9 mm pistol load for 100 yards?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Buck13, Apr 3, 2022.

  1. Buck13

    Buck13 Member

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    Looking for a suggestion of an accurate 9 mm load for 100 yard shooting. I'm planning to screw around with a match or two of IHMSA Field Pistol later this year, probably using my Dan Wesson PM9. I'll come in last, but maybe I can hit at least one ram...



    Open to suggestion of any bullet that might possibly be orderable. I'm just getting into loading 9 mm, and all I have now is HAP 125s. In principle, I’m willing to buy expensive bullets, but cheap enough not to enjoy it.

    About the only plated or coated bullet I’ve been completely happy with (in other calibers) was Xtreme’s heavy plate concave base RNFP 165 in 10 mm. They don’t seem to make a similar 9 mm bullet. Admittedly, I mostly shot those at 25 yards. Maybe once at 50.

    Are the RMR Match Winners worth trying, or should I just keep looking for more Hornadys for this project?

    Possibly appropriate powders I have now are Longshot, HP-38, Blue Dot, Power Pistol, WSF and AA#7, in decreasing order of the amount on hand. Unfortunately, it's been my observation that the powders I have the least of are the ones that meter most precisely. I was measuring out Longshot a few days ago for .357 Magnum, nominally 7.2 grains, but of the ones I checked the weight on, more than I'd like were 7.1 or 7.3



    On the lookout for CFE Pistol, HS-6 (or just more AA#7), maybe AutoComp or Silhouette, but buying more powder right now isn't my top priority.
     
  2. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    I don't know what 9mm loads will take down those targets at those distances, but my guess is to lean toward heavy bullets and a slow powder for as much speed as you can get. But that's a guess.

    If the match has a pre-match warmup, you could try some different bullet weights to see how they work.

    Since you're shooting this from a 1911, if it has good case support, you could load some pretty warm 9mm loads.

    I'd probably avoid plated bullets since they generally are not as accurate as jacketed bullets, and you'll need all the accuracy you can get. Speer GDHPs and their 147 FN plated bullets shoot well and would be an exception. I've had good results with Hornady 147 XTP and Remington 147 FMJ FP - a flat point (FP, HP) bullet tends to offer better accuracy than a round nose bullet, but it depends on the bullet.

    Good luck.
     
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  3. Buck13

    Buck13 Member

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    The guy running the matches told me that 9 mm would work. He wasn't specific as to bullet type. It hardly matters, since my chances of *hitting* turkeys or rams are small. I'll probably make contact with the chickens and pigs at some frequency.

    The hot setup in that event is a scoped Contender in .22 Hornet, if I'm not mistaken. More muzzle energy due to the velocity, but IIRC knocking over steel is more a function of bullet momentum than kinetic energy. 9 mm and .22 Hornet are pretty similar by that measure.
     
  4. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    Awesome! Then just find an accurate load, and you're all set.
     
  5. kalielkslayer

    kalielkslayer Member

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    I’m in the “launch a 147 at em” camp to maintain energy.
     
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  6. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    When shooting pistol caliber lever Silhouette, the 180 grain bullet is what I use, because the bc is superior to most bullets with giant meplats. In a pistol shooting a heavy will result in it being a hold over guessing game. Any type of optic that will have the adjustment to give you consistency in point of aim will be a huge win. I was shooting double your range using a carbine, so it's the same game but still different.
     
  7. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    I’d probably go with a close to max load using the RMR 147 match winners. I just got some in to try but haven’t loaded any yet so no help there. Every thing I have heard about them says they should work if you do your part. :)
     
  8. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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  9. reddog81

    reddog81 Member

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    Practice. Lots and lots of practice will be much more beneficial than fretting over specific bullets. Finding a good load that hits where you aim is more important than anything else. For knocking over rams I’d go for something at least 124 grains but preferably heavier.

    I’ve shot a lot of lead 124, 140, and 147 grain bullets at 50 yard targets and 100 plates. The RMR bullets I’ve shot were just as accurate as my homemade cast bullets. I wouldn’t hesitate to start with them.
     
  10. Buck13

    Buck13 Member

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    Their 135 FP MW would be a nice compromise between weight and velocity. I might order a package...
     
