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Posted: 6/26/2017 12:06:56 PM EDT
Solved, bad barrel.  See Page 2


So I ran into an issue yesterday at a USPSA match that had everyone in my squad puzzled and not really sure what was going on.

About 100 rounds into the match I noticed a few targets only 10-15 yards out with large key holes.  These are your standard Target Barn Official USPSA targets.

Next stage had some really far shots 25+ yards out at the back of the bay, go check targets and I completely missed several of them (I'm not an exceptional pistol shooter but I knew I broke the shots well and should have hit the target someplace).

I went over to the safety area, pulled my barrel and the grooves are packed solid with lead....kinda explains the tumbling (bullets not engaging rifling).

Load:

124gr Rocky Mountain Reloading FMJ's (their new FMJ's made in house)
4.1gr TG (Chrono's about 128.5 PF)
OAL 1.115"

Bullets plunk into my Springfield XD9 Tactical barrel just fine.

I pulled a couple bullets when I got home and there isn't a single mark on the jacket.

Press Dillon 650XL with Lee dies including FCD.

Any thoughts?

I just ordered 500 147gr Xtremes to try out, I think the TG is just burning too hot for the exposed bases.  What is odd is though a couple others in my squad were running exposed based bullets or coated lead like Blue Bullets, SNS, etc.


**EDIT**

This is a new load for me and I have only shot about 50rds before this to chrono and check for accuracy.  I did notice a little bit of fouling in the barrel after the 50 rds, but I assumed the barrel wasn't squeaky clean before firing and the usual TG fouling.
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 12:19:02 PM EDT
[#1]
What's the measured bullets diameter?

Barrel bore diameter?

In my use Titegroup is not the issue.
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 12:52:16 PM EDT
[#2]
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 1:45:51 PM EDT
[#3]
I am surprised the leading does not happen all the time with exposed lead bases on FMJ bullets.  How does it NOT happen?  It happens with cast lead bullets all the time.

Does each bullet scrub the lead from the bullet before it?  

Does the lead stay in vapor form and exit the bore (unlikely due to condensation onto cool barrel surfaces)?  

I know that's no answer but I will follow the thread to find out what you guys come up with.


My wild assed guess (hypothesis) - the bullets are too small for the bore.  This allows vaporized lead (from the exposed base) to push in front of the bullet, cool and condense onto the bore.  The sub-sized bullet cannot scrub it off.  Build up ensues and accuracy goes down the drain.  
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 3:38:22 PM EDT
[#4]
The better questions are

As already asked what is the crimp at?

Are you sure that you have FMJ's and not plated bullets?  Overcrimping plated bullets especially with a Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Die can strip the plating.

Leading usually occurs because the bullet do not properly seal (obdurate)  the bore and gas escapes down the side of the bullet.  Never in my life I have I seen leading
from exposed base FMJ's and I know they were FMJ's from Hornady, Winchester, and other quality bullets.

I have shot plenty of TG over the years  Behind FMJ and plated bullets from Rainer.
No leading issues!
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 3:41:25 PM EDT
[#5]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I am surprised the leading does not happen all the time with exposed lead bases on FMJ bullets.  How does it NOT happen?  It happens with cast lead bullets all the time.

Does each bullet scrub the lead from the bullet before it?  

Does the lead stay in vapor form and exit the bore (unlikely due to condensation onto cool barrel surfaces)?  

I know that's no answer but I will follow the thread to find out what you guys come up with.
View Quote
148 HBWC for Bullseye used to leave lead on the outside of the gun after a match.

Even more when you are practicing for most of an afternoon.

Even the .45 ACP 200 SWC did the same thing.

At least some tiny amount of lead is vaporized off the bullet base since the surface is not polished perfectly smooth.

That means at some level it is 'rough' and the tiny peaks are not going to stand up to 3,000F to 4,000 F powder gases.
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 3:42:04 PM EDT
[#6]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I am surprised the leading does not happen all the time with exposed lead bases on FMJ bullets.  How does it NOT happen?  It happens with cast lead bullets all the time.

Does each bullet scrub the lead from the bullet before it?  

Does the lead stay in vapor form and exit the bore (unlikely due to condensation onto cool barrel surfaces)?  

I know that's no answer but I will follow the thread to find out what you guys come up with.


My wild assed guess (hypothesis) - the bullets are too small for the bore.  This allows vaporized lead (from the exposed base) to push in front of the bullet, cool and condense onto the bore.  The sub-sized bullet cannot scrub it off.  Build up ensues and accuracy goes down the drain.  
View Quote
If you crimp hard enough you can reduce the bullet size.
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 3:45:03 PM EDT
[#7]
I noticed the bullets are sized to 0.355".  SAAMI spec is 0.3525" to 0.3555".    Could this slight under-sizing could be a contributing factor.  

Have you slugged your bore?  What was the groove diameter?

I remember overhearing a discussion between two 9mm shooters regarding selecting the proper bullet size for their barrels.  Apparently, not all barrels "like" the same size.  

Have you measured the diameter of the bullets you have on hand?
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 7:40:19 PM EDT
[#8]
I checked a seated bullet as well as a new bullet both came out to .355.

Meaured a loaded round at the case mouth and got .377 and there is no mark on the bullet.

I have never slugged my barrel but used to cast and size to .358 to minimize leading in both of my XDs.  I still got some leasing even with PC bullets but it wasn't that bad.

