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Old 05-29-2012, 07:16   #1
Jonc7
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Hard Cast Load Issue

Loaded up some Missouri 180gr hard cast over 9.3 grains of Blue Dot (Plinking Loads). The issue I had was after belling the case it seemed when I loaded them they bulged the brass quite a bit, even made it difficult to eject a live round from the chamber. Any idea what would cause this? Maybe the bullet diameter is larger then .401? Any help is appreciated, can upload pictures if needed.
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:45   #2
dm1906
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Definitely measure the bullet diameter. Also, what brand, condition and history is the cases? If a loaded round is getting stuck in the chamber, something's amiss. You may have unknowingly bought oversize bullets, which are an option with many mfg's, or they just shipped the wrong part #.
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:56   #3
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The brass is once fired mixed, mostly pmc. The R-P didn't seem to bulge as bad.
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:06   #4
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I trust you are taper crimping the flare away.

Is this a factory or aftermarket "cast bullet barrel?"
Many replacement barrels have undersize chambers advertised as "minimum match chambers" and will not take a round of maximum size.
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:12   #5
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Yes, I am taper crimping the flare, also this is a stock barrel.
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:16   #6
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Can you not measure? It's important. If you don't have, at least, a caliper, get one. A cheap item you should be using EVERY time you load. This is especially important if you have "mixed" brass, or components you aren't familiar with (even a new lot of the same brand). Cartridge gages are nice and can be very handy, but they won't help you identify component issues, such as you are seeing now. Also, if you don't have one, add a bullet puller to your shopping list. Not being able to "recycle" mistakes (which happens from time to time, with EVERY handloader, regardless of experience) defies one important reason we handload: economics.

That said, I use a lot of recycled brass, many with an unknown history (range brass or quarry finds) for many calibers. They all get a careful inspection and measure after a wash and before going into the tumbler. There are a lot of headstamps that come up frequently as "inconsistent". PMC is on that list.

Another thing to consider is the case dimensions. If it's "big" on the outside, it's often "small" on the inside, once sized to a standard. This skews load data results, and can be a very dangerous situation.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:56   #7
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have you had any issues with the factory barrel and cast bullets?
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:51   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonc7 View Post
Loaded up some Missouri 180gr hard cast over 9.3 grains of Blue Dot (Plinking Loads). The issue I had was after belling the case it seemed when I loaded them they bulged the brass quite a bit, even made it difficult to eject a live round from the chamber. Any idea what would cause this? Maybe the bullet diameter is larger then .401? Any help is appreciated, can upload pictures if needed.
IIRC, the MBC bullets 180gr bullet is a TC profile. Likely the tough ejection is related to the bullet getting stuck in the throat versus the case getting stuck in the chamber.

If you had an aftermarket barrel with no free bore the rounds probably wouldn't even chamber.

You can test to see if this is the problem by loading a dummy shorter with the break at the shoulder of the bullet closer to the case mouth. This will likely address the "jamming in the throat" issue (if that is indeed the problem). You then have to figure if the shorter OAL is an issue with your load, at 9.0grs of BD it probably won't be, but maybe backing off a tad more and working up won't hurt.

As far as the bulge. R-P, TZZ, etc. have thinner brass, so when you load a thicker lead bullet you see less bulge. Fiocchi, CBC (Magtech), PMC have a little thicker brass and so the bulge is bigger (the sizing dies doesn't change). Bulge is not something to worry about in itself.

Make sense?

Last edited by WeeWilly; 05-29-2012 at 10:53..
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:58   #9
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Thanks for all the info everybody! I didn't really concider myself a rookie at reloading but have found there is still alot I have to learn!
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Old 05-29-2012, 21:26   #10
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Like others asked, have you measured the bullet diameter?

If you don't have a caliper to measure them, stop reloading until you do! You at least need to be able to measure overall length of the loaded round.

If you are seating them too deep, you could be causing case bulges, but that's not real likely with a 180gr in the 10mm, unless they are way too deep.

