salvaging ammo- turning 9mm into 38 spec?


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Blade&Bullet94
March 24, 2012, 08:39 PM
i had a curiosity. since 9mm and 38 spec are the same caliber, would it possible to take a 9mm, use a bullet puller to pull out the bullet, empty the powder into a dish, and deprime the live primer, and use the materials to reload a 38 spec? as i said im mostly just curious, since this probley isnt a practical source of ammunition, butto a prepper or survivalist it might be useful.

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JLDickmon
March 24, 2012, 08:43 PM
that's just it.. they're not the same.
nothing interchanges between the two but the primer size

bullet diameters are
.355 for the 9MM
.357 for the .38

imaybail
March 24, 2012, 08:46 PM
9mm bullets are .355 vs. 38 special bullets which are .357 or .358.

beatledog7
March 24, 2012, 08:47 PM
A jacketed 9mm bullet is .355" but a .38SPL is .357"

A 9mm bullet might fire in a .38SPL case, but it would be lose in the .38SPL brass and would not be accurate as it would not be spun properly by the larger bore.

PapaG
March 24, 2012, 08:52 PM
But it could work...which is what the OP asked. Supervel used slightly undersized, ultralight bullets in their high velocity ammo...and I just miked a 38 spec from some old stock and it was .356, only .001 different.
might not be accurate but it might be a lifesaver.

Here again, I got drawn into a not likely scenario.

JLDickmon
March 24, 2012, 08:54 PM
he asked specifically about a prep or survival situation..
in which case the smart feller would have cubbyholed a nice cache of them years previous...

Tomcat47
March 24, 2012, 08:57 PM
De-priming live primers.....:eek:

You go first!.....wait need anything from the store?....

beatledog7
March 24, 2012, 09:01 PM
De-priming live primers

All the time. You just have to be slow and smooth.

GLOOB
March 24, 2012, 09:01 PM
Yeah, sure. There have been a number of revolvers made that can shoot both 9mm and 38 special. Even one that didn't require a cylinder swap. Accuracy generally suffers, though. Lots of reloader have shot 38 bullets through a 9mm, as well, with proper adjustment of charge.

Practical? No. But I expect some dude has loaded a 12 gauge with gravel, before, just for the heck of it.

Blade&Bullet94
March 24, 2012, 09:01 PM
but i dont understand, ive seen revolvers that come with interchangable cylinders for 9mm and 357-38, or 45 colt/45acp. how do those work if the bullets arnt the same size?

beatledog7
March 24, 2012, 09:05 PM
ive seen revolvers that come with interchangable cylinders for 9mm and 357-38, or 45 colt/45acp. how do those work if the bullets arnt the same size?

Whether they work depends on where in the manufacturer's organization you sit. If you're in marketing or accounting, they work great. If you're in engineering, not so much.

rcmodel
March 24, 2012, 09:05 PM
Nothing at all wrong with de-priming live primers.
Unless the cheap 9mm is Berdan primed, which you can't de-prime.

Otherwise it is perfectly safe, and done all the time by experienced reloaders.

I agree it would be possible to make .38 Spl loads out of pulled 9mm, if you just had too.

But the result would not be ideal in a .38 Spl.
The recycled primer would work just fine.
As would most 9mm powder charges dumped straight into a .38 Spl case with the same 9mm bullet weight & size used in it.

But why not just keep a 9mm pistol around if you have all that extra 9mm ammo to fool around with?

If you're in engineering, not so much.
9mm/.357 convertables work just fine.
As do .45 Colt. .45 ACP convertables.

A 9mm fired in a 9mm chambered cylinder runs 35,000 PSI pressure.
Kicking a .002" undersize bullet in the butt with that much pressure upsets or swells it to fit the .357 bore.

A .38 Spl. however, is running less then half that much pressure, and hitting a Jacketed 9mm bullet in the butt with half a kick won't make it much bigger, if any.

.45 Colt, and .45 ACP use the same .452" size bullets to start with.

rc

beatledog7
March 24, 2012, 09:09 PM
rc is right as usual.

Thing is, in a real, no kidding survival situation it'd probably be easier to find a 9mm platform lying around than a .38SPL platform.

Blade&Bullet94
March 24, 2012, 09:13 PM
as i said, this is mostly a curiosity, in current times there isnt much point to it i know. i just thought i might ask about it befor i tried it, for the sake of satisfying my curiosity. im asking about the validity of turning 9mm to 38, not why i would have to.

rcmodel
March 24, 2012, 09:17 PM
Zactly.
Cops, solders, and 3/4'ths of the worlds new handgun owners are gonna be dropping 9mm pistol's like flys in the situation you worry about.

