sub-minor PF 9x19 loads for Steel Challenge?


April 4, 2014, 07:23 PM
I'm going to start shooting the local steel matches, which do not have a power factor requirement,and the plates are static.

For USPSA Minor PF in a Glock 17, I load 147gr FMJs with 3.3grainsof titegroup, which gives me a PF of about 126. and an velocity extreme spread of about 6fps. It works really well for me.

I'm hemming and hawing about changing ammo for steel, but let's face it, I'm a gamer at heart. Any ideas on how shooting, say, 90gr LRNs at 500-600 fps will feel? Will they cycle the gun? Anyone have a favorite super-lite 9mm load?

If you enjoyed reading about "sub-minor PF 9x19 loads for Steel Challenge?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
April 4, 2014, 07:33 PM
When I was shooting steel plates where all it had to do was ding the targets, the loads I used was either 3.9 of Titegroup or 4.8 of Autocomp under a 115gr FMJ-RN. The Autocomp was really nice to shoot and extremely accurate.

April 4, 2014, 08:24 PM
Although you could get lighter 115/124 bullets to cycle your pistol and (even if you use lighter recoil springs to cycle the slides), I think the issue you are going to face is accuracy. With lighter bullets and just enough powder to cycle the slide, powder burn may be inefficient.

Your best bet may be to stay with the heavier 147 gr bullets and find the powder/charge combination that will give you the acceptable level of accuracy.

While load testing for the Herco threads and 9mm, I found 115 gr Berry's HBRN to be surprisingly accurate producing just over 1.0"
shot group with mild recoil and 124 gr lead RN producing 1.1" shot group and light reocil -

Herco test loads:

115 gr Winchester FMJ:
5.8 gr @ 1.150" - 1.30" with light recoil (lighter than reference load)
6.1 gr @ 1.160" - 1.30" with mild recoil

115 gr Berry's plated HBRN:
5.2 gr @ 1.155" - 1.40" with very light recoil (failed to cycle the slide)
5.8 gr @ 1.155" - 1.50" with light recoil
6.1 gr @ 1.155" - 1.04" KKM and 1.20" LW (mild recoil)

124 gr Berry's plated HBRN:
5.2 gr @ 1.155" - 1.75" very light recoil (barely cycled the slide)
5.8 gr @ 1.155" - 1.43" light recoil
6.1 gr @ 1.155" - 1.75" mild recoil

124 gr Z-Cast lead RN (stepped):
5.2 gr @ 1.160" - 1.12" KKM and 1.50" LW (light recoil)
5.8 gr @ 1.160" - 1.50" with mild recoil

In my Berry's 124 gr HBRN thread, I got light/mild recoil loads with 3.5/3.8 gr Bullseye and 3.8/4.0 gr Titegroup that produced 1.0"-1.5" shot groups at 15 yards from my Glock 22/40-9 barrel combination -

I haven't done much work with 147 gr bullet and got a box collecting dust so perhaps I may do a powder comparison range test this weekend. Since I can meter Bullseye/W231/HP-38 down to 1.5-2.0 gr accurately with the Auto Disk mod, I can try downloading Bullseye/Titegroup/W231/HP-38 that will reliably cycle the slide and produce accuracy -

April 4, 2014, 09:40 PM
Green Dot is as good a powder for 9mm cast bullet loads as can be had. I say this with years of experience with two 9mm 1911's shooting bullseye competitions.
I guess I may add Green Dot to the 147 gr range test too.

April 6, 2014, 02:15 AM
OK, I tested some lighter 147 gr lead loads in this thread that may help you identify usable loads -

Jim Watson
April 6, 2014, 08:04 AM
Many moons ago, I READ where it was concluded that the optimum velocity for Steel Challenge was 925 fps. Times are recorded down to the hundredth of a second, so you don't want a powderpuff load ambling down to the plates. But you don't want one that merges the Clang with the Bang, either.
Try some 125s at that velocity and see how they shoot.

If you enjoyed reading about "sub-minor PF 9x19 loads for Steel Challenge?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!