Newbie - bullet types

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by CaptainXL, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. Total newbie. Have not loaded my first round yet.
    Have been reading to try to determine what powder to buy to load Hornady 9mm 115gr FMJ RN and the data for that bullet.

    Purchased two books. Lyman 49th Reloading Handbook and Lee Modern Reloading. Neither book has data for a specifically for a 115gr FMJ RN.

    The Lee book has data for 115gr Jacketed Bullet. It does not does not specify a bullet type other than weight and that it is Jacketed. Does it matter if the bullet is JHP, FMJ, Wadcutter or any other type? Can I use the data that it shows for 115gr "Jacketed Bullet" for any jacketed bullet type? Wouldn't the Minimum OAL vary depending on if it is RN, HP, etc.

    The Lyman book shows only one bullet in 115gr. It's says 115gr JHP On the preceeding page it says that the 115gr JHP tested is a Hornady HP/XTP 115gr. Again, can I use the data shown for the 115gr JHP to load a FMJ RN even though the data says it is for a JHP?

    I have also looked on a lot of powder manufacturers websites and can't find load data specifically for a 9mm 115gr FMJ. Most powder companies have data for 115gr JHP but not for a FMJRN.

    Help this newbie get started by getting me to some place where I can get data for a 9mm 115gr FMJ RN

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  3. ChrisJn

    ChrisJn "Old Bill"

    I am looking at the Hornady 7th edition Handbook of Cartridge Reloading. It gives the same data for both the 115gr HP-XTP and FMJ-RN, but shows C.O.L as 1.075 and 1.100, respectively.
    Ballistic tables are available at
    Hope this helps.

  4. YEs it matters, one reason the Lee is almost useless IMO. OAl will varu depending on length of the bullet. Mot JHP will be longer than most FMJ of the same wt. The lead from the HP has to go someplace. Then some bulelts have short bearing surfaces & others longer. So yes, bullet type matters. Not so much w/ stqarting data, but once you start pushing the top, everything matters.
    USe starting data or just above & load to the longest OAL your gun will accept. Then work the load up in 0.1gr incremements until you have a load that is doing what you want.
    #3 fredj338, Mar 28, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  5. Can I use the same load data for all 115gr jacket bullets?

    As an example -- Lyman book says for 115gr JHP
    With Power Pistol powder -- Sug Starting 5.9gr -- Max Load 6.5gr

    Can I use the same powder, same Sug Start Gr and same Max Gr for ALL 115gr jacketed bullets? Would the data for Power Pistol be the same for JHP, FMJ, JSWC?
    #4 CaptainXL, Mar 28, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  6. ChrisJn

    ChrisJn "Old Bill"

    O.K. The Hornady book gives the following for BOTH their HP-XTP and FMJ-RN with power Pistol.
    1000FPS - 4.8gr, 1050 - 5.2gr, 1100 - 5.6gr, 1150 - 6.0gr, 1200 - 6.4gr, 1250 - 6.7(max load - use with caution!)
  7. Thank you very much. From what you have given me (from the Hornady book) it is obvious that I need to scrap the Lee book, let the Lyman book gather dust and get the latest copy of the Hornady book.

    Thank you for all of your help and answers.
  8. ChrisJn

    ChrisJn "Old Bill"

    You're welcome.
    I wouldn't scrap the books completely as they are still works of reference and will help down the road when you start changing bullets, powder, etc. Fredj gives very sound advice which I have always followed. It just so happens that the Hornady manual is very specific to Hornady bullets and actually recommends Power Pistol - "Power Pistol produced excellent velocity and uniformity with all bullet weights and is our choice when loading for the 9mm luger".
  9. ChrisJN --- Can you suggest a aprticular powder to use for 9mm 115gr FMJ? I had mentioned Power Pistol in my previous post only because it was listed among the powder types.

