9mm and case gauge


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bob4
May 9, 2014, 07:06 AM
2 Quick questions on 9mm Case gauge. I am assuming that a round should sit flush in the gauge?
My first 9mm loads don't seem to want to sit flush. Some are 10/1000 +/- above sitting flush. All measurements seem to be within specs.
Also should they just fall out on thier own when I turn the gauge over ? Takes a slight touch ,nothing to hard, for them to pop out. They just don't slide right out.

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Walkalong
May 9, 2014, 07:21 AM
Yes, they should drop in, but many, many 9MM chambers will accept ammo that barely fails the gauge as you mention. (Some will accept ammo that fails it badly.)

Does yours?

HOWARD J
May 9, 2014, 11:16 AM
Are you using a Wilson case gage?
Where do your cases sit in the gage before you reload them? are they still 10 thousands high?
What resizing die are you using?
Are your cases ( after resizing) shorter than .754" ?

ATLDave
May 9, 2014, 11:35 AM
Does it change the results if you seat the bullet just a touch deeper/shorter?

Does it change the result if you add a bit more crimp?

Reefinmike
May 9, 2014, 11:42 AM
delete. misread post.

bds
May 9, 2014, 11:43 AM
I would pull the bullets from failed rounds and resize the cases then recheck in the case gauge.

If the resized cases (no bullet) don't pass the gauge, they are not being full-length resized. If they pass the gauge but not after you load the bullet, then you may have issues with your bullet (out of round) and/or with your reloading steps (amount of taper crimp, too long of OAL, etc.).

wlkjr
May 9, 2014, 02:20 PM
I usually have some that don't seat flush in the Wilson gage. They drop in the barrel of my Glock no problem. Still, those I put in a box for practice. To date I have not had any failures from those rounds.
I load on a Dillon 650 and recently readjusted stage 1 that resizes. It made a lot of difference and now I just get a few out of every 100. But they do all function.

bob4
May 9, 2014, 05:39 PM
Thanks for your replies. Your questions alone have me moving in the right direction. Setting the crimp seems to have gotten me a bit closer.

Yes, they should drop in, but many, many 9MM chambers will accept ammo that barely fails the gauge as you mention. (Some will accept ammo that fails it badly.)
Does yours?
Seems to chamber OK but removing them seems to take a bit of effort.
Are you using a Wilson case gage?
Where do your cases sit in the gage before you reload them? are they still 10 thousands high?
What resizing die are you using?
Are your cases ( after resizing) shorter than .754" ? Gauge is a DIllon
Already resized they fall right in the gauge perfectly.
RCBS Carbide TC die.
Cases are .745 after resize

it change the results if you seat the bullet just a touch deeper/shorter?

Does it change the result if you add a bit more crimp?
Changing the crimp just a bit has produced being only 2 or 3/1000 off so far. Length is is fine. Changing it had no effects.

Blue68f100
May 9, 2014, 06:57 PM
Seems to chamber OK but removing them seems to take a bit of effort.

This tells you something is not right. It should fall freely out. It could be that the bullet is getting into the lands. Mark up the bullet and brass. Then insert and see where it's rubbing. With the 9mm being a taper casing it could be contacting on the case mouth if the flaring was not completely removed, not enough TC.

bob4
May 9, 2014, 08:03 PM
Getting closer. I added some crimp and have gotten to to where it goes in the gauge fine as long as I add a bit of finger pressure to help it. Not very much but doesn't fall in and out like my empty casings. If I remove it and put it back in 3 or 4 times starts going in much easier but not falling in or out. Seems to chamber and come out much better now working the slide. Still haven't shot one yet.
I'm using http://www.missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=117&category=5 Missouri parrabellum 115G . Could that blue sealing material be catching just a bit ?

Walkalong
May 9, 2014, 09:29 PM
Seems to chamber OK but removing them seems to take a bit of effort.

Tried this?

