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HANDLOADING TIPS for 9mm Part 2

This is a discussion on HANDLOADING TIPS for 9mm Part 2 within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; B. Powder Density and Volume The most important property of either blackpowder or smokeless powder is that it also occupies volume in the cartridge case. ...


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Old March 26th, 2011, 07:43 AM   #1
 
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HANDLOADING TIPS for 9mm Part 2

B. Powder Density and Volume

The most important property of either blackpowder or smokeless powder is that it also occupies volume in the cartridge case. In other words, one can think of powder in terms of charge weight and/or volume. Charge weight is a convenient way to measure powder, and it is usually the most accurate with current equipment. However, thinking solely in terms of powder weight will limit your results. Consider the fact that all powder measures and similar equipment dispense powder by volume, not weight.

The relationship between available case volume and the volume of the powder is known as load density. A high load density means that there is little or no airspace in the case. A low load density means that the powder occupies less of the case volume, resulting in some airspace. Slower burning powders tend to yield higher load density, because they require heavier charge weights and are "bulky" (lower volumetric density). In other words, the charge weight is heavier (more grains), and each grain also takes up more space as compared to most fast burning powders.



It is very important that the reloader understands the relationship between mass and volume. As the charge weight increases, the load density increases, so there is less airspace. Either factor alone would raise pressure significantly. Obviously, more powder generates more energy, raising pressure. Less obvious is that more powder occupies more space, which also raises pressure, as the expanding gases have less available volume. However, these factors cannot be isolated, and 9mm has a relatively small case. It is extremely important to work up loads properly and safely with 9mm. Certain fast burning powders can cause dangerous pressures with extremely small increases in charge weight.

9mm Luger was designed for use with smokeless powder. In practical terms, this means that most powders intended for handgun use will work in 9mm and yield decent load density. For purposes of comparison, let's look at .38 Special, which was designed for use with blackpowder. Blackpowder has a low volumetric density (a grain takes up more space) and a high charge weight, as compared to the more efficient smokeless powders. This means that .38 Special and similar cartridges (.44 Special, .45 Colt, etc.) have too large a case volume for many smokeless powders. .38 Special is also low in pressure, which means that a faster burning powder will be required. Faster powders use lower charge weights and yield a low load density. All this adds up to a problem. Typical .38 Special charges are less than 4 grains of powder, creating far too much airspace. Low load density of this type can cause major problems. If the powder is strung out through the large case, it may not all ignite at the same time or at all. If it does, it will burn unevenly, more like a fuse. Powder may not even contact the primer at all.

Again, this is never a major concern with 9mm, as the case volume is so small, less than 0.7 cc (cubic centimeters). Fortunately, this also means that it is fairly easy to find an optimal load. A higher load density, or even slight compression, tends to yield better accuracy with extruded powders. The powder position issues discussed above are not a factor. Since 9mm is a fairly high-pressure cartridge, or 35,000 psi max SAAMI standard, it is better suited to medium to slow burning powders. This means that maximum load density (little or no airspace, no compression) is obtainable with most powders commonly used in 9mm. The only downside is that 9mm is so flexible that handloads developed using faster powders will still shoot better than factory ammunition, and many reloaders do not experiment with the slower powders more suitable for the cartridge.

Nobel-Vectan ball powders must never be compressed. There must be some airspace in the cartridge case even if it is only the infinitesimally small spaces between grains of powder. Nobel-Vectan specifically warns against compressing their ball powders, as their smaller spheres will pack too densely. Instead of igniting consistently, the primer drives the charge like a piston, which can create dangerously high pressures. 9mm data using ball powder will sometimes seem artificially conservative; this is because some publishers also do not list compressed loads. In particular, I have noticed that Winchester no longer lists compressed loads with W-231. Extruded and flake powders can be compressed, and accuracy may even improve with slight compression. The shape of the powder prevents it from packing tightly into the case.

With extruded and flake powders only, maximum load density or slight compression can even provide an added safety margin. For example, Alliant Unique and IMR SR 4756, which are medium and medium-slow burning extruded powders, will yield near maximum load density at typical factory velocities. Max load density will yield velocities and pressures higher than factory ammunition, and slight compression yields a lower end +P cartridge. With these two powders, the 9mm case cannot hold enough powder to exceed +P maximum pressure in the midweight bullets, no matter how hard you try. This means that a dangerous overcharge is impossible; the case just can't hold enough powder. Max load density does not permit the bullet to set back when it hits the feed ramp; there is no space. Compression can sometimes cause "bullet creep," as the compressed powder returns to its original shape, forcing the bullet to creep forward from the case. A firm crimp can overcome this problem. A load at or just under max load density will not creep, no matter which type of crimp is used.

