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Question about 9mm load

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Tallahassee, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. Tallahassee


    Aug 3, 2010
    I'm trying to work up a load for my Glock 19. I'm using Unique powder, CCI 500 primers, Hornady 124 grain FMJ Round Nose bullets, and an OAL of 1.15".

    My question is about the powder charge. I've worked up to the max in the Hornady reloading manual (5.0 grains), and it still seems a bit light. My G19 will function fine with S&B 115 gr range ammo, but the first reloads I tried (same recipe as I listed above, except I had 4.5 grains of unique instead of 5.0) it was not happy with and would often fling brass back at my face. Same thing when I tried 4.7 grains. I shot 80 rounds with the listed max of 5.0 grains, and for the most part it did okay but there were still some occasional empties flying back at me. I know there is a lot of discussion about glocks doing this right now, but since my gun functions fine with the S&B ammo, and I can tell a noticeable difference in recoil with that vs my reloads, I am chalking this up to weak ammo.

    Alliant's website lists the max for a 124 gr gold dot as 5.8 grains of unique with an OAL of 1.12. Since I'm not getting any pressure signs yet, I'd like to increase the powder charge, but I'm nervous about going over the max in the Hornady manual. I'm thinking of trying the following:

    124 grain Hornady FMJRN
    5.2 grains unique
    CCI 500 primer
    1.15" OAL

    Has anyone tried a similar recipe? I figure this should still be in the margin of safety since it's 90% of the powder charge listed on Alliant's site, with the same OAL that I've been using. How much of a difference would it make if I increased the OAL to 1.16"?

    Thanks everyone.
  2. I don't have your recipe answer as I don't use that powder, but S&B is HOT ammo with a PF above NATO:
    S&B 115gr 1280fps 147.20PF

    I think it has crimped primers too, so not great for reloading when nothing else you pick up does.

  3. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    Why don't you shorten up the OAL? Increasing it to 1.16 will give you less pressure than you have now.
  4. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    Hornady is a bit conservative because their loads also include their soft swaged lead bullet. It's why I always recommend multiple manuals so you can cross ref. I like to use avg data from 2-3 manuals &/or the powder co sites. You can easily go beyond 5gr, that is what I use w/ a 125gr lead bullet. Just work it up in 1/10gr increments, try 10rds each to 5.6gr
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  5. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
    Sierra shows a max of 5.6 gr of Unique for their 125 gr FMJ with a COL of 1.090"

    Speer shows a max of 5.8 gr of Unique with their GDHP and a COL of 1.120". For a 124 gr TMJ FN, the COL is 1.135", same load.

    Don't rely on the typing skills of an old man! Verify the data from a published source.

  6. Tallahassee


    Aug 3, 2010
    Thanks everyone.

    Looks like it would be a good idea for me to get another reloading manual, I'm thinking Speer. I'd also like to start loading .223/5.56 soon, does anyone have a favorite manual for that caliber while I'm looking?
  7. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    I've run many 124/125 JHP's with 6.0 Unique at shorter COAL than you are. JHP's take up more room in the case than a RN as well. So with a significantly smaller usable case volume, I've run 6.0 Unique with no issues. The late Stephen A. Camp often wrote that it was his favorite 9mm load for hunting.

    That said, I chrono'd 5.8 and 6.0 with everything else being equal and found the velocities so close that I just run the 5.8 load now since my Lee disk throws that amount and Alliant approves of it. I get 1240fps out of my G17 with that load and it is equal to factory +P velocities and within non+P pressures.
  8. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
    When I think about rifle, I always think about Sierra first. They have loads for bolt-action and service rifle.

    If you want to get into distance shooting, I would recommend their "Rifle & Handgun Reloading Data" manual, Edition V, 5th Printing AND the Sierra Infinity Exterior Ballistics Suite

    Just the manual:

  9. robin303

    robin303 Helicopter Nut

    Sep 27, 2009
    Austin, TX
    My favorite load using Unique with a 124 RN is 4.5 gr with a OAL of 1.30and get an average of 1018 FPS out of my 19 and 1046 FPS out of my 17.
  10. Tallahassee


    Aug 3, 2010
    Wow, that was very informative, thank you. I'm really looking for just a little more oomph, so if 5.2 grains gives me enough that I don't get any more cases to the forehead I'll probably stop there, assuming accuracy is good.

    I didn't know that JHPs take up more room in the case, but I also haven't loaded any of them. Would it be safe to assume that something like a Hornady 124 gr FMJ would have a similar depth and pressure characteristics to a Speer 124 gr TMJ?
  11. noylj


