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  #1  
Old 08-24-2016, 8:43 AM
Bill Steele Bill Steele is online now
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Default Replicating as closely as possible an Underwood Load

I recently started carrying a Glock 42 for my summer carry. Where I live now it is pretty warm in the summer, prompting shorts and a tee most days. I have found an AIWB setup for the G42 that works pretty well.

The bad news is the 380 Auto round is pretty anemic, with most commercial hollow point loads falling short of FBI 12" minimums for penetration. On the other hand, FMJ, is a pretty bad over-penetrator and makes a pretty small hole to boot.

A round that caught my eye is the Underwood +P loading of the 90gr Lehigh Xtreme Penetrator projectile. It seems to penetrate right "in the desired zone" and do similar path damage to most top quality hollow points. The bad news for this round (and the Lehigh equivalent loading in non-+P) is they are godaweful expensive, like $1.40 per round, which makes extensive reliability testing in my G42 a very expensive proposition. If I wanted to use my normal "500 rounds to qualify for serious use" standard, it will cost me 2x the cost of the gun in ammo.

I can buy the projectiles from Lehigh and load my own and that is what I plan to do. This will cut my cost substantially during my reliability testing phase. I want to replicate as close as possible the UW +P loading to get as close as possible to what I hope to carry.

Here is where the puzzle starts. I pulled one of the UW +P loads and weighed and am going to try and identify what powder they are using. In the past, many have reverse engineered UW ammo (mainly in 10mm) by such an inspection procedure.

Here is a picture of the load. It weighed in at 4.9gr, is a very fine silver powder (likely a ball powder, but I have not taken a magnifying glass to it yet). It kind of looks like the old formula of AA#9, but I think if it were #9, it would take a higher load density than what the case contained to get the bullet to the desired velocity. It has been so long since I loaded any #7, I can't remember what that looked like, but again, if it were #7 I would think it would be a load density maybe 50% higher to get the target velocity.

4.9gr means it is an extreme high energy density powder and has me scratching my head. I know it likely isn't any of the powders Lehigh recommends in their load data and it may be a proprietary non-canister powder as UW is getting big enough that may be a reality.

If I can't reverse engineer the same results velocity wise, I will drop back and use one of the max Lehigh suggested powders and assume feed reliability will be close between my test loads and the UW I will likely carry.

Here is a picture of the powder I got out of the case. Any guesses on its identification would be welcome.



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Old 08-25-2016, 9:31 PM
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javithewrench javithewrench is online now
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I know other forums have pull down information such as the 10mmforums, but calguns is pretty weak as far as loading info. Most here will tell you not to mess with it and be safe. Of course be safe but I'd look to other forums for info. Sorry I'm not much help but I too was looking to duplicate an underwood 10mm load and got crickets here, found what I needed elsewhere and was able to duplicate the load.
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Old 08-25-2016, 9:38 PM
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Hope this helps and start low and work up. Also use new brass for hot loads!
http://10mm-firearms.com/factory-amm...7da6a2ef1ab907
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Old 08-25-2016, 9:52 PM
PatC415 PatC415 is offline
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I would imagine Underwood uses a proprietary powder.
4.8 grains of Power Pistol with a 90gr XTP will get you close, but in a short barrel pistol like a G42, not sure you will duplicate that speed.
That's a pretty stiff load. Not sure I would want to punish my G42 with 1K rounds of hot ammo like that.
Just my 2 cents...
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Old 08-26-2016, 2:37 AM
Bill Steele Bill Steele is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javithewrench View Post
I know other forums have pull down information such as the 10mmforums, but calguns is pretty weak as far as loading info. Most here will tell you not to mess with it and be safe. Of course be safe but I'd look to other forums for info. Sorry I'm not much help but I too was looking to duplicate an underwood 10mm load and got crickets here, found what I needed elsewhere and was able to duplicate the load.
Thanks for the heads up. I didn't know Shadow was doing 380 pulls on his 10mm forum. I did a lot of my own 10mm using some data started by Shadow and a few others way back before they created their own forum, when they were all on the GT 10mm forums. Guys like Yonderling, Taterhead, Shadow and of course the founder of the whole genre McNutt (Double Tap) got that whole over book 10mm thing going. Not sure it was ever all that good an idea, but definitely fun...

