The Firing Line Forums

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

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 19, 2000, 06:23 PM   #1
Join Date: January 24, 2000
Posts: 35
I'm using Dillon carbide pistol dies on a 550 press. I check my rounds after loading with a set of case gauges and separate the "bad" ones for practice use at the indoor range. I'm noticing that my "bad bag" is getting bigger & bigger with each reuse of the brass. Also the "bad" rounds used to feed & function fine, but now they are prone to causing action-locking jams.

After careful measuring, I found that the bad cases are slightly bulged near the base. The Dillon dies don't truly resize the whole case due to the flared mouth, so this bulging is never removed.

Do other die sets truly offer "full length resizing"? It may be worth getting another brand of sizing dies for my various calibers and run all my brass through them every couple firings. Other than my re-sizing problem, I can find no wrong with the Dillon equipment (well, maybe they could discount it!).

Any advice on brands? Am I on the right track? Any other suggestions?

I think I'm beginning to enjoy reloading almost as much as shooting!


able2ski is offline  
Old February 19, 2000, 10:50 PM   #2
Join Date: February 3, 2000
Posts: 30
You are going to have problems with all dies from different manufacturers. You can grind the base of your dies to get them to size down a little more, that wil help a little. If you want to get them sized all the way down look into a case pro. I'd be willing to bet you are loading 40 s&w from your glock. If you are glock are notorious for bulging cases at the bases due to their unsupported chambers.
SVSUPER is offline  
Old February 19, 2000, 11:46 PM   #3
Junior member
Join Date: November 7, 1999
Posts: 1,516
I've loaded 25,000+ rounds for my G21, and have never had a problem with bulged bases. I reload 'em until the necks split.

Your problem is with the caliber, not with the gun. Reloading .40 is just a Kb waiting to happen.
WalterGAII is offline  
Old February 20, 2000, 01:00 AM   #4
Walt Welch
Senior Member
Join Date: November 3, 1998
Location: Alamo, CA
Posts: 424
IMHO, it is just not possible to truly full length resize a pistol case. Remember that some of the case is surrounded by the shell holder. Further, the sizing die has to be chamfered a little to center the case. Thus, the end of the sizing die doesn't really size (speaking here of straight walled pistol cases).

Even if you could accomplish this full length resizing, you would be really working the brass near the base of the cartridge.

I tend to agree with Walter GAII; you seem to have an accident waiting to happen. Walt
Walt Welch is offline  
Old February 20, 2000, 07:27 AM   #5
Join Date: January 24, 2000
Posts: 35
My fault for not specifying caliber......It's NOT .40 though.

Currently, the worst of it is my lot of .45 brass. No, its not fired in a Glock, rather a Colt 1911.

I do have a 9mm Glock, but my lot of 9mm rejects is not growing nearly as fast as the .45 rejects. I just started reloading for my 10mm Glock, and expect to see some similar problems with this.

Someone mentioned a "case-pro".....what is it? Assuming its a tool to refurbish brass, what does it cost?

able2ski is offline  
Old February 20, 2000, 11:02 AM   #6
Bill Mitchell
Staff Alumnus
Join Date: October 15, 1998
Location: Roswell,GA
Posts: 433
The Dillon resizing dies have a tapered carbide ring that,in theory,allows for a smoother operation in progressive presses. IMHO,this is a recipe for the bulging that you're seeing,as the top of the ring is closer together than the bottom of the ring,creating a funnel for the case to ride into as it is resized. I went back to my Lyman resizing die in my 550b after seeing to same bulging in .45 Colt cases. Also,the Lyman just seems smoother during resizing.

Bill Mitchell is offline  
Old February 20, 2000, 11:53 AM   #7
Join Date: November 22, 1998
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 34
I have noticed exactly the same thing, in the same caliber ... slighly bulged brass near the head. However, I also noticed something else. One night I resized all the brass (in a Lee cheapo press, using a Lee die which I understand resizes somewhat better than the Dillon die). I then gauged all of the brass and threw away those that were bulged at the head. I reloaded the remaining brass and, uh-oh, the fraction of bulged brass after reloading remained roughly the same. In other words, even starting with brass that is not bulged after resizing ... some of the rounds end up being bulged in the process of charging, seating, and crimping. My suspicion is that the head has become weakend from multiple firings and the force of seating and crimping is sufficient to cause the head to bulge slightly. Interesting. I'm not aware that case head separation is much of a problem in .45 (since the neck tends to split first) but I wonder if this phenomenon indicates the process through which a case head failure would eventually occur.
Skip is offline  
Old February 21, 2000, 05:23 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: February 10, 2000
Posts: 100
I have been reloading my 45 acp on a dillon 450 jr B press for 9 years. I always ran that ammo thru my Springfield 1911, which still has the factory barrel, without a hitch. Last spring, I picked up a S&W model 625, and Lo & Behold! Two thirds of my ammo wouldn't even chamber in the Smith. I broke down bought a Dillon chamber gauge, 2/3 of my ammo wouldn't fit in it. I got a set of new RCBS 45 dies, put them in my 550, and presto, those rounds would chamber just fine in the Smith and fit in the chamber gauge.
I figure the Smith has tighter chambers than a factory 1911, but the rounds loaded on the Dillon dies won't even fit in a Dillon gauge.
johnnybravo is offline  
Old February 21, 2000, 12:23 PM   #9
Join Date: January 19, 2000
Posts: 44

