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Seems like an odd thread topic, I know. My fiance wants to get into shooting handguns and she is quite proficient with a rifle but has problems with the recoil from my PT111. It is the smallest handgun I own and cant see buying a .380 with relatively the same amount of recoil. No interest in owning one of the smaller calibers either if I dont have to. Question is, I have recently began reloading my own ammo and wanted to know if anyone has ever loaded up light recoiling rounds for a 9mm and how low can I back off the powder while maintaining full functionality of the gun. I use Clays 3.5gr and HS-6 6.6gr with 115 Grain LRN. Accuracy isnt really an issue at this point as long as its safe since I only send the target out about 7 feet for her. Any help would be appreciated if this is even possible.



Thanks!
 

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I don't reload 9mm anymore, but I believe 95 grain bullets are available. These should reduce recoil some, but I have no idea how much. Maybe you could experiment a little. Just a thought. :zzz:
 

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Well, i finally got the ABC's of reloading and after reading it I can finally put some of the information to use :)
They say you should never go below the minimum load otherwise you will have detonation, which dramatically increases pressure and could damage the gun. So, i guess the weakest load you can do would be the minimum for the particular bullet/powder combo.
 

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Well, i finally got the ABC's of reloading and after reading it I can finally put some of the information to use :)
They say you should never go below the minimum load otherwise you will have detonation, which dramatically increases pressure and could damage the gun. So, i guess the weakest load you can do would be the minimum for the particular bullet/powder combo.
That detonation thing is just so much BS IMHO. I've never seen or heard of such and I shoot a lot of very light .38. Regardless, it applies, really, to huge cases with light loads of dense powder such as Bullseye in a .45 Colt. Even then, though, I've never seen nor heard of such and lord knows there are a lot of .45 Colt shooters out there shooting squibs in cowboy action events. They came out with Trailboss, a less dense, but fast burn powder, to address this, though.

In 9mm, what WILL limit how light you can go is proper function of your gun. Add light recoil force to a probable limp wrist of a new female shooter, and, well, you might not get 100 percent function from a less than standard power load. My pet light 9mm load is a 105 grain cast SWC from a Lee .357" mold sized to .356 and loaded over 3.2 grains of Bullseye. It acheives 1131 fps/289 ft lbs. It's still hotter than any .380 load by a bit, but it has enough recoil force to function 100 percent in both my Kel Tec P11 and my Ruger P85. Much lighter and I start to get FTE problems.

All that said, for safety, heed what the manuals tell you. Don't load below the minimum especially in large volume cases with dense, fast burn powders. Just trying to give you a little input from my experience, but better safe than sorry when it comes to safety. The premise of the detonation thing is that very dense, fast powders in large volume cases will flash over sort of like a dust explosion in a grain dryer. We have had a few rice dryers blow up over the years around here. Similar effect, I think. Instead of burning fast, the powder explodes, or detonates and produces a much higher, short lived pressure peak which can frag the gun in your hand. This is the theory. Like I say, I've never heard of it actually happening to anyone. But, they wouldn't talk about it if it hadn't happened somewhere to someone. I've fired a lot of rounds in .38 brass with that same 105 grain bullet in front of a light charge of Bullseye and intend to continue. Most BIG cases like .45 demand a less dense, slower powder like Unique anyway. Bullseye is NOT the best choice for such calibers.

I don't think you'll run into this with 9mm before you start to get slide function problems. I wouldn't loose much sleep over it. Most minimum loads listed in the books for 9mm are going to be iffy for function anyway. There is no need to go lighter.
 

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Just to give you an idea about light loads: Back in 1995, when I first
started loading 9mm, I used a Winchester powder. I believe it was W231.
The manual that I first started using gave a recommended load of 3.2 grains
of w231 powder.

I used 115grain bullets for the reloads. When I fired those recommended loads,
I put five rounds in the mag, & started firing. The loads were so mild,
that they did not even cycle the slide!

They were very accurate; but it was like shooting a single shot weapon!
I had to cycle the slide by hand, eject the spent shell, & reload another. Now,
that was a mild load!

So, do your research & carefully experiment. You should find a decent
& safe light load for your missus to work on. Oh yeah, & the pistol that I used for
those light loads was an Ultrastar 9mm, polymer frame with 4 inch barrel. ;D
 

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Some light loads I have worked with involved 4.5 grns of Alliant Red Dot under some surplus Remington 9mm Bullets. Either a 115 grn FMJ (OAL=1.135) or a 124 grn FMJ (OAL=1.15). My normal full power loadings were 4.8 and 4.7 grns of Alliant Red Dot, respectivley.

Another load using a Remington 95 grn FMJ, used 5.0 grns of Alliant Red Dot. My Full Power Loading used 5.3 grns of Red Dot.

Of those listed, I would choose a 124 grn FMJ, as you will need less powder to provide cycling power. You could even go up to 147 grns, but that bullet weight typically costs more.

These loads fed and functioned my 9mm Walther P38/P1 and my Taurus PT908. You may have to adjust the amount of Powder you use, depending upon what will function your PT111, as has been said here. Smaller Handguns are heavier sprung, recoil spring wise, but you should still be able to come up with some reduced power loadings that function. Start at the beginning load in your load data and work up in 0.2 grn increments, loading 5 to 10 rounds of each increment.
 
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