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What Bullet for my full size XD 9mm ?

This is a discussion on What Bullet for my full size XD 9mm ? within the The Ammo Can forums, part of the Armory Talk category; I made the stupid decision to purchase about 5 different types of Lead bullets and could only find success with one of them.. and success ...

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Old 10-10-2012, 07:33 AM   #1
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What Bullet for my full size XD 9mm ?

I made the stupid decision to purchase about 5 different types of Lead bullets and could only find success with one of them.. and success is a term I use lightly.
I've decided to go with FMJ's or JHP's from Montana gold next and was wondering what you would recommend for my Production Division XD..? As well as a Load recipe if possible?
Thanks ahead.

Chris
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:51 PM   #2
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From checking up on the IPSC boys from time to time at Brian Enos' forum, it seems that the favored weight is 147 grs. with some pretty fast burning propellants to make IPSC/USPSA Minor power factor. Some still use the old standby, W231. In my case that's about as fast burning as I want except I would use a near identical powder in burn rate but which will burn a good deal cleaner and that would be Ramshot ZIP.

But some do use a 124/125 FMJ or JHP. For that I would load up with 4.5 grs of ZIP to get about 1050 FPS with a power factor of 131, or if you want a little less try 4.4 grs. this data comes from the latest SIERRA manual where they list a start charge of 3.5 which is pretty light so I would use 4.0 grs. as a start charge that should give you just under 1000 FPS. Velocities were recorded with a 4" barreled Hi Point.

SIERRA doesn't make a 147 so I would use Ramshot's data for a 147 gr. SPEER TMJ or use the SPEER data if you have it. Ramshot loads the 147 from 3.1 to 3.5 grs. of ZIP. At 3.5 they got a velocity of 857 FPS from a 4" test barrel which would give you a power factor of 126. Ramshot they also load the 147 gr. Golden Saber a bit higher at 3.4 to 3.9 grs. of ZIP. The 3.9 gr. load achieves 911 FPS with a power factor of 134. I mention the 147 gr. Golden Saber because I believe some of Montana Gold's bullets have brass jackets also. If you have a SPEER manual and if it lists ZIP, the loads will probably be at a little higher max.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:07 PM   #3
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Okay. Thanks for that information. Aside from that, I just ordered Montana Gold 125 Grain JHP's 100 count so I could try them. If they work well and have no troiuble making major power factor, I have and Love using Auto Comp. I also have W231, but like the Auto Comp most.. and when my Open gun is finished being built the Auto Comp will work best with the compensator.

What do you think about all this? Also, as it pertains to making major power factor in my open gun AND how it will shoot in my production Springfield XD...?
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:01 PM   #4
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W231 will not make Major 9. From what I've seen at Brian Enos' forum, AutoComp is very popular for making Major 9 along with one of my favorite powders, Ramshot Silhouette which is made by the same company that makes AutoComp for Winchester/Hodgdon.

