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Old October 6, 2002, 02:59 AM   #1
caz223
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Better dies for 9mm??

I'm currently loading 9mm lead loads, and am about to switch back to flat nosed FMJ, but before I do, I wonder how others have loaded 9mm lead loads without causing case neck bulges, and the inherant accuracy problems.
I've got the worst case scenario, RCBS tight expander/decapper, lead (Meaning .001 bigger around) flat base bullets.
Can you use the .357 mag bell mouth, or will neck tension suffer?
Are there better dies for this?
Are there special dies for expanding for use with lead, or is my seater not working well enough?
Or is RCBS not as good as another brand?
The problem is, by the time you bell mouth the case enough to accept the flat, oversize lead bullet, you've worked the cases so much that they don't have much life left, and they STILL have neck bulges 5-10% of the time. Enough to stop my CZ from going into battery.
Jacketed bullets load nicely, and cases (Like .45 acp) that are bigger around seem to self-center, but 9mm is my nemesis.
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Old October 6, 2002, 08:45 AM   #2
stans
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I have not had very much experience with lead bullets in the 9. Case wall thickness varies cosiderably, this can result in bulged cases. A tight chamber may prevent those .356 diameter bullets from chambering, maybe you need .355 inch bullets. You might want to try the Lee Factory Crimp die, many have reported good results. Just a few ideas.
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Old October 6, 2002, 09:52 AM   #3
Target Shooter
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I use Lee dies for nearly all of my pistol cartridges.
I've shot a few thousand of my cast 9mm bullets. The case may bulge a little where the bullet is seated but that is only because the case will have a slight taper near the mouth after you full length size. The taper is created because the brass is thicker near the web and running the die down over the thick web tends to pull the thinner brass at the mouth of the case in. (At least that's how it was explained to me) This isn't a problem and is considered normal.
I also use the Lee taper crimp die. This style of crimp simply squeezes the circumference of the case mouth in on the seated bullet.

To answer your question about using the .357 mag mouth belling die, yes you can use it. I wouldn't run the 9mm case in real far though. Just far enough to allow the bullet base to clear the mouth without shaving lead. Then if you own one, run the loaded cartridge through the Lee taper crimp die. This will ensure the mouth isn't too wide. You can also use your standard RCBS crimp die. It will do OK but you may still end up with tight fitting cartridges if you belled the 9mm case too far with the .357 belling die.


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Old October 7, 2002, 01:00 AM   #4
john kilgore
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Try doing some die adjustment with the one you have.

I use the same Lee dies I've had for about 15 years, so I can't speak for the other brands. Only 9mm dies I've used were a set of RCBS back in the early '80's, they were OK, but weren't adaptable to a progressive press.

If I run my brass all the way into the sizing die, after seating the bullet and crimping, the round will have a "Coke" bottle appearance.
Accuracy is usually very poor with lead bullets and jacketed bullets have a considerable run out because the bullet is "cocked" on seating.

I found that if I backed off the sizing die about a turn-and-a-half, and expanded the necks only enough to all the bullets to seat without catching on the edge of the neck, I got much better results. (It takes about a half turn more of the expander-charging die for .356" lead bullets than with .355 jacketed bullets.

I then run them through a Lee factory crimp die which takes the swell out of the base of the case left from the sizing die not fully sizing the case. With the taper crimp set only to slightly turn the edge of the neck into the bullet, this gives ammo that looks essentially like factory ammo without the "Coke bottle" appearance. Run-out on the bullets in the loaded round is much improved.
It sounded from your post that this is what was happened to your ammo.
Finally, I checked the loaded rounds in the removed barrel- essentially like a head space gauge to ensure that they easily dropped into the chamber and properly headspace on the neck.

Try this with your dies and see if it helps. However, you may have a set of dies that are just that tight and with an expander that has too steep of an angle.

