Help with 9mm


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will_m68
December 17, 2011, 07:20 PM
Ok guys, I am reloading 9mm ammo using 115gr JHP from Montana Gold. I am also using Power Pistol powder and it tells me to use 6.7 powder and an OAL of 1.125. I am also using CCI 500 primers. I just finished some today and went to the range and the bullets were all over the place. I mean I may have hit a few on target but most were left or right and down.
What do you all recommend, go up on the powder charge? Or anything else.

Any help would be appreciated.

Will

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Damon555
December 17, 2011, 07:23 PM
What does your manual say? That would be the best place to start.

will_m68
December 17, 2011, 07:26 PM
I looked it up on Alliant Powder web site and that's what they gave me.

tomj44
December 17, 2011, 07:36 PM
I have taper crimped to much and crimped the bullet. I had the the same results as you. This may not be the problem, but worth checking out. Load a dummy round. Pull the bullet and look for crimp marks. Don't swage the bullet into a new shape.

Eazmo
December 17, 2011, 07:39 PM
I looked it up on Alliant Powder web site and that's what they gave me.
did you read this on the main page???
REDUCE RIFLE AND HANDGUN CHARGE WEIGHTS BY 10% TO ESTABLISH A STARTING LOAD.

never start at max charge!
always start low and work it up! ALWAYS!

bds
December 17, 2011, 07:47 PM
What does your manual say? That would be the best place to start.
I looked it up on Alliant Powder web site and that's what they gave me.
Oh my. If the published load data only gives you one powder charge, it is the MAX load data. Since there are many reloading variables (bullet type, seating depth, OAL, barrel length, barrel diameter, primer type, powder measure variations, etc.), you should always conduct a full powder charge work up from the start charge. If the start charge is not indicated on the load data, use 10% reduction as your start charge.

Using Alliant Power Pistol for 115 gr 9mm GDHP bullet at 1.125" OAL, 10% reduction from 6.7 gr Max charge would be 6.1 gr. If you are using shorter than published OAL, then I would decrease my start charge even more, say .2-.3 gr. You can find how to determine the Max/Ideal OAL here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=7717654#post7717654). Once you have the OAL determined for your pistol/barrel/magazine, then conduct your powder work up from start charge in .1/.2 gr increments and load 10 rounds of each powder charge. Usually accuracy will improve as you workup towards max load. I typically look for charges that reliably cycle the slide/extract the spent cases while producing accurate shot groups.

May I suggest a good reloading manual, like Lyman #49?

Michael R.
December 17, 2011, 07:51 PM
I use 5.9 grains of power pistol with a Win case and Win 115 fmj bullet, remington primer, and I get great accuracy out of that load. That is the minimum load in my Lyman Manual.

beatledog7
December 17, 2011, 07:56 PM
Were it me, I'd back the charge down to about 6.0gr and seat them deeper: say, 1.10-1.15. That's a touch above, and a touch longer, than the Lyman 49 starting load.

JDGray
December 17, 2011, 08:01 PM
I run 5.5-6.0gr Power Pistol with 115gr FMJ, very good accuracy. I use a Lee Factory crimp die on my turret press, but dont give it much of a crimp if any.

I suspect your load is on the hot side.

noylj
December 18, 2011, 12:46 AM
I have very seldom gotten better accuracy using a shorter than "ideal" COL.
Most new reloaders, many who are only loading for action pistol shooting, appear NOT to have ever learned either the importance of case expansion (not flare/belling the case mouth) or how to determine the "optimum" COL.
I don't care if the bullet is TC or OC or any other "C."
I start off with a couple of inert dummy rounds and actually determine the COL that works best in my gun or guns, then save the dummies with note on exact bullet used.
Generally, I find the longest COL that feeds and functions, then turn the seating stem in 1/2 turn to eliminate any rounds too long. That gives me rounds that are near "ideal" and almost always 100% reliable.

GLOOB
December 18, 2011, 06:33 PM
^And how often have to gotten better accuracy by increasing OAL?

I personally don't think it matters much in a handgun, unless you are shooting off a bench.

Testing max OAL is good to avoid problems. But it your gun's max OAL is way longer than normal, there's no reason to purposely make your ammo out of spec unless you're ACTUALLY getting better accuracy and reliability.

*Edit: And I've never yet found an OAL that is less reliable for being too short, other than semiwadcutters seated too deep. For the most part, seems like the longer the OAL the more issues you run into. So I'm just challenging this:

I find the longest COL that feeds and functions, then turn the seating stem in 1/2 turn to eliminate any rounds too long. That gives me rounds that are near "ideal"
I see no reason to believe that the longest COL that feeds and functions will be any more ideal than the shortest COL that feeds and functions (disregarding your desired powder charge/pressure/muzzle velocity). How bout just staying well clear of any length that malfunctions?

