Lightest 9mm loads

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Palladan44, Nov 12, 2021.

  1. Palladan44

    Palladan44 Member

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    What's the lightest you've gone with 9mm loads?
    (With 100% reliable cycling)
    I'm sure this is an area of interest with competition shooters. (I'm not a competition shooter, yet)

    The lowest I've made it is 4.3 gr. WIN 231 with 124gr Xtreme HP and they are very accurate and reliable.
     
  2. Waterboy3313

    Waterboy3313 Member

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    IMG_20210822_082950294.jpg 124gr Hornady XTP with 3.8gr of titegroup is my go to load I use in my 16" barrel AR 9 and S&W shield. As far accuracy they are right on.
     
  3. Skgreen

    Skgreen Member

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    When the spent brass lands at your feet, your getting close.
     
  4. Waterboy3313

    Waterboy3313 Member

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    I had to laugh at that. It would sure make retrieving brass much easier.
     
  5. BJung

    BJung Member

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    I plan to test light 9mm loads just after Thanksgiving. My lightest loads will start with 3.4gr AA2, 3.0gr Red Dot. According to Ken Waters Petloads book, his 9mm accuracy load was 4gr Red Dot. I have lighter springs for these lights loads also. The bullets I am using are 122 ( actually closer to 124gr ) Lee TC cast bullets.
     
  6. Hartkopf

    Hartkopf Member

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    115gr bullet over 3.9gr Titegroup out of my old Glock 17 would put the brass on my hat. Annoying as hell. Hotter loads with 124gr bullets fixed that.


    To the OP, the lightest I ever went was 3.9gr of Titegroup and it was nothing special but the bullets were cheap plated. I hear good things about the RMR 124gr TC match winners. I plan on trying them out this winter.
     
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  7. Waterboy3313

    Waterboy3313 Member

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    I have 125gr Lazer cast bullets I have yet to try. I don't really want to waste my primers to load them. They are some kind of cast truncated bullets. I would imagine they could be loaded with a fairly anemic powder charge.
     
  8. Professor Gascan

    Professor Gascan Member

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    I've still got a bunch of Xtreme 100gr RNFP that I load over 4.4 grains of Titegroup. Nice side benefit is they're also my most economical load as well.
     
  9. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    3.8 gr of Titegroup for me also. Most of my loads are 4.1 gr but I have recently dropped to 3,8 for my micro 9s since my granddaughter shoots with me now.
     
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  10. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    Faster powders and heavier bullets can get you a really light load that will function reliably. I have a number of bullet/powder combinations that are light and didn’t make PF but I never downloaded to the point of non-functioning rounds.

    Different competitions have different Power Factors (PF) that dictate minimum velocities for a specific weight bullet. SCSA doesn’t specify one, so some shooters have powder puff loads for that. USPSA minor is 125, IDPA varies depending on the division, but SSP (think production) is 125 as well. These aren’t powder puff loads, they’re closer to factory ammunition.

    What’s the delay? Seriously, I got in to it shooting a practical action league, where you shoot your EDC. It might not be for everyone, but I got a serious eye opener from previously standing still shooting a paper target without any pressure to having lots of eyes on me and a timer running. Good luck.
     
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  11. GoldieMI
    • Contributing Member

    GoldieMI Contributing Member

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    For Steel Challenge
    3.7 TiteGroup with 115 grain FMJ
    Out of a 5” M&P CORE
    They literally fall out of the pistol at your feet.
    they are in the shooters box at the end of a string of fire.
     
  12. forrest r

    forrest r member

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    The red bullet in the picture, it's a lyman design/cast bullet that 1st came out in 1900.
    V87WlTN.jpg

    It's supposed to be a 150gr hollow based bullet for the 38lc that uses the hb not only for expansion, it's also there for what's known as inside lubrication. The factory hb pin leaves the base/bottom drive band too thin so I made my own pin. The end result is a 140gr hb fn bullet for the 9mm/38spl/357's.

    I put a #8 spring in a nm 1911 and used 2.0gr of american select and did this 10-shot test @ 50yds.
    77VoPsa.jpg

    The load was too lite, the slide barely functioned with some of the cases rolling out the frame. Wasn't sure if the fliers were from seating the bullet too deep in the case affecting the hb or the 1911 wasn't going back into battery and fully locking up.

    When I started increasing the load it made huge changes in a hurry due to the small case capacity of the 9mm case and the long bullets body that was forcing the powder up into the hb of the bullet.