I might have to try a box of factory ammo and see how it shoots.  This gun has seen about 10k but all reloads.  My other XD (4") I don't recall any issues with factory ammo.
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 8:59:30 PM EDT
[#9]
1.115" is a bit short with 124gr FMJ bullets IMHO.  Most factory 124gr ammo I've measured is around 1.150"-1.155".  Just a thought. Probably not the problem. Titegroup is said to burn hot.
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 9:42:53 PM EDT
[#10]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
1.115" is a bit short with 124gr FMJ bullets IMHO.  Most factory 124gr ammo I've measured is around 1.150"-1.155".  Just a thought. Probably not the problem. Titegroup is said to burn hot.
View Quote
I will try some longer loads should be able to test in next week or so plus the 147gr Xtremes.
Link Posted: 6/26/2017 10:53:28 PM EDT
[#11]
Link Posted: 6/27/2017 4:01:38 AM EDT
[#12]
Exposed lead base jacketed bullets do not leave any lead in the bore because the lead never gets hot enough to melt. They may get some pressure cutting after leaving the barrel but not before.

Cast bullets, when everything is correct, will leave trace leading but it's not because the base is melting however bases do get cut on exit.

Real lead fouling with cast bullets is caused by hot gases leaking around the bullet while in the bore.

For a FMJ to cause lead fouling there has to be some type of jacket failure occurring.

A FMJ should never lead foul a bore.

Motor
Link Posted: 6/27/2017 10:38:25 AM EDT
[#13]
I have used several thousand of 115 and 124 gr exposed base FMJ's in match settings.  The production gun at the time was a 4" XD, using near max charge of Titegroup in both bullet weights.  Extensive lead fouling occurred in the form of a fouling everywhere, primarily in the bore.  Cast bullets were not used, but I noted the diameter of the jacketed stuff was just .355, with the bore at just .356.

Two things presented here, T.G. is a hot burning powder, the soft lead exposed at the bullet base was  indeed leaving behind a residue that built up after a few hundred rounds.  Bullets recovered from a sand berm displayed no evidence of jacket failure.  Other fast powders were tested, but I settled on 231 and WAP(Silhouette).   The slower powders seemed to reduce the fouling, both of these Winchester products having flash much less than T.G.  

Slug your bore, try another powder.  Recover several bullets to examine jacket integrity.  The bullet jacket sounds like the possible culprit....or the bore fouling is...   My examples above were stunning in their overall on target performance, just fouling issues.
Link Posted: 6/27/2017 1:26:47 PM EDT
[#14]
I agree with the recommendation to use W231.  Really, why bother with anything else.  <-- that's my conclusion after trying many others.
Link Posted: 6/27/2017 2:25:31 PM EDT
[#15]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I agree with the recommendation to use W231.  Really, why bother with anything else.  <-- that's my conclusion after trying many others.
View Quote
That would be an option if I didn't have 14lbs of Titegroup and only reload 9mm for competition and practice.

I am hoping the longer OAL or the Xtreme's do the trick.
Link Posted: 6/27/2017 2:50:40 PM EDT
[#16]
Sounds to me like you should slug your barrel.  Pay special attention for places along the bore where the constriction loosens.
Link Posted: 6/27/2017 2:54:41 PM EDT
[#17]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
That would be an option if I didn't have 14lbs of Titegroup and only reload 9mm for competition and practice.

I am hoping the longer OAL or the Xtreme's do the trick.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
I agree with the recommendation to use W231.  Really, why bother with anything else.  <-- that's my conclusion after trying many others.
That would be an option if I didn't have 14lbs of Titegroup and only reload 9mm for competition and practice.

I am hoping the longer OAL or the Xtreme's do the trick.
You are going to find TiteGroup is waaay too fast for a 147 gr projectile in a 9mm cartridge.  I am suffering this right now.  I have two boxes of bullets but the LGS has no WSF in stock.  There are a few others that will work but TiteGroup is completely outside the realm of good options for these heavy bullets.

W231 will work if you're careful but it, too, is too fast for the 147's.  The following powders are typical of what's best for 147's:

Alliant Unique
Hodgdon Universal
Alliant Power Pistol
Vihtavuori N330
Alliant Herco
Winchester WSF
Winchester WAP
Vihtavuori N340
IMR Hi-Skor 800-X
IMR SR-4756


ETA - I checked the Hornady web site for 147's.  They do show TiteGroup on the list of powders but it is oddly way out of family with respect to burn rates.
Link Posted: 6/27/2017 3:54:48 PM EDT
[#18]
Trollslayer

I guess I will see when I get them, however if I walked up to half the people who reload at the matches I go to it would be some sort of 147gr under a load of TG.

Seems like the go to load around here, however I have always went with lighter bullets for the cost savings but figured I'd give it a shot.
Link Posted: 6/27/2017 6:00:03 PM EDT
[#19]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Trollslayer

I guess I will see when I get them, however if I walked up to half the people who reload at the matches I go to it would be some sort of 147gr under a load of TG.

Seems like the go to load around here, however I have always went with lighter bullets for the cost savings but figured I'd give it a shot.
View Quote
Okay, that's good to know and encouraging for my own efforts to use 147's.

