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ngodwetrust21

After 2 years of reloading, I still don't have a clue!

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I have been reloading for a G34 for years and it has been very forgiving to my terrible reloading skills. I have been reloading for a Tanfoglio Stock 2 about a year now and still have not settled on a reliable load. It has made me question a lot about my current thoughts on reloading. To the Enos hive mind I go for answers. Current load is 1.135 OAL, 4.8 gr HS-6, Federal primers, 147 gr Blue Bullet, and it comes in at a 130 PF.

Questions:

1: In precision rifle shooting, you almost always get better accuracy by loading the OAL to be .010 - .015 off the lands of the rifling. For a pistol, does it really matter that much? In uspsa, the targets are so close (30 yards and in). I worry that loading with a longer OAL than 1.100 it will cause reliability issues with feeding and ejecting.

2: By loading with a longer OAL, do I have to use more powder to achieve a specific power factor?

3: I currently use HS-6. I have been told I should use a faster powder like Tight Group. Is a faster burning powder really going to generate less recoil and burn cleaner than HS-6?

4: I use a factory crimp die. How do I know if I am crimping too much? How do I know if I am not crimping enough?

5: I am having regular Stove pipes, 1 out of every 100 rounds. Aside from shooter error or gun issues, is their anything that could cause this that is only related to the ammo?

 

I realize I have a lot of questions and I am sorry for posting so many all in one post. Problem is I have a lot of questions. 

Thanks in advance for the help.

Edited by ngodwetrust21
Corrected OAL to 1.135

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1) never found it to be significant. Just follow recommended OAL and do a "plunk test". With 40, you can't go too long or they won't fit in the magazine.

2) See 1, above.

3) 4.8 HS-6 is way too little. Get a loading manual or 2. Starting load with that bullet and HS-6 is 6.6 grains. You should use a fast powder: Tightgroup, Clays, etc.

4) Measure the case mouth diameter with calipers. Should be .423" + or - a thou or 2. Adjust die accordingly.

5) See 3, above.

Good luck.

 

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1) Yes typically closer will be more accurate, though few notice the difference and reliability trumps accuracy. I like as long as reliably functions. I think 1.16" is Saami max FWIW.
2) Yes.
3) Yes less recoil, cleaner depends
4) Pull some, damage to coating or crease in bullet is too much. To little will appear flared. Measure brass thickness x 2 + bullet diameter.
5) Dunno.

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34 minutes ago, ngodwetrust21 said:

I have been reloading for a G34 for years and it has been very forgiving to my terrible reloading skills. I have been reloading for a Tanfoglio Stock 2 about a year now and still have not settled on a reliable load. It has made me question a lot about my current thoughts on reloading. To the Enos hive mind I go for answers. Current load is 1.350 OAL (Nope. Try again) , 4.8 gr HS-6, Federal primers, 147 gr Blue Bullet, and it comes in at a 130 PF.

Questions:

1: In precision rifle shooting, you almost always get better accuracy by loading the OAL to be .010 - .015 off the lands of the rifling. For a pistol, does it really matter that much? Depends on the bullet and load. Closer is not always better.  In uspsa, the targets are so close (30 yards and in). I worry that loading with a longer OAL than 1.100 it will cause reliability issues with feeding and ejecting.  Only one way to know. Try it. 

2: By loading with a longer OAL, do I have to use more powder to achieve a specific power factor? Maybe. Probably. 

3: I currently use HS-6. I have been told I should use a faster powder like Tight Group. Is a faster burning powder really going to generate less recoil and burn cleaner than HS-6?  A powder that uses less weight for the same velocity will produce less recoil.  But you still need enough recoil force to cycle the gun. 

4: I use a factory crimp die. How do I know if I am crimping too much? How do I know if I am not crimping enough?  Typically, just remove the bell, or maybe 0.001-0.003" crimp. 

5: I am having regular Stove pipes, 1 out of every 100 rounds. Aside from shooter error or gun issues, is their anything that could cause this that is only related to the ammo?  Too little recoil impulse. 

 

I realize I have a lot of questions and I am sorry for posting so many all in one post. Problem is I have a lot of questions. 

Thanks in advance for the help.

 

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1. The true answer for the Tanfos here is to ship your barrel off to a Grams Engineering along with a dummy round at the length of your choice - my Stock 3 now accepts any fat difficult bullet profile out to 1.150" and the chamber has a noticeable bit more slop around case-gauged brass than it did before. The gun eats anything.

