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Reloading for minimal recoil

WarbirdsWarbirds Member Posts: 16,498 ✭✭✭✭
edited September 2017 in General Discussion
I want a very light recoil 9mm load.

Just interested in light recoil, 115grain 9mm hardball. I have worked down to 5.8 grains of Power Pistol, considering going down to 5.4.

I also have Bullseye, Unique, Green Dot, Blue Dot, probably a few others laying around.

Should I keep working with Power Pistol until I get where I want to move to another powder?

Will experimenting with OAL impact felt recoil?


  • jimdeerejimdeere Member, Moderator Posts: 23,814 ******
    edited November -1
    You might look into BE-86. I have used it in .45 acp loads
    Stick with published load data.
  • chiefrchiefr Member Posts: 13,007 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Been reloading 9mm for many years and matching loads to different guns.
    If you experiment long enough, you will find every gun has its own spot relative to the powder and bullet combination you are using to cycle reliably.

    Some pistols such as SIG 225, Glocks, and especially Lugers like near max loads to work.

    CZ 75 and Berretta 92 can cycle reliably with light loads, but this is not conclusive as mentioned earlier to each pistol has its own spot.

    ..and lets not forget the people who tune their individual pistols with different springs etc.

    Hope this helps.
  • gunnut505gunnut505 Member Posts: 10,290
    edited November -1
    You didn't say if you were shooting a semi or revolver, or if you are loading light for plinking or a medical/pain thing. It matters.
    Loading too light makes semi's unreliable, and if using a polymer, lightweight gun; you may never achieve the level of unrecoil you seek.
    OAL tweeks offer minimal gas pressure relief and could lead to low pull numbers and plugged bores. The rounds may not chamber in an auto.
    More details of your goal will help guide the suggestions.
  • KronyKrony Member Posts: 303 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I've loaded down to where the slide does not cycle, then back up to where it will consistently. As others said every firearm is different, depends on slide weight and recoil spring power.

    I've also loaded 100gr 380 auto bullets in 9mm (both are .355"), load data is available for it.
  • Sam06Sam06 Member Posts: 21,165 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Warbirds
    I want a very light recoil 9mm load.

    Just interested in light recoil, 115grain 9mm hardball. I have worked down to 5.8 grains of Power Pistol, considering going down to 5.4.

    I also have Bullseye, Unique, Green Dot, Blue Dot, probably a few others laying around.

    Should I keep working with Power Pistol until I get where I want to move to another powder?

    Will experimenting with OAL impact felt recoil?

    I doubt OAL will effect felt recoil it will effect pressure.

    I would try a lighter bullet too maybe a 100 or 90 gr .355 bullet.

    One thing about reducing loads is you want the bulkiest powder you can get. The one thing you don't want to happen is detonation with a reduced load. My goto powder for 9mm and 45 is AA#5 but if I was trying to do what you are I would go with AA#2.

    What are you trying to accomplish?

  • iceracerxiceracerx Member Posts: 8,872 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    For 'light loads' you might be further ahead using LEAD bullets.

    I developed a load for a Ruger P85 eons ago.

    It is/was a Bulletworks 125 grain Cone Nose Bevel Base over 4.0 grains of 231 with an oal 1.125".

    The Ruger liked this load without any adjustments.

    Tried the same load in a 92F and if it ejected them, they fell at the shooters feet. The trouble was that 4.0 grains was the MAX load.

    Semi-autos can be 'tuned' by replacing the recoil spring.
  • truthfultruthful Member Posts: 1,700 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I'd try some 85 or 90 grain bullets intended for the .380. Accuracy may suffer a bit due to the slightly smaller diameter.

    Felt recoil can sometimes be reduced by some modifications to the gun. Here are a few that I have used: (1) Add some weight to the gun. Sometime there is room for some strips of sheet lead on the inside of the grip panels. (2) Buy, or make, some custom grip panels that are thicker and spread the recoil over more of your hand. Thicker panels can be dug out a bit to add lead also.(3) Switch to rubber grips if the gun has wood or plastic.
  • retroxler58retroxler58 Member Posts: 32,652 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Felt recoil is the reaction determined by the mass (bullet, un-burnt powder, and gas) that is projected out the muzzle at a particular velocity versus the mass of the pistol.

    Newtonian physics (Newton's three laws of motion) states:First Law = An object will remain at rest or remain in motion until acted upon by another force. aka Inertia.

    Second Law = Defines what happens to an object when acted upon by a force. aka Force equals Mass times Acceleration [ F = m x a ].

    Third Law = Explains that for every force, there is an equal and opposite force (reaction).The heavier and faster the projectile, greater the force (Second Law).
    That force then acts against the pistol (First Law).
    Then the pistol recoils equivilently, based upon the projectiles force (Third Law).

    As you can see, the sum of the mass forced out of the barrel (projectile, un-burnt powder, and gas) times the acceleration of the mass provides a force [ F = m x a ] that equals the reaction force (Recoil) of the pistol... Force = Force.
    Increasing the projectile's mass or muzzle velocity (BTW... Acceleration is derived from Velocity...) in turn increases the pistols recoil.