WeeWilly's suggestion of the bullets sticking in the throat is probably right on.
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:32   #11
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Yes I do have a caliper, checked last night and the bullets were in fact .401 it also seemed that the brass that had the largest bulge were the pmc which weewilly stated is due to the thicker brass. Again I appreciate all the information!
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:20   #12
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I've been using Missouri bullets lately, their IDP#5 which is a 180 grain TCFP. According to my load notes, if I load under 1.253" it doesn't cycle very well. I'm shooting for 1.255" but with mixed, untrimmed cases that can be a challenge.

I DO have a tight, match chamber in my Dan Wesson CBOB, and this load is the least consistent as far as cycling, so I'll be making a switch.

For my next batch of "target ammo" I'm going to give a FMJ a try and I expect I'll get better results but with a bullet that's more expensive.

I also went through a 500 box of their 147 gr. Subsonic in 9mm in a M+P9c with no issues at all, it's reasonably accurate and it cycled well, so it depends upon the particular gun and chamber dimensions coupled with COL.

I think it's always beneficial to pull the barrel, clean it up and use to custom size the COL for your barrel. It's a PIA but worth the end results.

I also use the Lee Crimp Die for 10mm and run a mild crimp with it.
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:25   #13
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You have two options.

  • Pull the bullets, recycle the components, and toss the bulging brass.
  • Run the bulged cartridges (or all of them, for that matter) through a Bulge Buster. Fire ALL the bulged case rounds only as the TOP round in the mag. Once the significantly bulged cases are "busted", the bullets will be slightly undersized, and highly prone to "recoil set-back". The very light 9.3 gr. BD charge is of no concern (decreasing case capacity a little won't change anything with this charge, noticeably). Don't count on significant accuracy with the now undersized bullet.

Also, before you do anything to the rounds, measure the O.D. of the cartridge in 4 places. Just below the crimp, middle of the bullet bulge area, base of the bullet bulge area, and between the bullet base and case web. This will give a picture of how it's settling in the chamber, and may offer the greatest explanation of your problem.

Attached is the SAAMI cartridge and chamber drawing. Use this to compare your cartridge dimensions. Glock OEM chambers are usually on the ragged edge of maximum, so if you're close, there will often be chambering issues.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 10mm_SAAMI.pdf (28.8 KB, 56 views)
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:56   #14
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The bulge I think the OP is talking about is the coke bottle shape that results from thick brass, a nice tight sizer die and thick lead bullets, that is why the R-P brass has less bulge. This kind of "bulge" is not the problem.

If you could eject the toughest rounds that stuck in the chamber without having to hold the slide with one hand and slam the other hand into the back of the grip to get the round to eject, you are actually pretty close OAL wise to having a dimension that will work reliably. Just pick some of the thickest headstamp brass and make up some dummies to get to an OAL that will keep the bullet from jamming into the throat.

The challenge with the TC profile is sometimes you will get to an OAL that will chamber without the jamming in the throat, but then will not reliably feed out of your magazines or is such a deep seat that you can't run the load as hot as you want. Personally, I find the TC profile the most challenging to load (even more than LSWC).

OAL is the key to reliable feed with this bullet.

Last edited by WeeWilly; 05-30-2012 at 09:00..
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:33   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeeWilly View Post
The bulge I think the OP is talking about is the coke bottle shape that results from thick brass, a nice tight sizer die and thick lead bullets, that is why the R-P brass has less bulge. This kind of "bulge" is not the problem.

If you could eject the toughest rounds that stuck in the chamber without having to hold the slide with one hand and slam the other hand into the back of the grip to get the round to eject, you are actually pretty close OAL wise to having a dimension that will work reliably. Just pick some of the thickest headstamp brass and make up some dummies to get to an OAL that will keep the bullet from jamming into the throat.

The challenge with the TC profile is sometimes you will get to an OAL that will chamber without the jamming in the throat, but then will not reliably feed out of your magazines or is such a deep seat that you can't run the load as hot as you want. Personally, I find the TC profile the most challenging to load (even more than LSWC).

