Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >

Reloading All Reloading Topics Go Here


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-20-2019, 09:43 PM
Dahak Dahak is offline
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 33
Likes: 7
Liked 26 Times in 10 Posts
Default 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)

I am gearing up to reload 9mm as my second caliber after loading and testing about 100 rounds so far of 38 spl so I am very new to reloading. While the economics of reloading 9mm luger may be questionable since I am buying bullets, powder and primer now instead of using old supplies bought when things were cheaper, its close enough, and one of my teenagers will sit with me for hours running the press and talking so I would pay a premium in order to reload.

Moving onto the question,
9mm using once fired cases, Winchester small pistol primers and my one and only powder (for now) is Unique. Bullets are 124gr Berry's plated round nose. I'll be using the rounds for indoor range practice and some training classes (instructor allows reloads).

Lyman's 50th edition gives the range of 4.0 to 4.5 grains. Lyman 49th, Berry's website, and the Hornady data that came with my dies give no data for Unique.

Unique's website list the max load as 5.8 grains and recommends starting at 90% of max (call it 5.2 grains).

4.0/4.5 v. 5.2/5.8 is huge discrepancy to my rookie eyes.

In a perfect world, I'll use 4.8-4.9 grains as that is what I am using for my 38spl loads and not having to reset the powder measure between my 2 most common calibers would be awesome. Some internet sleuthing says 5.0 for 124gr Berrys is a common, middle of the road load. (perfect, but that's also confirmation bias speaking)

So A: immediate question - Does 4.8-4.9 grains of Unique seem reasonable based on your experience and B: long-term question - How do I as a novice reloader deal with such a large variance in data from 2 very credible sources?
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #2  
Old 11-20-2019, 10:17 PM
old tanker old tanker is online now
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Fort Knox, Kentucky
Posts: 800
Likes: 2,832
Liked 1,441 Times in 493 Posts
Default

The 5.8 grain load data is for a jacketed hollow point bullet. It is not uncommon to see load date for cast lead bullets reduced to minimize leading. Some makers of plated bullets recommend using "lead" load data.

There are enough variables that even reliable sources can have varying reults. The load data mostly shows that the listed combination of components proved to be "safe" in a particular test gun during that lab session.

That's why the advice is always to start low and work up.

The 4.8-4.9 load seems reasonable enough. If it feeds, goes bang and cycles your gun reliably with accuracy that suits you, go for it.

Last edited by old tanker; 11-20-2019 at 10:20 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 5 Users Like Post:
  #3  
Old 11-20-2019, 10:18 PM
dswancutt dswancutt is offline
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: nebraska
Posts: 987
Likes: 1,408
Liked 929 Times in 372 Posts
Default

Load a few at 4.8 to 4.9, check for pressure and function and go from there. Just as aside, I have a copy of the old Laser Cast manual and for a 124 Cast bullet it shows 5.2 - 5.8 of Unique. I have read that you can interchange plated and cast bullet data to a point.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-20-2019, 10:26 PM
BC38's Avatar
BC38 BC38 is online now
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 8,687
Likes: 445
Liked 10,889 Times in 4,375 Posts
Default

FWIW, I would load a few in the mid-upper range from the Lyman book - 4.3gr - 4.4gr and try 'em. Making a half a dozen rounds to try should be pretty quick & easy. You can always go up from there. Just make sure every one makes a hole in the target before pulling the trigger again!
__________________
Send lawyers, guns & money...
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #5  
Old 11-20-2019, 11:37 PM
ArchAngelCD ArchAngelCD is offline
Moderator
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northeast PA, USA
Posts: 6,070
Likes: 365
Liked 2,448 Times in 1,394 Posts
Default

It all depends on the bullet and how deep it seats into the case. In Lyman #50 they list a range of 4.0gr to 4.5gr Unique under a 124gr STL bullet but shows 4.5gr to 5.0gr for a 125gr Sierra JHP bullet. Alliant shows a max charge of 5.8gr under a Speer 124gr GDHP bullet.

I know this can be confusing, I use an average of several sources. Good luck.
__________________
Freedom is never free!!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-20-2019, 11:40 PM
rwsmith's Avatar
rwsmith rwsmith is online now
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: (outside) Charleston, SC
Posts: 27,686
Likes: 34,851
Liked 25,041 Times in 12,006 Posts
Default Isn't the limit....

Isn't the limit for quality plated bullets 1200 fpm?

There are all kinds of reasons for starting you 9mm caliber load at mid range first time out. They are pretty much guaranteed to cycle the action and you don't know to go higher until you've checked out how your gun works with that load.
__________________
"He was kinda funny lookin'"
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-20-2019, 11:56 PM
oysterer's Avatar
oysterer oysterer is offline
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 837
Likes: 914
Liked 1,338 Times in 453 Posts
Default

Not sure what equipment you use to drop the powder but in mine Unique does not meter well (to fluffy) and therefor does not compete in the accuracy department. It also strikes me more of a 44special powder than a 9mm powder IIRC. I used my 1 lbs of unique to go after a wasp nest in my yard and that worked really well. You could try W231 or Titegroup. Those are my choices.

I use blue bullets 135 gr TC bought at 2,000 at a time (cheap) w 3.3 gr. titegroup (consult a manual before attempting this at home). TG meters best of all powders and is cheap, I use very little and it is the most accurate in medium to light 9mm loads as it is insensitive to packing and position in the case. W Federal small pistol primers (softest cup, easy to seat and easiest ignite w/o failures). Coated bullets grip the barrel really well and gave me the best accuracy, way better than plated, no copper fouling, no wear to barrel and nearly no clean up after shooting hundreds per session.

Buy 1,000 starline brass (the best) to get started and pick it after you are done and if you like you can slowly mix in other rage brass you pick up over time.

All this my personal opinion to get you started and worth what you paid for it.

Once you catch the bug, find a real accurate and soft shooting load, you will never go back to factory.

Now that you mentioned it: I use the same exact setting on my Dillon for 38 special as well: 3.3 Titegroup. The most accurate for me anyway. Change the indexing plate, drop funnel and the die block and back to loading 5 minutes later.

