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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got a reloading issue on my 9 and not sure how to rectify. I am having a headspacing issue in my XDM. I have had a couple hang up really bad to point that when they came unstuck the case pulled apart from the bullet and left the bullet stuck in the barrel. When I plunk test these they don't drop all the way in to my XDM. In my SIG they appear to all drop in properly. So I have a crap ton of rounds that probably won't fire out of my XDM. I have rechecked my dies and made some adjustments and made a few dummy rounds that go in better but still not quite perfect. I have these rounds at near minimum OAL for the round and powder I am using. I am at a loss. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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pictures would be invaluable...as would specifics such as--what type of press, dies, bullets, brass etc...little things can lead to big epiphanies ;)

my first instinct is either your Taper-Crimp is not adequate and/or you are overworkig the brass when 'belling' it during powder drops...

the load data you are using would also help a bit...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Can't provide pics right now. But am using a Lee single stage press with lee Dies. 115 gr lead bullets. The load data is 4.5 gr 231. On the rounds that are not working properly at all in the XDM the does sometimes appear to be a bump near the top of the case where the bullet is seating. One big adjustment I did make is in my seating die. I had it too low. After I backed it out things improved somewhat. On the dummy rounds they are just barely missing the mark. I am taking those rounds through every step of the process just not adding powder or primers.
 

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You're flaring the case too much before seating, and not removing if after the bullet is seated. Buy a taper crimp die, set it up per the instructions, and try your loads then.

Your seating die being too low probably caused it to crimp on a flared case, which just compounds the problem.

Pics would be great if you could get them up tonight.
 

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dph1980, there is quite a bit of difference in chamberlength between an XDm (short) and a P-226 (long). You will have to load to shorter OACLs for the XDm. As to why they're not passing the "plunk" test at data OACLs, the mostly likely cause is the case-mouth being overdiameter where SAAMI spec is .380 Max. With your dial calipers, measure case thickness as close as possible to the case-mouth, say within a couple of millimeters from it. Somewhere around .011" average is typical. Your cast lead bullets should be around .356" in diameter, so to determin what the case-mouth should be after seating the bullet and removing the flare, just double case-wall thickness and add the measured diameter of the bullet. Using the previous numbers as just an example, that would be .011" x 2 = .022" + .356" = .378" and they should fit in the chamber at that diameter. You really don't have to taper crimp an overdiameter cast or poly-coated bullet, but .001" of taper crimp isn't gonna hurt a thing. So, using the example numbers again you would just subtract .001" from the case-mouth diameter of .378" which becomes .377". With jacketed bullets, I typically aim for .0015" of taper crimp with 9mm. That would be halfway between .001" & .002" on your dial caliper.

I can't say that your problem is strictly about the case-mouth diameter, however. In the early part of your OP you mention the bullet being pulled from the case. Sounds to me like the load was long enough, with some others you've tried, that your pistol was out-of-battery because of the overlength cartridge for the XDm.

By the same token, I agree with taylorjr and the previous poster in regard to the loads where you're loading shorter at the data recommended OACL which could very likely be that you're leaving some of the flare on the case and not removing it with the crimp die, or seater/crimp die if you're doing both steps in 1 operation. It will take a little longer, but just starting out you'll have better luck by seating and crimping in 2 separate operations.

You have to load specifically for the pistol the handloads will be fired from, or for the pistol with the shortest throat. In this case that would be the XDm, and those loads will still work in the SIG, but you really shouldn't have to be loading as short as the OACL listed in the data. That is the length they used for pressure testing and it can be considered a worse case scenario where you should not load any shorter. Longer is preferable so long as you have a gap of at least .005" of freebore between where the bullet contacts the throat/leade/rifling and the bullet. With rounded type bullets the point of contact will be on the ogive. You might also want to do a forum search for 9mm over-all cartridge length where we've discussed the method for establishing the correct OACL for each type of bullet you use, many times. ;)
 

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The "near max OAL" is likely the issue. XD are known for shorter throats. If the bullet is sticking in the chamber & pulling apart as you unchamber, sounds like the OAL is too long. Every gun I diff, I don't care who's data you use so try a shorter OAL. As long as you are not loading max, it isn't going to affect your pressures much seating 0.010" deeper. As noted, make sure you remove all the flare with a proper taper crimp.
 

