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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read of several smith's rechambering 9x19 barrels for a 1911 for 9x23.

Assuming a 'standard' 9x19 barrel, are there any concerns in doing this? I'm wondering if certain brands lack chamber length to accommodate the longer round, or if some brands might lack structural integrity for the increased pressure?

If someone's done this, what barrel did you start with, and what were your results?

I'm cooking up a plan, but want to be able to count to ten after I'm done.... :)


Larry
 

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There should be no problems. All 1911 barrels in the "chamber region" are the same length. They only differ in their total barrel length.

The 9X23 reamer will create the proper chamber length for the longer round. You'll need 38 Super magazines if you only have 9mm length magazines.

I'm not aware of any limitations on barrel brands for holding the pressure. That is, I don't think that a 9X23 barrel requires special heat treatment compared to any other caliber. You could check with someone who makes 9X23 barrels for your peace of mind. (i.e. Nowlin, Clark)

I've rechambered a Nowlin 38 Super barrel and a Para Ordnance 9mm Luger barrel with a Manson 9X23 reamer. No problems. I also have a Nowlin 9X23 barrel. No problems with that either!
 

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Any new, quality 9mm barrel should be useable. I would not want to start with a factory fit barrel because the chamber dimensions are often "generous" and the lug fit leaves something to be desired. With a 9x23 I would want it fit tight for longevity of fit as much as accuracy.
 

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Reloading 9X23

The max. case pressure according to SAAMI for the 9X23 is 55K PSI which is the same as the .223 round.

I would only load to the max pressure with a fully supported ramped barrel. I would not use an unsupported barrel with any brass, even though the Winchester is supposed to handle the pressure.....at 55K PSI, even a slight amount of bullet set back with an unsupported barrel could cause major issues if there was a case failure...!:eek:

I would only use small rifle primers when loading to max levels.....I still do this with my hot .38 super self defense loads, even though the pressure isn't as high as the 9X23.....my firing pin hits are strong in my self defense guns and I have never had a misfire using CCI small rifle primers when loading my self defense .38 super rounds, and only use new or once fired .38 super brass.

Over the years, I have found some ramped barrels that offer better support up to the extractor groove than others....I always check the case support of my barrel before attempting max pressure loads.....
 

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Is it customary to longitudinally fit all three barrel lugs for contact?
I don't take Kuhnhausen as gospel, but he suggests that while single lug contact is probably OK for a .45 barrel, that you'd better have all three lugs in contact for a 9x23 barrel.
I bought a Springfield loaded 9mm a couple of years ago, specifically as the basis for a 9x23 conversion, and wondered if merely rechambering was a good idea, or should I start over with an oversized barrel - long hood, especially - that would fitting all three lugs to the slide?
Colt sold 9x23 "conversion kits", which obviously wouldn't have any fitting at all, and I don't know if there were any problems with sheared lugs, or whatever other ills could be imagined?
 

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Larry,

May I ask why you want a 9x23 handgun? The pressures involved are quite something as I am sure you're aware of. 15,000 psi more than a .38 Super which is a round I would like a fully supported chamber for!

Mark
 

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The 9X23 is a very powerful and fun round for that reason. People should not panic about having a fully supported chamber with the 9X23 if the original Winchester brass is used. It is very thick and durable and was designed to be fired in an unsupported chamber, from what I've read. The information at the link provided in post #3 is consistent with that claim. Only the Starline brass must be used with caution.

The 38 Super does not require a fully supported chamber if pressures are kept within SAAMI specs. There are zillions of Colts out there that have been just fine since 1929. The only time you need a fully supported chamber is when you load ANYTHING beyond pressures for what the cartridge was designed.

Companies don't load stuff that they know will blow up in your gun. Why would they knowingly do that? If they do, they tell you, like warnings that come with Underwood's 10mm ammo. They specifically warn people not to use their 10mm ammo in Colt DE or other guns with rampless barrels because of poor chamber support.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've put many (relatively, it's EXPENSIVE in stock ammo form) rounds of 9x23 downrange, but never in a 1911 format. I'm thinking a 1911 with ten rounds of factory 9x23 would be about as close to Mjolinor as I could carry. :)

And agreed, Alchemy-it's just FUN.

Thanks for the info, gentlemen. Now to start assembling parts... :)

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Pray tell, what format?
It was a large frame Witness, originally chambered for .38 Super. Ran 9x23 quite well, except I never quite got the mag's sorted for it. It didn't help that at the time there were approximately 9,325 versions of 38 super mags for that thing, none of which seemed to be the 'current' version.

The 9x23 just seems like a natural for a 1911, though, and ten + one of that ought to fix any problem I'm likely to run across.


Larry
 

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Kevin Angstead won the Bianchi Cup this year with a 1911 open gun chambered in 9x23. This has been his main competition caliber for many years.

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Kevin Angstead won the Bianchi Cup this year with a 1911 open gun chambered in 9x23. This has been his main competition caliber for many years.

Tom
I hadn't realized anyone was still using it in competition. I wonder what the advantage for something like the Cup would be?


Larry
 

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I hadn't realized anyone was still using it in competition. I wonder what the advantage for something like the Cup would be?


Larry
I doubt he's using factory-power ammo. The 9X23 is used by some competitors in IPSC/USPSA/Steel/Bianchi as an alternative to the 38 Super. Starline's brass is likely targeting the competitor (I suspect) since most nearly all of the guns built for competition have fully supporting chambers and there is no risk of blowout with the Starline 9X23 brass in a fully supporting chamber. And there's no risk of blowout in an unsupported chamber if you're only loading it to minor power factor.

The only advantage of the 9X23 in competition is that it is rimless, whereas the 38 Super is semi-rimmed. The semi-rim can produce feeding issues in double stack guns, and many competitive shooters use rimless 38 Super Comp brass (or related cousins like 38 TJ, Lapua and Armscor RL) for that reason.
 

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.38 super feeding issues.....

I have had several double stack guns chambered in .38 super. The one I shot the most often was an STI Open div. race gun, but I used SV mags. I shot as much as 20K rounds per year for many years, and never had any feeding issues from my reloaded .38super +P ammo (the PF was 170 back then...) and used 125 gr JHP Zero bullets with a MV of roughly 1390 fps.

I have several single stack .38 supers, and my Colt Commander is my most often used carry gun. I have never had feeding or reliability issues with my SS guns, and use 125 gr. Hornady XTP bullets for SD.
 

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Some folks have no problems with the semi-rimmed cases. I did with my double stack gun, and switching to rimless brass solved the problem. The rimless brass does feed smoother.
 

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It was a large frame Witness, originally chambered for .38 Super. Ran 9x23 quite well, except I never quite got the mag's sorted for it. It didn't help that at the time there were approximately 9,325 versions of 38 super mags for that thing, none of which seemed to be the 'current' version.
I have a Witness Match that I re chambered from 9mm to 9x23. I use Witness 38 Super mags and it runs 100%. I had to have it reamed, installed a better guide rod, and installed the heaviest recoil spring I could find. Recoil isn't bad at all.
The 9x23 just seems like a natural for a 1911, though, and ten + one of that ought to fix any problem I'm likely to run across.
I'd like to add a 9x23 1911 as well. I'm thinking about rechambering a 9mm Citadel that I have. Is anything other than the reaming, heavier recoil spring and magazines required?
 
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