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Thread: never too old to learn!

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Indianapolis, indiana

    never too old to learn!

    had a recent issue that will never happen again!


    cartridge in the spotlight is the 9mm Luger.

    size my flat nosed 125 grain cone shaped and powder coated boolits to .355 [/] check
    chamfer the brass and use the correct Lyman "m" die. [/] check
    did a lot of powder testing to determine what powder and how much. [/] check.
    did a lot of testing to get the exact O.A.L. for this cartridge. [/] check
    got out my handy dandy dillon case gage that is made to saami specs. to make sure that my finished product would indeed chamber well. [/] check !!!

    now i have 200 rounds tucked neatly into two
    100 round cases from MTM case company. [/] check-a- roony!

    i'm for range time... i have 16 mecgar magazines for my springfield armory R.O. 9mm Luger.

    the reason for 16 is so i can load up all 16 prior to being on the clock for shooting and not wanting
    to spend half the time loading mags.

    when i arrived to the line it was a simple matter of popping in a mag.... shoot....eject.....pop in another
    ...and so on.

    didn't work out quite that way tho.

    the first racking didn't go into battery and locked up the gun...cleared off 1 shot , locked again.

    friggin slide won't fully close!

    tried 5 different mags same problem .....WTH!

    my chamber gage was at home so i improvised.
    i field stripped my gun and used my barrel as a chamber know the one that is supposed to adhere to saami specs?

    i found that over 160 of the finished rounds would not do the "plunk test" and pass....half way in and stops.

    when i got myself home, i whipped out the dillon case gage and ALL the 160+ rounds went into the gage with no problems.

    apparently my barrel is a few thousandths on the under side size.

    i'm left with 3 options as i see it.

    1. always check with the barrel and toss the gage.
    2. ream out the barrel to match the gage. (do they even make such a tapered ream?)
    3. keep buying or have a smaller gage made. (not practical to me)

    what would you do?

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Pleasant Hope MO
    I use the barrel as a case gauge as none of my case gauges are the same as the barrel that the ammo will be used in.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy BNE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    I load for a few 9mm pistols. I have a Berretta 92 that will take "Anything". (OK not really anything, but it will feed bullets that the other two guns won't!) A Glock that won't and a Springfield that is picky also. I use the settings for the tightest chamber and use that chamber as my gage. I don't plunk them all, but I do sporadically as I am loading.

    If you contact DougGuy on this forum, he can fix that barrel for you. He has worked on my 0.357 and 0.45 and the work was quick, reasonable and good.

    I'm a Happy Clinger.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by ioon44 View Post
    I use the barrel as a case gauge as none of my case gauges are the same as the barrel that the ammo will be used in.
    I use the barrel also as a case gauge of the gun I will use the ammo in and take care of the problem. I found that out on some other that is of different cartilage that the rounds works in most of the ones that shot that round but not the one.So what I did is make it that way if will fit in that one and then they fit in all the others. You also got a odd ball that need to do different that the others that will not work in any other so mark the box for what it is for and go with that.Just to give some ideas.
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  5. #5
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    El Dorado County, N. Ca.
    I read somewhere an article about case and cartridge gages but for the life of me can't find it now...If I remember correctly, the 'cartridge gage' is a 'maximum length gage'...based on SAAMI specifications of the various cartridges, 'min & max' standards. Manufacturers of weapons make them to fall in-between those specs.
    You could have a 'minimum' dimension pistol chamber and have a cartridge that plunks in a ' max' cartridge gage that may not plunk your barrel but will in another...if it were me, I'd get my chamber worked on and include getting it throated as well since I run mainly casts.

    Here's the best I could find this morning...* the use of a combination 'case/cartridge' gage...

    From amount of the step at the top, the cartridge base, there's not much room for err on length of brass...

    This is a pretty good description to use the 'combination case/cartridge' checker I found online . . .

    *Place a clean cartridge into the gauge and make sure that it completely seats by itself with no assistance to seat it.
    The head of the brass should sit within the lower and middle step of the gauge. If the cartridge sits higher than the middle step then your brass might be too long.
    If the head of the brass sits below the lowest step then your brass may be too short (or) the bullet crimp is too much. It's easy to check by eye or finger tip feel or with the help of a straight edge or steel rule.
    With the cartridge in the gauge, check the other end of the gage to make sure the tip (bullet end) is not protruding outside the back face of the gauge. If the tip of the bullet protrudes from the end of the gauge the entire cartridge is longer than the maximum allowed cartridge length.
    If the cartridge does not easily drop into the gauge without assistance there is most likely something wrong with the dimensions of your cartridge.

    I like using the gages so my ammo will run in any of my platforms of same caliber. I keep one on a magnet by the presses and use it for setting up the dies and the rounds coming out of the press...just intermittently as you would check the powder throw on a long run.
    a m e r i c a n p r a v d a

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    just, "watch your 6" .

