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Completed bullet length

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by blitztech, May 5, 2013.

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  1. blitztech

    blitztech Member

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    I've finally gathered everything I need including powder and primers and I'm still a bit unsure about bullet seating. The manual I have shows a cartridge length of 1.169". The problem I'm having is with the 115 gr 9mm I'm using there is a gap just below that length when seated and the bullet wiggles around. Do all 9mm cartridges have to be this length or is there a minimum and maximum cartridge length that I'm not aware of?
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    1.169 is SAMMI max length for 9MM. Very few rounds will actually be loaded that long. Load them to 1.130 to 1.135 and that should be close to optimum for a RM 9MM bullet. Shorter for a HP.
     
  3. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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  4. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    OP,

    Please learn to call it a cartridge. I don't usually make a point of this, but only the part that leaves the barrel via the muzzle is a bullet.
     
  5. blitztech

    blitztech Member

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    Thanks for the quick replies. How much does the differences in bullet seating affect pressures when firing? Any?

    Sorry about referring to the cartridge as a bullet. Not sure what I was thinking, I do know the difference.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    It depends on the case size and the pressure it operates at.

    Seat a .45 ACP .030 shorter and it will likely be over pressure, but probably won't blow up.

    Seat a 9MM .030 shorter and I don't want to be around you when it is fired.
     
  7. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    +1 Using a maximum powder charge would not be good. This is why we use a starting load and work up as always.
     
  8. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

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    If you don't have a manual, YOU NEED TO STOP right now & get one.
    Every manual has the info you're looking for.

    In fact, each set of load data will tell you the OAL for such data.
    Relying on internet joe's post is dangerous!
    What if they miss-typed? What if they looked at the wrong line?
    You won't know that.

    Please stay safe.
     
  9. bds

    bds Member

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    Welcome to THR.

    Don't worry, in time you'll get the hang of the reloading terminologies. I try to remind myself to use the proper terms like "cartridge" for assembled rounds and "projectile" for bullets but often prefer to just call them rounds and bullets.



    Dang, I think you should cut blitztech some slack. He did mention in his original post that he already had a manual.


    As others posted, no. And using the listed OAL in the published load data won't ensure it will work in your pistol to reliably feed/chamber from the magazine as different brands and models of pistols will require different OALs to work reliably with any particular bullet.

    The two lengths you should learn to determine when working with any new bullet are:

    1. Maximum Overall Length (OAL) also called Cartridge Overall Length (COL) and
    2. Working OAL

    Max OAL is the longest length of the finished round/cartridge that will fully chamber in your pistol's barrel without the bullet nose (ogive) or the bearing surface (part of the bullet base that rides the rifling) hitting the start of rifling. Walkalong has an excellent thread on using the "barrel drop test" to determine the Max OAL - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=506678

    Working OAL is the length of the finished round that will reliably feed and chamber from the magazine. For some pistols, working OAL can be the same as max OAL but sometimes shorter than the max OAL. I have outlined the step by steps to determine the max/working OALs in Walkalong's thread on this post (scroll below the pictures of barrels) - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=8864541#post8864541

    I am not sure what you mean by "a gap just below that length when seated".

    As to the "round/cartridge" wiggling around when chambered, this is normal for most factory barrels. For many "combat" style pistols (like Glock, M&P, etc.) meant to operate with some amount of fouling build up, chamber and mouth are tapered or cut looser and the chambered round will "wiggle" a bit. Don't worry though as the forward part of the chamber dimension is what seals with the case mouth/neck when the powder ignites.

    Once again, welcome to THR and hope you enjoy your stay. :D
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  10. blitztech

    blitztech Member

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    I'm using bayou bullets 115 gr rn, I also have some of his 124 gr rn and 147 gr fp. that I haven't even started on yet. I'm using w231 with sellier and bellot primers. I had a bunch of nickel plated speer 9mm casings to use.