Remember, Nobel-Vectan ball powders must never be compressed.

C. Powder Burn Rates

Before proceeding, it may be helpful to consult the following link:
"http://www.reloadbench.com/burn.html"
This webpage provides some definitions and a burn rate chart to which I will refer.

The Norma Reloading Manual contains an article on smokeless powders written by Sven-Eric Johansson of Nexplo/Bofors. I mention this because it is by far the best treatment of the subject I have ever seen; it even includes photographs detailing every step of the manufacturing processes.

Mr. Johansson defines burn rate as follows:
"The linear burning rate of a propellant is the rate at which the chemical reaction progresses via both thermal conduction and radiation. The burning rate is equivalent to the distance (normal to the burning surface of a powder grain) burned through in a unit of time. This varies not only with composition, pressure, temperature, and physical structure of the powder (i.e. porosity,density), but also with the shape of the powder grain. Powder with a high calorific value burns faster than powder with a low calorific value" (102).

Due to their higher calorific value, fast burning powders also tend to produce more heat as a form of wasted energy. There is a direct geometrical progression between maximum chamber temperature and burn rate as the burn rate increases (becomes "faster". Environmental factors such as ambient air temperature and relative humidity also affect burn rate. Ammunition generates higher peak pressures on hot, dry days by increasing the powder's burning rate. Leaving loaded cartridges in direct sunlight has a similar effect.

In ballistic terms, the slowest practicable powder will generate more uniform internal ballistics, lower chamber pressures, lower chamber temperatures, and higher velocities. Slower powders require heavier charge weights and often have a low volumetric density. To clarify, this means that the heavier charge is also relatively bulky, because one grain of the powder also takes up more space. Some powders are too slow burning for 9mm, because the case cannot hold enough of that particular powder.

The working pressure of the cartridge is the most important factor in selecting the correct burn rate. A higher peak pressure equates to a slower burn rate. 9mm has a relatively high peak pressure for a handgun cartridge: 35,000 psi SAAMI and 38,500 psi SAAMI +P. This means that the slower burning powder can combust more slowly and build pressure in a slow, uniform, geometric progression. This allows for more gradual and complete acceleration at a lower relative pressure and temperature. Conversely, a low pressure cartridge like .38 Special requires a faster burning powder with a higher calorific value. Slower powders will not ignite and combust evenly at such a low working pressure.

By consulting the burn rate chart at "http://www.reloadbench.com/burn.html" and comparing it to your reloading manuals, you will make some immediate observations. Although you will find published loads using Norma R-1 (#1, the fastest burning powder) to Alliant 2400 (#67, extremely slow for handgun applications), the vast majority of the published loads use the powders in the #6 to #63 range, or Alliant Bullseye to Accurate Arms No. 9. I personally recommend nothing faster than #20, Winchester Super Target. I have obtained my best results with powders in the #35 to #60 range, or Alliant Unique to Alliant Blue Dot. Due to their properties, powders in the #20-#60 range will all yield acceptable load density and velocities equal to or higher than factory ammunition.

These statements are all generally true, but some powders have peculiar characteristics. For example, Alliant Unique generates relatively high chamber temperatures for its burn rate. Universal Clays, which is theoretically identical to Unique, does not generate as much heat, but tends to generate a higher peak pressure. Unfortunately, this can be load or cartridge specific, and you will have to learn by experience which powders will work best in your particular pistol. However, this is half the fun as well.

In summary, best accuracy in 9mm Luger is usually obtained by using a medium to medium slow burning powder that allows for a high load density. With a Nobel-Vectan ball powder or any powder with exceptionally small grains or spheres, some airspace is desirable for safety reasons. With an extruded powder, maximum load density (little or no airspace) or even slight compression usually yields the best accuracy at a velocity higher than most factory loadings.

D. Other Considerations

The above section is an oversimplification, because one cannot select a powder based on burn rate and load density alone. Powder manufacturers deliberately alter the characteristics of powders by adding deterrent coatings, decreasing volumetric density with cellulose, etc. to provide the reloader with more options. A brief discussion of some of the other considerations follows.

