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Breaking up with my PCC load


bgary
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So... I'm finally breaking up with the factory ammo I've been shooting for the last couple of years.  It's not me, it's you.

 

Couple of years ago I worked up some test loads.  124gr MG jacketed round-nose over 4.2gr of N320 with a winchester SPP.  Ran fine.

 

Problem is, I have my PCC dialed in for the current load, which runs at about a 145 power-factor, and really like the way the gun feels right now,. I just don't love the ammo anymore. Irreconcilable differences.  

 

Test load ran about a 132pf.  Which presents a dilemma.  Should I bump my load up to (maybe) 4.4gr of N320?  That should, in theory, end up around 140pf

 

Or should I start over from scratch, build a load that runs, and then do all the things (reconfigure my buffer, etc) to get the feel I want.

 

I looked through all the PCC / N320 / 125gr loads in the threads here, and most of them seem to cluster between 3.8gr and 4.2gr.  Didn't see any above 4.2gr, so I'm wondering if that would push the gun (bolt, buffer) more than is good.  Other options might be to switch to TiteGroup, but I have a bunch of N320 and like it for other 9mm loads, so I'd love to make it work here.

 

Open to input...

Bruce

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I'm new to PCC, but I've been running my Production ammo in my Scorpion, and it runs like a sewing machine. 3.5 N320 with a PD 147 FMJ...I know it isn't optimal, and I should probably experiment to find something better, but, it just runs.

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Bruce - To Grumpy’s point - Should you consider bumping up to a 135Gr or 147Gr bullet to help get you to the desired PF you are looking for?  Just thinking out of the box a little for you….

Edited by Sigarmsp226
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14 minutes ago, Sigarmsp226 said:

Bruce - To Grumpy’s point - Should you consider bumping up to a 135Gr or 147Gr bullet to help get you to the desired PF you are looking for?  Just thinking out of the box a little for you….

Maybe .  If I could get the 130gr Fed Syntech bullets, I'd use them.  But they're unobtanium... and I'm sitting on a garage full of Montana Gold 124JHPs and 124 CMJs, so it seems silly to go out and try to find different bullets, especially in the middle of a components crisis.

 

I did try some 147s and really didn't like the "ker.....chunk.... feel of the action.  

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Try one of the common slightly slower powders. A 115 or a 124 over something like 231 at 140ish PF will probably make you a lot happier; it’ll recoil much more like your factory ammo. There’s no reason to waste expensive powder in a gun which really likes a slightly faster snappier load.

 

Just remember to choose a load based upon three things in order:

 

1. Group size at 25+ yards.

2. Dot movement. Gotta stay flat when ripping fast pairs.

3. How it feels. Snappy or soft, clunky or smooth.

 

Most PCC shooters focus on #3 while ignoring all other factors, as you know. For a fully grown man shooting a handgun from their shoulder, it doesn’t make sense to obsess with softening something that’s already plenty controllable.

 

 If it lets you rip a bill drill into a 25yd target with 6A’s, that’s a match winner. Even if it’s a bit snappy.

 

Edited by MemphisMechanic
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5 minutes ago, bgary said:

  If I could get the 130gr Fed Syntech bullets, I'd use them.

there is nothing special about this bullet. lots of sources for 135 coated bullets .  Pick one. SNS, Acme, just to name two.

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Also, sidenote: there’s another reason to shoot 124 a little faster. If your load is supersonic, the timer has a much higher chance of picking up all of your shots.

 

At sea level, 1,125 fps is when you get the crack of a sonic boom from your ammo. That’s ~140PF with a 124, and anything over 129 with a 115gr.

 

It’s kinda fun to load ammo that is below and above that threshold, and shoot them back to back through a quiet PCC.

 

 

Edited by MemphisMechanic
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58 minutes ago, MemphisMechanic said:

Try one of the common slightly slower powders..... something like 231

 

Hmmmm... N320 and 231 are practically right next to each other on the burn-rate chart on my wall.     Unless I'm mis-reading it....

