Need a load for 9mm

  • Last Post 29 October 2022
amb1935 posted this 20 July 2009

I need a good load for my new Springfield XD 9mm bullet - Lee TL356-124-2R I really just want to shoot paper with this.  Should I use air cooled WW or water drop?  I would like to use red dot powder if at all possible.  Hopefully one of you geniuses can bless me with your wisdom.  Thanks!

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max503 posted this 29 October 2022

Powder coated Lee 124 grain TCTL bullets and Unique work very well in my Glock 26.5.  I cast those with a 2 cavity mold.  Seems to me that anything out of a 6 cavity Lee mold doesn't shoot as consistently because of bullet-to-bullet variation.  And I stay below 5 grains of powder.  Size to .358.

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Aaron posted this 28 October 2022

The 9mm cast bullet handload will make grown men cry. It is a challenging caliber to cast for. Here is what I learned:

Alloy should be Lyman #2 hard or harder. The 9mm cartridge is an "intense" cartridge with regard to chamber pressure and pressure needs to peak quickly. Cartridge needs high pressure - quickly.

Bullet should be .001 over groove diameter. Anything less almost guarantees slippage.

Taper crimp tension needs to be perfect for headspace.

The Lee bullet chosen appears to be a bore riding nose so you may avoid chambering issues with sizing .001 over groove diameter.

Do everything you can to get some, and use, Accurate #7 powder. While I have used a variety of powders with less than stellar results, Accurate #7 solved all of the issues I was having.

When you are ready to quit for any of the many humbling lessons you are about to learn with handloading the 9mm with cast bullets, seek the post reply from the user who has been a member for 20 years but only has made 7 posts. They are usually short (5 words or less) but balls-on accurate.

To ensure chambering in a multitude of different firearms, I have settled on the Lyman 356402 Truncated Cone bullet pushed with Accurate #7 powder. The truncated cone eliminates chambering issues with a properly sized bullet. Your Lee bullet looks like it will work too with its smaller diameter nose.



With rifle in hand, I confidently go forth into the darkness.

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Little Debbie posted this 28 October 2022

Just saw the date on the original post!  Obviously I’m not one of the geniuses the guy was hoping to get in for from.

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Little Debbie posted this 28 October 2022

Air cooled wheel weights will work fine.   So will 4.0 grains of RedDot if it will cycle the pistol. I’m guessing it will.

I’ve found that most nines do fine with “as cast” bullets as long as long as they’ll chamber.  I am guessing they will as most service grade 9x19 chambers are generous in size.

This means a coat or two of some form of tumble lube is all you need. 45/45/10 works as does Ben’s TL which dries quicker and harder.

Several types of cast bullets in 9mm have always shot as well or better than most 9mm ball in my pistols and carbines. So did the soft swaged 9mm bullets that I shot by the thousands in the seventies.  Speer and Hornady swaged RN 9mm bullets were readily available back then, more so than jacketed.  Then the 9mm revolution hit and 9mm jacketed bullets became available in bulk, frequently cheaper than the swaged lead.

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Wineman posted this 28 October 2022

Second the 5 grains of Unique. Also, seat the bullet to kiss the lands without sticking in them. Longer is always better up to "I can't rack the slide".

Dave C

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BJung posted this 25 October 2022

I forgot to add, bullet hardness is important too. I use range lead for my TC target bullets. After I make my ingots and let them sit for a month or more, I use a pencil to scrape the surface to get a general idea how hard that lead is. I use the softest lead for my 38 wadcutters and .45 SWC loads. The harder or midrange lead ingots I melt together can cast my 9mm bullets. Some are saying that 17-18 bhn is good. 

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BJung posted this 25 October 2022

You need to slug your bareel to determine its bore; otherwise you experience leading and accuracy issues. To do so, the least expensive and simplest way is to find a drill bit that is slightly larger than your bore. Drill a shallow hole into a 2x4. Then, find some split shot fishing sinkers and melt than into a folded piece of metal or spoon you plan to discard and then pour that pure lead into the hole. Take a knife and dig out the lead and grease it. Using a wooden down, hammer this small piece of lead through your bore and then measure its diameter with a micromenter. Your resized PC bullet should be .001-.002" over this. I don't water drop my bullets anymore. I air cool my cast bullets and PC bullets. Then, I let the bullets sit and age for awhile because the hardness will change as the molecules stabilize. I will do a test to compare water to air cool to aged bullets in the future. My best load testing Lee 9-122-124gr TC bullets using Bullseye, Red Dot, and Blue Dot was 3.6gr Bullseye with an OAL of 1.050" and with a 10 shot group of about 3" at 18 yards. If I remove the flyers, I have a 2" group with 8/10 shots, all clustered around a 1/2" dot. I used Winchester brass and Remington primers. My handgun is a BHP. 

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ClydeF posted this 23 October 2022


           I have always had great results using 5 grains of Unique abs any 120-130 grain cast bullet.

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hunterspistol posted this 25 July 2009

  I've gotten 3.2 grains of Bullseye to work on the 124 grain Lyman Devastator hollowpoint.  The load starts out in one of my 10” TC barrels and is for a S&W 5906.  The next 9mm load is going to be the TGRN from RCBS and N340.  I'll post it when I get there, the 3.2 grains of Bullseye simulates WinClean ammo fairly good, it's wide for accuracy at 100 meters though.  You may not shoot a 9 that far but, that's what I use the TCs for.  I got it on paper at 50 meters and I think that's farther that most self defense applications.

  Winchester cases and primers, sized to .355 with White Label lube.  Bullets were cast of wheelweight, could be softer. The hollowpoint needs something pretty solid to strike for expansion at 50 meters.  Against the canyon wall, they were expanded to dime size, not bad for cheap.

