School me on subsonic 9mm reloading


April 7, 2015, 03:11 PM
I assume 147 or heavier (?)

Fastish powders?

Any caveats/advice?

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April 7, 2015, 04:04 PM
I loaded 147gr Plated RN and FN using 3.5gr of Win231. One thing is that the load range/margin is quite small. Another thing I encountered is that one of the profiles fed better than the other in my Colt M1991. I have to go back to my notes to find which was the problematic one.
They were very quiet through a variety of platforms and cans. Glock 17, Beretta 92, M1991, Uzi - semi and Auto, MP5, Beretta CX4, AR-15 and some others.

April 7, 2015, 04:34 PM
I use 3.9 gr Unique with a 147gr plated RN bullet. Works great. I set the OAL to be as long as would fit my "shortest" magazines, which if I remember correctly was the GLock 17 mags.

I was quite successful with 3.7gr Unique except they wouldn't reliably cycle my Glock 17L when suppressed.

I standardize on one load per bullet-caliber, I won't mess with gun specific loads. I test in various guns during load development and adjust as necessary to hit the happy median.

April 7, 2015, 07:24 PM
Thanks guys. Both of those are doable for me. I have more Unique than 231.

Wally, I wonder why it wouldn't cycle when suppressed? Doesn't suppressing usually increase pressure/recoil/cyclic rate?

April 7, 2015, 11:09 PM
3.2 or 3.3 gr WSF, 147gr Bayou @ 1.08" OAL. The 3.2gr runs just over 800 fps out of our 9mm 1911s.

April 7, 2015, 11:47 PM
Wally, I wonder why it wouldn't cycle when suppressed? Doesn't suppressing usually increase pressure/recoil/cyclic rate?

The suppressor adds significant extra mass to the barrel which can make it hard for it to "tilt" to unlock, slowing down the slide action -- effectively "short stroking" -- it wouldn't lock back on an empty magazine, would often close on an empty chamber after failing to move back far enough to pick up a fresh round, and stovepiped frequently.

I have a "recoil booster" on the suppressor but it still needs "enough" gas pressure to operate. The Unique 3.7 gr loads were fine in my 17 suppressed or unsuppressed, and fine in the 17L unsuppressed, but I needed 3.9 gr for the 17L suppressed. That is what I settled on as it works for everything else I have and is still subsonic. And no chance of a double charge as powder would spill over and there'd be no room in the case for a bullet.

April 7, 2015, 11:52 PM
What bullet and are you using it in a suppressor?

My "goto" load is 3.1gn of N310 with a Berry's 147 @ 1.160", makes "minor" (subsonic) and runs in everything I have tried except the ported barrel of the MP5 SD.

3.2 of N320 or TightGroup with the same OAL will get you there too, with less pressure. VV powders are the cleanest I have used but cost more than TG.

April 8, 2015, 01:03 AM
Got some berry's 147s tonight and loaded a few with 4.8 HS6 which was the starting load in Lyman and midrange in hornady. I'll try some unique and 231 also. Don't have any VV powders.

April 8, 2015, 07:22 AM
TightGroup is almost identical to N320, just not as clean.

BA10 is another good one that s back after 10 years.

You don't state your use but the powders you are using are on the slow side for 9mm suppressed loads to me.

I do like HS-6 and HS-7 in my subsonic 458 socom loads though.

April 8, 2015, 12:28 PM
primarily handgun suppressed. SIG 226 tac elite, silencerco Osprey 45.

I happened upon some titegroup last night. I'll check it out. Thanks.

I also have:
Red Dot/Promo
Power Pistol
Blue Dot
Li'l Gun

April 8, 2015, 01:00 PM
I like tightgroup with Missouri Bullet Company 147g.

I haven't tried their coated bullets but I plan to when I run out of my current supply.

April 8, 2015, 02:32 PM
WST will sever you well too being a fast burn powder. The + side of it is that it burns very clean at reduced loads.

April 8, 2015, 06:46 PM
I thought that faster powders were better with lighter weight bullets and slower powders were better with heavier ones. Being a newbie I don't know- that's just what I read.
I'm using Berrys 147 plated RN with Win 231 and I just bought some CFE pistol but haven't tried it yet.

April 8, 2015, 07:10 PM
It is pretty common in competitive pistol shooting ("action style" with 9mm, 40 and 45 non compensated) to use fast powders with heavy bullets. Felt recoil is less (as well as muzzle energy because the way power factor is calculated) than light bullets.

Sauer Grapes
April 8, 2015, 09:19 PM
I just tested some 147gr hard cast over 2.1grs of Clays. Very low recoil, haven't had a chance to chrono them yet. Accurate enough to flip a tennis ball around @ 25yds with my 9mm 1911 RO.

April 8, 2015, 10:09 PM
Did I read BA10 somewhere?. Vectan?. That's a fast powder. Faster than VV N320. I would use it very cautiously with the 9 mm, especially with heavy bullets. It is possible to use it, but there are better choices for sure. If you have access to CSB 1, that one works great with a 3.5 grains load.

