Help with 9mm powder

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by packetloss, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. noylj

    noylj Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,228
    What is definition of accuracy? You can't just say "accurate" without something to go on.
    6" at 10 yards?
    2" at 25 yards?
    <1.25" at 50 yards?
    IF I am careful, I can knock down nearly every steel plate at 20 feet?

    If I say a pistol load is accurate, I generally mean 2" or less at 25 yards. Very accurate is less than 2" at 50 yards.
    Only Power Pistol gives me this accuracy. Others, with different guns, find that Bullseye, 231/HP38, and other powders give them that accuracy or better.
    For a general powder for light to max loads, I find that True Blue is as universally useful and Unique.
     
  2. packetloss

    packetloss Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2020
    Messages:
    342
    Clean Shot on the left 2. CFE-Pistol on the right 3. I'm ok with a little dirty as a compromise (Clean Shot was about as clean as you can get), but for 9mm CFE was pretty much unusable for me. It wasn't just the cases, but it left soot all over my gun.

    reload2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
  3. packetloss

    packetloss Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2020
    Messages:
    342
    I probably shouldn't have listed "accuracy" as a specific requirement.

    My accuracy was consistent sub 2" groups at 12 yards. My goal isn't to squeeze out every last bit of accuracy from a powder , I'm just not that good and not expecting to be. I would however, like to be able to switch between loads (say my target loads and SD loads) as well as calibers (.357 sig, .40) and remain "consistent". Maybe I just suck, but it takes me about 300 rounds to switch between recoil profiles (clean shot - fast powder with light recoil but sudden impulse vs CFE - slow powder with more recoil but smoother).

    Based on the replies, I'm going to experiment with a few more powders and hopefully find one (or 2) that will work for me across all calibers and will be close enough to each other in recoil profile that it won't mess me up when switching.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
  4. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    26,018
    Location:
    Northwest Coast
    Consider this.

    Depending on the powder charge/load data used, how "clean/dirty" a powder burns may vary.

    What happens when the primer flash ignites powder charge (We won't discuss powder forward situation in a semi-auto as round is chambered and slams powder granules towards bullet base that may leave an air gap forward of the primer flash hole on this post yet) is the expanding gas stretches the case mouth (The thinnest part of case with least amount of resistance for expansion) forward of the case neck and starts to seal with the chamber.

    This is why taper crimp for cases/calibers that headspace on the case mouth is so important. Less (or no taper crimp) and the case mouth seals with the chamber quicker. More taper crimp and more gas/soot will leak and blacken the case. For .355" size bullets, I add .022" and use .377" taper crimp (And for .356" sized bullets, .378" taper crimp which essentially returns the flare flat back on the bullet and skosh more)

    So if you see a lot of soot or blackened case, your powder charge is not sufficient to produce adequate sealing of case mouth to chamber and may need to increase powder charge and if you are already at high-to-max load data, you may need to use faster burning powder that can produce faster expansion of gas (From faster powder burn).

    And that's why for low to mid range loads, slower burning powders like CFE Pistol is not a good candidate and faster burning powders like Clean Shot/Accurate No 2 are as demonstrated by cleaner case with no blackening.

    So with WSF/BE-86/CFE Pistol/Auto Comp and similar slower burning powders, increase powder charge towards published max to reduce soot/blackening of case and if you want lower velocity target loads, switch to faster burning powders.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
    Zendude and packetloss like this.
  5. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2013
    Messages:
    6,528
    Location:
    Southern CA
    VV powder is more expensive, no doubt about it, but having said that using something like N330 would raise the cost of
    a 1000 rounds about $10-$14. If clean is a big priority then ~ $10 might be worth it.

    I liked N330 but for me I decided it was not worth it even though it was cleaner than WSF.
     
  6. packetloss

    packetloss Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2020
    Messages:
    342
    Understood.

    When I had first started using CFE I did try a lot of different loads (took it all the way up to 5.7g for a 115g FMJ which wasn't quite max, but was close) and it didn't really clean up much. I also played around with the crimp (.376-.380) and that didn't seem to help clean things up. I've settled in on .3777 as it seems to just take out the bell and the cases will guage in my hundo.

    True Blue was much much cleaner than CFE since it was faster, but I tested it after Clean Shot which was essentially pristine clean cases and set a tough standard to meet.
     
  7. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    26,018
    Location:
    Northwest Coast
    Taper crimp amount is dependent on resized case length and unless you sort your brass by resized length, your taper crimp amount will vary, especially when using mixed range brass.

    I usually measure a random sample of brass and will use the shorter case length to adjust my die to aim for .377"-.378" taper crimp (Whether I am using .355", .3555", .356" sized bullets).

    To me, accuracy is the latent product of reloading and shooting variables that is sum or composite of other factors.