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=506678

mljdeckard
May 9, 2014, 11:25 PM
I use a gauge for my .45s, because I have a couple of finicky chambers. The only 9 I have eats everything. I find most modern polymer-frame autos are designed to have a sloppy fit to be able to eat everything you feed it. Drop it in the chamber of the detached barrel of the gun you are loading for, it will probably wiggle significantly.

bds
May 10, 2014, 01:24 AM
Missouri parrabellum 115G
Since the resized cases passed the gauge, I think I am with Walkalong. If you look at the comparison picture below, Missouri uses "non-stepped" RN profile for their 9mm 115/124 gr bullets that results in shorter/rounder nose bullets with longer bullet base/bearing surface.

With the "stepped" RN bullets with longer more pointed nose, I can use 1.125" OAL but with Missouri "non stepped" RN bullets, I need to load them shorter at 1.080" - 1.100" or the longer bullet base will hit the start of rifling.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=173742&stc=1&d=1350888604

ARJJ
May 10, 2014, 08:35 AM
Since the resized cases passed the gauge, I think I am with Walkalong. If you look at the comparison picture below, Missouri uses "non-stepped" RN profile for their 9mm 115/124 gr bullets that results in shorter/rounder nose bullets with longer bullet base/bearing surface.

With the "stepped" RN bullets with longer more pointed nose, I can use 1.125" OAL but with Missouri "non stepped" RN bullets, I need to load them shorter at 1.080" - 1.100" or the longer bullet base will hit the start of rifling.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=173742&stc=1&d=1350888604
This is what happened to me, also, the first time I loaded MBC lead RN bullets. I had to seat to a COAL of around 1.05" for the rounds to pass the plunk test in my Lone Wolf Glock barrel.

bob4
May 10, 2014, 08:37 AM
I'll play with OAL later today and see if this helps.
This morning I went out and did this: Resized 2 cases, They went in the gauge fine. Skipped checking after the bell as I figured they shouldn't go in after a bell was applied. Put a tapper on them without seating a bullet and they dropped right in the gauge just fine.
So something is going south as I seat a bullet. Starting to suspect the bullet itself although my experience is limited.

Blue68f100
May 10, 2014, 09:02 AM
When you seat the bullet it is a forced fit so the case is expanded. Then you do the TC to remove any flaring. If you think the bullet is too long, paint it with a marker. It will scratch off where it's contacting.

Running a TC on a case with out a bullet does not tell you anything. Remember that the bullet is 0.001" larger being lead than a jacketed. If you measure your sized case and bullet you will see a min of 0.002" difference.

A way to check to see if your actually putting a TC on is to pull the bullet after wards. It should have a line where the end of the mouth marked the bullet.

bds
May 10, 2014, 10:54 AM
This is what happened to me, also, the first time I loaded MBC lead RN bullets. I had to seat to a COAL of around 1.05" for the rounds to pass the plunk test in my Lone Wolf Glock barrel.
As indicated on Walkalong's thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=506678), max/working OAL is dependent on the barrel. My older Lone Wolf and KKM barrels will accommodate 1.080" - 1.100" OAL with MBC 9mm RN bullets but my newest Lone Wolf barrel has very quick start of rifling with almost no leade (like my Sig 1911 barrel) and I have to seat the bullets deeper to pass the barrel drop test.

Since my plinking load uses fluffy Red Dot/Promo, powder compression became an issue and I ended up using the stepped RN bullets that don't seat as deep in the case neck.

bob4
May 10, 2014, 12:39 PM
Thanks everyone for your input. Great place. I have learned a thing or two. Just not quite there yet.

I pulled some factory ammo, UMC 115g jacketed, reloaded them, my brass and run through the Dillon and they fall right in and out. like on glass. Now I'm still in my case gauge and not the barrel. I'm missing something with these darn lead bullets. Time to walk away for a bit. Gonna take it out on my mower for a while.

bds
May 10, 2014, 01:12 PM
Jacketed bullets are sized .355" and typical lead bullets are sized .356".

I found over the decades, case wall thickness has increased for some headstamp and instead of averaging .012", some headstamp case walls are thicker and/or quality varies that result in cases with inconsistent thickness (part of case wall is less than .012" and part of case wall is thicker).

