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Question about 115 XTP

This is a discussion on Question about 115 XTP within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; My loading manuals do not have info specific to the Hornady 9MM 115 XTP/HP. I called Hornady about powder charges for Unique and Win 231. ...


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Old May 29th, 2009, 06:45 PM   #1
 
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Question about 115 XTP

My loading manuals do not have info specific to the Hornady 9MM 115 XTP/HP.

I called Hornady about powder charges for Unique and Win 231. The 231 info seemed to be close to what my Speer manual says for the same weight and style of bullet. The Unique info seemed to be much lighter than similar bullet in the Speer manual. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask for their recommended COL. Does the Speer GDHP require more powder than the Hornady XTP?

I have been loading for Berry's 115 grain with Unique up to 5.9 grains COL 1.135.(I usually shoot 5.4) Hornady recommended 4.2-5.1 grains of Unique for the XTP bullet which seems to be light. Is there a reason that a jacketed bullet like the XTP would require a lighter load than a platted bullet? I was under the assumption the jacketed could use a greater charge. Or do they suggest a much shorter COL?

I was going to load to 1.125 COL to start with because that is what Speer recommends for GDHP (max 6.3 Unique) and because the XTP's are .011 shorter than the Berrys I've been using. This would place the (flat) base of the bullets at the same depth in the case. This it would seem would allow for the same (or close) powder charge.

Am I way off base here? Anyone have loading info? Anyone like to help me understand? Anyone? Iowegan?



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Old May 29th, 2009, 08:07 PM   #2
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showmebob, The COL for a 115 gr XTP is 1.075. Powder charges for W-231 in the Hornady manual start at 4.1 gr and max at 4.7 gr. No loads are listed for Unique in the Hornady manual for this bullet but Speer shows 5.6 to 6.3 gr with their 115 gr JHP. I normally load 6.0 gr of Unique with the XTPs and get excellent performance.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 08:44 PM   #3
 
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Thanks Iowegan
Since I've not loaded to 1.075 COL before, I think I'll start with 4.2 grains Unique and work up from there quickly in small batches. If I kept to my 1.135 COL I would start at the 5.6 grains. I've not changed COL before and am being cautious about the .060 difference. I don't need a knickname like Righty or Fingers etc.
Thanks again!
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Old May 30th, 2009, 05:11 AM   #4
 
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the alliant manual says 6.3 max load on a 115 g GDHP
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Old May 30th, 2009, 06:29 AM   #5
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showmebob, Something that is very important when reloading ... always stay within the listed charge weights. This is especially true for semi-auto cartridges because you have slide function to deal with. 4.2 gr of Unique will likely burn dirty because there isn't enough pressure for total ignition. Likewise ... the pressure may not generate enough thrust to operate the slide. There is such a thing as being too conservative! The starting load is 5.6 gr.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 07:51 AM   #6
 
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Is it safe to start at the 5.6 grain load with the shorter 1.075 COL? If so, thats what I'll do.
Thanks for the advise!!
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Old May 30th, 2009, 11:53 AM   #7
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showmebob, I ran some charts on the 9mm using Hornady 115gr XTPs and Unique powder. Here's the results (4" barrel):

4.2 gr Unique = 15,703 psi chamber pressure, 901 fps
5.6 gr Unique = 28,622 psi chamber pressure, 998 fps
6.0 gr Unique = 33,384 psi chamber pressure, 1160 fps
6.3 gr Unique = 37,346 psi chamber pressure, 1300 fps

Factory ammo is normally loaded near the SAAMI max pressure limit, which is 35,000 psi for standard 9mm loads and 38,500 psi for +P 9mm loads. As you can see, your 4.2 gr Unique load is pretty weak. 5.6 gr should operate the slide OK but 6.0 gr is much closer to factory standards, both in velocity and chamber pressure. 6.3 gr of Unique is in the +P range ... still safe in a Ruger but a bit too hot for me.

As you gain experience in reloading, you'll find loading to mimic factory ammo usually produces the best accuracy, cleanest burn, and best function (full slide travel and positive ejection). The ammo manufacturers don't just throw some brand X powder in a case and sell it .... they actually do a lot of testing. You can capitalize on their testing by seating bullets to the factory recommended depth and selecting a powder and charge weight that produces the same velocity as factory ammo. Hornady's specs for their factory loaded 115 gr XTP bullets is 1155 fps from a 4" barrel.

