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Thread: Relaoding 9mm and .40 s&w

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    Member SteveJCootie's Avatar
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    Default Relaoding 9mm and .40 s&w

    I was told that you shouldn't shoot reloaded 9mm out of a Glock. Is this true and why? What about reloaded .40 s&w out of a Springfield SD40? same thing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveJCootie View Post
    I was told that you shouldn't shoot reloaded 9mm out of a Glock. Is this true and why? What about reloaded .40 s&w out of a Springfield SD40? same thing?
    I have never heard anything like that. It could be someone thinks of reloads as cheep or lower quality. I have heard people who think they are all knowing spout foolish things like that from time to time. The truth is if it can be made in a factory then it can be made just as well or even better at home. If there was a special need the Glock had then it would be better to hand load small batches, so the idea that you should not reload is so much horse pucky!

    Andy

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    Your 9mm in a Glock is just fine (use jacketed or plated bullets) as the chamber pressures are pretty low. It is the 40S&W that is cautionary as it runs very high chamber pressures. Many Glocks have been destroyed by pushing the 40 too hot. A friend of mine blew up a Glock 22 with some of his hot homeloads a few years ago.

    Lead bullets compound the problem by leaving lead deposits on the "rifling", which further increase the chamber pressure by increasing the resistance of the next bullet starting down the barrel.

    If you reload for Glock, just keep them well below max loads and you'll be fine. I've been pumping reloads through my Glock 22 since the early '90s without a problem at all. I always use midrange loads (they're just for target practice) and jacketed or plated bullets (Barry's bullets are my current fav).
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    Default clarification

    OK, my bad. Here is the exact quite fom page 612 of the Modern Reloading book by Richard Lee:
    " Do not use reloads in Glocks or similiar guns with chambers that do not fully support the cartridge due to the intrusionof the feed ramp."

    I've tried to research this to understand it, but I don't?

  5. #5

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    Simple. Glock barrels do not fully support the cartridge case. Lots of info out there on this...Google "Glock KABOOM."

  6. #6

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    While there are a lot of stories out there about Glock 40's blowing up and such the source for not doing it is Glock itself. Using any reloaded ammo in you Glock voids the warranty and if something goes wrong they won't fix it. They also tell you that you can't shoot lead bullets in your Glock.

    That said, I've been reloading for my Glocks for years without any problem. I use aftermarket barrels most of the time.

    I can say that the stock Glock barrel in 10mm and max loads will yield cases that are buldged and can't be used again. I don't see this with the aftermarket barrel. So there is some truth to the feed ramp support issue. However, I have never seen this with factory ammo in either 9 or 10mm with a Glock barrel or with any hand load other than max 10mm loads.

    Bottom line, unless you are concerned with warranty issues hand load all you want. Just keep it sane. If you want to experiment with the fringe stuff get yourself an aftermarket barrel.

  7. #7

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    I didn't say you shouldn't fire handloads in a Glock...I merely said the barrel does not fully support the case. That is a fact...also a fact with some other gun types. The original poster didn't seem to know what that meant or how it related, so I was attempting to answer the question and also provide a source for additional info on this subject. Some think the design of the Glock chamber contributes to these type failures when reloads are used....as I said there is a lot of debate on this subject. I have no opinion either way as I no longer own a Glock...just don't like the way they fit my hand. But I have been reloading for about 25 years and agree if one is cautious and uses sound reloading practices, there should be no cause for concern.

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    I had a post and tried to edit to add these pics and it sliped through the cracks. #$@#@%!

    Basically what I said was that it is poor handloading practices and excess pressure that causes any problems when loading for any caliber in the Glocks or any other guns.

    Also, if bulging brass the load is excessive pressure, regardless of the caliber. Period!

    No the Glock isn't fully a supported chamber but neither is a 1911 in 45 ACP or 40 and we shouldn't bulge or rupture brass in that gun either.

    Here are some pics that will help show the difference in supported and non supported chambers.

    #943 is a Glock on the bottom of 45 GAP caliber but is the same as the 40 for support. I drew a pencil line at the top of the feed ramp which is over the case wall. The barrrel on the top is from a fully supported H&K forty and it is fully supported down to the rim cut, 360 degrees.

