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Old May 20, 2012, 02:20 AM   #1
krackum
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Newbie Reloading questions about measurements

Recently took up reloading. Have been reading/studying for hours and have been very meticulous and probably anal. I have so far ran into several unanswered questions.

#1 - Started preparing some 243 Win cases for reloading. Brand new winchester brass, Remington 9 1/2 Large Rifle primers. Couldn't get them seated past flush. Using Redding Big Boss press with primer attachment. Initially thought it was primer seater needed adjusment. Checked and rechecked measurements on seater, all correct. Then I thought maybe I had some bad brass with primer pockets not deep enough. Bought a primer pocket iniformer from Sinclair- primer pockets were all correct. Then started measuring primers and the actual primer thickness was greater than the saami spec standard for large rifle primer pockets. Went back to to supply store and with the reloading expert we started measuring different brand Large Rifle primers and got sugnificant variations from one company to another. All except the Remingtons were less than the primer pocket depth so you could seat them slightly past flush as recommended. Remingtons were actually taller than the primer pockets. The only way to even get them flush was to crush the primer in, which I obviously didn't do.

#2 I purchased a Lee case trimmer for 45 acp and found that the trimmer has an outside diameter that doesn't fit in to all sized cases correctly. Using RCBS Carbide die sizer and various once fired brass the case comes out with max prox diameter of .472, distal case diameter of .4665, and inside diameter of appx .447-.448 (depending on the actual case neck thickness). The Lee sizer I purchased has an outside diameter of .447 which, if the case neck happens to be a bit thick, wont fit into the case which happens about every 2-3 cases. I know most people don't trim 45 acp but as a newbie I'm following the published guidelines closely for now to learn the craft propperly. I've had a similar problem occasionally with the Lee 45 Colt trimmer not fitting into a sized case.

What I can't figure out is why case outer diameters don't match SAAMI specifications. I at first thought it was a defective die or some anti-rust coating I missed in the die that made it size the cases smaller than SAAMI spec. However, when I measured two different factory loads (Speer and Hornady), they both came out at .472 outside diameter the whole length. SAAMI specs show a slight taper from .476 proximal to .473 distal. The SAAMI specs don't match with factory ammo (or visa versa). Are SAAMI specs refering to maximum acceptable diameter or do the factory ammo producers and die makers have their own numbers they go by.

#3 Reloaded some 45 Colt for brother-in-law. He tried them and he had bullets keyholing at 20 yards with 6-8 inch groups. Started checking loads carefully and found that the lead projectiles measured .450 maximum when the box was labeled .452 Colt. Took them back to the store and the guy there opened several boxes of the same brand and they were all the same. I've found some of my lead projectiles for 45 acp and 45-70 are a little over stated diameter but never under, especially .002 under spec. Went to the actual SAAMI website and pulled up the 45 colt specs and, as far as I can tell, their drawing has a mistake on it. They have the bullet diameter listed as ".4560-.0060" while everything I can find says .452 inches. http://www.saami.org/specifications_...wnload/205.pdf Page 52.


Here is my concluding question. Everyone stresses to check and recheck, measure and remeasure in order to avoid mistakes. How can this be done with such variation in factory equipment and factory specs? Am I missing something? Help please.

Last edited by krackum; May 20, 2012 at 03:09 AM.
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Old May 20, 2012, 06:30 AM   #2
Shootest
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#1 Seating primers flush is all that is required. I do not use Remington rifle primers but have not heard of them being too big before.

#2 SAAMI specs are maximum. Everything has a tolerance. Did you bur inside case mouth? If your cases are not long they don’t need trimmed. Don’t make it harder than it is.

#3 First of all I would not load ammo for anybody, till I was sure I knew everything and I will never know everything. None of us is perfect and if something went wrong I would not want someone else to pay the price.
What we know is that bullet/powder/primer combination is not good in your brother in law’s gun. Have we tried it in another gun? Assuming you started low on the powder charge, a little more pressure (powder) might just be the ticket. A slightly higher pressure load will expand the base of the bullet for a tighter fit in the bore. If it does not, then try a different bullet.
SAMMI specs are not wrong, bear in mind these specs are for manufactures and are for all types of bullets. .452 is recommended by most loaders for the best accuracy with minimum leading using cast bullets. .450 or .451 will work they just might increase barrel leading.

