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Another 9mm question

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by J_McLeod, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Well-Known Member

    Tonight I put together the powder scale and started to expand, charge and seat some bullets. I tried going through the whole process on a few before I started mass production. The problem came with seating bullets. I was using data from my Lyman handbook, loading 3.6 gr of 231 behind a 115 gr Magtech FMJ. The Lyman book max OAL is 1.090, which looks really short to me. I pulled out one of the bullets I usually shoot and it was 1.155. Hodgdon doesn't have any data for a 115gr FMJ using 231 and I can't find any on Magtech's site. The date I do have from Hodgdon is for a 115gr Speer GDHP, with 4.7 gr of 231 and 1.125 OAL. Can anyone give me some good data or reccomendation for this load? I also have some Rainier 124gr JHP, and could load those instead.
  2. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I've found the OAL listed in some load data is way too short. That OAL number isn't written in stone, it's there to tell you what they used. If you load the bullet out further you will get less velocity, deeper the pressure goes up. Keep that in mind when you work up your loads.

    As for load data for W231, any current HP-38 load data can be used because they are identical powders. You can use data for the Gold Dot bullet in place of the FMJ bullet because they are both jacketed bullets. You may have to adjust the OAL because the bullet profile is different. Hodgdon used 1.125" in their loads like you said.
  3. eam3clm@att.net

    eam3clm@att.net Well-Known Member

    as archangel said the col can be adjusted. Most manuels list the min col for the load they developed. On 9mm you shouldnt shorten the col from what is listed (without due caution) due to it increasing pressure. You are limited on how long by your mags and chamber. the longer will decrease pressure and velocity a small amount. I set my 9mm out to 1.135 for all round nose fml bullets and have no pressure/feed problems. On my cast I set at 1.115 col for reliable feeding. It can be easy to get overwhelmed when reloading due to so many choices (bullet,brass,powder,primer, col) That is half the fun of it. If you look at it as a job you must do before you can shoot you will not like it. If you look at it as a extension of shooting it will be fun. (nobody likes preping brass though). Also you will not save money in the long run. You will shoot more and there is always a new tool you just have to have and new presses. reloading should come with a surgons general warning :RELOADING IS ADDICTIVE. IT CAUSES THINNER WALLETS, EXTENDED TIME AT THE RANGE AND A CONSTANT I NEED TO GET THIS OR THAT.
  4. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    For 115 gr FMJ, depending on the pistol used, 3.6 gr of W231/HP38 may not reliably cycle the slide.

    This is the load data from Hodgdon's website:
    It's showing 4.3 gr as starting charge even for .356" lead RN at the shorter 1.100" OAL and 4.7 gr as starting charge for .355" jacketed HP at 1.125" OAL.

    I would suggest you try some test loads at 4.5-4.7 gr with 1.125" OAL for your FMJ bullets. FYI, I usually load my Winchester 115 gr FMJ with 4.8 gr of W231/HP38 at 1.125" OAL for my Glocks.
  5. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    Mr McLeod -
    Nothing wrong at all here. Allow us to point out some issues that are holding you back....

    The Lyman book max OAL is 1.090. You've added words and confused yourself. The Lyman book reports the OAL they used in their test. They simply report the pressure with that powder at that OAL in THEIR test. The maximum SAAMI OAL for 9x19 Luger is 1.169". What the maximum OAL for your barrel is something you need to determine. But no reloading manual in the world is telling you the "maximum OAL" you can use.

    So when Lyman shows you an OAL of 1.090", you can always go longer as your barrel dictates. (This because a longer OAL tends to lower the chamber pressure.) If you have determined that your barrel with the MagTech bullet will accept an max OAL of 1.150", then you are free to use any OAL between the Lyman 1.090" and the 1.150". So if you know that 1.135" feeds well in your gun you can use it with the Lyman loading data. Follow?

    Hodgdon doesn't have any data for a 115gr FMJ using 231. You need to be far more calm and conscientious about your research. The Hodgdon site does indeed have this info. So the question really is: Why did you miss it? I say this not to lambaste you in public; this is a serious issue you need to think about. Was I talking on the phone and not paying attention? Was I listening to something on the radio that distracted me? Whatever it is, it needs to be looked at, or next time you may seriously injure yourself. Follow?

    • Since Speer makes the Gold Dot bullet, it stands to reason that the Speer reloading manual will have the best data for this bullet. I believe they show a slightly longer OAL than Hodgdon. This does not mean the Hodgdon data is bad or unsuitable, simply that the Speer book will show you the OALs the factory uses. If you intend to use a lot of Gold Dots, then the Speer manual might be something to consider as a useful future purchase or possible Christmas gift.

    • The Ranier site does not have reloading data, but they do tell you to use the data for lead bullets with their products. So you would go to the Lyman manual and use the 115g lead data for your Rainer. In that way the starting loads AND the final best accuracy loads may (probably will) differ between the MagTech and Ranier. This point alone shows why you need to be meticulous by keeping a reloading notebook.

    • Obviously the max OAL between the Ranier and the MagTech bullets may differ for your barrel simply because no 2 bullets have the same exact ogive shape. If one is 1.150" and the other is 1.140" then you can shoot them both at a common OAL of 1.140", but their loads will be different because that are not the same construction.

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010
  6. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the clarifications. It helped to know that I can safely go above listed OALs.

    I did see the Hodgdon data on the website, but it was for a HP, and I'm using FMJs. Since a FMJ and HP would have different OALs I didn't use it. Now that I know where the limit range is, I'm more comfortable using that data. My pistols work well with 1.14-5, so that's what I aimed for.

    Can I use 125gr data for a 124gr bullet?
  7. chbrow10

    chbrow10 Well-Known Member

    You can always load longer than the OAL listed, provided it will feed from your magazines/allow the cylinder to rotate past the forcing cone. Most data indicated the OAL as a minimum.

    What type of gun are you loading this for? I know Glock mags like them short, I load my 9mm at 1.135" or so.
  8. ants

    ants Well-Known Member

    Mine too.

    Yes, for the same bullet material (jacketed data for jacketed bullet, lead data for lead bullet).
    Be mindful of bullet type and how it affects OAL, as you already know.
  9. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Well-Known Member

    I have a Kel Tec PF9, Taurus PT 709 and Springfield XD9, but almost all the bullets go through the XD. I pointed the XD in a safe direction and was able to hand cycle a mag full of them with no issues.
  10. TH3180

    TH3180 Well-Known Member

    I'm loading at 1.150 for my G17. Which is the same OAL as Federal American Eagle 115g FMJ RN.
  11. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    • The FMJ and HP have the same construction: copper sheet over lead core. Those are interchangeable.

    • Yes they would have different OALs to keep the base of the bullet in the same relative position, BUT 1) you already decided to go longer on the OAL anyway, and 2) you're going to start at the "starting load". So you'll end up being doubly safe.
  12. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Well-Known Member

    Maybe this wasn't such a good idea. Now I just want more stuff to make ammo, and more guns to shoot the ammo with. It's an endless cycle.
  13. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    Here's the good news:

    The cycle pretty much stops on its own when you want to take 5 days off of work each week so you can stay home and reload.

  14. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Well-Known Member

    No luck. I haven't worked since late Oct. Start again tomorrow.
  15. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    It may be an endless cycle but it's a fun ride, believe me!

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