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Thread: Casting .358 boolits for 9mm?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Casting .358 boolits for 9mm?

    Hey Everyone,

    I have seen a couple of folks casting .358 bullets and sizing them to .355 or .356 for loading 9mm.

    Is this fairly "universal"? Can most any .358 cast bullet be sized for 9mm?

    That would certainly expand the variety of bullet choices.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    toallmy's Avatar
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    Many people shoot .358 cast boolits in the 9mm .

  3. #3
    Boolit Bub
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    All of my Sig pistols barrels slug at .357. Only the Barsto replacement barrel for my Sig P226 slugs at .355. I use .358 bullets in everything except the Barsto.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master



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    absolutely. Although all profiles won’t works as well as others and you might find crimp grooves where none are needed or wanted...

    I do this for the 9mm Legend. (Some Call it 350 Legend)

    Works well Enough. I also PC tho.

    CW
    Last edited by cwlongshot; 04-02-2020 at 02:10 PM.
    NRA Life member REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE its being paid for in BLOOD.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I would suggest going to the forum section , look under Classics & Stickies for a thread titled Setting up boollits in a new 9mm .
    That thread has helped quite a few people myself included . Loading cast boolits successful has a few differences than jacketed bullets , size to the firearm is very important .
    Don't get discouraged

  6. #6
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    I size all my boolits for 9mm luger .357" .
    The Lee 105 gr. SWC (#358-105-SWC ) which I originally bought to load light 38 special loads has turned out to be an excellent boolit in the 9mm Luger . It doesn't batter old WWII P38's or smaller sized "pocket" 9mm's .
    The shape of the nose more than anything dictates if it will feed properly . The Lee 105 gr. SWC is more a truncated cone than a true Keith SWC so it feeds fine once the seating depth is adjusted.
    What moulds are you interested in.... I'm sure someone on this site has tried them and could advise...Also very important ...what pistol will you be shooting them in...makes a difference.

    For example...my 1942 Walther P38 will feed anything , even a 158 grain cast Keith SWC and 148 gr. cast wadcutters, sized .358", when seated to the correct depth...most other 9mm's will not be so accommodating .
    So tell us what you are shooting ,
    Gary
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  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    I have several different 9mm handguns. The groove diameters vary from .357 to .355. As it happens, all the chambers will accept boolits sized to .357. A couple will accept .359.
    I have no issues with .357 in any of the handguns, even the ones with the larger groove diameters. Good accuracy and no leading.
    As another poster indicated, the nose shape and overall length have more to do with how a particular boolit will feed than the diameter.
    Good nose shapes are usually truncated cone and round nose for the most trouble free designs. Some use round nose flat point. Others even use semi-wadcutters, although I haven't had much luck with that design, myself.
    Much depends on the chamber in your handgun. If it has little if any throat(does the rifling come right up to the chamber?)you may need to seat a boolit a bit deeper into the case to get it to work.
    Best practice is to use the longest overall length that will both fit into the magazine and chamber freely in your gun. Use the "plunk test" to find out if the cartridge will chamber freely and run a few through the action manually to see if they feed well from the magazine.
    If this all works well, try shooting them for a final test on function, accuracy, and leading.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Plus one for the Lee 105 swc. My Smith & Wesson Shield and my Beretta 92 both seem to like it in limited testing. I need to get back on that project! I am using them as cast with LLA.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I size many of my 9mm bullets to .358. Any of the revolver bullets for .38 Special can be sized for 9mm, however many of the nose profiles aren't ideal and anything over 150 grains is starting to get really heavy for the small 9mm case. The Lee 358 125-RF is a pretty common bullet along with the others previously mentioned by others.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
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    You can certainly size larger bullets down. I shoot a lot of 9mm in diff guns & find 0.356" works fine in modern guns. Some of the older euro guns will do better with larger bullets, I just haven't seen it in my guns. I used to run everything 0.357" just incase but had some issues with many brass brands & tighter chambers so went back to 0.356" without any accuracy or leading issues.
    EVERY GOOD SHOOTER NEEDS TO BE A HANDLOADER.
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  11. #11
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    I use the Lee 358-125-rf in 9mm. Works great I size them to 358 and run them in 38s too.

    My other Lee molds 356-95-rf, 356-120-tc cast at 358. They are designed to be 9mm molds. They run in 38s from time to time.

  12. #12
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    What gun? Like Tazman says, they vary and it matters. Most, like the Beretta 92 are actually 357 range so shooting 355 will lead like mad.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master LAH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misery-Whip View Post
    I use the Lee 358-125-rf in 9mm. Works great I size them to 358 and run them in 38s too.
    Same here only my S&W MP 9 won't chamber a .358 but the CZ75 will.
    Joshua 1:9

  14. #14
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    Wow!

