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Good pistol powders for loads in carbine-length barrels?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by 0GRE, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. 0GRE

    0GRE Portland, OR Member

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    Thanks all for reading this:

    My main motivation for getting into reloading is to feed my 9mm carbine during my annual sage rat hunt. I'll be loading 115-grain JHPs but I haven't decided on a powder. I've researched this topic on various forums. Some guys recommend max loads of slower pistol powders to get top velocities and less fouling out of 16" barrels. HS-6 and even Blue Dot were mentioned. Do any of you have experience with this specific set of variables and suggested powders for consideration? Your $0.02 is appreciated.
     
  2. Hayshaker

    Hayshaker Irrigon Active Member

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    I use unique in my 40 Kel Tec with good results. It's slower then blue dot so works good in a 16" barrel.
     
  3. ma96782

    ma96782 Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    In the past, I thought about it on occasion.

    Then, I figured, "Why bother?" Yup, I'm lazy ;) and really I don't need to complicate my life any further trying to squeek out the "best" in ____this______ or ____that_____.

    I've come to say, "Good enough" is fine with me.

    Anyway, what works in my pistol will probably work good enough for my carbine. And, so far, it has. BTW, I load 125 gr lead bullets for my 9mm.

    OK, Ok, ok....the carbine loads could/can be produced to get more velocity etc... vs my pistol loads. But, do I really need to or want to go for it?

    My Lee M1000 is already set up for pumping out 9mm ammo. I could change the setting but, why? Then, I'll have to keep my ammo separate just for ID purposes, instead of just dumped in the "9mm can." Maybe, I'm actually a KISS kind of guy? Or, a LAZY guy just pretending to be a KISS guy? :D

    That all being said......if I wanted a specific 9mm carbine load using a JHP, then I'd start by looking over my manual and taking a look at the powers that I already own. Did I mention that I'm also cheap? Then of course.....EXPERIMENT. BTW, I don't own a chono. So, I guess I should be thankful that I don't have that to complicate my life even more. LOL....enjoy.

    Aloha, Mark

    PS...some of you fathers out there might understand. My son is 17 and likes to shoot. I've allowed him to use my equipment and supplies to reload ammo for himself. Of course, he never has the time to load his own ammo. So, he takes mine.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
  4. Hayshaker

    Hayshaker Irrigon Active Member

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    I don't load any different for my handgun then the Kel Tec. You get more velocity because of the longer barrel. Check the Kel Tec forum in the sub 2000 and you'll find some information regarding velocity and etc. Although it'll shoot 100 yards 9mm & 40 were not designed for that. Change guns if your looking for something at that range. Just my opinion. :confused::confused:
     
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  5. 0GRE

    0GRE Portland, OR Member

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    ma96782,
    Although I have perfectionist tendencies, I can be a LAZY guy as well and I am a friend of the KISS philosophy. I posted the question in the hopes of finding a shortcut to get me in the ballpark. My AR will be the only 9mm gun I'll load for (unless I get a suppressor) so I can afford some extra consideration in regard to a carbine-specific recipe.

    Haysaker,
    I'll check out the sub 2000 forum as you suggested. Thanks! ;) As for shooting at distance, yes, 100 yards is about my max for that gun. Luckily, my favorite hunting ground is so loaded full of squirrels that I can go all day without needing to shoot much past 50 yards.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
  6. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    "Even Blue Dot"?
    Yea I'd use that but the case is pretty darn full and is likely to spill the powder, even with careful handling.
     
    0GRE likes this.
  7. 0GRE

    0GRE Portland, OR Member

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    So I've heard. :D
     
  8. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    I'd try to use a/the "major power" powder but perhaps not loaded to major pressure. Not really a big deal either way but you can actually get some serious power out of just a 9mm handgun with pretty much normal pressures.
     
  9. Benchrest

    Benchrest The Desert Planet Well-Known Member

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    Pretty sure the mohawk bird guy meant to say 10mm, serious power out of a 10mm.

    :p

    OP: What powders do you have / can get a hold of?

    If you want I can run a few loads through QL and see what the #s are.
     
