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Old September 9, 2012, 03:03 PM   #1
derrabe
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S&W 500 loading issue

Ok I just finished my first batch of s&w 500 bullets. This is my first revolver bullet that I've loaded. I was told that I dont need the factory crimp die for revolver rounds so I bought just the three die set (deprimer, fluter and bullet seating). Anyway after i got them all seated I went to load some in my 500 revolver and the brass wont fit in the cylinder. Any thoughts or do I need to buy a crimp die? I should also mention these are cast lead bullets and at .502.
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Old September 9, 2012, 03:17 PM   #2
oldmanFCSA
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Did you accidentally have the seating die too low allowing the "roll-Crimp" portion of die to bulge the case necks?

Send pics if possible.
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Old September 9, 2012, 03:30 PM   #3
derrabe
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The case does appear to be bulged a little I am guessing from the 502 lead, but I dont see any rolling



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Old September 9, 2012, 03:45 PM   #4
oldmanFCSA
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You need to seat deeper and heavy crimp into bullet's crimp groove to prevent bullets from pulling during firing. Speaking of bullets in cylinder not being fired pulling because of violent recoil.
This crimping action will slightly reduce brass dia allowing case to fit chamber.

Your brass is DIRTY - I would never destroy my dies by sizing brass that DIRTY.
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Old September 9, 2012, 04:05 PM   #5
derrabe
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I am not sure what you mean about seating deeper it is with in 2.019 in total length. The MOAL in my loading manual is 2.040, I dont know what the minimum loaded depth is. Second I am very new to reloading this is actually my second batch of reloading ever. My first batch was fmj 9mm and they turned out fine, but I used a factory crimping die as the last stage and I was told for revolver ammo you don't need a separate crimping , so that is my main question do I need to buy the 4th die to do the crimping if so which of these would you recommend. This one or option 2. This is the die set I have, do I need to buy the 4th stage or am I capable of doing what you are suggesting with what I have? If I am capable can you please guide me in how I can correct this.

PS I noticed that the brass was dirty as well, future loads will be tumbled longer.
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Old September 9, 2012, 04:08 PM   #6
PA-Joe
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As noted try a little more crimp. You can do this with the seating die. You can try re-crimping the loaded rounds by removing the seating stem and then just re-crimping by screwing the die down 1/8 turn at a time.
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Old September 10, 2012, 07:17 AM   #7
derrabe
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Thanks for the advise on the 1/8 in crimp that worked for some of the rounds about 10 of the 25 I loaded up it worked great. About 5 it worked but it seated the bullet farther down in the brass about an .1 or .2 inches.

So can someone tell me what the Min OAL on a 500 round is to see if I need to pull the bullet or if they are still fireable just gonna have more kick?

About 10 rounds still would not fit in the wheel chambers even after that so I think for those I am gonna just pull the bullet and start over. Is there a way to safely remove and unfired primer from a brass?
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Old September 10, 2012, 10:45 AM   #8
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Long answer to your problem typed and lost when posting, must have timed-out or something, but its gone.

So I PMed you my phone number.

(I type with 1 finger)
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Old September 10, 2012, 11:47 AM   #9
mehavey
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1. Dirty brass (at least not ridiculously filthy) is not your problem
2. Bullets too big is also not your problem.
3. Crimping while simultaneouly seating IS likely your problem.

Next time:

A. When starting to seat, run a loaded case up in the ram to the top
B. Screw the seating die in until it first touches the case. Back it off at least a quarter/half turn and lock down.
C. Screw the seating (stem) down and adjust to where it seats your bullets to proper depth (nominally middle of crimp groove)
D. Seat all bullets.
E. Unscrew seating stem a half dozen turns to get it well off the bullet
F. Screw the seating die down to where it first touches the (now) loaded case, lower the case, and screw the die down another half turn
G. Now crimp all the loaded rounds (now separate from any contact with the bullet.)

Last edited by mehavey; September 12, 2012 at 06:04 PM.
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Old September 12, 2012, 01:45 AM   #10
Lost Sheep
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Let me comment on Mehavey's excellent advice.

A. When starting to seat, run a loaded case up in the ram to the top
Have the seating die in the press, but not screwed in all the way. You don't want the die and case to touch yet.
B. Screw the seating die in until it first touches the case. Back it off at least a quarter/half turn and lock down.
Yes.
C. Screw the seating down and adjust to where it seats your bullets to proper depth (nominally middle of crimp groove)
Screw the seating STEM in. You may have to run the case up into the die a number of times, observing how far the bullet is seated each time, screwing the seating stem in a little bit further each time until you have the seating depth where you want it.

