9mm reload issue

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9mm reload issue

Postby techmike » Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:47 am

I bought a case of 115gr fmj commercial reloads from Ammo To Go. The stuff has good reviews so I thought I would give it a try. Got the case and decided to run a sample through my Lyman 9mm cartridge gauge before shooting any of it. Had to gauge 64 rounds to get 50 that passed - some of them fail by .040". The problem appears to be a sizing issue with the brass - case length, OAL, bullet diameter and seating measure fine. ATG is working with me at this point, but this brought up a question: Can anything be done to live ammo to safely re-size it?
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Re: 9mm reload issue

Postby The German » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:27 am

The only thing I would do with life ammo (besides shooting) is run them through the bullet seating / LEE factory crimp die. If it is bought ammo that is not up to specs, I would get it returned.
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Re: 9mm reload issue

Postby Sevens » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:06 pm

Some things come to mind when I ponder this situation. First is that when you are buying ANYONE's commerical reloads (re-manufactured or "re-man") at the best... you are just getting cheap ammo made on the cheap to save a buck and you are kind of getting what you pay for. If you want reloads and you want a hand in the quality of the reloads... do it yourself. It'll cost less, it will work BETTER, it will take your pride to fantastic levels and you'll learn a lot along the way. Now I know that the OP does handload, but my post is more "generally speaking." Bottom line point I am trying to make is that your Lyman gauge -may- be looking for the ammo to meet a standard that your low-buck ammo simply isn't going to meet.

That sounds like the case here, so my next step would be to take the pistol that is going to be fed this ammo and pull the barrel from that pistol and use the barrel itself rather than the Lyman tool as your case gauge. It is almost surely going to be an easier test for that cheap ammo to pass.

Lastly...
I would not suggest you attempt almost anything to repair, band-aid or improve this ammo. Anything that you do might alter the bullet pull -- the case mouth tension that holds the bullet in place. And in a semi-auto, questionable bullet pull/case mouth tension is a recipe for complete disaster and is, IMO, a large reason for pistol kabooms.

When KB's happen, everyone comes up with many possible reasons as to how/why it happens, but most of the best evidence is destroyed. I believe that unknown/unintended bullet setback is one of the more likely reasons for pistol KB's. I believe the naturally violent process of feeding in a semi-auto finds the weakness in a poorly handloaded round.

So yes, I think it is a bad idea to try and do anything to this ammo other than shoot it and avoid buying it.
I like to swap brass... and I'm looking for .32 H&R Mag, .327 Fed Mag, .380 Auto and 10mm. If you have some and would like to swap for something else, send me a note!
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Re: 9mm reload issue

Postby mreising » Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:27 pm

FWIW, I had a Lyman case length gauge (the stamped aluminum, multi-caliber one) that was too short on some cartridges, as in shorter than the minimum case length. Rather than return it, I just used a file and my calipers to "adjust it". Be sure to check if your OAL gauge has a similar problem, even though it is a different animal.
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Re: 9mm reload issue

Postby Luv2Camp » Sat Nov 12, 2016 6:17 pm

Have you tried cycling the failing rounds in your firearm to see if they will seat fully into the chamber and cycle without any issues? If they cycle and assuming you are using these just for target practice I would not worry too much.

If I read your post correctly, it is not an issue with OAL but the width of the reloaded brass casing.
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Re: 9mm reload issue

Postby techmike » Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:31 pm

Thanks for the posts and responses. Here are some pictures to better explain the issue. The Lyman cartridge gauge is steel, and machined to check min/max headspace, case length, max cartridge diameter and max cartridge length, as defined by SAAMI.
Image
Picture is one of the FAIL reloads and it fails by .040". These fail cartridges will not seat in the chamber of any of my 9mm pistols. (except the one made in Serbia) Cartridges that pass the gauge fit in the chambers of my pistols just fine. ("plonk test") The fail cartridges also stick in the gauge and chambers - drop them in, they do not want to drop out. The seller requested that I measure the cartridges with calipers, here is what I measured - did a fail, pass and a new factory Blazer Brass cartridge.
Image
Looks to me that the reloads are just not sized quite right.
Sevens:Some things come to mind when I ponder this situation. First is that when you are buying ANYONE's commerical reloads (re-manufactured or "re-man") at the best... you are just getting cheap ammo made on the cheap to save a buck and you are kind of getting what you pay for. If you want reloads and you want a hand in the quality of the reloads... do it yourself. It'll cost less, it will work BETTER, it will take your pride to fantastic levels and you'll learn a lot along the way. Now I know that the OP does handload, but my post is more "generally speaking." Bottom line point I am trying to make is that your Lyman gauge -may- be looking for the ammo to meet a standard that your low-buck ammo simply isn't going to meet.

Yep :oops: - I succumbed to a "last minute" (cheap) ammo purchase before the election. Was just going to put it away after testing.

