9mm Acubullets - and Lovex D037.1

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Reloading is an enjoyable and rewarding hobby that is easily conducted with safety. But like many other human endeavors, carelessness or negligence can make reloading hazardous. Strictly follow the instructions given by the manufacturers of the reloading components and equipment.

Must read safety rules for everyone who want to participate in this thread.

1. Reload only when you can give it your undivided attention.
2. Always wear proper eye protection.
3. Store powder and primers out of reach of children and away from heat and open fire. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on your powder canister. Never smoke during a reloading session!
4. Keep no more powder than needed available. Immediately return the unused powder to its original factory container.
5. Do not use any powder unless its identity is positively known.
6. Do not store primers in bulk!
7. Do not use primers if their identity is lost.
8. Start loading with the starting load according to the loading data. If there is no indication of the starting load, use a 15 % lower charge than the listed maximum load.
9. Increase the charge using small steps watching for over-pressure signs from the primer and the case head at each step. If you detect over-pressures immediately stop shooting and reduce the charge.
10. NEVER EXCEED THE MAXIMUM LOADS!
11. Check visually the powder level in the cases so you are absolutely sure that you have no double powder charge.
12. If you change the lot of any component or if you change any of the components of your reload, you must develop your load from the starting load again.
13. You must absolutely follow the given cartridge overall lengths (C.O.L.) according to the reloading tables. The change in the bullet seating depth has a significant influence on the cartridge pressure.
14. Never reduce loads under the listed starting load.

Use the shared information in this thread at your OWN RISK

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Evan
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9mm Acubullets - and Lovex D037.1

Post by Evan »

Hopefully everyone has read the reloading forum's notice! What I am about to share in this thread is my own experience and I am NOT endorsing that you use any of my reloading data. You should develop your own loads by following the manufacture's recommend reloading data.

Having said that, reloading is a fun, but sometimes tedious and puzzling hobby.

Some see reloading as a way to save on ammunition costs, and I fear this is where things go south quickly. If you are not willing to spend the time and effort, then you will not be rewarded by die many advantages of reloading, which may or may not include a saving on ammunition costs.

The cost of CMJ (copper metal jacketed lead bullets) bullets have recently skyrocketed in South Africa. So many of us have been switching to lead or lead polymer coasted alternative bullets. This problem was further compounded by the fact that our main powder producer/supplier (Somchem - a division of DENEL) have been unable to produce and supply popular pistol reloading powders.

So recently I have been asked by various re-loaders to assist them with new bullet and powder combination. I have heard and will try and answer the following question:

- I have purchased "brand X" coated lead bullets - but I get massive amounts of leading in my pistol barrel :o ;
- With my CMJ bullets I can shoot a 90+ score on a 10m NHSA target but with the lead bullets I can barely hit the paper at 10m :shock: ;
- I get so much smoke from the end of my barrel I have to wait five seconds before I can shoot at the target again;
- My lead bullets tumble so much (compared to "brand X" and CMJs) it looks like two bullet holes combined :? ;
- I am loading my 9mm cases level with s121 and I don't make power factor at all...

The solution to some of these are straightforward, but some requires an in depth discussions.

In the thread I will try and deal with these with some examples.
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Re: 9mm Acubullets - and Lovex D037.1

Post by Evan »

My discussion will continue with the 9mm Accubullets.

The first major consideration, that will solve many of the issues mentions in the start of the thread, is brass preparation. I have helped two individuals now that have had Acubullets tumbling considerably. After closely following their reloading procedures I noted that their brass preparation and crimping had significantly reduced the bullet diameter. A 9×19mm Parabellum bullet should have a bullet diameter of exactly 0.356 inches. See the first image below.

A 9×19mm Parabellum barrel (either CZ or Glock) should have a barrel diameter of exactly 9.02 mm or (0.355 inches). The Glock uses non-conventional rifling (to gain some extra velocity) but we will discuss this later.

In order for the bullet to stabilize appropriately the bullet diameter should be one thousands of an inch greater that the barrel diameter. This is true for almost all calibers below 20mm.

