Misssissippi Dave
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Using mag primers in 9 mm, I will back off the powder .5 grains and work back up again. I have used several Federal Mag primer for loads not needing them. Depending on the caliber and bullet weight, I have found to get similar results I needed to back off between .3 to .5 grains of powder on average, with the powders I use. Any time you are changing the primer from standard to magnum you need to back off the powder. It is possible to get similar results with both primers and the same powder. Reducing powder at least 5% and at most 10% is the best thing to do and work up slowly in .1 grain steps. Probably the worst thing happening at those levels is the gun won't cycle similar to loading at starting load levels. The best is you might find a new load you like better than you did with the original load.
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Old February 17, 2013, 11:19 AM   #5
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I've worked up a load using small rifle primers.
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Old February 17, 2013, 11:55 AM   #6
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