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looking for opinions on load data

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by LeftyTSGC, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. LeftyTSGC

    LeftyTSGC Well-Known Member

    Need help determining proper information.

    I am loading 9mm with 124gr Montana Gold FMJ with 4.6gr W231 at OAL 1.160I was using Federal Primers. Shooting a STAR 30M 9mm.

    Yes i used load data, confused on old vs new data, shows a difference in max.

    I was attempting to get minor PF.

    My old Lyman 48th showed a Max load for 124gr at 4.5gr. Some of the older Winchester load sheets did also. Recently, i have started seeing the max load data showing 4.8gr for W231. The Hodgden online shows only for a 125gr FMJ, but gives the 4.8 max load. Also i have seen in other manual (I should of bought a new one) the 4.8 is max load.

    My concern is related to the attached pictures, Can someone tell me if they see overpressure signs on the primers? I think that the signs are there, but again dont know if its overpressure or something else.

    I chronographed 35 shots today and had an average of 1063.7FPS with a SD of 10.502 and showing 310FP and a average PF of 139.91.

    I dont think that this is max for a 9mm, but i could be wrong, anyone have any comments on this load. Is the new load data incorrerct?


    Attached Files:

  2. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Use the latest data from the powder makers - they have the pressure equipment - Lyman does not. They have the latest data on their websites, Lyman's printed books do not. Their butts are on the line liability-wise, Lyman's is not................

    BTW, looking at primers for over pressure signs has been shown to be INACCURATE, there are other factors involved
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Yes they do.

    The thing is though, old W-231 data in older load books was from when Winchester made W-231.

    Today St. Marks Powder company makes it for Hodgdon and they package the same bulk power in western Kansas as Hodgdon HP38 and Winchester W-231.
    It is not exactly the same powder it was back then.

    At any rate, your primers look flattened, and show breach face machining marks imprinted in them.

    SO I wouldn't go any hotter!

    Especially in an old Star pistol, that if you break it, it is gonna stay broke.

    They don't make Star pistols, or parts for them anymore.

  4. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    RC - Lymans doesn't do testing, they merely accumulate data from various places and print it - which means it is obsolete before the book goes to press; whereas the powder maker's update with each new batch - that is where I was going. And since Lyman only prints new books every so often, the data can be VERY outdated
  5. LeftyTSGC

    LeftyTSGC Well-Known Member

    I guess what is most concerning to me is that the 4.6gr load i am using is not even listed as max based on current load data, but i am seeing signs of overpressure on the primers.
  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I load a 124/125gr FMJ bullet in the 9mm with 4.6gr W231 all the time with no problems at all. The current limits according to Hodgdon are 4.8gr W231 so I'm sure a 4.6gr load is safe as long as you don't seat the bullet so deeply you raise the pressures to unacceptable limits although that would be hard to do since Hodgdon is using an OAL of 1.090" which seats the bullet very deep in the case. Hodgdon is also reporting pressures of under 29,000 CUP which leaves even more room for increases of pressure.
  7. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Well-Known Member

    Looking at my chart, max loads are:

    4.5 gr, 1,060 fps, 32,700 PSI, Lee #2
    4.8 gr, 1,088 fps, 28,800 CUP, Hodgdon web
    4.4 gr, 1,043 fps, 32,000 CUP, Lyman 49

    I am assuming that Lee has the latest data, given the PSI instead of the CUP.

    With that, your 4.6 gr at 1,064 fps will be a max load, using the velocity and pressure listing in the Lee manual. I would not go any higher with 231.

    If you want higher velocity, switch powder. Bullseye, Green Dot, and Red Dot all show max velocity over 1,100 fps.
  8. ranger335v

    ranger335v Well-Known Member

    First, this is not a precision science. The differences you see in various books is because nothing we use is all that precisely the same, including our individual firearms, so there's no way the results can be the predictably the same. That's why ALL loading manuals tell us to "start low and slowly work up" to book max unless we encounter excess pressure signs earlier. Do that properly and any data source is safe, ignore that rule and no data source is safe.

    Second, enough pressure to flatten a pistol primer will blow the thing apart. Your primer "problem" is much more likely to be from excessive headspace, probably because your cases are a bit too too short or you're over crimping and the cartridges are sliding too far into the chamber.

    Lyman's loading data is well tested, their data is as good as any and better than many.

    We use "cannister" powders made from organic chemicals, meaning each production batch will not be absolutely identical but each batch we buy burns within a narrow range that we can depend on and those specifications don't change. Thus, it matters not how old a powder lot is, if it's still good it will burn like new batches and it doesn't matter who made it or if the chemistry has been modified, if it's sold under a given name you can be sure it burns within that specification range. There's no reason for a powder company to silently change the burn rate of an established powder and a HUGE stack of lawsuits not to; if they want to sell a new powder they give it a new name and market it as such.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2013
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    I believe you are thinking of Richard Lees Modern Reloading book.
    All the data in it is copied from old powder & bullet manufactures data.

