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9mm Reloading Questions

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by RugerSteve, Mar 27, 2014.

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  1. RugerSteve

    RugerSteve Member

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    I bought a reloader several months ago and have been waiting to try out some of the reloads that I did. *Here is my load data: 9mm, 115gr plated bullet (Rocky Mountain Reloading), Hodgton HP-38, 1.100 OAL. *I loaded about 10 rounds with 4.1-4.2gr of powder, and figured that was probably too low on the min side, so I loaded 25 rounds with 4.5gr of powder. *I was going to dissasemble the 4.2, but was curious if they would work. The recipe from Hodgdon is 4.3-4.8 of powder, using 115 lead round nose, and OAL of 1.100.
    The guns I was using today was a Glock 26, and a Ruger SR9c. Upon firing the 4.2gr, I had several jams and non ejects on both guns. Upon using the 4.5, they fired better, but I still had a couple of misfeeds and non eject jams. *I take it that I should bump up the amount of powder? I just don't want to go to max if that posses a danger of safey. That is my number one concern. Also, I am wondering about the discoloration of the used shells. I noticed that the spent shells the range gave me, are alot less discolored and burnt looking than mine. Would there be a reason for the added discoloration? *I have a minimum crimp on mine, should there be more?

    http://s1119.photobucket.com/user/steveandbelinda/media-full//9mmjpg_zpscdd7a774.jpg.html
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  2. stompah

    stompah Member

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    Burnt shells means you are undercharged. There is not enough pressure to expand the brass against the chamber walls to make a seal. The gasses blow back and create the black soot marks.

    How do your primers look? Have they started to flatten or do the look just like when you installed them only now with a dimple from the firing pin?

    Is your weapon functioning properly? I had a similar issue and it ended up being a worn recoil spring.

    Also you do not crimp on semi auto straight walled brass. All you want to do is turn the belling in after you seat the bullet. The friction from the tension of the brass is what retains the bullet. Over crimping the cartridge is actually a bad thing as it will eventually pierce your plating or cause your cartridge to go beyond the chamber and cause an over pressure issue if the bullet is not able to exit.
     
  3. ddgarcia05

    ddgarcia05 Member

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    My OAL is around 1.162 and have had no feeding issues with my 26. Unique powder 5.2
     
  4. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    RMR "thickly plated" bullets are going to use at least low end jacketted data.
    Double check the site, but If memory serves, they say use jacketted data for thick plated.

    Hogdon Data: HP-38 1.125" 4.7gr 1,075 25,300 CUP 5.1gr 1,167 28,100 CUP

    HP-38/Win 231 (same powder) burns sooty when loaded very light.
     
  5. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    Did you plunk test your finished rounds with the barrel removed to check for correct oal? Other wise, 1.100" doesn't seem extreme or out of line, if that's what fits your firearm.

    Plated data generally falls some where in the middle of lead and jacketed. With that said, a start charge of HP38 for a 115 gr. plated should be around 4.5 grs. with the maximum being right around 5.0 grs.. So even your 4.5 gr. load would likely be in a start charge range. I would bump the charge up in .1 gr. increments until the firearm reliably cycles. I would maybe load 5 of each increment until things come together.

    Do the firearms cycle factory ammo reliably?

    GS
     
  6. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    I checked the site, and they do offer both RMR and Berry's bullets. The RMR bullets didn't say thick plated, some of the Berry's bullets did.

    Up to mid-range loads for jacketted will work for the RMR bullets.
     
  7. RugerSteve

    RugerSteve Member

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    Stompah: primers look fine, just with firing pin hit, gun is functioning (both) properly. Both are brand new as of Thanksgiving/Christmas. I don't actually do a crimp, more of slightly turning in the edge

    Gamestalker: yes I did the plunk test, and everything looked and felt fine. Yes, never had any issue with factory ammo, never jammed on either gun.
     
  8. stompah

    stompah Member

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    Well bump it up a tenth at a time. Its not uncommon for the best loads to be just shy or at max loads.

    You should try out some accurate #2 powder. Accurate has actual load data for plated bullets.
     
  9. kcofohio
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    kcofohio Member

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    The SR9C is a +p+ rated gun with stiffer springs. I have found that you need to be in the higher pressure range for full cycling. Not sure about the Glock.
     
  10. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

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    If your bullet is RN then it seems to be a bit short OAL. I'd try to get around 1.14-1.15" if the issue is feeding. With the increased case volume, you'll probably need to increase your load.

