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Reloading for the Ruger 9mm LCR Revolver Login/Join 
On the DL
Picture of V-Tail
posted
quote:
From the 9mm supplement to the Ruger LCR manual:
Use only metal jacketed bullets in 9mm revolvers. When a lead bullet is fired, its base expands and a ring of lead is shaved off and deposited in the shoulder area of the chamber. A buildup of lead rings can prevent proper chambering of cartridges because 9mm cartridge mouths seat on the chamber shoulders.

Also note that some ammunition may not securely crimp the bullet in the car- tridge. An improperly crimped bullet will move forward in the cartridge. This will only become an issue if the round moves forward enough to protrude out of the front of the cylinder. Should this happen, the cylinder will not be able to index to fire as the nose of the bullet will hit the outside of the barrel or frame. Should this happen, discontinue use of that particular brand or type of ammunition.
I read the note about the crimp, and the possibility of the bullet migrating forward in the cartridge.

I am trying to load "mouse fart" rounds, so my wife can get used to her new revolver at the range, without developing a flinch.

Ruger suggests measuring the OAL, firing four of the five rounds in the cylinder, then measuring the OAL of the remaining unfired round to see if the bullet has moved forward.

Per the Lyman manual, diameter near the base (rim) of the cartridge is nominally .391, and at the bullet end, crimped to .381, or a drop of .010. I used Hornady 115 gr FMJ, and a powder charge of 10% less than the recommended starting load. The bullet migrated forward .050

I increased the amount of crimp in stages, going to the range for each trial. The latest trial had a drop of .028 and the bullet still moved forward by .020

Out of curiosity, I tried two types of "store bought" ammunition:
  1. Federal 115 gr, the type in the 100 round value pack that Walmart sells. I measured OAL, fired four rounds, then opened the cylinder to remove the remaining round to measure it. As I opened the cylinder I caught a glint, didn't think anything of it until I looked at the empty cases in the moon clip. Five empty cases. Huh? Can I no longer count to four? I then realized that a) there was powder on my hands, b) there was one primer that had not been fired, and c) that glint that I saw was the bullet which just fell out of the gun when I opened the cylinder. Empty case in the moon clip, bullet on the ground in front of me. I guess that ammunition is NFG for the LCR.

  2. I next tried some Winchester "Personal Defense" 147 gr. I guess this is marketed as an all-purpose round; the box mentions hunting, plinking, and Personal defense. Loaded five, fired four, measured OAL on the remaining, and it had moved forward .020


My questions:

Is .020 acceptable? It's my understanding that the major problem to avoid is the nose of the bullet protruding from the front of the cylinder, and .020 is not a problem there.

On my handloads: I'm new at this. Is a drop of .028 in diameter, between the base of the cartridge and the bullet end of the case, too drastic, considering that for 9mm the "standard" crimp drop is .010?

Not sure where to go with this, I await the voice(s) of experience.

If I can't get this figured out, I'll probably wind up disposing of the 9mm revolver and get the same gun (Ruger LCR) in .357 magnum, let my wife shoot a light .38 SPL load at the range.



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 16387 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Uppity Helot
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I think your last suggestion about dumping the gun for a .357 variant is the best medicine. I am not a fan of the idea of a taper crimp being used in revolvers in general and hard recoiling lightweight revolvers in particular.

Bullet creep under the forces of recoil seems to quite a real thing with the LCR 9mm unless certain factory rounds are used. Even then the factory 9mm ammo is being subjected to physical forces its manufacturing processes were never specifically designed to address. The 9mm factory is designed to resisit set-back when hitting a feed ramp not the kinetic bullet pulling like actions of a revolver.

If I bought an LCR it would be in .38 SPL and my factory carry and range ammo would be checked for good roll crimps. My handloads would feature a somewhat heavy roll crimp too particlarly if coated cast bullets were being used.

Just my thougts. YMMV.
 
Posts: 1461 | Location: Manheim, PA | Registered: September 04, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Not really from Vienna
Picture of arfmel
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I wonder if the bullet would stay put if you used a cannelured bullet in your handload. Maybe a 110 grain JHP. You might want to slug the barrel to see whether a .357 diameter bullet would be ok. I suspect Ruger uses the same barrel diameter on their .357 magnum and 9mm LCR.




 
Posts: 21046 | Location: Young American Teen Club | Registered: January 30, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Again the TC is not designed to hold the bullet. It's function is to remove the flaring done by the expander so it will chamber easily. As you increase the TC you are swaging the bullet making it smaller. In turn reducing neck tension. As the TC gets deeper it will bite into to the bullet some. but not enough to hold the bullet. A Roll crimp is the one that can actually hold the bullet. There are tools that can add a cannalure to your bullet if needed. But you can buy some light 357/38 bullets with the cannalure groove.