    I believe Lyman does their own testing, and prints their own pressure tested data.

    I know for a fact, Lee doesn't.

  10. ranger335v

    ranger335v Well-Known Member

    "I believe Lyman does their own testing, and prints their own pressure tested data. I know for a fact, Lee doesn't."

    True in both instances. But it's worth mentioning that Lee's data is only from trustworthy sources and they list a lot of powders that can otherwise be difficult to find information for. Lee's book is certainly worth the cost.
  11. elwoodm

    elwoodm Well-Known Member

    the load of 231 he's using is not the thing that gives me concern it's the 1.160 oal. lee's data on oal length for 9mm i have found can be wrong. lee's data for 115gr xtp bullets on pg 533 has oal at 1.142 min this will not fit in the chamber of 4 9mm guns i have. that oal length seems long to me. he might be jamming the bullet into the throat. always check to see if the load fits into the chamber books can be wrong:confused:
  12. steve4102

    steve4102 Well-Known Member

    As RC has pointed out, you are confusing Lyman data with Lee data. Lee is copied and not their own, Lyman is their own and one of the only load manuals aside from the powder manufacturers that lists actual pressure data.
  13. LeftyTSGC

    LeftyTSGC Well-Known Member

    elwoodm- I did the chamber check on my STAR 30M 9mm and extra barrel i have. Remember the STAR 30M is a Mil Spec handgun that competed with the Beretta in the 90's for the US Army Contract. Nato ammo is built to OAL of 1.165 with a max of 1.169.
    When i did my chamber check, I hit rifling at 1.178 in both barrels. I then set my bullet at 1.169, chamber check passed but did not cycle thru my magazine and handgun. Backed up to 1.165, some rounds cycled some did not. I them backed up to OAL of 1.160, all rounds cycled thru pistol. This provides me with a bullet jump of .018. that is what i used to determine my OAL.

    Added a picture of the primers after i removed them. You can see where the head is slightly flattened but nothing else.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013
  14. elwoodm

    elwoodm Well-Known Member

    the last load with 231 was 4.5gr 124gr fmj @ 1100fps out of 5 inch barrel.shot great with not much recoil. i have pushed the 124gr a little over 1200fps with no signs of over pressure. like said before check the crimp if you have good calipers measure it mine is around .377 its not easy to do but you can get a feel for it. see how a factory round sits in the chamber and check that against your reloads. if anything i would say you have a tight headspace check the case length and trim if needed.
  15. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

    I'll second that advice.

    A reloading library wouldn't be complete without it. One would have to purchase many books, some from rather obscure sources, to get the data Lee's book has collected from the various bullet and powder manufacturers.

    As always, referencing and cross checking loads against more than one source is a good idea. Lee's book makes that very easy to do.
  16. LeftyTSGC

    LeftyTSGC Well-Known Member

    I always check my crimps and am getting around .376 average. I am also checking case length with both guage and calipers and always find the length normally shorter than the .754 shown.

    Based on what i have read, they recommend anwhere from a .010 to .030 bullet jump, i am showing a .018.

    Is it possible that OAL 1.160 is too long? I didnt think that reloading 9mm would get this complicated. Any suggestions?
  17. jwrowland77

    jwrowland77 Well-Known Member

    I used to use 1.160, but backed it down to 1.150.

    The reason I did that, is when I shoot Steel Challenge, the 1.160 when I was trying to run through the rounds. I quickly realized that at 1.150, I could shoot fast and it would cycle reliably without anything getting caught up.
  18. LeftyTSGC

    LeftyTSGC Well-Known Member

    FWIW, I took my second STAR 30M (yes i have two) out to test fire today with the same loaded ammo that i used in my other handgun that i was flattening out the primers in. Well i shot 30 rounds, and not one flat primer. So what could cause one of two indentical handguns using the same batch of reloaded ammo to show flattened primers on each round, and not one in the other pistol?

    On the handgun that flattened primers you can see the breech face markings, indicating that the rounds are being forcfully pushed back. See pictures above.

    ON the second handgun, no markings and no flattended primers?

    So, can it be the barrel chamber somhow stretched? i checked both handguns and my spare barrel with my calipers and they measured basically the same diameters. I am at a loss, I will go out Friday and mix the weapons, maybe put the other barrels in the pistol that is flattening primers, exchange recoil springs, Maybe exchange upper slide?? Any suggestions. This one is giving me a headache.
  19. kerreckt

    kerreckt Well-Known Member

    I have a couple of Star 30M pistols. Excellent handguns. Just had to throw that in.

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