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Thread: Setting up for boolits in a new 9mm

  1. #81
    Moderator Emeritus robertbank's Avatar
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    Bill you maybe dealing with a very small base if info. If the majority of 9MM required a .357 or larger bullet accuracy with .355 jacketed would be atrocious. It isn`t. I would think .357 would be the largest anyone would have to go unless you are dealing with a WW11 or older gun from occupied Europe. I recently reduced my diameter to .356 in my guns and have found no difference in accuracy - CZ 75`s, M&P`s, STI and Tanfoglio.

    Take Care

    Bob
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon..... No matter how good you are, the bird is going to s#!t on the board and strut around like it won anyway."

    "If the human population held hands around the equator, a significant portion of them would drown"

  2. #82
    Boolit Mold
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    I had that problem with my Lee mold but never with my 124 RCBS.

  3. #83
    Boolit Master
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    So does anybody make a expander for the Dillon that will extend deeper into the case? The expander/powder funnel only extends a bit over 1/8" and when I seat my 120 gr cast bullets over the 1/2 the rounds get "lumpy" and won't go all the way into my chamber gauge.

  4. #84
    Boolit Master Whistler's Avatar
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    Relevant to the topic, some repetition and some additional info (originally posted in the Cast Bullets Facebook group):

    Quote Originally Posted by Whistler
    The main culprit with 9x19 mm is that the case swages the bullet.
    This has several causes and effects. 9mm has...
    1. Tight chambers.
    2. Large bores.
    3. Thick brass.
    4. Small bullet drops.
    5. Small expander dies.

    The way to get 9mm to work is to use brass with thin walls. G.F.L (Fiocchi), Winchester and Geco are known for this. (CBC (Magtech) and S&B are known for thick walls) With thin brass, use an expander die that opens the case to .357. Usually this works with a Lyman M-die with a .38 S&W plug. The .357 Mag expanders usually don't reach down far enough and are too long to flare the case mouth, though they will expand just fine.

    Take into account that many 9mm molds drop at .356. This will make the bullet useless for most 9mm work. You can powdercoat to gain 1-2 thousands.

    Then we have the expanders. They are .353 in the base and .356 in the top. If you have a .357 bore that needs .358 bullets and put a .358 bullet in a case that has been expanded to .356, chances are likely that the brass will swage the bullet to .356, causing gas leaks.

    Now say that you use a .357 expander. With most brass this will go fine when you put the empty case in a chamber gauge. However, when you seat a .358 bullet inside and crimp the case mouth, the brass will bulge right where the base of the bullet is. This will cause the cartridge to not chamber. Thus the need for thin brass.

    If you like to use heavy bullets like 140-160gn for competition where there is power factor involved, you either need a very good brand of brass with thin walls that allows the longer bullet to be seated deep, or you need a chamber with a looooong throat that lets you have a long OAL.

    Another thing to take into account is that 9mm is not a straight walled cartridge. It is tapered. The brass also gets thicker the lower to the base you get, so the inside is reverse tapered, thus getting narrower. This is why many, many, many 9mm bullet designs have a bevel base!
    Last edited by Whistler; 02-25-2016 at 03:56 PM.
    Shoot from a rest at 25/50/100 yards, then post your groupings. That is the only way to compare accuracy results.

  5. #85
    Moderator Emeritus robertbank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul h View Post
    So does anybody make a expander for the Dillon that will extend deeper into the case? The expander/powder funnel only extends a bit over 1/8" and when I seat my 120 gr cast bullets over the 1/2 the rounds get "lumpy" and won't go all the way into my chamber gauge.
    Just one question while the cartridges won't chamber in your chamber gauge will they chamber in your gun? I have seen cases where cartridges would not chamber in a chamber gauge but worked fine in my guns.

    Take care

    Bob
    Last edited by robertbank; 04-25-2017 at 04:19 PM.
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon..... No matter how good you are, the bird is going to s#!t on the board and strut around like it won anyway."

