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Minimum FPS and Minimum Grains

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

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  1. mbruce

    mbruce Member

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    Is there a source to go to online or a general rule of thumb on the minimum fps per caliber? or the minimum grains that should be dropped for a caliber...

    Or better put -- here is my objective --

    My wife to have fun shooting her 9mm with minimum recoil....and for me to shoot my 10mm with a little less recoil than with factory loads.

    Are the "starting loads" the minimum grains that should be dropped?

    I know fps differ from powder to powder based on min grains but is there a data to say...hey don't take a 10mm below 700fps? (my numbers may be off but you get the idea)

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Yes.

    The minimum or Starting load listed in reloading manuals for a specific caliber & bullet is the lowest that will always get the bullet out of the barrel, no matter the condition of the gun.
    It may not always cycle the action on an auto-loader, but it won't be a squib load either.

    It is not the same for every caliber, and is certainly not the same for every bullet weight & type in the same caliber.

    That is not to say you can't safely go lower in your gun following a lot of load testing.

    But until you gain much more reloading knowledge, DO NOT reduce a load below the recommended starting load in published reloading manuals.

    rc
     
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    In general, yes, the starting load is the minimum you should go. Experienced handloaders go lighter sometimes. Your 9MM for instance. You can safely use .380 data to go even lighter. Do not try to use medium to slow powders to go light, use fast to medium fast pistol powders. Clays, Bullseye, 700X, W-231/HP-38, Zip, N310, American Select, etc..

    You are on your own hot rodding the 10MM, but (IIRC) Blue Dot and 800X are two to try. We have some 10MM gurus who can help.
     
  4. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    For my 9mm's, a 147 at 800 fps is the minimum speed to get the pistols to cycle, the minimum speed to get the bullet to exit the bore safely would be much lower, say 600 fps.
    The 147 at 800 fps has very low recoil, far less than factory 115 ball.
     
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Varies a little from pistol to pistol of course. I loaded some ".380 power" loads for a lady to try in my 9MM because I did not have a .380. It was with 115 Gr bullets and just did cycle my EMP. I did not try it in any other 9MM. They were running an avg of 851 FPS, which backs up PO2Hammers post.
     
  6. mbruce

    mbruce Member

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    I was just reading about the differences in slow, medium, and fast burning powders. An experienced reloader told me Titegroup is a great 10mm powder...but after looking in the books Titegroup barely made the list on any 10mm bullet and if it did make the list it was 1 or 2 bullets and more of a last choice powder. Luckily Bass Pro is 5 miles from the house and I can get the 800x and all recommended Hodgdon powders.

    I guess it's just best to stick with fast burning powders on the .380, 9mm, 10mm loads...

    Thanks for everyone's help!!
     
  7. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Member

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    Yes... that might be me since I just PM'd you on this. However, I only said it is good for light target loads... which it is. It is very economical (cheap), clean, and accurate. For full-power 10mm, there are much better choices... I am particular to Accurate #9. But you are not asking about full-power loads, which is why I recommended Titegroup. For higher velocity loads, you need a slower burning powder. For cheap, light target loads TG works great.

    Straight from Hodgdon's load center database...

    Bullet Weight (Gr.) Powder Bullet Diam. C.O.L. Grs. Vel. (ft/s) Pressure Grs. Vel. (ft/s) Pressure
    135 GR. NOS JHP Titegroup .400" 1.250" 7.2 1362 28,300 PSI 8.0 1459 35,800 PSI
    155 GR. HDY XTP Titegroup .400" 1.260" 6.4 1211 26,800 PSI 7.2 1315 35,700 PSI
    180 GR. SIE JHC Titegroup .400" 1.260" 5.4 1051 27,400 PSI 6.0 1141 34,300 PSI
    200 GR. HDY FMJ Titegroup .400" 1.260" 4.8 946 28,900 PSI 5.3 1024 36,100 PSI

    It is not quite that cut and dry. The minimum practical velocity will depend on lots of variables; gun type, powder type, bullet type, seating depth, temp, elevation, chamber pressure, etc. I doubt that there is a reputable source of info that can account for all of those from one case to another. Also, velocity alone is not enough to make a case for safe and reliable loadings. For example, it takes a lot more pressure to get a 200g bullet up to 700fps than it does a 135g bullet. The longer bullet also has more bearing surface, which requires more to push it through the barrel.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  8. mbruce

    mbruce Member

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    ...
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  9. mbruce

    mbruce Member

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    ha...no not you.. I wouldn't do that to ya.. this was a few weeks ago.
     
  10. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    I've used Titegroup in the 10mm with 165 and 180 plated bullets at target velocities. No issues, kinda' sooty in the breach area.
    I've switched to SR 7625 for light loads in the 10mm and my light 147 loads in 9mm. Much cleaner burning, much better load density, plus it's a little slower.
     
  11. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Depends on the gun. The -10% "starting load" in the manuals will normally function most autos. I worked on some powderpuff loads for a Lady and -12% was the lightest load that would work a Sig Sauer P225. A 1911 would run at -15% but then it is a .45.

    The Lyman manuals show the lightest tested loads that I know of. Some are too light to function the gun, but they will at least clear the barrel.
     
  12. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    Just finished loading a box of 9mm with Titegroup.
    Has a low recoil & is more accurate than me.

    Berry's 124gr over 4.1 gr of titegroup.
    Accurate, cycles my gun just fine & less recoil than factory ammo
     
  13. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    If your cases are landing in your shirt pocket or on your right toe, you're pretty light. On the other hand, a lighter recoil spring will let you go s l o w e r.

    It's best to stay with published data until you've got the experience to screw up knowingly. :D
     
  14. Seedtick

    Seedtick Member

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    :D he heee

    That is sig material, if you don't mind.

    ST

    :)
     
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