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How hot are factory handgun loads?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Twmaster, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. Twmaster

    Twmaster Well-Known Member

    I realize this question will not have the same answer for every brand.

    However I'm curious about how 'generally' close to max load factory FMJ ammo is?
  2. nambu1

    nambu1 Well-Known Member

    I have found that IMI factory load to be the hottest.
  3. MovedWest

    MovedWest Well-Known Member

    Speaking only for 44mag rounds, Remington and Hornady 240gr rounds have some stout pop to 'em. The 300gr Hornadys have nowhere near the recoil for whatever reason.

    My hand loads shake the ground, but those factory loads can be a handful.

  4. RhinoDefense

    RhinoDefense Well-Known Member

    Ammunition manufactured by SAAMI members are made within SAAMI specifications for MAP.
  5. Twmaster

    Twmaster Well-Known Member

    English please! ;)

    I should add I mostly shoot 9MM ammo.
  6. scott5

    scott5 Well-Known Member

  7. GP100man

    GP100man Well-Known Member

    Have`nt shot none in 15yrs. but people say it`s been detuned , but in reality the pressure equipment has improved dramaticlly & labs are seeing more accurate pressures & pressure curves .

    True , the old SAAMI was 41,000 CUP for 357 Magnum , now it`s 35,000 PSI

    Powders have also improved somewhat , example Hodgdons Lil Gun ,equal or more fps with lower pressures .

    So power as precieved by the shooter can be decieving !

    I personally have shot my share of super boomers & now enjoy mid range loadings !

    The targets or the game never know the difference!

  8. P-32

    P-32 Well-Known Member

    CUP and PSI are two different ways of making measurements, and more than likely mean the same thing. #5,000 PSI is pretty hot compaired to 45 ACP's 19,000 PSI.
  9. GP100man

    GP100man Well-Known Member

    The point is we can now measure in a unit comprehendable to the novice & experienced alike .

    There`s no conversion table of any accuracy of cup to psi.
  10. evan price

    evan price Well-Known Member

    Factory ammo will be loaded to a pressure within industry standards (SAAMI as said above) However it will also be downloaded a bit to make sure no rounds are overcharged by accident due to a machine problem, and then downloaded a bit more because your gun might be a bit weaker than another gun, and downloaded a bit more because of lot-to-lot variances in components and powder, and then downloaded a little bit more because the lawyers don't like risk.

    For factory ammo that is probably the closest to max, Buffalo Bore comes to mind.

    Or roll your own.
  11. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Well-Known Member

    Based on recoil, the 165 grain Gold Dot's in my XD-40 are very stout. My target handload's have nowhere near the recoil these things do. I shot a magazine's worth of the gold dot's last weekend and I was like.....damn!
  12. Rollis R. Karvellis

    Rollis R. Karvellis Well-Known Member

    Federal American Eagle 240 gn..44 mag, is pretty stought out of my model 29.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
  13. gilgsn

    gilgsn Well-Known Member

    I chronographed Speed Gold Dot 45 Colt ammo at 761fps out of a 4-3/4 barrel. A cast Lee RNFP 260gr over 8gr of Unique gave me 875fps.. For comparison, the Magtech cowboy ammo with a 250gr bullet came out at 717fps.

    I probably depends on the caliber, but for 45 Colt, I think manufacturers are being rather careful.
  14. billyjoe

    billyjoe Well-Known Member

    For semi auto rounds i find factory ammo to be pretty hot but for revolvers both standard and magnum most seem to be moderate. The exceptions are the new s&w big magnums which are rather impressive straight from the box and the hornady ftx revolver rounds which are pretty mild due to them using shorter cases.
  15. ConcernedCitizen

    ConcernedCitizen Well-Known Member

    Since you shoot 9mm, I have just the numbers you are looking for!

    Last weekend, I chronographed some factory ammo and some handloads. The factory Federal and Remington UMC 115 gr. FMJ were both equal to a mid-range load using Power Pistol. All handloads were using WCC brass and CCI-500 primers. Here's the data I came up with:

    This first batch was all fired through a Glock 19:

    Federal 115 gr. FMJ RN (WM5199)
    Max: 1114
    Min: 1094
    Ave: 1104
    ES: 20.0
    SD: 6.0
    (Note: See my thread here regarding accuracy problems with this cartridge. I'm still waiting for a response from Federal.)

    Remington UMC 115 gr. MC (L9MM3)
    Max: 1112
    Min: 1079
    Ave: 1097
    ES: 33.0
    SD: 11.2

    5.7 gr. Power Pistol, 115 gr. Winchester FMJ (Flat Base)
    Max: 1112
    Min: 1082
    Ave: 1096
    ES: 30.0
    SD: 10.1

    6.5 gr. Power Pistol, 115 gr. Winchester FMJ (Flat Base)
    Max: 1233
    Min: 1192
    Ave: 1213
    ES: 41.0
    SD: 13.4

    As an interesting side note, my chronographed velocities from the Glock 19 were almost a perfect match to the Hornady load data I was using. I do have more data for the loads between 5.7 and 6.5, but wanted to give you a brief overview.

    Here's the data from the same loads in a 5" XD-9 Tactical:

    Federal 115 gr. FMJ RN (WM5199)
    Max: 1166
    Min: 1147
    Ave: 1157
    ES: 19.0
    SD: 4.0
    (No accuracy problems with the Federal ammo in the XD-9, only with the Glock 19. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough R-P ammo on hand to test both the Glock 19 and the XD-9.)

    5.7 gr. Power Pistol, 115 gr. Winchester FMJ (Flat Base)
    Max: 1167
    Min: 1130
    Ave: 1149
    ES: 37.0
    SD: 9.0

    6.5 gr. Power Pistol, 115 gr. Winchester FMJ (Flat Base)
    Max: 1302
    Min: 1256
    Ave: 1276
    ES: 46.0
    SD: 15.6

    In summary (based on my limited experience), I would say that factory ammo is almost a dead match for a mid-range handload using Power Pistol, at least in the two handguns I tested.

    Hope this helps!
  16. Twmaster

    Twmaster Well-Known Member

    CC, that is very good info and does shed light on exactly what I wanted to know.

    At the risk of sounding like a dolt what do the ES and SD lines represent? (I'm probably going to have a face -> palm moment when you reply...)

    I thank you immensely for this data.
  17. ConcernedCitizen

    ConcernedCitizen Well-Known Member

    Extreme spread and standard deviation.
  18. ranger335v

    ranger335v Well-Known Member

    "How hot are factory handgun loads? "

    Would you believe it, they don't tell us! But, you can bet it's no hotter in their test guns than SAAMI specifications.
  19. 1SOW

    1SOW Well-Known Member

    What do you mean by "max load"? Factory 9mm uses proprietary powders not generally available to the public. How close they are to 'their powders max load is not generally available info.

    If you're actually asking, "how fast is the bullet speed"? That info is probably available from some reloaders with chrono's. I chrono my reloads. but don't use factory ammo.

    I heard the Win White Box 115gr 9mm is somewhere around 1150'/sec if memory serves (132PF).

    A chrono shows the speed of each bullet as it passes. Not all are at the same speed. The ES data is extreme Spread in Ft/sec. SD is the "Standard Deviation". If the Avg speed of 10 bullets is 1150 ft/sec. The ES might be 50'/sec or speeds varying from 1125'/sec to 1175'/sec (and maybe only 1 bullet was this far off). The SD might be 10'/sec or 1145-1155'/sec.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011

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