Reloading the 9x18 Makarov Cartridge - Load Data for HS6 powder

Bullet Type Speer 90 grain Gold Dot JHP
Case Starline
Primer Winchester WSP
Cartridge Overall Length 24.5 mm

Powder Charge (gr) MV (ft/s) Std Dev (ft/s) ME (ft-lbs) Comments
5.9 905 53.7 173 Not very good consistency
6.1 903 36.8 191 Again, not as good as the Sierra loads.
6.4 1099 35.3 268 COAL 23.7mm - See note (1).
6.4 1044 43.7 218 COAL 23.7mm - See note (2).

General Comments:
For a reason I cannot yet explain, the Speer Gold Dot did give the same consistency as other 90-95 gr bullets loaded with the same powder charge. Some possible explanations include slightly different bullet diameter, different bullet shape (more rounded rather than a truncated cone), and different seating depth.

A later test (6.1 gr) confirms this. The average velocity is 60-80 ft/s less than the comparable Sierra bullets and the consistency is not as good. I can only speculate that the bullet is slightly undersized (say .363" rather than .365") and thus exhibits blow-by (gases blowing by the bullet because of an improper seal). I have not tried a high-precision caliper on the bullets...might be something to try.

(1) This load was fired from a Russian Makarov with Federal extended threaded barrel and "profile brake" muzzle flip compensator. Even with the tighter bore of the Federal barrel, consistency was not terribly good.

(2) Same as load in above line, but fired from East German Makarov. Note the small change in muzzle velocity between the longer/tighter barrel and the stock East German barrel. This gives some insight what type of effect blow-by has. Compare this result to the HS6 LRN load and you'll quickly realize why lead bullets are so much better for your gun than jacketed.

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