What's a good 9mm load to start with?


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possom813
January 2, 2009, 06:30 AM
I'm pretty much ready to reload my first cartridge, baby steps, I know:what:

It's going to be a bouncing baby 9mm.

I've consulted the manuals-Abc's of Reloading/Reloaders Bible/Sierra Handbook.

The manuals vary on a lot of specs, naturally.

So I turn to you, much more experienced, higher educated, most awesomest folks on the board(enough brown-nosing there)

The load I have worked up in my head is as follows,

CCI Brass, Winchester Primer, 125gr cast rn bullet, 5.1 grains of HS-6

Does that sound about right?

Also, exactly how far is the bullet supposed to set down in the case on a cast bullet? I set a couple in empty cases to the best I could decipher from the manuals and they don't look right to me. The bullet has 3 grooves in it for the lube and it sets the top groove just about flush with the case.

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Racinbob
January 2, 2009, 06:46 AM
Being new to reloading myself, I started light as well. I loaded 4.5 of W231 in my 9mm with Berrys 115 DS plated on my first try. It failed to cycle in my (now history) Kahr PM9. That told me nothing because that thing wouldn't function properly with anything. Then in my SR9 it seemed way too light and a few failed to cycle fully. The SR9 eats anything I feed it. I found that they were just too light. My friend had loaded 4.6 of Bullseye behind the same bullet and were noticeably hotter (by no means a hot load though). I now have some with 4.7 and 4.8 of W231 and some that match my buddies load. I'll be trying then either today or tomorrow and I'll report back.

Galil5.56
January 2, 2009, 08:04 AM
I like HS-6 in 9mm very well, but only when loaded pretty near normal std pressures using jacketed bullets. The load you mention seems awfully light considering the propellant, and I believe will result in a lot of unburned powder, especially in colder weather, and nowhere near enough oomph to cycle a SA pistol. Might bump the start charge to 5.5, and probably going to need 5.8 or more to get any semblance of reliable functioning.

For 125 grain lead bullets in 9mm I really like Unique, WW 231, and at times use Bullseye driving the bullets to 1050-1100 fps. As far as length, without knowing the bullet used it will be very hard to even come close to recommending a vague working length, and only your pistol can tell you what it needs for correct OAL by using the actual barrel as a gage.

Good luck

Walkalong
January 2, 2009, 11:20 AM
HS-6 will be dirty at light loadings with lead. Use W-231 or 700X for that.

shameless
January 2, 2009, 11:47 AM
5.5gr W231 will function the SR9.
Might type www.Hogden load data in your browser.
Lots of load data there, as well as other places.

Hang in there, and you will find that magic load
for your gun.

GaryL
January 2, 2009, 12:05 PM
FWIW, I have found the 124-125gr bullets seem to work better in most 9mm guns I've tried. I've had great luck with HS-5, an obsolete powder I picked up for about $5/lb. When that is gone (next time I reload 9mm it will run out), I plan to work up a new load with HS-6, which some here have claimed is very similar.

rfwobbly
January 2, 2009, 07:33 PM
HS-6 will be dirty at light loadings with lead.

I have no experience with HS-6 but according to the booklet in front of me, the load also seems too light. My first booklet says HS-6 starts at 6.4gr and maximum is 6.8gr.

Furthermore, maximum 6.8gr for HS-6 is confirmed by the second reference, a free Hodgdon booklet available at any dealer or online. You'd usually start 10% below max, so that indicates a starting of ~6.1gr.

HS-6 should deliver a nice, easy to handle, push to the hands once you get this round sorted out. I certainly hope it's a dense powder because getting 6gr of powder and a 124gr bullet into a 9x19 case is going to be a trick. Be sure and check for compressed loads. Be safe.

Hope this helps.

Redneck with a 40
January 3, 2009, 10:48 AM
Go with a basement load (minimum charge) of Unique, the stuff is safe (fills the case), and gives great performance across the board.:)

possom813
January 3, 2009, 12:49 PM
I don't want to change powders...I already have HS-6 and Green Dot, so that's out of the question, I still have several pounds left of these powders.

One of those are going to have to work for the first load.

But the bullets may be able to change, I just found a handful of 115gr fmj's in the drawer that I wasn't aware of.

