The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old April 4, 2008, 10:45 PM   #1
DEDON45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 24, 2008
Posts: 278
Question about Dies and Lead Bullets for .45ACP

I have a new 3-die set, Hornady, for .45ACP. I've tried reloading some 230gr. LRN bullets (I measured a random sample of them, all showed .452 diameter. Well, these things seem to bulge the cases to the point where they won't feed reliably (tried them in two guns)... checked my reloading manuals, noted that they specify .452 bullets in lead... that's .001 larger than the JHPs, etc.

Two questions: Is the crimp that is built into the seating die in the Hornady die set a taper crimp? I adjusted it so that the bullets don't move when I give them the "bench test," but I don't see any indication of the case mouth being "rolled in" like you get with say, a .44 Mag crimp die. The reason I ask is that I've found (via google) that some recommend running a separate taper crimp operation on .45 ACP rounds. I just need a little guidance here. The other question (and it may be a dumb one), just what is the deal with non-jacketed or plated bullets being .001 bigger than their jacketed counterparts? I've got to think that has a lot to do with why these things don't feed well.
DEDON45 is offline  
Old April 4, 2008, 11:09 PM   #2
rwilson452
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 10, 2004
Location: Tioga co. PA
Posts: 2,361
The 44 mag uses a roll crimp. The 45ACP uses a taper crimp. different animals. I use the Lee Factory Crimp die to crimp my 45 rounds. Yes, .452 is the proper dia. for 45ACP lead bullets. I don't use Hornaday dies. It could be your crimp.


Quote:
Question about Dies and Lead Bullets for .45ACP
I have a new 3-die set, Hornady, for .45ACP. I've tried reloading some 230gr. LRN bullets (I measured a random sample of them, all showed .452 diameter. Well, these things seem to bulge the cases to the point where they won't feed reliably (tried them in two guns)... checked my reloading manuals, noted that they specify .452 bullets in lead... that's .001 larger than the JHPs, etc.

Two questions: Is the crimp that is built into the seating die in the Hornady die set a taper crimp? I adjusted it so that the bullets don't move when I give them the "bench test," but I don't see any indication of the case mouth being "rolled in" like you get with say, a .44 Mag crimp die. The reason I ask is that I've found (via google) that some recommend running a separate taper crimp operation on .45 ACP rounds. I just need a little guidance here. The other question (and it may be a dumb one), just what is the deal with non-jacketed or plated bullets being .001 bigger than their jacketed counterparts? I've got to think that has a lot to do with why these things don't feed well.
rwilson452 is offline  
Old April 4, 2008, 11:37 PM   #3
DEDON45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 24, 2008
Posts: 278
Just checked something out... pulled a WW Whitebox JHP round out of the box, threw the calipers on it... it measure .469 in diameter on the case below where the bullet seats. I decided to take a Hornady 230gr XTP HP, .451 bullet and tried seating it to 1.250 overall length in a resized, expanded case mouth, piece of brass... backed the seating / crimp die off for NO crimp at all.. and the @#$% case still has that stupid bulge in it where the bullet is seated. Resized another case, threw the calipers on it, and the whole piece of brass, from base to neck, measured only .466 in diameter ... is my resizing die too "tight"? Why do I get that big "bulge" when I seat a bullet? Factory ammo doesn't have that bulge. I've tried playing with the expander (trying various amounts of belling... my understanding is that it should have just enough bell to keep the bullet from falling off the case on the way up to the seating die ... I've tried more and less, still get bulged brass). I'm starting to get a just a little frustrated.

Oh, and yes, I do understand that normally one roll crimps the .44 Mag, etc... and that the .45 ACP (amongst others) uses a taper crimp. I was just asking if the seating / crimp die that comes in the Hornady 3 die set is a taper crimp die. At this point I think the crimp has nothing to do with it, it seems the dimensions on the brass are all wrong after resizing.

I just find it really disturbing that these "bulges" are in the brass after installation of the bullet. The outside still runs under the max diameter, but I just find it strange that factory ammo does not display these bulges... are they normal?

Last edited by DEDON45; April 4, 2008 at 11:45 PM. Reason: One more thing.
DEDON45 is offline  
Old April 4, 2008, 11:56 PM   #4
DEDON45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 24, 2008
Posts: 278
Oh... I may do one other thing; noticed that the factory ammo that feeds fine in my pistols is 1.21" Overall length... I'm going to try seating my bullets a little deeper to match. Still looking for an answer on the bulges that I'm getting; they may be normal, just looking for a yea or nay.

