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PhillySoldier
05-16-2018, 09:11 AM
Reloading press used (list modifications if relevant): Dillong 650, case feeder, bullet feeder, rf100 auto primer filler
Caliber: 9mm
Bullet (Weight, Coating, Profile, Manufacturer): Will try various things to see what works best
Brass: I have about 10 gallons worth of Blazer Brass. Probably not the best but I have a ton of it so I'll use it for now.
Powder manufacturer, type and charge; volume, type (ball, stick, flake): Titegroup powder. Charges will vary
Dies used: Dillon. 2in1 seat and crimp die
Primers used: CCI but looking to change to either winchester or federal
Cartridge Overall Length (COAL): 1.15" currently but looking to try different seating depths
Chronograph data (if possible): Labradar
Goals intended with this load: Most accuracy
Results - accuracy, smokiness, clean burning, flash, temperature, smell, brass deformation, etc.:
Problems encountered and fixes applied:
Anything of interest: Will be loading for my Sig P226 legion to start. Looking to test and log what works best in the gun. Will chrono results as well as document test shooting from a ransom rest
Case Prep: I use an ultrasonic cleaner for cleaning my guns and brass. Absolutely love it. 20 minutes and done.


Fairly new to pistol reloading although Ive loaded 308 for a long time now. In search of finding what performs best out of each of my guns; starting w my Sig P226. I just got a ransom rest which I havent used yet but figured I want to start off with documenting running some different types of factory ammo through it as well as the loads im currently using. From there I'll experiment with different reloading components, seating depths etc to see what works best.

Questions, tips, advice, testing requests etc are welcome. I'd like to be as thorough and methodical as possible. So feel free to throw in your (friendly) two cents in what you might like to see documented/tested.

One of the things Ive been most curious about is OAL and seating depths for pistol reloading. Ive seen many say the experimented with different seating depths but none that have ever adjusted the charges when seating differently. To me at least, I would think this would skew the results since any changes in seating depth would in itself change the pressure/velocity of the round(s). So Id like to run some tests in the future both with keeping the same charge as well as adjusting it to keep the same velocity and see what has a difference in point of impact.

I'll start off by posting some pics of my equipment later and hoping to get to the range later this week to try the ransom rest out. If all goes well I can video document some beginning tests from it. I have a few different brands of factory ammo I want to try including some match grade such as atlanta arms.

cjb1911
05-16-2018, 09:21 PM
One of the things Ive been most curious about is OAL and seating depths for pistol reloading. Ive seen many say the experimented with different seating depths but none that have ever adjusted the charges when seating differently. To me at least, I would think this would skew the results since any changes in seating depth would in itself change the pressure/velocity of the round(s). So Id like to run some tests in the future both with keeping the same charge as well as adjusting it to keep the same velocity and see what has a difference in point of impact.



As far as OAL goes, I think youíll find most people like to go as long as functionally possible in semis. Plunk test your rounds and test them in the mags, if they pass both you are good to go. Good luck in your journey, Iíve been loading pistol for 20 yrs now and Iím still finding new tricks.

45dotACP
05-16-2018, 10:36 PM
If you shoot competitive matches, I'd be mindful of whether or not a live loaded round will clear your ejection port. If the unload and show clear command is given and the round gets hung up and you keep trying to clear it, the ejector may spike the primer and cause an out of battery detonation.

Whether or not it takes bits of your hand with will depend on if you put your hand over the port to clear the chamber.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

revchuck38
05-17-2018, 05:54 AM
Some notes...

Titegroup is a good powder for standard velocity jacketed and plated bullet loads. It meters really well in a Dillon powder measure. If you plan on using cast bullets, coated or uncoated, you might want to use a cooler-burning powder.

