Author Topic: Competition load: What works in 9mm and why ?  (Read 1753 times)

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Offline deadsh0t

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Re: Competition load for 9mm
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2019, 04:23:54 AM »
Is there any way I can make it easier to answer, even partially?

Offline Dan_69GTX

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Re: Competition load for 9mm
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2019, 09:50:08 AM »
Not knowing what all you have access to - I'd ask your competitors what they use for components, and try that in your gun to see if it likes it.

Each gun is different.  So just because their gun likes a setup, doesn't mean yours will.

BUT that is an excellent place to start.

For me, I found my one gun likes a specific speed range for a particular weight bullet.  Whether that is pushed by a fast powder or slow powder.

Before I reloaded I bought 25 different brands, weights, profiles, etc of bullets, tested each to find what the gun liked, and bought that.   Reloading is no different

Some folks say plated bullets are terrible.  I had decent results with some plated bullets, but I couldn't push them fast enough for what I wanted w/o the group spreading.

Hope that helps.
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Offline 2morechains

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Re: Competition load for 9mm
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2019, 11:58:15 AM »
Given the same muzzle velocity, I believe there is a difference in felt recoil depending on the type of powder used. 

I only have anecdotal experiences to share, but a while back when I was working up my match load for USPSA 9mm minor PF I experimented with a few different powders, all at ~130 PF.  Once I had the basic recipe worked out I shot them side by side in a series of bill drills to compare HF.  The bullet I happened to be using at the time was a coated 125 gr RN, same primers, and range pickup brass. 

Some loads while giving me good HFs were smoky, others felt harsher.  I also tested them at 25 yds, which is the distance I sight my pistols in at.  The one that gave me the best result was VV N320, which probably doesn’t surprise anybody since I copied the load recipe from something I read in one of the comp forums. 

Beyond that, I didn’t mess around too much with the load development, just started cranking rounds out and I continue to use the same recipe +/- 0.1 gr depending on which gun its being used for.  I also played around a little with OAL but I was more concerned with making sure my reloads would chamber in all my pistols. 

For me, the ammo is a balance between acceptable performance and cost.  I buy components in bulk as much as possible, take advantage of sales, pickup brass at the range to re-use, etc.  So while I’m sure I can find a bullet that might give me better accuracy (or consistency) at the end of the day I’m more interested in volume than squeezing out the last percentage of improvement on a pistol load. 

Now my reloads I shoot thru my PRS rifle, that’s a completely different story. 

Offline TdC

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Re: Competition load for 9mm
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2019, 02:27:51 AM »
If I may try to answer some of these questions. I am new reloader (and still drinking from the firehose as quite accurately described here :)) so if I'm wrong, please do correct me, because then I can learn something new too from the infinite wisdom here.
PS I also live in Europe and I believe the laws in my country are even more strict (not allowed HP and such) so I can't answer everything.



Given the same muzzle velocity, does it matter what powder was used, or the bullet will travel the same way? I think the answer would be no, but there's who insisted that it wouldn't matter (so any powder would be good).
You can achieve the same velocity with multiple powders, but powder needs pressure to work. As Mr. Wobbly already said the more you can load to 95% of max load it will give a cleaner burn. And the slower powders generate more gas which in turn could increase felt recoil

In case it's a no -> would slower rate burning powders work better? If yes, why? I haven't found an answer yet.
For IPSC you want a compromise between fast shots and accurate shots, bullseye shooters only shoot for accuracy. So you might want a fast cycling slide, not too much gunsmoke and not too much felt recoil

147 grains would be more accurate because a bigger part of the bullet would touch the riflings. Not sure that's how it works
I believe it was Mr. iDescribe who explained me that for pistols the most accuracy is won or lost when the bullet exits the barrel. This means an even surface of the bullet base and the crown. A HP is constructed from the base up and uniform, a FMJ from the nose to the base. So if I understand correctly the best shape for accuracy is a HP (which I'm unfortunately not allowed to use). I believe a HP has often a higher shoulder and thus more bearing surface than FMJ. But as was recommended here - and from experience too - a 124gr bullet will probably cycle faster and gives better split times FOR ME. I am switching to a 124gr FMJ

Why should I avoid copper plated bullets at all? Is it due to manufacturing or anything else?
Softer material, not so uniform... I too am going to switch from plated to FMJ as was recommended to me here


I'm afraid that's all I can answer....
greetings
Toby

Offline deadsh0t

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Re: Competition load for 9mm
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2019, 04:08:08 AM »
Not knowing what all you have access to - I'd ask your competitors what they use for components, and try that in your gun to see if it likes it.