 

Capture.JPG.ec0ab30f0084548f1ef31b4f104728c8.JPG

 

To the rest of your comments, yeah, totally agree, with the addition that I want them to feed, and go bang when I pull the trigger.  Both of which have been problems lately.

 

I use a JP SCS buffer, and can tweak the weights to give the recoil-feel and dot movement.  

 

B

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OK, I loaded some stuff yesterday and took it to the range today.  I "think" I have a new load (*)

 

With 4.2gr of N320 under a 124g CMJ, I got an average of 1053 fps, for an average PF of 130.6 (PF for slowest round was 130.2)

 

I also tested some loads with 4.3gr and 4.4gr of N320.  Didn't like the feel, they were VERY dirty (a little more crimp might help that), and on the 4.4gr set, got slightly flattened primers.  All for about 30fps, which doesn't seem worth it.

 

So... I think I'm settled on 4.2gr.  I like the feel, plenty accurate, pretty low spread across a 12-round sample.... the only thing that gives me pause is that there isn't a lot of fudge room in the PF.   

 

(*) So.... today's question is... how close is too close?  Is 130.6 enough buffer over the shoot-for-no-score line, or should I work up something that runs a little faster?

 

My Open 9-Major load usually runs about 169-170, which gives me about the same buffer... except if something weird happens and I drop 3% at the chrono, I'm still in the game, just shooting minor.  If I drop 3% with this load, I'm flirting with a big fat zero....

 

Thoughts?

 

 

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BGary - I continue to follow, read, and re-read this thread because this is a very interesting discussion for me. Now my questions below are not related to anything I am working on but more so asking the forum brain trust because I truly do not know the answers to these questions and thought they should at least be asked/thought about in your situation…

 

1 - Would seating your round .001” - .002” deeper increase you PF ever so slightly to provide you an extra little “buffer” on your PF?  Again I am NOT suggesting this - I am just asking the smarter forum members to advise if this is a bad idea that should not be considered because with the slightly deeper seating depth comes slightly higher chamber pressures and this could be a recipe for disaster??????  Asking others if this is a BAD idea….

 

2 - You live in WA state and it is summertime right now. How does temperature affect PF?  I am asking because I do not know this and if this is something you need to be concerned about if you are shooting matches in the colder times of the year….

 

Again I am thinking out loud here and have no idea if either of these points need to be considered in your scenario….

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b, whether 130 is too close or not depends on your SD.  If it is single digit, you are probably okay.  My major load is 169 PF with SDs between 5.9 and 6.9.  The lowest for any shot in multiple 10 and 15 round strings was 167 PF.  So I don't worry about it.  

 

BTW, I go for #2 in MM's list.  I also short stroke so the action is fast.

 

The powder burn chart you referenced is notoriously inaccurate.

Edited by zzt
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I used a 16” barrel on my first PCC.  Flirted ridiculously for a while playing the field with different loads, buffers, springs, etc.  Finally settled on a load that was in the low 130’s PF that played well with the JP SCS buffer system.  Then went in search of a comp that the shot timer had a decent chance of picking up the last shot without the RO having to crowd me.  

 

So when Taccom came out with their 5.5” bbl w/ shroud I gave that one a try.  Perfecto.  I no longer need to maintain a PCC-only load.  Same load that chrono’s 130 PF from my pistols yields 135 PF from my PCC.  No need for a comp, the Taccom bbl is loud enough.  And dropping about 1 lb from the barrel was a nice bonus.  

 

 

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21 hours ago, 2MoreChains said:

I used a 16” barrel on my first PCC.  Flirted ridiculously for a while playing the field with different loads, buffers, springs, etc.  Finally settled on a load that was in the low 130’s PF that played well with the JP SCS buffer system.  Then went in search of a comp that the shot timer had a decent chance of picking up the last shot without the RO having to crowd me.  

 

So when Taccom came out with their 5.5” bbl w/ shroud I gave that one a try.  Perfecto.  I no longer need to maintain a PCC-only load.  Same load that chrono’s 130 PF from my pistols yields 135 PF from my PCC.  No need for a comp, the Taccom bbl is loud enough.  And dropping about 1 lb from the barrel was a nice bonus.  