COAL varies with bullets, just like with rifles. Some require relatively deep seating due to their abrupt taper and short nose, like Hornady's 124-grain FP-FMJ. OTOH, with some RNs you'll run out of magazine length before the ogive touches the lands. The above-mentioned "plunk test" is used to ensure your rounds aren't too long, and it's simple: Remove the barrel from your pistol. With the muzzle down, insert a loaded round into the chamber. Press it in there with your thumb or finger to ensure it's fully seated. Then invert the barrel so the muzzle is up. The round should fall out of the barrel; if it doesn't, it's too long. The concern with overly-long rounds is well-founded, though the issue with the ejector igniting the cartridge is more likely to occur with 1911s in .45 ACP.

Don't be afraid to play around with different weight bullets. The heaviest you can fit in 9x19 is a 160-165 grain RNL. The typical rate of twist in this cartridge is 1-10", which is way faster than needed even for the 160s. Bullets lighter than 115 grains are meant for .380s and aren't known for accuracy.

Best of luck with the loading!

PhillySoldier
05-17-2018, 06:38 AM
I meant to post some pictures and beginning stats last night but winded up falling asleep early. I received my fold up cart last night. I finally turned into that old guy at the range with a cart; which I swore I never would be. The new ransom rest adds at least another 50 lbs to my carry load though and my days of humping 70+ lbs of gear around are at least a decade behind me.

As far as chronoing results can someone tell me what is a good range as far as extreme spread and STD? Wasnt really needed outside of ladder testing but fooling around w my new chrono I let it run for the entirety of my last couple sessions. So its recording 100 round strings. Out of which Id have that 1-2 rounds that would really skew the averages of the total.

Jim Watson
05-17-2018, 08:48 AM
Dies used: Dillon. 2in1 seat and crimp die

Why? You have plenty of room on D650 for separate seat and crimp dies as is usually recommended for autopistol loading.

My PPC Master friend loads 9mm with the Magnus/Zero "conical nose" JHP. I don't know whether he prefers 115 or 125 gr, though. I would lean 125.
http://saas.shopsite.com/magnusbullets/store/9mm-jacketed.html

My PhD friend shot a lot of .38 wadcutters. He concluded that a Coefficient of Variation (Standard deviation as a percentage of the average.) of 1% was very good.
I have achieved that with heavy plated or jacketed bullets and fast powder in 9mm (147 + HP38.)

PhillySoldier
05-17-2018, 09:12 AM
The 2in1 die is so I can keep the powder checker and bullet feeder. The die seems to work fine so far and as long as it works Id rather keep all the extra safety checkers I can get.

Jim Watson
05-17-2018, 10:07 AM
OK, Carry on.
Just that when I saw "Ransom Rest" I figured you were out for quality over quantity.

PhillySoldier
05-21-2018, 06:33 AM
I went to the range on friday and spent a good amount of time RR testing different brands of ammo. Tested 6-7 different brands of factory ammo as well as some of my currently reloaded stuff. Only a couple small surprises w the factory ammo. One of which was seeing that my generally used target ammo didnt group well out at 25 yards from the rest. This was actually a good surprise since I just considered it my shooting and limit in the past. The second was to see Browning Performance Target 147g did as well (if not slightly better) than the match ammo I tested at a much cheaper price. They also had a 115 gr target ammo that was even cheaper but sort of fell in the middle in grouping sizes between the other regular brands and the match. I think I would use this ladder in the future if for some reason I needed to stock bulk factory training ammo. I took pics, vid and chronoed everything. Didnt really put it all together and create a log book yet though. With the rest of the weekend I picked up and ordered some different components to try. Differing brands of brass, primers and projectiles. Wanted to get some different powder to try but wanted to research that all a bit more first.

PhillySoldier
06-18-2018, 11:58 AM
I ran a couple tests since my last post. One which was running some of my old loads which I thought were pretty decent at 10-15 yards but didnt do so well at 25 yards from the ransom rest. I was using Titegroup and both Berry's and Precision Delta 124g at the time. These were grouping lousy at like 5-6" at 25 yards, 10 round shot groups.

Instead of experimenting further with full ladder tests above the above, I went in a different direction to try something new.

