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Old November 21, 2009, 07:46 PM   #1
Join Date: October 14, 2009
Posts: 84
Working up 9mm load

I recently received 2000 Montana Gold 115 gr. FMJ bullets. I'm working up some loads for my wife's S&W 9mm with a 4in barrel.

I use Hogdon HP-38 for both her 9mm and my .45 ACP.

I figure the Montana Gold FMJ are probably similar to Speer TMJ RN. Speer shows the starting load is 4.4 and the max is 4.9gr. Hogdon's website has a LRN sarting at 4.3 with a max at 4.8. Hogdon shows data for a GDHP (4.7-5.1), but I was not planning on taking that into consideration. The HP-38 container shows the max load is 5.1 for a 115 FMJ bullet.

I am thinking about starting with 4.4 gr HP-38 stepping up by 0.1 to 4.9 gr. I will test them when I get a chrono.

Normally, I do not reload at max because my RCBS powder can throw charges +/-0.2 gr. Is there anything wrong with my plan?

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Old November 21, 2009, 07:57 PM   #2
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Only the chronograph part, maybe. If you intend to use the chronograph to match the velocities of other HP-38 loads in your gun with that general bullet type that are known to be good, that's fine. If you expect to match a factory load of some kind, it isn't. Factories have access to powders not available to handloaders, and their ability to achieve a certain velocity without exceeding safe pressure limits are no guarantee you will be able to do so with your particular powder choice. In general, the faster the powder, the higher the peak pressure and the lower the muzzle pressure it creates in achieving a given velocity. You don't know the factory load uses a powder with the HP-38 burn rate.

Note also that HP38 is the same powder sold in the Winchester brand as 231. Both come out of the same tap at the same powder plant, but are simply branded differently. That's why the Hodgdon site's charge weights for them are the same. Other sources that you go to for charge suggestions may only show one or the other, so it can be useful to realize you can include 231 data in researching your HP-38 loads.
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Unclenick is offline  
Old November 21, 2009, 08:15 PM   #3
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Keep these bullets for yourself, get for your wife some 147 grain bullets - she will thank you.
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Old November 21, 2009, 08:23 PM   #4
Join Date: October 14, 2009
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I will compare to other 'standard' bullets. I may also try a different powder.

I am not trying to reproduce factory ammo. Sometimes factory seems a little hotter than I want.
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