Lop sided 9mm bullets


January 6, 2005, 12:19 AM
I loaded my first 9mm reloads (loaded .308 and 357mag before this).

How do you seat the bullets and keep them from getting lop sided?

I am using once fired Win whitebox cases in a Lee Hand Press with Lee dies.
The bullets go in then I pull the cartridge out and it seems like the case has expanded on one side more than another and the bullet is also slightly crooked.
How do I fix this?

Another question...
I'm using Blue Dot (8.0gr), is it normal for the powder to fill up all the space inside the case?
It fills the case up to about 3/32 of an inch to the top.

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January 6, 2005, 01:58 AM
I have also experienced this with my RCBS Rockchucker using RCBS dies. I would like to see what some of the more experienced guys have to say about this. It seems to occur more when I use the Winchester cases as opposed to using Remington cases. I have noticed that the Winchester 9mm cases seem to be a slightly softer brass than Remington cases. Can anyone confirm this?

January 6, 2005, 02:09 AM
I'm not sure, that is of course why I started the thread, but I just thought of something.
Maybe the seater doesn't exert uniform pressure on the bullet and if the bullet enters the seater lopsided then that is exactly how it is pushed into the case.

I think on the next few rounds I will expand the cases more so the bullets get a better start into the case. Before the bullets would barely get started, so I guess the bullet could have turned before touching the seater.

January 6, 2005, 06:50 AM
Your bullet seating stem does not match the profile of the bullet you are using. You need to get the correct stem and it will eliminate 95%+ of the bullet alignment problem you are seeing.

I have some Lee dies that the seating stem removes and the bullet seater plug can be flipped over having a different profile on each side. Unscrew the seating stem and see if there is a plug that seats the bullet. If not or neither matches the bullet you are using, bullet should fit well in the seater, call Lee and tell them what bullet you want to use and they can tell you what bullet seating stem you need.

Forgot to add DON'T expand more than necessary to get the bullet started. That is a great way to get setback and dangerous pressures.

January 6, 2005, 10:31 AM
Thanks a lot for the info.
I will check my die when I get home.
You would think that the seater would fit FMJ bullets since it is so common (maybe it does and I just havent figured it out).

When you expand a case is it supposed to be easy to get the bullet started into the case?
I have been expanding them just enough for me to hold the bullet onto the case and stuff them both into the seater.

Jim Watson
January 6, 2005, 11:58 AM
I flare them enough to set the bullet on the case mouth and it stay there as the ram feeds it into the seating die.

I flare more than most, nothing is more destructive to accuracy than lead or copper scraped up by a casemouth. I figure I will lose autopistol brass before I wear it out by working the casemouth. Don't flare it back so far as to enlarge the case more than the taper crimp will close, that will reduce bullet pull and allow setback against the feed ramp.

I am surprised that the Lyman "M" die shape is not used more. It enlarges the casemouth to accept the bullet in a short straight expansion, not a bugle flare. The bullet slips in a fraction of an inch and sets straight against a slight shoulder until seated.

Hmm, I think I'll take a spare Dillon "powder funnel" over to the shop and have FLG put it on the lathe.

January 8, 2005, 11:13 AM
I'm kind of surprised too. With most epanding stems, the case mouth has to be given a ridiculous amount of flare if you want the bullet to be seated perfectly straight with the long axis of the case. Seating stems are another sourse of cockeyed bullets. If the seater does not engage the ogive in a uniform manner, the bullet will be pushed in off center. Combine seating stem problems with poorly flared cases and you have a major problem that will result in decreased accuracy and possibly feeding problems as well.

January 11, 2005, 11:06 PM
I've had the same problem and went about solving it in a different way, as I had some serious demands on the accuracy of my ammo.

I had Lee send me a set of their .003" oversized dies, both full length and factory crimp.

The problem as I saw it was that the cases were being oversized. The reason is that there are wildly wide tolerances in case thickness with the myriad of manufacturers making 9mm brass. In order for 99%+ to work after run through "run of the mill" dies, it's neccessary for them to make them a bit on the "tight" side. Back in the '70's, it was common for die manufacturers to put notices that their dies may not give sufficient neck tension with some makes of brass, usually good American mfg. brass!

Not to mention this (lop-sidedness) plays hob with the accuracy, particularily with the "run-out" you're seeing.

By using Federal brass, I'm avoiding what I see as a problem with the Winchester brass having as much as .002" variation in neck thickness, and very shallow primer pockets. Actually, I had even worse luck with the Remington, especially some I bought new/unprimed.

I now get very low runouts, very good accuracy and no high primers.

Still, don't overly flare the necks; Just like Jim Watson said, just enough to seat the bullet w/o shaving the bullet or collapsing the case, and then a minimal taper crimp with the Factory crimp die, which will "erase" a small bit of runout by "pushing" in the side protruding, but won't correct the amount that I've seen occasionally come out before the die treatment.

Before I got the O/S dies, I would back off the sizer die approx. 3/4 turn, which eliminated some of the "Coke Bottle" effect from excessive sizing.

Your firearm will dictate to some extent what you need to do. My S&W Perf. CTR 9mm Auto's made it real clear when things weren't to their liking.

Yes, with BlueDot, you'll see essentially "full" cases of powder with the 9mm. Some data I've seen and tried would not fit in the 9mm brass I tried it with. For easier measuring, try either Win.SuperFld, AA#5, HS6, or Win231. I couldn't get the accuracy or velocity with TiteGroup before the pressures got too high. Might work better for you, though. Best 9mm reload accuracy I've gotten was with 4.9-5.0gr of Win231 and 115gr JHP, at 1.125" oal. Followed very closely by 5.3gr of Win SuperFld.

January 12, 2005, 01:35 AM
Wow, thanks for the large amount of info.

All I have on hand is tons and tons of once fired win white box and rem bulk brass.

I did notice the shallow primer pockets. In a few rounds I can't get the primers in and they stick out by as much as .004".

I still have yet to shoot my 9mm reloads.
I guess I'll just have to wait and see how my Sig 228 likes them.

January 12, 2005, 09:31 AM
I would not shoot loads with proud primers. There is a chance the slide can set them off and you will get an out-of-battery firing. Put them aside to be pulled down next time you have a bullet pulling session.

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