question on 9mm reload results


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bengals1975
March 11, 2013, 06:22 PM
I've spent some time working up a load for my 9mm and I thought I found one that works pretty good. It worked great on an 8 round test run so I made another 70 and went out to shoot them this weekend (I wanted to test a greater number before I went ahead and loaded the remainder of the 500 bullets I bought). It went pretty well but it wasn't the perfect experience I was hoping for. I had two cases get caught by the slide while ejecting (I don't know what this is called. it's like the slide kicked back, the case started to eject, but got caught while the slide was moving forward) and once the slide didn't lock open after firing the last round in the mag. These were the only anomalies I experienced. Is this normal? It has never happened to me with factory loads so I thought I'd ask you guys with much more experience than I have. Could any of these issues be caused by using the 95gr bullet? all my factory loads are 115gr.

For more data, in case it helps answer the question, here is my setup.

-I'm using the Lee 4 hole classic turret press w/ Lee dies and Autodisk powder measure
-Alliant Unique powder
-Fiocchi primers
-these loads were on brand new winchester brass
-95 gr jacketed bullets (OAL 1.037)
-Autodisk set to 0.66 cc's threw about 5.1 gr and a 8 round test run didn't cycle very well. Autodisk set to 0.71 cc (nxt largest setting) throws around 5.5-5.7 grains. This is the setting I used for the 70 rounds mentioned above. My loading manual shows a max load of 5.8 gr of Unique for the 95 gr round (but uses CCI primers, not Fiocchi).
-the majority of the cases were discolored after firing, which I read was an indication of too low pressure. but since 5.8 gr is the max load in my manual and I'm already at 5.7ish I'm terribly nervous of increasing powder to increase pressure.

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1KPerDay
March 11, 2013, 06:51 PM
I had two cases get caught by the slide while ejecting (I don't know what this is called
It is called a Failure To Eject, and if the brass is sticking up vertically it's sometimes called a smokestack or stovepipe jam. Sounds like your loads might be a little light... but I'm not a lawyer and can't advise you to exceed book max. ;) You might try a faster powder like promo/red dot or similar. The primers shouldn't make a significant difference if they're both standard SPP.

stupid question... did you WEIGH the charges or just trust the Lee chart for orifice/weight? Because it's notoriously optimistic by up to half a grain for me.

Cherokee
March 11, 2013, 06:55 PM
Sounds like low pressure load is marginal on ejection and slide recoil, thereby not locking open when empty and not allowing enough time for the case to clear the port before closing. Unique should do it but appears it is not.

ZeSpectre
March 11, 2013, 06:56 PM
Unique likes to be pushed kinda hard (higher end of the loadings) and I'd say you need to find a heavier bullet if you can. Shoving a 95gr bullet out the barrel isn't going to develop the pressures that Unique likes.

Walkalong
March 11, 2013, 06:58 PM
Might be a little too light of a load. That can cause cases to get caught in the ejection port, as well as not locking the slide back.

Could any of these issues be caused by using the 95gr bullet? Yes, not enough recoil/slide speed. 95 Grs bullets are generally intended for .380.

gamestalker
March 11, 2013, 07:23 PM
I've been loading the 90 gr. XTP's with flawless operation through all the 9mm's in my house, using a mid charge of Longshot or HS6. And yes, I would agree that your probably encountering low pressures, or too short of a pressure curve.
GS

bengals1975
March 12, 2013, 12:16 AM
stupid question... did you WEIGH the charges or just trust the Lee chart for orifice/weight? Because it's notoriously optimistic by up to half a grain for me.

I weighed them. The Lee charts were pretty bad compared to what the weights actually turned out to be. Thank goodness for a scale :)

Sounds like the consensus is too light of a charge. Since I'm a little nervous to disregard the manual and exceed it's recommended max load (especially this early in my reloading experience) I think I'll pick up a different powder for my remaining 95 gr bullets. I have bunch of 115 gr bullets on the way (backordered of course), I'll try the Unique on those. Any recommended powders for the 95 gr rounds to help with getting better pressure? I originally was looking for Win 231 but couldn't find it and bought Unique instead. Thoughts on the 231? I saw Hodgdon's Longshot and HS-6 in gamestalker's response. I don't have Longshot in my manual for 9mm so I probably won't go there. HS-6 is spherical right? I hear the spherical powders meter well in the autodisk so I'll look for that. Any other recommendations if I can't find HS-6 since it seems shops around here don't have the stock they're used to?

Thanks a bunch for the feedback.

gamestalker
March 12, 2013, 12:27 AM
The data for Longshot is on Hogdon's reloading pages, so is HS6 data.
GS

bengals1975
March 12, 2013, 10:59 AM
The data for Longshot is on Hogdon's reloading pages, so is HS6 data.

Got it. Thanks!


.

bengals1975
March 12, 2013, 04:07 PM
Playing devil's advocate for a minute to hopefully learn something...

