confilcting 9mm luger load data

This is a discussion on confilcting 9mm luger load data within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; i'm preparing to load my very first rounds. i just purchased my first press and supporting hardware (lee breech lock challanger). the place i bought ...

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Thread: confilcting 9mm luger load data

  1. #1
    Member Array 3holer's Avatar
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    confilcting 9mm luger load data

    i'm preparing to load my very first rounds. i just purchased my first press and supporting hardware (lee breech lock challanger). the place i bought it from, cabelas' had everything on the shelf. though they didn't have the recepie componets i was looking for.

    the salesman seemed very knowledgeable. he asked what i was looking for. i told him something that was close to the wwb fmj we had been shooting for the brass. he looked up a load in one of the 20 books they had. should have payed more attention myself, to busy looking through them also.

    he suggested for the 9mm a win. 115 fmj fb. cci 500 primers and titegroup powder. he said to use the jacketed bullet loading data from the books i bought and what was printed on the powder container. also to start at the bottom of the scale.. he said this load closely matches the wwb rounds i have been using.

    i bought the lyman handbook #49 and the lyman pistol & revolver handbook #3. these are the first books i have read so far.

    looking at the data tables in both books, the label on the container and the load data supplied with the lee die set i purchesed. show only loads using jhp ammo. nothing with fmj. with a varying start and maximum load charge for this powder.

    both the lyman books show the same loads for 115g 9mm using jhp xtp bullets.

    titegroup powder loads

    min. 4.0 max 4.5 oal 1.090"

    the hodgdens container, along with there data listed on thier web site, lists. 9mm 115g speer gold dot hp's

    site data min. 4.5 max 4.8 col 1.125

    the container lists same bullet and only a 4.8 max. col of 1.125"

    the card that came in the lee die set lists' "jacketed" bullet and this titegroup powder at:

    min. 4.5 and max. 4.8 oal 1.125

    i now know why people told me to reasearch several different data offerings before selecting a load.

    if i start with a load of 4.5gn. i'm at min. spec. for one listing and at maximum at another.

    where do i start??????????????????

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array DMan's Avatar
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    There are tons of various loading information with lots and lots of different information. I noticed in the information you provided shows different OAL. Remember the shorter the length (the farther into the cartridge you seat the bullet) the higher the pressure inside the cartridge when the same amount of the identical powder is used. The longer OAL (shallower seating) provides less pressure therefore slightly larger quantities of powder can be used. This same concept applies to crimps. The more you crimp the casing on the bullet the higher the pressure inside the case.

    With that said, you will still find large differences in data. Companies perform their own tests to determine appropriate loads. They may use different crimps, different seatings/OAL and such. They then include a safety buffer to ensure they provide safe reloading information, they they publish their own data. Granted there is a lot of sharing of information, but there are still differences in the details.

    I use the following method. I select one set of data, and then start low and work my way up to a load that I like. For my reloads I don't load up "hot" loads, or use maximum load data provided. I try to stay in the midrange loads. If you follow the data set from a reliable source, including OAL, and crimps, etc you should be find. I have NEVER had an issue. I have loaded and shot about 2,000 rounds of 9mm in just the past couple of weeks. Just remember to be very detailed oriented. DON'T take shortcuts or think "close enough" when measuring, setting dies, etc. Mistakes can be costly.
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    Member Array 3holer's Avatar
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    very good advice dman

    of course i'll start at the min. recommed loading.
    the gun i'll be using is the ruger sr9c. it has a double recoil spring and it's pretty strong compaired to the spring in my M&Pc .357sig.

    my goal is a nice mild range round with reasonable accuracy. that will cycle reliably and not beat up the gun and/or shooter.

    my wife will be doing the bulk of the shooting with this pistol. she's on the pettie side. the round needs to have some stoutness for her weak hand shooting to combat limp wristing. which only happened a couple times when it was new and tight.

    i understand high pressures with set back. i have read that low powder charges can also cause high pressure. is this true? is it safe to say this is compounded with these higher burn rate powders?

    i have compaired the oal of two factory rounds i have. that use the same 115g. fmj win. bullets. can i set the loads to the same 1.158" setting safely?

    my problem with my available data is that the min. load printed on two sources is the maximum on the others.

    where do i start?

  5. #4
    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    Reloading is all about experimentation. Your different sources show results based on the equipment they used. Using their data you could get results that don't match theirs such as significantly different velocity.
    One thing to remember is the important factor is bullet weight. This is what the data is based on. It doesn't matter if the bullet is FMJ, HP or SJHP.
    OAL also is affected by bullet type and profile. Some bullets tend to be longer and more tapered while others stubby and wider while weighing the same. This will affect OAL.
    Even the powder load can produce different results in different guns. You might whip up a batch that function perfectly in your gun, but show dangerous pressure in another. I once loaded some .223 using the max load of Win 748. It wouldn't even work the action and I finally had to go another 3.0 grs over max to get a working load. Another time I loaded the minimum load of .223 using AA 2230, immediately it showed signs of high pressure in the same rifle.
    The important thing is to try to duplicate the load in the data using the same primer, case, bullet, etc. Start with the starting load. Since 3 of your sources list an OAL of 1.125" that's what I would go with.
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    Senior Member Array DMan's Avatar
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    Best advice, is choose one set of data, start low and work from there. Conflicting info is abundant. Start low, and be safe.