    Always wanted to try a shorter hb version of that bullet. I just can't bring myself to put that mold on a bridgeport and mill it down. Nor have I ran across another hb 358070 mold to butcher.
     
  13. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    When my Brother and I started reloading 36 years ago we ran 4.5 grains of 231 in everything. Made for stout 38 spl loads, mild 357, 9mm and very mild 45 ACP (brass would hit the bill of my hat even with an 11lb recoil spring.

    For competition I don’t use 231 for anything and my loads all meet the power factor for the games I play. Even playing steel, I use my minor loads, just use open pistols.

    I have loaded 10,000, 90 grain bullets for 9mm, though the bullet was the only thing light about the load.

    You can go very low with 100% reliability if you get a lower weight recoil spring.
     
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  14. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I use TiteGroup for full power loads, but when I was working up from start, I had some very nice low-end loads... if you like that sort of thing. ;) Actually, Unique will do it, too, FWIW.
     
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  15. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    109gr cast conical with 2.8gr Bullseye. Cycles my Star BM and Star M43 just fine. My wife’s CZ 75B needs more recoil so I up it to 3.3gr of Bullseye for her guns.
     
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  16. kidneyboy

    kidneyboy Member

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    3.6gr of Titegroup under a 124gr coated
    3.1gr of Titegroup under a 147gr coated
     
  17. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

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    I tried 3 grains of Winchester 231 under a 125 grain Acme cast bullet. In the summer time it functioned but last time I tried, it would not go more than 10 rounds without short cycling. I think 3.3 or 3.5 grains would work but would have to try when I get more bullets.
     
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  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    3.9 to 4.0 Grs (primer dependent) N320 under a 124 gr plated bullet. Full power spring, brass tumbles at my feet.
     
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  19. Cemetery21

    Cemetery21 Member

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    4.2 gr. 231 under an Acme 115 gr. coated bullet is my normal short range paper punch. Was surprised that it cycled a new Gold Cup with the dual spring system. It drops brass within 3 feet.
     
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  20. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    My usual Minor load is a 124 gr Bayou or Brazos coated + 3.8 gr HP38.

    If you just must have plated or jacketed, it will take a heavier charge, I have used 4.4 gr HP38 and a 124 Xtreme.
     
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  21. sugarmaker

    sugarmaker Member

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    My obsessive search for light loads in a P365:
    With 147 MBC coated 1.120 oal fed100 r-p case 2.6 red dot cycles reliably but case flips up over front of gun, not a normal eject. This one is close.
    Same as above, 2.9 grains, normal eject to side, 810 FPS
    Same as above, 2.4 grains, oal shortened to 1.070, cycles but cases land on left side of gun, not normal, close to the limit.
    Same as above, oal 1.070, 2.2 grains fails to cycle

    using 115 rmr jhp;
    3.5 unique, cci 550, mixed brass, 1.07 oal, fails to cycle 10/10
    Same as above, 3.0 red dot, cycles well, quiet!
     
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  22. Palladan44

    Palladan44 Member

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    I think I need a faster Powder than W-231 to really slow these down effectively. W-231 is the fastest powder I own.
     
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  23. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    I haven’t seen Red Dot or Bullseye in a couple of years but Ramshot Competition and Zip, Accurate No.2, and TiteGroup have been available online recently.

    Are you looking for a light bullet load, a light recoil load, or a load that’s both?
     
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  24. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    ► The question as stated cannot be answered. Different guns come with different strength spring sets.

    ► You can go as slow as you want, but you need to adjust the pistol to the round. I have some accurate rounds down around 1010fps. The cartridge case will roll up your arm and fall 18-20" away from the gun. But I'm running a 12# recoil spring (in a gun that came stock with a 20# spring) and a lightweight hammer spring when I shoot those.

    The first thing I do when I get a new pistol is to call up Wolff Gun Spring and order up a 12, 14, 16 and 18# spring sets. IOW...
    Tune the ammo for maximum accuracy, then tune the gun for the ammo.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2021
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  25. wtf808

    wtf808 Member

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    Light is relative lol. Plus for competition you still got power factors to make. For me.. meeting 125pf is the key. Ymmv, 147gr berrys, with 3.7 CFE PISTOL, 1.135 oal gets me around 880-890 fps. Ymmv, its gonna be little different in different guns. Good luck!
     
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