9mm lead bullet reloading?? Anyone do it?


February 18, 2003, 11:12 PM
I was considering loading some lead 125gr bullets from Meisterbullets and curious what experiences you all had that have loaded lead. Was cleaning a problem? Was there a particular powder that works well with lead, or velocity not to be exceeded to prevent leading? Any specific advice? What load data source did you use to guide your loads?

My main 9mm is a CZ 75BD, and I will be loading it with my newly purchased SDB! I loaded 600rnds this weekend on a generous friend's SDB using Berry's 124gr bullets--worked out very well. My main purpose for these lead bullets loads will be for practice, plinking and possibly some IPSC if so suited. Thanks!

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Porter Rockwell
February 18, 2003, 11:34 PM
In General you'l find that shooters choose lead over jackets in high use guns simply because of ease in cleaning and the fact that it's near impossible to wear out a barrel with lead.

Stephen A. Camp
February 19, 2003, 12:09 AM
Hello. Getting really accurate cast bullet loads in 9mm can be a bit more difficult than in .45 ACP....at least it has been for me.
The load given below has peformed pretty darned well in Browning HPs, CZ-75s, STI's Trojan, and a SIG P210.


Average Velocity is 1140 ft/sec with SD of 24.

The group in the middle of the target page was fired from 15 yards using the load mentioned above from a Browning MkIII HP using the std factory bbl.


I am going to try Precision's bullets in 9mm to see if the coated ones shoot tighter groups or at least reduce leading. I've noted that in the faster twist bbls (1:9 or 1:10), leading can be quite a bit more severe than in the 1:16 twist used by STI and Barsto. Still, it's not been "bad" in the 1:10 std HP bbl.


February 19, 2003, 01:03 AM
I haven't used lead in 9MM for years because bulk jacketed bullets are so cheap, but in the past I shot a ton of them. They were home cast from wheelweights, 121 grain truncated cone. (Lyman mold) Feeding was 100 percnt reliable in several guns, and accuracy was more than acceptable

I used HP-38 at low target velocities and had superb results. Bullseye worked well for me also. I loaded them to around 850 FPS, IIRC.

February 19, 2003, 07:19 AM
My current lead load for 9MM is 125gr RNL over 6.1gr of HS-6, CCI500 primer and Winchester or Remington brass. It give me around 1050fps through my Taurus PT-99 and is what I use to shoot outdoor IDPA. I've recently started shooting some indoor IDPA so I'm working on a load using Rainier 124gr.

February 19, 2003, 07:25 AM
Years ago I tried cast lead bullets in a 9mm. The results were poor, but this barrel is a 1 in 10" twist and the rifling is shallow, neither contributes to lead bullet accuracy.

February 19, 2003, 11:03 AM
124gr. Lee RNL function well and good accuracy in S&W #59 and 1915 DWM Luger. Powder is 3.5gr 700X for a clean burning load. Quantrill

February 19, 2003, 11:04 AM
P.S. Tried a 102gr. Lee mold meant for .380s and the Luger threw them all over the place. Quantrill

February 19, 2003, 12:58 PM
A lot of good info given so far, especially by Stephen C. (where's the "clueless emeritus" ?).
I use a lot of cast 9mm in practicing and competing and it is a greater challenge than say .38spl or .45acp..
My experience is:
1. Lube and alloy is important, especially if twist is faster than 1-14".
2. Velocities over 1100fps and accuracy are tougher !
3. Bullet weights of 124 and up help, and diameter not smaller than bore diameter. Over 150gr and most won't stabilize at 9mm capable velocities, except for a 1-10" twist. (I tried a 160 RNFP yesterday evening and got 20% keyholes at 25yds. Ones that didn't were in X-ring.)
4. Seating depth and pressures are critical. As pressures go up, so does leading irrespective of velocity. I suspect that this explains much of the 9mm vs .45 cast bullet compatibility issue)

I too have excellent luck with Win231 and Bullseye and velocities of 950-1050 fps. One exception is the Lee 105 SWC. Sized to .356 and lubed with 50/50 over 3.6gr of Bullseye is very accurate in my S&W's, but won't lock the slide back on a Spfld Armory 1911 "loaded" I'm playing with presently.

Stephen A. Camp
February 19, 2003, 02:07 PM
Bahahahahhaha! The signature's been added.


February 19, 2003, 08:13 PM
I use Meister bullets in 9mm and .45 ACP with excellent results.

February 19, 2003, 08:26 PM
I have loaded and shot at least 5K Valiant 124 gr RN cast bullets through my Beretta with out any problems. I use mixed brass, W231 @ 3.4 grs. It is a fairly light load, I just use it for range shooting.

