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The love for WST and 9mm Luger cartridge


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#1 Art Yeo

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 04:40 PM

Not longer ago, a friend of mine, who competes in IDPA, swears by WST for his 9mm luger cartridges. I got curious and tried some of the loads he recommended and they were quite good but I had problems getting consistency. I am still testing the loads for accuracy.

Well, I got more curious when I noticed that across 5 of my loading manuals, not a single one has any published data for the WST + 9mm Luger combination. So, I Googled a little and found someone saying that he wrote to Winchester and they repeatedly told him the lab cannot find safe loading data that can be published.

I have written to Winchester and will let you all know what they say when they respond.

In the meantime, are we taking too much risks slapping WST into 9mm Luger cartridges when:
  • No major manuals released any data for WST and 9mm Luger that I know of
  • the manufacturer did not release any loading data for such a popular cartridge as 9mm Luger

What are your thoughts on this? Did they see some unusual behavior in that combination that halted them from publishing any data? Any one know of any internal gossips and theories?

Edited by Art Yeo, 20 October 2012 - 09:55 PM.

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#2 cecil

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 05:04 PM

Not longer ago, a friend of mine, who competes in IDPA, swears by WST for his 9mm luger cartridges. I got curious and tried some of the loads he recommended and they were quite good but I had problems getting consistency. I am still testing the loads for accuracy.

Well, I got more curious when I noticed that across 5 of my loading manuals, not a single one has any published data for the WST + 9mm Luger combination. So, I Googled a little and found someone saying that he wrote to Winchester and they repeatedly told him the lab cannot find safe loading data that can be published.

I have written to Winchester and will let you all know what they say when they respond.

In the meantime, are we taking too much risks slapping WST into 9mm Luger cartridges when:

  • No major manuals released any data for WST and 9mm Luger that I know of
  • the manufacturer did not release any loading data for the 9mm Luger cartridge

What are your thoughts on this? Did they see some unusual behavior in that combination that halted them from publishing any data? Any one know of any internal gossips and theories?


call Winchester directly.... good folks ..

#3 PingJockey

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 05:21 PM

I guess my question would be. Why would you want to use WST in 9mm Luger when, IMO, there are much better choices. According to my VV burn rate chart, WST is faster than W231, N310, Titegroup, and Bullseye, just to name a few. Can you make it work? sure/probably, but a small mistake could be costly.

Edited by PingJockey, 20 October 2012 - 05:22 PM.


#4 Art Yeo

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 05:26 PM

I guess my question would be. Why would you want to use WST in 9mm Luger when, IMO, there are much better choices. According to my VV burn rate chart, WST is faster than W231, N310, Titegroup, and Bullseye, just to name a few. Can you make it work? sure/probably, but a small mistake could be costly.


May be my eyes are playing tricks on me but the burn rate chart published by Hodgdon seems to say otherwise about the group of powders in your list in comparison to WST
http://www.hodgdon.com/burn-rate.html

Edited by Art Yeo, 20 October 2012 - 06:55 PM.

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#5 superdude

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 05:53 PM

Burn Rate charts seldom agree, and often have different ranking for a wide range of gunpowders.

The Ramshot (Western Powders) burn rate chart rates N310 as faster than WST. It also lists Titegroup as slower than 231, which is the opposite of the Hodgdon chart.
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#6 splitime

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 06:26 PM

I've been doing a load with them that shoots pretty well, but is most likely below minor power loads.

4.4gr of WST
124gr JHP @ 1.10 OAL (going from memory here, don't have load book on hand)
124gr RN @ 1.14 OAL (also from memory

From what I've found here, about 4.6gr should get me the power levels I should eventually get to (i don't shoot for points yet).... but without a chronograph and until i'm going for points... this load works for me.

#7 Art Yeo

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 06:36 PM

I'm hesitant to share my loads but what the heck ... here they are:

!!!!!!! USUAL DISCLAIMER: USE AT YOUR OWN RISKS !!!!!!!!!

124gr FMJ: 4.8-5.0gr (1048-1113fps): OAL=1.15"

!!!!!!! USUAL DISCLAIMER: USE AT YOUR OWN RISKS !!!!!!!!!


Reasonably above average in accuracy but I'm still exploring.

