Does it look like I've reached the load limit here?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by SVThuh, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. SVThuh

    SVThuh New Member

    Jul 18, 2008
    Hello all, new to the board and new to reloading. Been loading for about a month now and have been learning for the past year. I use a Dillon 550B and love it.

    Its good to be here.

    Anyways, now to my question.

    The load is 9mm 147gr FMJ Powder used is WW231.

    Im not going to embed the photo, its big, but does it look like a bit too much pressure to you? The primers definitely got flat, but they aren't oblong and such. The COAL is right on par with the never fired brass I have from the same lot, but the headstamp looks like it got pancaked a bit. These rounds were fired from my 1989 Sig P228 and my Ruger P89.

    On the very top (zinc coated speer brass) are some factory Gold Dots that I fired.

    In the middle is a mixture of brass that I loaded, some 4.3gr, some 4.6gr and some hot 5gr. Do any of these look like they got a little too hot and maybe generated a bit too much pressure?

    On the bottom row is some never fired brass that is from the same lot as the middle row for a comparason.

    Thanks for your input and knowledge.

    P.S. The loads functioned flawlessly and didnt seem to have any excessive recoil, but I still dont want to get too crazy with chamber pressure. Though I do want to push it just a little bit.
  2. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville Member

    Aug 28, 2007
    What does your load data say? and how old is the book?

    some old data can be kinda scary.....

    Looks like different primer mfg's too, that can make a difference.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2008

  3. artabr

    artabr New Member

    I would be willing to bet that your 5.0 gr. load is over maximun load limits.
    I don't have any data on hand for 147 gr. FMJ bullets, but all data I have on 130 gr. FMJ bullets list 5.0 grains as MAX. for that bullet.
    You are shooting a bullet that is 17 grains heavier, therefor your MAX load should be less than 5.0 grains.

    I have a Winchester load booklet some were around here. I'll try to find it later tonight.

    Last edited: Jul 18, 2008
  4. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    HOLY RUSTED METAL BATMAN!!!! you are using a load that is nearly a full grain too heavy for that powder/bullet combo. the Lyman book lists a 9mm Luger @ 1.115" OAL, 147 gr. TMJ, 4.1 gr. WW231 MAX @ 27,500 C.U.P./ 957 fps. muzzle velocity... your loads are probably a tad hotter than corbons +P loads using that heavy of a bullet... and if my memory serves me proper, corbon loads hotter than SAAMI max anyways... I must say proceed with caution!!!
  5. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    Your lightest load is the MAX load limit according to the Hodgdon manual. You are WAY too hot on the rest.

    The picture points out that you can not tell a lot by looking at the brass when it comes to pressure. The cases don't look that bad but that is no reason to go beyond the listed maximum load!

    While you survived this error in reloading your gun has taken a punishment from it. Guns that get subjected to excessive pressure over and over again eventually stretch, lose their accuracy and/or break. That's not a pretty picture for a Sig and a Ruger pistol! The pressure here are somewhere between 20,000 pounds per square inch (PSI) and 40,000 PSI. Those are pressures not to be toyed with!

    You were lucky, this time. I suggest that you get out your reloading manuals and start again with this load, starting at levels well below the the MAX loads you now have. You should NEVER EVER exceed the max loads listed in manuals. If you don't have a reloading manual get one and read it cover to cover mutilpe times until you understand the gavity of reloading.

    Done wrong reloading can be life threatening. SAFETY FIRST!

    To error is human. To repeat the known mistake is stupidity! Enough said.

  6. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    as harsh as LD seems, he's right, you are swimming in shark infested waters with a dead seal on your back... its just a mater of time before something bad happens. i must admit that i understand your wanting to push the envelope a little bit as far as performance goes, i mean who doesn't, but if you require THAT level of performance from your 9mm, then i must suggest you trade your pistol in for one chambered in a cartridge with that level of performance, such as a .357 sig or even a .357 mag... that amount of pressure is nothing to be toyed with... believe me you are needlessly at risk...
  7. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    "but if you require THAT level of performance from your 9mm, then i must suggest you trade your pistol in for one chambered in a cartridge with that level of performance"

    Better choices for more power in semi-autos would be:

    40 S&W
    10mm Auto

    The 10mm is just about as wild as it gets if you shoot full loads. My Colt Delta Elite 10mm shooting 200 gr bullets at near 1200 FPS (a factory load!) hit in recoil so hard it actually twists your whole hand. I don't load my 10mm ammo that hot and limit it to 40 S&W levels. 9mm is a poor cartridge to be hot loading as it is near its limit in stock form. It recoils in a sharp fashion rather than a big push as do the other three cartridges listed above. JLA gives good advice about changing to a hotter caliber.

    Another choice is to go to revolver cartridges. 357MAG, 41MAG, and 44MAG will give you all the power you will ever need in a handgun, I would think. 357MAG is several levels above what is possible out of a 9mm cartridge. The other two cartridges go up from there! 44MAG in full load form actually hurts my hand to shoot and 10 to 20 is about my absolute limit and I'm am relatively insensitive to recoil.

    While my comments seem harsh to some they were meant to save someone a trip to the hospital or worse. Overloaded guns do breakup and can throw metal everywhere. A piece only has to land in the wrong place and its lights out! A local was killed by a compound bow recently when it broke while being pulled and a piece went into the poor souls eye socket and killed him. Guns are much more dangerous in an exploded state than archery bows so maximum safety is a requirement. I do not wish to offend only inform.

    Last edited: Jul 20, 2008
  8. Another good choice, especially if you want a 9mm sized bore, would be the .357 Sig, LDB. It is essentially a .40 S&W cartridge bottlenecked down to accept a 9mm bullet. The performance of this cartridge is excellent. Some Federal agencies have adopted it.
  9. SVThuh

    SVThuh New Member

    Jul 18, 2008
    I do appreciate all of the info, and I do realize that I am in dangerous territory.

    I contacted Hodgdon about the load and they told me that I am most likely in the sub gun pressure range. They also directed me to switch the powder in my 9mm 147gr loads to "Longshot" I will be picking up a lb of it this week and I have also ordered a few hundred bullets in the 124gr flavor.

    As far as the other calibers, I do own 2 .45's, 2 .40's, and 2 .357SIG's. I just really enjoy shooting my P228 and its in my nature to push the envelope. I do want to keep myself in relatively safe conditions though. I will back this load off considerably. I had only loaded 5 rounds with the "too hot" load, and don't plan on going back to it.

    Thank you for all the advice though. I took no offense anywhere. Im here to learn, and I appreciate the harshness to reiterate the severity of the situation as well. Thank you.
  10. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    longshot is a great powder, probably 1 of the best choices for the heavy 9mm loads. and in my opinion the 124s are probably the ideal weight in that caliber, offering the best accuracy while still maintaining a decent velocity/energy combination.... i understand the natural desire to want the best performance possible. i too have pushed the limit a few times. it took a cracked forcing cone on my first .44 mag to get me to follow instructions, im just damn lucky it wasnt a cracked skull...
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