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Thread: trials and tribulations of my Destroyer caebine

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    trials and tribulations of my Destroyer caebine

    Not much info out there about these rifles.
    Thought maybe it might be interesting.
    All started many, many years ago when I saw a friends rifle.
    Once I saw the engraving of the Destroyer on the reciver, I just had to have one.
    I found one on an auction, and won.
    When I got it, I found out it was chambered for 9mm Largo.
    No ammo to be found.
    After a while Star line came out with cases.
    Ordered 100 and looked up load data.
    There used to be a good site with much information on these rifles and ammo.
    Sadly, it's gone.
    Found some load date, and loaded up some rounds.
    Condom bullets.
    Accuracy was terrible.
    Went back in the safe until recently.
    Member here, Rapidrob, posted about his experiment with 190gr boolets.
    Asked if it would be possible to get some to try.
    He sent me a few, so "the game is a foot"
    Didn't want to use the heavy boolets right off, so started with what I had in 9mm/38 molds.
    A lee 124gr round nose, and a 147gr Lyman semi wad cutter.
    Sized them to 355di and tried them.
    Much better than condoms, but not up to my standards.
    Thought boolet was to small, so up next was 357d.
    A little better, but still not what I expected.
    At this point I thought I should slugg the bore.
    I know I should have done this first.
    Bore turns out to be 357di.
    So now I tried some 358 and unsized boolets.
    Unsized ran around 359di to 360di.
    Much better, but I noticed the second string of five shots, grouped way better than the first.
    Checked the action screws, and they are tight.
    Will have to take the action out and see where it's touching.
    Also, in order to hit the bull, the front sight had to be drifted way to the left.
    Need to fix that to.
    And, something is wrong with the ejector.
    Shells don't pop out and eject.
    Extraction is fine.
    Work in progress.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    Sounds like you are on the right track. The one I had apparently had seen a lot of corrosive ammo and the bore was less than pristine. It never shot well enough to hold my interest, but maybe with some lapping and cast boolits it might have come round.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I didn't slugg it at first, because the bore is so nice.
    Just "assumed" bore was good.
    Assumed bites me in the back side again.
    Going to try some .361di 150gr boolets.
    Lapped out a mold for the 38 S&W I have.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Cat wanted to go outside tonight, so I thought it would be a good chance to check the stock fit.
    It was not to good.
    Left side was pushing the barrel to the right in three places.
    One spot, where the front sling goes, was pushing up on the barrel.
    Worked on it, and made it free floating.
    Hope it helps.
    Also checked the ejector. It looked fine.
    With the action out of the stock, I tried to eject an empty shell.
    The extractor wouldn't grab the rim.
    I think I have a head space problem. Shells to short. Starline brass.
    Didn't have a problem with a boolet in the case, so I think the seating depth might be taking up the space.
    Now I might have to look for longer shells.
    Checked and this is what I found........
    9mm Largo...................23.11......0.910
    38 Super......................22.86......0.900
    9x23............................22.86.......0.900
    Any idea what else might work?????
    I've read that cut down .223 shells might work.
    But the base diameter seems to small.
    I should mention that I am using 9mm Lugar dies to resize the case.
    Last edited by abunaitoo; 05-24-2019 at 04:43 AM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Do a Chamber cast and see that the inside of the chamber measures out too.
    Then you can decide what casings you would want to use.

  6. #6
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    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    I never found a correct cartridge case but didn't have any 9mm Bergman 25+ years ago when I got my Destroyer. It was just a shooter so I just set the barrel back 1/2 thread so it would headspace on 38 Super cases. Had to file a new extractor groove. Made a small block to fit where the old extractor groove was because it was now where the feed ramp is. Not hard to do either.

    The barrel on mine is a 1 - 18"+ twist. Groove diameter is .356 - .357 (not consistent for length of the barrel). Surprisingly it shoots quite well for what it is. I've shot numerous 88 - 125 gr jacketed bullets of .355, .356 and .357 diameters and it handles them all very well. I had a bunch of bulk 125 gr .357 Winchester HPs that I pushed at 1700 fps ....safely. I can say that because I don't have a 38 Super handgun. Also the chamber is a bit large in diameter I us a 9mm sizer to partial/neck size and the reloaded cartridge won't chamber in a 38 super anyway. Before the pundits start yelling about that I don't load those anymore. I load a 356-120-TC sized .357, lubed with BAC or NRA 50/50 over 3 gr of either Bullseye or WST powder. That runs 960+ fps with excellent accuracy. Shot a lot of 150 gr 358477s over 4 gr Unique and they did okay at 1110 fps. Any faster and accuracy went south.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I loaded up a handful of 9mm Largo rounds for testing last week, using Starline brass and the jacketed HB bullets (.354" diameter, 125 grs) from pulled "vintage" rounds (250 rounds that came with my Astra 400, mostly duds). I use 3.2 to 3.5 grs of Bullseye. I size the brass with 38 acp dies, then resize with 9mm dies for neck tension, then a 9mm crimp. The rifle was very accurate (it had a rear peep sight) and kicked like an angry .22. One round of the vintage ammo fired (from a box of 25) and it was a lot hotter than my reloads. I removed the peep sight and bought an original sight on ebay that's on its way ($42 plus shipping for the sight leaf alone - no base, no screw, no spring).
    These rifles are getting popular, and the parts are scarce (and pricey). If someone could start making extractors, they'd make some moola. Great carbines.

