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Reloading Problems with 9mm for S&W 929

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I wanted to share my experience loading 9mm for revolver:

 

When I first using my reloads in my 929 with moon clips, there were problems were the something was hanging it my cylinder from rotating.  Some times I had found a primer not fully seated, and other times I had thought my moon clips may be slightly bent.  After testing my loads and moonclip with the TK custom moonclip case gauge, I had realized some of my loads were not fitting into the gauge. 

Process for reloading:

I pick up my brass from the local indoor range.

Then I go through the process of reloading on my Dillon SDB.

I use 125 grain FMJ, winchester powder and, winchester primers as components.

I find that around 10% of my loaded rounds do not fit into my cause gauge for 9mm.  I had found in some forum posts and videos that some firearms do not have a fully supported chamber, and that this may cause bulge in the unsupported area.  I assume this is the problem I was facing since I had got my brass from random pickups at the range.  The sizing die is incapable of resizing the brass all the way down the full case of the brass.  To resize down the entire case length I had seen videos online using the Lee Bulge Buster, so I bought one and a singe stage press to use it.

I then fed my loads that did not fit the case gauge through a Lee Bulge buster with a 9mm makarov crimp die, and then the rounds chambered. Yay.  I tested them loaded into moon clips and I currently dont have problems hanging up the cylinder due to some friction.

 

I was wondering what kind of problems, difficulties or challenges other revolver users are going through when reloading their own ammo?

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I had a lot of issues with loading 9mn on a Dillon 550b with Dillon dies. The bullets were not correctly aligned so the rounds wouldn’t chamber. I had to run each one through a case gauge. I traced it back to the seating die. I replaced it with a Redding competition searing die and issues disappeared. I don’t even check them in a gauge any longer. But that probably won’t be a fix for you with your model Dillon.


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The Dillon resizing dies have a generous chamfer where the case enters the die. This makes a case less likely to hang up entering the die, but it doesn't allow the die to resize as far down on the case. The RCBS dies have less chamfer and will resize a little further down.

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1 hour ago, BHBret said:

I had a lot of issues with loading 9mn on a Dillon 550b with Dillon dies. The bullets were not correctly aligned so the rounds wouldn’t chamber. I had to run each one through a case gauge. I traced it back to the seating die. I replaced it with a Redding competition searing die and issues disappeared. I don’t even check them in a gauge any longer. But that probably won’t be a fix for you with your model Dillon.


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I am glad you were able to solve your issues.  Thanks for sharing your problem and fix.

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One that I experienced recently was when reloading heavy-for-caliber bullets in 9mm.  Was loading 160+ grain cast bullets and had issues specifically with CBC (magtech) brass.  Case walls are thicker on that brand of brass apparently and the bullet would cause a bulge that would prevent the round from going into a Lyman case gauge.  So watch out for that when you're using mixed range brass.  Wall thickness definitely varies and will cause problems.  My case gauge is ever-so-slightly tighter than my chambers so I will gauge all my reloads that I anticipate using for competition.  If they fit the gauge they will fit the chambers on my guns then they are good to go.

 

Depending on how chamfered your cylinders are, make sure and crimp enough but not too much.  As a newb reloader I made the mistake of not using enough of a roll crimp on .38 loads, for instance, and it was a frustrating day at the steel match trying to get that poorly crimped ammo that I had moon-clipped to drop in the chamber.   

Speaking of crimp, and others will have varying opinions on this,  I don't think you need much crimp on .38 and 9mm stuff if you're holding the gun properly and putting some thought into your powder/bullet selection to minimize recoil.  On magnum rounds, sure.  .38 and 9mm?  Nah.  But, I do get more consistent velocities with a little more crimp, so there's that. 

 

And if I'm being honest I still occasionally get distracted by something and forget to seat a primer and the case makes it all the way around and even gets a bullet seated and then I see the powder after the round falls in the tray.  That's certainly nothing unique to reloading for revolvers.  It's aggravating as hell, though.

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Lee 9mm u die

roll size

blazer brass only

 

works like charm.

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Serious question, not trying to be an a hole...

 

Do people consider the brass as part of the reloading equation?

 

I mean, all our rounds use the same bullet, brass and powder, but people just assume the brass from different manufacturers is close enough? Wouldn’t that basically be the same as assuming 2 different manufacture’s bullets of the same weight shoot the same? I’m pretty sure none of us are shooting 1moa guns, but wouldn’t a reloader want to take that variable out of the equation? Especially in a revolver where clip fit is an issue...?

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8 hours ago, MWP said:

Serious question, not trying to be an a hole...

 

Do people consider the brass as part of the reloading equation?

