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Surprising WSF/147gr Result?


RickT

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We've been shooting 3.7gr WSF/147gr @1.15"OAL in our 9mm 1911. This chronos at about 900 fps. I posted previously in search of a slower load using this powder since 3.5gr WSF wouldn't cycle and I didn't want to live on the "edge" with 3.6gr.

I did find in Lyman's the following: 3.4gr WSF/147gr Lead Bullet/1.058" OAL => 867fps. I estimated my Bayou 147 gr to be a bit longer so intended to load at 1.07" OAL. I inadvertently loaded at 1.12" (long story).

Here's the surprising results sans chrono : 3.4gr WSF at 1.12" OAL worked flawlessly in our guns and was a softer load than the 3.7gr @ 1.15". I understand that shorter OAL will increase pressure somewhat, but my OAL isn't even close to the book for this load. I'll chrono on Friday, but does it make sense sense that the much lower load at albeit a shorter OAL would a)be noticeably softer and b)cycle flawlessly?

Update: I chrono'ed the 3.4gr load. Average at 862fps with a good SD. It's our new go-to load for 147gr. I'm almost sorry I bought so much HP-38 since we may well stick with these heavier bullets.

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WST is a faster powder. Makes perfect sense. I load both WST and WSF. WST recoils less. The next step up the velocity ladder for me is WSF.

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rdinga, the "WST" in my original post was a typo. Both loads were actually with WSF. That's was the performance of the 3.4gr load was such a surprise. Based on the 3.4gr result I'm almost tempted to try 3.3gr.

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I'm going to run the rounds through the chrono again when I get the chance. I had five rounds with an SD of 9, but I've got two factors working against a really good SD I believe. First, I'm shooting mixed headstamps (probably a minor factor). Second, my micrometer-equipped seating die tends to drift; I'm going to continue to use that die for small runs of test loads but switch to a traditional die for larger batches of "favorite" loads.

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