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9mm bullet loading question

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by J_McLeod, Nov 30, 2010.

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  1. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Member

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    I went out a bought a Lee Anniversary kit today. As a starter I bought a bag of 100 Magtech 115gr FMJ. Also bought a Lyman Handbook and Cabela's reloading handbook. After looking through the books, the Cabela's used specific brands of bullets in it's recipes and the Lyman only has recipes for a Hornady 115gr JHP. How much does the brand of bullet matter in the recipes? Could use another brand's FMJ in the Lyman recipes for the JHP? I've considered buying supplies from some companies on this board, like Rocky Mtn or Montana Gold, how would I find out what to use for those?
     
  2. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    Typically you can substitute a bullet by weight, but not by composition. If its a 115gr JHP you can use a 115gr FMJ with that data, your OAL will vary by bullet though. You cannot use jacketed data with lead, or you shouldnt anyway. Plated bullets are a critter of thier own, they exist between the two. Rocky MTN reloading is a great place to do business with, and when you are ready to try lead bullets, Missouri Bullet is another member here and is great to do business with.

    What kind of powder are you looking to try. We love helping new people here!
     
  3. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    It is common to use load data for a different brand of bullet with the same weight. However, regardless of which brand you use you should always work your load up starting at either the listed start load or a 10% reduction from the maximum load. If only one load is listed then that is a maximum load and you need to do the math and reduce it by 10% for your start load.

    Generally I check several different data sources if I don't have the bullets specific data, compare maximum loads and start loads and usually use the most conservative data to begin my work up and never exceed the heaviest published load.
     
  4. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Like said above, if you are using a bullet of the same type and weight you can use the load data. It's even better if the bullet they are using matches the profile of the bullet you're using. Again as said above, it's very important to "work up a load" where you don't start with the Max charge and start with at least a 10% reduction from the Max.

    I'm sure you will do fine. Have fun and always check your work.
     
  5. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Member

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    I haven't bought any powder yet because I ran out of time and wasn't sure which one to get. Any recommendations? I plan to go to the store with a list of powders that I have load data for, and pick from what's in stock. I think I've found a good local source for brass, and possibly bullets as well.

    What is the difference between plated and jacketed?

    I looked at Missouri bullet. Why are the diameters .356 for 9mm when everything I have says it should be .355? The lead bullets are much cheaper than the jacketed bullets. What are the downsides?

    Has anyone used load data at handloads.com?
     
  6. Xfire68

    Xfire68 Member

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    The differences between plated and jacketed (Short version) plated have a thin layer of copper over the lead core. Jacketed have a much thicker copper layer and can hold together better at higher velocities.

    Jacketed bullets don't foul your barrel like lead bullets do and require less difficult cleaning.

    I forget the reason for the lead being .356 but, it is normal.

    I have been debating going lead as I shoot a bunch and being a disabled vet on a limited income my shooting budget suffers first!:cuss:

    I have read that those that shoot lead don't find it to be hard to clean and it is much cheaper to load!

    PS. your going to like your new Lee kit! I have one and a Lee 4 hole Turret and soon a Hornady LNL AP. Did I say reloading is addicting!
     
  7. gilly6993

    gilly6993 Member

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    I shoot strictly lead (Missouri bullets) and have no major leading issues.....clean my guns every few times out and never have an issue.....
     
  8. MrOldLude

    MrOldLude Member

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    For all intents and purposes, a 115 gr 9mm plated bullet can be loaded exactly the same as an FMJ bullet. The copper coating is thinner than a copper jacket, but at reasonable to even hot 115 gr loads, you won't strip through the plating. Berrys' in particular gives the 100% reliable upper limit to be about 1200 FPS. You won't be exceeding this with safe max-pressure 115gr loads. Some people regularly run plated bullets slightly beyond 1300 in their .357 sigs. At a point however, the plating will separate, and the accuracy will go wonky.
     
