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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
In regard to handloading for auto-pistols, one thing I've learned that you don't see addressed often is the seating and crimping operation. Ideally, seating should be done in one separate operation, then crimping as a final step. Why? Because you cannot get an accurate taper crimp while the bullet is still moving down in the case during seating. Dillon Precision clearly outlines this in their manual, and after some testing myself with the same ammo on another press that seats/crimps in one operation, the flaw was obvious. Not so critical in revolvers, but still an issue when roll crimping too.

The other detail is to mic the loaded round O.D. after bullet seating, measuring at the mid-point of the seated bullet. In .45ACP, it should mic .469", and Wilson Combat has that stated in their book "The Combat .45ACP". A "too fat" load will not chamber properly, and will prevent the slide from going completely into battery. Ask me how I "discovered" that one.

Just two of the myriad of things to consider when handloading for pistols.
I will delve into that one.
Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I've had similar mysteries occur over the years. With careful attention to detail they have been identified & overcome. Your casual observations begin to offer suggestions for further focus.

Were it my beloved new pistol, I'd start immediately measuring my reloads with OAL caliper and establish 3 groups; those nominally within .001" of spec, those a .001" step over & those similarly under. Either felt marker color code a small handful of each, or break them into groups of 5 equals. All assuming passing the plunk test properly. Chart those failing by any metric that isn't functioning properly. About 15 specific reloads of each will show the trend. When you can load with 5 with a certainty of either success or failure, you will have the culprit in hand.

While noisome at first, establishing an observational protocol will serve well in years and arms to come, in ways that prove advantageous to solving other mysteries.

If they all pass plunk test yet fail to function, that too is important information. I've had the 'too short lands' issue be solved by COL length adjustment of as little as .002", yet it's hard to believe. The shape of the ogive is very important, even in revolvers can give issues as well.

In general I avoid HP designs as there is no range advantage for my typical use, and they have often been irrationally perplexing.

Hope to see more solutions at hand. These types of issues enrichen the reloading/ballistic studies hobby IMHO. On a few occasions, too much flair or too little crimp was the issue I ignored too long.
I too have had issues with flare or over belling the case mouth. The Lee factory crimp die solved that in my 45.
Thank you.
 

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Late to the discussion but I can say that both Steve and Rick have given you stellar advice. Now, please allow me to add my own thoughts as I own my share of 9mm handguns from original Lugers to new models.

The original bullet used by the German Imperial Army was a truncated cone bullet that Berry's Bullets has closely matched with their 115 and 124 grain flat nose design. (See the picture below) I like and use extensively the 115 grain flat nose bullet. In the Lugers and other pistols that have chambers of, or close to, the original design I seat the bullet for an OAL of 1.100". In other pistols such as my Sig P-6 (think 225) and my K-100 Mk 7 Grand Power, I have to seat the bullet deeper to an OAL of 1.035" or the 1.100" cartridges will jam tight when the bullet's ogive engages the lands and prevents the action from closing fully. Thus the advice to use the actual barrel you will be shooting to check your loads is excellent. The cartridge should drop in cleanly and seat at the proper depth.

The 9mm establishes head space using the case's mouth. Therefore, do not roll crimp it; it must be taper crimped. That is always my final step after the bullet is seated to the proper depth. Depending upon your press, it can be the last station on a progressive or done as the last step on a single stage press. A completed cartridge should drop into and out of your chamber easily. I do not use the Lee Factory crimp die. I use only a taper crimp die (RCBS, Lyman, Hornady etc) on my straight wall and Luger cases. The Luger case actually tapers slightly from base to mouth.

I also use the Berry 115 grain round nose bullet seated to 1.155" and that works well in all of my 9mm pistols. My normal load is a 115 grain bullet over 5.6 grains of Hogdon CFE Pistol powder. It works well across the board in my pistols.

125259
 

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Late to the discussion but I can say that both Steve and Rick have given you stellar advice. Now, please allow me to add my own thoughts as I own my share of 9mm handguns from original Lugers to new models.

The original bullet used by the German Imperial Army was a truncated cone bullet that Berry's Bullets has closely matched with their 115 and 124 grain flat nose design. (See the picture below) I like and use extensively the 115 grain flat nose bullet. In the Lugers and other pistols that have chambers of, or close to, the original design I seat the bullet for an OAL of 1.100". In other pistols such as my Sig P-6 (think 225) and my K-100 Mk 7 Grand Power, I have to seat the bullet deeper to an OAL of 1.035" or the 1.100" cartridges will jam tight when the bullet's ogive engages the lands and prevents the action from closing fully. Thus the advice to use the actual barrel you will be shooting to check your loads is excellent. The cartridge should drop in cleanly and seat at the proper depth.

The 9mm establishes head space using the case's mouth. Therefore, do not roll crimp it; it must be taper crimped. That is always my final step after the bullet is seated to the proper depth. Depending upon your press, it can be the last station on a progressive or done as the last step on a single stage press. A completed cartridge should drop into and out of your chamber easily. I do not use the Lee Factory crimp die. I use only a taper crimp die (RCBS, Lyman, Hornady etc) on my straight wall and Luger cases. The Luger case actually tapers slightly from base to mouth.

I also use the Berry 115 grain round nose bullet seated to 1.155" and that works well in all of my 9mm pistols. My normal load is a 115 grain bullet over 5.6 grains of Hogdon CFE Pistol powder. It works well across the board in my pistols.

