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Thread: Unique load for 9mm 115 gr

  1. #1
    Senior Member teter09's Avatar
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    Unique load for 9mm 115 gr

    Hey guys and gals!

    I was given a 4 pound jug of Unique and was going to use it up and reload some 9mm. I flip open my 2 books and what do I find? One books Minimum is ABOVE the max load data in my other book!

    I will be using Rainier 115 gr Plated bullets. The data below is NOT taking into account the 10% reduction in powder due to using the plated bullet.

    Speer manual, using 115 gr TMJ RN says starting load is 5.6 grs and Max load is 6.3 grs.

    Lee Manual (Modern Reloading 2nd Edition) for 115gr Jacketed bullet says starting load is 5.1 grs and Max load is 5.5grs.


    The Alliant website recommends 6.3 grs on their website, seems hot to me from what I've seen elsewhere (forums, research).

    Since I trust this crowd a lot more than random internet forums, I figured I would ask. I don't have Chono equipment so I really can't verify much except by my general experience about felt recoil and if it functions well in my firearms.

    My gut says that starting at 5.1 grs for the bullets I'm using would be safe....but would it be too weak? I've used a lot of blue dot, but never Unique before. Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Red Dawg's Avatar
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    Teter, I'm not reloading yet but my Nosler reloading guide lists the following for 115 gr jacketed hollow points & Unique powder:


    charge(gr) muzzle vel load density
    Max 6.1 1120 fps 61%
    5.6 1060 fps 56%
    5.1* 1000 fp 51%
    *most accurate

    Sierra manual (115 gr JHP & 115 gr FMJ)
    Unique powder
    velocity-> 1000 1050 1100 1150 1200 1250
    charge (gr) 4.9 5.2 5.6 5.9 6.3 6.6**
    ** = max load

    Hope this helps.
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator Steve48's Avatar
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    I'd start at 5.1 grains and just load ten. Load another ten with 5.3. Head for the range and shoot the light loads first. If you like them, take the heavier loads home, pull the bullets, and go from there. If the 5.1 loads are too light, shoot the 5.3s. And so on.

    Naturally, I'd take something else to get in some real shooting while I'm at the range.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve48 View Post
    I'd start at 5.1 grains and just load ten. Load another ten with 5.3. Head for the range and shoot the light loads first. If you like them, take the heavier loads home, pull the bullets, and go from there. If the 5.1 loads are too light, shoot the 5.3s. And so on.

    Naturally, I'd take something else to get in some real shooting while I'm at the range.
    +1..Years ago, I used Unique and Bullseye almost exclusively and loaded 9mm, 45, 38 and .357, using the Speer Manual. If Speer says minimum load is 5.6, load 10% less (5.04 gr) and work your way up, watching for signs of excessive pressure (flattened primers, split cases, etc).
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  5. #5
    Distinguished Member SEE IT LIKE A NATIVE's Avatar
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    excessive pressure may come from the lighter loads !

    Because of the way powder burns inside the case ,and because the powder is a progressive powder , the smaller charge may have higher pressure than the heavier charge ! You are in a range that will probably be safe with either end of the spectrum , but performance ie accuracy , precision and functioning (cycling of the action ) plus excessive smoke or incomplete burn may be a problem ! Kevin
    BIG BULLETS NEVER SHRINK !! AND BIG HOLES LET THE BAD OUT FASTER !

  6. #6
    Member swampfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teter09 View Post
    Hey guys and gals!

    I was given a 4 pound jug of Unique and was going to use it up and reload some 9mm. I flip open my 2 books and what do I find? One books Minimum is ABOVE the max load data in my other book!

    I will be using Rainier 115 gr Plated bullets. The data below is NOT taking into account the 10% reduction in powder due to using the plated bullet.

    Speer manual, using 115 gr TMJ RN says starting load is 5.6 grs and Max load is 6.3 grs.

    Lee Manual (Modern Reloading 2nd Edition) for 115gr Jacketed bullet says starting load is 5.1 grs and Max load is 5.5grs.


    The Alliant website recommends 6.3 grs on their website, seems hot to me from what I've seen elsewhere (forums, research).

    Since I trust this crowd a lot more than random internet forums, I figured I would ask. I don't have Chono equipment so I really can't verify much except by my general experience about felt recoil and if it functions well in my firearms.

    My gut says that starting at 5.1 grs for the bullets I'm using would be safe....but would it be too weak? I've used a lot of blue dot, but never Unique before. Thoughts?
    FWIW I load 115 grn Berry's Plated bullets which i believe to be similar to Rainier in hardness, I use 5.4 grns of Unique, I have had no signs of excessive pressure, according to my notes, over a hundred shot string my average velocity was 1076 from a Sig P226 as always YMMV and it never hurts to start light and work up
    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. "
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  7. #7
    Member Devilfrog's Avatar
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    Load data from the Rainier website by Midway USA: (2006)

    Rainier Load Data 9mm 115Gr RN
    Alliant Unique
    Start: 4.3 Gr / Velocity: 934 / PSI: 19,300
    Max: 5.3 Gr / Velocity: 1092 / PSI: 27,100

    Cartridge overall length: 1.165"
    Max OAL: 1.169"
    Max Case length: .754"
    Trim to length: .744"
    Primer: Winchester SP

    Note: I find their load data to be very conservative, the start load failed to even cycle my XD or Ruger P95.
    Last edited by Devilfrog; 03-31-2010 at 01:13 PM.
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