SIG Talk banner

1 - 20 of 49 Posts

Registered
Joined
149 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Interesting unexpected COAL issue due to the Dillon 9mm bullet seating die

I am experiencing an interesting unexpected COAL issue due to the Dillon 9mm bullet seating die bought with my Dillon XL750.

I have been finding that despite all my efforts to consistently apply the same stroke with the same pressure on every stroke of the press handle, I am getting some variation in cartridge overall length, when I measure from base of cartridge to tip of the bullet hollowpoint (I have no tool to measure from base of cartridge to ogive for this 9mm pistol cartridge). In extreme cases, the difference between longest and shortest COAL hits 0.010". Yet, the actual performance of the cartridges i am loading, with 5 shot groups at 25 yards, is as good as 0.81 inches.

I have examined the fit of the 115g Hornady HAP 0.355" 9mm bullet with the reversible seating insert inside the Dillon die, and see the problem: Neither end of the insert can control the bullet via its ogive. Rather, each end seats the bullet via controlling the TIP of the bullet. This is because the only contact between the insert and the bullet occurs right at the tip of the hollowpoint. i.e. the "recess", at either end of the reversible insert, is too wide, so the bullet "bottoms" onto the flat END of the recess. And, I suspect, each hollowpoint bullet tip "crushes" slightly by a differing amount, because the hollowpoint is indeed "hollow" and therefore malleable.

The ogive of the jacketed hollowpoint HAP bullet is basically a straight (i.e. non-curved) truncated cone shaped ogive topped by a hollowpoint. So, a seating insert that can capture and control the ogive could create a very consistent "Overall Length" if measured from the base of the cartridge to the point of ogive contact, and any variation in the TIP of the bullet height would basically be of no consequence since the tip portion does not contact the chamber lead or rifling, so it does not affect pressure produced and therefore will have no impact on bullet speed.

But since the Dillon insert grabs the tip, my theory is that the COAL I get by measuring with my digital caliper, which can only measure from base to tip (not to ogive), varies with the varying OAL length of each bullet tip and by the degree of deformative "crushing" of the tip during seating.

I did a sample analysis of the bullet OAL, and got these results:
Average OAL = 0.5393"
Std Dev = .0019"
Max height = .5445"
Min height = .5375"
Extreme spread = .007"

This explains the up to .010" extreme spread i am getting on the digital caliper. Only .003" is due to my setup and / or inconsistency of pressure. Most of it is due the variation in bullet OAL.

So, I think I need to measure base to ogive, but I don't know where i could get such a gage to sue with my caliper.

A more practical solution seems to be to simply buy a seating die that does capture the ogive versus the tip of the bullet. This solution would not enable me to measure more accurately with my caliper, BUT it would actually make the TRUE COAL (i.e. base to ogive) significantly more consistent, since the deformable and variable height tip of the bullet would no longer be controlling the actual bullet placement within the case.

Dillon does not appear to offer such a seating insert or complete die.

I have ordered a 9mm Redding Competition bullet seating die. That die has a couple of nice features:

- Its shape, at least the one I saw being used in .45 ACP, works properly with a straight cone shaped ogive hollowpoint bullet, capturing the ogive versus the tip

- It has a self-retracting "sleeve" that guides the combination of case and unseated bullet perfectly coaxially aligned into the seating insert

- Its seating height is controlled by a micrometer knob that allows accurate adjustment to a precision of .001"

- It is designed to work in progressive presses as well as single stage presses.

I am hoping this will make the true COAL of my cartridges more consistent.

Jim G
 

Premium Member
US Army Veteran
Joined
1,111 Posts
Hi Jim, this is interesting as you mentions and frankly, I have never done this type of analysis on any of my pistol caliber reloads before, but I went and did it based on your reflection.

I can get .010 extreme spread after checking 20 - 30 rounds of 9mm with Remington 147 grain Jacketed Match bullets. I use a Dillon 650 with Dillon dies.

Even after seeing that the COAL is different, I'm good with it as long as the rounds successfully pass the bullet gauge test. I gauge every round I make and as long as they don't exceed any measurements, I'm good to go.

If my groups were .81 inches at 25 yards, I'd want to Loctite the dies and keep on cranking.

