9mm load recipe – plinking/target load – Berry’s bullets, Titegroup powder

Those 9mm reloads I did? I tried them out today.

Bullet: Berry’s plated 9mm 115 grain RN DS

Primer: Remington 1.5 Small Pistol

Cases: Whatever used 9mm cases I have

COAL: 1.135″

Powder: Titegroup 4.5 grains

The only case prep was cleaning the cases (dry vibratory case tumbler), then of course a resize and decap. No trimming, no primer pocket cleaning, nothing like that. I used a taper crimp and I know varying case lengths can affect the crimp, but I’m just looking to make a basic plinking/target load that I can shoot in quantity.

I ran about 40 rounds through two of my XD-9’s. Worked just fine. I tried them side-by-side with some Federal American Eagle factory loads and I couldn’t tell a difference in accuracy, how the ammo fed, how the gun felt, how the brass ejected, how the spent brass looked. I’m sure there’s a difference somewhere, but I couldn’t notice. I’m sure if I pulled out a chrono I’d see something. Yes, I’ll chrono things eventually.

Anyway, the above seems to work like a charm, or at least Good Enough™. The 2000 rounds that I need to reload prior to Tom Givens’ next visit in October? I’m going to get started on it now. :)

Updated: Here’s the performance data.

Updated 2: As you could see in the performance data, this same load recipe was tried out with bullets other than the Berry’s. I have used Hornady 115 grain 9mm FMJ RN, and Speer 115 grain 9mm TMJ.  Recently (I’m writing this on 15 June 2010, but this was alluded to in the performance data entry) I’ve moving away from using the Berry’s and instead using 115 grain 9mm FMJ’s from Precision Delta. A couple of reasons. First, the Berry’s would have some troubles during reload… I’d go to seat the bullet and the bullet wouldn’t seat right, shaving the side of the bullet or seating in a manner other than straight and centered. It caused too many wasted bullets. Plus, while the Berry’s is the cheapest of what I can find locally, the Precision Delta is overall FAR less expensive; and when buying the Precision Delta in large bulk quantities, the price differential is even greater. As of this writing I’ve yet to run the Precision Delta through the chronograph, but in general shooting the feel and results are about the same. I’ll eventually do more specific testing.

Updated 3: I’ve been able to run the Precision Delta’s over a chronograph, as well as changing primers. All of that data is here.

As expected, not a lot of performance change. Consequently, my general 9mm plinking recipe will now be:

Bullet: Precision Delta 9mm 115 grain FMJ ball copper jacket (but all the 9mm 115 grain FMJ/TMJ’s I’ve tried have worked with similar results).

Primer: Remington 1.5 Small Pistol (I’ve also tried Winchester, Federal, and Wolf small pistol primers and they’ve all worked with about similar results).

Cases: Whatever used 9mm cases I have

COAL: 1.135″

Powder: Titegroup 4.5 grains

Updated 4: It’s been almost 2 years since I came up with this recipe, and it’s still working well for me. The specific bullet, the specific primer, as you can see (if you trace through all the postings with the load data and chrono results) doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of difference so I go with what’s cheap or available.

I wanted to add that this ammo has been run through numerous guns without any known hiccups. Sure it worked in my XD’s, but over the past year or two I’ve had to loan some ammo, a magazine full here or there, to students in classes. I didn’t keep track of all the guns, but we see the gamut in classes and I’m unaware of any hiccups. And of course, it’s run through all my guns and I’ve had nary a hiccup. I’d say this is turning out to be a nicely proven load.

Of course, if you opt to use it, YMMV. Insert disclaimer here.

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11 thoughts on “9mm load recipe – plinking/target load – Berry’s bullets, Titegroup powder”

  1. Thats pretty much exactly my formula for my range rounds, except I generally use either Montana Gold 115gr FMJ, Rainier 115gr TMJ, or Bear Creek 115gr moly coated lead. My primers are generally either Winchester WSP or Wolf small pistol. I’ve been told by various shooters that 124gr 9mm bullets work better in terms of recoil, etc and have a better “power factor”, but to me its much more important that I can make 9mm that goes bang every time for as cheap as I possibly can… and in general that means 115gr FMJ or moly coated lead.

    1. I’m still looking around for “the best deal in bullets”. Only bought the Berry’s because they were the cheapest (in bulk) I could get at Cabela’s. I’m not really married to any particular bullet because, like you, what I’m going for here is the lowest cost load I can get since these are just for target/plinking/practice.

      When I get more serious about competition, then I’ll care more about gaming the “power factor”.

  2. I use the 115 gr Berrys and always make sure the cases are trimmed for the right taper crimp. Walnut shell works great for the cleaning but I bell the mouth only slighty to start the seat. My Sig 250 likes them.

    Berry’s web site sells them for about 85 or 89 per hundred with free shipping over $50

    Use mostly CCI 500 and sometimes CCI 550 and Fed 100

    Blue dot 8 gr
    Unique 5.6 gr but leaves them dirty
    WSF 5.6 gr
    231 4.9 gr

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