I like heavier bullets, especially for falling plates, pepper poppers, etc where you have to hit it hard to get it to go down.
Link Posted: 6/30/2017 9:18:34 PM EDT
[#20]
Slugging your pistol barrel's bore shouldn't be too hard to do.  I've used Water Gremlin slip sinkers (bullet sinkers) to slug pistol barrels - they're soft lead so they are easy to use.  You'll probably need the #3 or #4 size.  

Support the barrel muzzle down, drop the sinker into the chamber then use a dowel to tap it through the barrel.  Measure both groove and land diameter directly from the sinker, though groove diameter is the key here.  That makes it fairly simple to measure with a caliper, but a micrometer would be more precise.
Link Posted: 7/17/2017 11:29:01 AM EDT
[#21]
UPDATE

I've been really busy lately so I haven't had time to hit the range.

I loaded up 300 more of these rounds with the OAL now 1.15" and 4.2gr of TG and decide to just give it a shot as I needed ammo for a match.

Still a leading mess, I noticed a little less tumbling but I was still having tumbling issues.  At yesterdays USPSA match I had to pull my barrel after every 2 stages and scrub like hell to get the majority of the leading out (around 60 rounds).

Only thing I can think of it's just the bullets not liking TG, I have 500 147gr Xtremes I need to get some samples loaded up of soon.
Link Posted: 7/17/2017 12:03:59 PM EDT
[#22]
There is more to this than the OP is telling us?

I have shot a bunch of 8# jugs of TG in 45 ACP shooting FMJ 230gr, 200gr LWSC, 185gr LWSC, Berry's 185gr HBRN, 200gr Gold Dots
Guess what no leading.....
Grant TG is hot burning powder and scorches the cases.
I have used it in a bunch of 115gr FMJ Hornady not leading............................................

A gunsmith explained a few things from his experiences with guns

#1 if a bullet (Lead or swaged lead) is not matched to the barrel size wise, it will lead as gas escapes down the bbl through the path of least resistance....  Ideally the bullet should fully "Obturate" the bore providing a good seal or a gas check properly affixed with do the job.  This is why swaged 38 HBWC are very accruate as the base obturates (seals) the base of bullet from the gas going into the hollow base.
# 2 if leading occurs shooting more bullets just layers in on top of layers...much like if you shot moly coated then naked bullets without removing the moly first.
#3 some reloaders (imagine creatively) that a jacketed bullet (like a mini transformer expands and creates scraping of lead built up in the bore) magically removes leading by shooting through the barrel....
think about the how does that happen...NOT   As he put it... it is just like when you have plaque built up in your coronary arteries....either a stent is placed to keep the vessel open or an atherectomy is done...the guy had 4 vessel bypass done.  It needs to be physically removed...everyone has their own ideas....his was copper pot scrubber material wrapped around a used bore brush after letting kroil soak in the bore.....
Link Posted: 7/17/2017 4:53:43 PM EDT
[#23]
Switch to Blue Bullets maybe, they are accurate and don't foul.
Link Posted: 7/17/2017 5:17:24 PM EDT
[#24]
I use Autocomp with the 147gr Xtremes.  I can tell you that 231 is not a good powder for the 147.  
Link Posted: 7/17/2017 5:17:44 PM EDT
[#25]
Titegroup is not just "hot."  

It is the hottest.  A Frontsight article years back mentioned TG has the current HIGHEST percentage of Nitro of any current double base powder.  TG is 37% nitro.

(In contrast, all Vihta Vouri pistol powder contains 0% nitro; they are all single base.

That high of a nitro content is obviously melting lead right off the base of the bullets.
Link Posted: 7/17/2017 8:39:15 PM EDT
[#26]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Titegroup is not just "hot."  

It is the hottest.  A Frontsight article years back mentioned TG has the current HIGHEST percentage of Nitro of any current double base powder.  TG is 37% nitro.

(In contrast, all Vihta Vouri pistol powder contains 0% nitro; they are all single base.

That high of a nitro content is obviously melting lead right off the base of the bullets.
View Quote
Maybe someone can recover some bullets and we can see
Link Posted: 7/17/2017 10:16:43 PM EDT
[#27]
I used TG with exposed base FMJ's for several years in competition.  The lead vapor settled on everything, barrel and all inner workings.  With that powder this is what you get, go plated, coated or full coverage bullets.    TG is one of the most widely used in the gun games.   I would also slug your bore, I found in a 1st gen XD that the .355 pills were just over .001 too small for that barrel.  The barrel slugged at .356.5.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 8:34:10 PM EDT
[#28]
Update

I have been extremely busy but I finally got out to test the 147gr Xtremes.

Well....not much better.  I had no leading what soever but tumble city.  Target distance was about 10 yards.





I verified it was not the targets by shooting some 147gr loads from a local company I got as a freebie.  All 10 rounds of that I shot made nice clean holes.


I tried various loads from 3.2 to 3.5gr of TG at 1.138 OAL with a crimp diamter of .379.  Pulled bullets show no marks.


So I have ruled out it being the gun or the targets...it's obviously something I am doing.  I am frigging stumped.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 9:45:57 PM EDT
[#29]
I have no idea, the only thing I can think of is a crimp issue or something else!
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 9:50:22 PM EDT
[#30]
I still have several pounds of Unique.  Going to see if it's possibly a powder issue.  Hopefully I can get my Dillon measure to throw it okay.

