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Brazo's 125 LG in 9mm, anyone wish to share experience?

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WesG
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Post by Sevens 10/19/2021, 11:37 pm

Full Disclosure: I'm not a Bullseye shooter, I enjoy this forum immensely because I am in awe of the ability of Bullseye shooters. I love accuracy and I love accurate pistols. There's zero chance that I can participate in Bullseye at this point in my life. My skill level? If I showed up at a Bullseye match, I wouldn't finish last, but I'd be near it. Show up at any range I've been to in the three decades-plus I've been shooting and I'm at/near the top of anyone shooting handguns. Hope I don't come off like a jerk, I'm just trying to be honest about where I'm at and what I get from you good folks and your talent and experience.  <-- this should go in my signature line.

To the topic at hand... even if I were hoping to compete, I would not be doing it with -ANY- 9mm handgun. I've found over and over and over again that I can run circles around any/all of my 9mm handguns with either .38 or .45 from my higher end handguns. Still, I have some nice 9mm handguns and I enjoy them and to that end, I continue to seek accuracy loads in 9mm, and if you enjoy a tough chase, try it  Laughing because compared to .38 and .45, it seems like an endless chase.

I thought that I had found a decent accuracy load using the Hornady HAP bullet, but that project is very much in limbo as I haven't seen those available anywhere in what seems like two years. So this time I'm working with the Brazo's powder coated 125gr slug with the lube groove and sized to .357". What I'm looking for in a bullet is accuracy of course, but I'm also needing it to be something that I can purchase in bulk, so boxes of XTP or Sierra or Nosler in 100-count packs is just not something I'm toying with at this time, but never say never.

As I also am not able to shoot at home whenever I wish, load development ends up being a slow process. In an attempt to fast-track a slow process, myself and a buddy executed a project yesterday over a 7-hour range day. We were looking for safe loads, fully functional loads, and then looking at what seemed to return the tightest groups, across a number of different 9mm pistols, some of which should be considered "high end."

We were shooting at paper from a sandbag rest at a distance of 12 yards. The layout of the facility is part of the reason for that 12-yard distance, the plan is to take the distance to 25 yards when the pretenders have been weeded out and only the strong remain. So we arrived with 600 loaded rounds of 9mm with the Brazo's bullet run by five different powders, eight different 9mm handguns, five of which have proven themselves to be more capable than the average 9mm popper, and a thirst for some success.

Still awake? I appreciate your interest thus far. Now the competitors and the players.

All ATK brass (Federal, CCI, Blazer, all extruded brass), all loaded with the Wolf SP, all loaded to 1.135" COAL which happily passed the plunk test in a slew of handguns

4.5gr Hodgdon Universal
4.8gr Alliant Bullseye
4.0gr Hodgdon Titegroup
4.2gr Win 231
5.5gr Hodgdon Longshot

The lower end guns weren't really asked about gilt-edged accuracy. Those included a Walther PPQm2, a Sig P365xl and a Ruger Security 9. All of these guns enjoyed the ammo and showed no signs of excess pressure and zero function issues. Steel plates were slapped repeatedly. The higher end guns included a Tanfogolio Elite Match, S&W 952, S&W 952-1, S&W PPC-9 5-inch, S&W PPC-9 6-inch long slide. We also chrono'd just a few shots through the 5-inch barreled S&W 952-1.

The Universal load averaged 1,145fps
The Bullseye load averaged 1,210fps
The W-231 load averaged 1,060fps
The Titegroup load averaged 1,093fps
The Longshot load averaged 1,161fps

Ranked in order of best to worst, the Longshot load gave the tightest groups each time across the five target guns. The W-231 came in #2. The Titegroup load was third best. Neither the Bullseye nor the Universal load gave encouraging results.

The next step for me in this adventure is to edge up both the Longshot and the W-231 charge weights and try them again, and try them from a sand bag rest at 25 yards.

These pistols were given a dry patch after the shooting and the barrels look fantastic. These powder coated load slugs aren't leaving anything in the bore of these guns.

All comments are welcome and apologies for the great length of this post.