Edited by Art Yeo, 20 October 2012 - 06:38 PM.

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#8 PingJockey

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 06:43 PM


I guess my question would be. Why would you want to use WST in 9mm Luger when, IMO, there are much better choices. According to my VV burn rate chart, WST is faster than W231, N310, Titegroup, and Bullseye, just to name a few. Can you make it work? sure/probably, but a small mistake could be costly.


May be my eyes are playing trciks on me but the burn rate chart published by Hodgdon seems to say otherwise about the group of powders in your list in comparison to WST
http://www.hodgdon.com/burn-rate.html

I'm not saying either one is correct, but the Hogdon chart rates the fastest to slowest. The VV chart rates fastest to slowest, but also shows the burn rate relationship to the other powders.
VV burn rate chart
As I said before, you can probably make WST work, but there is a reason that it's not recommended.

#9 njl

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 08:44 PM

Not longer ago, a friend of mine, who competes in IDPA, swears by WST for his 9mm luger cartridges. I got curious and tried some of the loads he recommended and they were quite good but I had problems getting consistency. I am still testing the loads for accuracy.

Well, I got more curious when I noticed that across 5 of my loading manuals, not a single one has any published data for the WST + 9mm Luger combination. So, I Googled a little and found someone saying that he wrote to Winchester and they repeatedly told him the lab cannot find safe loading data that can be published.

I have written to Winchester and will let you all know what they say when they respond.

..
Doesn't Hodgdon produce Winchester powders? I wrote Hodgdon about this a couple of years ago. Their response:

Winchester has never offered any data for WST in the 9mm. I have looked
into this question and asked a few folks who have been around Winchester
powders for a long time. The response is that WST was not a good actor
in this cartridge over all bullet weights and in all temperatures. It
tended to offer a surprise now and again with a high pressure excursion.
This trait is not present in 231, 540, 571, WSF or WSL. This is not too
unusual. When a product is very specifically designed to perform in one
environment, its geometry or chemistry or both may not be suitable for
another environment. We see the same thing in Hodgdon International.

I looked back through my Sierra, Speer, Hornady, Hodgdon, Winchester
Manuals and never found a reference to using WST in the 9mm. There are
some references to other pistol cartridges where it did work out. My
guess is it did not like the small combustion chamber of the 9mm
operating at the higher pressures of the 9mm.


I've done some 9mm WST loads, particularly for moly coated lead, where Universal is just way too smoky. I haven't blown up any guns, but I'm not looking for anything more than just minor PF. For jacketed, Universal does just fine for me and is a much more accepted powder for the caliber.

#10 Art Yeo

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:00 PM

Thanks for your quote from Hodgdon, it's quite illuminating.
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#11 Action Pistolero

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:07 PM

That VV burn rate chart is a mess. I would also not trust it as it shows HP-38 as being faster than 231. Same stuff.

I trust the one from Hodgdon much more simply because they now make Winchester powders.

I made up my own load for 9x23 and also use it in 38 Spl. I don't like it in a 9mm because of case capacity. If you aren't compressing the powder it's damn close. I believe it needs a little air space in the case.

#12 al503

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:11 PM

I did some testing of WST in 9mm. My bud and I hated it (compared to several other powders we were testing at the same time). It felt like a firecracker going off in your hand every shot.

I do use it in .40 as it was the most accurate and I didn't notice the 'pop' shooting major.

If you haven't tried any other powder, you might want to.

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#13 Art Yeo

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:18 PM

[...]
I don't like it in a 9mm because of case capacity. If you aren't compressing the powder it's damn close. I believe it needs a little air space in the case.


Yes, if I wanted to reach certain speeds, the cases were, indeed, quite full; possibly slightly compressed.

Edited by Art Yeo, 20 October 2012 - 09:18 PM.

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#14 blind bat

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 09:41 PM

I'm surprised there isn't more love for WST. I find it very similar to S1000 but it smells a lot better. I mainly use it for jacketed steel loads and lead. Accuracy is very good and the recoil is pleasant.

#15 FightFireJay

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 02:15 PM

I think the main issue with WST is that it would barely (at best) meet minimum power factor for 9mm or .40 within SAAMI specs. Some folks have said there is some load info in older out of print manuals, but any way you look at it you will be on the cusp of safety if you are trying to make power factor.

