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Old February 17, 2013, 05:54 PM   #1
snyderiii
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9mm luger... new reloader, strange primer marks.

Ok, im brand new to the forum and new to reloading. Got a hornady set for christmas, spent time reading everything I could and finally acquired all the accessories and components I needed. First undertaking was 6.8mm and that didnt turn out too bad.

However, when I read things like "if your crimping" I was a little lost. This didnt imapct me when doing the 6.8 rounds, but when I moved on to 9mm I think I may have screwed up.

After I first seated the rounds I felt maybe I had slightly over expanded the cases because to the touch the rounds had a slight lip. Noooo problem I thought. This what be what the whole crimping thing is about. There is lots of literature, including the Hornady book that came with set, but it explains HOW to crimp but bot why or why not or when or when not you should be crimping.

Anyway, following the die instructions I got the bullet seated and crimped (but maybe what I was doing wasnt crimping afterall, when I say crimp I mean getting rid of the slight lip/flare at the top of the case where the bullet is seated).

So I was focusing on that flare, and when it was gone I didnt realize the bullet had a ring around it. When I got through about half of them I wasnt sure if I should stop or what. So I went out and fired a few and they worked just fine. However, the primer dent looks really odd. Just to make sure I fired a few factory rounds and those dents didnt look odd to me at all.

Basically what I want to know is this: did I just over crimp these rounds or is something else going on.

Thanks for the help for a newbie.

Here are the stats of everything I used and a picture of the suspect strikes. The only thing I can find about this strange dent is that is typicall due to over pressurization. But as you can see from my stats I wasnt up against the edge of the max loads.

Fyi, this occured with two different kinds of bullets which is why there are some doubles listed below.

Caliber: 9mm
Powder: Power pistol - 6.1 gr
Bullet: Berry RN (19355) ; Horn XTP (35540) - 115gr
Case: Starline
Primer: Federal no100
OAL: 1.095 ; 1.067
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Old February 17, 2013, 06:05 PM   #2
m&p45acp10+1
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If you run your fingernail down the bullet towards the case you should feel a slight catch at the case mouth. If not then you crimped too much. You should feel a little lip at the case mouth. It is what the round head spaces off of. (Well it is what it is supposed to head space off of at least.)
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Old February 17, 2013, 06:31 PM   #3
snyderiii
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Here's the photo of the strange firing "dents". Also in the pic you can see the ring that is about 2/3 of the way down each kind of bullet.

Anyway, let me know what you guys see/think.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20130217_175537.jpg (246.7 KB, 229 views)
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Old February 17, 2013, 06:39 PM   #4
snyderiii
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So...it sounds like I overcrimped. Got it. What constitutes proper crimping? Where does it say that I MUST crimp? Should I always crimp this kindof bullet or that caliber of round or is it more a product of how much I expanded the cases to begin with. Sorry, I assume this is a dumb question, but nothing in these books explains the why. Just the how...which I have figured out now...just a little too much. LOL
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Old February 17, 2013, 07:31 PM   #5
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Two Separate Issues

First, you need to look at your seater plug. My set has a plug for round nose and one for hollow point or flat point bullets. Make sure you are using the correct seater plug for your bullet. Also you may find that if you seat in one operation and crimp in another, the ring (dent in bullet) will not appear. You can search the forum and find many examples of specifics on the setup.

Second, proper crimping techniques and when to crimp are learned with experience. I am not an expert by any stretch, but I know what works for me. For my 9mm Glock, (I am shooting a plated bullet) I like to just iron out the bell - a taper crimp. A lead bullet may need a roll crimp applied (especially larger caliber pistols to prevent bullet creep).

Hopefully you can do a little research and find the relationship between overcrimping and excess pressure.
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Old February 17, 2013, 07:33 PM   #6
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Re: 9mm luger... new reloader, strange primer marks.

Why you crimp 'on 9mm is to get rid of the flare, like you said. That's all.

You crimp revo rounds to keep the bullets from jumping out under recoil.

You crimp some rifle rounds, I'm guessing, to prevent the bullet from getting pushed In more during the violent chambering.


Make sure you are only expanding enough to JUST start the bullet without holding it steady. Then JUST erase flare.
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Old February 17, 2013, 07:36 PM   #7
m&p45acp10+1
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For crimping you are not realy crimping. You are just removing the flare to take the case mouth back to spec on semiauto brass. Use your barrel for a case guage. If do the finger nail test, and if it passes that drop the round into the barrel. It should drop in, and when you turn it upside down should drop out with its own weight.

The primers look fine. The firing pin can make strage looking dents due to the ejection process. No big thing.
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Old February 17, 2013, 07:36 PM   #8
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The instructions for crimping and seating bullets in the same step are pretty tough to follow. That is why many seat in one step and crimp with a second.

Getting the feel for how far down to turn the crimping die is more art than science. I got the good advice when I started loading 9mm to place a factory cartridge in the die to set the crimp. Set it firm, solid, finger tight. This would be after setting the correct bullet seating depth set with your die.