    Think about what produces accuracy, rather consistency which many call precision. (And as reloaders, rather handloaders for some of us, we aim to produce greater consistency/precision in our reloading practice to produce accuracy/smaller groups)
    • Consistent powder charge (Let's say charge variance of .1 gr)
    • Powder charge large enough for efficient powder ignition and pressure build
    • Sufficient neck tension produced by bullet (with long enough bullet base) seated deep enough where case wall thickens
    • Resulting consistent bullet seating depth after bumping the feed ramp from the magazine (Let's say finished OAL variance of a few thousandths and no bullet setback)
    • 80% or higher case fill of power so powder granules are in contact with primer flash hole after round slams forward into chamber
    • To produce consistent maximum average pressures to push the bullet out the barrel
    • With consistent enough muzzle velocities to push back on the breech wall/slide of pistol that will induce recoil and muzzle climb
    • Ultimately to produce holes on target at range long enough to show these variables
    This is what produces accuracy and many may agree that testing at 12 yards may not clearly show accuracy trends as I found, many fullsize service pistols with decent ammunition can produce 1" groups at 7-10 yards, 2" groups at 15 yards and 3" groups at 25 yards.

    During my load development and range testing, I deem a load accurate when it consistently produce around 1" groups at 15 yards to test at 25 yards. More accurate loads will produce around 2" groups at 25 yards. (Of course, there's the factor of shooting variables of shooter input so this will need to be worked on and covered towards the bottom of this post - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/thr-group-project-pistol-advanced-reloading-concepts-and-discussions.778197/page-10#post-11419509)

    So do not accept 1" groups at 12 yards as true sign of accuracy as I would suggest repeated range testing and further load development to produce 1" at 15 yards to repeat testing at 25 yards.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
    packetloss likes this.
  8. NMexJim

    NMexJim Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2020
    Messages:
    698
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Accurate #2 is pretty clean and good for target loads. Nice and accurate for me, but I shoot under 30-yards. Low flash if that's something you want. They claim for low recoil as well, but I can't really testify to that. I bought 8-lbs of it and am happy with it for my needs.

    I think "dirty" is a relative thing. I think that anyone who's shot Unique over the years especially out of revolvers can certainly talk about dirty. Or Blue Dot. Soot all over the gun and all over your hands. But, it's all pretty easy to get off.

    Yes, I did find other powders besides Unique to use, but I still have it just in case. Does a lot of things well - just doesn't do too cleanly.
     
  9. packetloss

    packetloss Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2020
    Messages:
    342
    They should sticky that thread. I somehow never found that one before. Will go through it. Thanks.
     
  10. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2020
    Messages:
    3,290
    Location:
    Memphis
    If you like ramshot true blue, have you tried siloette? Seems like a logical step from a manufacturer that you tend to already like. I use siloette but never had any true blue to compare.
     
  11. packetloss

    packetloss Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2020
    Messages:
    342
    Not yet. That is an interesting one. It's faster than True Blue, but slower than Power Pistol. I will have to see which powders I can get ahold of.
     
  12. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    26,018
    Location:
    Northwest Coast
    Silhouette's burn rate is on par with True Blue/CFE Pistol and OP is looking for low-mid range lighter target loads.

    I think mid range loads would benefit from faster group of powders that range from Unique-N340 and lighter target loads would benefit from faster group of powders in the Red Dot/Promo to W231/HP-38 burn rate (See below groupings of powder burn rates).

    Unlike heavier 124/147 gr bullets, I have found I needed to push lighter 115 gr bullets to high-near max load data for reliable slide cycling and spent case extraction/ejection and to produce accuracy trends.


    Faster burning pistol powders:​

    Red Dot/Promo - IMR Red - Clays - 700X - Bullseye - Vectan Ba 10 - IMR Target - TiteGroup - Vectan AS - Am. Select - Solo 1000 - WST - International - Trail Boss - N320 - Vectan Ba 9.5 - No. 2 - Clean Shot/Lovex D032.03

    W231/HP-38 - Zip - Sport Pistol - Green Dot - IMR Green - W244

    Slower burning pistol powders
    :

    Unique - Universal - IMR Unequal - Vectan Ba 9 - BE-86 - Power Pistol - N330 - Vectan A1 - Herco - Vectan A0 - WSF - N340 - 800X

    No. 5 - Auto Pistol/Lovex D036-03 - True Blue - HS6 - AutoComp - Ultimate Pistol/Lovex D036-07 - CFE Pistol - Silhouette - 3N37​
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    68,070
    Location:
    Alabama
    Yep, at low pressure most powders soot up the case.
     
    LiveLife likes this.
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    68,070
    Location:
    Alabama
    I do it with N-320, but AA #2 is the cheaper alternative and will do 95% of what N-320 can.
    Yep, just don't go too low.
     
