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Old 04-05-2010, 21:57   #1
modelflyer2003
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Advice on 9mm OAL

I reloaded my first batch of 9mm, and I want your advice. I made 18 rounds of 115 gr. round nose, Berry plated, Hodgdon Universal 4.2gr, OAL 1.156. I arrived at the OAL after measuring one of my factory UMC rounds. I am not sure what OAL to set. They fit fine in my gage. Range report. I had one failure to chamber. When I dropped the magazine and ejected the round, I saw that the plating got scratched up in the process of chambering. I wondered if it failed to feed because of the OAL or possibly because the low charge (4.2 gr of Universal) failed to move the slide adequately enough. The other rounds worked fine. I am using the deluxe press from Lee and the dispenser seems to not be 100% accurate. I made another lot with the same diameter and powder charge and I will shoot them later this week. Should I change the AOL on them? I believe making them shorter will increase the pressure and the velocity. I dont own a Chrony. My Lyman 49th Ed manual gives only the Max OAL, and the Hodgdon data from the website does not give OAL either. What do you think?<!-- google_ad_section_end -->
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Old 04-05-2010, 22:49   #2
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Well, the Lyman Manual does give Min OAL, but if I remember correctly, their 115 grain sample bullet was a Hornady XTP (hollow point). The max OAL for 9mm was listed as 1.169" in Lee's Modern Reloading. Depending on the powder, the minimum OAL is somewhere around 1.125" (going off of memory, so I would need someone to verify that). I've read that you get better accuracy from using an OAL closer towards the maximum side, so I wouldn't change your OAL. When I was making my test loads using same powder and bullet, I had an OAL of 1.150" and was starting out at 4.5 grains. The rounds did very well out of my Glock 17. What weapon are you using?
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Old 04-05-2010, 23:06   #3
modelflyer2003
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Glock 26. Thanks for you help. I wondered if I was doing right with my OAL. After I shoot what I have made this evening, I think I will increase the powder a little. What is the likeliest reason for the Failure to Chamber? Thanks.

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Old 04-05-2010, 23:38   #4
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I might be wrong but I try to set my OAL the same with my 9mm round nose with all grains at 1.135. With hollow points and flat points I set at 1.120. This is with 5 different powders and so confident that I actually have two separate dies that I used lock tite to set them with. That was taking account all the books and data from the net and they work fine in my 9mm Glocks. Just reload 10 rds at 0.1 increments until you find a favorite load. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
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Old 04-06-2010, 05:26   #5
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I've loaded a Rainier plated 115 grn RN bullet at 1.10 COL. My powder was 4.2 grns of Titegroup. Yes your powder charge is a little on the low side, O.K., if they cycle fine. I came to my COL of 1.10 from listed data, maybe the Hodgdon manual, maybe website too. FYI, I got a 1087 fps average with the 4.2 grns of TG.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:07   #6
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I might be wrong but I try to set my OAL the same with my 9mm round nose with all grains at 1.135. <o:p></o:p>
I am by no means an expert, but I did a BUNCH of research prior to loading my first batch, looking for both suggested powders, and looking at OALs as well.

1.130 - 1.135 appears to be a very common range.

I "neglected" that advice, and went with a much longer OAL of 1.155 and ended up with light loads that shot fine, but were inaccurate. Of course, I could have just dumped MORE powder in, but decided instead to lower my OAL down and worked my load up again. This time I was most interested in achieving a certain power factor (130'ish), and the accuracy I'm getting now is WAY better.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:35   #7
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You could load that bullet at 1.100 to 1.170 and not have problems. It's your charge that is more then likely the problem. The G26 is not as tollerant of low power loads. Personally, I would shorten the length to 1.130 and get the charge into the middle range of that powders data. Assuming the reloading data supports my OAL recommendation (which I have never seen one that doesn't). Do your own research.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:25   #8
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I will say (without a chrono) that OAL when I load 9mm seems to effect felt recoil, so I would assume it would effect pressure/velocity as well. My first batch of titegroup 4.2 at 1.155 was also extremely light. Switching it to 1.130 made a significant difference. I settled at about 1.140 and stuck with that..
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:32   #9
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1.130-1.135 on ANY RN profile projectile.