    Thank you for all of the replies.

    It sounds like I can pick from most any .358 bullets of reasonable weight and shape will play in my 9mm's.

    I need to slug them so I am not guessing.

    I am "new" to 9mm. I had a Taurus PT92 back in the early '90s and didn't care for it. I sold it and went back to carrying my 1911. Now, 30 years later, my bad back will not tolerate carrying that much weight for extended periods. So here I am carrying a 9mm again. I am starting with a Walther PPS and a PSA AR-9 16" carbine.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
    Wow!

    Thank you for all of the replies.

    It sounds like I can pick from most any .358 bullets of reasonable weight and shape will play in my 9mm's.

    I need to slug them so I am not guessing.

    I am "new" to 9mm. I had a Taurus PT92 back in the early '90s and didn't care for it. I sold it and went back to carrying my 1911. Now, 30 years later, my bad back will not tolerate carrying that much weight for extended periods. So here I am carrying a 9mm again. I am starting with a Walther PPS and a PSA AR-9 16" carbine.
    Slug the bore if you wish, but generally, I've found that the largest diameter bullet that will permit a cartridge to chamber freely (take your barrel out of the gun to try this) will be your best choice and also the most accurate as long as the bullet alloy is compatible with the pressure/velocity of your load. This bullet diameter is rarely anything other than .357" or .358".

  16. #16
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    Misery-Whip;4866929]I use the Lee 358-125-rf in 9mm. Works great I size them to 358 and run them in 38s too
    .
    I have been using this bullet in 3, 9mm pistols, one 357 Magnum and 2, 38 Specials. For my 9mm pistols I have been running them with .357"+. Works well in my Ruger and FMK and fairly well in my Tokerev 9mm, with a .357" groove diameter. Depending on alloy my bullets drop at around .358"-.359"...

    FWIW; I slug the barrels, measure cylinder throats, and check pistol chambers (some I do a chamber cast, many I don't) and check magazines for max. cartridge OAL whether I'll shoot cast in them or not. Just like I know what size tires my truck takes, I like to know my guns...
    Last edited by mdi; 04-03-2020 at 11:49 AM.
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  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Luber View Post
    What gun? Like Tazman says, they vary and it matters. Most, like the Beretta 92 are actually 357 range so shooting 355 will lead like mad.
    Glocks are notorious for this but all mine run fine on 0.356" coated. Lubed, I might run 0.357".
    EVERY GOOD SHOOTER NEEDS TO BE A HANDLOADER.
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  18. #18
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    I have 5 or 6 9mm's and use the Lee .358-125-RNFP in all of them
    sized .358. I get no leading in any of them. It works really well in
    my Ruger LC9s that I CC. It's a great bullet.
    Denny

  19. #19
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    Good topic.

    I was a fool and acquired 10k 9mm bullets sized to .356. They work well but I should have tried my .358 .38 Spl bullets first. It is project for down the road but I doubt my 9mm's will be negatively affected by using a slightly larger bullet.

    One other factor to bear in mind. Depending on alloy and crimp, an "oversize" bullet can be swaged down when seated and crimped. If I found a .358 bullet was a bit too large, I would try to swage it down a bit when taper crimping. Another option is reduce the expander so it does not expand the case neck as much and let the neck so some swaging.

    I like the concept of a bullet that works across many guns. KISS.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    My first pistol was a S&W 459, first mold was/is the Lee 356-125 2R. As cast it drops .358 and worked well in the S&W 459 and later a S&W M13. I have cast so many with that mold that I have rebuilt it twice having cast over 750K over 35 years. Over the years I have picked up a number of 9mm pistols and built some AR 15s in 9mm which is my favorite plinker.

    I have played with other molds such as the Lee 356-102 R, the 356-95 RF (both drop .358) the 358-105 SWC, and 358-125 RF. The AR 15s prefer the RN profiles as they use the Colt stick mags. I am planning on trying a lower set up for Glock mags as they center feed as opposed to staggered. If is comes down to it the 125 RN tends to be my most loaded boolit, but the little 102 saves lead, and kills tin cans dead.

    These days I ASBBPC everything and run them through a .358 push through sizing die. They only time I ever experienced leading was pre-PC and I tried a 357 die with Javalina. The gun patterned and key-holed so I traded away that die. I have a S&W 639, a Glock 43, drop in conversion barrels for my Glock 22 and 23. I still shoot a lot of 40 S&W so I load the mags for both 9 and 40. I can get in a good range day just from the loaded mags. I like 9mm a lot but I may have gone a little overboard. Over the years my wife picked up 15k pieces of brass so naturally, I had to load it up. I think casting and shooting might be an obsession.
    Common sense Gun Safety . . .

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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