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Old April 30, 2009, 06:42 AM   #1
bozhoz
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9mm reloads- are these signs of pressure?

Ok, so I have had a few posts recently about a particular load I was trying. I went to the range last night and shot them, and I am not sure if I am seeing pressure signs or not. As some of you said, you may not see pressure signs until they are way overpressure:

Load:
Cases: 50 Winchester, 50 Federal, 50 CCI
Primer: WSP
Powder: 6.2 grains IMR SR-4756 slightly compressed (Max listed at 6.4C in Hornady)
Bullet: Winchester 115gr FMJ RN
OAL: 1.10" +/- .005"
Gun: Glock 19

When shooting accuracy was outstanding, but I thought I was beginning to see signs of flattened primers. Interestingly enough, the Winchester cases appeared to have the most amount of flattening. The CCI were about 50/50, and the Federal cases looked pretty good. Recoil was mild. Couldn't see anything obviously wrong with the cases or any power leaks around the primers. No cratering.

For giggles, I also shot some Wolf steel cased factory ammo, 115 gr FMJ for comparison. Recoil was substantially heavier than my reloads and also had a lot of flame. Primers on these casing did not appear to be flattened.

So I think I am seeing signs of pressure, but as others have said, flattened primers alone are not necessarily a sign of pressure. I have pictures of the shot casings, but not sure how to post them to a site to link to this forum?

At any rate, I think I may be feeling a little paranoid and will probably reduce the load down to 5.8 or 6.0 max, just for a little more wiggle room.
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Old April 30, 2009, 07:19 AM   #2
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I'd really want to see the actual brass in my hand before I'd be likely to say one way or the other. I think reading primers is only good for a "relative" idea if all the other pieces of the equation are the same. To put that another way, if you have different brass, or different calibers, or different primer brands and you compare one that looks flat with one that doesn't, you haven't learned anything.

If you have two different loads, same bullet, same COAL, same brass, same powder, same primer, but one of the loads has 0.3 grain heavier powder charge, NOW comparing the look of the primer can give you some insight as to the pressure you might be seeing.

In the mean time, if the data supports your load, the gun seems to cycle properly, the primers aren't falling out and the brass near the case head doesn't look overly stressed or bulged, I'd say you are most likely in good shape.
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Old April 30, 2009, 07:24 AM   #3
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Bozhoz,

We can't comment on primers we can't see, so you need to learn how to post the pictures to get that kind of feedback here. I don't seem to know how to do that on this particular site either, so I will be looking foreward to what others post about that. Notice the "Manage Attachments" button in the "Additional Options" window below this "Repy to Thread" window. When you click on that button, you get a window that allows you to select images, and you will see that there are size limits for those pictures. That is as far as I got with the few mininutes I have right now.

Another thing you could tell us is how the handloaded brass ejects, compared to the Wolf rounds. Also, for the differences you noticed in primers among the different headstamped cases, did you notice any difference in ejection?

The roundness of the edges of primers is partly related to how far the primers are pushed out of the case before the pressure builds inside the case and forces it back against the breachface, reseating the primers. Slightly different diameters of the primer pockets can affect that between different brands of cases. But, pressure can vary between case brands, too, for reasons like differences in internal volume and differences in case mouth tension on the bullet.

So, all you are really looking for is whether the primers look EXCESSIVELY flattened or not. Sometimes, when using brass from one lot and primers from one lot in one pistol (or one chamber of a revovler cylinder), you can develop enough familiarity with how primers look at different pressures to be able to roughly gauge whether pressure of one load is higher or lower than another. Butk first you need to note how different primers can look when all factors are identical.

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Old April 30, 2009, 07:55 AM   #4
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Thanks guys for the head's up on the attachments.. I'll post the pictures at lunch. As for ejection, I didn't really observe that, as I was at an indoor range in the stall against the wall. They all seemed to eject and bounce to the floor, so not able to judge ejection distance.

I was hoping to eliminate the primer from my numerous variables (hard vs soft) by utilizing the same primers in all cases. My charges were all the same, as were OAL and bullet, so "theoretically" my only variable should be my cases, of which 1/3 looked good, and the other 2/3 looked "flattened" to me. I will post the pictures this afternoon for you to take a look at.

Thanks again everyone for all the help and advice, this is a great medium for people like me who are new to reloading. Hopefully I can return the favor some day.
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Old April 30, 2009, 08:09 AM   #5
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As SL1 said, case capacity and bullet tension will affect pressure and primer look, and there's very few calibers out there where it's as prevalent as 9mm. That's because 9mm runs at a high operating pressure (twice that of .38 Special) and it does so in a very, very small amount of space. Change brass headstamp and you change (albeit slightly) the internal space, brass thickness, etc.

