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resize 9mm cases with 38 dies?


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#1 tzahoy

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 11:55 PM

Okay, I've been a long time revolver tinkerer and have considered going the 38 short colt route with moon clips for some time. I mostly shoot a very informal match with no power factor concerns and have been running a k-frame 38 with speedloaders. It dawned on me that I have a ton of 9mm brass and rather than buying 38 short colt brass and having more different brass to keep in my inventory, I could resize 9mm brass with a 38 special die, use standard 38 special bullets and buy k-frame 9mm moon clips from Hearthco. I measured a few different brands of 38 special brass and 9mm brass and found there didn't seem to be a heck of a lot of difference in wall thickness. On average the 9mm wall thickness was probably .0005" thicker but I found plenty of 9mm and 38 special brass with the same thickness of about .013".

Does anybody have any thoughts or comments here? My typical load is a 158 round nose hauling out of a 6" barrel at ~700 fps, so I think this could be duplicated in a 9mm case without any crazy pressures. I'd even consider dropping down to a 125 grain round nose for experimentation. The goal would really be a super soft shooting and accurate load that was easier to reload than the 38s with speedloaders, i definitely have no interest in anything near major.

Feel free to tear my idea to shreds, I'll probably try it anyway unless someone can convince me I'm going to blow the revolver to shreds. (Not likely)

#2 Skydiver

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 02:26 AM

How will you straighten out the walls of the 9mm to become straight wall like you need for 38? I can see it being done just by pushing the brass through the die, if the 38 die is smaller than the 9mm, but if the 38 die is bigger, won't you need some way to expand the 9mm casing?

#3 COF

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 06:03 AM

Depending on the decapping stem inside your die, you might be able to expand the cases with it. You'd have to go slow or end up with a bunch of split cases.

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#4 okshootist

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 07:05 AM

9mm casehead is .012 larger than .38 special.

#5 Aircooled6racer

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 08:14 AM

Hello: Wouldn't it be easier to cut down 38 special to 38 short colt? You could try to resize the 9mm since you wouldn't have to resize it all the way down since some will be in the mooclip. I resized some 9mm with a 38 super die to use in a 686-7 in 38 super. Worked fine. Thanks, Eric

#6 Bubber

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 09:09 AM

Okay, I've been a long time revolver tinkerer and have considered going the 38 short colt route with moon clips for some time. I mostly shoot a very informal match with no power factor concerns and have been running a k-frame 38 with speedloaders. It dawned on me that I have a ton of 9mm brass and rather than buying 38 short colt brass and having more different brass to keep in my inventory, I could resize 9mm brass with a 38 special die, use standard 38 special bullets and buy k-frame 9mm moon clips from Hearthco. I measured a few different brands of 38 special brass and 9mm brass and found there didn't seem to be a heck of a lot of difference in wall thickness. On average the 9mm wall thickness was probably .0005" thicker but I found plenty of 9mm and 38 special brass with the same thickness of about .013".

Does anybody have any thoughts or comments here? My typical load is a 158 round nose hauling out of a 6" barrel at ~700 fps, so I think this could be duplicated in a 9mm case without any crazy pressures. I'd even consider dropping down to a 125 grain round nose for experimentation. The goal would really be a super soft shooting and accurate load that was easier to reload than the 38s with speedloaders, i definitely have no interest in anything near major.

Feel free to tear my idea to shreds, I'll probably try it anyway unless someone can convince me I'm going to blow the revolver to shreds. (Not likely)


As okshootist mentions the 9mm is a tapered case. the part closest to the primer will fireform to the 9mm chamber on the auto. I don't see how you will get the last (bulge) out ot the case to fit in the cylinder. Just my thoughts, I have tried the resize the 9mm to 38 special before. Maybe some one has come up with a way to get it done but I haven't heard about it yet. later and good luck rdd
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#7 chirpy

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 02:29 PM

I would think that cutting .38 spl. cases to .38 sc length wouldn't work because the case wall would be too thick and bulge during bullet seating.

Bubber, did you try a U-die?


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#8 Dr. Phil

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 03:13 PM

I cut down my 38 / 357 brass for my 586 and 686 moon clipped revos. I cut .400 off the .357 cases. I had to cut about .350 off my case bell/powder measure die (Lee dies) and the same off the bullet seating die. They work fine in my guns, though not as short as the 38 SC. I tried to resize the 9mm to 38 also. No joy! I found that I get good velocity (steel loads, not major) with less powder and the load fills the case better with the short cases. My gunsmith buddy dubbed the cartridge the ".357 SPS" for "super phil short". Fun experiment.

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#9 Toolguy

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 03:44 PM

You will not get the 9mm sized down to fit into a .357 or .38 chamber. The base is too big.
Sometimes .38 Super brass will fit in a .38 special chamber if it is new and not fired in a .38 Super chamber. It is not as oversized as 9mm.
The .38 Short Colt is exactly the same length and case volume as 9mm. You can use 9mm loading data to load with. It is a rimmed 9mm that fits a .38 chamber.

Edited by Toolguy, 08 December 2011 - 03:45 PM.

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#10 michaels

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 02:36 PM

Warren is spot on with his info...


refer back a few years ago and i posted how to make a cutter for cutting your 38 special brass down to short or long colt size. So far I've cut close to 1800 cases down and they work just fine. Load them up with 170 bear creeks and you've got a nice icore load, about 124 to 128 pf depending on barrel length. Never have to buy short colt agains, just use that range 38 that people leave behind.



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#11 gcambi

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 07:19 PM

slight drift... i have thousands of 9mm rnds thru a pair of 627 supers with very few case splits




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