Help for 9mm load


April 4, 2013, 03:07 PM
I'm just getting into reloading and have searched high and low for an answer to this question and can't find one. I thought I would try here.

I just picked up some IMR SR 7625 powder. I am going to load 9mm rounds for starters. I went to their website for 9mm load data and the only entry for a 115gr bullet is for 115 GR SPR GDHP. I can't find any info on a 115gr FMJ.

I haven't even received my press and dies yet, but am trying to get a feel for how to read these charts and such. Why isn't there an entry for FMJ? Can the same load data be used for both? (I wouldn't think so...)

FWIW, the 231 Win powder only shows data for 115 GR SPR GDHP and 115 GR LRN. No FMJ data there either.

Can someone please shed some light on this for me? It has to be something I'm just not understanding. Thanks for any info y'all can give.

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April 4, 2013, 03:12 PM
As long as you are comparing the same weight and both bullets are jacketed, I would feel safe using that information. But your COAL probably won't match up.

April 4, 2013, 03:30 PM
You can safely use the data Hodgdon/IMR shows for the 125 grain Sierra FMJ.

As for why there is no 115 FMJ data?

It is physically impossible for the manufactures to show every bullet type & weight, with every possible powder combination in one reloading manual.

Such a book would be a 12 volume set of pretty big books.


April 4, 2013, 03:43 PM
231 Win powder only shows data for 115 GR SPR GDHP and 115 GR LRN. No FMJ data there either.
Welcome to THR

1999-2005 Winchester load data ( has W231 loads for 115 gr FMJ and 124 gr FMJ. I use load data for 124/125 gr FMJ bullets interchangeably as most jacketed bullets vary by 1.0 gr anyways. ;)

As rcmodel posted, yes you can use load data for slightly heavier bullet. You can see below that 124 gr FMJ max charge of 4.5 gr is about the start charge for 115 gr FMJ.

April 4, 2013, 07:59 PM
Hogfan, I use mostly bullets that don't have much information out there. Specifically I began my reloading experience with 124 gr Remington JHP because they were inexpensive. Talk about tough to find data! But I figured things out by taking a factory 115gr WWB, marked the bullet where it enters the case mouth with a scribe, deconstructed the bullet, measured how much of that bullet was seated in the case, then seated my Remingtons so they took up that same amount of case space.

It's not foolproof but that, along with 124gr data using Hodgdon Universal, gave me a starting point with a bullet that too few could advise a COL.

Bullet profile may dictate COL but I consider the case capacity left after bullet seating is a more important factor because it has an impact on pressures.

edit: Yes, welcome to THR :)


April 4, 2013, 08:04 PM
a bullet that too few could advise a COL.Too few can advise a OAL because too few don't have access to your guns barrel.

Bullet shape is next important just behind bullet weight or how much of it seats inside the case.

Jamming a new bullet profile into the rifling at the same OAL as the old bullet you were using can blow you up just as fast or faster then seating too short.

Use the barrel out of the gun as a chamber gage to determine bullet seating depth.


Jesse Heywood
April 4, 2013, 10:03 PM
From IMR manual dated 05/03

As stated, make the length fit your gun & mag. And start low and work up.

April 4, 2013, 10:15 PM
As long as you are using jacketed data of the same weight bullet, your starting charges are going to just fine to work up from. And even though Gold Dots are a plated bullet, they are loaded using jacketed data, which FMJ would apply. And as already stated, OAL will be different, but that is something that should be determined every time you change bullet makes and weights anyway. Remove your barrel from the pistol to determine the correct seating depth for that firearm and bullet combination as always.


April 4, 2013, 11:52 PM
Thanks everyone for the information. I can tell that there are many things to consider when reloading, but I'm still going to give it a shot. I haven't ordered my reloading manuals yet, but will. Everything is so hard to find at the moment that when I saw a local gun shop had the IMR 7625 powder in stock, I jumped on it.

I suppose when I start reading the manuals that I will pick up some of the info you guys have provided. I just did a quick load data search on the powder I got and found it kind of odd that the FMJ data wasn't there. If I have any other questions, I'll definitely come back here. Thanks again.