Availability is obvious, but often ignored by some. A casual glance at the burning rate chart reveals that several of the optimal 9mm powders are manufactured by VihtaVouri (Finland) and Nobel-Vectan (France). Odds are, you may not be able to walk into the corner gun store and buy these in 1 lb. canisters.

Economy is a major factor for many. Slower powders use heavier charge weights, and powder is sold by weight, not volume. Some of the slower handgun powders, such as Alliant Blue Dot, also cost more by the pound than other powders.



Metering is a major concern for most 9mm reloaders, because they shoot so many cartridges in a month. Metering refers to how well equipment can uniformly dispense the powder. Ball powders meter extremely well, because the spheres are so small and uniform. Older extruded and flake powders do not usually meter well.

Cleanliness is a major concern for some shooters; some could not care less. Generally, selecting the correct burn rate will equate to a complete and clean burn. Some powders, such as Unique, are relatively sooty despite this fact.

Pressure curves have not been discussed much thus far, because they are theoretically tied to the burn rate. Some powders build pressure relatively quickly for their burn rate. These powders are poor choices for lead bullets, because they often generate higher heat as well. These factors may combine to deform the base of the bullet. Some shooters notice differences in felt recoil when shooting maximum loads with these powders. Alliant Green Dot is an example of this type of powder.



E. Some Thoughts on Powder Selection

The following comments come from an older thread on 9mm powder selection. These were provided by jwc007 and CZ57, and I have selected these because they articulate two slightly different approaches to powder selection. I have edited them somewhat for clarity.

jwc007 :

"Some fast burning powders (Red Dot, N320) have a very gradual pressure curve, allowing them to be used some in higher pressure (9mm) cartridges. They will of course pressure peak quicker, but sometimes at the point where maximum desired energy (velocity) has already been produced (target loads), and anything slower would be a waste and not produce enough pressure to seal the chamber at the point of ignition, and foul the inards of the pistol (blowby).

Slower propellants are best at least loaded to 80%, or at most 95% of maximum, to produce efficient burning and desired higher energies.

Not all slower burning powders have a gradual pressure curve and Universal is one that has a rather abrupt one. According to the Hodgdon Load Data Chart, Universal is more useful in the larger .40 S&W than the smaller 9mm.

The often ignored Mid-Range Powders (Green Dot, WST, N330) are more useful in producing average 9mm commercial velocity results with not a lot of waste. Actually, N330's gradual pressure curve will get you some performance as well, but not as much performance as 3N37 or 3N38."


CZ57:

"jwc007, I agree with you that burn rate is not the whole story, but it shouldn't be ignored. Neither should load density. I don't consider Green Dot, WST or N330 to be the often ignored range of powders. On many forums, you will see much more powder in this burn rate being used than you will AA#7, VV3N37, or even HS-6 for the 9mm. I don't believe Red Dot, WST or N320 to have gradual pressure curves. Typically target loads using these powders are experimented with until one finds the accuracy they desire and usually it is found at their optimum pressure. A pressure curve chart should be consulted when assessing pressure curve and pressure peak, because what I think you are looking at is the total pressure operating range from beginning to peak.

Faster burning powders in the rate you are describing may range from 20,000 to 38,500 psi, but that is not the entire story of the curve. The specific chart I am using is from Ramshot describing a moderately fast powder (ZIP, like WST, Green Dot, N330). What it is really showing is the fast rise in pressure vs. light powder charge weight, approx. 3.0 grs. to 5.3 grs. That is a differential of 18,500 psi with only a 2.3 grain charge increase with its optimum between 30,000 and 34,500 psi that occurs between 4.7 and 4.9 grains. If I set out to build an accuracy load with this powder, obviously I would expect to find it in the 4.7 - 4.9 gr. range, but it's already operating in the 30,000 to 34,500 psi range. Much closer to maximum standard pressure for the 9mm. The curve would indicate where pressure begins to rise significantly from the recommended origin, to the point where velocity gain decreases and pressure still rises.

Look at the medium powder (Silhouette, slightly slower than Unique or Universal and similar to HS-6, WAP, N340, W-540 and WSF) in it's recommended range of 25,500 to almost 35,000 psi, it is rising considerably slower from beginning to peak, True, the powder weight change is only from 5.15 to 6.15 grs but the pressure rise is considerably slower from beginning to peak pressure with the optimum range from 29,500 to 32,500 psi, or 2000 psi less than ZIP. However, from optimum pressure to peak pressure the pressure spike is considerably less drastic, even if you cut ZIP off at 34,500 psi.

