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Acquired a Range Officer 9mm Need Guidance

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Post by tdeon221 4/5/2024, 10:42 am

I'm stepping back into competitive pistol shooting.  I shot gallery in the past, probably a 240-250 shooter at the time.  I've been a long time service rifle shooter and am very close to legging out in that discipline.  That being said, I will have a new to me SA Range Officer in 9mm shortly.  Looking to manage expectations with this gun and what should I expect to do to get it competitive for Leg Matches.  Has the stock barrel been able to perform at 50 yards with any particular factory ammo to start for anyone?  Have most ended up rebarreling to a 1-18 twist KKM for better accuracy?  Would the Hornady 115gr XTP be a first try for handloads?  I'm starting from scratch, I'll be tooling up my 550 to load for this gun shortly (recommend dies, etc).  I figure it will need the trigger worked on immediately.  I haven't loaded 9mm before, what do you recommend for primers, powder, brass (long line a particular brand), oal, and crimp?   Power Pistol and VV320 and VV330 seem to get mentioned alot.  I'm asking for alot of info, I am digging through the threads for information.  Any advice appreciated.

Thanks,

Tom D.
Massachusetts

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Post by NukeMMC 4/5/2024, 11:26 am

I also bought a 9mm SRO for EIC.  I did the EGW bushing and slidestop along with a hammer/trigger/sear (ditch the MIM) to try and improve performance.
I just couldn't get adequate 50yd performance.  25yd was OK but not great.
I sent it to Jon Eulette who fit a KKM 38super barrel and it is a totally different animal.  Nice mild 25yd loads with 150 lswc or 148 bnwc and 2.8gr Bullseye.  I shoot 115gr HAP jhp with 5.1gr W231 at 50.
By the way, I use Starline 38 supercomp rimless brass, not super.  It is the same head dimension as 9x19
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Post by Foundryratjim 4/5/2024, 1:50 pm

NukeMMC wrote:I also bought a 9mm SRO for EIC.  I did the EGW bushing and slidestop along with a hammer/trigger/sear (ditch the MIM) to try and improve performance.
I just couldn't get adequate 50yd performance.  25yd was OK but not great.
I sent it to Jon Eulette who fit a KKM 38super barrel and it is a totally different animal.  Nice mild 25yd loads with 150 lswc or 148 bnwc and 2.8gr Bullseye.  I shoot 115gr HAP jhp with 5.1gr W231 at 50.
By the way, I use Starline 38 supercomp rimless brass, not super.  It is the same head dimension as 9x19
Jon is working on the same for me . It really sounds like it will be a fun pistol.

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Post by tdeon221 4/5/2024, 2:19 pm

I was reading some of the threads where the 38 super was being used.  That's interesting, and maybe I should consider that too after I try this one out as is.  Someone called it a boutique pistol because they don't see many if any, on the line.  If it's easier to reload for than 9mm, is more flexible (download for shortline) and has less recoil than the hot 9mm loadings I'd consider that an advantage.  I have a 45 Range Officer and a Clark built ball gun also. I would use the supercomp brass if I were to go in that direction too.    

Tom

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Post by bruce martindale 4/5/2024, 4:39 pm

I'd see Dave Salyer

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Post by messenger 4/5/2024, 6:25 pm

Dave Salyer fitted a 1x10 KKM barrel to my 38 super. I shoot 145gr GT LHP over 3gr WST and it's the most accurate gun I own.

Bill
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Post by tovaert 4/6/2024, 7:44 am

I have the same gun; fitted a Fusion 1:10 barrel and load/shoot 147 gr JHPs through it at about 925 fps MV. I also did the C&S hammer/sear/disconnector kit and new slide stop. I'm pleased with how it shoots at 50 yards.

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Post by SmokinNJokin 4/6/2024, 8:43 am

Foundryratjim wrote:
NukeMMC wrote:I also bought a 9mm SRO for EIC.  I did the EGW bushing and slidestop along with a hammer/trigger/sear (ditch the MIM) to try and improve performance.
I just couldn't get adequate 50yd performance.  25yd was OK but not great.
I sent it to Jon Eulette who fit a KKM 38super barrel and it is a totally different animal.  Nice mild 25yd loads with 150 lswc or 148 bnwc and 2.8gr Bullseye.  I shoot 115gr HAP jhp with 5.1gr W231 at 50.
By the way, I use Starline 38 supercomp rimless brass, not super.  It is the same head dimension as 9x19
Jon is working on the same for me . It really sounds like it will be a fun pistol.
Same for me, waiting on RO 9mm Jon is converting to KKM 38 super.  NukeNMC and Foundryratjim, what barrel twist rates did you guys get?