April 5, 2013, 11:17 AM
Mr. Hogsfan -

The data they present on the Hodgdon on-line site is all you need. What they are not telling you is that the Speer Gold Dot Hollow Point is a plated bullet, but the plating is soooo thick that it loads exactly like a FMJ.

April 5, 2013, 05:09 PM
like Winchester HBRN's?

And if I may ask a small hijacking question-- Is the COL given in the load data; a suggestion, something to aim for or a do not exceed length or go shorter length?


April 5, 2013, 05:26 PM
What about hollow based bullets ... like Winchester HBRN's?
I use Winchester 115 gr FMJ bullets and the hollow based bullets have dished base to help with bullet base expansion. I would just use the published jacketed load data for your powder work up. Even for deep hollow base bullets like Berry's HBRN-TP (Thicker Plated) bullets, I used jacketed load data for my load development -

Berry's 124 gr RN on the left, 124 gr HBRN-TP, 115 gr HBRN-TP, Winchester 115 gr FMJ on the right.

Is the COL given in the load data; a suggestion, something to aim for or a do not exceed length or go shorter length?
Since OALs used for published load data were often determined with test barrel fixtures and not actual pistols, reloaders must determine the max/working OALs that will reliably feed/chamber from the magazine using their pistols.

- First determine the max OAL ( using your barrel out of the magazine and a dummy round (no powder/no primer). Using SAAMI max OAL or OAL that will cause the case to stick out of the chamber, incrementally decrease the OAL until the dummy round falls into the chamber freely with a "plonk" and spin without hitting the rifling. (I usually use .021" added to the diameter of the bullet for taper crimp - so for .355" 9mm FMJ, .376" taper crimp)

- Next determine the working OAL by manually feeding/chambering from the magazine. Load the dummy round in the magazine, lock the slide back, load the magazine, release the slide without riding the slide. Max OAL will often work as working OAL but you may need to decrease the OAL to reliably feed/chamber from the magazine.

- Once you determined the working OAL, you can then proceed to conducting a full powder workup from start-to-max charge (using .1-.2 gr increments) referencing available published load data from powder/bullet manufacturers. I first identify the powder charge that will reliably cycle the slide then monitor the accuracy trends of shot groups to identify the powder charge that will produce the most accurate average shot groups.

Note: With some bullet nose types or factory/match barrels with fast start of rifling, you may need to use shorter OALs that will seat the bullet base deeper. If I am seating the bullet base significantly deeper, I will reduce my powder charges by .2-.3 gr for my powder work up.

April 6, 2013, 07:28 PM
but now I also think I should undo about 180 rounds and rebuild them. They are longer than the oal data spec but still short by saami spec. I don't think they would cause any problems shooting them. Thanks for the info. I think I'll do that very thing when I get through with my homework this week. It sux being this old and in college. This will be the last time I change careers! Positively! I think....

I used 4.7grain-w231 with 115grn RNHB 9mm (.355) Winchester FMJ. I set some to the oal to 1.135, some to 1.143 and some to 1.150. The reason for this was I had different head stamps and just wanted to play (and learn the different properties of each manufacturer's brass) so I kept them separate. The data books call for 1.125 oal with 115grn GDHP. I found one that I somehow mashed down to 1.125. I measured every one I built after I ran them all at the length I set. Not really sure how that super short one got in there. They all plunk, spin and fall out after firm thumb pressure is applied.

This the data I am using:
115 GR. SPR GDHP Winchester 231 .355" 1.125" 4.7 1075 25,300 CUP 5.1 1167 28,100 CUP

April 6, 2013, 07:36 PM
4.7 gr of W231 will be fine with 115 gr FMJ whether flat based or hollow based, especially loaded at 1.135" - 1.150". BTW, I load Winchester 115 gr FMJ pictured above with 4.8 gr of W231/HP-38 at 1.125"-1.135" OAL to work in multiple pistols.

BTW, you mean 115 gr RNHB FMJ like this?

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