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9mm and W231 powder

This is a discussion on 9mm and W231 powder within the Ammunition forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; I just bought an M&P Shield 9mm for carry. I am going through my 9mm ammo that I loaded in 1997. I have 600 round ...


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Old May 13th, 2017, 07:37 AM   #1
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9mm and W231 powder

I just bought an M&P Shield 9mm for carry. I am going through my 9mm ammo that I loaded in 1997. I have 600 round loaded with 115gr HP with 5.5gr W231. This was loaded using data from Hornaday 4th edition that shows 5.5gr is max at 1200 fps. Looking at my new 10th ed. it says 4.7gr is max and Sierra 4th says 5.1gr is max. Has W231 changed since 1997 that there is such a difference in max charge? I am now hesitant to shot this in my new shield.
Any thoughts? Are new manuals just very conservative?

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Old May 13th, 2017, 08:06 AM   #2
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I think your OK & correct on all counts. I too was loading them about that with W231 in the 1990's, and yes, Powder does change from lot to lot over time, the old way of measuring pressures changed from "Cup" to "Piezo", and the reloading manuals got more conservative to keep their lawyers happy...

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Old May 13th, 2017, 08:10 AM   #3
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Jeff you loaded it 1997 with powder made in 1997? this is 2017.

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Old May 13th, 2017, 08:20 AM   #4
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I just bought an M&P Shield 9mm for carry. I am going through my 9mm ammo that I loaded in 1997. I have 600 round loaded with 115gr HP with 5.5gr W231. This was loaded using data from Hornaday 4th edition that shows 5.5gr is max at 1200 fps. Looking at my new 10th ed. it says 4.7gr is max and Sierra 4th says 5.1gr is max. Has W231 changed since 1997 that there is such a difference in max charge? I am now hesitant to shot this in my new shield.
Any thoughts? Are new manuals just very conservative?
I have loading manuals going back to the early '70s. I've noticed that max loads have come down over the years. I think they are trying to be conservative for liability reasons. I don't know if your previous loads were max or not, but I think you should be okay. If in doubt, drop 10% and work your way up, and look for high pressure signs. I usually do this anyway for a new piece, regardless if it's the same caliber or not. I feel that every piece has it's own sweet spot. Hope this helps. -Lloyd

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Old May 13th, 2017, 08:36 AM   #5
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My books seem to have less than 5 grs as max also. I use 4.8 grs with up to 124gr bullets in our several nines that we shoot with no worries and its accurate.

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Old May 14th, 2017, 07:09 AM   #6
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thanks, for the responses. I am going to the range today to try it.
Yes, Phil it was loaded in 1997 with 1997 powder. I loaded it for my Beretta 92.
I will crono it and look for pressure signs.

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Old May 14th, 2017, 10:50 AM   #7
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thanks, for the responses. I am going to the range today to try it.
Yes, Phil it was loaded in 1997 with 1997 powder. I loaded it for my Beretta 92.
I will crono it and look for pressure signs.
You beat me to it....

I would chrono it against some factory ammo using the same bullet weight. 9mm goes bad pretty fast in those small cases... check your primers for extrusion and such. If they are too hot, they will let you know.

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Old May 14th, 2017, 01:52 PM   #8
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I use w231/hp38 for all my hand gun loads. 4.0-4.5 in my mp 9 is my usual load. My son loads them up to 5.5.
Of course he is using my powder so economy isn't a concern for him.

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Old May 15th, 2017, 02:41 PM   #9
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Interestingly... the 1997 Winc. manual shows a 4.9gr max load.

Page 14.

http://www.castpics.net/LoadData/Fre...hester1997.pdf


But Lol ... it seems to change quite a bit even in the various Winchester manuals...

http://www.castpics.net/LoadData/Freebies/default.html

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Old May 16th, 2017, 10:02 AM   #10
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They are too hot. Primers where flowing. Only shot 3 and stopped after looking at primers. Guess I have to pull 600 rounds. Don't remember why they were loaded that hot back then.

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Old May 16th, 2017, 11:13 AM   #11
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They are too hot. Primers where flowing. Only shot 3 and stopped after looking at primers. Guess I have to pull 600 rounds. Don't remember why they were loaded that hot back then.
That's one of the reasons I quit loading for 9mm... the difference between a normal load and pressure signs was, sometimes, a different headstamp or .3grn powder. In fact, I'm waiting on my next 1K case of 9mm as we speak.

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Old May 16th, 2017, 11:41 AM   #12
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I load 4 grains 231 under a 158 LSWC for .38 Special, been doing this for over 20 years. Despite the fact it's now .3 grains over Hodgdon's max load it's a powder puff, primers are nice and round and recoil is far less than factory.

A lot of guys i know use 4.5 grains of 231 for all of their 9m loads, be it 115 or 124. Personally I use HS6 and shoot only 124 grain bullets.

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