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Old June 28, 2011, 04:27 PM   #1
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Could I get a reality check please?

I took up this hobby about a year ago and am reloading for .38, 357, 44 mag and 45 ACP. So far it's going well, but I can't seem to get the taper crimp on the 45s right. About 1 in 5 sit loose in the cartridge. So here's my thought. I haven't been trimming my brass, could the neck tension be loose because of this? Also, if the cartridge is long and the bullet seated to COL, would this increase the pressure of the load? As soon as I can, I will be getting a trimmer and setting all variables back to factory. Thanks for your wise advise in this matter.
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Old June 28, 2011, 04:41 PM   #2
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Length of the brass will not change the internal volume of the load, given consistent COL's. Therefore, no, there will not be higher pressures.

I would say that your expander is too fat, but that would show up on all loads, not just 1 in 5. Poorly sized bullets, maybe?

I have never trimmed any .45 brass, and don't intend to. I don't see the point. I finish em all off in a Lee Factory Crimp Die, and so far accuracy and reliability have been superb.
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Old June 28, 2011, 04:48 PM   #3
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A little bit of R-P brass get mixed in with the good stuff?
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Old June 28, 2011, 05:01 PM   #4
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Whose factory crimp die are you using?

I don't think trimming is the answer - I've never trimmed brass.

I use the Lee factory crimp die, and haven't experienced this problem.

How are you adjusting the die?
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Old June 28, 2011, 05:31 PM   #5
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I reload for the same calibers as you do plus a few more. If you are new to reloading then please be aware that a roll crimp is suitable for .38, .357. and .44 and a taper crimp for .45 acp. Following instructions particular to your seating/crimping or separate seating and crimping dies should give you a proper crimp.

A problem such as yours arose reloading 40 S&W with Magtech bullets. Turns out the bullets were undersized . I use now use either Berry's or Rainier with no problems.
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Old June 28, 2011, 06:27 PM   #6
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If you are crimping too hard, you are in effect, squeezing the bullet down, and brass springs back leaving a loose bullet.
Not sure if this is the case with what you are doing, but you could try backing off the crimping die a bit, and do the crimping and bullet seating in 2 seperate operations.

I wouldn't worry too much about trimming .45auto or any of those cartridges for that matter- in fact .45 auto cases have a tndancy to shrink, not grow in length from multiple firings and reloadings.
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Old June 28, 2011, 07:43 PM   #7
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You aren't using a universal decapper, are you?
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Old June 28, 2011, 10:50 PM   #8
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About 1 in 5 sit loose in the cartridge.
Sounds to me like you have some Amerc brass. It certainly is the worst out there and issues like this are common using it. If the sizing die is bottomed out against the ram and you are not flaring it excessively, the brass will hold the bullet unless you have crappy brass.
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Old June 29, 2011, 04:03 AM   #9
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When I first started reloading 38 I had this issue.

I went through the setup on all my dies, and the only issue I could narrow down was that my Lee "Powder through Expander" die was set too deep and was over-widening the case mouth.

You may want to check just to make sure. On my .45's made with all Lee dies, I use Rainier, Hornady and Berry's and have never had this issue with the factory crimp die.

If you have a micrometer, check the bullet diameter.
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