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Thread: Casting and loading 9mm

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Casting and loading 9mm

    I’m an experienced caster and loader. However I have never cast or loaded for 9mm. My wife and son just surprised me with a Springfield SA-35 for my 62nd birthday so that is about to change. Any advice shared from those with good results casting and loading 9mm would be appreciated. Things to work around I have identified are the 10 twist barrel and relatively high velocities. My current plan is to cast 147’s and load them down around 800 fps. Maybe try W-231 first? I am still accumulating brass and have not purchased a mold yet. I have a lube-a-matic sizer and chronograph. I can work fit and velocity out. Full disclosure: my OCD will kick in if I can’t come up with something that shoots reasonably tight without leading. Particularly curious what those who have been there and done that have to say about leading in a 10 twist 9mm and how they cast and load to eliminate it. Thanks in advance to any here generous enough with their time to respond.
    Willie T
    Last edited by Willie T; 12-01-2022 at 04:54 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy marvelshooter's Avatar
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    Two words: Powder coat

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


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    I load and cast 9mm..115, 124, and 147 grain. 0 leading... Just size/lube and go. I use either sweetened range scrap or coww.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy schutzen-jager's Avatar
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    straight wheel weights, liquid alox, + red dot powder for last 5 decades in 9 different handguns + never even one instance of leading in over 950 to over 1000 fps loads -
    Last edited by schutzen-jager; 12-01-2022 at 05:44 PM.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I cast & load a Lee 120grain TC, and I'm real happy with it.
    I cast with a relatively soft alloy, size & lube with whatever is in the sizer, and stay a little 1,000 fps.
    I figure powder coating may just be a passing fad, like moly coat used to be, so I still use lube.

    It's a personal preference sort of deal. I've shot some 147s, but keep coming back to the 120s.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master Half Dog's Avatar
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    Avoid frustrations, send your barrel to DougGuy. After I did that everything else seemed to click.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Yep, I'd check the chamber first and see if it has any throat at all. If not then Doug is the solution for shooting cast in it.

    And, yes, I was shocked to find out my HK has no throat. It does shoot jacketed well but cast it doesn't like. I reserve my .45acp and .357 for most of my informal shooting so it's not a big deal for me.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    This link might be very helpful by answering questions that you have not even thought of yet. You may not need it if you already work with 380, 40, and 45 ACP. It will not be a waste of time to go through this rather lengthy thread. You will also find that there are some bullets that seem to be problematic and you may want to not work with them until later. Good luck and be safe.

    https://castboolits.gunloads.com/sho...s-in-a-new-9mm

  9. #9
    Boolit Man
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    Thank all of you who responded. Clip on wheel weights are my intended casting material. They are what I have in my stock pile.. Barrel already slugged .3555. Plan is to size some at .356 and .357. Have to choose a mold first. Good news that it sounds like they are fine without gas checks. I find it interesting that most of y’all are casting in the 120’s. I figured the 147 would be easier to keep the velocity down and allow a broader range of powder charges seeking accuracy. Also thinking the longer bearing surface would have more bite in that fast 10 twist. Thank you all again.

    Ed, times two on conventional size and lube. Ive got the bugs worked out and am good with the results.

    Dusty, yes I already cast and load for 380, 40s&w, and 45acp. The 40 was picky, and my fingers are too big to enjoy loading .380. Thank you for posting that thread. It is solid.

    Charlie, thank you. Hopefully I find satisfaction without the need to rechamber to shoot lead. That would be a first for me.

    Willie T
    Last edited by Willie T; 12-01-2022 at 07:10 PM.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willie T View Post
    I find it interesting that most of y’all are casting in the 120’s. I figured the 147 would be easier to keep the velocity down and allow a broader range of powder charges seeking accuracy. Also thinking the longer bearing surface would have more bite in that fast 10 twist. Thank you all again.


    Willie T
    Your 147 load idea sounds fine to me. I have several 9mm pistols. My German P38 and P1 don't care for the heavier bullets, but both my Baretta and Taurus do very well with 150 grainers. I fact, I have a 358-150 round nose that I use in my 38 cal guns, and just size down to 0.356 and powder coat-- the Taurus seems to like them a lot.
    Hick: Iron sights!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I've been using 4.0/Unique/147 gr. FP in my Israeli-built P-35, with good results. Though I think the load develops over 800 f/s, it seems to work quite well and is very frame & slide friendly. Alliant lists 4.3/Unique/147 gr. as the maximum load, which developed ~950 f/s. Based on that, I suspect that the load I mention develops 900 f/s, give or take 25 f/s.
    If I could cast any bullet for 9mm/.38 Super, it'd be the SAECO #383, 140 gr. LSWC. One would think that 7 gr. of lead would not make a difference in performance, but the 140 gr. can apparently be pushed significantly faster than the 147 gr. projectiles, before pressures become an issue.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    We have a stickied thread for this in the handguns sub forum: https://castboolits.gunloads.com/sho...s-in-a-new-9mm

    I feel I gave a pretty good synopsis on page 5 with final results on 6, but you'll get a good education from the (currently) whole 6 pages.
    WWJMBD?