    Jul 20, 2010
    Look at the two bullets. A FMJ-RN has a round nose that is chopped of for a FMJ-FN or JHP. The extra weight, from the missing RN and for the HP, goes into the base of the bullet. So the bearing surface is longer. Unless the bullet has a very unique ogive, if you load a FMJ-RN and a JHP to maximum COL (so bullet just touches the lede/rifling), the JHP will have a shorter COL (no RN sticking out).
    Every bullet will perform best if you determine the COL that is best in your gun.
    Note: TMJ are plated bullets.
    Here is my compilation. COL is the minimum COL that applies to the load.
    Bullet Weight Powder Weight Velocity Note P.F. COL
    FMJ 124 Unique 3.7 900 Start 112 1.040
    Hdy HP-XTP, FMJ, FMJ-FP 124 Unique 4.0 900 Start 112 1.050–1.150
    JSP 125 Unique 4.1 859 Start 107 1.120
    FMJ 125 Unique 4.1 1000 Start 125 1.120
    FMJ 124 Unique 4.1 950 118 1.040
    FMJ 124 Unique 4.1 1000 124 1.040-1.090
    FMJ 125 Unique 4.6 1050 131 1.090
    Spr SP 125 Unique 4.7 887 Start 111
    FMJ 124 Unique 4.7 1025 127 1.150
    FMJ 124 Unique 4.7 1050 130 1.040
    FMC 124 Unique 4.8 1100 Max 136
    FMJ 124 Unique 4.9 1075 133 1.150
    Hdy HP-XTP, FMJ, FMJ-FP 124 Unique 5.0 1100 Max 136 1.050–1.150
    Berry's P-HP 124 Unique 5.0 1050 130 1.085
    HP-XTP 124 Unique 5.0 1093 136
    FMJ 124 Unique 5.1 1125 140 1.150
    FMJ 125 Unique 5.1 1100 138 1.040-1.090
    Spr SP, GD-HP, TMJ, XTP 124 Unique 5.2 1080 Start/Accurate 134 1.120-1.135
    Spr SP 125 Unique 5.2 987 123
    JSP 125 Unique 5.3 1118 140 1.120
    JSP 125 Unique 5.5 1061 Start 133 1.125
    FMJ 125 Unique 5.6 Start 0 1.142
    Sie JHP 125 Unique 5.6 1170 146
    Frontier FMJ-FP 124 Unique 5.7 1164 144 1.150
    Spr SP, GD-HP, TMJ 124 Unique 5.8 1180 Max 146 1.120-1.135
    Hdy FMJ-FP 124 Unique 5.9 1200 Max 149 1.100
    JSP 125 Unique 5.9 1192 Max 149 1.120
    Spr JSP 125 Unique 5.9 1209 151
    JSP 125 Unique 6.0 1168 not max in BHP 146 1.090
    Hdy FMJ-FP 124 Unique 6.0 1167 Max/Acc. 145 1.120
    Hdy FMJ 124 Unique 6.0 1170 Max 145
    Hdy FMJ-FP 124 Unique 6.0 1196 Max 148 1.120
    Spr SP 125 Unique 6.0 1139 Max 142
    Hdy FMJ-FP 124 Unique 6.0 1167 145
    Hdy HP-XTP 124 Unique 6.0 0 1.100
    Spr GDHP 124 Unique 6.0 0 1.115
    FMJ 125 Unique 6.2 1170 Max 146 1.090
  12. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    The Sperer manual is pretty close to what most get in real owrld reloading. I have also gone beyond 5.8gr Speer max, but stick w/ book loads.
    THink about how a JHP is made. If bullets are the same weight, the mat'l form the HP has to go someplace, so you get a longer bullet.
  13. Rich22


    Dec 10, 2001
    Orlando, Fl
    Since the majority of our loads are similar it looks like I can at least give a little advice. I use 124gr RN bullet Federal primers 1.15 oal and unique. I have found anything under 5.2 my G19 doesn't much care for. My plinking load is 5.4gr 1.15 oal. I have loaded and shot up to 5.8 with no issues, pressure signs etc. When I tried below 5.0 at 1.15 oal I got stoppages, misfeeds etc. Try 10 each from 5.2gr to 5.6gr or so and see what you like and what works best for you.

  14. BEA


    Oct 31, 2008
    Max loads with Unique will be compressed or nearly so. This is not a problem as long as you are going by prescribed data. In addition, keep in mind that the Speer pistol bullets are plated so they may produce less pressure than jacketed bullets do with equal powder charges. You may notice that the Gold Dots often have slightly higher powder charges than jacketed bullets such as those from Hornady. So, the bottom line here is that the Hornady type bullets may not be suitable with the max charge wts suggested by Speer.
  15. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    Just not true. A plated bullet, true plated, not the SPeer, run closer to a lead bullet. They are after all, soft lead swaged & then thin copper plating. Loading plated w/ jacketed data often prodcuces a HIGHER pressure load than jacketed. Getting this mixed up can put you in a danger zone quickly pusing upper end loads.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  16. rg1


    Aug 5, 2003
    4.8 grains of Unique is a mild load for 124 fmj's and I find safe in any brass brand. 5.0 grains is a good load but I like to shoot 5.1-5.2 grains of Unique with any jacketed 124 FMJ that I've tried mainly Winchester, Remington, Speer, and Hornady. I wouldn't go above 5.5 grains with Unique and 124 grain bullets. I do like and load Speer's 124 grain Gold Dot hollow point to 5.4 grains of Unique at approx 1130-1140 fps in a Glock 19. As mentioned deeper seating increases pressure especially in the 9MM. Hornady's recommended oal for their 124 fmj is 1.150".
  17. BEA


    Oct 31, 2008
    Actually, the Speer Gold Dot bullets are plated. Give them a call and get it from the horse's mouth. The Gold Dot bullet is much more heavily plated than those from Berry, Rainier, ect so they will tolerate high velocities. You are correct, many of the other brand plated bullets do use lead bullet data because the plating is much thinner and the velocity has to be held down a bit. Some plated bullets will still lead if pushed hard enough. However, I have never found this to be the case with the Speer bullets in the applications that apply to me.
  18. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

    Jan 3, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
    From their web site:
    we bond the jacket to the core

    that is not the process for plating.

    I do not think Speer Gold Dots are *plated*.
  19. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    Gold Dots are plated. It is a heavy plating, but they take a lead core and plate it with copper. Federal uses plated bullets for rifle loads as well. That is an even heavier plating. Most of the Federal rifle loads are not plated, but the "Fusion" line is.
  20. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    I run Berry's plated 124 RN with 4.8-5.0gr Unique and 1.15 OAL. Duplicates pretty well Gold Dot 124+P, might be a tad lighter but that's ok, I run a lot of them through. I've never chronoed them though.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012