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Loading 9mm at 1300fps

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

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  1. Sherri

    Sherri Member

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    In the Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry, reference is made to the "Illinois State Police load"-a 115-grain standard JHP launched at some 1300 fps.

    How is this accomplished?

    Speer 14, Lyman 49, and Alliant's website show max velocities ranging from 1144 to 1244 for 115gr.

    I see loadings for 90gr moving at 1300fps+.

    Any advice is appreciated.
     
  2. NuJudge

    NuJudge Member

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    Compressed loads of Vihta Vuori will do it

    The VV load manual gives data for their powders which will give you over 1200 fps with a 147gr bullet.
    http://www.vihtavuori-lapua.com/pdfs/Handgun-Reloading-Data-2006.pdf

    Buffalo Bore sells ammo that meets this spec.
    http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=121

    You can do amazing things if you select for the largest case capacity, use a high energy powder, and compress the heck out of the powder.

    I don't think I want to subject my guns to this kind of punishment.
     
  3. Xfire68

    Xfire68 Member

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    Lyman's 49th does not publish data in the +p or +p+ range and that is were the 115g 1300fps loads lurk.

    I have some loads with 90g XTP's that are flying at close to 1500fps using Power Pistol.

    These loads should always be worked up just like any load your working on.

    115g 6.7g Power Pistol should get you close to 1280fps but, again you should always work your way up and look for pressure signs.

    I have loaded max powder without being compressed using Bullseye and Power Pistol without any high pressure signs but each gun is different.
     
  4. Tilos

    Tilos Member

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    why?
     
  5. RidgwayCO

    RidgwayCO Member

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    If there's a "secret" to launching 115gr 9mm Luger rounds at 1200 fps or faster, it's to use a gun with enough barrel. While several powders will accomplish this goal with a 4" barrel, drop to a 3.5" barrel and it gets more difficult to do under SAAMI limits. Drop to a 3" barrel or less and it becomes exceedingly difficult, if not impossible.

    As far as a 90gr JHP in the 9mm Luger, both Hornady #6 (90gr HP/XTP) and Lyman #49 (Sierra 90 JHP) have data showing velocities exceeding 1400 fps from a 4" barrel. This would give impressive expansion, but I'm pretty certain penetration would suffer. Remember that these bullets are constructed with the .380 Auto in mind, and are designed to expand at significantly slower speeds. I'm sure Speer has a good reason for not including the 90gr GDHP in their 9mm Luger data...
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  6. amlevin

    amlevin Member

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    Why does one need that speed. Great performance is gained from a 115 gr Gold Dot Hollow Point traveling between 1150 and 1200 fps. Good penetration, excellent expansion, and not as much wear and tear on the firearm.

    If you insist on going for 1300 fps just use Vihtavouri 3N37 at a max load with an XTP bullet. Even with a 3.5" barrel you'll be darn close to 1300 fps. Just be careful with this powder to not go below the minimum OAL of 1.142". This load won't chamber in my CZ75 SP-01 as it is too long but does great in my Sig P-229. Have abandoned it though in favor of the 124 gr. GDHP's with 6.5 Gr 3N37.
     
  7. Dups

    Dups Member

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    i know Nato 9x19 pushes a 12X grain bullet to 1300 fps...
     
  8. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    The load mentioned by the OP was a +P+ load that was developed for the Illinois State Police for use in their S&W Model 39's. They were the first large agency to adopt a 9mm semi-auto handgun for agency wide use. They also required that every officer carry it on their right hip and no magazine pouches were allowed on the Sam Brown belt, since it messed up the "look". I don't know if these rules were changed later, but that was how they started out.

    The above was related to me by Joe Norman, the designer of the Model 39, 52 and 59 for Smith & Wesson. We worked side by side for two days in 1979 while upgrading our department's Model 59's. He had been brought back out of retirement to help with some feeding and reliability issues with the guns.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  9. Sherri

    Sherri Member

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    I asked the question because what I read about 9mm Luger seemed to conclude that a standard 115 gr JHP moving at 1300 fps was an effective defensive round. And standard 115 gr JHP is what I have on the bench. :)

    NuJudge--Thanks for the link to the Vihta Vuori-Lapua load data.

    Unique is the only powder I've used thus far, and have worked up a load that is fine for practice. I guess I'll open the PP and load some of that up.

    ReloaderFred--No magazines on the belt because it messed up the "look"? How were they to carry them?
     
  10. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    They carried extra magazines in their pockets, as that was their only option. You have to remember this was back in the late 1960's, and it's Illinois we're talking about. They were very image conscious. It was a foolish rule, and I would certainly hope they changed it soon, but I don't have any other information than what Joe Norman related to me.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  11. italy176

    italy176 Member

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    You can definitely push a 115gr 9mm bullet fast using published Vihtavuori data. Check out this link from an older High Road post:

    http://www.thehighroad.us/showthread.php?t=56745

    I've tried the 36k psi 124gr load through a Glock 17 and a Keltech Sub 2000 and had no issues.

