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Old February 24, 2007, 10:48 PM   #1
dangle
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Bullet seating question

I am new to the forums and recently got back into reloading.I am having a problem seating bullets.I am loading for 45ACP and shooting an XD 45.I have had this seating issue in the past and still have it.It is when I seat the bullet there is a slight bulge at the base of the bullet.Sometimes more pronounced to one side.I am using the correct seater plug and my OAL is within spec.This will happen with both copper and cast bullets.It seems know matter how well I set the bullet in the case has this bulge.This happens prior to crimping so that is not the case.Also this seems to only a cosmetic defect because the cartridges function fine.I use RCBS dies on a turret press.Could this be me not setting the bullet in right?Since I believe it to be only cosmetic should I even worry about it?The look just bothers me,plus I am doing everything by the book.
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Old February 24, 2007, 11:06 PM   #2
wicker
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Are you saying there is a slight bulge in the case, at the base of the bullet, once seated and crimped?
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Old February 24, 2007, 11:12 PM   #3
dangle
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Yes.But it is there before I crimp in a seperate die,so the crimp can be ruled out.
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Old February 24, 2007, 11:44 PM   #4
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Unless you have an extremely large bulge I don't believe you to be seeing anything odd. Right now, in front of me sits 250 loaded 4acp rounds loaded with Lee dies. They are finished except for the final step. The Lee Factory Crimp die. There is a 2 to 4 thou variance between the lower case and the slight bulge up. Also in front of me is 50 finished rounds, completed with the FCD. They measure half to one thou variance between the lower case and above the bottom of the bullet.

Just for fun I checked a box of factory Wolf and WWB. They both run a half to 1 1/2 thou between the base and above the "slight buldge". (My home rolled, built on cheapo Lee equipment rounds are actually more consistant that Winchesters factory ammo!) If this is all that you are seeing I'd say your just fine. If you're running a larger dia. it's time to buy a Lee FCD in 45acp.

Whenever in doubt about dimensions I grab calipers/micrometer and some examples of factory ammo along with load books and compare. It's worked every time.
BTW, you said your seating in a seperate step from crimping with RCBS dies? I thought RCBS only made 3 die sets? If so, how are you doing this? Just curious.
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Old February 25, 2007, 02:36 AM   #5
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It's a common occurance. YOu might take a little more care with the chamfering and expand the case a bit more. Also, the brass can make a difference. I load FC (truly once fired), Starline (new), and Winchester (both) without any noticible bulging. A friend once told me that a bad bulge was a sign of old/tired brass.
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Old February 25, 2007, 07:11 AM   #6
dangle
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Wicker; I turn the seating die up enough so that it does not crimp then adjust the seater plug.Then I use a seater/taper crimp die with the seater removed to crimp.When I would set and crimp in the same die I would always push lead.
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Old February 27, 2007, 06:12 AM   #7
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I have a bulge at the bottom of the bullets on my pistol rounds. The resizer die I think is taking the brass to the minimum, and seating the bullet expands it back out leaving the appearance of a bulge at the bottom of the bullet.
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Old February 28, 2007, 02:30 PM   #8
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I ran into problems with this bulges, too (failing to feed properly). I bought the Lee Factory Crimp Dies (.45 ACP, .44 Mag, .38 Spec.)

Problem solved.

Look up www.leeprecision.com

They have little videos to demonstrate the use of their stuff.
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Old February 28, 2007, 03:20 PM   #9
Tadpole Starr
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Bulge at base of bullet

We all have the buldge as noted above, but need extra care about the "un-even buldge".

It is recommended to just start the bullet, then rotate the shell 180 degrees. I press the bullet about another 1/8th inch, then rotate it a bit and press it into place.

It makes the bulge even around the shell.

