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Advice on using 9MM bullets in 38 special

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Fishingted, Jan 8, 2021.

  1. Fishingted

    Fishingted Member

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    Need a little Sage advice if possible. I Have about 1500 Berry 9MM bullets. They are Heavy Plate Hollow Base Flat Nose .356 . They shoot fine in my 9MM Beretta as well as my 9MM conversion barrel in my Glock 27. I have a snub nose Smith&Wesson 38 special. I would Like to Use these bullets to Load some practice rounds for the 38. I have a Dillon 550. But I recently bought a RCBS Pardner Press and have Carbide Set Of RCBS Dies. Selection of powders are Unique, Bullseye, CFL pistol, and RedDot. I realize That this projectile is a 1 thousand under for 38 special but I have heard of people using Them. Just Don't want to Buy 500 38 projectiles if I can use These Safely for practice rounds. Been researching and I am considering a load of 5.2 Gr of Unique with a 1.44 OAL. Any help or Advice Greatly Appreciated Thanks.
     
  2. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    .001 under in diameter is not a big deal, I've shot .3075" bullets in .327 and those are under size by about .004", but the neck tension was almost nothing. So long as you have good tension on the bullet, you'll be fine.

    I would use Bullseye, I think it would burn better.
     
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  3. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    As @TTv2 said, your neck tension might be low due to tolerance stack in dies, brass wall thickness, etc; don't flare any more than necessary. If that occurs, a good roll crimp might help, and a faster (rather than slower) powder that's less sensitive to starting pressure might help; Unique is a good starting point.
     
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  4. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    When I loaded 9mms in 357 I skipped the expander, just flaring the case mouth slightly. One problem is the long nose, should be okay in 38, but with 357 I had to seat the bullets deep and crimp on the nose.
     
  5. Cump

    Cump Member

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    I have done it too. Lighter loads would be better. Bullet setback isnt an issue in a revolver, but release on recoil might be.

    I also didnt expand or flare, but instead used a chamfer tool to smooth the inside of the case mouth.

    It worked but if/when you can find components, I'd go up to .357 (or .358).
     
  6. Durango_Dave

    Durango_Dave Member

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    I was wondering the same thing. Actually the other way around, you should be able to use 357 bullets in a 9mm gun. I have a Ruger Blackhawk with 2 cylinders, one for 357 and one for 9mm. In this case the barrel is the same for both. I have 1000 un-jacketed bullets I usually use as 38 special in my Ruger and I think I should be able to use them for 9mm
     
  7. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    While they should work, odds are they will not work well. Because of the looser fit to bore, accuracy will probably suffer as will neck tension, as previously mentioned. With no neck tension and no cannelure to crimp into, ignition consistency will suffer also, besides the risk of bullet jumping crimp. If all you want to do is make noise and send something downrange, they will be fine. If you are looking for accurate projectiles for serious practice, get something more appropriate.
     
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  8. glockgod

    glockgod Member

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    I tried it once. Didn't work very well.
     
  9. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    To get the neck tension 9MM Makarov sizing and flaring dies will get you there. I would just buy the correct bullets if you can get them instead of buying the dies though.
     
  10. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Opening post: "... . I Have about 1500 Berry 9MM bullets. They are Heavy Plate Hollow Base Flat Nose .356 ... Just Don't want to Buy 500 38 projectiles if I can use These Safely for practice rounds. ... Selection of powders are Unique, Bullseye, CFL pistol, and RedDot. ... I am considering a load of 5.2 Gr of Unique with a 1.44 OAL"

    I have handloaded .355" 9mm bullets in .38 Spl cartridges for use in revolvers.
    The results were acceptable for field use and informal practice.
    My choice of bullets for reloading .38 Spl are .358" lead semi-wadcutter158 gr with 4.7gr Unique.
    Checking the reloading manuals under .38 Spl, 5.2 gr Unique is ok'd for bullets 110gr to125gr (typical 9mm range of bullet weight).
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
  11. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    Accuracy should not suffer using 9mm bullets/ammo in a 38/357. Why not?

    9mm and 38/357 barrels have identical SAAMI barrel specifications; .355 + .004 groove diameter. Consistent with this, I've found no difference in groove diameter of 9mm or 38/357 barrels.

    I've seen no difference in accuracy in my Ruger 9mm/38/357 conversion Blackhawk with factory ammo. That gun has a 0.3577" groove diameter. The most accurate load was using 9mm cases with a .355 jacketed bullet, shooting 24 shots in less than 1.50 inches at 25 yards using a Ransom Rest.

    SAAMI specs: https://saami.org/wp-content/upload...FP-and-R-Approved-2015-12-14-Posting-Copy.pdf
     
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  12. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    Nope.
     
  13. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    9 in 38 works great, 38 in 9 is just fine.
    I routinely swap bullets back and forth between them. My Kimber Target loves .357" bullets, jacketed, plated or cast.
    My 357 did fine with 9mm plated bullets.
     
  14. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    There was an article in American Rifleman about it. C.E. Harris, I think.
    He had to get a special order die to reliably give good neck tension with 9mm bullets in .38 Special brass.
    They shot ok.
    A full charge 357 magnum load would blow up a 9mm bullet like a Hornet bullet in a Swift.
     
  15. derek45

    derek45 Member

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    why not just order some .357 or .358” bullets?

    “use the right tool for the job”
     
  16. JJFitch

    JJFitch Member

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    I routinely load and shoot .356 and .358 projectiles in range and gamer guns at "minor" pressures in both 9mm and .357/38sp handguns.

    My favorite bullet is the NOE 135 grain RNFP .358 mold. These are sized to .357 and I use a soft lube. My barrels are cleaned with a rolled up paper towel. Zero leading!!

    Your revolver will let you know if it likes the 9mm bullet. Reloading is as much an "art" as a "science"!

    Smiles,
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
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  17. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I see that the Makarov bullet is larger in diametet so will not size things down. Should have looked before posting as I was told this would work some years ago. Seems there is always somethimg to learn in regards to reloading.
     
  18. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Wanna take another try at that math ? o_O
     
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  19. Fishingted

    Fishingted Member

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    I have No Intention of making 357 my gun is chambered strictly to 38 special.
     
  20. Fishingted

    Fishingted Member

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    Thanks Just have a lot of them laying around and would like to use them.
     
  21. Fishingted

    Fishingted Member

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    Got These Laying around and would like to Utilize them in my 38 special snub Nose if I can do so Safely. This is just for casual Plinking and Practice. Also to Learn more about handloading on a single stage Press as I have only loaded on my Dillon 550.
     
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  22. Clipper67

    Clipper67 Member

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    Certainly makes sense..of course you would use the correct projectile in normal times...I have plenty of both, and only use my 9mm cylinder (Blackhawk) as a quick plunk test when making 9's...if it fits, it shoots in any gun I have.
     
  23. Fishingted

    Fishingted Member

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  24. Fishingted

    Fishingted Member

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    OK I Decided to just go ahead and order some 38 Bullets. No Hurry anyway, Might as well make something that I don't have to worry about using safely.
     
  25. JJFitch

    JJFitch Member

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    Mac's are .365 and can be sized to .357/.356 in plated bullets. But most are 95 grain!

    Smiles,
     
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