Question about Golden Saber load


Matt Dillon
March 5, 2013, 02:11 PM
Folks, I'm getting ready to load up several hundred 125 grain 9mm Golden Saber projectiles over 5.3 grains of Unique. I haven't been able to chronograph them yet, but the Sierra manual lists the velocity at 1100 fps for this load.
I hope to use the for hunting/self defense.
My question to you all is, will this velocity allow for good expansion? Should I go even higher? The Sierra manual lists 5.6 grains as a maximum load, at 1150 fps. Thanks so much in advance for your thoughts!

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March 5, 2013, 02:39 PM
if the round was made for 9mm. then you should be find with anything close to 1100 fps or over.

March 5, 2013, 03:49 PM
Don't know if it's a typo or not but the Golden Saber bullet for 9MM weighs 124 grains. 125's are meant for .38/357. My 124 GS loads using Unique is 5.2 grains but it's not maximum. 5.3 would be safe with Unique and I think you could go up to 5.5 but work up to it with your components in your pistol. At my 5.2 grain charge it's accurate and reliable and I think plenty fast to expand. Check your GS bullets diameter. 355"-9MM and .357" for .38/357 Magnum.

Matt Dillon
March 5, 2013, 03:54 PM
You're right, these are 124 grain, not 125 grain. Thanks!

March 5, 2013, 04:04 PM
You really should work up to "maximum".. and assume all responsibility. Go slow.. at first. That's a good bullet for hunting - are those bonded? good luck

March 5, 2013, 04:43 PM
Don't load up a whole batch of several hundred before you take it to the range.

It sucks pulling bullets. It sucks even more when you find you have to pull several hundred.

March 5, 2013, 04:54 PM
9mm is a high pressure cartridge as it is, so if it were me I would work up to identifiable maximum. Even if you only load 2 of each increment, it will still give you some visible verification to work off of.
FYI, if you really want to push them fast and avoid high pressure spikes, try some Longshot. It fills the case really well, and is much more forgiving to work with than mid to faster burning powders for +P loading. Nothing against the powder your working with, it's great, just saying.


March 5, 2013, 04:58 PM
I would want to push them as fast as is safely possible. The jacket will fully expand even at lower velocities but if the velocity drops much below 1,100 fps you might start to see jacket core separation. Basically, the core will leave the jacket behind and pencil its way through. What firearm will you be using for self defense and for hunting? You have two very different situations there. For self defense you might be faced with a target 10 feet away wearing heavy clothing. What are you hunting, expected distance etc?

Matt Dillon
March 5, 2013, 06:00 PM
I have already shot ~20 of these, to check my col and to ensure they will feed through my magazines, in my Beretta 92 fs. I just haven't run them over my chronograph yet. In both self defense as well as hunting(finishing shots, no long distance shots) they would be used up close and personal. I'm using Unique, because I have a lot of it, and no Longshot. Thanks for your observations!

March 5, 2013, 06:28 PM
I've loaded those quite a lot hotter (above max), to the point they were guppying.

I wouldn't recommend pushing past max, however, unless your manual for your firearm says that it's rated for +P or +P+!

And then, with great caution. Individually weighed powder charges (not dumped by volume) and go up in .1 gr increments.

That is, if you want to experiment. :)

It's fun for a awhile, but reloading 9mm in such a fashion gets pretty damn tedious vs. dumping by volume at 50 cases a pass. Also would strongly advise against doing this on a progressive!!!!

But if you don't mind single staging, you can get VERY good results out of it. I was kicking Golden Saber 9mm 124's out at 1250+ fps with handloads. But I was also willing to experiment and knew what I was getting in to, risk wise.

Anymore I'm a quantity vs quality guy, load for a minimum power factor (126.5 USPSA power factor on my current loads). When I load 9mm I want to crank out volume, so I can practice and shoot more!

Not so interested in pushing the boundaries anymore.

Matt Dillon
March 5, 2013, 09:17 PM
I don't really want to experiment with the Beretta too far. I just want a safe, effective load that will maximize the expansion of the Golden Saber. I will be loading these on a single stage, dropping the charges short of a full load, then weighing and trickling until I reach the full charge, because Unique doesn't meter well in my old Redding powder measure.

March 5, 2013, 11:04 PM
Something to keep in mind.. Remington loads Golden Sabers @ 124gr to +P pressure. 147gr is NOT. Why... I do not know off hand.