Maybe my gun just doesn't like Titegroup even though those factory loads were loaded with TG I just found out.

If those end up working I will have to trade off my full jug of TG.  Still have like 13 pounds of it though...
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 9:53:42 PM EDT
[#31]
I can't imagine how the powder could be the culprit.
Link Posted: 8/17/2017 10:32:58 PM EDT
[#32]
Have you measured the 147 bullets before loading and then after you pulled them?

For the best results, you can number the bullets with a sharpie and know how much each bullet changed, if any.

One idea I have is that your bullets are undersized and not fully engaging the rifling in the barrel.  Perhaps even compare your reloaded bullets to the factory ammo.
Link Posted: 8/18/2017 2:31:42 AM EDT
[#33]
Unless the factory ammo was loaded with the same bullets I don't see a fair comparison.

It never hurts to do measurements but maybe your gun just don't like the 147gr Xtreams.

I just thought of something:

Do whatever you can to recover some of the bullets that keyholed. Inspect them closely to see if they have clean rifling marks. This will at least tell you if the are behaving in the bore.

Motor
Link Posted: 8/18/2017 7:03:36 AM EDT
[#34]
You have 3 different issues going on at the same time.

bbl
die set
measuring equipment

Using the correct tool to measure with and verify the tool is calibrated is the place to start. Garbage in/garbage out. Without accurate measurements everything else is meaningless.

Don't mean to sound insulting, just trying to verify what you are measuring with and how accurate those measurements are. Sounds like you've had a problem for awhile now with your 9mm reloads seeing how you had leading with .358" coated bullets. Switching to jacketed/plated bullets only showed you you still have the same issues as before.
Link Posted: 8/18/2017 9:26:21 AM EDT
[#35]
No offense taken to any critquies here.  I just want to get this resolved.

I have been reloading for about 5 years and the past year 9mm has been giving me fits.  Nothing press wise has changed other than minor die adjustments.

I did notice a few rounds I pulled last night after my post I found a few that in a few places on the bullet were down to .354

No marks in the bullet but closer to the base was a little smaller.

I unscrewed my sizing die a bit, case still plunked into barrel and a seated bullet appeared to not get swaged down at all.

I'm wondering if I have been sizing my cases down too much?

It was getting late so I called it quits but will try it again tonight or in the morning.

Thanks for everyone's suggestions.
Link Posted: 8/18/2017 9:31:10 AM EDT
[#36]
In case I missed it, have you tried this problem ammo out of a different gun?
Link Posted: 8/18/2017 9:55:22 AM EDT
[#37]
Seen a couple mentions of TG being too hot in this thread?

Its not.  Ive shot 10s of thousands of 147gr HiTek coated, plated, and jacketed bullets behind anywhere from 2.9 to 3.5gr of TiteGroup and have NEVER had an issue other than TG making a mess of my gun because its kind of dirty.  These bullets are being shot from Glocks, Smiths, Springfields, and a couple of AR9s.

Why do I use TG for heavy 147s?  Because the recoil impulse is lower than anything else.  There are a few other powders with similar burn rates out there that work well, but TG is cheap and easy to get.  The recoil impulse for a 147gr HiTek coated and 3.1gr of TG is so low the brass just dribbles out the side of my M&P Pro 5" and if you are limp wristing you can actually cause a FTE/FTF.

At the OP.  The only thing I can say is try shooting this load in another pistol.  It doesnt sound like you are over crimping, because thats the first thing I check when I see weird accuracy issues when using a FCD.  My FCD is just barely crimping, and Im a firm believer that under crimping 9mm is better than over crimping.  I shoot mostly HiTek coated, so I really pay attention so that Im not over crimping.  How is the accuracy with factory ammo?  Im almost thinking the same thing as a few other guys here, the bullets are just too small for the bore on your gun.  Lots of weird crap going on here.

Edit:  Im assuming you are using the Lee expander.  Are you over expanding the case?  Im a huge proponent of the Lyman M-die, as it makes it very hard to over expand the case mouth, and it does help get the bullet get seated straight.  Might be worth your while to pick one up.  I use one in every caliber I load.  Just makes life easier.
Link Posted: 8/18/2017 10:49:13 AM EDT
[#38]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
No offense taken to any critquies here.  I just want to get this resolved.

I have been reloading for about 5 years and the past year 9mm has been giving me fits.  Nothing press wise has changed other than minor die adjustments.

I did notice a few rounds I pulled last night after my post I found a few that in a few places on the bullet were down to .354

No marks in the bullet but closer to the base was a little smaller.

I unscrewed my sizing die a bit, case still plunked into barrel and a seated bullet appeared to not get swaged down at all.

I'm wondering if I have been sizing my cases down too much?

It was getting late so I called it quits but will try it again tonight or in the morning.

Thanks for everyone's suggestions.
View Quote
I know you said earlier you hadn't slugged your barrel.  Have you since that post?
Link Posted: 8/18/2017 12:05:37 PM EDT
[#39]
While I use TiteGroup in 40s&w and 45acp, I only use it with plated bullets and low to medium charges.  TG and lead is a bad idea because of the high nitro content.  Scorching the cases ain't the only thing bad about TG.
Link Posted: 8/18/2017 3:33:39 PM EDT
[#40]
Tumbling Xtreme plated bullets... CRIMP.
You have changed from jacketed to plated bullets. You will most likely need to lighten your crimp with the Xtremes. I have seen this issue first hand.

