4 posts
Joined December 2014

Problem loading lead bullets

I have a Dillon 550 press with Dillon dies and I am having trouble consistently loading good rounds for my 9mm Beretta. Factory ammo shoots well in the gun and I can load jacketed rounds in my press and they shoot well. But when I try to load any type of lead bullets I find that some of them will not go quite all the way into the chamber. The lead bullets also seem to bulge the case a little (see attached photos). Both the jacketed bullets and the lead bullets measure .355 and I even tried an experiment of putting some extra case lube on a lead bullet with no change in the outcome.

Any suggestions of what I should try to successfully load lead bullets for my 9mm.

3,222 posts
Joined July 2007

RE: Problem loading lead bullets

The bulge you describe is normal. However, it appears your projectile may not be seated deep enough into the case. You are using a semi-wadcutter bullet, which does not always feed well. Only about .010" of the shoulder of the bullet should be visible above the case mouth. More than that and this shoulder can contact the rifling, preventing the cartridge from chambering fully.
1 post
Joined July 2010

RE: Problem loading lead bullets


There are two solutions for your lead bullet issue.

One is a Lee bulge buster. I think RCBS has a version as well.
I found I could run loaded rounds through the bulge buster and get good loading cartridges.

The second solution is a Lee lube and size die.
Pushing the bullets through the sizer reduces the diameter. Use the reccomended size for 9mm
10 posts
Joined December 2011

RE: Problem loading lead bullets

I have a Kahr 45 that I've had similar issues with.  Dillons reply is correct. You definitely have to readjust the seating depth when switching from jacketed to lead and especially if the bullet profile is different.  I set the depth and do a drop test into the barrel removed from the gun.  If it slides in smoothly and kinda clunks as it bottoms out you are probably ok.  I've tried to use a cartridge gauge for this but it seems to work more consistently using the actual barrel.