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SelfPeace

Which is most accurate?

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Hello everyone. I am needing some help with my 9mm recipe of 147gr plated FP from RMR with titegroup. I initially tried 1.100 3.4gr titegroup as per Hodgdon but it was too long for my CZ SP-01. Then, I shortened it to 1.075 and keeping 3.4gr and that worked. However, when I used this recipe for my VP9, the recoil was pretty strong. It wasn't as easy to detect the increased recoil in the SP-01 maybe because of its weight. 

 

So, I decided to go lower on the powder and did a string of  2.9, 3.0, 3.1, and 3.2 and went to the range this morning. These all cycled the slide and were very pleasant to shoot but I am trying to understand which number to go with. I've attached a photo of what I did today but can't tell which one is most accurate between 2.9, 3.0, and 3.2. Would a chronograph be necessary? 

 

Thank you! 

IMG_1299.jpg

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Hello everyone. I am needing some help with my 9mm recipe of 147gr plated FP from RMR with titegroup. I initially tried 1.100 3.4gr titegroup as per Hodgdon but it was too long for my CZ SP-01. Then, I shortened it to 1.075 and keeping 3.4gr and that worked. However, when I used this recipe for my VP9, the recoil was pretty strong. It wasn't as easy to detect the increased recoil in the SP-01 maybe because of its weight. 
 
So, I decided to go lower on the powder and did a string of  2.9, 3.0, 3.1, and 3.2 and went to the range this morning. These all cycled the slide and were very pleasant to shoot but I am trying to understand which number to go with. I've attached a photo of what I did today but can't tell which one is most accurate between 2.9, 3.0, and 3.2. Would a chronograph be necessary? 
 
Thank you! 
IMG_1299.jpg.ce296728763409d4ba23ca7ccbcfef7a.jpg
Yes a chrono would be the best judge. Chrono both guns with same charge weights

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26 minutes ago, Rnlinebacker said:

Yes a chrono would be the best judge. Chrono both guns with same charge weights

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Please excuse but I've never used one before. What kind of information from the chronograph would allow me to figure out the best load? Is it best average consistency of velocity? Thanks!

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Please excuse but I've never used one before. What kind of information from the chronograph would allow me to figure out the best load? Is it best average consistency of velocity? Thanks!
are you making ammo for USPSA or just range plinking?

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At this time, just target shooting at the range. However, I will be attending an intro to competitive shooting this Saturday so I may have to come up with another recipe for competition, I'm assuming. 

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need to make sure you have a power factor of at least 125 if you are going to shot minor in USPSA.... for your current intended purposes the accuracy is irrelavant 

Edited by Furrly

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Five shots from each powder load usually won’t be enough to determine a statistically significant difference in accuracy. Moreover, pistols aren’t like rifles where the powder can strongly effect accuracy. Barrel harmonics is *mostly* not a thing in recoil operated handguns where the barrel is temporarily locked to the slide until partway through the recoil cycle.
The type of powder used has an effect on accuracy, to be sure. But the amount of powder charge has much less of an effect. And powder itself, both type and charge amount, has a much smaller effect on accuracy than the projectile.
When I’m developing an accuracy load for a handgun, i first see what projectile the gun likes, and i try several. Then i tinker with powder types and finally i tinker with the load of the particular powder to make sure it is clearing power factor.
Honestly, your ability to shoot accurately in a run and gun competition is so much more important than any other factor, that you should check and make sure that your chosen projectile is shooting reasonably accurately, then ensure you are making power factor and that your recoil impulse is not too strong and at that point you’re good to go for a long time.
Once you get to the point that you’re potentially busting into the top or second tier of shooters in your area, you can then start taking a closer look at the accuracy of your particular load, because only at that point will it start making a noticeable difference.


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9 minutes ago, Furrly said:

need to make sure you have a power factor of at least 125 if you are going to shot minor in USPSA.... for your current intended purposes the accuracy is irrelavant 

Got it. I will keep that in mind if I decide to try competition. Thanks!

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Interesting.

I used Blue Bullet 147 Flat Point  at 1.35 OAL with no issue plunking in my SPO1 and with 3.3 Gr of tight group and would make 135-137 Power factor.

