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Old February 7, 2017, 03:17 PM   #1
Wendyj
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124 gr 9 mm and unique

I've loaded a lot of 9 mm in the past but picked up some 124 gr xtps today. Only powder I had in Hornady 9th was unique. Wanted a hotter load and found 4.7 grains is almost full case. Had loaded with tite group before and no crunching powder when seating bullets. I use unique for my 45 colt so it was all I had on hand. Looking for a +p load. Anyone else use unique in a 9
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Old February 7, 2017, 03:46 PM   #2
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Used to be all I used until I started using Universal. Found it to be almost identical in loading but a little cleaner burning.
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Old February 7, 2017, 04:25 PM   #3
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I shot up my remnants of my can of Unique(was an 8 lb bottle) 1000 124 cast plus a bunch of 124 plated. It actually worked well even tho it didn't throw right on the nut with the Dillon measure. Use it you'll like it. The 9 doesn't seem too picky about powder, I do like the 124/125 gr. bullets better than 115s. May just be in my head.
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Old February 7, 2017, 04:32 PM   #4
Wendyj
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Did you find you were at almost full case capacity with the unique.
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Old February 7, 2017, 04:36 PM   #5
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I use Titegroup with 124 pills. Been loading 4.1 gr under some Berry's plated (1.150 OAL), and 4.4 gr. under some Sierra 125 gr FMJ (1.090 OAL). No HPs to compare, sorry.

As always, the standard disclaimer, "Use at your own risk, and always work up your loads to my suggestions to be safe".
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Old February 7, 2017, 05:37 PM   #6
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TiteGroup has not been accurate in my 9x19s and is NOT a powder I load much over mid-range, much less think about using for a +P load.
+P loads are not needed for anything and I don't think any target is really going to notice the slight increase in velocity; however, if you must load +P, be sure to use data from a real manual and not what someone on the internet says they use.
Compressing a flake powder is not an issue. I have never heard Unique "crunch."
9x19 usually shoots more accurate with a powder slower than AA5. In my guns, Power Pistol and Silhouette have been about the best.
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Old February 7, 2017, 05:48 PM   #7
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Really the "+P" is only about the pressure of the load. Doesn't necessarily mean the the velocity will be higher.

I can load a slower powder to a lower pressure and obtain a higher velocity.

About the best powder I have found for the 9 has been VV N340. It fills the case and is very clean burning with no detectable muzzle flash even after sundown.

Works great with both jacketed bullets and cast bullets.

To answer WendyJ's question: yes I have used unique and yes it does fill the case. It shoots rather well but it leaves more burn residue than the VV N340.

Velocities with a 4" barrel are close to 50 fps more with the VV N340.

I have chronoed my 135 gr cast bullet at 1069 for 10 shot average, and a 115 gr Nosler bullet at 1270 fps with the N340.

Last edited by Dufus; February 7, 2017 at 05:55 PM.
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Old February 7, 2017, 05:49 PM   #8
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All I use in 9MM is Unique powder and 124 grain bullets. My loads range from 5.0-5.4 grains. I load 5.0-5.1 grains with different 124 gr. jacketed RN at 1.50" oal and my top load is Speer 124 Gold Dots at 5.4 grains. I seat 124 gr. Rem Golden Sabers and Speer Gold Dots to 1.120-1.125". Using mostly Win brass and also several other brands it appears 5.0 grains is about at the bottom of the seated bullet or just very slightly compressed. I don't have any issues with overfilled cases at 5.4 either.
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Old February 7, 2017, 06:17 PM   #9
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CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond or not covered by 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.


