The Firing Line Forums

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old January 2, 2010, 06:07 AM   #1
schmitey
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2010
Posts: 6
Lee Case Trimmer Problems and how to set crimp

Just getting into reloading and I have a brand new Lee case trimmer for 45ACP and I can't get the darn thing to fit into my resized and deprimed brass for the life of me! The obvious solution is to sand down the outer diameter of the length guage. However, I was looking in the Hornady manual and it shows .480 as a case diameter and my brand new Hornady dies are resizing to .468 (and also appear to be ever so slightly out of round as it consistently varies down to .464 on the same round).

Does this matter as I'm obviously going to put them immediately in the expander die?...

Another question that isn't really addressed in my reloading manuals is how do you tell when your crimp is tight enough (or too loose/tight)? Everything I've read suggests that you just go by feel compared to a factory load. I guess I'm just a little more anal than that to leave it to feel...there's got to be a way to measure it!

Thanks in advance
schmitey is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 06:29 AM   #2
ColdBore
Member
 
Join Date: December 9, 2009
Location: Inland Empire, Ca.
Posts: 25
I have two Hornady manuals, the first (quite old and obsolete, I know) and the newest. Both of my manuals indicate the case diameter is .473. However, you're looking at the rim dimensions. Those are .480.

As far as to why your cases are coming out of round is beyond me. I've used Hornady New Dimensions for thousands of cases and never had that problem. Not to belittle, but I must ask (just in case)...have you cleaned off the rust protectant from the dies thoroughly? If you're not using the titanium nitride dies, are you lubricating properly?

And be sure that you are taper crimping, cause the .45 headspaces on the mouth of the case.

Good luck, brother.
__________________
And on the 7th day God said, "LET THERE BE MARINES"...and the Gates of Hell opened.
ColdBore is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 06:33 AM   #3
ColdBore
Member
 
Join Date: December 9, 2009
Location: Inland Empire, Ca.
Posts: 25
One more thing...

Almost forgot.

A way to test for a secure crimp is to measure the C.O.L. then take the completed round, projectile side down, and press it against a stand-on scale; the type you normally keep in your bathroom. Just a few pounds should suffice. Then remeasure your C.O.L. and see if it shortens.
__________________
And on the 7th day God said, "LET THERE BE MARINES"...and the Gates of Hell opened.
ColdBore is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 07:00 AM   #4
schmitey
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2010
Posts: 6
Yes I looked at the wrong diameter when measuring, good call (can you tell I'm new to this lol)!

Good idea on testing the round by pressing down on it!

Had to look up the definition of headspace (which is different on 45ACP than a shouldered rifle case from what I gather) but I think I understand. I need to compare the CASE length after crimping with that of a factory load (.898).

I was also reading something in my new Hornady manual that was completely contradictory to my old Speer manual. The speer manual if anything suggested the use of magnum primers saying it would give more consistency to a load designed for regular primers. The Hornady manual says to never use magnum primers for a load designed for a regular primer, but doesn't state why. Does it cause the powder to burn all at once and spike pressure? This is somewhat problematic because I could only get my hands on magnum primers and all the data I have for my powder is for non-magnum...
schmitey is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 08:13 AM   #5
NCMountain
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 30, 2009
Location: western, NC
Posts: 121
Maybe I am off on this and how I understood....

your post but I always deprime and flare the case opening and then use a case gauge to see if the case needs trimming.

If it does I insert the case trimmer which has the needle like arm on the end that properly measures the case length. Now on my 357 cases or even my .38 cases you have to feel around easily to get the stem/needle sized end to fit in the primer hole then it slides all the way end. Then I turn the trimmer to size the casing.

Now sometimes the case mouth is still slightly tight and you have to use slight pressure to get it inserted.

Hope this helps........a video would be better of course but words or direction may help.
__________________
Ruger GP100 4" SS; Ruger LCP; http://ncmountaingunner.blogspot.com/
NCMountain is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 08:57 AM   #6
Sport45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 25, 1999
Location: Too close to Houston
Posts: 4,068
schmitey, welcome to The Firing Line and welcome to the reloading hobby.

