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Loophole LaRue, SASS #51438

9mm Reloading

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I don't own any 9mm guns, and so have not reloaded 9mm ammo.  

 

My Godson is now shooting, and bringing his kids along in the sport as well (Uncle Loophole is spreading the Gospel according to S&W).  He leans toward the modern guns, and wants to reload 9mm.  He will buy the dies, and we will reload on my Dillion 550B.

 

He asked about bullet weight, and I am clueless.  I see lots of varieties between 115 gr. and 147 gr., and a few below and above those weights.  He's shooting a Sig P320.  

 

Any recommendations for bullet weights and types for shooting (1) paper and for (2) defensive loads?

 

Any peculiarities/twists for 9mm reloading?  (I have a variety of reloading manuals, and will consume all of the commonly available info before beginning; I presently reload .45 Colt, .38 Special, .357 Mag, .40 S&W, .45 ACP and .380 ACP, so I know how to use the press and read the manuals.)

 

Any advice appreciated.

 

LL

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The 147 grain bullets are mostly a defense round. You may have to try a few different weights to see what your weapon likes. Check case length. They can  vary...causing problems not getting enough bell or too much bell...for putting in a bullet without shaving some lead. A lot of people don't consider it worthwhile to load 9mm with the price and sale price of ammo right now.

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I came to the conclusion earlier that reloading 9mm would not pencil out well as far as costs of materials, preparation, and time.  To me the only reason would be if I was downloading the rounds.

 

Just my opinion, and in this situation maybe it’s not about the money :)

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9mm can be a snappy round so if you loading for kids I would recommend 115 grain bullets loaded to 9mm velocities of around 1135 - 1150 FPS. That’s pretty much an American standard for velocities. The European ammo runs a bit hotter at over 1200 FPS. Save yourself a lot of trouble and load FMJ for practice. Shaved lead can get into your gun works. 
 

I do not reload defense ammo. I buy it for various reasons that are not important here. 

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As cheap as 9mm is now, reloading them is definitely for the dedicated.  That said, a cartridge case gauge is a necessity .  

 

I like 124 grain bullets, mostly RN.  But I have a small stock of Midway 124 JHP that shoot awesomely.  9mm does well with powder coated too. 

 

147 run well in my guns, and really shine in my Ruger PC9.  

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20 minutes ago, JD Lud said:

I came to the conclusion earlier that reloading 9mm would not pencil out well as far as costs of materials, preparation, and time.  To me the only reason would be if I was downloading the rounds.

 

Just my opinion, and in this situation maybe it’s not about the money :)

 

Yeah, you're right.  This is about learning reloading, and taking his understanding of guns and ammunition to a higher level.  He has a 17 yr. old son, who eyeballs my Rugers and my 1860 whenever we shoot together; I want to encourage that attraction, and learning to reload is one more step for the family to cement their healthy relationship with guns.

 

LL

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Howdy,

When the stores put 9s on sale a reloader is working for very little cash.

Sometimes I wonder why 25s, 32s and even 380 is still around.

Are 9s cheaper than 22 mags? Possible.

Best

CR

 

 

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Just my opinions.

 

9mm is a high velocity cartridge.

Supersonic. The original load was with 124 grain bullets.

 

The military developed a need to use 9mm in a silenced gun. To reduce the velocity to subsonic, and still have enough oomph to work the action, they needed a heavier bullet, and the 147 was developed. Since I don't use 9mm in a silencer, I've never used 147 grain bullets.

 

When I first started shooting 9mm, the most commonly available ammo used 115 grain bullets. I believe that the factory started loading this, not from any great improvement in ballistics over the 124 grain, but simply because they could save a few cents in components, per box, by using a lighter bullet. And since they produce thousands upon thousands upon thousands of boxes, that few cents adds up.

 

Since I started shooting 115s, I've never seen a need to change. All I shoot in my 9mms is 115 grain ball. I don't worry about what would be a better bullet or load for self-defense, because I don't use my 9mm for self-defense. They are, for the most part, range toys.

 

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My only advice is to check OAL and crimp.  Semi-auto 9's can have feed issues if the OAL is not spot on.  As far as crimping goes the round is going from the mag to the barrel via the feed ramp, if your crimp is not smooth it will slow the round from moving up.  Look at commercial ammo you can barely feel where the bullet meets the case.

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I load 7.5gn of Blue Dot under a 124FMJ.

This is a duplicate of the NATO load which is a +P load level.

OLG 

 

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A SIG P320 should reliably feed 9mm 115, 124 & 147 gr bullets.

 

My personal preference for 9mm defensive ammo is the CCI Gold Dot 124gr +p, however you will receive a lot of different answers as to what the factory defensive load should be.

 

I would suggest picking a defensive load and then reloading to approximately the same velocity using the same bullet weight as the factory defensive load and perhaps also a less powerful reload for plinking and for children

Edited by Chantry

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9mm was the first caliber I started loading. They can be sensitive to pressure. My suggestion would be to start with 115 grain round nose copper plated. Case length close to a similar factory and start about middle of the chart for a powder charge. I used to stay at low end and had feeding problem on tighter guns upped the charge and it smoothed out. My powder choice is Winchester 231.