Looking at other data on Hodgdon's website, I found a relative burn rate chart. It looks like Unique has a faster burn rate than either HS-6 or Longshot. In my head I was correlating faster burn rate to higher pressure. Is this not the case? If it is then using HS-6 or Longshot instead of Unique wouldn't solve the problem. I have no doubt it will probably work, it's working for gamestalker with an even lighter bullet. I'm just trying to learn a little something so I'm asking the question.

rcmodel
March 12, 2013, 04:44 PM
Could any of these issues be caused by using the 95gr bullet?Yes, especially with a 'compact' or short barrel gun.

They need a more normal 9mm bullet (115 - 124) weight to get enough recoil impulse / slide velocity to overcome the short stiff springs.

Alliant 2004 data shows a 95 FMJ, and 6.5 Unique is the Max load.

I would increase the charge a little and see what develops.

Years ago, I ran 6.5 grains with a 90 grain Sierra JHP with no problems.
But I have since decided 90 grain bullets are for .380 ACP pistols, not 9mm's.

rc

Shmackey
March 12, 2013, 05:01 PM
In my head I was correlating faster burn rate to higher pressure. Is this not the case?

It's not nearly that simple. The advice to increase the charge of your current powder is solid.

gamestalker
March 12, 2013, 07:09 PM
Relevant to pressure is how long it is sustained also. And even though it's a short barrel pistol, a bit longer sustained pressure will help to cycle the action completely, the other alternative is to run max or possibly over max charges of faster burning powders to accomplish the same thing. In other words, PSI doesn't have to be way up there to solve the problem. This is one of the reasons I use HS6 or Longshot for all my auto loading pistol cartridges and have had flawless operation in every action I've run them in, XD, XDM, in both full size and sub compacts, Taurus 709's, 24/7's, PT111's, Beretta 92FS, and a few others.
GS

beatledog7
March 12, 2013, 07:09 PM
The only thing that would make me want to load bullets that light in a 9x19 would be to see how fast I could make one go. Otherwise, I start at 115 grains. Even my .380 loads are 100 grainers.

bengals1975
March 12, 2013, 11:12 PM
Thanks GS, I'm going to look for those powders. I will probably make a stronger load of unique as well. One of the reasons I started loading my own ammo in the first place was to try different bullets/powders/etc so this is perfect. This is a great learning experience and I'm loving it!


The only thing that would make me want to load bullets that light in a 9x19 would be to see how fast I could make one go. Otherwise, I start at 115 grains. Even my .380 loads are 100 grainers.

I hear ya. I wanted 115 gr but couldn't find them. All I could find was 95 gr. Which in hindsight, I wouldn't have it any other way. If I had found the 115gr bullets perhaps I wouldn't have had the little hitches I've had with the 95 grain rounds and wouldn't have learned all that I have working through them :-)

chris in va
March 13, 2013, 12:08 AM
I have some 95 grainers for my Kahr. May have used Universal, can't really remember. They work fine though.

GCBurner
March 13, 2013, 01:56 AM
I've noticed a lot of folks saying that the Lee Autodisk can get clogged with some powders, including Unique, and give occasional underloaded cases. I noticed the same thing with a manual RCBS powder measure with Unique, to the point that I took the time to weigh every load. I've found powders like Bullseye and Titegroup, or Win231, meter much more accurately for consistent loads.

J_McLeod
March 13, 2013, 10:14 AM
I've loaded many 95gr for my 9mm and had good results and good accuracy. I use a near max load of HS-6 and it works great. Always cycles, clean cases and accurate. Another thing that may help is bringing the OAL in. It will create more pressure. I load mine to 1.020-1.030", at or just above Hodgdon's load data. Not sure if .017 will help, but it may. I'm still working on the Longshot load. Cycles, but dirty cases, even near max.

ArchAngelCD
March 13, 2013, 03:58 PM
The data over on Handloads.com that is reported coming from Alliant lists the 9mm with a 95gr FMJ bullet and Unique. The starting charge weight is 5.9gr and the max charge is 6.5gr Unique. Your load doesn't even approach the starting charge weight so like said above, you might want to up the charge slightly and see what happens. http://www.handloads.com/loaddata/default.asp?Caliber=9%20mm&Weight=95&type=Handgun&Order=Powder&Source=

bds
March 13, 2013, 10:07 PM
-Alliant Unique
-95 gr jacketed bullets (OAL 1.037)

2004 Alliant load data (glarp.atk.com/2004/2004Catalogs/2004AlliantPowderSM.pdf)

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=175360&stc=1&d=1353994181


My loading manual shows a max load of 5.8 gr of Unique for the 95 gr round
I am assuming your manual is Lyman #49?

