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Old January 26, 2013, 09:21 AM   #1
ScottRiqui
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Am I flaring enough?

Just for background, I'm using cast lead bullets.

I feel like I'm hardly flaring the cases at all - I can't see the flare, and I can't really "start" the bullet by hand - I pretty much just rest the base of the bullet on the case mouth and run it up into the die. But the bullet seats with no problem, every time.

All of the bullets I use have a slight bevel at the base, so I guess it's possible I might have problems if I ever used ones that were full-diameter at the base.

As long as the case mouth isn't shaving lead from the bullet, and I never collapse a case, is there any reason to flare the case any more than I am now?
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Old January 26, 2013, 09:27 AM   #2
serf 'rett
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Not in my opinion. If no lead is being cut from the bullets, you should good to go.
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Old January 26, 2013, 09:36 AM   #3
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I like to with most cases (Pistol) to be able to set the bullets on the case and run it up without having to guild it all the way up with my fingers.

If your having to do this you may want to add just a bit more flare to the case.

5.56 I guild it all the way up.
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Old January 26, 2013, 09:38 AM   #4
ScottRiqui
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Quote:
I like to with most cases (Pistol) to be able to set the bullets on the case and run it up without having to guild it all the way up with my fingers.

That's pretty much where I am now - I set the bullet on the case mouth and make sure it's level, but I don't have to guide it all the way into the die.

Thanks for the replies, I think I'll "hold what I've got" unless I switch to a different bullet style in the future and start having problems.
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Old January 26, 2013, 09:48 AM   #5
chiefr
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Sounds to me like you are doing things right. General rule of thumb is to flare enought to get the bullets to seat w/o shaving lead/copper.
Less flaring = extended case life.
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Old January 26, 2013, 09:51 AM   #6
ScottRiqui
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Just to poke fun at myself, I will admit that way back when I first started reloading, I didn't realize how little flare was actually necessary, and my first few .38 Special case mouths ended up looking like trumpets!
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Old January 26, 2013, 11:08 AM   #7
Tom68
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Flaring has been the most troublesome part of my reloading for handguns (i'm much more comfortable with CF rifle). I always adjust the die to bell the mouth as little as I can get by with, and after getting frustrated with my inability to properly seat a bullet, I re-adjust for more bell... and then start second-guessing myself, thinking that I'm punishing my brass for further use.

but... in full disclosure, I'm still new enough to handgun reloading that I haven't used any case more than twice. However, I'm understanding from many here that I should expect exponentially more reloads from pistol cases.
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Old January 26, 2013, 11:33 AM   #8
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Sounds good, anything more than that is too much. Are you bulging the cases? Sometimes lead bullets require a special sizer to get the proper fit.
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Old January 26, 2013, 01:22 PM   #9
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Many folks will tell you not to use "too much" flare, as it'll shorten the life of the brass. Well, it may shorten the life but how much? From 20 reloadings down to 15? Not much to bother with unless you're trying to set a record of reloadings per case. So in this instance it's better to go with enough flare to see or feel. Set the base of the bullet in the case mouth to see that the opening is larger than the bullet base and no lead will be shaved off the bullet as it's seated. As you get more experience seating lead bullets, you'll get the feel of how much flare is enough for your reloading methods.
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Old January 27, 2013, 07:30 AM   #10
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I agree with mikld. Particuliarly with 45 ACP you always hear people talking about how the cases never wear out, you lose them. Then they talk about "don't over flare, you will shorten the case life". With the Lee Classic Turret and the LnL I use, the slowest part of the process is setting and seating the bullet, so I flare enough that I don't have to fumble with setting the bullet. I have never had a case mouth split yet. In fact, I started with 100 new Starline cases to work up a load for my 38 Super. They have been loaded over 25 times, so far, and not a single split neck.
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Old January 27, 2013, 11:15 AM   #11
Texas Range Ammo
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Concensus

I've been reloading since 1976, now a do it professionally.

The reply's you are getting are right on track. Case life really is a function of how hot the loads you are building. I used to just barely give myself enough bell , and I had to hand guide the case with bullet into the seating die.

Basically, a waste of time. You also run the risk of too little bell and shaving,,, lead,, jacket,, whatever.

It's a common sense adjustment. You should be able to just sit the bullet in there. If your bullet is half seated already, it's too much.
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Old January 27, 2013, 02:46 PM   #12
Hammerhead
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Being able to rest a bullet on top of the case is a convenience, but not necessarily the best way to make ammo.

As a slow and steady, quality first guy, my main concern in handgun ammo is getting good bullet tension, it helps ignition with slow powders and prevents bullet 'pull' in revolvers, and it helps prevent bullet set back in autos.
As long as you're not shaving lead and there are no eccentric (off center) bulges, you should be GTG.

Last edited by Hammerhead; January 27, 2013 at 02:51 PM.
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Old January 27, 2013, 04:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
As long as you're not shaving lead and there are no eccentric (off center) bulges, you should be GTG.
+1.
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