Last edited by oysterer; 11-21-2019 at 12:24 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-21-2019, 12:22 AM
rg1 rg1 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 124
Likes: 1
Liked 52 Times in 36 Posts
Default

All I shoot in 9MM is with Unique powder and 124 grain bullets, plated and jacketed. Using mixed cases, mostly Winchester, and CCI 500 primers I would consider 4.5 grains of Unique to be a light load with 4.8-4.9 grains a medium load, and with your plated 124 gr. I would stop at a max of 5.2. No bullets either plated or jacketed would I load as high as 5.8 grains. Not saying it's not too high at 5.8 grains with 124 grain bullets, but I just don't want to load that hot. As mentioned overall length or seating depth will effect pressure so don't seat round nosed bullets to hollowpoint recommended oal's. At 4.8-4.9 grains it's known to be a safe reliable level that will cycle well in most all pistols or carbine rifles. Good to check all manuals to compare.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-21-2019, 12:27 AM
LoboGunLeather's Avatar
LoboGunLeather LoboGunLeather is online now
US Veteran
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Colorado
Posts: 4,989
Likes: 5,702
Liked 16,855 Times in 3,216 Posts
Default

9X19 (aka: 9mm Luger, Parabellum, etc) is a relatively high-pressure cartridge, regularly operating at internal pressures at, or nearly, double those of .38 Special, and frequently exceeding those of .357 magnum. The cartridge case itself is relatively small and has limited internal capacity. What might appear on paper to be very small changes in powder charges, seating depths, cartridge overall length, or other factors can be multiplied by the limiting factors of this cartridge.

Since you are loading for target use or recreational shooting I would suggest that you follow the old tried and true approach of starting at the bottom of the recommended charges, load up a few rounds, then test them for functioning in your pistol. Enough is enough; once you have achieved reliable functioning in your pistol there is little to be gained by increasing powder charges. All you need to accomplish is reliable feeding, function, ejection, etc.

I would pay more attention to the other fundamentals of your work, such as seating depth, overall length, etc, than I would pay to working maximums or what any particular reloading data reports. Each individual reloading data source is based upon the results obtained using a particular combination of firearm, cartridge cases, primers, powder, seating depth, COL, temperatures, climactic conditions, etc. None of these can be expected to duplicate the performance you will experience in your pistol with your handloads.

Caution is the essential element. Work up to a load that provides the performance you require in your pistol, and don't worry overly much about whether or not it matches any published data or reports.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #10  
Old 11-21-2019, 12:51 AM
colt_saa's Avatar
colt_saa colt_saa is offline
SWCA Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Cocoa Beach, Florida
Posts: 8,131
Likes: 1,293
Liked 13,583 Times in 3,875 Posts
Default

Unique is the first powder I started with back in 1977. It is very versitile for mid-range loads in a large variety of cartridges.

5.5 grains with 121-125 grain hard cast bullets was the way we went.

The Lyman 55 powder throw worked perfectly with this powder (and almost all powders)

I have no idea how many 10s of thousands of rounds with this load my buddies and I shot over the decades.

That same 5.5 grain load was used for our 150 grain LSWC 357s and our 200 grain H&G 68s. That powder throw was never reset

That accounted for 90% of my hand loads for the first 20 or so years until the point that I bought my first progressive
__________________
"Acta non verba"
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #11  
Old 11-21-2019, 01:22 AM
rg1 rg1 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 124
Likes: 1
Liked 52 Times in 36 Posts
Default

Just some more info: Midway's Loadmap Series, no longer published, for 9MM with their 124 gr. plated round nose bullet seated to 1.158" (maybe a little long) with Unique powder, Win Sp primers, in RP cases. They use colored load levels with green being good, yellow getting warm and red to be careful. They say careful in yellow or very careful in red ranges. Their data recommended a start charge at 4.4 grains, very low, with 5.1 just at the edge of yellow and 5.3 grains yellow and the last load before getting into the red extreme caution zone. I've found that their load levels are realistic. Their max load in the red caution zone is 5.6 grains and too hot to use at least for me. You'll find from 4.8- 5.1 grains a good safe level and no reason to load higher. Again it's with their 124 gr. round nose plated bullet in 9MM.

Last edited by rg1; 11-21-2019 at 01:26 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-21-2019, 07:28 AM
scooter123 scooter123 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
Posts: 6,524
Likes: 161
Liked 3,630 Times in 1,828 Posts
Default

The Standard Deviation for Unique in a volume based powder measure is 0.17 grains. Multiply that by 3 and the total range of charge weights using the 6 Sigma SPC system is +/- 0.51 grains. Add this to your charge weight and you have the a maximum thrown charge weight and minimum thrown charge weight. Because most total allowable charges for 9mm typically come in around about 0.6 grains when using Unique there is a rather obvious conclusion here. That is do NOT use Unique for 9mm unless you hand weight every single charge thrown. Note, this isn't a hint, it's a FACT and Statistics do not lie. It's also probably the reason that Hornady doesn't list Unique for 9mm. It's also the reason why I do NOT use Unique for handgun loads. A variation that is acceptable in a 16.0 grain 20 gage shotgun load is NOT acceptable in a 4.4 grain 9mm load.

I would urge you to replace that Unique with Accurate #5. If you want to use the Unique you have on hand make sure to hand weigh every single charge you throw.

BTW, in my testing it was rather easy to determine that no amount of magic tapping with the charge lever or knocking on the bench will reduce the Standard Deviation, so if you want to waste some time trying this continue to hand weigh each charge. I will also note that Bell Curves don't form properly with just 5 or 10 charges, you have to weigh a fair volume of charges (30-50) is standard for industrial control systems. So your throwing 10 charges in a row that fall within 0.1 grains is almost normal, the problem is the "flyers" at the ends of the bell curve. Load up a full box of 50 and weigh each charge and you'll start to see what Statistics indicates because you WILL see a thrown charge that makes you cringe a bit. BTW, record every charge weight thrown and you'll have your vary own Capability Study and put those results thru a statistics program and you'll see the same results I did. Note, SD for Accurate #5 is 0.06 for a 6 Sigma range of +/- 0.18 grain.

Last edited by scooter123; 11-21-2019 at 07:30 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #13  
Old 11-21-2019, 07:51 AM
stansdds stansdds is offline
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,812
Likes: 2,294
Liked 3,078 Times in 1,538 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahak View Post
and one of my teenagers will sit with me for hours running the press and talking so I would pay a premium in order to reload.

Since no one else has mentioned it, I will. Your reason for reloading 9x19mm is admirable and noble. You will not regret the time you spend with this adolescent.



Unique is a good, all around powder. Light charges do not burn as efficiently as medium and full power charges and will leave more soot and partially burned flecks of powder in the pistol. I think that because Unique has been around for so long and since pressure measuring systems have become more sophisticated and accurate, we see a huge discrepancy in load data, especially comparing new data to very old data.


It has been decades since I used Unique in the 9mm cartridge, but I would recommend starting with 4.5 grains and work up to 5 grains.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #14  
Old 11-21-2019, 07:57 AM
1775usmarine 1775usmarine is online now
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 502
Likes: 126
Liked 327 Times in 168 Posts
Default

A chronograph is a useful tool as well when working a load.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #15  
Old 11-21-2019, 10:05 AM
BB57's Avatar
BB57 BB57 is offline
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: NC
Posts: 2,742
Likes: 1,655
Liked 6,680 Times in 1,889 Posts
Default

A few thoughts:

Different data from different perspectives:

Bullet companies have the luxury of testing and then listing data for specific bullets, or a limited number of specific bullets they make in that weight.