    I was using load data for 115 gr lrn for w231 from hodgdon's website. It shows 4.3 gr starting load with a col of 1.100"

    The bullets I'm using http://www.bayoubullets.net/9mm.html have a space that when about 1.140" have a small gap that is sitting at the lip of the casing and wiggles around.

    I've only loaded 15 rds and all have a charge of 4.3 gr w231 with a length between 1.130" and 1.135"

    Is this not safe? Can someone explain the difference between "rn" and "lrn?" I've always used factory loads until today and have been gathering supplies and info for over a month now. I am unable to find load data with w231 for any bayou bullets, though I've sent Donnie a pm on bayou shooter asking for any info he has.
     
  11. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    RN & LRN - Round nose & Lead Round nose. RN could also be jacketed or plated. LRN is lead with round nose.
    Not sure what you mean. There is a lube groove that should contain lube. Its possibe the bullet is a duel use & has a crimping ring for 38 special revolver that use a rolll crimp??? A guess as the photo of the bullet is small. :confused:
     
  12. bds

    bds Member

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    Bayou bullets are coated lead bullets and the empty groove/gap you are seeing is where the bullet lube would typically be applied to lubricate the lead bullets. I wouldn't worry about the gap and use the OAL that works for your pistol.

    Also, since the coating is thin, I would be careful and not apply too much taper crimp that may cut through the coating and expose the lead alloy core which will lead the barrel. I usually add .021" to the diameter of the bullet for a "flat" taper crimp or return the case neck flare back to flat. So for .356" diameter bullet, I use .377" taper crimp.

    Since your are using longer COL than listed 1.100", you should be fine with your powder work up from the start charge for the 115 gr lead RN load data.

    Depending on the pistol you are using and how stiff the recoil spring is, 4.3 gr with longer OAL may not reliably cycle the slide. Since Hodgdon lists 4.3 - 4.8 gr for 115 gr lead RN bullet, I would suggest you load 10-15 rounds of 4.5 gr, 4.6 gr and 4.7 gr along with the 4.3 gr loads to take to the range. If the 4.3 gr loads won't reliably cycle the slide, you can try the higher powder charge loads until you find the load that will reliably cycle the slide.

     
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  13. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    I just noticed "Dry Lube Formula"- There would be no lube in the groove. The dry lube would be all over the bullets.
     
  14. blitztech

    blitztech Member

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    Yes I'm seeing no need for lube. Lubing the cases before depriming maybe, they're a pain. But at this step I'm doing 15 of 4.3 gr., 4.5 & 4.7.

    I was just mainly concerned about the rn/lrn difference and the oal. Also concerned that the Lee perfect powder measure isn't dispensing the same charge each time. I'm being super picky and my scale isn't helping. Using a hornady gs-1500 scale. I followed all directions 100%
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  15. bds

    bds Member

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    The problem may be your digital scale. Keep in mind that some digital scales are only accurate to .2 gr or 2/10th of a grain and not .1 gr attainable by a beam scale. BTW, your digital scale has accuracy of +/- .2 gr which may explain what you are experiencing - http://www.midwayusa.com/product/438260/hornady-gs-1500-electronic-powder-scale-1500-grain-capacity

    But all is not lost. I would keep the 4.3, 4.5 and 4.7 gr loads and if 4.5 gr loads reliably cycle the slide of your pistol, you can always stop your powder work up at 4.5 gr.

    OK, I think I just got what you meant by the "gap" and bullet wiggling around.

    If the COL you are using is not providing enough neck tension to hold the bullet tight in the case neck and is moving in the case, that's not good.

    I would make a dummy round (no powder/no primer) at your current 1.130"-1.135" COL and measure the COL before/after feeding the dummy round from the magazine to detect any bullet setback. If you measure significant reduction in COL, you may need to seat the bullet deeper so the empty groove is below the case mouth (say 1.125") to increase neck tension.

    I would then repeat feeding the dummy round from the magazine to check reduction in COL (ideally, you shouldn't have reduction in COL).