    As I had originally mention, I am a real newbie and haven't loaded my first round yet. If you were loading this what powder would you use?
  10. No, for the reasons that Fred mentioned. For starting loads, you might be able to interchange bullet types but when you get closer to max loads, not so much.

    A true FMJ is a round nose bullet with a jacket surrounding the lead except at the base.

    When you look at the Hornady manual, you will see that they aren't as selective about bullet types. They lump 3 or 4 types together and present just one load. It is probably not an optimal load for any but should be safe for all. For example, Hornady combines the 115 gr HP-XTP (their product) with the 115 gr FMJ RN (an industry standard type).

    For the 124 gr 9mm, Hornady lumps the HP-XTP, FMJ-RN, FMJ-FP and LRN (only the HP-XTP is still in production at Hornady).

    Starting out, you need 3 things to match up: the bullet, the powder and the data to put them together. Find a book you like, pick the components from the loads presented and load as given in the book. When you want to spread out, buy a different book.

    Another thing that is useful is a powder burn-rate chart:

    You want to use slower powders when you start loading. Something down around Unique (#31 on the list). Try to stay away from 700-X, Bullseye and Titegroup for a while.

    As you will probably start out buying powder and primers at the LGS, it will be helpful for you to find out which powders they stock. Maybe have them mark up the burn-rate chart. As you look at different loads, you will know which components you can get.

    You can buy primers and powder over the Internet but there is an additional $25 hazmat feed for shipping. To make it worthwhile, you need to buy a LOT of components and that might not be a good idea until you have a load your really like.

    Bullets you can buy from Precision Delta or Montana Gold. My preference for price is Precision Delta. PD sells by the 1000 although there is a $5 penalty if you buy an odd number of thousands. So, make sure you like the bullet and load before you order 2000. Actually, they make a nice bullet. The only question will be which powder to use.

    The only 115 gr FMJ load at the Hodgdon site uses WSF powder (#36 on the list). That might be a good place to start. A lot of people use WSF. Hodgdon does list a lot of loads for LRN and GDHP. But just one for a true FMJ.

    EDIT: WSF stands for Winchester Super Field. WST stands for Winchester Super Target. Just in case your LDS doesn't recognize the abbreviations. I didn't...

    #9 F106 Fan, Mar 29, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  11. ChrisJn

    ChrisJn "Old Bill"

    Sorry, I don't load for 9mm, just .40, .380 and 38SP.
    I am sure someone else will chime in with good advice.
    If I was to, and my bullets were Hornady, I would probably go with their recommendations and use Power Pistol as it is one I have not tied yet. I make it my practice, as Fredj says, to start low and work up. I never go above mid loads.
  12. Thanks to everyone who answered what are probably considered dumb questions. But I've always been told that the only dumb question is the question that is not asked.

    I now have a starting point. Will head out tomorrow to see what powders are available at Gander Mountain. Hopefully they will have Power Pistol and I can load a few low end 9mm to start with.

    After I am more confident and knowledgable I intend to start reloading .40SW too.

    I just got done ordering the Hornady 8th Edition from Amazon. I'm sure that it will help me greatly.

    I really appreciate all the help.
  13. I'm a new reloaded too. I picked Hodgdon Universal as my powder for 9mm and .40

    -Posted via iPhone
  14. Not at all. There is no magic in the Horandy manual either. The issue I have with Lee is they rarely tell you what bullet, so you can't match against another bullet. WIth starting data, it doesn't matter as much. As you go up the load data, then bullet shape matters quite a bit. It all has to do with OAL & bearing surface of the bullet. SO without that, you can't get much off starting data without knowing how to read pressures signs & interpret them.

    PP works, just not a huge fan. It does NOT do well at starting data, none of the medium burners do, but it's useful. I prefer WSF, less blast & only slightly faster. Universal & Unique are other good choices for 9mm or 40.
    #13 fredj338, Mar 29, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  15. #14 F106 Fan, Mar 29, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012

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