Author Topic: Resizing .38 bullets to 9mm?  (Read 780 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mrcabinet

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 194
Resizing .38 bullets to 9mm?
« on: July 10, 2019, 11:03:19 PM »
I accidentally ordered 1k of .38 Hi Tech coated 115gr, cast bullets instead of 9mm. I have plenty of .38, so I'm thinking of getting the Lee sizing kit and sizing them down to .356. Has anyone done this on coated bullets?
No matter where you're going, there you are.

Offline ReloaderFred

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1221
Re: Resizing .38 bullets to 9mm?
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2019, 12:48:54 AM »
You can do it without any problem, but you can also load up a few as they are and fire them through your 9x19 pistol.  I've slugged 9x19 barrels that were .358" in diameter, but most run .356" to .357", so shooting a .358" diameter soft lead bullet through them isn't a problem.  In fact, you may find that you get better accuracy from them.

Of course the usual warnings apply, work up your load, but you shouldn't have to back the load off much, unless you're pushing the ragged edge.  You may also have to flare the case mouth a very small amount larger so you don't scrape off the coating.

Hope this helps.

Fred
After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs

Offline tdogg

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1377
Re: Resizing .38 bullets to 9mm?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2019, 12:53:44 AM »
What diameter are your 38 bullets, .357 or .358?  I'm assuming they are a standard cast lead alloy.

Either way you most likely will get better accuracy and efficiency shooting them as is.  I'd work up a new load with them and see how they perform.

Fred beat me to it!

Cheers,
Toby


Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

Offline mrcabinet

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 194
Re: Resizing .38 bullets to 9mm?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2019, 08:47:23 AM »
My original thought was to do as you guys suggested and just load them up. However, most of the .38's I measured are at .358, but a few were at .3585. Those were the ones that concerned me. Would that extra .0005 be pushing the limits in a barrel that slugged right at .355?
No matter where you're going, there you are.

Offline Wobbly

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9358
  • Loves the smell of VihtaVuori in the morning !
Re: Resizing .38 bullets to 9mm?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2019, 08:58:00 AM »
The guys are correct. I shoot bullets for 38Super (0.357") in my 9mm all the time. They are actually some of the better bullets for my SP01. Those are the MBC IDP#8 coated. Click Here

The only thing you want to be aware of is that some 38 bullets lack the rounded nose profile which is almost required in an auto pistol. Yours are probably well rounded, but obviously you might have some feed issues if you tried the same thing with (say) "38 Wad Cutters".

Don't let the lack of accuracy slow down your experiments. Right off, I wouldn't expect wonders from 115gr bullets of any shape....
1. This because most 9's are designed around 124gr bullets and most 38's are designed around 130-158gr bullets.
2. The 38 Special was designed for voluminous black powder. When used with modern smokeless powders, there can be issues filling the case with enough powder to get consistent ignition. That is, often times the shooter can tell the difference between pointing the gun "up" before shooting, and pointing the gun "down" before shooting. This pointing shifts powder to a particular end of the cartridge, either toward or away from the primer. The point is, when basic ignition characteristics change, the bullet placement suffers. Here's a little cartoon from 10 years ago to show you...



Hope this helps.
In God we trust; On 'Starting Load' we rely.

Immature reloaders ask: What's wrong with this gun?
Mature reloaders ask: What did I do wrong?

Check out my reloading equipment for sale CLICK HERE

Offline Wobbly

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9358
  • Loves the smell of VihtaVuori in the morning !
Re: Resizing .38 bullets to 9mm?
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2019, 09:02:01 AM »
My original thought was to do as you guys suggested and just load them up. However, most of the .38's I measured are at .358, but a few were at .3585. Those were the ones that concerned me. Would that extra .0005 be pushing the limits in a barrel that slugged right at .355?

Probably not in soft lead. However, I wouldn't try the same trick with a jacketed bullet.

Like they said. Begin with your Starting Load and work up in small increments.
In God we trust; On 'Starting Load' we rely.

Immature reloaders ask: What's wrong with this gun?
Mature reloaders ask: What did I do wrong?