Your questions are good and you're getting good advice, but you may be making a mountain out of a molehill here. I, and many others don't bother to trim or even measure the case length on .45acp. The low pressure, straight-wall handgun rounds don't seem to stretch when firing and often shrink. my advice for .45acp is to loose the case trimmer and get back into putting powder and bullets (one each) into those cases.
__________________
Proud member of the NRA and Texas State Rifle Association. Registered and active voter.
Sport45 is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 09:30 AM   #7
wncchester
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 1, 2002
Posts: 2,832
Either trim your cases before sizing OR after expanding.
wncchester is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 09:37 AM   #8
aarhunt
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 17, 2009
Location: Chippewa Lake,Ohio
Posts: 104
Now i have a question about that sport45 Over time wont the mouth of the case eventually stretch?Some of the 357`s my dad has if i look at it close enough looks to be stretched out and a little on the thin side.They would need trimmed back then right????
aarhunt is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 12:00 PM   #9
CrustyFN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 4, 2006
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 2,258
schmitey I wouldn't worry about trimming 45 acp brass, or any other semi auto straight wall pistol brass. It just doesn't need it. As far as crimp you just need to straighten out the bell that the powder/expander die put in to eliminate any feeding issues. Case tension is going to hold the bullet in place.
__________________
I don't ever remember being absent minded.
CrustyFN is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 12:46 PM   #10
ColdBore
Member
 
Join Date: December 9, 2009
Location: Inland Empire, Ca.
Posts: 25
Schmitey, you need to slow down and observe and absorb all the steps for each process for reloading.

After crimping, (or even without a crimp, but once the bullet is completed) you don't measure the case, you measure the entire bullet which is known as the Case Overall Length or C.O.L. It is also known as OverAll Length....hence, O.A.L. So, according to your Hornady manual, your maximum C.O.L. should be 1.275. It is imperative reloaders be meticulous and thorough in their understanding regarding the dynamics of each and every step of each and every phase.
You appear to be rushing this, bro. Your numbers are coming to us incorrect. Take your time, do it right. It's your safety, right?

As far as primers go, that one's an enigma to most reloaders. Basically as I understand it, primers are...shall we say... programmed charges that flare at a specific rate and/or duration. Small pistol primers have to ignite a smaller amount of charge compared to magnum pistol primers. I'm not too familiar with Speer manuals, but I have heard nothing but good things regarding their equipment and knowledge. Basically, I keep to the 'KISS' method....'Keep It Simple Stupid'.

Keep reviewing your books and manuals and keep asking questions to the cats you find here and you'll do just fine.
__________________
And on the 7th day God said, "LET THERE BE MARINES"...and the Gates of Hell opened.
ColdBore is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 01:39 PM   #11
schmitey
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2010
Posts: 6
Hey thanks everybody for the comments. Yeah I'm was shown how to reload by a guy who was ANAL about reloading. He would painstakingly create competition quality rifle rounds for long range shooting and it appears that he went a little overboard on teaching me to reload straight wall pistol...

And coldbore is right I'm probably rushing things a bit. I try to read as much as I can and am just on sensory overload at the moment. Reading things is great, but at some point you just need someone looking over your shoulder who knows what the heck they're doing you know? That said IMO the 7th ed Hornady manual is practically garbage as a resource to new reloaders! My 1979 Speer manual has about three times the instruction/troubleshooting AND ballistics tables.

This go around I didn't trim the cases because I couldn't get the tool to fit... But yeah my once fired brass is right at .893-.896 I'll keep an eye on it and see if it changes at all.

