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Thread: Newbie questions about casting 9mm and .223?

  1. #21
    Boolit Buddy chutesnreloads's Avatar
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    The casting of the 9mm is not an issue,,,the trouble comes from loading.I never could get a whole magazine shot without bullets hitting the target sieways until started powdercoating.Even with the powder coat I've had too much frustration loading cast in 9mm.
    One consideration with the multi-cavity molds is the extra weight since the heavier pistols are an issue.Just something to consider

  2. #22
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    Before spending any $$$ on casting equipment I would first find a source for lead. All the casting equipment in the world will be useless unless you have raw materials.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tazman View Post
    There are no issues with Lee 6 cavity molds that don't exist with other molds. Just get the mold hot before you start casting. You can use a hot plate or set the mold on the top of your pot while it is heating up.
    I have used powder coating in the past but find it to be more hassle than I wish to deal with. I water quench my boolits directly from the mold. When I powder coat, I have to re-heat treat the boolits to get them hard again.
    The system I use works fine for me so why change it?
    Agreed. If it works for you don't change it.

    I just want to pick your collective brains and try to figure out what will work for me.

    I appreciate your help.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by chutesnreloads View Post
    The casting of the 9mm is not an issue,,,the trouble comes from loading.I never could get a whole magazine shot without bullets hitting the target sieways until started powdercoating.Even with the powder coat I've had too much frustration loading cast in 9mm.
    One consideration with the multi-cavity molds is the extra weight since the heavier pistols are an issue.Just something to consider
    What is the barrel length you are shooting from? Barrel twist?

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dar View Post
    Before spending any $$$ on casting equipment I would first find a source for lead. All the casting equipment in the world will be useless unless you have raw materials.
    It's a 30+ mile drive to the nearest salvage yard but they do have 50# of fishing weights waiting for me @ $0.25 a pound.

    I haven't checked yet but I may be able to buy lead from the local bullet casting company. Yeah.... We don't have Walmart or McDonald's but we do make boolits.

  6. #26
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    .223 are a challenge to be sure. I have yet to load any of the 3-coat PC boolits I cast earlier this winter for my AR as I have been distracted by the 350LGD. I will see if I can get a box loaded up and sent down range this weekend. I'm sure you don't want to fuss with these though, I temper the boolits at 5 degrees under slump then into an ice/salt bath right out the door of the oven.

  7. #27
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    In comparison with a casting education, you are attempting to start college level 300 classes with out graduating from high school. It can be done but not without a ton of frustrations. Most casters start with 38 special and 30-30 because they need the fundamentals.
    Having cast for 9mm since the early 90's, I am not sure accuracy will ever exceed jacketed in that caliber and one has to be a master to equal it. I find 223 much easier to get accurate loads with a break open or a bolt action than an AR, though it can happen. I think that building without a foundation is a recipe for failure.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  8. #28
    Boolit Buddy chutesnreloads's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MT Gianni View Post
    In comparison with a casting education, you are attempting to start college level 300 classes with out graduating from high school. It can be done but not without a ton of frustrations. Most casters start with 38 special and 30-30 because they need the fundamentals.
    Thank you.This is what I was trying to get across,

  9. #29
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    I am still missing what it is that makes 9mm so difficult?

    I am not being argumentative. I really don't understand the difference in difficulty between .38, .45 and 9mm. I have loaded all three and not found any one of them particularly difficult. 9mm may be a bit more particular as far as COAL and bullet shape to feed well but not much.

    I am on a quest to learn something new. I appreciate you all taking the time to share your knowledge and experience.

  10. #30
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
    I am still missing what it is that makes 9mm so difficult?

    I am not being argumentative. I really don't understand the difference in difficulty between .38, .45 and 9mm. I have loaded all three and not found any one of them particularly difficult. 9mm may be a bit more particular as far as COAL and bullet shape to feed well but not much.

    I am on a quest to learn something new. I appreciate you all taking the time to share your knowledge and experience.
    I missed that as well. I have never had the trouble many on this site have with casting for the 9mm. I have no idea why even though in many cases, the guns are the same.

  11. #31
    Boolit Buddy chutesnreloads's Avatar
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    It is true many have loaded cast in 9mm with no trouble....... but....many do have trouble.Was problems with cast and 9mm brought me here in the beginning.
    After all these years I'm still not satisfied with my cast reloads in 9mm.Moved on to other areas that DO work well.
    Haven't given up on the 9mm and cast but these days I shoot more revolver because I don't have to pick up brass and never lose any.
    Had I known back then what I know now .... I wouldn't have tried loading cast in 9mm before I got some experience with the easier cartridges.
    Not telling you not to try it..... but by all means use the wealth of information on this site before starting.Read,read, and read some more.
    Homework will save a lot of headaches.Hope things work out well for you.

  12. #32
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    9mm is a small high pressure round where the little details all matter. Casting and loading for 45 ACP is generally viewed as being the easier auto-loading round for cast bullets.

    In order to get reasonable accuracy out of 9mm with cast bullets it took me a number of years of casting and reloading to get rounds on par with jacketed bullets. Alloy selection is more important. Correctly sizing bullets is very important. I have guns that take a .357 bullet and others that I use a .358 bullet. The .357 will work in all but I get better accuracy with .358 if it’ll chamber. I use a Lyman M die as an expander since most expanders are meant for jacketed bullets. OAL is more critical. Small variations in powder charges make a bigger difference, etc.

