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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have three 9mm guns, XD 9, XDS 9, and a LC9s. I am starting to reload 9mm.

Looking at Lymans Reloading Manual, it does not show the bullet I plan to use.
I have been to the powder manufacturer site and they too do not show the exact bullet. What I have found is that the weight or type is different.

For example, Lymans does not show a 115 gr RN-FMJ. But does show a 115 gr Jacked HP and a 95 gr FN-FMJ.

Which Lymans load should I use?

If the bullet weight is the same, is the loading data the same provided the bullet composition is the same (Lead, FMJ, TMJ, Jacked)?

I have some Winchester 115 gr FMJ hollow base not shown in Lymans, or the website, what bullet type should I use for loading data?

When working up a load, do I need to test fire it in all the guns?

If I use only one gun to test the load, which one is the best one to use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sammy_H - I am using AA#5.

Knightslugger - I have made 5 dummy rounds ( no primer or powder) and all of them passed a head space gauge test and test loading in all three guns.

My original questions are more pointed to how much powder to use and which gun should I use to arrive at the lowest recipe to ensure proper cycling of all three guns actions.
 

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You'll have to do load work ups in each, watching for pressure signs on the way up, and find a load that performs well in all 3 guns.

All things equal, the pistol with the tightest chamber and shortest throat will give you the highest pressures. If you just want to load for one, pick up some Cerrosafe and make castings of your chambers. Find the smallest and load to that one.
 

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You load for your worst condition. I load for 8 diff 45acp, all are slightly diff, all shoot the same load. The OAL is set for the shortest chamber, done. No need to do chamber casts, just dummy rds to find the shortest OAL with your bullet of choice.
 

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Like Fred said, you load for the worst case scenario. This generally means the shortest OAL required of the guns you have. As to powder charge, using the OAL required, you would, for most range or general shooting needs, start somewhere over half way up to max using an average from several sources for the bullet weight if you are completely unfamiliar with the bullet type. Generally with pistols, I am looking for a specific velocity "zone" for a particular load depending on its intended use. If it's decent accuracy range ammo that will "run the gun" no matter what gun I am using, then I am looking for something in say, 9mm, that will be probably around 3/4 or a bit more of the way towards max with that powder and bullet, as that is generally where I find the best accuracy and reliability as 9mm usually likes to go pretty fast to show the best accuracy, but sometimes you can produce some lower powered loads that can still cut it. It just depends on what you are after.
 

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AA#5, you lucky dog. I haven't seen any of that in ages.

Get the Lee loading manual, it's got by far more loads for more bullet styles than other manuals. I've got the Lyman and the Speer and while they're great the bullet styles they list are only their bullet styles, while the Lee gives you things like plated RN 115 gr (my standard 9mm bullet) and good luck finding plated bullets in a Lyman or Speer manual, as well as jacketed and lead bullets. I find the Lee manual much more useful.

Midway has it for 21 bucks, I got mine at Cabela's.

Lee Modern Reloading 2nd Edition Revised Reloading Manual
 

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AA#5, you lucky dog. I haven't seen any of that in ages.

Get the Lee loading manual, it's got by far more loads for more bullet styles than other manuals. I've got the Lyman and the Speer and while they're great the bullet styles they list are only their bullet styles, while the Lee gives you things like plated RN 115 gr (my standard 9mm bullet) and good luck finding plated bullets in a Lyman or Speer manual, as well as jacketed and lead bullets. I find the Lee manual much more useful.

Midway has it for 21 bucks, I got mine at Cabela's.

Lee Modern Reloading 2nd Edition Revised Reloading Manual
Maybe just me, but I find the Lee frustrating. They list bullets but not specific, no pics, you are guessing. Then they have data all over the place, often neglecting common powder/bullet combos. Really, Lee is the last manual I go to when working up new loads, but YMMV. Why one should have several manuals.
 

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Maybe just me, but I find the Lee frustrating. They list bullets but not specific, no pics, you are guessing. Then they have data all over the place, often neglecting common powder/bullet combos. Really, Lee is the last manual I go to when working up new loads, but YMMV. Why one should have several manuals.
Interesting, I find the Lee has many more powders and bullet types than the Lyman or the Speer. And since I'm mostly doing plated bullets the Lee actually lists them rather than just lead loads (which I know work on plated).

Before I start a new load I check all 3 manuals and usually the website of the powder before I decide on what I want to start with but honestly if I had only 1 manual it would be the Lee (and we know I don't like their reloaders especially the Toadmaster). I suspect the Lee works good for me though because I never know what powders I'm going to find and it's got loads worked up for just about everything.
 

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There can be significant differences in 115 fmj bullet profiles, they do not all use the same col, some are considerably blunter than others.


The Win 115 fmjhb has a pretty pointed profile, and the factory loads them out to about 1.165. I use this bullet a lot at col=1.155. The longer shank than most 115 fmj's, and the hollow base seems to contribute to accuracy if the pressures are up.


if you can seat the bullet out there without setback or pull out issues, you should be able to use almost any 115 fmj data.
 