Galil5.56
January 3, 2009, 01:07 PM
Green Dot huh... I'd use it before HS-6 considering what you have written and want to do. Maybe a nice-n-easy, super soft 4 grains of GD to start, and max it around 4.5 or so. Nice bulky case filling powder that will be much cleaner, and I believe more consistent for what you are wanting to do over HS-6. FWIW, I load 115 jacketed bullets with 7 grains of HS-6 for a nice snappy load, that is low on the pressure spectrum... Maybe use the 115's you have with it?

depoloni
January 3, 2009, 03:58 PM
ProChrono Digital Chronograph
CZ-75B 9mm Luger, 4.7" barrel

POWDER - CHARGE WT. - VELOCITY @ 15'

115 Grain Rainier Plated - 1.100" OAL HP // 1.125" OAL FMJ
HS-6 5.8 983
HS-6 6.1 1047
HS-6 6.4 1102
HS-6 6.6 1146
HS-6 6.8 1162
HS-6 7.0 1197

122 Grain Cast Truncated Cone - 1.055" OAL
HS-6 5.8 1069
HS-6 6.1 1144
HS-6 6.4 1207

115 Grain Jacketed (Win/Rem/Magtech all ~ same) - 1.150" OAL
HS-6 6.7 1076
HS-6 7.0 1181



........that's what I have in my records that I worked up personally at least. I prefer W-231 (or HP-38, same thing) for cast loads in 9mm, or Unique for that matter although Unique is diiirty. In jacketed loads I stick with those two for simplicity's sake, although I LIKE the performance that HS-6 or Power Pistol offers on the "hot" end of the spectrum.

Hope this helps.

armoredman
January 3, 2009, 04:55 PM
With a 124gr cast, my best is 6.4gr of AA#7 or 4.2 gr of AA32, at 1.095 COAL, Lee FCD used. Works great in the CZ compact pistols I shoot.

rfwobbly
January 3, 2009, 05:51 PM
I don't want to change powders...I already have HS-6 and Green Dot, so that's out of the question, I still have several pounds left of these powders.

Green Dot then would be the better choice then based on bullet weight and powder speed. My book indicates GD is slightly faster than HS-6, so save your HS-6 for heavier bullets.

For Green Dot it recommends starting at 4.7gr, with a max at 5.2gr for 125gr bullets. It infers an OAL of 1.169, but does not explicitly say.

Better?

rodregier
January 3, 2009, 06:14 PM
I've burned a lot of HS-6 in 9mmx19, works fine. Can't comment on Green Dot.

Galil5.56
January 3, 2009, 06:37 PM
Green Dot then would be the better choice then based on bullet weight and powder speed. My book indicates GD is slightly faster than HS-6, so save your HS-6 for heavier bullets.

For Green Dot it recommends starting at 4.7gr, with a max at 5.2gr for 125gr bullets. It infers an OAL of 1.169, but does not explicitly say.


What book says GD is slightly faster? Any load data I have seen or used, burning rate chart, and actual experience tells me HS-6 is considerably slower.

That 5.2 grain max for lead charge is also from the older Alliant/Herc manuals, and although I'm sure it's safe, in my experience they treat lead bullets way to similar to their jacketed brothers of the same weight, which in my experience and opinion is not always best. They also list an OAL of 1.150", which until we even remotely know the style of bullet used is useless. Even if safe, I'd love to see what 5.2 grains of GD/125 lead would chrono :what: and stand by my recommendation.

rfwobbly
January 3, 2009, 07:31 PM
Here's what I'm going by...

bullseye308
January 3, 2009, 07:36 PM
As far as length, without knowing the bullet used it will be very hard to even come close to recommending a vague working length,

The bullet is a Lee 90238 TL356-124-TC cast from ww's with ~4%tin air cooled. I load it to 1.08 with good success. No help on the powder, I use Bullseye.

armoredman
January 3, 2009, 08:02 PM
That's the same mould I use, mine drops at .360, so I can size mine for both 38spl and 9mm. Great boolit.

Galil5.56
January 3, 2009, 08:11 PM
Quote:
As far as length, without knowing the bullet used it will be very hard to even come close to recommending a vague working length,

The bullet is a Lee 90238 TL356-124-TC cast from ww's with ~4%tin air cooled.

This makes my point exactly, and why giving out an OAL w/o knowing the bullet is impossible, and damn hard even when known because of too many variables... So the Alliant data I cite uses this Lee TL124TC?

I load that exact same bullet, seat it to 1.050"-1.070", and it works well in MY guns:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v146/Abucaster/IMG_7628.jpg

The Lee 125 RN to 1.115"

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v146/Abucaster/IMG_8265.jpg

125 grain Lyman 356402's to 1.135", etc, etc....

It's all about shank and nose length, barrel leade, and common sense. Oh yeah, just for comparison here is the 1.050" OAL of the TL124 TC and the generic Alliant recommended 1.150" OAL for the same bullet.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=90378&d=1231031022

My loooong leade 9mm barrels seat the one on the left just fine. They will seat the right one too... With a hammer. As I said, giving out universal OAL's is ridiculous.

possom813
January 3, 2009, 08:46 PM
Alright, I followed some advice here and there and everywhere and loaded my first two rounds with the 124gr tc cast bullet.

