Loaded too light??


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Racinbob
November 28, 2008, 04:45 PM
I just got home from a trip to the range. I'm new to reloading and was anxious to try my first batch of 50. I loaded the 9mm with 4.5 grains of Win 231 behind Winchester 115 grain FMJ. The chart said to start with 4.3 grains with 4.8 max. A friend said it would be best to go with the 4.5 so I did that and weighed each one on a RCBS 750. I was using a Ruger SR9 which has been flawless with anything I feed it. Well, I had several fail to eject fully as the slide caught them (about 10%). The loads seemed to be very light making me think that may have caused it not to cycle fully. I went through a mag full of my friends loads with Bullseye in them. I'm not sure of the amount because he's in California right now to work the alternate shuddle landing sight. I was shooting with his wife and she didn't know. His loads were hotter (but still mild) and worked perfect as well as the couple hundred various factory loads I shot today. I'm thinking trying 4.6 grains in another 50. I figured I'd go to the best place I know of for great information. So, what do you think?

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Walkalong
November 28, 2008, 04:58 PM
Speer # 13 goes from 4.5 to 5.0 Grs W-231 and 115 Gr jacketed bullets.

Like you said, try 4.6 and see how you like it. Then 4.7 etc. That is why we start low and work up. If the 4.5 Gr load was not a bit light there would be reason to take notice and start over from scratch.

Galil5.56
November 28, 2008, 05:00 PM
I think your Ruger gave you it's verdict. Even 4.8 grains is a low max by some manuals compared to others, and I like 5 grains WW231 for 115 FMJ's, and will take it to 5.3 for my max. FWIW, Zero bullets loads it 115 and 125 grain bullets over 5 grains of HP38, and this comes right of their load spec sheet. WW231 and HP38 are identical, different name, like a lot of Hodgdon propellants.

You will read some folks lump Bullseye and WW231 as nearly the same burning rate, but in my experience WW231 is considerably slower. I think a bump in WW231 charge weight will do wonders.

Walkalong
November 28, 2008, 05:01 PM
You will read some folks lump Bullseye and WW231 as nearly the same burning rate, but in my experience WW231 is considerably slower. I think a bump in WW231 charge weight will do wonders.Agreed

Racinbob
November 28, 2008, 05:08 PM
Thanks friends. I did want to keep it on the low side and work up. My post wasn't 10 minutes old and I got a ton of great info back! I'm going to do some more research and may go to 4.7 next. It sounds like it will still be a mild load.

depoloni
November 28, 2008, 05:42 PM
My most accurate 231 load in my CZ-75 is 4.9 grains pushing either Remington or Winchester FMJ bullets.

For plated bullets that drops to 4.7, and functions fine.

For cast bullets in the 122-125gr class, the best loads for me are between 4.2 and 4.4 grains of 231 although depending on your pistol it may or may not cycle properly. My pistol starts to have problems not cycling at about 4.0 with cast bullets. 14-lb spring in mine (stock), don't know if that helps.

Racinbob
November 28, 2008, 06:57 PM
Thanks Dopoloni, it does help. It looks obvious that I'm too light and that's causing the problem. I checked the charts and everyone I saw did match HP38 with W231. More great info!

rfwobbly
November 29, 2008, 09:59 AM
"I was using a Ruger SR9 which has been flawless with anything I feed it. "

Bob -
Is your Ruger rated for +P loads? If so, the fitted recoil spring might be on the stiff side for minimum loads. You can bump the powder up and try again, or lower the recoil spring by 2 pounds.

Hard lesson to learn: Never load 50 of any experimental load. Better to load ten of each at 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, etc and then make notes on the performance or each in your gun. Remember, the reloading manual writers are using a closed bolt gun so they can get an accurate read on the chamber pressure. Their suggestions do not take into account the need to operate a semi-automatic.


"....he's in California right now to work the alternate shuttle landing sight. I was shooting with his wife...."

Now that's the part we REALLY want to know more about. :D

jfdavis58
November 29, 2008, 10:20 AM
I'm not sure any lesson is learned by loading 50 of one weight; especially if a separate range trip is needed for each weight.

Take some ammo that you know works, that way you have something to do besides testing. Take the range of weights offered in a typical manual and step off 5 different loads between bottom and top. Load 10-12 at each weight. Map each weight into a specific row or volume in a plastic cartridge box and take care to keep the lid snapped shut--i.e don't spill it!

Starting at the lightest load- in a gun already fouled by some shots of the known ammo, shoot five of the testors. Take notes--a chronograph helps a lot-I started with a $90.00 Shooting Chrony.

One range trip and you know a lot! If you find signs of over-pressure you stop. Set the hot cartridges aside and pull them when you get home. I've worked the Speer manual for almost 20 years-never needed to pull anything loaded from the chart.

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