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Discussion Starter #1
I'm loading 125-grain 9mm semiwadcutters from Missouri Bullet. The powder is BE-86. The primers are Winchester small pistol.

The closest published load I could find was for cast 125-grain round nose bullets, so I went with that, changing the OAL somewhat to accommodate the longer semiwadcutters. I chose 1.160", whereas the published data (Alliant) says 1.120". My bullets are 0.06" longer than the round nose bullets I have on hand, so my assumption was that I was pushing things a little by only increasing the OAL by 0.04".

The published load goes up to 5.7 grains at 1179 fps. I was surprised to see a velocity that high.

I tried 5.2 grains, and I got 1082 fps. I thought I could do better.

I tried 5.3 grains and got an average of 1088 fps with a very low spread of 14. Only 4 of the 5 test rounds showed up on the chronometer. I tried 5.5 grains, and I got 1099 fps with erratic speeds. The spread was 51. Again, only 4 shots registered.

I was hoping I could get something like 1125 out of this short barrel, but it appears that adding powder isn't doing much, and the spread is going crazy.

Am I at the end of the road, or is there anything else I should try? I could try shortening the OAL a little to increase pressure. I am not seeing pressure signs.
 

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Might be with a short barrel that there is a limit to the powder burn. Too short of barrel length and the powder isn't being effectively used. I don't think that the AOL length has anything to do with what you are trying to achieve. If anything, I think maybe a different powder might increase your velocity.
 

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Sounds like you are getting all you're going to get out of your gun. In my experience with BE86, it gets erratic when pushed to the edge of the envelope and pressure comes on quick. Proceed with caution.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I can't complain about 1088 fps. I could try Accurate No.7. It's a faster powder. Don't know if that will be better or worse for a short barrel. Seems like it should be better.

I think I should have splurged for the coated bullets. I always thought hard cast bullets were okay in Glocks, but I'm reading some weird things today.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Before giving up, I decided to try shortening the cartridges. I went from 1.160" to 1.140".

I got this:

# Velocity Ft/lbs Power Factor Date
5 1129 353.76 141 8/15/20 6:50 PM
4 1118 346.90 139 8/15/20 6:50 PM
3 1124 350.63 140 8/15/20 6:47 PM
2 1095 332.77 136 8/15/20 6:47 PM
1 1098 334.60 137 8/15/20 6:47 PM

Average: 1112

I can't see anything wrong with the casings. There is a barely perceptible bulge, but it doesn't seem much worse than it was with the longer OAL. I could jam one of these casings into a cartridge gage if I pushed.
 
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It's difficult to predict what propellant will work best in which barrel. Usually, faster-burning powders work better in barrels under 4", but sometimes it goes the other way. I might try W231 or Red Dot. On the other end of the scale, AA#5 or Herco might work. I've had very good luck with 5.6-6.2/Herco/124gr. RNFP in shorter barrels, tho the muzzle flash is impressive in low-light conditions. YMMV
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Today I got back to work. I tried shortening the cartridges to 1.030", and I got a small DROP in velocity. I decided to go to 1.040" and 5.6 grains of BE-86. Shooting 6 rounds, I got 1134 fps, which is an improvement. Judging from factory-ammo figures,it seems like a good healthy velocity for 125-grain bullets.

PROBLEM: at least one of the 1.030" rounds and all of the 1.040" rounds ended up with dents at the mouths of the cases. This is a new thing for me.

I read that bad magazine or recoil springs can cause this. My magazine spring looks fine, and I compared the recoil spring to one from another Glock 26. No real difference.

Is there anything I'm overlooking? I feel like going ahead and using this recipe.

09 09 20 Glock 26 9mm casings mouths bent small.jpg
 

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First off, let it be known that semi-auto's are not my cup of tea. However, usually a dent like that in the case mouth is caused from the case hitting the inside of the ejection port upon ejection. A '92 and '86 Winchester will do the very same thing if cycled rapidly. I'm sure other firearms do as well.

Secondly, what's wrong with 1000+ fps from that little case? That extra 30-50 fps ain't gonna make enough difference for anything to notice and the hotter loads just eat up more propellant for vey little useful return. Just curious..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Up to a certain point, speed should aid penetration, and it is conceivable that I or a friend of mine might have to use my handloads for that purpose some day. The way things are going, anything is possible.

I don't like making wimpy loads for pistol practice. I believe a pistol shooter who isn't used to recoil is less likely to do well when using real ammunition in a crisis.
 

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I was just thinking of the deer I've killed with a 44 Mag. revolver with a 240 gr. at 1300 fps and a 45 Colt, 255 gr. at 1000 fps. Penetration was complete with both....I doubt the deer knew the difference, they both died in the same, short span of time. The extra 300 fps from the 44 was meaningless. It certainly wasn't enough to impart the kind of hydrostatic shock one gets from a rifle. The 44 went down the road. Both bullets were Keith type SWC's of Lyman #2.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I would certainly expect good penetration with 240 or 255 grains.
 
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I carry a 44 Spl. a lot, loaded to 1000 fps, give or take a little. Good load, not too much but certainly enough. I used to carry a 25-5 S&W in 45 Colt. In that one I loaded it to about 850 fps, give or take. Still a good load. The Cavalry seemed to like it for putting down horses.
 

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However, usually a dent like that in the case mouth is caused from the case hitting the inside of the ejection port upon ejection.
It will also happen if the ejection spring is very strong, bent cases is one of the side effects and also them lending all over the place instead of in a general area.
 