Powder company data has to encompass a broad range of bullets in that weight or in some cases weight range. Even if you restrict the data to jacketed bullets, there is variation in lead core hardness, jacket thickness and hardness, and bearing surface, all of which have impacts on pressure. If you restrict it to cast lead bullets you still have differences in alloy hardness, diameter, lube effectiveness and bearing surface that all effect both pressure and potential for leading.


Limited space in manuals:

There are practical limits to manual size and both bullet and powder companies want to include the latest gee whiz powders being marketed. When it comes down to choosing to repeat old data or list new data, the new data wins most of the time.

That means data on old go to powders like Bullseye, Red Dot, Unique, etc can be hard to find in newer manuals.


Powder formulations do change over time:

The National Center for Forensic Science maintains a database on powder chemical composition over the years that is useful in analysing gunshot residue. It's also interesting for a handloader who wonders if today's power is the same as that can made 20 years ago, and in turn how useful that data may be from 20 years ago.

For example you'll find six variations of Unique.

National Center for Forensic Science

Despite variation in the chemical formulation the over all burn traits should be very similar, but the take away is to use old data fairly conservatively by starting about 10% low and working up to in your firearm with your components.


Test standards have evolved:

Back in the day pressure was measured with a copper crusher. Since it relied on deformation of a copper cylinder, which also involved a brief time element while the copper deformed the peak pressure measured wasn't the same as it is now with much more responsive piezoelectric measurement of pressure.

That change resulted in new maximum average pressure standards for some loads, usually being adjusted downward and old manuals (mid 70s and before) may not reflect those changes. For example, the Hornady 3rd edition published in 1973 is regarded by some folks as having some fairly hot loads, and that's supported by comparison with load data in later manuals where the max loads for some of the cartridge, powder and bullet weight combinations are significantly lower, even with the same test firearm used in both manuals.


Charges listed in manuals are nominal charges:

Canister grade powders used in handloading are far more consistent than the bulk powders used by ammunition manufacturers and military arsenals. However, they still have some variation.

There are some powders that are acknowledged to be the "same" powder just with different labels. H110 and Win 296 is one of the better known examples. HP38 and Win 231 is another well known example. However if you look at a particular manual and you look at a particular page that lists both powders for the same bullet, it's not uncommon to find a .5 to .7 grain difference in the maximum loads listed on that page. If they are the same powder why is that? It's because they were randomly selected and packaged from different lots of powder that have normal lot to lot variation.

Your take away from that needs to be that if you have two cans of H110 from different lots, you should expect to potentially see the same variation in lots.

Again, this is why manuals almost always advise starting 10% below and maximum load and working up.


Surplus and bulk powders are not the same as canister powders:

What really makes me shake my head is when some internet expert starts citing a specific powder charge of a military powder like WC844 or WC 846 to duplicate a military load. They do that because they see a specification for a nominal load of powder and think it means something far more precise.

How it really works is that Dupont will ship a 10,000 pound lot of "WC 844" to an ammunition plant to produce 5.56x45 NATO ammunition. When the lot arrives, ballisticians will work up a load specific to that 10,000 pound powder lot to get the required velocity within the maximum pressure limits specified by the military.

For example with one lot of WC844 for use in M193 27.0 grains might produce 3,200 fps while another lot of WC 844 may produce 3,185 fps with a 28.0 grain charge. That's a significant difference. The end result is that with that 10,000 pound lot, you'll end up with about 2.4 million rounds of M193 that are loaded with a specific charge weight that may not be the same as other M193 loaded from a different lot of powder. Those different lots of M193 will however have the same average velocity.

This gets us to another scary issue with surplus pull down powders. If a company is pulling bullets on surplus ammo and then dumping the powder, you never know quite what you are going to get. It it all came from the same 24 million or so rounds loaded from that single lot of powder, you are good to go. But that's not likely and when powder from different lot is mixed, you're now clearly in crash test dummy territory with an unknown powder that may or may not be homogenous in the keg. If it isn't in a factory sealed keg from DuPont, I'll pass on WC844 and WC846.

WC844 is also a special case as the "WC844" specification was developed specifically for M193 and it was taken from one end of the much wider WC846 specification used for 7.62x51 M80 ball ammo. In other words if you think 1 grain variation is something, wait until you see a 1.5 or 2.0 grain variation in the larger round. But none the less you see some fool posting an exact charge weight to replicate M80 ball.

It gets worse when the internet expert states that WC844 is the same as H335 and that WC846 is the same as BLC(2). It's more accurate to say that WC844 is similar to H335 and that WC846 is similar to BLC(2) but that's as far as it goes. H335 and BLC(2), as canister powders do adhere to tighter specifications.

To make the point about the wide range found in a bulk powder consider that WC844 was just a subset of WC846, and then see where H335 and BLC(2) are at on a powder burn rate chart.

On one particular chart H335 is listed as #81 right after Benchmark, N133 and IMR 3031. BLC(2) is listed as #102, in between W748 and Leverevolution and H380. In between H335 and BLC(2) you'll find IMR 4895, IMR 4064 and IMR 4320. No one considers those to be the same powders, but you'll find an internet expert claiming an exact charge for WC846 when it spans that entire burn range. They'd never suggest a single correct charge that could be used for IMR 4895, 4064 and 4320, but they'll do it for WC 844 or WC846 because they don't know what they are talking about.

If you've googled some burn rate charts or compared charts in different manuals you've probably also discovered that no two powder burn rate charts ever agree completely.

The take away here is that if you decide to start buying and shooting surplus powders you need to know what you are doing and you need to be very conservative in your approach to load development.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #16  
Old 11-21-2019, 10:50 AM
BB57's Avatar
BB57 BB57 is offline
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: NC
Posts: 2,742
Likes: 1,655
Liked 6,680 Times in 1,889 Posts
Default

With all the above caveats in mind:

Wolfe Publishing Company for Unique, 124 gr XTP-HP, 5" Kimber 1911:

Min = 4.0 gr, 1027 fps
Max= 5.0 gr, 1182 fps.


Alliant reloaders guide, 2008, Speer 124 gr GDHP for Unique:

Min (not listed)
Max = 5.8 gr, 1180 fps


Speer reloading manual #14, Speer 124 gr TMJ RN, UCSP or GDHP, 4" S&W 5906 for Unique:

Min = 5.2 gr, 1080 fps
Max = 5.8 gr, 1180 fps


Nosler data for 124 gr JHP, 4" barrel and Unique:

Min = 4.6 gr, 981 fps
Max = 5.6 gr, 1146 fps


Oregon Trail data for their 124 gr cast leadRN, P-35 4.5" barrel for Unique:

Min = 5.2 gr, 1075 fps
Max= 5.8 gr, 1175 fps


I'll throw this last one in to illustrate a couple points.

