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Thread: USPSA Ammo Questions

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul D View Post
    1) I've noticed that more that half of the USPSA 9 mm shooters use 147 grain bullets (instead of 115/124). Any competitive advantage to this? Lower snappiness due to heavier bullet?
    I started off loading 115 gr plated because they were easily available, lighter bullets are cheaper, and I didn't know about coated. Later on I moved to 124/125 grain weight. I found that even that difference was noticeable for me in terms of being softer shooting. I haven't moved up to 147s because they're significantly more expensive, and I'm quite happy shooting 125 grain coated.

    2) Do you guys use plated bullets for practice and use a different bullet (ie fully jacketed match) for competition? What is your favorite brand of bullets?
    Nope. When I was shooting plated, I used it for everything, when I was shooting jacketed, I used it for everything, and now that I've finally gotten on the coated bandwagon, I intend to use that for everything. As far as brands go, I've used Berry's plated, Rainier plated, Montana Gold jacketed (both JHP and CMJ), Hornady XTP (got 500 for "free" when I bought a Hornady LnL AP press), and Blue Bullets coated. The only real performance differences I noticed was that 124/125 grain bullets shoot softer than 115s (less powder in the case), and that Hornady XTP bullets produce exceptionally good accuracy. If XTPs weren't prohibitively expensive, I'd load them exclusively, but since Blue Bullets produce good enough results for me and are WAY cheaper, they're where I've landed.

    ETA: Coated bullets typically require more belling than plated or jacketed in order to avoid damaging the coating when seating/crimping, so be aware of that. It's nothing horrific to deal with, but it does slightly change the loading process.

    3) Do you load differently for practice vs match? More QA with match ammo or it's the same thing.
    Nope, same QA process for everything. I learned the hard way once when my sizing die got maladjusted and I didn't catch it until a case got stuck in my gun at the range. Now I plunk test/case gauge *every* round that comes off of my press. Yes, it's somewhat time consuming, but when I'm at the range, I'd rather be shooting than pounding stuck cases out of my gun's barrel, even if it's just a practice session.

    4) If I do not have time to reload; what is the best factory load for 147 grain match ammo?
    Sorry, can't help here.

    By the way, I just handled a Walther Q5. The ergos and trigger on that gun is soooo much better than a Glock. I might use that as a dedicated gamer gun instead of a G34 MOS.
    Yeah, Walthers, by and large, feel great in the hands. My P99 and P99c both have smooth DA and nice crisp SA pulls, and the PPQ is basically just a P99 SAO, so it's no surprise that its trigger is widely loved.
    Last edited by olstyn; 07-29-2018 at 08:38 AM.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich_Jenkins View Post
    On topic, I am a noob to USPSA but it does seem to me that 147 knocks down Steel a bit more reliably than 115...for you more experienced shooters, would that be a consideration?

    Or does 115 have enough zip that shot placement matters more (which I suspect) and I'm imagining it based on a grand total of 4 matches lifetime?
    It was more of an issue before calibration ammo was mandated to be sub minor.
    Last edited by Bucky; 07-29-2018 at 09:34 AM.

  3. #13
    Site Supporter GuanoLoco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul D View Post
    I am thinking about getting into USPSA production and/or carry optics and I would like to ask the knowledgeable some questions about ammo. I currently reload on my Dillon 650 (or buy when priced right) 115 grain 9mm ammo for my Glocks and other 9 mm guns. Right now I am using 115 gr Berry's RN with Titegroup 4.5 gr. I am willing to get a separate toolhead set up for a specific load outside what I already have.

    1) I've noticed that more that half of the USPSA 9 mm shooters use 147 grain bullets (instead of 115/124). Any competitive advantage to this? Lower snappiness due to heavier bullet?

    2) Do you guys use plated bullets for practice and use a different bullet (ie fully jacketed match) for competition? What is your favorite brand of bullets?

    3) Do you load differently for practice vs match? More QA with match ammo or it's the same thing.

    4) If I do not have time to reload; what is the best factory load for 147 grain match ammo?

    By the way, I just handled a Walther Q5. The ergos and trigger on that gun is soooo much better than a Glock. I might use that as a dedicated gamer gun instead of a G34 MOS.

    Thanks in advance!
    Lots of answers, and with all due respect to posters, I agree wioth only a small part of them.

    You want to spend as little time and $ on as much ammo as you can shoot. You need training, particularly on how to train yourself, dry fire and live fire to test your dry fire/deal with recoil, and get a reality check. This is what matters.

    1) No. All the ‘shoots softer’ nonsense is exactly that. Grip the shit out of the gun and shoot drills to learn to handle recoil. As long as the gun tracks consistently (grip, grip, grip!) you are golden. Yes, I can feel/hear a difference. BUT, on the clock, checking accuracy, the bullet weight difference is meaningless and 147’s cost more. Period. Yes I was ‘that guy’. Then I developed skills and tested the hell out of it and now realize this is all nonsense that people believe in very strongly - but it is still nonsense. Shoot more with purposeful practice. Get more better.

    2) I shoot ACME 124 polymer coated for everything because bulk price (for qty 12,000) delivered is best and quality is acceptable. I used to shoot Bayou. Acceptable quality @ price is my religion - pay less = shoot more. http://www.acmebullet.com/bullets-re...product_id=545

    3) I will shoot cheaper, harder CCI primers in practice and save my softer therefore more reiable, more expensive Federal primers for matches. I jsut scored a bulk load of Winchester at an even cheaper price, they should be between Federal and CCI in terms of hardness.

    4) If you are buying ammo buy the cheapest that runs reliably in your gun. These will not be heavy (147gr bullets). The tradeoff here is time.

