Max load STILL stovepiping - 9mm


April 19, 2009, 08:23 PM
9mm. Rainier 115 gr RN (plated, Rainier says load as lead, or 10% lower than FMJ). Clays (just Clays, not Uni., etc). Hodgdon's lead data says min is 3.0gr, max is 3.4gr. I have yet to find 115gr FMJ with Clays load info for comparison. Primers are Win magnum small pistol (could only find magnum locally, and was told pressure difference was not a concern if not loading to max). OAL is 1.10"

So my XD9SC cycled fine with 3.1 and 3.4 loads. Both standard & mag primers.

New M&P Pro 9 stovepiped almost 100% on both 3.1 and 3.4. Shot Blazer Brass no problem. Shot commercial reloads (6 rounds) no problem. When I alternated Blazer & my 3.4 load, I could feel almost no difference in recoil & noise. (But I've only been shooting 4 months, so I may not have the most astute perceptions.) The 3.1 did feel/sound soft.

I was advised to work up small groups of hotter loads, incrementing .1 ( 1/10th) of a grain on each set, until slide cycles properly.

Obviously my main concern is creating a dangerous pressure situation. I'm not looking to create a "hot load", only a load that'll cycle the pistol with confidence.

Comments, suggestions? Things to look for that indicate overpressure?

(BTW, for now, I only have Clays & the magnum small pistol primers. CCI small primers & Hodgdon HP38 are on order, with unknown ETA.) FYI - I'm using 4 die Lee turret.

If you enjoyed reading about "Max load STILL stovepiping - 9mm" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
D. Manley
April 19, 2009, 08:52 PM
Clays is less than an ideal choice for 9MM especially, in lighter bullet weights. I use and like Clays quite a lot but I cannot get it to do better than "pattern" in 9MM...and, I've tried. The problem you're having arises from Clays being very fast and is not building up sufficient pressure to cycle your slide with the stock recoil spring. Below is the data from Hodgdon:

115 LRN Hodgdon Clays 3.4 1039
115 Speer GDHP Hodgdon Clays 3.9 1095

If I were you, I'd load a bit least 1.140 and probably, 1.150 to give yourself a bit of a "cushion". Clays is known to be a bit quirky with sudden pressure spikes and not give you much indication of overpressure until suddenly, there's a real problem. The 3.9 grain load presents no problem for the Rainier plated bullet you're using (itself) but be very cautious approaching the limits with Clays. In the long run, you'll be better served by a more caliber appropriate powder. Alternatively, you could drop your recoil spring weight and probably cycle the lighter rounds.

April 19, 2009, 09:11 PM
+1 on a more appropriate powder, got HP38 on order, as well as 10k CCI SPP. Hope it doesn't take a year to get in stock!

I hope my Lee disc will throw under 3.9... (backup is to ream out the smaller hole)

April 19, 2009, 09:16 PM
Just so you know....
HP38 and Win-231 are thought to be the same powder by many. If not exactly the same, then so close that they are interchangeable. Win-231 should be VERY easy to find.

April 19, 2009, 09:21 PM
Hey RF! We've chatted over on GON. In fact, it may have been your suggestion to interchange HP38/231.

My intent on posting the detailed info was an "Idiot check".... that is, to see if someone would say "you idiot - don't do that!". Though I'm careful, slow & meticulous, I'm also a noob. So a little cross-check was in order.

April 19, 2009, 09:53 PM
One of the best 9mm loads ever is 6.0 grains of Unique under a 125 grain cast bullet. It cycles the action of a Luger beautifully. The down side is that Unique doesn't meter through a powder measure very well.

Another powder that works well is AA #7 and it meters great.

April 20, 2009, 01:47 AM
The key is, that you need to find a load that functions well in both of your guns. Fact is, Clays is not optimal with your lighter bullet selection. Sure, it works in one of your guns, but I think that is just by chance.

I'll second the mean pressure build of Unique for 9mm. It will meter properly through a good measure.

I'll also express that 231 or AA#7 would be an excellent choice for what you're trying to do.

OK, just because all you can get is magnum primers, doesn't mean you should be reloading light loads with them. You were concerned with pressure spikes only near maximum loads of powder charge. You could be running into a different problem. Burn rate of a powder is enhanced by hotter primers. You're already using a fast powder, much like Titegroup and Bullseye which are better suited for heavier bullets in slightly larger cases for say... 45acp. Speed them up even more, and you're not going to get the results you're looking for- Functionality. Better powders suggested, Unique, 231, AA#7 are each several steps away from each other 'Slower', and are much better suited to what you desire. All with standard small pistol primers.

You may be able to work a load with your Clays and magnum primers that will function in both guns, but I think you're getting impatient with the task. In that, you should wait until you have better matched components for your reloading. You'll be happy you did.


April 20, 2009, 08:59 AM
Clays is less than an ideal choice for 9MM
Agreed. I also agree that your O.A.L. is a bit short.

The Bushmaster
April 20, 2009, 09:06 AM
When was the last time you changed out your recoil spring? If you have ran 5,000 to 8,000 rounds through it you may have a week recoil spring.

April 20, 2009, 09:07 AM
I know it gets posted often but Win 231 and HP-38 are in fact the exact same powder in different labeled containers. Per Hodgdon. Any load you find for one you can safely use with the other, which makes sense, since they are the same powder. -lol

April 20, 2009, 11:44 AM
Hodgdon lists the 115 Speer Gold Dot with a Clays 3.7 starting load - 3.9 Maximum.

The Gold Dot is a plated bullet, albeit with heavier, thicker plating then Raineir or Berry plated bullets.

1. Lose the mag primers!
2. Bump it up to at least 3.6 - 3.7 and you may have a working load in both guns.


Gary Brintzenhofe
April 20, 2009, 04:28 PM
Had same thing. Took thing to the lightes load. they stop stovepiping. They can't go at the top speed, they have to go slow, wich gives better groups.

April 20, 2009, 09:17 PM
Hey RF! We've chatted over on GON. In fact, it may have been your suggestion to interchange HP38/231.

Well, at least you know now that I was honest! Or maybe stupid twice. :D

When you get your HP-38 or W231, with the 115gr RN start in the 4.6gr range and work up. Use a little longer OAL, say 1.125" or better. With RN you should be able to use out to the max of 1.169".

I use a lighter spring, but I've never needed more than 4.6gr of W231 in my CZ. BTW... What part of Georgia are you in?

April 20, 2009, 09:58 PM
Just north of ATL, in Johns Creek. Shoot IDPA at Bullseye in Cumming and ACM in Norcross. Will be at GADPA monthly at South River next Sunday.

If you enjoyed reading about "Max load STILL stovepiping - 9mm" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!