View Full Version : curious re the following: 9mm Luger reloads

June 26, 2011, 05:59 PM
I've used many, many of the above mentioned in an old Browning Hi-Power, no longer shot much, a Star Model 30M ad a CZ-75-B, the decocker model. At a recent IPSC match, I had several jams, it was 3 as I recall, caused by the following. In front of the extractor groove, the cases of the rounds that jammed were seriously bulged, they almost looked like "belted" cases. How they got by my notice, who knows, but they did. There was no harm done, except to my scores.

Anyhow, looking through more brass, range pick up stuff, I noticed similarly bugled cases. Interestingly primers didn't show cratering, nor were they especially flattened, the edges still showed a radius, or seemed to.

Given that 9mm Luger pistols are, these days, virtually all locked breach, I wonder as to what, other than seriously defective chambers might lead to such bulging of fired brass. The primer pockets on some that I had reloaded were not "loose".

The Star Model 30 is strictly a service pistol, nothing overly tight about it's chamber, though it shoots straighter than I can hold, and is functionally quite reliable.

Any ideas as to what might have caused the above referenced bulged cases?

Jim Watson
June 26, 2011, 06:09 PM
Fired in a .40 chamber, maybe.

June 26, 2011, 06:16 PM
Some pistols do not have fully supported chambers. In other words, the chamber is cut away at the feed ramp to improve the ability to feed from the magazine into the chamber. When the cartridge is fired, the brass will form a crescent-shaped bulge where the feed ramp in located. This generally isn't a problem with factory new 9mm ammo, but has been known to cause kabooms in 40 S&W and 45ACP.

Reloading brass cases with bulges is not worth the risk. Toss them.

June 26, 2011, 07:55 PM
It's either less than fully supported or perhaps there's a problem and it's firing before fully locked slide . Dump the brass. This problem was most noted with early .40 Glocks.

June 26, 2011, 08:21 PM
To the gentlemen that offered their thoughts/opinions, Jim Watson, mete and DnPRK, thank you all. The bulged brass that I've so-far noticed has been dumped. If future, I will more closely examine scrounged brass (range brass).

It's easy enough to loose points in a match due to my lousy shooting, " self-inflicted" mechanical problems can be done without.

June 26, 2011, 08:30 PM
Any ideas as to what might have caused the above referenced bulged cases?Could be a top-end load with a heavy bullet combined with a very light or very old recoil spring....self-inflicted" mechanical problems can be done without.Some folks will test all their match ammunition the night before a match by removing the barrel from the gun it's going to be used in and dropping each round in the chamber to see if it's a fit. You can probably do it while watching TV.

James K
June 26, 2011, 08:52 PM
The problem could simply be a batch of brass on the low side of the tolerances expanding when fired. If the expansion is enough, the elastic limit of the brass will be exceeded, the case will not "spring back" and the gun can jam. Or the brass itself could be bad, either defective from the factory or subjected to heat, possibly in an erroneous annealing attempt.

You mention range pickups. When this type of thing arises, my first thought is to question the source of the brass. It is one thing if you bought ammunition new and saved the cases, or if you were reloading salvage cases (the plastic bags of empties at a gun show), or range pickups?

Needless to say, the use of cases of unknown origin and previous treatment can complicate analysis of a problem.


June 27, 2011, 11:48 AM
Shell holders cover up some of the brass.
The chamfer on the orifice of the die precludes sizing there.

I got a Glock from the mid 90s that had a chamber way over SAAMI sloppy maximum.

To get around the effect this has on brass, here is a video of a guy pushing brass through a Lee Factory Crimp Die body [not as small a carbide ring as a FL sizer]

Here is a Lee product called a bulge buster

June 27, 2011, 11:24 PM

Thanks again for your thoughts.

June 28, 2011, 09:06 AM
but alas, is doesnt work with 9mm according to Lee:(

June 28, 2011, 10:04 AM
9mm does not usually get bulged.

You can put something together that pushes 9mm brass through a Factory crimp die carbide ring.

The only way I can see it being needed, is if some amateur polished the feed ramp on a 9mm barrel.

June 29, 2011, 06:59 PM
I wonder as to why this Lee "Bulge Buster", so called, won't work with 9mm Luger brass, as is noted. Supposedly it works with .380 Automatic (9mm Kurtz). Strange, or so it seems to me.