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Old February 13, 2013, 07:44 AM   #1
motoman202
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loose bullets

Hey guys. Long time lurker first time poster. I have recently gotten into reloading and went to load my first rounds last night. With little sucsess.

Im using the Lee 4 hole turret press and Lee Carbide 3 die set to load .32acp
The biggest issue that im having is at the bullet seating/crimping stage. I have followed the instructions that came with the die set to a T. As well as followed the instructions that are outlined in the Lee reloading manual. The picture shows some rounds I made. When I have the crimp set up like the one on the far left I cant spin the bullet in the case but if I chamber it in a gun and eject it it will be at least .010 shorter. And will continue to get shorter each time I chamber it. The other three in the picture are obviously over crimped.

Im thinking it could be a neck tension problem but I dont know how to correct it. on the powder charge/expanding die I am flaring the case as little as possible to accept a bullet.

I only had 8 round of brass last night so im waiting on some more brass to show up in the mail.

Is the .32acp just a "finiky" round to load? I will also be loading 9mm once my dies show up.

btw here is the load data that im loading from if that helps

Hornady 60gr JHP
Acurate #2 2.4gr
OAL .925



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Old February 13, 2013, 07:55 AM   #2
spacecoast
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Get yourself a Lee Factory Crimp Die and separate the seating and crimping steps. It will help a LOT.
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Old February 13, 2013, 08:02 AM   #3
motoman202
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I haven't been able to find a fcd for the. 32acp
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Old February 13, 2013, 09:49 AM   #4
serf 'rett
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I suspect your problem is to much crimp. The only reason it could be neck tension is you have a faulty sizing die (not likely).

With my RCBS dies, I seat and crimp in separate steps. Don't see why you couldn't do this with the Lee die you have. Back the die body out far enough than it will not be applying any crimp. Set the seating stem and seat the bullets. When bullets are seated, back off or remove the seating stem and adjust the body downward until you crimp enough to remove the case mouth expansion. Over crimping will crush the case and cause the loose fit with the bullet.
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Old February 13, 2013, 11:57 AM   #5
motoman202
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Great idea. I could even buy another bullet seat/crimp die and set it up in the forth hole on the turret and use it as a crimp only.
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Old February 13, 2013, 01:42 PM   #6
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Forget the FCD and separate the seating and crimping into two operations. Seating, then crimping allow you to control both steps better. A plain taper crimp die should be used for semi-autos that headspace on the case mouth, and you aren't actually crimping, just removing any flare in the case mouth for reliable chambering. Try this; load a bullet as usual, seat a bullet but do not crimp. Check how tight the bullet is in the case. If the bullet is tight (thumb pressure or pushing against the bench doesn't move it) all the previous steps are correct...

I use the 4th hole in my turret for taper crimping/mouth straightening; Redding taper crimp die.
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Old February 13, 2013, 03:48 PM   #7
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The 1st one from your description has too much expansion of the case neck if the bullet gets jammed back into the case when you cycle the round. Did you crimp them all the same amount? the 2nd-4th ones look like too much crimp, but if you crimped the first one the same way it doesn't look overcrimped in the picture. Just expand the case neck enough to let the bullet sit on top of the case before you run it through the seater die. experiment with a few cases with no charge till you get it right.

I don't mind reloading 32ACP, and they shoot better in my guns than factory ammo
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Old February 13, 2013, 03:49 PM   #8
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Please keep in mind that the .32 Auto is designed to be used with a TAPER crimp, and not a roll crimp. A taper crimp is not intended to hold the bullet in place. The purpose of a proper taper crimp is to minimally re-form the brass to acceptable dimensions after you've seated the bullet - removing the flare you imparted earlier. And if you attempt to impart TOO much taper crimp, you can actually reduce your grip on that bullet.

My recommendation is:
--ensure that you are fully resizing the brass with the proper die
--use the absolute least amount of mouth flare that you can
(if you can seat a bullet without stripping any jacket material, then don't flare ANY more than that)
--experiment with LESS "crimp" with your bullet seating die and use the barrel of your pistol as a drop-in "chamber gauge" to ensure the loaded round will "plunk" in nicely and also fall out easily under it's own weight when the barrel is inverted.

To use LESS crimp, simply screw the seating die OUT of the press a few turns and screw the bullet seater stem back in an equal number of turns. This will seat the bullet to the same place, but leave the crimp OUT of operation for now. If the COAL of the round is correct, now see if you have case mouth tension. If yes, take that round and give it the "plunk" test with your barrel. If it hangs up going in or out, you will need to give it a little taper crimp... but give it as little as you can a bit at a time until you see results.

The best way to do this is with UNPRIMED brass with NO POWDER CHARGE. This is why you have a kinetic (inertia) (hammer-type) bullet puller, to reclaim these components after we've done the work.



