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Old March 25, 2011, 08:33 PM   #1
Renfro
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Bulge Buster Question??

I have recently order all of my new goodies to get started on reloading. One of the things i purchased was the Lee Bulge Buster. It says that it should not be used for 40 S&W Glock or similar guns that do not fully support the cartridge with the chamber.

I have a FNP 45 and have read that this gun doesn't support the entire cartridge and upon removal of the barrel I noticed that on the bottom where the feed ramp is that some of the cartridge is exposed.

Why would you not want to correct this problem with the cartridge if it was
bulged and why does Lee say not to.
Just curious if anyone is using this with a non-fully supported round.

Thanks in advance
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Old March 25, 2011, 09:34 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

The only reasonable answer I can think of would be if the bulge were too extreme, and that's a judgement call. .40 S&W runs at significantly higher pressure than .45 ACP hardball, so an equally weakened area in the brass is more at risk in it.

The funny thing is, the Redding GRx die is made specifically for dealing with Glock .40 S&W cases (GRx means Glock Prescription). So I'm not clear why Redding thinks this is OK to do this and Lee doesn't. I'd give Lee customer service a ring and ask. You could also call Redding and ask their experience with the life expectancy of such cases. I suppose it's possible the Redding die is shaped to do something the Lee Carbide FC die won't do to a case, but I have no idea what that would be?
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Old March 26, 2011, 02:25 AM   #3
NESHOOTER
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I use the bulge buster on .45 and the .40 I also got a undersize die for the 9mm. I have no fear and with the lee you can even run live ammo through the .40 and 45.
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Old March 26, 2011, 07:03 AM   #4
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What is the difference between using the bulge buster and applying a taper crimp? Is it primarily for loaded ammo that needs tweaked?
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Old March 26, 2011, 07:39 AM   #5
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I went to the Lee website and looked at the instructions for the Bulge Buster. They don't say why you shouldn't use it for .40SW, but the caution is there nonetheless.

All I can figure is that the .40SW is a high pressure round and any brass that shows the bulge at the web might be fatally flawed.
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Old March 26, 2011, 08:21 AM   #6
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Lee does not want to be responsible for you using/fixing seriously bulged brass. If you use their product to iron out the bulge of some severely weakened brass, then they may be liable.

I use the GRx for my 10mm and 40 S&W, works great.
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Old March 26, 2011, 08:43 AM   #7
hornady
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Short answer Lee legal dept, is a little jumpier than Redding. I own an early model Glock 22, 40 S&W. This is the pistol that started it all. Unsupported Polygonal Barrel and gun can fire out of Battery. Add all this up, plus work hardening the brass at the base, and the potential is there for a problem.
I do not believe there is one gun manufacture that would say shooting reloads is recommended. Read the firearms manual that came with your gun, some will flatly state re loaded ammo will void your warranty.
This is because they have no control over re loaded ammo.
Having said that I size all my 40 S&W brass with the GR-X die. And because of the above, I do not load hot loads in this brass, my biggest concern is the brass will become work hardened or brittle at the base, But I have had 0 problems with hundreds of re loads threw this gun
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Old March 26, 2011, 08:51 AM   #8
Renfro
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Thanks for the input. I didn't know the example they give of the 40 cal is a higher pressure round.
This makes sense though with the possible work hardening that might occur. I will press on and use the buster if needed and maybe just stay away from running really hot rounds for reloads.
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Old March 26, 2011, 09:00 AM   #9
Elkins45
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I love how Lee tells you not to use the bulge buster to fix cases fired in unsupported chambers. This begs the question "then what is it for?"

Seriously. Does anyone have problems with bulged brass EXCEPT for cases fired in Glocks or other unsupported guns? I can't imagine ever needing the bulge buster for any other reason.
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Old March 26, 2011, 09:37 AM   #10
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Some of the worst bulged cases I've ever seen were from 'other than' Glocks. Like measuring .436" at the bulge, when factory ammo measures .420-.421". As someone noted, loading a 'repaired' brass like that with a hot load is definitely asking for trouble.
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Old March 26, 2011, 10:48 AM   #11
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Please note that the push through sysem is not a new revelation in handloading.

The 1978 ediion of Handloading for Handguns by Maj. George C. Mote, Jr. talks about doing the same thing, pushing staright walled cases through a die.

