advise on 9mm load.


October 31, 2011, 07:49 AM
Well I'm brand new to reload and have yet to buy any primers or powders but I just got done casting some 124gr lead bullets and I was thinking it was time to get the rest of what I need. I'm thinking of using federal small pistol primers and they are the easiest to set off correct? But I really have no idea on what powder i'm going to get any one recommend a good 9mm powder? Also looking for a cheap grain scale if anyone have a recommendation there. These will be hand loads not sure if that makes any difference or not but thanks for the advice.

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October 31, 2011, 08:21 AM
Nothing wrong with Federal primers but where I live they are hard to find and I also hate the huge box they come in. Space is at a premium and I can fit 8 boxes of CCI primers in the same space as one box of Federal primers.

As for ease of "setting them off", and one of the major brands will easily fire with any stock pistol. I have been using mostly CCI primers for a very long time and have never had one fail to fire.

As for powders, I'm a huge fan of W231/HP-38 in the 9mm for lead bullets. Lead bullets and W231 just go together well. I charge between 4.0gr and 4.4gr W231 under a 124gr lead bullet. I have used other powders but I always seen to come back to W231/HP-38...

Hope this helps a bit...

October 31, 2011, 08:28 AM
Welcome to THR and reloading.

First, you want to slug your barrel to determine the groove diameter so you can properly size your bullets (.001" over). So for .355" barrel, you want to size your cast bullets to .356".

Second, I would recommend that you start off with Winchester/CCI small pistol primers (regular, not magnum) that are less sensitive than Federal (many reloaders use Federal if they have primer ignition issues). FYI, proper seating depth of primers is slightly below flush (.004") to properly set the primer anvil against the priming compound.

Third, many powders will work for 9mm, but I usually recommend W231/HP-38 (same powder) as it has broader load range than many other powders, produce accuracy even at start-to-mid range charges and there are plenty of current published load data for lead bullets.

As to scale, I would highly recommend a beam scale like RCBS 5-0-5 or Dillon Eliminator that are accurate to .1 grain (1/10 th of a grain).

If you haven't already, I highly recommend Lyman #49 reloading manual as it has quite a lot of lead load data in addition to jacketed/plated load data.

Steve C
October 31, 2011, 08:35 AM
Most 9mm's don't have any trouble setting off any commercial primer. IMO Federals are as good as any though some of the progressive presses say not to use them.

For cast bullets in target loads any of the fast powders will work. Currently I'm mostly burning Green Dot I picked up at an estate sale. If you want to load jacketed bullets to full power I'd suggest something in the mid range pistol powders like Unique or AA5. About the slowest powder you can use in the 9mm is Blue Dot and AA7, anything slower doesn't work well enough for any published data.

I'd suggest spending a little more and getting a good balance scale rather than the cheapest scale. A RCBS 5-0-5 will set you back around $60 to $70 but will last a lifetime if you take care of it. Pick up a used one for less.

October 31, 2011, 08:35 AM
If you haven't already, I highly recommend Lyman #49 reloading manual as it has quite a lot of lead load data in addition to jacketed/plated load data.
I agree and I will also recommend the Lyman 4th Edition Cast Handbook. It's not just a reprint of the full 49th Edition load manual and it has additional data using molds other than those made by Lyman. IMO it's a must for anyone who loads lead bullets and for those who cast.

October 31, 2011, 09:12 AM
Even you buy 5-0-5/Eliminator scales used, RCBS and Dillon will provide excellent customer service if you ever need them.

I looked around for a while for a used Ohaus/RCBS 10-10 scale and found one in very good condition at a gun show for $55. I usually see used 5-0-5/Eliminator go for around $35, so that's another "cheaper" option.

October 31, 2011, 11:56 AM
231 or HS6 for the 9mm powder. Buy a good beam scale from one of the major makers, it'll last a lifetime.

October 31, 2011, 12:14 PM
Ya I did slug my barrel before I got the mold so I'm hoping everything there turn out. Also as of now I have not had any problems setting out primer with my hammer spring but I do have a 8.5 that only runs 100% with fed so I would like to reload with that. Thanks for the help so far.

October 31, 2011, 01:29 PM
I'm not a lead reloader, at all, soI can't offer any advice on bullets or powder's for lead. But regarding primer's, I've used CCI since I began reloading several decades ago, and I have never had one fail to go bang. I've used Winchester a few times when I couldn't find CCI, and they also worked reliably but they seemed to be a bit hotter. I have used Federal a few times for loading shotshell, but can't really offer a quality comparison to Win. or CCI.

October 31, 2011, 01:35 PM
Nothing wrong with Federal primers - I also hate the huge box they come in+1
I find it impossible to fill a primer flipper or hand primer tray without spilling them all over the floor!

I much prefer CCI, Win, or Rem primers for more compact storage, and the small no-spill trays that fit what I use to prime with.

CCI is less sensitive then Fed, Win, or Rem.
But if they don't go bang every time?
You have a gun problem, not a primer problem.


October 31, 2011, 01:42 PM
Great primers, but I too got away from them because of the big boxes, except for their match rifle primers, which I still use from time to time.

October 31, 2011, 03:39 PM
SR 7625 is a great powder for 9mm. I like CCI primers.

October 31, 2011, 05:37 PM
+1 on the federal primers, I have been using the Federal Match SPP and have not had any issues, the only reason that I bought the match is they were cheaper that the regular federal primers, and to those that mentioned the box size, your right it is a little tricky to get them to all fall in my primer flipper tray :what:

November 1, 2011, 11:17 AM
I was thinking I would get a digital scale any reason not to get one? Also I'm not sure if the primer box size is going to be a problem tho I would lime the easy one to set off.