Ladder Test
Powder: Alliant Power Pistol (From 5.0g to 6.6g)
Bullet: Hornaday 115g FMJ's
Primer: Winschester Small Pistol
Brass: Starline (new)
OAL: 1.12"

From the ransom rest this ladder test proved much better than my last one. I shot two groups of 10 rounds each per run and went in 0.2g increments till the results narrowed down a bit what was working best and then used 0.1g increments. 5.8g of power pistol seemed to have the best groups and going up or down 0.1g were very close. So Im comfortable if a charge is =/- 0.1g it wont throw the groupings much. Most of these three increments shot between 1" to 1.4" groups of 10 rounds each. I do want to quickly retest these three increments though because I had one grouping that was off from the above and came in at 2".

I feel pretty comfortable loading at 5.8g in the meantime. My next test will experiment with that charge weight and varying seating depths. I also want to run a comparison to see if I used a different brand brass how much it may change the results.

LtDave
06-18-2018, 12:33 PM
I've had good results with 6.0 Power Pistol and several different 115 grain JHP at 1.08 to 1.09 OAL. I once did an experiment with new Lapua, Lapua once fired and mixed range brass to see what difference it would make. Strangely, the mixed range brass shot best. Another couple of loads that have shot well with 115 grain bullets in several different guns are 4.5 grains of Bullseye and 6.1 grains of WSF. The WSF load is likely +P and is the one I did the brass experiment with.

PhillySoldier
06-18-2018, 02:46 PM
Looking forward to trying both powders in the future. Ive read good things about wsf

sparkyv
06-19-2018, 08:42 PM
Instead of experimenting further with full ladder tests above the above, I went in a different direction to try something new.


This is the first time I've read about ladder testing for pistol. Interesting. I like HP38 and Universal for 9mm.

olstyn
06-19-2018, 10:07 PM
He concluded that a Coefficient of Variation (Standard deviation as a percentage of the average.) of 1% was very good.

You're in the range of 1000 FPS +/- a little with most 124 gr and up 9mm loads, so 1% would mean you're looking for 10 FPS or under SD. That matches up with the best results I've been able to get with VV N320. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I've definitely seen SD in the single digit range before.

PhillySoldier
06-20-2018, 05:16 AM
This is the first time I've read about ladder testing for pistol. Interesting. I like HP38 and Universal for 9mm.

Yes Im probably using the incorrect terminology. I guess it would be considered more of an OCW test than ladder. Priority for the testing is finding the best shot groups. The node Im looking for is for similar shot groups across 3 different charges. This way I can load in the middle of that on the progressive and even if the powder thrower is off +/- 0.1g it shouldnt alter the shot groups greatly

PhillySoldier
06-20-2018, 05:19 AM
You're in the range of 1000 FPS +/- a little with most 124 gr and up 9mm loads, so 1% would mean you're looking for 10 FPS or under SD. That matches up with the best results I've been able to get with VV N320. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I've definitely seen SD in the single digit range before.

Although I get in the single digits sometimes; my current average I would say is 11 SD. That is shooting a 115g projectile around 1,200 fps.

olstyn
06-20-2018, 05:48 AM
Although I get in the single digits sometimes; my current average I would say is 11 SD. That is shooting a 115g projectile around 1,200 fps.

11 FPS SD is nothing to be sad about, and at 1200 FPS, is within the 1% that Jim Watson mentioned. Honestly I'm happy as long as I get down to 12 or 13 - single digits is just really nice. I'm loading primarily for USPSA, so my absolute, bare minimum with a 125 grain bullet is 1000 FPS, as that would be exactly 125 power factor. I target 1040 FPS as an average, and that way, if my SD is 12 or 13, the VAST majority of my rounds will be in the range of 1015-1065 FPS, which means that barring extremely statistically unlikely events, I won't have a problem at chrono.