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So I have a crap ton of rounds that probably won't fire out of my XDM.
A good "rule of thumb" to follow in reloading is to run your loads in batches of five and test fire/chronograph before proceeding so you don't end up with a big pile of "bad" ammo.
 

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tons of excellent replies here OP...the OAL and Taper Crimp have my votes...

information directed like this is why I love this place!
 
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I totally agree with what 57K and Fred have said. You are almost certainly hitting the lands with those bullets that are pulling from the case. You also will find that a slight taper crimp, as both Fred and 57K have suggested you use, will allow for smoother feeding without degrading accuracy. I am also concerned with the OP's remark that he "backed out" his seating die and found things improved. If you were using a "dual" crimping die you may have actually been overcrimping (overcrimping a lead bullet can make it undersized and actually loose in the case) or, heaven forefend, roll crimping which would not be good! Are you crimping and seating in the same operation? It is a taper crimp die? Just what OAL are you using with the rounds that will not "plunk" in the XDm. Is the XDm the 5.25" or the 4.5"? Not that the barrel length matters that much, but some of the older 4.5" seem even shorter throated then the newer ones. And as one of the other members noted a picture would be helpful, but barring that, a description of the bullet shape would be nice. We have all reloaded various 9mm bullet shapes and found that the pointier round nose types generally will pass the plunk with much longer OAL's than the flat or truncated cone types, which generally have to be down around 1.1" OAL or so to plunk in an XDm barrel. If you go shorter than the so called "recommended" OAL you can always reduce the powder charge by a tenth of a grain or so to still be at the pressure level you are aspiring to. You are not at max anyway, so, as Fred remarked, you are not really in pressure trouble with anything like "normal" OAL lengths with an 115grn bullet. But whatever it is, please tell us what OAL you are using at this time and what the bullet shape is.

Again, as many of us have said before, OAL is GUN AND BULLET SPECIFIC. There is no way around it. You must load for the gun you have, not for some data from a pressure barrel or gun used by the data producer to get their OAL. They vary widely and you have to find your own length that will plunk and run the gun with the powder and bullet you are using.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sorry guys for falling off the planet on this. Thank you to all the answers so far. I am still having issues with this even after a friend who reloads came over and assisted. Here are some pics of the issue. This is a dummy round. There is a slight bulge near where the bullet is seated. The round goes in a case gauge with no issue, but in my XDM barrel you can see where it does not drop all the way for a drop test. The bullets are .356 diameter lead bullets by falcon bullets with their proprietary falcoating.
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First, take an UNLOADED but resized (or reasonably loose fired) empty case and drop it in the chamber. It will seat on the shoulder of the chamber and tell you where the loaded rounds should be. Second, that profile actually looks overcrimped to me, but it could be an optical illusion (A "coke bottle" appearance is pretty normal using a lead bullet). A .356 lead bullet is pretty standard for 9mm, but should be measured to be sure. Given the amount of case still sticking out of the back of the barrel, I think you are still about .020" too long with the loaded round. Even though that is a round nose bullet, it has a pretty fat ogive. What is the OAL of the round? Hopefully you do have a caliper, though I note you never mentioned the OAL of the rounds you were loading. A caliper is essential to the process. I grant that the case gauge accepts the round, but your barrel is the final arbiter. No barrel plunk... no shoot! Once you get it to "plunk" we will talk about proper crimp technique with a caliper.
 

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Over crimped, the correct fix is to raise (re-adjust) the crimping die up for less crimp. This will keep the die from crushing the case, which is causing the bulge. After doing that adjustment, re-set the correct OAL by using the seater plug to do this without changing the die body. The buldge is what is keeping the bullet from seating correctly.
 

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Certainly over crimped. The slight bulge could be causing the issue, but again, a case gage has no rifling. Check a sized case only, then check your OAL. OAL, always bullet & gun specific. Make a dummy rd, seat the bullet 0.01" deeper w/ less crimp, probably fixes the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you everyone for the responses. The issue has been OAL. Those bullets are not really a good match for the xdm. I was able to talk to a friend of mine who is a very experienced reloader and I think we have the solution. We are working on a combination to run the loads light with a very short OAL. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, etc.
 
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