But in general you want to drop a round into the barrel loaded to, say 1.140 or whatever length you choose. If it won't drop in all the way or won't spin freely then the bullet nose is caught in the rifling. Load shorter and shorter until they drop in and spin freely. Then play with OALs shorter than that to find an accurate load which will feed 100% of the time.

2. Not usually. My Ramshot Competition and Titegroup loads see no detectable velocity difference for a 135gr bullet at 1.070" vs 1.150" - you should always back down and carefully work back up, but a huge velocity swing isn't common with the typically recommended powders. It also isn't unheard of. Play it safe.

3. Faster burning powders will feel softer, yes! Clays behind a 147gr 9mm is almost hilariously soft at 130PF. (Note that this is fast enough some people aren't going to recommend it)

4. Pull a bullet and look at it and measure it. Does it have a sharp lip at the case mouth and was it resized below that? In 9mm you want to just barely de-bell the case rim and wind up with a straight wall. You do not want to crimp it inward at all and cut into the bullet.

5. Spring your gun for the power factor that you're shooting and **chronograph your ammo.** I prefer a slightly hotter load (132-136 PF) because it cycles the gun a bit more vigorously and is often more accurate than super low velocity mousefarts at a hair over 125 power factor. Soft ammo or soft ammo and factory springs are common causes, aside from things like extraction/ejector issues or the shooter gripping too loosely.

Edited by MemphisMechanic

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14 hours ago, ngodwetrust21 said:

Current load is 1.350 OAL,
No, it's not.  The longest your magazine will accept is  about 1.169.

4.8 gr HS-6, Federal primers, 147 gr Blue Bullet, and it comes in at a 130 PF.
Blue bullets makes 2 different 147gr bullets.  Which do you use?  Also, how did you arrive at this load?  What made you decide that was the best load for you to use?  

1: In precision rifle shooting, you almost always get better accuracy by loading the OAL to be .010 - .015 off the lands of the rifling. For a pistol, does it really matter that much?
That's not exactly the rule of thumb I am familiar with, but regardless, either is a rule of thumb, and with both rifle and pistol, you should experiment with OAL to find the most accurate load, even outside the rule of thumb.  It's going to make a bigger difference in your score at 1000 yards than it is at 35, but whether or not it's a big enough difference to be worth it to you is your call.  That said, if playing around with OAL inside a .04 range can improve your accuracy, why wouldn't you do that and find the most accurate load?

I worry that loading with a longer OAL than 1.100 it will cause reliability issues with feeding and ejecting.

I hope your precision with loading is better than your precision with reporting -- because right now, you have reported an OAL of 1.350, which is WAY too long, and expressed concern about loading longer than an OAL of 1.100, though you haven't specifically said you have tried to load to that OAL.  Regardless, 1.100 is exceedingly short with both of the 147gr bullets that Blue Bullets makes.   The case walls of 9mm cases start to thicken .300 from the case mouth, and at that point, the interior diameter shrinks relative to the first .300 meant to accommodate the bullet.  When you seat the bullet base deeper than .300, you run the risk of bowing out the case walls, or swaging down the bullet shank, or both.  You can get a little deeper than .300 if the base of the bullet is beveled, but not much.  At 1.100, the Blue 147gr FP's seating depth is about .315 while the 147gr RN is about .330.  That's deeper than you want to be.  

So 
WHAT OAL are you loading to at the moment?  And HOW did you decide on that OAL?  And since you know about loading .010-.015 off of the lands, I assume you also know how to determine the max OAL with that bullet, so WHAT is the max OAL with that bullet in your Tanfo?

 

 

 

3: I currently use HS-6. Is a faster burning powder really going to generate less recoil and burn cleaner than HS-6?
At the same velocity with the same bullet, yes.  The actual difference in recoil energy is minimal, and it comes from the additional mass of gas fountaining out of the front of your pistol.  The real difference to you, though, is in how it feels and how it moves the pistol, which comes from how quickly it accelerates the bullet, how that spreads the recoil out over time, and how long it continues to push.  At the same velocity, the slower burning powder will have a modest increase in recoil energy, likely unnoticeable, but because it will push the muzzle longer and higher, the difference in feel will be quite noticeable, IF you are paying attention to it.

But yes, move to a faster powder.  There is a reason that a manufacturer's line of powders span a range of burn rates.  That reason is that different burn rates are appropriate for different applications.  HS-6 is ill-suited for 9mm minor.  A consideration tied to "clean burning" is the pressure seal.  When the gunpowder ignitres, it pins the case walls to the  chamber walls, and creates a pressure seal.  If that seal doesn't happen fast enough, you get gas and unburned powder blowing out between the case walls and chamber walls back into the pistol, and that is DIRTY.  Slower powders at the charge weights that produce 9mm minor velocities tend not to get that pressure seal in a timely fashion.  Most 9mm minor shooters stick to burn rates around HP-38/Win231, N320, Titegroup, AA2, and others in that range.