None of the powders I have in stock (quite a few pistol powders) matched with what I pulled, but Autocomp was not one of them. It definitely isn't BE86, CFE Pistol, #9. (Too slow anyway), etc. I will go pick up a pound of Autocomp and have a look see.

Anyway, thanks aria for the lead, very helpful.
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Old 08-26-2016, 3:00 AM
Bill Steele Bill Steele is online now
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For some reason the server won't let me quote PatC415. So here is my response: thanks for the lead on PP. I have some and will fool with a work up. The powder in the UW load is definitely not PP, completely different look,

I agree that UW might be big enough now to be getting non-canister grade now, but it likely still is coming from one of the existing options which has a canister equivalent. If I can find the canister equivalent it will make my replicating a lot easier (and maybe a little less case head kaboom prone ).

I also agree that running 1000's of +P through a gun is undesirable. I really just wanted to try and replicate as close as possible my new carry load to assure all my mouse guns would tolerate it and not break the bank doing it. A few magazines just doesn't cut it for me when it comes to knowing it will go bang more than once, especially with a 380 .

I loaded up my first 50 Lehigh 90gr XP in some Starline cases today. I am using a max BE-86 charge. It won't be near the velocity the UW delivers, so not exactly apples to apples, but will give me a little more confidence that finicky Kahr is tolerating the bullet profile.

I am going to give some Autocomp a try as well as start my own work ups. In the end, it is all about having a reliable load that does the job with an anemic round.

So far the only mouse gun that has seemed a little finicky ammo wise is the Kahr, the G42 seems to be like every other Glock, ammo tolerant to the max. The G42 is just a little heavy for pocket duty.
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Old 08-26-2016, 10:38 AM
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So I had a chance to try the BE-86 load today and it worked great. I loaded 4.3gr of BE86 under the 90gr Lehigh XP in new Starline cases to an OAL of .950", CCI SPP.

The rounds fed flawlessly in both my G42 and my Kahr. I loaded them down to .950 (Lehigh's minimum OAL for their load data on the bullet) as I knew the Kahr would have problems with anything longer. I have found .950 to be about the absolute maximum OAL the gun will tolerate, even with normal FMJ's. I have to load the 100gr Xtreme's down to about .920" to get them to feed in the Kahr, which kind of compromises my max powder charge. Of course, my G42 will eat anything I have loaded so far, long or short, fat or narrow.

The pressures signs for the BE86 load were normal (for what that is worth), no peculiar bulges, primers still rounds (I am using CCI primers, so again, maybe less than informative).

I didn't have time to setup the chronograph today, so to some degree I am playing blind man's bluff with what the load represents, but at least it cycles in my gun's with no hang-ups. Recoil is a pretty subjective thing, but these felt a little lighter than the +P UW loads I am going to try and replicate. Maybe the AC will get me there.

Some fun.
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Old 08-26-2016, 11:16 AM
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How many self defense shooting are you going to do where a few boxes of underwood are not a lifetime supply?

.380 is weak and as always shot placement is key...


now back to your question.... Many companies have powder made to their spec... My guess is that underwood uses a powder made to their requirements....

Corbon likes low flash powders... so they get it made to their spec...
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Old 08-26-2016, 11:52 AM
Bill Steele Bill Steele is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hermosabeach View Post
How many self defense shooting are you going to do where a few boxes of underwood are not a lifetime supply?

.380 is weak and as always shot placement is key...


now back to your question.... Many companies have powder made to their spec... My guess is that underwood uses a powder made to their requirements....

Corbon likes low flash powders... so they get it made to their spec...
One box is a lifetime supply, once you know the round feeds reliably, which for me isn't a mag or two, but I already said that, so I guess I am just repeating myself.

On the powder, I didn't have a question about canister versus non-canister, but you probably knew that as well, having all the answers and such.
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Last edited by Bill Steele; 08-26-2016 at 11:54 AM..
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