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  13. #13
    One of the easiest loads I've done...well one out of only about 7 ...lol, it was my first to reload. W231 is good powder, I cast 147ish grain out of a lee 9mm , 4 hole mold( been a while) still have a bunch reloaded. Put through a Lee sizing die...and done...
    Going to start reloading 357/38 , have the swaging machine for this, I haven't used it yet...well played alittle, but need to burn through about 1000 round first before I start reloading for it and I hate wasting ammo...Yep they are the same..but just a little different!
    Enjoy your reloading! Come to think about it...I'm out of 12 gauge slugs...
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  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
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    I shoot mostly 147, some 135, very little 125 anymore. I cast with range scrap with clip ww 4-1 or pure mixed with lino 3-1. I size to 0.357”. I used to lube/size, no issues with leading 825-1000fps. Now i pc, barrel is cleaner than with jacketed.
    Many powders work. Faster burners are economical, i dont use TG.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    I use the lee 356-125-2r in a 6 gang mold. The only lee mould that I haven't thrown away. I powdercoat and load over WSF after sizing to .357.
    Works in all my 9s with zero leading. I couldnt make the Lee TC bullet shoot groups and my 6 gang only had 5 good cavities. I recycled it.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master 6622729's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willie T View Post
    Thank all of you who responded. Clip on wheel weights are my intended casting material. They are what I have in my stock pile.. Barrel already slugged .3555. Plan is to size some at .356 and .357. Have to choose a mold first. Good news that it sounds like they are fine without gas checks. I find it interesting that most of yall are casting in the 120s. I figured the 147 would be easier to keep the velocity down and allow a broader range of powder charges seeking accuracy. Also thinking the longer bearing surface would have more bite in that fast 10 twist. Thank you all again.

    Ed, times two on conventional size and lube. Ive got the bugs worked out and am good with the results.

    Dusty, yes I already cast and load for 380, 40s&w, and 45acp. The 40 was picky, and my fingers are too big to enjoy loading .380. Thank you for posting that thread. It is solid.

    Charlie, thank you. Hopefully I find satisfaction without the need to rechamber to shoot lead. That would be a first for me.

    Willie T
    I have not found 9mm to be difficult to cast or load for and the accuracy has been great. No leading issues in Glock or KKM barrels. Try the Lee 125 gr round nose as a cheap entry into 9mm. Youll be able to simply cast, lube and load. I was using 45/45/10 lube until I started powder coating. Alloy is Lyman #2 (90/5/5). Loads are enough to cycle the action to mid power. Im not loading for high velocity to punch paper or hit steel at 15 yards. Talk about cheap entertainment!

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy schutzen-jager's Avatar
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    jmho - i agree with Winger Ed about powder coating - quote [ I figure powder coating may just be a passing fad, like moly coat used to be, so I still use lube. ] - powder coating is in my opinion complicated , time consuming , + expensive process that does not perform any better than tumble lubing + other older lubing processes - tried it in various pistols with various different bore conditions + concluded that it showed absolutely zero advantage over liquid alox tumble lube - like 6622729 i use the Lee 125gr. rn. unsized + tumbled lubed + even when loaded past 1000fps for my lugers have never experienced any leading issues -
    never pick a fight with an old man - if he is too old to fight he will just kill you -
    in this current crisis our government is not the solution , it is the problem ! -

    ILLEGITIMI NON CARBORUNDUM

    as they say in latin

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy Cast10's Avatar
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    Lee 120 TC 6 cavity; RCBS carbide dies; WSF powder; Standard die setup procedures.

    I read lots of info/stickies on 9mm here. It truly helped.

    Slug barrel; I use .357 sizer. Several Glock pistols.

    Powder coat for sure. No leading. SOWW + Hardball for @ 11.3 BHN.

  19. #19
    Boolit Man
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    Thank you all who took the time to respond and share your experiences casting and loading 9mm. Treating myself to a new mold and set of handles tomorrow.
    Willie

    P.S.-Quinnbrian, yes this site is great. I discovered it back in March.

  20. #20
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willie T View Post
    SNIP>>>

    thank all of you who responded. Clip on wheel weights are my intended casting material. They are what I have in my stock pile.. Barrel already slugged .3555. Plan is to size some at .356 and .357. Have to choose a mold first. Good news that it sounds like they are fine without gas checks. I find it interesting that most of yall are casting in the 120s. I figured the 147 would be easier to keep the velocity down and allow a broader range of powder charges seeking accuracy. Also thinking the longer bearing surface would have more bite in that fast 10 twist. Thank you all again.

    Willie T
    I prefer using 9mm molds in the 120s, I have a 120 and 124 and 128.
    My experience has told me, "in General", middle of the road weight boolits just seem to have potentially less problems...that goes to any caliber.

    Now, we all know that you can make almost anything work, if you jump through some hoops...but your original question seemed to point to least problems possible.

    Lastly, I size to .357 to cover an assortment of pistols. I use WLL Carnuba Red lube. Generally, I use Unique and find it adequate for middle of the road weight boolits and loads.
    Good Luck.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.
    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

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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