PDA

View Full Version : 9mm chamber / barrel question?


Mstrty
10-06-2010, 11:19 PM
A little background:
My wife bought a 9mm handgun. I dont want to start a war lets just say its was made in Croatia chambered in 9mm with a 5" barrel and polymer frame. She uses it to compete in IDPA. She started with a sig 226 but wanting a single action (or striker fired) gun she opted to give this gun a go. Rich over at canyon creek installed a bomar sight cut into the slide and did a nice 2.5lb. trigger in it. It has its factory barrel in it.

Here is the issue:
I am having about 1% of my reloads failing to allow the slide go into battery. So I started chamber checking with a dillon chamber die. I discovered a few rounds that had slight resistance but all were able to fit. Next trip to the range it locked up again. It fires and then fails to go to battery about 1 round per 100 rounds fired. Sometimes it locks up so bad she has to grab the slide with her week hand and slam the grip with her strong hand. I bring the failed round home and discover that it doesnt fit into the barrel. So we start checking everything with the barrel. We pulled about 20 rounds out of 100 that didnt fit perfectly. Out of those 20 I started dropping them in again and noticed on some of the slightly oversized rounds if I rotated them 90 degrees they would fall in and fall out. If I rotated them another 90 degrees the wouldnt go in. I took all 20 suspect rounds and tested them on a sig226 barrel and they all fit perfectly. Most of my brass has been used 3-6 times.

The part I dont understand is:
Are some chambers oval? Is there a chance I have a bad barrel? Is this barrel just extremely tight? Im still concerned with the odd barrel shape.
suggestions?

RollingCode3
10-06-2010, 11:24 PM
I dont think there is anything wrong with your barrel. Either polish the feed ramp or replace the recoil spring or both. Just my two cents.

fullrearview
10-06-2010, 11:53 PM
Even if chambers were oval, common sense tells me they would fail closer to 50% of the time..... I don't know much about reloads, but 3-6 times....Is that a lot??

Munk
10-07-2010, 1:45 AM
GLOCK BULGE.

Google it.

Unsupported chamber = bulge at the feed ramp.

Cure = new barrel or not using glock-fired brass. Full length case sizing might do it, if you've got a push through die.

railroader
10-07-2010, 2:40 AM
I know on my cz75 I have to watch my overall length with certain styles of bullets. If I load the rounds too long the bullets get into the rifling which keeps the gun slightly out of battery. Also if factory ammo chambers fine try running your finished rounds through a Lee factory crimp die. This die will crimp and resize your cases after they are loaded. I have to use this die on my 45acp ammo I make so they feed 100 per cent. Mark

willssmithing
10-07-2010, 6:40 AM
If the cases are correct, the chamber should be reamed with a chamber reamer and checked for proper head space. This problem is not uncommon.

J-cat
10-07-2010, 7:25 AM
It is prolly your ammo. Most 9mm dies do not return the case to original factory specs. This is compounded if you use a progressive press as these do not allow the die to size all the way down the case. Lee makes a "U" sizer die with an undersized carbide insert that reduces the diameter of the case by another couple of thousands overy your RCBS/Redding/Dillon dies. It is a cheap and easy fix to chambering issues.

I use a single stage and shaved metal off the top of the shellholder. This allows my cases to do deeper in the sizer die. Being that 9mm sizer dies have carbide inserts with tapered internal profiles, the deeper the case slides into the die, the more it is sized.

XDRoX
10-07-2010, 7:43 AM
3-6 times fired brass is fine. I'm over 20 times on some of my 9mm brass and it still shoots. Plus worn brass wouldn't cause this problem IMO.

I also don't agree with the glock bulge post. I know tons of people that reload glock brass with no problems, myself included. Early glocks chambered in 40 did pose a problem and sometimes caused brass to bulge. This was never a problem in 9mm. And with modern glocks this is not an issue any more.

I can tell you with certainty that of my guns, Sig has the most unsupported chamber between XD and Glock and Sig. I once even took a picture of the three barrels right next to each other to show that they are all just about equally unsupported.

To the OP, do you have a case gauge? If so, do the rounds fall completely in and fall out (easily) when the case gauge is turned upside down?

If so, then the problem is your barrel.

