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Magnum Small Pistol Vs. Small Pistol Primers in 9mm Luger?
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 Posted: Sun Feb 6th, 2011 12:54 PM
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Doug B.
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I have some magnum small pistol primers (which I would like to "burn up") and the reloading data I have found recommends small pistol primers for 9mm Luger. The following is Accurate Arms data for their AA-7 powder for 115 gr. Rainier round nose bullets with a Winchester small pistol primer:


                                Start        Vel.        Max          Vel.        Press.        C.O.L.
                                Load                      Load                      (p.s.i.)       (inches)
                                (Grains)                 (Grains)                                              
No 7 115 RAN RN     5.7           1,027    6.7           1,165     34,399     1.140

Here's my question: If using magnum small pistol primers verses small pistol primers, how much of a powder reduction would you recommend to keep me safe? I have heard from only one source to reduce the starting load .5 grain for starters.

I instinctively "start low and work up".

The magnum small pistol primers I would like to "burn up" are CCI no. 550's and the firearm is a Beretta PX-4 Type F semi-auto with a 4" barrel.

Suggestions?

Thank you.

  




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 Posted: Sat Feb 12th, 2011 09:25 PM
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Shootemup
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Since you probably won't find any published data, you will be on your own. I have had to do this a few times recently in a few calibers with both regular large primers and small being hard to come by. A few years ago I did extensive testing with all the available primers in .44 mag using both standard and magnum primers and found there to not be enough difference for me to worry about. Just back off until you feel comfortable and work from there.

If at any time you see or feel anything that makes you uncomfortable, stop.



 Posted: Sat Feb 12th, 2011 11:11 PM
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OldStuffer
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Unless you are trying to use them in an already on-the-wall full-pressure 9mmP load, they will not make enough difference to matter.
Load then into some middle-charge-range plinking load and shoot-em-up.



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 Posted: Sun Feb 13th, 2011 01:33 AM
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Doug B.
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Being cautious I started right at the low end with the mag primers with the loads referred to above. The 5.7 grs. of AA-7 would not cycle the action. Same result when increasing to 5.9. Then.....I ran out of time. Will continue tomorrow increasing two tenths of a grain until I get reliable ejection, maybe increase one more tenth of a grain while watching for signs of over pressure and then STOP. I can't think of any reason that I should run high pressure rounds in my firearm. Number of reasons.......it's not economical, borders on unsafe (considering drop charge inconsistencies), and why should I beat the heck out of my sidearm or any of my firearms for that matter. I started getting my 9mm reloading goodies together about 6 weeks ago. Dies, powder, primers, reamer(s), brass, bullets etc. oh, new gun too and just today, following the case prep, started putting them together.

Fun and satisfying!

Thanks everybody for the advise. 



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 Posted: Sun Feb 13th, 2011 12:56 PM
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OldStuffer
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Most of the time starting loads will not cycle an autoloader reliably.
My Star B Super seems sufficiently weakly-sprung to be an exception to this, but, since it has to run pretty hot 9mmP ammo to make it IDPA legal, I wonder some moments if it isn't deserving of being "up-sprung" sometimes.
My .45's have never really been run at starting-minimum loads as they too have also always had to meet IDPA ammunition power requirements, which used to be higher than they are now. The new levels aren't particularly "weak", but, the old ones were significantly higher. The velocity required for a 230gr bullet dropped from 760fps to 717fps.

I certainly no longer waste ammo when creating a new load for my BAR in .308. It short-cycles everything below about mid-range adn throws the bullets in an ugly pattern 4" wide about 6" left of center. As the ammo pressure comes up into the upper end of it's design (over 50,000psi or so (being designed for 60,200)), it shoots straight and tries to stack the bullets up nicely.

Just comon behaviors for self-loading weapons. They have their own requirements.

I do run my "self-def" ammo right up on the wall, and it does get shot from time to time, just not the hundreds a month I do my IDPA competition ammo.
9mmP is a 115gr JHP loaded to 34,000psi or so, 1320fps.
.45 Auto a 230gr JHP loaded to 18,000psi (still room), 1044fps.



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I don't always venture out into the sub-freezing darkness, but when I do, it is hunting season, and I carry a Browning. Stay hungry my friends.


 Posted: Sun Feb 13th, 2011 01:14 PM
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OldStuffer
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Keep in mind, the "economics" of the smaller powder charge, is virtually nil.

The powder charge, when you calculate out the cost of each load component, is the lowest of all, by a sizeable margin.

My 9mm bullet currently costs me 8 cents each. (this is about to change due to excessive lube smoke I am getting in this cartrige only.
My primer currently costs me 3.3 cents each.
My powder charge of 3.6gr of Universal Clays costs me under a penny (0.977 cents) per cartrige.
Your minimum charge of AA7 costs (at current Graffs price), 1.498 cents per load.
Your maximum charge of AA7 costs (at current Graffs price), 1.762 cents per load.
A difference of .3 pennies per load, 1 penny per 3 loads, or $0.25 per box of 100 cartriges.

