Best Hotload


October 12, 2011, 11:59 PM
Alright, Very new to reloading, as some of you might recognize the name from another post on what setup I should get.
Well, I'm about to order some powder and some bullets. I want something for plinkin and I want a hotload as well.

What type of 9mm bullets, primers and powder should I use for a solid hotload?
Should I just hit the max on the powder load from the book?

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October 13, 2011, 12:12 AM
Starting hot is not wise.

When you're just starting out with reloading, start with low end loads in the manuals (which are proven strong enough to cycle the action) and work up, keeping careful records of how each recipe reacts. Make a few of something light, shoot it, record your impressions, look for signs of over or under pressure, adjust, make a few more, shoot them, and so on.

October 13, 2011, 12:57 AM
If you want to load high performance ammo, I strongly suggest using a slow burning powder. Slow burning powder will enable you to work up without sudden pressure spikes, accidental double charges are impossible, and the load range is much larger making it more user friendly for a new reloader. These powders can give you some real problems if you reduce them below the minimum published charge.

My favorite 9mm loads for top performance is AA#7 powder, an XTP of your desired weight, and a CCI psitol primer as indicated in the data. There is a lot of available data for jacketed bullets with AA#7. If you don't stray from the published minimum OAL from the bullet manufacturer, pressures will be easily managed. AL cartridges and especially the 9mm, are very temparmental to seating depths that are shorter than the published data, so stay at or above those minimum OAL's and all will be fine. And never start your load work up above mid range, and never below minimum.

Hondo 60
October 13, 2011, 12:58 AM
What type of 9mm bullets, primers and powder should I use for a solid hotload?
Should I just hit the max on the powder load from the book?

That is an absolute NO

Because each gun is different, starting at a max load is REALLY not a smart idea.

To properly work up a load, you start at minimum & then go up by 2 or 3 tenths of a grain. At some point the extra powder will either make no difference or it will even begin to deteriorate your accuracy.

A "hot load" is best done by trying different powders & using a chronograph.
A slower burning powder is going to give you the fastest bullet speed.
That may sound counter-intuitive, but it's the truth.

It sounds like you could really use a good reloading manual.
Lyman's 49 Reloading Handbook is my favorite.

October 13, 2011, 01:06 AM
What type of 9mm bullets, primers and powder should I use for a solid hotload?
Define your "hot" load. What's it for, SD, long range target? 50yd steel? Hunting?

Hondo60 X2

October 13, 2011, 03:43 AM
What type of 9mm bullets, primers and powder should I use for a solid hotload?
Should I just hit the max on the powder load from the book?
Since you have already been warned above about jumping right to the max charge I'll not say it again. I will say you should always start low and work your way up for safety. I ignored that rule last week and I ended up having to take 40 rounds of .357 Magnum apart. I made the mistake of using a time tested load which was at the very top of the pressure curve but didn't drop the charge back when I opened a new jug of powder. That powder was just a little hotter than the others I had and the ammo was generating too much pressure.

In the 9mm I really like using W231 for practice and range ammo. For "hotter" loads my favorite 9mm powder is Hodgdon Longshot.

October 14, 2011, 01:51 AM
Thanks guys. I will addhear to your warnings.
Thanks for the advice everyone.

October 14, 2011, 06:05 AM
1) read the manual and its warnings
2) all the manuals show are the results they got in their lab with their components and equipment, so all the manual can be is a guideline. The start load SHOULD be safe in all properly chambered guns in good condition.
3) Even if the manual calls it "max COL," it is almost certainly simply the max COL that SAAMI specifies for the industry testing and does not apply to the reloader, who should always use a longer COL

October 14, 2011, 10:16 AM
So, all you that warn against Max loads from the book, what do you say about buying a box of "Factory Loads" that are +P? If one is shooting a firearm rated for +P then what's the big deal. I've found that the "book loads" are usually far more wimpy than the +P's one can buy off the shelf.

The big issue for me is to make sure that my equipment is measuring the powder correctly. When loading at maximums, it sure doesn't pay to have a scale that reads "light".

October 14, 2011, 05:44 PM
The factory +P loads are controlled as to powder, case, bullet, and primer and lab tested to maintain constant pressure levels. The book loads are just that....and have no control over what you use in terms of powder, primer, etc. or how acccurately you can set a measure, hold cartridge min/max oal, and so on.
I have found that the manuals list loads quite accurately, at least if I can belive my chronograph.
I am in the camp that says "don't start high, build up to it". I also say bull when someone says that the guns today have X % more ability to hole a certain pressure level than the book writers say.
I'll keep my eyes, my head and my hands and still make some darn good loads, thank you. I 've never had a deer ask my why it was hit with something at 100 fps less than a max load.

October 14, 2011, 05:51 PM
So, all you that warn against Max loads from the book,Nobody said that!