PhillySoldier
06-20-2018, 06:07 AM
11 FPS SD is nothing to be sad about, and at 1200 FPS, is within the 1% that Jim Watson mentioned. Honestly I'm happy as long as I get down to 12 or 13 - single digits is just really nice. I'm loading primarily for USPSA, so my absolute, bare minimum with a 125 grain bullet is 1000 FPS, as that would be exactly 125 power factor. I target 1040 FPS as an average, and that way, if my SD is 12 or 13, the VAST majority of my rounds will be in the range of 1015-1065 FPS, which means that barring extremely statistically unlikely events, I won't have a problem at chrono.

Not upset, specially now going by the 1 percent rule. I dont compete (though I would like to start in the future) but did try to mimic there reloading previously thinking they knew best. My reloading was based around a heavier grain projectile, keeping a 130 power factor and trying for the lowest SD possible. This I thought had great results at shorter distances of say 7-10 yards.

Since getting the ransom rest though, I found this wasnt actually best for accuracy. The same loads ive been using for a long time now were falling apart at longer distances and would average 5-6" groups at 25 yards. Previously I wouldve just thought that the limits of my shooting skills. Im now using a lighter projectile and hotter charges. And though it does have a bit more kick to it, it has greatly improved my unsupported groupings; both near and far distances.

I dont know if I wrote it on this board or not but after I finish testing out my current reloads, I want to run a recoil test on the ransom rest. Ive purchased varying weighted recoil springs (11lb, 15lb, 18lb) and also a recoil reducer. I want to measure exactly how far the different springs may push the gun back on the rest and also what effects it may have on the shot groups and accuracy

LtDave
06-23-2018, 06:04 PM
Nothing wrong with a low double digit SD with smokeless. To get down to the low single digits you’ll need blackpowder. ;-)

PhillySoldier
06-23-2018, 06:18 PM
I went to test different seating depths today. 20 rnds each from 1.06" to 1.15". Got half done then had a gun problem

With the ransom rest you first have to take the grips off before inserting it into there molded grip panels. This seems to cause a problem though in that my hammer pivot pin starts walking out without the grips holding it on place. I didnt notice it today till it completely came out of the gun, ending my session

Was easy enough to fix at home w an extra pair of handd to help me.

Hopefully will finish testing tomorrow

john c
06-23-2018, 07:51 PM
Why? You have plenty of room on D650 for separate seat and crimp dies as is usually recommended for autopistol loading.

My PPC Master friend loads 9mm with the Magnus/Zero "conical nose" JHP. I don't know whether he prefers 115 or 125 gr, though. I would lean 125.
http://saas.shopsite.com/magnusbullets/store/9mm-jacketed.html

My PhD friend shot a lot of .38 wadcutters. He concluded that a Coefficient of Variation (Standard deviation as a percentage of the average.) of 1% was very good.
I have achieved that with heavy plated or jacketed bullets and fast powder in 9mm (147 + HP38.)
Jim;

What load data are you using with HP38 and 147 gr bullets? I'm about to start trying 147 grainers with VV N320, but HP38 is a lot cheaper.

Also, what load is your PPC master friend using, if you happen to know?

Thanks.

Jim Watson
06-24-2018, 09:53 AM
The last 9mm I chronographed last August was a 147 gr Xtreme plated + 3.4 gr HP38
906 fps in a Colt 1991A1
926 fps in a Glock 34

I don't know what my PPC friend is loading but I bet it is an appropriate charge of Bullseye.

john c
06-24-2018, 06:03 PM
The last 9mm I chronographed last August was a 147 gr Xtreme plated + 3.4 gr HP38
906 fps in a Colt 1991A1
926 fps in a Glock 34

I don't know what my PPC friend is loading but I bet it is an appropriate charge of Bullseye.

Thanks.

PhillySoldier
07-03-2018, 06:36 AM
Falling behind in updating this journal. I have went back and restarting my seating depth test using a Powder Charge weight of 5.8g and 20 rnds each of OAL's ranging from 1.06 to 1.15". The longest OAL seem to do the best. However I did have another variable change also and the results of which kinda surprised me.