Then there is the even slower burner (True Blue, like 3N37, AA#7), 6.15 grs. to 7.0 grains with no mentionable spike throughout its range that is much more gradual from 28,000 to 34,000 psi. That would indicate that the optimum window could be over a much broader range and the rise from 32,000-34,000 psi is very uniform from 6.5 to 7.0 grains. Bulk density is much better and this powder will give sub 10 standard deviation."

FEG:




As you can see from the above comments, the approach really depends on what your goal is. If you want to load high performance 9mm ammunition, you will need to use a slower, modern powder with a gradual pressure curve. If your goal is to assemble accurate ammunition of a particular velocity (i.e. to make Minor PF) and do so economically, a faster powder with a higher calorific value and lower charge weight may be adequate.

When compressing an extruded powder, you are essentially wasting some powder to gain uniformity. The minute cartridge to cartridge variations do not factor into the equation, because only X amount of powder ignites.

I would further add that WST is an excellent powder for duplicating factory ammunition for the volume reloader, even though it is a little faster burning than I typically load. It delivers near max load density (0.66 cc). It is not optimal in terms of pressure curve or potential velocity, but this is the type of powder you will find in many commercial loadings. WST is deliberately designed to yield a higher load density than a ball powder with this burning rate would "normally" have.

F. Summary

Smokeless powders have several characteristics that influence performance. The most important are powder density and burn rate. Medium to medium-slow powders usually give the best performance in 9mm Luger, due to its high working pressures. Faster burning powders may be more efficient for certain types of loads, but their use limits potential velocity. Higher load density usually gives better results in this cartridge, but Nobel-Vectan ball powders must never be compressed. A burn rate chart may be helpful in selecting a powder, but it does not provide the entire picture, as factors such as availability, economy, and load density should be considered as well.


V. Primers

A. Primer Types and Characteristics

Unlike smokeless powders, which are merely propellants, primers are in fact mild explosives. Primers should be stored in their original packaging and handled in small quantities when possible. Handling primers is by far the most dangerous aspect of reloading, but it is perfectly safe when done according to the manufacturers' instructions.

A 9mm reloader is only concerned about one type of primer: standard small pistol. Overall, consistent primer seating is the goal; other considerations are always secondary. Since most people will eventually load for other cartridges, it might be helpful to briefly outline the basic primer types and characteristics.

There are two basic primer designs: Boxer and Berdan. In the United States, the Boxer system is used for 99.9% of all military, factory and reloaded ammunition. The Berdan system is popular for commercial ammunition overseas, but the Berdan system is primarily associated with military ammunition. Boxer primers are self-contained; the primer is essentially an anvil surrounded by a cup of priming compound. In the Berdan system, the anvil is part of the case. Boxer cases have a single flash hole is the center of the primer pocket. Berdan cases have two or more flash holes near the edge of the pocket; the center of the pocket is a metal nipple that acts as an anvil. Occasionally, you will hear people say that Berdan cases are not reloadable. This is not strictly true, but the equipment to reload Berdan cases is highly specialized and expensive.

The following discussion is therefore limited to Boxer primers. Boxer primers are classified by their size, application, and power (standard or Magnum).

Regardless of their other characteristics, Boxer primers only come in two diameters: small (0.175" and large (0.210". Another way to look at this is that primer pockets only come in two diameters: small and large. Handgun cases up to and including .40 S&W use small pistol primers. Starting around 10mm, .41 Magnum, and up, large pistol primers are used.

Although they are the same in diameter, pistol and rifle primers are very different. Rifle primers are designed for much higher working pressures. They have a hotter burn and thicker primer cup, which actually degrades performance in a handgun. Rifle primers should never be used with 9mm, the case is far too small for the higher pressure that the rifle primer will generate. More likely than not, the primer will not ignite (handgun firing pins are too light), and if it does, a dangerous pressure situation will result (too high or too low).

Finally, primers come in two versions: standard and magnum. This distinction is often misunderstood. For example, all .357 Magnum loads do not use small magnum pistol primers; in fact, the vast majority use standard primers. Magnum primers have a hotter burn, and they are intended for use with certain slow-burning powders to help provide more consistent ignition. Normally, magnum primers actually degrade performance unless the data specifically calls for their use. Powders suitable for 9mm either will not benefit from a magnum primer or will not benefit enough to justify the added expense.

