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First short run of 9mm reloaded, epic fail!!

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by davef, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. davef

    davef S.E. pdx Active Member

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    Hi there wise sages...

    So I just started reloading, got all the dies properly adjusted and triple checked them. All the brass is clean and good to go. Primers seated fine. Started to do a run and figured Id do 10 or so then check them out at the range. Well I got carried away and actually loaded 50 and took em to the range today. The bad news is it was one ftf after another. They all seemed to get hung up on the feed ramp. one after another

    So heres the technical data which I got from the bullet manufacturer. Im loading HSM fmj 115 grain bullets in 9mm. Im using titegroup powder and im loading them at the minimum of 3.9 grains of powder. Ive checked the charge on the scale and,despite the fact that its a Lyman scale that came with the kit I bought, the charges seem to hold at 3.9 or a sheeps hair under. the overall length is 1.135 or a touch over depending on the case. I checked the length agains a few different factory loads and it seems to fall right in the middle of all of them.

    So with my bit of inexperience Im feeling like a couple things could be potentially wrong. A. the powder charge is not high enough to properly cycle the slide, but the case is ejecting fine. B. Mabye Im a little shy on the taper crimp. C. The overall length is too long although I got the load data from the bullet manufacturer.

    So any help would be appreciated. In addition, if I use a bullet puller to get back to square 1 can I still reuse all the components?

    Thanks
     
  2. MilesTeg

    MilesTeg Troutdale, OR Active Member

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    ....
     
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  3. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

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    I bought a box of reloads from a gun show one time and they didn't have enough power to cycle my Glock 21. I used my bullet puller on a box and a half. Took some time but I reused the everything but the powder.
     
  4. davef

    davef S.E. pdx Active Member

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    The firearm is a FNX 9. I can manually run thru the mag by jacking the slide. I am using Lyman dies and I do just use the seater/crimper for seating because it is a roll and not a taper crimp. I have a lyman taper crimp. Ive been pretty light with the taper crimp because I didnt want to crimp it too hard and change the bullet shape. I did an experiment when I got home from the range today and tightened the crimp die more, I wanted to see what a drastic crimp would look like, not that I would ever want to use it like that, but all that did was loosen the bullet from the case.
     
  5. MilesTeg

    MilesTeg Troutdale, OR Active Member

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    Are you seeing a lot of unburnt powder residue in the barrrel? If it all works manually and ejects when fired but won't rechamber - then the only thing I can think of is it is short stroking the slide. That would be a result of low pressure and could either be not enough crimp or your charge is too low.

    What components and manual are using?
     
  6. davef

    davef S.E. pdx Active Member

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    Or mabye a combination of both? I was conservative with both because this was my first load. I didnt want to crimp too much because I read some people dont even taper crimp. I did use the minimum amount of powder cause I didnt want to blow my gun up. I didnt see any unusual amount of residue in the barrel, I just cleaned it last night. Mabye I should just grow some balls and at least use a median setting on the powder charge and a bit more crimp. I did notice a lot less recoil on my loads compared to the factory load.
     
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  7. MilesTeg

    MilesTeg Troutdale, OR Active Member

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    No problem with being cautious when first cutting your teeth on reloading. I would go with the mid range loads and see what happens. Even max published loads in the manuals are less than what your pistol can actually handle. Not saying you should load at max or beyond but they make up these loads for lowest common denominator and as to not push any liability limits.
     
  8. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    I usually tell folks to skip the starting loads and go to a bit over,and it sounds like it might be the case here...too little powder to cycle the slide.All semi autos are a gun unto themselves as to what they will cycle correctly.
    remember,the case lenght has nothing to do with oal,but CAN affect final fit in the chamber.The oal is the distance between the tip of the bullet and the base of the case.
    as to how tight to crimp,if I can push the round in by thumb prressure,it needs more crimp.It is some guesswork for sure.
    I j
     
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  9. davef

    davef S.E. pdx Active Member

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    Awesome gentlemen, thanks for the help.
     
  10. davef

    davef S.E. pdx Active Member

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    Success!!! wow just got back from the range after making some die tweaks and upping the powder charge. what a difference! Sure is a good feeling when it all works right. Im blown away by how accurate these loads are compared to the factory stuff Ive been shooting. Less recoil as well. Thanks for all the help folks, now down to the basement to make some more.
     
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  11. Silver02ex

    Silver02ex Hillsboro, OR Member

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    Little late to help but, 3.9 seems a little low. I use 4.6G of Titegroup with my 115 FMJ Montana Gold. So for there's never been a FTF of FTE.
     