As for your leading... not a clue. I have shot a ton of jacketed, plated, and coated 124 9mm in various guns over moderate loads of TG (129ish PF) and never had a leading issue. I think others are right and it is a problem with barrel size and bullet size.
Link Posted: 8/18/2017 7:37:16 PM EDT
[#41]
I'm glad you have trust your measuring tools. Everything you do rely's on the data you get from them.

This will probably be a little long winded, but I'll tell you what I do when reloading semi-auto pistols. Might help, might not.

I get a new/new to me pistol, 1st thing I do is run a box of factory ammo thru it testing for function, makes noise when I hit the loud button, etc. I save the brass not only to reload, but to inspect/measure also. I measure the fired cases at the top/crimp area and at the web area of the lower part of the case. I then take those cases and size them in the sizing die and re-measure to see the difference between the fire formed case/chamber of my bbl and the sizing die. I adjust the sizing die up or down as needed. I don't want to see extreme downsizing of the brass when I re-size it. I try to target 2/1000th's smaller for re-sizing compared to the fire formed case. Adjust the sizing die, size a case and measure it, then do a plunk test with the sized case. It should fall in and out of the bbl's chamber freely but it shouldn't rattle around.

Yes  you don't need a bullet in the case to do a plunk test. While you're at it you should try different crimps (2/1000th's, 3/1000th's, 5/1000th's) and plunk test the case again (no bullet just sized then crimped. You'd be amazed at how much crimp you can put on a case mouth and it will still headspace correctly.

After I make sure I'm not sizing the cases too small I move on to the expander die. The most important thing with the expander die is to choose the correct bullet for the expander ball that's in your die. Typical factory expanders are designed for jacketed bullet. Typical jacketed 9mm bullets are .355" and short bodied compared to their cast/coated/plated counterparts. You will see the bottoms of the bullets being swaged down if the bullets are long bodied or oversized. Tumbling is an excellent indicator that the bullets are too small for the bbl. Leading is also another good indication of too small of a bullet. The bullet has to obturate  in the bbl. If the bullet does not expand to seal the bbl hot gases flame cut the bullets base and go around the base of the bullet and bad things happen. I've showed this image before, it's a factory lee 9mm expander next to a custom 9mm expander made for .358"/long bodied bullets.


A lyman (m-die) expander for the 9mm. Both bullets weigh the same but as you can see 1 seats deeper than the other.


Most reloaders want 3/1000th's difference in their cases after the expander die has been used on them. Meaning if you are using a .355" bullet you want the expander to flare the case mouth enough to have the .355" be able to be seated in the case and have the body of the case .352" to have 3/1000th's of neck tension. When using the correct expander for the bullet I'm reloading I have no problem using 2/1000th's or 3/1000th's neck tension. The big thing is not to swage any part of the bullet down because of the expander ball either being too small for the bullet diameter your using. Or too short the the long body of the bullet your using.

After you have the sizing die dialed in and the expander is dialed in and correct the easy part is seating the bullet. A simple plunk test will give you the oal. I like to seat in 1 stage and taper crimp in a separate stage. I also use a 3/1000th's taper crimp on every caliber I reload for. Never had a problem sizing a bullet down with a taper crimp die. Most taper crimp dies take around 1/4 turn after they contact the case mouth to adjust down to a 3/1000th's crimp. The dies are 7/8-14 thread which means 1/4 turn is = to 1/56th of an inch. Or the die is mechanically turned down 18/1000th's to get a 3/100th's crimp on the case mouth.

If I was a gambling man I'd say you are:
Oversizing your cases/too small
Using a factory expander like the 1 pictured above
You bll is oversized and has little or no throat in it

What does all that add up to?
You're sized case already too small and is sizing the bases of the bullets down. The expander isn't helping any and is basically doing nothing for either long bodied bullets or large diameter bullets so the bases of the bullets are still being sized down. The throat in your bbl is not actually throated, hence the short oal's which is causing to seat the bullets deeper than a throated bbl. Seating the bullets deeper is pushing the bullets further down into the undersized cases that the short undersized expander did nothing to help end the swaging. Add to that a hot powder that has an extremely high short start pressure and an oversized bbl. The end result is the bullets bases can't expand to seal the bbl and the extremely hot/high pressure of the tg is vaporizing the bullets bases and going up the sides of the bullet that didn't seal the bbl. The end result is leading/tumbling.

Factory rounds ='s good bullet bases that have not been swaged.
Reloads with several different bullets ='s not so good.

Take your time and start over, measure you fire formed cases and adjust you sizing die accordingly. Get a good aftermarket expander. Get everything adjusted correctly and then burn up those kegs of tg you have laying around.

Something to think about:
A picture of some bullets I cast/coat/reload for the 9mm. If you look at the picture you will see no bullet buldge in the cases from the bullets (correct expander for the long bodied oversized bullets). You will also see a shiny ring around the case mouth's. That that 3/1000th's crimp that's 18/1000th's long.


A picture of the same bullet above, it's a lyman 35870 (1st sold in 1900 for the 38lc) that has a hollow base plug. The bullets are laying on a 50yd 10-shot test target.


Another test target, these test targets are not hand/cherry picked by any means. They a the actual targets used for testing loads, nothing more/noting less. A 10-shot group at 50ft with a 125gr hp bullet cast from a custom mold.


