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Old October 10, 2012, 08:50 PM   #1
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Join Date: March 7, 2012
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 160
Questions on loading 9mm

I've been posting here in another thread that I started a month or so ago. But I feel it time for a new one addressing caliber specific questions, in particular 9mm.

I understand its a finicky high pressure cartridge so I may be putting too much into it, but better safe than sorry.

First off, taper crimp, following the instructions that came with my die set(RCBS carbide 3-die set), I set the seater plug, then backed off the seater plug and adjusted the die body for crimp, turned the body down until I felt it hit the case mouth, then turned it down until I got "firm resistance", which for me was turning the body down until I couldn't turn it anymore using my fingers. I set the set screw on the locking ring, lowered the ram and ran the cartridge into the die to crimp it. Then I set the seater plug against the bullet and set the lock ring on the plug.
Now my question is how do I know if I'm "using too much crimp"? I understand that a taper crimp just removes the flare on the case mouth from the expanding die, I also know that too much mouth tension on the bullet can cause unsafe pressures. I'm only making smokers here, no live rounds, primerless, powderless cases with seated bullets. Using Hornady 115gr fmj-#35557. The 2 I made were in S&B brass found at the range, and fully prepped, sized, expanded.

Here are the 2 I made next to a factory cartridge(Federal American Eagle 115gr fmj). The factory round it on the right. The center one is the first I made. I set the die body as tight as I could hand tighten it, then I thought about the tension factor, so I made a second which is the one on the left. The one on the left is seated the same, but I backed the die off about 1/3 of a turn and reset the seater plug. Neither bullet moves in the case when I push them against the side of the bench. Should I back it off a bit more?

A few specs-no primer, no powder, S&B brass, sized, cleaned, fully prepped, expanded, Hornady 115gr fmj #35557, bullet seated for a COL of 1.150". My load books call for 1.090" and 1.100" with this bullet. I used the 1.150" COL because that's what my various factory 115gr loads are at. I can seat them deeper if needed. The factory round measures .377" at the mouth, both of my smokers measure .379" at the mouth. COL for the factory round is 1.154" mine are both 1.150".

Next, I haven't selected a powder/primer combo. I did buy 200 Remington small pistol primers as that's all I could find. I'm up in the air on powder. Any suggestions? Won't be actually loading for another month or so, because I don't have a scale, or powder measure/trickler. I will primarily be using 115gr fmj bullets.

I think I got everything...sorry for rambling, this isn't a cartridge that my uncle has experience with, so he isn't able to help too much. Thanks in advance for the guidance!!

ETA-I remember reading a thread the other day regarding taper crimp, but can't seem to find it from my iPhone and tapatalk to see if my question may be addressed.

Tapatalked via my highly abused iPhone

Last edited by xLPlushy; October 11, 2012 at 12:07 PM.
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