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Thread: 9mm bulge issues

  1. #1

    9mm bulge issues

    So I've been trying to load a ton of 9mm for plinking. I ran into some of my ammo that didn't fit the chamber correctly and locked the slide. I've been shooting out of mostly glocks and bought a 100 round case gauge to check my ammo. I have found a lot of my ammo doesn't check out with the case gauge.

    I read using a 9x18 makarov lee fcd with three internals removed works to resize the bottom of the case. I ran 10 through and only one passed the case gauge.

    I know lee makes a bulge buster where you will use the 9x18 makarov die, but my question is, will the lee bulge buster actually do anything that the makarov die doesn't already or is it just an extension? Or should I just buy an undersized sizing die and scrap all the loaded rounds that didn't pass the case gauge?

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  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy DonMountain's Avatar
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    Have you measured the loaded cases with an accurate micrometer and compared the dimensions with the SAMI limits? I had a similar problem with an old 380 pistol with a tight chamber and the projectiles were commercial cast with an applied powder coat that made them 2 thousandths too large to fit the chamber.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    nicholst55's Avatar
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    You may want to look into one of the Lee undersized sizing dies, available from EGW. They size to -.003" under SAAMI spec, and some folks find them useful for this purpose. They state that this die sizes further down the case to eliminate bulges.

    http://www.egwguns.com/smithing-tool...die-9mm-luger/

    I note that it's currently out of stock.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy sparkyv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gobbles23 View Post
    I know lee makes a bulge buster where you will use the 9x18 makarov die, but my question is, will the lee bulge buster actually do anything that the makarov die doesn't already or is it just an extension?
    The Bulge Buster kit will not add anything to what you've already done, gobbles. The kit is nothing more than a collar that allows the sized round/case pass through the FCD without hanging up on the threads, a pedestal type punch to use in place of the shell holder, and a container to catch the sized rounds. The FCD that you provide is the piece that does the actual sizing. Every round/case that I've passed through my 9x18 Makarov die has "passed" in my cartridge gauge. If I ever get some that didn't, I would pull them and toss the brass.

  5. #5
    I've seen the undersized dies yesterday, but was hoping that the bulge buster would work. I just didn't know if the extension sleeve would do any sizing beyond the what the fcd did.

    I have not used a micrometer yet, most of my reloading setup is at my dads but I will attempt it.

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  6. #6
    Boolit Mold
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    Do the cases fit the case gauge after sizing (thus before seating the bullet)?

    Also even if they don't fit the case gauge they might just fire fine.

    Not sure if a push thru sizer will work since 9mm is a tapered case. Did you ajdust the sizing die properly btw? Ie. fully screwed in touching the shellplate and giving it an extra 1/4 turn.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I've shot and reloaded a bazillion 9mm rounds, including out of Glocks, and never had a problem with bulging cases. The first thing I would look into is your load. Are your loads too hot?
    Many 9mm chambers have an unsupported section, that's not unique to Glock. The 9mm is a high pressure cartridge but the casing is pretty strong down near the base. If you're bulging the casing near the base, you're either running too much pressure or the action is unlocking too soon.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
    TheDoctor's Avatar
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    Try a steel die. Sizes a little bit more of the case than a carbide die.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy Ed_Shot's Avatar
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    Xrayfk05 is asking the right question. Does your sized/deprimed 9MM brass (before you expand the neck) plunk into case guage? If it doesn't you have a sizing problem. If it does, you are doing something wrong during your reloading process. Boolit diameter too big; insufficient crimp; OAL too long .... etc.

  10. #10
    I will have to check all this when I get back to my dad's house. Good ideas though. I'll keep you updated when I make it over there. Should be around Sunday or Monday.

    I am fairly new to reloading. I loaded around 250 .45ACP for a 1911 and had no issues, now that I've moved to 9mm I've loaded around 700 rounds and just started shooting them. Some shot great, but others didn't chamber right.

    The loaf isn't very hot. 5.1gr of power pistol with a 125g cast lead powder coated bullet sized to .357

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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    mdi's Avatar
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    As Donmountain mentioned; measure. Measure the cartridge in a few places (case mouth, mid way, near the head/web, and the rim.). When you know where the round is too big you can zero in on the problem. Or measure the case/cartridge after each step to see when it becomes too large to chamber...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy Ole Joe Clarke's Avatar
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    I just finished loading a bunch of 9 mm, I plunk test each one in a 9 mm barrel. I had one that I ran back through the taper crimp die. I don't have a shell gage, so I just use a barrel.

    One thing I did a few months ago was to load a test lot of 50 pcs on my Lee Classic Turret with the index rod removed. Loaded them like I would do on any single stage press. As I loaded them I tweaked each die and locked it down when I got it fine tuned. Now as I load them I don't have any trouble with function in my pistols.

    Have a blessed day,

    Leon

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    mdi's Avatar
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    I have a gauge for my 45 ACP handloads, somewhere, but just after I got it I realized I would be shooting my ammo out of my gun's barrel, not the gauge. Now I only use my guns' barrels for my plunk testing. Has worked quite well for nearly 20 years...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy Cowboy_Dan's Avatar
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    Were uou using the Makarov die as a push through or with a normal shell holder? Point of using it as a push through is that it sizes all the way down to the rim. If you don't have the bulge buster kit, you could use a bullet sizer pushrod or something, but if you are pushing loaded rounds through there should be a hollow under the primer. Stay safe and have fun.
    "It is wrong always, everywhere, and for everyone to believe anything on insufficient evidence."
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    Forget the gauge, use the barrel but as you evidently have several, find the tightest one. You also didn't indicate cast or jacketed. My rcbs seating die does a good job when I move the plug up and run the ram up all the way. Guess I lucked out (cast only). Works for 40sw too.
    Whatever!

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    After your case comes out of your sizing die, plunk test it. If it plunks OK, which it should, then your problem is down stream. I had similar issues and found that my bullets were not seated deep enough and the bullet was hitting the rifling preventing it from plunking.

    BTW, I have a Lee Bulge Buster and Lee (EGW) undersized die that I donít need and would sell together as a set if interested?

  17. #17
    I finally figured out my problem, it want so much that the brass was bulged, but it wasn't crimped/seated enough. Just by ruining out back through the seating and crimping die it would plunk fine.

    I went through all of my loaded rounds and plunk tested them all and the ones that didn't I corrected by running them through the seating die. I had about 6-7 that would not work no matter what.

    Thanks for all the help. It just sucks when you don't have the equipment where you are And you can't sit and work.

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  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    gobbled23, Glad you found your major problem, but I will answer your original question. First Lee does not make a Bulge Buster Kit for the 9mm. I contacted Lee years ago when they first introduced the Bulge Buster and gave them the dimensions I wanted for a custom 9mm die. When they found out what I wanted to use it as a 9mm bulge buster they refused to make the die. Their reason was a 9mm is not a true straight wall cartridge as per SAAMI specifications. My argument was I had measured literally hundreds if not thousands of 9mm cases from every major US and foreign manufacture and none were made to SAAMI specifications. They agreed I was right, but still refused to make the die for liability reasons.
    So I started looking for a die that I could possibly use and came up with the Lee 9x18 makarov crimp die. As the die came it would work, but it was a little smaller that the dimension I wanted for 9mm. As I said I had already measured a lot of 9mm cases. I am not suggesting anyone do this, but I simply cucked up the die in my lathe and with a little diamond polish on a wooden dowel increased the internal diameter a few thousands and achieved a mirror finish. I have used this die on tens of thousands of 9mm cased and I just do not have a round fail to chamber due to bulged brass.
    Since I pick up a lot of range brass it all goes through a bulge buster.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check