The red bullet is the lyman 35870 fn hb bullet. The green bullet is the 125gr hp from the custom mold. Both bullets are sized to .358". Both bullets have the same seating depth/plunk test, throat fit. But the red bullet is 1/10th of an inch longer than the green bullet.


Same firearm shot both groups.
Same sizing die
same expander
same seating die
same crimp die

Sorry for being long winded, hopefully something above helps go get to burning powder. The 9mm's are way too much fun not to enjoy them. I'm sure if you take your time and start over you get everything right and tight.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 2:03:11 PM EDT
[#42]
Update

I reset all of my dies and got things set back up again on my 650 (Lee dies with taper crimp) and a Mr Bullet Feeder powder funnel in my Dillon powder measure.  Press is running much smoother now as an added benefit.

I definitely think I was over sizing my cases in in resizing station.  I backed the die out a considerable amount and was still able to plunk tests cases and spin them.

I hit the range earlier this morning and even though I tried my best tumble city in the XD Tactical.  Same rounds out of my 4" XD and Kahr CM9 shot beautifully with pretty good accuracy, no leading, tumbling, etc.

I'm starting to think my barrel is severely over-sized.  I had huge ranges velocity spreads (some as high as 60fps in a 5 shot string and I was religious about checking powder charges in the workups).  Spreads in the 4" XD were 20fps at most.  Thinking some rounds were sealing better than others based on those particular rounds being slightly larger.

The old 9mm FMJ's I was having issue with in the Tactical also shot well in the other 2 guns (however I did experience a little bit of lead fouling but not nearly as bad).


I might screw around with this a little more but I might just have to drop the $150-200 on an aftermarket barrel.


Loads that shot the best were 147gr Xtreme, 1.140" OAL, .379 crimp and 3.3 and 3.4gr of TG.  I ensured on multiple rounds that I wasn't swaging them down at all and little to no visible marks on the pulled bullets.  The 3.4gr was about 128.5 PF out of the 4" XD.
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 10:50:58 AM EDT
[#43]
Over sizing or over crimping?
I am not sure how I could over size a piece of 9mm brass.
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 11:15:21 AM EDT
[#44]
OP,
Do you have a muzzle break or ported brl?
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 1:35:16 PM EDT
[#45]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
OP,
Do you have a muzzle break or ported brl?
View Quote
No stock 5" barrel non ported.


Why I was thinking I was over sizing the brass was I was able to turn the die out 2 full turns and the brass still plunked fine.

Crimp is at .379 to .3795 and the bullets mic at .356 to .3565.  No marks on pulled bullets from crimp and they still mic okay as well.
Link Posted: 8/21/2017 3:04:06 PM EDT
[#46]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Exposed lead base jacketed bullets do not leave any lead in the bore because the lead never gets hot enough to melt.
View Quote
The 2,000 F to 3,500F of the powder hases will vaporize any lead that is not perfectly smooth.

I have a Python that needs to be re-blued after years of Bullseye shooting.

You can feel the slight roughness from the vaporized lead all over the cylinder.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 3:19:30 PM EDT
[#47]
I just placed an order for 500 .357 147gr Xtremes going to see if that helps at all in the Tactical.

I do have 2 slugging lead bullets somewhere I need to locate, once I do I will slug it and get a micrometer so I can properly measure instead of my cheapo Harbor Freight calipers.
Link Posted: 9/10/2017 5:37:18 PM EDT
[#48]
Another update.  Loaded up the 357 Xtremes and had the same result in the tactical.

The 4" service shot them really well evn out to 25 yards so I have given up on the tactical stock barrel.  Something is up with it.  I did drop it several months ago but could not see any damage to it.

I just placed and order for a Storm Lake threaded barrel and should have it Wednesday.  Hope to hit range Thursday with it.
Link Posted: 9/10/2017 5:56:10 PM EDT
[#49]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I'm glad you have trust your measuring tools. Everything you do rely's on the data you get from them.

This will probably be a little long winded, but I'll tell you what I do when reloading semi-auto pistols. Might help, might not.

I get a new/new to me pistol, 1st thing I do is run a box of factory ammo thru it testing for function, makes noise when I hit the loud button, etc. I save the brass not only to reload, but to inspect/measure also. I measure the fired cases at the top/crimp area and at the web area of the lower part of the case. I then take those cases and size them in the sizing die and re-measure to see the difference between the fire formed case/chamber of my bbl and the sizing die. I adjust the sizing die up or down as needed. I don't want to see extreme downsizing of the brass when I re-size it. I try to target 2/1000th's smaller for re-sizing compared to the fire formed case. Adjust the sizing die, size a case and measure it, then do a plunk test with the sized case. It should fall in and out of the bbl's chamber freely but it shouldn't rattle around.

Yes  you don't need a bullet in the case to do a plunk test. While you're at it you should try different crimps (2/1000th's, 3/1000th's, 5/1000th's) and plunk test the case again (no bullet just sized then crimped. You'd be amazed at how much crimp you can put on a case mouth and it will still headspace correctly.

