Jump to content
Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!
rpm8300

158gn 38/.357 bullets for 9mm Guns

Recommended Posts

Folks,
Just wanted to share some load data with 158 grain 38/.357 bullets out of 9mm guns.  This started because I was looking for an alternative to the Xtreme 165 RN plated bullets.  The Xtremes are OK but sometimes they are slow to ship, and unless you get them on sale, they'll run you more than 10 cents a round.  After looking through the forums and reading this helpful article:

http://www.shootingtimes.com/reloading/reloading-heavy-bullets-in-9mm-luger/

I decided to give this a try. 

BLUF - the 158s work well and most of the time are just as accurate if not more than 9mm 147s plated, 160 moly, and 165 plated.

 

I'll start with my M&P setup for Carry Optics.  My match load for this turned out to be 158gn RN Plated Berrys at 2.8 grains of VV310, 1.15 OAL, Fed SPP, mixed brass.  The bullets loaded just like any other heavy bullets, with maybe 1 in a 100 not passing case gauge.  The shape of these Berrys was the best for feeding.  That load out of my M&P gave 825 fps 130 pf and shot 1.25" consistently from a rest at 20 yards.  For more info on my M&P go here:

In this pistol, the 158 were more accurate than the 165 Xtreme at the same PF.  147 Freedom Munitions RN reman was also a little less accurate. 

 

For you Sig P320 X5 shooters, I'll preface that the X5 is the MOST accurate striker fired gun I have tested in stock form.  The X5 is a tack driver with everything I can throw at it. The barrel is a little slower than the M&P Apex barrel and  2.9 grains of VV310 at 1.15 OAL, Fed SPP, mixed brass gave 815 fps 128 pf.  It also shot 0.75" - 1" groups consistently at 20 yards from a rest.

 

Last, I'll finish with my Tanfo Stock 2.  This is the only pistol where I'll probably stick with 165 as my primary bullets.  The Tanfo barrel is the fastest out of the three guns with 2.7 of VV310 at 1.15 OAL pushing the 158 Berry to 810 fps.  This is good for 2" groups at 20 yards; the 165 Xtreme are a tick more accurate.

 

I also tried some 158 Berry FP Plated bullets and you have to load them really short to get them to work right - I dont recommend this for these types of applications.  Still to be tested are some 158 RN FP plated bullets from RMR Bullets.

 

I tried 160 Bayou Plated but they were pretty smokey - part of this is the VV310 I run; my buddy that runs TG with the Bayous says its fine.  The 160s shot similar to the 165 Xtremes and the moly gave them a little more speed at the same powder than the 158 Berrys.  Unless you really love the moly bullets, Id stick with regular plated for heavy 9mm, i.e. 158 grain or heavier.

 

All in all, the 158s are a good option for 9mm if you like running the heavier bullets.  A 158 Berry at 128 pf definitely feels softer and 'flatter' than a 147 bullet at the same PF.  Of note, getting any of these really heavy bullets to run right in 9mm required a bit of tweaking with your recoil spring.  To get the timing right on my M&P, I had to run a pretty light recoil spring, which can cause 2nd order effects.  The Berry 158s fed fine with this lighter spring out of a stoked mag, which I found out was mostly due to the profile of the Berry RN bullet.

 

OK fellow heavy 9mm bullets sandbaggers, let me know if you have any questions.

Tom

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not a question, but rather a concern.  I read early on when I first started reloading 9mm (back in the late 1980's) that care had to be taken not to seat the bullet too deep as pressure in the small 9mm case would rapidly rise.  Has anyone done any pressure tests to see how these heavier, and thus longer, seated deeper bullets affect the chamber pressure?  I'm not comfortable with someone telling me "I did it and didn't have no problems" and would rather have some definitive numbers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the great info, Tom.    :bow:

 

I've never had any trouble with running 147 grains thru my BHP, and they're accurate.   :) 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Tom S. said:

Not a question, but rather a concern.  I read early on when I first started reloading 9mm (back in the late 1980's) that care had to be taken not to seat the bullet too deep as pressure in the small 9mm case would rapidly rise.  Has anyone done any pressure tests to see how these heavier, and thus longer, seated deeper bullets affect the chamber pressure?  I'm not comfortable with someone telling me "I did it and didn't have no problems" and would rather have some definitive numbers.

 

What exactly was this information referring to? Overall length or heavy (i.e. long) bullets?

 

There is a big difference between those issues.

 

There are several factory loads with 158 grain bullets in the 9mm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, superdude said:

 

What exactly was this information referring to? Overall length or heavy (i.e. long) bullets?

 

There is a big difference between those issues.

 

There are several factory loads with 158 grain bullets in the 9mm.

Heavier bullets are longer, and in order to fit and feed in magazines and chambers, require deeper seating than a lighter bullet.  It was the deeper seating I was referring to, especially now that I see some offering 160 gr bullets for 9mm.  A I stated in my post, when I started loading 9mm, there were warnings about seating bullets too deep, which could cause pressure to skyrocket.  My question remains: has anyone done any pressure tests on rounds loaded with these heavier bullets? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Too deep" is a vague term. One can seat light bullets too deep as well, for a given powder charge. 

 

If one keeps the powder charge the same, seating the bullet deeper increases pressure.  In order to keep the pressure the same, one must lower the powder charge as a bullet is seated deeper. This applies to bullets of all weights. 

 

I suspect that the only pressure testing has ben done by a factory that loads heavy bullets, such as Fiocchi, IMI and Prvi Partizan offer, since pressure testing equipment is specialized and expensive. 

 

Tom S., what is the source of the warning? If it was in a Manual, which one?  Then we can look it up and see what it was about.

