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Old 11-15-2014, 11:04 AM
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Default Hornady +P Load Data - 185 & 115 gr. XTP



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What's up guys. I've been out of the loop. I've got a question for the reloaders. In my quest to stock up on quality SD ammo, I've turned to loading up some of my own to supplement my factory made stock. For the price of 20 rds of factory SD ammo, I can load 100+ rounds of my own. I'm currently working with 185 gr .45 ACP and 115 gr. 9mm loadings, both with Hornady XTP projectiles.

My problem occurs hen trying to find data on +p and +p+ loads. As we all know, reloading manuals are very conservative. Basically the only way to get loads at this level you must work up to them yourself. I was hoping some of you may have a little data of you're own. Any tips are well appreciated.
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Old 11-15-2014, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by hanzy4200 View Post
What's up guys. I've been out of the loop. I've got a question for the reloaders. In my quest to stock up on quality SD ammo, I've turned to loading up some of my own to supplement my factory made stock. For the price of 20 rds of factory SD ammo, I can load 100+ rounds of my own. I'm currently working with 185 gr .45 ACP and 115 gr. 9mm loadings, both with Hornady XTP projectiles.

My problem occurs hen trying to find data on +p and +p+ loads. As we all know, reloading manuals are very conservative. Basically the only way to get loads at this level you must work up to them yourself. I was hoping some of you may have a little data of you're own. Any tips are well appreciated.

It's my experience that internet data from the manufacturers is very conservative. Internet data from "others" really shouldn't be trusted.

Manuals are the best way to go.

Speer manuals tend to be the hottest with Hornady right up there too in some cases.

Nosler seems to be on the conservative side compared to the above two.

All of my manuals show loads that are +P

The only guns I've worked up really hot loads (outside of the manual) in have been my magnum cartridges.

Semi-Autos don't always have the strength to take a steady diet of hot loads without changing the recoil springs, then they don't always take moderate loads so well after the conversion.

Stick with what your manuals say, if you need more power, step up to the next cartridge.

I've had great luck with the Hornady XTP's in 9MM, 45ACP, 357 and 44 mags

They do need to be loaded warmly to expand and when loaded right, expand really well!

Most of my loadings on the above cartridges come out of my Speer manual
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Old 11-15-2014, 01:48 PM
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It's my experience that internet data from the manufacturers is very conservative. Internet data from "others" really shouldn't be trusted.

Manuals are the best way to go.

Speer manuals tend to be the hottest with Hornady right up there too in some cases.

Nosler seems to be on the conservative side compared to the above two.

All of my manuals show loads that are +P

The only guns I've worked up really hot loads (outside of the manual) in have been my magnum cartridges.

Semi-Autos don't always have the strength to take a steady diet of hot loads without changing the recoil springs, then they don't always take moderate loads so well after the conversion.

Stick with what your manuals say, if you need more power, step up to the next cartridge.

I've had great luck with the Hornady XTP's in 9MM, 45ACP, 357 and 44 mags

They do need to be loaded warmly to expand and when loaded right, expand really well!

Most of my loadings on the above cartridges come out of my Speer manual
I fully understand your stance on not fully trusting internet "experts". My usual method for attaining info in this way is to find 3-4 answers to the question, then deduct from there. The powders I use primarily are Tightgroup and Unique. The latter for most full power loads. I'm loading the 115 gr bullets with 6 gr of Unique and the 185's with 8.2 gr. These are basically the max loads I've found officially listed, but they definitely do not deliver the "snap" of a +p load. The 6 gr. in a 9mm case is nearing a compressed load.
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Old 11-16-2014, 09:43 AM
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I like Unique and I use Unique but mainly for lighter loadings in my magnums

I use Bullseye and W231 (same powder as HP38). Both of these are faster burning and you can load some stout loads without having as much muzzle flash as the Unique.

I prefer the faster burning powders in semi-autos mainly because of the shorter barrels. The bullets will get to your desired velocity before leaving the barrel

Use the slower burning powders for the heavier bullets.
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Old 11-16-2014, 12:13 PM
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Allow me to drag out my soapbox for just a moment: There are ZERO engineering standards of just what comprises a +P+ load!

SAAMI +P loadings all come with legalese boilerplate verbiage that says something like "Only for use in Modern Weapons in Good Repair".

Beyond +P loadings, there be Dragons!

While I do load " ragged edge" loads, I could never in good conscience, pass those loads to anyone, and I have a very limited shot count at those levels.

If you want to go there, get real good at measuring extracted shells for expansion, reading primers, and have a "Spidey sense" about such activities. Use recent manuals, as old ones were outdated by problems or powder changes.A really good guide/resource to learn how to find the limits of YOUR gun, is found on pages of the book "Pet Loads", by Ken Waters, of the magazine Handloader.

I've been Handloading since 1966, and have never blown up or damaged a gun.

Wishing you good luck, and happy shooting! Hope you take my Cautions in the spirit I offer them, not to talk down, but to care and warn from long experience, as a Reloader, and from Years as a Range Safety Officer at Gun Ranges, where I have witnessed some bad things!

Putting the soapbox away.
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Old 11-16-2014, 01:54 PM
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If you want to do anything like work up loads beyond what the books say, you need a chronograph.

And while it may be true that books are conservative in their loads, there's a caveat: all use specific test barrels or firearms that may not be the same as the ones you're reloading for. That's why you always work loads up, checking them along the way.

If it were me wishing to get whatever +p or +p+ loads were defined as--and Handload is absolutely correct in that there are no absolute standards--I'd be looking at velocity as the criterion. I suspect--Handload, weigh in here--that each manufacturer has its own standard, i.e., in relation to its standard load. In other works, manufacturer "R" might have as its standard velocity 800fps, but their +p load is 875fps. Manufacturer "H" might have its standard velocity as 750fps while its +p load is 800fps.