Thanks guys!
DEDON45 is offline  
Old April 5, 2008, 12:05 AM   #5
tom234
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 14, 2008
Location: Kansas
Posts: 752
The general consensus [for .45 ACP] is that one should have a tapered crimp that gives you .469 to .471" and no more than .473" [spec OD]. For decades I used 3 die sets but recently changed to a LEE 4 die set in .45 ACP where the 4th die is a Factory Crimp Die [FCD]. You may want to consider adding a FCD to your Hornady die set to crimp separately and straighten out the bulge in your cases. The FCD works fine for me and I have since retrofitted my other 3 die sets with FCDs.
tom234 is offline  
Old April 5, 2008, 02:37 AM   #6
rwilson452
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 10, 2004
Location: Tioga co. PA
Posts: 2,361
When loading lead bullets in 45ACP the FCD does leave the case where the bullet is a bit shiny as if it was working the case there. they load and fire just fine. However. the round should just be able to fall into the chamber without help. assuming your loading for a semiauto, remove the barrel from your pistol and hold it muzzle down. you should be able to just drop it in and it should be at the proper position. If it's not something is wrong either your not seating the bullet short enough or your not getting enough crimp. I have only seen one barrel that the chamber was just too darn tight. but factory ammo was a squeeze in it too. Don't worry about the "bulge". Does it fit in your chamber properly is the whole issue.
rwilson452 is offline  
Old April 5, 2008, 06:29 AM   #7
FatWhiteMan
Member
 
Join Date: June 10, 2007
Location: Appalachia
Posts: 96
The crimp in the seating die of a standard Hornady .45 die set is a roll crimp. Get the Hornady Taper crimp die and this should solve your problem.
FatWhiteMan is offline  
Old April 5, 2008, 11:20 AM   #8
DEDON45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 24, 2008
Posts: 278
So, the bulge is normal (it does still fit in the barrel, mics under the max diameter), but using a separate taper crimp die will "iron" the bulge out? Wonder why they didn't just include a taper crimp idie in the set? Doesn't make much sense.
DEDON45 is offline  
Old April 5, 2008, 11:38 AM   #9
Sarge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 12, 2002
Location: MO
Posts: 4,911
Quote:
The crimp in the seating die of a standard Hornady .45 die set is a roll crimp. Get the Hornady Taper crimp die and this should solve your problem.
Exactly what I use & what I did over ten years ago. My .45 ACP reloading woes disappeared immediately upon making this change.
__________________
I'm inclined to think if a man hasn't gotten his point across in 4912 attempts, 4913 probably isn't going to do it.
Sarge is offline  
Old April 5, 2008, 12:00 PM   #10
DEDON45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 24, 2008
Posts: 278
I knew you guys would have the answer! Too bad they don't include this kind of info in the various reloading manuals!

Thanks again!

I guess I'll be ordering a taper crimp die (probably the Hornady one; I've read that the Lee die may not clear the ejector wire on my LnL AP) and a powder-through expander (I have a powder cop die installed, all the stations are used up!).
DEDON45 is offline  
Old April 5, 2008, 12:17 PM   #11
tomh1426
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 17, 2005
Location: Youngtown Arizona
Posts: 1,135
Watch this, he explains it pretty good
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYNUGpFG1f4
I love youtube
tomh1426 is offline  
Old April 5, 2008, 12:44 PM   #12
tom234
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 14, 2008
Location: Kansas
Posts: 752
tomh1426.......Great clip. Gosh, what isn't on YouTube ?
I thought ALL .45ACP die sets came with a tapered crimp die like my RCBS & LEE sets since .45ACP requires a tapered crimp.
tom234 is offline  
Old April 5, 2008, 10:28 PM   #13
Sevens
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 8,936
Cast lead bullets do tend to be .001 larger in diameter than their jacketed counterparts... the lead bullets need to be a nice snug fit in the bore or they won't work well at all. They won't obturate properly if they aren't big enough, which will introduce the possibility of leading and accuracy goes out the window also. Jacketed bullets won't distort like the lead bullet is designed to, so they are typically .001 smaller than the lead ones.

The way your bullets look in your brass is a typical by-product of handloaded .45 rounds, and you'll notice more of it with some brands of brass and less of it with other brands of brass.

