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Thread: A very newbie question

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    A very newbie question

    Hey everybody! Iíve been following the site for a while now, and finally decided to register. Thanks for having me

    I am completely new to reloading (ďstill in the shooting my reloads with welding gloves and a motorcycle helmet on and tickled to death that they went off and didnít blow my gun upĒon kinda new). Iíve been reloading some cast 9mm and 45 acp bullets from Missouri Bullet co. To be safe, Iíve been checking everything with a micrometer to ensure Iím within the overall length. What Iíve been finding is that, while my bullets are within the parameters in the manual, they wonít fit in my case gauge. They stick out about 1/8 of an inch. Iíll check them in my gun barrel, and they fit just fine. Iíve adjusted the crimp (probably over-crimping somewhat) but get the same result. I dummy loaded a few tonight, and if I push them to the min length, theyíll almost fit flush in the gauge.

    My questions: am I doing something wrong? And has anyone else had this problem? Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Not really doing anything wrong. I seat to the book overall length (OAL) for that bullet/load and then do a 'plunk' test in the barrel. If it chambers then I test function by hand. If that works then off to the range with some loaded rounds to check function.

    Never have owned a case gauge.

    PS welcome to the forum

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    GARD72977's Avatar
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    It is common for lead loads to not chamber gauge. Lead bullets are larger in diameter. If they work in the barrel they are fine. Back off the crimp. Lead bullets will usually shoot best with very light crimp.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Your barrel is your best cartridge gauge. If they chamber in your barrel and feed through the magazine properly, you are doing it right.
    9mm handguns can be very particular what they will accept as far as length and diameter. Much depends on how the chamber of that particular firearm was cut.
    Recommended reading http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...s-in-a-new-9mm

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
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    Thanks for the quick replies. What y’all have said makes me feel a lot better about what’s going on.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Well, welcome to the forum and the good life. A case gage is probably made towards the minimum saami dimensions. Your chamber is probably cut towards the max so it will chamber any factory ammo you're likely to encounter.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    If they chamber OK, they're fine.

    If not, look to your OAL, and be sure all the flare at the case mouth is rolled out.
    Political Correctness and the cancel culture is only allowed to exist because of the coward culture.


    Old age, and treachery will always over come youth, and skill.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master

    mdi's Avatar
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    I'm with Charlie b on this one. When I started reloading for a semi-auto pistols, I thought I needed gauge to check my handloads, but I had trouble getting a good fit. After complaining about it on a forum, an old feller asked; "do they fit the barrel?". Yes they did so I read up on the plunk test and put the gauge in a drawer somewhere and since '88 I just start with book OAL and plunk test. Zero chambering problems in 8 pistols...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  9. #9
    Boolit Mold
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    So, I’ve read about the plunk test several times. Can someone walk me through exactly what y’all are talking about? Thanks

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Just remove the barrel from you pistol , if you have a jacketed factory load drop it in the barrel and pay attention to the sound and how it slides in and out.
    Now drop in one of your reloads it should drop in the same distance and have that same sound and drop right out of a clean chamber like the factory load when you turn the muzzle up even if you chamber it with a bit of finger pressure , If it does not drop out like the factory round you have not got all the mouth flare removed , or the bullet is jamming in the throat or rifling and you will need to decide if you need to size smaller , or to seat deeper a little at a time to get it to drop in properly and adjust your powder charge for the deeper seated bullet , or select a different bullet , or have DougGuy recut your chamber.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky Bobby View Post
    S Can someone walk me through exactly what y’all are talking about? Thanks
    Open the slide, cylinder, etc. exposing the chamber.
    Drop a loaded round into it. It should make a sound sort of like 'plunk' as it freely falls in.
    Political Correctness and the cancel culture is only allowed to exist because of the coward culture.


    Old age, and treachery will always over come youth, and skill.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    My wife and I both have a SCCY CPX2. I have some reloads that I seated to the manual OAL (Lyman 50th). They would fit my chamber just fine but they just were too long for my wife's pistol. I had to take them back to the gun room and seat them like .002 deeper for her gun, then they chambered and fired fine in both pistols. I agree with the above posts, let your chamber be your guide.
    This is not the end. This not even the beginning of the end. But it is perhaps the end of the beginning! Winston Churchill, Nov. 1942

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Just a word of warning on crimping 9mm and .45ACP. Both of those rounds head space on the case mouth. If it's crimped too much it can "head space" on the rim and extractor enough to fire, but since it may have dropped too far into the chamber the addition of brass where it shouldn't be can cause problems. Just straighten the case is all you should do. If you need more bullet pull make the expander ball smaller and also adjust it to give a small ledge for the bullet to bottom out on. Just don't make the case so small that you resize the bullet.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    I measure my guns chambers and COL. Then I reload to that.

    Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
    ~Theodore Roosevelt~

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    Let me add another conundrum - pistols today are made with no throat. That may be fine for condom bullets but cast boolits are bigger and this creates problems. Look at the start of your rifling at the end of the chamber and do a search for DougGuy's posts. He has built a business of precision fixing these problems - and has done it for both of my 1911's.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
    toallmy's Avatar
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    When I adjust my crimp I only adjust it enough to remove the flair not squash the boolits . Example .452 cast boolits + .10 x 2 neck thickness =.472 this after boolits seated should plunk in your chamber if the boolit is not jamming in the throat . DougGuy can open up the throat if you are having chamber issues .

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master

    mdi's Avatar
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    Basic plunk test; I've been using this method for 10 semi-auto pistols and pistol carbines, US made, foreign made, long throats, no throats...
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    My Anchor is holding fast!

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
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    OAL is always gun & bullet specific, regardless of data or a case gage. If the OAL fits your gun, gage means nothing. It is used primarily to determine if the round will fit the chamber, proper crimp & proper case sizing.
    EVERY GOOD SHOOTER NEEDS TO BE A HANDLOADER.
    NRA Cert. Inst. Met. Reloading & Basic Pistol

  19. #19
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    You will get the best accuracy by tailoring the cartridge/boolit to the gun you're using it in.

    I need several different diameters (.356 - .359) and OAL for my 9mm's. the OAL in the book is for their test barrel and just a number for you to start from.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Caution about OAL, especially for the 9mm. If you load it shorter at near max load then it could cause excess pressure. So, in that sense it is not just a number to start from, it is kind of a minimum OAL for that set of load data.

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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