The German wrote:The only thing I would do with life ammo (besides shooting) is run them through the bullet seating / LEE factory crimp die. If it is bought ammo that is not up to specs, I would get it returned.

I thought about doing this, but the fine print on the Lyman gauge specifically warns against resizing loaded cartridges.
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Re: 9mm reload issue

Postby budman70 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 12:30 am

I reload, if it slides into the gage to that point easily and it is stopping at that point, it's because the case is to long. 9 mm head spaces off the case. The cartridge should be flush with the top of the gage.
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Re: 9mm reload issue

Postby Sevens » Sun Nov 13, 2016 12:58 am

I think in the case of the Lee Carbide Factory Crimp die, you'd likely be "okay" to run them through.

The Lee die uses a post-sizing carbide ring to iron out a non-conforming round. And of perhaps any semi-auto pistol round... it would be most likely to work on 9mm. As 9mm is not a "straight wall" but rather a tapered case. A 9mm cartridge is fatter and larger diameter at the case head than it is as the case mouth.

I would take the offending rounds and push them stiffly in to the edge of your bench and ensure under hand pressure that the bullet will -NOT- sink deeper in to the case. If it's locked nicely in to place, run it through the FCD and then repeat the test, making sure bullet pull is not compromised. If it's still good, now try dropping it in to your gauge or chamber.

The manufacturer should be ashamed of that stuff.
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Re: 9mm reload issue

Postby evan price » Sun Nov 13, 2016 1:42 am

Me, if it were my ammo, I'd not spend one more minute trying to solve a defect situation caused by a manufacturer. You show out of spec and it won't chamber properly in your gun. Manufacturer needs to provide a call tag to ship it back and a full refund. Otherwise who gets stuck when a possible out of battery discharge occurs? Liability!
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Re: 9mm reload issue

Postby calvin56 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:29 am

This isn't a nitpicking issue. 9mm brass that is too long may well cause over pressure problems. Send it back. I realize case trimming adds more cost to the reloading process but unless they are claiming some rare accident allowed untrimmed cases into their production run I would cease dealing with them.
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Re: 9mm reload issue

Postby JustaShooter » Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:45 am

evan price wrote:Me, if it were my ammo, I'd not spend one more minute trying to solve a defect situation caused by a manufacturer. You show out of spec and it won't chamber properly in your gun. Manufacturer needs to provide a call tag to ship it back and a full refund. Otherwise who gets stuck when a possible out of battery discharge occurs? Liability!

This.

Too long or not properly sized or whatever, it matters not. The manufacturer needs to take care of the OP so that the OP is made whole (full refund or replacement ammo that is to spec) without another dime out of pocket.
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Re: 9mm reload issue

Postby Sevens » Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:19 am

Seriously doubt the cartridge cases are too long. They are likely not sized well at the case head and that's why they won't pass muster.
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Re: 9mm reload issue

Postby JustaShooter » Sun Nov 13, 2016 1:22 pm

Sevens wrote:Seriously doubt the cartridge cases are too long. They are likely not sized well at the case head and that's why they won't pass muster.

That's my take as well - straight (or slightly tapered) wall handgun cartridges just don't grow like high pressure bottlenecked rifle cartridges do. They would likely have been too long to start with, so probably wouldn't have chambered in the original gun. I was thinking perhaps they had been shot in a handgun with an unsupported chamber and got bulged just above the web where the brass is thickest and least likely to get fully resized. Same kind of thing that makes reloaders need to use a small-base die for certain rifle cases - do they even make such a thing for handgun cartridges like the 9mm?
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Re: 9mm reload issue

Postby techmike » Sun Nov 13, 2016 3:47 pm

Just noticed that the table I had posted weirded out, so here it is again. The following are the measurements I took on a pass, fail and a factory cartridge. After I sent this to the distributor, they responded:
"Hi Mike,
I appreciate you sending us those measurements. Based on the measurements you provided, that DRS ammunition is well within SAAMI specifications. It seems as though this is more of an issue with using remanufactured ammunition in a match grade barrel than it is a defective ammunition issue. We are more than happy to accept a return on any unopened ammunition, but the return would be for store credit only and we are not able to cover any of the shipping costs. If you would like to proceed with that, please let me know how many rounds you have left that are unopened and I'll be glad to make up that RMA for you."

I explained that the gauge was SAAMI max, and what failed the gauge did not seat in any of my 9mm pistols, and that what did pass the gauge seated fine in all of my pistols. I asked for a contact at the reloader. Waiting. Oh, since it is a bulk case, and the (one) box is opened, I guess they won't be accepting a return.....
Hope you all are learning from my blunder! :)


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Re: 9mm reload issue

Postby techmike » Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:54 am

I figured out what the problem is - the bullets are bent. Chucked a "gauge fail" in my drill press, lined up a dial indicator and manually rotated the spindle - wow! Also just received a shipping label from the distributor, they are going back.
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