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WSF powder for 9mm

This is a discussion on WSF powder for 9mm within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I picked up 500 115gr FPs from Berry's a while back, and some WSF powder at Cabelas the other day. My 9mm die set showed ...


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Old April 25th, 2013, 05:31 PM   #1
 
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WSF powder for 9mm

I picked up 500 115gr FPs from Berry's a while back, and some WSF powder at Cabelas the other day. My 9mm die set showed up today, so it looks like I have what I need to start loading 9mm. There's load data on IMR's site for 115 JHP, which is what Berry's recommends using for their FPs

115 GR. JHP Winchester WSF .355" 1.169" 5.2 1095 28,700 PSI
5.7 1165 32,100 PSI


So the working range is a bit tight, only .5gr between hi and lo, but I'm hoping to find a nice load that cycles and shoots well w/o having to run at the top of the load data.

Curious if anyone has experience loading 9mm with WSF and how it's worked out for them.



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Old April 25th, 2013, 08:29 PM   #2
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I don't use it, personally, but I know several people who do. It's a good choice for an all-around powder for 9mm. It doesn't excel for very fast loads or for very light loads, but it does everything in-between pretty well. It's a spherical powder that's just a bit slower burning than Unique and it burns clean enough. I prefer spherical powders for all of my handgun loads, regardless of caliber. WSF will serve you well.

You didn't mention the pistol you'll be loading for, but if its a Ruger, you won't be handicapped by OACL restrictions. I use 1.122"/28.5mm for 124 gr. 9mm JHP loads that get fired through several different pistols and that length works well in my SR9. If you want to load longer to further reduce bullet jump to the bore, I've loaded as long as 1.142"/29mm with the Win. 115 gr. JHP.
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Old April 25th, 2013, 08:37 PM   #3
 
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I wish I could help, I have never used that powder & don't know anyone that has.
I am using HP-38 currently & am happy with it, but want to try TiteGroup in the future. Good luck!
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Old April 25th, 2013, 10:45 PM   #4
 
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I load Armacor 124gn rounds nose, starline plus p brass, CCI small pistol primer and 231 4.7 powder. Shooting out of a Ruger p89 and have great results. Load guide states this as a max load but i love it. Wont ever load with anything different.
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Old April 26th, 2013, 05:41 AM   #5
 
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Thanks for the responses! I found 2lbs of WSF at Cabelas last week, knowing that it's a proven performer in 9mm makes me feel good about the purchase.

I'll be shooting an SR9c. It sounds like most folks prefer 125gr for their 9mm target loads?
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Old April 26th, 2013, 06:23 AM   #6
 
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I enjoy 124gn at the range, I do load others just depends what I find. But on the 232 powder its great, I havent tried anything else just because its been perfet for me. I dont trim my pistol brass and still group at am inch with that recipe. But like anything. Start lower, then work your way up. I jave prooved that my pistol can handle that recipe with my reloading data showing it at max load. Start lower and see what it does fof you.
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Old April 26th, 2013, 06:23 AM   #7
 
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*231 powder
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Old April 26th, 2013, 02:25 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrjr View Post
*231 powder
I use HP-38/W231 with my 115 gr. Berry's plated bullets, using 4.7gr. I currently am using S&B SP primers because it's all I could get, but have been happy with them. I am loading that round to an OAL of 1.135" & it works great for my SR9c & the wife's Sig SP2022.

to the Grube, you may want to double check that OAL of 1.169" That is the Max OAL for 9mm that my book shows

Last edited by moakes58; April 26th, 2013 at 02:46 PM.
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Old April 26th, 2013, 09:50 PM   #9
 
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The 1.169 COL is precisely what the Hodgdon site gives for WSF powder with 115gr JHPs, Berry's bullets recommend using a light to medium charge from those charts for their FPs. I'm very reticent to reduce COL from a load manual's recommendation (I've found 3 other sources that have the same data) since smaller COL = higher pressure.

I wonder if you guys are using powder that leaves more room in the case, so you can seat your bullets deeper? Unless there's something I'm missing here, my inclination is to stick with the manuals and go with 1.169", although it's just barely grabbing the bullet, like less than an 1/8th of an inch.
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Old April 27th, 2013, 07:45 AM   #10
 
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OK, so now I see what you guys are talking about. with COL @ 1.169" the bullet just barely seats down into the case. I can push it past COL with my fingers. Maybe the tapered crimp will secure it enough?

I'm gonna sit on this for a while. I've ordered a couple more manuals, and I'm gonna try to source some different powders. I've got load data for powders like Autocomp, Titegroup and Longshot that have COL's as low as 1.04 with 115gr JHP bullets.
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Old April 27th, 2013, 08:32 PM   #11
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Your bullets should not be going back into the cases. Poor case-neck tension is usually the result of an oversized expander. Take it out of the die and measure the diameter on the expander. It shouldn't be larger than .353". Taper crimp on its own will not secure the bullet or prevent set-back which can be extremely dangerous. If your expander is over .353" in diameter, call the die manufacturer and let them know. They'll replace your expander. For a good JHP OACL that is similar to factory loads, I use 1.122"/28.5mm. It will work fine in your Ruger.