The roundnose seater pulls the bullet to center better than the flat one. The uneven buldge is cause by the bullet not going in perfectly straight.
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Old March 1, 2007, 04:37 PM   #10
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Some sizing dies size tighter than others. As others have said, bulging around the bearing surface is normal especially with cast bullets. Eccentric bulging is not. I had this condition once and found it to be a bad sizing die. You may want to measure a sized case and see if it's concentric. I bought a new die, measured a sized case (it was concentric) and my problem was solved. I'm not saying that can be the ONLY problem, but it's a simple to check.
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Old March 1, 2007, 08:38 PM   #11
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Make sure the bullets are straight when they go into the case. If they get canted to the side, they can bulge one side when finally seated...just my opinion, but as my wife frequently points out, I can be wrong....
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Old March 2, 2007, 11:05 PM   #12
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To taper crimp or no crimp

With the above condition corrected, would you crimp a FMJ bullet or Lead Bullet? I have shot 4 and checked 3 for length and they are not moving. Repeated this several times.
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Old March 3, 2007, 01:21 AM   #13
wicker
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Tadpole Starr, if I may ask, where did you get the information on rotating the shell? I don't mean to be dissrespectful or controversial, but I believe that to be bunk. I have Several load and instructional books and not a one has such a recomendation. Not to mention that good dies, such as Lee has a seater designed to allow a bullet, which might not be perfectly aligned, to right itself when being seated. I can set a bullet quite askew in a 45 case and the seater die lays it in perfectly. I don't know, perhaps other brands of dies cannot do the same but consider this. There are many turret and progressive presses with auto bullet feeders running at high speeds in which no bullet turning or such hi-jinx are needed to align bullets correctly. These presses use the same dies my single stage press uses.

All 45 dies crimp the bullet, otherwise the action of the gun and the force of the shot could shorten OAL of loaded rounds. The question is really, should you FCD crimp your finished rounds. This step wont, to the best of my knowledge, secure your bullets in the case tighter in a functional way so much as make the loaded rounds diameter more concentric (truer to round, around the entire diameter) and a truer dia down the length of the case. This can lead to more consistant feeds from magazine to chamber, making the weapon more reliable. My Kimber feeds fine with the 3 step dies but I feel better using the 4th step as it does, as stated above, remove the bullet bulge and make the round overall, more reliable. Perhaps it's needed, perhaps not. Perhaps it just gives me warm fuzzies to do so. Either way it makes me more confident about my rounds.

Last edited by wicker; March 3, 2007 at 01:53 AM.
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Old March 3, 2007, 10:28 AM   #14
Tadpole Starr
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bullet crimoing and alignment

Thanks for the information. A fellow that reloads a lot at Gene Taylor Sports suggested rotating the shells just after the bullet is started. I haven't tried it since I found a little contamination in the seater die. I think that this may have been my problem all along. It is a RCBS die set.

You spoke of a fourth step, what is that, and what is the type of crimp (FCD) that you speak of please.

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Old March 3, 2007, 11:24 AM   #15
wicker
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The rotation of the shell may well fix the trouble, but why do an extra step with each round when there is likely a problem forcing you to do so. That's my thinking at least.

The FCD, that is Lee Precision's Factory Crimp Die, is the fourth step I mention that insures concentricity and improves a rounds ability to feed well. The FCD provides a taper crimp on automatic pistol rounds and a roll crimp on wheel gun rounds. In Lee or other brand of dies the seater die first seats, then crimps the bullet into the case in one motion. The FCD comes in afterward and crimps only. If you compare a round completed without the FCD to one that was completed with the FCD you will find the FCD round is much more uniform with far less bullet bulge.

The FCD is a must have in some guns. Others don't seem to know the difference. Like I said, it's not the end all of reloading, but isn't a bad idea. The loaded rounds are finish sized very quickly in this step with little effort. I just load up a batch of several hundred rounds and then hit them with the FCD in one quick session. For the low cost to try, I recomend you order one ( I like www.grafs.com myself) and give it a whirl. I think you will be pleased. The FCD can be used in conjunction with any other brand of dies.
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Old March 3, 2007, 11:44 AM   #16
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I would never suggest the FCD for cast bullets. Fix your eccentric bulge and take it from there.
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Old March 3, 2007, 12:11 PM   #17
wicker
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I'm curious, why no FCD on cast bullets? I've used it on my cast bullets for over a year with no troubles.
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Old March 3, 2007, 12:50 PM   #18
crazylegs
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Hi Wicker, I used to use it and found that the FCD was sizing my bullets down .0005 to .001" with most at .001". It didn't make sense to me to be careful about getting bullets that were sized to .452" if I was going to change them to .451" running them through the FCD. I do however like the way it crimps (it's very gradual and easy to adjust) so I ordered another one from Lee without the sizing ring.
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Old March 4, 2007, 12:14 AM   #19
Tadpole Starr
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Taper Crimp

The Rcbs dies that I have do call for the taper crimp. It does say to trim the cases to the same overall length to assure a consistant crimp.