QuickLOAD shows the order for a 5" barrel at exact full peak pressure (EPVAT military peak pressure of 2300 bar (33359 psi) as:

1291 fps: Power Pistol
1277 fps: Accurate #7
1256 fps: VV 3N37
1253 fps: Accurate #5
1251 fps: Unique
1248 fps: VV N350
1240 fps: HS-6
1239 fps: Accurate #9
1238 fps: Bullseye
1237 fps: Longshot
1236 fps: 540, True Blue
1234 fps: Silhouette, WAP
1213 fps: N340
1209 fps: N330
1207 fps: Universal

The numbers will not match published velocities exactly because published maximums are reduced by the amount of variation the test technician found in the load. QuickLOAD won't figure that, but this list gives velocity potential. It was for a 124 grain flat point bullet seated to 1.125".
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Old February 7, 2017, 06:23 PM   #10
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For the Hornady xtp using Unique in 124 grain 5.1 is max And 4.7 should be around 950 fps out of a g 26. I'm going to use some and try it but think I'll stick with Titegroup. Nosler has a similar constructed hollow point load and I won't start at top end but work up. I've been plinking with 115 Berry run with Titegroup and hp38 and Titegroup wins accuracy with these hands down. Lower powder charges due to Berrys bullet construction but a 20 yard best grouper for sure. I use 124 Speer gold dots for carry. Was hoarding them but since Obama is gone they are on the shelves again. Pricey but I just want my reloads to get close to poi when practicing.
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Old February 7, 2017, 06:33 PM   #11
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Your probably looking at the Hornady manual. It tends to be more conservative than some sources. I'm not saying they are wrong for their bullet, but if you look at Alliant's manual, they load Unique to 5.8 grains over the 124 grain Gold Dot, for which it shows 1180 fps from a 4" barrel (I used 5"). Still, it's a different bullet and a bit softer than the XTP.

The point of the chart is the powder order for velocity potential, regardless of the pressure you load to or the barrel length you use. For maximum velocity purposes, Power Pistol looks the most promising, though it will light things up a bit.
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Old February 8, 2017, 04:09 PM   #12
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I used a bunch of Unique years ago in loading 9MM. I routinely used 6 grains with 115 grain bullets and some 124s. Velocities varied with different manufacturer's guns, with different barrel lengths, chambers, rifling, etc. Generally, 4" to 4.7" barrels produced 1200+ to 1270 FPS with both bullet weights. I also used 7 grains of Herco quite a bit with the same bullets. Velocities were approx. 1300 FPS with the Herco. I have little doubt these loads would be considered +P or +P+ now days, but there were no issues using these in my personal semi-auto pistols and Marlin carbines. Just for comparison, factory Remington 9MM 115 grain +P JHP averaged approx. ~1250 FPS in the same pistols. CorBon 115 +P JHP averaged 1350+ FPS. I'm not suggesting anyone else attempt to duplicate my loads, just sharing my experience with Unique in 9MM, probably+P or +P+ level, loads.......YMMV.
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Old February 10, 2017, 10:57 PM   #13
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To get higher velocity 9mm 124 grain bullets with unique had to rat a tap tap the filled cases then compress. 5.8 to 6.0 grains with the Hornady 124 xtps. XTP's should be able to seat out further then the 124 gdhp, and offer less resistance than the gold dots. This got up in the 1180 fps range from BHP.

Some manuals will not compress powders, and the Hornady manual is extremely conservative with some unique pistol loads. Like same charges as 231, if memory holds. Have left some of these compressed loads sit for over 10 years, they are still the same length. Very accurate.

Now am just using AA-7 with Fed small pistol mag primer for same velocity and accuracy.

Last edited by zeke; February 11, 2017 at 06:20 AM.
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Old February 11, 2017, 05:08 AM   #14
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No experience with Unique, sorry, and I won't quote load books at you since the load books are't doing the load work-up or shooting the handgun...

There are TONS of load work-up articles around,
You are already on the right track.
The only bit of advise I can add,
If you have to beat yourself or the firearm up to get expansion, try a different powder/bullet when these are gone,
If it isn't comfortable for you AND the firearm, then it becomes a chore to practice & you will practice/shoot less.
Common sense, I know, but we sometimes get locked into things with tunnel vision and forget the basics...

Hornady XTP in 124 grain, I use them them all the time, my favorite all around hollow point. You will probably be happy with them in 'Warm' to 'Medium Hot' velocities, not great expansion with short barrels/slower velocity.
They expand fine at velocities other 'Super Duper Self Defense' won't begin to expand.

If it's a 'Holster' and not 'Pocket' handgun, they will probably work.

Last edited by JeepHammer; February 11, 2017 at 05:15 AM.
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