Hey LDB . . .

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Pistolenschutze, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. A question for you:

    If you wanted to load 115 grain hard lead round nose slugs for target use in the 9mm, what powder and charge weight would you start with? I'm not looking for high velocity here, but rather accuracy for punching paper. I'm thinking 3.8 grains of Bullseye or 4.5 of Unique. Another possibility would be 3 grains of W231. I will be shooting these through a Mod 92 Beretta and a Steyr M9.

    Same question, but this time with .38 special 158 grain traditional LSWC and 158 grain lead flat nose. The flat nose slugs are a design I've not used before. They look almost like a straight WC slug, but are quite a bit longer and crimp in a groove that allows them to protrude from the casing about the same as the LSWC. I'm thinking of using the traditional 4 grains of Bullseye load and perhaps 4.2 of W231 as an alternative. What do you think?
  2. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    I have not tried either of those combination but I prefer W231 or its exact clone Hodgdon HP38 mostly because of the extremely small loads Bullseye requires. It is too easy to have large vaiations in velocity with a 0.1 grain error when the quantity of powder is so small, like you have with Bullseye.

    In general for semi-auto pistols I don't like to use swedged or cast bullets. They tend to plate the bore with lead so hard to remove that it takes a pick to get all the lead out of the grooves. I go with the copper plated bullets. They are cast or swedged then flash plated with copper. They don't leave residue behind like cast or swedged bullets do. Rainier is a good source for bullets of that type. In your case for the Beretta I'd start at the starting load for the bullet of choice using W231 or Hodgdons HP38.

    For a 38SPL revolver I again would use W231 or HP38 for the same reasons. Since the revolver speed would be much lower than the 9mm I might try the cast or swedged bullets unplated. Start at the starting load for 38Spl and the bullet of choice. As you increase the load level you may find the leading problem in which case stay below that point or switch to a Rainier plated bullet. I try to buy Rainier bullet for all my calibers where cast or swedged bullets are appropriate. I really don't like digging lead out of barrels with a pick and risk marring the bore! I know, others have had different experiences, but that's my take on it.

    One thing to consider is that almost no matter the powder choice you are still putting a very small amount of powder in the case. When the powder level is that small, where it lays in the case MAY effect the accuracy of the shot. So develop the habit of always going through the same procedure to putting the gun on target. That is, lower the gun to point at the ground (which moves the powder in the case to the bullet end) and slowly bring it up to point of aim. Or do the opposite (point gun skyward then drop it onto the point of aim). Consistency is important.

  3. Thanks, LDB. I must admit, I was a bit concerned about the 9mm leads for the reason you mention. With the 9, it's hard not to push the bullet past 1,000 FPS even with small charges. I think I will take your advice on the W231 since I have a good supply of that powder available.

    With .38s, I nearly always load to around 850 FPS for target use. Since the majority of these will be shot from 2" snubbies anyway, the velocity will probably not even reach 850 FPS. I think I'll load up 50 each using Bullseye, Unique, and W231 to see which gives me the most consistent result in my revolvers.

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