9mm advice needed - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Default 9mm advice needed

I cast and loaded up some Lee 124g tumble lube round nose bullets, in cases unsorted by head stamp, with 4.1 grains of Bullseye, to OAL varying between 1.12 -1.145. All bullets lubed with Lee Liquid Alox. The loads function fine, but give horrible accuracy, tumbling into target at 10 yards, and cause very bad leading. The BHN of the alloy is about 8. I am thinking I have done several things wrong. Too much powder is causing soft bullet to strip right over the rifling. Too soft of a bullet is causing bad leading. Varying OAL is not good, but should not cause bullet tumbling. Groups ran about 14 " at 10 yards. Factory FMJ loads shoot fine from the gun, a CZ 75BD. Any advice is appreciated.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 01:07 PM
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What hardness are they? WW air cooled should work fine. You can also water quench them if they have a little arsenic in them, like from WW's. Too soft not good for a 9.

What size? Try another powder? Belling your cases enough so no lead is shaved when seating?

My first hi power shot lead fine, round hammer spur. Later versions didn't like lead at all.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 30calflash View Post
What hardness are they? WW air cooled should work fine. You can also water quench them if they have a little arsenic in them, like from WW's. Too soft not good for a 9.

What size? Try another powder? Belling your cases enough so no lead is shaved when seating?

My first hi power shot lead fine, round hammer spur. Later versions didn't like lead at all.
They are BHN 8, which is pretty soft. they cast out at .357-.358, I use them as cast, no sizing. The cases are belled enough to prevent any shaving. My new alloy is about BHN 12- 13.5, which is close to WW's.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 04:40 PM
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That is harder than a swaged bullet. So not too soft. It is soft, but useable.

Id look at the bullets after you load them. Pull ine and measure. Im betting that they are small. So your case is reforming the bullet. A Lyman M die will qure this other makers have similar.


Are you crimping at all?

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 06:58 PM
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I shoot a lot of those bullets for plinking. I don't load them that hot generally in the mid 900's but under 1,000fps. 4.0gr W231, 4.3gr unique, 3.8gr green dot all with the same 1.160" COL. Been using primaV the past couple years as it meters better than the flake stuff. I haven't sized them in 25 years or so, and only use a standard 3 die set with the Lee powder through die and pro auto powder measure set up with the spring kit (I hate the pullchain version). I used to get used plumbers lead from a buddy for free and have shot some pretty soft bullets in 9, 38, 40, 44 and 45 by keeping the velocity down. be interesting to see what your pulled bullets measure.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwlongshot View Post
That is harder than a swaged bullet. So not too soft. It is soft, but useable.

Id look at the bullets after you load them. Pull ine and measure. Im betting that they are small. So your case is reforming the bullet. A Lyman M die will qure this other makers have similar.


Are you crimping at all?

CW
With my Lee Pro 1000 I crimp a little with the seating die. I then run all rounds thru the Factory Crimp Die.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Default Update:

I made some trial rounds and fired them today. I hardened up my alloy from BHN 8 to about BHN 13. I dropped my powder charge from 4.1 g of Bullseye to, 2.3 grains, 3.3 grains and 3.6 grains. Accuracy was splendid at 2.3 grains but the gun became a single shot gun, not enough oomph to work the action. 3.3 grains gave good accuracy, and functioned the gun, 3.6 grains gave less accuracy, and slight leading. I think I will harden the alloy even more to something like 16 or 18. I will pull some bullets and measure them, but I think they are OK at .357-.358.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 11:11 PM
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Try some without running it through the factory crimp die. The FCD can swage the bullet down slightly and cause the problems you are having which really sound like an undersized bullet issue.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-06-2019, 05:32 AM
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I agree with MM. stop crimping like that. Esp with these softies. Your swaging them down. You will see when ya pull them they will be under sized from your seated dia.

FCD can be a wonderful thing but more times than not with cast unless its a hard cast its a detriment to accuracy.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-06-2019, 09:16 AM
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+1 on the crimps. Dropping the charge a good idea with the bullet hardness you're using. 3.5 of bullseye was what I'd try before you listed some lower loads. If the 3.3 works and you're happy with it I'd say you're there. Keeping velocity lo for a softer alloy important for good results, unless you water quench or heat treat them. IMHO.

Some 9's have a fast twist that seems to require a harder bullet than you'd expect. I think it's good to think reduced magnum for load pressure and bullet hardness.

Some good reliable loads in 9 from the past were 158 gr RNL, for 38 special, using 3.0 grs bullseye or 3.5 grs Unique. They both functioned well with no leading in a Hi power.

Like everything YMMV.
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