Not owning any Hornady brand dies, I can't confirm that they are roll crimp in .45 auto-- not calling anyone a liar or saying they are wrong. But I can tell you that it sure doesn't make much sense to include a roll crimp die for any caliber which obviously headspaces on the case mouth as the .45 auto does. That's senseless.

The Lee carbide FCD die should make your finished rounds look a little better, maybe feed a little nicer, but I think if you are having issues with the finished rounds chambering properly, you need to first look at OAL of your loaded rounds.

As far as what they look like with any perceived bulge, I'd say get them on paper and see if they function your pistol, don't show excess pressure signs and if they shoot well... and THEN after those 3 things I'd address whether or not they are pretty enough!
__________________
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
Sevens is offline  
Old April 5, 2008, 10:44 PM   #14
Sarge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 12, 2002
Location: MO
Posts: 4,911
My .45 dies are Hornady product # 544554 and are marked "New Dimension Custom Grade" and "45 ACP/AR/WIN/LC". They were bought new around 1994.

The crimp die is definitely of the roll-crimp variety and works splendidly with .45 Colt loads; in fact this set of dies has turned out some of the most accurate .45 ACP/,45 Colt ammo I've ever loaded. I can't say on the Auto Rim or Win Mag aspect because I haven't loaded any of them. I bought Hornady's .45 ACP taper crimp die within six months. The whole package was money well spent.
__________________
I'm inclined to think if a man hasn't gotten his point across in 4912 attempts, 4913 probably isn't going to do it.
Sarge is offline  
Old April 6, 2008, 08:30 PM   #15
DEDON45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 24, 2008
Posts: 278
Does the Hornady Taper Crimp die do an equivalent job on .45ACP to the Lee Precision Factory Crimp Die? I've heard that the Lee Dies don't work well with the Hornady Progressive Press I have... I'd like to order one or the other Monday, but need to make sure it'll work in my press.
DEDON45 is offline  
Old April 6, 2008, 09:29 PM   #16
DEDON45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 24, 2008
Posts: 278
Hey Sarge, I checked my Dies (I just bought them) ... they are part #546554 ... Also noticed that these are marked 45 ACP/AR/WIN .. no LC designation. I also think that at one point I put an empy case in the seater and cranked it down, and it never did "roll" the case mouth... I'm starting to think that maybe they split up the .45 Colt and .45 ACP die sets, and this die set has a taper crimp in the bullet seater.

My Problem is not with a flare on the case mouth, it's with a bulge midway down the case where the bullet is seated... I'm starting to think that the only way to get rid of it will be to use a Lee FCD to post-resize the case. Any other Ideas out there -- anyone using a FCD with a LnL AP Press?
DEDON45 is offline  
Old April 6, 2008, 09:49 PM   #17
Sarge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 12, 2002
Location: MO
Posts: 4,911
DeDon45,

That makes perfect sense about the Hornady splitting the auto diessets off for taper crimps, and the revolver dies off for roll crimps. Heck, maybe mine are collectors items now

I use Lee's for .40 S&W and I'd have to say that the Hornady die seems to taper the crimp in more gradually, perhaps even further down the case, than my Lee does.

Back when I was loading .44's I bought a Lee Factory Crimp die. I believe that one had a carbide insert in the bottom which insured that any 'lumps' in the cartridge got ironed out, in the final step. It was nice for brass that had been used for Redhawk Only loads. I sold off all my .44 stuff (will go 45LC or 454, when the hunting revolver gets replaced) so I'm going from memory on this.

PS- Is that bulge uniform, as in all around the case, or is it more on one side?
__________________
I'm inclined to think if a man hasn't gotten his point across in 4912 attempts, 4913 probably isn't going to do it.
Sarge is offline  
Old April 6, 2008, 10:12 PM   #18
DEDON45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 24, 2008
Posts: 278
Sarge, the bulge is generally uniform, on a few it's slightly more on on side. I thing that maybe that's because the bullet may have been slightly tilted when it was seated. When I was tinkering with this the other night, I noticed that, so I put the bullet on the case right before it went into the seater, I think that the spinning of the shellplate may have tilted a few of the bullets before seating.

I'm really interested it getting rid of the bulge, does the separate Hornady crimp die iron it out, or is that only going to be possible with the Lee die, which I am not sure that will cooperate with the ejector wire on the press I have?
DEDON45 is offline  
Old April 6, 2008, 10:33 PM   #19
Sarge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 12, 2002
Location: MO
Posts: 4,911
With lead bullets (about all I load in this caliber) Hornady's TC die will press the case right into the sides of the bullet, if you crank it down enough. I've never had anything occur, like you have described, so I can't say if it will correct your problem. I still load on single stage presses, though.