.38 Spls?
Not so many laying around in the aftermath, I betcha.

And usable 9mm ammo would be better trading stock in a survival situation then cobbled together .38's, I betcha that too!

You are gonna need water, food, heat, and toilet paper much worse then .38 Spl ammo!
I betcha that three!

rc

oldgold
March 24, 2012, 09:18 PM
Once upon a time, I had several thousand 9mm FMJ bullets and wanted to load .38s.

Out of a GP-100 accuracy was lousy. The Python I had shot good groups.
I suspect the Python barrel is a little tighter.

As far as decapping live primers, in fifty years of reloading I've decapped more live primers than most guys on here have loaded. Never had one go off.

highlander 5
March 24, 2012, 09:18 PM
I wouldn't use a powder I can't identify that came from breaking down ammo. The charge would be too light,it might launch the bullet out the barrel. Then again a stuck bullet in the barrel is the most likely scenario. Re use the primer and the bullet throw the powder on your plants or lawn,it makes great fertilizer.

rcmodel
March 24, 2012, 09:22 PM
I never thought about it before?

But I would argue that a typical 9mm powder charge, dumped straight into a .38 Spl case, and capped with a typical 9mm bullet, would be very close to a typical .38 Special standard pressure load.

At most, a low end .38 +P.
But certainly not a squib, stuck bullet, or over-pressure event.

rc

Blade&Bullet94
March 24, 2012, 09:23 PM
one problem with that highlander, i live in a household of smokers.... i would rather not burn the block down. XD

Blade&Bullet94
March 24, 2012, 09:26 PM
well i guess the only way to put this to bed is to try it out.i need to get a bullet puller anyway, and im going to see if my boss (i work at the local gunshop) can tell me the bore of my revolver, iv heard several peopel say Llama commanche 2s are pretty accurate, so maybe its got a tighter barrel and itll work. when get everything ready, ill head to the range and record it, and post a link to my video on this thread.

rcmodel
March 24, 2012, 09:30 PM
Put it to bed?
I didn't even know it woke up yet!! :D

Your boss will probably tell you your Llama .38 Special should have a .357" bore, unless it is oversize and .358 or .359".

At any rate, it will not be .355", 9mm.


i would rather not burn the block down.There would be at most about 1/8 pound of powder in 250 rounds of 9mm surplus.

That, strewn across the yard, would not burn your granny's panties off if she lit a giant Cheech & Chong joint and dropped it in the grass by accident.

rc

kingmt
March 24, 2012, 09:52 PM
My last 125gn 9mm bullets are .3565" & they shoot great. My last box of 158gn 38 cal are .3560" & they shoot great.

If you found a stash that was 147gn I bet they would shoot great in your 38.

More then likely what you will find is 115gn & they don't even shoot good in most 9mm. In the end a cartridge in your gun is better then a empty gun & if your quicker then the guy holding the 9mm then the problem is fixed.

kingmt
March 24, 2012, 09:57 PM
I never thought about it before?

But I would argue that a typical 9mm powder charge, dumped straight into a .38 Spl case, and capped with a typical 9mm bullet, would be very close to a typical .38 Special standard pressure load.

At most, a low end .38 +P.
But certainly not a squib, stuck bullet, or over-pressure event.

rc
I just checked the data & it is +P.

Blade&Bullet94
March 24, 2012, 10:11 PM
well, i dont know if the commanche 2 is +P rated or nto... its pretty hefty and solid, but still, im not positive, havent been able to find any info. also, the similer side to this would be 45lc and 45 acp.

*EDIT* alright i just found something saying that the comanche 2 had rubber grips and the martial had wood, mine has wood but when i search comanche 2 i see ones with would grips x.x

rcmodel
March 24, 2012, 10:31 PM
But, if you are making .38 ammo out of 9mm ammo in a SHTF situation anyway?

Who gives a damn if it is standard pressure, +P pressure, +P+ pressure, or low end .357 pressure?

As long as it makes a loud noise and hurts the other guy worse then it hurts you, who cares??

Maybe the other guy has a SIG 226 or Glock 19 and you can get clear away from this crappy .38 ammo you are trying to make?

