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Powder puff 9mm LEAD loads?

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Schaumannk
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Powder puff 9mm LEAD loads? Empty Powder puff 9mm LEAD loads?

Post by desben Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:03 am

Hi,
In another thread, Len shares his concerns about loading jacketed bullets light and the risk of getting one stuck down the barrel. I share this concern. But with lead, it seems perfectly safe to load at 700 fps. Would you guys care to share your favorite powder puff 9mm loads using lead bullets?

I'll share mine. In essence, I duplicate my 38 special wadcutter load; I don't have to adjust powder measure... I use 2.7gr of WST, with a 135gr cast LRN bullet sized to .357, loaded to 1.110 OAL. It's used in a CZ with a 1-10" barrel. It's accurate at the short line, but I have never tried it at 50. I use it with good results for ISSF. I also tried 3.1gr of HP-38 (my other wadcutter load) but it wasn't as good.

N.B. that WST is no longer in reloading guides for 9mm since it can be dangerous if you're trying to achieve a power factor using it. I do believe it's safe at this very low load, but use at your own risk and make sure you're not compressing the powder. The following collection of forum posts on WST may be interesting to you.
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Post by Wobbley Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:42 am

About the only difference between a 9mm jacketed bullet and a comparable 38 special bullet is the OD.  38 Special jacketed run as low as 900 fps in a vented barrel.  The 38ACP and 38 Super are loaded to 900 and 1200 fps respectively.  Same case and bullet.  The real issue is functioning.  But be cautioned, there’s only so much you can do with spring adjustments.
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Post by David R Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:44 pm

I loaded some Missouri 125 grain SWC with 3.5 grains Bullseye.   Got under 2" @ 25 yards out of my DW PM-9.  OAL 1.1".   back of front band was just inside the case.  No chrony yet. 

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Post by jglenn21 Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:16 pm

my typical load for my 38 super wad gun with slide mounted scope was a 126 gr SWC from Dardus and 3.6 gr of BE.

pretty much laid the brass on the bench and shot very well
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Post by bruce martindale Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:06 pm

2.7 to 3.0 bullseye with a penn 115 conical, shot under 2" at 50 yards in a kkm 1-32 barrel. The 2.7 wst load above was also good. Note the proper diameter and bullet driving band length  expander plug is required, otherwise, you swage the bullet during seating.

God luck

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Post by pgg Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:52 pm

As a result of that thread I spent some time scouring the internet looking for information on very light 9mm loads. The prevailing wisdom is that a fast powder and a heavy cast bullet is the best combination.

I ordered some VV N310 powder. For bullets I ordered some powder coated 145 gr LRN and 150 gr SWC cast bullets.

Vihtavuori has published data for N310 and 145 LRN bullets (2.6 to 3.3 gr, 1.142" OAL, predicting 794-914 fps). There are some people using it with 147 gr JHPs.

Most of the N310 loads people share on the internet are in the 2.8 gr range for 145-150 gr cast lead bullets.

The powder will arrive this week. I plan to load and shoot some next weekend. If I have time I'll also chrono and test for accuracy on a Ransom Rest. Will post my results here.

My Beretta shoots the 147 XTP better than anything else I've tried. It's quite snappy with 4.0 gr of WSF. I'm hopeful it'll also do well with heavy cast bullets moving slower.

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Post by desben Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:38 am

Pgg, 2.6gr of N310 below a heavy cast bullet should be very pleasant to shoot. Let us know how accurate it is. What is the twist rate of the Beretta barrel?
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Post by desben Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:41 am

And for those not familiar with Dr. Don's research on 9mm softball accuracy: https://www.bullseyeforum.net/t3825-1911-9mm-softball-accuracy

This is where the idea started for me.


Last edited by desben on Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:42 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Trying to hyperlink from my phone...)
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Post by kidneyboy Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:26 am

I have loaded thousands of 145 and 147gr lead and coated lead over 3.1gr of titegroup. These run in the low 900fps range and have worked in factory, KKM and Wolf barrels on a variety of Glocks, Springfields and Berettas in stock form and racing setups. Soft shooting and accurate.
  Wobbley is correct regarding functioning being the issue. My experience has been that below 900fps (or so) with that size bullet requires a lot of work on the gun to keep it reliably functioning. In my case it is easier to pick up the 38sp revolver or move over to the 45.

 That said, there are some guys over on The High Road reloading forum that are loading 100gr mouse fart loads in 9mm with some success.

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Post by bruce martindale Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:32 pm

The Beretta stock barrel is 1-10; capable of stabilizing a 180 grain lob

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Post by Taroman Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:58 am

My Steel Challenge load:
         
Bayou GR: 135 Bullseye GR: 2.8 LO: 855 HI: 891 AVG: 874 ES: 36 SD: 9.01 Fed Mag Primer

Believe it or not, I got lower ES and SD with the magnum primer.