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  11. 25-20 WCF

    25-20 WCF Member

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    Lots of suggestions from folks who have obviously never shot Field Pistol. I shot plenty of Field Pistol with the .30 Carbine cartridge using a 130 grain cast over 4.5 grains of W231. Velocity was only around 1050 fps - the rams are easy to knock down with a decent hit from a .22 Magnum or .22 Hornet. Low recoil helps too. The challenge for the OP will be hitting them, for two reasons: the accuracy of the load and the correct use of the good DW adjustable sights. Trajectory will work against him, he’ll want to get sight settings for each target - it’s tough enough to hit the rams offhand without worrying about guessing the right Kentucky windage. I’d recommend the most accurate load with light- to mid-weight bullets.



    .
     
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  12. Kp321

    Kp321 Member

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    I would tend toward the RMR 147 MW’s. That bullet would be subsonic for the entire distance so the trans-sonic disturbance would not be there. In my experience, the RMR MW’s in any weight shoot much tighter groups than the same weight plated bullet.
     
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  13. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    IHMSA field pistol rams (half scale) are supposed to be calibrated to not fall with 22lr, but fall with 22 wmr and greater.
    I never used 9mm in IHMSA, but .357 or 38 spl 140 grain at around 900 fps was more than enough.
    I would think any load that cycles your 9 would be enough.
    I would only worry about accuracy.
     
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  14. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    You will find what David Sams, the gunsmith, recommends for Bullseye Pistol Loads here:

    Reloading Data for Pistol Competition

    These 9 mm loads are not powder puff loads. I talked to David Sams, and he said you have to push 9mm fast for them to be accurate at 50 yards. This is one reason the 9mm fizzled out in Bullseye Pistol. While the recoil is less than a 45 ACP, the recoil impulse is surprisingly sharp, and one shooter I know, who has a 9mm Les Baer, claims the pistol twists in his hand worse than a 45 ACP. The 32 S&W long is still highly regarded, low recoil, wonderfully accurate at 50 yards.

    I have no idea how they will do at 100 yards, and I am hopefully you will report back your experience. I am not going to look at 1000 yard shots, I am certain someone hit something, but has anyone looked at tumbling and key holing, and when 9mm pistol bullets do that? Keyholing will become obvious when you are shooting on paper at that distance, or in a match.
     
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  15. Buck13

    Buck13 Member

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    That had crossed my mind. I wondered if I wasn't over-thinking it, though. It's not like I'm shooting a scoped rifle over hundreds of yards. By far the biggest source of error is ME, probably by a factor of at least ten or twenty, and if the bullet starts feeling some transsonic buffeting twenty yards from the target, can it be enough to matter? Feel free to tell me I'm wrong! The only rifle shooting I've done was with .243 Win at ranges where it was nowhere near subsonic.

    OTOH, my spousal critter bought a CZ P-01 Suppressor Ready solely because she liked the color. Maybe I should cultivate a 147 grain load in case we apply for a tax stamp.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2022
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  16. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

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    9mm will easily topple the FP ram at 100m. I shoot them with a rather mild .38 SPL load from a 6" Taurus 66 and soon a 10" TC contender. I'm shooting a 125 TC cast in the .38 at around 850FPS from the 6" M66. This would be easy to duplicate in 9mm. I would look to the RMR 124 grainers, either the RN or MW, whichever shoots best in your gun. Your 125 HAP should be a strong contender as well. You don't need the velocity, just find a solid, accurate load and know your come-ups. I've also shot 'bordello" class with a 9mm FNS and a random 124 RN factory load and did rather well.

    An alternative strategy that would work if your gun will shoot them, is to drive a light bullet really fast. It will still have the momentum to take down the targets, and will shoot flatter than heavier slugs requiring less holdover. I wouldn't worry too much about trans-sonic stability. You're not punching X rings in F-class targets at 1000 yards. If your stubby bullets get a little sideways at the 75 yard mark, it won't make much practical difference so long as they don't cross the singularity.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2022
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  17. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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  18. Buck13

    Buck13 Member

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    Power Pistol seems to meter fairly well for me, so that might be good to try. I have enough of it to make more ammo than I could possibly shoot in the next couple of years.
     
