Dilemma with 9mm rounds


September 7, 2011, 12:14 PM
I would need an advice on how to handle this situation.

I've used Lee 2-bullet mold for round nose bullets to cast around 300 bullets and loaded them into cartridges, with primers and powder.

Now, I come to range and load my first round into my handgun and.... it doesn't even load it into chamber :uhoh:

So after considering my options I was able to pull the casing out with bullet stuck in the barrel. At this point it got me thinking that there is something wrong with either case size or bullet size. Later I came home and fully resized case with Lee factory crimp die to see if anything changes and ... it didn't :cuss:

Now I measured diameter of the bullet and all of them were .357 in diameter near case mouth. I even took other factory made round to compare how far bullet can go into barrel and it was clear to me that my cast bullets were not going far in enough, so that extractor groove was fully outside of barrel if trying to load round.

So, gentlemen and ladies, if present, I would ask for advice what to do with all this ammunition that doesn't fit into my guns....:banghead:

I'm considering pulling all bullets and remelting them. I'm also thinking of getting sizing die for 9 mm bullets as well.

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September 7, 2011, 12:23 PM
You should be able to seat them deeper until the bullet clears the rifling leade.
Just screw the seating stem down a little and run them through the die again.
And if you used the LEE FCD, it has already squeezed the bullets down enough to chamber.

Color a bullet with a Magic-Marker and keep seating deeper & coloring again until the rifling stops rubbing off the marker ink.

And next time, before loading 300 rounds, maybe you should take the barrel out of your gun and use it at the reloading bench as a "chamber check" guage.

Making them fit before you load six boxes of anything is always a pretty good idea!


September 7, 2011, 12:28 PM
First, make sure the brass is the correct length. I’m sure it is, but check it anyway.

I would make a dummy round with the same bullet to see what OAL will work in your chamber. After length determined, compare that to the length of the cartridges that you've already loaded. If the difference is a small amount (like 0.01") and you loaded with the starting charge weight, I would set the loaded cartridges back to fit the chamber. You need to be careful doing this; 9mm is capacity sensitive.

You may have damaged the bullets with the FCD. I don't know this from experience, I've just heard this is possible (so take that as hear-say).

September 7, 2011, 01:55 PM
I've been casting with the Lee TL 356 124 2R mold for some time in 9mm, and just started a month ago with the 125 grain single lube groove version. Which one are you using?

Couple of questions, you don't have a sizer? The Lee push through kit for 9mm, (.356), is cheap and really easy to use, and comes with a bottle of Lee Liquid Alox lube.
What cartridge overall length are you using? I load the tumble lube version to 1.095 in my CZ pistols, and the single lube groove to 1.080, due to the fatter ogive.

The FCD doesn't damage the bullets if they are properly sized. Also, I have reloaded 9mm for 10 years or so, never trimmed a case yet. But that's just me.

September 7, 2011, 02:58 PM
I lube my bullets with lee alox without sizing die. That is getting bullets into small metal box and adding some lube. Then shaking them for a while.

I would also need to check on OAL. One thing I noticed is that not all of the rounds were equal length. By this I mean that there is small variation between length of rounds, particularly for specific headstamp. I've yet to notice any length changes though.

And as for being dumb for not testing a seated bullet round fit in barrel, I agree. Now this makes me think that things are not that easy for 9 mm reloading. Previously I've been reloading 9mm makarov rounds using cast bullets without any problem. Not even problem when re-using fired brass. Everything chambers and fires without a question.

September 7, 2011, 03:01 PM
When I first started loading 9mm lead bullets, I was frustrated because I was loading them to the same length as the factory jacketed ball rounds of the same weight, but they wouldn't chamber. (Of course, I only had made a handful of them at that point)

I went out and got an FCD. Didn't help. Then, I got smart and looked at the bullet ogive. It was much more blunt than the tapered, svelt-looking (in comparison) jacketed ball round. So, I took my dummy cartridge and seated it deeper, as described above, until it chambered cleanly, seated the live cartridges deeper as well, and then took them out and fired them. All worked. I've seated all those bullets to that depth since, and have not had any problems getting them to chamber.

I would say that your final length is probably too long for the bullet you are using.

September 7, 2011, 03:23 PM
I'll try to re-seat bullet with smaller charge. It makes sense to seat deeper. I would wonder what kind of pressure to expect from such a load?

How do you calculate reduction of powder charge?

September 7, 2011, 03:37 PM
You can't. Those loads may be fine. If you're unsure, set them aside and work up some new loads with the correct OAL and if you reach your current powder charge w/o issues, the just seat the bullets deeper on the ones you have.

September 7, 2011, 04:14 PM
What's your load? If it's just a regular starting load, then you'd be fine just seating deeper. If you're starting hot, then .... you'll need to pull'em.

September 7, 2011, 04:31 PM
4.6 grains of TiteGroup and later I used 4.1 grains....

I'll try to load some new ones to 3.6 grains first and then working it up. And I would need to see how shortened length of round would affect how rounds are being loaded in handgun.

On crazy side I have Hi-Point carbine in 9mm, so I can try to re-seat bullet for hot load and try to fire them this way. I'm a bit cautious of firing hot loads in handgun.

September 7, 2011, 07:39 PM
Don't assume the carbine can handle more than your pistol. Where did you get your data and what was the bullet type/weight, seating depth and starting charge listed?

September 7, 2011, 08:27 PM
If nothing else you've learned the lesson of loading a few dummy rounds first, and cycle them through your gun to make sure they chamber before loading a bunch. Glad you didn't load a thousand. :)

September 7, 2011, 08:28 PM
On the plus side you could use this as an excuse to buy a 9mm revolver.;)

September 9, 2011, 03:11 PM
OK. Here is more info.

I seated bullet to a depth that allows round to be loaded in barrel. OAL measured is 1.093''

About powder charge. I used maximum load for 9 mm from Lee handloading book. Where maximum charge is 4.6 gr

Also, on TiteGroup bottle label it is using 4.8 gr for 115 gr bullets.

Moreover, I've looked up different charges for OAL less than 1.1'' and all of them seem to max out around 4.4 gr with around ~30,000 CUP pressure.

chris in va
September 9, 2011, 04:17 PM
Yikes. You need to load to *minimum* first, not maximum...especially with lead in the 9mm. Please don't shoot those, pretty good chance of blowing up your gun.

9mm is pretty difficult to load for, especially lead.

My CZ didn't like any 356 lead bullet I tried, no matter what charge or oal. Everything went in sideways. Finally a sage reloader suggested I try a 358 bullet, but the shape had it hitting the leade much sooner than FMJ profiles so I had to seat it to 1.01oal with a minimum charge of Universal.

Made thousands of those since and use them in IDPA.

My Lyman manual shows a 120gr bullet with 3.2 - 3.8gr(max) with Titegroup. Just so you understand, lead bullets take a different load than FMJ.

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