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Thread: SSBs reloading page

  1. #1

    SSBs reloading page

    Some background rambling on my experience. My dad taught me how to load pistol ammo in 2014. Having been a gun guy through two election cycles (and specifically the post-Sandy Hook panic), in 2016 I stocked components to load 9mm for two to three years of shooting at my then-low consumption rates. That election went in an unexpected direction and, like most shooters, I was blessed with several years of incredibly cheap ammo. With 9mm at .15-.20cpr, I quickly lost interest in reloading and my components sat unused. Indeed, in late 2019 between Black Friday and Wal Mart turning in an anti-gun direction, Id acquired 10,000ish rounds at an average cost of .12cpr - small potatoes for some shooters here, but for me that was a hell of a lot of ammo. In January 2020, I decided to pick it back up because I wanted to mimic my carry ammo and the inexpensive 147gr 9mm Id been shooting was becoming harder to find and a bit more expensive. I bought more components to complement my 2016 election stash. The timing was fortuitous. As I write this at the beginning of 2023, my handloads are now pretty much the only pistol ammunition I shoot. Ive gotten better over the past couple of years and branched out into working up and verifying my own loads instead of following somebody elses recipe (for a long time I never owned a chronograph). My interests remain the same: I want reliable, full power 9mm ammo, but Ive also branched out into .38/.357.

    Where Im at now, Ive unfortunately got quite a bit of several very similar powders and smaller quantities of more diverse powders. I have a good amount of Titegroup, Winchester 231, and Winchester 244 - all fast powders - as well as a small amount of Alliant 2400 and a few pounds of CFE Pistol. My goal late last year was to work up to 140PF with my bulk (fast) powders, in hopes that this will be sufficiently powerful to work a compensated pistol and feel like carry ammo when practicing. Recognizing I may have the wrong tools for the job on the compensator front, I selected a 135gr bullet as the best way to get there. The loads I worked up to and tested:

    9x19
    135gr A
    135gr SNS RN .356
    Titegroup 3.8gr
    1.125 COAL
    Winchester SPP
    Mixed brass
    Staccato P 4.4 bbl: AVG 1047FPS ES 25 SD 6 (141PF)

    135 B
    135gr SNS RN .356
    Winchester 244 4.1gr
    1.125 COAL
    Winchester SPP
    Mixed brass
    Staccato P 4.4 bbl: AVG 1063FPS ES 42 SD 13 (143PF)

    135 C
    135gr SNS RN .356
    Winchester 231 4.2gr
    1.125 COAL
    Winchester SPP
    Mixed brass
    Staccato P 4.4 bbl: AVG 1052FPS ES 49 SD 13 (142PF)

    Each of these loads are right at Hogdons (online) book max, though the COAL is shorter (their data uses a 1.150 COAL).

    The load Id been using for some time is a typical USPSA load as found on Brian Enoss forum and elsewhere. It is:

    Brazos Bullets 147gr FP .356
    Titegroup 3.2gr
    Winchester SPP
    Mixed brass
    1.13 COAL
    Staccato P 4.4 bbl: AVG 950FPS (I failed to record the ES and SD) (139PF).

    Last year, for grins I wanted to duplicate the late Stephen Camps Hornady XTP load. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any Unique. I substituted CFE Pistol. This is a true +P load; Hornady published data maxes out at 5.3gr and 1150FPS. Camp claimed 1243FPS through a Hi Power for his 6.0gr Unique load. I didnt quite get there, but I found a load I was happy with. This stuff is very accurate and, I presume, would have good terminal effect in the field use demonstrated by the late Mr. Camp.

    124gr XTP
    CFE Pistol 5.4gr
    Federal SPP
    1.10 COAL
    Federal once-fired brass
    G17 Gen 5 4.49: AVG 1180FPS ES 38 SD 11 (146PF)

    This is +P ammo and Im some random guy on the internet, so use at your own risk.

    Last for now is my .38-44 duplication load. I wanted these for woods use around here, which in the worst case could include black bears. I selected the Lyman 358156 bullet cast by Montana Bullet Works. Through a 4 Model 28 velocity seemed a tad low (I was hoping for closer to 1100-1150FPS), but its not exactly weak ammo.