    Zendude and LiveLife like this.
  15. 1911in9mm

    1911in9mm Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Messages:
    25
    Looking for the latest burn rate chart, this has most of the newer powders listed.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. NWcityguy2

    NWcityguy2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Messages:
    1,008
    Location:
    El Paso, TX
    Clean shot and Accurate #2 are very close to each other. Visually they are identidical. Over the chrono #2 is slightly faster but still within 20fps or so for the same load. It is possible that Clean Shot was sold as Accurate #2 before Western Powders bought out AA. If you think Clean Shot is punchy (I do not think it is), you will gain nothing by trying Accurate #2.

    Any powder loaded at the very low end of its load data will be dirty. One standout though is Hodgdon Universal. But, you would want to stick with 115 bullets, or many 124s, to keep the charges large enough to meter consistantly.
     
  17. NMexJim

    NMexJim Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2020
    Messages:
    698
    Location:
    New Mexico
    True enough. Almost everything I do is mid-to-upper range. And I really like N320 as well, but it is quite a bit more expensive.
     
    Walkalong likes this.
  18. sevt_chevelle

    sevt_chevelle Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    Messages:
    478
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Sport pistol
     
  19. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,240
    Not to get too picky but accuracy is the difference between POA and POI. Precision is a measure of the group size. However, most posts on this forum do apply “accuracy” to how small or large a group is.

    I’m very interested to know what you find out. Are you doing slow fire or fast splits? I believe I’ve done enough load development across bullets/primers/powders to ascertain certain combinations do lend themselves to more precise groups. I’m just trying to wrap my head around the comment of switching loads or calibers will change group sizes initially.

    There is a system that you may find interesting that can measure recoil:
    https://mantisx.com/

    Back to the other initial requirements for a powder, I do suggest you consider a heavier bullet along with other powders. You’ll be surprised at a 124 or 135gr recoil profile compared to a 115gr. While I usually load for a specific PF, I’ve also pushed 124 RMR MP JHP to SD velocities and for me it’s close to my .40’s recoil profile but they are different guns.

    You may want to try N320 or N330 just because they are a single base propellant and fit your other criteria. Yes they are more expensive but hey, we’re worth it.
     
    Artofgolf likes this.
  20. packetloss

    packetloss Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2020
    Messages:
    342
    So I managed to do some testing today. I was able to pick up BE-86, Power Pistol, Winchester 231, Bullseye and Shooters World Auto Pistol. I loaded up 20 rounds of each using a mid level loads. I wasn't able to get any N320, N330, Sport Pistol or Winchester WSF. At some point, I will definitely try those out. I didn't load up any CFE pistol rounds, but I did load up some Clean Shot and True Blue.

    As far as accuracy goes, I wasn't doing any real accuracy tests, so I'll toss out accuracy as one of my criteria and consider all the groupings as fundamentally fine.

    From a cleanliness perspective, Clean Shot was by far the cleanest, followed by True Blue and close to that Winchester 231. I'd say True Blue was cleaner than I remembered (I had only compared it to Clean Shot when I first tested it) and it along with Winchester 231 were absolutely clean enough for me. Next was Auto Pistol and Bullseye. Last were BE-86 and Power Pistol. Both were on the dirtier sooty side, though not quite as bad CFE - Pistol.

    From a smoothness perspective they really weren't as far apart as I expected them to be, but I guess none of these were quite as slow as CFE. I guess if I had to rank them though I'd say BE-86, Power Pistol and Winchester 231 were the smoothest, followed closely by True Blue. Last would be Auto Pistol, then Bullseye and Clean Shot.

    I still have to add WSF, Sport Pistol and some N330 to the mix when I can get some, but at this point I'd probably go with Winchester 231 and True Blue. Both were noticeably cleaner than the rest and both were pretty smooth recoil profiles. The 2 I would have to rule out for medium loads would be BE-86 and Power Pistol. I guess I would have to do high end loads with those to get cleaner results.
     
  21. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2013
    Messages:
    6,528
    Location:
    Southern CA
    There's an adventure in every bottle:)
    Glad to hear W231 is working out for your use.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
  22. noylj

    noylj Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,228
    Some day, blindly starting at the mid-range load might just cause problems. There must be some reason every loading company says to start with the start load...
    I have had the start load in one manual be max or over-max with my components. Happened twice, with different manuals. So I always check sources and start at the lowest starting load.
    I also always shoot for accuracy, as that is my end goal.
     
  23. packetloss

    packetloss Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2020
    Messages:
    342
    That is true, it's been a fun project. It's always good to have more excuses to buy more powder and experiment.
     
  24. packetloss

    packetloss Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2020
    Messages:
    342
    That is true. I did reference 3 different sources though just to make sure. I typically start with the powder manufacturers data but also consult Hornady and Lyman's manuals as a sanity check.
     
  25. packetloss

    packetloss Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2020
    Messages:
    342
    Thanks. I ordered one of these. Will be interesting to see what it shows.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice