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  • Safe to send?

     Steven updated 2 years, 7 months ago 2 Members · 2 Posts
  • Steven

    July 7, 2020 at 11:22 pm

    I’m new to reloading and have reloaded about 200 rounds of 9mm.
    I’m using 4 grains of hp38, and 124 grain hi-tek coated cast LRN.

    I did everything exactly to specs. The OAL was perfect at 1.125.

    Took them to the range and fired about 20 and then had a problem – a round didn’t chamber completely – the slide was locked in place with a live round *almost* closed. Couldn’t rack the slide, couldn’t get the round fully chambered. With some help I was able to get the round fully chambered so I could dissasemble the gun.

    The round was stuck in the chamber. I took it to a local gun store right down the street and after about 10 minutes of screwing around he got the cartridge out. He said he had no idea what happened, and hadn’t ever seen that problem.

    I went back into the garage and checked and the OAL was still right on, weighed remaining bullets and they were all uniform at 124 grains. Did the plunk test and – surprise surprise – they were ever so slightly proud of the barrel. They failed the plunk test. I’d checked to see that they fit and they’d fit easily enough that I didn’t notice how barely the rim of the cartridge protruded.

    So I adjusted the seating die until the remaining rounds passed the plunk test, but this took my OAL from 1.125 to 1.095.

    So. Is that reduction in the OAL enough to make these rounds unsafe? It’s at the low end of the range as far as a load goes – 3.9grn – 4.4 is what my book says and these are all right at 4.0.

    Am I being paranoid and over-cautious?

  • RuddyOpposition

    July 7, 2020 at 11:22 pm

    They failed the plunk test because the bullets were into the lands, or because the case needed a bit more crimp?

    I would have assumed you needed more crimp. Especially if the bullet manufacturer stated 1.125″ OAL.

    I would guess that you are okay to shoot those few rounds, but I would start over on the seating and crimp settings. Neck diameter should be .380.

    Grab one of these.

    Even with everything dialed in just right, I sometimes get rounds that don’t seat. If they fail the Lyman ammo checker, the bullet gets pulled. I’m not going to change my die settings because a few rounds out of hundreds are slightly out of spec.

  • PO4-No1

    July 7, 2020 at 11:22 pm

    Do you have multiple load manuals? In my mind, if you find load data with a short enough OAL, very similar bullet, and you are within their powder range, you are good to go.

    In terms of short OAL’s, you might want to ask on a CZ forum, as they are notorious for needing short OALs. Someone there has likely used your load before.

  • funkyanteater93

    July 7, 2020 at 11:22 pm

    Never trust a stranger on the internet, but here are my thoughts.

    I run a variety of coated 124s with 4-4.1 grains of HP38. When I run Blue Bullets they can go a bit longer, Brazos go shorter. At 1.10 COAL I cannot run them in my carry gun, but they run fine in everything else.

    Long story short I run 124 coated with HP38 at 4.1 grains loaded to 1.10.

    Should probably ladder up to your new depth though. Also be mindful that seating already crimped cartridges deeper can mar the coating.

  • 101stjetmech

    July 7, 2020 at 11:22 pm

    Neither. Caution is warranted but you’re still okay to shoot a few a d check for signs of high pressure. Shooting glasses and ears, pop 5 and check. IMHO.

    There’s always a risk, you’ve looked at you’re load level, know what reducing capacity does, and asked opinions from, hopefully, more experienced leaders. Just proceed with caution.

  • SorrowTheTiefling

    July 7, 2020 at 11:22 pm

    Full send with some glasses. Lee load data states 1.095 is the minimum OaL you wanna run with. And I’d be comfortable shooting those, just check for pressure signs.

    If you’re really concerned, you can ladder test a few charges

  • Blue_ech0

    July 7, 2020 at 11:22 pm

    Four words:

    Lee Factory Crimp Die

    I’ve never failed the plunk test using this baby.
    Bought some reloads from a reputable licensed reloading company, mainly for the brass. They didn’t do final crimp with this (or commercial equivalent) die. About every 5-8 rounds, I had to palm slam the slide into battery. Not a fun day. Ran the rest of the ammo through my FCD and the problem went away.

  • whiskeytango13

    July 7, 2020 at 11:22 pm

    I agree with ruddyopposition. Did you crimp? Personally i crimp every single round i reload, some people say it’s not necessary or that the bullet seater crimp is good enough, but at 2 decades of reloading i have learned to save myself some headache by just adding a crimp.

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