Both with HS-6 powder, one with 5.9gr and one with 6.1gr

As for oal, I don't know yet, but extremely close to the same length as a factory 147jhp and a similar profile.

The are seated to the almost the exact spot Galil posted in the first pic.

So off to see if they go bang tomorrow, we hope for bang because boom won't be any fun.

FWIW, I checked these in the chamber of the test dummy and through the mag with some similar, non-live, rounds that were just brass and bullet to see if they cycle smooth. Only one caught up and I believe it was my fault for trying to cycle the firearm too fast.

possom813
January 3, 2009, 08:50 PM
Alright, I followed some advice here and there and everywhere and loaded my first two rounds with the 124gr tc cast bullet.

Both with HS-6 powder, one with 5.9gr and one with 6.1gr

As for oal, I don't know yet, but extremely close to the same length as a factory 147jhp and a similar profile.

The are seated to the almost the exact spot Galil posted in the first pic.

So off to see if they go bang tomorrow, we hope for bang because boom won't be any fun.

FWIW, I checked these in the chamber of the test dummy and through the mag with some similar, non-live, rounds that were just brass and bullet to see if they cycle smooth. Only one caught up and I believe it was my fault for trying to cycle the firearm too fast.

possom813
January 3, 2009, 08:51 PM
Alright, I followed some advice here and there and everywhere and loaded my first two rounds with the 124gr tc cast bullet.

Both with HS-6 powder, one with 5.9gr and one with 6.1gr

As for oal, I don't know yet, but extremely close to the same length as a factory 147jhp and a similar profile.

The are seated to the almost the exact spot Galil posted in the first pic.

So off to see if they go bang tomorrow, we hope for bang because boom won't be any fun.

FWIW, I checked these in the chamber of the test dummy and through the mag with some similar, non-live, rounds that were just brass and bullet to see if they cycle smooth. Only one caught up and I believe it was my fault for trying to cycle the firearm too fast.

possom813
January 3, 2009, 08:52 PM
Alright, I followed some advice here and there and everywhere and loaded my first two rounds with the 124gr tc cast bullet.

Both with HS-6 powder, one with 5.9gr and one with 6.1gr

As for oal, I don't know yet, but extremely close to the same length as a factory 147jhp and a similar profile.

The are seated to the almost the exact spot Galil posted in the first pic.

So off to see if they go bang tomorrow, we hope for bang because boom won't be any fun.

FWIW, I checked these in the chamber of the test dummy and through the mag with some similar, non-live, rounds that were just brass and bullet to see if they cycle smooth. Only one caught up and I believe it was my fault for trying to cycle the firearm too fast.

possom813
January 3, 2009, 08:54 PM
Alright, I followed some advice here and there and everywhere and loaded my first two rounds with the 124gr tc cast bullet.

Both with HS-6 powder, one with 5.9gr and one with 6.1gr

As for oal, I don't know yet, but extremely close to the same length as a factory 147jhp and a similar profile.

The are seated to the almost the exact spot Galil posted in the first pic.

So off to see if they go bang tomorrow, we hope for bang because boom won't be any fun.

FWIW, I checked these in the chamber of the test dummy and through the mag with some similar, non-live, rounds that were just brass and bullet to see if they cycle smooth. Only one caught up and I believe it was my fault for trying to cycle the firearm too fast.

Blind Bat
January 3, 2009, 10:13 PM
5.5gr W231 will function the SR9.
Might type www.Hogden load data in your browser.
Lots of load data there, as well as other places.

DANGER WILL ROBINSON... Unless you are shooting a 100gr bullet, 5.5gr is WAY over max for W231. Even 4.5gr would be getting close to the max velocity that lead bullets will handle. You probably meant to say HS6 but since W231 is such a popular powder I would be remiss not to say something in case some came across this thread in a a search for W231 9mm loads...

According to Hodgdon's web site (http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp)3.9-4.4gr of W231 @ 1.125 is the correct load for 125gr LCN.

rfwobbly
January 3, 2009, 11:11 PM
As for oal, I don't know yet, but extremely close to the same length as a factory 147jhp and a similar profile.

Bro Possom -
You cannot guess about the length. The seating depth directly determines the volume inside the cartridge case. The volume inside the case directly effects the chamber pressure. The chamber pressure determines whether you get to keep your hand and eyes.

This is not play time. Close is not good enough. You have to be at or longer than the OAL given in the data book for that weight bullet. You have to be able to know and hold the OAL within a very tight tolerance.

zxcvbob
January 3, 2009, 11:28 PM
Green Dot works very well with cast bullets in 9mm.

