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9mm Reloading Questions

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by RugerSteve, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. RugerSteve

    RugerSteve Well-Known Member

    I bought a reloader several months ago and have been waiting to try out some of the reloads that I did. *Here is my load data: 9mm, 115gr plated bullet (Rocky Mountain Reloading), Hodgton HP-38, 1.100 OAL. *I loaded about 10 rounds with 4.1-4.2gr of powder, and figured that was probably too low on the min side, so I loaded 25 rounds with 4.5gr of powder. *I was going to dissasemble the 4.2, but was curious if they would work. The recipe from Hodgdon is 4.3-4.8 of powder, using 115 lead round nose, and OAL of 1.100.
    The guns I was using today was a Glock 26, and a Ruger SR9c. Upon firing the 4.2gr, I had several jams and non ejects on both guns. Upon using the 4.5, they fired better, but I still had a couple of misfeeds and non eject jams. *I take it that I should bump up the amount of powder? I just don't want to go to max if that posses a danger of safey. That is my number one concern. Also, I am wondering about the discoloration of the used shells. I noticed that the spent shells the range gave me, are alot less discolored and burnt looking than mine. Would there be a reason for the added discoloration? *I have a minimum crimp on mine, should there be more?

    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  2. stompah

    stompah Well-Known Member

    Burnt shells means you are undercharged. There is not enough pressure to expand the brass against the chamber walls to make a seal. The gasses blow back and create the black soot marks.

    How do your primers look? Have they started to flatten or do the look just like when you installed them only now with a dimple from the firing pin?

    Is your weapon functioning properly? I had a similar issue and it ended up being a worn recoil spring.

    Also you do not crimp on semi auto straight walled brass. All you want to do is turn the belling in after you seat the bullet. The friction from the tension of the brass is what retains the bullet. Over crimping the cartridge is actually a bad thing as it will eventually pierce your plating or cause your cartridge to go beyond the chamber and cause an over pressure issue if the bullet is not able to exit.
  3. ddgarcia05

    ddgarcia05 Well-Known Member

    My OAL is around 1.162 and have had no feeding issues with my 26. Unique powder 5.2
  4. 1SOW

    1SOW Well-Known Member

    RMR "thickly plated" bullets are going to use at least low end jacketted data.
    Double check the site, but If memory serves, they say use jacketted data for thick plated.

    Hogdon Data: HP-38 1.125" 4.7gr 1,075 25,300 CUP 5.1gr 1,167 28,100 CUP

    HP-38/Win 231 (same powder) burns sooty when loaded very light.
  5. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Did you plunk test your finished rounds with the barrel removed to check for correct oal? Other wise, 1.100" doesn't seem extreme or out of line, if that's what fits your firearm.

    Plated data generally falls some where in the middle of lead and jacketed. With that said, a start charge of HP38 for a 115 gr. plated should be around 4.5 grs. with the maximum being right around 5.0 grs.. So even your 4.5 gr. load would likely be in a start charge range. I would bump the charge up in .1 gr. increments until the firearm reliably cycles. I would maybe load 5 of each increment until things come together.

    Do the firearms cycle factory ammo reliably?

  6. 1SOW

    1SOW Well-Known Member

    I checked the site, and they do offer both RMR and Berry's bullets. The RMR bullets didn't say thick plated, some of the Berry's bullets did.

    Up to mid-range loads for jacketted will work for the RMR bullets.
  7. RugerSteve

    RugerSteve Well-Known Member

    Stompah: primers look fine, just with firing pin hit, gun is functioning (both) properly. Both are brand new as of Thanksgiving/Christmas. I don't actually do a crimp, more of slightly turning in the edge

    Gamestalker: yes I did the plunk test, and everything looked and felt fine. Yes, never had any issue with factory ammo, never jammed on either gun.
  8. stompah

    stompah Well-Known Member

    Well bump it up a tenth at a time. Its not uncommon for the best loads to be just shy or at max loads.

    You should try out some accurate #2 powder. Accurate has actual load data for plated bullets.
  9. kcofohio

    kcofohio Well-Known Member

    The SR9C is a +p+ rated gun with stiffer springs. I have found that you need to be in the higher pressure range for full cycling. Not sure about the Glock.
  10. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Well-Known Member

    If your bullet is RN then it seems to be a bit short OAL. I'd try to get around 1.14-1.15" if the issue is feeding. With the increased case volume, you'll probably need to increase your load.

  11. HOWARD J

    HOWARD J Well-Known Member

    On my Glock 26 I use 4.6 gr of 231 powder
    About 1.135 col for a FMJRN bullet
    A little white smoke but very accurate
  12. Beanie-Bean

    Beanie-Bean Well-Known Member

    What is the bullet profile? RN? HP? FN?

    I load RN profile builets to 1.135 for Glocks, and none of the other pistols I've shot have any issues with that OAL.

    For a 115 gr. projectile, I prefer a medium- to slow-burning powder. I had slide-cycling and brass ejection problems using lighter weight projectiles with fast powders in the dual-spring RSA Glocks.

    Be sure to test the finished round in the Glock barrel, but with a 1.135" OAL, you can go higher than 4.5 gr. according to one of my load manuals.
  13. HOWARD J

    HOWARD J Well-Known Member

    I like 4.6 gr of 231
    Why do I want to change a very accurate load
    Stick with what works for you
  14. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    Recoil spring rate and load data - After several thousand rounds, my Gen3 Glocks' recoil spring rate will go from 17 pounds to 15-16 pounds. Some shooters/reloaders never replace recoil springs and will post their pistol will reliably cycle with lower load data and will demand that your new pistol should also cycle with lower load data. My experience with 115 gr FMJ and plated RN is that 4.6 gr of W231/HP-38 will start to reliably cycle the slides of relatively new recoil spring of Glocks and 4.8 gr will produce greater accuracy at 1.135" OAL/COL.

