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Autocomp Load for 9mm in 3-port compensator


MAC702
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I've been reloading for 40 years, and if I have to start from scratch from Winchester's published data, I can.  But I have to believe there are better starting points out there already, but everything I find is about making Major.

 

I don't want to make Major PF or anything crazy.  I just want the gun to cycle reliably, and it will be used occasionally for local steel matches.

 

I have a Springfield Armory XD(m) with fitted 4.5" Bar-Sto threaded match barrel with Springer Precision 3-port compensator.  Springer Precision did the barrel fitting and compensator installation.

 

I learned the hard way that it won't cycle reliably with any combination of factory ammo (incl +P) and any recoil spring (I bought them all!).  I finally got me a pound of Autocomp powder, though.  I load 124-gr FMJ (not plated) bullets.

 

Any known good starting points with powder charges and recoil springs?  And then we'll see where the conversation goes from there.

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Most people make major with 124’s at about 7-7.2 WAC. Maybe try 5.8-6.0 and see what it will do? Sounds like the gun is set up to run MAJOR. How low did you go with recoil spring
  You will need to run WAC pretty hot to see the value in it. I tried loading some minor rounds with it once and it was harsh and dirty and just too slow burning.

  BUT I use it in my Open guns and like it a lot. I run about 7.8 or so with 115’s.

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You may need to go with a faster powder to keep the comp from being overly effective, which prevents cycling.    In my first iteration of an open Glock, I had good luck with a 4.4gr charge of Titegroup behind a 115gr plated bullet.  Recoil and muzzle flip were minimal with the Lone Wolf 3 port comp. 

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I bought this pistol more than a couple years ago, right before Springer came out with the 2-port comp that was designed to function with factory ammo.  It was back when I was still doing major matches, and thought I'd see what Open was like as I got around to it.

 

This is how long it's taken me to "get around" to trying to make this pistol work.

 

The powders I'm used to using for 9mm are what I thought were "fast."  Bullseye, Titegroup, 231, Accurate #2.  Then I tried some HS6 hoping that might be slow enough, once I started doing some research and thought I needed slower powders for more gas for compensators to use.  That's when I first started reading about Autocomp.  Now I finally have some, and made a thousand 9mm today to empty out the last of my HS6 and 231 (there's a machine gun match this weekend anyway.)  So now's the time to pour the Autocomp into the Dillon XL650, and see what can happen.

 

I just took out the bag of recoil springs I tried.  Looks like I have a 14# currently in the pistol, as that's the empty bag.  I also have the 16#, and 18# (marked as factory standard) back in their bags.

 

It's okay if it has to make Major to work, as long as that's safe.  I just meant to specify that I don't need to make Major for any PF requirements.

 

Thanks for the discussion , guys.

Edited by MAC702
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OK ill take a stab at this   first you should be looking at 10# ish recoil springs.

second the fast powders you have been using make more gas than most thanck.

Have loaded auto comp with 5gr behind a 124 jhp to make a similar set up run.

Auto comp needs psi to burn clean would suggest a magnum primer. 

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4 hours ago, AHI said:

OK ill take a stab at this   first you should be looking at 10# ish recoil springs.

second the fast powders you have been using make more gas than most thanck.

Have loaded auto comp with 5gr behind a 124 jhp to make a similar set up run.

Auto comp needs psi to burn clean would suggest a magnum primer. 

Lowest Wolf makes is the 14# and that's also what Springer sells.  I will look around for less.

 

If I get this to work and I like it, I will definitely invest in JHP for regular shooting with it.

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Been messing with this lately as well.  I built a P09 with a Primary Machine comp.  Two vertical and two small horizontal ports.  #13 recoil spring.  With the typical USPSA 124g minor loads using Sport Pistol that I run in my S2, it runs reliable but cycles a tad slow and gives the impression its borderline.   I worked up a load with 5.6g AutoComp  and a 124g plated RMR bullet that is quite accurate, pretty flat, and not too dirty.  I had a pretty good day at a knockdown match with it.  Next I'll try a heavier Sport Pistol load and see how that compares, maybe with a #12 spring.  I get the impression these small comps top out quick as far as effectiveness(gas flow),  and powder makes less of a difference than in an open gun with a big comp.   As was said the open base FMJ will foul things up a lot more than the Autocomp.

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I do have a box of 147-gr Berry's plated, but would need reliable data, which is something I've not trusted for plated bullets.  Plain lead or real jacketed bullets have always been much more consistent.

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That gun should be fine with the right spring even with 130 PF ammo.  I'd get the rod AHI noted and a spring selection to tune.   As far as plated, if you use a good heavy plate bullet there is no problem with any load you would want to put through that gun, especially with WAC. That 5.6g load is relatively tame.  I prefer the 124s (just bought 4K RMR RN plated)  but 147s certainly usable if you have them.  Both RMR and Berrys have been accurate enough and clean for what I do with it which is the same thing as you, local knockdown steel, not USPSA.  Clean lead out of that comp once after a steady diet of FMJs and you will not want to do it again. 

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I prefer lighter bullets in my XDm 5.25.  All these loads loads lock the slide back - even one handed.

