Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Heller Anniversary shoot

Today is the one year anniversary of the SCOTUS decision in Heller that proclaims that the 2nd Amendment is a personal right to keep and bear arms. In celebration of that, I headed to the range this morning with my new-to-me Sig P6; my 03-A3 with a new limb saver recoil pad and my first 9mm reloads.

I've reloaded a bit over the past few months, but always 38/.357's or rifle cartridges, which are vastly different in size from the tiny 9mm's. Loading in 4.2 gr. of Unique doesn't leave much room for seating a bullet. So, going by about three loading manuals, including Speers #13, I loaded up 8 rounds to a OAL that seemed reasonable. I was using 125gr. lead bullets with cannulure and a round nose. Nowhere in these darn manuals are there pictures showing just how deep to seat certain bullets. This bullet, past the cannelure, flares out at the beginning of the working portion of the bullet---which seemed a good place to seat the bullet.

So, off to the range. The Limbsaver sure is a great recoil pad! I'm firing 180gr. round nose bullets with some 49grains of 4098, so there's a good deal of 'umph' going down range.

Then, switch to the little P6 that hasn't failed to feed anything yet. Hollowpoints, jacketed, lead or whatever, it hasn't choked. On the second reload the gun not only choked, it locked up entirely! The slide just wouldn't move and although the trigger/hammer could cycle, the live round in the chamber wouldn't go off. Darn it! Don't you just love it when a plan comes together? So, my gunsmith is about two miles from the range and off I go with the little P6.

The gunsmith examines the reloads and then tells me the little details that the reloading manuals forget to mention. A 9mm is really supposed to have about a .10 taper from the case head to the case mouth. Mine had about .05 and were a bit fat. The bullet needed to be seated all the way in to where the rim above the cannelure was inside the case. Having deciphered the problem, my gunsmith took a small mallet and gave the recoil spring guide a sound whack, allowing the slide to open and the offending round to pop out. Sure enough, the bullet had jammed on that little lip above the cannelure which should have been inside the case.

why didn't any editor think to put these little tidbits into a reloading manual? Don't bother answering that as I'm sure it was something I was supposed to know by osmosis. Happy Heller Anniversary and I hope everyone had some time for trigger therapy somewhere.

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