 

I mean, all our rounds use the same bullet, brass and powder, but people just assume the brass from different manufacturers is close enough? Wouldn’t that basically be the same as assuming 2 different manufacture’s bullets of the same weight shoot the same? I’m pretty sure none of us are shooting 1moa guns, but wouldn’t a reloader want to take that variable out of the equation? Especially in a revolver where clip fit is an issue...?

I shoot the same head stamp brass for moon clip fit.

I shoot with many people who use looser fitting moon clips and use mixed range brass

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I never use range brass in my 929.  I use new Winchester .  It's very consistent and allows many loadings.  Don't be cheap, find a good brass and order 1000 rounds.  You will be much happier in the end.

 

I seat the bullet and use a taper crimp die but only crimp enough to get rid of the bell.  I have had no problems with bullet jumping in the cases.

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3 minutes ago, AzShooter said:

I never use range brass in my 929.  I use new Winchester .  It's very consistent and allows many loadings.  Don't be cheap, find a good brass and order 1000 rounds.  You will be much happier in the end.

 

I seat the bullet and use a taper crimp die but only crimp enough to get rid of the bell.  I have had no problems with bullet jumping in the cases.

+1 ^^^

I order 2K Federal once fired brass and use half as practice brass and half as match brass. I get split cases occasionally after 20 or 25 reloads. At the end of the match season it all becomes practice and I get another K of once fired stuff. No range brass! MWP is correct: Not worth it when moon clip fit is important.

I use a U Die and taper crimp with 3575 powder coated bullets. No bullet jump here either.

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Winchester brass only, but I did not buy any of it new.

Lee undersized die for sizing. 

Lee factory crimp die, only crimp enough to remove the bell.

160 grain 0.358 coated bullets, bayou or sns.

This works for my 929, bullets do not walk out, barrel does not lead up, it was a pain to get here.

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+1 ^^^
I order 2K Federal once fired brass and use half as practice brass and half as match brass. I get split cases occasionally after 20 or 25 reloads. At the end of the match season it all becomes practice and I get another K of once fired stuff. No range brass! MWP is correct: Not worth it when moon clip fit is important.
I use a U Die and taper crimp with 3575 powder coated bullets. No bullet jump here either.

If I may ask, where do you purchase the once fired Federal brass?


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2 hours ago, BHBret said:


If I may ask, where do you purchase the once fired Federal brass?


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Online.

Check out A+ brass in the vendor's tent...

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I shoot mixed brass out of my 929. I did have problems with my bullets walking out of the brass on recoil no matter how I crimped them, so I ended up getting a lee under size 9mm sizing die. So now I deprime and size on a load master, stage one is a standard 9mm sizing die and stage three is the 9mm undersized die. Now when I load on my 659 I just have enough crimp to take the bell out from the bullet feeder. My 929 never has a problem running with all the mixed brass that I use and on a reload the just fall in. I'm running 145 grain DGbullets at a .356, with 3.1 grains of titegroup at a 1.140 OAL. It's a 130power factor out of my gun without the comp. 

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Technically..... but as you know everyone uses the makarov 9mm die.  I was until I read it’s going to crack eventually and you won’t know it.

 

what is everyone using for an oal?  I’m at 1.185 using a locking tool head kit with blazer.  Doesn’t vary much 1.185-1.1865

 

i have found variation with different headstamps, WIN loads longer.

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Thanks for the suggestions, I will need to get me some of that Federal and Winchester brass.  It is too much of a hassle if 1 round is a little off it messes it up for the other 7 rounds its clipped to.

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On 5/17/2019 at 3:30 PM, MWP said:

Do people consider the brass as part of the reloading equation?

It’s such an issue that Starline doesn’t recommend their brass for use in the 929.

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3 minutes ago, RangerMcFadden said:

It’s such an issue that Starline doesn’t recommend their brass for use in the 929.

That’s because starline brass and 929s don’t get along. The starline 9mm is thick, and is very sticky in a 929.

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8 hours ago, MWP said:

That’s because starline brass and 929s don’t get along. The starline 9mm is thick, and is very sticky in a 929.

 Oh no doubt. I was just highlighting that brass is an important variable when reloading for a 929.

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12 hours ago, RangerMcFadden said:

 Oh no doubt. I was just highlighting that brass is an important variable when reloading for a 929.

Exactly. That’s what I was getting at earlier in this thread. Very important in this gun.

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I had some of the same brass issues as others with my 929.

Misfires, 20% chamber fit failure and tight extraction.

To stop all of the BS, I've been using nickel plated brass and CED .040" moonclips.

I get about 10 reloads before the brass starts to have some failures.

Now I enjoy shooting my 929, instead of complaining about it.

 

SJC 

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