B. Primer Brands

Any theoretical difference in accuracy that one brand may offer over another is much less important than how well they seat in a particular brand of 9mm case. Some makes and models of equipment operate better with certain brands of primers. As this is somewhat beyond the scope of this article, I recommend starting a new thread asking owners about particular priming systems as needed.

Winchester standard small pistol primers are the most commonly used in 9mm. They will work in all or most makes/models of equipment, and they fit well in most brands of cases. Winchester primers are typically the least expensive. The correct Winchester primer for 9mm is WSP ("Winchester Small Pistol".

Remington standard small pistol primers are considered less desirable than Winchester by many, but they are virtually identical in performance. Remington primers are not as well distributed as Winchester; only Remington shotgun primers are available in my area. I have noticed other reloaders in the Midwest and Midsouth making this comment. The correct Remington primer for 9mm is # 1 1/2.

CCI standard small pistol primers are slightly larger than all other brands. Speer and CCI cases have correspondingly larger primer pockets to match. CCI primers are most useful when reloading Speer/CCI cases or older cases with loose primer pockets. The general consensus is that CCI primers are somewhat milder than other brands. I am not sure if this is due to their construction or a side effect of being forced into primer pockets. CCI primers have a nickel coating that helps with feeding in some priming systems. CCI primers typically cost more than Winchester and Remington, but less than Federal. The correct CCI primer for 9mm is #500.

Federal primers use an older priming formula known as "basic compound." Basic is easier to ignite and has higher brissance (flame) than the modern formula in Winchester, CCI, and Remington. I would imagine that some of the primers made overseas might also use basic compound. You will sometimes hear people claim that the Federal primers have a thinner primer cup. This is not true; they are easier to detonate due to the priming compound. (See Lee's Modern Reloading for more information on the priming compounds.)

The main advantage of the Federal primer is a slightly hotter and brighter burn. This is very important for consistent ignition in certain powders. I use Federal primers almost exclusively when loading older flake powders in the medium to medium-slow range with certain cartridges. I have had better accuracy results in 9mm with Alliant Herco using Federal standard small pistol primers, but I have not seen any appreciable advantage in 9mm otherwise. I would advise the use of Federal standard small pistol or their Gold Medal Match standard small pistol primers when a hotter burn is deemed necessary. The correct Federal primers for 9mm are #100 and # GM100M (Gold Medal Match). Match primers are slightly hotter still, but do not generate as high of a peak pressure as a true magnum primer.

The biggest downside of Federal primers is all that comes from the easier and hotter ignition: slightly higher pressures and more accidents. Federal primers will raise pressures slightly, but they do not usually increase velocity. Several manufacturers advise against using Federal primers with their equipment. Federal primers are typically the most expensive. Gold Medal Match primers are even higher at an additional $2-$3 per thousand.

Magtech also offers component primers, which are slightly less than Winchester via mail order, but they are not widely distributed in retail stores. I have no specific information on the Magtech primers at this time. Magtech/CBC loaded ammunition, component brass, and bullets are all quite good, so the Magtech primers are probably a good buy as well. By the way, primers are the most critical and difficult component to manufacture; be wary of "bargains."

RWS and Hirtenberger are European firms that manufacture high quality primers. Their products are only available on a limited and infrequent basis in the United States. Often, the RWS and Hirtenberger primers that are imported are Berdan, not Boxer (both companies offer both basic types). I would avoid these brands, but only due to their expense and supply problems. The correct RWS primer for 9mm is #4031. The correct Hirtenberger is #1206.

For the vast majority of 9mm loaders, Winchester standard small pistol primers will handle all of your needs at a lower cost. In perfecting certain types of loads, experimenting with primer brands may be beneficial. However, switching primers will usually degrade a near-perfect load, as it was virtually perfect with the other brand of primer and could not be readily "improved." Generally, a major increase or decrease in group size when switching brands indicates that your equipment works better with one brand. Remember, consistent seating is much more important than brand names.

C. Primer Seating

Consistent primer seating is absolutely critical. Considering the wide array of available brands and options (i.e. bench rest and match primers), the novice may believe that the secret is selecting the correct brand or model for the load. In handgun cartridges, this is rarely a critical factor, while primer seating is often misunderstood.

There are two issues with primer seating: safety and accuracy.

High primers may cause slamfires and other dangerous conditions in a semi-auto. (They will also bind revolvers.) Low primers may be crushed and ignite unpredictably, even causing squib loads.