For this test I happened to switch the brand of brass I was using from starline to blazer brass. Since it was all one brand and I had re-adjusted all the dies, I didnt expect it to have any impact. However my average shot group size increased by 0.8"; going from 1.3" to 2.1".

PhillySoldier
07-03-2018, 06:44 AM
Since the seating depth test left me with a new longer OAL, I decided I would run yet another powder test to see if the original 5.8g charge was still optimal or not. The 5.8g charge still had best in the testing but the velocity was now lower than my first test. The highest charge I tested was still about 50 fps less than it was on the original test. Im happy w the overall results and kinda undecided if I should test it further; at least up the that original optimal velocity.

Having switched back to my original starline brass, my shot groups went back to there original averages of 1.3". Best rung of the day came in at 09" for the first shot group and 1.3" for the second for an average of 1.1".

Im still a bit stumped at how much the type of brass makes a difference. Overall though Im happy with the final testing and results. Power Pistol seems extremely accurate but im really not liking the kick to it. I regularly shoot 45 and 50ae, so not sure why a bit of kick from the 9mm would bother me. This may be a biased perception but I swear my recoil spring is looking a bit haggard too and I replaced it not too long ago.

I'd like to find a powder that is as accurate but a bit smoother. Thinking of trying titegroup or wsf for my next testing

GuanoLoco
07-03-2018, 09:30 AM
Power Pistol is a nasty cracky blasty choice. It’s fallen out of favor locally but newer reloaders used to come to our indoor match with it and I could immediately identify it. Once they became aware and compared it to alternatives they inevitably changed.

PhillySoldier
07-03-2018, 09:46 AM
Power Pistol is a nasty cracky blasty choice. It’s fallen out of favor locally but newer reloaders used to come to our indoor match with it and I could immediately identify it. Once they became aware and compared it to alternatives they inevitably changed.

I completely agree. Now im curious how much of a fireball I can get with it out of my Desert Eagle :D

GuanoLoco
07-03-2018, 10:12 AM
If you are driving for accuracy in 9mm (not sure why but whatever turns your crank) then why not try a premium powder like N320 (slightly faster) or N340 (slightly slower)?

Yes, it is more expensive, but you may not be worried about quantity.

Also, I find that Extreme Spread/SD falls with the faster powder as I load them hotter with most powders. In general the (faster) pistol powders seem to perform more consistently with respect to velocity at the top end of the pressure curve. This may or may not equate to smaller size groups, but I am guessing that it would. I don’t mess much with the slower 9mm powders as they are lesss suitable for my purposes.

PhillySoldier
07-03-2018, 10:34 AM
Thanks, I'll take a look at that. And yeah no real reason other than reloading and testing is keeping me busy and I had an itch to see if I could find what mechanically works best out of each of my guns. Gonna stop by my LGS on the way home and see if they have any of the N320 or WSF in stock

ranger
07-04-2018, 11:07 PM
I use 9mm, 124 FMJ, 4.8 WSF, mixed brass, any Small Pistol primer but usually S&B.

45dotACP
07-05-2018, 01:28 AM
Yeah I like 6.0 grains of power pistol to work on recoil management for sure. Similar recoil to a +P load.

I tried some of a buddies handloads in his 9mm 1911...I wanna say it was 231 with 124gr bullets? He swears by 231.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

GuanoLoco
07-05-2018, 10:17 AM
This is my fav: https://hi-techammo.com/products/csb-1m-pistol-powder-comes-with-loading-data

Small flake version of CSB-1. Love it.

PhillySoldier
07-09-2018, 10:49 AM
I ran a few tests over the weekend

Titegroup 4.0 to 4.8g, 115 fmj, 1.15" oal
10 rnd groups were averaging 2.5 to 3". This one was a bit odd in that shot groups were not evenly spread over their circumference. I would get like 5-6 shots over top of each other so tight that twice I had to stop and make sure I wasnt missing the target. The rest would be like complete flyers to the perimeter of the group. SD ranged from 10 to 20 and velocities didnt explain the inconsistencies. If it was consistent these might have been 0.5 to o.75" groups

CFE 5.0 to 5.9g, 115 fmj, 1.15" oal
I really liked this one, just something about how it felt was just right when I was shooting unsupported the left over ammo after the test. As for the testing; average groups ran from 1.1" to 1.6". Testing was pretty thorough but I may test a few of the rungs again just to confirm.