Each gun is different.  So just because their gun likes a setup, doesn't mean yours will.

BUT that is an excellent place to start.

For me, I found my one gun likes a specific speed range for a particular weight bullet.  Whether that is pushed by a fast powder or slow powder.

Before I reloaded I bought 25 different brands, weights, profiles, etc of bullets, tested each to find what the gun liked, and bought that.   Reloading is no different

Some folks say plated bullets are terrible.  I had decent results with some plated bullets, but I couldn't push them fast enough for what I wanted w/o the group spreading.

Hope that helps.

Most of them use what I do. Some of them won't tell what they use, so it can still be a mistery.

Of course what you're saying can be done, and I'm here trying to learn before wasting so much time and resources. The more I can understand before buying, the less I will waste

I haven't got enough data with plated bullets. Just random shooters saying they work fine at 25 yards, which means nothing



Given the same muzzle velocity, I believe there is a difference in felt recoil depending on the type of powder used. 

I only have anecdotal experiences to share, but a while back when I was working up my match load for USPSA 9mm minor PF I experimented with a few different powders, all at ~130 PF.  Once I had the basic recipe worked out I shot them side by side in a series of bill drills to compare HF.  The bullet I happened to be using at the time was a coated 125 gr RN, same primers, and range pickup brass. 

Some loads while giving me good HFs were smoky, others felt harsher.  I also tested them at 25 yds, which is the distance I sight my pistols in at.  The one that gave me the best result was VV N320, which probably doesn’t surprise anybody since I copied the load recipe from something I read in one of the comp forums. 

Beyond that, I didn’t mess around too much with the load development, just started cranking rounds out and I continue to use the same recipe +/- 0.1 gr depending on which gun its being used for.  I also played around a little with OAL but I was more concerned with making sure my reloads would chamber in all my pistols. 

For me, the ammo is a balance between acceptable performance and cost.  I buy components in bulk as much as possible, take advantage of sales, pickup brass at the range to re-use, etc.  So while I’m sure I can find a bullet that might give me better accuracy (or consistency) at the end of the day I’m more interested in volume than squeezing out the last percentage of improvement on a pistol load. 

Now my reloads I shoot thru my PRS rifle, that’s a completely different story.

I see what you're saying. I'll probably buy VV N320 to give it a try

I buy bullets in bulk too. No good offers for primers so the most I can save is there. But what I've always done is buying cheap stuff, and looking for the versatile stuff.

I would consider using some very accurate bullets for few stages of a match. I'm not going to use HAP bullets for any competition, it would be a complete waste of money, especially for shots under 25 yards
« Last Edit: August 07, 2019, 04:15:38 AM by deadsh0t »

Offline deadsh0t

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Re: Competition load for 9mm
« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2019, 05:04:41 AM »
If I may try to answer some of these questions. I am new reloader (and still drinking from the firehose as quite accurately described here :)) so if I'm wrong, please do correct me, because then I can learn something new too from the infinite wisdom here.
PS I also live in Europe and I believe the laws in my country are even more strict (not allowed HP and such) so I can't answer everything.



Given the same muzzle velocity, does it matter what powder was used, or the bullet will travel the same way? I think the answer would be no, but there's who insisted that it wouldn't matter (so any powder would be good).
You can achieve the same velocity with multiple powders, but powder needs pressure to work. As Mr. Wobbly already said the more you can load to 95% of max load it will give a cleaner burn. And the slower powders generate more gas which in turn could increase felt recoil

In case it's a no -> would slower rate burning powders work better? If yes, why? I haven't found an answer yet.
For IPSC you want a compromise between fast shots and accurate shots, bullseye shooters only shoot for accuracy. So you might want a fast cycling slide, not too much gunsmoke and not too much felt recoil

Gunsmoke has never been an issue with color coated bullets, maybe it's a bit more with jacketed. If more felt recoil leads to faster splits, that would be ok. If I had to slow down 20-30% for any shot, that would be too much. Will it change that much to be even noticeable?