    Chrono data 124gr FMJ (C.O.A.L.= 1.142) 7.3gr VV3N37:
    Glock 17 = 1310 fps
    Sub 2k = 1490 fps
    elev = 4000
    temp = 65 F
     
  12. Johnny Guest

    Johnny Guest Moderator Emeritus

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    Ah, the olden days . . .

    I well recall when the ISP was the first large American Police Agency to adopt autoloading pistols for standard issue.

    I would certainly not argue with the statement by - -
    Well, okay, I might nit pick the statement just a tiny bit, but we could easily be discussing different time frames.

    During the middle 1960s, when I got my first badge, I owned a near-new S&W Model 39-nada. Certainly I was NOT allowed to carry my 9mm on duty. I clearly recall a couple of articles I read at the time. ISP issued a nice-looking cross-draw flap holster, worn just to the left of the belt buckle. Photos showed a Trooper lifting the flap with left hand and making a smooth draw with his right.

    Also, one piece in Guns mazgazine specified that ISP had contracted with Winchester for a bunch of very high velocity 100 GRAIN Power-Point JSP ammo. I don't believe they publicized the velocity of the new issue ammo, I do recall they said not to bother asking; Winchester would NOT sell this ammo to anyone without a state purchase order. I'd be VERY suprised if that light bullet load didnt crack 1000 fps.

    I hasten to add that I didn't keep up with developments thereafter. ISP may indeed have switched to strong-side draw within the next several years. Also, that was very much a time of change for high performance ammunition. I think it most UNLIKELY that ISP has stuck with that original cartridge loading.

    Reloader Fred, it must have been a hoot, working with the S&W project specialist on developing their DA autos.

    I've owned several models 39, but was never interested in the 59-series. I'm still looking for one of the old ISP cross-draw holsters, with which to display my current M39-2. ;)

    Best,
    Johnny
     
  13. Shimitup

    Shimitup Member

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    RidgewayCo makes an important point about barrel length, My SW 6906 launches a H115XTP at 1150 with 5.2 Gr of W231. Same load from my P85 is 1250, It's a very moderate load for both of my guns and not the ideal powder for highest velocity.
     
  14. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    I shoot 'production' class 9mm( 'minor' 130 power factor--1050'/sec with a 124gr bullet).

    A friend shoots 9mm "MAJOR", and worked up to a load using compressed Silhouette Powder. His first run was 184PF or about 1600'/sec with a 115gr fmjrn bullet. Just a wee bit hot. Minimum PF for 9mm MAJOR is 165 or about 1450'/sec with a 115gr bullet.

    He doesn't reuse his spent cases.

    RidgewayCQ: He promised he always paints his cases black---:eek::D
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  15. RidgwayCO

    RidgwayCO Member

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    And I hope nobody else reuses his spent cases either...
     
  16. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    1,300 fps with a 115gr in a 9mm isn't that hard to do.

    Sierra circa 1990 lists 6.4grs of Unique at 1,300 fps. I've chrono'd 6.0grs of Unique behind a Remington 115gr JHP @ 1,257 fps from a Walther P1 so 6.4grs sounds right for 1,300 fps.

    Factory Fiocchi 115gr JHP Italian manufactured ran 1,288 fps from my Glock 19 and it wasn't marked as +P.
     
  17. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I don't know of any powder available to reloaders that will push a 115gr jacketed bullet to 1300 fps without going over SAAMI pressure limits. Just because I don't know of a powder that will do so doesn't mean it's not available, just that I don't know of one.

    I've gotten the highest velocity with a 124gr FMJ bullet in a 9mm when I've used HS-6 or Longshot. Many powders will get you in the 1200+ area but 1300 is really pushing it. (Blue Dot is hot too)
     
  18. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    Johnny Guest,

    The two days I spent working across the bench from Joe Norman were two of the best of my career. I was rangemaster at the time, responsible for all firearms training for 600 Sworn Deputies, 300 Reserve Deputies and taught classes in the academy at the local Community College. Mr. Norman was well into his 70's by that time and had been retired for awhile. He and Henry Perez, of Cheshire & Perez, the California distributors for S&W at the time, came to my range and brought enough parts to replace 5 parts in each Model 59 and replace the followers for 3 magazines for each gun. We had about 300 Model 59's at the time, since we had a choice of either the Model 59, Model 19, or we could carry our own firearm of those two models. I still carried my 6" Model 19 at that time, but later switched to my 6" Model 57 when we finally got a Sheriff who understood sidearms..

    Mr. Norman and I worked on guns for two days, and then he left me with the rest of the parts and the guns that hadn't been upgraded yet, so he could go to another department and train their armorer/rangemaster to do what he had taught me.

    It was interesting to hear him explain how the Model 39 came to be. He told me it was for an expected U.S. Air Force contract that never developed. I've read stories that say it was for a U.S. Army contract, but he definately told me it was the Air Force. He explained how S&W had asked him to make the Model 39 into a double stack, since they wanted to go after U.S. Law Enforcement sales with a 9mm handgun, but didn't feel like the Model 39 had enough capacity to make it worthwhile for departments to turn loose of their old standby revolvers. He said he was satisfied with the slide and barrel, so all he had to do was design a frame that used it, along with a double stack magazine, which he did. He said the Model 52 came later as a competitor for the Bullseye Competition that was going strong between the various services. He said the challenge was to get the rimmed case and full wadcutter to feed reliably, and he was able to work it out.