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Old 04-06-2010, 10:18   #10
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If it fit in a case gauge then I doubt it caused the problem. I have loaded from 1.130 to 1.165 without issues. My guess is your charge was to light. It couldn't hurt to drop your OAL a little though. I load all my 115 RN to 1.140 FWIW and they perform great.
The 26 has a pretty stiff spring IMO, so a low charge may be the culprit.
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:53   #11
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I will say (without a chrono) that OAL when I load 9mm seems to effect felt recoil, so I would assume it would effect pressure/velocity as well. My first batch of titegroup 4.2 at 1.155 was also extremely light. Switching it to 1.130 made a significant difference. I settled at about 1.140 and stuck with that..
Well duh.... decreasing the OAL while maintaining the same amount of powder increases pressure. You're putting the SAME amount of powder into a smaller "space" (decreasing OAL pushes the bottom of the bullet further into the case).

So yes, you're increasing the pressure, and thus increasing the recoil.

When you made the significant of a jump in OAL, I would have dropped powder some and then retested with a chrono.
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:47   #12
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Well duh.... decreasing the OAL while maintaining the same amount of powder increases pressure. You're putting the SAME amount of powder into a smaller "space" (decreasing OAL pushes the bottom of the bullet further into the case).

So yes, you're increasing the pressure, and thus increasing the recoil.

When you made the significant of a jump in OAL, I would have dropped powder some and then retested with a chrono.
Well yes & no. Pressure will certainly increase as the bullet is seated deeper, but pressure are NOT the cause for increased recoil, velocity is. Yes, usually as pressures go up, vel also go up, but not always. I can reach max pressure in a 9mm w/ uberfast powders & still be far from the recoil of the same bullet going 100fps faster w/ slower powder causng less pressures.
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:53   #13
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Same velocity and fast powder will have lower percieved recoil then a slow powder.
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:53   #14
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If it fit in a case gauge then I doubt it caused the problem. I have loaded from 1.130 to 1.165 without issues. My guess is your charge was to light. It couldn't hurt to drop your OAL a little though. I load all my 115 RN to 1.140 FWIW and they perform great.
The 26 has a pretty stiff spring IMO, so a low charge may be the culprit.
Keep in mind that case gages do NOT measure OAL as much as headspace & cartridge spec diameter. There is no rifling to engage so your bbl has to be used as final gage for proper OAL.
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:57   #15
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Keep in mind that case gages do NOT measure OAL as much as headspace & cartridge spec diameter. There is no rifling to engage so your bbl has to be used as final gage for proper OAL.
I did not know this. Thanks Fred.
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Old 04-07-2010, 13:01   #16
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I did not know this. Thanks Fred.
Yep, you magazine design & chamber/rifle in YOUR bbl are what determine max OAL. A case gage is great, but not definative. Always setup usiog the bbl as a gage, then use the case gage as final spot or final check to make sure you have proper crimp & sizing.
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Old 04-07-2010, 13:09   #17
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If you are a case gauge'r the process works like this.

1) Determine correct max OAL using your barrel. Then load a little bit shorter to insure normal oal length variations don't cause any issues in use.
2) Load the ammo and check OAL/weight as you go and as any safe reloader would do.
3) Case gauge the ammo, use your finger to check for high primers
4) Put the ammo in plastic boxes.
5) Final visual inspection of primers and length while in box.
4) Inspect
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Old 04-07-2010, 13:39   #18
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Originally Posted by Colorado4Wheel View Post
If you are a case gauge'r the process works like this.

1) Determine correct max OAL using your barrel. Then load a little bit shorter to insure normal oal length variations don't cause any issues in use.
2) Load the ammo and check OAL/weight as you go and as any safe reloader would do.
3) Case gauge the ammo, use your finger to check for high primers
4) Put the ammo in plastic boxes.
5) Final visual inspection of primers and length while in box.
4) Inspect
You are good Steve!
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Old 04-07-2010, 14:31   #19
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I'm seating my Berry's 115 RN loads to 1.14".

I haven't had a failure to feed and chamber yet.
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Old 04-07-2010, 14:38   #20
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You are good Steve!
Well, I did get two #4's the last one is just a mistake.
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