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OAL on hollowpoints

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by springerbuster, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. springerbuster

    springerbuster Member

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    I am fairly new to reloading and have loaded some 223 and 9mm FMJ bullets with success. Today I loaded my first hollow points in 9mm. These were Rem. Golden Saber in 124gr. My question is how do you get a consistent over all length? When I thought I had my seating die set I noticed that the completed rounds varied by as much as .025 of an inch. I figured out why when I compared the bullets to each other. The difference was in the tips of the bullets. Some had a much bigger cavity in the tip than others did. This changed the shape of tip enough to were the bullet seated in the die from round to round in a different spot, therefor changing the overall length. Is this normal or do I have a bad batch of bullets? Thanks in advance for any advice.
  2. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    Sounds like bad bullets to me; I've never been a fan of factory G-Sabre loads, so I've never messed with reloads on them. I'd take some measurements and contact Rem about them.
  3. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you got a mixture of lots. I'd bet if you segregated them by how deep the cavity was you'd find two or three different groups which means they came from different lots. Apparently it is not that uncommon for the machines that make the bullets to be set up slightly differently (??).

    I had a similar problem with Remington 303 bullets that were bulk packaged by the supplier. He obviously mixed lots when he made up the 100 bullet baggies of bullets.

    LDBennett
  4. toxophilus

    toxophilus New Member

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    Is it possible that a different seating die plug needs to be used? I noticed that in my RCBS die set for 9MM it comes with 2 different plugs; I've given it some thought as to whether I would need the SWC plug to seat hollow points vs the rounded tip... just thinking of the pressure it may place on the petals/sides of a hollow point.
  5. Gearheadpyro

    Gearheadpyro New Member

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    In order to get a very good, consistent measurement on loaded bullets you need to measure with something called a bullet comparator. This is a tool that fits over the end of the bullet and measures on the ogive instead of the tip. The tip measurement will vary as you have experienced. Hornady and Sinclair both make good comparators, I use the Hornady.
    As far as the size of the holes differing, that doesn't sound right. It is possible you got a bad batch or mixed lots.
  6. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I cast my own 9mm bullets and they all come out the same. I have never experienced that with any of my commercial bullets either. Are all the casings the same or do you mix brands? It may be bad bullets but if you have mixed brands of cases the variances between case web thickness could be causing the bullet nose to cave slightly when you seat it into a case with a thicker web area. 124 is heavier than the standard 115 gr projectile the 9mm was designed around thus making the problem more evident with heavier bullets. Just my $.02;)
  7. springerbuster

    springerbuster Member

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    Thanks for your replies. I have compared the remaining bullets that I have not loaded yet and there seems to be about three different sizes of holes that make the hollow points. LDBennett I think you may be right. It appears that they may be from different lots. I will try to separate them tomorrow. If this is the case I should be able to set my seating die to each different lot. Thanks for everyone's help.
  8. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    on a "premium" bullet, I'd be a little pissed to have such inconsistencies. If I found junk like that with XTP's, you could bet Hornady would be getting an earfull !! No way I'm going through multiple die adjustments because of horrible QC. Just my .02 though ;):D
  9. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    thats a priceles $.02 woolley, I agree 100%. If these big time ammo component manufactueres expect to stay in business they better create a product worth using and have the QC staff on hand to ensure lot to lot consistencies...
  10. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Both Remington and Winchester make what they term "Bulk Bullets". I have found them adequate, especially for handguns, but not so much for a Varmint rilfe or Target rifle where accuracy is the name of the game. They also work adequately in semi-auto tactical guns like Garands or FAL's or any military surplus weapon. Such lot differences in these bullets I think are common.

    When I think of accurate handgun component bullets, Remington NEVER comes to mind. Who does make better bullets for handguns is Hornady, Speer, and Sierra, all boxed in 100 count boxes, not baggies like the Remington and Winchester Bulk Bullets. But the pricing reflects the differences.

    If you use these Bulk bullets just be prepared for things like small shape differences. Just segregate and compensate for them. No big deal for handguns.

    As a side note: When you run into this situation of bullets that result in different seating depth due to nose shape, the "dimension" that is most important in small case volumes like you see in handgun cartridges, is the distance the base of the bullet went into the case. That is, regardless of the Over All Length, the case volume with the bullet seated should be held constant for the reloading lot at hand for consistent accuracy. But the OAL must not exceed the specified OAL maximum listed in the reloading manual or the cartridges may not feed or may not fit into the magazine. So tailor the cartridges to be the same regardless of bullet shape difference by maintaining constant case volume without exceeding the max OAL listed in the manuals. Failure to do this in the extreme MAY create excessive pressures or at best give poor accuracy for the lot.

    LDBennett
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
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