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2 hours ago, Perro Del Diablo said:

9mm was the first caliber I started loading. They can be sensitive to pressure. My suggestion would be to start with 115 grain round nose copper plated. Case length close to a similar factory and start about middle of the chart for a powder charge. I used to stay at low end and had feeding problem on tighter guns upped the charge and it smoothed out. My powder choice is Winchester 231.

 

Try Blue Dot and watch the groups shrink. 

BD is also about the cleanest burning powder you will ever use.

BD works it's best towards the top end of the charge table.

OLG 

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Back when I used to reload the 9mm I used Bullseye for higher velocities at lower pressures.

These days ammo is cheap enough by the case (as low as $179) that it's not worth the minor

savings by reloading jacketed ammo, and lead is not much better.

 

You can get better accuracy if you tailor your loads to your specific gun barrel though.

 

I use the Federal HST 147 gr loading for carry, and train with Federal or CCI 147 gr FMJ's.

Besides being the most accurate duty load in my 9mm 1911 and Glock G43, it's a comfortable round

at 1000 f/s.  It shoots very well in the G34 as well. 

 

For competition use many are using 147 gr loads at around 900 - 925 f/s, much softer shooting and

adequate power to ring the steel, while being match grade accurate.

 

Best of luck if you do get to reloading it!

 

Shadow Catcher

 

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I have a couple P320's - they have never been picky about ammunition. 

I've shot 90-147 grain no problems. Most practice ammo is 115 gr just because of availability, and works just fine.

I personally would carry 115 or 124 gr hollow points to make sure velocities are above expansion threshold. 

I carry Federal HST or Hornady Critical Defense.

 

Edit to add - for a fun large rodent round, I use 90gr Hornady XTP's at the upper level of recommended powder, and use them in a carbine. 

Edited by Rooster Cognizant

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On 1/20/2020 at 10:03 AM, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

I load 7.5gn of Blue Dot under a 124FMJ.

This is a duplicate of the NATO load which is a +P load level.

OLG 

 

 

To add-

I load those to a C.O.A.L. of 1.155-1.160.

My loads have functioned in every 9mm firearm I've used them in.

This includes several different class 3 guns from a Sten to H&K, MP5.

DO NOT USE THIS LOAD IN A PO-8 LUGER.......

Respectfully, 

OLG 

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On ‎1‎/‎20‎/‎2020 at 8:23 AM, Chantry said:

I would suggest picking a defensive load and then reloading to approximately the same velocity using the same bullet weight as the factory defensive load and perhaps also a less powerful reload for plinking and for children

 

I have to admit I read that too fast, especially the last part. :wacko:

 

I haven't reloaded in over 20 years, but when I did I reloaded 9mm all the time. It really helps to have a cartridge headspace gauge handy to catch the inevitable rounds that are too long or poorly crimped.

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Most modern 9mms will shoot 115, 124 7 147 gr. bullets just fine. As noted previously, you also should determine which bullet a gun prefers. I have several American guns of modern design that seem to eat most anything (hp, fmj or lead), but have tighter groups with certain loads, while I have a couple that are particular about bullet profile and weight.

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If a 9mm has a 4" or longer barrel it will handle any bullet weight, but the stubby little compacts (Glock 43, etc) really need to use 115/124 max. They lose too much velocity from their short barrels for 147gr loads to work well, especially with regards to bullet expansion.

 

Also, some people have had good accuracy with lead bullets but I never did. Jacketed only for me.

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What kind of bullets - jacketed or lead? Lead is a no-no with Glocks unless I get another barrel. Reloaded rounds are also a no-no unless the Glock barrel is replaced. 

 

Don't know if this is an issue with Sigs, but I'd check to be sure if there are any restrictions on reloads.

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11 minutes ago, Abilene Slim SASS 81783 said:

What kind of bullets - jacketed or lead? Lead is a no-no with Glocks unless I get another barrel. Reloaded rounds are also a no-no unless the Glock barrel is replaced. 

 

Don't know if this is an issue with Sigs, but I'd check to be sure if there are any restrictions on reloads.

 

I know about the lead bullets and Glocks. Are you stating that reloaded jacketed bullets and Glocks are a no-no also? I've never heard of that.

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11 minutes ago, Cypress Sun said:

 

I know about the lead bullets and Glocks. Are you stating that reloaded jacketed bullets and Glocks are a no-no also? I've never heard of that.

The stock Glock barrels are unsupported underneath the rear of the chamber where you can see a cutout. From what I’ve read, a reloaded case can rupture there. Glock is adamant about not using reloads for that reason. 
 

Reading between the lines, I believe the issue is mainly with cases that haven’t been full-length resized. 
 

Aftermarket barrels are often fully supported under the chamber which negates the issue. 

