9mm reloading advice


July 16, 2007, 09:22 AM
I've been loading .45acp for a few weeks and we've shot probably 1,000 rds without any issue. I've found a load that seems to work well in all of our guns.

Since I live in the city, I don't get to shoot more than once a month or so. This makes it hard to develop a good operating plinking load.

I'm starting to reload 9mm very soon, and it will be used in an XD 4", a Taurus pt99 and a CZ75. The only issue I have with this is that I want to load up enough that we can shoot for a few hours (about 2,000 or so)

I want to use titegroup powder behind a 125 grain unjacketed Lead bullet. Hodgdon's website lists the starting load at 3.6 grains of Titegroup for this. Will that effectively function in the three pistols mentioned above? All advice and experience comments welcome...I don't want to have to pull apart 2,000 9mm cartridges.

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July 16, 2007, 09:36 AM
I understand what you are asking, and why, but even if you get positive answers to your question, I still doubt the wisdom of loading up 2000 rounds without testing them first in your guns. Just because an equivalent load may function well in other guns of similar make and model, doesn't mean they will in yours.

My suggestion: load 10-20 rounds of various charges all at once, like you would if you were "working up" a load, and take them all to the range with you, and see what works, or works best. Then you will have some good data to use for loading up 2000 rounds.

July 16, 2007, 09:38 AM
You didn't state OAL, but 3.6 grns of Titegroup seems a little lite. Max load listed by Hodgdon is only 4.0 grains though. Not a lot of room to work in. Might take a few tries before you load 2,000 rounds, but better safe than sorry when developing a load. In your shoes I'd split the difference and start at 3.8 and work up from there.

I'm not using lead, but 4.0 to 4.2 over a 124 grn plated (berry's/rainier) bullet (OAL 1.155) works well for me in the XD service.

Jim Watson
July 16, 2007, 09:40 AM
The 125 gr lead 9mm is the biggest source of dissatisfaction I know of. Low mediocre to poor accuracy, complete with keyholes in extreme cases.
Do NOT load up 2000 without having tried a small lot first. Don't even buy a big lot of the bullets. Take your .45 and a FEW 9mms to the countryside.

If they work, great, stock up. If they don't, you are not out much.
If they don't, either try to find some of the 145 gr cast bullets or go to cheap jacketed or even plated bullets.

July 16, 2007, 09:58 AM
thanks philbo!
Not sure what recoil springs came out of the factory for the cz75 or the Taurus pt99, but I think my XD 4" has one really heavy recoil spring....so, if it functions in that, then I'm reliably certain it will work in those other two pistols.

July 16, 2007, 11:13 AM
I have had much better luck with the 115gr 9mm bullets for plinking, they are much more accurate than 147gr. I use 4.5 gr of Tightgroup for 115 gr 9mm which is exactly the same amount as in 230gr .45acp so that's nice!

July 16, 2007, 12:20 PM
It's funny because I just ordered some 125 LRN from a guy off Ebay.

For $32 per 1000 I could care less if they suck. Not a huge loss.

Anyway I also use Titegroup and will be working up some loads this week.

I am thinking of starting at 3.8 and moving up from there. I get 1039 fps when using 4 grains of TG and 1073 when using 4.1 with 124 Rainiers with an OAL of 1.13. I am assuming that the 125s will be the best at about 3.9 to 4 grains. I might shorten the OAL to 1.125 but I don't think it will make much of a velocity difference.

The pf for 125s is 1008 fps so I will push it to about 40-50 over that and test accuracy.

I actually find that 115s are not as accurate as 124s and 147s in my XD9 Service. The heavier rounds also help me get back on target easier for IDPA and 3 gun matches.

I agree to do small batches and test. I typically load 20 rounds - chrono 10 and shoot 2 groups of 5 rounds at a paper plate at 50 feet.

