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Powder grains of Unique and OAL

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by RussellC, Jun 25, 2013.

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  1. RussellC

    RussellC Member

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    New to reloading, have stuffed some 115 grain 9mm, now want to do some 124 grain. They are Berry's plated copper RN and X-treme 124 gr HP, also copper plated. Was going to try Unique on these, but have HP-38 as well.

    Looking at several recipes I started with the one on Alliant's page. It calls for 5.8 grains with a 124 gr Spear GDHP bullet and 1.12 OAL.

    Also looked at the one in Lee's book calling for a range 4.5 to 5.0, but at 1.075 OAL.

    I understand that since Alliant only showed one powder charge amount, it should be considered maximum, and one should probably start at 10% less or so, but.......5.8 when Lee's info shows 5.0 as max seems odd. (using a 124 grain JHP) Is it the difference in the OAL that makes the difference? The Lee recipe, while less grains has a shorter OAL, whereas the Alliant info uses a larger amount but has longer OAL?

    Has anyone tried 9MM with 5.8 gr Unique out there?

    Thanks for any and all info,
    Russellc
     
  2. Katitmail

    Katitmail Member

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    I tried RMR plated (I guess same as Berrys) 124gr with 4.7gr Unique
    1.16 OAL

    Got average 920fps from my gun, so I can increase load a little.
     
  3. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    The shorter OAL will reduce case capacity and as such increase pressure, making your max possible charge lower.

    Remember than 9mm is a pretty small case as it is, so fairly small changes in OAL make a big difference in case volume. I'd pick a velocity that you know is safe with that powder and bullet combo, start low, and then use a chrono to work your way up to that velocity.
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    My standard load with the Berry 124 RN is 5.0 Unique seated 1.120".

    It works perfectly in a S&W 39, a SIG P6, and Springfield XDc.

    rc
     
  5. RussellC

    RussellC Member

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    Thanks, RCmodel, I just loaded a few at 5.0, 5.2 and 5.4 to try based on the alliant info. They are seated slightly longer, 1.125 instead of 1.12. If Alliant shows up to 5.8, I think I am on safe ground. I am not looking for a barn burner, just shootable stuff that isnt weak is all I'm after. Sounds like 5.0 would be fine as you discovered. Thanks again for the tips guys!

    Russellc
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    For what it's worth, I run 5.5 with the Berry 115 RN seated the same OAL.

    They won't 'plunk test' in the XDc any longer.

    rc
     
  7. RussellC

    RussellC Member

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    5.8 that Alliant speaks of has got to be hot. As to the "pluck test" in my Glock 17 I havent tried a full max OAL of 1.169, but I havent had anything fail yet.....it might take the 1.169!

    Russellc
     
  8. kostyanj

    kostyanj Member

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    I actually loaded a bunch of 5.1 gr w/ 124 RMR plated RN with 1.155-1.16 OAL (this is RN not HP). This is my goto round now. I've found this is the most accurate load for my Glock 17.
     
  9. RussellC

    RussellC Member

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    Kostyanj, is that Unique? My 5.4 grains are probably a little hot....I will try your findings, appreciate the feedback, especially concerning the same gun! Seems like the longer OAL is well tolerated by the Glock so should be more accurate? I think that is the reasoning,

    Russellc
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  10. kostyanj

    kostyanj Member

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    Yep, that's Unique. It's usually my goto powder for smaller pistol rounds.

    If you're playing around with the OAL, keep 2 things in mind. The OAL I posted is for a RN bullet, it's slightly longer than a HP (the tip is cut off). Also, if you extend your OAL, you reduce your pressure and therefore reduce velocity.

    I'd try the 5.1 gr but keep your OAL consistent. If you change too many variables at once, you can't keep track of what's improving or getting worse.
     
  11. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Re: Berry's 124 gr plated, I shoot 'em at 5.7 UN, nowadays. Some of the older load books show even higher than 5.8, and I've been there, too. But 5.7 gets the job done just fine.
     
  12. RussellC

    RussellC Member

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    So far I have just followed know recipes from powder makers, Lee, Bullet manufacturers and so forth. And of course recommendations from this site. I just started this and have loaded a couple hundred rounds of 115 gr round nose Berry's with HP-38.

    Wanting to try the Unique and having these 124 gr bullets I needed a little help. Your round seems reasonable in power, and should be even more safe considering the longer OAL....I have been loading at 1.125. I knew the glock was supposed pass plunck test easily, but since too short of a bullet can cost accuracy and so forth, I like the idea of trying the longer OAL. I presume they function just fine or they would not be your go to! Thanks again for the help, much appreciated.

