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Old 03-01-2012, 03:46 PM
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Default Question for WST users

Today I called the reloading center at Hodgedon/Winchester to find find out why there is such a lack of pistol load data for WST powder, particularly in 9mm.

I spoke to Ron and his answer was that WST is not advertised as a pistol powder, but rather a shotgun powder. He also said when there is no published data for a certain powder, it usually indicates that the rise in pressure in a certain powder/cartridge combination can be unpredictable due to temperatures and other factors, and therefore should not be used. As I started to say ..." yeah but......." he cut me off and said: "there is no but about it, pistols, unlike rifles do not give you pressure warning signs. The warning sign is you get hit with pieces of your gun".

Considering I have used WST in my 9mm loads, and like it a good deal, I found his answer to be very unsettling.

I was looking for a load using WST and 147gr. lead bullets in 9mm, and he strongly advised me against it because: "WST was too fast for such a heavy bullet!" Yet, they list 147 gr. loads with 700X and Tightgroup which are faster powders.

Any thoughts?

Last edited by buckshotshorty; 03-01-2012 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:19 PM
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When a manufacturer does not list certain of his powders for certain loads, I pick another powder.

Since the "speed" of a powder depends on how it is measured, you really have no idea of the relative speed of WST in a pistol loading relative to another powder.

Trying to guess loads based on rough guides of powder relative burning rate is extremely poor reloading practice, and a good way to blow up a gun. There are many proven loads for 147gr 9mm in the loading manuals. WSF and longshot, for example.
http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OKFC05 View Post
When a manufacturer does not list certain of his powders for certain loads, I pick another powder.

Since the "speed" of a powder depends on how it is measured, you really have no idea of the relative speed of WST in a pistol loading relative to another powder.

Trying to guess loads based on rough guides of powder relative burning rate is extremely poor reloading practice, and a good way to blow up a gun. There are many proven loads for 147gr 9mm in the loading manuals. WSF and longshot, for example.
Cartridge Loads - Hodgdon Reloading Data Center - data.hodgdon.com

I would never use unpublished loads. I was just wondering why there weren't any published loads. He said to me that a great deal of testing goes in to each of these powders, and if no data is published it's because of no good results. Yet, so many people I speak to use and love WST in 9mm.
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:05 PM
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They've probably never tested that powder in a 9mm. There's a way to extrapolate a potential load based off another cartridge, most of the nervous nellies on this site will probably flame for saying this though. When doing this, however, start low and work up.
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Old 03-02-2012, 04:10 PM
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I use WST in mild loads for 40 S&W, and 45 ACP. I have never seen any pressure tested data from W-W for WST in 9mm and thus use WSF in 9mm loads. I have an aversion to Titegroup since it burns very hot and has a lot of very fine particles.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:57 PM
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Take a look at http://www.brianenos.com. The reloading forum for 9mm/.38 caliber forum has a ton of posts on WST, with load recipes. The 44/45 forum has a lot of posts, too.

Last edited by ChuckS1; 03-02-2012 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:48 PM
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Ron is an employee of Hogdon and as such has to toe the company line regarding their policy regarding recommending loads, etc. One other thing to consider: each powder has it's own pressure curve regardless of where it is ranked. Could be the pressure curve for WST is not conducive for 147g bullets. If someone on this Forum has QuickLoad maybe they could run WST with a 147g 9mm bullet and see what gives and report back.

Last edited by Carnage_7; 03-02-2012 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnage_7 View Post
If someone on this Forum has QuickLoad maybe they could run WST with a 147g 9mm bullet and see what gives and report back.
I have Quick Load, but it doesn't include WST in it's database. Bummer too, 'cause I use it a lot in 38 Spl, 44 Spl and 45ACP.
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:03 AM
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I use WST only in my 45. Perhaps because the expansion ratio is so large
bullet versus bore nothing can happen. Shot steel plates for a couple years wasn't very good at it but fun to participate. I guesstimate over 10,000 easy. Its a little dirty and causes no malfunctions. Plus the 45 does not run at 9mm pressures. Frank
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:23 PM
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Hornady listed WST in one of the manuals a couple years ago. Let me dig one out and I will share the data. I load WST using Precision Delta 124 FMJ's and like the results.
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  #11  
Old 03-03-2012, 08:42 PM
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Hornady Fourth Edition Manual-Showing 124 grain bullet, WST Starting load 4.8-Max 5.4
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RussellD View Post
Hornady Fourth Edition Manual-Showing 124 grain bullet, WST Starting load 4.8-Max 5.4
Do they show any data for 9mm hard cast?
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:57 PM
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Hornady 4th only shows WST data for their jacketed bullets in
90 XTP 5.5~6.0gr.Max 1.08"@1200fps
100 FMJ 5.2~6.2gr.Max 1.105"@1200fps
115 XTP 5.2~5.6gr.Max 1.05"@1150fps
124 FMJ 4.8~5.4gr.Max 1.15"@1100fps

Remember that this is 1991 data and they were still using CUP which often turned out to be higher pressure when remeasured under the PSI system. Not saying it's unsafe but a lot of these old loads were later dropped or reduced.

