Lee 358-125-RF for 9/19 Auto?

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Cary Gunn posted this 10 February 2017

Gents,

Has anyone had experience with using the Lee 358-125-RF .38/.357 revolver bullet in the 9/19 Auto.

I'm wondering if it is at all compatible with the auto pistol.

I have used the Lee 358-105- SWC (sized to.357) and the 356-95-RF in .380 autoloaders, but am looking for a heavier bullet with a wider, flatter nose for use in the 9/19. 

Lee's bullets specifically designed for the 9mm -- all round-noses or truncated cone, tiny meplat designs -- don't interest me.  Thus, my interest in the ogival flat-point revolver bullet.

So, how does the 358-125-RF do in the 9/19.  Any issues with feeding reliability, or overall cartridge length, etc.?

Thanks for the help.

Happy trails,

-- Cary Gunn --

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SierraHunter posted this 10 February 2017

You will probably have to size it down to at least .357", maybe even down to .356". What kind of guns are you gonna be shooting it it? I've found that 9mm's are usually less picky about what they will feed then the 45 ACP.

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Cary Gunn posted this 10 February 2017

In answer to SierraHunter's question, the 9 mm cartridges will be used primarily in a Kahr CM9, which I've only just ordered and haven't yet gained possession. 

Secondarily, they'll also certainly see at least some use in .38/.357 revolver loads, although my current pet revolver plinking load uses the Lee 358-105-SWC, which I find an extremely accurate, thrifty, easy-to-cast little slug.  I even load that little SWC in .380 ACP (with appropriate sizing) and find it usefully accurate, if not absolutely fully reliable in functioning my tiny Kahr CW380.

-- Cary Gunn --

 

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SierraHunter posted this 10 February 2017

I'm not sure how picky the Karr pistols are, since I've never owned one. I believe with some tweaking it will work though.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 10 February 2017

i am wondering the same thing ... my ” research ” indicates that there is a 75 per cent chance the 0.357 bullet will chamber without problem in a 9 mm chamber .  and maybe even a 0.358.

one of our top 3 or 7 rules is that the fattest bullet that will chamber is the most likely to be accurate .

keeping in mind to add reliability into your decision .  automatic don't like to see drag when chambering .

ken

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Scearcy posted this 10 February 2017

What a coincidence! A shooting buddy of mine has been trying to shoot the Lee 125 RF in his 9MM pistols.  In his words it cuts a donut of lead and powder coat every time him fires a round. This jams the gun on the next round.  Sized too large?????  He is sizing 357.

Jim

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GP Idaho posted this 12 February 2017

Of the nines in my family, three like the bullet sized .358 but in the little R51 .356 is plenty. Gp

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mike morrison posted this 12 February 2017

I am using the lee 125 rf in a 9mm ruger lc9s. I am powder coating them. went thru a couple hundred yesterday. I first tried the truncated cone bullet lee makes for 9mm. they leaded the barrel bad. I size the 125 .359 and have no problem. hope this helps. I also use this bullet in 38 special with great success also sized .359

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tomf52 posted this 13 February 2017

Use it in my Kimber Staiinless Target II with great success. Sized to .357.

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GBertolet posted this 16 February 2017

I have a Browning Hi-Power with a .358 groove diameter. .358 bullets will  chamber if I use commercial cases. The standard .356 cast bullets often lead and perform poorly. I had thought of trying that particular mold, but didn't get around to it yet. I may have to put it on my do list.

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10Speed posted this 18 February 2017

Yesterday, I met a fellow at the range who was using this very bullet in his 9mm.  I had concluded a session with the chronograph, and he came over to my lane.  He asked if I would chronograph this round for him, and I said I would.

I asked him about the bullet and the load because it appeared to be the subject bullet, in which I am also interested.  He confirmed that it was the subject bullet sized at 0.358” and said that his load was 5.6gr Power Pistol.  Alloy alleged to be 50/50 Pb/WW, air cooled.

Results from 8 rounds as follows:  Average speed = 1,033.  Max = 1,056.  Min = 1,016.  Standard deviation = 14.0.  Average deviation = 11.1.

He said he had plenty of lead, around 2K lbs, and brass.  He gave me the rounds he had left, 18.

Since there appeared to be lube on the ogive, I asked if he tumble lubed.  He said no.  He has own own concoction.  I pulled a bullet just now.  There is no lube in the lube grove, so I'm guessing he does tumble lube, after a fashion.  The COAL is 1.0” plus or minus, and the crimp is 0.378” plus or minus.  The bullet is seated so that the crimping cannelure is not visible.

I was using my old Taurus PT99AF.  His rounds chambered, fed out of the magazine, and ejected with no problems.

Normally, I would not fire someone else's ammunition in my pistol, but I had seen them shooting with these loads.  I'm glad I did because I learned something new.

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Cary Gunn posted this 26 February 2017

Gents,

Finally got my hands on the new Kahr CM9 and the Lee six-cavity 358-125-RF mold mentioned in my original post.

I dumped a bunch of water-dropped slugs cast of 2/3 wheel weights-1/3 range scrap, sized them to .357", tumbled lubed with Ben's Liquid Lube, and seated them to a C.O.A.L. of about 1.040,” placing the mouth of the 9/19 cases even with the bullet's crimp groove.

