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Vihtavuori 3N37 for 9mm Minor


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Hey guys, I am loading my first rounds and am having trouble figuring out how to make this powder work.

I am using a stock barrel Glock 34 Gen 3 for my plunk test and am setting my OAL at 1.145 and am still scraping on the bullet when trying to spin on the plunk test.  The load data I have for lead bullets says the minimum OAL is 1.142 so I don't really have a way of seating the bullet much deeper.

I am using mixed brass, and DG Bullets 124GR Round Nose.  Some of the rounds plunk fine and fall out fine but maybe 30% (Out of 50) do not spin or fall out freely so from my understanding I should reduce OAL.

I have attached a photo of one of the rounds when plunking and trying to spin it with sharpie on it.

PTSECu8 - Imgur.jpg

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1) Make sure the case is being sized as far down as possible.

2) Shorten the OAL until it plunks. The OAL's listed in manuals/data is completely useless.

3) Make sure your crimp is in the .377 - .379 range (faint imprint on the bullet at most when pulled).

4) That powder's pretty slow, what's your charge weight?

Edited by 4n2t0
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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, 4n2t0 said:

1) Make sure the case is being sized as far down as possible.

2) Shorten the OAL until it plunks. The OAL's listed in manuals/data is completely useless.

3) Make sure you crimp is in the .377 - .379 range (faint imprint on the bullet at most when pulled).

I have my sizing die set to touch the shell plate and then backed off 1/4 turn.  I am also using a Lee FCD at stage 4, I believe that does some sizing.
So do I have to worry about compressing my powder if I go below the load data minimum OAL?
I measure my crimp currently at .3795

Edited by Edwards30
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13 minutes ago, Edwards30 said:

I have my sizing die set to touch the shell plate and then backed off 1/4 turn.  I am also using a Lee FCD at stage 4, I believe that does some sizing.
So do I have to worry about compressing my powder if I go below the load data minimum OAL?
I measure my crimp currently at .3795

 

Depending on the die brand that 1/4 turn back off could mean that the case isn't being fully sized. Compression is generally a good thing (not to be achieved or avoided). Your powder selection is on the slow side. You may not get the results you desire in minor but you'll have to decide that for yourself.

Edited by 4n2t0
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The OAL listed in manuals is not useless. It is the length they used to develop their loads, and is a guide to the maximum pressure limit they found with that bullet and powder at that OAL.  It means that if you load more powder than what they used for their max load then you are producing pressure over established limits.  

 

That said, the OAL they used might not fit your gun's chamber. You might need to seat the bullet deeper, and if you do, that will raise pressure. If you're working near the max load, you'll want to reduce the charge so as not to exceed the pressure limit. How much you need to reduce the load depends on how much deeper you need to load the bullet to fit your gun. 

 

In practical terms, there is no real limit to minimum or maximum OAL. You can seat any bullet to any OAL you want as long as it fits in your magazine, feeds reliably and fits in your chamber. But, if you push the bullet deeper than the published OAL for that powder, you need to back off the powder to equal the same pressure.

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48 minutes ago, superdude said:

The OAL listed in manuals is not useless. It is the length they used to develop their loads, and is a guide to the maximum pressure limit they found with that bullet and powder at that OAL.  It means that if you load more powder than what they used for their max load then you are producing pressure over established limits.  

 

That said, the OAL they used might not fit your gun's chamber. You might need to seat the bullet deeper, and if you do, that will raise pressure. If you're working near the max load, you'll want to reduce the charge so as not to exceed the pressure limit. How much you need to reduce the load depends on how much deeper you need to load the bullet to fit your gun. 

 

In practical terms, there is no real limit to minimum or maximum OAL. You can seat any bullet to any OAL you want as long as it fits in your magazine, feeds reliably and fits in your chamber. But, if you push the bullet deeper than the published OAL for that powder, you need to back off the powder to equal the same pressure.

 

43 minutes ago, superdude said:

Load the bullets until they pass the plunk and rotate test and let us know what that is. 

 

You argue about the importance of listed OAL's and in the next breath tell the OP to ignore them, priceless. The OP's not using the components listed in the data/manual or a universal receiver, so we're back to completely useless. Also, when referencing published data you can safely shorten the round until it plunks, period. I doesn't matter if it's max, min or somewhere in between. 

Edited by 4n2t0
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Speer had in their older load manuals (e.g. #10) a caution to make sure that rounds had good neck tension to prevent setback in their 9mm data. They found that a load that produced 28,000 CUP went to 62,000 CUP when the bullets were seated 0.030" deeper. At the time, 35,700 CUP was the industry maximum limit. They gave no specifics on the load, bullet weight or powder used. 

 

I think the most prudent advice is be wary of pressure changes resulting from seating the bullet deeper. This will depend on how much deeper the bullet is seated and what charge weights you're loading. Adjustments can be made in charge weights to keep the pressure the same or to prevent the pressure from exceeding industry standards.