July 16, 2007, 01:19 PM
NavyLT: right on! that is convenient.
Scalce: Could you let me know what you come up with on your chronograph? Since we both have XD 4" and all....and I don't have a chronograph. :(

July 16, 2007, 09:28 PM
The 125 gr lead 9mm is the biggest source of dissatisfaction I know of. Low mediocre to poor accuracy, complete with keyholes in extreme cases.
I haven't shot lead myself yet but am going to buy some. I know three people that shoot a lot of 9mm lead in competition because they say it is more accurate for them. kellyj00 I would think that if you stay within the min and max loads that your guns should function fine. I would take the advice of the others and try a few before loading 2,000.

Dave R
July 17, 2007, 01:31 AM
I use 4.5 gr of Tightgroup for 115 gr 9mmWow. Me too. I tried 4.0gr. with a 115gr. Laser-Cast bullet, but it wouldn't cycle my Hi-Power. Worked up to 4.5 gr, which makes it very happy.

July 17, 2007, 05:17 AM
The CZ will run, dont know about the others. Definately dont make 2000 loads without testing:eek: You will be one pissed off man if you gotta pull em:D

July 17, 2007, 06:33 AM
Just a thought, but I make up about 15 round of each load starting at the minimum and work my way up towards the top. Test each in your guns to make sure each load is enough to cycle reliably in YOUR pistols. The very minimums may not cycle properly. When you have a load that will cycle each gun every time, then move up to the next higher loading, just to be sure of reliability. Works for me. I use W231 with 124 grain cast SWC.

July 17, 2007, 09:37 AM
I also use about 4.4-4.5 grains of TG for 115s but this guy is asking about 125s.

July 17, 2007, 10:33 AM
3.2 of TG and a berry's plated 147g loaded to 1.160oal makes a good IDPA/plinking load (900fps +/-)

July 17, 2007, 11:44 AM
I'll use 3.8 grains in 500 bullets, that should be enough to get us started.

I've just finished loading about 500 45acp's using 2.5 grains of titewad. Works fine in my guns and there is no reloading data for titewad in pistols.

July 17, 2007, 01:16 PM
I am going to the range tonight to test the 125s at 3.9 and 4.0 grains.

July 17, 2007, 01:17 PM
Scalce... let us know what you come up with!

July 17, 2007, 04:58 PM
9mm is so affordable it's hard to imagine that it pays to reload it. I do reload .45 ACP though.

July 17, 2007, 08:00 PM
9mm is so affordable it's hard to imagine that it pays to reload it.
Being able to reload it for less than half price and as much of it as I shoot, I would say that makes it worth while for me.

July 17, 2007, 08:24 PM
And, don't forget you can load match grade 9mm for less than the bargain stuff!;)

July 17, 2007, 08:28 PM
Although I do reload 9mm... I don't find it's I huge cost benefit.... as long as I can find Dick's 9mm at $14/100. Unless I can reload 1000 in a couple hours (and I can't) it really isn't much savings. I'd rather stockpile .45 and .40 reloads.

July 17, 2007, 08:33 PM
I don't reload 9mm to save money.

I reload it to tailor the ammo to my gun and shoot more with better amo for the same price as crappy WWB or UMC.

Chrono Data for 125 LRN, XD9 4", mixed brass
3.9 TG, 1079 fps, OAL - 1.135
4.0 TG, 1081 fps, OAL - 1.135

I know you were looking to load 3.8 but you might even want to go as low as 3.7 with a shorter OAL since the pf for 125 is 1000 fps.

July 17, 2007, 10:40 PM
As in previous threads, IMO concider using a Lee Factory Crimp die in the final stage of your 9mm loads for the most realiabilty of your loads. Try this after you get your powder grains where you want them-it will make them better.:neener::neener:

July 17, 2007, 11:39 PM
The 125 gr lead 9mm is the biggest source of dissatisfaction I know of

I've had very good results with the 0.356" 124gr hard cast lead FP (truncated cone) bullets using 4.2-4.7gr Unique (the 4.7gr loads started to show some leading in some guns, but accuracy has been great in all my 9mm pistols) I set the OAL so about a fingernail thickness of the cylindrical section is visible above the case mount.