  12. davef

    davef S.E. pdx Active Member

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    I obtained the load data from The Hunting Shack for HSM bullets (im assuming they are the manufacturer) with titegroup they list a min of 3.9 and a max of 4.3. I loaded 4.2 and tweaked the taper a bit and viola. How did you arrive at a figure of 4.6g? Im assuming you work your way up from a known starting point but when do you know enough is enough? Do you ever mess around with overall length in order to create more or less pressure?
     
  13. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW Northern Idaho Member

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    It may be helpful to pick up a case gage. It will tell you if the cartridge is within proper headspace. It has two indicators that let you know minimum and mazimum depths for the cartridges.

    Case Length Gage 9mm Luger
     
  14. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    I use a set of dial calipers to measure case length and OAL. I'm really picky about case length because the crimp die results will vary all over the place if the case lengths do. Also, as said, some guns head space on the case mouth.

    When I get a new batch of once-fired brass, I actually "measure" and adjust them by running them through my case length trimmer.

    $.02
     
  15. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    This is a lesson I had to learn when I first started reloading. I started for an AR-15, and back then there wasn't a lot of intelligence behind the data, and I started with IMR4198. Problem is, no one told me 4198 was too fast to cycle an AR, and the stupid manual never mentioned anything about loading for autos.

    You're definitely on the right track with titegroup, I used to be a big fan of clays, but I'm slowly changing all my loads over to TG, it's becoming my go-to powder for pistol ammo.
     
  16. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    Since you said you are new to reloading, and you asked for sage advice, here is some more: When working up a new load, never go to the range with just one set. If you wanted to start with 3.9gr, that's ok, but load 10ea, and then 10 with 4.5gr, and a few more up until you reach maximum load, even if you do not plan to eventually load to max. If something goes wrong, as it did this time, you can try another batch where you tweaked a variable (powder load) to see if there is a change. Might salvage an otherwise failed trip to the range.

    Shoot them all, collect the data. Record it for posterity in your reload notebook. You don't have one? Start one. Scribble down as much info as you can. Over time you will find out what works best for your shooting/reloading goals. Get a chrony of you don't have one and you plan to develop more loads, especially useful with rifle calibers. Once you get really serious about reloading, get Quickload s/w or similar.
     
  17. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    All really good advice. I'm anal about a chrony. I usually take mine to the range and I even have reloaders ask me what it is!

    I invite them to fire a couple of rounds through and it's amazing how many have loads that shoot beautifully and are very accurate at the range, but are way slow compared to book and factory loads. That of course means they lack power.

    I probably cause the purchase of more chrony's than anyone I know, LOL.
     
  18. davef

    davef S.E. pdx Active Member

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    Ive got a few questions regarding case length and trimming but I think ill start a new thread for it..
     
  19. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Your mention of "accuracy" and purchasing more chrony's than anyone you know gave me a big chuckle. I would suppose that by now you've realized that you are supposed to shoot OVER them not literally THROUGH them;)

    I use my chronograph a little different than perhaps most do. I first develop a load that shoots as accurate as possible in the rifle in question. Only after I have done all the "workups" involving 5 round groups and decide which is the "Best" do I bring out the chronograph. I then shoot at least 25 and sometimes as many as 50 rounds over the chrony. I do this so I am getting a large enough sample to see what the overall performance of the round will be. At this point I'm really only interested in the average speed so I have something to plug into my ballistic's calculator (Horus Vision Software in a wrist calculator). This allows me to "range" a target, consult the calculator which is programmed with BC, Bore Height, Temp, Wind Direction, Speed, Shooting Angle, Bullet Speed, and get the number of clicks I need to adjust for a dead on first shot at any range within the limits of my .308. If I estimate the wind correctly along the bullet path that is.

    Back on 9mm loads, I wouldn't worry too much about case length. First of all, 9mm cases don't "grow" all that much. While they "headspace" on the case mouth it's not all that critical in this caliber. When crimping this round one is only supposed to be pressing the case mouth back against the bullet, removing the "flare" or "bell" that was added in order to facilitate the placing of the bullet prior to seating.

    On other cases, specifically those straight walled cases used in revolvers or rifle rounds used in tubular magazines (ie: 30-30), a roll crimp is used. Uniformity of a roll crimp REQUIRES that case length be uniform unless you enjoy backing off the crimp die and adjusting on each round.

    Crimping is not a "One Size Fits All" process so learn about the differences in cases and "why" crimping is done.
     
  20. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    If you're talking about the wires, you shoot through them. There are two sensors, one toward each end of the top of the main body (box) of the chrony which take the readings. If you shoot over the wires, the top cross pieces (diffusers) will block the sensors from getting an accurate reading. :thumbup:

    Chrony Gamma Master - YouTube

    PS Since an ideal distance from the chrony is about ten feet, it's easy to shoot the chrony body with a scoped rifle. Don't ask me how I know. While it's ideal to shoot just a few inches over the chrony's body sensors, it's not ideal to shoot the chrony, LOL.