 

14 lb. Wolff Recoil Spring

 

Bullet:  Sierra 90 gr. JHP
Powder:  Hodgdon CFE Pistol 6.0 grs.
Primer:  Federal 100
Case:  Federal
LOAL:  1.020 (.822 with Stoney Point)
Avg. Vel.:  1372.04 fps
ES:  20.18   
SD:  7.68

************************

Bullet:  Sierra 90 gr. JHP
Powder:  Alliant Power Pistol 7.15 grs.
Primer:  Federal 100
Case:  Federal
LOAL:  1.020 (.822 with Stoney Point)
Avg. Vel.: 1471.59 fps
ES:  41.89      
SD:  14.14

*************************

Bullet:  Sierra 90 gr. JHP
Powder:  Winchester WSF 5.9 grs.
Primer:  Federal 100
Case:  Federal
LOAL:  1.020 (.822 with Stoney Point)
Avg. Vel.:  1432.82 fps
ES:  36.29  
SD:  13.00  

58b7aa7f721d9_SpringerOpenGun_JPG_80b1239cd0645a4c91fbb7f6dcce196d.jpg

Edited by pbcaster45
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On 1/7/2020 at 9:29 AM, GMP said:

Been messing with this lately as well.  I built a P09 with a Primary Machine comp.  Two vertical and two small horizontal ports.  ...  I get the impression these small comps top out quick as far as effectiveness(gas flow),  and powder makes less of a difference than in an open gun with a big comp.  ...

Is this your comp? http://primarymachine.com/cz-p-07-09-stealth-comp/

 

This is mine.  I didn't think it was considered a small one.

https://shop.springerprecision.com/Springer-Precision-XD-XDm-9mm-Open-Compensator-SP0152.htm

 

And, duh, it says right in the description that it was designed for 9mm Major.  I honestly don't know if I remember reading that when I bought it and then just forget when my plans changed.  I will load accordingly and go from there.  It will still be fun to play with even though I'm not in that game anymore.

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13 hours ago, pbcaster45 said:

My gun above was built by Springer Precision and has a Bar-Sto Barrel and Springer 3-port compensator.

I've got the next shorter barrel, but otherwise that set-up.

 

I've got so many components already, I'm hoping to use them, but if nothing works, I'll try one of your recipes.

 

I do have 1000 plated 100-gr that I bought for making 380, but could be a possibility, even though I prefer jacketed.  At least they have no exposed lead.

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If you want to run minor power factor and somewhat work the comp stick with WAC. Shoot a 115gn bullet with about 5.0 grains to 5.4 grains of powder. This should give you minor PF and work the comp as well. You could probably get away with a 13lb spring if you could find one. 14 might work if it doesn't you may be able to tune it by cutting a coil at a time. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I made a dozen-ish each of some loads with 5.8, 6.2, 6.5, 6.7, and 7.0 grains of WAC pushing the 124-gr FMJ (JHP is on backorder).

 

I still have the 14# recoil spring in the gun.

 

I started with the 6.5-gr loads and tested them through the chronograph.  The gun cycled fine, but was snappier than I expected a comp'd gun to be.  With velocity avg at 1390, the avg power factor was 172.

 

I then tried the 6.7-gr load.  The first shot (so I know the gun was in battery) had the sharp, painful slap in my hands as if something had gone wrong.  I can see no damage to the pistol, though.  I put everything away and decided to ask for ideas on how to proceed.  There was already a lot of brass on the ground; I've not seen one that looked damaged yet, but I still have a bucket from that day, most not from my gun, and no guarantee that I even recovered that one.

 

Powder is charged via the Dillon measure in my XL650.  When I do stop and weigh a test round, charges are perfect.

 

I made each lot and promptly loaded a magazine with that load and put it in a labeled baggie, so I didn't accidentally jump to a 7.0 load, which I'm hearing should be fine anyway?

Edited by MAC702
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So why did you start at 6.5 and not 5.8?

What did the 6.7 chrono at?

 

In my testing (working up loads) right before the comp works at its best the 

recoil goes up . But you need chrono data to proceed.The starting at lower charges 

lets you know what each increase in powder charge is doing . A sudden jump STOP 

back off. No increase STOP back off. 

 

Dont like the way it feels try a different powder.

Edited by AHI
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There are three effective approaches to shooting Open for falling steel and Steel Challenge.  The first is with a comp and 9mm loads at around 150PF.  My friends who shoot such loads are around 5.4~5.6gr Autocomp under a 115.  This is hot enough to work the slide with 100% reliability, and knock down any steel.  The disadvantage is it is faster than the 1250fps limit some clubs place on steel.  Go to a 124 with less powder if that is the case.  

 

The second is to forget (or ignore) the comp altogether and put a single poppel near the front of the barrel.  Go with a faster powder and a lower PF.  The comp will do nothing, or next to nothing, but the gas exiting the port will keep the muzzle down.

 

The third is to forget the comp and the popple and shoot out of a plain barrel.  You can shoot a much lower PF with fast powders and the gun will barely move.  To give you an example, my stock XD 4" 9mm is stock except for a trigger job.  Recoil is stiff with most factory loads, and muzzle jump is pronounced.  With 115gr @ 950fps, the gun barely moves when fired.  It cycles 100% with the factory spring, and feeds perfectly.  That's 109PF.   As a plus, you don't have to use plated or JHP bullets.  Poly coated are fine.  Shoot factory for knock down steel.

 

BTW, there is no rule that says you cannot go with the third option and shoot it out of your comp.  The comp will still do a little something and recoil will still be a lot less than you get when trying to get the comp to work with slow powders.  However, you cannot use jacketed or poly coated.

 

My Steel gun wears a custom 3-chamber comp with two 3/16" poppels.  It is set up exactly like my major gun.  That is the reason for that configuration.  I have trouble getting that gun to run with anything less than 150PF in the Winter.  135PF works fine in the Summer.  On a lark I tried some 124gr @ 1000fps loaded with fast powder and it worked fine.   I just ordered a Barsto plain barrel for that gun.  I'm going to try these light loads through it and see what happens.  I suspect everything will be fine, and taking 3.5 oz. out of the front of the gun will let it transition faster.  Have fun with your experimenting.

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