Thanks for the exercise, it was fun. I just wanted you to know that .010 might not be unusual. Please let me know if the Redding die really makes a difference. I'm even more interested to see if the Redding dies help tighten your .81 inch groups. 馃槉
 

Registered
Joined
218 Posts
I鈥檝e have loaded on a 650 for years . I do all my testing in a ransom rest. That being said. Over time I have replaced all of my Dillon dies . My pistol die setup consists of
EGW U sizing die
Double alpha powder drop M die style powder die
Redding competition seating die
I don鈥檛 crimp 9mm but for 45 acp I run a Redding competition crimp die .
I have spent countless hours testing and this setup just works.

Also , I do have a hornady kit that allows you to measure to the ogive on pistol or rifle bullets by changing inserts.
 

Premium Member
US Army Veteran
Joined
1,111 Posts
I鈥檝e have loaded on a 650 for years . I do all my testing in a ransom rest. That being said. Over time I have replaced all of my Dillon dies . My pistol die setup consists of
EGW U sizing die
Double alpha powder drop M die style powder die
Redding competition seating die
I don鈥檛 crimp 9mm but for 45 acp I run a Redding competition crimp die .
I have spent countless hours testing and this setup just works

Also , I do have a hornady kit that allows you to measure to the ogive on pistol or rifle bullets by changing inserts
So, you are saying the Dillon dies wear out or just aren't as good as the Redding? Do you believe the Redding dies will correct the .010 inconsistency?
Thanks, this is getting more interesting by the post.
 

Registered
Joined
149 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Hi Jim, this is interesting as you mentions and frankly, I have never done this type of analysis on any of my pistol caliber reloads before, but I went and did it based on your reflection.

I can get .010 extreme spread after checking 20 - 30 rounds of 9mm with Remington 147 grain Jacketed Match bullets. I use a Dillon 650 with Dillon dies.

Even after seeing that the COAL is different, I'm good with it as long as the rounds successfully pass the bullet gauge test. I gauge every round I make and as long as they don't exceed any measurements, I'm good to go.

If my groups were .81 inches at 25 yards, I'd want to Loctite the dies and keep on cranking.

Thanks for the exercise, it was fun. I just wanted you to know that .010 might not be unusual. Please let me know if the Redding die really makes a difference. I'm even more interested to see if the Redding dies help tighten your .81 inch groups. 馃槉
I will post new info as I get it, after receiving the Redding die and setting it up. Could be a while, as I am in British Columbia in Canada and the die will be shipped from Quebec in Canada! During COVID, that seems to require 7 to 10 days all by itself!

I am actually more concerned right now about the efefcts of varying COAL on peak pressure than on accuracy. I am safely in the middle of the 7.2g to 8.7g range that Vihtavuori's load table gives for this combinaiton of bullet and powder, but short COAL can raise pressure a lot, especially when you are on the verge of a compressed load, which is where this 8.0g of VV 3N38 is in my Hornady cases (whose volume is 14.5 g of water - a little above the 9mm "typical" used by Vihatvuori, QuickLOAD, and GRT.

Jim G
 

Premium Member
US Army Veteran
Joined
1,111 Posts
I will post new info as I get it, after receiving the Redding die and setting it up. Could be a while, as I am in British Columbia in Canada and the die will be shipped from Quebec in Canada! During COVID, that seems to require 7 to 10 days all by itself!

I am actually more concerned right now about the efefcts of varying COAL on peak pressure than on accuracy. I am safely in the middle of the 7.2g to 8.7g range that Vihtavuori's load table gives for this combinaiton of bullet and powder, but short COAL can raise pressure a lot, especially when you are on the verge of a compressed load, which is where this 8.0g of VV 3N38 is in my Hornady cases (whose volume is 14.5 g of water - a little above the 9mm "typical" used by Vihatvuori, QuickLOAD, and GRT.

Jim G
Thanks Jim, I am interested. I also understand better your concern - I'm only using 3.3grains of Vita 320 so I'm on the very low side. This is good stuff, keep me tuned in to the story. Thanks
 

Registered
Joined
149 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I鈥檝e have loaded on a 650 for years . I do all my testing in a ransom rest. That being said. Over time I have replaced all of my Dillon dies . My pistol die setup consists of
EGW U sizing die
Double alpha powder drop M die style powder die
Redding competition seating die
I don鈥檛 crimp 9mm but for 45 acp I run a Redding competition crimp die .
I have spent countless hours testing and this setup just works.

Also , I do have a hornady kit that allows you to measure to the ogive on pistol or rifle bullets by changing inserts.
Yes, I can see the wisdom and experience in your individual picks. I have already seen that the Dillon sizing die sometimes catches the rim of the infeeding case and jars the whole process on my XL750. I have a Pyrex glass hopper coming for the powder dropper, to try to eliminate any tendency to electrostatic charge causing powder weight fluctuations (we have had an unusually cool winter here on Vancouver Island in Canada).

