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Ammo and Reloading Factory Ammunition, Reloading, Components, Load Data and more.

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  #1  
Old 09-03-2016, 10:43 AM
Trriemferent's Avatar
Trriemferent Trriemferent is online now
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Default Getting ready to do my first reload

So Im getting ready to do my first reloads today.... wish me luck. I have the press (650xl) setup along with the dies, powder (WIN231) and WSP primers ready to go . Im not a competition or precision shooter so I plan on making some 9mm plinking rounds. My question is, which pistol should I do my testing with. Ive read that you want to make your rounds specific to each gun but since I try to take a different pistol with me every time I go shooting, how do I choose. I did a plunk test with several of the guns and 1.100 OAL worked for all of them and now Im getting ready to load some rounds for ladder testing.

In my situation where Im not reloading for a specific pistol and I cant take every single pistol to the range to test, ....
*is it better to test my reloads with a 3" vs 4" vs 5" barrel
*is it better to use a pistol that has stiff springs or a pistol that is broken in
*is it better to use a polymer vs steel pistol

Not sure if this is a silly question but Im having a hard time deciding what to use
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Old 09-03-2016, 10:47 AM
Bill Steele Bill Steele is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trriemferent View Post
So Im getting ready to do my first reloads today.... wish me luck. I have the press (650xl) setup along with the dies, powder (WIN231) and WSP primers ready to go . Im not a competition or precision shooter so I plan on making some 9mm plinking rounds. My question is, which pistol should I do my testing with. Ive read that you want to make your rounds specific to each gun but if since I try to take a different pistol with me every time I go shooting, how do I choose. I did a plunk test on with several of the guns and 1.100 OAL worked for all of them and now Im getting ready to load some rounds for ladder testing.

In my situation where Im not reloading for a specific pistol and I cant take every single pistol to the range to test, ....
*is it better to test my reloads with a 3" vs 4" vs 5" barrel
*is it better to use a pistol that has stiff springs or a pistol that is broken in
*is it better to use a polymer vs steel pistol

Not sure if this is a silly question but Im having a hard time deciding what to use
Well, I have heard the advice to make your reloads specific and I actually do that for a few guns I have that have very specific purposes.

On the other hand, Federal makes all their HST's the same for every given load and they are pretty good, so I don't think that needs to be your goal out of the gate.

On a more practical note, 1.10" is pretty short. I might make that a little longer, something in the 1.120"-1.140" range. For most bullet profiles and guns, the above range should work fine. If you are loading a truncated cone profile or a Hornaday XTP, you might have to load a little shorter than the above for some guns.

Have fun.
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Old 09-03-2016, 10:54 AM
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I suffer from the same dilemma, so here's what I'd suggest. Maybe take a polymer and a steel pistol to test with. Hopefully with different barrel lengths, too. What I'm getting at, is if you are looking for "do it all" loads, you'll want to make sure they are comfortable and reasonably accurate in a variety of firearms. You wouldn't want to load up some hot rounds that were unbareable or unsafe to shoot in a smaller sized gun.

I would also stay away from the absolute maximum load data until you have had a chance to ladder test all your pistols.

Maybe document which load works best in each pistol and if you see a trend, go from there? Generally speaking, published load data is pretty safe in almost all firearms, but we test starting from the bottom for a reason. Happy shooting
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Old 09-03-2016, 11:00 AM
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Thanks for the fast reply.....
Im using the Hornady manual and Hogden website for OAL and they both suggested 1.100" for 115grn FMJ RN.
I can make it a bit longer but since Im new to this, Im trying to stick to the books/manuals
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Old 09-03-2016, 11:21 AM
rg1 rg1 is offline
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First step, take the pistol you carry or will be using for self defense. Make sure your reloads cycle 100% and shoot well in it. Take the pistol you shoot the most at the range. A couple pistols is about all you want to take to the range in one trip and avoiding cleaning your entire collection. I think if you find a good load in these two pistols you'll find they do well in them all. Factory loaded are all the same. Shoot enough rounds in your carry pistol to gain confidence in your new loads. Plus do not make up too many rounds with workup charges for several pistols. Takes all day and you may not even get all of them tested in one trip. You will find that one particular powder or charge that you wish you had a lot more of them with you and. I've rarely found the exact load in only one range trip. All my pistol loads are the same for various caliber pistols but I don't shoot competition or match. Some rifle loads are generic for more than one rifle while some rifles have a specific load just for that one rifle. Have fun, be careful. I often try to nearly duplicate some factory loads when working up pistol rounds. I usually bring home starting charged rounds when I find they are too weak, and often some loads that seem hotter than I want to load. Need a good efficient way to pull rounds you won't test shoot at the range. Once you've found your magic load, don't go home and load hundreds or thousands until you've tested that particular load in your other pistols. May end up with a lot of loaded rounds to pull down.

Last edited by rg1; 09-03-2016 at 11:37 AM..
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Old 09-03-2016, 11:31 AM
Bill Steele Bill Steele is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trriemferent View Post
Thanks for the fast reply.....
Im using the Hornady manual and Hogden website for OAL and they both suggested 1.100" for 115grn FMJ RN.
I can make it a bit longer but since Im new to this, Im trying to stick to the books/manuals
That OAL is the book minimum OAL for that load. What it means is for that bullet and max powder charge, that OAL will be within book maximum pressure. You can always load longer (until the round won't chamber that is), it is just good practice not to load shorter than the OAL in the book, unless and until you get a feel for how much those elements affect the load.

In time you will come to realize how much OAL affects the pressure (velocity) versus powder charge. Usually more powder will affect the pressure a lot more than OAL. But if you get to max powder charge, just make sure you stay at or longer than that OAL in the book.

PS - An example of what I am talking about is a recent load I developed for my 380 mouse guns. I was using BE86 and even at max powder charge and minimum OAL (the OAL specified in the Alliant load data) I was getting a little unburned powder floating around (a sign of lower than ideal pressure for the powder). I seated some subsequent loads a little shorter (outside the book load spec, so I was on my own) and the unburned powder cleared up. I was probably over SAAMI pressure spec, but the cases looked fine, so that became my new load for that powder and bullet.
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Last edited by Bill Steele; 09-03-2016 at 11:38 AM..
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