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making an accurate pistol round?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ohihunter2014, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    Well its a blizzard and I need something to do so I figured I would load some 9mm and 38spl and some of these posts where guys are shooting one ragged hole with a handgun got me thinking. How do you guys get a 9mm round to shoot such tight groups?

    Adjust powder charges and OAL until you find something that shoots very well?

    Try different primers and powders until you find something that shoots well?

    I have some RMR 124gr RN, Match winners, MPR and plated hardcore match with s&b SSP and HP38.
     
  2. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Shoot 1 yard, claim 10 yards...

    Or just practice a lot and try new things until you figure out what your gun likes. My Taurus PT99 will run circles around a lot of guns because I feed it 115gr truncated cones over bullseye. It likes bullseye. It likes cones. It really likes cones over bullseye. It’s like a kid with peanut butter and jelly.

    Edit to add... lubed lead. I guess that’s the wheat bread.
     
  3. DudeRick

    DudeRick Member

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    The same way they make accurate rifle rounds. Find the best OAL for your barrel with that projectile then do ladder testing with different powders to find which one works best with your gun/projectile/OAL. Also use a chrono to help determine which charge is also is most consistent.
     
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  4. Charliefrank

    Charliefrank Member

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    Reloading accurate pistol ammo is not really much different than loading accurate rifle ammo. Shooting pistols accurately versus shooting rifles accurately, now that's a different matter altogether. Imho, most people find it easier to shoot a rifle accurately. They both take practice, but handguns more so. Harder to hold steady, especially through a heavy or long trigger pull. Handguns like rifles need to be held rock steady to be able to evaluate ammo accuracy.
    Talk to any one on this forum that is a good shot with a handgun. Ask them how many rounds they've fired to get there.
    That being said it's quite satisfying to become proficient enough with a handgun to be able to hunt with one. One of my true passions.
    So to answer your question, you must have a solid rest, good trigger control and patience before beginning to evaluate the ammo. Then and only then will you be in a position to determine which ammo is more accurate in your handgun.
     
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  5. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    Charlie and Rick have very good points and may I add, "Wheat bread, yuck.":D
     
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  6. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    Does a small grain spread make a difference like rifle? I have only loaded maybe 500 pistol rounds so kind of dumb when it comes to them. How about close to the lands or away from it? Notice any difference?
     
  7. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    Your powder choice and/or velocity can make a big difference. I loaded some 170 cast SWC in my 40 Hi-Power with a stiff load of Unique and they were all over the paper. Chrono'd at 1050fps. Dropped down to a slower load with Universal and my groups shrank considerably. Same bullet, primer and OAL but pushed them at 950fps.
     
  8. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    do they make an accuracy powder for pistol like they do rifle? Is there a benchmark or varget for pistols?
     
  9. dgod
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    dgod Contributing Member

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    HP-38 is an old Standby for pistol loads..

    just my $0.02
     
  10. Iroquois

    Iroquois Member

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    There are a lot of pistol powders that will do well because each pistol / revolver is different. That’s where trying different powder, bullet combinations, primers and OAL length come into play. My 41 mag happens to like Unique with plated bullets but prefers 4227 with jacketed bullets. My 357 prefers Universal with HBWC. Some powders are probably a little more known for 9mm and 38 spl. I would do a search for threads on the subject for “ 38 special loads” and 9 mm loads”. There will be a lot of info in those threads.
     
  11. wrench459

    wrench459 Member

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    I've found that my pistol is more capable to shoot accurately than I'm able.o_O
     
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  12. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    Okay, got another for ya. I'm shooting a S&W M&P 4.5'' barrel. Is this a pistol that we just say I can hit a paper plate at 10ft and be happy or worth some testing?
     
  13. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    Only one way to know.:)
    (psst... Power Pistol.)
     
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  14. Charliefrank

    Charliefrank Member

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    You'll have to experiment for yourself. That's a big part of fun. Follow the manuals, work your loads up from the starting point. You'll find which handguns like which powder/bullet combos.
    You'll also find powders that work well for different calibers/bullets. For example my favorite 44 magnum loads consist of 2400 under a 240 grain hardcast swc. 2400 is also my favorite powder in my 22 Hornet under a 40 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip.
     
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  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    You're way over thinking this OH.
    Get some 9MM cases. Size and prime them. Add 5.7 Grains BE-86 (Work up to this) or 5.5 Grains of Silhouette. Top them off with the 124 Gr MPR bullets you have loaded to 1.070 to 1.075 OAL.

    Shoot them.
    Load # 114 RMR IH 124 gr JHP 5.7 Grs BE-86 - 5 Inch Colt.JPG Load # 116 RMR IH 124 Gr JHP 5.5 Grs Silhouette- 5 Inch Colt.JPG
     
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  16. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

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    The older versions have barrels that some said weren’t the most accurate. The newer ones and the 2.0s are said to be very accurate. So your M&P will depend on when it was made as how accurate it is. How well it shoots is a function of that plus the ammo and your skill.

    Shorter answer is no. It SHOULD be much more accurate than that
     
  17. cp1969

    cp1969 Member

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    Bullseye was a long-time choice for close paper-punching.
     
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Or, do the same thing with the 124 Gr Hardcore Match @ 1.085 OAL and use 4.0 Grs of N320 or 5.7 Grs (Work up to this one) of N340. No pics, but they shot very well.
     
  19. hdwhit
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    hdwhit Member

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    :rofl:
     
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  20. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

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    Many of us like BE86 with RMR bullets
     
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  21. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    The biggest factor I've seen is the choice of bullet. Some bullets just seam to shoot well no matter what you put behind them. Same for some powders. If I try a bullet that is not accurate with 700x or bullseye I move on to a different bullet. Not wasting my time or money trying to make it work.

    In 9mm and 45 I've had success with seating depth changing accuracy but it's never turned a bad shooting bullet into a good shooting bullet. Same for powder charge, doesn't seem to make that much difference.

    In magnum revolvers a chronograph is very helpful. Primers and neck tension can make big differences in velocity and point of impact.

    Of course the shooter is about 9/10ths of the accuracy equation with a pistol. It took about 5000 rounds of 22 for me to get my head around that. Some are easier to shoot than others. The only one I've had that I absolutely could not shoot was a walther pk380. Just miserable.
     
  22. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    you guys are a trip. hahah :) I was in somewhat of a bad mood but these little comments make me laugh out loud.
     
  23. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    I purchased it about 10yrs ago so its an older version. I seen online you guys get aftermarket barrels too.
     
  24. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    I was seeing that in my powder question last month. I'm going to try some with the hp38 and see how it goes and then find BE-86. we are in a blizzard until sunday so have to use what I got on hand for now.
     
  25. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    I figured put the gun on a thick front sandbag and see what she can really do and then work on myself.
     
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