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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so first I have a beretta px4 sc that I was shooting factory loads and driving nails really tight group I had a bag of my first loads shot 5 rounds could not even see where they hit 125g 9mm clays powder at 3.5 grains now some would stove pipe made a little to long any ideas what direction to go or just make a bunch of different and go from there I know to shorten oal but go up or down in powder also does length of barrel affect how much powder I should use like with 3in use less or more or does it matter thanks
 

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First, is it Clays or Universal Clays? IMO, Clays is a terrible 9mm powder, too fast. So 125gr what, lead, plated, jacketed? Yes it matters. It sounds like Universal Clays, good 9mm powder. IF it is Universal, then 3.5gr isn't even a starting load for lead bullets so really doesn't work for jacketed. This is likely the problem w/ the gun not functioning. That could also be the accuracy issue, but proper die setup is important. Over crimping is often the culprit of poor accuracy. The bullet is swaged down in size by the crimp & ruins accuracy. Particularly bad w/ lead or plated bullets. The crimp should not be visible to the eye. If in doubt, pull a bullet, if it has a ring around where the case mouth is, it's crimped too much.
Barrel length in service pistols doesn't matter much as to what powder to use. Look at your several manuals, find the vel level you want & a powder that will get you there w/o pushing max loads. I start w/ average middle data, it is more likely to run the gun & give acceptable accuracy. Load NO MORE than 10rds with that load, then increase charge wt 0.1gr & load 10 more, upto average max data. Shoot them in order, note functioning, accuracy & any perssure signs, low or high. Some place in there you'll find the load your gun likes. This is called load developement or load work up. It's the proper way to approach reloading, gives you the most useable data with the least effort, time & cost. Picking starting data & loading 100rds is a sure date w/ your bullet puller. You have much to learn grasshopper. Go slow, ask questions, just make sure you give us enough info to give a decent response, otherwise it's all just a WAG.
 

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You should check your manual, use the suggested OAL and start from starting load with .3 grain of powder increments up to max Make 5 of each load, fire it with a rest at 25yds. Make sure you fire one of each load at a time starting from lowest charge. Also make a dummy round(s) and label it with marker or paint then check if it cycles well on your gun.
 

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You should check your manual, use the suggested OAL and start from starting load with .3 grain of powder increments up to max Make 5 of each load, fire it with a rest at 25yds. Make sure you fire one of each load at a time starting from lowest charge. Also make a dummy round(s) and label it with marker or paint then check if it cycles well on your gun.
With powders faster than say WSF, 0.3gr incremements are too large IMO. You can go from mild to wild in 0.3gr at the top end & w/ some powders, starting to max is only 0.6gr diff. Caution is always the rule when reloading. The only powders I'll go in 0.3gr increments are 2400 & slower & only in large magnum cases.
 

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You should check your manual...
Wrong. That is no more than the minimum COL to be used. You have to find the COL that works in your gun, and it will be longer. If you go below the manual's minimum (why I wouldn't know), then you have to drop the starting load. The COL also will impact accuracy.
For testing, always shoot off the bench.
First, get the Lyman #49 manual. It indicates the loads that showed the most promise for accuracy and will give you an idea of where to start.
The only place where Clays and 9x19 meet is in IDPA and other action shooting sports where the "pros" use heavy bullets and fast powders and walk a tightrope to avoid KBs.
Try powders from 231/HP38 to Blue Dot--particularly consider HS6, WSF, Silhouette, or Power Pistol.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info the powder is hodgon clays on there site it said 3.5 for 125 g bullet but no oal for jhp what I'm using
 

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Thanks for the info the powder is hodgon clays on there site it said 3.5 for 125 g bullet but no oal for jhp what I'm using
Well, Clays is a poor choice IMO for small cap/high prssure rounds like the 9mm. Just look at the load range; 3.5gr is starting & 3.7gr is max! Ouch, that is a KB waiting to happen if you mess up the OAL just 0.03" or so. The other issue w/ Clays, it is prone to pressure spikes. What does that mean? Your loads can be fine one day & then a temp swing or too much crimp or just a bit of setback & the pressure goes vertical. As a noob, I would put that on the shelf & get some WSF or Universal or W231 at the fastest & work with that. You'll be happier for it. The pressure curves are more gentle, as you approach the top end, the pressures stay more linear & do not spike. You can NOT plug & play a JHP vs a FMJ w/o knowing what OAL you are using. As Noylj noted, OAL is very bullet & gun specific. So the OAL in most manuals is a guide, not gospel. Load to the longest OAL your mag/chamber will take, start low & work up your powder charges.
 

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NOYLJ: the manual suggesting the OAL is good for a novice to follow to start up a load. I also suggested for him to do a DUMMY ROUND and have him feed it to see if it cycles right before producing his ammo. If it doesn't cycle right, he'll adjust OAL slightly.

FredJ338: the reason I suggested a .3 grain increments (within the starting and max) is because a .1 grain increments are more than likely not going to show any significant changes when fired at 25y. EXAMPLE: If start load is 3.0 and max 3.6 then so be it. Produce 3.0, 3.3 and 3.6. Work up load. If he stays within the manuals suggested powder loads, then I don't think that it's dangerous. Why would a manual says 3.6 MAX LOAD if it blows up on his face? So if start load starts at 2.5 and max at 2.7, common sense people! Why jump .3 when it is over max?

I've been using Tightgroup with my 9mm (XD9T & Glock17L) 40 S&W (Glock23 & M&P40) and .45ACP (1911a1 & Glock21) with very accurate grouping at 25y using a pistol rest on work up load developement.
 

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NOYLJ: the manual suggesting the OAL is good for a novice to follow to start up a load. I also suggested for him to do a DUMMY ROUND and have him feed it to see if it cycles right before producing his ammo. If it doesn't cycle right, he'll adjust OAL slightly.

FredJ338: the reason I suggested a .3 grain increments (within the starting and max) is because a .1 grain increments are more than likely not going to show any significant changes when fired at 25y. EXAMPLE: If start load is 3.0 and max 3.6 then so be it. Produce 3.0, 3.3 and 3.6. Work up load. If he stays within the manuals suggested powder loads, then I don't think that it's dangerous. Why would a manual says 3.6 MAX LOAD if it blows up on his face? So if start load starts at 2.5 and max at 2.7, common sense people! Why jump .3 when it is over max?

I've been using Tightgroup with my 9mm (XD9T & Glock17L) 40 S&W (Glock23 & M&P40) and .45ACP (1911a1 & Glock21) with very accurate grouping at 25y using a pistol rest on work up load developement.
It's just unsafe call for certain powders, Clays being one. A 0.3gr increase is over max. You just can't make blanket statements like that, the powder chosen matters. You are also failing to understand pressure spikes. Certain powders, like Clays, TG too, yields a certain pressure curve, then when you reach max & go over, the curve goes vertical. SO yes, it is unsafe. Suggesting 0.3gr increases IS UNSAFE w/ CLays & other uberfast powders. You need to understand this, it will save you an accident some day. Just trying to keep everyone safe.
BTW, his is not an accuracy issue but functioning issue. A 0.1gr diff w/ an uberfast powder like Clays or TG will cerainly make a diff in the small 9mm case. Again, when dealing w/ powders faster than WST & in small volumn high pressure rounds like the 9mm & 40, everything happens faster, pressures build faster. Small changes in charge wt or OAL or bullet wt matter, sometimes quite a lot.
 
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