Across different calibers with different bullets (from different manufacturers) but more so...with particular head stamps, I have found some occasions where it's DAMN difficult to get the amount of case mouth tension you absolutely need.

Head stamps do matter when trying to get a handle on a problem like this. If you are using a scattered handful of 12 different, don't be shocked when you have a half dozen different results. My experience has taught me that this is FACT, regardless of what anyone else might offer.

Make no mistake: this is a problem that MUST be addressed. If you don't have proper, secure case mouth tension on a loaded semi-auto round, you are setting yourself up for possible disaster as the pressure rises when the bullet is inadvertently pushed further in to the case.
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Old February 13, 2013, 03:54 PM   #9
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Sevens really hit the nail on the head here:
"Across different calibers with different bullets (from different manufacturers) but more so...with particular head stamps, I have found some occasions where it's DAMN difficult to get the amount of case mouth tension you absolutely need.

Head stamps do matter when trying to get a handle on a problem like this. If you are using a scattered handful of 12 different, don't be shocked when you have a half dozen different results. My experience has taught me that this is FACT, regardless of what anyone else might offer."

And definitely don't fire those rounds due to increased pressure if the bullet jams into the case!
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Old February 13, 2013, 04:44 PM   #10
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That's for sure. As a test, try and grab a handful of R-P head stamped 10mm brass and load it with a Nosler 150gr JHP and tell me your rate of success.

I'll bet it's poor and unacceptable.
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Old February 13, 2013, 04:58 PM   #11
motoman202
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Yeah that's what I have been thinking is the problem is the neck tension. All the brass I have been using is the same. I have some more brass showing up any day now. And I have been doing all of this unprimed and without powder


Thanks for all the input. Ill try this new brass and see what I can come up with.
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Old February 13, 2013, 04:59 PM   #12
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You might try turning your sizing die down another half turn. Cam it over, and hold it for at least two seconds. Then take the case out. See if you can push a bullet into the case. If not then go to flaring. You should be able to barely start the bullet into the case. Now when seating. First get the depth you want. Then adjust for crimp. You should be able to run your finger nail down the bullet, and feel a slight catch at the case mouth.
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Old February 13, 2013, 08:12 PM   #13
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As M&P said, make sure your sizing die is set correctly, then run a case through that die only. If you can insert the bullet in the sized case by hand, even with a lot of pressure, your sizing die is not sizing small enough. If it is a new set of dies I would call Lee and they would probably replace your sizing die.
I have two sets of Lee 38 Super dies and one set of RCBS and none of them will size my cases small enough to retain a FMJ, .355 bullet.
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Old February 13, 2013, 09:05 PM   #14
motoman202
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OK. New brass and now a new problem. I just got some speer nickel plated brass in. I got my crimp and bullet tension worked out. However I think this brass might.be thicker and causing problems. The other brass casings I loaded were. 331 after loaded. These are .335 and are getting stuck in the chamber. I'm using almost zero flare and very little crimp. Is it just thicker brass? Is there anything I can do about it? Thanks


Edit.....changed my COAL down to. 907 from. 925 now they will fall back out if the barrel under their own weight. But why? The other brass I loaded at. 925 fell back out just fine. But these don't. Case length is the same on both the brass and nickel cases.

Last edited by motoman202; February 13, 2013 at 09:28 PM.
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Old February 14, 2013, 01:22 PM   #15
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Whoa! Mebbe you should re-examine your methods. Reread your ABCs of Reloading and/or your Lyman's 49th on reloading for a semi-auto. Adjust your sizing/decapping die as per the factory instructions. With properly adjusted dies the slight difference in case wall thickness shouldn't be a problem (a bad die from any major manufacturer is rare). Check the round after each step. Size/decap and measure the case. Prime the case (make sure the primer is completely seated, any primer protruding above the case head will cause variations in OAL and may be dangerous). Flare the case mouth and check; just enough for the bullet to start (also mic the bullets so you'll know what you're working with). Charge the case and visually check the powder (make sure some is in there). Seat the bullet to your predetermined OAL (checking with your calipers). Run the cartridge into a taper crimp die (you're not going to crimp it, just remove any flare you put in the case mouth, neck tension from a properly adjusted sizing/decapping die will have enough neck tension to hold the bullet in place). Visually check the "crimp" to make sure the flare is gone. Check the loaded round in the barrel of your gun (thunk test). You may have to make adjustments for bullet seating 'cause of different ogives, and perhaps adjust the crimp die to remove all flare. If the round doesn't enter the chamber all the way, mark the bullet and case with a magic marker and see if the bullet is hiting the rifling or the case is touching a part of the chamber. Actually putting a crimp in a small case like the .32 can cause a buldge in the case walls.