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Post by tdeon221 4/6/2024, 8:46 am

NukeNMC

What weight spring to you run? Same for 25 and 50?

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Post by NukeMMC 4/6/2024, 8:55 am

1:16" twist, I believe

9 or 10# recoil spring.
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Post by croesler 4/6/2024, 10:38 am

I also have a 9mm SARO (all stock) and disappointed with results at 50 yds. Not on par with the .45 SARO.  An M9 can be accurized for 50 yds using factory 9mm/115gr ... why not the SARO?  I see everyone here is switching to .38SC, and if it works why not, but isn't it possible to get equivalent performance with 9mm?  Kart barrel or new angled bushing etc?
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Post by Foundryratjim 4/6/2024, 11:00 am

SmokinNJokin wrote:
Foundryratjim wrote:
NukeMMC wrote:I also bought a 9mm SRO for EIC.  I did the EGW bushing and slidestop along with a hammer/trigger/sear (ditch the MIM) to try and improve performance.
I just couldn't get adequate 50yd performance.  25yd was OK but not great.
I sent it to Jon Eulette who fit a KKM 38super barrel and it is a totally different animal.  Nice mild 25yd loads with 150 lswc or 148 bnwc and 2.8gr Bullseye.  I shoot 115gr HAP jhp with 5.1gr W231 at 50.
By the way, I use Starline 38 supercomp rimless brass, not super.  It is the same head dimension as 9x19
Jon is working on the same for me . It really sounds like it will be a fun pistol.
Same for me, waiting on RO 9mm Jon is converting to KKM 38 super.  NukeNMC and Foundryratjim, what barrel twist rates did you guys get?
kkm 1:10

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Post by tdeon221 4/6/2024, 11:19 am

croesler wrote:I also have a 9mm SARO (all stock) and disappointed with results at 50 yds. Not on par with the .45 SARO.  An M9 can be accurized for 50 yds using factory 9mm/115gr ... why not the SARO?  I see everyone here is switching to .38SC, and if it works why not, but isn't it possible to get equivalent performance with 9mm?  Kart barrel or new angled bushing etc?
From what I'm gathering from the threads, you can make a 9mm RO shoot just fine, but you need to load it up hot, and match up the bullet/powder combination to that barrel, if it's a good barrel (factory).  Looks like you can spin a heavy bullet fast or spin a lighter bullet slower but push it hard.  I don't like wasting my time, so I'll shoot it and judge it pretty harshly and then listen to the  better shooters and gunsmith, fix it and go on with my life.  So, my question is, if you're approaching or matching 45 ACP recoil levels (hardball for EIC) is it worth doing it?  I'm a big guy, but that doesn't mean I like recoil unless I'm shooting at a bear or a moose or something dangerous.  We're playing a game, make it enjoyable.  Seems like the 9's have great inherent accuracy from group sizes that are reported at 50 yards.  The 38 supercomp is very interesting prospect, there's more ceiling in the round.  And it appears to be blessed with the flexibility to upload or download for the requirements of the different events, like a 223 or 308 in highpower.   Then again in highpower I run some loads that are pushing the limits.  I need to decide, I don't want to tool up for two calibers and would rather just go with the best performing/easiest to load round out of the two.  I hate load development, I want to shoot, progress as rapidly as I can, and cut some points.  That's fun to me.  

Tom

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Post by Merick 4/6/2024, 11:34 am

The main advantage is 9mm brass is widely available and dirt cheap. Ball ammo is also available and affordable.

38 super or 45 have some advantages, but if 9 allows you to practice more for the same budget it is hard to argue against that.

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Post by NukeMMC 4/6/2024, 12:19 pm

I tried to make my 9 mm.RO work with a fit bushing and .200 slide stop. It didn't help. The lock up of the barrel and the fit of the barrel in the slide and frame is ninety percent of the accuracy. I figured I was going to a new barrel anyway, so I researched what was going to be the most versatile that was legal for CMP EIC. For me that ended up being the 38 super because it could be more successfuly downloaded for 25 yard sustained fire. Both 9 mm and 38 super can be loaded to shoot at 50 yd with reasonably the same recoil. But for me the recoil didn't matter at fifty because of slow fire.
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Post by tdeon221 4/6/2024, 12:25 pm

I think we're on the same page with this. I'm gonna shoot it and see where its at. Do you think welding it up an refitting would have worked? Why spend twice, right?