After pulling a few bullets that these gentlemen reloaded we soon saw that their brass preparation and bullet seating and crimping reduced the bullet diameter to well below 0.353. The second image below is a resized case of one of the gentleman's 9mm cases just after he resized and cleaned his brass. The inner neck diameter of the resized case is 0.3465. That, including the "light crimp" that he applied, resized the bullets to two thousands of an inch smaller than the diameter of his pistol's barrel. With a bullet diameter of 0.353 there is no way that the bullet can stabilize properly.

The third image below is a correctly resized case with a new LEE die that we bought for him. The neck diameter if this resized case is 0.3535 which will create the perfect neck tension, without changing the diameter of the bullet.

Lastly the fourth image is a pulled bullet (from his newly sized brass) showing that the base of the bullet (where the gasses should not seep by) has remained one thousands larger that the barrel diameter.

After he retested the bullets, guess what, the bullets no longer tumbled.

The answer is not to size bullets larger than 0.356 inches. Any lead bullet, whether they are coated or not, Larger than 0.356 inches will lead your barrel (no matter how low the charge). This is extremely dangerous, especially for non-conventional rifled barrels like Glock. I have bought and used coated polymer lead bullets from other companies and had Major issues trying to clean my barrels afterwards.

Of course there are other factors that could lead to the leading of barrels, like using high volumes of very fast burning powder, bullet seating depth and more. We will get to that
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Evan
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Re: 9mm Acubullets - and Lovex D037.1

Post by Evan »

So firstly, make sure when you resize your bullets that the resizing die does not "over-resize" your brass. Clean your dies regularly and don't use too much or too little resizing lube. In my experience the LEE carbide sizing die does the best job.

Secondly, don't crimp your bullets too much. Pull one of your crimped bullets and make sure that the bullet crimping (from your factory crimp, or bullet seats and crimp combined die) has not resized the bullet.

A 9mm Bullet should have a diameter of 0.3555 - 0.356
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Re: 9mm Acubullets - and Lovex D037.1

Post by Evan »

The next topic is powder.

Powder choice has the biggest contributing factor to smoke, accuracy and felt recoil. Just because there is published data for a specific caliber does not mean the powder is best suited for that caliber. This is described in detail in the Hornady, Somchem and even Quickload manuals. Just because this guy, and that guy, have used powder X for years now winning the IPSC world championships and the lottery every year, does not mean you should use that powder.

Below is two examples with two different powders. In both of the examples the objective is to reach a power factor of 135 with a Hornady XTP 124 grain 9mm bullet. The target velocity is therefore +1100 fps. The COL is 28mm to keep the pressures low. This will surely let the steel plates fall easily.

The first powder is Somchem s121. The powder is a very fast burning powder ideal for Shotguns with reloading data available for 9mm.

The second powder is Somchem s221. The powder is slower burning (which will results in higher velocities) and is well suited for 9mm and 9mm major.

As you can see from the two charts, although both reach their peak pressures (Pmax at 0.15 millisecond), s221 has 13% less pressure. The calculated felt recoil is 17% lower.

Slower powders have great advantages these include but are not limited to:

- Lower chamber pressures;
- Better case fill properties;
- Higher velocities;
- Better temperature stability (usually);
- Better standard deviations on velocities, and therefore usually better accuracy;
- Consistent case expansion; and
- Many more.

Don't just try to save a buck or two, do your research and purchase the proper powder for your caliber and needs.
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Re: 9mm Acubullets - and Lovex D037.1

Post by Evan »

A last critical factor that I would like to discuss before sharing my experience in Cartridge Overall Length or COL.

It is a general known principle in reloading, which many of you have experience with, that you need to be within 10 to 40 thousands of an inch from the bullet OGive to lands of the rifling for the best accuracy for your rifle. This will allow some jump before the free bore onto the lands but will still allow the best concentricity of the bullet entering the barrel.