The difference should never be enough to take a safe, normal load in one case to nuclear, blown-up disaster rounds in another case, but it pays to try and keep things similar.
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Old April 30, 2009, 08:38 AM   #6
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My question is why are you using a powder not suited to the 9mm round?
With that said, using this powder can easily lead to over PSI because it is compressed. Even slightly compressed the PSI go up.
I make these statements based on loading the 9mm for over 20 years and a lot of experimenting with the round.
In a carbine rifle this powder could be used and developed but in a auto pistol it's just not the powder to use.
The 9mm performs best with a fine grain powder like Accurate arms #7, #5 and with a 115gr bullet the Accurate #2; although the AA#2 is a last resort.
The best all around powder for the 9mm is Aliant Power Pistol.
Even at 6.2gr and a 124gr bullet the load is not compressed but the powder is at the very bottom of the bullet with very limited air space.
With small cases such as the 9mm, 40 and 45 acp powder selection is critical in performance and safety.
These rounds are very susceptible to over PSI due to their size and limited case volume.
Use the right powder for the right round and over PSI issue go away.
I'm not trying to sound like a know it all but you have heard the old expression "the right tool for the right job" same thing applies to powder selection.

Rant over
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Old April 30, 2009, 08:45 AM   #7
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I use AA#5, exclusively, for 9mm reloading. Also use small rifle primers, exclusively, for 9mm reloading. I'm shooting a G17 and G26.
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Old April 30, 2009, 09:09 AM   #8
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Regardng the "rant" above:

Slightly compressing flake powders is not likely to turn a low-pressure load into a high-pressure load. It may even inhibit ignition a little and make the pressure LOWER than we would calcualte for the increased charge weight.

In the situation of SR-4756 in the 9mm case with 115 grain bullets, the power is a little slow with somewhat low energy content (it is single-based, with no nitroglycerin) to get the highest performance. But, that also makes it unlikely to get over-pressure.

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Old April 30, 2009, 09:23 AM   #9
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I went with SR-4756 powder specifically because it said it was a good powder for the 9mm. In numerous posts, it mentioned it was a great powder for 9mm for new reloaders because it is almost physically impossible to over-charge the case, powder will spill out. Also, it mentioned compression on this powder is actually a good thing, it will prevent setback without increasing pressure to dangerous levels. Three of my manuals list SR-4756 in 9mm???
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Old April 30, 2009, 09:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Slightly compressing flake powders is not likely to turn a low-pressure load into a high-pressure load. It may even inhibit ignition a little and make the pressure LOWER than we would calcualte for the increased charge weight.

In the situation of SR-4756 in the 9mm case with 115 grain bullets, the power is a little slow with somewhat low energy content (it is single-based, with no nitroglycerin) to get the highest performance. But, that also makes it unlikely to get over-pressure.
You are correct but!!!!
A good rule of thumb when loading small capacity auto pistol rounds "never compress the load"
You never know when in the battery as the round moves up towards the feed ramp and into the chamber that bullet set back can occur.
In a small case such as the 9mm this can have devastating consequences.
And again, use a powder more suited for the round you are loading.
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Old April 30, 2009, 11:13 AM   #11
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As promised pictures of the aforementioned rounds

Here you go. Before pics, target pics, and after pics.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 100_3316.jpg (86.1 KB, 213 views)
File Type: jpg 100_3325.jpg (71.0 KB, 205 views)
File Type: jpg 100_3326.jpg (75.7 KB, 207 views)
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Old April 30, 2009, 11:14 AM   #12
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And target pics

Limited to 3 files per post.. here are the results. 5 shots in each
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 100_3323.jpg (42.7 KB, 172 views)
File Type: jpg 100_3324.jpg (39.8 KB, 151 views)
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Old April 30, 2009, 11:31 AM   #13
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bozhoz this may not be an ammo problem?????
I have seen this a few times and it was a spring issue.
It could also be a under powered load but if you are having no cycling problems I doubt that load is the problem.
Not being a Glock expert, but if the spring rate is to low, as the round and bolt face move back the primer face losses contact with the bolt face allowing the primer to back out. As bullet leaves the case the bras is forced back into the bolt face again and the primer is re-seated and a double strike of the firing pin occurs causing the primer to look like yours.
I could be way off base here but that does not look like over PSI issue based on the firing pin mark.
Anyone else see what I am seeing????
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Old April 30, 2009, 11:46 AM   #14
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Madmo, there is no way it can be an underpower load. This thing was just about at max load, and earlier rounds at lower charges worked just fine as well. I think the marking you are seeing on primers is just a glock trademark... every Glock I've ever seen leaves that rectangular impression on the primer. My concern was whether or not these appear to be high-pressure signs (the flattened primers) or not. I have never seen a flattened primer before, so I don't know what these are on a scale of 1-10, 1 being brand spanking new primer 10 being nuclear explosion in your hand is imminent. Again, not saying that anything is wrong with this load, just trying to understand the signs of pressure as I am working these loads up.
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Old April 30, 2009, 11:54 AM   #15
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bozhoz I wouldnt select a powder from what you read off a post.I would only select a powder from what a manual recomends .I have researched powders that people have talked about on posts but thats it.You never know some people who post information might not know what they are talking about or are talking about what works for them and their particular gun.these statements about aliant powders being the best are just opinions.I could say bullseye ist the best just cause I like it.
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Old April 30, 2009, 01:26 PM   #16
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bozhoz well that's why I said I was no Glock expert. I'm a colt, Ruger and S&W guy. LOL!!!
I'll moved your pics into a program I have to get a better look.