147 grains would be more accurate because a bigger part of the bullet would touch the riflings. Not sure that's how it works
I believe it was Mr. iDescribe who explained me that for pistols the most accuracy is won or lost when the bullet exits the barrel. This means an even surface of the bullet base and the crown. A HP is constructed from the base up and uniform, a FMJ from the nose to the base. So if I understand correctly the best shape for accuracy is a HP (which I'm unfortunately not allowed to use). I believe a HP has often a higher shoulder and thus more bearing surface than FMJ. But as was recommended here - and from experience too - a 124gr bullet will probably cycle faster and gives better split times FOR ME. I am switching to a 124gr FMJ

At the moment I'm using 124gr only (color coated in matches, hard cast in training sessions)
HAP Hornady bullets cost about 3 times the color coated ones.
I'm curious about the accuracy of both HP and FMJ bullets. I used FMJ bullets and didn't find any noticeable difference yet (no rest/sandbags shooting)



Why should I avoid copper plated bullets at all? Is it due to manufacturing or anything else?
Softer material, not so uniform... I too am going to switch from plated to FMJ as was recommended to me here


I'm afraid that's all I can answer....
greetings
Toby

Thanks for your answer

Offline Pistolet

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Re: Shadow2 - Best handload for accuracy
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2019, 06:33:18 AM »





Reloading ammo is easy. Reloading REALLY GOOD ammo with zero errors takes time.

Happy ?  ;)
What happened in this picture? My first impression was not enough belling but i seems like the case is bulging. What do you do with it? use it anyway for plinking? Or would it foul the barrel?

Offline Wobbly

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Re: Competition load for 9mm
« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2019, 07:32:10 AM »
It's a 9mm I picked up at a IPSC competition after watching it jam a competitor's gun.

I believe the guy used a Lee FCD in his final reloading process. The bullet may not have seated properly due to belling or other. Then the FCD's carbide ring that "resizes" the cartridge came along and bulldozed everything almost back into place. (Like putting a girdle on a fat person.) The misplaced lead got smeared down the side of the cartridge by the FCD. Then the round hung up upon chamber entry. You can see the mark the chamber left, gouged into the bullet.

It's a good case study in why you visually 100% inspect competition ammo and place each into a chamber or cartridge gauge, and not leave the inspection to a "wonder die".
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Offline Dan_69GTX

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Re: Competition load for 9mm
« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2019, 08:02:05 AM »
I've bent the edge of a case a few times something like that when the shell plate on the Hornady LNL press didn't fully advance properly.  The case caught the edge of one of the dies and curled over a bit.

A slight tweak of the "paw" on the press and all was fine.

For ALL competition ammo they are placed in this to check them.  Any that don't fully seat get tossed into the plinking bucket.  I've caught a few that had to be broken down due to cracked case or...
https://benstoegerproshop.com/100-round-9mm-luger-hundo-chamber-checker-cartridge-case-gauge/

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If it goes "boom" or "vroom" I'm intersted.

Offline recoilguy

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Re: Competition load for 9mm
« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2019, 10:08:02 AM »
If I lived in Europe or in the USA for that matter I would buy 124g bullets jacket hollow points if I could get them if not I would get coated round nose 124g bullet, because they are easy to find and accurate. I would load them to the power factor desired depending on the powder I decide on. Personally I like a faster powder. like Vit N320 or similar powder. It is hard to beat N320 in my opinion. Find a OAL that works in my gun, somewhere in the 1.109 - 1.114 range works in all my 9mm's but may not work in yours. This is not a recommendation just my opinion.

Then once I had a load that worked, made power factor and I could repeat consistently, I would stop trying to buy better accuracy and practice with my developed load. Why?
- You have a load that now works
- It meets your parameters for PF and accessibility to components
- Practice is way better way to get accuracy then constant change in equipment.
- You can over come short comings in your load with proper grip, stance, trigger press and follow through way more then you can improve on poor technique with component manipulation.

Keep track of what you load, get a good recipe, roll your own and once you can shoot what you make accurately try something new if you must. But at least you will be able to test the new load with skill and proper technique.