    Let us know what you find.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  16. blitztech

    blitztech Member

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    Welll my current seating leaves the bullets snug in the case and is between 1.130" & 1.135". Loading data shows 1.100". Is this a problem? If not then its time to move to the 4.5 gr
     
  17. bds

    bds Member

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    The OAL/COL you use is determined by your pistol/barrel. You first determine the max COL by conducting the barrel drop test using a dummy round. Then you determine the working COL by feeding the dummy round from the magazine. If the round won't feed/chamber reliably, you'll need to incrementally decrease the COL until it does - this is the COL you should be working with.

    Once you determined the COL that works for your pistol/barrel, then you move on to the powder workup. If your COL is longer than the COL listed in the published load data (in this case it is 1.100" so you are fine if your working COL is longer than 1.100"), you will be fine using the start-max load data for the same type/nose profile bullet. Since you are not using a regular lead bullet but coated lead bullet, you may want to give yourself some buffer room just in case the coated bullets develop higher chamber pressures than lead bullets.

    I think starting your powder workup from 4.3 gr is fine but I would certainly load some 4.5 gr loads as based on my experience, you may not get reliable slide cycling with the 4.3 gr load.

    BTW, were you able to check if you have any neck tension issue by measuring the COL before/after feeding from the magazine?
     
  18. blitztech

    blitztech Member

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    Well I'm testing with a Kahr PM9 and I'm able to cycle them through a mag by hand without any issue. Mainly just concerned that I'm measuring 10+ times for each powder charge. I feel like I'm going insane getting 4.4's and 4.6's constantly when trying for 4.5's. I think I'm going to return the perfect powder measure and go with a trickle measure. I'm too detailed for this pos
     
  19. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    The oal in the load data is the "MINIMUM" oal with "THAT" data to not exceed the pressures shown.
    If your pistol will accept a longer oal than what's in the load data that's okay as that will lower the pressure.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  20. bds

    bds Member

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    As 1SOW posted, you'll be fine using the Hodgdon lead load data since you are using longer COL than published.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  21. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    + or - .1 Gr is no big deal, and actually pretty good if you are using a flake powder. You'll be fine.

    If you want dead on measuring try AA #2, AA #5, True Blue, HS6, WSF, or other finer powders. It is no big deal though.
     
  22. blitztech

    blitztech Member

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    Well I think my rounds are probably safe. I'm headed to cabelas for a better scale today and hoping that I can find a powder trickler. Going to return this Lee perfect powder measure and the hornady gs-1500.

    With this perfect powder measure I was testing the accuracy by dropping 10 charges and weighing. For the drop I was making for the 4.7 gr after 10 drops my first weight was 49.0, second was 47.6, third was 48.2, and fourth was 46.5. This tells me that the powder drop isn't uniform enough. I'm not happy with those results. Am I doing something wrong? Is the w231 too fine or the drop size too small to get consistent drops?
     
  23. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Weigh each charge individually, then average them out. In pistol loading plus or minus one tenth is pretty average. Only the finer grained powders will do better. Plus or minus .2 is not unheard of and can still shoot very well. Lots of happy perfect powder measure owners out there.

    W-231 meters well. + or - .1 Gr is completely acceptable. You are expecting too much from a powder thrower (Measure). Maybe over thinking it a bit as well. :)
     
  24. blitztech

    blitztech Member

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    Well that's good to know. When I was dropping and individually weighing it was ranging between 4.0 and 5.1 gr per throw. Also using a bullet I have no specific data for I'd just like to be precise so I can get a good idea at the range which combinations are working best.

    Getting my hands on the w231 was quite a pita. A guy who bought some accessories I was selling found it for me and had a co-worker deliver it on a trip thru my town. Without him I wouldn't be reloading at all right now. Any other powders that y'all reccomend for 9mm. I see a lot of people recommending unique. Also looked at power pistol and wsf
     
  25. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    If using the same setting on the measure ? :eek: Stop.
     
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