  6. #6
    I’m wondering why you sized your bullets to .355. Unless your barrel slugged at .354, I would expect your sizing for a PC lead bullet to be .356

    Next, assuming some of your cartridges drop into the barrel AND spin freely, the OAL is fine for the particular bullet you’re loading. If the cartridges that fit inside your chamber don’t spin freely once dropped in, your overall length is too long. Truncated cone bullets generally need to be loaded a bit shorter to keep them off the lands.

    The next thing to look at is your taper crimp. Bullet tension in 9mm Luger is set by the sizing die and the taper crimp has NOTHING to do with it. The taper crimp is simply used to remove any flare you added to the mouth of case when seating the bullet. Too little crimp is bad, too much crimp is worse.

    The next thing is your sizing die. Most competitive shooters have learned the virtues of undersizing 9mm. Crank your sizing down as far as it will go and tighten it up (no, don’t back it off). Size a few cases and test them with your barrel. All should fit, if not you’ll need an under sizing die for your chamber. Lee makes a nice U-Die. My 9mm rounds have a coke Bottle shape... anything less than this is wrong in my opinion.

    Worst case, use a Lee Factory Crimp Die. You can make a ton of errors loading 9mm and the Lee FCD will “fix” them in one step.

    Also, there is zero reason to chamfer 9mm brass, just add some flare to the case mouth, seat your bullet and use a Crimp Die to remove any flare you added.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    I just use my barrel (plural if I have multiple handguns in that caliber) as a case gauge. In 9x19 my CZ75 has tightest chamber so I use it as a gauge. Works every time.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

    gwpercle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Back in the 1960's case gauges hadn't been invented so we used our gun barrel to gauge.

    I am here to tell you that just because a round will fit some makers case gauge... it is NO guarantee whatsoever that round will fit your guns chamber.
    It's a scam to sell you useless reloading nick nacks .

    Use your barrel as the gauge and check them in your magazine for fit and feeding.

    Setting OAL to some number in a book without checking in your gun is foolish also....That OAL number is just a starting point , it's not carved in stone.

    Live and learn,
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Northwest Ohio
    The plunk test is about as cut and dried, for sure as it gets. While not as handy as the "Gages" are its the exact same chamber your using in the gun. If you have some rounds that chambered left use them in your gage and make note of how much farther they drop in from the others. IE The ones that don't chamber may be even the ones that do -.010 below the face. Now you know where on the gage you need to be for your pistols chamber. not quite right according to gage instructions but "right for your pistols needs. You can go like this or dress the gage face down a little to match.

    On my tight necked rifles my gage was made by my gunsmith. He simply reamed a chamber in the cut of barrel and this gave me a gage to check neck dia and shoulder set back when sizing. They were seldom full length of the cartridge so I measured over them with calipers for the shoulder set back. Since these were cut by the same reamer same machine same hand they were very close to each other

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Indianapolis, indiana
    what about spinning my barrel in a lathe and using diamond paste to polish up the chamber lightly?

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    georgerkahn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    South of the (Canada) border
    I cannot and will not suggest ANYTHING for YOU to do. However, I can relate what I did in a sort-of similar paradigm. A quite responsible reloader, in need of money, sold his 10mm handgun. ALL of his reloads were offered to me at below-component-costs... how could I say, "no"? His labeled loads for the cast bullets would be mild, and I used a Quinetic hammer-tool to take apart a few, measuring the powder. All were right-on; and, I was planning on shooting them in a quite husky S&W Model 610 revolver. Soooo, I applied a bit of Imperial (now made by Redding) case lub, and (wearing goggles and ear protectors) resized the remaining 270 cartridges. Wiped off excess wax, and took them to range, after dropping each into a L. E. Wilson max case gage, in which they dropped with no drag. At the range, they fit, and shot without a hitch! Note again, this is what *I* did, and maybe I was lucky... I am in no way suggesting YOU, or anyone else, do this. Kind of like decapping cases with live primers... another procedure one should NOT even think of doing...
    Good luck!

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    I don't know how many tens of thousand of 9 I've loaded with range pick up brass. Never had any chambering issues when I started 30 years ago. Not sure when I started having rounds stick in the chamber and keep the gun out of battery.

    First problem was scrounging up bulged brass fired out of unsupported chambers. Had that issue with 40 and solved it with a Case Master Jr from Magma. It's a push through sizer. Bought a 9 die for it and sized all my 9 brass. Problem was solved for awhile.

    It came back with certain brass. CBC headstamped brass is the worst. Most of the internally stepped case wall brass is a problem too. Certain brass sticks in certain guns worse than others. This is after its been sized twice. Once through the Case Master and then again on the press where the size die kisses the shell plate pretty hard.

    I'm too lazy to sort by headstamps. Most of the stepped wall stuff I catch going through the casemaster. After the finished rounds are loaded in 50 round ammo boxes, I scan for CBC headlamps and GFI IIRC. I pick those out. Match ammo I case Gage and the fails go with the CBC stuff, which I then run through a Lee Factory Crimp die. I Mark them so I don't pick them up again and use them for practice only.

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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