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165 grain 9mm with CFE pistol?

3548 Views 24 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  picker.
Well I picked up 1k of 165 grain (yes, 165) and am trying to figure out a good starting load. I want to use CFE pistol powder, but I can't find any guys loading anything over 147 grain bullets. I normally load 147 grain with 4.3 grains of CFE.

I was thinking of starting at around 2.8 grains and then working up. Or should I start a little higher?
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just got done loading a test batch. I made 5 of each of the following charges.

2.8
2.9
3.0
3.1
3.2
3.3
3.4

I will see which yields the most desirable results. OAL stayed my normal 1.16" I'll hit the range after work tomorrow and see what I come up with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Don't have one. I don't really care what the velocity is. I go for what feels good, shoots good, and is accurate. I know what low power rounds feel like and I know what +p charges feel like.

Between that and inspecting brass, I can get a good load developed. So far that hasn't failed me for any caliber I load.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I guess I don't see the need for my uses. I start with a definitely low charge, and try that, and then based off of the results of the low charge, I either stay with that, or go up until the gun cycles reliably and the accuracy is good. I'm not looking to meet any power factors or velocities. Just make some fun plinking ammo.

Perhaps some day I'll get one but for now this method seems to be working great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I understand that fully. But, with the powder I use, and how mild I am loading, I can't see how anything could go bad pressure wise. I could understand if I was using a really fast powder where a little bit of variation could mean a huge pressure spike, but CFE isn't all that fast, and I'm starting out well below what I've found as a good load.

I found guys reporting (and load data is always taken with a grain of salt, which is why I always drop it a bit) that they were running this exact bullet, 165 grain xtreme, with 3.6 grains of CFE. Another guy stated 3.5 gave him the best results.

I'm not trying to sound like a know it all and not listening but with the components I'm using, I feel that there isn't a risk of loading a round that will be over pressure. Or should I say, a starting round that is over.

If 2.8 grains cycles the gun reliably and doesn't show any signs of of over pressure on the brass, then I'll stick with that. My goal is to use as little powder as possible to obtain a round that will shoot good and cycle reliably. Cardboard doesn't seem to care if I meet a certain power factor. And it's not what I use for training. Just fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I use a mix of range brass and brass that I've shot from new ammo I bought.

I do however inspect each and every case before it get put into the case feeder or loaded.

If I don't recognize the head stamp it gets chucked and obviously stepped cases get chucked as well. So far I've only ever found 4 of the stepped cases. They were maxi tech iirc. I also usually ditch the aquilla brass. The majority are xtreme, buffalo, Starline, and R P. Some winchester and Sig mixed in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm not sure what you mean by that? You mean there's no point in inspecting the case after firing a new load and looking for things such as the case being distorted or getting hammered on the head area?

For instance, I've picked up some 45 acp brass that was definitely loaded up pretty hot. The head stamp was pretty much smoothed out and the edges were rounded off. From what I gather that's from the round being slammed into the slide when fired and beating up the brass. Those cases were discarded but just something I noticed and researched. I haven't found any 9mm cases like that yet though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I just got these since they were cheap. I try to buy all my bullets when xtreme lists them in their clearance section. So these weren't much more than the 147 grain I usually get.

But I just got back from the range.

The 2.8 wouldn't cycle the slide enough to eject the spent case. It took 3.2 grains to sort of cycle the slide. 3.4 was still VERY soft but did cycle the slide for all 5 rounds. 3.5 and 3.6 were about right. The accuracy was decent as well. I did note that I have some "soot" on the cases, not a whole lot, but enough to wipe with your finger. And from my reading, that means not enough to seal the chamber fully.
 
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