 

Edited by superdude

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, you're relying on an VERY old memory, as I said it was in the 80's when I first started reloading 9mm, but back then I used Speer reloading manuals almost exclusively, so that would be my first guess.  My second guess would be one of the Pet Load books.  Since that book hasn't changed, I'll look at my latest copy and see if it was there.

 

EDIT:  The only mention in the Pet Loads book is on page 550 (newest version), which briefly states: "Seating bullets deeper than specified reduces the space in the case and increases pressure."  This is not the statement I remember reading so I'm 99% sure it's not where I got the info from, however it does validate my point to a degree.  Ken Waters, the author, was not using any bullets beyond 125 grains.  Can you seat a 150 or 160 grain bullet in a case to the same depth he was seating a 125 grain bullet?  If so, then there should be no problem.  My concern is if the heavier/longer bullet needs to be seated deeper than the 90 through 125 grain bullets he was using, then wouldn't his warning about pressure increases be valid?

 

In later tests, Waters ran up to 130 gr jacketed bullets, but reported nothing on seating depth/pressures.

Edited by Tom S.
Updating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 14th edition of the Speer manual says to not load the bullets deeper than the length shown in their manual as this can cause excessive pressure.  There is nothing specific about bullet weight with respect to this warning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, superdude said:

The 14th edition of the Speer manual says to not load the bullets deeper than the length shown in their manual as this can cause excessive pressure.  There is nothing specific about bullet weight with respect to this warning.

 

That is true, but the Speer manual doesn't contain any info for the heavier bullet, especially 160 grain.  If the extra bullet weight is obtained by making the bullet longer, and you then seat that bullet to the OAL length shown in the Speer manual, you will in fact be seating the bullet deeper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Tom S. said:

 

That is true, but the Speer manual doesn't contain any info for the heavier bullet, especially 160 grain.  If the extra bullet weight is obtained by making the bullet longer, and you then seat that bullet to the OAL length shown in the Speer manual, you will in fact be seating the bullet deeper.

 

124 grain bullets are longer than 115 grain bullets. If you seat the 124 grain bullet to the same overall length as the 115 grain bullet, the 124 grain bullet will be deeper in the case. As long as you make adjustments in the charge weight that are appropriate for the bullet weight, no problem.  

Edited by superdude

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what its worth, Ive run a few thousand of these 158, hundreds of 160 Bayous, and a TON of 165 Xtremes with no issues.  I've loaded them as short at 1.12 and as long as 1.17 - no issues - cases and primers didnt show any signs of overpressure.  This includes lots of 158s and 165s out of a G34, OEM and S3F barrel, Stock 2, and M&P.  Ive had one case separation with a 165gn 9mm in a Sig P320 X5 but I'm certain that was a case that was compromised already. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Tom S. said:

 

EDIT:  The only mention in the Pet Loads book is on page 550 (newest version), which briefly states: "Seating bullets deeper than specified reduces the space in the case and increases pressure."  This is not the statement I remember reading so I'm 99% sure it's not where I got the info from, however it does validate my point to a degree.  Ken Waters, the author, was not using any bullets beyond 125 grains.  Can you seat a 150 or 160 grain bullet in a case to the same depth he was seating a 125 grain bullet?  If so, then there should be no problem.  My concern is if the heavier/longer bullet needs to be seated deeper than the 90 through 125 grain bullets he was using, then wouldn't his warning about pressure increases be valid?

 

 

Tom S., you are confused.  Yes, it's true that longer (heavier) bullets protrude deeper in the case than shorter (lighter) bullets if they are seated to the same overall length.  Yes, you can seat 150-160 bullets to the same OVERALL LENGTH as lighter bullets. The heavier bullets will be deeper in the case because they are longer. But this applies to weight comparison, not just the 160ish grain bullets. Think about it!

 

I repeat, as long as you make adjustments in the charge weight that are appropriate for the bullet weight, no problem.  We do this for all load data. Heavier bullet use less gunpowder than light bullets to reach the same pressure. It is a function of bullet weight - bullet length is secondary in this simple example.

 

Overall length also matters but is a different issue. With typical handgun rounds, as the bullet is pushed deeper in the case, pressure rises. For example, as a 115 bullet is pushed deeper in the case, pressure rises.  In this example, you have to make adjustments for the seating depth - use less powder as the 115 grain bullet is pushed deeper in the case to keep the pressure the same.  But this is independent from bullet weight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too , tried this heavy bullet experiment years ago in my G34. Pressures as per visual indication on primers seemed ok with the load I was using, however, if memory serves me correctly , I aborted this project because I was getting some oblong holes in the target , indicating stabilization problems . Anyone else have stabilization problems with these heavy bullets in 9mm?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/10/2017 at 6:42 PM, mwx40x40 said:

I too , tried this heavy bullet experiment years ago in my G34. Pressures as per visual indication on primers seemed ok with the load I was using, however, if memory serves me correctly , I aborted this project because I was getting some oblong holes in the target , indicating stabilization problems . Anyone else have stabilization problems with these heavy bullets in 9mm?

 

The OEM and S3F Barrels in my G34 will not shoot these 165 grain 9mm accurately - I can get about 3" groups at 20 yards.  Even with this, I didnt have tumbling issues as you describe.  With other guns, i.e. Apex Barrel and M&P, it is extremely accurate with no keyholeing whatsoever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎12‎/‎16‎/‎2017 at 7:46 PM, deerassassin22 said:

I run .356 BBI 160grn 9mm just have them custom size ships same day most cases

Hey Al - do you find that the .356 BBIs shoot any differently than a .357?  The BBIs I would think would be more forgiving on diameter due to the coating.  Thanks,

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have loaded 147 bayou coated bullets. They mic at 357 and cause me problems putting enough bell one case. They do make a bulge ring in the case, but plunk. Just do not like the looks of the finished product. I am going to give the 158's a try as I have a pretty good supply of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...