The need for crimping is to firmly seat the bullet for use in automatic pistols so it does not toss the bullet into the barrel when feeding. A good test after seating is to check your OAL then push your cartridge, bullet end down, on a hard surface and then recheck your OAL. If it does not move you are good. As I go along I find that a little crimp goes better than a lot.
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Old February 17, 2013, 08:30 PM   #9
snyderiii
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All,

Thanks so much. I was worried id get beat up for being a newbie. But all this information helps me tremendously. Guess I figured it was an experience thing but I was worried that id have a "casualty" while gaining my experience.

Also big help on the seater plug. Definitely wondered about why I had that. I suppose I shouldve realized what the flat one was for. Sucks that having the lock n load (and therfore not having to set and reset all the dies each time) wont help me if I have to disassemble the damn die each time I wanna change the seater plug, but at least I know why I have it.

Thanks again!
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Old February 17, 2013, 09:02 PM   #10
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FYI, The Lyman Reloading Handbook has really good diagrams to explain crimping.
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Old February 17, 2013, 09:04 PM   #11
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My guess is since you overcrimped, the rounds were headspacing on the extractor instead of the chamber, which is why the firing pin marks look so weird.
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Old February 17, 2013, 09:09 PM   #12
snyderiii
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Snooze: thanks for that tip. I get a copy of it.

Last question for everyone... should I pull all these bullets and reload them, or should I just use them for practice and make others?
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Old February 17, 2013, 09:14 PM   #13
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Depends on the gun. In one of my rugers, I would shoot them, but if you are using some little single stack carry pistol, I would pull them.
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Old February 17, 2013, 09:26 PM   #14
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Yes those rounds in the pic are way over crimped to
the point that they won't seat without getting deformed.
If I didn't have to many loaded, I probably would shoot them
off but that crimp is going to increase the pressure and the primers
are dragging on the firing pin while being ejected.
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Old February 17, 2013, 09:35 PM   #15
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snyder,
Where did you get your OAL data? That top bullet looks like it is being crimped on the ogive. It looks like you are 0.030-0.060 too short at a minimum from the OAL I have in my books.
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Old February 17, 2013, 10:29 PM   #16
snyderiii
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Ok, so I guess I have to discover what it takes to break these rounds down. New project. Nice. Guess its part of the learning process.

With regard to minimum oal, my hornady book only lists maximum col. Unless im looking in the wrong place I dont have a listing for minimum anywhere in this book. My xtps were seated .008 less than the max oal and the rn were seated .005 less than max. Is my seating wrong too. I thought my problem was only my ridiculous over crimping.
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Old February 17, 2013, 10:51 PM   #17
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The listed length is just the length the used. If you are using the same bullet, you want to use the same length, +/- .005" or so, if using a different bullet, you need to find load data for that or a similar profile bullet to use....
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Old February 17, 2013, 11:06 PM   #18
snyderiii
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Dacaur,
So if I am using a 115gr fmj rn but it isnt hornady's 115gr fmj rn (because its berry's) I canr use the load tables in my hornady book? If I can, then the round nose bullets are seated with the tolerances of plus or minus .005...albeit over crimped.

However, the hornady xtp's are .008 under the max col. Anyway, im going to pull them all just to be safe. Just trying to learn what I did wrong and not repeat the mistake. It would appear that I got a little overzealous with the crimper.

Thanks again.
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Old February 17, 2013, 11:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Dacaur,
So if I am using a 115gr fmj rn but it isnt hornady's 115gr fmj rn (because its berry's) I canr use the load tables in my hornady book? If I can, then the round nose bullets are seated with the tolerances of plus or minus .005...albeit over crimped.
Well, yes, since they are both FMJ RN, you can use the same load data, however, since you said they are berrys, you might want to check if they are actualy FMJ, or just plated.... In an auto pistol it really makes no difference, but if you were reloading for a revolver, you would want to use lead load data, not copper jacket data (thats what berrys recomends)....

BTW, I am using the hornady manual, loading berrys plated as well, both 115gr and 124gr, the load data in the book works fine.
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Old February 18, 2013, 01:40 AM   #20
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The maximum COL for a 9mm is 1.169. If you have a different number, it is not a maximum COL. Manuals list either minimum COL or as tested COL in my experience. Since pressure increases as case volume decreases, you would be best served treating the published COL as the absolute minimum length. Increasing the length while still being able to load the magazines and chamber the rounds is generally considered safe.

Someone with a Speer manual can provide more details of this which has been often quoted "Speer deliberately seated .030" deeper than a SAAMI tested OAL, and pressures went from 28,000 to 62,000"

If it is an optical illusion in your picture and you aren't crimping on the ogive, then just stay above minimum COL for that load data. If you are on the ogive, seat the bullets longer until you are able to crimp on the maximum diameter of the bullet. Then drop them into your chamber to make sure they chamber. (plunk test)

One thing that confuses people is the name of the die. It should be called a de-belling die. With a case that headspaces on the mouth 9mm, 40SW, 45ACP, etc, you are not crimping into a cannelure. You are only smoothing out the bell you created to ease the bullet into the case. Run your fingernail over a factory round and you can see that the full thickness of the case is still there and not buried in the side of the bullet. You need that lip there to stop the case from going too far into the chamber. If you pull your bullets, you will see that there is a ring in the jacket from the mouth of the case.