View attachment 125259
The Lee factory crimp die is a tapered crimp and also does a final resize that can eliminate any bulge from bullet seating.
 

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I'm brand new to this forum and I just bought the Ultra Carry ll. I only feed reloads through it (accept the Liberty Defense 3 rounds), both hollow points and flat nose. NO malfunctions after 200 rounds. It's eaten everything I've fed through it no matter the OAL. My CZ even choked on some of the loads mentioned. Sounds like I may have gotten lucky with the one I have.
 

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I'm brand new to this forum and I just bought the Ultra Carry ll. I only feed reloads through it (accept the Liberty Defense 3 rounds), both hollow points and flat nose. NO malfunctions after 200 rounds. It's eaten everything I've fed through it no matter the OAL. My CZ even choked on some of the loads mentioned. Sounds like I may have gotten lucky with the one I have.
Not lucky! It was manufactured correctly to factory specs.
 
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Hi new to the forum. I just purchased a new Ultra Carry in 9mm and it jams and does all kinds of crazy stuff with my reloads. I have tried two brands of factory ammo and it shoots that fine, no problems. These reloads have been through a factory sizeing die (Lee), and fit perfectly in a wilson case gauge. These reloads also shoot fine in my Kimber Micro 9, XD, and other 9mm handguns. I have read that some of these guns (short barrel 9mm 1911's) are picky as to what they like and dont like.
Anyone with experience in this matter that could shed some light on this is appreciated. I will of course use factory ammo for Self Defense, but this reloaded ammo is in every apsect, factory ammo, by specs. It would be nice to practice with reloads.
Reloads are 147 gr Hornady XTP 1.100 COL using multiple powders.
thanks
First of all, use the chamber of a semi auto handgun as your gage. After final factory crimp drop them in to chamber and listen for the sound of them hitting bottom. Look and see if they are sticking up higher than factory stuff. If they are the bullet needs seated further. On handloads unless you have done this don't even think about OAL. Once they seat in chamber properly then measure them. That is you new maximum OAL. If you do that any FTF you get isn't because of the handload, it is guns fault.
 

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I'm brand new to this forum and I just bought the Ultra Carry ll. I only feed reloads through it (accept the Liberty Defense 3 rounds), both hollow points and flat nose. NO malfunctions after 200 rounds. It's eaten everything I've fed through it no matter the OAL. My CZ even choked on some of the loads mentioned. Sounds like I may have gotten lucky with the one I have.
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new gun.
 

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In regard to handloading for auto-pistols, one thing I've learned that you don't see addressed often is the seating and crimping operation. Ideally, seating should be done in one separate operation, then crimping as a final step. Why? Because you cannot get an accurate taper crimp while the bullet is still moving down in the case during seating. Dillon Precision clearly outlines this in their manual, and after some testing myself with the same ammo on another press that seats/crimps in one operation, the flaw was obvious. Not so critical in revolvers, but still an issue when roll crimping too.

The other detail is to mic the loaded round O.D. after bullet seating, measuring at the mid-point of the seated bullet. In .45ACP, it should mic .469", and Wilson Combat has that stated in their book "The Combat .45ACP". A "too fat" load will not chamber properly, and will prevent the slide from going completely into battery. Ask me how I "discovered" that one.

Just two of the myriad of things to consider when handloading for pistols.
That is why I use the Lee factory crimp die as it resizes the brass again eliminating any bulge from seating the bullet.
 

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I'm brand new to this forum and I just bought the Ultra Carry ll. I only feed reloads through it (accept the Liberty Defense 3 rounds), both hollow points and flat nose. NO malfunctions after 200 rounds. It's eaten everything I've fed through it no matter the OAL. My CZ even choked on some of the loads mentioned. Sounds like I may have gotten lucky with the one I have.
You got lucky when you picked an Ultra.
They are fine handguns.
Mine has been flawless since new with everything I've fed it.
Even the sketchy imported stuff thats available right now.
 

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First, Woody, welcome to the KT forum. Good to have another 'mature' shooter/handloader with us.

Second, in regard to the Kimber Ultra's feeding HP's or not, I'll share my limited experience with my three Ultra's (CDP 9mm, CDP .45, SCU+.45). Simple and basic; each one had the snot shot out of it for a few hundred rounds (handloads and factory), all FMJ RN or flat point designs. If there was ever any issues, it shows up early, and if it shows up feeding RN's, it should be easy to determine the cause and correct it (extractor, OAL, etc.) All handloads are always tested with the 'plunk test'.

A bunch of magazines get loaded with as many bullet types as I anticipate shooting, each one gets run through the gun during the same range session. This shows the gun's preference or disgust right away.



After my initial shooting sessions, virtually all three Ultra's shot HP's of about any design or from any mfgr. I'll also mention that once you find the ideal SD load that functions flawlessly and gives the accuracy you expect, do yourself a favor and purchase as much of it as you anticipate shooting in the foreseeable future. An example of this is my little hideout pistol, a stainless Seecamp .32 LWS, about the smallest quality pistol ever made. It was designed to function at the time of manufacture with WW Silvertip ammo only. Fearing this ammo may become obsolete or unavailable in the future, I laid in 500 rounds. Good thing I did, as this particular ammo is no longer made, and my dedicated .30 cal ammo can still has most of the original stash remaining. This is not a range gun as you'd imagine, so the stash that remains will last me till I'm pushing up daisies. ;)
 
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