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Best Powder for 9mm 147 grain FMJ


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#1 ewsIII

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 03:54 PM

Fairly new to the reloading world and have a couple questions. I am currently loading a 147 grain Zero FMJ to the current specs:

147 grain Zero FMJ
3.0 grains of Titegroup (tested up to 3.4 grains with same accuracy)
1.140" OAL (Played some with OAL for accuracy but not much)
CCI 500 primer
Shooting out of a Glock 17

I am getting pretty descent accuracy, but think it could be better. I am loading for IDPA and want a powder that will give great accuracy while maintaining a relatively low power factor, around 130,000. Can anyone recommend a quality powder that is known to be accurate under this expectations. I have read good things about VV340(not as easy to come by locally) WSF and Unique, but wondered what the consensus here is. Thanks in advance for any recommendations.

Edited by ewsIII, 22 January 2008 - 03:59 PM.


#2 Carlos

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 04:14 PM

Question is: what are your PERSONAL accuracy demands?

The load/combo you have been testing should be MORE than accurate enough for IDPA. Please remember that IDPA has limits on the distance at whcih targets can be placed. For some reason though, your current load seems to be insufficient to meet your expectations?

Can I ask what you expect from your load/gun at what distance?

In any event, at the accuracy extremes of the 9mm handgun, some 50 yard Bullseye shooters are getting well under 3" groups at 50 yards (this is of course far more than anyone shooting IDPA would ever need or realize). The thread is HERE or try: http://www.brianenos...showtopic=59057

There is a 147 load listed in a recent thread about their loads, though they use guns other than your G17. While the load listed there is no doubt accurate, I'd suggest to you the following: focus more on the other critical element of your IDPA shooting: time - and not expend any more effort on fidling or testing an alread adequate IDPA load (the 3.4 grn one in your first post).

Regards,

D.

PS - I would avoid Unique at all costs; it is filthy, smokey, and temp sensitive PLUS it will kick harder than your TG load. If you explore V V brand (an excellent, though expensive powder), your needs might be best served by a 147 and either N330 or N320.

Edited by Carlos, 22 January 2008 - 04:17 PM.

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#3 ewsIII

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 05:11 PM

Carlos,
Not saying my current load is insufficient. It does shoot well. I am just trying to find the best combo of accuracy and "felt" recoil. Titegroup is the first powder I have tried and the 147's are the first batch of bullets I have bought. I am trying to learn as much as I can and credit this forum for a lot of help. Thanks for the response!

#4 Carlos

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 05:23 PM

Happy to help out. I think your current TG load is excellent for felt recoil. Plus, its in the loading manuals and is therefore safe to use. Accuracy with TG is usually great (unless you try using plated bullets - but that's another issue).

As far as felt recoil, there ARE options for even softer loads than TG and the 147 - but they are not published and probably not good choices just starting out. In the 2005 IDPA S&W Winter Nationals, Phil Strader took 2nd place in SSP with a Glock 17 using the 147 grn Zero JHP; I know because I loaded the ammo he used for that match. The load, while similar to yours, shot softer by virtue of N-310 powder. How much softer than your TG load? Not much. And the load is not a published one. There are others using an unpublished load using straight clays powder - but again, its not published and I cant' vouch for its safety.

I think you are probably doing great so far in using excellent bullets & a safe, low recoil, clean consistent powder.

Regards,

D.

Edited by Carlos, 22 January 2008 - 05:25 PM.

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#5 HSMITH

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 05:32 PM

Some of the most accurate 9mm and 40 loads I have ever shot have been with Winchester Super Field. 130pf isn't going to feel much different with Super Field than it does with TG.

#6 Joe D

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 06:32 PM

I shot that same load for years. I cannot think of a better one. 3.0 of TG is just about perfect. Goes about 865 fps out of a G34. I shot a 5 round group at 25 yards that could be covered by a nickel. Was out of a G34, but the G17 should not be far behind. I used plated bullets but jacketed bullets should be just as accurate.

#7 ewsIII

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 07:01 PM

Thanks for the inputs. Like I said previously, I am new to this and just wanted to make sure I was on the right track. How much can be gained by experimenting with OAL?

Edited by ewsIII, 22 January 2008 - 07:14 PM.


