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Discussion Starter #1
I'm reloading 9mm rounds for a new (old) Series 70 Colt Commander. The load is 124 gr. lead RN bullets w/ 4.5 gr. of VV N340. The loading manuals call for an OAL of 1.41, but when I load at that length the case sits past the barrel hood and the gun won't go into battery. If I set the OAL to 1.090 the bullet will seat fine, but I'm afraid that such a short OAL will result in too high pressure. The lead bullets mic out at .356. BTW, the OAL of 115 gr. factory loads are way above 1.41 and the bullet seats fine. I'm crimping the bullets and I've even polished the chamber. Nothing makes a difference. I've got 1,500 rounds of these bullets and I don't want to dump them. Plus, because of costs I want to stay with lead.

I've got two questions: (1) since I'm loading at the lowest charge recommended by VV, will I be risking a problem if I go with the shorter OAL; (2) what modification could I make to the gun to feed 124 gr. lead bullets.
 

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I usually reload the 124 gr lead round nose to an OAL of 1.130". Any longer and my CZ-75 and BHP will not always feed and chamber well. (I also reload 9 mm for a Ruger P-85 but it will swallow anything no matter what.) The length you see in the manual may be a max length and not a minimum OAL as 1.141" sounds kind of long for a 9mm Luger round.
 

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I also load 9mm for a cz75 and ruger p85.
While the Ruger will feed a brick if you
can get in the mag.,the cz75 has a tight
chamber and requires a lee sizing die as
a last step in reloading. While a little
more work the cz75 is super accurate and
very much worth it. Your Colt may have the
same fault.(If you want to call it that)
Lee sizer die is approx.$12.00.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice. I did the ultimate test--tried the rounds. No sign of high pressure so I guess the rounds can be seated that low. Just to be safe I did take out the mag (so any pressure oculd escape) and wrapped the gun in a heavy piece of carpet. Better safe than sorry.

The accuracy was okay, but then I tried some rounds a guy had at the range. 125 gr. Speer lead RN behind 3.7 gr. Bullseye w/ an OAL of 1.10. Now that was both accurate and soft shooting.
 

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You may have bullets that have a bearing surface farther forward than other 124's. In which case your problem isn't a tight chamber.

Take the barrel out and scrub it. Measure the overall length. Push a bullet (not in a case) in from the chamber until it stops. Stick a dowel down the muzzle and measure the distance to the bullet nose. Subtract the latter from the former measurment and you have the max oal that bullet can be loaded to in that barrel.

Get a chronograph. V-340 is a bit slow to be loading soft loads with lead bullets int he 9mm. Go with a faster powder, but don't go right to Bullseye or AA#2 until you know your barrel runs ok with them. I've had some guns shoot tumbling bullets when loaded with lead bullets and Bullseye or #2.
 

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The maximum overall length of the 9mm Parabellum cartridge is nominally 1.169". A standard factory 115 fmj load goes 1.153". Perhaps there is a misprint in your reloading manual; 1.41" is way out of range. However, 1.14" would be about right.

Overall loaded length for autoloading pistols is generally determined by feeding requirements rather than chamber considerations. It doesn't much matter what the barrel and chamber can take if the rounds won't feed.

I load 122 grain lead truncated cone bullets to 1.02" with 3.6 grains of Bullseye. They are mild and accurate.

For round nose bullets, I generally set the seating die stem on a factory jacketed bullet cartridge, and use that die setting for all round nose bullets. Overall loaded length may very slightly with different bullets due to different nose shapes on the bullets, but they all work fine.

If you use Bullseye for full velocity loads with lead bullets, you can get tumbling and terrible accuracy. But it is great at the 1000 fps level.



[This message has been edited by KLN (edited 10-10-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ooops number dyslexia--it is 1.142. Still, the only way it will feed these bullets is at 1.090. Otherwise it won't chamber. I did try some other bullets at the range that were Speer 125 gr. lead loaded at 1.14 and they feed fine. It must be the particular ogive of the bullet I'm using.
 
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