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Go ahead and shorten them. As superdude said, really the only thing to keep in mind as you move the bullet in and out (seat longer or shorter) is that it will have an affect on pressure. Not a ton, but some. And that really only applies to the actual bullet they use. Your bullet is going to have a different profile than the one listed and may hit the rifling earlier, and your chamber might be on the short side of standard, etc. It sounds like to me, you just need a few thousandths shorter, so I wouldn't worry about compressing your powder with shortening it by .005-.010, but if you're near max you may want to bump the charge down and work up again.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

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Sorry everyone, out running some errands.  So I believe I understand and will try to summarize.

I need to start over with my plunk test and get that to be correct first.  

I was loading laddered loads starting at 5.5gr and ending at 5.9gr.  So instead perhaps once I set the shorter OAL I should go down to 4.5~ and work my way back up to 5.7~ when I am at the chrono?  That way to ensure I do not have too much pressure and just makes sure to use enough to make minor PF.

Lastly, the data listed in the manual for minimum OAL is most likely to prevent powder compression I am guessing? 

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3 minutes ago, Edwards30 said:


Lastly, the data listed in the manual for minimum OAL is most likely to prevent powder compression I am guessing? 

 

Compression is not usually an issue in handgun rounds. The data in the manual might or might not result in compressed loads. Whether it does or not is rarely a concern unless it is specifically stated as such in the manual, and it rarely is.

 

Here's what the professionals say about compressed loads: 

 

"Hodgdon notes in its reloading data if the subject charge is a compressed load. A full case, or lightly compressed charge is an ideal condition for creating loads with the most uniform velocities and pressures, and oftentimes, producing top accuracy."

 

http://www.hodgdonreloading.com/reloading-education/reloading-beginners/compressed-loads

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Sorry everyone, out running some errands.  So I believe I understand and will try to summarize.

I need to start over with my plunk test and get that to be correct first.  

I was loading laddered loads starting at 5.5gr and ending at 5.9gr.  So instead perhaps once I set the shorter OAL I should go down to 4.5~ and work my way back up to 5.7~ when I am at the chrono?  That way to ensure I do not have too much pressure and just makes sure to use enough to make minor PF.

Lastly, the data listed in the manual for minimum OAL is most likely to prevent powder compression I am guessing? 
Just watch that you get a complete powder burn.

Sometimes seating minimums is because of the bullet shape, you can't seat deeper than the bearing surface of the bullet.

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14 minutes ago, nhyrum said:

Just watch that you get a complete powder burn.

Sometimes seating minimums is because of the bullet shape, you can't seat deeper than the bearing surface of the bullet.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

Okay, I’ll watch for that.  

I’m back at the press now and at 1.130” I am getting a clean plunk test and rotation.  I also put sharpie on the bullet and did not have issues with it rubbing off.

 

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Ed, you are at or just above the starting load for a 124 and 3N37 at 5.5gr.  Seating .012" deeper WILL increase pressure.  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.  However, your 5.5gr load will be safe at 1.130".   You will be well above 125, so there is no need to go higher.  I'd pull the bullets on the rest of the ladder for safety reasons, especially at 5.9.VV powders burn quite cleanly, so dropping to 5.3 or 5.2 will get you closer to 125 without problems.

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1 hour ago, zzt said:

Ed, you are at or just above the starting load for a 124 and 3N37 at 5.5gr.  Seating .012" deeper WILL increase pressure.  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.  However, your 5.5gr load will be safe at 1.130".   You will be well above 125, so there is no need to go higher.  I'd pull the bullets on the rest of the ladder for safety reasons, especially at 5.9.VV powders burn quite cleanly, so dropping to 5.3 or 5.2 will get you closer to 125 without problems.

I'm 100% on the same page.  I went ahead and backed off to 5.0gr and went up to 5.5gr

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You should also look at the crimp to make sure that’s tight enough. I went down the “keep shortening” path for a while before I noticed it was the crimp I needed to increase and not the bullet depth. Just a thought.


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3 minutes ago, Cuz said:

You should also look at the crimp to make sure that’s tight enough. I went down the “keep shortening” path for a while before I noticed it was the crimp I needed to increase and not the bullet depth. Just a thought.


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Not a bad idea.  My crimp wasn't great but certainly wasn't the issue in this case.  It was never even touching that part of the case due to bottoming out bullet.

Once I left everything else the same and dropped the bullet a little deeper it works fine. 

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On 9/1/2020 at 11:25 AM, Edwards30 said:

Not a bad idea.  My crimp wasn't great but certainly wasn't the issue in this case.  It was never even touching that part of the case due to bottoming out bullet.

Once I left everything else the same and dropped the bullet a little deeper it works fine. 

That's cool.  This is all uncharted territory for me.  I've been using the exact same copper plated bullet for over 20 years.  Now, I'm about to get involved with 3 different coated bullet manufacturers and trying to maintain 100% reliability across multiple firearms.  Happy Days...

 

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