From an accuracy standpoint, seemingly minor inconsistencies are extremely important. If the primers are not 100% seated, a portion of the hammer blow actually seats the primer before or during ignition. This ruins your group and usually causes vertical stringing. No two cartridges ignite identically, which prevents top accuracy.

From a safety and reliability standpoint, primers must be seated so that they are at least flush with the case head. From an accuracy standpoint, primers must be fully seated, which is slightly below the case head. The exact measurement will vary according to the components, assuming you have a micrometer. Calipers are not practical for measuring seating depth, IMHO. Generally speaking, you will be able to obtain good results by feel or simple consistency (all primers seated 95% is better than a range of 96-100%).

D. Safety Concerns

As was mentioned above, primers are the most dangerous component. A primer contains an explosive, while smokeless powder is merely a propellant. Always follow all of the manufacturers' safety recommendations when handling primers. If you do not wear eyeglasses, wear safety glasses. I have been reloading for over four years, and my father has been reloading for over thirty years. Neither one of us has ever had a primer detonate while loading nor had a gun damaged by a handload. However, we both follow standard safety practices, which are outlined in any reloading manual. Reloading is not dangerous, provided you have the temperament to follow instructions.

There is another safety concern with primers that is much less understood: lead styphnate. In general, the shooting public is aware of the dangers of airborne lead. The main concern with vaporized lead is that the body can absorb lead in several different ways. Lead inhalation causes greater absorption than contact with the skin. In fact, lead poisoning through the skin is virtually impossible, but there are always concerns with cross-contamination (eating with lead on the hands, etc.).

Primers use lead styphnate as a binder and base for the priming compound. This is more or less inert before the primer is detonated. The black granular material left over inside a spent primer is almost entirely lead styphnate, because the explosive materials are consumed. This material is highly dangerous, because it easily breaks down into a dust that is readily inhaled. Most shooters never handle spent primers in gigantic quantities; 9mm reloaders often do.

I highly recommend the use of a dedicated decapping die. My routine is as follows. Cases go straight from the ground to an old plastic shopping bag. When I get home from the range, I more or less go straight to the decapping die and deprime all of the cases. The spent primers go into the same plastic bag, which is usually pretty nasty by now. The bag goes straight into the outside trash. I go straight into the shower, unless I have some serious gun cleaning to do. This gets the majority of the problem out of my home as quickly as possible, and it seems to prevent the lead styphante from getting into the cases



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Old March 26th, 2011, 03:28 PM   #2
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robertbank, Wow! Where do I start? This thread is full of misconceptions mingled with true information.
Quote:
Charge weight is a convenient way to measure powder, and it is usually the most accurate with current equipment. However, thinking solely in terms of powder weight will limit your results.
I'm not sure what this was alluding to but measuring powder by volume will never result in as tight of max velocity spreads as measuring by weight. Yes, all mechanical powder measures (except the direct dispersing units such as an RCBS Loadmaster) drop powder by volume. The concept is to get the actual charge weight as close to uniform as possible. The energy contained in powder is directly proportional to weight, not volume. Voids or air spaces between the kernels increase volume but not energy.

Quote:
this means that most powders intended for handgun use will work in 9mm and yield decent load density
Not really ... you never see loads listed for powders with slower burn rates than AA#7 or Blue Dot. With slow burners such as 2400, AA#9, W-296, H-110, Lil'Gun, etc there just isn't enough room in the case for enough powder to generate the energy needed for decent velocity. 9mms favor the powders rated in fast to medium burn rate.

I think I'll stop here because most of the information about powders are mixed with contradictions, truths, and untruths. I think I see why the author said 147 gr bullets are not as accurate as 115s. Most of the concepts about powders are backwards. If the wrong powders are used, how can you expect good accuracy?
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Old March 26th, 2011, 10:11 PM   #3
 
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Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
robertbank, Wow! Where do I start? This thread is full of misconceptions mingled with true information.
I'm not sure what this was alluding to but measuring powder by volume will never result in as tight of max velocity spreads as measuring by weight. Yes, all mechanical powder measures (except the direct dispersing units such as an RCBS Loadmaster) drop powder by volume. The concept is to get the actual charge weight as close to uniform as possible. The energy contained in powder is directly proportional to weight, not volume. Voids or air spaces between the kernels increase volume but not energy.

