Need advice on 9mm components


July 17, 2011, 11:59 PM
Well my press should be here this week and I need help with choosing 9mm components. Will be for a Glock 17 with reduced springs and a RRA 9mm with a can. I know the RRA 9mm and can will need 147's but should I just get the 115's for plinking and matches if I decide to get involved. Wouldn't want to stay with 147's since the 115's are alot cheaper. Also for powder I see W231 and Clays mentioned alot but don't know which to get. Will both of those powders be good for subsonic loads? And lastly what about primers, it seems CCI's get mentioned alot also. Would like to order the above mentioned items in bulk to save money since the local BassPro is to high on powder, primers and bullets. Thanks for any suggestions.

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July 18, 2011, 01:55 AM
I've used 231 with just about evert bullet weight for 9mm and like it. I've had very good results with MBC 147 s and 231.

July 18, 2011, 01:13 PM
Would W231 be ok for sub loads with 147's? I'm a little confused on slow versus fast powders, I'm assuming sub loads need a slow powder. But then again you know what they say about assuming.

July 18, 2011, 01:37 PM
I like HS-6 w/ a 147 gr bullet in 9x19 and it seems to burn pretty clean at high pressures. Staying sub-sonic w/ a 147 gr bullet should be easy to do.

I don't think 231 or clays will be good powders for a 147 gr bullet. Go with something slower.

July 18, 2011, 04:38 PM
I agree that a slower powder like HS-6 or SR 7625 would be a better choice.
Primers? I use CCI mostly, but have seen no difference with brands in the 9mm.
For a light load you don't need 115's. I like the new hollow base plated bullets from Berry's. The 124 HBFP (hollow base flat point) is a great bullet for light loads and seems to deliver the accuracy with stock Glock barrels.
How are you measuring your powder?
If you are weighing each charge (that will get old quick), large flake powders like Unique work well, but if you are using a press mounted meter, it's hard to beat HS-6 for metering consistency. HS-6 will work well for lighter bullets too.

July 18, 2011, 04:43 PM
My current favourite 9xxm19 target loading:

124g jacketed projectile
Winchester Super Field (WSF) powder
Winchester small pistol primer (CCI ok too)

I load to around 1120 ft/second for IPSC minor power factor w/margin.

July 18, 2011, 05:23 PM
It's a little confusing to understand things like "A fast or slower burning powder" and "More snappy and less snap". I assume a faster powder means more velocity and more snappy or flip?

July 18, 2011, 06:45 PM
Mr 1535 -

Some thoughts....

• If your Glock has reduced springs then one of those is going to be the striker spring, which may in-turn require lighter primers like Winchester or Federal. CCI is going to be on the "hard to ignite" side of the equation. Other than thickness, most American primer brands are interchangeable.

• Any bullet shot at a speed slower than ~1125fps is going to be sub-sonic. That includes 115 and 124gr. If cost is a concern, then stay away from the 147gr and just use 124gr for everything. You'll find that 147gr is going to call for different powder than 115 and 124gr anyway. And 124gr is going to be a more accurate and easier shooting bullet.

• "Fast" and "slow" powders are relative to the caliber and bullet weight. What's 'slow' in 9mm is 'normal' in a 357. Follow? So we're talking about a speed range. You can find a good list Right Here ( For 9x19mm you want to be looking in the range of approximately #22 to #36.

First and foremost you want to use the powders in your reloading manual. If you don't like those, then go buy a new manual. Getting suggestions off the internet is asking for trouble for a new reloader. You need a published recipe which you follow to the letter. That includes the powder. The only person you should be talking to about powder selection is "Mr Lyman". :D

I bet 90% of the guns that kaboom is from people playing with faster powders than recommended. As a new reloader who hasn't worked out their safety process yet, you'll want to stay away from any powder that doesn't have a load range of at least 0.8gr, and hopefully more like 1.0+gr. That right there is going to rule out the fastest powders.

• Any place that sends you powder or primers is going to add ~$24 for HazMat. If your local store has primers for $38 and they are $30 on-line, you're looking at 3K of primers just to beat the HazMat, then another 2-3K to beat the shipping. A better procedure for a new reloader is to go buy 100 of several primer brands locally and test them. The same with powder. One pound of powder is enough for 1500+ rounds. If you buy an 8 lb can of powder you're going to be stuck with what could be a bad decision for several years. Just go to the local gun store and buy your first supplies. You'll be happy you did.

Hope this helps! ;)

July 18, 2011, 07:52 PM
I agree with rfWobbly about not buying 'a large quantity' of supplies until you've done some experimenting and decided what you really want for "your" cartridges and "your" gun(s).