    Starting with 45 ACP is what I’d recommend. With a light target loads you can turn the .45 ACP into something on par with a 38 Special.

  13. #33
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    Thank you all for your replies.

    I am still not entirely clear as to where the difficulty lies. I have loaded many thousand cast .45 & .38 in the past. There was a little tinkering to get the press set up just right but after a week or two I was turning out consistent rounds. If any of you have run the Lee 1000 you understand

    I didn't have any trouble loading cast bullets that I bought. Mostly Redline and Rainier Ballistics.

    Is the difficulty you are warning me of in the casting process or the loading?

    Maybe I should buy some cast 9mm bullets and work on loading them first?

    A little rant about online sellers. I ordered my new press and dies from Lock N Load. The price was fair. Shipping was a little slow. Invoking was disappointing. Two accessories that I ordered were not in the box and one piece was missing from the press kit. And one piece was broken. I called the number on the shipping label and was told that they weren't Lock n Load they just drop ship for them. They gave me another number to call. Called that number and was given a third number. Called #3 and described my problem. She told me that it was a manufacturer issue, call Lee. Then hung up on me. So I tried calling Lee using my new Visible cellular service. For three hours I got "were sorry, all circuits are busy". I finally gave up and decided to call Visible and see what the problem was. Unfortunately, you can't call them.... All support is online. I fired up the support app on my phone and got a chat session going in only 20 minutes. I explained my problem and they asked a couple of questions. Then the app crashed and the chat feature no longer works.
    What to do now? I tried calling Lee again. A wonderful lady answered the phone and listened to my tale. She apologized for the dealer blowing me off and arranged for the missing/broken pieces to be shipped out. It was AAA+ customer service from lee. Not so much for Lock n Load or Visible.

  14. #34
    Boolit Buddy
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    My experiences with loading 9mm come more from FTF and SP problems due to feeding. Once I switched to PC, all my problems went away and all of the boolits will load. I have had no issues with COL or powder loads, crimping or primers so others can chime in if they wish.

    *I spoke with Kathy at LEE last week after sending a broken press back after 1/2 million rounds of .223 went through it over 30 years, she was a sweetie and got me back up and running in no time! AAA+ from me as well.

  15. #35
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    From some of the replies, I am not sure if I have communicated my circumstances well.

    I have never cast bullets.

    I have several years experience loading both cast and jacketed bullets. More cast than jacketed. More pistol than rifle.

    I am switching my every day carry from a full size 1911 .45 to a compact polymer 9mm. I still have plenty of .45 ammo on the shelf and will continue to shoot it for fun. I just cannot carry it all day every day.

    Since I am changing my carry pistol I am changing my practice pistol. Since I like to practice regularly and ammo prices have gone up I need to economize. Reloading using commercially produced bullets is a good start but will still have me counting my pennies.

    You all have convinced me that casting my own .223 is out of the question for now.

    Casting my own 9mm still appeals to me but some of you are voicing caution and a am not understanding what the particular challenges are.

    Press is mounted to the bench and set up with a four die set 9mm. Brass is cleaned. Primers and powder are ready.... Now all I need is boolits.... Oh... And a gun .. Seven days and counting....

    Thanks again Everyone for the input. Please have patience with me.

  16. #36
    Boolit Master
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    I laid out the problems I’d run into in post 32...

    If you want to cast for 9mm go ahead. Typically the worst case scenario is poor accuracy and a leaded barrel. It’s not the end of the world if you screw up. There’s probably a million posts online with people having tons of experience loading other rounds and then trying 9mm and having a variety of issues they’ve never had before.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dapaki View Post
    My experiences with loading 9mm come more from FTF and SP problems due to feeding. Once I switched to PC, all my problems went away and all of the boolits will load. I have had no issues with COL or powder loads, crimping or primers so others can chime in if they wish.

    *I spoke with Kathy at LEE last week after sending a broken press back after 1/2 million rounds of .223 went through it over 30 years, she was a sweetie and got me back up and running in no time! AAA+ from me as well.
    I am pretty sure that I spoke with Kathy yesterday. Very nice lady and a pleasure to talk to on the phone.

    She also told me that they may be able to upgrade my 25 year old Lee 1000. That surprised me.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by reddog81 View Post
    I laid out the problems I’d run into in post 32...

    If you want to cast for 9mm go ahead. Typically the worst case scenario is poor accuracy and a leaded barrel. It’s not the end of the world if you screw up. There’s probably a million posts online with people having tons of experience loading other rounds and then trying 9mm and having a variety of issues they’ve never had before.
    OK

    I read your post and did not see it as "problems". Just the details that you had to work through getting your loads worked out for particular guns.

    I have never stated loading for a new cartridge and loaded perfectly for a particular gun the first try. We didn't look at it as problems. It was experimentation trying constantly to make it shoot a little better.

    I appreciate your input and took it as encouragement.

  19. #39
    Boolit Master
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    It’s not like anything crazy happens with 9mm. It’s just a PITA compared to most rounds. It’s a small high pressure round.

  20. #40
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    As my wife says, "Short and tippy!"

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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