Under-sized 9mm 115gr

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Under-sized 9mm 115gr

Postby Rob122 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:40 pm

I got about a thousand rounds of some reloaded 9mm ammo from an unknown, therefore unreliable source. Mostly Winchester brass topped off with FMJ round nose bullets. My plan was to pull them apart and reuse the brass and bullet. I started with a sample of 50 rounds and pulled the bullets. I weighed them and they all came in at 115gr +/- .3 grain.

When I went to re-use the bullets they would drop right into casing with almost no resistance.

I then measured the bullets and got a reading of .347-.350. 9mm is supposed to be .355-.356 so I took out some other 9mm FMJ reloads I had and those measured .355. I only did this to confirm that my dial calipers were correct.

At this point I searched the Internet to no avail. Then I decide to experiment a bit. I didn't flare the case mouth with the powder drop and now the case will at least hold the bullet, but barely. I applied a substantial amount of crimp and the bullet just won't snug up in the case. I can push the bullet into the case with moderate finger pressure.


So my questions are:
Has anyone ever seen 115gr bullets that small in diameter?

if you have seen or possibly used bullets this diameter, how did you manage to reload them? Obviously the guy before me got them to work.

And finally, would a bullet that undersized be safe to shoot? I tried to push one through my barrel by hand and could not, so it seems like if I could get them loaded it shouldn't hurt the gun.
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Re: Under-sized 9mm 115gr

Postby Globemaster » Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:19 am

I'll measure some of mine later, and see what they read.
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Re: Under-sized 9mm 115gr

Postby Thom » Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:44 pm

That's certainly an odd size, I have never encountered any 9mm/.38s that small. A quick net search was negative too. Did you resize the brass first?
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Re: Under-sized 9mm 115gr

Postby Rob122 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:42 am

Thom,

Initially I did not resize the brass. But after seeing how loose the bullet was I did. I also grabbed some brass I already had on hand and got the same results.
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Re: Under-sized 9mm 115gr

Postby Globemaster » Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:06 am

I measured a few Nosler 115gr. partitions; they all measured out at 0.356
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Re: Under-sized 9mm 115gr

Postby Thom » Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:19 pm

I made another post last night that the internet seems to have eaten. . . When doing a search for .347 bullets I find a ton of pages about the TSA buying .347 Sig training ammo. When I had seen it before I had assumed it was just a typo and they meant .357 Sig. Now I really wonder. . .
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Re: Under-sized 9mm 115gr

Postby Ken73 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:57 am

If you cast, I'd melt 'em down and cast them out as new. Certainly wouldn't shoot them as-is.

Though, if you know how to powder coat metal, you could always put on a thick coat of powder coating to increase the size? It's actually better for your bore than copper..
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Re: Under-sized 9mm 115gr

Postby Rob122 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:43 am

Ken73,

Not a bad idea. I do have the stuff to cast bullets, I just haven't done it yet. Thanks.
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Re: Under-sized 9mm 115gr

Postby Rob » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:11 pm

Powder coated bullets? Never thought of that.
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Re: Under-sized 9mm 115gr

Postby Ken73 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:55 am

Rob wrote:Powder coated bullets? Never thought of that.


Yep.. it's the newest thing; same stuff you'd use to powder coat a piece of outdoor furniture or a car part. Acts like a polymer jacket on cast bullets. Cool part is you can make them any color you like, or even coat them with a copper color so they look like they have a copper jacket. Don't have to worry about alloy or lube so much with it. Here's a link to my 300 B.O. rounds:

Powder Coated 300 Blackout Rounds
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Re: Under-sized 9mm 115gr

Postby Thom » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:30 pm

Interesting!
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Re: Under-sized 9mm 115gr

Postby Once a Marine....... » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:37 pm

Are you sure those aren't tubes of lipstick? :yikes:
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Re: Under-sized 9mm 115gr

Postby Ken73 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:56 pm

Once a Marine....... wrote:Are you sure those aren't tubes of lipstick? :yikes:


1000 fps lipstick.. :lol:

Beauty of it is, it doesn't wear your barrel down either. Doesn't leave anything in the bore. (At least, nothing that doesn't come out during a quick scrub.) No leading at all and people are reporting rifle speeds (3000 fps+) with no issues. No gas checks necessary either. People are running them from 223 up to 458 Socom without any issues.

