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Old August 18, 2001, 01:34 PM   #1
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Best Powder for 9mm

What is the best powder for loading 9mm rounds? This will be for target/plinking ammo. 124 gr. FMJ bullets. Will be shot out of a Beretta 92, HK USPc, Walther P99, or Kel-Tec P11. I'm looking for something clean, cheap, available in bulk (like those 8 lb. kegs), and preferably listed with starting and max pressures in Hodgdon's reloading manual ('cause that's the one I have). Thanks for your help.
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Old August 18, 2001, 02:04 PM   #2
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Old August 18, 2001, 02:04 PM   #3
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Best powder for 9mm

I have the Beretta 92 and Golck 26. I have used data in Hornady#fouth edition. I have used the 115 grain and the load data using Olin 231 for the 115 is 4.5 starting and 5.5 max with sp primer. The 124 for 231 is 4.7 starting and 5.3 max. I have shot the 115 grain load using a mixture of brass for years and untold thousands of rounds. Olin 231 is an excellent powder.
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Old August 18, 2001, 05:20 PM   #4
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Check out Hodgdon's Titegroup. I just loaded some up in .38 +p loads in .357 brass and got the most consistent velocities I've ever had, nothing over a 15fps spread, most were +/- 3fps. Hodgdon claims powder position in large cases (45 Colt, 357 Magnum and others) has virtually no effect on velocity and performance.

Burned real clean in my 4 inch barrel and actually tightened up my grouping at 25 yards, I'm sticking with it.

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Old August 18, 2001, 06:47 PM   #5
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check out H. Universal Clay's. In Speer #13, 5.0 grains of
this powder delivered a 124 grain JHP at 1,089 fps. This
is a maximum load for this data.

Very clean burning powder!!! I ran test on this, a similar
target load for 9m/m; using Mangus 122 grain hard cast
LSWC's. 3.7 grains deliver's the projectile very accurately
from a Browning Hi-Power (Practical model), Sig P226, or
a Sig P228.

Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
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Old August 18, 2001, 06:47 PM   #6
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Another vote for Win. 231. It is great for a 9mm target load. It is my favorite for the 124gr. bullet. If you ever want to load high velocity 9mm, you should use a slower burning powder such as Power Pistol or HS-6.
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Old August 18, 2001, 07:27 PM   #7
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"Mister, got any WAP?"

Suggest best choice for your requirements is Alliant Power Pistol. By far.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
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Old August 18, 2001, 07:52 PM   #8
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I use WS231 most of the time in 9mm, a little goes a long way. Have had excellent results with PowerPistol behind Speer 124 gr. Gold Dots out of a Beretta 92 Compact.
Take Care
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Old August 18, 2001, 08:54 PM   #9
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Red Dot has given me best accuracy.

titegroup second.
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Old August 19, 2001, 07:10 AM   #10
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Plus try these

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Old August 19, 2001, 09:52 AM   #11
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Depends on bullet and other variables. One combination I know works is pour-my-own RCBS 9mm-147-TC over 4.6 gr HS-6.
safety first
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Old August 19, 2001, 01:17 PM   #12
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Universal is the most versatile Hodgdon powder.

Can be light loaded for target work and pushed to 1100 + fps for moderately recoiling rounds.

TiteGroup is nice for light recoiling target loads.

And LongShot is sweet for full powerhouse loads doing almost 1300 fps.

Depends on your needs.

I use them all for different guns and carbines.
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Old August 19, 2001, 02:48 PM   #13
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The nicest powder I have used in the 9mm is Power Pistol. This powder gives some of the highest velocities and my fired brass looks like it just came out of the tumbler.
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Old August 19, 2001, 02:58 PM   #14
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I like HP38 for general target use and duplicating standard factory rounds and HS6 for loading up those 1,300+ fps loads to duplicate defensive carry rounds. I've seen both powders in the 8 pound kegs, but most shops don't carry the big cans, at least not around here.

I've burned a lot of 231 as well, it's a very good powder for standard loads, but lately I've found HP38 to be easier to find and works just as well.
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Old August 19, 2001, 06:41 PM   #15
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HP-38 and W231 are the same powder. Olin, Winchester's parent company, makes the powder, then ships it to Hodgdon who then puts it in Hodgdon containers. HP-38 is priced less than the W231 in my area.

I think HP-38, W231, HS6, Universal Clays and Titegroup are some of the best powders for 9mm. Unique is also a good all around powder, but it tends to shoot a bit dirty for me.
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Old August 19, 2001, 07:23 PM   #16
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HS6 and 115grain bullets work for me!!!
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Old August 19, 2001, 10:49 PM   #17
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Luck with Red Dot?