Handloader Issue #297 - August, 2015 data for the 124 gr Oregon trail 124 gr RN fired in a 4.63" Browning and an 8" P-08 Luger using Unique:

Browning = 4.5 gr, 1138 fps.
P-08 Luger = 4.5 gr, 1230 fps

-----

None of the above loads are posted for anyone to use without very carefully doing their own research on load data to verify the numbers and then carefully work up their own loads. It's all published data taken from loaddata.com but typoes happen on their part or on mine.

What I do want to show is that there is a lot of published data out there for older powders.

I also want to show that there is also both a wide range in minimum and maximum charges, but also some trends that let you see more or less where the prudent middle ground is found when comparing different data, so you can make an informed decision on a start load, and understand that maximum loads will vary a lot for a lot of reasons.

The above selection also demonstrates there are both similarities and differences in jacketed and cast bullet data. The Speer and Oregon trail min and max loads are the same despite the differences in bullet construction. However the maximum velocities are essentially the same as the Wolf publishing company data with a 5.0 gr maximum.

You'll also note the fastest load in the list is the 8" P-08 load with just 4.5 grains, blowing everything else away by about 50 fps. In addition that same 4.5 gr load is producing 1138 fps in the 4.6" Browning, faster than some of the maximum loads and faster than some of higher minimum loads listed.

Plated bullets usually fall somewhere in the middle. They have soft lead cores like jacketed bullets but thinner plated jackets that help them engrave easier like a softer cast lead bullets, but resist leading better than either soft or harder alloy cast bullets. It's less than helpful but you'll see suggestions to use jacketed data about as often as you'll see suggestions to use cast bullet data.

-----

A chronograph is your friend but you have to understand a few things.

They work by measuring the amount of electricity stored in a capacitor in the time interval between the bullet's shadow passing over the first sensor and the second sensor. The calculations are done by the processor based on a fixed distance from one sensor to the other.

If you are shooting at an angle across the sensors, either horizontally or vertically, the bullet will travel a longer distance between the sensors and it will result in a lower than actual velocity. The greater the angle, the greater the error. You need to set it up so that the chronograph is level and so that the arms on each end supporting the sky screens are symmetrical when you look down range at the target.

You also need to set it up far enough down range so that the muzzle blast or powder residue from the shot does not activate the timer. It also needs to be solidly enough mounted so it doesn't move in the wind.

You also need to use the sky screens, and you need to avoid low angle light or placing one sensor in shade with the other in the sun.

The more precise you are in setting it up, the more precise your results will be.

A chronograph can help you determine if you are getting the results you expect from the load. However, you have to take into account your barrel length compared to the barrel used to develop the manual in the data. You also have to recognize that differences in bore and chamber dimensions as well as cylinder gaps can create significant differences in velocities even in the same make, model and barrel length of the firearm.

In other words, don't keep increasing the load to get a certain velocity stated in the manual. I see that a lot lately with the long range shooting crowd (and the 6.5 CM guys are the worst). They end up being the same guys posting about blown primers, or complaining about low quality brass because they get loose primer pockets after a few reloads.

Don't be like those idiots.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #17  
Old 11-21-2019, 11:14 AM
M29since14 M29since14 is online now
SWCA Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 9,695
Likes: 5,327
Liked 6,227 Times in 3,062 Posts
Default

Time spent talking with your kids about anything at all is never wasted.

Im pretty sure what youd like to do (use the same charge weight) will be safe, but there is nothing that substitutes for using the exact published data. Accurate publishes data for various plated bullets. You might consider that after you run out of your supply of Unique.

On other hand, and in defense of Unique, years ago when the 92F was adopted by the US military, I used 4.4 grs with a Winchester 147 gr FMJ-FN. That was by far the most accurate load I found for my 92, for whatever reason. With other guns, notably S&Ws, I had much better luck with HS6. At some point you will probably get past your interest in commonality, and to some extent economy, and become interested in squeezing out accuracy. Ive always found 9mm handguns were somewhat finicky, but getting the most accuracy out of them is fun, too!
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11-21-2019, 11:25 AM
oysterer's Avatar
oysterer oysterer is offline
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 837
Likes: 914
Liked 1,338 Times in 453 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter123 View Post
The Standard Deviation for Unique in a volume based powder measure is 0.17 grains. Multiply that by 3 and the total range of charge weights using the 6 Sigma SPC system is +/- 0.51 grains. Add this to your charge weight and you have the a maximum thrown charge weight and minimum thrown charge weight. Because most total allowable charges for 9mm typically come in around about 0.6 grains when using Unique there is a rather obvious conclusion here. That is do NOT use Unique for 9mm unless you hand weight every single charge thrown. Note, this isn't a hint, it's a FACT and Statistics do not lie. It's also probably the reason that Hornady doesn't list Unique for 9mm. It's also the reason why I do NOT use Unique for handgun loads. A variation that is acceptable in a 16.0 grain 20 gage shotgun load is NOT acceptable in a 4.4 grain 9mm load.

I would urge you to replace that Unique with Accurate #5. If you want to use the Unique you have on hand make sure to hand weigh every single charge you throw.

BTW, in my testing it was rather easy to determine that no amount of magic tapping with the charge lever or knocking on the bench will reduce the Standard Deviation, so if you want to waste some time trying this continue to hand weigh each charge. I will also note that Bell Curves don't form properly with just 5 or 10 charges, you have to weigh a fair volume of charges (30-50) is standard for industrial control systems. So your throwing 10 charges in a row that fall within 0.1 grains is almost normal, the problem is the "flyers" at the ends of the bell curve. Load up a full box of 50 and weigh each charge and you'll start to see what Statistics indicates because you WILL see a thrown charge that makes you cringe a bit. BTW, record every charge weight thrown and you'll have your vary own Capability Study and put those results thru a statistics program and you'll see the same results I did. Note, SD for Accurate #5 is 0.06 for a 6 Sigma range of +/- 0.18 grain.
This worth repeating!! A powder is only as good as you can throw it repeatedly with as little delta as possible. Another reason I stopped Bullseye too, not a bad powder per se but others are just way better. If you throw them and not weight them that is.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #19  
Old 11-21-2019, 02:50 PM
Nevada Ed's Avatar
Nevada Ed Nevada Ed is offline
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Reno Nv
Posts: 8,218
Likes: 750
Liked 5,445 Times in 2,693 Posts
Default

With a 124-125gr plated or copper bullet one must first know if it is.......................
a FMJ design or a HP design, which has a big difference in the OAL possibly.

The "Ball" bullets do well at target speed from 1034fps up to a full load, with a oal from 1.09 up to 1.169" in most pistols.

The JHP Berry THP did its best in my 3 & 5" pistols with a OAL from 1.075 out to 1.13" for use with the bulky Unique powder.
With this HP bullet Unique at a OAL of 1.075 filled the case at 4.5c for 1083 in the 5" barrel and at the longer 1.13" length it spit out 1212 fps with 5.4c grains of powder.

