Try different Powders and bullets?

Try different Powders and bullets?

This is a discussion on Try different Powders and bullets? within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I have been reloading 9mm for a few months now and it feels like I'm printing money and then when I shoot at the range, ...

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Thread: Try different Powders and bullets?

  1. #1
    Member Array johnaengus's Avatar
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    Try different Powders and bullets?

    I have been reloading 9mm for a few months now and it feels like I'm printing money and then when I shoot at the range, I'm spending the money I printed. Love it.

    My question is, what difference would a different powder or bullet make to me? I target shoot at 7-15 meters. I have been using Hogdon HS-6 powder and FMJ round nose bullets at 115 grain.

    Would I notice anything different with changing anything?


    Thanks.


  2. #2
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    At my current level of marksmanship, I simply look for components that are readily available and affordable for my pistol loads. I cast my own hard cast bullets and buy Barry's plated when I need "jacketed" ammo. Win231 and 700x are both decent powders for 9mm and .45acp. with 700x being my choice for my trap loads and Win231 being the best for small caliber loads like .32 acp as well. As I said, I look for economy/versatility in my pistol loading components.

    A better pistol marksman could find improved groups by experimenting with their recipes the same as I do for my .308 precision cartridges. And I know folks who have a different powder for every gun,as well as every different caliber. I'm just not one of them.

    There are a lot of things that come into play with choosing powder and bullets. Barrel length, twist rate, type of action, desired muzzle velocity, etc. You could spend years perfecting a load for a particular gun and and range only to find that a slight difference in the powder from a new batch makes a drastic difference in performance. I'm not quite that into it.

    So the answer to your question depends on your level ability and whether you want to spend the time and effort to tune a cartridge to a particular gun.
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    I tune my loads by adjusting powder charge and bullet seating depth.no expensive bullets here, but I tried to find the most accurate combo for my guns.
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    With handgun loads and distances you will see little difference, myself I will usually use the powder that gives the highest velocities with the least pressure. Rifles are a different matter; I have a Parker Hale in 30/06 that with factory loads will never group less than 2 ˝ to 3 inches but using carefully worked up handloads I have brought the groups down to 3/8 to ˝ inch.
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    Maybe I've got the wrong attitude but I'm interested primarily in a good, safe, reliable FUNCTIONAL load. I don't know that I'm good enough to detect a difference in accuracy if I were to switch powders, projectiles or whatever when it comes to handgun reloads. As long as the bullet is not keyholing or something obvious, it's probably working pretty good.
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Probably not going to notice any difference for what your doing.
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    Senior Member Array Warmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnaengus View Post
    My question is, what difference would a different powder or bullet make to me? I target shoot at 7-15 meters. I have been using Hogdon HS-6 powder and FMJ round nose bullets at 115 grain. Would I notice anything different with changing anything
    One reason to change would be you might want something that burns a little cleaner or maybe more economical with less recoil or maybe even better accuracy. My understanding is that HS-6 is a slower powder that needs to be loaded to the warm side to burn completely and also a bit better suited for heavier bullets. This might not be exactly what you want for your 115gr target round. Lyman lists Power Pistol for 115gr as having to most potential accuracy. You might want to try that next.
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    Senior Member Array Warmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msgt/ret View Post
    ...myself I will usually use the powder that gives the highest velocities with the least pressure.
    I'm curious if you have ever used Longshot? I've noticed that in load data where it appears, Longshot generally has the highest velocity / least pressure.
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  9. #9
    VIP Member Array Easy8's Avatar
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    Pretty much only reload for handgun practice. Usually use unique or HG6 seems to work well measures great in the lyman 55

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    VIP Member Array Rob99VMI04's Avatar
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    For regular plinking i like a powder that is widely used, like Titegroup, W 231, bullseye or Unique…..Just means in times of hardship I can hit up my friends for powder.
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    Senior Member Array flintlock62's Avatar
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    I would try Winchester 231 or HP-38. They are the same powder sold under two labels. Very clean burning, and will give low chamber pressures with a 115 gr bullet. Other powders that are clean burning is IMR SR 7625 and Vihtavouri 3N37. HS-6 is a good powder though, IMO. I have heard Power Pistol is a good powder, but I've never used it. I have used Unique, but I'm not fond of flake powders. Ball powders and extruded powders meter better than flake powders.