    I have heard that low charges can cause high pressures - but I have never found that in a definitive source. I believe you would be correct in that it is very powder dependent and the burn rates. If your charge isn't enough to immediately propel the bullet out of the casing and down the barrel, I could see issues with over pressures, because now the discharge is not happening how the guns are designed to withstand. (Think about barrel obstructions.. not good!).

    When it comes to the OAL, work with the data set you are using. I would rather set long, than deep if your going to change the depth, make sure it cycles in the gun - to long and you have feeding issues.

    I set crimp to a minimum - make sure the bullet stays put firmly, but not overly tight. Look at the diagrams - measuring crimp can be a real pain, so take your time.

    The first time you shoot your reloads, you may be nervous, over time it will become more comfortable. 9mm is not the easiest one to begin with.

    IF something feels odd when you pull the trigger, or you don't see bullet impact, make sure you don't have a squib. The primer is enough to get the bullet out of the casing, but not out of the barrel. I had some commercial reloads that did that to me. took me 20 minutes to get the squib out.
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  7. #6
    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    The data showing 4.5 as the max load is also showing a shorter OAL hence higher pressure using a smaller load. If you plan on starting with a load of 4.5 then use a OAL of 1.125". If you plan to seat the bullet to 1.090" then of course you have to reduce the load accordingly to 4.0.
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    Member Array doctruptwn's Avatar
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    I ran into this issue with my 9mm that I was loading in my 1911 because it wouldn't chamber with the bullet profile I was using a 1.12 and had to reduce it. One advantage of reloading is you can go below min. load slightly if your going shorter since the shorter round will increase pressure. I just made a few rounds at about .6 gr below the min and worked up .2 gr for each set of 5 rounds, and increased the powder slightly on each set until I achieved what I wanted. Just keep your test loads separated so you know what is in each of them. once you've found what works in your gun and to your liking then you'll have the data you need.
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    Welcome to the ambiquous world of reloading, OP. As you see, no two reloading manuals will agree. Each uses different test data; some use "test barrels" while others use firearms of various barrel lengths--none of which seem to match what you shoot. Then the bullet-maker mauals only list loads for their bullets. Thus the reason for having a library of reloading mauals in hand. Some maunfacturers are more "liability" minded than others and will always list lower powered data.

    Powders don't know whether that 115 grain bullet is a JHP or FMJ, a Hornady or Barnes. If you can match load data to the exact bullet weight, make, and style, use it. Otherwise, select matching weight and start off with a low to mid-range powder load from that manual. I've found the best accuracy is with less than "hot" loads. I usually start out with the middle of the powder weight range and fire a few test rounds. As long as it feeds well and has no visible problem indications, I can move up (or down). In general, I've stuck with the mid-range loads.

    One point I make is to ensure whatever powder and weight I use, it fills the empty case at least half way. That way, a double charge will run over. (Always--always double check visually for overloads.)
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    Member Array Ghuqu2's Avatar
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    Also remember the OAL is MINIMUM over all length. You can be longer (as long as it fits the magazine/ action) with no danger.
    +1 on powders that fill over 1/2 the case. Double charging is a definite problem w/ low volume powders esp. in single stage presses (if you charge all your cases in a loading block before seating).
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    My realoading has all been for high powered rifles (30-06, 270, 300 win mag, exct) just to be clear. These things I have learned...

    1)Lee manuals are the easiest to understand and give the most useful data.
    2)Manuals are a reference to keep your hands and face still attached to your body. These numbers (velocity) are purely for reference, so dont worry about them. You WILL NOT duplicate them.
    3)Hot loads are seldom the fastest or most accurate!!!!
    4)factory loads are made to work OK in all guns, handloads are to work BEST in YOUR gun. Experiment with different powders and bullets, even if the manual does not give them much credit. You are looking for the sweet spot for your gun, not the best load for some lab geek's test barrel.
    5)Dont buy bulk powder or bullets until you find the holy grail sweet load for your gun!
    6)know the signals for excessive pressure and watch closely for them.
    My GLOCK goes BANG every time!

  12. #11
    Member Array 3holer's Avatar
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    i figured out what i was doing. i wasn't reading all the data properly. col of both recipes. thanks for all the info. i'm soaking it up like a sponge.

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    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    If you can't find the data for the bullet you are using in a manual, call the bullet manufacturer. They have 800 numbers and ballistic technicians that will be more than happy to answer any questions you have - good way to keep customers in one piece so they can buy more stuff.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array Beans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    One point I make is to ensure whatever powder and weight I use, it fills the empty case at least half way. That way, a double charge will run over. (Always--always double check visually for overloads.)
    This could be dangerous advice.

    Experienced reloaders KNOWS what he means, an inexperience/new reloader may not.

    The above quoted advice would be correct if the bulkness of the powder and the case capacity of the cartridge you are reloading are compatible to allow the correct powder to fill the case over 1/2 full.

    A case half full of bullseye could be more excitement then you counted on.

    #1 THE LARGER the case capacity such as.45 Colt vs 9mm is the difference.

    #2 The faster burn rate of the powder you select is the difference.

    Regardless of what cartridge I am reloading or what powder I am using, this included Trailboss, I always check the powder level in the cases before I seat the bullet. I am using Dillon 650's and have a light that shines directly into the case.

    Once I have selected a powder charge I KNOW what it should look like in the case and if I detect a difference in appearance I pull that case and weight the powder.

    Reloading can be/is fun, but it is no place for mistakes, as things happen quickly.

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