What they all said was, don't ever start out with a listed max load as your first trial load.
Thats what listed Starting loads are for.

You start low, and work up while watching for pressure signs.
If you reach max with no pressure signs, gofer it.


October 16, 2011, 01:50 AM
Exactly what RC said.

AND factory +P loads are not "far more wimpy" than +P ammo off the shelf. IMO +P ammo is just a marketing tool and in the case of .38 Special ammo today's factory +P ammo is no more "powerful" than the standard .38 Special of a few Decades ago. (but that's another thread lol)

October 16, 2011, 02:48 AM
I always considered "hot load" as loads that came close the SAAMI max P or +P ( pressures (33,000 CUP/35,000 PSI for max P and 38,500 PSI for +P).

To come close to duplicating the average max pressures, you'll need to use a chrono and work up your published load data while verifying pressure indicators/warning signs.

October 16, 2011, 03:17 AM
From Hodgdon load data for 9mm 115 gr Speer Gold Dot HP bullet using 4" test barrel, HS-6 max load produced 1234 fps at 29,400 CUP, Longshot with 1203 fps at 32,300 PSI, AutoComp with 1161 fps at 32,500 PSI and W231/HP-38 with 1167 fps at 28,100 CUP.

115 gr Speer GDHP Hodgdon HS-6 .355" OAL 1.125" Start 6.7 gr (1171 fps) 26,700 CUP - Max 7.0 gr (1234 fps) 29,400 CUP

115 gr Speer GDHP Hodgdon Longshot .355" OAL 1.125" Start 5.0 gr (1127 fps) 29,000 PSI - Max 6.0 gr (1203 fps) 32,300 PSI

115 gr Speer GDHP Winchester AutoComp .355" OAL 1.125" Start 5.1 gr (1078 fps) 28,200 PSI - Max 5.6 gr (1161 fps) 32,500 PSI

115 gr Speer GDHP Winchester 231 .355" OAL 1.125" Start 4.7 gr (1075 fps) 25,300 CUP - Max 5.1 gr (1167 fps) 28,100 CUP

So, if you are looking for "hot load" as in highest velocity, I would go with the load data that produced the highest published velocity.

Now, these do not come close to +P max pressures and there are those that load 9mm Major loads at around 1400+ fps using 115 gr 9mm bullets. If you are interested in these loads, spend some time here -

October 17, 2011, 04:05 PM
I really like HS6 for 9mm medium to higher loads. Power Pistol is also a very good performer. AA7 has worked for me in the past. I use 231 and WST for lighter loads.

October 17, 2011, 05:41 PM
If you're wanting to load a 'hot load' at or near max charge, I suggest using a somewhat 'slow powder' for that caliber. With a 9x19, I really like HS6.

If just starting out, I would invest a lot of time reading pressure signs as you work up loads and IMHO, a chrony is needed when loading near book max.

Be careful with the 9mm; small changes can make for big pressure spikes.

October 17, 2011, 05:50 PM
You can always start out right at the max load and hope you did everything perfectly, the component changes (or variations) are insignificant, and that your gun exactly matches the test barrel (or test gun) used to create the manual.

You may blow a few things up, but hey, it's only money (and maybe your safety and life, or other folks at the range when your gun lets go).

October 17, 2011, 06:05 PM
My most accurate loads usually fall between the "starting" loads and mid range. Very seldom do I approach near Maximum loads to find the most accurate load. I've been loading since the late 60's and have never been over-impressed by "hot" loads. Starting loads are called by that name for a reason.
Hondo60,ArchAngelCD,rcmodel,and bds (to name a few) are very knowledgable and give sound advice.

October 17, 2011, 06:16 PM
For a "hot" load, you work everything up just like you normally would -- except maybe being a little more careful, you just choose components that will get you where you want to go before you have to stop because the pressure is too high or you ran out of case capacity. My most accurate load is usually more than halfway but less than max. If you start too high you may miss it.

In 9mm, WSF, HS6, PowerPistol, and AA#7 will get you on up there. Unique and Bullseye will also do a lot better at the top end than you would expect. You would think Blue Dot would work, but you run out of room with that one before you reach the top. Ramshot has some interesting powder offerings too, but I haven't tried them yet.

There's one Vihtavuori (sp?) powder that will make "major" with a published 9mm recipe, but I don't remember which it is. 3N38 maybe? VV powders are expensive, though.

But there aren't any shortcuts.

October 17, 2011, 06:17 PM
"What type of 9mm bullets, primers and powder should I use for a solid hotload?
Should I just hit the max on the powder load from the book? "

Naw, you need to give it much more than that if you really want a 'hot' load. But I wonder, are you just a hot-shot kid or do you have a family? If the latter, you should first take out a very large life and disability insurance policy, they will need it after you kill or maim yourself.

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