Add to these issues the out-of-round bullet factor (yes, many commercial bulk bullets will be out of round by the time you receive them) and you will end up with out of spec rounds that won't pass the case gauge. As many posted, if your factory barrel chamber is on the generous side, these out of spec rounds will feed/chamber without issues but if your barrel has tighter chamber to SAAMI specs, you may experience feeding/chambering issues.

With jacketed/plated .355" diameter bullets, many reloaders opt to use the Lee Factory Crimp Die with carbide sizer ring to bring loaded rounds within SAAMI specs for reliable feeding/chambering but I (and many other reloaders) don't recommend the use of FCD with larger .356"+ sized lead bullets as post-sizing of the loaded rounds may decrease the bullet diameter and brass spring back may decrease neck tension and increase bullet setback.

Ultimately, the barrel chambers you are going to shoot your reloads out of will be the final "gauge" and if all of your reloads reliably feed/chamber from the magazine, then you are good to go regardless whether your reloads pass the case gauge.

bds
May 10, 2014, 02:22 PM
Another factor to consider is the bullet base length and the case wall thickness.

Case wall thickness will increase as you go down towards the case base. As the bullet is seated deeper, especially with bullets with longer base, case will bulge more in the middle of the case, increasing the outer diameter. Even if you increase the taper crimp at the case mouth area, the bulged diameter in the middle of the case may fail the round in the case gauge (see comparison picture below of SWC bullet seated deep showing the bulge).

I am not sure if this is the case but rcmodel usually suggest you smoke or paint the round with a marker. After inserting in the case gauge, you should see where it is rubbing and if the rubbing is at the bulge, then you may have found your issue as long as the OAL is not too long for the bullet base to hit the start of rifling.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=165329&stc=1&d=1338342403

bob4
May 10, 2014, 03:06 PM
Thanks BDS and everyone else who chimed in for me. Love this place.
OK I say UNCLE! I will go for the plunk test and pass on the case gauge. I have dies set now that the case gauge is really close.
Up until now I have only loaded for a 270 on a single stage. Paid close attention to detail so my hunting loads were as accurate as possible. Seems rifle rounds are a bit easier. All the reading I have behind me was always attention to detail and we're playing in 1/1000's of inches, get it right or don't shoot.:what: At least that's how I took it. Maybe I took that to extreme in this case.

About to start on loading for a .40 Cal soon.( provided my 9's go pop one after another). Kinda sorry I am waiting on more lead Missouri bullets. Glad I only grabbed 500 to start. :)

bds
May 10, 2014, 04:13 PM
Kinda sorry I am waiting on more lead Missouri bullets. Glad I only grabbed 500 to start.
Actually Missouri's non-stepped RN bullets address issues that were presented in the stepped RN bullets where longer bullet base/bearing surface provided better engagement with rifling, more consistent chamber pressure build up and more reliable feeding for certain pistols.

Good thing about reloading is that there are different components available for reloader to use that work better depending on the pistols we use. While Missouri carries non-stepped 9mm RN and Z-Cast carries stepped RN bullets, some vendors like Dardas carries both.

Unlike other lead bullet manufacturers who only offer single lead alloy hardness for all of their calibers/bullets, Missouri sells lead bullets in 10/12/15/18 BHN to match the bullet hardness to particular application to enhance performance and reduce leading. Many reloaders use mid-to-high range load data for their loads and softer than 22-24 BHN MBC bullets are more flexible in accommodating these loads without leading. You'll find many satisfied customers of MBC on THR.

About to start on loading for a .40 Cal soon.
I am a happy user of Missouri 40 caliber lead bullets.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=155198&d=1324526681

bob4
May 10, 2014, 06:04 PM
I am a happy user of Missouri 40 caliber lead bullets.
If I can get these to pass a plunk test I'll be much happier. Was wrong of me to judge so quick. Especially with lack of experience.

wlkjr
May 10, 2014, 08:28 PM
Clean the case gauge with some cleaner and a brush. Sometimes a granule of power gets stuck in mine and impedes the round from seating flush. A good cleaning makes a lot of difference.

gamestalker
May 12, 2014, 05:50 AM
I have never once used a case gauge, and have never once had a reload for any firearm fail to function in a normal fashion, 30+ yrs. of loading. This includes everything, bottle necks, rimmed brass, and rimless brass.