Shoot these in a S&W 986 7-shot revolver.
Powder puff 9mm LEAD loads? 986
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Post by pgg Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:27 pm

desben wrote:Pgg, 2.6gr of N310 below a heavy cast bullet should be very pleasant to shoot. Let us know how accurate it is. What is the twist rate of the Beretta barrel?

Not 100% sure what the the twist rate is, but if I mark a free-spinning cleaning rod, and push it through the barrel, the mark moves from 12 o'clock to about 5 o'clock. It's a 5" barrel so by my math, 5/12ths of a twist in 5" makes it a 1 in 12" twist barrel.

In any case, it shoots 147 XTPs with 4.0 gr of WSF very well off a Ransom Rest at 50 yards, so I have every reason to believe it'll be good for heavy lead bullets too.



I got back home a little late today, so I didn't get to do as much testing as I wanted to. I loaded up a few rounds and shot them past my Labradar.

Winchester brass and small pistol primers.
150 gr powder coated SWC bullets from ACME.
OAL of 1.142"
Ten with 2.6 gr and ten with 2.8 gr of VV N310

For these few rounds I just individually weighed each charge on a Sartorius lab scale.

They fed from a magazine and extracted easily.

Functioned perfectly. Even deliberately limp wristing a couple shots, the next round chambered. Slide always locked back on an empty magazine.

Shot very softly. Not quite 22LR soft, but a world of difference from the 124 XTP with 5.2 gr of WSF or 147 XTP with 4.0 gr of WSF.

I chrono'd nine of the 2.6 gr rounds - averaged 837 fps with an extreme spread of 21 and std dev of 7.6. (Quickload predicted 835 fps.)

I chrono'd five of the 2.8 gr rounds - averaged 871 fps with an extreme spread of 24 and std dev of 13.1. (Quickload predicted 873 fps.)


I shot most of them into the dirt to get chrono data. I put a few on paper and they made round holes.

As for accuracy - in full disclosure, I am a relative newbie to bullseye shooting and a good day is when I keep all of my 50 yard rounds in a scoring ring, and all of my 25 yard rounds on the repair center. I usually follow some pistol shooting with some rifle practice to make myself feel better.

Anyway, today the holes went in a pattern that is more or less consistent with what I usually shoot. Next time out I'll take a better shooter (the Ransom Rest).

I have to say I'm pretty happy with the results so far.


Quickload was spot on with its velocity predictions (using bullet data for the Lyman 150 gr LSWC):
2.8 gr - 29277 psi and 873 fps
2.6 gr - 25257 psi and 835 fps

Vihtavuori's published minimum load for N310 and 145 lead round nose bullets is 2.6 gr, but for 147 gr copper plated bullets it's 2.3 gr. Quickload suggest loads under 2.6 gr would be safe:
2.4 gr - 21570 psi and 796 fps
2.2 gr - 18205 psi and 756 fps

I might try some at 2.4 gr to see how low I can go and still have reliable function.

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Post by rreid Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:31 pm

pgg wrote:

Not 100% sure what the the twist rate is, but if I mark a free-spinning cleaning rod, and push it through the barrel, the mark moves from 12 o'clock to about 5 o'clock. It's a 5" barrel so by my math, 5/12ths of a twist in 5" makes it a 1 in 12" twist barrel.


You might have a 1:10 twist. The barrel is 5", but the rifled portion is not more than 4.25"
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Post by pgg Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:11 pm

Well, bit of a problem.

These rounds aren't stable after all. The few I shot during initial testing made round holes, but today was another story. Went to a local match and shot them. Put 3 shots low and left, fixed my hand position, and then shot a pretty good group (for me).

Powder puff 9mm LEAD loads? JkcEWHe

It's odd because the 147 gr XTP shoots great in this gun.

Resting on the target are the two kinds of bullets I bought for this project.

A 150 gr SWC that's 0.72" long (the kind I loaded and fired sideways into this target), and a 145 gr RN that's 0.66" long.

I'm going to try the shorter & lighter RN bullet to see if it's stable.

Or maybe I should just keep shooting these tumbling bullets. When they hit sideways, it's sort of like shooting a .72 caliber bullet, so that's an edge for touching the next higher scoring ring.

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Post by desben Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:28 pm

Well I think you may have gone too low. What load were these?
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Post by pgg Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:33 pm

2.6 of N310

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Post by james r chapman Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:51 pm

surely a scorers nightmare!
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Post by LenV Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:33 pm

I have 3 powder puff loads for the 9mm that I consider good enough for the short line. 