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2 minutes ago, radny97 said:

Five shots from each powder load usually won’t be enough to determine a statistically significant difference in accuracy. Moreover, pistols aren’t like rifles where the powder can strongly effect accuracy. Barrel harmonics is *mostly* not a thing in recoil operated handguns where the barrel is temporarily locked to the slide until partway through the recoil cycle.
The type of powder used has an effect on accuracy, to be sure. But the amount of powder charge has much less of an effect. And powder itself, both type and charge amount, has a much smaller effect on accuracy than the projectile.
When I’m developing an accuracy load for a handgun, i first see what projectile the gun likes, and i try several. Then i tinker with powder types and finally i tinker with the load of the particular powder to make sure it is clearing power factor.
Honestly, your ability to shoot accurately in a run and gun competition is so much more important than any other factor, that you should check and make sure that your chosen projectile is shooting reasonably accurately, then ensure you are making power factor and that your recoil impulse is not too strong and at that point you’re good to go for a long time.
Once you get to the point that you’re potentially busting into the top or second tier of shooters in your area, you can then start taking a closer look at the accuracy of your particular load, because only at that point will it start making a noticeable difference.


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Very informative! Thank you for the reply.

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5 minutes ago, Bulldog317 said:

Interesting.

I used Blue Bullet 147 Flat Point  at 1.35 OAL with no issue plunking in my SPO1 and with 3.3 Gr of tight group and would make 135-137 Power factor.

Do you mean 1.135 by any chance?

Edited by SelfPeace

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1 hour ago, SelfPeace said:

 can't tell which one is most accurate between 2.9, 3.0, and 3.2.  

 

 

They are all very accurate, if that was at 15 - 25 yards.   Was it ?

 

You need a chrono to measure velocity - only need it if you're looking for a 

particular PF, for action competition.

 

As radny mentioned, five shots is not a great way to measure accuracy -

I like to set up target at 20 - 25 yards, and fire a 12 - 15 shot group.   I

discard the obvious flyers and take the center 8-12 shots, and measure

where they hit (should I adjust the sights), and how far apart they

measure (size of group).   Smallest group is the smallest group, and

The Most Accurate of the bunch.

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1 hour ago, Hi-Power Jack said:

 

They are all very accurate, if that was at 15 - 25 yards.   Was it ?

 

You need a chrono to measure velocity - only need it if you're looking for a 

particular PF, for action competition.

 

As radny mentioned, five shots is not a great way to measure accuracy -

I like to set up target at 20 - 25 yards, and fire a 12 - 15 shot group.   I

discard the obvious flyers and take the center 8-12 shots, and measure

where they hit (should I adjust the sights), and how far apart they

measure (size of group).   Smallest group is the smallest group, and

The Most Accurate of the bunch.

This is great advice.   To add to it,  for competition pick an acceptable power factor  and work up from there.  Don't let a higher power factor scare you from the most accurate load, especially in 9MM.  If you are not competing pick the one you enjoy shooting most.  The more I am around reloading the more I realize everything affects accuracy.  I have seen seen a different primer/charge weight/overall length all affect accuracy. 

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1 hour ago, Hi-Power Jack said:

 

They are all very accurate, if that was at 15 - 25 yards.   Was it ?

 

You need a chrono to measure velocity - only need it if you're looking for a 

particular PF, for action competition.

 

As radny mentioned, five shots is not a great way to measure accuracy -

I like to set up target at 20 - 25 yards, and fire a 12 - 15 shot group.   I

discard the obvious flyers and take the center 8-12 shots, and measure

where they hit (should I adjust the sights), and how far apart they

measure (size of group).   Smallest group is the smallest group, and

The Most Accurate of the bunch.

Jack, thank you for breaking it down! I found your advice very informative.

 

I was at 10 yards only. I will try it again next time.

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6 minutes ago, DeweyH said:

This is great advice.   To add to it,  for competition pick an acceptable power factor  and work up from there.  Don't let a higher power factor scare you from the most accurate load, especially in 9MM.  If you are not competing pick the one you enjoy shooting most.  The more I am around reloading the more I realize everything affects accuracy.  I have seen seen a different primer/charge weight/overall length all affect accuracy. 

Got it. I will keep this in mind if I decide to pursue competition after this Saturday's intro class. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

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Try to keep it simple since you're only plinking at the moment. Use whatever load functions properly and feels good. Your time is better spent shooting than trying to find insignificant accuracy gains from a few tenths of powder. You can always borrow a chrono later down the road if you want to develop a load specifically for "gaming".