I must have missed this Train (of thought) or Line of (reasoning) back there somewhere?

rc

JRH6856
March 24, 2012, 10:33 PM
FWIW, According to QuickLoad, a 124gn .355 FMJ over 5.2gr of Unique produces 30,600psi in 9mm. Same components in a .38 Spcl produces 12,700 psi.

Hondo 60
March 24, 2012, 10:36 PM
but i dont understand, ive seen revolvers that come with interchangable cylinders for 9mm and 357-38, or 45 colt/45acp. how do those work if the bullets arnt the same size?

While it will fire, just don't expect super accuracy.
Modern 45 Colt & 45 ACP are the exact same size, not so with 9mm & 38/357
(there are some older 45 Colt revolvers that slug to .454, whereas the modern ones are .451/.452)

There are also 22lr conversions for the AR-15.
Yes, it'll fit, but the accuracy suffers, sometimes greatly.

Blade&Bullet94
March 24, 2012, 11:34 PM
i dont have much of a train of thought or reason with these things. i mostly ask questions like this to learn from people who know more and to fill my own stockpile of knowledge. if looking at it from a SHTF scenario, im not saying this would be something to do alot, im more talking about a one time scrape some ammo together till you get something decent.

helotaxi
March 25, 2012, 08:28 AM
I just checked the data & it is +P.
Is that accounting for the lower pressure from the undersized bullet?

kingmt
March 25, 2012, 09:31 AM
I didn't think to look to see if the size of the bullet was listed. I assume that if the data was listed for a 115gn bullet it was a .355 or .356"

RustyFN
March 25, 2012, 12:07 PM
I could be wrong but I would be more afraid of bullet set back or bullet jump with the lack of case tension on the bullet. I'm not much of a revolver shooter. What do you all think?

Blade&Bullet94
March 25, 2012, 08:24 PM
can always crimp the case a little on the bullet.

LightningMan
March 25, 2012, 11:19 PM
I've used bullets that were intended for 44-40 (.427 dia ) caliber in .44 special ( .429 ) ammunition, and at 10 yards couldn't tell the difference in accuracy. Maybe further out you would , but not for what I was using them for. LM

Fishslayer
March 25, 2012, 11:21 PM
De-priming live primers.....:eek:

You go first!.....wait need anything from the store?....

No problem. Do it all the time. I do need a jar of sourkraut tho...:D

chrisf8657
March 26, 2012, 12:42 AM
Also remember that the case is much shorter than a real 38 SPL.
Who knows what kind of issues that could cause...

918v
March 26, 2012, 12:50 AM
A jacketed 9mm bullet is .355" but a .38SPL is .357"

A 9mm bullet might fire in a .38SPL case, but it would be lose in the .38SPL brass and would not be accurate as it would not be spun properly by the larger bore.


Many 9mm pistols have .357-8" bores: Beretta, Sig, etc. Some manufacturers use .357" barrels because the have proven to be more accurate for some unknown voodoo reason.

ArchAngelCD
March 26, 2012, 01:31 AM
I could be wrong but I would be more afraid of bullet set back or bullet jump with the lack of case tension on the bullet. I'm not much of a revolver shooter. What do you all think?
In this case a Lee Factory Crimp Die will be very useful. It will create it's own cannelure on a jacketed bullet and prevent bullet jump.

918v
March 26, 2012, 01:42 AM
That cannelure will not prevent bullet jump. A loose 9mm bullet in a 38 case will jump under recoil no matter how much you molest the case mouth.

One way to incerese case tension is to skip the case mouth expanding step.

Blade&Bullet94
March 26, 2012, 01:58 AM
or a little locktight, roflmao. the other thing iv seen occasionally, is there will be a crimp further down the cases, at the base edge of the bullet (got some norma 45 acps that have a nearly hourglass figure lol)

ArchAngelCD
March 26, 2012, 02:02 AM
That cannelure will not prevent bullet jump. A loose 9mm bullet in a 38 case will jump under recoil no matter how much you molest the case mouth.

One way to incerese case tension is to skip the case mouth expanding step.
A LEE FCD will help, I'm sure of it...

Of course if your brass isn't sized correctly or the bullets are even smaller than .355" not much will help you then but under more "normal" circumstances the FCD will do just fine.

918v
March 26, 2012, 02:04 AM
Don't laugh... locktite or shellac will increase bullet pull.

918v
March 26, 2012, 02:06 AM
A LEE FCD will help, I'm sure of it...


It will not.

I've done tests.

