Some observations about reloading for the Five Seven

Reloading info for the 5.7x28mm

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PumboJanda
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Some observations about reloading for the Five Seven

Post by PumboJanda » 08 Aug 2016, 19:04

I've been doing a lot of reloading for the FsN lately, and I thought I'd share some of the things that I observed during the process.

In the past month, I fired about 1700 reloads through my FsN MkII. Most of these were 42gr Sinterfires, as well as a few hundred 55gr M193s and 40gr Nosler Varmageddon Ballistic Tips.

The loads that I have settled on are as follows:

42gr Sinterfire
5.4gr True Blue
CCI Small Pistol Magnum
1.58" OAL

55gr M193 FMJ
5.0gr True Blue
CCI Small Pistol Magnum
1.58" OAL

40gr Nosler
6.1gr True Blue
CCI Small Pistol Magnum
1.58" OAL

First of all, I can confirm that having properly lacquered cases is important. When I first started loading, I figured I'd test the claim that tumbling 5.7 brass would wear off the coating. I used corn cob media in a vibratory tumbler because it was the least abrasive form of tumbling. The brass looked and felt fine afterwards, and I couldn't detect any signs of the lacquer being worn off. However, when I fired the loaded ammo, I found that the brass would fail to extract over 90% of the time. In fact, the slide would barely even move.

After giving the issue some thought, I concluded that the only possibility was that the surface of the cases did not possess the proper lubricity to extract properly. I conducted an experiment by lubricating a few rounds with a light coat of Ballistol, and found that they all fired and extracted perfectly. I didn't bring any oil to the range, and I had some unlubricated ammo on hand after the lubricated stuff had been fired. I decided to try spitting on a few rounds, and found that even this was enough to allow all the rounds to extract properly. During the next range session, I tested some loads that I lubricated with case lube (lanolin oil mixed with isopropyl alcohol applied with a spray bottle). These rounds also extracted perfectly. From that point on, I decided that I would use case lube on all of my ammo.

Next, I purchased another batch of once-fired brass. This time, I used my ultrasonic cleaner and Simple Green to clean them. After cleaning, I lubed them with case lube, resized, and cleaned them in the ultrasonic cleaner again to remove the case lube. I wanted to see if this non-tumbled brass would be able to function properly without lube. During the first range trip, using this new brass, I fired 70 rounds of the Sinterfire load without lubing the cases. They all extracted properly, but I did notice some variation in the speed at which the slide cycled. During the next range trip (the most recent one), I fired about 30 more rounds loaded in the non-tumbled, non-lubed brass with the Nosler bullets. I had one failure to feed, most likely from short stroking, and one case separation just below the shoulder (the same issue that Panzermk2 warned about in this thread: http://www.fivesevenforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=8520" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;).

One thing that I should note about the once-fired brass that I've been purchasing is that it arrives feeling a little bit scuffed up. It's slightly gritty, and many pieces have a bunch of tiny scratches on them. I think this definitely contributes to the extraction problems, but it also demonstrates just how important it is to take care of the coating when loading 5.7 ammo. Based on these findings, I have decided that it is important to use either factory ammo, or ammo loaded with never-fired brass (pulldowns or Elite's new brass) if keeping any 5.7x28 weapon for self defense.

During the course of my testing, I also noticed that the Sinterfire rounds would fail to feed roughly 1% of the time. I think this is likely due to the shape of the bullet; the secondary bevel at the tip strikes the edge of the chamber in a way that causes it to deflect to the side more than any normal spitzer tipped bullet would. I have not had any feeding problems with the M193 or Nosler bullets.

Currently I am applying a thin coat of lanolin oil to all of my reloads, regardless of brass condition. I believe this to be the most practical way of ensuring that my practice ammo cycles without a hitch. Conventional wisdom would tell us that lubricating ammunition is a big no-no, but as far as I can tell, that is mainly a concern when dealing with rifle ammo fired out of locked-breech guns where a decrease in friction between the case and chamber wall may increase rearward thrust against the bolt, thus adding stress to the locking lugs. Since the FsN is a blowback firearm with extraction issues being a major concern, I believe that lubricating the ammo is beneficial.