    On reloading: IF you buy components in bulk and get good prices, and particularly if you can get your brass free (pick after matches) / buy cheap, pays. If you don’t have time, or if your reloading equipment / process is too inefficient time-wise for your desired volume, then you may be better off buying loaded ammo in bulk. I invested in equipment / process and bulk purchasing, and can time-efficiently reload large quantities for well under 50% of what you can buy even the cheapest bulk ammo for.
    Last edited by GuanoLoco; 07-29-2018 at 09:58 AM.
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  4. #14
    Site Supporter Paul D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJM View Post
    I shoot American Eagle 115 for practice and matches, and buy it from SGammo.

    I love the Walther Q5, although I find getting 22 rounds in the Glock mags with Taran baseplates is an advantage. If you go Walther, I would consider direct milling a five inch PPQ, as I believe MOS systems are harder on optics.
    I thought both production and CO limited one to 10 rounds a mag. Is there something I'm missing?

    Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul D View Post
    I thought both production and CO limited one to 10 rounds a mag. Is there something I'm missing?

    Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
    CO is now 140mm mag limit.
    Likes pretty much everything in every caliber.

  6. #16
    QUOTE=Paul D

    1) I've noticed that more that half of the USPSA 9 mm shooters use 147 grain bullets (instead of 115/124). Any competitive advantage to this? Lower snappiness due to heavier bullet?

    Like others, I prefer the felt recoil sensation of heavier bullets. It is kind of like a .38 Special with 10-20 rounds. I am ok with 135 gr bullets and I once even had a Princess and the Pea moment and loaded a batch of coated 124s that felt particularly soft and still made Minor. That was strange because a 124 jacketed has more snap than I like.

    2) Do you guys use plated bullets for practice and use a different bullet (ie fully jacketed match) for competition? What is your favorite brand of bullets?

    No, I am not good enough to tell the difference at speed. I have one gun that feeds better with the rather pointy 147 gr plated or jacketed so that is what it gets, my other main match gun is ok with the 135 coated. I am loading a lot of Xtreme plated largely because they are cheap when on holiday sales. We shall have to see what the bankruptcy reorganization does to that. I also use the even less expensive Black Bullets International coated, largely because I sometimes shoot with the proprietor.

    3) Do you load differently for practice vs match? More QA with match ammo or it's the same thing.

    No. I cartridge gauge 100%. Rounds are match grade or reject. Nearly all rejects will plunk and shoot and are fine for practice.


    4) If I do not have time to reload; what is the best factory load for 147 grain match ammo?

    Beats me. If I got in that fix, I would just put up with the snap and crack of Econoball from Cheapmart.
    Code Name: JET STREAM

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuanoLoco View Post
    2) I shoot ACME 124 polymer coated for everything because bulk price (for qty 12,000) delivered is best and quality is acceptable. I used to shoot Bayou. Acceptable quality @ price is my religion - pay less = shoot more. http://www.acmebullet.com/bullets-re...product_id=545
    I tried ACME 124 RNs, but couldn't get them to plunk in my P99's barrel when loaded any longer than 1.037", which probably means I'd have had to go down to 1.030" in order to account for variations caused by mixed brass, etc. I was uncomfortable loading that short, and as a result, I never shot any of them. I question whether I'd have been able to get them up to ~130 PF out of a 4" barrel without running into pressure issues. If the OP does end up going with a Q5 or other Walther and wants to use those bullets, I would advise ordering the smallest sample pack available and testing them out prior to committing to a big order. I initially ordered a 500-count package of them to try and now I have about 495 sitting in a cabinet above my loading bench which will probably never be used. Blue Bullets 125 gr TCs work just fine for me at more reasonable OALs, and are at least close to the ACMEs in price. IIRC the difference was about a tenth of a cent per bullet in case quantities.

  8. #18
    Most of the factory ball 147, like the AE and Lawman, is pretty snappy. To take advantage of 147, you probably will need to reload.
    Likes pretty much everything in every caliber.

  9. #19
    Site Supporter GuanoLoco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by olstyn View Post
    I tried ACME 124 RNs, but couldn't get them to plunk in my P99's barrel when loaded any longer than 1.037", which probably means I'd have had to go down to 1.030" in order to account for variations caused by mixed brass, etc. I was uncomfortable loading that short, and as a result, I never shot any of them. I question whether I'd have been able to get them up to ~130 PF out of a 4" barrel without running into pressure issues. If the OP does end up going with a Q5 or other Walther and wants to use those bullets, I would advise ordering the smallest sample pack available and testing them out prior to committing to a big order. I initially ordered a 500-count package of them to try and now I have about 495 sitting in a cabinet above my loading bench which will probably never be used. Blue Bullets 125 gr TCs work just fine for me at more reasonable OALs, and are at least close to the ACMEs in price. IIRC the difference was about a tenth of a cent per bullet in case quantities.
    ACME changed their 9mm 124gr nose profile a ways back to address this specific problem. Note the pointiness of the new bullets in the picture. I don’t think I have any of the old rounder nose bullets handy for comparison.

    The last couple/few batches I have ordered have been clearly labeled ‘New Nose Profile’ and I can load then to whatever COAL I like. I’ve run 10’s of thousands of them in Tanfo Stock 2’s, CZ P-07’s, Glock 19’s and a short-throated AR-9 I built. My current OAL is < 1.1130” (not too long, not too short...) and they have run fine in everything.
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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuanoLoco View Post
    ACME changed their 9mm 124gr nose profile a ways back to address this specific problem. Note the pointiness of the new bullets in the picture.
    That does look like a much better bullet profile for guns with short/tight throats than the ones sitting in my cabinet. The ones I have are much "stubbier."

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