Crimp does nothing for bullet pull if you don't have any to begin with.

ArchAngelCD
March 26, 2012, 02:07 AM
Whatever...

918v
March 26, 2012, 02:22 AM
At least you didn't call me a racist. Thanks.

ArchAngelCD
March 26, 2012, 03:59 AM
At least you didn't call me a racist. Thanks.
:D :D :D :neener:

Blade&Bullet94
April 2, 2012, 09:19 PM
alright, im abandoning this project. i got a bullet puller today, pulled the bullet from a 9mm, dumped the powder, deprimed it, primed a 38 case, pours in the powder, seated the bullet and used the lee crimp die. rolled the crimp in till it cut into the bullet, and i could STILL twist the bullet around. i took out the seating rod, pushed the round further into the crimp bit, and it just did NOT look safe, so i pulled it and tossed the slug into my scrap box. what i am considering however, is if i use a normal 38 JHP (at a later date ill get a mold for cast bullets), can the powder and primer be used SAFELY to reload the 38?since 38 opperates at about half the pressure as a 9mm, should the same powder charge be ok for the 38?

adobewalls
April 2, 2012, 09:39 PM
Many moons ago when I tried a bunch of 9mm to find out what the Browning liked, I was left with a bunch of 9mm Speer 125 gr. JSP that just would not feed.

I loaded them using W231 into .357 cases and shot them out of a S&W and got great accuracy.

Now my .357 sizing die reduces the case diameter a bit, and I used the 9mm expander to open up the cases, so I had no problems seating the bullets and the bullets staying put.

beatledog7
April 2, 2012, 10:00 PM
I was gonna propose "sizing" the .38SPL case with a 9mm die, not all the way but enough to compress the neck.

FROGO207
April 2, 2012, 11:10 PM
I once had a batch of 357 SIG rounds that were water damaged given to me. I put those pulled bullets into 9MM cases and they all worked great FYI. Scrapped the cases/primer/propellant however.

kingmt
April 3, 2012, 08:25 AM
You need to resize the case before seating the bullet. The bullets for a 38 are usally the same size as 9mm in the brands that I buy. Last box of 158gn XTP measure .3545 my last bag of FMJ 9mm 125gn measure .3565.

eldon519
April 3, 2012, 09:11 AM
I just checked the data & it is +P.

King, what data did you use for this comparison? I'm looking at Hodgdon data for 125 gr bullets for each, and it looks more like a max 9mm charge will produce right around a starting .38 Special load for 700-X, SR7625, and Titegroup. Max 9mm would be a below-starting load for SR4756, and Autocomp. Max 9mm would make about a mid-.38 load for Universal and Clays. Max 9mm for HS-6 and HP-38/W231 would make for a pretty warm non +P .38 load.

If I had to guess, much below a max load 9mm charge for many of these powders would leave the bullet in the .38 barrel. It also looks like you would not want to try to break down .38 loads and turn them into 9mm loads or you probably would get into overpressure with the larger bullet and heavier powder charge.

Kosh75287
April 3, 2012, 12:15 PM
I think B&B's question is a valid one, and indicates an "outside the box" mindset, which may keep him alive, should it ever need to be put into practice. Someone else astutely pointed out that the mission of any improvised ammunition is to "make loud noise and hurt the other guy" enough that the defender might commandeer their adversary's weapon (which one hopes is chambered for 9x19) and continue or (ideally) end the fight.

There is a fairly classic load in the 9x19 consisting of 5.5-6.0/Unique/115gr JHP. A load for the .38 Spl. consisting of 6.0/Unique/158 JHP appears to be in the +P pressure region (i.e. 17,000 - 20,000 psi), so I would expect the lighter, smaller 115 grain pill to work in the .38 case at lower pressure/velocity and probably with less-than-stellar accuracy. But if it downs or disables one's opponent for long enough to capitalize on it, so be it.
While it would be ludicrous to conclude that ALL such loads are safe when cannibalized from the 9x19mm and shot in a .38 Spl., I think it is likely the way to bet. Balanced against the prospect of showing up to a gunfight without ANY ammunition, the procedure doesn't seem NEARLY as hazardous.

kingmt
April 3, 2012, 01:19 PM
Alliant list a 125gn in a 9mm COL 1.15" 4.9gr Bullseye a max load & Alliant list a 125gn in a 38spl+P COL 1.445" 4.8gr Bullseye a max load.

Now seating depth can very which will very pressure. I just referenced the first data I read.

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