After I make sure I'm not sizing the cases too small I move on to the expander die. The most important thing with the expander die is to choose the correct bullet for the expander ball that's in your die. Typical factory expanders are designed for jacketed bullet. Typical jacketed 9mm bullets are .355" and short bodied compared to their cast/coated/plated counterparts. You will see the bottoms of the bullets being swaged down if the bullets are long bodied or oversized. Tumbling is an excellent indicator that the bullets are too small for the bbl. Leading is also another good indication of too small of a bullet. The bullet has to obturate  in the bbl. If the bullet does not expand to seal the bbl hot gases flame cut the bullets base and go around the base of the bullet and bad things happen. I've showed this image before, it's a factory lee 9mm expander next to a custom 9mm expander made for .358"/long bodied bullets.
http://i.imgur.com/FRwVBdq.jpg

A lyman (m-die) expander for the 9mm. Both bullets weigh the same but as you can see 1 seats deeper than the other.
http://i.imgur.com/arq5Wpx.jpg

Most reloaders want 3/1000th's difference in their cases after the expander die has been used on them. Meaning if you are using a .355" bullet you want the expander to flare the case mouth enough to have the .355" be able to be seated in the case and have the body of the case .352" to have 3/1000th's of neck tension. When using the correct expander for the bullet I'm reloading I have no problem using 2/1000th's or 3/1000th's neck tension. The big thing is not to swage any part of the bullet down because of the expander ball either being too small for the bullet diameter your using. Or too short the the long body of the bullet your using.

After you have the sizing die dialed in and the expander is dialed in and correct the easy part is seating the bullet. A simple plunk test will give you the oal. I like to seat in 1 stage and taper crimp in a separate stage. I also use a 3/1000th's taper crimp on every caliber I reload for. Never had a problem sizing a bullet down with a taper crimp die. Most taper crimp dies take around 1/4 turn after they contact the case mouth to adjust down to a 3/1000th's crimp. The dies are 7/8-14 thread which means 1/4 turn is = to 1/56th of an inch. Or the die is mechanically turned down 18/1000th's to get a 3/100th's crimp on the case mouth.

If I was a gambling man I'd say you are:
Oversizing your cases/too small
Using a factory expander like the 1 pictured above
You bll is oversized and has little or no throat in it

What does all that add up to?
You're sized case already too small and is sizing the bases of the bullets down. The expander isn't helping any and is basically doing nothing for either long bodied bullets or large diameter bullets so the bases of the bullets are still being sized down. The throat in your bbl is not actually throated, hence the short oal's which is causing to seat the bullets deeper than a throated bbl. Seating the bullets deeper is pushing the bullets further down into the undersized cases that the short undersized expander did nothing to help end the swaging. Add to that a hot powder that has an extremely high short start pressure and an oversized bbl. The end result is the bullets bases can't expand to seal the bbl and the extremely hot/high pressure of the tg is vaporizing the bullets bases and going up the sides of the bullet that didn't seal the bbl. The end result is leading/tumbling.

Factory rounds ='s good bullet bases that have not been swaged.
Reloads with several different bullets ='s not so good.

Take your time and start over, measure you fire formed cases and adjust you sizing die accordingly. Get a good aftermarket expander. Get everything adjusted correctly and then burn up those kegs of tg you have laying around.

Something to think about:
A picture of some bullets I cast/coat/reload for the 9mm. If you look at the picture you will see no bullet buldge in the cases from the bullets (correct expander for the long bodied oversized bullets). You will also see a shiny ring around the case mouth's. That that 3/1000th's crimp that's 18/1000th's long.
http://i.imgur.com/7tQdnZn.jpg

A picture of the same bullet above, it's a lyman 35870 (1st sold in 1900 for the 38lc) that has a hollow base plug. The bullets are laying on a 50yd 10-shot test target.
http://i.imgur.com/yRoLzs2.jpg

Another test target, these test targets are not hand/cherry picked by any means. They a the actual targets used for testing loads, nothing more/noting less. A 10-shot group at 50ft with a 125gr hp bullet cast from a custom mold.
http://i.imgur.com/Zi6ljnv.jpg

The red bullet is the lyman 35870 fn hb bullet. The green bullet is the 125gr hp from the custom mold. Both bullets are sized to .358". Both bullets have the same seating depth/plunk test, throat fit. But the red bullet is 1/10th of an inch longer than the green bullet.
http://i.imgur.com/8DH6L77.jpg

Same firearm shot both groups.
Same sizing die
same expander
same seating die
same crimp die

Sorry for being long winded, hopefully something above helps go get to burning powder. The 9mm's are way too much fun not to enjoy them. I'm sure if you take your time and start over you get everything right and tight.
View Quote
Wow nice post!
I IM'd you with a couple questions
Link Posted: 9/11/2017 11:22:28 AM EDT
[#50]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Wow nice post!
I IM'd you with a couple questions
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
I'm glad you have trust your measuring tools. Everything you do rely's on the data you get from them.

This will probably be a little long winded, but I'll tell you what I do when reloading semi-auto pistols. Might help, might not.

I get a new/new to me pistol, 1st thing I do is run a box of factory ammo thru it testing for function, makes noise when I hit the loud button, etc. I save the brass not only to reload, but to inspect/measure also. I measure the fired cases at the top/crimp area and at the web area of the lower part of the case. I then take those cases and size them in the sizing die and re-measure to see the difference between the fire formed case/chamber of my bbl and the sizing die. I adjust the sizing die up or down as needed. I don't want to see extreme downsizing of the brass when I re-size it. I try to target 2/1000th's smaller for re-sizing compared to the fire formed case. Adjust the sizing die, size a case and measure it, then do a plunk test with the sized case. It should fall in and out of the bbl's chamber freely but it shouldn't rattle around.