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3 minutes ago, Abilene Slim SASS 81783 said:

The stock Glock barrels are unsupported underneath the rear of the chamber where you can see a cutout. From what I’ve read, a reloaded case can rupture there. Glock is adamant about not using reloads for that reason. 
 

Reading between the lines, I believe the issue is mainly with cases that haven’t been full-length resized. 
 

Aftermarket barrels are often fully supported under the chamber which negates the issue. 

 

Okay, thanks. I was unaware that there could be a problem. I figured it was due to lawyers rather than a "real" problem.

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In the "off season" (winter), we have Cowboy Action styled shoots, but using whatever guns you want - lead bullets, of course. I load DG coated 124 grain RN 9mm's and show up with a P38 and a Luger. :D

 

I think the Glock kaboom problems were specific to the .40 S&W models, and mainly Federal cases. Both problems were rectified by at least 2012.

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8 hours ago, Sixgun Sheridan said:

If a 9mm has a 4" or longer barrel it will handle any bullet weight, but the stubby little compacts (Glock 43, etc) really need to use 115/124 max. They lose too much velocity from their short barrels for 147gr loads to work well, especially with regards to bullet expansion.

 

Also, some people have had good accuracy with lead bullets but I never did. Jacketed only for me.

 

I depends on ROT. Not the bbl length.

You do not use lead in a polygonal rifed bbl.

OLG 

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6 hours ago, Abilene Slim SASS 81783 said:

The stock Glock barrels are unsupported underneath the rear of the chamber where you can see a cutout. From what I’ve read, a reloaded case can rupture there. Glock is adamant about not using reloads for that reason. 
 

Reading between the lines, I believe the issue is mainly with cases that haven’t been full-length resized. 
 

Aftermarket barrels are often fully supported under the chamber which negates the issue. 

 

Those blown up Glocks were from overloads.

99% of center fire semi-automatic handguns have that 'space' from the feed ramp.

It is also where the web area of the case is located. 

Respectfully, 

OLG 

 

I've shot my reloaded 40 &  9mm ammo in Glocks since 1989 with no issues.

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Only going by a LOT of reading about Glocks from a variety of sources after buying mine. I’ve no interest in testing it as it’s just not economical for me to reload 9mm. 
 

YMMV

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3 hours ago, Abilene Slim SASS 81783 said:

Only going by a LOT of reading about Glocks from a variety of sources after buying mine. I’ve no interest in testing it as it’s just not economical for me to reload 9mm. 
 

YMMV

 

Really, I can reload 9mm for way less than 1/2 the cost of what bulk 9mm costs to buy.

OLG 

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15 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

I depends on ROT. Not the bbl length.

You do not use lead in a polygonal rifed bbl.

OLG 

 

I was referring to bullet performance, not accuracy. Accuracy is too complex a science for my wee wittle brain to contemplate. :blink:

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On 1/22/2020 at 9:15 AM, Sixgun Sheridan said:

If a 9mm has a 4" or longer barrel it will handle any bullet weight, but the stubby little compacts (Glock 43, etc) really need to use 115/124 max. They lose too much velocity from their short barrels for 147gr loads to work well, especially with regards to bullet expansion.

 

Also, some people have had good accuracy with lead bullets but I never did. Jacketed only for me.

While I'm not a jello junkie, I do think that some of the modern loads in 147 gr work adequatly even from a 3 inch barrel.

 

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Well that's because it's HST. There's a reason why we civilians have a harder time finding it. <_<

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1 hour ago, Sixgun Sheridan said:

Well that's because it's HST. There's a reason why we civilians have a harder time finding it. <_<

 

Not here-I just bought 100rnds yesterday. 

I can go to just about any place around here that sells ammo,  and buy it.

I carry the HST +P, 124gn in my Glock 19 gen 5. 

OLG 

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On 1/20/2020 at 6:14 AM, LawMan Mark, SASS #57095L said:

As cheap as 9mm is now, reloading them is definitely for the dedicated.  That said, a cartridge case gauge is a necessity .  

 

I like 124 grain bullets, mostly RN.  But I have a small stock of Midway 124 JHP that shoot awesomely.  9mm does well with powder coated too. 

 

147 run well in my guns, and really shine in my Ruger PC9.  

Just got PC 9 and was going to try 147 gr   Any particular brand?   Was looking at Berry's or Extreme.  Either available in my area    Thanks   GW

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I've reloaded a lot of these for other competitive sports. 147 is actually the prefered weight in those as you can get less of a snap and more of a push for the same power factor. Win 231 is also a favorite powder of a lot of the folks shooting as its economical to load and clean. You can basically just load it anywhere in the range of 3gr min to 3.4 max and get soft shooting rounds compared to factory. I also used to load the 115s at 4.4 grains and once again was extremely soft and consistent

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1 hour ago, G W Wade said:

Just got PC 9 and was going to try 147 gr   Any particular brand?   Was looking at Berry's or Extreme.  Either available in my area    Thanks   GW

Mine are a 147 grain with wax lube that a local dealer sold.  I think they were Valiant brand.  They're a round nose configuration.

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