    As for the bullet, you may want to check out Berry's plated bullets. Rainier Plated bullets are good too. If it's for the range, these are very good bullets. 1,000 will cost in the neighborhood of $90 + shipping.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnaengus View Post
    I have been reloading 9mm for a few months now and it feels like I'm printing money and then when I shoot at the range, I'm spending the money I printed. Love it.

    My question is, what difference would a different powder or bullet make to me? I target shoot at 7-15 meters. I have been using Hogdon HS-6 powder and FMJ round nose bullets at 115 grain.

    Would I notice anything different with changing anything?


    Thanks.

  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    I reload handgun rounds for two different reasons.
    1 for cheap shooting. I look for powders that give me the velocity I want with the least volume of powder. If I remember the math correctly there are just under 7000 grains in a lb of powder. If I chose Clays powder and a 3 grain load I would get aprox 2,316 shots from that pound of powder! Now lets say I was using Longshot, It takes 6 grains to get that 115 grain bullet moving, or only 1,158 shots from that lb of powder! That savings adds up quick.

    2 I also load practice rounds that duplicate my carry loads with a cheaper bullet. I load for the same speed, feel and point of impact. And that's what I practice with.

    When you think about changing powders, Think about what you want from the load. Good Luck DR

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array flintlock62's Avatar
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    Yes, exactly (not just under) 7,000 gr/lb. But powder is not as expensive as primers, and some powders work better with certain barrel lengths and bullet weight/types. I reload primarily for accuracy, but also cost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnaengus View Post
    I have been reloading 9mm for a few months now and it feels like I'm printing money and then when I shoot at the range, I'm spending the money I printed. Love it.

    My question is, what difference would a different powder or bullet make to me? I target shoot at 7-15 meters. I have been using Hogdon HS-6 powder and FMJ round nose bullets at 115 grain.

    Would I notice anything different with changing anything?


    Thanks.
    You'll notice differences when you change things, sure; but you need to have some understanding of what you're changing and why in order to actually appreciate most of the changes that you could make.

    A different powder may burn cleaner, or produce less flash, or produce better accuracy. A different powder may do the exact opposite of those things too.

    A different bullet may be more accurate, or not. A different weight bullet may help with the felt recoil of the load.

    The bottom line is you could potentially tweak any load for better results based on the given purpose, but you sort of need the purpose as a starting point, otherwise you're just changing stuff to change it, which isn't necessarily going to do anything for you.

    My advice, is shoot what you have made for a while. Not a half hour of shooting 'while', like 500+ rounds down range 'while'. Shoot at different distances in different conditions and pay attention to your results. Then ask yourself what would you like the load to do differently. Chances are, for a generic practice load, the answer will be 'nothing'. If however, you find something that you don't like about your load, then start looking for what variables could affect the "X" that you've identified. Start with one variable and explore it. If you cannot create the change that you want, then move to a different variable. Don't change a bunch of stuff all at once because that will just take you back to the starting line, and that's usually not necessary. If you decide you want to change a particular trait of your load and you just don't know where to start, hop on here and ask first. Plenty of good advice from experienced reloaders on here to be had.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Array flintlock62's Avatar
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    You said that better than me.

    Quote Originally Posted by TX expat View Post
    You'll notice differences when you change things, sure; but you need to have some understanding of what you're changing and why in order to actually appreciate most of the changes that you could make.

    A different powder may burn cleaner, or produce less flash, or produce better accuracy. A different powder may do the exact opposite of those things too.

    A different bullet may be more accurate, or not. A different weight bullet may help with the felt recoil of the load.

    The bottom line is you could potentially tweak any load for better results based on the given purpose, but you sort of need the purpose as a starting point, otherwise you're just changing stuff to change it, which isn't necessarily going to do anything for you.

    My advice, is shoot what you have made for a while. Not a half hour of shooting 'while', like 500+ rounds down range 'while'. Shoot at different distances in different conditions and pay attention to your results. Then ask yourself what would you like the load to do differently. Chances are, for a generic practice load, the answer will be 'nothing'. If however, you find something that you don't like about your load, then start looking for what variables could affect the "X" that you've identified. Start with one variable and explore it. If you cannot create the change that you want, then move to a different variable. Don't change a bunch of stuff all at once because that will just take you back to the starting line, and that's usually not necessary. If you decide you want to change a particular trait of your load and you just don't know where to start, hop on here and ask first. Plenty of good advice from experienced reloaders on here to be had.

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