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Discussion Starter #1
looking for some advise from re-loaders. I'm just getting back into reloading and started making 9mm. I am 90+% there. Ammo is very accurate and everything is rolling along good, then 1 in 50 rounds is a failure to feed. It checks out in a case gauge and only thing I can guess is its a crimping issue that is just a hair off. Why 1 in many rounds do this. I'm using Berry's 124 RN and mixed brass that has only been fired once. I've adjusted the crimp just a little more and will see how these 100 hundred perform, but would like any info from guys that know. I don't have cartridge specs in front of me as I write this but I know its sets up within guidelines of my manual specs as I checked with each stage of setting the dies in a 550B. Thanks..
 

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Could it be a gun issue?
How does your gun perform with factory ammo? No FTF's?
And where is the cartridge in the FTF? Nosedive? Close to going into chamber? Needs only a slide bump?

Have you done the plunk test. Those case gauges are good, but you should also check it with your own barrel, just to make sure your particular pistol doesn't require a shorter COL.
 

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Something is off . Could be the bullet is a bit out of spec or some other adjustments need to be made . With mixed brass it could contribute, however I typically used mixed brass with no issues. Do you have a case gauge or use your barrel to check loads?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The failures are happening when the round is almost fully seated in the barrels. Bumping the slide will not seat the round. I actually have a hard time racking the slide to eject the round. But If I use a little leverage with a small screw driver between the back edge of the cartridge and the slide it will move back and come out. The same round will do the same thing in two different pistols. S/A 1911 and a M9. I don't mind taking it out and trying it in another mag/gun because its an easy fix. I cant visually see any in perfections on the top of the case where its crimped. Only 1 of the 5 or 6 I've had in 200+ rounds could seat properly the second time I've tried it? weird...The fact that it is only happening once in a while is the part that is stumping me. I've haven't loaded in a few years but never had this issue before. brass is cleaned before reloading as well. I originally though I might be belling the case too much prior to seating the bullet and this may affect the case that little bit when its completed, but I've since decreased the bell and its still doing it.
 

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Wow. Even an M9?
You shouldn't bell more than you have to, but as long as your taper crimp is removing the bell you should be fine. You're just fatiguing the case mouth more than you need to and it will wear out quicker.
I taper crimp .001~ smaller, but I don't think crimp is your problem.

I don't want to get into polishing this and throating that... not without knowing if you have the same problem with factory ammo.

How does your COL compare to factory ammo of the same bullet weight and profile? What is your COL?
I don't reload 9mm, but someone who does can tell you if it might be too long. When I started loading 45acp I was loading too long. I was seating the bullet to the maximum SAAMI specs. It would pass the plunk test, but not feed well. Especially in my compact 1911's. I just went shorter until it did feed well.
 

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Did you check the COAL on the rounds that are not feeding?

I doubt this is the problem, but just out of curiosity, have you measured the case length on the ones that are not fitting?
 
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Discussion Starter #7
I don't have specs with me. so I'm not 100% on COL at the moment. I've shot reman. for years from a local guy Modern Munitions and used his set up with bullet, charge and COL. Even took his bullet apart to see what his crimp marks looked like in bullet. None on his and a slight mark on mine. That is why I thought maybe a crimp. I originally back mine off a hair to not show any mark and feeling normal. This round I made the crimp a little more which I'm trying today after work. Never a malfunction with his or factory ammo in either pistol. If I can figure this out I'm going to be good to go as the rounds is very accurate.
 

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If you are using mixed brass and the problem is happening with one specific brand of cartridge case then you might want to cull those out and try reloading them separately once you've accumulated enough of them.
I am not really a reloader but, have been around shooting long enough to know that there are differences in cartridge case specs with regard to case wall thickness and that could be throwing things off a bit for you.
 

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I've never had mixed brass cause a feeding issue with either rifle or handgun.

Here's the two, and only two, items that have caused a problem for me:
1. Lead shaving build up at the case mouth. It will prevent full chambering and/or hard retraction. I chamfer the inside of the case mouth and do NOT over crimp.

2. Excessive COL. A 9mm 124 LRN that works in my S&W 6906 will not seat in my Sig 226. I had to shorten the COL .002-.003 to make the rounds suitable for both.

Too much is made of "spec" COLs. It's fine if you're using the exact same components in the exact same make and model of gun that was used to develop the data. Use your handgun chamber to establish the COL that works for you with any load.
 
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My guess is that your cases are different lengths, when you crimp the longer cases are bulging. Trim your cases or use your longest brass to set up your crimp.
 
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Use the barrel(s) to test your loads as stated above. I have never had to trim pistol brass and have loaded a bunch over the years of all sorts of head stamp. Maybe your not getting a full pull on a few rounds? I once had two rounds that were not properly crimped and would not feed in my pistol. A quick trip through the crimp die and they were fine.
Check out the bad rounds and measure what is different than a known good round.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well maybe mixed brass was the issue. Ran another 150 yesterday with no issues. Only change was a slightly tighter crimp. Thanks for the input from all.
 

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>Ammo is very accurate
Curious--what is the accuracy? 3" at 10 yards, 2" at 25 yards, 1.5" at 50 yards? Nice to know what you mean.

>and everything is rolling along good, then 1 in 50 rounds is a failure to feed. It checks out in a case gauge

Sorry, to me those are nearly a waste of money. Get the barrel out of the gun and drop the round and do the "plunk" test. You should do this pre-loading. Make a couple of inert dummy rounds and you can verify die set-up and COL before you ever start producing rounds.
The solution to chambering problems is to determine the cause:
Take the barrel out of the gun. Drop rounds in until you find one that won't chamber. Take that round and "paint" the bullet and case black with Magic Marker or other marker. Drop round in barrel and rotate it back-and-forth a few times.
Remove and inspect the round:
1) Scratches in the ink on bullet--COL is too long
2) Scratches in the ink on edge of the case mouth--insufficient crimp
3) Scratches in the ink just below the case mouth--too much crimp, you're crushing the case
4) Scratches in the ink on case at base of bullet--bullet seated crooked. This can be due to insufficient case expansion (not case mouth flare) or improper seating stem fit
5) Scratches in the ink on case just above extractor groove--case bulge not removed during sizing. May need a bulge buster.
 

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My 9mm 1911 is sensitive to bullet "approach angle" in the magazine. The 9mm case is tapered, so it's worse (bullet nose is lower) when the mag has 8 or more rounds in it. And the Wilson magazines I use are sensitive to OAL, so I don't load longer than 1.150".
 
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Might want to try the Lee Factory Crimp Die. I love them. Especially for loads for my semi autos. It really brings everything into spec.
 

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You didn't give us the OAL or diameter at the case mouth, two measurements that would have helped in the troubleshooting. It sounds to me, as others said, that you are probably "on the ragged edge" of too little or even too much crimp or an excessive OAL. Realize that every pistol chamber is unique and what works fine in one may fail in another, that is what folks are suggesting using the plunk test to check your reloads in the gun you are shooting. Since the OP's last post suggested that crimp was the issue, I'm glad the issue is fixed, but whenever changing bullet styles, weights, etc be sure to go back to square one and make some dummy rounds to test in your pistol's chamber before cranking out loaded rounds.
 
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