Best accuracy came with the 1.075" setting with powders from Bullseye up to CFE burning speed in the 1025 fps area.

The lowest load of Unique that worked for me was 4.2 at 1034 fps in the short OAL setting but the full load at 1212 fps was accurate and at POA.

Have fun.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 11-21-2019, 07:37 PM
gwpercle's Avatar
gwpercle gwpercle is offline
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Baton Rouge, La.
Posts: 4,633
Likes: 3,776
Liked 4,380 Times in 2,177 Posts
Default

A load of 4.7 - 4.8 - 4.9 grains of Unique with a 124 gr. cast or plated RN bullet will be safe but depending on your gun may not cycle 100% .

Taken from RCBS Cast Bullet Handbook #1
9mm Luger / 124-RN / Unique powder
Start Load - 5.1 grains @ 1102 fps
Max Load - 5.5 grains @ 1122 fps

When I started working up loads for my 9mm Walther P38 I started way too low 4.0 grains and that didn't cycle the action well . I went all the way up to 4.7 grains before getting near 100% cycling .
I have settled on 5.0 grains to get 100% feed , fire and eject .
Don't load a lot of ammo untill you verify they will work in your pistol .

I don't know why some sources start so low , they didn't start cycling properly in my P-38 and a friends S&W until at least 4.7 was used .
I believe 5.0 grains /124 cast or plated RN is a great place to start.
RCBS manual says you can go up to 5.5 grains of Unique...I've found this manual to be pretty good .
Gary
__________________
Certified Cajun
NRA Member
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 11-22-2019, 12:33 PM
Wise_A Wise_A is offline
Banned
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 3,136
Likes: 2,666
Liked 4,291 Times in 1,792 Posts
Default

I would start at the upper end of your Lyman data. If I remember correctly, I didn't start to get good function with Unique and 125-gr until 4.6 or 4.7, and it wasn't super-reliable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahak
one of my teenagers will sit with me for hours running the press and talking so I would pay a premium in order to reload.
Laudable, but I advise people against talking while reloading. It's extremely easy to get distracted, and I can think of two or three kabooms personally known to me that happened with two people talking at a reloading bench.

However...

Most reasonable 9mm loads I've used hover around 66-75% case fill. If you've got a light on the case, it's very easy to check for no-charge, and a double-charge should be noticeable, although not to the point that I'd bet my fingers or eyes on it. For instance, some powder dispensers, when actuated around a turret press (and here I'm thinking of the Lee Auto-Disk) drop quite consistent charges. But if you fail to actuate the press and double-charge, you don't get two full charges, you get 1.5 or thereabouts.

What I'd look at is some team reloading. Forget the time and rounds per hour, and just look at doing stuff together--a single-stage is cheap and might be a ton of fun:

*Person A resizes and deprimes on the press, Person B uses a hand- or bench-mounted priming tool.

*Person A charges with a benchtop dispenser (I love my Lee Perfect Powder Measure), Person B seats bullets on the single-stage.

That way, you're splitting up the loading, everybody's doing something, and it's very easy to eyeball cases before seating bullets. Also might be neat for him/her to have their "own" reloading press, and I guarantee you'll find a use for it as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter123 View Post
That is do NOT use Unique for 9mm unless you hand weight every single charge thrown.
Unique works fine in 9mm, although I prefer Bullseye or Power Pistol, depending on the bullet. I still have hands.

AA#5 is great, but this is how you wind up with a loading bench like mine--seven or eight cartridges and sixteen different powders to load them with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oysterer
Another reason I stopped Bullseye too, not a bad powder per se but others are just way better. If you throw them and not weight them that is.
How did you manage to get Bullseye to not throw well?

Last edited by Wise_A; 11-22-2019 at 12:34 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 11-22-2019, 12:50 PM
Nevada Ed's Avatar
Nevada Ed Nevada Ed is offline
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Reno Nv
Posts: 8,218
Likes: 750
Liked 5,445 Times in 2,693 Posts
Default

Unique powder in the 9mm case does BEST with 90% to full loads or
even +P loads if needed.

It can do light loads but..........
there are a lot of faster powders that get better accuracy from my pistols and.......
generally will do it with a lot less powder.

Down the road you might want to pick up some Bullseye or w231 type powder for those light target loads.

Since I load for shotguns........
I have found that a 115 up to the heavy 147gr plated bullets do very well in light
target loads with Green Dot , of all powders??

Stay safe.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 11-22-2019, 05:19 PM
Dahak Dahak is offline
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 33
Likes: 7
Liked 26 Times in 10 Posts
Default

Thanks for all the input so far. It seems the variable I missed was that not all 124 grain bullets are the same. I need to go looking for some manuals that list the closet thing to the bullets that I will be using. I suspect one of the manuals listed earlier in this thread will be a good one for me, I'll study up see which one will be best for me.

As far as the safety aspect, we measure every 5th charge and run a turret press (Lyman t mag 2) like a single stage in batches of 50 and check how everything looks (primer depth, charge height, etc) before going to the next step. While eventually I may switch to a more sense powder, I'm liking the unique as a"bulky " powder so far since a double charge is very visually apparent.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #24  
Old 11-22-2019, 10:23 PM
Rogeronimo Rogeronimo is offline
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 174
Likes: 31
Liked 50 Times in 40 Posts
Default

Bulky is good. Takes any position sensitivity issues out of the equation. I run 800X behind my 124s, and my cases are stuffed. Doesn't meter at all, so I'm not steering you or anyone in that direction. Best of luck.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 11-23-2019, 01:57 AM
Nevada Ed's Avatar
Nevada Ed Nevada Ed is offline
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Reno Nv
Posts: 8,218
Likes: 750
Liked 5,445 Times in 2,693 Posts
Default

800x.................... ! ?

Boy, you must have a lot of spare time to load with that powder.

I bought a pound of it once.............
If it was not for the new steel duck loads needed back then, it would still
be sitting on my shelf.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #26  
Old 11-23-2019, 03:32 AM
27Veer 27Veer is offline
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: AZ
Posts: 161
Likes: 75
Liked 64 Times in 27 Posts
Default

I always have at least 3 lbs of Unique in store. It really is the most useful powder there is. One thing I like for beginners is that is fills the brass so getting a double load is very rare.
I use 4.5 grains and load everything because I bought much when I thought Hillery was going to be president.

However my most accurate load is 5 grains of P B. With a Montana Gold124 grain bullet.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 11-23-2019, 10:47 AM
gwpercle's Avatar
gwpercle gwpercle is offline
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Baton Rouge, La.
Posts: 4,633
Likes: 3,776
Liked 4,380 Times in 2,177 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahak View Post
Thanks for all the input so far. It seems the variable I missed was that not all 124 grain bullets are the same. I need to go looking for some manuals that list the closet thing to the bullets that I will be using. I suspect one of the manuals listed earlier in this thread will be a good one for me, I'll study up see which one will be best for me.