On the other hand, if you have a firearm that allows you to load well beyond standard OAL, then WST may work well for you since you have that extra margin of safety. I have read that several people that load long in 1911/2011 use it quite a bit with good results and no high pressure signs.

#16 Art Yeo

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 03:12 PM

What you said made sense.

Thinking through the whole process of a discharge led me to suspect that these 2 properties of WST added together may have contributed to its unsuitability for the 9mm Luger cartridge:
  • load density: WST occupies a lot of physical space. In order to load it enough for the speed I want, the case is pretty close to full. This means the load density is high and we all know that high load density produces higher pressure. On a Pressure/Time curve, I believe it pushes the peak higher; i.e. the curve peaks higher on the Y-axis. Other fast powders tends to be loaded with low load-density; e.g. Titegroup (TG) or Bullseye (BE). I do not need to fill the case up with BE or TG to get the speed I want. So, the peaks of their Pressure/Time curve is lower.
  • burnt-rate: The burnt-rate of WST is considered fast. This means its Pressure/Time curve is shifted to the left on X-axis, compared to slower powder; that is to say the pressure spike is swift and it take a lot shorter time to reach the peak. Now, if you compare this property to powders that fill the case up for 9mm, they are not considered fast powder. So their Pressure/Time curve is not shifted so much to the left along the X-axis.

I think [1] is what compounded the discharge characteristics of WST in 9mm Luger cases. I bet the powders that are published with data for the 9mm Luger do not possess these 2 properties together; i.e. they either have one of these properties or the other but not both.

Edited by Art Yeo, 21 October 2012 - 03:24 PM.

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#17 Boxerglocker

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 03:24 PM

My standard 9mm load using 135RN Bear Creek moly bullets is 4.0 WST at 1.150 OAL. I have loaded and shot thousands upon thousands. Very soft shooting and accurate, very little smoke. The last State IDPA match I competed in my loads chronographed at 1020, 1020, 1005 respectively.
I have never had any issues with pressure signs and have chronoed in both summer and winter with very little if any variance.
I use this load for both my STI Spartan 9mm and Glock G34 with a LWD barrel.

Edited by Boxerglocker, 21 October 2012 - 04:51 PM.


#18 Art Yeo

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 03:43 PM

Here's another thread quoting from one more phone call to Hodgdon ...

http://smith-wessonf...-wst-users.html

I am pretty sure there are hundreds of people out there loading WST into their 9mm Luger cartridges. Who knows what they are doing: whether their loads are soft plinking loads or loads meeting majors or +P loads.

Personally, I believe I have enough evidence and I will use the rest of my WST for 45ACP. I can shoot 15,000 rounds without a hitch but I only need one unfriendly discharge to ruin the day. And, why do I want to take that risk when the manufacturer already told me not to?

Like many have said, there are so many other powders listed with published data. Is WST in 9mm Luger the only powder that will help me win the national title or take down an assailant?

Edited by Art Yeo, 21 October 2012 - 03:44 PM.

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#19 CocoBolo

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 03:45 PM

My standard 9mm load using 135RN Bear Creek moly bullets is 4.0 WST at 1.150 OAL. I have loaded and shot thousands upon thousands. Very soft shooting and accurate, very little smoke. The last State IDPA match I competed in my loads chronographed at 1020, 1020, 1005 respectively.
I have never had any issues with pressure signs and have chronoed in both summer and winter with very little if any variance.
I use this load for both my STS Spartan 9mm and Glock G34 with a LWD barrel.


First my credentials, I shoot 9 major, loading 10gr of AA#7 behind a 125gr Zero JHP in a 9 mm luger, says I don't follow the rules, take chances, play outside the toy box etc.

I had to load some 9 mm for the Area 8 Championship a couple years ago for my Marine Son In Law, so I had wst and some RN 124gr Montana golds so since I didn't have his gun to test with I used one of my 4" guns, with his 5" he wold be good if I took it to 130-135pf.