I wouldn't plan on shooting any of the Major 9 loads through your XD. It will handle +P but Major 9 loads have to be loaded very long and only in guns that have suitably long chambers. From what I know about XD/XDm 9mms, they have somewhat short chambers so you'll need to reduce your OACL and powder charges accordingly.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:44 AM   #5
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I am not sure why lead bullets aren't working for you, but there is a learning curve loading them vs jacketed. Most of the guys I know shooting 9mm in IDPA/USPSA, even GSSF, are shooting 147gr bullets over light charges to give good functioning & light recoil. FOr 9mm major, whole diff animal & IMO, should not be attempted by rookie reloaders. Usually it's a 124gr something running hard o/ a medium-med slow powder. W231 is for light to medium std pressure 9mm. I haven't used Autocomp, but again, unless you have quite a bit of reloading exp, I would pass on 9mm major until you do.
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:00 AM   #6
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"not working" is such an informative term.
Normally, I would recommend 124gn JHPs, but you don't want to shoot what would be most accurate but what is best for competition.
On that basis, you go with what most others do and that would be a bullet of 140-155gn, using a fast powder to just make minor.
For general information, lead bullets have two problems in some 9x19 guns: barrel leading and tumbling/keyholing. Both often are traced to bullets that are too small and too hard, and almost always they are lubed with some pathetic blue hard brittle waxy lube that cracks and falls out better then it lubes the bullet.
I find that 0.357-0.358" lead bullets of 10-16 BHN and lubed with beeswax/Alox work in all my 9x19s.
However, for the cost of 3000+ Montana Gold jacketed bullets, buying commercial lead bullets is not that attractive.
I have run 147gn bullets in my 9x19s and I have to say, 121-130gn bullets are more accurate, but that isn't your main concern.
Powders I would recommend are AA2, 231/HP38, and Solo 1000. These are well-behaved fast powders that are quite accurate for target to mid-range loads.
Have fun...
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:09 AM   #7
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I have been using the Montana Gold JHP 124's lately with good success. Strangely, in 9mm they are not a "slow bullet" like they seem to be in .40... that is, I am getting a bit better than expected velocities with my Silhouette loadings in 9mm, while in 40cal I get a bit slower than expected... Who knew?

I have had less luck with lead in 9mm than I expected also, but the 147's will still do for minor with various powders. Most 9mm barrels like go fast bullets to be truly accurate, but 147's with a tuned up load will shoot remarkably well. Since every gun... and I MEAN every gun will shoot them differently, you must try various powders to get the right combination of bullet and powder and correct velocity to get "minor" loads with a suitable power factor of about 130 or so so that if you get chrono'ed at a match you will have some wiggle room.

For your race gun in 9mm major Silhouette or Longshot will probably be your final choice, but AutoComp is also used but produces a bit more punishing pressures if the science holds true.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:42 PM   #8
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It's difficult to gauge where to even start because of so many selections that every difffers in. I just got back from a local competition and finally shot my batch of Lead Round Nose Flat Point 147's loaded LIGHTLY, with 3.2 gns of Auto Comp, which is even lower than the starting load, and they shot GREAT. I just can't say how the recoil was in reference to other loads. The place I shot at sells nothing but JHP and FMJ bullets, and ironically I just ordered the 125gn JHP's. For now my only concern can be my Springfield XD and what shoots well in that. When I get the Open gun THEN I'll worry about loading for that. But, again, the Lead RNFP's 147gns loaded with Autocomp worked well.
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:58 PM   #9
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Chris, AutoComp should work fine for 125 gr. JHP loads that are equal to factory rounds in performance. I just wanted to point out that there will be limitations when you start loading for your XD. Mainly the question of chamber length and how long the load can be without touching the lands of your barrel. This can be done by using the XD barrel as a test gauge to determine what OACL should be.

I'm glad that loading Major 9 is a down the road prospect because as fred pointed out, you can easily get yourself into trouble if the loads are not executed to a pretty finite list of parameters. Mainly OACL and powder used. I just wanted to note that AutoComp is a popular choice among the IPSC Major 9 shooters. As far as Longshot goes, it has fallen out of favor because of muzzleblast and loudness. Before you take on the challenge of loading Major 9 make sure you are completely familiar with the procedures used. With comp guns for instance I've seen loads with OACLs as long as 1.180"

For minor power factor, yeah AutoComp can be used with low level charges but what you actually want to consider are powders that will push bullets just fast enough to give you a comfort factor above Minimum. You can use W231 for that. I mentioned ZIP because they are very similar powders except that ZIP burns cleaner. It is actually desirable when using the faster powders to make Minor that they are near the higher end of their pressure range to ensure that you'll get good functioning of the slide. The XD should make a fine platform for Minor.
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:31 PM   #10
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One thing someone mentioned about the XD is that it has SUCH a small chamber. It's been a real PITA trying to find a bullet that loads successfully and doesn't get caught when doing a plunk test in the barrel and doesn't stick out of the back.

W231 DEFINATELY burns dirty, but do you recommend that over AutoComp if I'm loading minor in the XD?
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