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9mm revolver large cylinder mouth


Wheeljack

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Just got a Ruger LCR9. The barrel is .3555 but the cylinder throat/mouth is just .358. From what I have read, the bullet should be .358. But I'm not clear as to which bullet to load. I have been using Berry's plated bullets, but they don't have a plated .358. Would their hard cast lead bullets at .358 be the best choice or should I look for a softer bullet? I haven't done a lot of reloading and am not familiar with what is available from other companies. Any help would be appreciated.

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I think the .357 38 cal. plated bullets should work. They are close enough to start with, and being fairly soft they will obturate to make up the additional .001. Rainier makes a nice 38 cal .357 125 gr truncated plated bullet, that I have had good experience using in an oversized 9mm auto barrel. I imagine Berry's makes one also. You don't want too long of a 38 cal bullet, as the 9mm is a tapered case, with the brass getting thicker towards the bottom.

One potential issue with loading 38 cal bullets in 9mm cases with lead or plated, the expander ball commonly issued with 9mm dies are for .355 jacketed bullets. Forcing a 38 cal cast or plated bullet into the case will often swage the bullet down, defeating the purpose. Loading a dummy round, pulling the bullet, and measuring the diameter will tell if this will be an issue for you.

I purchased a seperate 38 cal expander ball and modified it for my RCBS 9mm die. This eliminated this potential problem for me. In most cases bullets up to .358 will chamber in the 9mm.

If you don't want to go with all this bother, you could use jacketed bullets designed for the 38 Super or .357 Sig, which are nominaly .356 or .357 diameter and be done with it.

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GBertolet: After reading your message, I did more testing. Conclusion: I think you nailed it. I'll go with the .357 plated bullets. I wish the "expander balls" were labeled, but I think I have a 38 cal expander. I should keep better records. Your help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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What you are reading are instructions for lead bullets (normal lube or coated). Your lead bullets should be snug slip fit in the cylinder's throats, so a 0.358" or slightly larger would be your best bet.

For jacketed or plated, you can use 0.355-0.357" bullets just fine.

Just to add: I PREFER 0.357" jacketed and 0.357-0.358" lead bullets in ALL my 9x19 pistols. All loads worked up from start, of course.

GBertolet is correct about using the .38 expander for 0.357-0.358" bullets, particularly lead bullets.

Measure the expander and label it.

The check is to measure the case ID, below the case mouth flare. It should be 0.001-0.002" smaller than bullet diameter. Any more than that and the bullet can be swaged down or the bullet could seat crooked. Thus, if the case is 0.354", then that expander is for 0.355-0.356" bullets.

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