  10. 0GRE

    0GRE Portland, OR Member

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    [QUOTE="What powders do you have / can get a hold of?"[/QUOTE]

    Gosh, everyone thinks I put a lot of thought into this before I posted! :s0140:

    I have no powder on hand. This whole post was started with the hope I could zero in three or so powders to investigate. I haven't asked my friends who reload what powders they have on their benches yet. They were who I figured I could schmooze to get samples of powder.

    It's nice of you to offer the load data. I wouldn't ask anyone to do that just to answer my question.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
  11. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    When I got the CZ 75 in .40 a wise man at the range suggested using HS-6 because it would have a good chance to burn fully in the long barrel. I've been using it ever since in 9mm and .40. It burns fully and fairly clean with no powder left in the case or on the table. HS-6 in .38 .45acp and .44 special was a dog with plenty of unburnt powder.

    I run 6.6gr in my Witness Elite Limited 9mm and 6.4 in in the others. There's probably room for as much as 8.0.

    I'd be more than happy OGRE to give you a good shot of HS-6 to play with. I've got about a half of an 8 lber and an empty HS-6 bottle to put some in, just lemme know.

    EDIT: If you haven't noticed, it seems Benchrest loves to get those #s for folks here!

    Mike
     
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  12. Benchrest

    Benchrest The Desert Planet Well-Known Member

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    I don't mind - I already have 115gr loads saved. Easy enough to enter a new barrel length and try different powders.

    Let me know.
     
  13. 0GRE

    0GRE Portland, OR Member

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    You guys are too kind.

    Mike,
    I would like to take you up on your offer as soon as I have my reloading equipment ducks in a row. I don't know when that will be because most of my free-time is currently wrapped up in my three-month-old. Between pinching pennies, working overtime, and bargain-hunting on the forums, I'm getting close to ready for my first run of ammo.

    Benchrest,
    OK, I won't tell you 'no' if you enjoy testing this stuff. I'd be interested to know what you come up with. I'll defer to your judgement as to which propellants you think would fair best for testing in the longer barrel.

    Thank you.
     
  14. ma96782

    ma96782 Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    OK, so you got no powder and you don't have all of your reloading equipment. And, you're planning on reloading for 9mm on your first try out of the gate.

    Humm.......when I first started, I reloaded with a single stage press and the .38 special was my first try. Beside the fact that I needed ammo for my revolver. Well the long brass case helped with not spilling powder (too often), The rim made it easy to tell where my resizing die was positioned. Adjusting the bell on the case mouth came easliy. Of course seating the bullet and getting a good crimp became like second nature. Then, there were tons of loads to pick from (I chose to load for a 158 gr. SWC lead bullet). As for powder: Unique.

    Loading for a 9mm on a first try out. Well, I wish you well. There are plenty of folks that just don't seem to understand the finer points. They often report or ask.....

    Why won't my reloads chamber?
    Why is my bullet falling out while I'm trying to seat the bullet?
    Why am I having FTF, FTE and other issues?

    Humm....maybe since it was a "first try" maybe a rimmed cartridge and a revolver might have been a better choice? IMHO, the .38 Special is more forgiving compared to the 9mm.

    Not to mention the folks that buy a Dillon progressive machine, as a first machine. Just because, their friend said to.

    OK, you got a 9mm and that's the way it is. So, find a good reloader that can really TEACH you hands on about reloading for a 9mm.

    Back to Powers.......

    Why....Unique? Well....I was thinking (dangerous) that I could always use Unique with other cartridges in the future. And, the manual had tons of loads listed for plenty of pistol calibers and shotguns too.

    OK, Ok, ok....I used it for awhile. Bullets went down range....not much to complain about. But, when I found Bulls Eye powder and the 148 gr. HBWC for my PPC revolver my life changed. Mind you that I can also use BE in a variety of other calibers. But, the point is.....BE was the cat's meow for that specific PPC cartridge that I wanted. BTW, I am currently using BE with my SASS loads too.

    So, kind of by default....whenever I have a new caliber to load for....I'll look in the manual to see if BE can be used (or whatever other powder I have on hand). Yes, I still have Unique.

