For those who like to roll their own.
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Charles L. Cotton
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I've always been a fan of the 9X23. There's just something about having a "hot .357 mag." in a 1911 pistol. I've had a 9X23, didn't like its lack of accuracy, so I had a Briley 38Super barrel installed. Nevertheless, it's always in the back of my mind to get another 9X23. That caliber has always enjoyed only a small following and it is considered by many gun enthusiasts as "black magic." I was researching last night to see if there was anything new in the 9X23 community and I ran across an excellent post by Gerk on 1911forum.com. The post is over 4 1/2 years old, but his advice is sound today as it will be 100 years from now.
I wish I could get an email or PM to an Administrator on 1911forum.com to ask permission to repost his entire post, but I can't find a way to do it. Therefore, I copied part of Gerk's post below along with a link to the thread. Gerk's post is #13 in the thread. Everyone who reloads or is considering doing so should read it, even though you may have no interest in 9X23. His warning/advice spans the entire reloading spectrum. (Oh yes, I have shot 9X23 in my 38 Super, but never again.)
Link to thread: https://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=370292
Gerk - 1911Forum.com wrote:You are fortunate in accessing this Forum bench section as most of the practical advice given regarding loading for the 9x23 has been very sound.
I am always amazed when such sound advice is freely given and not taken.
While some do use their 38 Super barrels to shoot the 9x23 out of, when considering the stark differences in operating pressure, case and chamber specifications reconsideration should move to the top of the list to the prudent Handloader.
You don’t have to be an old Handloader to be wise.
(There is no rule against this, but some act as if there were)
This is more of a “should I” than a “can I” decision to make.
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A timely post, Charles... as I have been researching a 38 super or 9x?? as my next purchase. And I agree - Gerk is a real asset over there. (that's the other gun related forum I frequent)
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If you reload and don't mind a 5" barrel, the 357 Sig is probably the best handgun caliber ever invented. When I read posts like this, I wonder at the lack of acceptance. Cheap ammo is certainly an issue, and without an AP press the 357 Sig is not cost effective to shoot. However, as it uses a .355" bullet and LE range brass is cheap, it can be reloaded at the same cost as 124 gr 9mm.
To the question of ballistics,I think that people are broadly caught up between the desires for a pocket rifle and a Derringer. It's particularly acute among the CHL crowd, for whom small size is a real, practical issue. A firearm is a system, and the barrel is as much a part of the cartridge as the case and primer; it is all one pressure vessel. Perhaps the most important question in choosing a caliber is the length of barrel appropriate for ones intended use. My EDC is a Sig P232 with Underwood 90 gr XTPs chronoed at 1130-1180. That's not what we're discussing here, but rather its counter-point: for a small grip and a 3.5" barrel, I think that a .380 is a better combination of powder volume and pressure than a 9. For a 4" or 4.5" barrel,.a the .40, .45, and 9 are all highly efficient choices. As those are the most common barrel lengths, it's no surprise that those are the most popular calibers. At 5" and beyond, the 10mm and hot 9s (9mm Dillon, 9x23,and 357 Sig) truly come into their own.
So I think that the fundamental question is not one of how to get a hot 9; that wheel has been invented and reinvented several times over. The real question, in my view, is "when, or under which circumstances, would i tolerate an auto with a 5" barrel?"