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With large-bore pistol rounds, penetration isn't as much of a consideration. Things like bore area and projectile momentum are already present in surplus.
With smaller rounds, which have less of these attributes, it makes sense to maximize what they DO have, and that's velocity. Alliant lists 5.7/BE-86/124 gr. JHP as achieving 1175 f/s from a 4" barrel. A cast truncated cone or SWC of the same weight might improve on that, slightly, while exerting its terminal effects independent of expansion.
 

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With large-bore pistol rounds, penetration isn't as much of a consideration. Things like bore area and projectile momentum are already present in surplus.
With smaller rounds, which have less of these attributes, it makes sense to maximize what they DO have, and that's velocity. Alliant lists 5.7/BE-86/124 gr. JHP as achieving 1175 f/s from a 4" barrel. A cast truncated cone or SWC of the same weight might improve on that, slightly, while exerting its terminal effects independent of expansion.
I would agree with that except that once over 1000 fps, 30-50 fps isn't going to matter in the real world at gunfighting distances, except in a person's head. When shooting handguns, expansion is never a thing I take into consideration. A large meplat and penetration has proven significantly more effective on game in the man size weight category than expansion ever was. Maybe men are different from deer, hogs and bear but, i doubt it.
 

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I'm not trying to turn this discussion into a "contest of urination", so if my tone suggests such, it is unintentional and I apologize in advance.

A 30 to 50 f/s velocity increase over 1000 f/s represents a 3 to 5% increase in velocity. It also represents a 6 to 10% increase in kinetic energy which is one of many factors that determine penetrative and other disabling capabilities. While one can never wield "too much" stopping power, it is often too easy to wield "not enough". If the quantity is in the "usually, but not always enough" spectrum, as with the 9x19, the shooter's motivation to maximize the ballistics of their sidearm is not, to me, at all misplaced, even for seemingly minimal gains (which MAY end up being "JUST ENOUGH") for use in whatever armed confrontation comes to the fore.

I am NOT a kinetic energy advocate, and I personally cringe at the thought of defending myself with a 9x19mm sidearm. But if I was, for some reason, REQUIRED to carry such a piece, I'D do whatever I could to wring the highest performance from it that I could, while staying within safety limits.
If, on the other hand, that extra velocity is obtained at the cost of poor accuracy, reliability, or unduly pounding the pistol's frame and other parts, the gain may NOT be worth it, but it's not for ME to decide. It's the decision of the gun owner.

The O.P. might want to also explore loading data published by Vihta Vuori, and give one of their propellants a try. Some of their slower-burning ones tend to get very good velocities out of the parabellum round.
 

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Kosh, not taken that way at all by me and, I hope my comments aren't either. If a person wants to pursue the last foot per second, by all means, do so. I'm simply drawing from my real world experience. 9mmP or 475 Linebaugh, 30-50 fps, 3%-5%, isn't enough to matter. Velocities from round to round can and do vary that much.
 
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I would think that AA7 would be slower than BE-86. If you want more velocity, go to a slower powder, but you are pushing that little case pretty hard for NO real rational reason.
Get a gun chambered in 9x23 Win or 9x25 Dillon.
Last thing I want in a self-defense round is over penetration. Police have HUGH numbers of lawyers and insurance that you simply don't have.
Why not use a JHP?

So, of the studies done in the last few years, guess what?
NO pistol round has an advantage. NONE. .22LR and .32 Auto are below all the common pistol rounds, but 9x19 = .38 Super = .357 Sig = .40 S&W = .45 Auto. Stop pissing over kinetic energy. Pistols, even the mega magnums, don't have enough to matter.
All of this is, by definition, a pissing contest without facts and figures and real world examples.
We should all be glad that Luger/Mauser made the 9x19 case as strong as it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I want penetration, even from what will probably turn out to be practice rounds, and momentum, which comes from speed, makes bullets go deeper. "Overpenetration" is something armchair Internet ballisticians worry about. In real life, it's a very minor concern compared to the risk of having a bullet stopped by a bone or something between me and the criminal. The cops don't worry about it much at all, and you may have noticed the conspicuous scarcity of lawsuits related to overpenetrating.

The truth is that anything that won't "overpenetrate" is more likely to fail to incapacitate. The risk of being harmed by a criminal your bullet didn't put down is extremely high, and the odds of hitting other people with bullets that have gone through a criminal is extremely low. These things are especially true where I live. The population density is mercifully low. It's wonderful.

The chance that you will hit other people because you miss the criminal entirely is many times greater than the chance that your round will pass through a criminal and hit an innocent person. In real gunfights, most rounds miss, even at close range, even when the participants are trained. We don't see armchair ballisticians telling people to worry about being sued because they miss. You shoot to save lives, and you hope for the best.

Myths die hard.
 
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Sometimes speed makes bullets go deeper, that's a myth that also needs to die. The faster they go, the faster they shed velocity. I believe it was Keith who compared the '06 to the 45 Colt. The old hog leg out penetrated the '06 by a significant margin if my memory hasn't completely failed me.

I've killed several deer with front on shots with a 270, 45-70, 45-90 and a 40-70. The 270 failed to penetrate lengthways through a deer by more than a foot. The other 3 all did at a velocity approximately 1/3 that of the 270. Yes, the bullets in the old big bores were considerably heavier than the 270. They were also considerably slower.

I'm not saying don't pursue your velocity. Good grief, I pursue all sorts of things that really are goofy, meaningless and insignificant. What I am saying is that at handgun levels a few FPS is essentially meaningless, same as nyolj. That extra 30-50 fps isn't going to penetrate a bone after the bullet sheds velocity from penetrating clothing of varying thicknesses and flesh, no matter how much we might try to convince ourselves it will.

If penetration is what is desired one is much better served by using heavier bullets and/or larger calibers. That's just the real world truth of the matter.
 
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