November 1, 2011, 12:59 PM
I like 3.7 to 4.1 grains of 231 for lead 124 gr bullets in the 9. I would try all the primer brands to adjust your POI and accuracy.

November 1, 2011, 01:16 PM
Federal primers are my preferred primer for pistol competition. I love them. However, being soft they also can be very easy to set off in the press. Therefore, Federal may not be the brand that a novice reloader wants to start with. Also, being soft they tend to make mid-range loads appear to read as much higher pressures. My advice would be to start off with something a little harder, that may also be easier for you to find.... Winchester, Remington, CCI will all do you good. Get the Federals later on, unless that's what your local store sells.

I was thinking I would get a digital scale any reason not to get one?

That question has been fairly well beat to death on THR. Everyone seems to be so highly opinionated that no single truth or consensus emerges. So I hope you have your asbestos suit on for the posts that are sure to follow!! :D

A moderate view might be that there are dozens of electronic (digital) scales on the market. Some do well, others can't be trusted right out of the box. With digital scales you really seem to get what you pay for. Digital scales are highly sensitive to air movements, electrical variations, magnetic fields, and a dozen other "issues" that you can't see. Most models above $150-200 have added features that overcome these issues internally. Do not let anyone tell you that your pharmacist uses a $1000 digital scale (which you bet your life on), therefore a $35 digital scale must be just as accurate. That bucket doesn't hold water.

If you want a digital scale, then be sure and buy from a name brand company that has a warranty they stand behind. This because digital scales are highly complex electro-mechanical devices that can fail in 20 different ways. So it's not a matter of "if" but "when" for a sub-$150 scale. And if you buy a digital scale, then you must be sure to also buy the check weights to detect when the scale is going into failure mode.

If you want an inexpensive scale, then the one that becomes the "yardstick" for price-performance for all others is the Dillon Eliminator aka RCBS 5-0-5, both of which are balance beam scales. The Dillon lists at $54 and will last for 30+ years.

I still use a 5-0-5 made in 1973. I also own a $200 digital made in 2008 that is only accurate above 12gr.

Hope this helps! ;)

November 1, 2011, 01:35 PM
My favorite powders for 9mm with cast bullets are Bullseye and Green Dot (of the two, Bullseye is easier to use.) Those and Red Dot are the only powders I've tried in 9mm.

Unique and Universal should both be good for hotter loads, and 231 is usually a good one in anything where you'd use Bullseye or Green Dot.

November 1, 2011, 02:01 PM
My favorite powder for the 9mm 124 gr is WW-WSF. I use to use 231 but prefer the WSF for the heavier bullet. Bot are ball powders and meters great in AP.

I do not like the packaging of the Federal Primers. Like other have said they are just a pita when trying to get them into primer trays. I have used most all brands of primers over the years. You can not go wrong with the main mfg, WW, Rem, CCI. Wolf can be harder to seat and some had problems with FTF. I have not had any problems with them with except 1 out of 15k did not go bang. But I have heard of one person had a CCI failed to go bang, too. I guess if you reload long enough you will run across 1 eventually no matter what the brand.

I have had good luck with the RCBS Range Master 750 electronic scale, approx $130. All electronic scales are very sensitive to wind currents, magnetic fields (even from your body). I have mine located under my bench to shield it. Beam scales have a magnetic dampening system to settle them down.

November 1, 2011, 09:58 PM
New to the sickness, er, hobby - so I cannot speak with the wisdom of many posting here above. However I can provide some data about RCBS customer service, described as excellent by bds.

I bought a 5-0-5, used as part of a package of used reloading gear. When I started to play around with measuring powder charges before my first reloads, I just couldn't get the scale to produce trustworthy results - it varied far too much for what appeared to be consistent amounts of powder.

I emailed RCBS, they said send it in, they'll have a look. One week later, a brand new 5-0-5 arrives in the mail. So for a good used price, I end up with a brand new scale. Now THAT is customer service.

Again as a beginner, I'd recommend starting with a 5-0-5. They actually are quite easy to use, and precise. Eventually maybe supplement it with a good digital scale. A beam scale used to check charges as you load introduces a little more deliberation and forces you to focus a bit, good elements for avoiding reloading errors.

Hondo 60
November 1, 2011, 10:54 PM
Thompsoncustom - you still haven't said whether you have a manual.

Manuals are NOT optional.
Anyone who'd reload without consulting a manual just ain't right.
I know that sounds harsh.
But safety (and getting data from a RELIABLE source) are preached here, not just by me.
We hope to have you & all other reloaders around for a long time.

Please - everyone - stay safe. :D

November 1, 2011, 11:24 PM
Thompsoncustom ( , My pistol is lightened too. The Fed primers provide 100% reliability, so with your CGW 8.5# spring work you'll "probably" need Federal primers. The box is bigger.:D I have 15K that take up 10" of shelf width.

They ARE more sensitive. Check the MSDS data. They contain minute amounts of Nitro-glycerin (the others do not) in an older more sensitive formula. You do want to stay aware that "primers" are the most dangerous reloading component. They won't go off if you seat them sideways, upside down or deprime them. They will go off if you smartly impact the anvil. Just be aware and stay safe.

If you start reloading for other than your lightened pistol, Win primers require a lighter hit than CCI. They may run with your light-sprung pistol with the extended FP and lighter FP spring.

Stay safe and enjoy.

Get at least two manuals!

November 1, 2011, 11:33 PM
My favorite powder for the 9mm 124 gr is WW-WSF. I use to use 231 but prefer the WSF for the heavier bullet. Bot are ball powders and meters great in AP. WSF is one of my favorite powders too. I use it as a better-metering substitute for Herco. Haven't tried it in 9mm, but its at just the right burn rate and density to give great performance.

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