     
  11. HOWARD J

    HOWARD J Member

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    On my Glock 26 I use 4.6 gr of 231 powder
    About 1.135 col for a FMJRN bullet
    A little white smoke but very accurate
     
  12. Beanie-Bean

    Beanie-Bean Member

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    What is the bullet profile? RN? HP? FN?

    I load RN profile builets to 1.135 for Glocks, and none of the other pistols I've shot have any issues with that OAL.

    For a 115 gr. projectile, I prefer a medium- to slow-burning powder. I had slide-cycling and brass ejection problems using lighter weight projectiles with fast powders in the dual-spring RSA Glocks.

    Be sure to test the finished round in the Glock barrel, but with a 1.135" OAL, you can go higher than 4.5 gr. according to one of my load manuals.
     
  13. HOWARD J

    HOWARD J Member

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    I like 4.6 gr of 231
    Why do I want to change a very accurate load
    Stick with what works for you
     
  14. bds
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    bds Member

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    Recoil spring rate and load data - After several thousand rounds, my Gen3 Glocks' recoil spring rate will go from 17 pounds to 15-16 pounds. Some shooters/reloaders never replace recoil springs and will post their pistol will reliably cycle with lower load data and will demand that your new pistol should also cycle with lower load data. My experience with 115 gr FMJ and plated RN is that 4.6 gr of W231/HP-38 will start to reliably cycle the slides of relatively new recoil spring of Glocks and 4.8 gr will produce greater accuracy at 1.135" OAL/COL.

    Overall Length / Cartridge Overall Length vs load data - Both Glock and Ruger barrels should accommodate OAL/COL to SAAMI max of 1.169" with FMJ/RN bullets but depending on the nose profile (ogive) of the bullet, you may need to use shorter OAL/COL to pass the barrel drop test. Generally, 115 gr bullets with shorter bullet base (bearing surface), using longer OAL/COL may not produce high enough initial chamber pressures to produce consistent enough powder burn with low to mid range load data (hence the dirty/sooty cases). To produce cleaner burn and generate more high enough consistent chamber pressures, you may need to use shorter OAL/COL like 1.135" or use more powder charge. When using mid-to-high range load data, I typically use 1.135" OAL (as I load for multiple pistols) but if I am trying to squeeze out optimal accuracy by reducing high pressure gas leakage around the bullet, I will use 1.160"-1.165" OAL/COL for my Glocks with near max/max load data. Since Hodgdon load data lists 4.8 gr of W231/HP-38 at much shorter 1.100" as max powder charge, using 4.8 gr at longer OAL/COL will produce lower chamber pressures.

    Both Winchester and Berry's MFG addressed the issue of 115 gr and shorter bullet base/inaccuracy with hollow base FMJ and plated bullets with longer bullet base (bearing surface) to improve bullet base expansion to seal the high pressure gas better and improve accuracy.

    Increasing the taper crimp won't increase neck tension and may actually decrease neck tension and with plated bullets, may cut into the plating and expose lead alloy core, which will lead the barrel and decrease accuracy. With .355" FMJ bullets, I use .376"-.377" taper crimp. With .355"-.356" plated bullets, I use .377"-.379" taper crimp, depending on the thickness of case wall, or just to return the flare back flat on the bullet.
     
  15. RussellC

    RussellC Member

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    I always see several knowledgeable folk comment on threads like this something to the effect "To determine proper OAL you need to perform the plunk test" Well. I say (and will be the first to admit I am wrong MANY times) this is not the case when discussing a load recipe, but IS the case when discussing what length is best for your gun....i.e., if you have a strong load that calls for 1.160, and your gun plunks lets say for this example 1.100. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THE PROPER OAL FOR THIS ROUND IS 1.100! You will have a serious over pressure situation.

    I know this is not news to experienced reloaders, but this confused the berjeebers out of me when I first started, and this is the only reason I am posting this. There is a proper OAL for your gun's best function, but that does not mean you can safely shorten oal, at least not on stronger loads, a weak one maybe. RC covered this well just above.

    Am I off base here? Please school if so. I see lots of threads where someone wants to modify OAL for a load and the first thing thrown at them is "plunk test for proper OAL" and I see this as confusing and possibly dangerous.

    Please advise if I am off base here, you could fill a battleship with what I dont know yet about reloading!