Most reloading manuals suggest "working up" a load by starting low and increasing the powder charge. This is a great idea for rifle loads and to some extent revolver loads but really doesn't work well for pistol loads. It's like a heroin addict ... keep increasing the "fix" until you die then back off a little. Pistol brass really doesn't have any distinctive pressure characteristics until it's too late. Primer tend to flatten at about 30,000 psi so in a 9mm, it would not be unusual for a normal pressure load to have flat primers. Cases will "puff up" and be hard to extract in a revolver or rifle when pressure is too high but in a semi-auto, the case is extracted and ejected even if pressure is too high. There are so many different brands of brass ... many with alloys that give false signs of over pressure .... some where over pressure signs may not show up at all and some where normal pressure will make cases swell. Point is .... unless you have pressure testing equipment, your best solution is to buy the same brand of reloading manual as the bullets you are using then stay between the starting load and max loads listed for your powder charge and bullet.

One of the most misunderstood concepts with reloading is chamber pressure. Most reloaders don't understand the concepts and think the lower the pressure, the better. This is totally false. For the most efficient powder "burn", you really want the pressure to be near SAMMI limits. Bullets are designed where they will obturate properly and seal in the bore when chamber pressure is close to SAAMI limits. Accuracy, clean burning, velocity, and function always follow SAAMI pressure standards.

So to answer your question ... 5.6gr of Unique will probably work OK but 6.0 gr will work better in all respects and will closely match factory ammo specs.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 12:04 PM   #8
 
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Iowegan
That is a awesome tutorial! Thanks so much for taking the time to educate folks such as myself. Its really appreciated.
I did get a look at a Hornady manual last night and it didn't have a Unique powder spec for 115 gr 9MM. I'm not sure where the Hornady rep got the low charge weight from.
I'll follow your recommendations, again, thanks a bunch!!!
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Old May 30th, 2009, 03:39 PM   #9
 
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You need to be careful when you start setting COL lower than recommend. This will cause the pressure to spike very quickly. Not that you cant do it, you have to work up the load looking for over pressure signs. Now most manuals do not agree with each other the reason you need at least 3. The newer manuals seem to be more consertive, due to liability.

Depending on your powder dispenser some flake powders do not meter/dispense consistently. Unique is one that does not meter well at all on my LNL-AP. I get a ±0.2 gr deviation. With most scales only being 0.1gr accuracy it could be greater yet. This produces a huge error when the charge is only 5gr and is very noticeable while shooting. So if your recoil does not feel the same for every round, I would do some testing on your powder dispenser. I had to change to a different powder, WW231.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 07:38 AM   #10
 
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I agree with you concerning loading COL shorter than recommended. I would prefer if anything, to load longer than the spec provided by Iowegan. Anyway, I'll be careful and thank you for the advise.
I too have a LNL-AP and experienced the same charge deviation using Unique. 700X is far worse. I improvised a powder checker that works through the Lee PTX so I have a very good visual check of the powder levels in the case. I made this after experiencing a charge that was 3.6 grains light using 700x in .357mag. I was using a RCBS powder checker die during that session and became a believer right then and there. I know that you can easily see the charge in the short 9mm cases (and I do look at it) but for whatever reason I like having a mechanical check of the powder levels as well.
I can not take credit for the idea of powder checker thru PTX. I got the idea from a guy at another forum. I just made mine in a different way.
Thanks again for your advise!
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Old June 6th, 2009, 12:35 PM   #11
 
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Due to the 2 or 3 different powder measures I have owned over the years throwing charges + or - up to .4 grain with different powders, some powders noticably worse than others, and in the interest in accuracy as well as safety, I weigh every charge on my scale for both rifle and handgun. Then when you consider that the smallest changes in the little 9mm case can result in some fairly drastic increases in pressure, I would not even think of trusting any powder measure to throw accurate/safe charges for any of my firearms...accuracy would suffer and pressures could be horrendous.

Perhaps I am being overly cautious, but weighing every charge on a scale is so ingrained in me now, that I would have nightmares if I was just to trust a powder measure. In my mind, powder measures are only a means to fill the pan quicker, so I can weigh the charge on my scale.

I am not suggesting that anyone else needs to do what I do; but I am surprised that everyone doesn't weight each and every charge.

Is anyone else as paranoid about this as I am?

Regards
Ken
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