  Anyway, there's my contribution to a good train of thought.

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crash87 posted this 25 July 2009

amb1935 wrote: I need a good load for my new Springfield XD 9mm bullet - Lee TL356-124-2R I really just want to shoot paper with this.  Should I use air cooled WW or water drop?  I would like to use red dot powder if at all possible.  Hopefully one of you geniuses can bless me with your wisdom.  Thanks! 1st and foremost you will need to know the dimensions of your barrel. Yes, I know I just repeated what others have said, That's why it's so important;). I just recently finished working a load up with my own XD-9. While I can't help you on a load with Red dot, I used Univ. Clays, I can maybe answer the question on hardness. I purchaced commercialy cast bullets, Saeco #377, unsized, not lubed, or as-cast. They have a hardness of 14bhn as tested on my LBT tester, and measured .358. My bore measures .355 exactly, but just a little rough. Not wanting to spend the time to lap and seeing as how I didn't need nor expected guilding accuracy, I went ahead and sized my bullets in a .356 sizer, final Dia. .3563.

            I worked up tp 4.0 gr of U.C.. Velocity was under what I could get but accuracy suit me just fine. I also ran a little test to see how ind. weighed charges compared to thrown charges from my Redding measure.

4.0 U.C. weighed ave for 10/ ex.sp. 078/ ave.1058/ 10 shot group@ 25yds 2 1/2"

4.0 U.C. thrown ave. for 10/ ex.sp. 064/ ave. 1071/ 10shot group@ 25yds 3 1/2"

As you can see it was probably the shooter, (did I just say that?), that opened the group on the thrown charges, as 9 shots went into 2 3/4". Needless to say I'd rather throw charges than weigh them.

I would consider these bullets equal to air cooled W.W. and as you can see they shot pretty good. So in this pistol I would not have to go any harder, i.e. waterdropped. The slightly rough bore had really know effect on adequate accuracy and while it is probably there leading is a non issue.

    Also, right after I bought my XD, but before I shot it I read a few posts on how innaccurate these pistols are. Well, I usually take all these kinds of remarks and shelve them, until I get a chance to see for myself. How some of these "experts” can take an example and judge the whole lineup on it, or two is beyond me. I also by the way, owned, past tense, a Ruger, P- series, Sold it to by a XD. Yet ruger is of the Gods to some, find a bad one it's only “that one". If your finding problems with your pistol, keep an open mind and try other things, powder, primers, even bullets, each ind. pistol is a case of it's own. It will tell you what it likes, but you have to find it.  Crash87

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Vassal posted this 25 July 2009

I use muzzle loader balls. they are soft and come in all sizes. If you get a size that is very close -ie easy to slug with- like .360, the measurement is harder to take but still accurate, a larger size will be slightly harder to push but with an XD you dont have far to go.

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amb1935 posted this 24 July 2009

ok, so, first step, I need to slug my beautiful new bore. I know I need pure lead for the slug, is there any size fishing weight I can use that would be about (purely a guess) .358"? Is there anything else you guys suggest I use for a slug?

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runfiverun posted this 22 July 2009

these guy's covered it well. what i was saying though is that if the boolit don't fit you will most definately have leading. no matter what alloy you use. casting isn't just making stuff from whatever lead you have and shooting it how you feel. it is a whole different ball game and nose/body fit is the king here especially in the high pressure rounds. an boolit oversized .001 will raise your pressure about 300 psi however one .001 under will raise your blood pressure about 25 points.

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mtgrs737 posted this 22 July 2009

Duane is 100% right, his advice on sizing the lead bullet to ..001 to .002” over groove diameter is my practice also and I have very little to no leading in my barrels. Just check to make sure the loaded cartridges will chamber freely.


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Duane Mellenbruch posted this 22 July 2009

I would suggest the Lee 356-120-TC which is a bullet with a single lube groove.  You may tumble lube if you wish, but when you decide you want to start shooting more, you can step up the the lubesizer and get serious about it.  I have also lapped this mold out and use it for both the 9MM (sized down) and 38 special. 

If you care to read the cast bullet manuals you will see that they recommend the cast bullet be 1 to 2 thousandths over the groove diameter.  If you have not slugged the barrel, you have no way of knowing what will fit the barrel. 

I prefer to use the largest bullet that will chamber easily and still feed from the magazine.  Duane

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jimkim posted this 22 July 2009

Try a Lyman 358242(121gr). It's suitable for 38 Special and 9mm Luger.

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amb1935 posted this 22 July 2009

I think I will try half and half. I think I'm going to stick to the .356 mold, if that's what jacketed bullets come in, then why not cast? Especially with the tumble lube.

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tturner53 posted this 21 July 2009

amb, I think pure lead may be a little too soft, but like I said, I'm not the expert. Maybe the thing to do would be run some tests. I believe there's swaged bullets for sale from the big companies that are for 9mm, those are very soft and they must work for someone. If it was me I'd go about halfway. I've had good luck with half and half WW and lead. You're right, the point of the TL bullets is that you're not supposed to have to size them. If they need to be sized why not use a regular bullet?

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amb1935 posted this 21 July 2009

so you're saying I should get a .358 bullet? I don't plan on sizing, I want to shoot them as cast, but I want to stay away from danger. I guess I just want to make sure that the pressure build up isnt too high.

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runfiverun posted this 21 July 2009

look at your Bbls diameter it is probably 357 not 355. go with as big of a boolit as you can get away with.the 9 is kinda goofy some like soft and some like real hard but they all do better with ones sized properly. and my favorite line with the lee molds “try another lube".

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