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Thread: 9mm conversion cylinder work

  1. #11
    Site Supporter Bill Nesbitt's Avatar
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    Last edited by Bill Nesbitt; 11-15-2017 at 06:34 PM.

  2. #12
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    I'll start by stating some obvious basics. In rimmed revolver rounds, two factors hold the bullet securely in place. They are roll crimp force and bullet pull. Bullet pull is established by three variables: the dimension to which the case is resized, the dimension to which the case mouth is expanded, and the diameter of selected bullet.

    In semi-auto pistol rounds like the 9mm, there is no rim so the cartridge headspaces on the case mouth. As a result, applying a roll crimp to turn the mouth inward into a crimp groove would be counter productive. Instead, an appropriate die removes case mouth flare and then applies a taper crimp to squeeze down the case at the mouth and slightly below that part--hence the term taper. Back to bullet pull. In the 9mm, bullet pull is established by the same three variables mentioned above.

    Now about using the 9mm cartridge in revolvers. My opinion is that bullet pull is the primary contribution to preventing bullet jump. One method to increase bullet pull is using thicker brass like military brass. I like WCC brass because the batch that I use has no primer pocket crimp. Another tactic is using a cast bullet with a diameter larger than .355 or .356. I recommend .358 which is ideal for S&W revolvers. Of course .357 should work.

    If you are loading jacketed bullets, thicker brass probably will be necessary. But, you can buy an undersized resize die which will reduce the fired case diameter smaller than a regular die. You can also use an undersize expander ball. The undersized die and a smaller diameter expander ball may solve the problem even when using thinner non military brass. You can try each tool separately and then together. Of course applying a firm taper crimp is necessary.

    About dies in general. Pick any caliber. Variation exists within the same brand and definitely exists between brands. This fact is one reason that you must have a micrometer. Today almost all pistol dies include a taper crimp and not roll crimp die. Two years ago I learned that at least one brand did not. Lee makes an excellent taper crimp die that may beat other brands. I do not refer to the carbide factory crimp die but merely their plain Jane taper crimp die. Should you wish to use a smaller diameter expander part, buy Lee's version and pay them to make you the desired part. Other die companies will do the same but will charge you more. Or you could plug the part in an electric drill and reduce diameter by spinning against an abrasive.

    Many experienced reloaders mix and match dies instead of just using the three or four brand x dies that came with the brand x set. They have found that one die from another brand better suits their purpose. My opinion is that our die manufacturers turn out good products. Like gun makers, they sometimes will make lemons. I have die sets from all the makers. The least expensive dies are Lee dies. I have had good service from them. Redding makes high dollar dies. They are excellent. I like them but can't tell the difference between them and the Lee dies from a performance standpoint.

    Pm me if you have further difficulty.
    Last edited by willie; 11-15-2017 at 07:55 PM.

  3. #13
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    9mm conversion cylinder work

    Per tkcustom:


    Regarding accuracy and poi change from 38 to 9:
    Accuracy is about 4" at 25 yds. POI change, Not sure.

    Regarding 38 spl loaded/shot sticking after a 9mm conversion:
    In all the conversations we have done this has never been reported.


    I canít justify buying a second revolver to do this work to, as saving up to have the work done is already on a tight budget, so seems like I have to pick between converting to a caliber I have a lot of, it buying a case or two of ammo for a low volume piece and just staying with 38.


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    Last edited by jeep45238; 11-24-2017 at 05:01 PM.
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  4. #14
    Site Supporter Bill Nesbitt's Avatar
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    Cost to convert to 9mm: $375.
    Case of 38 ammo: Less than $375.

  5. #15
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    9mm conversion cylinder work

    True, cost of a case of plated 158 rnfp is 280 plus shipping. Cost to moonclip 38 is 175 w/clips/tools, and would be nice.

    Case- about 300 shipped
    Moonclip and case - 375
    Moonclip 9 (not counting tools) - 375


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    Last edited by jeep45238; 11-24-2017 at 05:38 PM.
    Never settle for the ordinary.

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  6. #16

  7. #17
    Please forgive my ignorance, but after having this work done a person is able to fire- 9mm with the proper moon clips as well as 38/357 WITHOUT the use of moon clips? Im trying to insure that if I were to have this done I would not be regulating the revolver to moon clips only post machining.
    Just a father trying to protect his family.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ballistic_RT View Post
    Please forgive my ignorance, but after having this work done a person is able to fire- 9mm with the proper moon clips as well as 38/357 WITHOUT the use of moon clips? Im trying to insure that if I were to have this done I would not be regulating the revolver to moon clips only post machining.
    Thatís correct


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    Never settle for the ordinary.

    Rights cease to exist when restrictions are put on them

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by jeep45238 View Post
    Thatís correct


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    Thank You
    Just a father trying to protect his family.

  10. #20
    Fornicates with shovels Hambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeep45238 View Post
    Having two calibers in one gun sounds mighty nice
    Not to be a dick, but why? What's the gain being able to shoot 9mm in a .38? As Willie pointed out, there are some potential PITA issues with 9mm bullets in a .357 tube.

    Before you chop a perfectly good .38, google the rabbit hole of Ruger Blackhawk conversions.
    I am Jack's complete lack of outrage.

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