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New Reloader Help Wanted


sixgunluvr
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Greetings All,

I'm new here and decided to register after seeing the wealth of information available here. I have a question concerning reloads. First a little info for you guys 1) I am a backyard shooter, no competitions and no desire to. 2) My weapons for reloads are primarily a pair of Astra A-70 9mm's. Maybe my Star BM later on. 3) I prefer Hornady XTP HP's and am working on the accuracy of 147gr. 4) I use HS-6 and CCI 500 primers with Nickel plated brass.

I made up some loads for the 115xtp that shoot great, they seem a little snappy, but shoot great. They are 6.9gr of HS-6 at a COL of 1.125 Mission accomplished. (Started this load from Hodgdon info for the Speet GDHP 115.)

I have loaded some 147xtp's..my favorite simply because i like the 'boom' factor of the heavier bullet. My load originating from Hodgdon&Hornady info. 147gr XTP's at 1.1(my avg 1.106) over 4.8gr of HS6.

............ the 147's do not shoot nearly as well. The 115's give me inside the fist sized groups offhand at 45ft while the 147's are more like paper plate sized.

Now my question, what can I do to try to improve accuracy? Lengthen OAL? Up the charge? I have loaded some at 4.9gr but have yet to make a trip to the range. OR change powders for the heavier bullet? I have some WW231 but prefer to stick with the HS-6 since i have a bunch.

Any suggestions or reloading tips appreciated.

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Edited by sixgunluvr
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If you have a chrono, use it. Otherwise it is all of the above. Guns have harmonics and finding the right combination of OAL to charge to bullet weight is what you need to find. You might find that your gun does not like 147's at all, it happens but you will not know it until you try to adjust things a bit.

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If you have a chrono, use it. Otherwise it is all of the above. Guns have harmonics and finding the right combination of OAL to charge to bullet weight is what you need to find. You might find that your gun does not like 147's at all, it happens but you will not know it until you try to adjust things a bit.

I was afraid someone would say that, i have certainly found that true in my rifles, my 30-06 loves 165gr not 180, and my 22 Mag loves 50gr but scatterguns anything lighter.

So where would you start? Isolate one factor charge weight or OAL? I had no malfunctions with the 4.8gr which is why i was hesitant to go to 4.9 but i loaded some anyway out of curiosity...have yet to try them, i also sorted the brass in this batch.

I do have access to a Chrono.....what will it tell me other than the obvious...velocity.

Edited by sixgunluvr
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no competitions 2) Astra A-70 9mm's. 3) I prefer Hornady XTP HP's and am working on the accuracy of 147gr. 4) I use HS-6

the 115xtp shoot great, They are 6.9gr of HS-6 at a COL of 1.125

I have loaded some 147xtp's..my favorite because i like the 'boom' factor of the heavier bullet.

147gr XTP's at 1.1(my avg 1.106) over 4.8gr of HS6.

............ the 147's do not shoot nearly as well. The 115's give me inside the fist sized groups offhand at 45ft while the 147's are more like paper plate sized.

what can I do to improve accuracy?

Sounds like you are happy with your 115 gr load (6.9 gr HS6) - have you chrono'd that load? Sounds

like it might be a little heavy for a plinking round?? Possible the 147 grain load is a little light? Might

be more accurate if you bumped that powder charge up?? But, not sure - I'd have to know the

current velocity you're gettting from that load ???

You realize that HS6 is not the best powder for what you're trying to accomplish?? No Problem with

it : Just the WW231 would probably be better for your loads.

At 15 yards, you should be getting 2-3" groups (Not handful or paperplate sized groups). Have you

found any loads (factory or otherwise) that get 3" groups with your A-70? Is it the gun?

If you play with the OAL, that might help a little == your crimp may be too tight - that could cause

some inaccuracy. Definitely different powders might help also.

Is there a reason to use Xtp's? I think they're very expensive bullets - most of us use either lead

or Montana Gold jacketed bullets - much cheaper and almost as accurate (not quite).

Good luck with your quest. :cheers:

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Yes, happy with the 115 xtp loads

Cost of the XTP's is a non issue

Remember my fist sized groups are offhand at 45ft, not bench rested. My fist is 3.5 inches....guess i should rest the gun if i'm going to try to tweek accuracy, but i could definately tell the difference between the two loads/wts.

I do have some 231..can you elaborate on how it may be better? I'm looking for more accuracy, flash and amount of powder i'd save are unimportant to me. If the powder alone could have an effect on the accuracy issue then i guess that's where i'd start.

I have over 30 years of shooting experience....but only 250 rounds of actual reloading experience. Happy to soak of any input given. Just trying to pin down the first variable i should adjust.

I believe my crimp was .375 on the 147's but after some reading i recently adjusted that to .378-.379 for my new batch with another 1/10th grain of powder...have yet to shoot them.

Edited by sixgunluvr
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With HS-6 charge weight of 6.6grs its really snappy and alot of felt recoil. You might want to back it down for just some plinking rounds. If you are going for accuracy I like Solo 1000 or N320. Powder plays a key factor in the burn rate you want to find a happy medium. Also how accurate are you trying to get? If you are really trying to get groups down you could also look at separating by Head Stamp could help it would eliminate some of the variables.

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I do have some 231..can you elaborate on how it may be better?

I believe my crimp was .375 on the 147's but after some reading i recently adjusted that to .378-.379

The WW231 could be more accurate.