    "If the human population held hands around the equator, a significant portion of them would drown"

  6. #86
    Boolit Grand Master

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    paul-h I know that post is pretty old, but for you and anyone else
    -adjust the Dillon powder measure body mount die downward to let the
    expander go deeper into the case. This is just a setup issue with your machine, that
    depth is fully adjustable. Should be expanding the case mouth about .005-.0010 flare,
    too, which is removed by the taper crimp at the last stage.

    Bill
    Last edited by MtGun44; 04-25-2017 at 05:58 PM.
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  7. #87
    Boolit Bub
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    I go through a similar process, but was wondering if you think my chamber vs. loaded brass procedure is easier, at least for finding the largest usable loaded round diameter:

    If you have a full pin gauge set; I insert increasing sizes of pin gauges into the chamber of the removed barrel until I find the narrowest diameter of the chamber, which is determined by the largest pin that will reach the chamber end. My P226 with a Storm Lake barrel for example will eat a .380- pin but not quite a .381- pin. My brass is .0092 thick at the mouth so:
    .380 -.0184 =.3616 is max bullet diameter with light TC. My bore measures .347 lands and .3550 at grooves, so I am good to go with a .356 to .3575 boolit. I use boolits sized to .357 which is nice because my S&W 66 can use that size too. No leading.

    Jeff

  8. #88
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    Nice post. I am a 9mm shooter and the post and follow ups are very useful.

  9. #89
    Boolit Bub
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    Perfect timing,thank you

  10. #90
    Boolit Master



    Crash_Corrigan's Avatar
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    I also had problems with gas leakage and the gun got really dirty after only 30-40 rounds in my Browning Hi-Power. I upped the powder charge of American Select carefully and found the sweet spot where every round would chamber and whalla no more sooty cases and a ended up with a clean gun that would fire hundreds of rounds without cleaning. The boolit was cast .361 and sized to .3575 with a gentle taper crimp...NO LEE FCD used.
    Pax Nobiscum Dan (Crash) Corrigan

    Currently casting, reloading and shooting: 223 Rem, 6.5x55 Sweede, 30 Carbine, 30-06 Springfield, 30-30 WCF, 303 Brit., 7.62x39, 7.92x57 Mauser, .32 Long, 32 H&R Mag, 327 Fed Mag, 380 ACP. 9x19, 38 Spcl, 357 Mag, 38-55 Win, 41 Mag, 44 Spcl., 44 Mag, 45 Colt, 45 ACP, 454 Casull, 457 RB for ROA and 50-90 Sharps. Shooting .22 LR & 12 Gauge seldom and buying ammo for same.

  11. #91
    Boolit Master
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    Old school method of determining the cartridge OAL

    Thank you Bill for all your efforts in helping folks get off on the correct methods for successful cast bullet reloading and fitting in 9MM. I am taking the liberty of adding a method of finding out the cartridge OAL that requires a minimum of math, and simple items one might already have on hand. This is an old and previously common method, but seems to have fallen from use.

    Cleaning rod/dowel method of finding cartridge OAL

    This is what I use for my guns to determine the max OAL and this eliminates any question of the crimp, incorrect case prep, or other operator induced error.

    This method works well on rifles and single shot pistols as well as Semi-autos. You can use a flat tipped cleaning rod, or flat tipped dowel rod. You will also need a sharp pointed pencil, a short dowel and a bullet sized but clean, of the type you are going to load.

    For Rifles
    Make sure the chamber is empty. Close the bolt, and be sure the firing pin is retracted into the bolt. Insert the dowel or cleaning rod and hold it against the face of the bolt. Mark the rod at the face of the muzzle. Remove rod, open bolt and remove it from the action. Insert the bullet into the breech and hold it snug into the rifling. While in that position insert the dowel or rod again, and with it firm against the nose of the bullet, mark the rod at the face of the muzzle.

    The distance between the center of those two marks is the max cartridge OAL for that rifle, with that bullet sized to that diameter.

