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Thread: I don't like the 9mm, but.....

  1. #1
    Boolit Man docmagnum357's Avatar
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    I don't like the 9mm, but.....

    OK folks, time to get into the 21st century with a barely 20th century cartridge. I cut my teeth on a 44 magnum shooting cast. Loved it. I later learned to love the 357 even more, although it is somewhat vexing with a cast bullet budget. Now I am old and getting more practical. I shoot a lot with 9mm. 9 out of 10 people who come to my classes shoot 9mm. Not a bad round if you overlook fast twist, high pressure, tapered case, limited case capacity, and overall length that must fit a semi auto. Also there is the general use of the 9mm; duty/ concealed carry/ combat pistol sport shooting. None the less....It can make a decent "farmer's gun"
    I had to learn Elmer and Skeeter and co. were right as far as they went. A stoutly loaded 44 special, mild magnum is a beautiful thing. So is a heavy bullet .357. a 38-44 is pretty close to handgun heaven. Problem is it is getting harder to get brass and revolvers. I am gravitating more and more towards an accurized Cz 75 as a daily carry gun. I really like a 120 grain lee TC with powder coated bullets. I think I can find the sweet spot with a 147/ 150 grain round flat nose or really big metplat
    tc and running 1000-1100 feet per second. It should have plenty of penetration. It should have plenty of bearing surface. anyone have experience with this? Buffalo Bore sells a 147 grain " outdoorsman"
    https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=388. It shouldn't be too hard to duplicate with slower powder. Should be a great all around load for the kinds of things a farmer needs; putting down cattle, shooting small game, killing varmints in the chicken house at night, ect.
    I think with the ease of getting used 9mm brass it won't hurt so bad to see a case go in the briar patch. Cz75 and a lot of other full sized 9mms are dead nuts reliable, and can be tuned to acceptable accuracy and not be finicky. Once I get set up I can turn out ammo fast in my Hornady progressive. I can still get wheel weights . Ought to be able to drop WW alloy straight into quench water and then PC for a real simple, straight forward boolit production process. I usually size PC with a Lee push through sizer. Thoughts? anyone have experience with a hard cast 9mm load like this?
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    My CZ 75 SP01 really likes the Lee 358-125-RF sized to .358. The 120 gr TC has to be sized to .357 to be reliable in my CZ. My little LC9s Pro isn't nearly as picky. I can't comment on factory loads or store bought jacketed bullets....

    I grew up shooting a Ruger Security Six, and carried a Colt Government model for 40 years. I scoffed at 9mm pistols. I'm older and somewhat wiser now. I still have my SRH .44 mag that really shoots the Lee 310 gr. boolits well, but traded off almost all of my other handguns. Probably foolishly, except for the .454 that I had. I don't miss that pistol at all!
    Last edited by Tom W.; 09-19-2019 at 09:05 PM.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy marshall623's Avatar
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    I run the 120 Lee TC also , I just air cool COWW with a little tin . I bought the lee mold because I wouldnt have much in it if my little gun didnt like cast . It shot great but was getting some leading and I believe it was the bevel base , I cut the bevel out of my mold and cleaned it up . It drops out at 124 gr. and .358 at the base , but leading pretty much gone .

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  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    You have some good ideas there. Most of what you suggest should work fine. Just make sure you size the boolits properly for your barrel.
    The only problem I see is, I believe you may be a bit optimistic on the velocity you can get with 147 grain boolits. 1100fps is going to be problematic. I know Buffalo Bore lists that velocity but none of the powder manufacturers and none of the bullet manufacturers list anything in that velocity. Most max out at around 1000fps.
    If you can get by with a bit less velocity, you should be in business.

  5. #5
    Boolit Man docmagnum357's Avatar
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    right. Buffalo bore probably uses canister powder we can't get. 100 fps isn't the end of the world. Also no need to beat up my gun
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  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy gnostic's Avatar
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    I like Titegroup and WD 120 grain TC Lee sized .358 in my CZ75. I don't think the CZ75 needs accurizing and mine has gone thousands of rounds without missing a beat. The one thing I don't like about that bullet, is the huge lube groove. Two smaller grooves would allow me to lube one groove if desired rather than two. My CZ oozes bullet lube after a couple hundred rounds.

