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I love my father dearly. He is a man of uncommon intelligence and sense, but sometimes I just have to wonder. What do I mean? Today, I was cleaning his Tokarov for him, which currently has a 9mm barrel fitted in place. As I popped out the mag for cleaning, I ejected all the rounds into a pile in my small work area.

Suddenly, I found myself thinking, "Well, that's odd...those rounds look a little small to be 9mm Luger..." Picking them up and flipping them over, what did I find? .380 ACP. No, not the whole mag wasn't loaded with them, just 2 rounds out of 8. My father had loaded the mag from a pile of cartridges he keeps with the gun. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, a few .380s got mixed in with the 9x19s. Since the cartridges are the same diameter, he never thought about it and simply loaded the cartridges into the magazine with the rest.

I promptly dumped all of his magazines to make sure everything was proper (it was), but learned a valuable lesson in the process. CHECK YOUR MAGAZINES. Particularly if you own/carry calibers that can be mistaken for one another. Be careful with your revolver speed loaders. It would be AWFUL, for you to get into a gun fight, go to reload and discover your speedloader for your .38 J-Frame is filled with .357, because you got your guns or speed loaders mixed up.

Fortunately, this incident is "funny", because it happened at home, while I was cleaning the gun. Not when my father had to use the pistol for defense. Also, it's worth mentioning that this is not his normal carry piece, so it hadn't been checked (or shot) in awhile.

Anyways, be careful out there folks. Small slip ups can cost us dearly. I would hate for any of us to perish, because we made a simple mistake that cost a life.

-Rob
 

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One trick I have is to use different colored shells for different calibers. Right now both 9mm and .380 are silver colored, but the .380 has an Al case with a distinctly different feel.

Josh <><
 

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This is a 9mm Parabellum case from a round fired through a Glock 22. This round was in an officer's carry gun; he was getting ready to rotate the ammo in his magazines. While the 9mm bullet actually hit the target in the general location of point of aim, the gun DID NOT CYCLE a fresh .40 round.

'Nuff said?

 

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Interesting. It's hard to believe, but a .25acp cartridge will load and fire in a .32acp pistol. I did that once by mistake. Results were the same as Leland's picture and the round did not eject.
I still have my .25 pistol collection in a box to look at. But I got rid of all .32 pistols and all .32 ammo. This is the only caliber that John Browning messed up on, using a rimmed cartridge for a pistol. Too weak for reliable self defense and JHP's don't always expand.

Good topic, Rob.

og
 

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Btw,

9x18 Mak will fire in a 9x19 chamber without blowing up the gun. It'll even cycle the action a couple times.

Don't ask me how I know.

Josh <><
 

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that's right, Josh, but for heavens sake don't try it the other way around. Kaboom! :(
The Mak rated chamber pressure is way lower than 9mm.
Quote, from a reloading website: "Although not yet finalized, preliminary SAAMI standards for the 9mm Makarov call for a maximum of 24,000 psi".

And SAAMI pressure for 9mm is 35,000 psi.

My Brown Bear Mak ammo is a redish copper color, different from any 9mm ammo. So I don't expect to have a problem. But do like Rob says and check anyway. Murphy's Law is for real


og
 

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Hi there,

One cardinal rule of shooting that I try and follow is "never mix your ammunition or loads".

Knock on the proverbial wood, I have never, never had that happen in all of the years I have been shooting/reloading.

Chris
 

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Being somewhat in-active Duty and no longer wearing a uniform, I'm a standard caliber kinda guy. All my stuff is either 9mm or .45 ACP for handguns. Whooops, I forgot my .22LR practice ammo. No confusing calibers here.

That being said, I like to inspect my ammo and roll them in my fingers (old habit when charging mags in low light, preparing for battle) as my thumbs push them down into the magazines.

Be safe out there.

Barney
 
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Why did the 9mm para round case do what it did when fired through that glock 22? and how did the officer end up with 9mm Para when getting ready to rotate ammo? It just didn't make sense to me.
 
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The reason he made the mistake is that cops are not necessarily gun people, and anyone who doesn't understand a machine but is required to handle it often is liable to do dumb things now and then. He most likely got in a hurry and made a mistake, something we all do. The nice thing is that he won't be held accountable for it.

The reason the case did that is that a 9mm is slightly smaller indiameter than the 40 and doesn't fit tightly in the chamber. When a round doesn't fit according to specs, the case gives wayand vents pressure into the gun around the cartridge instead of down the barrel pushing a slug in front as its supposed to. The gun won't cycle correctly because the improperly vented pressure doesn't move the action correctly. Since the forward push is inadequate, and given that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, the slide doesn't move back with enough force or far enough and there you have it. Of course mismatching calibers and guns is a horrible idea, but generally when you put a smaller cartridge in a larger chamber you just get a weak fire and a swelled carteridge. You may also get the slug lodged in the barrel, since it won't have enough pressure behind it to give it velocity. The real danger is putting a cartridge that is to hot for the gun. Most of the time this isn't an issue, as a .45 ACP just won't go into a 9mm. But if you're carrying a 38 spcl and you happen to misplace a .357 magnum, there can be real problems. The 9mm and 40 are close, but I'd imagine you'd really have to hammer the one into the other to get it in there, but who knows. Anyway, these are the accidents where the gun goes boom and someone loses an eye. Bottom line, always be sure of your equipment. A dab of nail polish for color helps you tell your magazines apart, and the different colored rounds mentioned here are a good idea as well. But nothing will take the place of paying attention. Always check the back of the round agaibnst what it says on the magazine and gun. If you're using factory rounds it's easy as most of them come in the box upside down, but if you're reloading be careful not to make the round too hot and keep a close eye on things. And remember, it might not always be you loading your gun, so keep things organized.
 
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As I make it a practice to work with only one gun at a time, I do not mix rounds often. Thankfully, the mags for the 1911 and the HP will not mix. That makes life so much easier.
 
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