OAL is the key to reliable feed with this bullet.
This is not an issue I've seen with 180's, and I load a LOT of 180 gr. TCFP and RSFP bullets (target answer to expensive carry round duplication) 1.250 to 1.260", from many different suppliers and hand cast. 200's can be more sensitive to seating depth and C.O.L.

Easy enough to determine. "Paint" the entire chamber area of the cartridge (case web to point) with a Sharpie, let cure for about 20 minutes, "drop" into the chamber (barrel removed), push in until it sticks, push out (use dowel or cleaning rod) and observe the shiny marks.

Also note that un-ramped chambers and some other designs, such as mentioned above, may have issues chambering short rounds. We cannot compare these with Glock-type chambers. Completely different chamber, staging angle and breach engagement designs.

Last edited by dm1906; 05-30-2012 at 09:34..
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:35   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeeWilly View Post
The bulge I think the OP is talking about is the coke bottle shape that results from thick brass, a nice tight sizer die and thick lead bullets, that is why the R-P brass has less bulge. This kind of "bulge" is not the problem.

If you could eject the toughest rounds that stuck in the chamber without having to hold the slide with one hand and slam the other hand into the back of the grip to get the round to eject, you are actually pretty close OAL wise to having a dimension that will work reliably. Just pick some of the thickest headstamp brass and make up some dummies to get to an OAL that will keep the bullet from jamming into the throat.

The challenge with the TC profile is sometimes you will get to an OAL that will chamber without the jamming in the throat, but then will not reliably feed out of your magazines or is such a deep seat that you can't run the load as hot as you want. Personally, I find the TC profile the most challenging to load (even more than LSWC).

OAL is the key to reliable feed with this bullet.
+1
Bulged brass from a .401 bullet will not cause the round to stick in a stock Glock barrel.

It's got to be sticking on the front driving band of the bullet that's outside the case. Find one that sticks, and color it all over with a sharpie marker, and re-chamber it to find out where the contact point is.

Try seating the bullets so the top of the front driving band is even with the case mouth. With most TC designs you can't load to max OAL for the 10mm.

Last edited by Yondering; 05-30-2012 at 09:36..
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:29   #17
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Had a closer look at Missouri Bullet's product description and image of their 180 gr. TCFP. They appear to be true cast (not swaged) and look just like what I cast, all sized to .401". The shoulder angle and meplate appears very typical, and certainly more narrow than a WFN. I've loaded thousands of these for 10mm and .40 with no throat issues, fired through several different barrels and handgun brands. The Glock OEM throat taper is quite generous, compared to others, and a .401" driving band should not be a problem, seated to 1.260" C.O.L.

Pic of some 180 TCFP I cast within the last couple weeks, sized to .401".
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Old 05-30-2012, 19:25   #18
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Looks just like the Lee 175gr TC that I cast, with the bevel base removed.
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Old 05-30-2012, 22:50   #19
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Looks just like the Lee 175gr TC that I cast, with the bevel base removed.
It's an old Lee mold (possibly an original run, as they haven't listed a "180 TC" for a LONG time. It's been 175 for many years. I have a new 175 TC Lee mold, it's slightly different and throws slightly lighter bullets (not so different I wouldn't use it as a substitute). 174-178 (new) vs. 178-182 (old), depending on the alloy used and heat treating method (or lack of). New sprew plate (old was too rusty to rescue), new scissor, and handles I had laying around. Throws casts better than new. Old molds usually cast better than new, in my experience (when properly maintained). Problem is, you have to use new molds to make old molds. An elf's work is never done.

My point was, the bearing surfaces, side angle and meplate are similar enough to not make a difference. I've used WFN's that had a much more shallow side angle that would just start to engage the throat at a max C.O.L. These would have to stick out pretty far before that became an issue. Probably longer than would fit in any mag. I may have to test that, just cuz "I gotsta know". Dammit. Too many irons in the fire as it it. Maybe later.
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Old 06-04-2012, 17:33   #20
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Double check your seating depth and also check the bullets for rifling marks. Some bullets if loaded to max. allowable length will hit the rifling before fully chambering.
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