  9. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    All I shoot is lead, and no issues. But, I cast my own so I lube the crap out of them. that may help.
     
  10. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    Powder for 9MM for target shooting? I've been using Titegroup and W231/HP-38 with good success.
     
  11. bds

    bds Member

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    Lead bullet diameters are sized 0.001" larger than jacketed bullet (.356" vs .355") to provide tighter bullet-to-barrel seal and minimize gas cutting of the bullet base (escaping hot gas melts/softens the lead bullet base), which results in leading at the chamber end. Keep in mind that tighter seal increases the chamber pressure so you need to use lead load data for lead bullet which is often much lower than jacketed load data.
    With jacketed bullets, you can load anywhere between starting charge to max load data without worrying about leading - you may just get more fouling at the lower powder charges. With lead bullets, you may need to use mid to high range load data to properly obturate the bullet base (bumping and widening of the bullet base during powder ignition to seal bullet base tight against the rifling) and minimize gas cutting/leading. Harder the bullet, higher the powder charge you need to use to minimize leading. Generally, I find that with harder 24 BHN lead bullets, I need to use high-to-near max load data to minimize leading. Missouri Bullets offer "less hard" 18 BHN lead bullets that I can use mid-to-high range load data with minimal leading. If you want to use even lower starting charge/target loads, they offer softer 12 BHN lead bullets that will obturate at lower powder charges.

    Downsides?

    You need to be more careful about case neck flaring/seating bullets and removing any leading in the barrel.

    Jacketed bullets can be seated without the worry of shaving the side of the bullet as the lead core is protected by the jacketing. With lead bullets, you may need to flare the case neck a bit more and carefully set the bullet flat during seating so the bullet won't tilt and shave the side of the bullet. Depending on the powder/charge used, you may experience some leading until you get your powder charge dialed in. Most of us use copper scrubber wrapped bore jag/brushes to remove the leading in the barrel.

    +1 for W231/HP38. I always recommend W231/HP38 (same powder) for new reloader as it has broader load range, plenty of available load data for various pistol calibers (especially for lead) and meters very well. It is my designated match powder as it produces very accurate loads even for lighter recoiling target loads.

    Use load data from handloads.com with caution as many are near/over max charges (many loads don't even list OALs :eek:). I would always reference the latest published load data from powder manufacturers' websites or reloading manuals to verify my charge loads.
     
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Agreed. Check everything not gotten straight from a load book or online powder company PDF.
     
  13. 918v

    918v Member

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    You can substitute bullets of like composition, length, and nose profile. The problem with 9mm bullets is that FMJ profiles vary like cell phones at the mall. Sierra makes the shortest 115 FMJ. Winchester Hollow Base FMJ are the longest. Sierra recommends an OAL of 1.090". Winchester can go as long as 1.169". As you can imagine, the longer OAL calls for more powder to reach the same pressure and velocity. Whatever you do, make sure you have enough bullet in the case to make the round structurally sound. Too often someone tries to seat the Sierra to 1.169" and experiences a round breaking in half on the way into the chamber.

    When trying to substitute bullets, imagine a half full glass of water. Pretend this is your 9mm case filled with powder. Now imagine seating a JHP or FMJ to whatever OAL. In order to maintain the same pressure, the bottom of the bullets MUST be positioned in the exact same spot relative to the top of the powder.

    So, FMJ's are typically seated to a longer OAL and JHP's to a shorter OAL. You can figure out the seating depth by measuring the length of the bullets and subtracting it from the OAL.

    Also, understand that some bullet profiles, i.e. TC, do not allow the same OAL as RN profiles. They hit the rifling sooner due to their abrupt ogjive and need to be seated deeper.

    As far as your magtech 115 FMJ, measure the length and let us know. I'm sure someone here has the other brands mentioned in your reloading data and they will be more than happy to measure theirs and tell you the length.
     