Quote:
Here is my concluding question. Everyone stresses to check and recheck, measure and remeasure in order to avoid mistakes. How can this be done with such variation in factory equipment and factory specs? Am I missing something? Help please.
Don’t kill yourself over this. It appears your measurements are within tolerances.
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Old May 20, 2012, 08:51 AM   #3
steve4102
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#2, no need to trim 45 ACP brass. It will get shorter the more you reload it. In fact I never trim any of my semi-auto pistol brass.
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Old May 20, 2012, 08:31 PM   #4
krackum
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Quote:
#1 Seating primers flush is all that is required. I do not use Remington rifle primers but have not heard of them being too big before.
Actually, primers shoudl be seated 0.003"-0.005" below flush of case head - a nominal of 0.004" below flush. But my point is, these cannot even be seated flush without crushing. 1,000 useless primers.
Quote:
If your cases are not long they don’t need trimmed. Don’t make it harder than it is.
Quote from Lyman Manual - "Case trimming is also recommended whenever loading new or once fired brass as they are often not of uniform length." Length is not always the issue, uniformity is.

Quote:
SAMMI specs are not wrong, bear in mind these specs are for manufactures and are for all types of bullets. .452 is recommended by most loaders for the best accuracy with minimum leading using cast bullets. .450 or .451 will work they just might increase barrel leading.
Did you even look at the link. SAAMI specs ARE wrong on their diagram unless they recently changed 45 Colt from .452 to .4560. However .450 is not acceptable to me for a 45 colt. In fact, earlier 45 colts had grooves of .454 diameter. .450 would barely thouch the rifling without major projectile expansion. I already have titrated up to near max load without any improvement. .452 bullets work perfectly. Go measure your projectiles and see how many fall below the specs. Of the 6 different lots in my cupboard and several measured in the store, all were slightly larger than spec.

Quote:
Don’t kill yourself over this. It appears your measurements are within tolerances.
Still alive. If SAAMI specs are maximum, where are these so called "tollerances".

Last edited by krackum; May 20, 2012 at 08:46 PM.
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Old May 20, 2012, 08:48 PM   #5
krackum
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Further study has revealed that others have had the same problem with these Lee case trimmers in some pistol calibers, 45 cal being more common. Nice idea but needs some work, Lee.
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Old May 20, 2012, 10:21 PM   #6
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I'm sure Mr Lee will appreciate the advice. You will probably help him stay in business another 45 years.

When I have something that doesn't work out like I think it should, I usually find that it is me that doesn't have things quite right, not the equipment.
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Old May 21, 2012, 09:09 AM   #7
Uncle Buck
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I find .45 Colt bullets are sold in sizes from .452, .454 and .456. I usually buy the .454 for my guns.

.451 and .452 are normally used for .45 ACP, or so I have been told. Call the bullet manufacturer and ask what is up, if possible.

I made some rounds for my wife to shoot that range from "Hey, I can see the bullet when I shoot" to "Wow, that thing must have gone in sideways." I think Shootest got it right, you might have to try something that will give you a higher velocity.

I never trim my pistol brass. I am not a competition type of guy and found I do not need to. Try to load a half-dozen of them as they come out of the package.

As far as the primers, I have no idea how the machine you are using works. I use a hand primer and I can feel them when they seat. Is there an adjustment you can make that will seat them flush or just under flush?

Quote:
Here is my concluding question. Everyone stresses to check and recheck, measure and remeasure in order to avoid mistakes. How can this be done with such variation in factory equipment and factory specs? Am I missing something? Help please.
As mentioned before, SAAMI specs are maximum. You'll find that some of the things there don't work for your ammunition. The biggest is OAL (Overall length). I have some bullet/powder combinations that when set to book OAL perform horribly, won't feed, etc.. Biggest thing to keep in mind is not to exceed the specs.