Thats quite a few years before the systems that are offered today.
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Old March 26, 2011, 10:55 AM   #12
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I use the bulge buster on all of my 40 S&W and 45 ACP cases. Just check the cases before using to make sure they have not been damaged by the bulge before using.

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Old March 26, 2011, 02:23 PM   #13
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Elkins45,

I've seen some pretty well-bulged .45 Auto ammo. The worst would have been in +P loads, though I had some moderate bulging with hardball in a 1911 awhile back. It was a gun which had been accurized by the old-school method, with weld build-ups of the link lugs and extension filed and scraped to a hand fit. A longer link was then needed to match the taller lockup, but that caused the back of the chamber to overhang the feed ramp in counterbattery. So, the feed throat at the bottom of the chamber had to be moved even further forward than it had been originally, thus supporting the case even less. I don't know how Glock .45 Auto chambers compare.
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Old March 27, 2011, 02:45 AM   #14
NESHOOTER
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Quote:
What is the difference between using the bulge buster and applying a taper crimp? Is it primarily for loaded ammo that needs tweaked?
Sorry for the long wait on my reply, using the bulge buster pushes up the whole complete round the a straight walled die it '' Does not put a taper crimp on it just remove the bulge from the base of the case which appears after unsupported chambers. So think of it this way if you come across a round that will not allow slide to go into battery then without taking it apart you can run through the Lee bulge buster.
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Old March 29, 2011, 08:01 PM   #15
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For years Lee said not to fix bulged brass then they came out with the Bulge Buster and still issue a warning. There is also the old warning on the FAQ of their website;

Unsuported Chamber Warning

Glock Cases

We do not recommend "fixing" cases fired in pistols with unsupported chambers, because there is no way to make them safe once they have bulged. The case wall is thinned where it bulges, and resizing the outside of the case back down to the correct diameter does not restore the case back to its original thickness. If this case is fired in a pistol with an unsupported chamber again, and this thinned section of brass happens to line up with the unsupported part of the chamber, there is a high probability that the case will rupture.
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Old April 1, 2011, 09:20 AM   #16
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Would advise to pay attention to the above warning. While i use once fired glock 40 brass, it is used in revolver with a fully supported chamber, and a semi with a "much more supported chamber than early/current glock".

If you hang on to your 45 acp brass through enough loadings, a buldge (wider than spec) can develop at the base that the normal resizing die does not reach. This is associated with the brass "shortening" after mulitple resizing, not neccessarily through over pressure loads. In a "tight" chamber this can cause difficulties.
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Old April 1, 2011, 06:20 PM   #17
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So does anyone know if my XDM 40 is fully supported? I have started loading the 40 after much careful reading. I purchased some brass and discovered I have some bulged brass. It has been sorted out and off to the side. I thought about picking up a Lee bulge buster to resize this brass but is that a good idea or not? I load towards the light side, nothing hot at all. I understand the concept of the brass thinning out in the bulged area, that makes sense.
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Old April 1, 2011, 06:53 PM   #18
hk33ka1
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I can't say whether your brass is safe or not, but if you get a Bulge Buster you also need a Lee Factory Crimp Die for the calibre you want to fix to use it. They work together.
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Old April 1, 2011, 11:27 PM   #19
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I've shot over 27,000 rds from my stock barreled Glock 22 and 3,500 more from my stock barreled G23. I use Lee's Deluxe Carbide Pistol Die sets and they are all you'll need. The Lee 'Bulge Buster' is a gimmick as far as I'm concerned.

Why? Because my 40 cal sets (I have one for 40 and one for my 10mm), when properly adjusted, will resize the case to .421" dia all the way down to the rim. Nuff said?

BTW: Glock's rap of having an unsupported chamber is undeserved. All of the pistols that are variations of John Browning's design have some limited support in the 6 o'clock position because of the feed ramp.

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Old April 1, 2011, 11:47 PM   #20
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Quote:
BTW: Glock's rap of having an unsupported chamber is undeserved. All of the pistols that are variations of John Browning's design have some limited support in the 6 o'clock position because of the feed ramp.
A matter of opinion. I happen to be of a different one.