And correct me if I'm wrong...but doesn't flaring before trimming defeat the purpose? My line of thinking is we're trying to keep the brass from moving as much as possible (to prolong case life), and you don't get a consistent flair/crimp without trimming to length. That said in an ideal (ie overly anal) situation would I want to deprime without resizing, or does the resizing die not press down on the case (smashing the sides only)? Also on straight wall cases how many times are you guys firing them? I've heard everything from toss at 5 to be safe, or take your chances and inspect every time.

And thanks again for all the info, I owe you guys. I'd buy you all a beer if we had a bar.

Last edited by schmitey; January 2, 2010 at 01:54 PM.
schmitey is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 02:21 PM   #12
ColdBore
Member
 
Join Date: December 9, 2009
Location: Inland Empire, Ca.
Posts: 25
Sport 45 is mostly correct. Straight walled pistol cases (especially low yield pressure ie 45 ACP) don't stretch when fired. However, resizing cases tends to stretch the case a bit. Either way, with ALL cases... measure their lengths after resizing. Always best to be thorough and play it safe. Simultaneous depriming is ok and saves time. If you find a case over the maximum after sizing, then it is time for trimming. The last step for 'shaping' your cases is expanding. Be sure to use a slight bell, for overly-expanding the mouth does weaken the metallurgy and shortens the case life.

As far as how many times you can use a case, that depends on how you load and care for the cases. If you fire low pressure loads, don't over stress the case, of course it will last longer. One of the main concerns regarding worn cases is head separation. If you take a paper clip, straighten it then put a 90 degree ...1/8th" bend on one of the ends, you can use that as a 'feeler' gauge to feel for wear inside the case head.

Use your 1979 Speer manual for reloading information, troubleshooting, etc. But, DO NOT use it for making loads. Powders are constantly being improved and thier burn rates change accordingly. To use load data that is 30 years old is practically suicidal. Go to your Hornady manual for the load data. I promise you, your 7th Ed isn't garbage.
__________________
And on the 7th day God said, "LET THERE BE MARINES"...and the Gates of Hell opened.
ColdBore is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 02:45 PM   #13
schmitey
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2010
Posts: 6
Oh for sure the Hornady 7th ed. has its uses for load data. But its not a one stop shot by any means. Referring me to their website for ballistics is a cop out but acceptable to make a shorter manual. But as short as the instructions are for new reloaders (setting dies etc) its disappointing.

Yeah I'd read about the paper clip but forgot all about it. Need to start writing stuff down probably...
schmitey is offline  
Old January 2, 2010, 05:57 PM   #14
Shoney
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 21, 2002
Location: Transplanted from Montana
Posts: 2,311
schmitey

First. WELCOME TO TFL!

Semi-auto pistol cases actually get shorter with each sizing. You do not need to trim them.

Although they technically head space off the case mouth, as they get shorter, they are gripped by the ejector and are held against the face of the slide for firing. If the case is a lot shorter than the minimum trim length, it may drop into the chamber as the ejector fails to grip the case. This results in an FTF.

I have had a many 45ACP that have been loaded way beyond the count of 20 reloadings. The markings on the face are no longer legible. I have had only a few of these that were discarded for FTF.

The paper clip tool is for bottleneck rifle cases, not a factor in pistols.
__________________
I pledge allegiance to the Flag - - -, and to the Republic for which it stands….Our Forefathers were brilliant for giving us a Republic, not a democracy! Do you know the difference??? and WHY?http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissue...les.asp?id=111
Shoney is offline  
Old January 3, 2010, 01:05 AM   #15
StainlessButcher
Member
 
Join Date: December 15, 2009
Posts: 52
I would like to suggest....

The Lyman Reloading Handbook #49. It was suggested to me, and I listened. It's got a great introduction to handloading that takes you step by step and explains a lot of the terminology in plain english. I'm working my way through the introduction stuff for the third time and I haven't even deprimed a shell yet. Good load data for popular rounds and a even some cowboy action stuff, and LOTS of loads for cast bullets.