    Russellc
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  16. LeftyTSGC

    LeftyTSGC Member

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    RussellC, You are correct, the thing not mentioned when we say do a "Plunk test", is that you should start over on your load weight with the reduce by 10% mindset in place. It was not intended to stay at the current load and just reduce your OAL. That is what we get by "Assuming" everyone knows what we meant.
     
  17. theslasher

    theslasher member

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    Almost every factory 115gr RN I've seen is about 1.10" Ive loaded my 9mm 115's that way for 10 years. As far as powder goes.. I used to use hp38 and always thought it worked good until I tried Titegroup a couple years ago. I dont know what it is about it but they just feel better. All my 9mm pistols have better accuracy with it. Recoil is snappier but not in a bad way. You would have to try it to see what I mean.. If you get lucky and find a can on the shelf, buy it and try it. 4.4 grains behind a 115 xtreme is the best 9mm load Ive shot hands down..
     
  18. RussellC

    RussellC Member

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    Thank you for firming up that position. When I just started, all this was, and sometimes still is, confusing. Experienced reloaders were already on to this, just when the OAL situations are discussed in a context that could be either or, a new person could misconstrue....figure out your gun (plunk test) then apply proper load.

    Thanks again for clarification,

    Russellc
     
  19. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    The "plunk test" is just one factor in determining the acceptable maximum OAL for a particular gun. It tells you the point at which the ogive of the bullet contacts the rifling or the barrel. A longer OAL than that will significantly increase pressure because the bullet has to overcome the additional resistance of being seated in the rifling. Starting a bullet seated in the rifling is thought by many to improve accuracy. Perhaps so for benchrest rifles, but not enough to matter with most handgun loads.

    For semi-auto pistols, the OAL from the plunk test must be tested in the magazine. The OAL from a plunk test in a barrel with a long throat may result in a round that is too long to feed reliably.

    When starting with a new bullet/load from a manual, I load a dummy round to the listed OAL for the load and do a plunk test. If it passes, I use the listed OAL. If it doesn't, I find the acceptable OAL for the gun, back off the minimum load data by 10% and work up the load.
     
  20. Beanie-Bean

    Beanie-Bean Member

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    Were you directing that to me? Because I wasn't directing my message to you, Howard--my post was intended for the OP, RugerSteve.
     
  21. Bartojc

    Bartojc Member

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    To the OP, I'm using w231 which is (from what I hear) the same as HP-38. Using Berry's 115g RN i tested 4.2gr, 4.4, and 4.6 a few weeks ago. My OAL for my SR9C is at 1.140 with a very ligh crimp. All loads cycled, although the 4.2 fell right at my feet. The 4.4 and 4.6 were very reliable. I then loaded 50 more of each 4.4 and 4.6, and could not tell the difference accuracy. I have since settled at the 4.4 since powder is scarce and I'm just plinking short range.

    You are in the ballpark, try going up .1 or .2 and you may be all set. Everyones gun and specifics are different. The fun part is experimenting. I just wish I could find powder so I could experiment more.

    -Jeff
     
  22. Vodoun da Vinci

    Vodoun da Vinci Member

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    The OAL the OP posted seems a little short to me for an RN bullet. I load my 9mm with 4.8 gr. of Unique and Berry's 124 gr. Flat Nose plated bullets at an OAL of 1.15...the flat noses have to be loaded shorter to keep 'em out of the rifling.

    My G26 loves 'em and I have shot perhaps 1000 with never a problem. So clean that after 100 rounds you can hardly tell the gun has been shot with the new cleaner Unique. No smoke.

    My G26 has a deep chamber - much deeper than my Beretta Px4. If only loading for the G26 I could push the OAL out a bit more even with the flat noses.

    VooDoo
     
  23. jct55

    jct55 Member

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    Hidy Ya'll

    I am Soooo lost & frustrated. Brand new to reloading thanks to a cheap used price on a Lee Loadmaster at 200.00. Now I'm nose deep at over 700.00 worth of fixups & stuff later, I still have to load my first 9mm round (the ONLY one I will ever do). I hate to gripe, but i have read, read & reread for almost 2 weeks now EVERYTHING I can find on the i-net & the lyman 49th, Lee's modern reloading etc. Nowhere can I get a definate/CLOSE answer either.

    I am using all "standard" brand new stuff. (cept the press, but all plastic parts replaced w/new & so far seems fine).

    I started by casting my own w/lee 6 cavity 125gn molds w/wheel weight lead (bought off ebay).