All that calls into question what is undesirable about normal loads and why you feel it necessary to go to whatever +p or +p+ loads are.

********

I would tread carefully here. I once had a kaboom in my Ruger LC9 (9mm), the cause of which was never clear. I tend to believe it was simply a weak case (failed at the case head, blew out the extractor). However, I'd had problems with weird primer flow, exposed brass in the primer, as if it were being shaved by the striker hole upon extraction.

Ruger, despite my owning up to having shot my own reloads in the gun, repaired it for free, but as part of that process, it was suggested I go to a slower powder. I had been using WST in my loads--worked them up and it's my standard powder for lead bullets--but the suggestion was to try AA #7.

Well, guess what--I don't have the problem with AA #7, which is a slower powder.

My point, if not clear already, is that when you decide the reloading books are way too conservative--well, maybe. My normal 9mm loads with WST work wonderfully in my XD-9 Service weapon. I can't use them in my LC9.

If I'd pulled that load from a manual, and it had been developed using an XD9--and you won't find it in any manual--note how it simply didn't work for me in my LC9. It is impossible for any manufacturer to test all loads in all weapons.

So presume nothing, and work 'em up. And get a chronograph if you don't have one. You're creating small packages designed to explosively eject a projectile, which explosion is just inches from your face. It behooves you to know, exactly, what you're producing--especially if you're producing something that doesn't exist in reloading manuals.
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Old 11-16-2014, 02:32 PM
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You're probably giving me more credit than I deserve, goose... I believe that manufacturers of powder, bullets, and guns probably all use test barrels with chambers that are rediculously stout, to eliminate chamber strength/distortions in their research. Then, they would be just looking at pressures and bullet velocities. I have never been to a test session of any of those parties, so I may be talking through my hat!

But, in the Real World, Ken Waters' methodology is well explained in his book, and is my reference when working up loads for Guns I have owned or worked with. Ken clearly explains how to spot when you are creeping up on the limits of the actual gun you are loading for.

I was gifted by Chick Donnelly, who was a "U. S. Olympic Shooting Team Gunsmith" for several years, with over Ten Weeks (in aggregate) of visiting and " Helping" in his shop. Chick was the Recipient of P.O.Ackley's Barrel Drilling and Rifling machinery. Chick made custom barrels, actions, and complete guns for a virtual "Who's Who" in the industry for many Years. Sadly, Chick has passed on. The Barrel-making Machinery was sold to some Folks in the SouthWest, who were doing business under a slightly differing spelling of the Name Chick used: Siskiyou Gun Works. Anyways, Chick taught me a lot about the Art, and I am forever in his debt. One of the nuggets he gave me was the pointer to Ken Waters' Book.

That book is truly filled with knowledge. I very highly recommend it. If you digest what is there, you will very likely be among the most knowledgeable at your gun club.

To reinforce the message: Ken Water's method works with Your Gun, not with theoretical, or test barrels/test chambers. Safest way to find/extract maximum performance ( without damage!) from Your Gun.
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Old 11-16-2014, 03:29 PM
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You're probably giving me more credit than I deserve, goose... I believe that manufacturers of powder, bullets, and guns probably all use test barrels with chambers that are rediculously stout, to eliminate chamber strength/distortions in their research. Then, they would be just looking at pressures and bullet velocities. I have never been to a test session of any of those parties, so I may be talking through my hat!
Oh, I think as long as you've been reloading, and never had a kaboom....you must be doing SOMETHING right....

I've had the good fortune of having the internet as a resource to learn, and I'm a really good learner, but nothing tops experience.

BTW, I think that how manufacturers test their loads varies greatly. I have copies of the spiral bound "one book one caliber" thing that has loads from virtually all manufacturers (they're just bad copies of what's in their own reloading manuals). Anyway, looking in the .45 ACP version, here's what each manufacturer is using to produce their test loads:

Hornady: Colt Gov't Model 5"
Nosler: Douglas 5"
Sierra: Colt 1911 Gold Cup National Match 5"
Speer: Sig P220 4.4"
Lyman: Universal Receiver 5"
RCBS: Colt Gov't Model 5"
Hodgdon: 5" barrel unspecified
Accurate: 1911 A1 5"
Winchester: 5" barrel unspecified
Vihtavuori: 150mm (6") unspecified (described as "test barrel")
Barnes: 5" unspecified

So they're all over the place. Of interest to me is that length differs from 4.4" to 6", which will also influence velocity with equal loads.

Quote:
But, in the Real World, Ken Waters' methodology is well explained in his book, and is my reference when working up loads for Guns I have owned or worked with. Ken clearly explains how to spot when you are creeping up on the limits of the actual gun you are loading for.

I was gifted by Chick Donnelly, who was a "U. S. Olympic Shooting Team Gunsmith" for several years, with over Ten Weeks (in aggregate) of visiting and " Helping" in his shop. Chick was the Recipient of P.O.Ackley's Barrel Drilling and Rifling machinery. Chick made custom barrels, actions, and complete guns for a virtual "Who's Who" in the industry for many Years. Sadly, Chick has passed on. The Barrel-making Machinery was sold to some Folks in the SouthWest, who were doing business under a slightly differing spelling of the Name Chick used: Siskiyou Gun Works. Anyways, Chick taught me a lot about the Art, and I am forever in his debt. One of the nuggets he gave me was the pointer to Ken Waters' Book.

That book is truly filled with knowledge. I very highly recommend it. If you digest what is there, you will very likely be among the most knowledgeable at your gun club.

To reinforce the message: Ken Water's method works with Your Gun, not with theoretical, or test barrels/test chambers. Safest way to find/extract maximum performance ( without damage!) from Your Gun.
I've put that on my Christmas list. Thanks!
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