WSF 5.1 to 5.g, 115 fmj, 1.15" oal
Im gonna have to run a second test on this one with some lower charges. My lowest had a velocity of 1162. Overall it did well though and had avg group sizes the same as the CFE from 1.1 to 1.6". I cant put my finger on why but I just liked the CFE more so far

GuanoLoco
07-09-2018, 11:00 AM
I ran a few tests over the weekend

Titegroup 4.0 to 4.8g, 115 fmj, 1.15" oal
10 rnd groups were averaging 2.5 to 3". This one was a bit odd in that shot groups were not evenly spread over their circumference. I would get like 5-6 shots over top of each other so tight that twice I had to stop and make sure I wasnt missing the target. The rest would be like complete flyers to the perimeter of the group. SD ranged from 10 to 20 and velocities didnt explain the inconsistencies. If it was consistent these might have been 0.5 to o.75" groups

CFE 5.0 to 5.9g, 115 fmj, 1.15" oal
I really liked this one, just something about how it felt was just right when I was shooting unsupported the left over ammo after the test. As for the testing; average groups ran from 1.1" to 1.6". Testing was pretty thorough but I may test a few of the rungs again just to confirm.

WSF 5.1 to 5.g, 115 fmj, 1.15" oal
Im gonna have to run a second test on this one with some lower charges. My lowest had a velocity of 1162. Overall it did well though and had avg group sizes the same as the CFE from 1.1 to 1.6". I cant put my finger on why but I just liked the CFE more so far

What specific velocities? Keep in mind that with 115gr bullets it is easy to get into the “transsonic” area velocity wise. This MIGHT be a factor that could explain wierd fliers. I’d suggest heavier bullets and keeping the max velocity under the speed of sound.

PhillySoldier
07-09-2018, 11:07 AM
For which powder test are you referring too?

Right now im trying not to try too many different things at once. Figured I will stick w the 115 fmj's till I test a bunch of powders. After that I'll experiment with each and different projectiles

PhillySoldier
07-09-2018, 11:10 AM
Titegroup
Low - 4.0g 1068 fps
High - 4.8 1238 fps

CFE
Low - 5.0g 1089
High - 5.9g 1246

WSF
Low - 5.1g 1162
High - 5.5g 1263

GuanoLoco
07-09-2018, 11:30 AM
Check speed of sound for your area (I assume Philly, near sea level), and pick a bullet weight/charge that is consistently either super of subsonic. Not sure how much it matters for pistol but this seems an easily controlled variable.

I usually try 124gr and keep it subsonic but ran a lot of 135’s in the past. Just lower your charge a couple few tenths of a grain for a slightly heavier bullet.

PhillySoldier
07-17-2018, 07:18 AM
I ran 3 more tests over the past weekend.

CFE 5.0 to 5.4g, 115 fmj, 1.15" oal
This was a re-test. Just wanted to confirm prior test results. Im really liking this powder but it has me stumped on why the lower 5.0g powder charge (1090 fps) seems to have the best results. Over 4 different shot groups of 10 rnds each at 25 yards, its averaging 1" groupings. Its nice and soft to shoot so I guess I shouldnt be complaining but it has me puzzled

WSF 4.8 to 5.0g, 115 fmj, 1.15" oal
This was a follow up test to extend the range a bit lower. Results were ok but jumping around a bit. It looked like it was starting to get tigher the higher over 1200 fps that I went. I only went as high as 1245 though

N320 4.0 to 4.5g, 115 fmj, 1.15" oal
Based on lots of recommendation as well as an expensive price tag, I expected this one to do better than it did. Groupings ranged from 1.9" to 3" throughout. My wallet is kinda glad this one didnt do better though