Tuesday, January 14, 2014

9mm Parabellum Hand Load Cost

9mm hand load with a cast bullet
Here is the cost to produce 9mm cast bullet practice loads. Your costs may differ locally, so these are just a guide.  In spite of all the excitement about lead prices, scrap lead is still pretty economical.  The days of free lead wheel weights may be gone, but inexpensive lead is still here.  The cost of primers represents the largest price increase, about $35 dollars per 1000. Buying in bulk may be a way to lower the cost, especially if Wolf primers are considered. The brass is once fired range pick ups.    
15 yard shot group slow fire from a 1944 vintage Walther P.38

Powder                1.2 cents

Primers                3.5 cents

Home Cast          2 cents

Lube (ALOX)        1 cent

Total                     7.7 cents per round

100 rounds          $7.70

1000 rounds        $77.00 
15 yard shot group rapid fire from a 1944 vintage Walther P.38

Important points for cast bullet hand loads used in semi-automatic pistols.

·        Clean the brass and carefully inspect for before priming and loading.

·        Bell the case mouth enough to accept the cast bullet without shaving lead during the seating process.

·        Don’t overdo ALOX type lube, a thin coat is all that is necessary.  Too much lube can cause chambering problems and malfunctions due to build up in the chamber.

·        Follow reputable loading manuals for powder charge, and overall length for the loaded cartridge. This is critical for feeding and function

·        Use a taper crimp to prevent the bullet from being pushed deeper into the case during the travel from the magazine to the chamber.

These loads are great for practice or using in older pistols to prevent barrel wear.  Both the Beretta 92 and the war time P.38 functioned very well.  My guess is the pistols should be cleaned every few hundred rounds and the bores brushed every 100 to 150 rounds.   

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