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panzermk2
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Re: Some observations about reloading for the Five Seven

Post by panzermk2 » 09 Aug 2016, 05:36

PumboJanda wrote:
Since the FsN is a blowback firearm with extraction issues being a major concern, I believe that lubricating the ammo is beneficial.

Totally agree, I have tried different things. Some worked great but had issues like being messy and wearing off quickly.

Powdered graphite works really well but wears off so fast during handling. In pinch it works well though.


This why before I even started trying to get my brass manufactured I worked on the coating first.
Jay Wolf
Pr. Elite Ammunition

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galexander
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Re: Some observations about reloading for the Five Seven

Post by galexander » 09 Aug 2016, 12:05

I found that ultrasonic cleaning for 16min with 10% Simple Green removed quite a bit of my lacquer and didn't much clean the brass otherwise. From previous conversations (particularly about the FN patent) here I was also under the impression that case friction with chamber was required to slow the slide and extraction until the pressure had dropped sufficiently. I am not contesting anything either of you is saying but rather declaring my confusion.

GONRA
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Re: Some observations about reloading for the Five Seven

Post by GONRA » 09 Aug 2016, 12:53

GONRA sez be SURE to use an EXTREMEY THIN lube coat.
Make sure it doesn't buildup in the neck of the chamber.
(Maybe it Just Won't Build Up of course.)

Greasing cartridges is a nice workaround for all sorts of military semiauto functioning problems.
But its another case of MORE is BAAAAAD!

NLVMike
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Re: Some observations about reloading for the Five Seven

Post by NLVMike » 09 Aug 2016, 20:02

Pumbo,

Nice to read about your experience. I just started loading the 5.7 at the beginning of this year, but I have succumbed to the addiction and have gone through a lot of rounds. I'd add a few more observations. I wash the cases in water and simple green for a few minutes, then dry them well, which is easy in the Las Vegas sun. I size and deprime them in a Lee classic, with a Lee die. I've tried that Lanolin and alcohol lube, branded by Dillon or Berry's. It gums up my dies pretty bad, so I stick with Hornady One Shot. It seems to work well.

My case prep process is not real efficient, but I like handling the brass a lot, and tossing out anything suspicious during any step. After I trim them, clean the primer pockets, and chamfer them, I wash them again. This has worked for me as I don't have any FTE problems.

FYI, I really like the Hornady 35gr. NTX bullet.

jhjenkins4th
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Re: Some observations about reloading for the Five Seven

Post by jhjenkins4th » 11 Aug 2016, 09:48

In my limited experience reloading 5.7 for my PS90, I have had good results cleaning my once fired brass with simple green and ultrasonic cleaner. I know most of the simple green solution I can readily find is actual concentrated formula, so I use a small amount in the ultrasonic (likely 10% by volume as well). I make sure not to clean them in the sonic cleaner longer than 10min max. My brass has been coming out pretty clean. I haven't tried loading the brass additional times, so I'm not sure how well the coating would hold up repeating this cycle multiple times.

i haven't had any feeding issues, but i'm also shooting out of the PS90 and not the pistol.

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panzermk2
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Re: Some observations about reloading for the Five Seven

Post by panzermk2 » 11 Aug 2016, 11:33

jhjenkins4th wrote:In my limited experience reloading 5.7 for my PS90, I have had good results cleaning my once fired brass with simple green and ultrasonic cleaner. I know most of the simple green solution I can readily find is actual concentrated formula, so I use a small amount in the ultrasonic (likely 10% by volume as well). I make sure not to clean them in the sonic cleaner longer than 10min max. My brass has been coming out pretty clean. I haven't tried loading the brass additional times, so I'm not sure how well the coating would hold up repeating this cycle multiple times.

i haven't had any feeding issues, but i'm also shooting out of the PS90 and not the pistol.
:thumb:
Jay Wolf
Pr. Elite Ammunition

"Engineers, the oompa-loompas of science!"

Be'ein Tachbulot Yipol Am Veteshua Berov Yoetz
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