Anyone loading for 9x39 yet?

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John A.
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Anyone loading for 9x39 yet?

Post by John A. » Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:21 pm

I've not been able to log in since the switch on my new computer. I'm having to use my old computer to visit the forum so I haven't been on as much as I like lately.

I'm curious if anyone has been starting to load for the 9x39 yet?

I'm seeing that most people are using unformed 6.5 Grendel brass from starline. 9.3 Mauser bullets from 250 to 300 grainers.

And recipes are few and far in between.

I'm wanting to make an integrally suppressed upper, but not hook up the gas system so I can have a single shot/bolt action gun so I wont' have to concern myself as much with finding a powder that will cycle the AR bolt because that will be a moot point. Where suppression is concerned, that should allow me to use more ideal fast burning powders.

So, I'm coming to ask if any of you reloading wizards have done anything with it yet?
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Re: Anyone loading for 9x39 yet?

Post by dellet » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:35 am

Another interesting one off project from John.

This cartridge has been around awhile, I have heard of it and know absolutely nothing about it other than parent cartridge and the odd bullet size. In some ways it’s a subsonic 350 legend that predated it by quite a few years. If you go back a hundred years or more, you will probably find a very similar cartridge or two.

It always fascinates me that people are “inventing” now the same cartridge that their great grandfathers shot and improved into what we have today, only to have us return it ballistically to what they started with.

Looking forward to what John does with low volume load, high capacity case in a truly integrally suppressed barrel of his own design. Truly an opportunity to learn a few things.
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John A.
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Re: Anyone loading for 9x39 yet?

Post by John A. » Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:19 am

Yeah, I'm looking forward to doing it.

I have been watching the 9x39 cartridge going back to at least 2012 when I first heard about it. And have read and watched and learned all that I can about it from photos.

The Russians kept the design close to their chest for many years prior to 2012. And it has seen several "conflicts" where it has successfully been used anywhere from close range building clearing, and up to suppressed sniping/counter sniping roles.

I think in typical fashion where the Russians like to over-emphasize it's capability, I personally wouldn't want to use it out to 400 meters that they claim. Although admittedly, I doubt that I could ever source any of their AP ammo either, so there is that.

I also laugh every time that I see 1000 meter AK47's rear sight graduations too. I just don't think either would be very effective at those ranges.

But, I am a fan of launching big heavy bullets without busting my ears. So, I'm going to see what I can do with it. What's the worst thing that can happen? Hold my beer and maybe we can find out !

:lol:
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John A.
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Re: Anyone loading for 9x39 yet?

Post by John A. » Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:44 pm

Well, I was able to check the factory wolf ammo today and here is everything that I noticed about it.

I only took apart one case to get all my info from. They all should be exactly the same, right? :lol:

So, let's do some reverse engineering.

I'm going to add some photos and post them as well.

10.4 gr of small fine stick powder in it. It's kinda greenish color.

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Actual bullet weight was 275.9 gr So, I'm going to be generous and round up to 276 gr bullet.

It is copper jacketed and magnetic.

It also has a hollow base that goes up in there a little.

It does have a generous boat tail rear end.

No cannelure.

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unfired case oal = 1.521"
neck length above shoulder = .223 *which I thought was humorous
COAL with this bullet = 2.197"

Bullet length = 1.409"

was sticking out .653", so that means .756" of the bullet was seated in the case.
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Re: Anyone loading for 9x39 yet?

Post by rebel » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:17 am

That's a good looking sub bullet.
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Re: Anyone loading for 9x39 yet?

Post by John A. » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:08 pm

The heavy mauser bullets would probably make some good thumpers.

But in the same vein as those who were early to get into the 6.8 spc, I can tell you that 9x39 AR magazine issues are going to be much the same problem with mags swelling as I recall with the 6.8

The stainless steel 7.62x39 ASC mag bodies are swelling so badly after loading just 5 rounds, that they won't drop free and you have to pull them out.

After 8 or 9 rounds, I can't even slide them in or out of the magwell anymore.

Maybe I can work with one of my buddies with a 3d printer and make an internal block to limit it to feeding as a single stack maybe. I know that would decrease the capacity of what people are used to, but mags are going to be problematic until someone comes up with something that is going to work better because I went through every different make and model magazine that I have and the outcome was the same.

I have a 10 round Colt magazine that did well with 5 rounds. And a 10 round Lancer mag did OK with 4 rounds. But a lot of people are not going to dig that.

Myself, I had planned on making this gun a straight pull bolt action for hunting and target shooting so it's not going to discourage me for completing the project. But like I said, a lot of people are not going to like the mag issue.
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Re: Anyone loading for 9x39 yet?

Post by John A. » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:49 pm

I just wanted to give you guys a quick update.

I have made SOME progress on the 9x39 build. But looks like the company that I ordered the barrel and bolt are going to be peckerheads. It's been about 2 weeks and now they won't even reply or answer the phone about the order. They had no problem telling me where to mail the money order and payment. But I tried calling and emailing yesterday and nothing but crickets. So hopefully, it works out but I'm not impressed so far.

Anyway, I have had time to work on the upper receiver.

Today, I was able to make a left side charging handle and milled the slot in the receiver, and trimmed the old charging handle. I've never made a straight pull bolt action AR upper before, so I'm going slow and measuring twice and cutting once :lol:

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Re: Anyone loading for 9x39 yet?

Post by John A. » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:51 pm

I cleaned the slot up more and smoothed out any rough areas.

I then trimmed the old charging handle so the ears don't stick out so far. I still have to use the charging handle because it helps keep the bolt straight with the gas key even though it's not going to be a semi, but it also helps prevent it from moving too far fore and aft too.

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Re: Anyone loading for 9x39 yet?

Post by plant.one » Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:27 pm

thats sweet job on the upper




re: mags - have you just tried ordering grendel specific mags? you get the same binding issues with 6.5g ammo in a standard mag, but feed them in a mag designed for it and runs like butter


or is the front rib rubbing on that big ole fat bullet and causing the issue?
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John A.
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Re: Anyone loading for 9x39 yet?

Post by John A. » Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:57 pm

Thank you for the reply. And the compliment.

I haven't tried a Grendel mag or follower yet.

Though I have tried the 7.62x39 magazine and they sit well on the follower and stuff, but the mag bodies still swell after more than about 5 rounds. The bullets are seated to about 2.1", so there's plenty of room at the front of the mag body. It's just the mag swells out after loading.

I could try a Grendel mag though and see if it might do better. Thanks for suggesting that.
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