I'm told that the Redding competition dies are about the best for the money. I plan on trying some next time I get some dies. Probably for a .338/06 project I'm putting together.
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Old October 7, 2002, 03:22 AM   #5
caz223
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I take it the lee factory crimp die is a crimp only, not a seater, and it's made for progressive presses.
Methinks it may be time for a piggyback kit.
I think I may try moving the decapping/expanding die up a turn or two, and using a .357 bellmouth, so as to not make the case look like an hourglass.
If it works, but won't chamber, I may wind up going to a piggyback, and using factory crimp for the final step.
Yup, too much "coke bottle".
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Old October 7, 2002, 04:33 AM   #6
caz223
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Just got done trying it out on a blank, no primer, no powder.
My .357 expander plug is actually .356, my 9mm expander plug was .353
Trying it with less sizer, and more expander makes the brass look factory, and works it MUCH less, too.
NO NECK BULGES!!
My 9mms all lock up on it, and the headspace looks like factory brass.
I did the thumb test, and a kinetic bullet puller isn't getting this one out.

Thank you, john kilgore for your insight on how to work the brass less.
I was afraid to use the .357 expander, but it sure works better than the 9mm.
I suspect this will tighten my groups a lot.
I also switched from PMC brass to WIN.
The flash holes are much more centered in the WIN.
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Old October 8, 2002, 08:18 PM   #7
caz223
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They shoot ok, but they're just not worth all this effort.
I'm going to wallyworld.
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Old October 8, 2002, 09:20 PM   #8
RELIC HUNTER
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As one of the other responders noted, you may be expanding a tweek too much. I love Lee's factory crimp, they give you the look of ready-mades! I have also removed the decapping pin, and run the seated round through the resizer to remove the bulge.
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Old October 10, 2002, 07:09 AM   #9
caz223
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One thing to note, I'm not running the .357 expander in very far at all.
I don't get any bell on the case, and they seat perfectly.
Kind of a pain to get the bullet started, but a better final product.
Resizing AFTER loading????
Really?
I didn't think that was possible.
Please elaborate...
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Old October 10, 2002, 08:28 AM   #10
Catbird
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RELIC HUNTER commented:
Quote:
I have also removed the decapping pin, and run the seated round through the resizer to remove the bulge.
I have, too.

Years ago, I bought a supply of 9mm 124 gr. lead bullets from BULL-X. I experienced a lot of problems with the completed, reloaded rounds chambering properly. I "played and played" with the crimp to no avail. As a last resort, I tried resizing the completed round...VOILA! BTW, I don't use lead 9mm bullets anymore -- too much of a pain-in-the-neck. If I was determined to use them, I think I'd probably try a LEE Factory Crimp Die and see if that helped.
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Old October 11, 2002, 07:01 AM   #11
caz223
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Pain in the neck.
That describes it well.
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Old October 11, 2002, 08:59 AM   #12
Jim Watson
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I have loaded a lot of 145 grain cast roundnose 9mms for a particular gun that needed that shape for feeding and that long bearing surface for accuracy and that weight for reliable cycling. It was a touchy load to make up, a long bullet in a short tapered case. After I got my Lee Carbide Factory Crimp die, my troubles went away. I have rebarrelled the gun and no longer need that load, but the ones I have left work well in any 9mm I have tried them in.
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Old October 11, 2002, 10:11 AM   #13
caz223
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I finally found a load that shoots worth two cents.
I can't get unique consistant. (It's GREAT in my .45)
Same with bullseye. (Good cowboy load in .45 colt, too!)
On a internet web page , somebody recommended HS-7, and I just tried it.
My load:
8 grains HS-7, bullet meister 125 grain .356 hard cast lead, CCI 500 primer, WIN cases, prepped as above.
Shoots good enough for me to stop trying other powders for 9mm.
Doesn't feel like a 9mm, it's spooky.
Actually, it feels a lot like weak loads in my bird's head vaquero .45 colt!!
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Old October 13, 2002, 06:52 AM   #14
caz223
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I'm think of trying ranier flat nose.
The 147s are good in them, too?
Bullet meisters are ok, but I'm SURE I can find something better.
Thanks DonQatU, I just gotta try something.
I shot a steel plate match yesterday, and wound up in the bottom third, I'm getting sick of 9mm lead, the 125s are prolly too short for accuracy.
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Old October 14, 2002, 01:35 AM   #15
caz223
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Raniers aren't jacketed, they're plated....
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