April 9, 2015, 12:22 AM
Yes, I still have a little BA10 left from before it was not imported and it is closer to N310 (what I use now) but cost less and was cleaner than tightgroup but not as clean as VV powders.

Caution is well advised when loading ammunition of any sort but it is much easier to throw a double of any of the above than Trailboss, for example.

April 9, 2015, 11:55 AM
I am having cycling issues also. I have been reloading Berry's 115 RN plated 9mm with Unique (ran out of and not available near me) and now with Bullseye OL is 1.158. Both ran fine no problems in Sig P226 and P250 and S&W mod. 59. I was given 2500 Missouri 125 gr SWC and I am loading them with 3.9 gr of Bullseye. I have tried them in all three semiautomatic and they have cycling issues in the Sigs. OL is 1.113. I have factory rounds that are shorter (1.111 and Federal JHP at 1.085) so I would not think it is length?? Looking into the open and locked chamber they appear to line up with the ramp fine. The seem to have plenty of punch. Anyone have any ideas? Can't imagine not using 2500 free bullets

April 9, 2015, 12:58 PM
Initial results: 4.8 of HS6 and 3.4 of Titegroup (both under berry's 147s at 1.16") both function well and seem accurate in my 3 9mm pistols (226, 92FS, M&P CORE). Haven't tried suppressed yet because I want to determine a clean load first.

HS6 recoil seems identical to my standard 4.6 Unique/124 range load, while the titegroup may be slightly stronger. Haven't loaded or shot enough to determine cleanliness yet.

April 9, 2015, 04:40 PM
I like 135 gr x-treme plated bullets over around 4 gr of W231. It's probably not what you want for self defense, but it sure is an accurate, light recoiling subsonic practice load.

Mad Chemist
April 10, 2015, 02:25 AM
N310, Nitro100nf, N320, and Titegroup will all work well for this. Bullseye will work as well if you want to go old school. You need a fast powder to get enough pressure to cycle the slide while still keeping velocity subsonic. Slower powders may not always build enough pressure to reliably cycle the slide.

The VV powders and the Nitro 100nf will be the cleanest if you are trying to keep your can nice and shiny.

April 10, 2015, 01:52 PM
wish I could find some.

April 10, 2015, 01:54 PM
I like 135 gr x-treme plated bullets over around 4 gr of W231. It's probably not what you want for self defense, but it sure is an accurate, light recoiling subsonic practice load.Interesting. I loaded a bunch of 135s during the first part of the Obamascare when nothing else was available... they worked great. I didn't consider they might be subsonic. I generally shoot 124s now but am considering just loading 147s for everything if I can get a good load.

Mad Chemist
April 10, 2015, 06:55 PM
I went into Cabelas today and they had tons of pistol powder available again.
I saw: Unique, Red Dot, PP, Bullseye, Autocomp, and WSF. :what::what::what:

It is getting better folks!!!:D:D:D:D:D:D

April 13, 2015, 04:49 PM
HS6 load considerable unburned flakes/crud. Titegroup appears much cleaner but brass still quite dirty. Both loads functioned flawlessly in P226 Tac Elite and Osprey 45. Trying WSF next.

April 14, 2015, 12:40 PM
WSF 4.0 functions but is obviously too light. erratic ejection. 4.3 WSF better, recoil and function similar to 4.6 Unique 124 "standard" load. POI is lower than 124 load, but all subsonic loads I've tried are.

Will load a couple hundred to try and examine cases/debris to see if it's cleaner than TiteGroup load.

Mad Chemist
April 14, 2015, 03:09 PM
Titegroup always scorches the cases but usually burns relatively clean with respect to carbon build up in the gun. Are you seeing something different, or just scorched cases?

April 14, 2015, 05:49 PM
No, TG has proven to be the cleanest so far, but yes it scorches cases. But all the loads I've tried leave scorched/dirty cases. The other powders so far have produced more debris in the bottom of the container I collect my brass in (more unburned crud than TG). 4.3 of WSF remains to be evaulated in suppressed pistol and for overall cleanliness.

I only have one pound of WSF to play with so ideally I'd like to find a different powder that works and is more available.

I have a couple pounds of HP38 but I have "known good" loads for it in a couple of other calibers so I'd like to reserve it for those if possible.

What would rule is if I could get a Longshot+147 subsonic load that was very clean. I have 6 or 7 lbs of Longshot and haven't really worked up a "standard" load for it in any caliber yet. I mostly use WST for .40 (lately), Unique for 9mm, Red Dot or Herco for .45 ACP, and HP38 for .38 and .380.

April 16, 2015, 11:46 AM
Find some N310 or N320

April 16, 2015, 11:58 AM
Or AA #2, the poor man's N320.

April 16, 2015, 01:47 PM
none of that either. Pistol powders are SCARCE in my neck of the woods.

April 20, 2015, 06:33 PM
4.3 WSF functions well and cases may be a TINY bit cleaner than TG, but with more debris. Sticking with TG for now.

Maybe I'll try Longshot

April 21, 2015, 05:31 PM
video of P226/Osprey suppressor with standard and subsonic handloads for any interested. have a hundred 4.1 Longshot loaded to try next time out.