As far as the safety aspect, we measure every 5th charge and run a turret press (Lyman t mag 2) like a single stage in batches of 50 and check how everything looks (primer depth, charge height, etc) before going to the next step. While eventually I may switch to a more sense powder, I'm liking the unique as a"bulky " powder so far since a double charge is very visually apparent.
Bullet profile , construction and type are details that matter big time . Don't interchange data for cast lead and jacketed .
You can use data for cast lead with powder coated and plated bullets .
You really need to have at least 4 different sources of data to compare to get an idea of where min and max charges might be.
Something to look at is a booklet called "One Book/One Caliber" "The Complete Reloading Manual for the 9mm Luger" published by Loadbooks USA . It takes all the load data from manuals , powder manufacturers and bullet makers for the 9mm and puts it in one booklet...It Is Sweet having all that data in one booklet.
$9.99 at Midway and cheaper on Amazon .
I ordered one for 41 Magnum and even though I have a dozen manuals I'm going to get a few more ... If you don't need a big reloading manual check out these babies...they are nice.
Gary
__________________
Certified Cajun
NRA Member
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 11-23-2019, 10:59 AM
Rogeronimo Rogeronimo is offline
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 174
Likes: 31
Liked 50 Times in 40 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevada Ed View Post
800x.................... ! ?

Boy, you must have a lot of spare time to load with that powder.
My first powder to load with was Herco (45ACP/44 S&W Special ... I didn't care for how it metered, either ... so I developed the patience and a bit of a knack for running a beam scale. I also developed a deep love for the old flake powders ... it just 'feels' right when you light 'em off. You can probably feel it in your loins when you're working with Green○Dot. 800X was a natural evolutionary experiment for me.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 11-23-2019, 11:36 AM
glenwolde's Avatar
glenwolde glenwolde is offline
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: The South
Posts: 1,052
Likes: 600
Liked 1,757 Times in 626 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogeronimo View Post
Bulky is good. Takes any position sensitivity issues out of the equation. I run 800X behind my 124s, and my cases are stuffed. Doesn't meter at all, so I'm not steering you or anyone in that direction. Best of luck.
I've used 800-X some, but more so it's step-brother 700-X. These two make Unique look like a metering champ. For the most part it threw OK but as has been pointed out...there's the outliers on the bell curve.

I strapped an aquarium pump to my powder measure. The vibration settles the powder and it nows throws consistently though if it sits for longer than the normal cycle it may throw a tad heavy.

Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 11-23-2019, 01:11 PM
Ole Joe Clark's Avatar
Ole Joe Clark Ole Joe Clark is online now
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Alabama
Posts: 2,656
Likes: 5,344
Liked 6,705 Times in 1,765 Posts
Default

Unique has been my go to powder since the mid 1970. Works great.
I reload 9mm, using Unique and 124 gr bullets. Have loaded several thousand rounds of them with no problems.

One thing that I do with semi auto rounds that I don't do for revolver reloads, is plunk test every round after reloading. When I was reloading 40 cal I had a few problems learning to do them right. Problem solved when I started the plunk test routine.

Have a blessed day,

Leon
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 11-23-2019, 01:27 PM
Nevada Ed's Avatar
Nevada Ed Nevada Ed is offline
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Reno Nv
Posts: 8,218
Likes: 750
Liked 5,445 Times in 2,693 Posts
Default

+1;
nice add on Joe.......... a plunk test is always nice with a new load.

As for the 800-x, it also makes one heck of a +P load in a 38 snub nose
if you add a little too much powder to the case.

They all work, just some are better at things but some smell better when fired.........

Sort of like Napalm............ (Joke)
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 03-18-2020, 06:24 PM
smyke smyke is offline
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Dahak
What did you end up with?
I am looking at the exact same situation
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 03-18-2020, 07:09 PM
reccpd101's Avatar
reccpd101 reccpd101 is offline
SWCA Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 269
Likes: 532
Liked 301 Times in 128 Posts
Default What?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BB57 View Post
A few thoughts:

Different data from different perspectives:

Bullet companies have the luxury of testing and then listing data for specific bullets, or a limited number of specific bullets they make in that weight.

Powder company data has to encompass a broad range of bullets in that weight or in some cases weight range. Even if you restrict the data to jacketed bullets, there is variation in lead core hardness, jacket thickness and hardness, and bearing surface, all of which have impacts on pressure. If you restrict it to cast lead bullets you still have differences in alloy hardness, diameter, lube effectiveness and bearing surface that all effect both pressure and potential for leading.


Limited space in manuals:

There are practical limits to manual size and both bullet and powder companies want to include the latest gee whiz powders being marketed. When it comes down to choosing to repeat old data or list new data, the new data wins most of the time.

That means data on old go to powders like Bullseye, Red Dot, Unique, etc can be hard to find in newer manuals.


Powder formulations do change over time:

The National Center for Forensic Science maintains a database on powder chemical composition over the years that is useful in analysing gunshot residue. It's also interesting for a handloader who wonders if today's power is the same as that can made 20 years ago, and in turn how useful that data may be from 20 years ago.

For example you'll find six variations of Unique.

National Center for Forensic Science

Despite variation in the chemical formulation the over all burn traits should be very similar, but the take away is to use old data fairly conservatively by starting about 10% low and working up to in your firearm with your components.


Test standards have evolved:

Back in the day pressure was measured with a copper crusher. Since it relied on deformation of a copper cylinder, which also involved a brief time element while the copper deformed the peak pressure measured wasn't the same as it is now with much more responsive piezoelectric measurement of pressure.

That change resulted in new maximum average pressure standards for some loads, usually being adjusted downward and old manuals (mid 70s and before) may not reflect those changes. For example, the Hornady 3rd edition published in 1973 is regarded by some folks as having some fairly hot loads, and that's supported by comparison with load data in later manuals where the max loads for some of the cartridge, powder and bullet weight combinations are significantly lower, even with the same test firearm used in both manuals.


Charges listed in manuals are nominal charges:

Canister grade powders used in handloading are far more consistent than the bulk powders used by ammunition manufacturers and military arsenals. However, they still have some variation.

There are some powders that are acknowledged to be the "same" powder just with different labels. H110 and Win 296 is one of the better known examples. HP38 and Win 231 is another well known example. However if you look at a particular manual and you look at a particular page that lists both powders for the same bullet, it's not uncommon to find a .5 to .7 grain difference in the maximum loads listed on that page. If they are the same powder why is that? It's because they were randomly selected and packaged from different lots of powder that have normal lot to lot variation.

Your take away from that needs to be that if you have two cans of H110 from different lots, you should expect to potentially see the same variation in lots.

Again, this is why manuals almost always advise starting 10% below and maximum load and working up.