The die BODY should not touch the case.

The case mouth should be even with the (a) crimping groove.

D. Seat all bullets.
E. Unscrew seating stem a half dozen turns to get it well off the bullet
Better still, remove the seating stem entirely.
F. Screw the seating die down to where it first touches the (now) loaded case,

Run the ram all the way up AND HOLD IT THERE with the press' lever. When you screw the die body in, you will feel it make contact (by the resistance of the die screwing in) and by observing that the ram will start to be pushed down. You will see the press' lever arm move. Everyone forgets to HOLD IT THERE.

lower the case, and screw the die down another half turn

Not a half turn. Just a little. Run the cartridge into the die and withdraw to inspect. If there is not enough crimp, screw the die in 1/6 turn and repeat, advancing the die 1/6 turn each repetition until you have the crimp you desire. The crimp should just engage the crimping groove, but not actually dig into the lead.
G. Now crimp all the loaded rounds (now separate from any contact with the bullet.)

Congratulations, you have just performed with a 3-die set what everyone else does with the 4-die set (except for the post-sizing, which may or may not be a good thing).

The seating operation (3rd die) with the 4-die set is the "C" and "D" parts described above. The Crimping (4th die) operation is the "F" and "G" parts described above.

At what point in the chambering attempts do your cartridges resist chambering?

I usually refer to the 3-die set not as "deprimer, fluter and bullet seating", but as:
1) Deprime/Size
2) Case mouth belling (or flaring) (Lee also charges powder through their hollow "powder through" die)
3) Combination Seat/Crimp

If a 4-die set:
1) Deprime/Size
2) Case mouth belling (or flaring) (Lee also charges powder through their hollow "powder through" die)
3) Seating
4) Crimping

Both revolvers and semi-auto handguns can benefit from the 4th die. For most of us it just makes die adjustment easier. You don't have to adjust Crimp and Seating together in one die, where changing one adjustment affects the other. Adjusting in separate dies is simpler. Revolvers usually get a roll crimp and semi-autos usually get a taper crimp. Bottlenecked cartridges use an entirely different "Factory Crimp Die" and nothing that applies to the FCD for straight-walled cases applies to bottlenecked (rifle) cartridges.

The 4th die (By Lee, but not other makers) from Lee, the FCD or Factory Crimp Die also provides (as I mentioned earlier) a "Post-Sizing" function. Some people find it unnecessary and some find it counter-productive. It can squish a lead bullet smaller than an ideal fit to your bore.

Unless your bullets are oversized, you don't NEED the FCD. You might want it anyway, but you don't NEED it.

Step "H". With the seat/crimp die body touching the case, fully crimping the case mouth, screw the seating stem down until it firmly kisses the bullet. Your Seat/Crimp die is now adjusted to perform both the seating and crimping operations simultaneously. Or pretty close. You may have to fiddle with it IN SMALL INCREMENTS to get it perfect.


Let us know how everything comes out.

Lost Sheep
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Old September 12, 2012, 09:16 AM   #11
mehavey
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Lost Sheep suggests not automatically screwing the die another half turn past first contact in the
crimping operation, but rather do it 1/6 turn at a time until sufficient crimp is achieved. That is good
advice.

That 1/2 turn first suggested is my own experience w/ the 500 -- both to prevent bullet 'back-out'
upon the significant recoil of the 500, and to get good/consistent ignition with ball powders as/when
loaded. (And I'm using heavy lead bullets as well, where significant crimp is useful)

YMMV, of course.
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Old September 12, 2012, 03:57 PM   #12
snuffy
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A couple of things I can add to the above excellent advice.

The minimum oal of any revolver round is determined by where it must be seated to be properly crimped. You do NOT have those seated deep enough. The crimp groove is clearly visible ABOVE the mouth of the case. Seat it deeper so it crimps into that deep groove, that will prevent it from being pulled/moved forward due to recoil.

If you were going from some reloading book that recommended a minimum seating depth, it was a general depth for a lot of bullets. Or it could have been telling you where to crimp their specific bullet so it aligns with the cannelure. Load adjustment for a deeper seating depth would be less powder to equal the same pressure-hence the same velocity. It's much less critical for revolver rounds than semi autos like your 9mm.

I load a 440 grain .501 cast boolit I cast myself. I can't tell you what the OAL is. It's seated to where the case mouth aligns with the crimp groove.

Of the separate crimp dies you listed, the Redding profile crimp is THE best! I use a lee set just like yours, and I crimp AND seat in one stroke for my lead boolits. If I'm loading jacketed, then I separate the seating and crimping operations into two steps, using the above proceedures. I may get the redding die someday.
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