Video info links back to THR thread.

April 21, 2015, 07:38 PM
Out of my AR15 in 9mm with an 8.5" barrel, I run Xtreme 147gr Plated RN @ 1.150"
4.1gr Unique averages 1,049 fps
3.9gr of W231 averages 1,066 fps
Out of a glock, can run a good bit warmer and stay subsonic. I was running 4.5gr Unique for 987 fps.
Tons of good book data for 147gr, pretty hard to go supersonic out of a pistol, but it was easy to go supersonic out of the SBR carbine.
Consult any of the powder mfg websites for powders you have to cross check any data posted.

April 21, 2015, 07:57 PM

April 22, 2015, 02:34 PM
4.1 Longshot works, maybe a tad soft. Will shoot a couple hundred and check cleanliness.

April 28, 2015, 04:34 PM
4.1 Longshot functions in all pistols but is soft/light. Not super-clean. 4.4 Longshot works, is as strong or slightly stronger than 3.4 Titegroup, but has more debris and seems louder. Since the goal here is to find an accurate, reliable subsonic load that is cleaner than Titegroup, I'm shelving Longshot for now.

August 24, 2015, 03:30 PM
For future reference: 4.5 unique works fine, cases still dirtyish. 4.1 unique works fine. Cases same, shot about 350 at a match Saturday through M&P. Good load. Brother says they function and are subsonic in P226 with Osprey.

BTW got 16 lbs of WST woooooooooot!

August 24, 2015, 04:20 PM
Anyone have data for WST with 147s?

August 24, 2015, 09:53 PM
Here are some #s I got with 147s. 5" Springfield 1911 9mm
RMR 147 RN 3.5 WSF OAL 1.135

Average 866.80
ES 11.00
SD 4.97
PF 127.42

RMR 147 RN 4.0 WSF OAL 1.135

Average 897.40
ES 19.00
SD 7.33
PF 131.92

RMR 147 3.5 BE86 OAL 1.135

Average 782.40
ES 25.00
SD 9.18
PF 115.01

RMR 147 RN 3.7 CFE Pistol OAL 1.135

Average 879.00
ES 19.00
SD 7.18
PF 129.21

RMR 147 RN 3.2 Bullseye OAL 1.135

Average 881.80
ES 21.00
SD 9.15
PF 129.62

RMR 147 RN 3.5 Bullseye OAL 1.135

Average 936.80
ES 10.00
SD 4.49
PF 137.71

WSF seemed to work well for me with 147s.
I think Artofgolf really likes heavy bullets in 9mm might dig to see what he has posted.

August 24, 2015, 10:08 PM
1K, I've loaded plenty of WST under 124grs. Haven't tested in 147s. It should work pretty well. I think the Brian Enos website has some loads for 147/WST. From the reading there as I was working up the WST loads, it's a preferred powder for the heavier weights in 9MM.

I'm about due to load up some more subsonics and might have to try it out myself, but I won't be getting to that until some time next month.

August 24, 2015, 10:39 PM
I use 3.8gr of WST with a 124gr coated bullet. Just over 1000fps in my CZ75.

August 24, 2015, 11:15 PM
115 gr fmj and trailboss to fill case minus bullet capacity of case use light recoil spring in said pistol.

August 30, 2015, 01:27 AM
OPsss, sorry
if 4gr of WSF is to light most everything I listed is probably to light as well.
Missed 4gr of WSF being to light.:o

August 30, 2015, 01:13 PM
No worries I appreciate any suggestions and of course will check data and confirm function myself.

August 30, 2015, 10:53 PM
Get some Nitro 100 NF ; the minimum load listed on the Ramshot / Western web site ( I'm using 147 gr Xtreme PRN) were virtually without recoil ans shot to POA, and I thought burned very clean. The only downside was they would not cycle my P6 so I am going to work up from 2.4 gr until I get reliable function.

Mad Chemist
August 31, 2015, 04:25 PM
I've also had very good results using Nitro 100nf and 147gr plated bullets from Xtreme. This was the powder I standardized on for my 9mm bunny fart loads after trying many others. I had to load it a tad bit over minimum to get the round to cycle in all my 9mm guns. This one is pretty quiet without a suppressor. The Rainier 147gr plated HP is also a great bullet for subsonic 9mm.

September 2, 2015, 08:00 AM
I've been using 3.0-3.1 Power pistol over the 147gr MBC hi tek coated bullets. Very quiet for my AR sbr w/ form1 can.

Steve C
September 3, 2015, 02:47 AM
For 147gr bullets in the 9mm you will need a relatively slow powder to push them to the typical factory 950 to 1000 fps. HS6 has worked well for me with Berry's 147gr bullets. For best velocities with Speer Gold Dot 147gr use Blue Dot. AA7 would be another good viable option.

You can use faster powders if you are not looking for much velocity. Tight Group and other faster powders will push the 147gr pills at less than 900 fps even with top load you will be in the mid 800's or less.

If you enjoyed reading about "School me on subsonic 9mm reloading" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!