My Dillon crimping die is set up for a .374" final crimped diameter at the rim, in order to ensure consistent neck tension, sufficient to prevent any bullet recession into the case during recoil while in the pistol magazine.

I have to limit some of my "dreams" for better reloading component pieces, because in Canada we pay so much more for virtually all the items that have more reasonable prices in The U.S. Basically we pay a 30 to 35% currency exchange plus anothe r 20% on top "just because" the selles price it that way. But, I am upgrading gradually as budget permits.

I have never before had a COAL variance problem like this one. The Hornady HAP 115g 9mm bullet's dimensions just happen to be a really bad fit for that Dillon seating die insert.

What is the correct full name for the Hornady kit that allows base to ogive measurement on pistol rounds? THAT I would really like to have. Trying to load to an exact length withOUT something like that is virtually impossible.

Jim G
 

Registered
Joined
149 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Jim, I am interested. I also understand better your concern - I'm only using 3.3grains of Vita 320 so I'm on the very low side. This is good stuff, keep me tuned in to the story. Thanks
How much of the case volume does the 3.3 grains of VV 320 consume? I'm asking because I don't know if the N320 density is very different than the 3N38 density, but if not, that would seem to fill less than even half the case. That promotes inconsistent burn does it not? All the experts seem to say that the closer you can get to filling the case volume, the better, consistent of course with the resulting powder properties yielding a SAFE pressure.

Apparently, black powder shooters, who are already at the energy content they want, or at the safe limit, often fill the rest of the case with non-powders like rice or cardboard or other "volume occupiers" to promote a more consistent burn. No kidding.

Jim G
 

Premium Member
US Army Veteran
Joined
1,111 Posts
I can see it now, you guys are going to cost me money. Now I'm going to look into the Redding dies - Jim, do you believe the Redding dies will smooth the resizing? I notice the same catching of the case periodically and with short cases, powder spill is likely.

My 3.3 Vita 320 fills a little less than half the case, but I have never had a problem and I've been using that formula for 3 years of competition and plenty of practice. But since I'm using a lower amount of powder, I can't afford to lose much with the resizing jolt - thus my interest in the Redding resizing dies.
 

Premium Member
Joined
2,437 Posts
.374鈥 of crimp is too much IMO. I 鈥渃rimp鈥 just to remove the flare and its consistent at .378鈥.

As for your COAL, you can use same head stamp brass to reduce the variation. I sort by head stamp when loading both my competition minor and major loads.

here鈥檚 my Processing and loading setup:
Lee U die
Dillon swage foot die
MBF funnel
Mr Bulletfeeder
Redding Competition die
Lee FCD
387419



If you want to measure through the ogive, buy the Hornady Lock and Load Bullet comparator. I have one and it鈥檚 what I use during load development.


387418
 

Premium Member
US Army Veteran
Joined
1,111 Posts
Oh, that thing looks cool. I'm glad I don't load for rifle, whole new bag of worms there.
 

Registered
Joined
149 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I can see it now, you guys are going to cost me money. Now I'm going to look into the Redding dies - Jim, do you believe the Redding dies will smooth the resizing? I notice the same catching of the case periodically and with short cases, powder spill is likely.

My 3.3 Vita 320 fills a little less than half the case, but I have never had a problem and I've been using that formula for 3 years of competition and plenty of practice. But since I'm using a lower amount of powder, I can't afford to lose much with the resizing jolt - thus my interest in the Redding resizing dies.
SteveAC's posting shows he has solid experience, and believes he has found good solutions to things we have all experienced, so I am inclined to go with his advice! I've copied and pasted his posting into my reloading e-file, and will be chekcing back with it as I move forward with my reloading.

I reloaded for decades when I lived in The U.S. from age 28 to age 65, and also had many different firearms. When I returned to Canada, I had to sell everything, because the Canadian Government's opening position had evolved to "Guns are bad - all fo them, and we want to make it virtually impossible for you to own any."

About a year ago, a lifelong buddy here who "jumped through all the hoops" to get the required licensing, talked me into getting into firearms again despite the obstacles here. It took me 10 months to get my licensing, partially because of COVID but mostly because of bureaucracy, and so I am starting up all over again. My Dillon XL750 and reloading accessories, and my SIG P210A Target, are my restart. I have a long way to go, and only a retirement budget to pay for it all . . .