Far cheaper than buying bullets!!! I can make about thirty 45 ACP's for $1, or even thirty 300 Blackout bullets (subsonic, 230gr) for the same. Just as good as, if not better than copper.
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Re: Under-sized 9mm 115gr

Postby Globemaster » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:55 pm

Thom wrote:Interesting!

very ... :D
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Re: Under-sized 9mm 115gr

Postby Globemaster » Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:25 pm

hey Ken, can you post up some process images, of how this is accomplished; I'm curious to know how it's applied and cured
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Re: Under-sized 9mm 115gr

Postby Ken73 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:34 pm

I don't have any images at the moment, but many others have done the process since I first posted about it a year ago. Back then I only found one forum post on the internet about it. It's really caught on in the cast bullet community to the point where many are abandoning traditional lubes in favor of some sort of polymer coating, whether it's powder coating or a specialized epoxy paint. I chose the powder coating method because I had all the equipment and quite a bit of powder already from car projects. This is the electrostatic application method as the HF coating gun uses a high voltage power supply to make the dry powder stick to the grounded part (bullets.) Very little air is actually needed to blow it onto the bullets.

Safety 1st!
*Dust Mask - this stuff isn't necessarily toxic by itself, but you wouldn't want to breath a bunch in your lungs - certainly not good for you
*Goggles - just keeps the powder out of your eyes
*Ventilation - the fumes probably aren't good to breath either when it's being baked..

Materials needed:

*Toaster oven (this stuff puts off fumes, not to be done in an oven that is used for cooking food; buy your wife a new one and take her old one!)
*Powder (that is, powder coating powder - available from Harbor Freight, Eastwood Co., Powder by the Pound, and Columbia Coatings as well as others)
*Non-stick aluminum foil
*Powder coating gun (Harbor Freight, $60, cheaper with coupon)
*Air compressor (for powering the powder coating gun, you can use a small one as it doesn't require much - you can get a cheap one at HF as well)
*Cast bullets sized to your desired size

Process:

*Take a cast bullet of your choice, size it first if it isn't already.
*Clean the cast bullet with acetone if it's not freshly cast (if it has some form of lube on it.) Metal needs to be clean.
*Line the tray of the toaster oven with the non-stick aluminum foil
*Optionally place small nuts underneath the foil to place the bullets on to prevent the "fillet" of powder that can occur
*Place bullets on tray spacing them by maybe an inch or so
*Fill up and hook up your powder coating gun, attach ground to tray, adjust PSI on compressor fairly low, around 5psi?
*Spray while stepping on pedal until you get complete coverage but don't go bonkers with it
*Remove ground clip, carefully place tray into toaster oven taking care NOT to tip any bullets over (easy to do with long boat tail bullets!)
*Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes
*Let cool

Be sure to FLARE your case mouth so you don't shave the coating or lead! Start with minimum jacketed loads and chronograph your progress (if you've got one!) Supposedly you can shoot these at jacketed rifle speeds (3000+ fps!) but I have yet to verify that myself. Reportedly gas checks aren't needed either! Certainly not for slower (<1500 fps) rounds.

Pros:
*NO leading at all
*Clean bore (other than smokeless powder residue)
*Can shoot at jacketed speeds
*Any color you want - can use colors to differentiate different loads - even copper color so it looks like a jacketed bullet!
*Powder is common, available from many online sources and one or two local sources typically
*Powder costs anywhere from $5/lb to $25/lb lasts indefinitely as long as it's kept dry
*A pound of powder coats thousands of bullets
*Not as messy as paint (no liquid carrier)
*Not as messy or sticky as traditional lubes
*Can powder coat other items (keys, trinkets, other metal items) with this process
*Having the toaster oven allows you to do bake-on finishes on small gun parts too!

Cons:
*Cost a little bit to get into (toaster oven, powder coating gun, air compressor if you don't have one already)
*Somewhat time consuming (though traditional lubing is just as time consuming)
*Powder isn't at every corner store or sporting goods store for that matter
*Done in small batches typically, 50-100 bullets at a time
*Still a lot of people leery of the technology, but thankfully it's catching on very quickly!

Having said all this, I lucked out and snagged a Craftsman powder coating gun that doesn't require an air compressor; it's basically a hair dryer that blows the powder onto the part (bullets) but they've since sold out, and the other resellers still want $150+ for the unit. I got mine for under $40. I also have the HF gun for powder coating car parts but I don't use it because it requires an air compressor and the power supply is big and bulky. The little Craftsman unit I have is all-in-one. There are some methods out there to apply it without a powder coating gun - basically tumbling bullets in a small bucket with a mixture of acetone and the powder. Drop them out and let them dry, then bake. However the results are less than stellar (in fact, down right ugly) and most people have abandoned that method because of the uneven coating.

At some point I may see about doing a Youtube video on it. If you're REALLY interested, check out the "Cast Boolits" forum - Boolit Lube is where you'll find the discussions on this. I'm there under the same name.
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Re: Under-sized 9mm 115gr

Postby Globemaster » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:50 pm

awesome Ken, thanks for the added details ... it's very interesting! :thumbs up:
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