#8 SA Friday

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 07:08 PM

3.1gr Titegroup
1.12 OAL
mix brass
WSP primers

130pf

add to glock 17 and fire.

Edited by SA Friday, 23 January 2008 - 07:04 AM.

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#9 Canuck-IL

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 08:56 PM

Experimenting with OAL...?

Back to the original response by Carlos - you've got a reliable load that feeds reliably (OAL) ... toward what end do you want to experiment with the length? If you shorten it, you'll increase the pressure...lengthen it, the opposite. One or the other and maybe both might bring you feeding problems.

But why? The time (and expense!) is better spent shooting than experimenting when there is no definite goal in mind.
/Bryan

#10 RePete

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 09:27 PM

I was using Bullseye and tried TiteGroup, but I'm now loading 3.9gr Unique under the 147 CMJ.
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#11 gm iprod

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 01:41 AM

I have tried the following and found them all to be very good to spectacular in a variety of handguns.

The only handgun I used for Production was a Glock 17, this is as close to IDPA style shooting I have done, so I will stick to what I am sure of.

147gr Zero JHP 1.125" 3.1gr TG = 875fps, soft easy to manage recoil, quick return to target.
I have substituted the MG 147gr due to shortage of Zero, accuracy was not quite as good but you will not miss the A zone at 50y due to the bullet change.

147gr Polymer Coated Lead 3.2gr V V N320, 5" at 50Y, 1.5 - 2" at 25Y. Slightly softer than TG load above, slightly slower back on target. Cn't recall velocity but made 125pf with a bit to spare.

3.0gr Clays with 147gr JHP = 851fps, Clays proved to be a little too quick with the lead or plated, but you can make 125-127pf easy enough with JHP or similar, accuracy was excellent, but I found no margin for chronograph.

WST too fast as you get to 125pf pressures go a little silly. Accuracy is awesome at 110-115pf, no recoil and nice return, great powder for kids and novices with either Jacketed or Lead

At 127-130pf WSF a little too dirty for my liking, nice and soft but return to target was mushy. Accuracy was good to very good. Push to 140pf and a little above WSF came on very clean, brisk but not too snappy recoil, good accuracy.

Universal Clays is also popular here with some, but I found it a little dirty unless you push it along, way better with Jacketed.
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#12 Joe D

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 03:12 AM

I think I am starting to like Solo 1000. I asked a shooting bud of mine during a match Sunday what he thought about the smoke I was getting with Solo and moly bullets. His response was "What smoke?".
The recoil pulse is about like TG. I am going to do some more chrono work this weekend. I am thinking 3.0 to 3.2 with a 147 should be about right.
I am going to get some 147-160 gr lead bullets to try next week.
One can make Clays work with a 147-160 gr bullet. What I have found with Clays is you have to load the bullets long or they will tumble. I have not settled on OAL yet with Clays. I do know they need to be a minimum of 1.150".
I find it interesting, as more of us refuse to pay the high price for jacketed/plated bullets, how powders that work well in .45ACP with lead bullets might not be so good with the higher pressure 9mm and .40 rounds. I know TG smokes like a train with lead bullets.
I have noticed that as you go down with the nitroglycerin percent the smoke level reduces also. TG has a very high percentage of nitro. Clays is much lower. American Select is also very low. Solo 1000 has none.

#13 vluc

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 03:58 AM

147 gr Zero JHP
3.4 grains of Titegroup
OAL 1.125
PF 138.9 in a G34 135 in a G17

147 gr Zero FMJ
3.4 grains of Titegroup
OAL 1.158
PF 137 in a G34 133 in a G17

Super accurate, super soft (more accurate and soft than I am).
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#14 Flexmoney

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 08:16 AM

ewsIII,

You have some of the best components. TG and Zero 147's are a highly regarded combo. You have already heard from some of the best 9mm load tinkerers. You might play with loads forever, and only get a slight margin of performance boost for your efforts.

So, if that load won't shoot for you, then we might look for reasons why. It could be the gun (stock Glocks are pretty decent, but not bullseye guns...some are better than others). It could be how the loads are put together (good, consistent powder charge, consistent bullet seating, etc.). It could be the shooter (Master of trigger control? In a Glock? Grip and stance. General group shooting ability?)

