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Are 9mm's ammo sensitive?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by GLOOB, Nov 28, 2010.

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  1. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    In my experience, I've shot a few different flavors of .45's, and most all of them I can group into a tight cluster at 30 feet. With my G21, I can hit a shotgun shell at 30 feet more often than not. With a Sig P220, I can shoot out the eye socket of silhouette target at 30 feet. With a 1911, I'm right there, too. I've never shot a .45 I didn't like.

    But among the 9mm's I've shot, I've been horrible with 2 different P228's. I'm pretty decent with a Beretta 92FS, but not lights out accurate. And I'm halfway decent with the G19, after putting thousands of rounds through it. But it still isn't a .45.

    I recently starting reloading. And I noticed that my Glock 9mm's throat is a lot longer than my other 9mm. So I've been loading my Glock reloads to the maximum length they will chamber. My first couple batches were super light, and accuracy was about on par with my experiences with factory loads. Then I recently worked up a small test batch of full power loads. I took aim at a white target with a 1 1/2" black bulls eye at 30 feet. I didn't see any impacts. Excited, I pulled in the target, and all shots were in the black. This is the best group I ever shot with this gun. The rest of the test batch (one magful) continued this "trend."

    So I'm starting to wonder if there's any truth to this. Are 9mm's ammo sensitive? Or am I deluded to think that ammo makes any significant difference in accuracy at such short distances?
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010
  2. therewolf

    therewolf member

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    Once again, I'm not a pro.

    I rented a 9MM S&W at a range a while back. With standard factory Luger loads I was disappointed with the overall accuracy of the gun. My 1911A1 was more accurate.

    I'm not an expert marksman, however, and haven't shot a large amount of 9MM ammo. The rental gun barrel could have had whupped rifling, too, for all I know.
     
  3. glockgod

    glockgod Member

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    Be careful on the overall length. You'll end up with cartridges too long to work in the magazine. I load 147gr bullets to an OAL of 1.150" with good results.
     
  4. chineseboxer

    chineseboxer Member

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    My best results are with an OAL 1.100. That is with JHP. Shooting G19
     
  5. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    I would say yes, to a degree. There is quite a bit of variation (while still remaining within general specs) in both cartridge and gun barrel dimensions in this caliber, due to the large number of manufacturers and other factors. It is very possible to have some - or even most - loads group mediocre or poorly and others well.
     
  6. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    I'm encouraged by these initial results. I guess I'll have to load up a box or two and shoot a bunch more to see what gives.

    Also forget to mention I shot 5 from that mag out of an aftermarket conversion barrel in a G27, and accuracy was total suck. I haven't tested the max OAL for that barrel yet, so maybe the throat/leade is even bigger in that one!

    I'm using a plated 124 gr HP bullet with a defined shoulder on it. It doesn't even chamber unless OAL gets down to around 1.09." They still fit in the mag just fine.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  7. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    My W. German P228 seems to be very ammo sensitive as well, normally Federal Eagle 115 FMJ is GTG in just about any 9mm, but doesn't shoot well at all from my P228, even from the bench.
    I tried some loads with the Remington 147 'match' FMJ in FC brass using SR 7625 @ 1.100" COAL and things got a lot better at 25 yards.

    My Glock 19 shoots respectably with just about anything, and my P220 ST thinks it's a match gun, even with plain ball ammo. The P228 is the only gun where I've experienced such ammo sensitivity.
    It also shoots to very different POI's with different bullet weights, more so than any other 9mm I've experienced.
    Try some 147's, any 147 JHP should shoot well.
     
  8. Ryder

    Ryder Member

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    All firearms have load preferences and the 9mm shows a noticable response to changes in load since it has a very wide range of load variability in relation to most other auto cartidges.
     
  9. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    It depends on the gun, not so much the caliber.
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    NO.

    I have a SIG P6 and a S&W 39 that will feed floor sweepings from under the reloading bench. They don't care as long as it says 9mm on it.

    My sons XDsc likes them shorter.

    rc
     
  11. SR_

    SR_ Member

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    What bullet weight were you using? I'm guessing it was 115gr.

    Try 124gr and see if that helps. A friend, that use to have an ammo company, said that 228s and other handguns designed for miltary use often work better with 124gr bullets.
     
  12. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Well, until recently most all I ever shot was the cheapest flavor of the month at Walmart. So yeah, mostly 115 gr UMC, Champion, and WWB. I have read that all these brands tend to be loaded weak, so I hope that upping the velocity might make my Glock happier. When I went up on the W231 to 4.5 grains, the groups appeared to tighten up. So I made up some hotter Unique loads, and hopefully my Glock likes those, too. I'm using 124 gr plated bullets.
     
  13. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    Gloob, is your G19 a fourth gen?
     
  14. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    INDIVIDUAL guns of ANY caliber are "sensitive" to ammunition. Two identical 9x19mm or 7.63x25mm handguns may display very different accuracy with the same load.

    What ammunition were you using? With 9x19mm, I've found that the less bearing surface on the bullet, the less accuracy. In general, the lighter the bullet the less bearing surface. It's why I don't like 110-115gr. bullets. I don't like anything lighter than 124gr. I only handload 147gr. bullets and only carry factory 147gr. JHPs.

    Unqualified comparisons between a .45acp M1911 and an entirely different type of 9x19mm handgun are of dubious value if you don't take into account difference in trigger, grip, sights, etc. I don't like double action autos. I won't carry anything but an M1911 or BHP single action type or a Glock auto. I hate double action triggers.
     
  15. Full Metal Jacket

    Full Metal Jacket member

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    there's a multitude of variables for handgun accuracy, regardless of caliber, that stem from the shooter's skill, the load used, and the gun's design.

    there's no simple answer to you question.
     
  16. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Thanks. I understand all that.

    It's just something I seem to have experienced over the last decade. And I've come across the opinion from a few others that 9mm's are picky when it comes to ammo - due to a small case capacity or whatnot. People say the same thing about .22's. I've never heard anyone say that about the .45 ACP.

    I even had an RO hand me his personal SIG P228, after I relayed my experience with one I just rented. It appeared to be brand-spanking new, and was loaded with what looked like Black Talons, IIRC. I tried to refuse, but he insisted. So I gave it my best. I proceeded to make a shotgun pattern on a target about 30 feet away; this was maybe a 6" group. This was by far the worst group I had shot all day, worse than the rental Sig using range ammo. I turn to him, and he's grinning and nodding like the proud father that just watched his son hit a grand slam. I agreed his gun was really nice and thanked him, but I was left wondering if he'd ever shot a .45. :)

    Ben86: No, it's a 3rd gen. I'm not having issues with cycling, just accuracy.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
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