I too just picked up a pound of WST to try in 9mm (by mistake, I couldn't remember if I wanted WST or WSF) with 124gr Berry's. I have searched a number of forums and come up with several loads in the low to mid 4 gr range, nothing over 5 gr so that Hornady info may be a little warm.

The one load for 147gr I found on Brian Enos forum didn't specify if it was for lead, plated or jacketed and also didn't say what type of bullet but they did say they started at 3.5gr and went up as high as 3.8

Again... this is internet data and can't be trusted as safe until you work it up yourself.
Watch your OAL too and go as long as possible.

With my 124's I'm trying 4.2 & 4.5 gr to see how it chronos

Last edited by 125JHP; 03-08-2012 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:25 PM
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My "thoughts." Winchester's 14th Edition "catalog" has a lot of data for the various Winchester shotgun powders in the pistol calibers. They don't list WST for any bullet in 9x19, but they do list a WSF load for 147 gr lead. Curiously, they list a WST load for every bullet weight in 10mm - from 150 to 200 grains.

I am not a notably "nervous Nellie" about reloading, but I am not nearly as fond of WST in .45 as I was of 452AA. It seems like every time I get another can of WST, I like it a little less. Have you considered something like AA2? Accurate shows on-line data for AA2 and 147-gr lead in 9x19. If fast powders are what you are looking for, AA2 seems to be a very good one for this type of load.
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Old 03-09-2012, 02:15 AM
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I can't even imagine an engineer @ Hodgdon would tell anyone this. So WST isn't sutiable for handgun loads but Clays is, really? One can safely make any powder work in any caliber w/ any bullet weight. Are their limitations, sure, but saying it can't be done is just ridiculous.
I used to load a ton of 452AA. When Win discontinued that powder, they came out w/ WST. I was told by the guys @ WIn it was an improved 452AA, less temp sensative, but loaded the same. So when I started using it, guess what, identical chronograph readings w/ the same loads I had been using. There was quite a bit of printed data for 452aa back in the day.
I have been using WST in 9mm, 40 & 45acp w/ varying degrees of success. It seems to give best accuracy well off the top end in 9mm & 40 w/ all bullet wts. In 45acp, I have found nothing better for any bullet wt or type, slow to pushing max.
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:59 AM
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... I might be treading on dangerous ground but I have to ask...

From your testing, can you share some example low to mid-range WST loads for the 9mm?

Last edited by 125JHP; 03-09-2012 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:35 AM
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Just way to many powders out there with more listing that you care to look through. Why try and use a powder that have so few? Powder ain't that expensive or hard to fine.
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:41 AM
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I had a very similar conversation with a Winchester rep, at a trade show, over twenty years ago. (Back then they had NO handgun data for WST) He kept going on about the cost of developing load data and the SAAMI “standards” for canister grade shotgun powder being more relaxed and they can get away with more lot to lot variation. (huh?) If that were true, why did they develop handgun data for WSL & WSF? (again, huh?)

After stepping back and thinking on it for a few weeks, I came to the conclusion that Olin was taken over many years ago by a bunch of college edumacated bean counters who (IMO) know nothing about ammunition or powder and that’s ok, because they only care about the bottom line. (and that’s something they know, very well!)

Over the last 30 years, Olin has only really catered to the shotgun crowd (and occasionally the military, if there’s enough money involved) and that makes a lot of sense, if you look at it from a simply monetary standpoint. The average 12 ga. target load uses around 18-23gr. of powder, per load! That’s less than 400 rounds per pound. My 45 acp load with a 230 gr. FP is only 4.2 gr. So…therefore, shotgun shooters use (buy) more powder, and selling more powder, increases Olin’s bottom line.

I can only imagine what it would cost for Olin to develop loading data for every handgun caliber and bullet combination WST is suited for. It would have to be staggering, and for what? Take 9mm for example, max velocities are at least 50-75 f.p.s. LESS than what you can get with 231/HP38. Besides, speed’s the only thing anybody cares about anyway…right? Forget cleanliness or recoil impulse or even accuracy, it’s all about the numbers…the, bottom line.

Handloaders have know for years that most of the best “handgun” powders are actually shotgun powders, and when we can’t find loading data, then by god we’ll develop it ourselves, and that’s what has happened with WST over the last twenty years. We extrapolated data from the old 452AA (same load data in my test’s) and worked up. Oh, Olin got a clue back in the mid 90’s and released data on loads we were already using for the 38 Spl. and 45 acp, but I think they dropped the ball on not working up data for the 9mm as well. I mean they went and developed data for the 40 & 10mm, why not the 9?

