Loading 9mm cast bullets


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chris93555
October 21, 2011, 01:08 AM
Ok, I picked up 1000 rds of 9mm 125 gr. .356 truncated flatpoint lead cast bullets from bear creek today and was wondering if I can use the same reloading info for 125 gr. fmj load data. ie, powder, grain, and OAL:confused:

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ArchAngelCD
October 21, 2011, 02:51 AM
Ok, I picked up 1000 rds of 9mm 125 gr. .356 truncated flatpoint lead cast bullets from bear creek today and was wondering if I can use the same reloading info for 125 gr. fmj load data. ie, powder, grain, and OAL
Absolutely not. Usually, lead bullet loads use less powder than jacketed loads. OAL is determined by the bullet profile and will be different for all bullets, not just lead bullets. You can usually use the same powders unless the powder you're using is known to be a problem with lead bullets.

As an example, in a 9mm round the Max load for a 125gr lead bullet is 4.4gr W231 according to Hodgdon. With the same weight jacketed bullet the Max charge is 4.8gr W231. That's a considerable difference in such a small case.

16in50calNavalRifle
October 21, 2011, 03:19 AM
Well since I just happened to walk in from the garage after my first session loading/testing dummy rounds with 9mm 125 grain MBC LRN ...... I'll chime in with a related question, actually two.

I failed to first review bds' excellent method of determining max OAL and ideal OAL for new bullet types, so I sort of improvised on that and may have to do it from scratch (more methodically) again tomorrow. However, I did discover that this MBC bullet seems to load/eject reliably in my XD 9mm at an OAL of no-greater-than 1.065. Specifically, OALs of 1.125 and 1.111 and 1.080 had trouble extracting. They would come out, but only with a hefty cycling action. The 1.065s seemed to extract normally in hand cycling.

Question: is the difficulty extracting likely due to the bullet engaging the rifling? If not that, what would provide the resistance to the longer OALs ejecting with difficulty?

Powder issue. I'm using HP-38. For this powder the Hodgon data (for a 125 grain LCN - not LRN) shows start/max. of 3.9 and 4.4. (I'm assuming the conical/round-nose difference in a bullet of the same weight will not matter for powder/pressure considerations). Lee book shows start/max. of 3.0 and 4.1 for a 124 grain LRN.

I'm thinking of starting below the Hodgdon starting load (say, 3.5). Maybe another loading at 3.8, and one at 4.1. I am cautious about going any closer to the Hodgon max. load of 4.4, considering that my OAL is 1.065, vs. 1.125 in the Hodgdon data (forget the Lee OAL but it's also longer than my "apparent" ideal OAL).

Question: does this seem like a prudent margin of safety in terms of a lower ceiling for max. powder load given that my OAL looks to be shorter than those given in the data?

ArchAngelCD
October 21, 2011, 04:12 AM
I'm thinking of starting below the Hodgdon starting load (say, 3.5). Maybe another loading at 3.8, and one at 4.1. I am cautious about going any closer to the Hodgon max. load of 4.4, considering that my OAL is 1.065, vs. 1.125 in the Hodgdon data (forget the Lee OAL but it's also longer than my "apparent" ideal OAL).

Question: does this seem like a prudent margin of safety in terms of a lower ceiling for max. powder load given that my OAL looks to be shorter than those given in the data?
It's not a good idea to go below the starting charge for any load. I would ignore the Lee data because the Hodgdon data is current. A charge weight of only 3.0gr sounds very light. What OAL did the Lee manual list? As a matter of fact, I loaded a lot of 125gr LRN bullets over 4.0gr W231/HP-38 and they were very light and very accurate. My OAL for that load is 1.090". Also, if you load the lighter charge the rounds might not cycle the slide reliably. That 4.0gr load would not cycle a friends Beretta 92 because of it's slide weight.

I agree you should use a lesser charge because of the change in OAL but I would start at the starting charge weight listed in the Hodgdon load data and work from there.

16in50calNavalRifle
October 21, 2011, 04:25 AM
ArchAngelCD, thanks for your reply (I'm in CA - you must be burning the the midnight oil there in Pennsyltucky). Hmm - kinda late here as well .....

Well with the .37 cavity in the Auto Disk I seem to get 3.8/3.9 grains of HP-38, so maybe I'll just start with that - consistent with your recommendation - and load a few heavier charges from there. But to stay cautious maybe I'll just do a starting load and a 4.1 grain load, again keeping my somewhat shorter OAL in mind.

Also have to revisit the setting of my expander die, so I have the case mouth belled to the proper size for seating lead. Have only done FMJ before this.

ArchAngelCD
October 21, 2011, 04:38 AM
Those numbers should be fine...