    #944 is the same two with a custom fully supported barrel for the 1911 in 45 ACP on the left. This one is actually a custom design 45 Super which shoots 230 Sierra HP's at 1250fps and doesn't bulge cases. The line on the case shows the limit of support but that is over the solid web of the case not over case wall. Normally a 1911 45 ACP or forty would look like the Glock.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCN0943.jpg   DSCN0944.jpg  
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunblade View Post
    Simple. Glock barrels do not fully support the cartridge case. Lots of info out there on this...Google "Glock KABOOM."
    OK, so the first post didn't set well with you but what does Glock KABOOM mean? A glock isn't safe? Maybe unsafe handloading practices aren't safe?!

    Where is the info out there to support this?
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  10. #10

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    Everything I have read on the Glock kaboom issue eventually traces back to the ammunition. Sometimes handloads and also many times factory loads. Any case that I have read about that has traced it all the way to conclusion ends up in over pressure ammo of some kind.

    I have no doubt that Glocks are safe, as there are millions of them out there all over the world that seem to work. What's also interesting is that even in the cases where they have blown up there has never been serious injury to the shooter, as far as I know. Which further testifies that the design is sound.

    I chose to use after market barrels in my Glocks because I handload a lot, sometimes take things to the max and want that extra margin of safety. How much of a difference this makes I have no way to judge. But I just see it as an insurance policy against the day a extra hot round, either handload or factory, gets into the chamber.

  11. #11

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    KABOOM is just a slang term used when a gun blows up for whatever reason...it can be applied to any gun make or model and is usually a result of too much pressure, an obstructed bore, wrong caliber ammunition, etc. I was just suggesting that as a term to use when searcing for more info on the subject.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveJCootie View Post
    I was told that you shouldn't shoot reloaded 9mm out of a Glock. Is this true and why? What about reloaded .40 s&w out of a Springfield SD40? same thing?
    Thanks for bringing up the question, Steve. I have wondered the same thing, but have never gotten quite certain about the answer.

    I've been told it is because the Glocks have an "unsupported" chamber.

    I always thought the pertinent point about "supported" versus "unsupported" chambers was the notch cut out of the very rear of the chamber to allow for the feed ramp.

    If you have a self-loading firearm with a moving barrel (typically recoil operated as opposed to blowback operated, most 380 ACP pistols for instance), there are basically two places to place the feed ramp. 1) part of the receiver and 2) part of the barrel.

    If the feed ramp is part of the receiver or immobile on it, the moving barrel must, of course, have a notch or slot cut out of it for the feed ramp to move into when the slide and barrel assembly are in battery in firing position. When the slide and barrel first start to move, before all the pressure in the chamber is relieved, the portion of the cartridge atop that cut is "unsupported" as the barrel moves backwards. Under high pressure, the brass of the cartridge can "flow" into the cutout creating a "bulge".

    If the feed ramp is part of the barrel, there is no cut to open up, thus no question of "unsupport"-ation.

    Do I understand correctly?

    If that is the case, all you have to do to prevent failure due to an unsupported chamber is to make sure your cartridge heads are sufficiently strong to withstand the operating pressure you are generating with your reloads. I imagine some manufacturers' brass may be thicker through the web and base than others'.

    Lost Sheep (lost as usual. Somebody point me in the right direction, please)

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    Larry brings up some good questions and I do think it is little understood.

    First and foremost, many guns have chambers that do not fully support the cartridge case. Also understand that the base of the case is solid for some distance up from the head. (solid except for a flash hole punched in through it).

    The Glock has no ramp in the receiver. It is just open to the magazine well, having only a slight flat angled piece of metal fixed into the plastic frame. Therefore all the ramp is barrel, for all Glock calibers, 9mm, 40 S&W, 10mm, 45 GAP and 45 ACP and any new caliber they may have come up with while I am writing this.

    The idea of an unsupported chamber or a partially supported chamber came out with the 1911 style guns which isn't a fully supported chamber, using the 9X19 round in IPSC major power level competition. Well, nowadays everyone knows that a 9X19 isn't a major caliber but there was a time that if loaded to high enough velocity the 147 grain would reach the major power level for competition. There may have been some ruptured cases which blow out magazines and stop the show for a while though I've never seen that in competition. But anyway the powers that control the matches outlawed the 9X19 caliber for major level so no one would be encourged to push the envelope and load the 9X19 to major. Then came the cround of 9mmXwhatevers to compete at major with a small bore, another story.

