Duplicating commercial loads

Chris54326

Well-Known Member
In my Browning Hi-Power, I carry 9mm Federal 147 gr HST rounds. I'd like to start casting 147 lead and load my own for practice so I'm practicing "Apples for Apples". I've got a chrony, so all I need is to find out what powder Federal uses. Any suggestions as to how to do that?
 

dennishoddy

Moderator
The suggestion was to email Federal, but I doubt they would release that info. Possibly, and it's worth a shot to try. Phone call works too.

The best thing is to contact your favorite powder manufacturer, and ask for their suggestions. They will always low ball you in the amount of powder to use for legal purposes, but it does let you know that their powder is recommended for that cast bullet.

Try Customer service for several different powders, and make your selection from their recommendations.
 

Chris54326

Well-Known Member
Oh, I didn't know what the one word response meant. DUH!

I sent them a message a couple of days ago and received an automated response. Nothing else to date. I didn't really think they'd give me the secret recipe.........but was hoping they could suggest a similar commercially available powder. I don't have a lot of experience with too many different powders, so anything to start would help. I can find loads, I'm sure, but was just hoping to get a little head start on the journey.
 

DD78

Well-Known Member
My guess is that Federal won't give out their recipe. I imagine they spend some good cash on R&D so they're not going to let that cat out of the box. It's like Coke giving away their recipe.

Best bet is to get a chrono and chrono those loads you want to duplicate and get some data. Then buy a few different types of powder that will work for your particular load and try them out.

You won't have trouble duplicating the velocity, but it will take some messing around with to duplicate the felt recoil.

I was trying to get a 180 gr load that matched the 10mm Hornady Customs and two of the powders matched the velocity perfectly, however they were both incredibly soft shooting to the point where I questioned the chronograph data. I switched to a different powder and found one that felt close enough while having the same velocity and power factor.
 

Chris54326

Well-Known Member
Thanks. I fully understand they'd probably not give me any proprietary load data. Was just hoping to get an idea of a commercial powder to start with. Money has been really tight recently and just buying the new dies and all the stuff that goes with them from Dillon has been difficult. Didn't want to end up having to buy different types of powder until I stumbled onto one that matched. Guess that's what I'll end up doing anyway.
 

Scott Hearn

Well-Known Member
231 or HP38 is another one that will probably be close. Winchester used to use it in a lot of their factory loads and probably still does.
 

Chris54326

Well-Known Member
Federal just got back with me a few minutes ago.

Here is what they said: "That info is proprietary. We suggest contacting Alliant Powder for advice on what to use". I figured they wouldn't divulge their proprietary information, but was pleased they named a specific commercial powder company for advice.


Thanks for all the suggestions, guys.
 

dennishoddy

Moderator
Chris54326 said:
Federal just got back with me a few minutes ago.

Here is what they said: "That info is proprietary. We suggest contacting Alliant Powder for advice on what to use". I figured they wouldn't divulge their proprietary information, but was pleased they named a specific commercial powder company for advice.

Thanks for all the suggestions, guys.
Unique is sold by Alliant. Good luck!
 

Chris54326

Well-Known Member
Yup, indeed it is, Dennis. I've used a lot of Unique and will continue doing so. Will probably try it with the 9mm in my search for a good practice load. The only thing I don't like about Unique is how dirty it is to shoot. Not a bad thing with a single-shot rifle............not such a good thing with a semi-auto pistol.
 

Gramps

Well-Known Member
Definitely Deplorable said:
231 or HP38 is another one that will probably be close. Winchester used to use it in a lot of their factory loads and probably still does.
Or WSF. I'd wager either of those powers will get the job done.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Chris54326

Well-Known Member
I picked up 2 lbs of BE86 today. Also ordered 500 bullets. 500 Starline cases came in the day before yesterday. Waiting on all my Dillon Stuff and I'm rearin' to go.
 

DD78

Well-Known Member
Chris54326 said:
I picked up 2 lbs of BE86 today. Also ordered 500 bullets. 500 Starline cases came in the day before yesterday. Waiting on all my Dillon Stuff and I'm rearin' to go.
Tumble those Starline cases, or make sure to lube them before running them through the Dillon.

New cases, or cases cleaned with a stainless wet tumbler tend to stick on the expander/powder drop station. Starline actually has this mentioned on their website. New cases or ones that have been wet tumbled are so clean that they stick during the expanding/powder drop station. Regularly tumbled brass keeps a coating of carbon that actually helps avoid that sticking. I used to wet tumble all of my brass but after experiencing that issue, I just tumbled in walnut instead with a bit of Nu Finish.
 

Chris54326

Well-Known Member
That's interesting information. I've been cleaning "all" my brass (rifle and pistol) in wet stainless medium since the process first became popular. I've never had a single issue as a result. I might better get on Starline's site and read what you are talking about. Thanks for bringing it up.
 

DD78

Well-Known Member
Chris54326 said:
That's interesting information. I've been cleaning "all" my brass (rifle and pistol) in wet stainless medium since the process first became popular. I've never had a single issue as a result. I might better get on Starline's site and read what you are talking about. Thanks for bringing it up.
It would be fine when I was pulling the handle down, but as I was raising the handle, it would bind like crazy. After a little searching I found that it was that the brass I was using was too clean. I don't recall where on their site I saw it, but they were offering to mod that part for you if you sent it in.
 

technetium-99m

Mighty Righty
It might be the guns I shoot or how I grip the gun but I honestly can't tell the difference between the same weight bullets going the same speed. I've had people load mags with different powders but the same bullet and power factor. In a non comped handgun I'm guessing at which powder is which.

For practice ammo for my carry gun I load 147 gr bullets to the same velocity as the Federal HST load. It hits to mostly the same point of aim and feels very close in recoil.

I gave up chasing dream loads 20 thousand rounds ago.

Flame on.

Oh and I gave up cleaning brass in pins. Takes too long so I just loaded up my cement mixer with a bunch of lizard litter and 3 to 4 thousand pieces of brass. It will do 2000 223 and 1500 or so 308. I don't miss wet tumbling at all.
 

Chris54326

Well-Known Member
DD78, I read what you are referring to. Didn't see anything about brass being too clean..........but what I read was this:



Why is it very hard to get expander and powder funnel back out of case?

There are two situations that create this problem. The first is one we have just recently identified. It seems to be associated with the dillon powder funnel and only a couple of calibers (45 Auto and 40 S&W). The land for expanding case mouth is too long and when you begin to bell mouth the bottom of expander gets into the thicker taper of case and wedges causing it to be very hard to get back out. We have modified several by increasing radius on end and slightly shortening expanding land and this eliminated the problem completely. Call Starline and we will take care of it if you wish. One other cause can be a burr at case mouth created by the final trim operation, which grabs onto expander as it comes back up. This situation does not often appear and can be fixed by deburring case mouth or inside lubing cases
 

Chris54326

Well-Known Member
technetium-99m, you'll get no flame from me. With the rounds you have shot, I can't argue with what works for you. I've not shot 2000 rounds of anything, (slight exaggeration for embellishment purposes) :sarcastichand: so wouldn't know what it would be like to toss that many cases in a cement mixer to clean. You guys shoot more in a weekend than I have in my lifetime. (I hope to remedy that, but facts are facts!)
 
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