    As you and I well know, this was long before computers, so it was all done on drafting boards and making prototypes, trying each idea until he was able to get it to work. Most stories credit the executives of S&W for bringing out the various models of handguns, but it was the designers and engineers who really made them work. Henry Perez, who I knew pretty well, and still have a 2.5" Model 66 he sold me at his cost as a present when I was promoted to Sergeant, told me that Joe Norman was the brains behind those guns. He said Joe was very well respected among the old time S&W employees, enough so that they recommended that S&W approach him to solve the feeding problems with the Model 59, which he did.

    To this day, I can look at a Model 59 and tell if it's been upgraded or not, just by looking at the barrel bushing and extractor. Like you say, "ah, the olden days".........

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  19. hapidogbreath

    hapidogbreath Member

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    We used the 92F with 115 GR HYDRO SHOCKS then went to +P and started to break locking blocks.........FYI Went to the 40 a month later.
     
  20. GaryL

    GaryL Member

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    Speaking of SW M39s, the Hornady 4th Ed lists that model (4" barrel) as their 9mm test pistol. They got a 115gr FMJ to 1250fps with 5.9gr AA#2 (max load), and 1350fps with 6.1gr AA #2 with a 90gr HP/XTP (max load). With the right gun, either of those could easily do another 50fps.
     
  21. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I got a 115 gr JHP 9mm up to 1296 fps with a rather top load of HS6. I won't post it because I don't know where it came from.
     
  22. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    That confirms my above guess that either HS-6 or Longshot might have a chance of generating ~1300 fps with a 115gr bullet in a 9mm.
     
  23. Johnny Guest

    Johnny Guest Moderator Emeritus

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    ReloaderFred - -
    Thanks for sharing that historical sketch with us. Perhaps if I'd had that advantage, I'd have been a lot more excited about the M59. I well remember when they first appeared, and couldn't wait to get hold of one. By the time I did, though, there was A LOT of bad word-of-mouth being traded around about 'em. I'll have to admit that my testing was limited to about four types of ammo: Remington factory 124 fmj, Canadian FMJ that came in 64-round boxes, Winchester wartime smg ammo, and a limited bunch of Norma 124 gr. JHP. This latter had a lot of exposed lead at the nose, and it was hardly suprising when it didn't work well. Didn't work thru my 39, nor a wartime Belgian Browning HP. But, even the excellent Canadian and the Rem commercial usually didn't go through a full magazine without a malfunction. I can't claim this was an exhaustive test. It convinced me that, while I'd happily trust my safety to my M39, or even the old, somewhat ratty, BHP, I didn't care to carry a 59 on my own expense.
     
  24. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    Johnny Guest,

    The first Model 59's wouldn't even feed the Smith & Wesson branded ammunition (which was made by Fiocchi) reliably. Our duty load, and that of the Bakersfield PD, was the Winchester 100 gr. Soft Point, which also had a lot of exposed lead, but was the round which fed the "most" reliably in those early guns. After the upgraded parts that Joe Norman brought to us were installed, they were very reliable. We later went to the Winchester Silver Tip, and that proved to be very, very good ammunition. In every shooting we had, it performed just as designed.

    After I installed the new barrel bushing, extractor, extractor spring, guide rod and followers in all the magazines, I had to test fire all the guns and magazines. Each magazine had to fire 5 rounds without any failures before it would pass, and they all did. Each gun had 3 magazines, times 15 rounds, times a little over 300 guns, which equals a minimum of 4,500 rounds of 9mm ammunition that I had to shoot. Fortunately, the gunsmiths at Cheshire & Perez showed me how to "finger fire" the 59. If it hadn't been for that, I would have been tied up for a long, long time just doing the shooting. By "finger firing" them, once I had the magazines loaded, I could test fire a gun with all three magazines in about 30 seconds per gun, if I really tried, but realistically, it took about a minute per gun.

    It was still a lot of shooting, and a lot of tearing guns apart and putting them back together, and during this, I also trained other rangemasters from other departments to do the same. I would take in a batch of guns on the Deputies' days off, and have them repaired, test fired and ready for service by the time they came back to work. I spent some late nights working on them, but was able to keep up with it until they were all done. Then I started on the guys' personal Model 59's and 39's. I don't have a clue how many I finally converted and tested, but it was a bunch. LEO price for a Model 59 at that time was about $115.00 or so. I bought one, kept it for about a year, and then sold it when I was offered $250.00 for it. Since then, I've acquired two Model 59's, one blue and one nickel, a Model 39-2, and a Model 639. Of those, my 39-2 is my favorite, and I'll get them out of the safe every year or so and shoot them, just for old times sake.

    One of the retirees in my retired cops group contacted me recently and said he has a Model 59 and a Model 39 he wants to sell, so I'll probably end up with those, too.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  25. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    I'm barely old enough to remember when the 39 came out. I do recall fondling a 59 at the Ft Worth show, but not having the green paper in my wallet needed to purchase the gun.

    Thanks for the old war stories.
     
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