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Thread: 9mm Luger question

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    TNsailorman's Avatar
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    9mm Luger question

    I was recently gifted some 9mm Luger range brass by one the member of this site and after starting the full prepping on it, I started noticing that some of it just didn't look quite right. So I pulled out the calipers and started measuring. The Hornady Manual says the case length should be a Max. of .754 and the trim to length .744. None of these ran .744 or better. Most (so far) are running between .740 and .742 but there are quite a few that are running from .733 to .739. I have never reloaded the 9mm before and I am befuddled. While would anyone trim the cases that short and will the .740 to .744 be alright to load for my S&W Shield plus. The thing that bothers me is that the 9mm like most semi's headspace on the mouth and not the rim or shoulder. What say you 9mm experienced reloaders? Thanks for your time, james

  2. #2
    Boolit Mold
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    Hello TNSailorman, Is this Before or After Sizing die?

    I have never trimmed a 9mm case and have shot a pile of only reloads built on range pick-ups many-times over through several arms over the last decade or so. So long the slide can go Completely / Easily Into BATTERY and the case head is not too deep I would personally be OK. Now, that's JUST ME... but I think is pretty common.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Hi James- straight wall cases will actually get shorter from repeated firing. It could be that these have been fired multiple times. However, I'm doubting you'd see much difference with regard to accuracy with any of those lengths out of a S&W Shield. Cheers, Bill
    My "Swappin & Sellin" feedback thread: http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=btreanor

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    FL size, then measure.
    Larry Gibson

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

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I'm just guessing but it might be possible that some brass is produced at such a fast pace in automated production lines that it does not meet spec. either that or by the nature of expansion when fired in some guns like the Glocks that will budge the bottom end the brass length shrinks like btreanor says.
    ive reloaded gallon bags of mixed up stuff I found at a range and dont even bother to measure but I wasn't putting together max velocity loads with it.
    for stuff I want to work up to max velocity I sort by brand and resize in much smaller batches.

  6. #6
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    I've trimmed hundreds of them down to .713
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy 1006's Avatar
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    9mm is not very consistent in length to begin with……I find it is the hardest pistol caliber to reload quickly on a progressive press due to the dimensional variances between manufactures, and the occasional Berdan primed case, which I normally do not notice until the decapping pin is broken. When the length varies, so will the case mouth bell. I set my case belling die for the shortest case length, but that won’t always solve the problem, as the brass thickness may also vary.

    It all tends to shoot fine, once loaded.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    The brand new (never fired) brass that I have measured was shorter than the "trim to length" given in the reloading manual. I don't worry about it. Just load 'em up and have fun.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master poppy42's Avatar
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    The only time I have ever trimmed a 9 mm case is when I convert 9x19 to 9x18 (9mm Makarov brass) and that’s to take a millimeter off. The length of Makarov brass is .713 . If you stand a 9x19 next to a 9x18 The difference in length is blatantly obvious. All I shoot is range brass, I’ve probably loaded well over 100,000 rounds in my life I never Measure or trim! As a matter of fact I personally don’t know of anybody that does. That’s not saying that some folks don’t. for my purposes I consider it an unnecessary step. If it was me as long as your brass chambers I would load it and shoot it!
    Long, Wide, Deep, and Without Hesitation!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Ok, I should have added that the brass had not been sized. I just full length sized 3 of the cases and got the following. One went from .734 to .736, one went from .737 to .739 and the last one went from .739 to .741. So it looks like they will grown at about .002. I may have to load some and try them, I guess the worst thing that will happen is that accuracy might suffer. But again, most of these will be shot in plinking loads. Thanks for the answers, I can get carried away when it comes to my brass prepping. Like I said, I never owned 9mm until lately and only now have attempted to load for it. I never ran into this problem with the .45acp that I have loaded by the thousands. Take Care guys and again, Thanks. james

  11. #11
    Boolit Master 243winxb's Avatar
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    .754" to .744" is SAAMI Spec. Shorter brass may allow bullet set back on chambering?

    The sizing die taper may not size enough on short brass? More so on 115 gr bullets.
    Last edited by 243winxb; 10-11-2021 at 03:23 PM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Loading book "Trim To ___ " lengths are usually stated at 10 thou less than max. Like book OAL lengths, it's NOT a specification for anything at all, it's just a rational goal for those who agonise about getting everything "right" to cling to.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master


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    You measured 9mm brass???

    I've loaded over 100K of the stuff and never measured a case.

    I'd guess it's just like all that Federal .223 brass out there that's much shorter than the trim to length.

    I'm guessing it has to do with the bean counters. If you short every piece of brass a bit in the long run you'll save a couple of dollars an hour.
    NRA Benefactor.

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master

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    1.) Pick them up off the floor
    2.) Inspect and tumble if you like shiny .
    3.) Size - De-prime and if needed remove crimp
    4.) Prime - Load
    5.) Shoot them
    Repeat 1-5
    6.) Don't measure - Don't trim - waste of time .
    Gary
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    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  15. #15
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    I'll add my 2˘ about trimming pistol brass.

    I'd like to say I Never trim any pistol brass (unless I'm converting something to something else), and I'd like to say I never even measure the length of my pistol brass. BUT, one time, I ran into problems crimping boolits in 44 mag (mixed brass) using the turret press. I discovered one HS (Winchester) was too long and wasn't crimping in crimp groove, like the others were doing so nicely. So I hand measured every case I was about to load and trim the long ones, but decided to save the long ones for future use as 44 shotshell loads.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

  16. #16
    Boolit Master 243winxb's Avatar
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    A 9mm Luger minimum chamber is .754" The same as maximum trim length of .754"

    So, if brass longer then maximum trim length is chambered in a minimum chamber, what happens?

    If the disconnector is not perfect & lets the round fire, when not fully chambered, what happens?

    Fired in a plastic gun, may not be good.

    I have found & trimmed long 9mm Luger brass for my G3C

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy 1006's Avatar
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    The picture of the ruptured case above looks like ones I have seen blown in 9mm major loads. It results from overpressure loading, or in cases previously loaded over pressure, and then reloaded one more time—worn out cases, due to over pressure loads.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master


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    I am also in the do not measure and just load them camp with pistol cases.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    For what it's worth I had the exact same question when I started loading 45ACP - All the brass I found was short. Turns out not to be a problem.
    Wayne the Shrink

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

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    Does the 9mm Luger headspace on the case mouth?

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