It's 4:36AM here, I can never sleep :( so I read and post.

chris93555
October 21, 2011, 09:25 AM
Where can I find a reloading book, website, etc for cast lead bullets? The bullet has a grove about half way down, what the grove for?

john16443
October 21, 2011, 10:11 AM
Reloading books can be purchased on-line and at brick & mortar stores that sell reloading equipment or supplies. Websites for the powder manufacturers also will have some loading data available for free. Concensus is for cast bullets, the Lyman cast bullet handbook book is the best. If you're using a Hodgdon, Winchester, or IMR powder, the data on the Hodgdon site is pretty good.

The groove is normally where bullet lube is applied. The final product looks like the bullet photos on the Missouri Bullet Co. web site. Your Bear Creek bullets are moly coated, they will have the empty ring, and there is no reason to apply lube, just load and shoot. The ring is part of the mold they used to cast the bullet. If you buy other cast bullets, they will be provided with the lube.

bds
October 21, 2011, 11:33 AM
The bullet has a grove about half way down, what the grove for?
The groove is normally where bullet lube is applied.
+1. Most Moly coated bullets start out as regular lead bullets. Since the lubrication comes from Moly coating, the typical lube that gets applied into the lube channel is omitted, hence the empty groove.


Where can I find a reloading book, website, etc for cast lead bullets?
You should find plenty of lead load data in Lyman #49 (http://www.natchezss.com/product.cfm?contentID=productDetail&prodID=LY9816049&src=tpMfg) and on these links - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=7666953#post7666953

When I shot Moly coated bullets, I used lead load data. Since the Moly coating is quite slippery, I found myself using a bit more powder charge to ensure reliable slide cycling. If you lack proper bullet-to-barrel fit, especially if your barrel is oversized, you are going to have problems developing consistent chamber pressures and may experience leading issues. IMHO, if you experience erratic shot groups and leading with Moly coated bullets, it might be easier/cheaper to just shoot lead bullets. ;)

Here's a comparison picture of regular lead bullet and a Moly coated bullet.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=151292&stc=1&d=1319211107

chris93555
October 21, 2011, 12:20 PM
Thanks guy your real helpfully, I just ran across the load for cast bullets, it came with my dies from Lee, but when I seat the bullet as per there oal, it just a hair above the lube groove, its does cover the groove but barely, is this ok? I do have a Lyman book, but didn't see anything for cast on the 9mm, is it also know as alloy #2? Thanks for the help!

mgmorden
October 21, 2011, 12:27 PM
As stated, you'll need to rework your load data for lead vs FMJ, but remember that even amongst different FMJ bullets you might still need to adjust OAL. What really matters is case volume, so a bullet that is a different length than your established load needs to have the OAL adjusted as well.

What I tend to do to make sure that the same amount of base is in the case is to measure the difference in length between the two bullets, and then add/subtract that to/from the OAL of my established load to make sure I get the same amount of base in the case.

It only works if both bullets are flat-base (hollow-base bullets need to be reworked), and I probably would start out from scratch again if my loads were anywhere near max, but for my generally pretty mild loads it works well. Just make sure you're only adjusting this way from one lead bullet to another lead, or from one FMJ to another FMJ.

bds
October 21, 2011, 12:31 PM
when I seat the bullet as per there oal, it just a hair above the lube groove, its does cover the groove but barely, is this ok?
You shouldn't use the OAL listed on the published load data that was obtained using test barrel fixtures as it won't ensure proper feeding/chambering in YOUR pistol/barrel.

You need to use the OAL that will reliably feed/chamber in YOUR pistol/barrel by determining the Max OAL first using the barrel drop test then the Ideal OAL by doing a function check test - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=7636764#post7636764

Once you determined the Ideal OAL that will reliably feed/chamber from the magazine in YOUR pistol, then you need to conduct a full powder work up starting at start charge (or 10% below max load data) to identify which charge will produce reliable slide cycling/case extraction and accurate shot groups.

chris in va
October 22, 2011, 12:59 AM
Ditto. Make a dummy round with bullet, spent primer and no powder. Find out what point the round will chamber reliably, and adjust powder charge accordingly. Start with minimum in lead...they don't like to be pushed hard in 9MM.

Tomcat53
January 16, 2012, 12:33 PM
Has anyone had trouble with the Missiouri Bullets 9mm 125 gn .356 dia sticking in the seating die ? I use LEE dies and have no problem with jacketed or plated bullets. I clean the die thinking the lube ring is causeing the problem but it doesn't seem to help. Should I flare the case opening more so it seats easier? Any help would be appreciated.

bds
January 16, 2012, 01:03 PM
Has anyone had trouble with the Missiouri Bullets 9mm 125 gn .356 dia sticking in the seating die ?
I use Lee dies and .376" taper crimp for .356" sized bullets and do not have any issues with the bullet sticking in the taper crimp/bullet seating die. I use slightly more case neck flare than jacketed bullets sized at .355" when seating larger sized MBC 9mm bullets but not by much. Make sure the base of the bullet seats flat inside the flared case mouth, but use the minimal flare that works for you.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=152505&stc=1&d=1320990449

918v
January 16, 2012, 01:06 PM
You can load that BC TC bullet to the same OAL as Hornady XTP, i.e. 1.050" or so. I have found 3.7 to 4.1grs of 231 to work really well with this combo, although I used a .358" bullet.