    Since I like BE....I now try to keep a good quantity ALWAYS on hand (just in case). You see I'm from Hawaii and we would get dock strikes every now and again. Shipments of everything from the mainland was always disrupted. LOL....ever see a line of shoppers raiding the shelves for toilet paper? So, why did I mention that? Because.........now that some of us haven't been able to get power (thanks to BHO). Well, lesson learned. I have BE (and other rifle and pistol powders) while others may not.

    OK.....I actually keep a good quanity on hand (for pistols) of BE, W231 and I've recently added 700x. All of these powders can be used for a 9mm load. Don't get me wrong..... the listed powders may not be the "best choice" for a particular application. So, you'll need to experment. Maybe even buy another powder too?

    Getting back to the carbine. I have a COLT 16" AR carbine in 9mm. Ever tried shooting it? Say, 100 yds? LOL....it goes bang.....(waiting)...ting. I often wondered how the Gremans used 9mm sub guns so __effectively?____. OK, Ok, ok...shooting F/A is probably the key. Not to mention, being closer.

    So, as I said before, I shoot lead bullets. So sorry, I can't really help you to get you in the ball park with a specific recipie with a JHP bullet. But, good luck with your efforts.

    Aloha, Mark
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
  15. Benchrest

    Benchrest The Desert Planet Well-Known Member

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    Ran some quick #s tonight - 115gr, Same OAL, 16" barrel, kept pressures as close to 31K as possible.

    Powerpistol 1,531
    Unique 1,454
    Bullseye 1,435
    #5 1,460
    Silhoutte 1,441
    Longshot 1,451
    CSB-1 1,354
    Clays 1,156
    231 1,343

    I only ran loads for powders I have (CFE Pistol, AutoComp, 700X aren't available in QL or I would have included those) - Again, OAL wasn't optimized, but it gives you an idea what to expect.

    Edit: Added 231
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2015
    0GRE likes this.
  16. 0GRE

    0GRE Portland, OR Member

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    Mark,
    You made some good points. I have someone who has offered to sit with me when the time comes to start loading. I'll make a note to discuss the rest with him when the time comes.

    Benchrest, :s0166:
    That's fantastic. I found a reference to Power Pistol producing 1,500fps velocities in another source today so it's nice to have that confirmed. Thank you very much!
     
  17. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    FYI, If you will be using a cylinder type powder thrower (RCBS Uni-flow) flake powders cause some problems with binding. Bullseye and Unique are flake powders, as are all of Alliant handgun powders. I use those two without much issue with binding though, but 700X was impossible. A ball powder is easier to use in the beginning maybe?
     
    0GRE likes this.
  18. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Lol no. They've been making major power with 9mm for decades.. out of handguns. I believe that if a 9mm round does 15-1600 fps out of a 5" barrel handgun, it stands to reason that it'll make some serious power out of a carbine.
    Me personally, I'd just go with a nice warmish load that pretty much any common/standard powder will accomplish.
    But if you want to hotrod it, you certainly can.
     
  19. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    I have family on three of those islands out there. Long time.
    And true about the 9.. (though that was actually what I started with a long, long time ago.. with lead bullets and a Lee whacker). Make sure you do the "plunk test" and or use a cartridge gauge.. or at least make sure you only load a very few rounds (actually make one dummy round first). Anyway. And then right outa the park, a lot of guys get very frustrated with lead in the 9 at even at 12-1300fps. A lot of things can be done wrong.
    And do watch out for "set-back". Make sure you have plenty of tension holding the slug and if your reloads look like a coke bottle, that's actually a good thing.
    And also, I'm pretty much the same, using powders that have a very wide spectrum of use.
     
  20. scrandall01215

    scrandall01215 Washougal,WA Well-Known Member

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    Orge,
    When your ready to start I have some Power Pistol and silhouette you can try if you want it. I don't have extra containers but we could figure something out!
    By the way I use Silhouette for 9 mm w/ 115 gr. very accurate haven't crono. yet been to busy working I have one though. Lol
    Stacy
    I'm in Portland and Milwaukee a lot.
     
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