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Keyholes At 15 Yards


knightkrawler00

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Stock Glock 17.

124gr. Berry's RN, Winchester case, WSP primer, 4.3 grains of TG, COL of 1.090".

Put it on paper today, horrible accuracy, about 20% went in sideways at under 15 yards. I had pulled the COL out of the latest Sierra manual, didn't cross reference like I should have, now I see that I should have loaded quite a bit longer. Will the short COL cause bullets to tumble, or am I possibly having problems with the plated bullets?

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I am using a lee FCD and crimp just enough to remove the bell. I measure the brass and the bullet, add them together and crimp to that spec. so as not to put any more pressure on the bullet. I have shot a few thousand Berry's through my .45 with no problems like this, so I don't think over crimping is the issue.

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Looking in most manuals 9mm suggested length is what 1.12-1.13 so you are only at most .04 short which should make no difference with respect to keyholing.

Do a couple of searches on plated bullets and you will hear that universally almost everyone who has had problems with keyholing and plated bullets has found that they are crimping too much for that bullet. The other instance is when folks are trying to make major and are pushing the bullets too fast and the jacket is coming off.

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Velocity is just shy of 1100 fps, so that shouldn't be the problem. Maybe it is the crimp, possibly because of the resizing of the round in the FCD? I'm out of bullets to load right now, won't have any for a couple of weeks, but I will try then with the longer COL, the FCD and a regular taper crimp die. At $35.00 a thousand, I'm going to try pretty much everything I can to get these to work.

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I shot around 3-4k of berry's when I first started shooting out of a G35. I was shooting Idpa at around 800 fps. I didn't have any problems however when I started shooting USPSA and pushing the .40 to 165pf I started having some jacket shedding problems. Some say it is due to the Glock rifling. Who knows. I never really pursued it after that.

Maybe try pulling a couple of your loaded bullets to see what the bullet looks like. If there is a deep ridge or broken plating you will have your answer.

Good luck, Craig

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You didn't say whether you've reloaded for this gun before. If it works with other bullets, then it might be a bullet problem. I'd load it longer, but I doubt that the OAL is causing the problem.

SAAMI spec is .380" for the case mouth. I usually go with .377", but I haven't used the Berry's bullets.

Suggestion: Make up a dummy round loaded to 1.16" and crimped to .380". Chamber check it by dropping it into the chamber and making sure it goes in as far as it's supposed to, and then invert the barrel to make sure it falls out under its own weight. If it won't do this, shorten the OAL by .01" and repeat until it does. Then load some up and try them at this length with the .380" crimp and see if it solves your problem.

Another possibility: Another poster bought a huge lot (20k, I think) of .40 bullets from Berry's and had tumbling problems. It turned out that the bullets he got were undersized. Mike your bullets and make sure they're at least .355". If they're smaller, that could be the problem, not your loading practices.

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Maybe try pulling a couple of your loaded bullets to see what the bullet looks like. If there is a deep ridge or broken plating you will have your answer.

+1 Pull a bullet or two and examine it for any plating damage.

I just went through some bullet damage issues that were a result of a bad batch of brass. Probably a result of some commercial tumbling process, the case mouths were peened in a bit and would scrape the bullet in the seating process. I was able to see brass scrapings sticking out at the case mouth after seating, so it was pretty extreme. The calipers showed that the case walls were way too thick at the mouth, hence the problem. Might be worth checking the brass, as well as the bullet.

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Call Berry's. They have a technical guy that may be able to help. I have almost given up on plated bullets personally as the time, gas, and heartache invested in making them work seems to be more than I'll ever save.

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I had the same problem with Berry's in 40 cal. Tried everything, more crimp, less crimp and no crimp. Nothing helped still keyholed. Went back to Zero and no problems. Sometimes the savings is not worth it. In the future I am going to stick with what works.

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This sounds odd. But it DOES happen. A target that is not perfectly perpendicular to your muzzle can display a keyhole. Many moons ago I swore I had loaded a pile $% but guess what? It's worth a check.

Jim

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I've shot thousands and thousands of Berry 124's. Never once have they keyholed. Even shot them at Bianchi.

You are on the right track in regards to crimp but the only way to tell is to pull a bullet and see if the case has left a mark. If there is more than a faint line, it's too much. Plated bullets don't like crimp.

My berry's measure .3555

Once you have set your crimp die, press check a few for set back. If it does not move, you are good to go.

Never used a Lee FCD in 9mm..Dillon dies work just fine for me.

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You didn't say whether you've reloaded for this gun before. If it works with other bullets, then it might be a bullet problem. I'd load it longer, but I doubt that the OAL is causing the problem.

115gr Magtech's worked just fine. Some cheap factory stuff that I borrowed shot pretty well also.

Some say it is due to the Glock rifling.

I shot ten rounds out of an XD that a friend was shooting, still inaccurate, but no keyholes. Ten rounds wasn't a great test, should have shot more.

I'm going to go pull a few right now and report back on what I've found.

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I pulled five bullets, all measured at .353", there's the problem.

Crimp was set at .377" with a .011" case mouth thickness, which means that the bullets were at .355 when first loaded and the FCD swaged them down. The jackets looked very good, very tiny scratches if any at all. I just switched over to a 550B after loading on an RCBS single stage, ordered the FCD since my RCBS dies don't have seperate seat and crimp dies. I do have a taper crimp die for .357 that should work just fine though.

Thanks for the help, I will report back when I get some more loaded up.

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I had problems with keyholes in a stock G19 using West Coast plated 124gr bullets. The same load shot fine in two XD's, So I'm pretty sure my problem was not crimp. I have been told that Glocks and the West Coast bullets generally produce keyholes, so I avoid them now.

Two differnt Berrys 124gr bullets in the same G19 have shown no problems with keyholes yet, so it may be that your particular barrel just does not "like" plated bullets. My G19 shoots ok with the Berrys, but it seems to prefer an actual jacketed bullet like HAPs or XTP's. My best groups have been with jacketed stuff.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
I had problems with keyholes in a stock G19 using West Coast plated 124gr bullets. The same load shot fine in two XD's, So I'm pretty sure my problem was not crimp. I have been told that Glocks and the West Coast bullets generally produce keyholes, so I avoid them now.

Two differnt Berrys 124gr bullets in the same G19 have shown no problems with keyholes yet, so it may be that your particular barrel just does not "like" plated bullets. My G19 shoots ok with the Berrys, but it seems to prefer an actual jacketed bullet like HAPs or XTP's. My best groups have been with jacketed stuff.

I used West Coast in Glocks for a long time with no problems. The last batch I bought would keyhole as close as 4 yds. They same load works fine in a Beretta and an XD. I started calling them West Coast Wobblers.

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