    Will be shooting a brand new FS92 that so far has only had 35 commercial federal bullets thru it. Barrel slugs at .355 so sizing at .356 & thinned out alox tumble lube. After some casting practice, seems good, no wrinkles, good flat bottoms, BUT here's a rub. Not even close to 125gn. All drops are EITHER 128.1gn OR 129.6gn. Nothing in the middle, or anywhere else. just exactly those two and mostly the heavier wt. (according to my digital scale) weights. Every single good bullet. That worries me a little too.

    So, nothing exact in the load tables for that weight. Said I,.. I'd just load for 124/125gn cast rn with Ramshot ZIP (that's all they had) at 3.2gn (minimum load I can find in any table so far) & let things go slow I thought...

    Well now OAL. Ramshot's closest table shows lead at 124 or 147 gn. 124gn shows an OAL of 1.050". (lee's book shows 1.065 for 120gn & 1.058 for 147 lead, which isn't much help either) That's really short & the bullet sure does look funny stuffed all that way in the case. Way shorter (by almost .100 thousandths) than the commercial fmj rn federals.
    But ok. The lead 147gn shows 1.145" oal in the ramshot table! OMG! now what? 3.2 isn't a LOT of powder but the 124gn (which is really 128.1/129.6gn)with almost 1/8" MORE bullet in the case sure ain't got as much "room" inside the case as the 147gn????)

    should I just "guess" oal, keeping it within those lenghts? I can't seem to find my grooves with a plunk test. ALL bullets fit fine in the tube, freely spin and the bullets come out of the shell BEFORE i can find the lands, so I think chamber/land/grooves room has plenty clearance. OAL would just be the matter of internal pressure in my case I guess??

    Next problem? I have a box of ZERO FMJ 124gn's I want to load up, and pretty much same trouble, not much exact data, maybe better than trying to find the "lead" answers, but this is getting tough. I'm really wanting to go bang bang bang, but not BOOM!

    Am I just overthinking/chickenhearted or can somebody please help me????? I have bought everything "standard" and followed directions well, but now seems I am the ONLY one in the world that has no recipe for this "standard" setup.??? thank you for your help!
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  24. bds
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    bds Member

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    First of all jct55, welcome to THR.

    BTW, separating out your paragraph with some empty lines will help us read your post and help you better - keep in mind that many of us here are visually challenged and using bifocals and progressive lenses. ;) I tell you, just don't get old! :D.

    I would not worry too much about bullets weighing a few grains heavier. Many commercial bullets will deviate by several grains bullet-to-bullet depending on the alloy mix/lot of materials used. I would still reference load data for 124/125 gr lead bullets.

    Walkalong and many others here post that Ramshot Zip is very close to W231/HP-38 and you could reference the same load data for the work up. Since you are using softer (~ 12 BHN) alloy than what the published load data used, I would suggest you reference more conservative load data. With 18 BHN 125 gr RN bullets, I use 3.8 - 4.0 gr of W231/HP-38 with no leading. If I push them at 4.2 gr+, I get leading in my KKM/Lone Wolf barrels which are .355"-.356" groove diameter.

    As to OAL/COL, use the barrel drop test to determine the max OAL then load the dummy round (no powder/no primer) from the magazine to determine the working OAL by releasing the slide without riding it. Once you have the working OAL that reliably feed/chamber from the magazine, you can then proceed to the powder work up from published start charges - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=8864541#post8864541
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  25. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

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    Welcome to the forum! You sound flustered which is ok. As you mentioned, bang is better than boom any day. The fact that you are being cautious is a good sign and once you have your recipe in place you will find the fun in reloading.

    I don't cast or shoot lead so someone else will surely come back and help you. All I will say is that what you want is consistency from load to load and if all of your cast weights come in around ~129gr then you will get consistency once you figure it out.

    Finding your ideal COAL seems to be the first project. Once you have that you can then find the best starting load for your powder. The max COAL is determined by your magazine. It may not touch your lands but it may be too long for your magazine. Once you find it fits your magazine, it may not feed until you get the sweet spot for your gun. It also depends on the shape of your bullet nose. A flat top will have a shorter COAL than a pointed, narrow one and a stubby thick profile may hit the lands sooner than a longer, thinner profile. If you can post a picture of your finished bullet I'm sure many here can guide you. You'll start with the longest COAL your mag can hold and go down from there until you find the sweet spot with loading. Then develop your recipe starting low and working up. Guys will guide you with their experience.
     
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