    For Semi-autos
    Remove the barrel from the slide and make sure it is clean and free of leading or other debris in the barrel and chamber. The dowel or cleaning rod needs to be longer than the barrel. Hold the barrel, muzzle up, and place the barrel hood on a flat surface like a table top. Insert the dowel or rod from the muzzle and mark the rod exactly flush with the muzzle. Remove the rod and insert the bullet you intend to use into the chamber and lightly press and hold it in place with the short dowel. Place the assy muzzle up on the flat surface. Insert the rod/dowel into the muzzle so it rests on the nose of the bullet and again mark the rod exactly flush with the muzzle. Remove and set the barrel aside. The distance on the center of the two lines is the cartridge OAL. Seat a dummy round to this length, or slightly shorter and begin to apply the taper crimp until the dummy passes the plunk test. This is the optimim cartridge OAL length for this bullet in this gun.

    You may need to adjust the seater to shorten the OAL if this does not feed from the magazine, but generally this will be a great fit. Remember, if you seat and crimp in one step, you might force a slight ridge ahead of the case mouth and that will screw up your seating.

    Caution! Some nose profiles, especially if powder coated, are contacting the lands at a shorter OAL than the same bullet that is sized and lubed. Seating shorter will build pressures higher than might be expected. Adjust your loads to be safe.
    Dusty

  12. #92
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    I was rereading some articles on the parent page and thought this was a good addition here.
    http://www.leverguns.com/articles/ta..._reloading.htm
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  13. #93
    I have avoided loading for the 9mm Luger for years. My first experience app 40 years ago was less than successful so I capitulated and bought factory.

    Fast forward to today, we are doing a bit more 9mm Luger shooting, and for the most part factory ammo has been our schtick. One recent foray into some cast loads was met with a heap of issues, the biggest being horrible leading.

    Yes, a Browning Hi-Power with a groove diameter of 358, and 355 cast bullets. A couple of mags and I was done, back to finding ammo on sale.

    Then the "got bit by the carbine" thing happened, and to be practical, for use on the ranch, a HP bullet was probably in order. Research led me to the Federal Independence HP, but "out of stock" sort of derailed that.

    However, I did have a stash of 125 Remington HP 357 bullets (jacketed boolits) and decided to give those a test drive, for "proof of concept".

    After a bit of "experimenting", substituting a longer larger diameter powder through expander, yes, LEE dies, I was able to get the bullet to seat properly. As far as OAL, I believe I used the WAG method and came up with 1.09". Crimping with the LEE Factory Crimp die was a bit of an eye opener. I felt a bit of resistance on that stage, the tapered case was bulged a bit more than the spec used for the LEE FCD. The base of the bullet was swaged a bit, but as this was a proof of concept experiment, it was off to test expansion. We used a bag full of shredded paper and water to initiate expansion, and a large block of snow for recovery. I've found that snow will stop a bullet or boolit without damaging it.

    Testing did confirm proof of concept.



    Since the initial proof of concept experimenting I've transferred my dies to a Dillon 550. In addition I was able to procure 200 Speer 3983 100 gr HP bullets. Even though they are a bit smaller in dia, they still bulge the case a wee bit, which the LEE FCD irons out. If I continue down this path, I want to iron out some of those issues, hence me landing on this forum.

    I've skimmed this post, and I intend on reading it a bit more in depth to gain a bit more insight into the nuances of loading for the 9mm Luger.

    Thanks for the great forum, and I apologise for corrupting the topic with jacketed.

  14. #94
    Moderator Emeritus robertbank's Avatar
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    One issue I ran into this summer that may be of interest involved a series of bulged cases. I use a Dillon 550 for loading. I load about 10K 9MM rounds per year. What I found I was not always inserting the bullet as vertical as I should prior to the case entering the bullet seating die. With some cases, not all, this created a bulge on one side of the case which was fatal for functioning. I straightened out the cases by running through the sizing die without the decapping pin. This is essentially what a FCD does. IDPA accuracy requirements were sti;; met so life is good. I now pay more attention when inserting the bullet into the top of the case. I have enough 9MM cases to last me a lifetime and then some, I now also bell out to the maximum which assists the insertion of the bullet into the case. By maximum I mean as large as the seating die will accept.