Once you get your crimp sorted out, you may take care of the ring in the bullets at the same time. It should also take care of the firing pin drag marks on your primers.

If you do decide to pull those bullets, re-size your brass again.

Good luck
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Old February 18, 2013, 05:45 AM   #21
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9MM can be a real pain to reload as you are finding out. From the looks of the expansion of the case wall in your pic the round is in plenty tight as is.
I found that by chamfering the case mouth it helped bullet alignment during initial seating and never belled the case mouths.

It appears your bullets don't have a cannelure which compounds the problem as there is no place for the case mouth to go into and things get tight quick and seating forces get high thus deforming the bullet.

For lack of a better description if you can physically see the case mouth bent it you are probably doing it too much as the 9MM case mouth has to stop on end of chamber.

As well measure the length of your cases after firing and before seating to see how much longer they may be getting.

Try this, if you have a mic measure the case mouth diameter before seating and after seating. Chances are good if your case mouth expands a couple of thou you are good to go with no additional "crimping" needed.
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Old February 18, 2013, 09:52 AM   #22
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The ring on the bullet is most likely because your bullet seating stem does not match the profile of the bullet you are using. The seating plugs (or stem) come in a couple of shapes, one for round/pointed bullets and one for flat (swc) type. Even if you have the "right" stem in place, it may not perfectly match the contour of the bullet you are using, and may leave a mark. If you use soft points, or lead, sometimes the nose is deformed.

The old timer's fix for this, without getting a seating stem that fits properly, is to use sealing wax. You put the heated wax in the cavity of the stem, and insert the bullet you are going to use while the wax is still soft. It doesn't last for ever, but while it does, it works, and its easily redone.

As to the crimp, with the 9mm you should be TAPER crimping. There are two kinds of crimp,taper and roll crimp. Roll crimp actually folds the case mouth into the bullet. This is done only on bullets that have a cannelure or crimping groove. On bullets that do not have the groove, only a taper crimp should be applied. And any case that headspaces on the case mouth also needs to be taper, not roll crimped.

9mm dies with a built in crimping shoulder should be made to taper crimp. BUT, not all are, or at least not all were. Some makers used a roll crimp in the seating die, so that you could roll crimp if desired, or if roll crimp was not desired, you just use a separate taper crimp die for that step.

To set the amount of crimp, back off the seating stem, so it will not touch the bullet of a loaded round...
Run a factory loaded round into the die...
screw the die body down against the loaded round, hand tight...
remove the round, and turn the die body down just a tiny fraction more...
Lock the die body in place.

Now adjust the seating stem to the desired depth, and you will be seating and crimping at the same time. Note: you can overcrimp with a taper crimp. If you do, it will actually result in a looser bullet/case fit than normal. Seriously overdoing a taper crimp compresses the bullet, and while the elastic nature of the brass means it will spring back slightly, the bullet does not, so the fit of the case to bullet is now looser than it should be. It may not be obvious to a visual examination.

As to the "strange marks" on the primers, what are you referring to, specifically? What gun were they fired from?
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Old February 19, 2013, 07:04 AM   #23
snyderiii
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44,

These were fired from a Taurus 24/7 pro.
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Old February 19, 2013, 06:04 PM   #24
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My thoughts.

Looks like the crimp die had engaged the top of the brass; thereby, crimping the case mouth into the bullet while the seating stem was still attempting to push the bullet into the case. The bullet nose was deformed by the seating stem. The case mouth is over crimped. If you pull the Berry’s bullets, you will find the outer copper coating has been dented or perhaps damaged. The simple solution is to separate the seating and crimping into two steps.
Make sure the die is backed off enough that no crimping takes place. Use the proper profile seating stem and adjust as needed to get your COAL. Seat all bullets. Now back off or remove the seating stem. Set the die now to remove the case mouth expansion and “crimp” the rounds. There should be no more than 0.001” diameter difference between the case mouth and immediately behind the case mouth.

I think the photo shows where the firing pin has swiped across the primer during ignition (?) or ejection (more likely). I see these marks from my Springfield XDm; particularly when I’m on the upper end of a load range. One of my 9mm loads is a Berry’s 115 RNDS over 6.2 grains Power Pistol, RP brass, CCI primer at 1.120" COAL. This is one of my upper end loadings running an average of approximately 1230 feet per second from 4.5” barrel on Springfield XDm. The recoil is significant. Even though the amount of powder is shown to be on the lower end in of some of my manuals, the velocity is on the upper end. You are using a shorter barrel, but you are also at a shorter COAL which may increase your pressure. Simple comparision can be done by shooting factory compared to your reloads. If yours feel hotter, you may need to find someone with a chronograph.
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Old February 19, 2013, 06:45 PM   #25
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Judging from the pictures of the 9mms, maybe you should show us pictures of the 6.8s before you shoot them.
Seriously.
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