cast bullets in a Kel Tec Sub2000 9mm?


March 17, 2008, 09:14 PM
Anybody have a Sub2000 in 9mm that has experience shooting hard cast bullets in it? How do they do - function and accuracy-wise. Also, please indicate bullet weight, style and approximate velocity. TIA

Here's a pic of mine - just bought it and am thinking of loading up some hc bullet loads for it...

Here it is folded - it and all its mags fit into that little black backpack shown in the background.

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March 18, 2008, 11:45 AM
nobody has experience with this?

The bore seems to be cut rifled and has deep grooves, so I'm thinking as long as the bullets have enough or good lube, they'd be fine. Maybe use Lee's liquid alox- which has performed excellently for me with my hard cast rifle loads...

March 18, 2008, 12:56 PM
I don't have experience with your exact situation, but maybe I can tell you something that you want to hear...

Have you ever considered using cream of wheat in your lead reloads (I'm serious, not joking here)? I have done so with 357mag and 45ACP (I have a test bunch made up in 9mm with some 125LRNs that I haven't shot yet, but based on my other experience I am sure they will be just fine). I have also used cream of wheat with cast lead 7.62 bullets in 7.62x39 and 7.62x54R. Haven't chrono'd the rifle bullets yet but I suspect they were up around 1800-2100 fps. No leading at all, clean bores.

The theory is that the c.o.w. gets compressed up under the base of the bullet and acts as a gas check, preventing leading. (THR thread on cream o' wheat) ( This plug of c.o.w. gets pretty darned hard and is also the bees-knees for cleaning out the bore of any leading that happens to already be there.

So I can't guarantee it'll work, but if it works in 7.62x39 with lead bullets (shot in an SKS by the way, and did not cause any gas system issues) I am quite confident it will work for you. The price paid other than the extra step in reloading is that so far my rifle bullet accuracy has been quite poor, which so far I attribute to the cream of wheat.

What I do for my pistols now is to make 10 to 15 of the rounds in a box of 50 with cream of wheat, mark them on the base with a sharpie, and then shoot them last. Totally clean bores very similar to the pictures in the linked thread. For 45ACP and 230 LRNs I use maybe 1cc of cream of wheat on top of the powder and then seat the bullet on top of that, compressing it slightly. The 9mm 125LRNs I've made up but haven't tested yet used a lot less c.o.w., maybe a little less than 0.5cc as measured by the Lee calibrated scoop method. That comes out to about 3 grains by weight of cream of wheat.

YMMV etc and no guarantees, but I would suggest giving it a try. With what jacketed bullets go for I would sure try it! If you do try c.o.w., you have to start working loads up separately since the cow may raise pressures, especially with fast pistol powders. I have successfully used it with W231 in pistol and BL-C(2) in rifle.

March 18, 2008, 02:52 PM
thanks for that information.

I've heard of COW being used in reduced loads to take up space in the case but not as a "gas check" as you are employing it with your loads.

I've had very good success with my rifle hard cast bullet loads simply using gas checked designes and lubing them with Lee's liquid alox. My 303 Brit loads and 30-06 loads (both around 200 grains) are very accurate at 2000 fps with no leading whatsoever.

I was just wondering how the sub2000 would cycle hard cast bullets and how they'd do in the bore (leading) and how accurate they are in comparison to jacketed bullets. Sounds like you have a solution if leading is a problem.

Again, thanks for the input!

March 18, 2008, 03:29 PM
I would think that doing COW would change your load data, and cause some pressure issues if it was to harden.

March 18, 2008, 05:40 PM
I've shot lead 9mm reloads in mine and they worked fine. 124 and 115 grain bullets with several different powders, all functioned well. Get a loading manual and any of the normal range loads should work.

March 18, 2008, 07:06 PM
yes, you would need to count the COW's weight as "bullet weight". But COW is pretty low density/light.

Nelson - thanks, that's what I wanted to know.

I'll just make up some test loads and see how they print.

March 18, 2008, 10:17 PM
I just checked some of my load books, and the highest listed velocity I saw for 9mm in a rifle was 1650 from a 90 grain bullet. 115 gr bullets are listed at ~1400 fps, and 125 gr bullets at 1300 fps. Note that these are the VERY MAX loads listed for each bullet weight (Sierra Bullets manual). Most loadings will be less than that.

Now, as for lead in your Kel-Tec, those velocities should be absolutely no problem at all for a properly hard cast lead bullet. Hard cast bullets can appoach 1800-2000 fps when cast and loaded properly. While I haven't chronoed either yet, I'm pretty sure I'm getting above 1500 fps in my full house 357 magnum and 44 magnum, and those both get fed hard cast.

March 19, 2008, 11:06 AM
I figured that 1600 fps with a 115 grain bullet would be reached with +P loads - based on a 18% jump over revolver velocities. Corbon lists a +P 115 grain load that reaches 1350.

My load books don't list +P loads for the 9mm.

Cast bullets tend to go faster at the same presure due to lower friction...

But I totally agree that plain based hard cast bullets with proper lube can be pushed quite fast and I don't think they'd be a problem in my KT.

This is all academic for me, as I would use standard loads and expect 1300-1400 fps with 115 grain hard cast bullets. I'm after a good practice/plinking round that shoots to the same point of aim as jacketed 115 grainers.

Thanks for the additional input!

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