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Light Steel Challenge Loads


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I need some opinion's for a light 9mm Steel Challenge load with Berry's 100 and 115 grain bullets out of a 5 inch barrel.  Which would be better, Vihtavuori 310 or Vihtavuori 320?  Also, would WST or WSF, or AA-2 be applicable with bullets this light?  Thanks, Doug

Edited by rooster mcbee
Forget to put the caliber
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I did this with 95gr MG JHP out of a Gucci G34.

 

I tried tried zip, PB, unique, TG, and HP-38 with terrible luck.

 

Then I tried Bullseye and it was like a light switch. Finally settled on 3.6 grs 1083 FPS 17.1 SD / 49 ES (11lb Wolff recoil spring).

 

It’s almost like cheating it’s so soft.

 

No experience with the VN powders, but AANo 2 might be worth a shot.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Check to see that you can actually feed the 100s at the short OAL required.  N310 no; way to temp sensitive.  N320, WST, AA2; yes.  If you want another recommendation, Alliant e3.

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I toyed with the idea of making some 100gr Berry's with WST.  Fail.  I didn't like the load.  I've heard that WSF works though, but I've never tried it.  I simply kept shooting my 124gr loads with TG.

 

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I use N310 exclusively for PCC SC loads. My current load is 2.4 gr N310 under 95 gr Montana Gold JHP seated at 1.085". 61 PF in my Taccom 5.5" barrel.

 

The high impulse of this very fast powder provides positive cycling and ejection with minimal dot movement. I've read that N310 is temp sensitive but have not noticed a difference in the way my gun runs in temperatures from about 50 to 95 degrees.

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11 hours ago, tomv said:

I've read that N310 is temp sensitive but have not noticed a difference in the way my gun runs in temperatures from about 50 to 95 degrees.

 

Wait 'till the Winter.

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Steve,  You had a ton of experience here.  As Tom and I share the same load info for PCC and Open guns, can you be more specific as to what the side effects of cold weather will be on the N310 performance ?   I certainly shoot SC 12 months / year and don't want to end up with reliability or worse squib issues come Dec-Mar. 

 

 

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I've been loading with WSF for years and years.  But, I shoot heavier bullets.  3.4 gr WSF over 145 RN Bayou bullets loaded at 1.13 OAL gave me an avg PF of 121, nice and soft in an STI Steel Master running a 7 lb recoil spring.  I think I could get the PF lower and still reliably cycle the gun but it feels good where it is.

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Jim, my experience with N310 is with 45 ACP for bullseye.  I set up the load in the 70 degree range and decided 3.8gr under a 200 LSWC gave me the accuracy I wanted.  My 85 deg data was chrono'd at a different distance so it is not relevant.  I can say the slide slammed back.  The best I can estimate by correcting the chrono range is approximately 800 fps.  At 72 it was 767 fps.  At 56 it was 733.  At 41 it was 705.  At 32 deg  it was so week the slide would not go back far enough to eject the case.

 

Now, I have heard from several people that if you go to 4.5gr under a 200, a lot of this disappears and the SDs get much better.  Supposedly VV says that is a safe load even though 4.0 is the max load listed in the VV manual.  I moved on.

 

I now use Alliant e3 for all of my pistol loads, except for the Open pistols.    3.0 under a 124 for PCC for SCSA.  3.0 under a 147 for outlaw steel that has to go down to score.  3.6 under a 105 coated (just because I had some) for one club that does not allow plated or jacketed, and steel must only ring to score.  2.8 under a 180 for 140 PF, and 3.6 under a 180 for 171 PF for Limited.  3.4 under a 200 LSWC (726 fps) in 45 for bullseye.  There is zero temperature sensitivity.  SDs are single digits for the 40 and 45 loads. In fact, the SD for my bullseye load is 4.97.  That is astounding for a light load in a huge case.  With N310 i was happy to keep SDs to double digits that started with one.

 

As I mentioned, my experience with N310 is with 45.  It is possible it works differently in 9mm.

Edited by zzt
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I've been using Vectan BA-10 for SC loads for about 20 years now. It is in the same area as VV N310 as far as burn rate but uses less and is cheaper.

 

2.5 gr under a 115 gr  or 100 gr or 95 gr  but the gun is set up for SC so keep that in mind. It isn't an USPSA open gun that shoots major pf loads. 

 

 

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I'm using 3.6gr of N320 with 115gr Bayou.  Haven't chrono'ed but it cycles my 9mm 1911 reliably.  I've recently decided that I prefer 3.8gr, still very soft but the gun seems to stay on target better.  I've also tried 4.0gr which I run in a PCC (8" barrel) and in the 1911 the recoil was still pretty minimal.  My Sport Pistol loads are about 0.2 gr less.

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Good stuff. Thanks for all the info here! Just started a load for SC. Using Berry’s RN 115 and N320. Looking forward to the days when I can pick and choose which bullets I load! But I will say, I am very happy with this combo in my cz tso. 105aprox PF.

 

(Note, new shooter, new reloader.)

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