    My CZ doesn't like 147 grain bullets, I'd have to seat them too deep, same for the Lyman 9mm HP Devastator.
    Last edited by gnostic; 09-20-2019 at 12:07 PM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I too am a revolver man. And a S&W fanatic. I have N, L and K frames as well as Rugers and others.

    I like big 44 and 45 caliber bullets and loud booms. But I love my heavy 357 mag loads the most in my M28's and my Marlins.

    Having said all of that my sons would not stop nagging me about getting a semi auto in 9mm. I told them that I had a semi auto but they said my 1911 didn't count.

    According to them it was time to start using electric lighting and indoor plumbing.

    So I started down the 9mm path, wringing out load after load in a CZ PCR and a 1911 conversion kit that I Frankensteined together.

    I settled on Accurate #5 and a 124 gr LRN. I get a little over 1100 fps with a near max load. This shoots great in all of our guns including a Hi Point carbine.

    I have never gone up to 147 gr but I think 1100 fps is overly optimistic. But I have been wrong before.


    Steve in N CA

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    I just shot my new cz shadow 2 orange and I liked it with a Noe 135 with 3.9 of bullseye

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy Cast_outlaw's Avatar
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    You ca reach your goal I have an 1100fps 158gr load in my 5 Ruger p89 pm me and I will fill you in on the dirty details

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    +1 one the Lee 125 rnfp
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    cz has no throat. So you might want to have it throated to be more reliable. Thats what I did.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master



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    +1 Lee 125 gn round flat.
    I move mine along at 1100fps using titegroup.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I started to think about developing a Buffalo Bore type load for my field pistols. Then considered how often I would need to shoot it, which was not much.

    I decided to buy boxes of Buffalo Bore (.45ACP and 9mm). Keep them stuffed with it when in the field. When shooting at the range I use my regular loads.

    And, yes, I fired enough of the commercial bullets to satisfy myself that they will function reliably in my pistols. FWIW, the recoil is a little snappier but not by much. To practice just load max at same bullet weight. It will be a little slower but you won't notice it. The critical part is to know the POI vs aim point for the hotter loads.

    PS Be careful when choosing the load, especially for the .45's. Buffalo Bore has some loads that would be above the threshold of some pistols. Read their descriptions carefully before ordering.

    PPS I am also a later owner of a 9mm. Always had 1911's and considered that if I am going to carry a full size it should be a .45 Now I have an HK 9mm and I like it a lot. Cheap to feed and very accurate. Modern bullet designs make it suitable for my uses.
    Last edited by charlie b; 09-20-2019 at 11:19 AM.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy Burnt Fingers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomme boy View Post
    cz has no throat. So you might want to have it throated to be more reliable. Thats what I did.
    The majority of 9mm pistols on the market have no throat. It seems no one is actually cutting 9mm chambers to spec.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I am a fan of N frames. The only “fault” I can see with the reasoning of the OP is while revolvers are less common, you only need one. Brass is easier to reclaim with a revolver than a self loader.

    But, I have a HiPower so I am interested in this thread.

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  16. #16
    I have an old school S&W 910 that I use in CMP service pistol matches. My practice load is a 122 gr. lead TC bullet over 4.5 gr. of Green Dot. Accurate and recoil wasn't quite so snappy. If you're looking for a stiff, high velocity load for a 147 gr., then Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook lists 6.3 - 7.1 gr. of Accurate #7 for 1061 FPS, and 4.1 - 4.6 gr. of Power Pistol for 1033 FPS. I've never tried Accurate #7, but I use Power Pistol for my match loads. Power Pistol is arguably the best powder out there for 9mm, IMHO.

  17. #17
    Boolit Man docmagnum357's Avatar
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    I've used CFE pistol, and auto comp, never power pistol. I keep some #7 around. I figure there is some wiggle room, but 1100 fps isn't a set in stone goal. Better to never exceed published data. Especially over 40 silly fps. 7 grains of #7 might prove to be a good load if it is accurate and clean. It seems to be clean in other 9mm loads I use it in.
    I am thinking of having the Cz throated, lead changed to be more friendly to cast. Poster that said most 9mms have to throat is right. I reload for two Berettas and a Cz75, and some other pistols from time to time for freinds. Not much throat in any of them.
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  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master
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    docmagnum357 - I'm going to address some of your points from your first post.

