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Caspian 9 major OAL


Ace38super
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Recently got my Caspian back with a new top end. The slide had developed a crack by the ejection port and STI sent me a new one. Since I already had two STI .38 Supers I got a Trubor 9mm barrel and built it into a 9 major. I worker up a load using 9.8 AA#7 with Montana Gold 124 JHP with an OAL of 1.165 and crimp .377. I shot three matches with no malfunctions but today had several with different mags that had always been 100%. The problem was the same each time. The round stalled with the nose up jammed against the inside top of the chamber. I am wondering if I should try an OAL of 1.175 or so. I shot a few rounds a friend had loaded to 1.180 and they worked fine. Ideas Caspian guys?

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Ace38super,

First which mags are you using. and if it seemed to work at 1.180 OAL I would load up 50-100 at that length and try them.

I'm using the old style 19 and 27 round weld up. They worked with Super and until yesterday with 9''mm. I will put in new springs just to rule that out. Also just cleaned the gun and found lots of gunk on the Aftec and in the extractor tunnel.

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Recently got my Caspian back with a new top end. The slide had developed a crack by the ejection port and STI sent me a new one. Since I already had two STI .38 Supers I got a Trubor 9mm barrel and built it into a 9 major. I worker up a load using 9.8 AA#7 with Montana Gold 124 JHP with an OAL of 1.165 and crimp .377. I shot three matches with no malfunctions but today had several with different mags that had always been 100%. The problem was the same each time. The round stalled with the nose up jammed against the inside top of the chamber. I am wondering if I should try an OAL of 1.175 or so. I shot a few rounds a friend had loaded to 1.180 and they worked fine. Ideas Caspian guys?

The mags were 100% with 38S!!.

1.150 to 1.165 is normally golden for 9 Major. You will encounter issues with 1.180 also. Bullet is hardly in the case at 1.180 and can hit the lands on a short chambered 9 barrel thus increasing pressure.

Edited by lcs
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Ace38super,

First which mags are you using. and if it seemed to work at 1.180 OAL I would load up 50-100 at that length and try them.

I'm using the old style 19 and 27 round weld up. They worked with Super and until yesterday with 9''mm. I will put in new springs just to rule that out. Also just cleaned the gun and found lots of gunk on the Aftec and in the extractor tunnel.

Gunk in the extractor tunnel causes the extrator to be too tight, you get the early warnings during make ready when the slide seems to be a bit slow closing, when you ignore that you start to get FTF as the round can't crawl up the breach face.

That 10gr of AA#7 insn't a bad load I shot that for a while then went to Silhouette a bit less dot movement, not as much spillage. I run my OAL at 1.165 due to using STI mags with spacers, but I'm shocked you could get down to that size with the AA#7 load, mine kept growing and growing and growing and they were 1.185, I kept screwing down the seating die and they just kept coming out the same size.

You need to clean the extractor tunnel every 1000 rounds, more often depending on how dirty your powder is. AA#7 is plenty dirty like gravel in the gun, I shot if for years in 38SC. Silhouette isn't clean either but more like oatmeal. HS6 like oil stove soot.

Edited by CocoBolo
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Here is the status: I tried the 124 MG JHP at 1.165 and 1.175 and had failure to feed with both about 6 times in 100 rounds. By failure to feed I mean the round had begun to go up the breach face but before contacting the extractor had hit the barrel at 3 o'clock with half the bullet nose in the chamber and half stuck on the barrel. I could even give the bullet a little nudge toward the chamber and it would feed. I also loaded up some rounds with Zero 125 9mm that I had with the 9.8 AA#7 at an OAL of 1.150. Every round feed and worked perfect. I'm thinking that either the gun hates the MG JHP profile or the 1.165 is too long. I dropped the load to 9.6 AA#7 and loaded some MG 124 JHP at 1.155 and some 124 Remington JHP (looks very like the Zero) at 1.150 for a match on Saturday. The Zero load at 1.150 was running 1425 fps with the 9.8 and the MG was 1388 with 9.8 so I think 9.6 will be OK with both for now. I did a complete top end cleaning and even after a scrubbing of the extractor tunnel the tension was still too high so I pulled out the front spring. It has about 16 oz tension now and has not been part of the problem. And CocoBolo, the loads with 9.8 and 9.6 at the stated OAL with all bullets have been at about 95% full but not compressed at all. I load IMR 4756 at 8.9 for my Super on my 550 so I have the technique down on indexing, at least mostly, and a can of compressed air when I don't. Your description of AA#7 is right on, but the stuff is low pressure and really consistent on the chrono.

There may be one other issue... after giving other 9 major shooters grief for years when their gun gagged and my Super chugs on there could be some karma involved.

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Hello: Cut one coil off the front spring for 9mm on the Aftec and all will be good. Remember the 9mm case is larger in diameter than a 38SC. You may also look at the ramp at the transition area to the chamber. If it is too sharp there with not enough radius it will hang up. Lastly make sure you have enough crimp. I use my thumb, if I feel it catch on my thumb print I put more crimp on it. I also pull a bullet to look at it to see the crimp ring. AA#7 is a dirty abrasive powder, Hodgdon HS-6, VV 3N37, Silhouette and Winchester Auto Comp are better for 9mm major. Hope this helps. Thanks, Eric

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