You can probably get some feedback if you were to post the groups that you actually fired, and the manner in which you fired them. And, perhaps fire and post a control...shoot some groups with Winchester Val-u-pak ammo as a comparison.
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#15 ewsIII

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 10:28 AM

Flex,
Thanks for the input. I did indeed shoot some groups and compared them to WWB 115's. At 50 feet, I shot three different strings, one with 3.0grains, one with 3.2 and one with 3.4 grains. each string was about 10-12 shots. Each group measured on average 2-2.25" inches and about 1.5" to the right. All shots were shot freestyle. I don't think it will get too much better playing with the ammo, probably only with more trigger time.

Edited by ewsIII, 23 January 2008 - 02:51 PM.


#16 BOGA

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 09:48 PM

I use VV N310 and 147gr

#17 Braxton1

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 06:10 AM

For those of you using the VV-310: What amount for a 147 JHP?

I read 3.1 somewhere. I loaded 10 of 'em and they felt a little bit snappy. Maybe the pressure curve was different and I need to go back to a heavier spring, but I just wanted to check with y'all.

Somebody gave me 4 lbs. of it, so I want to use it somewhere (I don't load 25ACP, so the loading manual is worthless...)

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#18 bigsaxdog

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 08:15 AM

147zero's--AA american select-3.7grs.......red dot-3.3grs......both work good. flake powders(like clay's), so load density is good.
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#19 DougCarden

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 03:07 PM

Bruce, load them out to at least 1.130 and chrono from there with that load........I think you will like them, my XD loves them.....
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#20 Cherryriver

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 10:33 AM

Berry's 147s and 4.0gr Winchester Super-Field (WSF)... lovely stuff, quiet and gentle.
Close to 900fps as I recall from last summer, plenty for minor.
If I back down to around 3.3 and lighten the recoil spring, the gun (Colt 1911) runs fine, but the brass dribbles down your hand and it recoils so little I have to look down to see that I didn't accidentally pick up my homebuilt rimfire 1911.
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#21 open17

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 10:44 AM

For those of you using the VV-310: What amount for a 147 JHP?

I read 3.1 somewhere. I loaded 10 of 'em and they felt a little bit snappy. Maybe the pressure curve was different and I need to go back to a heavier spring, but I just wanted to check with y'all.

Somebody gave me 4 lbs. of it, so I want to use it somewhere (I don't load 25ACP, so the loading manual is worthless...)


310 is pushing the envelope with a 147 in 9mm. 320 might be a better choice. I have used
N310 with a 180 on 40 cal for a minor load, and with a 230 in 45 minor.
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#22 rhyrlik

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 10:43 PM

I like 4.5 grains of AA#5, 3.3 grains of WW231, 4.5 grains of H. Longshot, and 3.3 grains of Bullseye.

#23 DougCarden

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 07:19 AM

Most accurate in my guns.....VV 310, Titegroup, Win 231, Nitro 100, Clays....in that order......
I dont use TG anymore as it burns too hot, and Nitro 100 is kinda on the edge like Clays is....VV310 is the best I have found, but you have to load it out to a longer OAL than book, 1.130......
I am going to try Solo 1000 when I get some more bullets in....

Hope this helps,
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#24 rvb

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 08:23 AM

I've probably loaded 60k 147 jhp zeros w/ 3.35 TG (1.150" oal) over the last couple years since I started reloading. Great load. (132 pf from my Beretta). TG meters out of the dillon very consistantly, too. I've shot some of the VA guys loads w/ N310 and I do like it better, but not better enough to justify the extra powder cost and availability issues (TG is easy to find and cheap).

Some people complain TG is dirty, but with 147s it's such a fine sooty dirt that it never gums up the works (I have a Beretta I practice with that I haven't cleaned in 20k rounds). If you use it in a lower pressure load (like behind 115s) it seems to not burn fully and you get flaky dirty stuff.

I've never really tinkered with different loads for accuracy. This load can keep it inside the Azone at 50yds. I'm lazy and hate reloading so that was good enough for me... there's more important things in my game to spend the time/ammo improving...

Hope that helps.
-rvb

Edited by rvb, 22 February 2008 - 08:24 AM.

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