"More Economical" powder charge is a difference so small as to be worthless in the larger picture, but, folks don't realize it untill they actually do component cost calculations.



____________________
I don't always venture out into the sub-freezing darkness, but when I do, it is hunting season, and I carry a Browning. Stay hungry my friends.


 Posted: Sun Feb 13th, 2011 02:05 PM
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Doug B.
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Without wasting more components, should I bump up to 6.3 or 6.4 grs. and check for pressure? I will resume my "build" this afternoon.

Thanks for the tips.



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 Posted: Sun Feb 13th, 2011 03:51 PM
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OldStuffer
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If it were me, 6 to 6.2 is likely what I'd be running myself.

The only 115gr load I currently use is my JHP loading, 6.1gr of Vhitavouri N-340.
My current IDPA competition loading is a 145gr Lasercast LRN. The 3.3gr loading is absolute dead minimum I can run legally in IDPA (145gr @ 865fps = 125,000 Power Factor).
When I move to a less smoky bullet (lube issue) I will turn it up to 3.6gr which is arround 900fps or so. Some "cushion" to insure all rounds are legal if chronographed at a major match.

My particular 9mm absolutely hates short-length ammo. Even my 115gr is loaded out to 1.14+".
My 145gr load is 1.165" long, near maximum.



____________________
I don't always venture out into the sub-freezing darkness, but when I do, it is hunting season, and I carry a Browning. Stay hungry my friends.


 Posted: Sun Feb 13th, 2011 06:15 PM
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Doug B.
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I tried the 6.2 grs. and again it short-cycled, 3 rounds. The primer and case showed no apparent signs of over pressure. In fact, I compared it to the 5.7 gr. load primers I shot first and I would beg anybody to tell me the difference. No real additional recoil felt as well. I then thought I'd better fire some factory Winchesters (115gr.) to make sure there was nothing wrong with my firearm. They worked flawlessly.

Back to the drawing board I guess. I will increase .2 gr. a little later and see what happens.



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 Posted: Mon Feb 14th, 2011 02:40 AM
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Tornadic
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So, you are increasing still and it still isn't cycling the firearm?

Is all the powder burning off? I dunno, seems that a magnum primer would ignite it faster.
I can see two things happening...
Powder speed and magnum primer causing weird pressure curve and spike. Maybe?
Magnum primer in small 9x19 case with small primer hole not letting primer charge ignite correctly.

Just a few thoughts.



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 Posted: Tue Feb 15th, 2011 12:24 AM
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OldStuffer
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Yea, boost the charge AT LEAST .2, go for 6.4, 6.5-ish.

Keep in mind, you are using NONE of the exact components the load developer used, so that recipe is, at best, a rough guide to your firearm.

Your firearm could as easilly develop less pressure as it could develop more pressure, let your pistol's behavior speak to you to guide you fully. If the pistol is clean, properly lubed, properly fitted, normal pressure ammo should function it, typically meaning middle-of-the-charge-range or higher.
That said, brand new pistols often will refuse to run smoothly with even full-power ammo, for a little while.
Some pistol locking designs (like the Luger's toggle system) are VERY picky about minimum power requirements to function them and basically demand full-power ammunition, tollerant of nothing less.
Your pistol could be more stiffly sprung than other makers, demanding higher power ammo.

Just any of the dozens of things that make loading ammo challenging. It's not "hard" to do, it just sometimes isn't real easy or simple.

I have limited 9mm experience, much more in .45 Auto, adn NONE at using Accurate Arms powders.

We'll get ya worked thru this. :)



____________________
I don't always venture out into the sub-freezing darkness, but when I do, it is hunting season, and I carry a Browning. Stay hungry my friends.


 Posted: Tue Feb 15th, 2011 03:30 PM
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stanley2
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Using standard primers what is the load you use, that cycles your gun consistently??



Doug B. wrote: I tried the 6.2 grs. and again it short-cycled, 3 rounds. The primer and case showed no apparent signs of over pressure. In fact, I compared it to the 5.7 gr. load primers I shot first and I would beg anybody to tell me the difference. No real additional recoil felt as well. I then thought I'd better fire some factory Winchesters (115gr.) to make sure there was nothing wrong with my firearm. They worked flawlessly.

Back to the drawing board I guess. I will increase .2 gr. a little later and see what happens.



 Posted: Tue Feb 15th, 2011 10:23 PM
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Doug B.
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Istanley2 wrote: Using standard primers what is the load you use, that cycles your gun consistently??



Doug B. wrote: I tried the 6.2 grs. and again it short-cycled, 3 rounds. The primer and case showed no apparent signs of over pressure. In fact, I compared it to the 5.7 gr. load primers I shot first and I would beg anybody to tell me the difference. No real additional recoil felt as well. I then thought I'd better fire some factory Winchesters (115gr.) to make sure there was nothing wrong with my firearm. They worked flawlessly.

Back to the drawing board I guess. I will increase .2 gr. a little later and see what happens.

