AA#5 & 9mm plated


October 30, 2013, 04:33 PM
My son and I are new to reloading. We just worked up a load for X-Treme 115gr plated RN using AA#5. Western Powder's load data indicates a start load of 4.8 and a max load of 5.9 at OAL of 1.140. We wound up at 6.1 with an OAL of 1.145. My son's XD-9 wouldn't cycle at anything less although my G19 was ok at 5.6. Both were good at 6.1. My question is whether it's a problem to exceed the max load in this case or is the OAL increase of 0.005 enough to require the increase in load. Are we good here? Thanks in advance.

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October 30, 2013, 04:48 PM
New to reloading? Buy and read at least two manuals.
Plated bullets are to be loaded using cast bullet data or no more than mid-range jacketed data, generally NOT to exceed 1200fps.
My compilation of loads from various manuals shows 115gn cast bullet starting loads of 5.2gn and 5.7gn and MAX loads of 6.1gn and 6.3gn. The lower loads are for minimum COL of 1.070" and the higher loads are for minimum COL of 1.100" (and almost certainly different bullets). The loads are dependent on the gun used, the bullet used, and the exact lots of components used. Load data is NOT a bible--it only shows what someone got with a specific firearm, bullet, and particular lots of components. That is why you work up a load and don't just assume--at the very least, your exact lots of components are almost certainly not the same as the manual's.
For plated bullets specifically, the only data I have for 115gn plated bullets is 5.2gn starting and 5.8gn Max, no COL noted.
Your COL is higher than either cast bullet source, so the data is applicable. Always remember that increasing the COL by 0.01" will have a very small affect compared to decreasing the COL by 0.01".
If your gun cycles 115gn factory ammunition fine, then the load you have that just cycles the gun can not be a max load--IN THAT PARTICULAR GUN. It could be max or more in another gun, but not very likely.
Did you look for signs of pressure? Felt recoil compared to factory 115gn ammo? How far the cases were tossed compared to factory 115gn ammo? The appearance of the primers? Expansion of the case about 1/4" above the extractor groove compared to factory ammo? If so, and there are no signs of pressure above factory, then you are fine.
I hope this helps.

October 30, 2013, 04:51 PM
Did you look in any other load manuals, or just at the powder manufactures data?

You can look at 5 different manuals, and each one of them is probably going to have a different min and max. They may be close, but one or the other or both are going to be different.

I normally write down the min and max from each of the 6 resources I use, and start at a min avg and workup to a max avg.

If I was a betting man, I would bet, that your still under max in a given manual. I'm not at home, or I would look in my manuals.

The mins and maxes differ depending on the OAL the tester used.

In my 9mm, I use a 1.150 OAL.

October 30, 2013, 05:17 PM
I also have a Lee manual but the data is identical so I figured they just took it from the manufacturer's data. I looked at the cases which were tossed about the same as factory and there were no signs of pressure. The primers also looked exactly as factory. Felt recoil was less at the lower charges, but felt like factory at 6.1. The data was for the exact bullet I was using except it was Berry's rather than X-Treme which really shouldn't matter. Thanks for the info. It's appreciated

October 30, 2013, 05:20 PM
The Lee manual copies everyone else's data.

Sierra, Hornady, Lyman's 49th, Speer are all good manuals. Pick up a couple more manuals. It'll save heartache in the end.

October 30, 2013, 05:32 PM
I know it really isn't necessary, but do any of the other manuals have data for a fair number of plated bullets?

October 30, 2013, 05:56 PM
With plated bullets, you can use lower end jacketed data. As long as you don't go over the fps stated by the manufacture.

I use Berrys Hollow Base, thick plated, and it states not to go over 1500fps. So I stay within data that's going to keep me below that. Most of Berrys plated are rated for less than 1200fps. Look in a manual and use data, that's going to keep you below that. Plated are halfway between lead and jacketed.

Just looked at the x-treme site, and they say keep it under 1500fps.

October 30, 2013, 06:19 PM
The X-tremes are thick plated I believe. Jacketted data to manufacturers max speed should run just fine.
Your oal is long for a 115gr RN. That makes load data showing a shorter oal perfectly safe to use. Your longer oal will result in less pressure than the published data.

October 30, 2013, 07:53 PM
I'm in the middle of a batch of 115 gr plated bullets, using AA#5 I'm using 6.4 grains and an o.a.l. of 1.095" Function well and are plenty accurate.

AA load data shows max of 6.5gr, using Berry's bullets. Xtreme bullets are AT LEAST as thick as Berry's.

October 30, 2013, 09:38 PM
Thanks to everyone for helping out a newbie. One more question......what procedure do you use for working up your loads so you don't have to make five or six separate trips to the range? Then do you go back home and pull the bullets from everything that you didn't use?

October 30, 2013, 09:41 PM
I do a complete workup from my average min to my average max, and shoot all of them, UNLESS, and see something dangerous. Otherwise, I shoot them all, take my group measurements, go home and start loading up the one I like. I figure the fewer trips I make, the better.

Since my magazines hold 8 rounds, I do 8 rounds at each charge in my workup. I workup in .2gr increments.

October 30, 2013, 10:33 PM
I load 6.1 grains of AA#5 with 115 Xtreme or Berry's plated RN. COL is 1.135. These load,fire,cycle,eject well in my M&P 9mm, SW 669 9mm, SDVE 9mm, & Bersa BP9CC. One thing to note is that the Xtreme's are 0.355 diameter & the Berry's are 0.356 diameter.

October 31, 2013, 11:36 PM
I asked Xtreme what data I should use with their bullets. They told me to use Speer's data for jacketed bullets. I take this to mean they are at least as hard as Gold Dots, which are plated too. I've used jacketed data with their bullets with outstanding results. With non-plus P data I doubt you will exceed 1200fps with that bullet in your pistols with AA#5. Load up for best accuracy and function in your pistols. If you stay below jacketed bullet max you will be fine. I load their round nose 9mm bullets to 1.135".

Hondo 60
November 1, 2013, 12:09 AM
If your gun won't reliably cycle, you can drop the OAL a bit.
Usually mine at about 1.125.

I'd be REAL CAREFUL about exceeding a max load.
That's just asking for trouble.

That maximum is NOT just a suggestion.

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