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Topic author: Livetrapper
Subject: reloading trimmed 9x19 cases
Posted on: 05/24/2006 1:58:50 PM

I don't reload now but am considering starting since makarov ammo is not as plentiful as it once was. I have read where some people trim 9x19 luger cases and load them as 9x18 makarov.I was wondering if the difference in case diameter caused any problems.

Original quote from kempin
"For another thing, brass is plentiful and cheap if you are willing to do the work. All you have to do is trim down 9mm luger brass, which is about as common as dirt, and Lee has a very clever trimmer that you can use with a cordless drill. Total cost: about five bucks. (I just trimmed over 500 cases for my mak without a problem.)"


Reply author: Jehzsa
Replied on: 05/24/2006 2:15:06 PM

Reply author: kempin
Replied on: 05/24/2006 11:40:35 PM


Do you want the long answer or the short answer?

Long answer: I tend to be very conservative when it comes to reloading "experiments." Having a hard time finding brass, I was very interested in trimming 9x18. I invested the $5-6 it took to by the trimmer setup from Lee, (pretty impressive in its simplicity), and cautiously began with just a few cases. I loaded lightly and proceeded cautiously, ready to document any significant differences with the factory cases. After several loads I came to the conclusion that there is no detectable difference between the factory brass and trimmed 9x19. I have not had a single problem with feeding, pressure, accuracy, or ejecting. (Bear in mind that I am not a competition shooter who is looking for absolute consistency--and if I was, I would probably not be shooting milsurp pistols.)

Short answer: It is the way to go. I just trimmed up 500 cases.

(Hey, I just noticed that you quoted me!)

I don't think you would regret getting into hand loading. You do have the opportunity to save money, but even more importantly, you have the ability to match your pistol to the ammunition that performs best in it. Plus you have the ability to improvise if components get scarce--this is a perfect example. You don't need to be afraid of more obscure calibers because of ammo availability, because you can always make your own.

A word of caution, though. Make sure you get a couple of good manuals and read them well before you start. Even better, talk to someone elso who is both experienced and responsible. Reloading is really quite easy, but carelessness can have serious consequences.

Best of luck to you. I hope you find it as rewarding and enjoyable as I have. Post back with updates.

God bless and straight shooting,


Reply author: kempin
Replied on: 05/24/2006 11:49:08 PM

I forgot to add one thing,

Trimming brass is, in my opinion, the best way to go for reloading. Remember, though, that once you trim the brass, it will technically be a "wildcat"--that is, it will not match the dimensions of the headstamp. If you are going to be shooting at a range where others may be picking up brass for reloading, make sure you mark the trimmed brass so that it is not inadvertently mistaken for luger brass. Marking is even more important if YOU are also set up to load for the 9x19.



Reply author: wrangler5
Replied on: 05/25/2006 12:59:28 AM

quote:Originally posted by kempin

<snip> If you are going to be shooting at a range where others may be picking up brass for reloading, make sure you mark the trimmed brass so that it is not inadvertently mistaken for luger brass. Marking is even more important if YOU are also set up to load for the 9x19.

This is the primary reason I haven't tried cutting down brass for the Mak. The range where I shoot sees a LOT of 9x19 shooting from its regular IDPA matches, as well as from the usual flood of casual shooters. AND, I load a lot of 9x19 myself. It's hard enough to separate out the Mak brass from the 9x19 when I've been shooting both, but there's no way I'd be able to recover all the shortened brass I would put through a Mak. And that would leave hazards for other club members.

I would like to find a way to mark my Mak cases, though, so it would be easier for me to separate them out after I pick up brass at the end of a shooting session. Have you found anything for this purpose that is both distinctive and durable?

Reply author: The Flincher
Replied on: 05/25/2006 03:34:36 AM

I agree trimmed Luger brass is the way to go, and the cases are free if your range allows pick-ups. You'll definitely want a drill to go along with the trimmer as you can forget about making any time trying to do it by hand.
I also load 9x19 so something I've gotten into is stick with nickel plated brass for the Mak (for quick ID purposes). I also take a toothpick dipped in bright orange paint and smear it into the stamp so that even if someone picks up my brass and tumbles them some paint will remain in the grooves.

Reply author: kempin
Replied on: 05/25/2006 07:42:47 AM

That paint is a great idea! I've been using permanent markers, which marks them pretty clearly for range use, but it will eventually tumble off.

Reply author: wrangler5
Replied on: 05/25/2006 07:44:38 AM

Do you buy nickel 9x19 to start with? (I don't see a lot of it lying around at our range.) If so, is that any cheaper/better than just buying Makarov brass from Starline?

Paint in the headstamp sounds like a great idea. I'd like to paint even my Mak headstamp brass, just for ease of sorting. What sort of paint do you find works? I assume you're not talking about latex house paint, but is it nail polish, model paint, artists paint?

Reply author: mcornell
Replied on: 05/25/2006 10:05:29 AM

You could always mark the heads of the cases with Casey Black. See:

Mark Cornell

Reply author: Livetrapper
Replied on: 05/25/2006 10:26:51 AM

Thanks for the information.

Reply author: kempin
Replied on: 05/25/2006 3:10:37 PM

Thanks, I think I'll try to find some of that brass black.

(Then I suppose I won't be able to call it "range time;" I'll have to call it "Black Ops.")

Reply author: Clarkridge
Replied on: 06/03/2006 12:09:40 AM

Hate to be the odd man out but trimming brass in my book is no fun and very time consuming. I reload multiple calibers and have 1,000's 0f 9x19 empty's. But I did buy Starlines 9x18mak brass, good quality and none of the headaches.

Reply author: wrangler5
Replied on: 06/03/2006 5:13:59 PM

quote:Originally posted by mcornell
You could always mark the heads of the cases with Casey Black.

I tried some of that a couple of months ago on some Makarov cases (to make them easier to sort out from the 9mm Luger cases that I also reload) and didn't get much blackening on the case head. Maybe I didn't clean the case heads enough, but if it took much more cleaning than I did it would take a LOT of work to get each case ready.

Starline cases for the Mak aren't really cheap, but they're ready to load and properly marked. That's what I've gone to.

Reply author: oldguy
Replied on: 06/04/2006 07:52:29 AM

I don't care for trimming down 9mm the risk of mixed cases, and fire
formed cases usually split faster with full loads. I purchased
starline brass 9x18 500 rounds for $60 and have used them numberous
times without problem.

Reply author: The Flincher
Replied on: 06/06/2006 02:00:42 AM

Sorry, I've been away for a bit.

The brand paint I use is Krylon. It came form Wally World in a 1-2 oz. bottle. I find I usually don't even have to dip the toothpick in the bottle as enough paint is inside the lid from shaking. It also helps avoid spilling nice bright paint everywhere (ask me how I know).

As for the nickel cases I got them from Midway as once-fired grade 3. Their grade 1 is nice but after decapping and a quick tumble the grade 3's look just as good. Midway's out right now, but they normally sell for $11.79 for 500. I have some cases on their seventh or eighth go-round and haven't seen a neck split yet. Yet.
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