Your Beretta (if it's a 92FS) is rated for +P+ in limited doses (wouldn't feed it a regular diet of it, hard on the gun).

If it's in good shape, I wouldn't be too bashful about loading hot rounds.

But, not my gun, so not my decision. :)

March 5, 2013, 11:06 PM
Also, FWIW, NATO 124gr M882 Ball is 124 grain at 1299 feet per second and shot out of Berettas on a regular basis.

You've got room for some growth there.

But again, not my gun. :)

Matt Dillon
March 6, 2013, 02:23 PM
So, if I go up to 5"7 grains, weighed, will this get me into +P range @1150 fps? Sierra lists this as a maximum load, but I have seen others load more than 6 grains. By the way, are there standards fr determining +p or +P+ loads? Are these based on Psi, or Fps for a given load?

March 6, 2013, 02:29 PM
By the way, are there standards fr determining +p or +P+ loads? Are these based on Psi, or Fps for a given load?

There is a SAAMI definition of 9mm Luger +P which has a MAP of 38,500 psi compared to 9mm Luger which has a MAP of 35,000 psi. There is no SAAMI definition for +P+.

March 6, 2013, 02:51 PM
And good luck finding published +p 9mm data.

Steve C
March 6, 2013, 03:30 PM
You will get best performance if you match the factory loads in either standard or +P. I've found the earlier Sierra manuals to be pretty spot on regarding actual chrono'd velocities when shot from a Glock 19 or full sized service 9mm like the Beretta 92. For some reason the velocities of the more recent manuals have fallen off compared to the earlier publications even through the OAL's are equal or have been shortened by a thou or so.

Factory Golden Sabers are listed at 1,125 fps (standard) and 1,180 fps for +P from a 4" barrel. In my experience you will likely be to the + side of 1,100 fps in actual velocity from a service pistol if shot on a reasonably warm day so the Golden Sabers should perform as well as factory loads. Work em up to +P velocity using Alliant data with a max of 5.8 gr.

March 6, 2013, 07:52 PM
Yup, going to be hard to find +P data, and +P+ is beyond any specifications established.

When you push past max, you're on your own.

You have these to rely on:

#1 Your gut, logic, and reason.
#2 Your spent brass, and what it's telling you about what's going on
#3 Your chronograph
#4 The firearm, and what it's telling you.
#5 RESEARCH in to your specific gun and what it can handle.

Be aware if you go past max you, and you alone, are responsible for the outcome.

Some choose to do it, and take the (calculated) risk, others not so much.

Matt Dillon
March 6, 2013, 08:11 PM
I think that I will stick with 5.7 grains of unique, and test them out tomorrow. If my son wants to shoot a few in his Gluck 19, that shouldn't be a problem?

March 6, 2013, 09:43 PM
9mm Glocks will eat anything and beg for more.

March 7, 2013, 02:56 PM
I drive my 124gr Gold Dots with Power Pistol or Blue Dot. Both are flashy but can really give high velocities at lower pressures.

Unique should work pretty good too, with less flash. Work up, chrono some factory standard velocity loads and I would strive to meet but not exceed them.

FYI: Factory 124gr Golden saber +P loads were anemic out of my Glock 26. They measured 1061 fps, compared to 1158 and 1160 fps for Gold dot and federal HST 124gr +P loads.

March 7, 2013, 04:13 PM
FYI: Factory 124gr Golden saber +P loads were anemic out of my Glock 26. They measured 1061 fps, compared to 1158 and 1160 fps for Gold dot and federal HST 124gr +P loads.

That's odd. I shot 124gr Golden Saber BJHP (GS9MMB) out of a G19 and XD last week and the ten shot averages were 1,112 fps and 1,117 fps respectively. That's over some high end Oehler screens set 20' apart to give an average reading at 15'. I shot the XD again a few days later and the five shot averages were 1,126 fps and 1,211 fps respectively with the screens 2' apart giving an average reading at 9'.

Matt Dillon
March 7, 2013, 07:10 PM
Thanks so very much for your input and advice! I shot 10 rounds today, using weighed charges of 5.7 grains of Unique, with no deleterious consequences. The primers looked good, and I couldn't tell any difference in recoil between my plinking loads (4.7 grains of unique) and this load. One of these days I will chronograph them, but if the books are right, this should get them between 11and 1200fps. Thanks again for all your help!

March 7, 2013, 07:13 PM
Glad you got to where you wanted to get! :)

Have fun.

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