1. Penn 115gr L-SWC with 5.6 gr of Unique. This load works great in my 1:18 twist barrel but the RO doesn't like it. Loading for the RO I use 3.8gr BE. And the 952 hates it. This bullet needs a lot of work to find the right combo.

2. Magnus 130gr L-SWC with 3.5gr BE. Magnus sizes these .358 bullets down to .356 for me.

3. Magnus 147gr L-FP with 3.5gr BE. Sounds hot but feels wimpy.

Powder puff 9mm LEAD loads? Dscf0732
Powder puff 9mm LEAD loads? Dscf0733
Powder puff 9mm LEAD loads? Dscf0734
Powder puff 9mm LEAD loads? Dscf0735

Look at the difference a powder change made between these two pistols.
Powder puff 9mm LEAD loads? Dscf0736
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Post by pgg Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:28 pm

LenV wrote:I have 3 powder puff loads for the 9mm that I consider good enough for the short line. 

1. Penn 115gr L-SWC with 5.6 gr of Unique. This load works great in my 1:18 twist barrel but the RO doesn't like it. Loading for the RO I use 3.8gr BE. And the 952 hates it. This bullet needs a lot of work to find the right combo.

2. Magnus 130gr L-SWC with 3.5gr BE. Magnus sizes these .358 bullets down to .356 for me.

3. Magnus 147gr L-FP with 3.5gr BE. Sounds hot but feels wimpy.

Thanks. I ordered some of these earlier today:

130gr 9mm LSWC H&G #275 clone cast lead bullets

which look like your 2nd load.


Loaded up a few of the 145 gr LRNs. Going to go shoot them tomorrow.

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Post by LenV Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:18 am

Magnus 130gr are not 275 clones but something I have found unique to them. Almost a wad cutter with enough nose to feed well. And has two smaller lube grooves.

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Post by pgg Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:24 am

LenV wrote:Magnus 130gr are not 275 clones but something I have found unique to them. Almost a wad cutter with enough nose to feed well. And has two smaller lube grooves.

Do they make batches sized down to .356, or do you special order in bulk from them?

Thanks.

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Post by LenV Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:15 pm

I just ask for a size when I order. I size the 9mm at .356 and the Super @ .357. He has test batch sizes if you want to try something.


9mm    38Super    9mm
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Post by pgg Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:25 pm

Ordered some of the Magnus 130 gr sized to .356 ...


In the meantime, tested some other combinations. These turned out the best so far:

147 gr XTP with 2.6 gr N310. Very soft shooting. Has a tendency to short stroke and occasionally not chamber the next round. Might add 0.1 gr or try a lighter spring.

130 gr LSWC H&G #275 from GT Bullets, with 2.8 gr N310.


All loaded to 1.100" in Winchester cases with Winchester small pistol primers.


Both were shot from a Ransom Rest at 50 yards (the left target is a 25y B8 but was at 50y):

Powder puff 9mm LEAD loads? N310-t10


Roughly 10 ring size groups. The Ransom setup isn't ideal though, so maybe they're actually a little better. They way our range is set up, I'm stuck clamping it to a suboptimally sturdy bench with a wedge under the rear to get acceptable elevation. Sad

Powder puff 9mm LEAD loads? Ransom10


I don't really get why this gun will stabilize 147 gr XTPs 100% of the time, but 145+ gr cast lead bullets tumble.

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Post by dlouque@yahoo.com Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:31 pm

My powder puff steel load is Bayou Bullets 105gr FP at 1.045" with 3.3 gr of WST. At 25 yds 10 shots grouped 1.31" out of my Dan Wesson PM9. The power factor is only 106 so I have to use a 9# recoil spring.

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Post by pgg Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:37 pm

Still having trouble getting lead bullets to shoot well, but the 147 XTP is pretty good.

2.7 gr of N310 plus the 147 XTP at 1.100" is very soft and accurate. I put an 11 pound Wolff recoil spring in and that seems to have solved the feeding issues. I shot a bunch of 2 and 3 round magazines and every round fed and the slide always locked to the rear. This was a mixture of slow fire and rapid fire, unsupported standing offhand, so I'm happy with the accuracy. I jerked a handful low and left.

Powder puff 9mm LEAD loads? 147xtp10

Incidentally, is there some rule of thumb or common standard concerning pistol rear sights and clicks per inch of POI movement at 25 yards? I would think not, given the variability in barrel length.

My target scanning app says the cluster of my good shots on this target is 1.1" right and 2.7" high of center. Just wondering how many clicks to guess to center that group next time I go to the range.

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