  14. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Member

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    Went shopping again today and bought some HP38, 300 CCI 500s and a caliper. The Magtech 115gr FMJs I have are .578.

    I had a bunch of brass that I saved from the range and rejected almost almost all of it due to it being below .751. Going to buy more brass and bullets tomorrow.

    Loved the Lee press, but hate the Auto prime. I put 6 primers in, and spent 20 minutes messing with it with no results. I think the shellholder is keeping the tray from going up far enough to work.
     
  15. WanMan99

    WanMan99 Member

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    You will have better results if you you put 50 - 100 primers into the primer tray. The weight of the primers helps it to feed correctly. Not sure what your measurements of .578 and .751 are of. You do not need to worry about case size length on handgun loads (you definately need to measure on rifle cartridges). Use your caliper to check the over all length (OAL) after you seat the bullet. Your load data should specify how many grains of powder and the OAL after seating the bullet.
    Be safe....
     
  16. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    The length of the bullet does not figure into modern reloading data. Seat them to about the same OAL as common factory loaded FMJs and proceed. My WWB is 1.162", barely below the maximum of 1.169". You might have to go shorter to get that bullet to chamber freely.

    Brass length varies a lot. It does not matter much in cheap bulk pistol ammo, what you had was probably fine - it shot the first time - and no need to buy new.
     
  17. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    9mm case length: SAAMI "Maximum" i s .754"-ish. Most range pick-ups are .74xx" (or slightly less) and are fine to use. You don't need to trim 9mm cases.

    A while back, I read some info on loading for "accuracy"--technical accuracy. The longer cases (3/4"+) were shown to make tighter groups. I did some case measuring to see what I had on hand and never found a case over .747". The longer range pick-ups I had after sizing were generally Winchesters. I have at leat 8-9K range pick-ups on my bench that are visually checked, deprimed, tumbled and"ready to load". I'd be willing to bet they are well ' short' of .751".
    I'll also bet they all shoot very well. If I was trying/able to shoot "Bullseye" with a 9mm, I'd show more concern with case length and crimp.

    If the 9mm range cases are in good condition (no splits, creases or loose primer pockets) , properly loaded and sized, they'll shoot fine.

    If you have to throw them away, I'll give you my address.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  18. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Member

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    The Lyman book I have said not to reduce the cases below the trim to length, which they listed as .751. So I measured all my cases and only planned to use the ones that met that but I haven't discarded the others yet.
     
  19. Cemetery21

    Cemetery21 Member

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    You may have the large primer tray and punch in the tool.

    Brass length - I measure rifle brass every time it is sized. I measure pistol brass never.
     
  20. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Member

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    I tried both. Oddly the large appears smaller.
     
  21. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    In addition to the other good replies, you also have to keep in mind that as the brass expands, it temporarily gets shorter. If you measure your brass, be sure to do it AFTER resizing. The cases will "grow" a bit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  22. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Member

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    I measured it all after running it through the resizing die.
     
  23. soloban

    soloban Member

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    I use the 115 Gr Magtech FMJ bullets with 6.0 Gr of Power Pistol at a 1.125" OAL. Below are my results with 50 rounds @ 10 yds with a CZ-75B.

    [​IMG]
     
  24. 918v

    918v Member

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    False.

    For those of you who do not understand the relationship between bullet length, OAL, and case volume:

    The longer the bullet, the more room it takes up in the case at a given OAL. The more room the bullet takes-up, the less case volume you have. The less case volume, the higher the pressure. This is crucial in small capacity cases using quick burning powders (Bullseye, 231, etc) as pressures can rise very quickly will small decreases in OAL.

    This is easily verifiable with QL and case expansion measurements.
     
  25. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I didn't say length did not affect internal ballistics, I said it did not figure into reloading data. If you want to apply it in some way, you have to measure it and do your own calculations.

    Once upon a time, bullet seating depth was listed by makers like Hercules.
     
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