    All hte best guys in the New Year. I won;t have to improve much to better 2020. Be safe and wear a mask.

    Take Care

    Bob
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon..... No matter how good you are, the bird is going to s#!t on the board and strut around like it won anyway."

    "If the human population held hands around the equator, a significant portion of them would drown"

  15. #95
    Boolit Mold kelli's Avatar
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    The wealth of practical knowledge on this board has not yet ceased to amaze me

  16. #96
    Boolit Master
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    Here's something I learned from a black powder muzzle loader shooting neighbor. Use pure lead (soft) for slugging a barrel. He used fishing egg sinkers. His short bullet starter made it easier. The sinker needs to be a little larger than the groove diameter, so buy a variety pack. It's a lot easier than using a boolit of a harder alloy.

  17. #97
    Moderator Emeritus robertbank's Avatar
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    nitro-express Have you tried just shooting the cartridges with the bulge intact? Of the thousands of rounds I have shoot over the years through a variety of 9MM pistols the slight bulge you get has never presented a problem using cast of jacketed bullets. Not one. I get the same type of bulge loading 38spl, .357mag, 4o S%W, 44 Mag and 45 Colt.

    The cases I address in post 94 above occur when one side of the case is bulged. This is caused by not seating the bullet properly on my part.

    Take Care

    Bob
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon..... No matter how good you are, the bird is going to s#!t on the board and strut around like it won anyway."

    "If the human population held hands around the equator, a significant portion of them would drown"

  18. #98
    Boolit Master

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    My father and I puzzled the common too-small/leading issues when we started casting for 9mm in earnest about 1-2 years ago. A few things we've discovered that might add to our sum of human knowledge:

    1. We've started using a Lee .38 S&W die set (which nominally sets that round up for a .360" bullet) for the sizing and flaring. These dies are cheap and seem to solve the case-swage problem easily. Final seating done with Dillon dies.

    2. Barrel dimensions for the 9x19 have been .346" bore and .356" groove on most of what I have checked. Had a Springfield with a .355" groove and something else (the Hungarian High Power clone maybe) with a .347" bore, but the short version is that YOU WANT A .357" BOOLIT AT MINIMUM!.

    3. We are using the NOE/Ranch Dog 135 grain tumble lube bullet, and got it to work acceptably with Ben's Liquid Lube in everything but my Gen 5 / Marksman Barrel Glock 17, so we thought we'd focus the efforts on solving that problem before starting mass production.

    3.1. I needed to thin my White Label Lube 45/45/10 with mineral spirits/paint thinner, but then applied and regularly swirled the bullets around on a parchment sheet as it dried. I'm a little dubious of the "barely visible film" school of thin tumble lubing as that has not really worked terribly well for me, so my practice this time was to keep the stiffening lube moving until it "takes shelter" and builds up in the TL bands. The Johnson's Paste Wax base of 45/45/10 seems to make for a natural binder to the Alox - at least that's my current interpretation of the visible data.

    4. Boolits are getting cast out of a wheel weight + 2% tin equivalent and air cooled. This first test batch's post-casting ingots testing at 13BHN. They are dropping out of the mold at .357"

    We did a batch of three different loads of Bullseye for the chronograph, shot an initial ten shot string through the Glock 17 Gen 5, paused to check for catastrophic fouling, then followed with a 20 shot string - putting all 30 on paper at 25 yards.