I LOVE shooting, and the firearms, reloading, and people associated with it. In the 1980s, I actually did a research project for The U.S. Olympic Air Pistol/Rifle shooting team, i which I proved that they could never score consistent 10s in their matches simply because the pellets at the time were not sufficiently uniform to achieve it. They subsequently did the giant weight matching project I proposed, and then a year or two later, the German pellet companies started selling presorted pellets!

For that "proving" project, a friend got me access to the Honeywell materials lab that did forensic analysis for the U.S. Military whenever they had an unexpected material failure, and I weighed many hundreds of pellets on awiegh scale so precise that it needed to be fully enclosed and on a solid granite mounting table. It was one of the most fun projects I ever did. But the team screwed me by taking my idea for a sorting project and having someone other than me do the work (where I would have made some money - I did the prpving project for no charge). I think maybe they used grad students at a University in Colorado to do the work. :)

Jim G
 

Registered
Joined
149 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
.374鈥 of crimp is too much IMO. I 鈥渃rimp鈥 just to remove the flare and its consistent at .378鈥.

As for your COAL, you can use same head stamp brass to reduce the variation. I sort by head stamp when loading both my competition minor and major loads.

here鈥檚 my Processing and loading setup:
Lee U die
Dillon swage foot die
MBF funnel
Mr Bulletfeeder
Redding Competition die
Lee FCD
View attachment 387419


If you want to measure through the ogive, buy the Hornady Lock and Load Bullet comparator. I have one and it鈥檚 what I use during load development.




View attachment 387418
This is great info! Especially about the Hornady Lock and Load Bullet comparator! I taper crimpmto 0.374" because:
My Hornady cases size to 0.3705" (I use ONLY these Hornady cases)
Their wall thickness is 0.0101"
So case ID = .3503"
The Hornady HAP bullets average only 0.3548
So the 0.374" crimp gives me a .001" crimp, which I view as desirable to control bullet setback in the pistol's magazine during firing.

Here's one of my recent 25 yards from a sandbag better targets:

387426


Jim G
 

Premium Member
Joined
2,437 Posts
This is great info! Especially about the Hornady Lock and Load Bullet comparator! I taper crimpmto 0.374" because:
My Hornady cases size to 0.3705" (I use ONLY these Hornady cases)
Their wall thickness is 0.0101"
So case ID = .3503"
The Hornady HAP bullets average only 0.3548
So the 0.374" crimp gives me a .001" crimp, which I view as desirable to control bullet setback in the pistol's magazine during firing.

Here's one of my recent 25 yards from a sandbag better targets:

View attachment 387426

Jim G
Jim, congrats on your P210. I read some of your previous posts and I鈥檒l guess you鈥檙e an engineer.

Anyway, N320 is denser than 3N38. I have done some load development for 9 major (>/= 165 of) and with 10 Gr of 3N38 with 115 Gr JHP and the 9mm case is almost overflowing with powder. I have also used other powders such as AA7 and SWMP for major. My loads for major are over the maximum loads on VV鈥檚 load info but I shoot these loads on a compensated gun.

N320 on the other hand is as dense as Sport Pistol and W231. it鈥檚 also very clean and accurate. I鈥檓 surprised you鈥檙e using 3N38 when to me, N320 is better for minor loads. In fact, I loaded 4.0 Gr of N320 with 124 Gr JHP for a friend who has a P210 and he was very happy with the result. He has a ransom rest which I borrow when doing load development.

As for pressure due to short COAL, I have loaded as short as 1.088-1.090鈥 COAL for my shadow 2 without any problems. This is with 124 Gr JHP using either N320, Sport Pistol and W231. However, I like loading long if my barrel allows me to lessen the pressure.

Im using a Lee Undersize die and the case is sized .003鈥 smaller than a regular sizing die to prevent any setback even if my 鈥渃rimp鈥 is set to .378鈥. It鈥檚 hard to find them now but you can also use a Redding sizing die in place of the Lee U die. The Redding sizing die sizes the 9mm case .002鈥 smaller than regular sizing dies. I have both of them plus a regular Dillon sizing die I originally received when I bought my Dillon 550 a long time ago. I鈥檓 now reloading with a Dillon RL1100 after selling my XL650.