Butch.
__________________
Custom Leather work at affordable prices
www.twistedleather.com
StainlessButcher is offline  
Old January 3, 2010, 02:33 AM   #16
flynlr
Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 2007
Location: In Free Utah
Posts: 46
The ABC's of reloading books where a great help When I was starting out along with the Lee Manual
flynlr is offline  
Old January 3, 2010, 11:58 AM   #17
snuffy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2001
Location: Oshkosh wi.
Posts: 2,774
Quote:
After crimping, (or even without a crimp, but once the bullet is completed) you don't measure the case, you measure the entire bullet which is known as the Case Overall Length or C.O.L. It is also known as OverAll Length....hence, O.A.L. So, according to your Hornady manual, your maximum C.O.L. should be 1.275. It is imperative reloaders be meticulous and thorough in their understanding regarding the dynamics of each and every step of each and every phase.
ColdBore, you'd better get your terminology right before giving advice! A bullet is a projectile, or what leaves the barrel and goes to the target, not a completed cartridge! Some call it a shell, or round and ammunition is a proper term.

Quote:
Use your 1979 Speer manual for reloading information, troubleshooting, etc. But, DO NOT use it for making loads. Powders are constantly being improved and thier burn rates change accordingly. To use load data that is 30 years old is practically suicidal. Go to your Hornady manual for the load data. I promise you, your 7th Ed isn't garbage.
Actually powder has not changed since that Speer manual was printed. Canister grade powder is produced to exacting standards, it's made to be same from batch to batch, year to year, so data can be used from years ago, and from the most recently published data manuals.

There are of course more choices now, newer stuff from Hodgdon, Alliant,(formerly Hercules), and the IMR powder company are in the newer manuals. BUT the old standby's like Alliant or Hercules unique are the same.
__________________
The more people I meet, the more I love my dog

They're going to get their butts kicked over there this election. How come people can't spell and use words correctly?
snuffy is online now  
Old January 3, 2010, 06:59 PM   #18
ColdBore
Member
 
Join Date: December 9, 2009
Location: Inland Empire, Ca.
Posts: 25
Hello Snuffy

Wow! Seems I must have offended you somehow. For the life of me, I really can't see how. Considering several times you used bold text and exclamation points to get your point across to me.

The unfortunate aspect of your thread is that, unlike everyone else who posted their threads and were concerned with helping Schmitey with reloading advice, you were more concerned with snapping off on me. Sport45, CrustyFN and Shoney disagreed with some of the advice I gave to Schmitey, but never made an issue of it. All the others who submitted their piece were likewise appropriate in their submissals... showing courtesy and respect to all. We are all entitled to our opinions (whether or not you agree with them) as are you. That's what forums like this one are all about. Not you, I or anyone knows everything and I'll be the first one to admit I could be in error on some aspects of reloading as well as a great many other things. But, the problem here, Snuffy, is that your post showed no concern of helping someone who was asking for our help. Your motivations appear to be selfish, vitriolic and spiteful. Do I owe you money? Did I steal your wife or girlfriend (sorry, I'm assuming you're a male; if incorrect, I sincerely apologize)? Have I stepped on your toes in some way? Everyone, but you, appeared and took some minutes from their day to assist, with the available knowledge in their possessioin, to someone who was reaching out and asking for assistance. I wonder if you're the type of person to rush to the scene of a drowning person and decide to thrash someone who you disagreed with their methods of trying to save that drowning individual, instead of offering a hand.

Every last bit of information I offered to Schmitey was governed around safety. If I am in error regarding the validity of said information, then I'll apologize to Schmitey, not you. And even if I am in error,... so what? So, he may have to take a little more time, perform an extra step that may not be necessary. In the end, he is learning something regarding reloading, isn't he?

Regarding him using a 30 year old load book, he already purchased the latest edition of another. Where is the harm of suggesting he play it safe and take advantage of modern data, especially since he spent the money on it?