Not really ... you never see loads listed for powders with slower burn rates than AA#7 or Blue Dot. With slow burners such as 2400, AA#9, W-296, H-110, Lil'Gun, etc there just isn't enough room in the case for enough powder to generate the energy needed for decent velocity. 9mms favor the powders rated in fast to medium burn rate.

I think I'll stop here because most of the information about powders are mixed with contradictions, truths, and untruths. I think I see why the author said 147 gr bullets are not as accurate as 115s. Most of the concepts about powders are backwards. If the wrong powders are used, how can you expect good accuracy?
First you go off like a rocket on case trimming which has about practical use in 9MM as feathers on a horse now you take what the author said out of context to make less of a point.

FYI here is what the author said about bullet weights.

"All things being equal, heavier bullets have longer bearing surfaces, i.e. more bullet length engaging the rifling. A heavier bullet has to spin faster to stabilize, due to its greater weight and overall length. Heavy bullets fired with too slow of a rate of twist lose momentum and accuracy quickly. Early 9mm pistols had rates of twist that were quite slow, in the 1:12" to 1:16" range, since only 115gr FMJ bullets were available for some decades. CZ 9mms have a faster rate of twist of 1:9.75," which is intended for the 124gr weight, but is fast enough to stabilize 147gr bullets. The "ideal" rate of twist for 124gr is roughly 1:10."

I'll leave your readers to your widom and knowledge.

Bob
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Old March 27th, 2011, 01:45 AM   #4
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FYI here is what the author said about bullet weights.
Just because someone claims to be an author doesn't necessarly make them a "know all be all" on that subject.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 02:19 PM   #5
 
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Just because someone claims to be an author doesn't necessarly make them a "know all be all" on that subject.
You are kidding, right?

Take Care

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Old April 27th, 2011, 02:43 PM   #6
 
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Wow!!!

I believe Iowegan has forgotten more than most people ever knew about weapons,ammo,and reloading! So I take very seriously what he writes!!
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Old April 27th, 2011, 02:58 PM   #7
 
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Hang on now, Bob has 261 posts in the last 8 months, he's coming on strong
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Old April 27th, 2011, 04:38 PM   #8
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robertbank,
Quote:
"All things being equal, heavier bullets have longer bearing surfaces, i.e. more bullet length engaging the rifling. A heavier bullet has to spin faster to stabilize, due to its greater weight and overall length. Heavy bullets fired with too slow of a rate of twist lose momentum and accuracy quickly. Early 9mm pistols had rates of twist that were quite slow, in the 1:12" to 1:16" range, since only 115gr FMJ bullets were available for some decades. CZ 9mms have a faster rate of twist of 1:9.75," which is intended for the 124gr weight, but is fast enough to stabilize 147gr bullets. The "ideal" rate of twist for 124gr is roughly 1:10."
This paragraph is riddled with erroneous information. 9mm twist rates are not critical and any barrel with a twist rate from 1:16 to 1:10 will stabilize any bullet you can shoot out to 100 yards or more. The word "momentum" is totally misused and has no bearing on the subject.

Formula for bullet spin rate: Bullet spin rate in RPMs = velocity in fps times twist rate divided by 12 times 60. Example: a twist rate of 1:10 and a velocity of 1200 fps. 1200*10=12,000; 12,000/12=1000; 1000*60=60,000 RPM spin rate.

Let's compare a 9mm with a 38 Special. First, 38 Special velocities are much lower than a 9mm so that means the bullet will spin much slower from a 38 just because of lower velocity. The bore diameter difference is a mere .002", which for all practical purposes is the same. The standard twist rate for a 38 Special is 1:18.75, which is very slow. As you can see, a low velocity coupled with a slow twist rate makes for a very slow bullet spin rate yet 38 Specials maintain bullet stability for a very long distance with all bullets from 110 gr to 158 gr. Colt 9mm barrels for 1911s have a 1:14 twist rate and stabilize all weights of 9mm bullets well past 100 yds. This should be a clue. Bad info!

The standard 9mm bullet was a 124/125 gr from the time the first Luger was made in the 1890's until about 50 years ago. 115 gr bullets didn't show up until high performance hollow points came out in the late '60s. Believe it if you want but this whole paragraph is just a bunch of crap.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 07:39 PM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
robertbank,



The standard 9mm bullet was a 124/125 gr from the time the first Luger was made in the 1890's until about 50 years ago. 115 gr bullets didn't show up until high performance hollow points came out in the late '60s. Believe it if you want but this whole paragraph is just a bunch of crap.
The Brits and Germans were using 115 gr bullets durng WW11. As far as the article being "a bunch of crap" , well you seem to be the resident garu who claims lead rifle bullets lead the end of barrels because they run out of lube so we will defer to your knowledge regarding what is crap.

