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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just took the plunge into reloading. My press (a Lee Turret) plus die sets for 9mm and 45ACP should arrive next week.

I am seeking recommendations about what bullets and powder to buy to get started.
  • I'd like to start with just one kind of powder
  • My initial reloads will be for plinking, but because of use in Glocks the bullets need to be FMJ or JHP (I think)
  • I generally prefer 230 gr. for 45ACP and 124 gr. for 9mm, but I'm open to trying other weights
  • I'd like recommendations for a good target 45ACP bullet and a good target 9mm bullet.
Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom!
 

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First recommendation is to not completely rely in internet forum recommendations. Totally understandable to ask and gather info, but books are the best source for that info. Now that that disclaimer is out of the way...

For a somewhat do-all, non-magnum handgun powder, I use Universal and Titegroup primarily. Not necessarily ideal for any one thing (although Titegroup is darn close), but quite good for a lot of things.
 

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Internet load data is a bad idea unless you truly know the source. That said lol. My go to target 9mm minor load is a 147gr plated bullet (pick your flavor), 3.2-3.4gr of Titegroup (Bullseye is another good choice), 1.15 OAL. In my G34 that is a 130pf very soft shooting and accurate round. For Glock mags you need to stay under 1.15 OAL for them to feed reliably. Do a plunk test in your barrel as bullet profiles differ.
 

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Glocks can run plated and Hi-Tek coated bullets. They can even run cast lead, but you need to pay close attention to the barrel even after a 100 rounds. My USPSA Minor load is a 124 FP Bayou on top of 3.3 grains of TiteGroup at 1.100" OAL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the information, all!

If anyone else has info on this topic, i'd appreciate hearing it.
 

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My other standard load is the bullet and OAL, but 4.4 grains of BE-86. Most accurate bullets are JHP's.
 

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I just took the plunge into reloading. My press (a Lee Turret) plus die sets for 9mm and 45ACP should arrive next week.

I am seeking recommendations about what bullets and powder to buy to get started.
  • I'd like to start with just one kind of powder
  • My initial reloads will be for plinking, but because of use in Glocks the bullets need to be FMJ or JHP (I think)
  • I generally prefer 230 gr. for 45ACP and 124 gr. for 9mm, but I'm open to trying other weights
  • I'd like recommendations for a good target 45ACP bullet and a good target 9mm bullet.
Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom!
I started out in 1979 with WW230/231 powder and Winchester cases and bullets. Still excellent choices.
 

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pick up a few reloading manuals and what powder you decide you can go to their web site and see what they say about reloads. I do a lot of 9mm and the three books I have do not have loads for 115gr FMJ, they have it for HP so I go to manufacturers web site and see what they say. I then start out just above minimum, I load up 3 or 4 go out into back yard and show that old tree stump who is boss. If they function I will do a load of 25 then go to camp.
 

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I should have thought of this before, but just dawned on me. There are some pretty good "one book, one caliber" loading books out there, that are basically compilations of data gathered from numerous other loading manuals, all for one particular caliber per book. I got mine in gunshops & stuff, but they're available online as well. Might be an inexpensive way to get a lot of info on one or two calibers without having to buy numerous full-on loading manuals for $30 apiece or whatever they cost.

 

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Actually the powder makers website will have all the info you need, and it published test data, not reprinted. Biggest thing for newbies is to figure out what bullet weight and construction, then which powder to use, OAL. bell and crimp, and what brass NOT to use. Their next hurdle is OAL, how much powder thru bell on the brass, and how much de-bell (not crimp). So generally speaking...

Only buy a couple of hundred bullets to start with, FMJ's, of standard weights, ie , 230 in 45 and 115/125 in 9mm. Every powder makers website will have the most data for standard weights.

For newbies, a low density, high volume, slower burning powder, that fills at least 60-70% of the case volume is best. For example use BE-86 instead of TiteGroup. That way it is impossible to double charge because the excess powder will spill over the sides and the bullet cannot be seated. Always visual before seating your bullet.

How much bell/flare? ONLY enough to "set" the bullet more or less straight enough, on the case. The seating die will "seat" the bullet.

How much de-bell (crimp)? Only enough to case gage the round. A case gage is preferred because it is checking a profile and not just a diameter. Case gage is for checking ammo, plunk testing is for checking that ammo in your gun.

OAL, well that depends on bullet profile. Published powder makers OAL is as they tested it, for velocity and pressure data. Your's may be shorter, or longer. Max OAL is only relative to magazine loading. Basically your bullet shape will determine your OAL. I loaded 9mm's from 1.175" down to 1.060", all depends on the bullet.

Only load 10 rounds, or so, and function fire first before loading up 200.

Brass not to use, because it is stepped, which reduces case volume which means published loads are no good. Plus it can separate during firing. MaxxTech, IMT, Freedom Munitions and AmmoLoad, all junk, just toss them. In fact, for you first couple of hundred rounds, just buy new brass.

OAL variance, depends on the press being used, but generally between .003-.005", which has absolutely no effect on accuracy.

Powder charge weight, depends on the measure and the powder. Generally speaking fine sugar powders have less variance that cornflake powders. For example, on a Dillon progressive, TiteGroup will throw +/-.1 grains all the time. Again, this will have no effect on accuracy.

Trust your powder measure, the biggest mistake newbies make is to weight every single charge. This is not precision 1,200 rifle.

OAL is whatever it takes to gage and plunk.

Do you need a chrono? No, not really, unless you shoot competition and are trying to make a power floor.

Do you need a bullet puller? No, it's not worth pulling even a single round when you can make 10 more good ones in the time it takes.


 
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