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loading 9mm questions?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ohihunter2014, Apr 8, 2016.

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  1. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    First I would like to let everyone know I'm very grateful for all the help and questions answered I have received here. SORRY IF I ASK TOO MANY QUESTIONS.
    I have loaded about 100 or so 223rem rounds and haven't blown anything up yet so I figured try my hand at 9mm Luger.

    I have read 2 books front to back several times and feel somewhat confident in doing so.

    Is there any tips for loading 9mm?

    I see LEE makes a 3 die and 4 die set. I have seen some things saying don't use the FC die and use the one in the 3 die set and some say use the FC die.

    I'm using a LEE C press for the time being and a LEE perfect powder measure. the way I have been doing 223rem is.

    Prep brass, put all prepped brass in shell holders and drop powder in the pan then weigh it on my Lyman micro touch 2 times. if its good I pour it into a powder funnel into the case. I then load that case with a bullet so I don't screw up and possibly double charge a case or load an empty case.

    I see some post on here about flaring case mouth, etc that I haven't seen in the books. just looking for some advice before I jump in head first into this.

    I'm looking to load berry's or extreme plated bullets because of the price.

    Any advice on loading plated vs non plated?
     
  2. jwrowland77

    jwrowland77 Member

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    Google plunk test and push test. Read up on these.

    I've loaded jacketed, plated, and now I cast my own. Use the plunk test and push test and you'll be fine.


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  3. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    I use the lyman checker for 223. never had one not go plunk so must be doing something right with that.

    thanks ill google it.
     
  4. TimSr

    TimSr Member

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    Its easier than .223. Watch your seating depth. The 2nd die in a pistol set expands the case mouth. Set it just deep enough to get the base of the bullet started in the base. A taper crimp on a semi auto round is about the easiest thing in the world, but if you feel like you can't do it, then get the Lee 4 die set. Personally, I think learning to adjust a crimp die is a pretty important basic, even if you go the Lee FC route later. Interestingly, I think Lee is the only one that makes a 4 die set for 9mm.
     
  5. lezmark

    lezmark Member

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    I would also suggest checking that your sizing die (had a recent experience) is down as far as possible and check rounds before you load too many. 9mm seems more susceptible to problems if you dont really get the sizer down - that has been my experience anyway
     
  6. Shaq

    Shaq Member

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    When loading 9mm (or any cartridge) on a single-stage, I put a bit of lube on every 5th case, even with a carbide sizer. The 9mm is a slightly-tapered case & also high pressure & requires more effort to resize. Lubing makes it much easier. I tumble case after resizing/depriming.

    To avoid double charges or no charges, I put all the cases (upside down) on the left size of the press. I pick up each case, hold it under the powder measure, charge, then put it in a loading block. I find it clumsy to charge cases while they're in the locking block. Then I can look at all the powder charges before seating & crimping bullets. I use a powder that fills at least half the case so a double charge is easy to spot quickly (never had one in 43 years of loading). (For 9mm, AA#5 is one of my favorites).

    When flaring the mouth, adjust the die little-by-little & stop when only the base of the bullet will go into the case. Too much flare will weaken the brass, cause split case mouths & leave a bulge after crimping - which may cause feeding malfunctions. When loading mixed brands of cases, remember that there are variations in case length which affect flaring & crimping. When setting the belling die, I'll test an example of each brand of case & set the die for the amount of flare that works for all of them. Same with crimping.

    Berry's recommends using mid-power loading data for plated bullets. Do not use light loads for plated or jacketed bullets (like the data for cast bullets). There is more friction in the barrel & a light load can allow a bullet to become stuck in the barrel.
     
  7. Scarpia

    Scarpia Member

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    Expect to have a bad load from time to time so do get an inertia bullet puller. They're cheap and do work. The idea isn't to reuse the components but to avoid having live rounds piling up that for various reasons aren't usable.
     
  8. bds

    bds Member

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    Due to smaller case volume compared to 45ACP/40S&W, small changes in OAL/COL, bullet seating depth, neck tension, taper crimp (especially for plated bullets) can result in significant change in chamber pressure/accuracy.

    While I like Lee dies for 9mm, I don't use the Factory Crimp Die (essentially a taper crimp die with larger SAAMI spec carbide sizer ring insert than sizing die carbide ring insert). With jacketed/plated bullets, using the combination seat/crimp die has worked well for me over 20 years and all of my rounds freely drop in the chamber with a "plonk" in various factory and KKM/Lone Wolf barrels.