Did lower PSI rounds make the primer look like these?
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Old April 30, 2009, 01:34 PM   #17
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To be terribly honest, I wasn't really looking at the primers on the earlier batch.. it was my first reloaded batch ever and I was just excited that it didn't blow up in my face! I am going to go back to my lower loads (5.8 & 6.0) and see if these symptoms go away.
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Old April 30, 2009, 01:37 PM   #18
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Friend, there is a definite caution sign there--and it IS on the primer--but it's not what you think.

Look at the firing pin indent. Notice the little tail? This means that the gun is unlocking and ejecting while the firing pin is still protruding from the breech face. Ideally, the firing pin should strike the primer and retract before the pistol completes the extraction cycle.

What this sign tells you is that your loads are on the knife's edge of becoming dangerous. Reduce the load a bit, and work up. I would also establish your max load in that gun/case/powder/primer/bullet combo at about 2/10ths of a grain below the load used here.
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Old April 30, 2009, 01:46 PM   #19
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Thanks powderman, that is very useful advice. I am going to go back and take a closer look at these. I understand what you are saying, but am wondering if the lighting on the picture is making it look like something it is not. When I look at these dead on, they look like a normal glock primer strike, kind of rectangular. However, the pictures do make it look like the firing pin is dragging, although I think the angle and the lighting may be playing tricks. At any rate, I will follow your advice and back it down a little bit. Thanks for the advice, very useful.
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Old April 30, 2009, 01:51 PM   #20
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Powderman sees the same thing I see.
That's why I asked if the lower PSI rounds showed the same markings.
In some guns like a CZ low spring pressure causes this marking. In other cases it is over PSI.
But like Powderman states "Notice the little tail" that's a sign of something bad wrong.
If backing down the load does not work, check your spring rate. See if it's not a bit low.
Good luck.
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Old April 30, 2009, 05:30 PM   #21
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The radius of the primer edge does not make this look like the primer is excessively flattened. So, I am not so sure that the problem with the primer indentation is actually an indication that PEAK pressure is too high.

It may be that the pressure REMAINS higher longer into the cycling of the action, compared to other powders. That, together with other gun issues, may be causing the primer to drag across the firing pin while it is still protruding. Somebody who is more familar with self-loaders will need to chime in on that.

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Old April 30, 2009, 05:50 PM   #22
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“Look at the firing pin indent. Notice the little tail?”

I agree with that note, but I also see a major change in the radius at the edge of the primer.
When you look at the before and after there is a big change where the primer meets the case.
One thing to try, Take a picture of two or more of each case setting next to each other and get closer with the camera or zoom in. if you have a macro option on the focus of your camera it will allow you to take much closer photos and still be in focus.
But over all I would say that your on the high end. I don’t reload for my Glocks but I shoot a lot through a 26 and have never seen the “tail”.
Since Glocks balloon cases I would also like to see the side of one that was fired.
I would suggest another powder,,, maybe a little faster like Winchester 231.
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Old April 30, 2009, 10:01 PM   #23
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I started to comment earlier today, but others were zeroing in on the primer's apparent "tail". I was more concerned with what appears to be excessive crimp removal in picture 3 on the nickel plated primers, and the associated cratering around the primer on those casings. Were the primer pockets reamed on these cases? It sure looks like a lot of brass was removed around those pockets. If so, this may explain some of the cratering - the primers may be backing out of the pocket due to a lack of enough brass (friction) to hold them in place.
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Old May 1, 2009, 06:28 AM   #24
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No worries on those Jim, those were just extra cases I picked up off the floor. The only relevant ones in the bunch are the 4-5 lines of Winchester cases.
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Old May 1, 2009, 07:01 AM   #25
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Quote:
I agree with that note, but I also see a major change in the radius at the edge of the primer.
When you look at the before and after there is a big change where the primer meets the case.
Primer edge radius is going to change in loads that produce around 35,000 psi. We should not be looking for the "after" photo to look like the "before" photo with only the addition of a dent in the center.

But, the AMOUNT of radius change is hard to correlate with peak pressure, because it has a lot to do with how far the primer protruded from the case when it was fired, before the case moved back against the breachface and reseated it flush. That changes with primer brand, case brand, powder and gun.

So, about all I can say is that bozhoz's fired primer radius doesn't look like trouble to me.

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