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Old September 4, 2002, 06:48 PM   #1
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hunting load?

I am using a 4" GP 100 to hunt squirrels this year. I cast a 120 LFN 9MM bullet and push it with 2.5 grains of Bullseye in 38 Special cases. This load is very accurate but I would like it to be more so. My question is what is the best crimp to use with Bullseye? I am using a firm crimp now. Below are some pics. Thanks
my smallgame photos
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Old September 5, 2002, 06:30 PM   #2
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First off, nice pics! Looks like someone is a dead eye! I am surprised you are getting good accuracy out of the 9mm bullet as they are normally .355 wherin the 38 special is .357. In my experience, crimping consistantly is more important than crimping hard versus crimping medium, provided the bullet stays in the brass long enough to build sufficient pressure with a light load and... loads are not so heavy other bullets in the gun start moving in the cases from recoil... Perhaps others will venture an opinion.
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Old September 6, 2002, 08:23 AM   #3
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I tried some cast 9mm bullets once. They were from a Lee mold, round nose and were about 125 grains. I used a little more Bullseye than you did, somewhere around 3.0. Because there was no groove on the bullet, the crimp was very light. I could not have put a heavy crimp on them if I had wanted to.

They shot very well, although I didn't try them on squirel sized targets. Good shootin'.
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Old September 6, 2002, 02:04 PM   #4
john kilgore
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Nice Load. I too cast a 120gr TC for pratice shooting in my 9mm's. In them I use 3.6 gr of Bullseye and just enough crimp to remove the flare and very slighyly more to eliminate any possibility of hanging on the feed ramps. I have loaded the exact load for the same purpose you do. With bullseye, little crimp is needed but a little helps. All you need is enough to allow easy chambering and a little more for a consisent bullet "pull" to allow for consistent ignition. I too get very good accuracy as my bullets have a .357-.358 diameter as cast. I load them lubed with Lee liquid alox and shoot them as cast. I seat them in the .38 with just a small amount of the bearing surface exposed ahead of the case neck. This increased bullet bearing surface inside the case increases the concentricity of the loaded rounds which is more inportant to accuracy than distance to chamber throat. The diameter of the chamber throat determines accuracy more than bore diameter within limits. A loose chamber is incurable (ie .360" or greater with .38 or .357 bore, whereas a .358 bore will shoot .357 bullets well if the throat is tight. As for match accuracy of this load, I've had great success in speed matches; as for efficacy on squirrel's, I'll have to plead the 5th as only .22 rimfires and shot guns are legal for squirrels in my state.
"There is no such thing as a second place winner in a gunfight" Bill Jordan
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Old September 6, 2002, 08:43 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies.
I too tried 3 grains of Bullseye and it shot well. In my testing the 2.5 grain load shrank the groups but raised the trajectory. I think increasing the dwell time of the bullet in the animal increases stopping power in low power non expanding loads. The reduced noise also scares them less and they resume feeding sooner if you miss. I have hit squirrels with 1000 fps loads and they do not seem to know they are hit for awhile. The slow loads seem to knock the dickens out of them and almost always bring them down right away. I may be using too much crimp and deforming the limited bearing surface of the bullet. I know you can't have too much accuracy when you are trying to hit those hairy tailed tree rats.
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Old September 9, 2002, 10:19 AM   #6
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redhawk, I believe you're on the right track. Excessive crimp with fast burning powder such as bullseye, reddot, and 231 will have a detrimental effect on accuracy and as previously stated is not needed.
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Old September 9, 2002, 12:39 PM   #7
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Tree "RAT" is accurate! I will have to start shooting them soon if I want to have any pecans left.
O course I will have to shoot them with my air rifle as the city frownes on guns being discharged in the city limits. They actually protect them and they run in packs, I have counted as many as ten in my tree at one time.
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Old September 10, 2002, 12:23 AM   #8
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Wouldn't be too concerned about a 9mm cast in a .38/.357 revolver - especially since they seem to do the trick.

Just for grins, throw a caliper/micrometer on your as-cast bullets to see what you're getting. Depending on the allow/mould size, you may well be over an "acceptable" size anyway. I've a .309" diameter mould that throws right at .315" & the .309" sizer sizes to about a 1/2 thou of that - go figure. But they still shoot very well indeed.

Easy on the crimp as mentioned & since it ain't broke, what's to fix?
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