My guess is that your rounds will not case gauge properly meaning that your problem lies in your rounds. My guess is that they work in your Sig because the Sig has a slightly looser chamber than your XD.

What are you loading on?
What dies are you using?
Are the problems isolated to one brand of brass?

One last thing. I have run into bad batches of brass that would not case gauge. But they always fired without issue in my XD. I do however have a very early model XD with lots of rounds through it.

I almost forgot, please do not use a LFCD. It will only mask the real problem.

eaglemike
10-07-2010, 7:50 AM
Is the barrel really, really clean? Sometimes crud gets built up at the front of the chamber. The can contribute to the problem. The chamber could be a little out of round, or the reload could be a little out of round, or both.

I've seen copper plated bullets bulge the case just below the crimp and bulge out just ahead of the crimp. This resulted in chambering problems similar to what you are experiencing.

XDRoX
10-07-2010, 7:53 AM
I've seen copper plated bullets bulge the case just below the crimp and bulge out just ahead of the crimp. This resulted in chambering problems similar to what you are experiencing.

This is what I'm guessing to. And if this is the case, the problem can be fixed by properly adjusting the dies.

foxtrotuniformlima
10-07-2010, 8:23 AM
If your reloads don't pass the case gauge test using the barrel out of the gun method, I'd say the problem lies with your reloads.

If you were to use a box of WWB and have the same problems, I'd blame the barrel.

Dubious_Beans
10-07-2010, 8:32 AM
I know on my cz75 I have to watch my overall length with certain styles of bullets. If I load the rounds too long the bullets get into the rifling which keeps the gun slightly out of battery.

^THIS^

I also have a polymer "made in Croatia" pistol.
I have to be particularly careful about COAL with some types of bullets.
In particular, the Bear Creek TFN lead bullets I have to load to less than 1.100" COAL or the bullet will stick in the rifling and not always go into full battery.

Remove the barrel from your pistol and drop a load into it and see if it goes all the way in easily. If not, try a slightly shorter COAL. (don't forget to reduce powder charge when experimenting with shorter COAL.)

I've NEVER had a problem with factory loads. Only with reloads using lead bullets and to long COAL.

Dubious_Beans
10-07-2010, 8:35 AM
Out of those 20 I started dropping them in again and noticed on some of the slightly oversized rounds if I rotated them 90 degrees they would fall in and fall out. If I rotated them another 90 degrees the wouldnt go in.

Oh, and this sounds like you aren't getting the bullets seated quit straight, so they've got some "wobble".

Maybe just a little more bell on the brass before seating bullets?

I'm curious. What brand and type of bullets are you using?

bjl333
10-07-2010, 8:40 AM
I am thinking your sizer isn't doing its job. Sounds to me the rounds need to be skinnier or rounder from your sizer. Have you shot factory loads out of the gun ? Buy a couple of boxes and try, you'll find the factory's will shoot just find. I really don't think your chamber in a XD would be off. It could be a little smaller then the Sig's(I'm assuming same reloads thru Sig), but shouldn't be oval.

Table Rock Arms
10-07-2010, 9:23 AM
This is more than likely an issue with reloads. Try a few hundred rounds of factory ammo, and you will know for sure.

bohoki
10-07-2010, 9:27 AM
try wrapping a bore brush with some 600 grit wet dry and use it on a drill to polish the chamber

how does it work with factory ammo?

if it works fine then your reloading is not up to snuff

Gryff
10-07-2010, 9:30 AM
It is prolly your ammo. Most 9mm dies do not return the case to original factory specs. This is compounded if you use a progressive press as these do not allow the die to size all the way down the case. Lee makes a "U" sizer die with an undersized carbide insert that reduces the diameter of the case by another couple of thousands overy your RCBS/Redding/Dillon dies. It is a cheap and easy fix to chambering issues.

I use a single stage and shaved metal off the top of the shellholder. This allows my cases to do deeper in the sizer die. Being that 9mm sizer dies have carbide inserts with tapered internal profiles, the deeper the case slides into the die, the more it is sized.

+1

I was running commercial reloads in my original XD Tactical without any problems. Then, when I got a new XD, I started having these same problems with both the new gun's factory barrel and after-market match barrel (although they happened more with the match barrel).