4: I use a factory crimp die.
I know you didn't intend this statement as a question, but I'm treating it like one.  The Lee FCD is a solution looking for a problem.  It CAN fix a couple of problems, but it can also cause problems.  And since all the problems it fixes can be fixed elsewhere in your process, you'd be better off fixing the problems at their source and foregoing the FCD altogether. It resizes your finished cartridge.  One of the problems with it is its tendency to swage down cast bullets.  When you have an especially deep seated bullet like YOU do with those Blue 147, it's almost a guarantee.  This is bad for accuracy.  I would recommend you ditch the FCD completely and get a regular taper crimp die.  Others will disagree, but I am a staunch proponent of fixing problems at their source, rather than continuing the unsound practice that creates them, then repairing them later.  An FCD is a fix for a flaw somewhere else in your process.  
 

How do I know if I am crimping too much?  How do I know if I am not crimping enough?

The proper way is to measure your case wall thickness and your bullet diameter.  Then, your target crimp is twice the casewall thickness plus your bullet diameter.  Or you can do what I do -- set your crimp for .378 and call it a day. ;)

5: I am having regular Stove pipes, 1 out of every 100 rounds. Aside from shooter error or gun issues, is their anything that could cause this that is only related to the ammo?

Ammo that produces too little recoil to fully cycle the pistol can cause this.  

 

 

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Your OAL is probably 1.135" - pretty standard for 9mm minor ...

I'd try a faster powder - HS6 is a great, slow powder for 9mm Major ...

If you don't crimp enough, the rounds won't get into the chamber ... If you crimp

too much, accuracy will suffer and if you pull a bullet, you'll see crimp marks .

IF YOUR ACCURACY and FEEDING are okay, your crimp is probably fine.

Stove pipes:  lube?   spring too tight?   ammo a little short of powder?   riding the slide with

                      your weak hand?     only one mag, or is it all of them?  (1/100 sounds to me

                      like it might be only one mag).   :)

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Thank you all so much for the helpful comments! Looks like I have a lot to think about. I corrected the OAL to 1.135, it would help if I actually gave you all the correct info. 

I did the plunk test on the ammo and it failed at my original OAL of 1.135. I took it down to 1.125 and it passed. I was using berrys 147 and it would pass at 1.135, but the round nose 147 Blue Bullets do not.

I also pulled one of the bullets and I am crimping too much. There was a ring around the bullet from overcrimping.

I am using the factory crimp die because I had having about 5 out of every 100 rounds I reloaded failing to case gauge. Factory crimp die fixed that.

Tanfo is currently running an 8# recoil spring. I would think that is low enough for 130PF?

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On 12/5/2016 at 6:27 PM, Taroman said:

1) never found it to be significant. Just follow recommended OAL and do a "plunk test". With 40, you can't go too long or they won't fit in the magazine.

2) See 1, above.

3) 4.8 HS-6 is way too little. Get a loading manual or 2. Starting load with that bullet and HS-6 is 6.6 grains. You should use a fast powder: Tightgroup, Clays, etc.

4) Measure the case mouth diameter with calipers. Should be .423" + or - a thou or 2. Adjust die accordingly.

5) See 3, above.

Good luck.

 

Dudes shooting 9 not 40 

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IDescribe, the FCD is really no different than the Dillon die in my findings when the die in station #1 correctly sizes the brass. The key is to actually follow the instructions and not adjust the insert too far down to start and then to sneak up on your target. For 9mm, the Lee die in station #1 sizes the brass correctly and so the FCD does almost nothing in station #5. Can you adjust too far down and screw things up? Sure, but one would assume people at least read the instructions.

 

 

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They've covered pretty much the basics of your questions but I want to touch on powder. HS-6 is typically used in Open guns, nothing wrong with it for minor but not optimal. I'd suggest trying some W231/HP38, Titegroup, WSF, N320 or other popular powders; just search this forum and you'll find plenty.

Edit to add - It looks like you'll be at the top end to make 130pf with the 147grain bullets and HS6. I'd highly suggest a different powder.

 

If you're stove piping it's either the recoil spring, which at 8lbs is shouldn't be a problem. It could be an extractor problem as well. At 130pf, it would not be an ammo issue. Have you chrono'd your loads to confirm 130?

Edited by SCTaylor

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