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Old October 8, 2012, 05:02 PM   #1
Join Date: March 9, 2008
Posts: 19
9mm case weight variance?

Okay - after 40 years of reloading I got stupid. I got tired of changing tool heads on my dillon and bought a Lee Pre 1000. (It has been sold after this fiasco.) I know there are a lot of successful Lee proponents out there so this is not about the reloader.

I loaded up about 500 9mm with 115gr winchester HP. I used 5.1 gr Winchester 231. I occasionally checked cases for powder and never saw an uncharged case.

I loaded up a couple mags and 3rd shot- pfft - bullet lodged in barrel. I put the whole batch aside. I started weighing the loaded rounds to see if I could determine which would be suspect and I am finding more than 5 grain variance on MANY cases. My next step was to sort cases by head stamp. The majority are older OF military and the weights are all over (within 4-8 grains.)

Look for thoughts - I really don't want to hammer out 500 bullets - but it's looking like the only answer. Any other thoughts ?

Oh yeah, hearing loss and carpal tunnel - Can't hear or feel powder shaking. Maybe a job for a grandchild???
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Old October 8, 2012, 05:13 PM   #2
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If they are mixed head stamps you will never know. Even the same brands can be off by 2-3 grains.
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Old October 8, 2012, 05:53 PM   #3
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Shoot them slow at close targets. No recoil, and no new hole means a squib. Take a cleaning rod with you, They come out without that much of a problem most of the time.

Weighing them is a futile effort. The variance of weight in cases even of the same head stamp can be greater than the powder charge.

If all else seems too much a press mounted bullet puller might be in order. Though that is still a lot of bullets to pull, and a lot of time involved in doing so.
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
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Old October 8, 2012, 07:45 PM   #4
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I would shoot them also in a very controlled environment like last guy said, (take me longer to type his name then my whole post). Just kidding!

If you decide to pull them, definately get one of the collet pullers as long as your winchester HPs aren't a round nose design. The collet pullers won't pull bullets with rounded sides. They need a straight area to grab ahold of or your wasting your money so it will also depend on how deep you seated your bullets in that sense.

adding this, the weight of the bullet will vary a couple tenths of a grain making it more impossible to try picking them out by weighing them.
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Old October 9, 2012, 10:13 AM   #5
Join Date: March 9, 2008
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I agree weighing is futile. I will have to measure a couple bores to find the largest one. Out of my 11 9mms one should be a little bigger! The one that the bullet did stick was in a Taurus 99 and it stuck almost exactly in the middle and was very difficult to pound out. I have a collet puller but it just doesn't get a good enough grip - I used a taper crimp to make sure these rounds would fit a tight chamber. Wish I had a short barreled 9mm revolver - they might actually get out of the barrell. Maybe a good excuse to but one?

Live and learn I guess.
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Old October 9, 2012, 03:49 PM   #6
Join Date: March 24, 2006
Location: stockton, ca
Posts: 38

I'd break them all down. Sounds like you got a little lax in your procedure. Best way to avoid this is a visual check of each case prior to setting the bullet. Some may complain that it slows down production, but in my mind it's the only safe method to reload. My concern would be, you missed a primer-only load, what about a possible double-charge? Gotta stay vigilant.

As for breaking them down with a kinetic puller, might just be a good time for the grandchild.
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