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34 minutes ago, DeweyH said:

This is great advice.   To add to it,  for competition pick an acceptable power factor  and work up from there.  Don't let a higher power factor scare you from the most accurate load, especially in 9MM.  If you are not competing pick the one you enjoy shooting most.  The more I am around reloading the more I realize everything affects accuracy.  I have seen seen a different primer/charge weight/overall length all affect accuracy. 

 

+1 to that stuff as well.

 

I'd do as suggested above and load 15-20 (minimum) of each of those loads and test them for accuracy. When you pick the most accurate, then do it again with changing seating depth, sticking with the same powder charge. You can continue on with tweaking each variable, but those two are a good start.

 

I try to find an accurate load that is most tolerant to changes, like using mixed brass or hot/cold temps, or normal fluctuations in thrown powder charge weights. Sometimes other loads will shoot the occasional smaller group, but the load I settle on is the most consistently accurate over a wide range of variables. 

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3 hours ago, 4n2t0 said:

Try to keep it simple since you're only plinking at the moment. Use whatever load functions properly and feels good. Your time is better spent shooting than trying to find insignificant accuracy gains from a few tenths of powder. You can always borrow a chrono later down the road if you want to develop a load specifically for "gaming".

Got it. At this point, would loading for lower recoil now work against me later on if I decide to compete and will have to meet a certain power factor, which I'm assuming will have more perceived recoil. In other words, would it be better to load for 125 pf now and get used to it? I've never used a chronograph so I don't exactly know what 125 pf feels like. Thanks!

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3 hours ago, Yondering said:

 

+1 to that stuff as well.

 

I'd do as suggested above and load 15-20 (minimum) of each of those loads and test them for accuracy. When you pick the most accurate, then do it again with changing seating depth, sticking with the same powder charge. You can continue on with tweaking each variable, but those two are a good start.

 

I try to find an accurate load that is most tolerant to changes, like using mixed brass or hot/cold temps, or normal fluctuations in thrown powder charge weights. Sometimes other loads will shoot the occasional smaller group, but the load I settle on is the most consistently accurate over a wide range of variables. 

Thank you. I will be keeping notes. 

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7 hours ago, SelfPeace said:

 would it be better to load for 125 pf now and get used to it? I've never used a chronograph so I don't exactly know what 125 pf feels like. Thanks!

 

If you're shooting indoors or you feel a little recoil shy, there's nothing wrong with shooting

PF 100 or so to get used to shooting.   BUT, your groups at 10 yards suggest you already

know how to shoot.

 

So, yes, I'd bump those up to PF 130 (you need a little cushion over PF 125) and start

shooting a minimum powered 9mm that you can use later for competition.

 

If you buy factory 9mm ammo, the PF is usually 125 - 150.   So, a PF 130 will feel about

normal - nothing to worry about.

 

I can't wait for you to post some 20 - 25 yard targets.    :)

 

Have fun with your new hobby - it's addictive.

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7 hours ago, Hi-Power Jack said:

 

If you're shooting indoors or you feel a little recoil shy, there's nothing wrong with shooting

PF 100 or so to get used to shooting.   BUT, your groups at 10 yards suggest you already

know how to shoot.

 

So, yes, I'd bump those up to PF 130 (you need a little cushion over PF 125) and start

shooting a minimum powered 9mm that you can use later for competition.

 

If you buy factory 9mm ammo, the PF is usually 125 - 150.   So, a PF 130 will feel about

normal - nothing to worry about.

 

I can't wait for you to post some 20 - 25 yard targets.    :)

 

Have fun with your new hobby - it's addictive.

Will do, sir! Thank you for your time.

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imo every  reloader should have a chrono or access to one.  i bet your load 3.4 load at that short length is going 975 to 1000 fps.  most gamer loads with a 147 are 3.0 to 3.2 tG  depending on the bullet and gun.  

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17 hours ago, SelfPeace said:

Got it. At this point, would loading for lower recoil now work against me later on if I decide to compete and will have to meet a certain power factor, which I'm assuming will have more perceived recoil. In other words, would it be better to load for 125 pf now and get used to it? I've never used a chronograph so I don't exactly know what 125 pf feels like. Thanks!

 

In my experience practicing with a weaker load at least part of the time can be beneficial and not at all detrimental to competing at minor power factor later. Using a milder load IMO is sort of like a step closer to dry fire - it allows more focus on the details, and for me, I end up putting more rounds down range. I haven't found that to take away from my ability with hotter loads at all; it's been the opposite and made me better with the increased practice. 

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