Certaindeaf
January 16, 2012, 05:31 PM
Here's a link with some #356402 data.

http://www.castpics.net/project2/CastDatalist.php?start=101

I'ts a searchable motherlode.

Here's a screen shot of the classic 125gr 356402..

http://www.mattsbullets.com/images/Img_7258.jpg

plunge
February 5, 2012, 11:06 AM
I am getting ready to load some cast lead bullets for the first time and have a question about seating depth. Do you want the lube rings to be hidden in the case mouth? or is it ok if they are sticking out of the case mouth? I haven't found anything on this topic, i just wasnt sure. I have a bullet with 2 lube rings.

918v
February 5, 2012, 01:12 PM
Yes, you want the lube rings hidden. The round prolly won't chamber otherwise. But you should also consider the application. Some revolver bullets have multiple crimp grooves. Those can stick out past the case mouth.

bds
February 5, 2012, 02:45 PM
I am getting ready to load some cast lead bullets for the first time and have a question about seating depth. Do you want the lube rings to be hidden in the case mouth? or is it ok if they are sticking out of the case mouth? I haven't found anything on this topic, i just wasnt sure. I have a bullet with 2 lube rings.
plunge, with any new bullet, especially for lead bullet, you should always determine the Max OAL first using your barrel so the bearing surface of the bullet will engage the start of rifling sooner to build chamber pressure to deform the bullet base to seal the bullet to the barrel (obturation) and minimize high pressure gas leakage (gas cutting/bullet base erosion/blowing off liquefied lube/lube smoke). Then you should determine the Ideal OAL next so the finished rounds will reliably feed/chamber from the magazine in your pistol.

Determining the Max/Ideal OAL for lead bullets will optimize the chamber pressure consistency to reduce/minimize leading and improve accuracy. Of course, your lead bullet diameter should be .001" over the groove diameter of the barrel, so slug your barrel (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=639467) to see if you have an oversized barrel (if you do, you may need larger diameter sized bullet if you experience leading/accuracy/keyholing issues).

You do not need to use the OAL listed on published load data as testing barrel fixtures (not real pistols) are used to measure chamber pressures and using published OALs WILL NOT ensure reliable feeding/chambering of finished rounds in your pistols.

Determining OAL should not be a guessing game and I use the following process for semi-auto loads whenever I use a new bullet:

1. Make sure resized cases drop freely into the barrel chamber. If not, adjust the resizing die to ensure the cases are resized full-length (bottom of resizing die almost "kisses" the shell holder/plate) and fall in freely into the chamber.

2. Determine Max OAL - Make a dummy round (no powder/primer) and perform the barrel drop test with the barrel out of the pistol starting with the SAAMI max OAL until the dummy round falls into the chamber freely with a "plonk" and spin without hitting the start of rifling. To determine the amount of taper crimp to return the flare back to flat, I usually add .020" to the diameter of the bullet (So for 9mm .355" diameter bullet, .375" taper crimp and for .356" bullet, .376" taper crimp).

3. Next determine Ideal OAL - Load the Max OAL dummy round in the magazine and manually release the slide without riding the slide with hand. Incrementally decrease the OAL until dummy round reliably feed/chamber. Depending on the pistol/barrel used, Ideal OAL that will work reliably will vary. If you are reloading for multiple pistols, use the Ideal OAL that will work reliably in all the pistols.

4. Once you determined the OAL that works for your pistol/barrel/magazine, then conduct a full powder work up from published start-to-max load data. If I am using a different bullet that seats deeper in the case neck than the load data (like MBC 125 gr RN (http://www.missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=51&category=5&secondary=8&keywords=)/SWC bullets (http://www.missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=172&category=5&secondary=8&keywords=) with longer bullet base/bearing surface), I will reduce my start/max charge by .2-.3 gr. If you cannot use a chrono/don't have one to measure consistency of muzzle velocities (indicator of consistent chamber pressures = accuracy), use the accuracy trends of shot groups of your incremental charges. I usually note what powder charges will reliably cycle the slide of the pistol and when the accuracy trends improve and taper off to determine the target/range practice loads.

plunge
February 5, 2012, 10:07 PM
i got all that, but with these bullets they have 2 rings and didnt know if it was ok to leave the 2nd one out of the case. since they have to be in i put it deep enough so they were seated just past the 2nd ring and they shot fine.

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