When I switched back to factory ammo, the problem went away. So I'm convinced it has to do with the tighter tolerances of the new and match barrels not liking the slight case shape imperfections in reloaded ammo.

You can have the chamber reamed out (Stretch64 at the SDPS club did this himself on his M&P), or you can look at a different sizing die. I've had people recommend the Lee mentioned by J-cat and also an EGW (http://egw-guns.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=40&products_id=40&zenid=bba9f824c269c131d56ed8dff2c19a51) undersized die.

XDRoX
10-07-2010, 10:09 AM
+1

I was running commercial reloads in my original XD Tactical without any problems. Then, when I got a new XD, I started having these same problems with both the new gun's factory barrel and after-market match barrel (although they happened more with the match barrel).

When I switched back to factory ammo, the problem went away. So I'm convinced it has to do with the tighter tolerances of the new and match barrels not liking the slight case shape imperfections in reloaded ammo.

You can have the chamber reamed out (Stretch64 at the SDPS club did this himself on his M&P), or you can look at a different sizing die. I've had people recommend the Lee mentioned by J-cat and also an EGW (http://egw-guns.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=40&products_id=40&zenid=bba9f824c269c131d56ed8dff2c19a51) undersized die.

I'm curious to see what die he is using as well. The standard Lee carbide dies are usually pretty good, but maybe he has a bad one.
I also have heard that the chambers in newer XD's are more supported than the older ones, and it sounds like you have first hand experience of this.

Mstrty
10-07-2010, 9:32 PM
Thanks for all the advice.

Ok here is more info that was asked.

Im loading on a Dillon 550b. using a dillon chamber checker. Dies and chamber checker were purchased new in 2009. The sizing die is set as low as it will go, to the point of binding the shell plate with the base plate, at the moment the stroke cams over. 10% of my reloads will not fall friction-less out of the dillon chamber checker. Of that 10%, 4% will not seat in the XD barrel. Im using MG 124gn JHP loaded to 1.115" (4gn tightgroup 130PF)

Most of my brass is Winchester/Federal. (old factory ammo I have been reloading) I have around 3-4k rounds of brass. As I shoot IDPA I do end up with mixed brass. I am reliant on others policing my brass after I shoot. Not much I can do about that. I dont reload out of turn. All my brass gets used, tumbled, reloaded, as a group. I dont keep reloading the top of the brass bucket (if you know what I mean). I know I have ended up with brass I dont know the history.

Using only my brass and not found brass has its advantage but is difficult to police. I would rather make my brass fit my barrel, or find a barrel that fits my brass.

My wife will be running this gun this weekend. I will report back if the 300 rounds she have triple checked with the barrel function as planned. I loaded 500 about 450 passed the dillon chamber checker with flying colors, only 300 or so passed the barrel with flying colors. 99.5 would probably fire without problem.

Im a dead man if she has to grab the slide with her support hand over the top and slam the grip with her strong hand one more time on the clock to unlock the gun.

Question:
Is rechambering/polishing my barrel a correct solution?
Would an aftermarket barrel have an advantage over my current barrel woes?

I will find a solution at any cost (if you know what I mean).;)

J-cat
10-07-2010, 10:17 PM
The problem with progressives is the shell plate is nthicker than a shell holder. On top of that it flexes away from the die. This means the die does not size the case all the way down.

Get an undersized die.

Munk
10-08-2010, 12:59 AM
From the sound of it, and from experience with a a friend who has 2 diff barrels for the same gun.. it's close to the glock bulge issue from earlier. Stock glock barrels (and others that "never fail to feed") usually have a slightly larger than necessary chamber, in order to allow damn near anything to feed and fit. This results in the brass being blown out slightly further. So much so that there's no way you'd fit it into the chamber of a match barrel pre-sizing. And if you go the other way, match -> stock, then the spent case has room to rattle.

Combine this with a little bit of unsupported chamber, and you have ALOT of brass movement.

A full-length push through sizing would likely take care of it... but is a pain to do for your progressive. With more brass movement, you have cases getting longer... and as a user above mentioned, over-long cases will cause issues.

I'm not gonna bother with the poor bullet alignment, since you reload so much, i doubt you're seating poorly (although stuff happens).