There are a lot of reloaders who think or assume that the crimp is what keeps the bullet in place and prevent setback. This is a wrong assumption. If the case is sized properly, the neck and case tension will prevent any bullet setback on the reloaded rounds. It seems to me that you鈥檙e sizing die is not sizing your cases small enough to prevent bullet setback.

I also use this Hundo case gauge by Shockbottle to check my reloads. Any round that doesn鈥檛 pass gets relegated to practice ammo.

387434
 

Registered
Joined
149 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Jim, congrats on your P210. I read some of your previous posts and I鈥檒l guess you鈥檙e an engineer.

. . .

I also use this Hundo case gauge by Shockbottle to check my reloads. Any round that doesn鈥檛 pass gets relegated to practice ammo.

View attachment 387434
Yes, I am a degreed engineer (Mechanical Engineering & Engineering Physics), but I worked most of my career as first in manufacturing management and then in computer systems project management for Government agencies and Fortune 500s.

On the crimping: I guess I am just too scared to ever have the bullets set back into the cases to go to a lower crimp or no crimp. With the crimp I have, it takes me 3 strikes with an inertial bullet removal hammer to get the bullet back out of a defective cartridge. It's my old safety officer training (When I was a manufacturing manager, plant safety was one of my big responsibilities, and I've retained all the caution I learned there).

I love the concept of the Hundo case gauge by Shockbottle! You use that instead of regular cartridge boxes to place the cartridges into? Is there a lid for it too, so that you can take it directly to the range without having to transfer each cartridge manually into a cartridge box?

Jim G
 

Registered
Joined
996 Posts
.374鈥 of crimp is too much IMO. I 鈥渃rimp鈥 just to remove the flare and its consistent at .378鈥.
I agree with George. The crimp is only there to remove the flare. The nominal 9MM case mouth diameter, per SAAMI, is 0.380". If you are loading new brass, which still should be resized, crimping to 0.380" works fine. But I've found that 0.378" works best with reloaded brass and/or mixed case heads.
The crimp isn't what holds the bullet. It is the resized case neck that holds the bullet and prevents set-back. If you take a loaded cartridge, before crimping, and press the bullet against a table top, it should not move. If it does there is a resizing problem.
If you "pull" a bullet from a finished cartridge, after crimping, there should not be any marks on the bullet. If there are, you are over crimping. I suspect that a 0.374" crimp will indent a ring around the bullet.

BTW, with my 30 year old Square Deal B, I usually see a COL max range of 0.005".
 

Registered
Joined
149 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I just looked up the Hundo case gauge by Shockbottle. It's actually a Canadian product by the looks of it. But, the price is $145 + 12% sales tax + shipping. The writeup says they do NOT include a box (you have to buy 100 round boxes from other sources), and they apparently wear out too according to their writeup. All of that is a bit of a hard sell to me personally.

Jim G
I agree with George. The crimp is only there to remove the flare. The nominal 9MM case mouth diameter, per SAAMI, is 0.380". If you are loading new brass, which still should be resized, crimping to 0.380" works fine. But I've found that 0.378" works best with reloaded brass and/or mixed case heads.
The crimp isn't what holds the bullet. It is the resized case neck that holds the bullet and prevents set-back. If you take a loaded cartridge, before crimping, and press the bullet against a table top, it should not move. If it does there is a resizing problem.
If you "pull" a bullet from a finished cartridge, after crimping, there should not be any marks on the bullet. If there are, you are over crimping. I suspect that a 0.374" crimp will indent a ring around the bullet.

BTW, with my 30 year old Square Deal B, I usually see a COL max range of 0.005".
I am puzzled as to how a .380" taper crimp could work given my bullet and case dimensions as shown above:
My Hornady cases size to 0.3705" (I use ONLY these Hornady cases)
Their wall thickness is 0.0101"
So case ID = .3503"
The Hornady HAP bullets average only 0.3548
So the 0.374" crimp gives me a .001" crimp
If I "crimped" to .380, my bullet with its 0.3548" diameter would be "flopping loosely" inside the 0.380" - (.0101 x 2)" wall thickness = .3598" ID of the case! (Instead of a crimp, I'd have .3598" minus .3548" = 0.050" clearance!!

Am I somehow doing the math wrong?

And, more importantly, why does the pistol shoot such fine groups with this crimp???

Jim G
 

Registered
Joined
149 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Also, I have pulled multiple bullets using an inertia hammer, and they have no markings on them, which given the above math, should not surprise us, given a crimp of only .001" interference.

Jim G
 
1 - 20 of 49 Posts
Top