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9mm Luger reloading data

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Rod1970, Apr 20, 2007.

  1. Rod1970

    Rod1970 New Member

    Apr 20, 2007
    Hi there,

    I have a luger that was re-issued from mauser oberndorf in 1997.
    On the barrel it says S/42 (mauser) and G (1937) so i guess it's a refurb , but has never been shot before, well, only the 50 rounds i did sofar.

    I know it is not safe to shoot 9mm factory ammo in it like S&B, Fiocchi or other comparable ammo ( German WWII ammo was not so strong, in fact i do have some original ammo : small carton box / blue seal : Pistolpatronen P08 but don't want to shoot it)
    However i found the SK 124gr. ammo to be quite right for the gun. (it also performs excellent on my SIG P210-6) If i take some powder out of the cartridge the action will not close properly so i guess it's just right).

    However i did do some reloading with Vihta Vuori and Accurate Arms ( No.7 ) powders and did find a good load for the gun with the No.7 powder (Vihta Vuori doesnt seem to work well) , but i lost my data :(

    I can figure it all out again but want to ask if some of you would like to share reloading data !
  2. st_albert

    st_albert New Member

    Mar 9, 2006
    East TN
    Who told you that??? I have heard that Lugers do best with relatively hot 124-gr loads. But don't shoot the original ammo, it probably has collector value.

    In any case, I think you can feel free to use normal commercial ammo, preferably 124 gr, or even 115 gr WWB.

    JMHO, YMMV, etc....
  3. tbtrout

    tbtrout Participating Member

    Oct 14, 2006
    New Jersey
    I only shoot mine twice a year on average. But, I use factory ammo in it no problem.
  4. Rod1970

    Rod1970 New Member

    Apr 20, 2007
    Quote "Who told you that??? I have heard that Lugers do best with relatively hot 124-gr loads. But don't shoot the original ammo, it probably has collector value."

    Hmm here in the Netherlands it is "common knowledge" so to say. The action (knee) is to weak for strong 9mm ammo and will break. ( we have a lot of difference from weak to strong 9mm ammo) That's why lots of lugers have been repaired or have cracks. I don't know the true story though but this is what i hear.

    On rec guns i found:
    First off if you ever read any article from "Average Joe Gun Writer"
    telling you that you have to load a Luger hot to make it work it is
    best to read no further and simply tear up the article in little
    pieces and send it to him. This "Joe Gun Writer Myth" has been around
    since ever I can remember and it is usually printed by gun writers who
    never touched off a round in any Luger. More Lugers have been
    prematurely worn out and even suffered broken parts because of this
    "idiotic Joe Gun Writer advice". YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LOAD LUGERS HOT

    On wikipedia i found this : It is an interesting artifact of post-World War II ammunition development that in the United States, Lugers have often been maligned as being unreliable and prone to jamming. This is because typical factory-spec American 9 mm ammunition is nowhere near as hot as German military-spec ammunition—modern loadings in Europe are typically closer to old military loads. Currently the ammunition which Lugers were designed for falls into +P or +P+ SAAMI specs for 9 mm ammunition.[citation needed]

    Funny, over here they definately do not recommend the use of modern european loads in old lugers.... and we have had a few around so to say .... so for me the wikipedia info is a definate no go... some might be lucky, many were not.... I do know that the luger is very picky in what type of bullet you use, a friend of mine shot many bullets and he always used trapezium sized bullets (don't remember name for that type) normal FMJ would give him problems feeding ammo into the chamber and was definately not a (powder)load issue.

    It will probably be a never ending story, since the germans also experienced a lot with their ammo, and there were many types of lugers....

    I can however take the original ammo i have apart and post data here , we will probably never know the type of powder used but i can post powder weight and bullet weight. Which will mean nothing in the end, it might have been a good load then but since powder and load data also change over the years we might be able to find a far better load for the old luger.

    The only thing i want to know is what are SAFE loads, from there we can start and accurize.... but as i hear there are many thoughts and opinions so there might be no such thing.... my Luger has lots of value for me , it's 1937 and has never been fired before so i'm very carefull NOT to wreck it, but i love to shoot it (50 rounds so far with just enough powder to make the action work which basically is all you need at 30 yards)
  5. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Senior Elder

    Dec 24, 2002
    I agree that it is an urban myth that Lugers need "hot" ammunition to function reliably. One knowledgeable source said that a Luger malfunctioning from an overload looks remarkably like one malfunctioning from an underload.
    The original Luger was 7.65mm with a 93 grain bullet at 1250 fps, the 9mm was introduced with a 123 grain bullet at 1040 to 1080 fps. That is not "hot" ammunition. I also agree that the rec guns article is right, Lugers do best with long cartridge length. A friend has one of the Finnish surplus pistols which is quite reliable with MY ammunition, but he cannot buy anything that works in it and will not set up to handload the calibre.

    I can only suggest that you redevelop your load with AA #7, beginning with the manufacturer's starting load. That is not likely to hurt anything. If you must "work up" use only as much more as necessary to get the gun to function.

    If you do not plan to shoot it very much - I would not want to put much wear and tear on a pristine example of a 1937 pistol - just buy the SK ammunition for use as one friend says of his unusual guns, firing on "ceremonial occasions."
  6. CZ57

    CZ57 member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Heart of Texas
    Sounds prudent to me! AA#7 is a fairly low pressure powder in 9mm, which it was originally formulated for. I know we're all reading different books on this, and what I've read on the issue of malfunctions was common to WWI and inconsistent burning of the powder that was being used then. BTW, 9 X 19mm, 9mm Luger, 9mm Parabellum, however you choose to refer to it was really nothing more than a modification of the 7.65 or .30 Luger. Georg Luger removed the bottleneck, opened up the casemouth and changed max cartridge length to .754"/19.15mm. A start charge with #7 will be a fairly low pressure 9mm round, the max listed load is just under 32,000 PSI.;)
  7. Rod1970

    Rod1970 New Member

    Apr 20, 2007
    Thanks for confirming my thoughts guys ! I do remember that i ended up somewhere just below the minimum charges listed for AA#7.
    ( possibly 6.7 gr ) I will make some samples from 6.5 to 7.5 grains and try them in my SIG P210 - 6 first ( that gun can handle almost anything and has a very smooth action so also likes the light loads i use for dynamic shooting, there's a lot less recoil so you're back on target very fast). I will post results !

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