Starting out casting 9mm

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All handloading data posted on Full-Bore UK from 23/2/2021 must reference the published pressure tested data it was sourced from, posts without such verification will be removed.
Any existing data without such a reference should be treated as suspect and not used.

Use reloading information posted here at your own risk. This forum (http://www.full-bore.co.uk) is not responsible for any property damage or personal injury as a consequence of using reloading data posted here, the information is individual members findings and observations only. Always verify the load data and be absolutely sure your firearm can handle the load, especially older ones. If in doubt start low and work your way up.
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Blackstuff
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Starting out casting 9mm

#1 Post by Blackstuff »

Hello all,

Due to the on going supply problems with bullets I have decided to start to cast my own 9mm (for 9x19mm rounds). I already cast my own shotgun solid slugs (pure lead) so i'm not a complete virgin, but as they are limited by an overall power factor (for IPSC shooting) and are contained in a plastic wad, i've never had to worry about pushing the speed beyond what is safe, and also lubing the projectiles etc.

As such I'm looking for some advice as to where to find basic, and easy to understand information in relation to casting and using pure lead (hopefully to avoid having to faff around with hardening alloys) 9mm pistol bullets.

I load for quantity use so being hyper precise in the components/loading regime is not strictly necessary.

I've already slugged the barrel of my rifle and purchased the relevant mold (a Lee 2 cavity TL356-124-2R).

Any pointers appreciated.
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Re: Starting out casting 9mm

#2 Post by dromia »

I would add some tin to your pure lead to help with fill out, say 1" of lead free solder to 1 lb of lead.

Soft alloy and bullet fit are kings in cast bullet shooting, size your bullets to fit your throat if you can commensurate with the round chambering, the 9mm being a taper crimp will help. If you cannot achieve this then size your bullets to at least 2" thou over groove diameter commensurate with bullet seating and chambering.

I hope that your Lee mould will work in giving you sufficient bullet diameter as they are notoriously undersized and pure lead bullets are usually smaller than the hard alloy bullets from the same mould. This is no reason to go for hardened alloys though, the secret is in getting a suitable mould, which you may or may not have.

What velocities are you looking at?
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Re: Starting out casting 9mm

#3 Post by dodgyrog »

I used to use range lead from the local indoor range cut by 1/3 pure lead.
I don't like liquid lubes much (too messy) although they function well.
I generally sized my bullets to .001" over groove diameter of the barrel
Anyway, no doubt others have their own version of doing it.
What method of sizing do you use?
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Re: Starting out casting 9mm

#4 Post by Blackstuff »

Wait, wait. Bullet sizing?? 5mith lol

None of the videos i've watched on using cast bullets even mentioned it wtf

Now searching for videos on sizing its pretty obvious this will be near essential to do, so thats some more kit to buy troutslapping And now I have to look at sizing die lubrication Sweet jesus.

Looks like i'm going fully back to the drawing board/loading manual!
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Re: Starting out casting 9mm

#5 Post by phaedra1106 »

I'm in a similar position, wanting cast for the 300 BLK.

ShellHouse produce a nice 200gr hard cast which produces 1 hole groups at 25yds BUT he now only sells them lubed and gas checked which I don't need and it's more than doubled the price to £270/1000 + shipping.

So I have 2 options, he is also now selling polymer coated bullets, there's a 175gr which is pointed that may do the trick.
The Ruger will not load flat points, they jam on the feed ramp or chamber throat, the coated are £17/100 so I have some on order to try out.

If they don't work I'm looking at casting my own, there's an NOE mould for a nice .310 225gr spire point but it's about $225 with handles and shipping (plus import duties).
And then I'll need a decent melter etc.
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Re: Starting out casting 9mm

#6 Post by andrew375 »

First find out what size, groove diameter, your barrel is. Cast bullets have to be at or larger than this. I don't know what the situation is with 9m.m. barrels for rifles, but when we were still trusted to legally possess "small firearms " for target shooting I measured around 20 9 m.m. pistol barrels and only one, a 1945 P.38, was at the nominal .354" groove diameter. The largest was a new cz75 at .361"! Usually the answer was to use bullets intended for .38 / .357.
For alloy just mine the backstop. It will be plenty hard enough. Try one of the Lee tumble lube designs. For lube use either Lee liquid alox or a furniture wax, like briwax. This will also work with conventional grooved designs, no need for sizing.

But I can't stress enough the need to measure your barrel. Do this by slugging, there are plenty tutorials on YouTube, and measure with a micrometer. If your bullets are even a couple of tenths of a thou under size will result in failure.

For more information go to the cast bullet forum at gunloads.com.
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Re: Starting out casting 9mm

#7 Post by andrew375 »

phaedra1106 wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 5:11 pm I'm in a similar position, wanting cast for the 300 BLK.

ShellHouse produce a nice 200gr hard cast which produces 1 hole groups at 25yds BUT he now only sells them lubed and gas checked which I don't need and it's more than doubled the price to £270/1000 + shipping.

So I have 2 options, he is also now selling polymer coated bullets, there's a 175gr which is pointed that may do the trick.
The Ruger will not load flat points, they jam on the feed ramp or chamber throat, the coated are £17/100 so I have some on order to try out.

If they don't work I'm looking at casting my own, there's an NOE mould for a nice .310 225gr spire point but it's about $225 with handles and shipping (plus import duties).
And then I'll need a decent melter etc.
Try the Lee 200gr round nose, I've been using it for over 30 years in my 7.62/.308 target rifles. Also, Lee do a 230 gr mould specifically for rounds like the blackout. Buy the Lee 20 lb melter.
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Re: Starting out casting 9mm

#8 Post by 1066 »

Lee do a simple bullet sizing kit in .356 for around £20 - I just put my cast bullets in an ice cream tub with a bit of Alox and shake them around a bit. Depending on what I'm casting I sometimes add a bit of pewter to the mix. An old pewter tankard can be found for a pound or two and contains around 92% tin.
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Blackstuff
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Re: Starting out casting 9mm

#9 Post by Blackstuff »

Thats some good info, thanks gents. :good:

I slugged my barrel at .356, hence buying the corresponding mold, but that may not have been the right choice? I don't actually think Lee do any others than .355 or .356 for the bullet design i need so I don't think there was a lot of choice in the matter.

I know theres a million variables, but how long will the liquid lube last and still make the ammo safe to use. Say its stored either in boxes or magazines inside an ammo safe thats inside a room in a house? Is it best just to use it 'fresh' rather than having anything hanging around too long?

I have access to roofing/pure lead only (I clean it twice before using it), no range stuff but adding a bit of solder to the pot when i'm melting isn't as much of a chore as I thought it was going to be. :good:
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Re: Starting out casting 9mm

#10 Post by dromia »

Don't worry about the Xlox lasting, it has a good shelf life, tis just a coating and not a lube.
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Analogue Good Digital Bad

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Cow's farts matter!

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