Not much more than that.
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Old February 14, 2013, 01:34 PM   #16
Brian Pfleuger
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A finished round neck diameter of .335 is within spec.

.907 OAL is really, REALLY short though. There's no reason why you'd have to load them that short and doing so could DRASTICALLY increase pressure.
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Old February 14, 2013, 01:54 PM   #17
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You are over crimping with the seating/crimping die. Like the other poster said , just use that die to seat the bullet into the case to a little longer than your desired length and do not screw die down, keep it high. then use your factory crimp die just to apply a slight amount of Taper crimp(just maybe 1/2 turn). This will push the bullet slightly further in the case to desired length with slight taper crimp. That way you completely control your amount of taper crimp (which is very little). Lee dies if you use the instructions are very easy to push down the seating/crimping die too far and get that over crimped ridge that is in your photos. Just back it off and make small adjustments to the FCD.

I over crimped revolver cases before and they worked But I will never do it to auto cases, Very little crimp is needed. you can have a KB if your not careful about headspace and pressures.
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Old February 14, 2013, 02:01 PM   #18
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Quote:
As M&P said, make sure your sizing die is set correctly, then run a case through that die only. If you can insert the bullet in the sized case by hand, even with a lot of pressure, your sizing die is not sizing small enough. If it is a new set of dies I would call Lee and they would probably replace your sizing die.
I have two sets of Lee 38 Super dies and one set of RCBS and none of them will size my cases small enough to retain a FMJ, .355 bullet.
This seems reasonable to me.

Your deprimer/sizer die should be sizing your brass back to the correct outside factory dimensions. You should not be able to push a bullet into the case mouth after that step.

Your next die should bell the case mouth so that you can start the bullet.

As was said above, you want just enough mouth belling to enable you to seat bullets. Too much may weaken your brass and also it may result in not getting a good enough crimp when you seat.

It can be tricky to get the combo seating/crimping die to work, which is why lots of people recommend separate dies for seating and crimping.

Steve
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Old February 14, 2013, 02:15 PM   #19
motoman202
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Thanks for all of the help guys. Here is my method start to finish. After cleaning I recap and resize the case after resizing case is .329 outside diameter. Then apply a small amount of flair just enough to get the bullet started and charge powder. After that I seat the bullet to .925 and apply a very small crimp ie. Not even half of a turn in on the die after it touches the case And outside case diameter is .335 .925 is the OAL off of my load data. When I thunk test it in the barrel it sticks and will not fall back out of the barrel under its own weight.

Just as something to try I used an un primed and uncharged case and set my OAL to .907. This results in a thunk test that will allow the around to fall back out of the barrel under its own weight. I realize that will cause high pressure but I wanted to see if the problem was in the o.d. or the OAL

The store bought gold dots that I have have an OAl of .898. I realize this is comparing apples to oranges but I see no reason why a .925 round is getting stuck

Last edited by motoman202; February 14, 2013 at 02:41 PM.
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Old February 14, 2013, 03:16 PM   #20
Brian Pfleuger
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Ok,

What is the source of the data that you're using and what is the specified OAL, starting and max load?
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Old February 14, 2013, 03:27 PM   #21
motoman202
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Data is from hornady 7th edition. I'm using hornady 60gr jhp with OAL for Max load .925 with 2.5 gr of accurate #2

Lyman 49th shows a "tested" OAL of .940

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Old February 14, 2013, 07:47 PM   #22
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Alright, there are a couple of things that are very troubling.

First, if max load is 2.5gr, you should be starting out at 10% lower, which would be roughly 2.2gr.

Second, this is a tiny little cartridge with very little room for powder. That means that very small differences in OAL will have DRAMATIC effects on pressure.

Being that you're using a light bullet, I would expect the OAL to be less than max for the cartridge but if Hornady lists it at .925 and max for the cartridge is .970, I would expect that you should be able to get .925.

1)Remove the barrel from your gun.
2)Measure the length of a bullet, bullet only, not finished cartridge. Write down that number.
3)Take the same bullet and drop it pointy-end first into the chamber. Use your calipers to measure from the back of the barrel hood, where the hood would touch the breach-face, to the base of the bullet. Write down that number.
4)Add the length of the bullet from step 2 to the number from step 3.

The number from step 4 will be the total length of a finished round that will touch the rifling in your gun, with that type of bullet. Any round shorter than this length should chamber fine. If it does not, the reason is other than the OAL. This is the maximum length, you would ordinarily expect the finished rounds to be at least several thousandths shorter than this number.
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Old February 14, 2013, 09:53 PM   #23
motoman202
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Well if I separate the seating stage from the crimping stage everything works out perfect. I guess this is just what I will have to do. Thanks everyone for all the help.
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