RE: but should I just get the 115's for plinking and matches if I decide to get involved

For "range plinking, Action Shooting, IDPA and Steel Challenge Competitions" many shooters prefer the 124 grain 9mm bullet for both accuracy and reduced muzzle flip. The 147gr has even 'less' muzzle flip but does cost more.

There is a lot of "published" load data available with many powders for the jacketed 124gr bullets. Round Nose/Ball is the cheapest, easiest to find and load for the new reloader.

Bullet prices have recently jumped up for all brands--a lot.

Stay safe.

July 18, 2011, 07:53 PM
rfwobbly, thanks for the long response to my questions and everyone else also. I know I should use the manual for loads but I was just trying to grasp some of the information since alot of this is confusing. I'm sure I will have plenty of more questions so everyone have patience.

July 18, 2011, 08:07 PM
It's a little confusing to understand things like "A fast or slower burning powder" and "More snappy and less snap". I assume a faster powder means more velocity and more snappy or flip?

Warning: this is based on my working, but not fully scientific knowledge of the subject ;).

Fast/slow refers to the burn rate, not bullet speed. You can load "fast powders" to relatively slow bullet velocities and you can load "slow powders" to high bullet velocities. As a matter of fact, that seems to be the norm. There's always some adjustability depending on the charge, but slower powders seem to be able to achieve higher muzzle velocities in the same gun.

Basically, when the powder charge ignites the powder quickly combusts into a gas. The rate at which that conversion happens is what people mean by "fast powder" vs "slow powder". Faster powders tend to be used in small pistol cases (and shotguns). As your case volume goes up, you have to go with slower and slower burning powders else the pressure would build up too fast and bad things happen :).

I've loaded quite a bit of 9x19mm with Titegroup and Bullseye (both very fast powders) but when my current supply runs out I'm seriously considering moving to a slower burning powder (haven't decided which to try, but I've been considering Ramshot Silhouette).

To simplify:

Smaller case, typically a faster range of powders used. The faster the powder, the less is used, the smaller the margin of error, and the lower your potential maximum achievable speed.

As always however, work within the ranges given by a reliable loading manual.

July 18, 2011, 08:09 PM
I'm sure I will have plenty of more questions so everyone have patience.

That's my first prayer every morning. "God, please grant me patience. RIGHT NOW!" :D

July 18, 2011, 09:01 PM
Sub sonic loads need a fast burning powder. Slow burning powders can't be reduced much, if at all, below listed minimums.
For reasons pretaining to safety with a new reloader I would suggest using slow burning powders while your in the learning curve. Slow burning powders are difficult to accidentally double charge with because most slow powders won't let a double charge fit into the case. And in this respect, fast burning powders use less powder tus allowing for an acidental double charge being over looked.
Although slower burning powders typically produce higher velocities they also aren't as temparmental regarding charges at the upper end of listed data. It's rather opposit for fast burning powders, they are able to be loaded down as light as will push the bullet out of the barrel, but begin getting unpredictable and produce high pressures spikes when getting up near the higher end of the data.
This is an area in which many new reloaders get their selves into trouble. It usually only takes one accidental double charge to destroy the gun, and if the shooter is lucky he or she won't get seriously injured by an exploding firearm.

July 18, 2011, 10:35 PM
My favorite 9mm load is:

125 grain Conical Nose
any brass
CCI primers
5.0 grains Unique

Accurate with good penetration in the field.

July 18, 2011, 10:52 PM
A few other IDPA guys and I are shooting .147grn BBI molley coated bullets. I am using 3.4 grns of HP-38 and make 890-910FPS out of my M&P pro consistantly. This makes power factor and feal really nice. As always check your load data and make small changes. If you know what bullets you are going to use you can check with them to find load data. Have fun and good luck!

July 18, 2011, 11:10 PM
I've been using 5.1 grains of Power Pistol with a 124 gr. Berry's JHP and Hornady 124 gr. JHP. For the 115 gr. Sierra, I've been loading 5.7 gr. of PP. Thinking about giving Bullseye a try next.

July 19, 2011, 12:07 AM
And I thought picking a press was difficult. I can see the theory behind using a slower burning powder, fills the case more making a double more obvious. Maybe I should start raising chinchillas or something simpler. I believe I will orde some 124's in bulk and get some powder locally to try out before I make a large purchase.

July 20, 2011, 12:52 PM
That sounds like a very wise decision.

July 20, 2011, 01:05 PM
124 gn jacketed or plated, Unique or 231. Take the can off to begin with. Unique seem to be very tolerant to minor differences in load.

July 20, 2011, 02:35 PM
Some popular powders for many "light load/Production Class" 9mm competitors:

Vihtavuori n320 -- my favorite & clean with light loads
231/HP38-- shoots well but very 'sooty' with lighter loads (=124gr @ 1050 ft/sec+/-)

If you know other reloaders, ask them to sell/swap for small quantities of powders you want to "test".

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