I think you should call some reloading equipment manufacturers, explain your problem, and see what they offer as solutions. Be sure and give them specifics on your setup, so they can determine if their products are compatible.
__________________
I'm inclined to think if a man hasn't gotten his point across in 4912 attempts, 4913 probably isn't going to do it.
Sarge is offline  
Old April 6, 2008, 10:48 PM   #20
Sigma 40 Blaster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2007
Location: East Texas
Posts: 997
The bulge you are describing is because the bullet is slightly larger than a FMJ bullet. Totally normal.

What I recommend is taking a caliper to the part of the case where the "bulge" is noticeable, that's a little larger than the measurement you should get right at the case mouth.

When setting my crimp die I set it forward until I can slide my calipers from the base of the bullet (in the case obviously) all the way over the case mouth with no expansion of the calipers. That means you have crimped at least enough to take out the flare you put in the mouth to seat the bullet. That's the culprit every time I have had a feeding issue with any reloads (rifle or pistol).

Once I can move the caliper up the entire case and it's the same size I'll crimp until I am "happy" with the ring my Lee Factory Crimp Die has left...just an eyeball thing for me.
Sigma 40 Blaster is offline  
Old April 7, 2008, 12:06 AM   #21
DEDON45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 24, 2008
Posts: 278
On another forum someone has told me that the Lee FCD die will not work in a Lock n' Load AP Press in Station 5 ... so that option's out. The bulge, incidentally, does happen with Hornady XTP (jacketed) JHP bullets too. the case does not get this bulge from the expander... it gets it from the bullet being seated.
DEDON45 is offline  
Old April 7, 2008, 06:37 AM   #22
MaineColt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2007
Location: Maine
Posts: 222
Lead bullets are usually .001" larger than Jacketed bullets of the same caliber.

Kev
MaineColt is offline  
Old April 7, 2008, 12:24 PM   #23
DEDON45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 24, 2008
Posts: 278
Well guys, I'm going to try Sarge's recommendation and get a Hornady Taper Crimp die ... it seems that the lee die will only fit in station 5 of my LnL press if I grind on it (and I don't have a bench grinder, though I do have a dremel tool)... others have said the bulge is no big deal... but I think the case mouth may just need a little evening up to fix the chambering problem. After looking at the seating / crimp die that comes in the 3 die set, I think that Sarge's original assumption that it's a roll crimp die is probably correct; on Hornady's website, they even point out there's room in the pistol die case for a taper crimp die! Why they don't sell a 4 die set with it already in there, I'll never know. No problem, it's on order (well, back order... had to get a powder through expander, as I want to keep my Powder Cop Die). I'll report back with the results.
DEDON45 is offline  
Old April 7, 2008, 05:31 PM   #24
vagunner
Junior Member
 
Join Date: April 6, 2008
Location: N.N. Virginia
Posts: 4
Dedon , I also have the same set of dies you have. I have no problem with mine doing the bulging. Maybe you are belling the case mouth too much and overworking the brass. Let me ask this..are you using the powder through expander for .45acp on your powder measure and a expander die too?? You should use one or the other but not both. also bell or flare the case mouth only enough to get the bullet to start to seat in the very end of the case mouth. By this I mean just enough to set it in the mouth of the case,.... barely fits almost like you did not open it enough. then run it through the seating die, and then yes run it through the taper crimp die which is a seperate purchase. I am crimping my RN FMJ to . 469-.470 and they feed fine but I have some issues with feed ramp stuff right now. COL is about 1.260-1.265. Hope this helps some. The Hornady crimp die works just fine too. Floyd
vagunner is offline  
Old April 7, 2008, 09:10 PM   #25
DEDON45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 24, 2008
Posts: 278
vagunner, I use only the expander die; I do not have a powder through expander. It does sound like you are using a taper crimp die, which I do not have yet (I've ordered one). I've tried the expander set to barely any flare to a lot of flare, makes no difference. What do yours look like BEFORE you run them through the taper crimp die? I've ordered a taper crimp die and a powder through expander (I want to keep my powder cop die, but I have only 5 stations, so the Expander die will have to go). Also, what diameter is your brass after resizing (toward the bottom and toward the top)? If I didn't know any better, I'd think that the resizing die was too tight...
DEDON45 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:59 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12532 seconds with 7 queries