    Some say they like to use the FCD to ensure all the finished rounds will work and I do not see a problem when using .355" diameter bullets with FCD as a "finishing" die which I believe FCD for semi auto pistol calibers was made for. I do have concerns with post sizing when using larger than .356" diameter bullets (especially with thicker walled cases) as bullet diameter will be reduced while brass spring back may decrease neck tension and result in bullet setback when the bullet nose slams on the feeding ramp which can significantly increase chamber pressure.

    If there is any concern, you could measure bullet diameter after FCD use and if there is no reduction in bullet diameter, you are good to go. But if FCD reduces bullet diameter and OAL is reduced when fed from the magazine, I would suggest not using the FCD.

    While I prefer to use minimal amount of flare, not using enough flare with softer core bullets can result in bullet diameter reduction which will decrease accuracy. I use enough flare to allow me to set the bullet base just inside the flared case mouth. I have found using plated bullets with harder core (like RMR's 11-12 BHN Hardcore Match bullets) help maintain neck tension which reduces bullet setback.

    Amount of flare is dependent on resized case lengths. Longer cases will flare more so measure some cases to determine shorter-to-longer case length range and use flare amount that will work with all of your cases.

    I have used Berry's, HSM, Power Bond, Rainier, RMR, Speer TMJ/Gold Dot, X-Treme plated bullets over the years and found there are two main types: Regular vs thicker plated.

    Regular plated bullets have about .004" thickness copper plating and often come with 1200 fps rating. While most pistol loads do not exceed 1200 fps, it means plating won't fail until 1200 fps but your accuracy could fall way before that. I have found when I load beyond mid-range jacketed load data with regular plated bullets, my accuracy starts to fall and shot groups open up.

    Thicker plated bullets have .010"-.015" thickness copper plating and often come with 1300-1500 fps rating depending on the thickness of plating. I have found I could use jacketed load data and still maintain accuracy with thicker plated bullets.

    If you are looking to load plated bullets for lower price, I would suggest you check out RMR's Hardcore Match bullets. With harder core (11-12 BHN) and thicker plating (.012"-.014"), they maintain neck tension better and I often do not experience bullet setback/reduction in OAL after rounds are chambered. Reloaders are often OCD about OAL but to me, what matters more is "chambered" OAL and bullet setback, especially for small case volume 9mm. I have so far tested RMR HM bullets to mid 1400 fps and they have maintained excellent accuracy - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=10228100#post10228100

    RMR also offers 5% THR discount with thehighroad5 code (must also enter THR ID in order comment box) with free shipping on all orders which should help reduce your reloading cost.

    Plated bullets with rounded base leak more high pressure gas which reduces chamber pressure consistency and accuracy. I think for this reason why some plated bullets have concave base and Berry's MFG came out with hollow base bullets to better expand bullet base to seal with the barrel. RMR HM bullets have bullet base rim for this reason.

    To improve bullet to barrel fit and better sealing of high pressure gas, some manufacturers like Berry's increased the diameter of the plated bullets and 9mm bullets measure around .3555" instead of .355". RMR HM 100 and 115 gr 9mm bullets are sized even larger at .356" and I believe it helps with gas seal and produces more consistent chamber pressures for greater accuracy.

    I often add .020"-.022" to the jacketed bullet diameter to determine the amount of taper crimp but with plated bullets, I will add .022" so as to not cut through the copper plating (.011" being average case wall thickness).

    So for .355" diameter bullets:

    .355" + .011" + .011" = .377" taper crimp

    And for .356" diameter bullets:

    .356" + .011" + .011" = .378" taper crimp

    Using too much taper crimp with plated bullets can reduce bullet diameter which will cause more gas leakage and inconsistent chamber pressure with poor accuracy.

    Also, while we often use longer OAL with 124 gr FMJ/RN (like 1.160") to reduce bullet jump from chamber to start of rifling time to decrease gas leak, with 115 gr 9mm bullets with shorter bullet base, I prefer to use shorter OAL (1.135") to seat the bullet base deeper to increase neck tension. In my carbine load testing, shorter 1.130" OAL improved muzzle velocity consistency and accuracy over 1.160"/1.135" OAL and I am planning to test even shorter 1.125".