Lyman #49 shows:
95 gr Sierra FMJ (but picture shows a flat point bullet) Unique 1.005" OAL Start 4.5 gr (1007 fps) 22,000 CUP - 5.8 gr (1399 fps) 32,000 CUP
Since Lyman #49 used flat point FMJ, the bullet base would get seated deeper especially with 1.005" OAL and explain why 5.8 gr charge produced 1399 fps over 2004 Alliant load data. If your 95 gr FMJ has traditional pointed RN and you are using same or longer OAL, I would consider using the 2004 Alliant load data but as many posted, work up from 10% below as start charge, which would be around 5.8 gr.

Also consider this. Current Alliant load data (http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloaders/powderlist.aspx?page=/reloaders/powderlist.aspx&type=1&powderid=3&cartridge=23) shows 6.3 gr of Unique as max charge for 115 gr GDHP.

You can reference load data for slightly heavier bullet, and especially 95 gr FMJ is not a hollow point and would seat shallower, even 6.3 gr of Unique for 95 gr FMJ using current Alliant load data would be OK (but I would calculate the bullet seat depth if you can). ;)
9mm Luger 115 gr Speer GDHP OAL 1.125" Unique Max 6.3 gr (1,244 fps)

So for 95 gr FMJ with OAL longer than 1.055", I would suggest an initial work start/max charges of 5.8 gr to 6.2 gr and see what the accuracy trends are then consider 6.3 - 6.4 gr.

As always, cross-reference as many available "published" load data as you can and exercise good judgement. YMMV

bengals1975
March 14, 2013, 07:57 PM
Thanks for walking through that for me bds. I had to read it a couple times to fully digest it all :-)

It was very helpful though.

bds
March 15, 2013, 12:51 AM
Sorry for the long and convoluted post (I had a rough day at work, really) - even I had to read it twice just now. :eek::D

With Unique/Universal and slower burning powders, it's been my experience optimal accuracy is achieved at high-to-near max load data.

I was trying to determine the probable load range I would have used for my load work up.

Let us know how things go.

rchery59
March 15, 2013, 11:02 AM
I weighed them. The Lee charts were pretty bad compared to what the weights actually turned out to be. Thank goodness for a scale :)

Sounds like the consensus is too light of a charge. Since I'm a little nervous to disregard the manual and exceed it's recommended max load (especially this early in my reloading experience) I think I'll pick up a different powder for my remaining 95 gr bullets. I have bunch of 115 gr bullets on the way (backordered of course), I'll try the Unique on those. Any recommended powders for the 95 gr rounds to help with getting better pressure? I originally was looking for Win 231 but couldn't find it and bought Unique instead. Thoughts on the 231? I saw Hodgdon's Longshot and HS-6 in gamestalker's response. I don't have Longshot in my manual for 9mm so I probably won't go there. HS-6 is spherical right? I hear the spherical powders meter well in the autodisk so I'll look for that. Any other recommendations if I can't find HS-6 since it seems shops around here don't have the stock they're used to?

Thanks a bunch for the feedback.
I see you are using an auto disc, the problem you may encounter when trying to bump your charge a tenth or two is your next option is probably a .5 gr increment which puts you into an over max. One simple thing you may try is to decrease your COAL by .007 and go with 1.030 . You may just get enough pressure to cycle with out all the problems of starting over. Trying to find another powder right now might not be easy.

bengals1975
March 15, 2013, 01:12 PM
I see you are using an auto disc, the problem you may encounter when trying to bump your charge a tenth or two is your next option is probably a .5 gr increment which puts you into an over max. One simple thing you may try is to decrease your COAL by .007 and go with 1.030 . You may just get enough pressure to cycle with out all the problems of starting over. Trying to find another powder right now might not be easy.

I have the adjustable charge bar for the autodisk so I'm able to make small tweaks.

I'll probably try to go both directions. Shorten my OAL with current powder load as well as lengthen OAL and increase powder and see what works best.

Hoping to find a little time this weekend to load, the wife sometimes vetoes my plans.

bengals1975
March 15, 2013, 01:20 PM
Sorry for the long and convoluted post (I had a rough day at work, really) - even I had to read it twice just now. :eek::D

With Unique/Universal and slower burning powders, it's been my experience optimal accuracy is achieved at high-to-near max load data.

I was trying to determine the probable load range I would have used for my load work up.

Let us know how things go.


Haha, no sweat. I figured it out :-) it really helps to see how more experienced loaders approach building a new load.

I'm looking forward to trying out my new loads. I'll post back how it all works out.

bengals1975
April 14, 2013, 05:17 PM
Let us know how things go

Well, I finally got out to shoot a new batch of reloads after following the advice in this thread.

I found some HS-6 and loaded with that following the data from Hodgdon's website along with the data in the Lee Modern Reloading manual.

Everything went awesome! better than awesome actually, they were super accurate and ejected so consistently I was able to place a bucket off to the side and catch 75% of the cases without having worry about searching the ground for them :)

Thanks again everyone.

bds
April 14, 2013, 10:53 PM
Great! I love happy endings. :D

Maddawg2020
April 15, 2013, 12:56 AM
Sounds like all went well

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