February 19, 2003, 08:45 PM
I loaded lead until I started shooting a Glock and a Sig. They didnt like lead and then I found that I could buy jhp's very cheply from a commercial reloader and load them. Then I found blazers for $3.99. I load lead in all of my other calibers, but not the 9 anymore. I do have some loaded rounds left that I will shoot in my BHP one of these days.

Paul "Fitz" Jones
February 19, 2003, 11:50 PM
9mm 135 grain SWC Keith nose bullet molds were made for me by California Saeco company in the 1970's and I shot them in my high power and sold the molds to Israelis for their submachine guns and to police departments. They punched paper accurately and were hard hitting with a very good meplat. They were good at 50 yards too. I have a couple of them in 4 cavities with handles left.

February 20, 2003, 02:04 PM
I load 125gr PbRN with 4.4gr of Winchester Super-Field. Accuracy is great, but cleanup is a mess. This load chronos around 1,000fps.

I was buying jacketed for $35/1000, but now I'm getting lead for $25/1000. I save about $150 per year.

February 20, 2003, 02:49 PM

Savor those Valiant's!!!!!

The companies gone !!!!

Myself and a couple of friends used to shoot a lot of their bullets as they gave us some unbelievable prices. ( we would pick them up off the back of their truck half-way between Bynum, Al and LaGrange, GA.
From what I heard, the proprietor passed away and the son was involved in a divorce, or some such intrigue.
We were getting 100-125K a year from them and then the phone wouldn't ring. I grew up across town from them and my brother is retired back there (Anniston, Al) after career in AirForce. He got the info above from one of the local gun shops (one out on Hwy 202 towards B'ham) that Company is GONE.

February 20, 2003, 07:50 PM
Hey Goose, I spend a bit of time in Anniston twice a year while at the races in Talladega. Where are the local gunshops?

February 20, 2003, 11:50 PM
I've been having a tough time getting cast bullets to stablize in my beretta 9000. I gave up on Lee's 124 gr TC. I think the diameter was too small. Right now I'm getting close with 147 gr RN sized to .358 using 3.4 gr unique. With the 124 gr TC the percentage of keyholes was directly related to the velocity. I'd like to hear how people have overcome this problem.

February 21, 2003, 12:46 PM
There are not a lot. Burdette's downtown (pawn shop) used to be pretty good. Best one is on Hwy 202 west of Anniston going towards Birmingham. They have a good selection and knowledgeable staff. One of the guys was a regular at a shop I worked in while in high school in the early '70's. Goes by nick name of "Frog". Some of the guys that hang out there used to work at Anniston Army Depot back when they did a lot of small arms reworks- a lot of 1911's and Garands. Shop had a good selection of Garands last time I was in about 2+years ago. I haven't lived there since mid '70's so I don't know about now except where my brother talks about. There's a pretty good pawn shop/gun shop in Oxford on Hwy 78 E. of intersection U.S. Hwy 21, about a mile E. if I remember correctly, on South side of 78.
Their used to be a large skeet club not too far from race track in Eastaboga (race track is actually in Eastaboga, Talladega sounded better to Bill France). They had a club house run by a disabled WWII vet, had a lot of reloading components and shotguns/accessories.

February 21, 2003, 05:48 PM
I am really sorry to hear about the troubles at Valiant. I only met the guy twice, but he seemed to be a real nice guy. Not everyone is lucky enough to turn a hobby into a viable business.

February 21, 2003, 07:54 PM
I have always used cast lead RN for my 9 MMs. After experimenting with bullseye, ( not enough volume in case) and Unique, (extremely dirty ) I finally settled on WW231. 3.8 gr. pushing a 124 gr cast LRN . This seems to be a very accurate load out of my S&W 6906, and is very pleasant to shoot. I cast my own using wheelweights and a Lyman mold. ( much cheaper)

One thought worth sharing, while the above load works great in my pistol, my son has a Sig 239 that keyholes badly using it. His Sig prefers TMJ or JHP.

Jim Watson
February 23, 2003, 11:29 AM
I have seen the usual run of commercial cast 125 gr RN to give fair to poor accuracy, all the way down to keyholing. They feed well, but try a small box first to see if they will hit anything. The little 122 grain flatpoints have been more accurate, but don't feed in everything. Likewise, try a few to see if they will run in yours.

I had one barrel that would not feed anything but RN and would not shoot any light bullet, cast or jacketed, accurately. A few casters make a 145 grain RN that was just what that I needed. I loaded it with a variety of powders to about 950 fps and never put anything else in that gun until I rebarreled it.

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