new reloader here: your personal favorite powders/loads in a few common calibers.


Deus Machina
November 13, 2008, 07:52 AM
Stocking up, and narrowing down what I need. Trying to cut out what experimenting I can. The search brings up a lot of info that will be nice when I'm more experienced, but is just overwhelming right now.

What are your personal favorite powders and loads for 9mm, .45 ACP, and 7.62x39?

They will be going through a 3.5" S&W pistol, a friend's 5" 1911, and a 16" Saiga, respectively. All rounds to be loaded 'moderately', preferably, for the range.

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November 13, 2008, 01:40 PM
Here's some info to get you started. Most any 9mm gun shoots the 125 gr. lead roundnose, or 122 or 120 gr. TFP lead bullet VERY well. (TFP stands for truncated flat point. It looks kind of like a roundnose with the nose end flattened.) 124 gr. jacketed bullets are good too, as well as the ol' standard 115 gr. hollowpoint too. If you're shooting a Glock in 9mm, try the Accurate Arms #5 or #7 powder, and Winchester 231 for pretty much anything in 9mm or .45 acp if you want one powder to do most anything. As for .45 acp, if your guns will feed them, the 200 gr. lead semi-wadcutter is really hard to beat for accuracy, at any velocity. The 185 gr. lead semi-wadcutter is good too, just don't shoot a max powder charge with them. They work really well with start charges or medium charges on powder. As for jacketed bullets in 45acp, I would probably just shoot the 230 gr. roundnose or some Hornady XTP hollowpoints in either 200 gr. or 230 if available. Hope this info helps. There will probably be some other members who will say the same thing, or close. For your wallet's sake, don't buy a whole bunch of different powders yet. It doesn't help that much. Just get one or two powders that are versatile, and make it work. I wasted alot of money over the years by keeping too many powders around. For my collection of handguns, I could just have some Bullseye or Winchester 231 around and be happy with that.

November 13, 2008, 01:47 PM
One note to add: as for 7.62X39 ammo, if you're only shooting military-type guns and can get a good price on bulk ammo, I wouldn't waste my time with reloading that caliber. Brass and bullets are alot more expensive for rifle, and are slower and harder to load. For the time and $$ spent on rifle, I wouldn't screw with it. That's up to you. Do the math first on the savings. The other thing with 7.62X39 is, unless you have a great way of catching the brass on a semi-auto or full-auto rifle, you're wasting your $$ if you can't keep up with the brass. It's only gonna save you money if you can recover it and use it several times. My pistol brass gets used about 20 times before I toss it. Seriously. Rifle won't go that long probably, but any amount helps.

November 13, 2008, 01:52 PM
Most 7.62x39 is surplus or Russian commercial Berdan primed steel case stuff.
You can't reload it.

(Well, I suppose you can, but it simply isn't worth the effort)

If you have brass Boxer primed cases, by all means reload it!

November 13, 2008, 02:12 PM
get a load manual and see what powders are in both 9 and 45 sections. then get the one that uses the least volume. don't bother reloading for the 7.62x39

make sure you buy dies that have the word CARBIDE in the description. it will save you a great deal of time by not having to lube cases. I suggest Lee brand.

( I actually suggest you buy a lee turret press, 4 die set of dies, lee autodisk, and a 4 hole turret for each die set. lee is good quality, affordable, and come with pretty good instructions) later, if you find you love reloading and reload LOTS, you might think about upgrading to a dillion progressive press. butI would start with lee. actually, I did.

and finally, unless you are going to shoot cast lead bullets, you don't save a whole lot reloading as opposed to buying WWB at walmart.

November 13, 2008, 02:22 PM
I've been loading since 1971, 181,751 rounds as of the end of 2007. Yes, I'm that anal!!

9mm - 115 gr plated RN / 6.2 / Silhouette / 1165 fps in my BHP
147 gr plated RN / 4.3 / Silhouette / 870 fps in my G19

.357 practice load - 158 gr plated FP / 4.5 / Titegroup / 910 fps in my GP100

.44 Spl practice load - 200 gr plated FP / 3.7 / Clays / 788 fps in my 4" M-29

.45ACP - 200 gr plated RN / 4.1 / Clays / 797 fps in my 4" XD

All loads are very accurate in my pistols.

Neither of my Glock 9mm pistols will shoot 115 gr plated bullets worth a whoop. Bullets go through the target sideways at 7 yds. The 147 gr plated bullets shoot great. Everything shoots great in my BHP.

Clays is a terrific powder in .45ACP. Probably not the best for hot loads, but it's accurate, clean and meters well. And it's not sensitive to position in the case.

Deus Machina
November 13, 2008, 03:42 PM
Hey, thanks guys. Little more research on my part, then.

Already got my press in--a Lee Pro 100 progressive. I believe in buying stuff I won't need to move up from soon. :)

And I won't be reloading the x39 soon, if things go well. Just wanted the capability to in case import stops and tax goes up. Wolf is cheaper than buying just the brass.

I'll be searching out more powders. So far, everyone in the shops has been suggesting Unique, but if I have to keep two different powders, I can make my buddy buy the supply for his, and use it only on his stuff.

Deus Machina
November 14, 2008, 05:08 AM
Hmmm... Alright, a couple other questions while I'm at it.

Do lead bullets, generally, feed alright in pistols, or is it one of those gun-by-gun things?

I'll have to see if I can dig out the old lead pot--just adding tin to lead hardens it acceptably?

And, finally, for now--only one store around me that I know of sells reloading supplies. :( And the only primers they had, last i checked, were magnum. Is there a general rule for substituting magnum primers for normal ones, or does this mean more experimenting?

November 14, 2008, 07:55 AM
Adding tin does not harden your lead, it makes it flow better into the mould. Antimony hardens the lead. Find some wheel weights if you can and melt them down.
Lead bullets should feed in just about anything. If you have problems, you might have to change the profile.
If you have to use magnum primers you will have to start at the bottom of the load in the manual and work back up. Some powders may not work with magnum primers very well though. It is always best to stick with what the manual tells you to use if possible.

Deus Machina
November 14, 2008, 07:58 AM
Ahh. My mistake then. I always thought antimony was soft. Huh.

Figured it would be a matter of dropping the load for magnums, but wasn't sure if there was a percentage or anything. For the price difference, I'll just order standard.

Thanks. :)

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