Thread: 9mm reloads
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Old April 8, 2013, 06:47 PM   #7
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Join Date: August 18, 2009
Posts: 785
Semi auto pistol chambers vary in length and throat diameter, depending on manufacturer. It is very possible that the COL you quoted is simply too long for your particular pistol. Assuming that the bullets you are using have a reasonable ogive for the 9mm (that is, the bullet has a suitable nose shape).... then the only logical conclusion is that the COL is too long.

You need to load a dummy round, with an empty case and the bullet you plan to use, then check chambering in your pistol with it. Keep adjusting the COL bit by bit (by seating the bullet deeper), until the round will reliably chamber. Take a measurement of the overall length (COL), once you find the right length - and that will be your maximum COL...with THAT bullet.

Now, the other consideration is the level of your load - that is, how hot it is. The COL you quoted is probably shown with the load data you consulted as the "minimum COL" (or "OAL" - same thing). That number is a GUIDELINE, not an absolute. But, IF you were loading to the maximum end of the scale, the the suggested "minimum" length becomes a safety issue. This is because seating a bullet more deeply into the case increases the maximum pressure produced by the cartridge. So, COL (or OAL) IS important to consider...under those circumstances.

The good news is that, 3.8 grains of Bullseye, under a 124 grain bullet, is NOT a maximum load - and should certainly be safe with a COL that will fit your chamber. So, as long as you don't load more than roughly 4.5 grains (of Bullseye) or so, with these bullets, then you will not run into pressure problems.

As it happens, 3.7 or 3.8 grains of Bullseye, under a 124 grain cast bullet, is an excellent and very accurate load in all of my 9mm pistols. I use a COL of 1.09", as that is the maximum that one of my pistols will accept (so I load to that length to produce ammo that will chamber in both of them).

Last edited by wpsdlrg; April 8, 2013 at 06:55 PM.
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