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Old October 9, 2002, 10:57 PM   #1
tex_n_cal
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In praise of "Coke Bottles"...

...in other words, straight pistol cases that fit the bullets so tightly the case is visibly swollen where the bullet is seated.

There is another thread running where someone discussed how they disliked this look, and considered it a flaw in the dies, to size a case so small.

Some years ago Scovill showed in Handloader a chart where the expander plug in the #2 die was progressively made smaller, tightening bullet fit. The case in question was the .45 LC. As he reduced the size of the expander, tightening bullet fit, velocities grew more uniform. Increasing the tightness of the roll crimp did not suffice to replace a tight fit of the bullet in the case.

In my straight walled pistol cases, I have turned down the expanders so about all they do is bell the case mouth, prior to bullet seating. It has proven quite successful for me in the .44 mag, .45 acp. .357, 9mm, 10mm, and .40 S&W.

In autoloading pistols, a tight bullet fit becomes even more vital - if the bullet is driven back into the case during feeding, pressures can rise rapidly. I have a hunch that many of the problems reported with .40 S&W handloads in Glocks are a result of the bullet getting shoved back in the case when feeding. If the bullets don't have a channellure for crimping it becomes even more critical to have a tight bullet fit.

Things get really nerve racking with an extra short-bottlenecked autoloader case, like the .400 Cor-Bon (which I have loaded) or the .357 Sig (a future project). These cases have only the shortest neck available for holding the bullet. It proved extremely difficult to get bullets to stay put in the .400CB, though I did eventually manage it. I found that a small expander, a severe taper crimp, and tumbling the cases after sizing to remove all trace of lube did the trick.

Factory .400 CB's have bullets with channellures - the bullets can actually be pushed into the case, but the case mouth catches on the edge of the channellure and stops the bullet from going any deeper.

Your bullets must fit tightly for reliable handloads.
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With top loads & hard cast bullets, a .357 mag, .41 mag, .44 special, .44 mag, .45 Colt, .454 Casull, .475 Linebaugh, .480 Ruger, .500 Linebaugh Maximum, and .500 S&W will all shoot through Bison. To select the gun, determine how big a hole you want to put in the Bison, and how much recoil you can stand
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Old October 10, 2002, 06:57 AM   #2
caz223
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I certainly don't mind the LOOK.
I shoot wallyworld-winchester value packs.
The problem is I want to reload lead in 9mm. (For steel plates.)
That means the bullet will be .356 as opposed to .355
My expander for 9mm is SEVERLY tapered, and only measures .353 where it matters.
To get any kind of seating consistancy, I had to bell the living tar out of the cases.
I'd still get neck bulges so bad that my CZs wouldn't lock up on it.
To the best of my knowledge, I never had this problem with jacketed.
I sized less, and used a expander that's .357 (You really have to use your imagination to see the bell on the cases, it's that slight).
No more jams.
Accuracy is there, and so is reliability.
I still have a lot of work to do on the loads, but it seems to work for me.
Neck bulges aren't just from the bullet sizing the neck.
They're from the bullet forcing the neck out of round because it's too tight to seat correctly.
The end product is the same size, and the case neck is round instead or having a double hernia.
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Last edited by caz223; October 10, 2002 at 10:22 AM.
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Old October 11, 2002, 01:01 AM   #3
tex_n_cal
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Howdy. I tried responding to the other thread, but it kept locking up for some reason. Odd

It sounds like you may need a better taper crimp die to get the case mouths properly ironed back to shape after belling.

I use the Redding Competition Handgun seating dies in .45ACP and in .44mag. Tight bullet fit or not, they appear to do a better job of putting the bullets in straight than anything else I have tried for straight walled cases. They'd better, they're expensive

After seating in a seperate die, I then go back with a seperate crimp operation - taper crimp in the ACP, a roll crimp in the .44 mag.

Besides Redding, Hornady also has a floating bullet seater in their seating dies. I dislike Hornady's expander dies, however, because you can't remove the expander to adjust the diameter.

You can buy Hornady's seating dies separately, and they cost a lot less than the Reddings.

If I was buying for a new caliber, I'd probably buy Redding's pistol dies, then get the Redding Comp Seater die. If Redding didn't make it for the caliber, I'd try the Hornady.

Hope this info is helpful
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With top loads & hard cast bullets, a .357 mag, .41 mag, .44 special, .44 mag, .45 Colt, .454 Casull, .475 Linebaugh, .480 Ruger, .500 Linebaugh Maximum, and .500 S&W will all shoot through Bison. To select the gun, determine how big a hole you want to put in the Bison, and how much recoil you can stand
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Old October 11, 2002, 06:47 AM   #4
caz223
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I'm not 'investing' any more money into reloading 9mm.
For the 500 lead rounds per month that I shoot, rinky-dinking around is fine.
I can't BEGIN to load jacketed for what I can buy value pack for.
Even if I could, my time is worth more than $3.00-$4.00 an hour.
A lot more. I could work an extra hour at work, and buy 300 rounds of 9mm winchester value pack.
How many 9mm lead bullets could I reload in that time on two single stage presses?
Is that worth it? NO!
But I need lead to shoot in informal steel plate matches in town.
I shoot (And reload) a LOT more .45 ACP, .45 colt, .357 mag, .41 mag, .44 mag, etc. (Stuff that's worth the effort.)
If I ever get the itch to go full progressive, I may rethink my plan.
I'm gonna start reloading 357SIG soon, I'm NOT shooting lead out of that beautiful sig anytime soon.
Redding dies look very nice, but big money is gonna wait 'till I get full progressive.
Leaning toward the piggyback 3 right now.
Thanks for the info.
Some of that stuff in the dillon/redding catalogs is realllly lookin' good right now.
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Old October 11, 2002, 08:13 AM   #5
JohnKirk
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tex-n-cal Yes, yes, and yes to everything you said. My 9mm's look like the proverbial snake swallowing a frog (on purpose).

I FIRMLY believe that a HIGH percentage of "overloads", "blown" cases, etc. in auto loaders are due to the bullet being seated deeper by the rather violent feeding of the round.

I read a test done years ago with the 9mm (think it was in "NRA Handloaders Guide") . A few 1/1,000 deeper seating took the load from 30,000 cup to 65,000 cup. You can imagine if the bullet was set back until the compressed powder charge stops it. BOOM !!!!!

If your dies won't or can't size enough to at least get a bit of this effect, CHANGE them. It is a problem considering variations in brass thickness.
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