Usually the first thing everyone says when a new guy asks a question is "Read the manual." You, sir, have obviously read the manual(s). Your asking good questions. Welcome to TFL.
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Last edited by Uncle Buck; May 21, 2012 at 09:20 AM.
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Old May 21, 2012, 09:31 AM   #8
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along the way in your reloading 'career',many things will pop up that fly in the face of what 'the bood ' says.That is the beauty of being able to come on a forum such as this one and get it all sorted out.

you will buy brand new factory pistol/revovoler brass that is nowhere near minimum case length shown in 'the book'.

you will find brand new brass hat allows the bullet to just about fall into it if you don't size it 1st.

you will find that when you chronograph your loads they are nowhee near what 'the book ' says they will be.

etc,etc. we never stop learning,at least I haven't in over 15 years of reloading

with re: to no. 3.. .450 45colt bullets will just about fall right thru most any 45colt or acp barrel,those are just not right for those 2 rounds.
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Old May 21, 2012, 12:01 PM   #9
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I've been reloading, off and on since '69 or '70. 90% of my reloading has been handgun ammo and as long as the primers don't stand "proud" and seated to the bottom of the pocket, there will be no problems. I don't believe I've ever measured a primer depth (I have 30+ years machinist/mechanic experience and am fully aware of how to measure). Common sense is all that's needed; the anvil seated properly to the bottom of the pocket, a firing pin strike will crush the compound between the anvil and the cup without seating the primer deeper in the pocket.

As for checking and double checking; you know your initial measurements and settings. Keep measuring and checking to eliminate that OOPS! that can cause damage to you and your gun. Set your powder measure to the desired powder load and check it often. I would be silly to check once and load 100 cases without rechecking. If you set your OAL for the first cartridge, it would be sloppy reloading to not check again. Of course there will be variations, but you will know your tolerance, plus or minus, from your initial settings. It is all about being safe. Don't overthink the process...

The fellers here are just trying to help, so why dispute or be so critical of the answers you get? Post #4
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Old May 21, 2012, 01:45 PM   #10
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I've never used Remington primers. But I'd be surprised if 1000 of them are so far out of spec that they can't be seated to a safe depth.

Keep in mind that for optimal sensitivity, primers should be seated with enough force to compress their outer shells slightly. This presses the primer compound more nearly into contact with the anvil, which makes it easier for the firing pin to ignite the primer.

The trick is to apply firm but steady, gradually increasing pressure as you seat the primer, until you feel the primer bottom in the pocket, and then just a bit more pressure to precompress the anvil and make sure the surface of the primer is below the plane of the case head. Depending on what tool you're using, it may be fairly easy or very difficult to get the feel right. Many tools that use the full leverage of a reloading press to seat the primers have poor feel.

Of course, you don't want to actually CRUSH the primers. But you do want to compress them slightly. Wear safety glasses, of course. If you're careful to make your movements smoothly, gradually, and consistently, you shouldn't have a problem. In about 55 cumulative years of reloading, neither I nor my father who taught me have ever set off a primer while seating.
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Old May 21, 2012, 05:54 PM   #11
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Congratulations on starting reloading. It is good to be careful. You are measuring more than many/most. That can be good.

#1 - This Rem primer thing is interesting. I have no experience with them. IME, there are 2 things not being considered here. First, primers can and do compress slightly during reloading. That is because the anvil must be solidly set to the base of the primer pocket. Also, the cup can be squished slightly when seating. That said, if a properly uniformed primer pocket which you have measured, won't take the primer, I would call Remington and ask for help.

#2 I know you want to trim, but in general, trimming 45 ACP is a complete waste of time. I just passed ~100 45 ACP cases through a caliper set to 0.888" I feel safe!

Regarding sizing, I believe SAAMI is a group which makes chamber drawings( and apparently cartridge dwgs). Cases need to be undersized to the chamber. Each die maker is making dies which should make brass cases fit and provide reasonable accuracy.