Your crimp was originally too tight - could cause inaccuracy - I think you'll find that .378 - 9 will improve

the accuracy all by itself. :cheers:

p.s. You can make some money by trading your Xtp's for MG's - or get more bullets anyway.

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I personaly would not be shooting for group size off hand. i always shoot from a bench when testing any new load to make sure its not me. I have been shooting handguns and reloading or over 30 years myself. You stated bullet cost is not a factor..i disagree and the reason being is you will find you shoot more now that you are reloading for your handguns. Powder choice you are going to find a lot of different choices that will work..N320..solo 1000..AA2..AA4..231..HS-6..etc. Its a matter of what works best for you in the application its intended for just like your 30-06 unless you only tried one powder in that and OAL.Reloading can be a very interesting and rewarding hobby.

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Sixgun

I just started my excursion with 147 grain bullets in the 9mm. I get more consistent results around 135 power factor. I am experimenting with 231 and Universal right now. 231 is the more accurate and softer shooting at minor power factor.

A chrono is probably the best reloading tool I ever bought.

-John

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Thanks everyone for the info.

I did learn a few more things. I broke down and removed my barrel as suggested to test my reloads. I found that while they do drop in and out easily and the depth is good my first batch however does not 'twist' freely with my thumb. I found that the first 100 rounds i loaded had almost no taper crimp...these were sticky and rough when trying to twist. Everything after that i had given a little more 'debelling' or 'taper crimp' around .376 instead of .380, and they also fall in and out with proper depth but also were able to be 'twisted' easily just like my factory rounds.

Now max OAL testing, by trial and error using my seating die I found that the 115xtp fit flush or slightly below(best i can eyeball it) at around 1.127(i loaded them at 1.120-1.125) and the 147xtp seated flush at 1.126(i loaded them at 1.106).

To answer some of the above comments.

Again not really concerned about the cost of the XTP's, don't shoot that much, once i get a load that i like i will end up stockpiling more than shooting.

I don't reload my Weatherby 06. It puts 5 shots into 3/4 or less off the bench with factory 165 Rem. ammo so i don't feel the need to, i hardly shoot it anyway usually substituting the bow or pistol for it when hunting.

Yes when checking accuracy next time i'll go off the bench, but offhand i could still tell the difference between the two bullet weights.

Power factor...minor/major? What's that? IDPA....i'm a backyard shooter with no desire for competition or shooting thousands of rounds, never even shot at a shooting club or official range...no need to. No need to waste space here explaining minor/major.....i'll research.

I'll start to tweek my charge and OAL and make sure i use crimp more in the .376 range rather than .380. If that doesn't do anything i'll try some different powder. Thanks again everyone for you input, was much appreciated.

On a lighter note... I i went to open a package of 500 new nickel brass i received....was supposed to be mixed, however all the head stamps were the same. All have 2 stars separated by a dash...Starline i assume? Have never used it.

Edited by sixgunluvr
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  • 3 weeks later...

As to crimp... It's not a stab in the dark. Take about 10 of your random cases and measure the thickness of the case wall with a caliper. Most 9mm will be about .011 or .012. Next, measure the diameter of the bullets you are using. Seeing that they are XTP's, they should measure .355. Now add double the average for the 10 cases case wall thickness to the bullet diameter. This should be your maximum crimp. Let's say you got .012 or close to it. Double that to .024 and add the .355 of the supposed bullet diameter to give .379. That is the maximum for the taper crimp for this combination (The absolute maximum for 9mm is .380, but it really should never be that as some feeding problems may result.). I say maximum because most reloaders will add about .001-.002 more taper crimp resulting in something like .377 or .378 for a final taper crimp. This will insure that the edge of the case is not protruding and will not hit the base of an extracting round as the next round comes up from the magazine. Thus you will get better feeding reliability without distorting the bullet and destroying accuracy.

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This will insure that the edge of the case is not protruding and will not hit the base of an extracting round as the next round comes up from the magazine. Thus you will get better feeding reliability without distorting the bullet and destroying accuracy.

Hmm, maybe this is why i had a recent FTFeed. I noticed the top of the bullet was scraped/scuffed on the top. I mistakenly thought i may have the OAL slightly too long but that didn't jive with my max Magazine depth testing that showed i should have had plenty of leeway and didn't seem to explain the heavy scuff that was along the front 1/3 of the bullet rather than just the tip.

Based on your info./experience....... i bet the base of the extracting round hit the next bullet in the mag as it came up........my .379 crimp needed to be closer to .376-.378 Thank You! I'm learning.

This was with a recent load of 4.6gr of HS-6 under a 147 MG CMJ and nickel brass with OAL of 1.14 Crimp was .378-.379

I had no FTFeed or scuffed bullets from the same load(4.6gr HS-6) using .376-.377 crimp at OAL of 1.125 and standard brass.

Edited by sixgunluvr
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Decided to load up another 40 rounds...brass on the 3rd reload specs with almost no signs of wear, no need to tumble and only slight brushing needed on some of the primer pockets.

Gonna try 4.6 gr of HS-6 under 147gr MG CMJ again at 1.14 OAL.... this time making sure my crimp is .377 instead of .379 and see if i can avoid any FTFeed due to the bullet getting scuffed by the prior case head exctraction. This was a seemingly low powered round with this OAL and seems easy on the gun with empty cases falling directly next to me.

This is fun. :D

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