9mm sizing question

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by chris in va, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. chris in va

    chris in va

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    Here's what I've got going.

    358 125gr RNFP boolit, drops at 362. They're too fat to chamber in my CZ which slugs at 355. The boolit shoulder hangs on the (freebore?) and won't go completely into battery unless I load it to 1.01"OAL (no, that's not a misprint).

    I get no accuracy with 356 boolits, hence the 38 special mold.

    Am I on the right track ordering this?

    http://www.grafs.com/product/261743

    Lee .358 sizing die. I have a lot of ALOX so would be using that.
     
  2. dudel

    dudel

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    Could'nt hurt much. Most of the boolits hardness in on the surface, so sizing it down that much might affect the hardness. Can't tell unless you measure the hardness before and after sizing (might not be a problem). If the mould is throwing boolits that much larger, you might consider returning it for another.

    I have a Lee 6 banger in that caliber/profile and it works great in the G17 ( w/LW barrel with the tighter chamber). I don't recall their specific diameter at the moment. I plan to cast more of them this afternoon. I also use the LLA and tumble lube w/o problems.

    Are you getting any "finning" on the boolits? That could indicate that there is some flash on the blocks that isn't letting them close fully. Is this the 2 or 6 cavity mould? I keep the pins attaching the handles to the blocks a bit loose so that the blocks can pivot when closed. Might your pins be on too tight?
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010

  3. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    1) Your brass could be sizing your bullets that is why it appears you need a bigger bullet to work right. I know for a fact this was happening to me and my soft WW bullets. I also know my Sizing die makes my cases very small and that small case was sizing my soft WW bullets.
    2) Most people say sizing your bullets that much is not a good thing, but lots of people do it with out a issue.
    3) Lee sizing dies in my experiance don't always size to the marked size. Buy three, one over one under and the other one at your desired size just to be safe. Return the ones that don't work. I returned all my Lee sizers and got a star.
    4) You may be able to solve the brass sizing your bullets issue a little by lowering the flare stem in your seatiing die a little. This only will work on a Dillon to my knowledge but it helped me.

    All the above assumes your .355 barrel should like .356 bullets. And logic says it should but logic is not always reality.
     
  4. YogiBearFan

    YogiBearFan

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    Sizing more than .002" is both difficult and can allow for leading in the sizer.

    It might help to put all the as-cast bullets into a bowl and lubricate them with dish soap first. Then, size them. Then wash the soap off and dry.
     
  5. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    Just a couple thoughts that may be totally off track.

    It is certainly preferable to have a mould drop slightly larger than smaller than the intended diameter but .362 for a .358 mould is completely out of the real. While it's easy to open a mould reducing one is quite another matter.

    Either your mould face is contaminated as Dudel suggested in which case you need to stay on top of your maintenance or it is defected in which case you should return it.

    I have never found sizing down a .358 to .355 to be a problem, I have been doing it for many years for .380 loadings in 90 and 120 grain RN.

    If your barrel slugs out at an actual .355 I can't imagine you'd need to go from .356 up to .358 to attain accuracy. I would first ask if your .355 is an actual slug measurement or if perhaps you obtained that from some published source... the two can be vastly different.

    I would also look at the hardness of your alloy. An overly hard bullet, even at .356 will tend to skip down the bore resulting in blow-by, potential excessive leading and a definite loss of accuracy. Too much tin and antimony in your alloy will tend to throw oversized bullets and be harder than needed for most applications.

    Just a few early morning coffee and cigarette thoughts. Hope you get it worked out.

    Jack
     
  6. chris in va

    chris in va

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    Here's the deal. Harder water dropped 356 boolits are more accurate than the air dropped for some reason. This was the Lee TC TL 124gr 356 mold I had (and sold).

    It was recommended to me (on this board) to try the 358 38 Special boolit mold. A guy gave me some of these to try and they were a lot more accurate, but he sized them to 358 while mine drop at 362 as I pointed out. So I was looking at the sizing die from Lee.

    If you think this is abnormal, I'll just send it back and have them give me a new mold that is closer to 358.

    BTW no finning, and I slugged the barrel myself. I'm using clip-on wheelweights.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  7. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    The .362 diameter is certainly way out of the norm... if the mould is clean and otherwise in good shape I believe I'd return it.

    Bear in mind that at .362 if you're trying to size it down to .358 or smaller you may be 'bumping' the bullet. This forces lead from one area of the bullet, (the bearing surfaces since that's the area being sized) into other areas of the bullet, usually the entire ogive or just the nose. This causes the bullet to be out of round and balance and as you can imagine can have an adverse effect on accuracy.

    If you've determined that you obtain better accuracy by water dropping then that's fine, some guys like that method. I've never seen any benefit to it in velocities under 1200 fps but then I don't use either pan or tumbling so that nay be the one variable I'm not familiar with.

    Straight WW will certainly work in probably more than 90% of casting application so it is highly doubtful that your alloy is the cause of your problems.

    .358 still seems overly large for a .355 bore though but I suspect stranger things have happened.

    I should point out that except for being able to spell it I know absolutely nothing about a CZ so there may be some idiosyncrasies with the gun that I am unaware of. Again, good luck to you.

    Jack
     
  8. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Who makes the mold? Got a link. I don't think it's a Lee mold is it?