    Reducing either the muzzle velocity or bullet mass directly reduces the recoil.

    To get a quick response on reduced felt recoil... Work on one variable at a time.

    I'd reduce the bullet weight first. Besides, you'll get more projectiles for the same total weight purchased.
    Then start reducing powder charge, to ultimately get recoil down to where you want it, and still allow the pistol to function.
  • roswellnativeroswellnative Member Posts: 9,822 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hang more tactical items on yer gun. Light laser scope and some extra 25 round mags!

    lead lined gloves?

    Although always described as a cowboy, Roswellnative generally acts as a righter of wrongs or bodyguard of some sort, where he excels thanks to his resourcefulness and incredible gun prowesses.
  • remingtonoaksremingtonoaks Member Posts: 27,192
    edited November -1
    What are you trying to get out of it, a squib?

    I wouldn't go below recommended loading data. You may not get a squib the first or second or even the 10th shot, but you will eventually. And if you're in the middle of a magazine shooting rapid fire when it happens, you got a big problem

    Trust me, I have seen a bullet lodged in a barrel from to light of reloads. And it didn't happen at the first or second shot either. It happened as the barrel got a little bit fouled

    If you're looking for something with a lighter recoil, instead of going down below recommended Reloading Data, I would recommend getting a smaller caliber that you can handle

    Buying another firearm is cheaper than replacing a blown up firearm and medical bills

    But if you are hell-bent at making a light recoil 9mm round. Lighter than what's recommended by the known safe loading data, make sure you take a cleaning kit with you every time you shoot it. And then clean it out every 2 or 3 magazines.

    But even still, I wouldn't recommend you try it. It's just not safe. That is why there are books out there that have SAFE loading data for you to follow
  • buschmasterbuschmaster Member Posts: 14,255 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have a reloading program. you don't specify exactly which 115 gr FMJ you will be using and it has several to select from. I put in the 115 gr Nosler FMJ #42059. it thinks the seating depth would be 0.105" with an OAL of 1.169"

    Power Pistol-
    it says 5.8 grains should give a fill ratio of only 74%.
    1018 ft/s (4" bbl) and 18,303 PSI

    5.4 grains would only have a fill ratio of 69%.
    not even going to entertain that idea.

    for reference, it says a full charge of this powder would be 7.6 grains, 97% fill ratio, 1317 ft/s and 33,900 PSI.
    it's good for hot loads. mild loads result in too low of a fill ratio.

    if you go down to a fill ratio of 95%, that is 6.0 grains, 1236 ft/s and 30,650 PSI.
    still too hot powder for what you want.

    you will find that only 5.6 grains fills the case 86% but the pressure is already maxed out at 34,350 PSI.
    seems to be the completely wrong powder for a 9mm cartridge.

    Green Dot-
    5.1 grains, 93% fill ratio, 1195 ft/s at 33,980 PSI.
    not as bad as Bullseye but still not good.
    Power Pistol or Unique would be much more appropriate than Green Dot for hot loads in a 9mm.

    Blue Dot-
    7.9 grains, 98% fill ratio, 1043 ft/s at 20,100 PSI.
    this is the best choice from what you have to work with, if it doesn't turn out to be too weak.

    you are going to have to figure out what speed of 115 grain bullet will cycle your action reliably. I don't know what that is so here is a list of the more common powders suggested by the program, with low velocities and pressures, for when you know what you need.

    these all fill the cartridge to 98% when your seating depth is 0.105"
    velocity is for a 4" barrel.

    Alliant Herco, 6.0 gr, 1150 ft/s, 25,000 PSI
    VV 3N38, 7.9 gr, 1096 ft/s, 22,400 PSI
    Alliant Blue Dot, 7.9 gr, 1043 ft/s, 20,100 PSI
    Alliant 2400, 9.2 gr, 1043 ft/s, 19,700 PSI
    VV N105, 7.5 gr, 1006 ft/s, 17,000 PSI
    Accurate 4100, 10.0 gr, 972 ft/s, 17,800 PSI
    Accurate 5744, 9.2 gr, 895 ft/s, 16,600 PSI
    Hogdon H110, 10.3 gr, 860 ft/s, 13,000 PSI
    Winchester 296, 10.4 gr, 857 ft/s, 13,300 PSI
    Hogdon Lil'Gun, 10.0 gr, 847 ft/s, 13,200 PSI
    VV N110, 8.2 gr, 786 ft/s, 10,800 PSI
    IMR 4227, 8.8 gr, 779 ft/s, 11,800 PSI

    of course being a computer program, and using a slightly different bullet from what you have, these can only be used as suggestions on where to start looking for an answer. consult the official reloading manuals and don't go above or below recommended loadings.
  • oldrideroldrider Member Posts: 4,934 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Simplest answer would be to load for an older, all steel C Z 75 and not loading down too much. I realize this is not a direct answer to your particular question.
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