#3 45 Colt has been around so long, it has changed specification several times. Heck, .456 is probably from some run of 1890 Colt's! Modern 45 Colts are made to fire 45 Colt ammo with a groove dia of about 0.450 - 0.451. The throat needs to be groove dia or larger. In general, Ruger's are about .451" groove with ideally .4525" throats. All this says is .452" cast or .451" jacketed bullets will most likely provide good accuracy. .450" bullets should be returned as defective because even a groove dia of .450 would rather see .451 or .452 bullets.

Remember, SAAMI is an association. From there, manufacturers are making chambers and ammo based on their own real tolerances, tool wear allowance, etc. I can see a few errors in the 45 Colt chamber dwg based on my own experience. On the other hand, my 45 Colt is fairly accurate. If Ruger went away from SAAMI to make it bettter, I guess better for me!
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Old May 23, 2012, 04:51 PM   #12
krackum
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#1 I'll go home and measure several flats out of the box to make sure but the 2 flats I sampled were out of spec to the point that, as stated, they would have to deformed/crushed to fit normal primer pockets in order to be even flush. Took them back to the store, they measured them and agreed. Even flush would be good enough in some guns, but not in the 45-70 tubular fed lever that I also was going to use them for.

#2
Quote:
I'm sure Mr Lee will appreciate the advice. You will probably help him stay in business another 45 years.

When I have something that doesn't work out like I think it should, I usually find that it is me that doesn't have things quite right, not the equipment.
Your sarcasm has gone a long way in educating me. As I have said, others have had the same problem per multiple other posts on multiple boards. They have suggested you put the trimmer in a drill and stone it down until it fits.

#3 Took the bullets back the day I found the error. The man at store measured projectiles from 4 different boxes from same supplier and they were all 0.450 in a box marked 0.452. He was suprised, too. Went back a week later and he had them all sealed back up and on the shelf. Poor business, sell the problem to someone else.

Thanks for the constructive advise. And before anyone else says it again, I will. "I have never trimmed brass in straight case pistol ammo in the *** years I've been reloading. You don't need to."

Last edited by krackum; May 23, 2012 at 05:10 PM.
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Old May 23, 2012, 05:43 PM   #13
F. Guffey
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Again, I have a chamber, I have a die, die and shell holder, I can size cases for short chambers, .012 thousandths shorter than a go-gage length chamber (.017 thousandths shorter than a minimum length/full length sized case to .016 thousandths longer than a go-gage length chamber (.013 thousandths longer than a minimum length case from the head of the case to its shoulder) and for me that should be enough, I can not size or worry about SAAMI’s chamber or cases.

Diameters, I have my diameters, there is nothing I can do to get my chambers to match SAAMI diameters, then there is the die, I use full length sizer dies, I have neck sizer dies, I have forming/trim dies, I have improved/modified dies, if my dies do not agree with SAAMI specifications, though, again, I purchased a 300 win Mag Model 70, the ugliest chamber I have ever seen, all I wanted was a chamber to fit my dies, or a set of Winchester dies to fit their chamber, I know there are dies available for sizing those thought to size cases, I will say it again, no one made dies for that large chamber.

When sizing cases to fit the chamber I avoid reducing the diameter mindlessly, again, I do not mind having air between the chamber and case body, because time is a factor I want the minimum amount of room between the case body and chamber.

Transfers and standards: If reloaders were fans of transfers, standards and verifying like me, I could understand the “SAAMI says etc.,..........”

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Old May 24, 2012, 12:39 PM   #14
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Most of the primers I've used had the anvil legs protrude slightly beyond the cup. The anvil will slightly crush (preload) the priming compound when the cup is seated properly. So are you measuring the total thickness of the primer, anvil legs to cup face, or just the cups? Since the anvil protrusion probably isn't a precision measurement, you won't get reliable measurements of overall height...


First post states .243 Win brass being primed, now 45-70?
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Old May 24, 2012, 09:03 PM   #15
er775
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I reload 223 rem and 243 win using winchester primers they all seat flush with the case I`ve had no problems yet
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