    Edit: I think I found it. Interesting. It's got a crimp grove which I guess you just ignore. I would get one that cast a little close to the size you want.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  9. jbremount

    jbremount

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    My free 2cents to your queston:

    FWIK, "Yes", you are definitely on the right track. http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=69325&highlight=lee+358-125-RF+9mm

    I am doing pretty much the same thing for my CZ75-9mm gun. I use a Lyman 450 heater lubersizer and Lyman .358 bullet lube/size die. Basically, you want to size your lead bullets at least .002 larger than bore, so .358 is ok. Some have good results with .357 sized bullets, but if your gun will chamber the .358 bullet, go with the larger bullet. IMO, Lee's six cavity molds are a bargain, they are pretty darn cheap for what you are getting. I can always justify buying another Lee 6 banger mold to play around with at the price they are sold for on Midway's web site. Midway charges $38.49 for the Lee 6 banger. The mold that I am using is probably same as yours, the Lee 358-125-RF.(http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productnumber=916523) Note, the bullet pictured on Midway's and Lee's website is not the bullet mold you will receive. Lee has changed the mold and it appears for the better. (http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=71282&highlight=lee+358-125-rf)

    Do a search on the castboolits web site and you will find that the Lee 358 -125-RF mold has been making good 9mm bullets for a few years now. I not found even one complaint about this bullet. I think the new design bullet may be the same/or similar to a popular group buy mold, so it has been well received and tested.

    old design(left) ...................new design(right)
    [​IMG]


    The .45 and .40 are pretty easy to use with lead bullets. With the 9mm, everyone and his brother makes 9mm pistols and the 9mm chambers and bores are all over the place. It's just too easy to buy or cast bullets that are too small in diameter. Most 9mm will lead and give poor accuracy with .356 bullets. Been there, done that. The "trick" is to use a bullet at least .002 or even .003 larger than your 9mm auto-pistol's bore and work up a load starting with low powder charges and slow velocities. The larger sized .358 bullets from this Lee mold will usually shoot accurately without leading in most 9mm pistols and shoot in the 38/357 revolvers also. This is a good dual purpose mold! I highly recommend you go to a web site dedicated to lead/cast bullets and dig around for relevant information on shooting 9mm cast bullets. The Web site, Cast Boolits, is dedicated to shooting rifle and pistol cast/lead bullets of all sorts.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2010
  10. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    Okay, so the newer pointier version of the 125rf works in the Glock 17? I want a mold that will work for 38spl and my G17. The Glocks are fussy about flat points and SWC shoulders on bullets. I figure I'll size them all at 0.358 and just have a big bucket of bullets for my all of my 9/38 guns.
     
  11. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    I don't think the .358 bullets would have a chance of passing my case gauge. They might pass my barrel but it would be close. My .356 bullets have a 10% failure rate in my case gauge right now. If they are just a little off center they fail. About 1/2 of those that fail the case gauge pass the barrel. Thats still a lot of failures.
     
  12. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    0.358" will chamber in my Glock. The issue I have with my Lyman 358477 is that the SWC shoulder sticks too far forward and hangs up on the throat. If I shove one deep enough in the case (dummy round) they fit fine but the OAL is way too short. I think the Lee 125RF will work based on the pics I have seen of it. I'm talking about the newer version that people seem to be getting with the longer ogive, not the one they still show in the catalog.

    0.356" should fit anything C4W, your bullets might be tilting when you seat them. Try the Jack custom seater and see if that helps. Even the slightest tilt will really screw you up. I went through it with some pointy 40SW TC I had a long time ago. I got Lee to make me a custom seater since I didn't have the benefit of Jack's trick and it cleared everything right up.
     
  13. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    They are tilting a little. I think I figured it out last night. It's a combo of the seating stem and sometimes a little lube on the nose of the bullet. I'm a little concerned about making my seating stem a perfect match for the bullet. Any irregularity and it will cause issues. I don't think I will have a choice as 10% is a lot of rounds and I can check for lube quicker then anything else I think.
     
  14. RustyFN

    RustyFN

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    Steve I was just wondering how soft your bullets are coming out? I cast with straight clip-on's and a hand full of softer stick-on's and mine are coming out with a BHN of 14. Mine don't seem to be soft.
     
  15. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    I think they tested at a 11 on the Lee Test kit. I can test again later to be sure.
     
  16. dudel

    dudel

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    Why not a truncated cone (TC) profile. The Lee 124gr TC feeds find in my G17. Should work fine for .38 spl.
     
  17. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

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    I'm fence sitting at the moment. I like the looks of the 9mmTC, but I worry it will drop too small for 38spl. So you have both molds I'm considering? What is the as-cast diameter of the 9mm bullets and with what alloy? Does the 125RF run well in the G17? By the looks of the 125RF I have seen, the newer version of it wlooks like it should work.
     
  18. dudel

    dudel

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    Just cast a mess of the Lee 124gr TC in 9mm. They are sitting on wax paper with the Alox drying as I type. I also have the Lee DEWC for 38sp.

    I cast straight clipon WW. The TC feeds and shoots great in the G17 with the LW barrel. I've not tried the DEWC in the G17 for obvious reasons :supergrin: I'm still working with the DEWC (for use the Contender). It still leads a bit more than I like.