Problems loading 9mm with lead projectiles

Questions and discussions and troubleshooting Lee Load Master presses

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Problems loading 9mm with lead projectiles

Postby Jal5 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:50 pm

I have loaded 9mm twice now on the LM and both times this happened. I have good case insertions with the case feeder system and the priming system is almost flawless unless I forget to put more in! But the issues start at the PTE die and the Autodisc setup.

The case mouth gets expanded either not enough resulting in slight shaving of lead projectile, or too much resulting in being able to push in the projectile or spin it in the case mouth. So either way I adjust the PTE die in/out in the die turret I get messed up. Then from there the seating depth gets messed up either too much or not enough, but I think the trouble is really at the PTE die. I am using all Lee dies and MagicMIke's turret plate too. I have the insert for the 38 S&W inside the PTE die to open up the 9mm a little more to accept the lead projectiles. When I use plated projectiles I don't have any of these issues and the dies work smooth as silk. Any suggestions as to how to sort this out?

The brass is all the same RP 9mm and the projectile is one that I cast myself the Lee 358125 RF sized to .357 out of clip on wheel weights. The lube is a liquid mix of lee liquid Alox combined with Johnson One Step liquid wax two coats. When the projectiles aren't getting shaved down and therefore sized smaller in the case, I get good accuracy and little to no leading in my S&W 9mm Shield with this loading. It does lead up more with these shaved projectiles though reloaded through the LM. Someone suggested that I chamfer the mouths of the cases to insure that I am not shaving lead, bu thtat seems labor intensive for 9mm so not sure I want to have to do that.

I have read and re read the instructions including your videos here and started setting it up from scratch several times all to no avail. Thanks in advance.


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Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:44 pm

Re: Problems loading 9mm with lead projectiles

Postby prs » Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:19 am

Joe, I did not notice if you mentioned use of the swivel adaptor on the disc powder measure. If not, it may help you with your adjustment. I am not familiar with Mike's aftermarket parts, but if die settings are the same when using them, remove the powder through die and set the lock ring to its upper most extent. With the powder measure off, place the funnel adpator onto the die very firmly. Set the die to give appropriate belling such that the properly sized lead bullet will sit slightly into the bell and be stable as the press is operated. Run the press several rounds with the funnel and hand measured charges to see if you how have success. If successful, leave the die setting alone, remove the funnel adaptor, and set the powder measure very firmly onto the die without moving the die! You will almost centainly need the swivel adaptor to achieve bead chain alignment without moving the die and although it is a PIA, the swivel adaptor has to be tight to the die. By your comments regarding some shaving and some lead bullets being loose, I suggest you confirm the bullets are sized correctly and consistently, but lead bullets need special attention. They do not do well if seated and crimped in a single operation as such will shave since the bullet is moving as the crimp constricts. It is my opinion that they do not fare well when crimped with the carbide factory crimp die, especially so if I crimp firmly or if that die actually is post sizing the cases where occupied by the lead bullet. If the carbide factory crimp die is post sizing the cases, then you have a problem somewhere upstream such as enlarged chambers or poor support of case base in chamber. I prefer to seat at station 4 without crimping and then use a second regular crimp die at 5 with the seating plug removed. Lead bullets need only enough crimp to remove the bell and snug the case onto the lead surface or make it flush with the lead surface. And, yes, it is another PIA, but new cases do need to be slightly chamfered inside and out, too bad the manufacturers do not do that for their customers on the assembly line.


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Location: Pittsburgh , Pa.

Re: Problems loading 9mm with lead projectiles

Postby bfox » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:12 am

Yes if you set the die in station four using Lee's instructions I would change it and try backing the die out so it does not crimp at all it just seats the bullet then crimp in station five .

zomby woof
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:14 pm

Re: Problems loading 9mm with lead projectiles

Postby zomby woof » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:45 pm

Lyman M die in station 2 back off PTE and let the powder disk short stroke. So the lee expander doesn't flare too much. I then needed to grind a lead in to the powder dump because the disk doesn't make a full travel. This way the lead boolit will seat nicely.

good luck

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