Surplus and bulk powders are not the same as canister powders:

What really makes me shake my head is when some internet expert starts citing a specific powder charge of a military powder like WC844 or WC 846 to duplicate a military load. They do that because they see a specification for a nominal load of powder and think it means something far more precise.

How it really works is that Dupont will ship a 10,000 pound lot of "WC 844" to an ammunition plant to produce 5.56x45 NATO ammunition. When the lot arrives, ballisticians will work up a load specific to that 10,000 pound powder lot to get the required velocity within the maximum pressure limits specified by the military.

For example with one lot of WC844 for use in M193 27.0 grains might produce 3,200 fps while another lot of WC 844 may produce 3,185 fps with a 28.0 grain charge. That's a significant difference. The end result is that with that 10,000 pound lot, you'll end up with about 2.4 million rounds of M193 that are loaded with a specific charge weight that may not be the same as other M193 loaded from a different lot of powder. Those different lots of M193 will however have the same average velocity.

This gets us to another scary issue with surplus pull down powders. If a company is pulling bullets on surplus ammo and then dumping the powder, you never know quite what you are going to get. It it all came from the same 24 million or so rounds loaded from that single lot of powder, you are good to go. But that's not likely and when powder from different lot is mixed, you're now clearly in crash test dummy territory with an unknown powder that may or may not be homogenous in the keg. If it isn't in a factory sealed keg from DuPont, I'll pass on WC844 and WC846.

WC844 is also a special case as the "WC844" specification was developed specifically for M193 and it was taken from one end of the much wider WC846 specification used for 7.62x51 M80 ball ammo. In other words if you think 1 grain variation is something, wait until you see a 1.5 or 2.0 grain variation in the larger round. But none the less you see some fool posting an exact charge weight to replicate M80 ball.

It gets worse when the internet expert states that WC844 is the same as H335 and that WC846 is the same as BLC(2). It's more accurate to say that WC844 is similar to H335 and that WC846 is similar to BLC(2) but that's as far as it goes. H335 and BLC(2), as canister powders do adhere to tighter specifications.

To make the point about the wide range found in a bulk powder consider that WC844 was just a subset of WC846, and then see where H335 and BLC(2) are at on a powder burn rate chart.

On one particular chart H335 is listed as #81 right after Benchmark, N133 and IMR 3031. BLC(2) is listed as #102, in between W748 and Leverevolution and H380. In between H335 and BLC(2) you'll find IMR 4895, IMR 4064 and IMR 4320. No one considers those to be the same powders, but you'll find an internet expert claiming an exact charge for WC846 when it spans that entire burn range. They'd never suggest a single correct charge that could be used for IMR 4895, 4064 and 4320, but they'll do it for WC 844 or WC846 because they don't know what they are talking about.

If you've googled some burn rate charts or compared charts in different manuals you've probably also discovered that no two powder burn rate charts ever agree completely.

The take away here is that if you decide to start buying and shooting surplus powders you need to know what you are doing and you need to be very conservative in your approach to load development.
You are going way over the initial poster's question. The idea is to help him with his issue. I am sure he is a long way from trying to use bulk military powder or trying to load 5.56 or 7.62.
still, you're point is well taken avoid armchair experts.
__________________
SWCA 3417 HF 642 NRA-TC
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #34  
Old 03-18-2020, 09:23 PM
buckshotshorty buckshotshorty is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 282
Likes: 40
Liked 125 Times in 71 Posts
Default

My go to load with plated or powder coated bullets 124 or 125 gr. Bullets is 3.7 gr. TiteGroup or 4.5 Unique. The Unique load is the lowest I would go to reliably cycle a 9mm auto and it is a very mild load.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 03-19-2020, 12:26 AM
fredj338's Avatar
fredj338 fredj338 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Kalif. usa
Posts: 6,229
Likes: 2,147
Liked 3,363 Times in 2,063 Posts
Default

Why I think new reloaders should take a class from a knowledgable reloading instructor. Reloading manuals are guides, not bibles. The data really only applies if you use exact components & in the same testing platform.
Example, you are using plated bullets & your data source is jacketed. So you are kinda flying blind. Lead bullets load diff than plate & plated diff from jacketed. OAL is always bullet & barrel specific. There are a bunch of little knoweledge things that take time to research. Why a good class is worth it imo. Next best thing, find someplace online with guys that seem like they know their stuff & ask a lot of questions.
__________________
NRA Cert. Inst. IDPA CSO

Last edited by fredj338; 03-19-2020 at 02:09 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #36  
Old 03-19-2020, 09:34 AM
Dahak Dahak is offline
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 33
Likes: 7
Liked 26 Times in 10 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by smyke View Post
Dahak
What did you end up with?
I am looking at the exact same situation
I ended up using the Speer data (available online: https://www.speer-ammo.com/downloads...__124_rev1.pdf ) and determining that the TMJ RN is equivalent to the Berry's plated bullets, especially loading under 1200 fps, which is the warning line for Berry's plating.

I'm at pretty much the middle of the road on the Speer chart. I've also learned a lot about controlling my powder throws and measures since my original post so am not as concerned about setting the powder measure to just one setting.

In addition to the realization that bullets are more than weights and that design/shape/materials matter, I've also figured out that OAL greatly affects pressure, which is one area where published sources differ. Different OALs will cause different powder amounts.

I'm at the point where I can see how all the factors (weight, bullet type, powder type, powder amount, and OAL) inter-relate. I can predict what happens when one or more of those variables change, but don't have enough experience to know how much a change in one affects the final result. I'll probably will never gain that knowledge without a chronograph and more time than I have available at the range, but I am a much more informed selector of data from the manuals now than just a few months ago.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 03-19-2020, 09:44 AM
Rule3's Avatar
Rule3 Rule3 is offline
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Florida, NRA CERT RSO
Posts: 20,332
Likes: 8,984
Liked 12,530 Times in 5,727 Posts
Default

Information overload is common when posting on internet forums


The best investment is to BUY some actual manuals like Speer and Hornady (there are others)


If you do not have the exact bullet, use data for a similar PROFILE and WEIGHT
Plunk test the dummy round in your barrel
Avoid super fast powders (use medium powders they are more forgiving)

Start low and work up
__________________
For office use only
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #38  
Old 03-19-2020, 09:51 AM
WR Moore WR Moore is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,193
Likes: 233
Liked 2,322 Times in 1,249 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahak View Post


In a perfect world, I'll use 4.8-4.9 grains as that is what I am using for my 38spl loads and not having to reset the powder measure between my 2 most common calibers would be awesome. Some internet sleuthing says 5.0 for 124gr Berrys is a common, middle of the road load. (perfect, but that's also confirmation bias speaking)

So A: immediate question - Does 4.8-4.9 grains of Unique seem reasonable based on your experience and B: long-term question - How do I as a novice reloader deal with such a large variance in data from 2 very credible sources?
You don't specify the weight of bullet in your .38 Spl loads. I'd guess you're using 158 gr. If so, that's just a tad warm, you're approaching +P but you're not there yet-at least with some bullets and depending upon seating depth.