GS

Walkalong
May 12, 2014, 07:37 AM
I have never once used a case gauge, and have never once had a reload for any firearm fail to function in a normal fashion
I had never used a gauge for handgun brass either, until I bought a 9MM with a SAMMI minimum spec chamber and locked it up tighter than Dick's headband. I now gauge all my sized brass and scrap the few that fail the gauge. Other 9MMs would eat those slightly bigger (At the base) cases like candy.

bds
May 12, 2014, 11:03 AM
I load for multiple pistols and other pistols relatives/friends may bring to the range with me. So I need to reload for my rounds to function in most pistols. It is for this reason why I cannot use different sized lead bullets and have gone to softer/lower BHN bullet loads so the same load can work in different groove diameter barrels as factory barrels tend to be on the oversized side.

Like Walkalong posted, if I used factory barrels with more generous chambers as gauge, my reloads would lock up pistols with tighter chambers. And it doesn't take much variation in finished rounds' dimensions to do that.

Do all of our finished rounds need to pass the case gauge? Many may disagree but I think it's a good idea to reload within a certain level of consistency, specifications or standards. For me, that's being able to feed/chamber in most pistols.

YMMV

gamestalker
May 12, 2014, 12:44 PM
About the best gauge IMO, is the chamber being loaded for. If I owned a super tight match chamber, I would definitely check my loaded rounds by using my chamber. But I suppose a gauge would be quite a bit easier.

Speaking of chambers, is an XDM of that breed, to which a tight SAAMI chamber would be likely? I do load for a couple of those, and have had no problems.

GS

bds
May 12, 2014, 02:07 PM
I don't own any XD/XDM pistols so I can't comment much about chamber tightness. I thought the issue with them was the feeding that required shorter typical OAL (perhaps others can chime in to clarify).

My railed Sig 1911 XO is one such with tight chambered barrel. Not only does it have a tight chamber but very quick start of rifling with almost no leade. Some of lead reloads that will freely chamber in SA/RIA/M&P won't fully chamber in the Sig barrel.

And of course tighter Lone Wolf 40S&W barrels that are right at the edge of pass/fail for larger .401" sized lead bullets. Most of my lead loads will pass with a few that require finger push pressure to fully chamber. This forces me to be extra consistent in my reloading practice but I like the tightness for reasons inherent to 40S&W and mixed range brass.

Potatohead
May 12, 2014, 02:29 PM
I have never once used a case gauge, and have never once had a reload for any firearm fail to function in a normal fashion, 30+ yrs. of loading. This includes everything, bottle necks, rimmed brass, and rimless brass.

GS
Agreed. If youve got your bbl, I cant imagine needing one really (pistol)..Its not like you have to worry about the shoulders. I guess had I experienced a tight chamber or loaded for other folks like BDS I'd feel differently, maybe. Or if I ever have one lock up like Dicks headband :)

Walkalong, 'Tight as Dick's headband"?...that cracked me up! I needed that today for sure.

twofifty
May 12, 2014, 02:57 PM
in my limited experience with a 9mm case gauge, it sometimes happens that the case rim has some damage from having been previously extracted. This can cause a tiny sliver of brass to jut out beyond the rim.

In a 'tight' gauge, this brass sliver is enough to prevent the round from fully headspacing (though it almost does), and then to resist falling back out.

Potatohead
May 12, 2014, 03:03 PM
Hmm. maybe I should break out the gauge after all.

bds
May 12, 2014, 03:37 PM
Perhaps another way of looking at this is neck sizing case for the chamber of a bolt action rifle vs full-length sizing the case to ensure the cartridges fit all your rifles, including semi-auto rifles to ensure reliable feeding/chambering.

Both methods are applicable.

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