    I hope this helped.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
  9. Wreck-n-Crew
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    Wreck-n-Crew Member

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    In no specific order and most is common knowledge that you learned from loading rifle. Plus most is already mentioned...just putting it out there again.

    You don't need an FCD for 9mm. If you make a mistake in the process such as crimping too much or under sizing the case and you discover it after loading just set the cartridge to the side for pulling later.

    Most failures in plunk test are due to crimp ( too much or not enough), OAL ( bullet too long), and failure to full length size.


    1) stay within data
    2) double check powder charges both visually and a weigh check every so many cases
    3) sizer die should touch the shell holder when all the way down.
    4) plunk test to insure feeding. It basically uses the barrel as a case gauge.
    5) do not shoot your bullets in another gun without plunking the barrel to insure feeding.
    6) do not over crimp ESPECIALLY plated bullets. Straiten the walls to remove the bell and a tad more at most.
    7) push test for proper neck tension to insure bullet does not set back in the case and raise the pressure.
    8)seat primers fully
    9) only one powder should be on the bench and that's the one your using. Put away immediately after session is complete and dump extra left in the powder measure back in the powder container that it came from.
    10) insure media is not plugging flash holes if you use media to clean brass.
    11) check brass for splits and damage before reloading.
    12) when shooting anything that sounds light is light and you need to check the barrel for a squib. Get a squib rod and keep it in the range bag.
    13) don't forget the rules to a hangfire. If you have no way to re-strike the primer then wait the allotted time before clearing the chamber.

    I prefer to load my ammo into boxes and i do it upside down so i can see any problems with primer seating.

    I prefer a powder that fills the case enough to prevent double charges and is easy to see.



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  10. X-Ring

    X-Ring Member

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    It wouldn’t be much of a forum if people didn’t ask questions. Thank you for making it more interesting.
     
  11. jmtgsx

    jmtgsx Member

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    One metric poop-ton of GREAT info on this thread!
     
  12. judgedelta

    judgedelta Member

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    I like the Lee factory crimp die since I don't seat and crimp at the same time. It saves having to reset the seating/crimping die every time. I use RCBS dies for rifle, but like the Lees for pistol for that reason. You might look at the 7-hole EGW case gauge. I got mine from Dillons; cheap and handy. Have fun and be safe...
     
  13. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    If you haven't got the dies yet get the 4 die set.
    Only you can tell if you like the FCD or not.
    I happen to like it, others hate it.
    It can be adjusted.
    If you have it load some ammo with and without it.
    Test to see what shoots best.
    I like crimping as a separate step.
     
  14. Lman57

    Lman57 Member

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    I use the Lee 4 die set for 9mm I use them on my Dillon press they are very good dies.
     
  15. Wreck-n-Crew
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    Wreck-n-Crew Member

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    Note: if you get an FCD in a 4 die set they are not hard to set up if you know what your trying to achieve. FWIW they make good bulge busters imo.

    Run the ram all the way up. Loosen the adjustment most of the way loose. Screw the die all the way down wile the ram is up.

    That takes care of the die placement. Then take your first dummy round without a primer that a bullet is seated in and place it in the shell holder/plate and run the ram all the way up again. Adjust the adjustment down finger tight. Then back the ram down. Turn adjustment 1/4 turn and run back up.

    Keep doing that and checking the round until you get a round that will pass plunk test and push test. That's it. Your done.

    But caution. Too much and you will start to resize the bullet! Especially soft bullets like plated.

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  16. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    You won't resize the bullet from over crimping it. You will simply cut a ring into the bullet.

    You will resize lead bullets that are oversized and not oversized if you get unlucky enough to get one with a tight carbide sizing ring or thick walled brass.


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  17. Wreck-n-Crew
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    Wreck-n-Crew Member

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    Cutting a ring into the bullet is from over crimping with a taper crimp die. Yup. A FCD doesn't taper or roll crimp. Technically whether or not the process of squeezing the brass to create neck tension is crimping or not i was using crimp as the name of the process.

    As far as the plated i have sized them down with an FCD and enough to affect accuracy.

    I hope this doesn't side track the thread guys. No need for another pro and con fcd vs taper crimp thing. Please if anyone is thinking it, don't sidetrack the thread for the sake of the op.

    For me i like them both and use both for different things and different calibers. And as always YMMV.







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