A 0.020" setback with some powders, (TG to name one) will double your pressure.

You need to reduce the flaring being done to the brass to increase neck tension. Either by backing the expander die out, or by turning it down if a PTX. Bevel the case mouth to aid in starting the bullet.

Another option is use the brass that has a step in it to stop bullet setback. Most of us just throw them into the recycle bin.

Also measure your bullet diameter. It can be all over the place 0.355" - 0.357 for jacked. If you can get 0.002"-0.003" of interference fit you should not be having any setback problem.


David

P229R 9mm, Nitron, Beavertail Frame, Night Sights, DA/SA, SRT & Short Reach Trigger
 
Posts: 3417 | Location: Piney Woods of East Texas | Registered: November 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thank you, all of you who replied.

My ignorance might be showing here, as I said, I'm a newcomer to reloading.

Divil used two terms: "taper crimp" and "roll crimp." Can somebody enlighten me?

David (Blue68f100) speaks of setback and increased pressure. Again, I'm new to this, but I thought that "setback" referred to a bullet that is further into the case than it should be, resulting in a reduced OAL. My problem is the opposite: as the revolver is fired, the bullets in the remaining (unfired) rounds migrate forward, out of the case, resulting in an increase on OAL. Or, did I read David's post incorrectly?



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 16387 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Avoiding
slam fires
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I do not know if winchester still makes bullets with chanelure rings in 115 Jhp's grain.I shot thousand of them many years back ,might be worth checking,they were sold in boxed of 2,000 at a local jip joint,before the net was invented.
 
Posts: 21193 | Location: Georgia | Registered: February 19, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Not really from Vienna
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V-Tail, a roll crimp is what is used on revolver cartridges. It requires a different type of die than the typical semi-auto takes. Roll crimping and cannelured bullets should eliminate your bullet creep issue. Check your cylinder chamber throat diameter, as well.

It strikes me that possibly Ruger would replace your cylinder, if factory 9mm ammunition gives the same problem with bullets creeping forward. I haven't had that issue in my 9mm LCR.




 
Posts: 21046 | Location: Young American Teen Club | Registered: January 30, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by arfmel:
V-Tail, a roll crimp is what is used on revolver cartridges. It requires a different type of die than the typical semi-auto takes. Roll crimping and cannelured bullets should eliminate your bullet creep issue. Check your cylinder chamber throat diameter, as well.

It strikes me that possibly Ruger would replace your cylinder, if factory 9mm ammunition gives the same problem with bullets creeping forward. I haven't had that issue in my 9mm LCR.
You have a 9mm LCR? Are you loading for it? If so, would you be willing to give me a data dump? What bullets, what powder, whatever I need to know.

What factory ammunition are you using? Have you checked OAL on a cartridge before and after firing four out of five rounds in the cylinder?

I'm looking for whatever help I can find for this situation.

The main reason I wanted to explore handload was for something light, for my wife to use at the range, to get used to the trigger feel and sight picture without developing a flinch. My plan was, once she's comfortable with the revolver, work our way up to a quality SD factory load. That plan might have to be modified if I'm not able to produce a handload that works right.

Nothing is ever as simple as I think it's going to be. Frown



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 16387 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Not really from Vienna
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I haven't handloaded for mine, which has worked fine with everything I have tried. The russian steel case was very difficult to eject, though. I ended up poking them out individually with a steel cleaning rod section. I've used Federal 115 grain FMJ, Remington 115 grain JHP, and steel case 115 grain FMJ. A friend tried my LCR with some kind of 124 grain bullet without trouble, too. I think I would stick with lighter weight projectiles as it seems like I have read somewhere that they minimize bullet pull issues.

I'll shoot the thing again and measure the last round in the cylinder to see if the bullets are being pulled. Since I haven't had problems with the gun, I haven't done that. I quit carrying it because of the size and capacity.

Eta: I remember the last time I shot it I used some old 9mm Federal Rimmed ammo I've had for 20 years. It worked well, too. I was surprised at how hot it was.




 
Posts: 21046 | Location: Young American Teen Club | Registered: January 30, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Maybe the simplest course would be to trade the LCR 9mm for a LCR .357, train her with .38 special wadcutters, and after she becomes proficient, load it with some good .38 self defense rounds. I'd suggest a LCR 38 but the heavier steel frame of the .357 should reduce recoil a bit.




 
Posts: 21046 | Location: Young American Teen Club | Registered: January 30, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of rduckwor
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I'd suggest a LCR 38 but the heavier steel frame of the .357 should reduce recoil a bit.