I'm basing my theory on the fact that you're snaggin brass from other competitors, some of which will be using a stock "reliable" barrel. If you were only using your own fire-formed brass, you'd be looking at other issues (seating,O.A.L., etc).

railroader
10-08-2010, 4:36 AM
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=557190 Here's the Lee factory crimp die. They are only $15 and they really work. Read the reviews at midway. Mark

buffybuster
10-08-2010, 6:11 AM
GLOCK BULGE.

Google it.

Unsupported chamber = bulge at the feed ramp.

Cure = new barrel or not using glock-fired brass. Full length case sizing might do it, if you've got a push through die.


This is probably a good guess, without inspecting it.

If the brass is mixed pickups, there's no doubt some have been fired in a loose chamber (Glock, etc). The XD has a fully supported chamber and that slight casehead bulge is causing the failure to go into battery.

You can make sure your sizing die is screw ~1/2 turn beyond touching the die and/or if your press allows it, you can resize and prime in the same stroke (decap prior obviously), that will maximize the amount of case that is resized.

Regarding chambers, very highly unlikely the chamber is wrong. But chamber specs for 9x19 is very broad. Some run looser (Glock, Beretta) and others tighter.

PatriotnMore
10-08-2010, 6:32 AM
It is prolly your ammo. Most 9mm dies do not return the case to original factory specs. This is compounded if you use a progressive press as these do not allow the die to size all the way down the case. Lee makes a "U" sizer die with an undersized carbide insert that reduces the diameter of the case by another couple of thousands overy your RCBS/Redding/Dillon dies. It is a cheap and easy fix to chambering issues.

I use a single stage and shaved metal off the top of the shellholder. This allows my cases to do deeper in the sizer die. Being that 9mm sizer dies have carbide inserts with tapered internal profiles, the deeper the case slides into the die, the more it is sized.

Spot on and great advice.

Dubious_Beans
10-08-2010, 7:39 AM
Im using MG 124gn JHP loaded to 1.115"

You're running JHP's at 1.115" ? That seems way too long...

The Hornady manual lists 124g JHP @ 1.060" COAL
Lyman says 1.075"
Sierra says 1.075"

I use Hornady XTP 124g JHP's @ 1.075", and Remington 115g JHP also @ 1.075"
1.110" would be WAY to long for either of those bullets.

Added:
Just went out to the shop and and loaded a Hornady 124g JHP to a COAL of 1.110" It is TOO long to chamber correctly in my XD9 (service).

My XD's (service & subc) will both eat ANY kind of factory ammo I've tried, and so far digest ANY reloads I've fed them as long as the COAL isn't too long. I use RCBS dies.

Before you invest in different sizing dies, and definitely before you start messing with the barrel on your XD, I think you should try a shorter COAL with your JHP's.

eaglemike
10-08-2010, 8:09 AM
The problem with progressives is the shell plate is nthicker than a shell holder. On top of that it flexes away from the die. This means the die does not size the case all the way down.

Get an undersized die.
Part of this is incorrect. The bottom of the case is supported by the base plate. During the sizing process The base plate, the parts below the shell plate, is what pushes the casing into the sizing die. On the 550 one can usually see a witness mark on the base plate in this where the case sits during the sizing operation.

A shell plate that is too thick or has crud built up underneath can act as a stop and keep the casing from going into the sizing die as far as it could otherwise.

OP: You will get a different OAL when loading a single case all the way through vs using all stations. The increase in pressure when you work all stations causes the frame to flex a bit. Just to be sure things are correct, try sliding a feeler gauge under the sizing die when all stations are full and the ram is at the top of the stroke.

The OAL length you are using does sound a little long for JHP. A JHP is the same profile as a flat nosed projectile, usually loaded in 9mm to about 1.10, some people even go as short as 1.085, or even more as noted above. See how they feed. You might try loading a few just a bit shorter and see if they chamber better. Remember that pressures go up quickly when one uses the same powder charge and seats the bullet deeper in 9mm and .40S&W.

If you were close we could check the headspace with a gauge. I also have a 9mm chamber reamer, but I don't loan these out. :) You can buy this stuff from Brownell's.
all the best,
Mike

bjl333
10-08-2010, 8:22 AM
You're running JHP's at 1.115" ? That seems way too long...

