Loaded first batch of 9mm...questions.

Loaded first batch of 9mm...questions.

This is a discussion on Loaded first batch of 9mm...questions. within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; So I loaded my first batch of 10 9mm rounds....115gr FMJ. I have a Lee Carbide 3 die set in a single stage Lee press. ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array harley2007's Avatar
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    Loaded first batch of 9mm...questions.

    So I loaded my first batch of 10 9mm rounds....115gr FMJ.

    I have a Lee Carbide 3 die set in a single stage Lee press. I am having issues with the bullet seating depth and it alos looks like the case mouth is still flared a bit...when compared to Winchester factory loaded ammo. Is this because the 3 die set does not hae a seperate crimping die?

    Also, I had a bear of a time getting the depth right on the seat. Is there a easy way to do it, how do you guys set up your seating die?

    My rounds measured a hair short I think and I am worried I need to pull them, or should I just shoot the 10 and see how they work (I understand too short could cause pressure increases and also maybe not feed).

    Any help from the more seasoned reloaders would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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    9mm Luger is a bit more finicky to reload than most cartridges due to the taper crimp. Sounds like the seating/crimping die is not set properly. I don't use separate seat and crimping dies and haven't had a problem--as long as they are set right.

    First, go to or order from Harbor Freight a 6" caliper to accurately measure cases, etc. For the @$10, it's worth it.

    I do not like the locking rings on Lee dies as they never stay set. Break down and order lock rings with set screws. Once you have your dies set properly, they never change.

    Make sure you flare the case mouth just enough to allow the bullet to enter without shaving lead (or copper).

    The bullet seating depth (COL) must be set first:
    Back the seating'crimping die out so that it doesn't crimp. While inserting a fresh round, adjust the bullet seat down in 1/4 turn increments until you have the COL you want. Back the bullet seater all the way out and then adjust the die down until it crimps the case the correct amount. There should be NO flare left. (There may be a slight bulge in the case starting at the base of the seated bullet. That's normal.) Once you have the correct crimp, lock the die in place with the lock ring.

    Now insert the previously seated round in the die and adjust the bullet seat back down until it contacts the bullet.

    Now, if you load another bullet, it should seat and crimp the round properly. A slight adjustment may be needed, but it will be only slight.

    Any change in bullet make, style, weight can throw off the settings. If you're going to load multiple 9mm bullets weights, it's simplest to have separate dies for each rather than reset the die every time.

    You might want to load a few "dummy" rounds (no powder or primer) and run them through you firearm to make sure they chamber okay before you waste primer and powder.
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    Member Array reyno2ac's Avatar
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    You should pick up the Lee factory crimp die. What press are you using? How short are we talking?
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    And define "a hair short"? A few thousands is one thing, 1/8" is another.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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    Factory crimp die shouldn't be needed if your dies are of recent manufature.FC dies were made in response to older dies that didn't taper crimp well.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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    Senior Member Array harley2007's Avatar
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    So I measured 5 rounds and also took a couple of pictures if that helps:

    Here are the 5 rounds measurements:
    1. 1.136
    2. 1.133
    3. 1.135
    4. 1.136
    5. 1.135


    And here are a couple pics....they case looks a little bulged to me and the mouth has a obvious ridge.


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    Member Array showmebob's Avatar
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    Loading 9MM with mixed cases and Lee dies medium charged loads I say ok to +/- .005. Looks like you are plenty good where you are for length. The pics are kinda fuzzy but it looks like you need to crimp more to remove the flare and maybe cut back on the amount of flare initially.

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    Can't really tell from the pictures, but you COLs aren't too bad. .003" spread? I'd say shoot them if they chamber okay.

    Again, resizing makes the cases smaller than specs with many dies, and the bullet will expand the case out when eated, often leaving a bulge at the bullet base. Not unusual. A bulge right below the case mouth but above the bullet base is an indication of overcrimp (die pushing mouth back).

    Measure the case mouth on the reloaded rounds. Should be some specs that will tell you what it should measure.

    Don't know what you're shooting, but drop these reloaded rounds into a disassembled barrel. They should "clunk" as they bottom and be fully seated in the chamber.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
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    Senior Member Array harley2007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Can't really tell from the pictures, but you COLs aren't too bad. .003" spread? I'd say shoot them if they chamber okay.

    Again, resizing makes the cases smaller than specs with many dies, and the bullet will expand the case out when eated, often leaving a bulge at the bullet base. Not unusual. A bulge right below the case mouth but above the bullet base is an indication of overcrimp (die pushing mouth back).

    Measure the case mouth on the reloaded rounds. Should be some specs that will tell you what it should measure.

    Don't know what you're shooting, but drop these reloaded rounds into a disassembled barrel. They should "clunk" as they bottom and be fully seated in the chamber.
    Nope, wont slide into the barrel...so I guess I need to pull them, glad I only did 10!

    So how do I resize the cases with the primer in them?
    "I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy!" - Dorothy Parker

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    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    The most important thing you need to do to get your cartridges uniform in length is trim the cases after resizing. This is important on autoloaders which headspace on the case mouth. It also gives you a uniform crimp. I'm sure your manual explains it.
    The way I set up a seating die is to get a factory round of the same bullet weight and set it in the shellholder. Raise the ram all the way up. Take the seating stem out of the die and screw the die into the press until the crimper contacts
    the case mouth. Then give the die another 1/4 turn and tighten the die ring. Next screw the seating stem into the die until it contacts the bullet and tighten it's locking ring. Your die will be set to factory specs for seating and crimping.
    IMO your photos show the bullet too deep. There seems to be space between the bullet and case mouth.
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    Member Array showmebob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harley2007 View Post
    Nope, wont slide into the barrel...so I guess I need to pull them, glad I only did 10!

    So how do I resize the cases with the primer in them?
    If your case flare is what is keeping them from sliding into the barrel, just run them through the properly adjusted seating/crimp die. You wouldn't need to pull them.

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    To answer your question, you'd have to remove the decapping pin from the sizing die to resize with a primer installed. Needless to say, handle with care.

    Max case size for a 9mm Luger is .394 at the base, .380 at the mouth. Case length is .754. This data from an older Speer manual. The expander should not be more than .354 below the flared portion.

    Measure a reloaded case at the mouth and is should be .380 or slightly less. If it is, the crimp should be okay. Compare it to a factory round and see what it measures.

    Make sure you're fully resizing. The sizing die should just kiss the shell holder with a case in it.

    Automatic Slim makes a good point, although I've never had a case length issue with pistol cases. Rifle cases are a whole nother issue!
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    Senior Member Array boscobeans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by automatic slim View Post
    The way I set up a seating die is to get a factory round of the same bullet weight and set it in the shellholder. Raise the ram all the way up. Take the seating stem out of the die and screw the die into the press until the crimper contacts
    the case mouth. Then give the die another 1/4 turn and tighten the die ring. Next screw the seating stem into the die until it contacts the bullet and tighten it's locking ring. Your die will be set to factory specs for seating and crimping.


    If you ran the brass through the decapping / resizing die properly the problem is most probably with the case mouth. It looks like you didn't taper crimp the bell out of the loaded rounds.

    Remove the seating stem from the seating / crimping die and follow AutomaticSlim's advice.

    I would not attempt to run loaded ammo through the full length resizing die even after removing the decapping pin. If you had a LeeFactory Crimp die that would be ok.

    OMO

    bosco

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