Determining the best bullet seating depth can be done in several ways. You can buy a Hornady COL gauge, you can modify your own case and build one. There are many ways to skin a cat.

Unfortunately with pistols the determining factor for your COL is usually wither the magazine, or the bullet ramps on the barrel. You usually cannot load too long bullets in your magazine, and some pistols won't function properly with bullets longer than 28.5mm due to the design of the bullet ramp on the barrel and their recoils springs.

A much more important factor however is chamber pressures. When you decrease the length of your cartridge you increase the chamber pressures.

See the example below (same bullet with s221 load of 6.7 grain charge)

The first graph is at a COL of 28mm and the second at 26mm.

This is an extreme example. Decreasing the bullet length by a mere 2mm has increases the chamber pressures by 90%. You would not have lived to tell the tale.
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s221 at 28mm
s221 at 28mm
s221 at 26mm
s221 at 26mm
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Re: 9mm Acubullets - and Lovex D037.1

Post by Evan »

Not only does this increase the pressure in the chamber, it also causes expanding gasses to seep by the bullet and in between the bullet and the barrel. This in turn will cause the polymer protection to chafe of and it will cause leading of the barrel and smokey shots.
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Re: 9mm Acubullets - and Lovex D037.1

Post by Evan »

Now for the reloading data:

I have recently purchased Lovex D037.1 from the Skietbaan as I was looking for a similar alternative to s221.

I then consulted the Hornady and Lovex manuals first for a start load (for lead coated bullets) that I can enter into Quickload software and calculate a desired testing load.

I then proceeded to test various different bullets (from PMP, RCBS, LEE moulds, IMI, Hornady and others) to get an idea of a start and optimal load for Lovex D037.1.

The powder seems perform reasonably similar, or maybe with slightly higher velocities than s221.

I then decided to test the 127 grain Acubullets at a COL of 28mm. I loaded 10 bullets at 6.2 Grains, 10 bullets at 6.3, 10 at 6.4... you know the rest. I developed 11 loads up to 7.3.

Quickload suggested that with most lead bullets, weighing in at around 125 grain, that the velocities would be in the region of 909 FPS (some even lower). This was a good starting point for me, since it was definitely above the squib pressures and what LOVEX recommends for a Lead only bullet.

Boy was I surprised!!!
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Re: 9mm Acubullets - and Lovex D037.1

Post by Evan »

I had to stop at 6.7 Grains of Lovex D037.1.
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Velocities
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Re: 9mm Acubullets - and Lovex D037.1

Post by Evan »

The results of the velocities achieved in my Glock 19 four inch barrel for the respective loads are:

- 6.2 Grains: 994 feet per second with a standard deviation of 12 feet per second (125 PF);
- 6.3 Grains: 1010 feet per second with a standard deviation of 12 feet per second (127 PF);
- 6.4 Grains: 1025 feet per second with a standard deviation of 8 feet per second (129 PF);
- 6.5 Grains: 1038 feet per second with a standard deviation of 7 feet per second (130 PF); and lastly
- 6.6 Grains: 1047 feet per second with a standard deviation of 9 feet per second (131 PF).

The slope of the regression line for the averages indicate that the velocity gained per additional 0.1 is reducing after 6.5 grain (Yeah i did not wait for the barrel to cool down between strings but it won't make any difference).

The standard deviation that achieved 6.4 and 6.5 grain is ridiculously good. I have never had such low standard deviations in velocities ever.

Above 6.6 I started seeing smoke. The best standard deviations (and with no smoke) was between 6.4 and 6.5 Grains.

Best of all, at 6.4 you will very comfortably make IPSC minor power (129) factor at any SAPSA competition. And the steel plates will definitely fall.
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Re: 9mm Acubullets - and Lovex D037.1

Post by Evan »

I used the same Hornady brass for all the loads.

Putting in the extra work has definitely been worth it.

Please see below a few teasers of what can be achieved with 6.4 Grains of D037.1 and 9mm Acubullets
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NHSA 10m
NHSA 10m
NHSA 10m
NHSA 10m
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