Jeff
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Old 03-10-2012, 01:33 PM
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I went to the range yesterday and tried out a variety of new loads, among them were a couple start tests using WST. I was shooting 3 guns for comparison A S&W 5906 (4") and Sig P-290 (3") and a Kahr CM9 (3")

I used 2 different Berry's CPL bullets, a 124 Round Nose (actually weighs 122gr) and a 124 Hollow Base Flat Point (HBFP).

Interestingly, I found these same two bullets listed in the 2010 AA load book for AA-5. what was more interesting was the MAX charge was a full .5gr different. (5.8 vs 6.3). I also note that they had a .10" OAL difference and that the shank may be longer on the one, so I took this as an alert to be careful when looking at data as the HBFP may require reduced loading.

I loaded up a few with Win cases and Magtech primers, medium crimp.
Here is a summary of the chrono results (10')

122 Berry's CPL.RN 4.5gr WST @ 1.120"oal

SW-5906 Avg.fps=1057 SD=9.4 ES=22
Kahr CM9 Avg.fps=965 SD=13.3 ES=34
---------------------
124 Berry's CPL.HBFP 4.2gr WST @ 1.072"oal

SW-5906 Avg.fps=994 SD=15.8 ES=43
Sig P290 Avg.fps=911 SD=23.1 ES=56

I don't know if it was my imagination but it seemed the lighter HBFP has more snap and muzzle flip even though the cases were only being thrown half the distance of the heavier load.

I will play with this powder some more.
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Old 03-10-2012, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 125JHP View Post
I went to the range yesterday and tried out a variety of new loads, among them were a couple start tests using WST. I was shooting 3 guns for comparison A S&W 5906 (4") and Sig P-290 (3") and a Kahr CM9 (3")

I used 2 different Berry's CPL bullets, a 124 Round Nose (actually weighs 122gr) and a 124 Hollow Base Flat Point (HBFP).

Interestingly, I found these same two bullets listed in the 2010 AA load book for AA-5. what was more interesting was the MAX charge was a full .5gr different. (5.8 vs 6.3). I also note that they had a .10" OAL difference and that the shank may be longer on the one, so I took this as an alert to be careful when looking at data as the HBFP may require reduced loading.

I loaded up a few with Win cases and Magtech primers, medium crimp.
Here is a summary of the chrono results (10')

122 Berry's CPL.RN 4.5gr WST @ 1.120"oal

SW-5906 Avg.fps=1057 SD=9.4 ES=22
Kahr CM9 Avg.fps=965 SD=13.3 ES=34
---------------------
124 Berry's CPL.HBFP 4.2gr WST @ 1.072"oal

SW-5906 Avg.fps=994 SD=15.8 ES=43
Sig P290 Avg.fps=911 SD=23.1 ES=56

I don't know if it was my imagination but it seemed the lighter HBFP has more snap and muzzle flip even though the cases were only being thrown half the distance of the heavier load.

I will play with this powder some more.
Thanks for the results. I don't have a chrono but I loaded some of the same Berry's HBFP with half box (25) loaded 4.1gr. WST and half 4.2 WST. There was essentially no discernible difference in accuracy between the two loads. All rounds loaded to OAL of 1.137" They were very soft shooting and accuracy was good. Gun cycled fine.
At 33 Ft off a rest I shot 10 rd strings averaging 1 3/4" using a 4" Sig 2022. Judging by your results, I would guess my speed was somewhere in the high 800 fps range.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:04 PM
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Default Some theories ...

Thinking through the whole process of a discharge led me to suspect that these 2 properties of WST added together may have contributed to its unsuitability for the 9mm Luger cartridge:
  1. load density: WST occupies a lot of physical space. In order to load it enough for the speed I want, the case is pretty close to full. This means the load density is high and we all know that high load density produces higher pressure. On a Pressure/Time curve, I believe it pushes the peak higher; i.e. the curve peaks higher on the Y-axis. Other fast powders tends to be loaded with low load-density; e.g. Titegroup (TG) or Bullseye (BE). I do not need to fill the case up with BE or TG to get the speed I want. So, the peaks of their Pressure/Time curve is lower.
  2. burnt-rate: The burnt-rate of WST is considered fast. This means its Pressure/Time curve is shifted to the left on X-axis, compared to slower powder; that is to say the pressure spike is swift and it take a lot shorter time to reach the peak. Now, if you compare this property to powders that fill the case up for 9mm, they are not considered fast powder. So their Pressure/Time curve is not shifted so much to the left along the X-axis.

I think [1] is what compounded the discharge characteristics of WST in 9mm Luger cases. I bet the powders that are published with data for the 9mm Luger do not possess these 2 properties together; i.e. they either have one of these properties or the other but not both.
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:54 AM
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Interesting thread... I use WSF in 9 mm jacketed 125 gr, and the powder is not listed in my Speer, hornady and Lyman books. Just an old PPC rrecipe. I guess Winchester's answer for WST applies to WSF as well. Maybe time to try BE, or 231.
Guy-
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