Yes  you don't need a bullet in the case to do a plunk test. While you're at it you should try different crimps (2/1000th's, 3/1000th's, 5/1000th's) and plunk test the case again (no bullet just sized then crimped. You'd be amazed at how much crimp you can put on a case mouth and it will still headspace correctly.

After I make sure I'm not sizing the cases too small I move on to the expander die. The most important thing with the expander die is to choose the correct bullet for the expander ball that's in your die. Typical factory expanders are designed for jacketed bullet. Typical jacketed 9mm bullets are .355" and short bodied compared to their cast/coated/plated counterparts. You will see the bottoms of the bullets being swaged down if the bullets are long bodied or oversized. Tumbling is an excellent indicator that the bullets are too small for the bbl. Leading is also another good indication of too small of a bullet. The bullet has to obturate  in the bbl. If the bullet does not expand to seal the bbl hot gases flame cut the bullets base and go around the base of the bullet and bad things happen. I've showed this image before, it's a factory lee 9mm expander next to a custom 9mm expander made for .358"/long bodied bullets.
http://i.imgur.com/FRwVBdq.jpg

A lyman (m-die) expander for the 9mm. Both bullets weigh the same but as you can see 1 seats deeper than the other.
http://i.imgur.com/arq5Wpx.jpg

Most reloaders want 3/1000th's difference in their cases after the expander die has been used on them. Meaning if you are using a .355" bullet you want the expander to flare the case mouth enough to have the .355" be able to be seated in the case and have the body of the case .352" to have 3/1000th's of neck tension. When using the correct expander for the bullet I'm reloading I have no problem using 2/1000th's or 3/1000th's neck tension. The big thing is not to swage any part of the bullet down because of the expander ball either being too small for the bullet diameter your using. Or too short the the long body of the bullet your using.

After you have the sizing die dialed in and the expander is dialed in and correct the easy part is seating the bullet. A simple plunk test will give you the oal. I like to seat in 1 stage and taper crimp in a separate stage. I also use a 3/1000th's taper crimp on every caliber I reload for. Never had a problem sizing a bullet down with a taper crimp die. Most taper crimp dies take around 1/4 turn after they contact the case mouth to adjust down to a 3/1000th's crimp. The dies are 7/8-14 thread which means 1/4 turn is = to 1/56th of an inch. Or the die is mechanically turned down 18/1000th's to get a 3/100th's crimp on the case mouth.

If I was a gambling man I'd say you are:
Oversizing your cases/too small
Using a factory expander like the 1 pictured above
You bll is oversized and has little or no throat in it

What does all that add up to?
You're sized case already too small and is sizing the bases of the bullets down. The expander isn't helping any and is basically doing nothing for either long bodied bullets or large diameter bullets so the bases of the bullets are still being sized down. The throat in your bbl is not actually throated, hence the short oal's which is causing to seat the bullets deeper than a throated bbl. Seating the bullets deeper is pushing the bullets further down into the undersized cases that the short undersized expander did nothing to help end the swaging. Add to that a hot powder that has an extremely high short start pressure and an oversized bbl. The end result is the bullets bases can't expand to seal the bbl and the extremely hot/high pressure of the tg is vaporizing the bullets bases and going up the sides of the bullet that didn't seal the bbl. The end result is leading/tumbling.

Factory rounds ='s good bullet bases that have not been swaged.
Reloads with several different bullets ='s not so good.

Take your time and start over, measure you fire formed cases and adjust you sizing die accordingly. Get a good aftermarket expander. Get everything adjusted correctly and then burn up those kegs of tg you have laying around.

Something to think about:
A picture of some bullets I cast/coat/reload for the 9mm. If you look at the picture you will see no bullet buldge in the cases from the bullets (correct expander for the long bodied oversized bullets). You will also see a shiny ring around the case mouth's. That that 3/1000th's crimp that's 18/1000th's long.
http://i.imgur.com/7tQdnZn.jpg

A picture of the same bullet above, it's a lyman 35870 (1st sold in 1900 for the 38lc) that has a hollow base plug. The bullets are laying on a 50yd 10-shot test target.
http://i.imgur.com/yRoLzs2.jpg

Another test target, these test targets are not hand/cherry picked by any means. They a the actual targets used for testing loads, nothing more/noting less. A 10-shot group at 50ft with a 125gr hp bullet cast from a custom mold.
http://i.imgur.com/Zi6ljnv.jpg

The red bullet is the lyman 35870 fn hb bullet. The green bullet is the 125gr hp from the custom mold. Both bullets are sized to .358". Both bullets have the same seating depth/plunk test, throat fit. But the red bullet is 1/10th of an inch longer than the green bullet.
http://i.imgur.com/8DH6L77.jpg

Same firearm shot both groups.
Same sizing die
same expander
same seating die
same crimp die

Sorry for being long winded, hopefully something above helps go get to burning powder. The 9mm's are way too much fun not to enjoy them. I'm sure if you take your time and start over you get everything right and tight.
Wow nice post!
I IM'd you with a couple questions
Yep very well thought out!

@3221

Edited - I sent you an Email to not violate forum rules.
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