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Thread: 9mm bullseye shooting and cast boolits

  1. #1
    Boolit Master lablover's Avatar
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    9mm bullseye shooting and cast boolits

    I'd like to try to use my Springfield 9mm XDM match to shoot some CMP next year. I've used 9mm 147 gr Zero JHP and they shoot great. I'd like to give casting a try for my 9mm and was wondering if anyone has a bullet that excels at 25 and 50 yards...YES YARDS. I have titegroup and bullseye powder for all my pistol loads so not sure that helps anyone help me with bullet/load data.

    Look forward to suggestions

    Thanks

    Joe

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    There are probably many available designs that would work well, particularly with all the custom mould makers there are today. I've tried a lot of cast bullets in the 9mm during the last twenty-five years or so. To date, the most accurate bullet I've found is cast of wheelweight alloy using the obsolete Lyman #358212, a roundnose .38 Special design, sized at .358".

  3. #3
    Boolit Master lablover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lotech View Post
    There are probably many available designs that would work well, particularly with all the custom mould makers there are today. I've tried a lot of cast bullets in the 9mm during the last twenty-five years or so. To date, the most accurate bullet I've found is cast of wheelweight alloy using the obsolete Lyman #358212, a roundnose .38 Special design, sized at .358".
    Do you shoot "as cast" or size?

  4. #4
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    I have a Springfield armory Range Officer in 9mm. It really likes the Lyman 356402, The NOE 358-135-FN plain base, and the NOE 358-155-TC(ELCO). The last one, I cast as a hollow point which weighs 147 grains. The previously mentioned Lyman 359212 worked well in my Beretta when I had that mold.
    My pistol prefers near max charges of powder. I haven't tried it at 50 yards yet, but see no reason why it wouldn't do well there.
    I don't resize any of these since they drop right at .358 for me and the pistol feeds them just fine. I tumble lube with White Label X-LOX.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    lablover- I size to .358". I think the as-cast diameter is about .360".

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    Moonie's Avatar
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    I really like this one in my 9mm's. It's by Accurate Molds and has a profile very similar to the Hornady 147gr XTP.

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I shoot the Lee 120 TC sized to .357". The optimum 9mm accuracy is usually found at the upper limits of the load / velocity specs.

  8. #8
    Joe,

    About 30 years ago I had a custom 1911 built in 9mm to practice my skills for what is now called NRA Precision Pistol and I did a lot of testing on the Ransom rest at 25 and 50 yards. I never could get the pistol to shoot as well as my 1911 .38 Special or .45 ACP match guns but it was good enough for practice. I tried the Lyman 356402 TC bullet, the RCBS 124 CN bullet, the Lee 140 SWC, the RCBS 147 flat nose, the Lyman 356637 147 grain flat nose bevel base, the Lyman 358311 158 grain RN bullet and a couple of commercial third-party cast bullets. I apparently tried a 124 grain Lee bullet but my notes are not clear which one as the only notation is "Lee 124 SWC tumbles and keyholes." I think it was one of Lee's tumble lube designs.

    The two best bullets in my testing were the RCBS and Lyman 124 grain bullets with the best loads sometimes averaging less than four inches at 50 yards with AA#2 and Bullseye. If I had to choose between the two, I would go with the Lyman. The RCBS 147 FN and the Lee 140 SWC would shoot into less than two inches at 25 yards but only with warm loads of Unique. The other bullets seldom had groups smaller than 2.5 inches at 25 yards with any powder that I tried. I tried sizing diameters of .355, .356, and .357 and it was generally a toss up between .356 and .357 but I would lean toward .357 today. Back in those days there was still plenty of wheel weights and linotype, so my alloy of choice was half wheel weights and half linotype, which was pretty hard and cast beautifully.

    Good luck,

    Gus Youmans

  9. #9
    Boolit Man retrobass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by igolfat8 View Post
    I shoot the Lee 120 TC sized to .357". The optimum 9mm accuracy is usually found at the upper limits of the load / velocity specs.
    This.


  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    This is from a 9mm target pistol at 50 yards. I have some lead bullets that shoot as well. Getting accurate loads in the 9mm takes more work. Seating depth is more critical than powder charge as I have near max loads as well as some midrange loads that are under 2" @ 50 yards. I have tried about every reasonable powder for 9mm and without question the best has been Power Pistol. Using anything else for the best accuracy has just wasted my time. YMMV

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  11. #11
    Boolit Man retrobass's Avatar
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    Saleen, that is most excellent! I wish I had a nice target pistol that would be capable of such! Mind sharing the cast load you were able to work up?

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by retrobass View Post
    Saleen, that is most excellent! I wish I had a nice target pistol that would be capable of such! Mind sharing the cast load you were able to work up?
    Thanks. Each barrel prefers something different for best accuracy. This one shoots a 147 Flat Nose, sized at .356 with 4.5 grains of Power Pistol and an OAL of 1.12" at or under 2" @ 50 yards. Another barrel will likely prefer something else. The velocity averages 940 FPS so it is not a hot load. One more point, here are two targets I shot free hand @ 25 yards. These targets are 115s that this pistol also shoots pretty well. This is the same load except a change of OAL. Note the difference that 0.035" on OAL makes, it was not all me. IMHO people fool themselves when they keep adjusting powder charge by like 0.2 grains or something thinking they will find that magic load. Seating depth, bullet tension, and size will yield much bigger improvements. Good luck and YMMV


  13. #13
    Being a bullseye shooter too, I've tried a few CB loads, but stuck with jacketed which is required for EIC matches. I did find a very accurate load using a 122 gr. truncated cone CB from Western Nevada and 4.8 gr. of Green Dot. Kinda hot, though. 1" @ 25 yd. I agree with saleen322 about bullet seating depth. 9mm is quirky about that, whereas 45 and 38 aren't so much at all. Every gun is an individual, so YMMV.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Forrest r's Avatar
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    It's hard to beat the bullet lyman came out with in 1900. The 35870 will get you to the promised land. The 38spl shoots a 148gr hbwc. The 9mm holds it's own with a 130gr hb fn (35870 with a custom hb pin).
    [IMG][/IMG]

    The 35870 next to another excellent target bullet for the 9mm, the mihec 125gr.
    [IMG][/IMG]

    That mihec 125gr @ the 50ft line.
    [IMG][/IMG]

    The targets pictured above are not hand picked/cherry picked targets by any means. Nothing more than the test targets used to test target loads for a box stock springfield ro chambered in 9mm.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check