Check out my reloading equipment for sale CLICK HERE

Offline mrcabinet

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 194
Re: Resizing .38 bullets to 9mm?
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2019, 09:27:49 AM »
I normally load 125 coated LRN or TC for 9mm. My plan was to work up a softer load with the 115's for the wife (trying to get her to move up from a .380) for range loads.
I'm old school when it comes to .38 specials. I still use Red Dot under 148 wadcutters and 125 LRN. No powder fill issues there!
No matter where you're going, there you are.

Offline painter

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5942
Re: Resizing .38 bullets to 9mm?
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2019, 03:14:13 PM »
He hasn't been around for a while, but member jameslovesjammie sized all his lead bullets to .358 for all his 9mm pistols regardless how the bore measured with no ill effects.
I had the right to remain silent...

but not the ability.

Offline mrcabinet

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 194
Re: Resizing .38 bullets to 9mm?
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2019, 04:22:00 PM »
Well then, given the consensus of the experienced folks here, I'm going to load a few up (starting low) and see how they do. Thanks to all for the input!
No matter where you're going, there you are.

Offline noylj

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 411
Re: Resizing .38 bullets to 9mm?
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2019, 01:01:31 AM »
Use them as-is, they'll work great. During the great Obummer bullet shortage, I kept firing 9mm all the time by buying .38 bullets (jacketed or lead). No pressure problems, but I also always start work with new bullets at the start load. Nice accuracy and about all I shoot in 9x19 are 0.356-0.357" jacketed bullets nowadays.

Offline mauserand9mm

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 278
Re: Resizing .38 bullets to 9mm?
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2019, 11:27:52 PM »
I almost tried some 0.358 lead projectiles in my 9mm but they wouldn't feed into the chamber. I'd have to resize them to fit so didn't bother going further with them. I was surprised that the extra 0.002 inch made a difference. I ended up using the otherwise unwanted 0.358 projectiles to cast my 430gn 0.512 projectiles.

Offline ReloaderFred

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1221
Re: Resizing .38 bullets to 9mm?
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2019, 10:57:46 AM »
The 9x19 case wall thickness is all over the place between manufacturers, so if one brand of brass prevents chambering with .358" diameter bullets, another brand just may allow it.  It pays to experiment.

Hope this helps.

Fred
After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs

Offline Wobbly

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9358
  • Loves the smell of VihtaVuori in the morning !
Re: Resizing .38 bullets to 9mm?
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2019, 09:13:01 PM »
This might be one instance where the Lee FCD might be useful !!  :)
In God we trust; On 'Starting Load' we rely.

Immature reloaders ask: What's wrong with this gun?
Mature reloaders ask: What did I do wrong?

Check out my reloading equipment for sale CLICK HERE

Offline mrcabinet

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 194
Re: Resizing .38 bullets to 9mm?
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2019, 10:33:28 PM »
I do have the Lee FCD - in a box somewhere....... Maybe I'll dig it out and run the .38/9mm loads through it, just for grins.
No matter where you're going, there you are.

Offline noylj

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 411
Re: Resizing .38 bullets to 9mm?
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2019, 02:52:58 AM »
In over 45 years of loading 9x19, I have never found a gun with a chamber that would not easily feed 0.358" lead bullets. If they don't fit, I would bet there was a reloading problem and not a bullet problem (scraped lead, crooked bullet seating, COL was not fine-tuned for bullet, etc.).
For all my 9x19s, I shoot either as-cast lead bullets or 0.358" lead bullets. These are fired in S&W, P-08s, P-38s, BHP, and CZs with not a single issue.
Back when I got my first BHP, 9x19 was NOT a popular cartridge and there were almost NO 0.355" bullets. So every reloader at that time HAD to use 130gn 0.356" .38 Super bullets or 0.357" jacketed .38 bullets and no one I knew then ever had a problem. I still like 0.357" jacketed bullets the best for 9x19, 9x21, and .38 Super.
I have hit cases where the walls were so thin they didn't get sized down (so the bullet wasn't under tension in the case), but never a case with walls too thick.

 

anything