The Hornady manual lists 124g JHP @ 1.060" COAL
Lyman says 1.075"
Sierra says 1.075"

I use Hornady XTP 124g JHP's @ 1.075", and Remington 115g JHP also @ 1.075"
1.110" would be WAY to long for either of those bullets.

Added:
Just went out to the shop and and loaded a Hornady 124g JHP to a COAL of 1.110" It is TOO long to chamber correctly in my XD9 (service).

My XD's (service & subc) will both eat ANY kind of factory ammo I've tried, and so far digest ANY reloads I've fed them as long as the COAL isn't too long. I use RCBS dies.

Before you invest in different sizing dies, and definitely before you start messing with the barrel on your XD, I think you should try a shorter COAL with your JHP's.

^^^ This is good info !! Also check you don't have a monster crimp on the shell, that could fatten up your bullet.

Gryff
10-08-2010, 8:57 AM
Question:
Is rechambering/polishing my barrel a correct solution?
Would an aftermarket barrel have an advantage over my current barrel woes?

I would try the undersized die first. Then try reaming the chamber. I doubt an after-market barrel will solve the problem, unless you find reports of one that specifically does.

J-cat
10-08-2010, 9:15 AM
Aftermarket barrels are often chambered on the minimum side of SAAMI to milk the last bit of accuracy out of them. Your problem may compound itself.

Mstrty
10-08-2010, 11:54 AM
Ok looks like I need an under sized die or a pushthrough press. Tell me I need to upgrade to a 650 to run the additonal die. I've read mixed reviews about the FCD some either love it or complain its just masking the real problem. What are the recomondations for a quality die. I'm a buy once cry once kind of guy. I hate buying cheap, only to later buy one better. So tell me where to donate my next check.:)

railroader
10-08-2010, 5:05 PM
Start with what Dubious_Beans stated about the overall length. Just making your rounds shorter might just be the ticket. I have to run bear creek round nose 125s really short in my cz75 for them to work because of the bullet profile. If you decide to go with the factory crimp die you could even just get a cheap single stage press just for the one die if you don't want to upgrade your dillon. You will figure it out. Mark

Cheap press, http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=807734#productTabReviews

eaglemike
10-08-2010, 5:30 PM
If you want to use the Lee Carbide factory crimp die you can install it in place of the taper crimp die in your 550. You will likely need to put the locking nut on the bottom of the tool head, no big deal, many people have done this.
all the best,
Mike

randy
10-09-2010, 12:59 AM
If the cases are correct, the chamber should be reamed with a chamber reamer and checked for proper head space. This problem is not uncommon.

+1 here is your winner. If your loads fit in your go no go gauge and other pistols, then ream the chamber.

J-cat
10-09-2010, 7:34 AM
Go and no-go gauges do not accept cases. They are plugs that go inside a chamber to measure headspace. His is not a headspace (length) issue, but a chamber width issue.

J-cat
10-09-2010, 7:36 AM
Start with what Dubious_Beans stated about the overall length. Just making your rounds shorter might just be the ticket. I have to run bear creek round nose 125s really short in my cz75 for them to work because of the bullet profile. If you decide to go with the factory crimp die you could even just get a cheap single stage press just for the one die if you don't want to upgrade your dillon. You will figure it out. Mark

Cheap press, http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=807734#productTabReviews

Being his reloads are sticking in his Dillon chamber check gauge, I doubt his OAL is the problem.

Sailormilan2
10-09-2010, 7:45 AM
I know that on straight walled pistol cases, Dillon opens the sizer die a bit to allow easier feeding during rapid reloading. This case belling often causes problems if the base of the case is swollen due to an over sized chamber.
However, the 9mm case is a tapered cases and does not need the belling. Still, you might have an slightly oversized sizer die. That coupled with a tight chamber could be causing your problems.
Is there a chance you can borrow another brand of sizer die and try a few reloads with that and see how it goes?

railroader
10-09-2010, 9:24 AM
Being his reloads are sticking in his Dillon chamber check gauge, I doubt his OAL is the problem.

I just said this because it's just one thing to check before he starts buying things. If his reloads are sticking in the chamber check gauges then he probably could use the lee factory crimp die that resizes the cases on the finished ammo. Mark