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Post by NukeMMC 4/6/2024, 12:30 pm

tdeon221 wrote:Do you think welding it up an refitting would have worked?  Why spend twice, right?  
I think that would not be as cost effective as fitting a new barrel.
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Post by SmokinNJokin 4/6/2024, 2:41 pm

tdeon221 wrote:
croesler wrote:I also have a 9mm SARO (all stock) and disappointed with results at 50 yds. Not on par with the .45 SARO.  An M9 can be accurized for 50 yds using factory 9mm/115gr ... why not the SARO?  I see everyone here is switching to .38SC, and if it works why not, but isn't it possible to get equivalent performance with 9mm?  Kart barrel or new angled bushing etc?
From what I'm gathering from the threads, you can make a 9mm RO shoot just fine, but you need to load it up hot, and match up the bullet/powder combination to that barrel, if it's a good barrel (factory).  Looks like you can spin a heavy bullet fast or spin a lighter bullet slower but push it hard.  I don't like wasting my time, so I'll shoot it and judge it pretty harshly and then listen to the  better shooters and gunsmith, fix it and go on with my life.  So, my question is, if you're approaching or matching 45 ACP recoil levels (hardball for EIC) is it worth doing it?  I'm a big guy, but that doesn't mean I like recoil unless I'm shooting at a bear or a moose or something dangerous.  We're playing a game, make it enjoyable.  Seems like the 9's have great inherent accuracy from group sizes that are reported at 50 yards.  The 38 supercomp is very interesting prospect, there's more ceiling in the round.  And it appears to be blessed with the flexibility to upload or download for the requirements of the different events, like a 223 or 308 in highpower.   Then again in highpower I run some loads that are pushing the limits.  I need to decide, I don't want to tool up for two calibers and would rather just go with the best performing/easiest to load round out of the two.  I hate load development, I want to shoot, progress as rapidly as I can, and cut some points.  That's fun to me.  

Tom
Tom,
You hit the nail on the head… recoil advantage of 9mm over 45 is not as big as you would think because 45 stays accurate with very weak reduced loads and 9mm does not. the beauty of 38 super (for be) is not that you can drive it harder, but that it stays accurate at slower speeds and lighter loads than 9 mm does. Don’t know why, but its a fact.

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Post by tovaert 4/7/2024, 10:01 am

croesler wrote:I also have a 9mm SARO (all stock) and disappointed with results at 50 yds. Not on par with the .45 SARO.  An M9 can be accurized for 50 yds using factory 9mm/115gr ... why not the SARO?  I see everyone here is switching to .38SC, and if it works why not, but isn't it possible to get equivalent performance with 9mm?  Kart barrel or new angled bushing etc?
The factory 1:16 SARO 9mm barrel is the problem. Mine has a fitted 1:10 barrel and angle-bore bushing it is very accurate at 50 yards. If you want to shoot a factory load, AA 147gr JHP. I load 147 gr JHPs (Zero, Magnus, or XTP (the most accurate)) with 3.0 gr Alliant e^3. Tight lockup, 15# main and 8# recoil spring. I use the 147 gr Brazos CRN for 25 yards with 2.7 gr e^3. I also have a pre-70's Colt NM with the lightened slide, for that 185 gr JHPs. The 9mm is much softer shooting.

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Post by croesler 4/7/2024, 10:51 am

Which barrel and bushing did you select that you’re having good results with? And was it pretty much “drop in” or needed some fitting? Good news for sure!
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Post by tovaert 4/8/2024, 7:59 am

croesler wrote:Which barrel and bushing did you select that you’re having good results with?  And was it pretty much “drop in” or needed some fitting?  Good news for sure!
Fusion 1:10 Match barrel, EGW angle-bore bushing (custom order, after getting the barrel). I worked on the barrel for about 3 hours. Most fitting was near the hood and bottom lug, to be honest, not a lot of material removal. Fusion has a couple of videos on their website. The standard link from SA worked for me, with the 0.200 slide stop. I have a small lathe for fitting the bushing to the slide and barrel. That took about 2 hours.

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Post by Rodger Barthlow 4/8/2024, 9:08 am

I shot a 38 Super for several years for center fire but stopped shooting it because my 45 scores took a plunge. I think it was all in my mind because of the lighter trigger pull.
My loads were the same for 50yds and 25yds with a slide mounted Ultra Dot.
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