As far as calling a completed cartridge a 'round' of 'ammunition' (or whatever silly semantics you have a beef about), you seem to refuse to comprehend that we are dealing with a person who is just starting out with reloading. He knows what a 'bullet' is. I seriously doubt he has a problem with my calling it a 'bullet'. My calling it a 'bullet' was not intentional, nevertheless, what is the point of using specific and proper terminology that may inadvertantly confuse him? If you recheck the posts, he was mistakingly taking the wrong measurements on his data manuals. Far be it for me to expect one of your character to be concerned for anothers well being. What seems painfully obvious is you are more concerned on correcting anothers 'wording'. I suppose as you read this you're putting your spellcheck on overtime.

At any rate, I feel confident the information I gave this person (whether it is correct or not) is rounded on safety, will cost him no extra expense and will add to the factor that he will succeed without damaging his firearm, harming himself or others. And that is good enough for me.

As far as to how you feel about it...frankly, I really don't give a sh*t.

Have a nice day.
__________________
And on the 7th day God said, "LET THERE BE MARINES"...and the Gates of Hell opened.
ColdBore is offline  
Old January 3, 2010, 07:29 PM   #19
snuffy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2001
Location: Oshkosh wi.
Posts: 2,774
Quote:
As far as to how you feel about it...frankly, I really don't give a sh*t.
Uh huh, so we should just ignore two mistakes you made in your esteemed advice? Handloading and shooting are both terminology specific. You either use the proper terms or keep quiet.

Instead of simply saying you were wrong, you rail on me for pointing it out? Okay, since this forum doesn't have an ignore feature, I'll just go past any other posts by you.

Oh, and I missed another bo-bo by you,

Quote:
known as the Case Overall Length or C.O.L.
actually it's Cartridge Overall Length.
__________________
The more people I meet, the more I love my dog

They're going to get their butts kicked over there this election. How come people can't spell and use words correctly?
snuffy is online now  
Old January 10, 2010, 07:33 PM   #20
schmitey
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2010
Posts: 6
Snuffy...so when you're at the range with a gun in your hand do you throw your weight around too? Whether coldbore was 100% correct on every terminology I don't give a ****, he was there when I needed help. You were not.
schmitey is offline  
Old May 20, 2012, 01:47 AM   #21
krackum
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2012
Location: Utah
Posts: 7
Schmitey is correct in his initial measurements. The Lee case trimmer has an outside diameter that doesn't fit in to all sized cases correctly. I have one that does the same thing. Using RCBS Carbide die sizer the case comes out with max prox diameter of .472, distal case diameter of .4665, and inside diameter of appx .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.

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 in the die that made it size the cases smaller than SAAMI spec. However, when I measured two different factory loads, they both came out at .472 outside diameter the whole length. SAAMI specs show a slight taper from .476 proximal to .473 distal. Anyone know why the SAAMI specs don't match with facotry ammo?
krackum is offline  
Old May 20, 2012, 10:00 AM   #22
m&p45acp10+1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 3,307
Ok for the crimping question. With .45 ACP you are not actualy crimping the round. Just removing the case flare.

As far as trimming goes. Why? In over two years, and nearly 100 thousand .45 acp rounds loaded and shot. I have never had to trim a case, all of my brass has been mixed head stamp range pickup.
__________________
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
m&p45acp10+1 is offline  
Old May 20, 2012, 10:13 AM   #23
Vance
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 16, 2011
Location: North Bend, OR
Posts: 482
You do realize this thread was started 2 and a half years ago? I don't think Schmitey has been back.
Vance is offline  
Old May 20, 2012, 10:19 AM   #24
m&p45acp10+1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 3,307
Well if some newbie comes on with a question about trimming, or crimping .45 acp then they can get some awnsers from this thread.
__________________
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
m&p45acp10+1 is offline  
Old May 20, 2012, 04:51 PM   #25
eldorendo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 8, 2012
Posts: 224
I sure do hope that the OP has figured out not to waste time trimming straightwall handgun cases by now!!!
eldorendo 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 05:55 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 0.13647 seconds with 7 queries