One question will my GP 100 shoot lead boolits with throats of .358 or must they be your often quoted .3585? As you say what is a thousanths between friends...

Take Care

Bob
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Old April 27th, 2011, 08:44 PM   #10
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robertbank, I'm getting a bit tired of your bashing. At least if you're going to quote something ... quote it right.
Quote:
What's a half a thousandth between friends?
In that particular post .... paraphrasing (with a little attempt at humor)... I said Clymer used to make .3585" reamers but they are no longer available so you go with the next best thing ... which is a .358" reamer.

As for your rifle loads not leading the last couple inches ... I'm glad you found a load that doesn't foul ... most lead bullet loads without gas checks do if they are loaded to factory level velocities.

Here's the deal ... if you want to post things like the above that are more fiction than fact .... then you must be able to take the heat. Maybe you are gullible enough to believe this stuff ... I'm not and I don't want our members and visitors getting fed disinformation. True facts spread through a bunch of crap is still a bunch of crap.

For the future ... you have a couple choices. Quit bashing me and other members or find another forum. I don't expect you to agree with everything I say but there are tactful ways to disagree without misquoting or bashing.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 10:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMD
Just because someone claims to be an author doesn't necessarly make them a "know all be all" on that subject.

You are kidding, right?

Take Care

Bob
No, I'm not kidding. Just because someone wrote something dosen't necessarly make it fact. When the facts are wrong we call that fiction.
Oh, and just because it's on the internet doesn't mean it isn't fiction as well.

Last edited by TMD; April 28th, 2011 at 04:37 AM.
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Old April 28th, 2011, 06:27 AM   #12
 
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Watching this scenario unfold from my "command central chair" in front of my PC has been very enlightening,to say the least. I find it interesting because I was just involved in some bashing crap too. I became frustrated because I was misquoted many times in a single thread. I also let my natural human emotions ( frustration ) take over,,,,that was MY error.

This is MY take on the issue:

#1 Sitting at a PC pecking & pawing out words is easy to do. It also HARD to properly communicate with others. There are no facial expressions, no tone of voice changes, etc. just mere words. In my opinion, that severely limits one's ability to properly communicate. Think about it.

#2 Being "anonymous" ( screen names ) so to speak sometimes seem to encourage bravery. I think some just disagree because it is their nature. Others make a somewhat professional career out of it, and become "keyboard commandos". In other words we may not be so bold & brash in a face to face conversation?

#3 Today, I hesitate a great deal to say too much in forums, as it seems to be constantly challenged and misconstrued. There is nothing wrong with challenge, but many times it is taken to an extreme & unnecessary level. It goes well beyond the scope of being a point / counterpoint kinda thing. I don't necessarily swallow everything a person says as "gospel",,,but I try to take the "meat" and leave the "bones".

My opinions are a direct result of my experiences. Opinions should be treated and respected, not bashed. Where a person stands on an issue may be a direst result of where he sits in life. I hope this makes sense. My Grandmother had a prayer hanging on the wall in her home when I was a kid. It went : Oh Great Spirit, never let me judge a man until I walk ten miles in his moccasins.

*** FACTS & OPINIONS are two different critters***

In support of Iowegan, I would ask this. How many of us have a career background as a gunsmith? How many of us have written MANY detailed articles, which I may add he FREELY shares? How many of us have written manuals on working on Ruger handguns? Maybe a person does not agree with each & every word he says, but I'd rather listen to his educated opinion than that of some "keyboard commando" in some other forum!

One guy is anal over case trimming & the next is not. One guy cleans his cases via ultrasonic & the next only tumbles his every 3rd time he reloads. One guy claims Federal 100 is the ONLY worthy primer on the face of the earth & the next likes Wolf. One guy says "lead" and the next says so?

Now, before anybody begins to attack me remember this. I did NOT quote anybody,,,,I did NOT mention one screen name. I merely stated my thoughts & opinions. I pass the "soapbox" along,,,,,bash away!
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Old April 28th, 2011, 08:04 AM   #13
 
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In support of Iowegan....
--- snip ---

I did NOT mention one screen name.
Sorry, had to

Well said BTW
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