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  19. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Hmm not a IHMSA shooter but I would be tempted to say 95/
    100gr (normally .380 bullets) pushed as fast as you can.
    This would give you a flatter trajectory than heavier bullets...easier to hit at longer ranges if you are having to guess hold over.
    With the right powder and that bullet weight in 9mm you should be able to get around 1400fps depending on barrel length.
    RMR 95gr (listed for .380) have shot well for me in 9mm at higher vels.

    So the question would be is the extra say 200fps worth using the lighter bullet.
    All the RMR Matchwinners (124/147gr) I have shot in 9mm have shot well for me so they might be a good choice.

    Given
    I would be looking at the slower powers, so HP38 would be my last choice.
    WSF shoots well for me in 9mm but it gives up vel on top to some of the others in your list.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2022
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  20. Buck13

    Buck13 Member

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    Heh. I have some 90 grain XTPs on the way from Midway right now, but only a couple hundred. I was planning on having them just as a hedge against running out of .380 ammo. I have a PDF of 2004 Alliant data which gives Power Pistol with 95 grain bullets in the velocity which you mention. Still goes subsonic, though. A little flatter than the 125 HAP at 1200 but enough to really matter?
     

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  21. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I shot 200 meter IHMSA silhouette back in the day snd I suggest you make sure you have enough sight adjustment so you do not need to use Kentucky windage.

    You will need to determine the elevation setting needed for each range of targets.

    Flatter shooting rounds hit the target more reliably and require less sight adjustment.

    I preferred heavier bullets in my 357 Magnum silhouette ammunition but I do not have experience with Field Pistol so some trial and error may be in order.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2022
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  22. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    Hmm, I guess the BC on the longer heavier bullet (.099 vs .158) is enough to make a difference
    My of the top of the head guess was assuming the BC of the bullets (which is poop for handgun bullets) would be closer.
    Is it enough to really matter,maybe not unless like me your luck (or sklill) just made it say 1/2" high or low.
    Just my general thought for hitting things at range is less drop/ flight time (=wind drift) is better.

    The real test would be to try both and see what the shooter likes best, one might be better on paper but if the shooter likes one better and shoots it better that is all that really matters...holes on target.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2022
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  23. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    PS: 95/100s in 9mm can be fun.....
    If you have a 9mm and haven't tried them it is worth doing.
    You can make really light "mouse fart" loads or zingers,
    If you have the time, powder, primers and bullets it's a fun adventure.:)

    About 4.1 grains of HP38 with a 100gr gave me 100% function in my 9mm pistols
    about 1000 fps, very soft shooting, great for new shooters.
    I worked up some BE86 loads with them that were close to 1500 but I won't post the data but I used this as a starting point. (5" 1911)

    Note:
    below is not listed data for 95/100gr bullets, so it may or may not be safe for you in your firearm. Use at your own risk, neither THR or I say it is safe for you.


    My thought was if 6.3 is safe with a 115 it should be safe to go with a 95, logic and caution should figure in if you can bump it up a bit.
    I think Walkalong had some pretty quick loads using light bullets in 9mm.
    Little lasers.

    (as a side note I normally don't like to go beyond book but since there was not a lot of book for the powders I had for light bullets in 9mm I had to explore a bit)
     

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    Last edited: Apr 3, 2022
  24. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    I’m using a 147 gr XTP over a max load of BE-86 for my Kel-Tec Sub 2K, but that’s a carbine length rifle so it probably won’t help much for pistol.
     
  25. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    They’re available and you can’t go wrong with them. I prefer the 147s but I’m shooting for a specific PF and closer ranges. However, I do practice at 100 occasionally because the last Area match had targets out to 45 yards. I’m pretty sure if you hit the steel with any 9mm it should fall. If it doesn’t, I’d call for a calibration.
    BTW, at the Area match, we had several people worried about bullet drop at 45 yards….
    https://www.federalpremium.com/ballistics-calculator
    You need to work on trigger control, that’s the single most important variable. I have an older DW PM. Very nice choice. Good luck.
     
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