    Overall Length / Cartridge Overall Length vs load data - Both Glock and Ruger barrels should accommodate OAL/COL to SAAMI max of 1.169" with FMJ/RN bullets but depending on the nose profile (ogive) of the bullet, you may need to use shorter OAL/COL to pass the barrel drop test. Generally, 115 gr bullets with shorter bullet base (bearing surface), using longer OAL/COL may not produce high enough initial chamber pressures to produce consistent enough powder burn with low to mid range load data (hence the dirty/sooty cases). To produce cleaner burn and generate more high enough consistent chamber pressures, you may need to use shorter OAL/COL like 1.135" or use more powder charge. When using mid-to-high range load data, I typically use 1.135" OAL (as I load for multiple pistols) but if I am trying to squeeze out optimal accuracy by reducing high pressure gas leakage around the bullet, I will use 1.160"-1.165" OAL/COL for my Glocks with near max/max load data. Since Hodgdon load data lists 4.8 gr of W231/HP-38 at much shorter 1.100" as max powder charge, using 4.8 gr at longer OAL/COL will produce lower chamber pressures.

    Both Winchester and Berry's MFG addressed the issue of 115 gr and shorter bullet base/inaccuracy with hollow base FMJ and plated bullets with longer bullet base (bearing surface) to improve bullet base expansion to seal the high pressure gas better and improve accuracy.

    Increasing the taper crimp won't increase neck tension and may actually decrease neck tension and with plated bullets, may cut into the plating and expose lead alloy core, which will lead the barrel and decrease accuracy. With .355" FMJ bullets, I use .376"-.377" taper crimp. With .355"-.356" plated bullets, I use .377"-.379" taper crimp, depending on the thickness of case wall, or just to return the flare back flat on the bullet.
  15. RussellC

    RussellC Well-Known Member

    I always see several knowledgeable folk comment on threads like this something to the effect "To determine proper OAL you need to perform the plunk test" Well. I say (and will be the first to admit I am wrong MANY times) this is not the case when discussing a load recipe, but IS the case when discussing what length is best for your gun....i.e., if you have a strong load that calls for 1.160, and your gun plunks lets say for this example 1.100. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THE PROPER OAL FOR THIS ROUND IS 1.100! You will have a serious over pressure situation.

    I know this is not news to experienced reloaders, but this confused the berjeebers out of me when I first started, and this is the only reason I am posting this. There is a proper OAL for your gun's best function, but that does not mean you can safely shorten oal, at least not on stronger loads, a weak one maybe. RC covered this well just above.

    Am I off base here? Please school if so. I see lots of threads where someone wants to modify OAL for a load and the first thing thrown at them is "plunk test for proper OAL" and I see this as confusing and possibly dangerous.

    Please advise if I am off base here, you could fill a battleship with what I dont know yet about reloading!

    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  16. LeftyTSGC

    LeftyTSGC Well-Known Member

    RussellC, You are correct, the thing not mentioned when we say do a "Plunk test", is that you should start over on your load weight with the reduce by 10% mindset in place. It was not intended to stay at the current load and just reduce your OAL. That is what we get by "Assuming" everyone knows what we meant.
  17. theslasher

    theslasher member

    Almost every factory 115gr RN I've seen is about 1.10" Ive loaded my 9mm 115's that way for 10 years. As far as powder goes.. I used to use hp38 and always thought it worked good until I tried Titegroup a couple years ago. I dont know what it is about it but they just feel better. All my 9mm pistols have better accuracy with it. Recoil is snappier but not in a bad way. You would have to try it to see what I mean.. If you get lucky and find a can on the shelf, buy it and try it. 4.4 grains behind a 115 xtreme is the best 9mm load Ive shot hands down..
  18. RussellC

    RussellC Well-Known Member

    Thank you for firming up that position. When I just started, all this was, and sometimes still is, confusing. Experienced reloaders were already on to this, just when the OAL situations are discussed in a context that could be either or, a new person could misconstrue....figure out your gun (plunk test) then apply proper load.

    Thanks again for clarification,

  19. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Well-Known Member

    The "plunk test" is just one factor in determining the acceptable maximum OAL for a particular gun. It tells you the point at which the ogive of the bullet contacts the rifling or the barrel. A longer OAL than that will significantly increase pressure because the bullet has to overcome the additional resistance of being seated in the rifling. Starting a bullet seated in the rifling is thought by many to improve accuracy. Perhaps so for benchrest rifles, but not enough to matter with most handgun loads.

    For semi-auto pistols, the OAL from the plunk test must be tested in the magazine. The OAL from a plunk test in a barrel with a long throat may result in a round that is too long to feed reliably.

    When starting with a new bullet/load from a manual, I load a dummy round to the listed OAL for the load and do a plunk test. If it passes, I use the listed OAL. If it doesn't, I find the acceptable OAL for the gun, back off the minimum load data by 10% and work up the load.
  20. Beanie-Bean

    Beanie-Bean Well-Known Member

    Were you directing that to me? Because I wasn't directing my message to you, Howard--my post was intended for the OP, RugerSteve.

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