Alliant has load data in their old databook (page 16): http://www.thehighroad.us/attachment.php?attachmentid=81593&d=1216513445

I would use 5.0 grains of Green Dot. BTW, consistant bullet seating is *very* important for loading 9mm ammo that shoots accurately. Find the length that works the best with your bullet and your guns, and stick with it.

coyotehitman
January 3, 2009, 11:40 PM
All I have ever used is 3.9 gr of 231 and 125 grain RN bullets. It has functioned everything from Glocks to CZ's without problems.

possom813
January 4, 2009, 01:01 AM
Right on, so I probably shouldn't see if these go bang tomorrow then.

I need to dig up a set of calipers

This also wasn't something that I read in the manual, I haven't read anything about OAL yet, just saw it mentioned a couple of times. I was under the impression that the bullets go where the bullets go and that was it.

No reload shooting tomorrow it doesn't look like, so I'll stick these on the shelf as the "1st Reloads" and keep them as a memento of the time I didn't shoot my eye out.

rfwobbly
January 4, 2009, 03:52 PM
Possom -

You can get a really nice digital 6" caliper at places like Northern Tool or Harbor Freight on Sundays. You may have some of these stores locally, or they both have websites. Calipers usually cost about $25-$35. Look for one that reads in MM and Inches, with a resettable zero, and a carrying case.


Understanding Tolerances
The accuracy needed is inferred. All measurements have a tolerance. When a number like "1/16" is stated, it usually infers a fractional tolerance of the smallest unit on the ruler you are using, say 1/64. So it is really saying "1/16 1/64". Follow?

So a number like 1.02" infers a plus/minus tolerance also measured to 2 decimal places, such as 0.01". So it follows that a number like 1.160" infers a tolerance also measured to 3 decimal places, such as 0.005".

The smallest measurement the human eye can detect is generally considered to be 1/64" (~.016"). This is 3 times larger than our 0.005 from above. So when you are given a 3 decimal place OAL, the instructions infer that you MUST get an instrument capable of measuring to 3 decimal places, such as a micrometer or a caliper.

Back in the 50's, reloading used to be the province of machinists and technicians accustomed to working to fine tolerances. All this was innately understood by them at the reading. Now that reloading has moved more into the realm of the hobbyist, this has not been very well explained.

In your particular case, fine tolerances are a must due to the fact that the 9mm Luger case has such a small internal volume. Much smaller than almost any other common round. As I said before, due to the very small case, small changes in OAL make for big changes in chamber pressure. So the 9mm is much more highly sensitive to changes in OAL, and extra special care needs to be exercised.


Other Uses
Calipers can also be handy in detecting over pressure, since one of the signs is case growth at the base. Calipers can also be handy is insuring there is not too much taper crimp, a contributor to higher chamber pressure. So a caliper is a very handy instrument to have. You will never regret the purchase.

Hope this helps!

Walkalong
January 4, 2009, 04:10 PM
You can get a really nice digital 6" caliper at places like Northern Tool or Harbor Freight on Sundays.
Harbor Freight Calipers (http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=47257) They go on sale pretty often and work great.

rfwobbly
January 4, 2009, 04:21 PM
Walking -

You're correct. I'm using a set of Harbor Freight 6" stainless steel digitals picked up there on sale in early December for $12 !! However, I didn't want to mention that, not knowing if the sale was still going.


It's simply amazing what the Chinese have been able to accomplish with all our money and technology.

possom813
January 4, 2009, 04:31 PM
These any good, or any opinions on them???

http://www.manventureoutpost.com/outdoor/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=12695

rfwobbly
January 4, 2009, 06:08 PM
Those SEEM to be the same as ones I have, but there is no mention of the metric-inch readings which is really nice. I got the photo downloaded and blew it up in PhotoShop, all to no avail. Still couldn't read the script.

I think there must be one place in China making one set of calipers which is re-labeled 10,000 ways. You might want to order over the phone and ask the guy in India if it has that capability. :D

So I feel 94.35% certain it's a good set.

zxcvbob
January 4, 2009, 06:24 PM
Those look about the same as the HF ones. I have a pair of HF calipers, and they work great, but the original battery didn't last very long and neither did the spare. I put a name-brand battery in and it has lasted a couple of years.

BTW, if you have some factory ammo there, you can use one as a gauge to set your seating die. You won't know the actual length, so you use the minimum load data (about 4.5 grains of Green Dot with your 125 grain bullets) and it should be OK. Don't load a whole case of them, just in case it's too weak to cycle your gun. But I've used 4.5 grains of Green Dot with a little heavier bullet and it was a good "+P" load.

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