Time to change the Lock-n-Load AP from .38 Special to 9mm.
I’ve actually tried a couple 9mm recipes already, and based upon them and the components I have available, here’s what I’m going to start with:
Bullet: Berry’s plated 9mm 115 grain RN DS
Primer: Remington 1.5 Small Pistol
Cases: Whatever used 9mm cases I have
Powder: Titegroup 4.5 grains (or maybe 4.4)
The only case prep was cleaning the cases (dry vibratory case tumbler), then of course a resize and decap. No triming, 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.
The powder selection is because I’m kinda liking Titegroup, I’ve got a bunch of it, so let’s run with it and see what I can get from it. The last time I used Titegroup had 4.2 grains and wasn’t enough to really make the guns run. So what to use? The Speer #14 manual says the max is 4.5 grains, using a Speer TMJ RN 115 grain bullet and 1.135″ COAL (or a Speer GDHP and 1.125″ COAL). Hodgdon’s manual says 4.8 grains using a 115 grain Speer GDHP and 1.125″ COAL, and lists 4.5 grains as the minimum. Hodgdon’s website adds a 115 grain LRN with a COAL of 1.100″ with a max of 4.3 grains and min of 3.9 grains. Furthermore, Berry’s plated bullets really can’t go more than 1200 fps, and 9mm by nature tends to push towards that limit. Given all of this, given the performance I saw in my prior test, given that I’d like this to run in any 9mm gun I have well… I’m thinking 4.5 grains ought to be right. I didn’t want to spend all day sweating single granule differences in weight, so the final weight was somewhere maybe 4.45 grains. Close enough.
Since this is the first time for a load, I wouldn’t want to load up a lot: load a few, see if they work, then come back and adjust and load more. However, given what I’ve seen, I think this load ought to work out OK. Thus I loaded 45 rounds (was going to do 50 but had 45 primers left in this one tray so I just went with that). That should be enough to ensure the load cycles in all my 9mm handguns, do some basic testing for accuracy, see how it feels, and just see how it goes.
So at this point, I’ve got my .223 loads, my .38 loads, and now these 9mm loads. I shall be going to the range soon to try them all out. Reminds me… I need to swab out the AR.