Sevens

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Post by BE Mike 10/20/2021, 9:19 am

I retired from bullseye pistol competition quite a few years ago (shoulder trouble), but I still like to shoot. I've been tinkering with 9mm coated bullets for a while, and although I don't expect bullseye accuracy out of my 9mm pistols, I try to obtain 3" groups at 25 yards. I can easily get those groups while standing, unsupported from my .38 SPL revolvers and 1911's in .45 ACP. I can also get those kinds of groups with copper jacketed ammo with my 9mm pistols, but with coated lead bullets in 9mm and weighing 115 gr., it hasn't been possible. I have tried several brands of coated 115 gr. coated bullets, including Acme, Brazos, Precision, and Blue. I like to keep my 9mm loads in the lower pressure range. Maybe going to a heavier bullet might make a difference. I used to own an accurized Beretta that would shoot sub 2" groups at 50 yards with a Hornady TMJ, 115 gr. bullet and factory JHP ammo will shoot very well out of my "self defense" pistols at 25 yards. Good luck with your hunt.
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Post by bruce martindale 10/20/2021, 1:12 pm

Here's a little of my experience...use Federal cases only as they seem to be the only straightwall cases. Others either bulge or crush the bullet base in.

Make sure your expander plug is .357 or larger and full bullet bearing surface length. Barring that, use unresized cases. In fact try that anyways.

 Try 4.2-231 and 3.0 BE with the crimp holding the bullet.They are subsonic. I have some Brazos but have focused on 120 TC lee cast.

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Post by BE Mike 10/21/2021, 7:40 am

bruce martindale wrote:Here's a little of my experience...use Federal cases only as they seem to be the only straightwall cases. Others either bulge or crush the bullet base in.

Make sure your expander plug is .357 or larger and full bullet bearing surface length. Barring that, use unresized cases. In fact try that anyways.

 Try 4.2-231 and 3.0 BE with the crimp holding the bullet.They are subsonic. I have some Brazos but have focused on 120 TC lee cast.
That seems like a pretty light load for Alliant Bullseye. I've been using 4.0 grains with the 115 gr. coated bullet.
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Post by bruce martindale 10/21/2021, 12:21 pm

Bear in mind wadcutter loads take 2.8 and this is a smaller case volume. It's still snappy

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Post by Sevens 10/21/2021, 1:30 pm

9mm is a 35k psi max load and the .38 Special mid-range wadcutter runs around 14k psi.

I might well try the Federal brass suggestion but I would have no expectations that 3.0gr Bullseye under a 125gr powder coated lead slug is going to faithfully run any 9mm pistol that I own.

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Post by bruce martindale 10/21/2021, 6:01 pm

Let me know how it goes. Mine works in a stock Beretta 92 and in a Springfield RO

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Post by WesG 10/21/2021, 6:21 pm

What's wrong with coming in last? Its happened to me, and I still had fun. Mostly. I've shot PB's with a rifle and finished way down the list anyway.

Seems my HP functioned fine with some modest 120gr cast loads. Leaded like crazy, but that's another issue.

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Post by bruce martindale 10/22/2021, 8:34 am

WesG, see my post above, not sure what yourr load was but generally it shouldn't lead...

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Post by Lightfoot 10/22/2021, 8:46 am

It's been a while since I loaded 9mm.  SPP were available back then.  Now I have some, but I'm saving them.  But as far as chasing 9mm coated bullet accuracy, I found the 147 gr RN and 150 SWC did the best with about 3.5 grains of Sport Pistol.  This is in a 16 twist 1911 barrel.  I was getting 3-4" at 50 yards with a nice tight knot in the middle.
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Post by WesG 10/22/2021, 4:42 pm

Bruce,

This was pre-SW929, so the bullets were .356 loaded with a standard 9mm die set. I think I still have some loaded, but it would be a few weeks before I could check what powder and charge. The 929 has been evolving to .358 bullets to match the barrel and cylinder, an expander made to the dims of a 38, now replaced by a PE. And a shortened 38 super crimp die needed to avoid sizing the whole mess back down.


Last edited by WesG on 10/23/2021, 5:13 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by rich.tullo 10/22/2021, 4:51 pm

While I love Brazos very much. I had no luck getting great groups their 9mm heads. I think it is a combination of gun and powder, I am running a PPQ with a Jarvis Barrel. 