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YOu need many manuals plus can look online. I NEVER trust ONE source - seen too many books show things like 3.8-4.5 and another for the exact same bullet 4.4 to 5.0...

Common loads are easy to find. I asked around about loading 357 mag and got a lot of 'use 2400'...well, 30 years ago that was a common loading but not today. I had to go find old books. Some say never load LESS than 12.5 gr...others (newer books) would often say 13 is max load. IF I could find the info at all.

One bullet i had for 9mm I had to load to 1.06 for it to chamber in my XDm...a lot of searching eventually turned up a book that showed that. Most stuck at 1.12 or so OAL.

I load bullseye for 38 and got a deal on it, and can't find the 231 I like for 9mm..no prblem, use BE for 9, right? Hard to find formulas for BE for 9.

In old odd places I saw BE loads for shotgun..you won't find that today..there are 'better' powders but if you got BE...you load BE.

I'd go with the BULLET CONSTRUCTION - FMJ regardless of RN or CN or HP. Lead is lead be it SWC, RNFP, RN, DEWC or even HBWC. Start at the MIN value and I suggest a chronograph - its the only reliable scientific way to see what your loads are actually doing.

As for OAL what the concern is space in the case - easy enough (if you have the bullet specs) to determine how much space is left under the bullet. Getting near min OAL is the 'risk' as cases don't all have the same capacity, so when you push limits and have a case at the limit the 'freeplay' can vanish pretty quick.
 

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Suggest you aquire at least 2 more reloading manuals. I have Lymens 49th, Speer 14, Hornady 7th and 3 (40, 45 & 308.) One Book/One Caliber booklets. Plus I've used powder manufacturers data. Have Fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank-you all for responding. Looks like I have more research to do on load data. I hope to get the recipe completed prior to the weather getting bad, so I can reload all my empty brass during the winter. Thanks again for the help. That's what I like about this forum.
 

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As stated before, load for shortest chamber. I also load 9mm for cycleability as I have 1 gun ( sig 228 ) that needs alot of oompfh to cycle. so if it cycles my sig and locks the slide back as well as being accurate. I go with it as I know all my other 9mms should not have a problem.
 

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Maybe just me, but I find the Lee frustrating. They list bullets but not specific, no pics, you are guessing. Then they have data all over the place, often neglecting common powder/bullet combos. Really, Lee is the last manual I go to when working up new loads, but YMMV. Why one should have several manuals.

I have found the Lee manual to be at or near the bottom of my list of useful data sources. It can be useful at times but is almost never the best source for data.

Just having one data source does not cut it when loading. You need to have several and you need to look at all of them before you decide where to start. You also need to understand what the different data sets are really telling you. One set may give the minimum OAL while a different set may give the OAL that was tested.

You need to realize that no data set is perfect for your individual firearm and components. You are responsible for developing your own loads with the published data sets being just suggestions that help guide you.
 

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I have found the Lee manual to be at or near the bottom of my list of useful data sources. It can be useful at times but is almost never the best source for data.

Just having one data source does not cut it when loading. You need to have several and you need to look at all of them before you decide where to start. You also need to understand what the different data sets are really telling you. One set may give the minimum OAL while a different set may give the OAL that was tested.

You need to realize that no data set is perfect for your individual firearm and components. You are responsible for developing your own loads with the published data sets being just suggestions that help guide you.
AMEN!
 

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Like many of the esteemed members of this forum, I do not find the Lee manual especially useful. If you are casting from Lee molds with lead no harder than wheel weights and shooting a revolver then it would be a good resource. For pistol loadings it is on the weak side and a lot of the starting loads will not run many semi-autos out there.

I would, as many others here suggested, get as many other manuals as you can afford or scrounge up. A lot of the powder companies will send you their data free or very cheaply and should be included in your collection. Online sites like Hodgdon's and Western Powder's are also good sources, but a hard copy is always good to have at the bench.
 

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Like many of the esteemed members of this forum, I do not find the Lee manual especially useful. If you are casting from Lee molds with lead no harder than wheel weights and shooting a revolver then it would be a good resource. For pistol loadings it is on the weak side and a lot of the starting loads will not run many semi-autos out there.

I would, as many others here suggested, get as many other manuals as you can afford or scrounge up. A lot of the powder companies will send you their data free or very cheaply and should be included in your collection. Online sites like Hodgdon's and Western Powder's are also good sources, but a hard copy is always good to have at the bench.

Haven't read the entire thread but someone may have already mentioned that LEE's data is simply re-printed powder-makers data; they test nothing. Don't know how Richard (Dick) Lee ever came up with his advice that ball powders should never be compressed when that is literally a matter of the powder's burn rate. Slow sphericals (ball-type) are often compressed in the load data whether rifle or handgun.

A Lyman manual is a must because it's Pressure Rated, the SIERRA, SPEER and Hornady are good, NOSLER has good rifle data but not so much with handgun data. Nowadays, nobody is testing as frequently and giving Pressure RATED data like Western. Bad news, JSG, they recently started charging for shipping but it's only $2.99. You can download it free, but the printed version includes a mini-load-manual. Well worth the $2.99 for shipping. ;)
 
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