I read this kind of advice many times when I first started reloading, and I tried to adhere to this principle. Most of the jams I experienced in all my time reloading and shooting have been attributable to cartridges that were a hair too long for the magazine. And I'm not talking about "oops, this was an obviously bad batch." I'm talking 1 out of a thousand rounds. I also had a lot of ammo for my Glock that woudln't fit in any other 9mm handgun I or any of my friends owned. And the ammo never shot any more accurately, as far as I could tell. Now that I have abandoned this principle, I no longer get jams. I've yet to have a misfeed due to a round that's too short. My ammo is just as accurate, and my friends can shoot it, too.

I don't have the time to test the longest possible COL that will reliably feed then turn down a half a turn, because it takes several hundreds of rounds to figure that out for sure! If you can turn the die down a half dozen turns and still be above the min COL for your load book, then why not? If you actually take the time to field test the longest possible OAL, then that's fine and all. But you have actually ensured that your ammo will jam in the highest possible number of future guns you may someday want to shoot it in... and for what?

The Sarge
December 18, 2011, 06:53 PM
I use Montana Gold 115g and Power pistol with great results.
I use Wolf Primers by the way (shouldn't make any difference)
6.2g Power Pistol @1.120 OAL

bds
December 18, 2011, 07:17 PM
And how often have to gotten better accuracy by increasing OAL?

I personally don't think it matters much in a handgun, unless you are shooting off a bench.

Testing max OAL is good to avoid problems. But it your gun's max OAL is way longer than normal, there's no reason to purposely make your ammo out of spec unless you're ACTUALLY getting better accuracy and reliability.
Right. Ultimately, holes on target speak volumes regardless what we rationalize.

In theory, the sooner the bearing surface of the bullet engages the rifling, less high pressure gas leaks around the bullet and faster the chamber pressure starts to build. This would result in more consistent chamber pressures and more consistent muzzle velocities which affects shot group accuracy.

At least in theory.

In practice, I am more concerned with reliable feeding/chambering from the magazine than the absolute longest "Ideal OAL" as you cannot obtain those "super accurate and tight" shot groups if the rounds won't chamber fully. Right? ;) And if reloading process/component variations produce enough OAL variations to allow the bullet to hit the rifling when chambered, pressure spike could occur on initial powder ignition.

Once I determine the Max OAL (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=506678) (the longest OAL the chamber/rifling will allow without hitting the start of rifling) for a particular bullet, I focus more on the Ideal OAL (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=7717654#post7717654) (the longest OAL the pistol/barrel/magazine combination will reliably feed when the slide is manually released) before I start my powder work up. I could be wrong, but to a certain extent, adjustments to the powder charge may make up for the slightly increase in high pressure gas leakage from shorter Ideal OAL (If anyone has any test experience, I would love to hear them and we are talking about semi-auto pistol only).

As the powder work up is conducted from a designated start charge (if I am using a shorter OAL than published, I will decrease my start charge, say by .2-.3 gr), consistency in chamber pressures should be expressed as accuracy trend in shot groups. It's been my observation that for most powders, accuracy tends to increase as powder charge increases. For some powders, especially for faster burning powders (W231/HP-38 and faster), accuracy is achieved even at start-to-mid range load data and plateau or increase more gradually. Sometimes, depending on barrel diameter/rifling type/leade length and bullet type, accuracy starts to degrade, especially for lead bullets.

For lead bullets, proper bullet-to-barrel fit is very important and I believe the longer Ideal OAL plays a key role in generating the initial pressure build up to deform the bullet base to seal the bullet to the barrel (obturation) to produce accuracy and minimize/prevent gas cutting/bullet base erosion and leading.

Glen Fryxell's ebook has an excellent chapter on lead bullets/powder selection/leading - http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Chapter_7_Leading.htm
Many years ago Elmer Keith used to write about the "balance point" of a given powder; the range of pressures at which that powder delivered smooth uniform ballistics. Basically this boiled down to fast powders for light target loads (e.g. Bullseye, W231, HP-38, AA #2) ...

... Match the powder to the pressure curve. The use of fast powders for higher than normal pressures with plain-based bullets can cause bad leading, due to the very rapid pressure rise time early in the P-T curve leading to high pressure faster than the bullet alloy can obturate in response to the pressure, and as a result severe gas cutting can result. The other issue here is that the slow pistol powders reach their pressure peak when the bullet is an inch or two in front of the forcing cone, when the bullet is fully supported and contained by the barrel ...

The take-home lesson here is to not use fast powders for magnum pressure levels in the first place! Just match the powder to the pressure curve.

Metal Tiger
December 19, 2011, 07:01 AM
Thanks bds for the link:

Glen Fryxell's ebook has an excellent chapter on lead bullets/powder selection/leading - http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Chapter_7_Leading.htm

I down loaded the pdf file of the book.....very nice.

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