    Nice looking carbine, Larry. I like that scope.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Might add the Spanish 9mm Largo (Bergman-Bayard) was loaded with a 125 gr bullet with a velocity of about 1130 +/- fps out of the Astra handguns.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    One step forward, two steps back.
    Last weekend.
    I thought I had a good load.
    First five shots 2" to 3" to the left.
    Second five 1" to 2" center.
    Got home and checked stock to barrel clearance.
    Hard on the left side. Good on the right.
    Took off wood to free up the barrel.
    This weekend.
    Same load. All over the place.
    I noticed the barrel band was touching.
    Took the bands off and no change.
    Going to try to put some upward pressure at the front of the barrel.
    Haven't done a chamber cast. Don't really see the point.
    I already know the cases are to short.
    Places I've checked are out of 9mm Win Mag shells.
    Also seems to be out of 9mm Largo shells.
    Seating the boolet out farther seems to help with head space.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Not sure of the dimensions, but s it possible that the new .350 Legend might be a source of brass for the generous chambers? Just a thought.

    Somewhere I read the account of someone who worked on Destroyers and found that it was not uncommon that the barrels were not much more than hand tight in the receivers and this can play hob with accuracy. Have any of you found this to be the case? I really wanted one of those to rebarrel to 7.62x25mm and/or .22 TCM. That would be just the thing for a walking-around carbine on the farm.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Worked on the stack some more.
    For reloading, I didn't resize the cases.
    Just deprime and reload.
    Went with .358 diameter.
    Wish I had a .359 sizer.
    Match today, but most of the time, have extra time to shoot after.
    I have a feeling I'm getting closer.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Had some time yesterday to shoot this thing.
    Seems I got the stock problem solved.
    With the load I had, it grouped 3" to 4" at 50yds.
    All in the center of the target.
    I know it can do better.
    Now I probably have to start over on load testing.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Had some time to reload and try some yesterday.
    About the same as the week before.
    I'm beginning to think 3" to 4" at 50 might be the best it can do with the 145gr boolet I'm using.
    Time to try something else.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    https://www.starlinebrass.com/brass-cases/223-Basic/

    These un-formed .223's might have some potential for you to trim and size as necessary for your project.
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

  15. #15
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    tomme boy's Avatar
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    Did you ever find any 9mm Win Mag brass?

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I've looked into forming .223. The base is just to small.
    I did find some.
    Another member here has some.
    Waiting for them now.
    Good people here. Always willing to help.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    So..............
    I got the 9mm Mag brass.
    I trimmed 10 of them to fit my Destroyer chamber.
    Came out to 23.59mm/9029in.
    Used the same load of 358-145 SWC. 4.0 of Unique.
    At 50yds, 1" to 2".
    I didn't think the head space would make that much of a difference.
    Even the ejection was better.
    Need to change to a round nose boolet.
    It sometimes would hang up on the ridge.
    Next reload, I will not size the case, only deprime.
    Hoping the case will not have the bulge.
    This is showing some promise after all.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master


    tomme boy's Avatar
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    That awesome! keep us updated

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by abunaitoo View Post
    So..............
    I got the 9mm Mag brass.
    I trimmed 10 of them to fit my Destroyer chamber.
    Came out to 23.59mm/9029in.
    Used the same load of 358-145 SWC. 4.0 of Unique.
    At 50yds, 1" to 2".
    I didn't think the head space would make that much of a difference.
    Even the ejection was better.
    Need to change to a round nose boolet.
    It sometimes would hang up on the ridge.
    Next reload, I will not size the case, only deprime.
    Hoping the case will not have the bulge.
    This is showing some promise after all.
    I neck size only when reloading the .303 which is known for bulging cases.
    To make sure cases last as long as possible I mark the rims and after firing and reloading I make sure to turn the case 180 degrees before the second firing. That way the cases are evenly expanded all around , reducing canting of the boolit at origin of rifling and primers are well centered to the firing pin.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    More testing on Sunday.
    Only 10 cases were fire formed, so the rest had a slight bulge in the case.
    It caused a problem on extraction a loaded round.
    The extractor pulled out of the spring holder, and the bolt got stuck.
    Happened a few times before.
    Will work on it later this week.

    Also the LEE TC boolet didn't feed, from the mag, as smoothly as I had hoped.
    The tiny case lip would still get hung up feeding into the chamber.
    I was working the bolt slowly, so maybe I need to go faster.
    The load shot well.
    LEE 356-120TC, PC to .358di
    Unique
    3.6...1 1/2 to 2
    3.8......1/2 to 1
    4.0......1/2 to 1
    4.2...1 1/2 to 2
    All at 50yds, 5 shot string
    As normal, Unique is very dirty burning.
    I'm going to try different powders, to try and find one that is cleaner burning.

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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