I am using CFE and W231, I would not use faster powders with a 125gn bullet and expect better accuracy. I was told Titegroup or VV340 is the best for 9mm but I have CFE and 231. 


The Bullet I like for 9mm is the RMR Match 125gn bullet groups great and not too pricey. I am running those over 5gn CFE and 4.2 W231.
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Post by Sevens 10/22/2021, 5:08 pm

rich.tullo wrote:The Bullet I like for 9mm is the RMR Match 125gn bullet groups great and not too pricey. I am running those over 5gn CFE and 4.2 W231.

Do you mean the 124gr FMJ truncated cone bullet? That's more expensive than the Brazo's bullet but it is definitely not too expensive if the bullet is a winner! Appreciate the suggestion.

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Post by rich.tullo 10/22/2021, 7:29 pm

Yes very similar to HAP in profile (but not hollow point) only it costs a lot less than HAP.
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Post by Allgoodhits 10/23/2021, 2:13 pm

FWIW, I have tested the Brazos 125 NLG and LG HiTek coated bullets quite a bit, using different sizing, in .38 spl, 9mm and .38 Super, using WST, W231, VV310 and WSF.

I get best consistent results with .38 spl running them about 1000 -1030 fps using 4.5-4.7gr WST. 2-3" at 50 yds consistently.

.38 Super  is also good with WST in the 4.2-4.5gr range. They are also in the low 1,000fps range. About the same group size range. Pretty consistent.

9mm has been puzzling to me. On a couple occasions I've had unbelievable groups in the 1" range, the next group may be 4-6". I had used WST,W231, VN310 and WSF. I don't recall the charges, but whatever they were it was not good enough consistently. I don't think it is the bullet, I just haven't found the sweat spot.

I have not encountered a Brazos bullet that would not shoot, I need to find the recipe for 9mm in my guns.
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Post by Sevens 10/24/2021, 8:34 am

Haha I think what you have found so far is MORE EVIDENCE that if you are going for pure gilt-edged accuracy in handguns, there are many factors from gun choice to barrel to bullet to powder to primer to brass to crimp and perhaps more but the #1 shortcut on the long road to accuracy is to just skip 9mm and start somewhere else… maybe ANYWHERE else.

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Post by BE Mike 10/24/2021, 10:41 am

Sevens wrote:Haha I think what you have found so far is MORE EVIDENCE that if you are going for pure gilt-edged accuracy in handguns, there are many factors from gun choice to barrel to bullet to powder to primer to brass to crimp and perhaps more but the #1 shortcut on the long road to accuracy is to just skip 9mm and start somewhere else… maybe ANYWHERE else.
Actually copper jacketed bullet driven at high speeds do shoot well at 50 yards in a good 9mm gun. The rub seems to come with coated bullets. At least that's my experience.
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Post by musky 10/27/2021, 8:43 am

Used to shoot a Dardas 125 gr lead in my and my sons 1911's & M&P 9mm's. Best load's were 4.2 gr and 4.1 gr of WST. Velocity in my 1911's ran 1070 fps with the 4.2 load. The 4.1 load was actually slightly more accurate but at times would occasionally fail to cycle my son's M&P, so I stayed with the 4.2 gr loading. Also shot quite a bit of 4.3 gr and 4.4 gr of WST, but accuracy kept dropping above the 4.2 mark. I think your loads are a little hot, and you might want to get them in the range of 1050-1075 fps and see how it goes.

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Post by Sevens 10/30/2021, 1:35 pm

S-I-X days ago I punched up the aforementioned RMR 125 grain match bullet, the jacketed flat point and ordered 2,000 of them. I used to buy from RMR a bunch of years ago when most of what they offered was large lots of pulldown components. I haven't bought from them since they tooled up to make their own slugs.

6 days from my order to my door and the USPS did it. These were shown as "back ordered but back order ok" and man are they beautiful little slugs. I agree that they look quite like the Hornady HAP bullets that I tried a few years ago.

This oughta be fun. I just wanted to give a thumbs up for ultra-fast shipping and as expected, RMR knows damn well how to package up component bullets to make a cross country journey. Been a few years but I am once again impressed with Rocky Mountain Reloading. Give 'em a click.

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