RCG 
What I lack in speed , I make up for with inaccuracy

Offline deadsh0t

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Re: Competition load for 9mm
« Reply #25 on: August 07, 2019, 11:41:08 AM »
If I lived in Europe or in the USA for that matter I would buy 124g bullets jacket hollow points if I could get them if not I would get coated round nose 124g bullet, because they are easy to find and accurate. I would load them to the power factor desired depending on the powder I decide on. Personally I like a faster powder. like Vit N320 or similar powder. It is hard to beat N320 in my opinion. Find a OAL that works in my gun, somewhere in the 1.109 - 1.114 range works in all my 9mm's but may not work in yours. This is not a recommendation just my opinion.

Then once I had a load that worked, made power factor and I could repeat consistently, I would stop trying to buy better accuracy and practice with my developed load. Why?
- You have a load that now works
- It meets your parameters for PF and accessibility to components
- Practice is way better way to get accuracy then constant change in equipment.
- You can over come short comings in your load with proper grip, stance, trigger press and follow through way more then you can improve on poor technique with component manipulation.

Keep track of what you load, get a good recipe, roll your own and once you can shoot what you make accurately try something new if you must. But at least you will be able to test the new load with skill and proper technique.

RCG

124gr bullets, RN / FP / TC color coated / lead are the easiest and cheapest to find. Most of them are sized .356 and I guess that's not the best for accuracy.
I'd have to ask to a really good shooter to shoot with my gun + load and see if he can do really well with it. I would bet that my current cartridge is pretty good for 0-20 yards, and bad for 20+ yards. Not 100% sure, that's just a bet. It's a pretty fast powder, similar to Lovex D032. It's used just for its cheap price, plus it's easy to measure out.

Can OAL affect accuracy that much? I'm still trying to learn that. Would you start from the longest OAL possible and seat deeper? Just to give an idea (I didn't do the plunk test yet) :

Most common OAL used for CZ Shadow2 or 9x21 handguns in general is from 29.0mm to 29.5mm (1.141" to 1.161") for RN. Most suggested and versatile is 29.2/29.3 mm so about 1.15") and about 28.5mm for TC bullets (1.122"). 1911's or other open/modified guns are the exceptions

Actually, my approach will be really simple: sticking to my usual load while trying out some new recipes. I think grip + trigger press are no issues, and I'd like to start with the most efficient components to be sure I'm not losing for an Alpha that turned into a Charlie, or a missed plate at 35 yards.




Offline Dan_69GTX

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Re: Competition load for 9mm
« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2019, 11:48:59 AM »

Most common OAL used for CZ Shadow2 or 9x21 handguns in general is from 29.0mm to 29.5mm (1.141" to 1.161") for RN.

Really?!? - you wanna bet your life on that for a common length in CZ handguns?!?!

Read the sticky on how to determine OAL on YOUR gun and go from there.

You statement is extremely dangerous!!

Please don't come to the range when I'm there so there is no potential for me to get hurt.
Some trust in chassis, Some in Horsepower, But we trust in the Lord our God.

If it goes "boom" or "vroom" I'm intersted.

Offline 2morechains

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Re: Competition load for 9mm
« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2019, 02:48:19 PM »
1.140-1.160” OAL is pretty long for the chambers of the CZ’s I own.  But that also depends on the bullets profile and whether the ogive will make contact with the rifling or not. 

The OAL I use for 9mm is 1.125” and will chamber in all my 9mm pistols (CZ’s, 1911’s, PCC, Glocks, etc). I think the only pistol I own that will accept an OAL of 1.140-1.160” are my 1911’s, but I don’t want to have multiple loads, one for each gun. 

I haven’t seen much accuracy difference in OAL with pistol rounds (rifle, yes).  However how much you crimp, as well as how you crimp (roll crimp vs taper crimp) can make a difference in accuracy especially if you over do it.

Unless this is an academic exercise, I think you’re overthinking this.  Test some loads, pick one, print 20K or more, then spend the time dry-firing and live-fire practicing. 



Offline recoilguy

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Re: Competition load for 9mm
« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2019, 04:09:20 PM »
what he said about over thinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RCG
What I lack in speed , I make up for with inaccuracy

Offline Clint007

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Re: Competition load for 9mm
« Reply #29 on: August 07, 2019, 06:31:06 PM »
deadsh0t,

What is your experience level with shooting IPSC and with reloading? Are you just starting out in both?

C
Huh?