Now the rest of the story. To make a good 135pf Minor with 124gr MTG jacketed I had to work up to 4.7gr. The ES and SD were not very good but acceptable and the accuracy was good enought. In looking at the condition of the primers and there were CCI and the brass it was obvious to me that this round was a bit over the normal pressure range but no where near what my 9 major loads do to a primer or case. I could get to the same PF with only 4.3gr of TiteGroup for comparison. The recoil was similar from both. I went with the WST since I've shot a ton of it in 40 and 45. Bottom line, use N320 way better shooting more consistent and way less pressure, if you are a pressure phobic, use 4.8gr of IMR7625, suprizingly nice low recoil shooting.

Now the reason I quoted is I shoot some 9 minor using WST and Bayou 135gr Bullets, and the same charge 4.0 gr, very nice shooting and accurate.

Bottom line, use N320 with Jaketed bullets way better shooting more consistent and way less pressure, if you are a pressure phobic, use 4.8gr of IMR7625.

For Moly bullets like Bayou 135gr I think you can get very good performance at safe pressures. I've not done the 147gr or 160gr with WST but why go there when the 135gr is so sweet.

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#20 Art Yeo

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 04:13 PM

[...]
I went with the WST since I've shot a ton of it in 40 and 45. Bottom line, use N320 way better shooting more consistent and way less pressure, if you are a pressure phobic, use 4.8gr of IMR7625, suprizingly nice low recoil shooting.
[...]


40SW and 45ACP with WST is fine: there are lots of published data for these cartridges.
I have not seen data from old manuals (which some of you have) that included 9mm with WST but such data are all pulled out in the current manuals.

Edited by Art Yeo, 21 October 2012 - 04:15 PM.

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#21 Shadowrider

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 04:15 PM

I've shot about 15lbs of WST so far and the better part of it was in 9mm. However my load is a 147 grain hardcast lead bullet loaded to 130 - 132 PF lit by Federal or Winchester primers. That's about as far as you want to take it. It starts getting pretty erratic with the ES & SD and you can see it get bigger as you go higher. I could be wrong, but that tells me it's not a good candidate for full pressure 9mm loads using jacketed bullets. But that's not what I'm wanting and if I do want that there are many other powders to give it to me. For 9 minor lead bullet (coated or not) loads it's just fine. WST is always available, priced reasonably and meters like water. Not many powders that I can load for months at a time and never touch my measure adjustment. Now I use it in 9mm, .40 major (loaded long), and .45. I consider it the best USPSA powder out there.

Edited by Shadowrider, 21 October 2012 - 04:19 PM.


#22 Art Yeo

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 06:37 AM

The response from Winchester/Hodgdon was dropped into my Inbox bright and early this morning. Unfortunately, it is a restricted email so I cannot slap it in here in full.

But, I can summarize/paraphrase it:
  • Yes, we do not publish data for WST to be used for 9mm Luger. We also do not publish data for many other powder for the 9mm.
  • Since there are many unsuitable powders for the 9mm Luger, it is impossible for us to publish reasons for their exclusion.
  • A thinking person who is doing reloading should know that it is not wise to use a powder for a cartridge when the powder is excluded from the list for that cartridge.

And, this response came from manager for their CS dept.

Edited by Art Yeo, 22 October 2012 - 07:21 AM.

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#23 PingJockey

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 07:04 AM

The response from Winchester/Hodgdon was dropped into my Inbox bright and early this morning. Unfortunately, it is a restricted email so I cannot slap it in here in full.

But, I can summarize/paraphrase it:

  • Yes, we do not publish data for WST to be used for 9mm Luger. We also do not publish data for many other powder for the 9mm.
  • Since there are many unsuitable powders for the 9mm Luger, it is impossible for us to publish reasons for their exclusion.
  • A thinking person who is doing reloading should know that it is not wise to use a powder for a cartridge when the powder is excluded from the list for that cartridge.

And, this is response came from manager for their CS dept.

WOW! The CS rep. must have got up on the wrong side of the bed.

#24 Boxerglocker

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 07:16 AM

Here's an except from a 9mm "Load Books" obviously a older one but at one point it definitely proves data was published for WST.

Posted Image

#25 Art Yeo

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 07:33 AM

WOW! The CS rep. must have got up on the wrong side of the bed.


It's a typical CYA behavior when a corporation can smell anything that even mildly resembles a legal issue.
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