I have long contended that Glock, never one to admit there was a chamber-support problem in the first place, made subtle changes to mitigate this problem over the years. Over time I noticed a couple of things that made me suspect this. More recently there was a third one, which when viewed in light of the others, convinced me altogether.

The first was the gradual extinction of NCIC Bulletins, distributed to LE agencies, describing involuntary disassembly events involving new Glock .40 caliber pistols and new factory ammo. These were common as rain through the early 90's, with several such events occurring on ranges where I knew the FTO. It became fashionable to 'blame the ammo' for those incidents but we knew that same ammo was working just fine through various S&W and Beretta autos- just to name a few.

The second was the changes I've seen in range pick-up .40 brass (all I ever use) over the past 10-15 years. There was a time when you couldn't give me .40 brass which had been fired through a Glock; the stuff looked like somebody's bad pottery experiment, all done up in brass. This pained me, being a frugal sort; 'free' brass was everywhere and you couldn't use it! About 1995 however, some acquaintances related that they were now using said brass, but with a high mortality rate due to 'acute glockbelly'- meaning they were so bad they wouldn't go up into a Lee carbide die. I started loading the .40 not long after that and my experience confirmed what they told me. I've also noticed that in more recent times, those losses have diminished to just about nothing. My outfit issues G22's made in 2000 or so and I've reloaded some of that brass without any 'casualties' at all.

The third and defining event came when I compared two OEM Glock 23 barrels, made 11 years apart. This came about as a result of trying to sort out an aftermarket barrel, to determine why it wouldn't shoot as well as the factory offerings. Shown below are three G23 barrels, admittedly a small sample but interesting all the same. You take a look and decide for yourself.



...and on the original topic? Any .40 brass which doesn't enter my Lee dies easily, gets tossed. There's just too much .40 brass available for me to mess with the Bulge Buster, or anything of its ilk.
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Old April 1, 2011, 11:53 PM   #21
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I agree with you Sarge. The newer Glock barrels have tighter chambers than they did before with more support. My point was more that current Glocks aren't that different from all the other brands. None of them have full case support because of the fact of the feed ramp cut at the 6 o'clock position.

BTW, both my 2003 G22 and 2004 G23 have chambers that look like the Glock 2009 chamber in the middle of your picture above. That said, a friend brought over some 40 brass that was severely bulged and we ran it through my Lee dies with exactly the same results. He's reloaded them 6 times so far with only a couple of split necks as damage.
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Old April 2, 2011, 12:12 AM   #22
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I couldn't tell you how many times some of my range pick-ups have been loaded, Steve. I don't run them hard, generally 800-850 fps from a 4" tube and when the primer pockets get loose I discard them, as I would with any other caliber.

On another forum, I recently found a "40 reloading" thread in which a high percentage of the participants viewed the process as roughly akin to capping live volcanoes or super-gluing the hide back on a PO'ed crocodile. They weren't overly tolerant of anyone attempting to 'cloud the issue with logic' either, so I left them to their flash powder and animal sacrifices.

As in most things, moderation is key to success in loading the .40 S&W.
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Old April 2, 2011, 12:12 PM   #23
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I don't use the Bulge Buster or Glock Rx, nor do I intend to. Honestly, I think it's just a gimmick.

If the used 40 S&W brass I'm using won't fit into a regular die, I won't use it. So far, I haven't had that happen. Furthermore, I don't run my loads at the upper limit for the caliber either.

Common sense and moderation go a long way.
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Old February 15, 2012, 02:30 PM   #24
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I read this as I find my glock 23 has the bulge down lower slightly just enough that the case gauge wont go all way down , so is this ammo safe still.
DO I need to find a bulge buster to re-size the cases in my Dillon RL 550 B using dillion dies.
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Old February 15, 2012, 03:08 PM   #25
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I reload the .40 S&W for my Glock 23. I also use the Redding GRx resizing die. This is because I had to, it simply didn't work without removing the "Glock Bulge". I tried the LEE die first, actually it was the LEE factory crimp die with the guts removed. It worked, but after a few problems I found that the Redding GRx worked better (for me). If the LEE bulge buster in .40 isn't made to remove Glock Bulge, I'd also question what was the intended use?

I have .40 brass that has been resized and reloaded three or four times, and never had a problem. I do stick between low and mid range reload data.
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