Need help with 9mm reloads...

This is a discussion on Need help with 9mm reloads... within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I've recently begun to reload 9x19 (9mm Luger), and am having a higher percentage of rounds that fail to chamber than I think is normal ...

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Thread: Need help with 9mm reloads...

  1. #1
    Member Array jbailey's Avatar
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    Need help with 9mm reloads...

    I've recently begun to reload 9x19 (9mm Luger), and am having a higher percentage of rounds that fail to chamber than I think is normal (10-15%).

    I remove the pistol's barrel and use it for a case gague. I load the rounds on a Hornady LNL AP press using Lee's 4 die pistol set which separates the seating and crimping process, using their Factory Crimp Die. I also use this same setup in 45ACP, except I use a taper crimp die there to prevent bullet deformation and leading with target bullets. The 45's have a low percentage (2-4%) that won't fully chamber. I then run these through the Lee FCD and then they chamber - problem solved.

    I tried a little experiment just to see what would happen. I took a 9mm shell case, resized it, then tried it in the chamber (no bullet,etc.).
    The shell dropped right in. I then proceeded to prime, charge, seat the bullet and crimp. Then I tried the finished round in the chamber and while it did go in fully, I had to push it in the last 1/8" or so. I don't think any of the dies are set wrong, I'm using a minimum of bell and crimp.

    Could the FCD be causing this? I don't have a taper-crimp die in 9mm to try, but something is amiss here.

    Just thought I would see if any of you have had a similar experience.
    Any advise, comments will be very welcome.

    TIA,

    Jim

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    A couple of things I would look at. First what is the overall length of your finished cartridge compared to spec. Second, are you using the exact same bullet as the chart you are using? Different manufacturers make bullets with different ogives. It is possible that your bullet is starting to engage the rifling before the case mouth seats in the chamber.

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    Member Array jbailey's Avatar
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    That's a good thought MCP. I loaded these to 1.140 (125g round nose LD). Max according to my Speer man. was 1.168 IIRC.

    I looked for marks on the bullet, but didn't see any.

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    True - check OAL (COL) and see if your choice does in fact suit the bullet profile. A smidgeon below quoted COL is a safer bet usually.

    Otherwise, if the applied taper crimp is enough to cancel out any flare then you should be good. I have an FCD for 9mm but am lazy and set seating die to apply what I need. I use minimal flare and reckon my crimp just cancels that - the main deal being neck tension holding the bullet.

    I keep a spare barrel on hand to check a loaded round every so often ... hope you'll find the glitch.
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    Distinguished Member Array Colin's Avatar
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    You can buy chamber checkers (basically a milled piece of metal with a chamber cut into it) plan on getting some for myself. I alway check the OAL when I set up a new load, I also bring a magazine with me to check they fit into it. Some of the data I have seen have set min. OAL that would never load into my 1911 or Sig mags. I just tried out some dummy rounds with 160gr bullets (super 9) they fit my Sig fine, although I did have similar problems with 100gr frangibles in my CZ clone, where it refused to chamber. I use the Lee 4 die system also, with regular 9mm (124gr) I have never had a chambering problem, are you sure that you are not "buckling" the case?

  7. #6
    Member Array jbailey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin View Post
    You can buy chamber checkers (basically a milled piece of metal with a chamber cut into it)

    Yes, I have case gauges for my other pistol calibers, but haven't gotten the 9mm yet which is why I was using the bbl. for testing.



    I have never had a chambering problem, are you sure that you are not "buckling" the case?
    Well, that's a good suggestion, but I'm one of those who likes just enough crimp to remove the bell from the case mouth, but when I get back to the bench, I plan to further lighten the crimp to see if that is the culprit.

    One other thing it could possibly be, is bulging of the cases just above the web which can happen after many reloadings, or use of high power loads. This bulge isn't likely to come out when the cases are resized because the die doesn't get to that area. I have seen this in the 45's, in fact I have a gague that is designed specifically to detect this type of deformation for the 45. It looks like a nut without threads, and is sized to allow a perfectly sized case to pass completely through it.

    You insert the mouth of your fired case into the gague, if the case won't pass through, remove it and insert the base. If the base won't go in at all, or stops within 1/8" or so of the rim, the case won't be able to be resized fully and should be discarded. I have tested a few cases where the rim wouldn't even enter the gague, these cases have been hammered enough to expand the base, and even if the rest of the case would go through the gague, they might cause feeding prob's so are discarded as well. Otherwise, if the case is bulged somewherefrom 1/8" above the rim on up to the mouth, it can be resized. I'm going to have to try and get one of those in 9mm.

    Thanks to all for the input

    Jim

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    Member Array armoredman's Avatar
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    I'd check the setup of the FCD. I've been using the Lee FCD for my CZ loads for a few years now, and it is the bee knees to get finished rounds back in spec. All 9mm will get the wasp waist when loaded, but my FCD smoothes it right out. I wonder if you got a bad FCD? Ask Lee if they'll trade you a new one, or give you some advice over the phone. I had them help me a few times, and they were quite helpful, indeed!
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    Member Array jbailey's Avatar
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    Fcd All Better Now

    Quote Originally Posted by armoredman View Post
    I'd check the setup of the FCD. I've been using the Lee FCD for my CZ loads for a few years now, and it is the bee knees to get finished rounds back in spec. All 9mm will get the wasp waist when loaded, but my FCD smoothes it right out. I wonder if you got a bad FCD? Ask Lee if they'll trade you a new one, or give you some advice over the phone. I had them help me a few times, and they were quite helpful, indeed!
    Good news! Checked my setup of the FCD, decided to take it out and start all over. Don't know why, but I decided to take the die apart and discovered a lot of crud in it. It looked like metal filings mixed with some sort of black residue. This die is new, I've only loaded a few test rounds with it, maybe this was left from the manufacturing process, or something, I don't know. Anyhow, after cleaning and re-installing (adjusted same as before), everything went without a hitch. Loaded 25 rounds, tested them in the barrel chamber, then went out and shot them. A-OK

    I can only guess, but the crud must have created strange forces resulting in the cases buckling??

    Good shooting,

    Jim

  10. #9
    Member Array armoredman's Avatar
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    Cool

    Yep. That'll do it, glad to see it's all better! I use the FCD in all my ammo.
    If total government control equals safety, why are prisons so dangerous?

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    VIP Member Array sass20485's Avatar
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    Keeping dies clean is a good way to avoid problems. I load a lot of cowboy ammo and frequently clean the bullet seating die to avoid accumulating excess lube. Glad to hear you seem to have solved your problem.

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