    Well this extra pressure and the unsupported chambers made an impact with some folks and they began to claim that a gun with chambers that were not fully supported was an unsafe gun. This inspite of the fact that for 100 years we've made unsupported 1911 in 45 ACP and the unsupported part of the case is above the solid web of the case except for some custom guns or custom barrels.

    Now it is true that the 9X19, the 40 S&W and the 10mm operate at about 36,000 psi and the 45 ACP ops at about 18,000 psi, so one would expect the three smaller calibers to need support more so than the 45 ACP and I cannot argue that.

    There is no evidence that at 40,000 psi the unsupported case in the chamber of a Glock or any other gun will rupture.

    It will most likely bulge before it ruptures so when working up loads and you see this bulge you are well above 40,000 psi and above the SAAMI spec'ed pressure for all of these autoloader rounds and you need to reduce. The load not yourself.

    When the unsupported case ruptures on the feed ramp of any gun, it will spew gas and debris (powder residue) out the bottom of the gun and usually push the magazine out on the ground. It may bulge or crack the magazine. It will likely push the contents of the of the magazine out on ground at your feet. I have seen this many times in various calibers in mostly 1911's. I've seen it in two Glocks that were 40/10MM calibers. Meaning their owners loaded the 40 cal up to 10mm specs and tried to. No body was hurt magazines were destroyed, one guy reloaded and kept shooting as if it was a normal stoppage when the Glock magazine left his gun unannounced.

    It isn't a catastrophic event. It will add excitement to the shot.

    It is an unsafe condition and without shooting glasses you could receive an eye injury. It is caused by exceeding the SAAMI pressure limit for the caliber, not from a defective or ill designed gun. If you don't wan't to shoot handloads in your Glock, don't but keep in mind factory full performance ammunition is well above major level for most 40 S&W loads, though still under the SAAMI pressure spec for the caliber. Typically the 9X19 is till factory loaded to higher pressure than any of the bigger three. I've assembled enough handgun ammo to supply all the top ten shooters for decades through practice and matches, I have never heard of a ruptured case in any that I've loaded for others and have never had one myself and I've shot well over 100 Glock pistols in all calibers with many handloads. I've never loaded a 9X19 to major level though or a 40 S&W to 10mm level, this may be a key.
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    I have another picture and wanted to mention some dimensions, using a new caliber as an example. The 45 Gap is supported from the mouth down to .455" then the Glock ramp is open under the case. The web or solid portion of this case is determined by extending the stem of the caliper down to the inside bottom of the case. That is at .555". So the case wall is unsupported for about .100" at the top of the ramp. This is very similar to the 40 S&W as to the chamber support, I don't have a forty Glock here right now to measure. If this case ruptures it will peel back the .100" lip of brass onto the feed ramp and spit hot gas downward into the magazine area. This gas will also go out the trigger opening so I was reminded by a shooter I know who apparently is over sensitive to hot gas on the trigger finger. But his Glock did extract and eject the ruptured case.


    Just for comparison this little shortened 45, this GAP, which filled a gap that didn't exist, will send 230 grain JHP's out at 880 fps from this 4.6" barrel, all day long every day and it will not bulge the brass. That's good defensive gun performance and well above major competition level regardless the discipline. I don't know what it would take to bulge or rupture a case from it, but this is above the original ballistics for this stubby little case.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCN0945.jpg  
    Last edited by Murphy; 03-07-2009 at 23:34.
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    Default Thank you

    Thanks to everyone for excellent information / explanation. Murphy, you are certainly a student of the world of Firearms. Well, maybe we're the students and you the mentor, but of course, you can never stop learning.

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    The only thing we were cautioned about at the Glock armorers course was not to use cast bullets in the Glock barrel as they are polygonal rifled and cast bullets will generally leave increased lead deposits in the barrel in a very short period of time. This would presumably cause an increase in chamber pressure much like a "minor" bore obsruction. If there is such a thing.

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