9mm load request using Unique


December 13, 2006, 04:17 PM
I have just gotten started loading 9mm. I've loaded 38special and .357mag for years, but I am new to the auto-loading pistol. Does anyone have a favorite load using Alliant Unique that they would like to suggest to me for accuracy and reliability in my gun, S&W M&P 9mm?
I have 124gr fmj bullets and a lot of unique to use up (6 pounds).
Alliant website says 4.9gr max, but another source I have says that I can go 6.9gr (sounds like trouble to me).

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December 13, 2006, 05:42 PM
I'm looking at three sources. All list 125 grain bullet. No practical difference from a 124 grain bullet.

Speer's #10: Start with 5.5 grains Unique. Maximum: 5.9 grains.

Hercules' Reloader's Guide: Lists 6.2 grains Unique as starting and stopping load.

Lyman's Pistol and Revolver Handbook: Starting load is 4.1 grains Unique. Maximum: 5.3 grains Unique.

Alliant website says 4.9gr max, but another source I have says that I can go 6.9gr.

If it were me, I'd start with 50 rounds 4.1 grains Unique. Check for reliable cycling, accuracy, feeding, etc.

If that load is acceptable, I'd increase to 4.5 grains Unique. If that load is acceptable, I'd go up by .4 grains, again, to 4.9 grains Unique.

I probably wouldn't go beyond 5.5 grains powder, which is Speers' starting load. But that's just me.

For self-defense, I use factory ammo, anyway. I reload only for plinking and pleasure.

BTW, the guy that told you that you can go to 6.9 grains? The fact that he's already missing two fingers and one of his ears should tell you something.

December 13, 2006, 06:20 PM
I completely discounted the 6.9grs, I use 6.8 in .357mag. thanks for the input.
I'll do as you suggested and start at 4.1 then work up to the 4.9gr as on the Alliant website. somewhere in there I may find the right charge for best accuracy and cycling. Thanks again.

December 13, 2006, 06:22 PM
I think 6.9 gr of Unique is too high. I have found Alliant to be conservative with their load data compared to Sierra so if they say 4.9 gr then I agree with PinnedAndRecessed and I wouldn't exceed 5.5 gr. I was loading a 115 gr Rainier PHP at 6 gr of Unique; the Sierra manual said I was good to 7.0 gr for 115 gr JHP but the Alliant data specified 5.5 gr as a max load for 115 gr FMJ. I decided it was a little too hot to be loading in a progressive press so I backed it down to 5.2 gr and I haven't seen where it as adversely affected my accuracy and I feel safer should my powder measure stray off by more then +/-.1 grain.

However, I do feel that 4.1 gr might be a little too light since 10% of 4.9 would be 4.5. Especially of you are loading with a progressive press and considering the tolerances of the powder measures you could easily drop to 3.9 gr, but if you measure and trickle every charge 4.1 might be alright to start. Personally I think I would go with 4.5 and see how it groups.

December 13, 2006, 06:31 PM
i thought i was warm with 5.7 grains, turns out im a slow poke in 9mm :)

December 13, 2006, 07:13 PM
I've had no problems with 6g of Unique but that's using 115 g Rainier bullets. Six pounds? At about 1200 rounds per pound you've got enough for 7200 rounds. Happy shooting.:D

December 13, 2006, 07:27 PM
From the Hornady 4th edition:

115 gr HP/XTP, COL 1.050"
115 gr FMJ-RN, COL 1.105"

Unique min: 4.7gr - 1050fps
Unique max: 5.1gr - 1150fps

124 gr FMJ-FP, COL 1.050"
124 gr FMJ-RN, COL 1.105"

Unique min: 4.7gr - 1025fps
Unique max: 5.1gr - 1125fps


From the Lyman 48th edition:

125 gr JHP, 1.075" OAL

Unique min: 4.5gr - 997fps - 27300 CUP
Unique max: 5.0gr - 1078fps - 30700 CUP

kart racer
December 13, 2006, 07:57 PM
I haven't gone as stout as he is using,but have used 5.4 of unique with 124 gr zero bullets.I prefer power pistol for 9mm.

December 13, 2006, 08:03 PM
PM sent. 4.7 gr under 124 gr FMJ or 4 gr under 124 gr lead works for me. Both loads are very accurate and easy on your gun. They work well in all my 9MM guns.

Take Care


Steve C
December 14, 2006, 01:07 AM
I completely discounted the 6.9grs,...
I think I'd toss the 6.9 idea too as its probably a typo or you read it wrong. I have a compiled ONE BOOK/ONE CALIBER manual published 1990 and the warmest load for a 125gr JRN was in the Alliant data at 6.2grs. Even the Sierra was listed at 5.9grs of Unique with their 125 gr FMJ bullet.

I haven't loaded much in 125gr and haven't run any over my chrono. Usually I stick with 115gr bullets. My results with 115gr Remington JHP bullets has been that 5.2grs of Unique runs them out the end at right around 1,150 fps in the 2 pistols used to collect the data (Glock 19 & Beretta 92). This load matches what I've measured from S&B and Winchester USA FMJ ammo. Bumping the load up .5 gr to 5.7 only got 70 fps more albeit out of a Taurus PT92 and Browning HP rather than the Beretta and Glock, for around 1,220 fps but increased the SD from the 10.01 with the lighter load to 24.08 with the heavier load.

Unique is a good powder for the 9mm though I think Power Pistol has the edge for getting more velocity.

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