I mostly load 147gr lead FP now as there is less muzzle blast and its very good at knocking down steel plates, but the 124gr loads grouped a bit tighter on paper targets.

I haven't found 9mm factory ammo for less than $140/1000 in over six months, 9mm brass is free for picking up off the ground and components run about $70/1000. I can crank out 1000 rounds in about 4 hrs total time on my Hornady Progressive. When I could buy steel cased or Blazer aluminum cased ammo for $80-100/1000 I didn't bother reloading 9mm and shot a lot less .45 and .40 ammo.

The savings reloading .45 and .40 are greater and I find the larger cases and bullets easier to handle with my fumble fingers, so I shoot a lot less 9mm now that I'm not shooting much factory ammo.


July 18, 2007, 11:44 AM
powder valley has 9mm cases for $20 per 1000. I can shoot 9mm reloads all day and, even if I throw away the brass.... I'm out $95/1000.... like I said, that's if I buy the brass, you can get 9mm for free from any government range.

A good friend of mine is a S.O.R.T Prison guard (or something like that) so he trains with firearms and instructs others on how to shoot, etc.... anyhow, he gets back packs full of ammo that he brings by my place and we sort it out. Here's how it breaks up for their police/prison training range. about 10% .45acp, about 40% 9mm and about 50% 40s&w.

He gathers Federal gold medal match brass from their sharpshooter training site, but the numbers aren't as impressive....it's all .308 and there's probably about 400 rounds sitting around at his house, waiting for one of us to buy a rifle to shoot it and set of dies. ;-)

July 19, 2007, 06:07 AM
Kellyj00, sounds like you hit a brass gold mine.

With about 1.7 cents/ primer, 1 cent/powder, and casting your own bullets with reloaded brass that comes to about $27/1000. That is a pretty good reason to reload 9mm to me. Of course not everyone is set up to cast, but still makes good sense to me. Mine is a Beretta 92F.

July 19, 2007, 09:31 AM
hawkeye1: how does your baretta 92f function with a 125 gr Lead truncated cone? What kind of powder do you use...?

Also, about casting.... I don't. that's the worst part, the cheapest bullets I can find are about $20 per 500 at 125grain. For .45acp with 230 grain they're about $25 per 500. That really doesn't make sense...the 45acp loads have almost twice the lead in them!

July 19, 2007, 12:38 PM
Kellyj00: I have not used the truncated cone in the Beretta, but use the 124 grain round nose. They function flawlessly. I do, however, use the TC in a Para-Ordnance P16-40. They work great with no hiccups. As for powder, I use W231. I bought a large can a couple of years ago, and have used it exclusively for most all pistol cartridges.

As for casting, I picked up a used Lee 10 pound furnace for $20, and Lee bullet mold from E-Bay for $12-$15 each. The local tire shop will usually give you any scrap wheel weights they have on hand just for the asking. I shoot straight wheel weight material with no other additives. They show no signs of leading in any of my pistols. After the furnace and mold, you are practically casting for free, except for the Lee Liquid Alox bullet lube and some of your time. But the time is part of the hobby, right? Just make sure if you do cast, that you do so in a well ventilated area.

If you do decide to start casting your own, write back and let me know how it turns out.

July 19, 2007, 05:35 PM
I'm gearing up for the real savings in reloading 9mm...casting your own with free and really cheap wheel weights :). My CZ75 seems to like the 124gr bullets. I only tried one 147gr offering so I can't really say it didn't like it. I would definitely agree with the others and say load up just a few of each powder charge for testing purposes. I see a lot of CZ75 shooters in these responses. I don't know about the others but man...my barrel just loves to collect the lead. You might want to keep a close eye on that, especially while you are testing and working up your loads. If you are getting leading note where in the barrel it is collecting because it is indicative of different causes. Unfortunately, as frustrating as it can be, load workup is a slow and methodical process but the pay-off is well worth it. I feel your pain...my range is 45 minutes away...each way so I only get out there once every month or two. Happy shooting.

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