I saw one reply with "Red Dot" in it, but I'm curious to see what other folks think about Red Dot in 9mm loads. I'm using it because it's a one-source powder for shotshell and handgun loads.

Check Six.
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Old August 19, 2001, 11:37 PM   #18
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Well, I've been using Alliant Bullseye with good results so far. I've been shooting the starting loads (my calculation was 4.2 grains) out of my Beretta with not a single jam, although the loads seem light. I loaded some more with the starting load, and then did a batch with 4.5 and 4.9 grains (4.9 being the max load according to Hodgdon's).

I also picked up 2 1 lb. containers of Hodgdon's HP-38, and hope to have good results with it. I'm hoping to find one powder I like and stick with it so I can be consistent from one reloading session to another. Universal looks good, because it can be used for just about anything.
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Old August 20, 2001, 07:31 AM   #19
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You won't see many post on red dot due to the
suggested use is shotgun, I have used it for
years in pistol,38,380, 9x18,9mm, it is cleaner
then prior years and I find accuracy in lite
plinking loads is almost always better, I bench
test loads for accuracy not velocity.
The only one I can't get accuracy from with it
is the 45acp and in that I use titegroup.

Last edited by bullet44; August 20, 2001 at 07:57 AM.
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Old August 20, 2001, 08:15 AM   #20
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Here are some links to searches on this subject



And there are plenty more.

Good Shooten,

Tony Z
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Old August 21, 2001, 12:29 AM   #21
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I tested powders with 115 JHP, 124 FMJ FP, and 147 XTP. I worked up until the primer pierced, case blew, or the case was full of powder. I

Power Pistol
Blue Dot

I also have some data from LONG SHOT and AA#7.

What I now carry is Power Pistol and 124 gr.

The Alliant load is 125 gr FMJ 1.150" 6.6 gr, 1235 fps, 34,000 psi.

I found the primer will pierce at 11 gr.

The case only holds about 10~10.6 gr.

For the experement, I came up with double compression: a second press with a bullet puller loaded with a 9mm bullet is seated on a full case. The bullet is then pulled and the powder in the case is then compressed. More powder can then be added and the real bullet seated on another press.

With 10.5 gr the primer is ok down to 1.00" OAL.

This means that Power Pistol is not only the fastest tested, but has a very large safety margin in powder and over all length.

On the down side is the flash and report. Power Pistol is easily the loudest powder tested. The flash I have not tried at night, but if it is that bright during the day, it will be bright.

Other good loads were 3N37 and 147 gr as well as AA#5 and 115 gr. These loads had no where near the safety margin and kaboomed about .7 gr above where the case started bulging and RP primers pierced.
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Old August 23, 2001, 07:30 AM   #22
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A couple of questions:
1. How much more powder can you get in with your double compression technique?
2. Can you explain what you mean by the #5 load Kabooming when it was nowhere near the safety margin?
Thanks, Griz
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Old August 24, 2001, 04:44 AM   #23
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1) I have only used "double compression" to increase a 9mm case from 10.5 to 11 gr of Power Pistol. This was not practical, just wanted to see what it would take to blow the primer with a 124 gr Hornady FMJ FP at 1.169". The techinque could compress much more, but I have not done it.

Some powders like H110 and AA#9 have high bulk modulus [hard to compress]. They will bulge cases and bullets before they compress.

Some powders like AA#5 have so much power, that they can blow a primer or a case when half full and using a light bullet! No need to compress AA#5.

2) The Accurate Arms load for AA#5 and a 115 gr JHP is 7.0 gr 1.095", 4" barrel, WSP, 1192 fps

If I work up at 1.169", RP primed brass in a Kel-Tek P11, at 11 gr the primer pierces and the case starts to bulge in the shape of the feed ramp. At 11.7 gr the case fails, causing a secondary failure of some parts in the pistol, and some danger to the tester.

The difference of 11.7 gr failure and the 7 gr rating would be a safety margin of 4.7 gr.

If you loaded up some +P+ loads of 7.7 gr, the extra performance would come at the expense of reduced safety margin [4 gr safety margin].

One can only imagine that the big companies went over this with lawyers before they started selling +P+ ammo.
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Old August 24, 2001, 02:39 PM   #24
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I've tried several powders, and will still try several more, but Winchester 231 is still at the top of my list.
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