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Steel challenge load ?

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New wish shooter here. I have been playing USPSA, IDPA and SC, and have been shooting the same 9mm load all the time ( 147 gr over 3.3 gr VV320) just to be consistent. At the last SC club match, a guy I was shooting with had some rounds marked "steel challenge only" . I asked he said that there was no power factor in SC so he loaded these really soft. Got me thinking if that was a good idea, or even a common one. I suppose it would mess up the zero on the CO gun, but is it a competitive edge ? 

Thoughts ? 

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Yes, light loads are a competitive advantage for Steel Change and yes it’s common. It’s also not a good idea to mix up your ammo boxes and accidentally take your steel loads to a USPSA match since they won’t make power factor, they’ll cycle slower so double taps on paper are farther apart, and they won’t knock over any poppers. Ask me how I know...


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Ahhh  Thus the big "STEEL CHALLENGE ONLY" on the boxes  

 

I'll give this a spin

 

Thanks guys

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Often same powder charge is used with a lighter bullet

Easier on the reloading etc

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I have done this, but I don't think that I'm going to stay with it. Using the same charge and switching from a 150 gr. to a 115, made a really soft shooting load. The draw back is that it showed me that I was not calling my shots, but was waiting to hear the steel ring. Thus all of my stage times went up. I know that to be competitive you can't wait to hear the ring. So I will go back to the 150's and work on calling my hits.

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For Steel Challenge I'm a fan of fast light bullets in any caliber.  For my Limited and Open guns I have developed minor and major loads that shot to the same POI.

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Steel Challenge figures into my load but I use one load for all the games I shoot.  That could change but for now that's how I roll.

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I once tried a 95gr Montana Gold bullet with VV N320 for Steel Challenge. This was the softest load I have felt, but I felt the 115's were slightly more accurate so I stayed with the 115's. 

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I have not tried the 115's by MG but I have shot the 95gr with VV N320.  Was very accurate in my Springfield.  I believe it was 4.0 grains.  Very soft shooting

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I use 4.0 gr of n310 with the MG 95'S. About 112 PF in my 5" Limcat. I also load 115 MG  over 3.8 gr of n320 which runs 109 PF. The 95gr load cycles the slide faster and the 115 load is slightly more accurate in my guns. If you use the 95 gr bullet be sure not to load them too long. They will fall out and make a mess. Mine are at 1.085 COAL and have never caused a problem.

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I had been shooting a Berry's 147 and 3.2 gr Sport Pistol in my PCC with great results.  I just tried a 115 Berry's with 4.0 gr Sport Pistol and it is even softer.  I am going to shoot a match with it this weekend and see how it feels over a complete match.

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For Steel Challenge CO I use a 9mm M&P CORE with a RMR sight. My load is 3.1 grains N310 with a Bayou Hi-Tek 120 grain TCG bullet. Velocity is about 940 fps. It is totally reliable (and 3 inch 25-yard groups) from a clean gun. Recoil is in the .22LR high-speed ammo range. I also don't have to hunt for my brass --- it's in a neat pile 24 inches to my right. That load won't cycle my Ruger PCC. I have to go up to 3.3 grains there. At 3.5 grains N310 it makes a 128 PF from the M&P and there is no significant change in POI.

Edited by GOF

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Steel challenge doesn't have a power factor minimum.  If you're looking for a steel challenge load, find the lightest load that will cycle your gun.  It's not uncommon for people to use 380 heads in 9mm cases for steel challenge.  I made GM in steel challenge using my USPSA load.  The load you have posted should be fine.

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Thanks for all the great load data guys. 

I finally had some time to " mad scientist" some options, and found that through the P320 X5, with a 12 lb spring, the nicest feeling, and most accurate was 124 grand Berry flat tops, over 3.5 grains of VV N320.  - I could go down to 3.3 but then there were some FTE's. 

The 115 grains did fine over 3.8 grains of VV N320, but the rounds were a bit spread out at 10 yards. Arguably I suck, and pin point accuracy is not a priority in SC, but I liked the 124's a bit better.

 

 

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Try the MG 95 JHP over 4.0  of N310 @1.085. Some of my race guns are more accurate with that, some are better with the 115 gr load. The 95 gr load cycles the slide faster.

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Just started SC about 6 months ago in PCCO division as that used my existing carbine from USPSA competition.  Load is Blue Bullets truncated cone 147's over 3.1 grains of VV N320 at 1.15 OAL.  That combination made minor comfortably in the 16"' carbine so started using it in SC.  

 

Came across this topic and ordered some Bayou Bullets 105 gn FP and worked up a load that would cycle the carbine without changing out the recoil spring.  2.4 grains of VV N320 and seated the bullet into the case to a point where the "funnel" portion of the bullet just met the top of the case.  IIRC the OAL was 1.08.  Was very, very soft but have not loaded any more to test for accuracy.  Will let you know when the weather warms up a bit and can spend some time on the outdoor range.

 

BC 

Edited by BillChunn
fat fingered OAL

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3.3gr Sport Pistol/115gr Acme/1.115" OAL will cycle my 9mm 1911 100%.  I've also tried 3.2gr with good results; just need to send a few more rounds down range before I switch to this lighter load.  I'll be switching to Bayou after I use up the Acme bullets as I prefer the slight chamfer on the base of the Bayou mold.

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For my PCC loads, all I do is change bullet weight. I use 135's that give me 141pf in USPSA. For Steel, all I did was switch to 100gr Berry's. Same length, powder drop, so all I have to do is change bullets. I use 2.9gr of Clays.

Edited by UFO

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