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Old February 17, 2013, 08:49 PM   #1
Join Date: January 20, 2013
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OAL 9mm Winchester 115 grain round nose

I am new to realoading and working up a load for a 9mm.
I have 4.5 grains of universal powder and a 115 grain Winchester round nose FMJ.
I have researched the bullet and found and agreement of the difficulty in finding authorative data, and many post of people guessing at OAL with numbers cited from 1.10 to 1.60.
Speers #14 Max OAL is 1.69.
Speers cits a round nose FMJ COAL at 1.35, but I have a Speers factory load at 1.158 and a Winchester factory load of a 124 grain bullet at 1.155.

I have made a few loads with OAL at 1.157, 1.160 and 1.164 but I have not gone to the range yet.

It seems I am not in jepardy of too much PSI, but I would love some feedbach before I fire the first loads I have workd up.
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Old February 18, 2013, 05:43 PM   #2
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Range trip went well, with room to increase the load in terms of powder. I do not know how to determine an optimal AOL short of buying a chronograph and experimenting.
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Old February 18, 2013, 06:14 PM   #3
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With semi-automatic pistols, once you've found an OAL that feeds well in your gun, I don't think there's a whole lot to be gained by varying it further.

Just as a point of reference, I opened up a box of "Winchester White Box" 9mm FMJ with 115 gr bullets, and of the half-dozen I grabbed, the OAL varied from 1.145" to 1.16"
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Old February 18, 2013, 10:15 PM   #4
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Thanks for the post.

I am considering the OAL in terms of room for powder burn, and posts that mention seating bullets too deep can increases PSI beyond safe levels. The inverse implies that too much OAL decreases PSI and FPS.

If the only issue is how it feeds, 1.157 - 1.164 worked well in my Glock 17 with the 14 rounds I fired.
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Old February 19, 2013, 06:50 PM   #5
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If it goes in the mag without binding the meplat it is not too long. For what it is worth as a nice to know little feature Colt made the Gov't model in 9MM, 38 Super and 45 ACP.

For those that have a 9MM Gov't Model you can use 38 Super mags in it.
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Old April 2, 2013, 07:12 PM   #6
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I have reloaded 9mm Parabellum for many years and my best all around load for 115 gr. Hornady XTP Jacketed bullets has been 4.5 gr's Universal loaded to a C.O.L. of 1.125 This is the max load given in my Hornady Manual and the starting load given in my Hodgdon Manual. What ever you do approach with care.

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Old April 2, 2013, 09:24 PM   #7
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MTGreen, an OACL of 1.150" is probably fine, but you can easily determine what OACL can be used by taking a new bullet and starting it into a fired case/dead primer/no powder. Remove your barrel from the pistol and drop the "dummy round" into the chamber. With light pressure, push the case-rim forward until the mouth of the case contacts the front of the chamber and stops. Pull the "dummy" out and measure OACL. This will be the longest OACL possible with the bullet touching the leade/throat of the barrel. Repeat the process 4 more times to make sure you get then same OACL max. everytime. When you start actual loading, seat your bullets so that your loaded rounds will have an OACL .005 - .010" shorter than the test "dummies". This will provide freebore for the initial bullet jump.

I only load JHPs in 9mm, so what I do after determining what the max. possible OACL can be, I drop to the next lower .5mm and load like the Europeans do. Typically, my JHP loads run from a high of 1.142"/29mm down to 1.122"/28.5mm and I don't load shorter than 1.102"/28mm. When there is a need and the pistols throat is long enough, I'll use an OACL of 1.161"/29.5mm for special purpose loads usually with 147 gr. JHPs.
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Old April 2, 2013, 09:43 PM   #8
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This question is asked often. Here is a link to one of the latest threads asking this question. A search will probably turn up a lot more of them.
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