I charged with 5 grains of Herco powder, in the hope that the relatively high powder level in the case would help prevent the bullet from being pushed deeper in the case, should the rounds encounter any overly energetic slam-bang on the feed ramp during the new-to-me auto-loader's feed-cycle.  That seems to have been a misplaced concern, though,  since the Kahr pistol has thus far proven gentle enough in it's treatment of the cartridges on the trip from magazine to chamber.

And, although the round-count at this point is far too low for a categorical endorsement, the Lee flat-nosed revolver bullet seems to to be doing fine in the Kahr 9/19.  The pistol has been trouble-free, and the bullets nicely accurate. 

I was bit disappointed with the new little pocket pistol at first, since the best I could do with factory j-word bullets (Hornady 115-grain FTX Critical Defense loads) was discouraging 3 1/2- to 4-inch off-hand groups at 13 yards.  Still, the tight, brand-new pistol gobbled up the Hornady stuff with nary a bobble.

I started off with the factory ammo to check the pistol's overall functionality, and to allow the copper jackets to “smooth-up” any possible rough spots in the spanking-new bore.

My outlook brightened when I switched to the Lee revolver bullet handloads, since they easily cut my 13-yard groups about in half.  The Kahr was tossing the 125-grain bullets  (actually 129 grains when cast of my relatively soft alloy) into about 2-inch groups, roughly half the size of the “patterns” thrown by the J-word fodder.

As I said earlier, it's still way to early for celebration, but, thus far, the Lee 125 revolver bullet and my new Kahr 9/19 pistol are getting along just fine.  My only problem so far has been been some consternation involving the bullet's fit in the bullet-seating die, but I'm in the process of successfully working through that little trouble spot.

I'll report further when my round-count rises high enough to be meaningful.

Happy trails,

-- Cary Gunn --

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David Reiss posted this 26 February 2017

A high powder volume will not prevent bullet telescoping, and in fact can create a dangerous pressure situation. The only way to prevent that situation is through a proper crimp and in a 9mm semi-auto it should be a taper crimp. 

The improvement in accuracy is probably attributed to the size of the cast bullet. I am almost sure the Hornady load feature a bullet sized to .356".

Can you elaborate on your issue with the seating die issue? It probably involves the seating stem, but would like more info before commenting. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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Cary Gunn posted this 26 February 2017

In reply to David Reiss in the above post, I'm aware that neck tension and crimp, both contributing to “bullet pull,” are the primary means of preventing bullets being forced deeper into a cartridge case by rough treatment during the autoloader feed cycle.

I'm also aware that some guns are tougher on cartridges than other guns. 

In my only previous experience in handloading for straight-walled auto pistol calibers, I've found the .380 ACP to sometimes be vulnerable to deeper bullet seating during the feed cycle, despite what seemed to be adequate precautions with neck tightness and crimp in the reloading process.  I've even had certain brands of factory loads suffer from the same problem in certain pistols.  

When feeding .380 ACP Winchester flat-nosed FMJ 95-grain factory ammo, my diminutive Kahr CW380 pocket-blaster would sometimes whack the flat nose of the factory loads hard enough on the feed ramp to drive the bullets noticeably deeper into the case.

That Winchester ammo seemed to shoot O.K. in the gun, but ejecting a loaded cartridge from the chamber would often reveal a cartridge with a markedly shorter O.A.L. than that of the rounds remaining in the magazine. Either the tiny Kahr was mighty rough on rounds on the trip from magazine to chamber, or the Winchester factory fodder had some very loosely seated bullets, or maybe it was combination of both factors.

Whatever the reason for the deeper seated bullets, the experience caused me to rethink the usual methods of obtaining secure bullet-seating depths, and it occurred to me that a powder charge level rising high enough in the case to nearly reach a “compressed-load” condition, would make it impossible for a seated bullet to be driven much deeper in the case. This would seem to add a redundant safety margin against the danger of too-deep bullet seating, should the usual precautions of sufficient neck tension and crimp somehow fail to do the job. 

Of course, the above precaution assumes that a proper burn-rate powder is selected, so that the accidentally “compressed load” would still be within safe pressure limits.  It seems to me that my load of 5 grains of Herco in a 9/19 case with a 125-grain bullet would meet the above safety criteria. I believe Herco is a slow-enough and bulky-enough powder to work safely in the above situation, but, obviously, some other powders -- such as Bullseye or Red Dot or 700-X -- would likely kill the pooch if touched-off in an accidentally compressed condition.

At any rate, that was the thought process behind my choice of a Herco loadhand with it's powder charge rising to a high level in the 9/19 case.  I think it makes sense as a “fail-safe” precaution you hope never needs to be tested.

Since this post is getting way too long, I'll address David Reiss's other questions in a subsequent post.

Happy trails,

-- Cary Gunn --

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David Reiss posted this 27 February 2017

I will disagree with contention that stuffing the case with any powder is a way to prevent telescoping and should not be considered by anyone as a safe practice. If your semi-auto has a habit of doing so, it is a issue with poor functioning of the gun and not an issue with the ammo, especially when occurring with factory ammo. The gun should be returned to the manufacturer or a qualified gunsmith. Having almost 40 years experience as a trained armorer / gunsmith, owning more than 50 semi-auto handguns and shooting more than I could ever count, I make these statements without hesitation. 

As an organization who provides this forum, we subscribe to safe practices and as the administrator of the forum, it would be irresponsible to not warn are members of such a dangerous practice. Because so I will lock this topic from further discussion, but will leave these comments for those who may have previously read this thread. 

 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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