I bought my wife an LCR in 38 SPC and it's quite a handful with even Win white box ammo. A friend gave me some powder puff PPC Wad cutter loads and they are fun. The others, not so much.

RMD




TL Davis: “The Second Amendment is special, not because it protects guns, but because its violation signals a government with the intention to oppress its people…”
 
Posts: 18709 | Location: L.A. - Lower Alabama | Registered: April 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by arfmel:
Maybe the simplest course would be to trade the LCR 9mm for a LCR .357, train her with .38 special wadcutters, and after she becomes proficient, load it with some good .38 self defense rounds. I'd suggest a LCR 38 but the heavier steel frame of the .357 should reduce recoil a bit.
At this point I'm starting to lean in that direction.

Another thought, as long as I'm thinking about changing calibers: how about the LCR in .327 Federal Magnum? Six rounds instead of five, and it's good for any .32 caliber revolver load. Should be able to find a pretty mild store-bought round for the wife to use at the range, without the need for me to start loading in that caliber.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: V-Tail,



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 16387 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Not really from Vienna
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V-Tail, here's a link to a thread on 9mm revolver load issues. It looks like light loads may come with a new set of problems in a 9mm revolver.

http://smith-wessonforum.com/r...lver-load-issue.html

I haven't seen a .327 LCR, it might be a viable solution to your problem. If you can find .327 ammunition.

I still think the .357 using .38 special ammunition would likely be the most simple and straightforward solution.




 
Posts: 21046 | Location: Young American Teen Club | Registered: January 30, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Not really from Vienna
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Ok, just did a quick and dirty check of the Remington 115 JHP AND federal 115 FMJ. Dang if they don't both exhibit a little bit of bullet creep. I marked the juncture of case mouth and bullet with a sharpie marker pen, fired 4 shots and looked at the remaining round. The RemingtonJHP appears to have moved about the thickness of a piece of copy paper, the Federal a bit more, maybe thickness of a business card. Neither appears even close to coming apart in the cylinder.




 
Posts: 21046 | Location: Young American Teen Club | Registered: January 30, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by arfmel:
Ok, just did a quick and dirty check of the Remington 115 JHP AND federal 115 FMJ. Dang if they don't both exhibit a little bit of bullet creep. I marked the juncture of case mouth and bullet with a sharpie marker pen, fired 4 shots and looked at the remaining round. The RemingtonJHP appears to have moved about the thickness of a piece of copy paper, the Federal a bit more, maybe thickness of a business card. Neither appears even close to coming apart in the cylinder.
OK, it seems that we have established that bullets do migrate forward in the 9mm LCR.

Next question: I do not have access to a centerfire revolver in any other caliber. Does somebody who is reading this thread, maybe have an LCR in .38 SPL? If so, would you be willing to perform the same test and post your results? i.e. measure OAL on a cartridge, load it in the revolver along with four other rounds, fire the other four, and then measure OAL on the remaining one. See if it is any longer and if so, by how much.



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 16387 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Not really from Vienna
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I'll do that tomorrow with my LCR 38.




 
Posts: 21046 | Location: Young American Teen Club | Registered: January 30, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Not really from Vienna
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Ok, another quicky test, this time with my 3" LCRx .38 and Winchester 125gr JHP +P. 20 rounds fired with the same one unused in each cylinder full. As I expected, no bullet creep problem. Results would very possibly be different with a lead bullet load.




 
Posts: 21046 | Location: Young American Teen Club | Registered: January 30, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Posts: 7252 | Location: South Congress AZ | Registered: May 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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HenryAZ, thanks for the explanatory photos.

More (dumb?) amateur questions: Does the roll crimp work on standard FMJ RN bullets? Or is it intended for lead, not jacketed?

I'm using a Dillon 550B. What die would I need for the roll crimp?



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 16387 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Uppity Helot
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Revolver roll crimp dies or specialized dies like the Redding .45 profile cromp ( which I think is just Redding speak for roll crimp) can be used with jacketed bullets. However for best results a cannelure is what the roll crimp must crimp into.

The above roll crimp photo shows a being roll crimp being applied into a cannelured jacketed bullet.

Standard jacketed bullets for semi autos (9x19 or .45 acp) rarely if ever have a factory cannelure because they will be taper crimped. A cannelure is unnecessary for taper crimping and because of that reason bullet makers skip this manufactoring step when producing bullets for semi autos which will be taper crimped.

Your 9mm dies taper crimp and your 9mm bullets do not feature a cannelure. You would have to use a .357 roll crimp die and find some cannelured 9mm bullets. The latter will be something very difficult to locate.
 
Posts: 1461 | Location: Manheim, PA | Registered: September 04, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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