It says that they are taper crimped because the cartridge headspaces on the mouth of the case.

Do you have to trim the cases to a consistant length for your crimping die to be consistant? I have not read much chatter about trimming at all. This is very informative. Thank You.
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Old March 4, 2007, 12:53 AM   #20
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Fcd

I have read up on the Lee FCD and it does not need to have the shell trimmed. That would be a disaster timewise! I have ordered one and Thank you.
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Old March 4, 2007, 12:34 PM   #21
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45 acp

I load my 45acp cases so the wadcutter is a tad out of the case.this is so the cartridge head spaces on the bullet.per Dinnan? the gunsmith and top shooter(at one time)so do all the rest of the reloaders in my club.my cases have bulges.the sizer makes the case smaller then you expand,generaly you do not expand to bottom of cavity so the bullet expands the case.as long as the cart chambers theres no problem.I have never trimmed my cases and some are 30 yrs old.Ido not shoot much now age and eye sight.
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Old March 5, 2007, 06:54 AM   #22
wicker
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The trimming of cases allows for consistant crimps and correct headspacing. My Lyman 48th Edition Reloading Handbook calls for no more than 4 trimmings before ditching a case. The best part is that after multiple reloads, none of my 45 cases need to be trimmed. I'm not set up for power trimming, so that's a good thing .

Good luck with the FCD. I plan to hunt deer with my Kimber this comming season. The hunting rounds I load will be finished with the FCD, I promise.
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Old March 5, 2007, 09:40 AM   #23
Tadpole Starr
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Venison Stew Recipe

Wicker, What bullet will you use for Deer. Speaking of deer, here is a recipe that my wife and I took first place with in the Savory Seasons cooking contest, in Boulder, CO in the 70's. Enjoy, and iI will put it our front.


Early American Beef Stew


2# Stew Meat 1 can beef broth

1 T butter 1 clove of garlic minced

1 T Olive oil 1 large can tomatoes

1 ½ tsp sugar 1 bayleaf

3 T flour 6 – 8 small onions (about 1 inch)

1 ½ tsp salt 1 # carrots (about 1/4 inch)

½ tsp thyme 4 medium potatoes (about 1 inch)

¼ tsp pepper 2 cups frozen peas

3/4 cup burgundy wine



Brown meat in butter & oil.

Sprinkle the sugar over meat and toss until glazed.

Sprinkle the flour, salt, thyme, & pepper over meat.

Gradually add wine, broth, garlic, tomatoes, & bay leaf.

Simmer until the meat is tender.

Add onions, carrots. Simmer untill the

potatoes are tender, add peas and let them heat. Remove

bay leaf and serve.
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Old March 5, 2007, 12:40 PM   #24
teombe
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Get a cartridge gauge (Lyman or Dillon) and determine if you actually need to apply the FCD to your rounds. My 45's have a 'ring' underneath the bullet, but it's only slightly noticable. My $65 redding seater does a better job at pushing the bullet straight down if I goof than my $20 dillon die.
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Old March 5, 2007, 02:04 PM   #25
Tadpole Starr
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Trimming the cases as per RCBS and others

I am new to the wonderful world of Semi - Auto pistols. I traded an older M-57 S&W .41 Mag. for the Kimber .45 ACP. Could start a whole discussion, and I am guessing there would be some disagreement with the decision.

My first several rounds of handloads blackened the cases so bad that I started asking questions. I got drilled with the differences of automatics compared to the revolver. One gentleman was so used to his cases turning black that he didn't notice, but threw them in a tumbler anyway. He had reloaded since the late 50's.

The two things that came out of it mostly were that these are a low pressure load and are going to have more of the impurities come back than a higher pressure load, like the .41 mag. The other being that it headspaces off of the front of the case, and this being the reason for a slight taper crimp or for the need for the FCD.

There is so much to learn that I am glad that I made the change. I love shooting it alreadyand am shooting better groups than I have for years with the revolver. It is very pleasant, and other than the FPS in the event of a run in with an ex-wife type balck bear, I will get used to it very quickly.
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