Back when, I used to use 4.5 g Unique for both 158 gr .38 Spl and 125 gr cast lead in 9 mm. In 9 mm, that barely made 1000 f/s. They were reasonably close to factory in .38.

My experience is that with Unique (and BE86) in 9 mm, around 0.3-0.4 gr less powder than you'd need for a jacketed bullet of the same weight will produce about the same velocities with a plated bullet. The jacket being softer and requiring less powder to drive the bullet at XXXX f/s.

In short, your 4.8-4.9 gr powder measure setting is probably OK for both (5.0 gr being a long time published maximum load with 124 gr jacketed bullets), but it does depend upon your loaded overall length. If you can, load up about 5 as test items and carefully check your primers after firing.'

Added: there seems to be a fairly wide variation in rim diameter in various 9 mm sources. Do yourself a favor and do your die setup using a 38 Super shell holder. Or use the Lyman shell holder, it's the same for both. That will cover about any make of 9 mm brass.

Last edited by WR Moore; 03-19-2020 at 05:54 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 03-19-2020, 12:21 PM
reccpd101's Avatar
reccpd101 reccpd101 is offline
SWCA Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 269
Likes: 532
Liked 301 Times in 128 Posts
Default Good advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
Why I think new reloaders should take a class from a knowledgable reloading instructor. Reliading manuals are guides, not bibles. The data really only applies if you use exact components & in the same testing platform.
Example, you are using plated bullets & your data source is jacketed. So you are kinda flying blind. Lead bullets load diff than plate & plated diff from jacketed. OAL is always bullet & barrel specific. There are a bunch of little knoweledge things that take time to research. Why a good class is worth it imo. Next best thing, find someplace online with guys that seem like they know their stuff & ask a lot of questions.
Here in NC. Montgomery County community college offers a continuing education class at low cost to the public in Basic Reloading. It is on the calendar but unknown of the effect of the attempts to control the virus.
__________________
SWCA 3417 HF 642 NRA-TC
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 03-19-2020, 02:13 PM
fredj338's Avatar
fredj338 fredj338 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Kalif. usa
Posts: 6,229
Likes: 2,147
Liked 3,363 Times in 2,063 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahak View Post
I ended up using the Speer data (available online: https://www.speer-ammo.com/downloads...__124_rev1.pdf ) and determining that the TMJ RN is equivalent to the Berry's plated bullets, especially loading under 1200 fps, which is the warning line for Berry's plating.

I'm at pretty much the middle of the road on the Speer chart. I've also learned a lot about controlling my powder throws and measures since my original post so am not as concerned about setting the powder measure to just one setting.

In addition to the realization that bullets are more than weights and that design/shape/materials matter, I've also figured out that OAL greatly affects pressure, which is one area where published sources differ. Different OALs will cause different powder amounts.

I'm at the point where I can see how all the factors (weight, bullet type, powder type, powder amount, and OAL) inter-relate. I can predict what happens when one or more of those variables change, but don't have enough experience to know how much a change in one affects the final result. I'll probably will never gain that knowledge without a chronograph and more time than I have available at the range, but I am a much more informed selector of data from the manuals now than just a few months ago.
So you are getting a grasp on it. There are few absolutes in reloading however.
Yes OAL matters, but it just depends on case volume, powder burn speed & charge weights. Powder compression in itself is not an over pressure vent.
Bullets are NOT plug & play, especially if you worked a load up to near max or max. At max, everything matters; bullet type, case brand, OAL, even primers can push you to over pressure.
Yes a choro can help but only if you understand the data it provides. It wont tell you pressures but will show you potential trends in pressure increase. For me a chrono is an essential tool.
Keep meticulous notes as you develop loads.
__________________
NRA Cert. Inst. IDPA CSO

Last edited by fredj338; 03-19-2020 at 02:15 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 03-19-2020, 02:20 PM
fredj338's Avatar
fredj338 fredj338 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Kalif. usa
Posts: 6,229
Likes: 2,147
Liked 3,363 Times in 2,063 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by reccpd101 View Post
Here in NC. Montgomery County community college offers a continuing education class at low cost to the public in Basic Reloading. It is on the calendar but unknown of the effect of the attempts to control the virus.
If you can, check the instructors background. There is reloading exp & then there is reloading exp. If you reload for 40y but just one handgun & one rifle caliber, you have a very limited exp level. If you load for 5y & reload for say 20 diff calibers, your exp level is about 5x the other guys. For example, I have been at this for 40y, had my own boutique ammo bus back in the early days of CAS & currently reload for 25 diff calibers including wildcat rounds where there is little to no data. I am well over 400K rds loaded without a mishap.
WHile reloading basics are the same for all handgun & all rifle, the nuance stuff is what takes a long time to figure out on your own. One thing my class offers my student is basically 24/7 access to me for help if you hit a snag. I have even gone to a student home to help them setup their press or fix a setup problem. I usually get a lunch or dinner out of those trips. I have had some great students.
__________________
NRA Cert. Inst. IDPA CSO

Last edited by fredj338; 03-19-2020 at 02:22 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #42  
Old 03-19-2020, 03:57 PM
akoda akoda is offline
Member
9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader) 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)  
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Richmond, Va.
Posts: 140
Likes: 99
Liked 230 Times in 77 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
If you can, check the instructors background. There is reloading exp & then there is reloading exp. If you reload for 40y but just one handgun & one rifle caliber, you have a very limited exp level. If you load for 5y & reload for say 20 diff calibers, your exp level is about 5x the other guys. For example, I have been at this for 40y, had my own boutique ammo bus back in the early days of CAS & currently reload for 25 diff calibers including wildcat rounds where there is little to no data. I am well over 400K rds loaded without a mishap.
WHile reloading basics are the same for all handgun & all rifle, the nuance stuff is what takes a long time to figure out on your own. One thing my class offers my student is basically 24/7 access to me for help if you hit a snag. I have even gone to a student home to help them setup their press or fix a setup problem. I usually get a lunch or dinner out of those trips. I have had some great students.
I have bbq and homemade bacon 9mm load data - what am I not understanding? (new reloader)

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lyman load data VS. Lee load data ferggie Reloading 28 04-24-2017 10:53 PM
load data for the 22 TCM? Vulcan Bob Reloading 15 01-07-2016 06:34 PM
In need of .40 load data Mr.40 Reloading 3 06-30-2012 01:04 AM
30-30 Load Data?? Big D Reloading 8 03-06-2011 07:12 AM
new reloader, my snubnose load. What do you think? dan-g Reloading 15 01-27-2011 10:18 AM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:49 PM.


Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.42 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2020
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)