    Russellc
     
  13. stodd

    stodd Member

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    I'm currently loading 124gr RN berry's bullets with 4.5-4.6 grains of unique and they group pretty good (2"-3") and a nice range load with OAL of 1.123.
     
  14. rg1

    rg1 Member

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    All the 124 gr. jacketed and plated Round Nose I load from 4.8 to 5.1 grains of Unique and most to 1.150" except Winchester which has a longer tapered profile and I load them to 1.160". 4.8 grains is a mild load and I'd consider 5.4 to be the maximum for me. 5.0 to 5.1 grains of Unique with 124 grain bullets shoots well with no pressure signs and is more accurate than me. I use CCI SP primers in mostly Win cases with others mixed in. 4.8-5.1 is safe in all the cases I've loaded.
     
  15. RussellC

    RussellC Member

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    Say, do you recall the OAL that you used with this load?

    Thanks in advance,
    Russellc
     
  16. mtrmn

    mtrmn Member

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    I've never used PLATED bullets and I don't know for sure, but I would think there's enough difference between plated and JACKETED bullets to make a big difference in powder charges. I would not used jacketed specs for plated bullets.

    I have some pet loads with Unique for 9mm jacketed and lead bullets but I do not have access to my notes and I will not go on memory. Don't want to lead you astray.
     
  17. Osageid

    Osageid Member

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    Since no one has mentioned it you might try contacting the bullet manufacturer. They often times have load data that they will share you.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  18. ETXhiker

    ETXhiker Member

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    Just want to mention that with 9mm data for Unique, some say there is a formulation difference between the old days and now. I'm loading out of a couple of 20 year old cans (red and gold label, cardboard cannisters) of Unique. My old Lyman #47 says 5.3 grains is max with 124 FMJ.

    I chronographed some 124 FMJ's with 4.7 grains last weekend and was getting around 1030 to 1050 fps out of a S&W 3913 with a 3.5 inch barrel. With this gun and the batch of Unique I am using, 5.8 grains would likely be way too hot. I'm thinking maybe Unique is currently a little slower burning than it used to be.

    (Edit: OAL was 1.16)
     
  19. RussellC

    RussellC Member

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    Actually I did in post #12! Didnt yield much info.

    Russellc
     
  20. Osageid

    Osageid Member

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    Oops ! Yep I missed that! Sorry


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  21. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    I use the Berry's 124 gr double struck FLAT POINT, to be sure. And my OAL at that charge is about 1.06, IIRC. I remember fitting them as long as I could for a DP51 I owned, briefly, and finding out I was right about where Hornaday recommends seating for the 124 gr XTP - which is 1.060". Edit: on the label of an old container, I have written ~1.055".

    When I first started loading them, I worked up to 6.25gr using some older information I found! But that was at a fairly ridiculous Glock-only OAL. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.16," for an FP. They looked mighty weird and wouldn't come close to chambering in the 3 other 9mm handguns I tried. I don't have a chrono, but they were breaking the sound barrier. They were accurate.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
  22. RussellC

    RussellC Member

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    I put together a giant dummy bullet at 1.190 just to test the Glock with "plunk" test.
    Sure enough, even with this monster it fell right out. Based on several conservative recommendations and armed with the knowledge that the Glock can use a longer bullet I loaded up some new remmington brass with 124 gr Berry's RN with 5.1 grs of Unique. OAL at 1.165 to see if the Glock is more accurate with a longer cartridge.

    Once this round is worked up, I will start with the 124 gr Berry's Hollow points.
    Based on others comments, this bullet may need a different OAL than the RN.

    Russellc
     
  23. RussellC

    RussellC Member

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    Well, a couple hours at the range with the new loaded ammo. Thanks to Kostyanj and Rg1. The rounds with 5.1 grains of Unique, 124 gr Berry's round nose at 1.160-1.165 were outrageous! I could not believe how much my groups shrank! So much more accurate than the various factory ammo I've fired, not even close. My 15 yard targets were looking better than my old 7.5 yard targets. Now, the 7.5 yard targets are indeed impressive. I didnt know I could shoot this good!

    Russellc
     
  24. mtrmn

    mtrmn Member

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    A very good illustration of the advantages of reloaded ammo tailored to YOUR weapon.
     
  25. RussellC

    RussellC Member

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    I am certainly a believer in that! I started down this path with cost in mind, but the advantages in accuracy are well worth it...more than I ever expected. All this, thanks to this forum and its members. What a great place!

    Thanks again everybody!

    Russellc
     
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