 

 

While I only shoot Steel Challenge and PF is not a consideration, I still like knowing my PF of my loads just for reference.  ^^This^^ is right on the money.  I love having the Taccom in my PCC knowing that IF I decide to shoot a USPSA match I can chrono my pistol and know that the load will be very similar in my PCC since the actual barrels are within an inch of each other.

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33 minutes ago, bigdawgbeav said:

While I only shoot Steel Challenge and PF is not a consideration, I still like knowing my PF of my loads just for reference.  ^^This^^ is right on the money.  I love having the Taccom in my PCC knowing that IF I decide to shoot a USPSA match I can chrono my pistol and know that the load will be very similar in my PCC since the actual barrels are within an inch of each other.

 

This was my initial thinking with getting a PCC. I don't shoot SC at all but being able to have the same load between my CO gun and PCC was appealing. 

 

Now that I want to be more serious about PCC I'm changing that thinking. I moved to a longer barrel to gain FPS, I'll move to lighter bullets partially to save money. That'll mean more ammo for practice. And the lighter bullets should speed the gun up, and initial testing they seem to shoot better. So it's basically a win-win in my eyes. No need to compromise if you don't have to. All depends on what the goal is I guess. 

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On 9/13/2021 at 11:57 PM, bgary said:

) So.... today's question is... how close is too close?  Is 130.6 enough buffer over the shoot-for-no-score line, or should I work up something that runs a little faster?

 

so what is your extreme spread? How many rounds are you basing this on? If I read your previs statements correctly. You are good to go. But if based on say 5 rounds . NO!

Now if based on 20 rounds. Your good to go.

 

Edited by AHI
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22 minutes ago, gng4life said:

OP, what barrel/comp are you using? 

 

Standard JP 16" (14.5" + pinned muzzle device)

 

....although I'm currently giving a long look at that Taccom ULW.

 

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2 hours ago, AHI said:

so what is your extreme spread? How many rounds are you basing this on?

 

 

I usually run 12-round strings and count them all (including the cold-bore shot, which usually ends up the low velocity of the string)

 

Spreads are... pretty good.  Across 12 rounds with the 124gr CMJs, extreme spread was 38fps, SD = 9

 

Same load but using 124JHPs, extreme spread was 28fps, SD = 7.  Which is nice, but I'll have to do some testing to see if there are any issues feeding the JHPs.

 

Edited to add, just out of curiosity I used to run 15-round strings, and toss the extreme-low and the two extreme-high velocities.... thinking that would give me a better idea of the real-world average.  Turns out that the resulting averages and SDs for the remaining 12 rounds were almost identical to the results if I just shot 12 rounds and counted them all.

(#NotAStatisticianAndICanProveIt)

Edited by bgary
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I'm also running a JP and due to lack of Titegroup, developed 2 loads using Winchester 244 which is similar in speed to 231 and is supposed to be cleaner.  124 JHP,  OAL 1.120".

3.9 gr. = 1040 FPS, 4.1 = 1098.   

Edited by Old3GNR
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4 hours ago, bgary said:

 

I usually run 12-round strings and count them all (including the cold-bore shot, which usually ends up the low velocity of the string)

 

Spreads are... pretty good.  Across 12 rounds with the 124gr CMJs, extreme spread was 38fps, SD = 9

 

Same load but using 124JHPs, extreme spread was 28fps, SD = 7.  Which is nice, but I'll have to do some testing to see if there are any issues feeding the JHPs.

 

Edited to add, just out of curiosity I used to run 15-round strings, and toss the extreme-low and the two extreme-high velocities.... thinking that would give me a better idea of the real-world average.  Turns out that the resulting averages and SDs for the remaining 12 rounds were almost identical to the results if I just shot 12 rounds and counted them all.

(#NotAStatisticianAndICanProveIt)

Sounds to me that you have a good load for you. I would test it as the weather changes through the year. Mostly at temperature extremes.

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