I had similar problems with my .45 rounds when I was shooting 230 and 255 gr. lead, but only in certain brands of brass. The 255's would not chamber if used in Federal cases. So, I was forced to separate that brass from the other. The S&B stuff was the same way. You may want to contact Lee and get a Lee undersize die from them. I think they make it for .45, but am not 100% sure. This replaces your Dillon sizing die. They don't have enough thread on them to use the lock ring, but just drill and tap the toolhead and run a setscrew in to lock the U-die in place. I use Lee's u-die on my 550 for Super and .40.

CrowShooter is offline  
Old February 22, 2000, 01:50 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: July 16, 1999
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 312
Strange thread here guys. I've been reloading on my Dillons (a SDB and a 550B) for many years and have had "the bulge" problem with .40 brass from my Glocks (before installing after-market barrels) but not the brass from my S&Ws. No problems with "the bulge" from .45ACP or 9mm. Hmmm. I have experienced the problem reported by Skip: a resized case fits the gauge just fine but after seating and crimping is a no-go. I was thinking the bullet somehow didn't seating just right and deformed the case while being rammed down. As I have mentioned previously, I have had NO kBs after reloading thousands of .40 rounds. But I have never shot lead in my .40s. Stay safe.
nwgunman is offline  
Old February 22, 2000, 09:17 PM   #11
Walt Welch
Senior Member
Join Date: November 3, 1998
Location: Alamo, CA
Posts: 424
I have reloaded thousands of rounds of .45 ACP on my Dillon Square Deal B. I have fired this ammo in several different 1911's, two different S&W autos, and a S&W 625. Most loads nearly or at full power. Not a single problem.

Walt Welch is offline  
Old February 22, 2000, 09:56 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: January 29, 2000
Posts: 275
I've seen all of the problems mentioned above, and bulging brass of anything other than a 40 seems to be a problem most closely associated with Dillon dies. I use Lee dies, and always run my ammo through a Lee Factory Crimp die of the appropriate caliber before final inspection and gaugeing. The assumption that the area before the case head gets weak from repeated bulging, pressure (firing), resizing, belling, and seating, seems to hold true. Most of my brass ends up "Unrecoverable" in front of the firing line before it ever gets a chance to degrade on me, but I have seem it on older brass used by friends.
I get to see a lot of reloads here, with many of them being produced on Dillon 650/SDB and Lee equipment. Almost eveyone that I know uses a Lee crimp as the final stage before final check. Never any problems.

But it does sound like you're having a gun problem that bears looking into, as well. 45 shouldn't bulge brass.


A "Miss" is the ultimate overpenetration!
Banzai is offline  
Old February 25, 2000, 10:02 PM   #13
Join Date: February 13, 2000
Posts: 26

You fail to state that you have already blown up one G21 while reloading for it,and that you don't own a 40sw pistol so you shouldn't make slanderous comments about that caliber either!
exiled is offline  
Old February 27, 2000, 03:32 AM   #14
Junior Member
Join Date: November 3, 1999
Location: iowa city,ia usa
Posts: 14
Had the same problem in .40SW. Get Lee dies and use the resizer. Then get a Factory taper crimp die and that should make all of your rounds chamber.
pingun.45 is offline  
Old February 27, 2000, 07:54 AM   #15
Patrick Graham
Junior member
Join Date: January 18, 1999
Location: Kokomo, Indiana USA
Posts: 674
Here's a quote from the instructions that came with my Redding Titanium 9mm dies which I bought because my 9mm brass had a bulge on the bottom that I thought was being caused by my dillion dies.

Carbide pistol dies are not designed to full length size cases. Adjust the die to size only the portion of the of the case that has been expanded during firing. On somecases an undersirable ring or belt may appear near the base if the sizing die is incorrectly adjusted. This may weaken the case and is not desirable"

I went into shock when I read this. I've been full length resizing 9mm and 38 for years, and getting a bulge at the base for years.
Patrick Graham is offline  
Old March 1, 2000, 12:48 PM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: July 29, 1999
Posts: 140
if you are using range brass, you will find some brands are totaly garbage for reloading. I have had problems with the brass headstamped as "amerc", and "fc 98".
10mmrules is offline  
Old March 2, 2000, 10:17 PM   #17
Junior member
Join Date: November 7, 1999
Posts: 1,516
I also didn't blow up a G21 while firing .45 ammo. Blew it up by firing a .400 Cor-Bon that I'd let setback, after jamming on the feed ramp. .400 Cor-Bon won't feed from double-stack magazines. My Kb had nothing to do with either the caliber or the design of the aftermarket barrel or the gun. It was the mags and my mistake in firing a setback round.
WalterGAII is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

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 07:22 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.07373 seconds with 9 queries