As far as powders to look for in the future, few are better in 9mm than Ramshot Silhouette. Particularly if you own a SIERRA or SPEER reloading manual.

Last edited by K57; April 27th, 2013 at 08:34 PM.
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Old April 28th, 2013, 07:15 AM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the grube View Post
OK, so now I see what you guys are talking about. with COL @ 1.169" the bullet just barely seats down into the case. I can push it past COL with my fingers. Maybe the tapered crimp will secure it enough?

I'm gonna sit on this for a while. I've ordered a couple more manuals, and I'm gonna try to source some different powders. I've got load data for powders like Autocomp, Titegroup and Longshot that have COL's as low as 1.04 with 115gr JHP bullets.
You may be expanding the case mouth too much. You can adjust this on the expanding die. You want to just expand the case mouth enough to be able to set the bullet in there for seating. My point about the OAL was that 1.169 was the max. length according to Lee for any 9mm.

Last edited by moakes58; April 29th, 2013 at 08:42 AM.
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Old April 28th, 2013, 01:28 PM   #13
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1.169" is the spec. for Max. OACL for any 9mm load according to SAAMI. Very often, rounds loaded that long won't function in magazines. 1.122"/28.5mm is an OACL I use for several pistols including my SR9. With the 115 gr. Winchester JHP, I've loaded as long as 1.142"/29mm and that length should still be fine for a RUGER 9mm as well. Anywhere in between those 2 OACLs will be fine to use with the listed data working up from a Start Charge.

As far as flaring, that has little to do with the expander's actual diameter. Yes, you want just enough flare so that a bullet will stand on its own sitting atop the case-mouth. That, however, means nothing as far as the expander's actual diameter below the flare portion of the expander. After expanding the cases, when you start seating bullets they should be a tight fit and not be able to be pushed further into the case, even when pushing the bullet nose into your reloading bench to confirm that there is no setback. That's why it's critical that the expander be .002" less in diameter than the bullet's diameter. .355" in this case so conformation that the expander does not exceed .353" is required. If it's not, call the die manufacturer and get a replacement. The only other remedy would be to chuck the expander in a high speed drill and sand the expander until it's diameter is reduced to .353". Getting a replacement from the manufacturer is going to the safer bet.

Last edited by K57; April 28th, 2013 at 01:31 PM.
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Old April 28th, 2013, 03:15 PM   #14
 
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First of all; thanks for all the input. I'm enjoying this thread a bunch. I hope I don't sound tedious in my responses. I'm no known for making a long story short.... so, here goes.


AFAIK, my expander die is setup right. I set it up such that the bullet balances in the case neck long enough to make it up to the seating die and no more. My point was that, with an overall length of 1.169, there's less than an 1/8th of purchase between the bullet and case neck, and that just by setting the bullet in the case neck with my fingers, the COL was already reading 1.166 before hitting the seating die

I understand that 1.169 is the max length for a 9mm cartridge. But I think that we're mixing the use of this factor here. When you read load data with a COL, like this one that I'm trying to use

115 GR. JHP Winchester WSF .355" 1.169" 5.2 1095 28,700 PSI
5.7 1165 32,100 PSI

The pressures and velocities given are all contingent on that COL. In the context of specific load data, COL is not a maximum; it is the length used for the test cartridge that the data was gathered with.... Furthermore, if you reduce the COL you, you seat the bullet deeper into the case, and necessarily will increase the overall pressure; right?

If I do anything I'll reduce COL to just the point where I can achieve good case tension; can't have them popping loose under recoil; and I'll reduce the powder charge to keep things in the green zone and away from the upper range. But I'm a little sketchy about freestyling like that with load data; especially with a cartridge as finicky as the 9mm.

Thanks again!
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Old April 28th, 2013, 09:30 PM   #15
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the grube, if it's Winchester data they always have shown a Max. OACL for their load data and you may run into that with Hodgdon data where they are simply reusing older Winchester data as Hodgdon bought Winchester Powders several years ago. This type of data uses extremes of worse case scenarios. While they only list the SAAMI Max. for OACL at 1.169" their data was actually developed with much shorter OACL cartridges to establish the Max. pressure. That's why I say if you begin with a start charge and work up, the data will be fine with an OACL of 1.122"/28.5mm and you can load longer. My personal experience from loading the Win. 115 gr. JHP, I went up to 1.142"/29mm because of a heavy charge of Blue Dot that was a compressed powder charge. I started using Vihta Vouri powders when they first became available in the early 90s and most of their OACL recommendations with JHPs was 1.142"/29mm. Using a Start Charge you'll get much better results with JHPs at 1.122"/28.5mm until you've acquired the experience to venture into +P handloads where 1.142"/29mm might be better. Check the OACLs recommended in your load manuals and you'll see most of their recommendations for 115 gr. and 124 gr. JHPs are a good bit shorter than 1.122"/28.5mm. Hopefully you have a load manual or two, if not you definitely need to get at least one good one and I would recommend the Lyman 49th edition.
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