    You seem to be coming at the 9mm with a bit of a negative attitude.
    You wrote: ".....Not a bad round if you overlook fast twist, high pressure, tapered case, limited case capacity, and overall length that must fit a semi auto. Also there is the general use of the 9mm; duty/ concealed carry/ combat pistol sport shooting. None the less....It can make a decent "farmer's gun"..... "

    WOW, no preconceived notions there

    I'm not sure if you're being a bit facetious or if you really feel the 9mm is a bad cartridge that you are being forced to accept in today's world.

    A 9mm certainly isn't a 240+ grain bullet fired from a 44 mag but that doesn't mean it is a horrible round. It almost sounds as if you're accepting defeat before you start.

    The 9mm Parabellum, 9mm Luger, 9 x 19, whatever you want to call it; has been with us since 1902. It is different from the revolver cartridges you mentioned but it is capable of very fine accuracy and, believe it or not....., rather impressive terminal performance. However, it relies more on velocity than mass to achieve that terminal performance.

    I am a firm believer that the 9mm does its best work in the 115 - 125 grain range. The "heavy for caliber" 147 grain loads rob the 9mm of its overall performance. While there's no doubt the 147 grain projectiles can be very accurate, they are just moving too slow to get the best out of that cartridge. The classic American fallacy that " Bigger Must Be Better" plays a large part in the attitudes towards heavy 9mm projectiles. The 147 grain projectile was a sub-sonic round developed for use with suppressors and it caught a following as a standard 9mm projectile. It belongs in suppressed guns and no place else; IMO. I will not deny its accuracy potential but it really takes away from the 9mm's true performance capabilities.

    A 125 grain 9mm +P is not quite in 357 magnum territory but it's getting close and it does it in a high capacity, magazine fed pistol.
    A 125 gain, .357" (ish) diameter bullet, travelling in the neighborhood of 1100-1200 fps is nothing to sneeze at.

    I share your views on the CZ-75 pistol. It is an excellent platform capable of fine accuracy. It is also durable and reliable. The full length, inside the frame slide rails, contribute to its accuracy. The steel frame is durable. The grip is one of the best for a double stack mag and they are reasonably priced. By 1980's standards the CZ-75 was about average in terms of weight; by today's standards it's a bit heavy for a carry gun in that class.
    After 117 years with the 9mm Luger cartridge, we have a LOT of pistols to choose from. I would encourage you to broaden your search a bit. The CZ is a great pistol but it is not the only pistol.

    As for you questions concerning reloading for the 9mm and bullet production, I can say that EVERY 9mm pistol is a story to its own. One of the drawbacks I've encountered with reloading for the 9mm is the need to load for an individual pistol. Chambers, groove diameter, throats, feed ramps, magazine length, etc., are all over the map in 9mm pistols. You're going to have to get the gun first and then load to the gun.
    The 120 gr TC seems to be one of the more universal profiles that works in a lot of pistols AND is an excellent performer to boot. Even there you will need to match the load to the gun. I can't speak to powder coating because I have no experience with it. It would seem to me that if one was going to powder coat for 9mm projectiles, a bullet without lube grooves would give you more bearing surface without needing a heavier bullet.


    Keep us informed.
    Last edited by Petrol & Powder; 09-22-2019 at 08:34 AM.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    I've had 9mm dies for years as well as molds. I owned an assortment of 9mm pistols, mostly military. I had Brn Hi-Powers, S&W 39s and one 1911. Never really got into much special loading for them. A few years ago I got a FN High Power competition model. This pistol shoots very well, close to K38 accuracy win Win Target. So I thought I could do better with cast. I have used 20 different boolits, different sizers and powder. I can't get it to shoot worth a hoot with any cast boolit. I have never encountered this in over 50yrs of reloading. It's got me baffled.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I see what you did there! So did you intentionally start this thread on that exact date (9-19), or did it just happen that way?

    I agree with your assessment of the 9x19 as a farmer's round. I have a 9mm cylinder in an old model Blackhawk that works fine for that purpose. Free brass is a good thing!

    My bullets of choice come from a couple of Lee 6-cavity molds: the .356-124 TLTC and the .358-158 RF. I'm ok with 800-900 fps so i use fast powders like Bullseye. For higher velocity I like medium burners like Herco, 800X and Blue Dot.

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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