    Montana 358156 .357
    Alliant 2400 12.5gr
    CCI 550
    Remington brass
    S&W Model 28-2 4: AVG 1079, ES 55, SD 16 (167PF).

    My next projects are a 148gr wadcutter in .38, a 170gr Keith load duplicate, and another stab at a match 9mm for bullseye shooting.

  2. #2
    Looks like you are getting what you want.

    There has been a lot of interest in overloaded .38 Specials, ".38-44", "Skeeter," and "Keith."
    Your .38-44 is about right for a 4", the old values of 1100+ fps were from 6" barrels.

    A target 9mm would probably do best with a JHP like Hornady HAP or Zero Conical.
    Code Name: JET STREAM

  3. #3
    I got 8lbs of CFE Pistol to diversify my powders, bringing me to 10lbs overall. Its certainly capable of getting some velocity - I was able to mimic factory Hornady 124gr +P with it.

    Experimenting with my 135gr SNS bullets and the Hogdon load data yielded this load: 4.8gr CFE Pistol, 1.125 COAL, 135gr SNS RN .356, Winchester SPP, mixed brass.

    Staccato P 4.4bbl
    Avg 1094FPS (147PF)
    Low 1060FPS
    Hi 1115FPS
    ES 55FPS
    SD 15

    I think Ill drop the charge a grain or so. I saw no evidence of pressure signs. Recoil in the Staccato was comparable to +P defensive ammo. Once my compensated gun is assembled (slide is off for milling now), I expect this sort of load will run it.

    Accuracy with coated bullets is so-so for me. These are .356 and do maybe 3 at 25, same as my others. They are sufficiently accurate to hit C zone steel at 100 yards if I do my part (went 12/20 today). But I know Im capable of better - my 124gr XTP load is a 1.5 10-shot load from the Staccato.

  4. #4
    USPS took my Rim Rock Bullets shipment everywhere but where I live, but I got a batch of 170gr Keith .358 as well as the 158gr SWC-WN that @03RN uses in his .38s. I loaded up a batch of .38s at 4.8gr, 5.0gr, and 5.2gr of Win 231 based on one of the threads here. I also started at 12.0gr of 2400 for the 170gr Keiths. I dont know that I intend to work up to Keiths 13.5gr of 2400, but the 12.0gr load should give me about 1000FPS from a 4 and stay within reasonable pressures.

  5. #5
    The Nostomaniac 03RN's Avatar
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    Aug 2017
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    New Hampshire
    Quote Originally Posted by ssb View Post
    USPS took my Rim Rock Bullets shipment everywhere but where I live, but I got a batch of 170gr Keith .358 as well as the 158gr SWC-WN that @03RN uses in his .38s. I loaded up a batch of .38s at 4.8gr, 5.0gr, and 5.2gr of Win 231 based on one of the threads here. I also started at 12.0gr of 2400 for the 170gr Keiths. I dont know that I intend to work up to Keiths 13.5gr of 2400, but the 12.0gr load should give me about 1000FPS from a 4 and stay within reasonable pressures.
    Cool.

    I get 1200fps with 170gr Keith over 13.5gr 2400 in my guns.
    Iirc I get 900+ with 5.3gr 231 under the 158gr swc in .38s.
    On the ragged edge of the world I'll roam,
    And the home of the wolf shall be my home - Robert Service

  6. #6
    Some recent data:

    I am happy enough with a few loads to start pumping them out in quantity. For 9mm, a 135gr SNS bullet loaded to 1.125 COAL over 4.6gr of CFE Pistol yields an average of 1067FPS from a Glock 17. For .38/44, a 170gr Keith bullet loaded to the crimp groove over 12.0gr of Alliant 2400 yields 1159FPS from my 4 Model 28.

  7. #7
    9x19
    135gr XTreme Plated RNFP
    4.6 CFE Pistol
    1.130 COAL
    Average 970FPS from a P365XL

    .44SPL
    260gr Rimrock Keith SWC
    7.5gr Unique
    Crimped at the groove
    Average 997FPS from a S&W 624 6.5

    .45ACP
    200gr Rimrock SWC
    5.3gr Win 244
    1.255 COAL
    Average 907FPS from a 5 Colt Government Model

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