I have yet to use small pistol primers. I am just starting to work up a load with the magnum small pistol primers.

Last edited on Tue Feb 15th, 2011 10:24 PM by Doug B.



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 Posted: Wed Feb 16th, 2011 02:32 AM
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Doug B.
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For those of you following this post, I think I finally got off to a good start. I found this chart updated from the one I posted above and you will note the loads are hotter which finally got my firearm to cycle. I actually started way low with Rainier 115 gr, round nose and AA No. 7 powder, 5.7 grs. The firearm started cycling reliably at 6.8 grs. I went to 6.9 grs. and stopped. Please keep in mind I am using CCI magnum small pistol primers (550's), not the recommended Winchester small pistol primers. At this load, I believe I am under Rainier's recommendation of max 1200 f.p.s. for these plated bullets. I do not have a chrony.


http://web.archive.org/web/20050502161132/www.rainierballistics.com/loaddataAA.htm


Here's a picture of the spent reloads:



And a shot of spent factory Winnie's:



Now that my pressures look o.k. and if the snow goes away, a trip to the range might be in order if I don't get to it in my back yard first.

Happy shooting!



 



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 Posted: Wed Feb 16th, 2011 08:45 AM
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OldStuffer
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Good to hear.

While a chronograph is not at all a necesity, when the low end gets you a perfectly good working Chrony from Shooting Chrony for only ONE C-note, it's not nearly as hard a purchase to step uip to as the stuff costing 3X as much is.

My Alpha Chrony (recently upgraded to Alpha Master) is 13 years old now (or so), been a good bullet-clocker for me. I myself have no use for the functions reserved to the more pricey units.



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 Posted: Fri Feb 15th, 2013 07:05 PM
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cujo8
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I know this is an old post, but in order to be able to start posting in this forum I have to reply to 5 posts first. This post is in line with my question anyway.
As you all know reloading components, especially primers are very hard to get right now and I just started loading 9mm and 40S&W and the only primers I could find were Federal Small Magnum Pistol primers. From what I read, people recommend that in this situation you should start out at the minimum load range to compensate for the hotter magnum primer. I did this for my 40S&W load using 180gn FMJ's and as far as I could tell it worked out fine. Recently I started loading 9mm ammo for a new Sig 9mm I just purchased and 9mm ammo is just as scarce as small pistol primers right now. I began using 115gn Speer RN FMJs in 9mm once fired brass casings and charging the rounds w/ 6.2gn of PowerPistol, which is the low minimum range according to my Speer manual (6.2 min to 6.7max). I also loaded some 124gn truncated cone speer 9mm bullets as well using the same 6.2gn of PowerPistol powder. I went to the range to test my rounds and the 124gn rounds felt OK, but possibly a little more powerful than some factory 9mm rounds I also shot. The 115gn rounds on the other hand felt very hot and my Sig P226 was ejecting the casings 10 to 15 feet away! This made me a little uncomfortable to say the least. The fired brass didn't show any signs of an over pressure condition that I could tell. I've ordered a chronograph to test the bullet velocities, but I've read that bullet velocity and barrel pressures do not track linearly. Do you folks have any words of wisdom about this observation?



 Posted: Fri Feb 15th, 2013 07:23 PM
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cujo8
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I do have some std Federal small pistol primers coming in Monday and I plan to try the same loads I listed in my original post above, but with the std small pistol primers. I plan to test 5 rounds of each over the chronograph to compare the velocity differences. Do you think I'll hurt my new sig firing 5 more of these rounds out fitted with magnum primers?



 Posted: Fri Feb 15th, 2013 07:28 PM
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cujo8
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I find it interesting that when the original poster "Doug B" did this same test, he couldn't even get his PX4 automatic pistol to cycle, whereas my Sig 9mm under similar conditions is throwing the casings 10 to 15ft away under my minimum load range conditions.

The obvious differences between our two experiences is that I'm using different pistol powder and primers than Doug B was using. Goes to show there are significant differences between various powders and primers. The question is really what is causing the most difference, the powder or the primers in this comparison. :confused:

Last edited on Fri Feb 15th, 2013 07:37 PM by cujo8



 Posted: Fri Feb 15th, 2013 07:39 PM
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cujo8
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Does anyone know if there are charts comparing the various pistol powders and primers?



 Posted: Fri Feb 15th, 2013 07:57 PM
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Just one more question to fulfill my membership requirements :-), Knowing that there are indeed differences in pistol powders and pistol primers from various manufactures;
What are your favorite/least favorite pistol powders and primers and why do you feel that way. I know most of us are using whatever we can find right now, but if you could get what ever you wanted for pistol reloading what would get for powder and primers?

I've only used PowerPistol so far, but I've got 7 pounds of Unique ready to go once I get more primers. FYI, I'm doing my pistol ammo reloading on Dillon 550b progressive press. I only mention this because I know some powders don't meter correctly through a progressive style press, but work fine in a single stage press. Thanks for reading and I'm looking forward to hearing what the more seasoned reloaders have to say about these questions.:thumbs:



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