    RESULTS:

    3.5 grains Bullseye
    Hi: 1023fps
    Low: 974 fps
    Spread: 49fps
    Average: 986 fps
    Standard deviation: 10 fps
    Bore condition: 1 or 2 small bits of lead that pushed out with a dry patch on a jag. 2-3 passes with a dry bronze brush removed any additional lube streaking.
    Brass condition: comfortable load

    3.7 grains Bullseye
    High: 1055 fps
    Low: 1014 fps
    Spread: 41 fps
    Average: 1031 fps
    S.D.: 10 fps
    Bore condition: slightly more lead flakes than with 3.5gr load, but cleaned up just as easily.
    Brass condition: slight outward puckering of primers around firing pin indentation.

    3.9 grains Bullseye
    High: 1102 fps
    Low: 1046 fps
    Spread: 56 fps
    Average: 1070 fps
    S.D.: 12 fps
    Bore condition: no lead on dry patch; bore cleaned easily with dry bronze brush. Slight antimony wash blasted onto the top of the Streamlight flashlight below the muzzle.
    Brass condition: slightly greater outward primer puckering than with the 3.7 grain load, but edges of primers still rounded. Likely a safe load for THIS gun, but Dad's .355" Springfield 1911 barrel has shown a tendency to spike higher pressures, so we will probably not go this hot for the mass production run.

    Accuracy for all was far better than I can shoot a pistol off a bench. Discounting known pilot error, probably a sub-3" combination at 25 yards - in all honesty probably better. Will have a better feel when I run it in the Ruger carbine.

    Despite the slightly greater leading, the middle load generated the best numbers and will be what we produce. I think the key to cleaning that up will be perfecting the tumble lube technique and possibly fiddling with the alloy hardness slightly. I'm guessing a little softer may obturate and seal better. A harder alloy may have some benefit depending on your pressure curve. We initially played with very hard boolits to get around the case-swaging problem, but once we cracked that with the slightly larger expansion of the .38 S&W dies, there does not seem to be a need for taking the full water-quenched, rifle alloy road.

    Hope those are some useful pins in the roadmap.
    WWJMBD?

    "I'M MELLLLLLLLLLTING!" - Elphaba

  19. #99
    Moderator Emeritus robertbank's Avatar
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    Bigslug you might try 231 or Unique in your 9MM. I have found the slightly slower powders work a bit better than Bullseye. I agree with your assessment of using .357 sized lead bullets. I have had excellent results in all my 9MM pistols sizing my bullets .357. I use WW alloy water quenched from the mold. I have not found the need to add tin to the alloy. I do add tin to aid bullet s fill out in some of my rifle bullets, There again only to aid in mold fill out. Water quenched bullets from the mold seem to the need for a harder bullet. I don't water quench 38spl or 45 acp and 45Colt bullets as they are low pressure cartridge's.

    Sizing the bullet .357 causes a bit of a bulge in the case. I shoot over 7,000 9MM rds a year and load for one of my friends who goes through about 5,000 rds practicing and shooting local competitions in IPSC and IDPA. The bulge you get has had zero affect on feeding in at least 10 different 9MM pistols we own. I cannot remember the last time I had a jam either in practice or competition outside of the time I found myself not paying attention as to when I was seating the bullets.

    I use, for the most part 125 gr lead and FMJ bullets. Lead for practice and jacketed for major events. Some IDPA stages are not smoke friendly. LOL. I tested 147 gr bullets in my guns. They work well and in theory the recoil impulse ought to be less at the same power factor (Vel*Bullet weight/1000). I guess in theory the recoil impulse is less. I can't say I feel the difference nor see a lessoning of gun rise when using the heavier bullet. Some do but I don't.

    Take Care

    Bob
    Last edited by robertbank; 06-19-2021 at 01:24 PM.
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon..... No matter how good you are, the bird is going to s#!t on the board and strut around like it won anyway."

    "If the human population held hands around the equator, a significant portion of them would drown"

  20. #100
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    My best groups were with HS-6, W231/HP-38, BE & GREEN DOT under the Lee 356-125 2R powdercoated sized .358/.359 (depending on the gun)

    European 9MM's require even bigger boolits than that, they slug out at .358 & .3585

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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