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Old January 31, 2011, 08:08 PM   #1
chasep255
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Bullet falling back into the case???

I am just starting to reload and I was thinking "what if the bullet were to fall back into the case and then the cartridge was fired". To me this seems like a very real possibility. Do any of you know if this has ever happened and if it has how bad was it?
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Old January 31, 2011, 08:11 PM   #2
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If it just fell into the case... would seem to me that you could just pull it back out by hand without trying to shoot it...and also if you had the ammo completed and it fell in... would mean that you dont have the brass sized AND there was not a crimp on the bullet either.
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Old January 31, 2011, 08:22 PM   #3
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This is why you check your loads by pushing the bullet nose against the bench using thumb pressure. Any more than a 0.002" set-back means that your cases are either not sized down enough or you crimp is non-existent or excessive (the case wall bulge out and the only tension you have is from the crimp).
If one loads according to the directions, this is really not an issue, but you still check...
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Old January 31, 2011, 09:04 PM   #4
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I would surmise that if the bullet were able to "fall" into the case, firing it would not cause any excessive pressures, unless it were able to fall deep enough to be able to tilt and become stuck, at which point it could either blow the gases around the stuck bullet, or cause a catastrophic failure. Sometimes this can happen if you try to resize a straight walled and loaded cartridge without the decapper in, or if you improperly set a collet neck sizing die.
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Old January 31, 2011, 09:50 PM   #5
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You can't reload without dies. Normally, for handgun rounds, the die that resizes the case gives is an ID that is smaller than the bullet OD, thus the bullet can't fall in. Seating the bullet then expands the brass a little, but the expanded brass has a fairly snug interference fit with the bullet, so the bullet doesn't go anywhere.

There are two exceptions to the above. One I've run into is Remington .45 ACP cases having such thin walls at the mouth that they work-harden easily and in just a couple or three reloadings become springy so they expand back out after being withdrawn from the sizing. At that point you can push a bullet in and out by hand. If you find this condition the brass has to be be pitched.

The other issue is what is called setback. If you resize a good case it has enough friction with a jacketed bullet that it hangs on easily with the expanded mouth merely ironed flat. A lubricated lead bullet, though is a good bit more slippery and if, in addition to the properly sized case, you don't also have a crimp that gives the edge of the case mouth a little bite into the lead, the force from a slide pushing the round up the feed ramp and around the corner into the chamber of a self-loader can sometimes shove a bullet deeper into the case. This is a potentially very dangerous condition.

To prevent setback, make up a couple of dummy rounds (case and bullet; no primer or powder) and feed them manually by putting the in the magazine and pulling the slide back and letting it snap itself forward as hard as its spring will allow. Run the same dummies through that way a half dozen times. If none of them sets back more that about 20 thousandths I think your setup is good to go. If they get pushed much more than that, you may need to increase the crimp depth. Test your actual loads individually with your thumb, as Noylj suggested.
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Old February 1, 2011, 10:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenick
You can't reload without dies.
Sure you can, the buffalo hunters of the 1870's did it every night - pull the primers with a primer awl or pop 'em out with a thin awl from the other end, tap the case down over a new one, fill it with BP, and hand seat a bullet on top.
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Old February 1, 2011, 02:55 PM   #7
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Back in the early 1990s I knew a guy who came into my shop and bought a complete single stage hand loading set up. I offered to help him get going but he insisted he had it. His first loads for a brand new Browning A-Blot II Boss were not sized properely. He didn't adjust the die properely and the bullets were falling right back into the case. His brand new A-Bolt went KB. I get the feeling you are asking this question for a reason beyond just shear curosity, and if so I'll provide some additional advice. Make sure the shell holder is touching the resize die , or your necks will not be resized enough to hold the bullet. A question like this is od and suggests you are encountering a hand loading problem and need help from all of us. Please ask or let us know what you need to know. We all start some where and at some point need help learning certain procedures.
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Old February 1, 2011, 08:52 PM   #8
chasep255
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The real reason I am asking this is because I was just practicing with a dummy round and I seated it way to far in. I knew this but wanted to see if it would cycle anyway. When I loaded it into my garand the bullet fell into the case. I figured that this may not be a problem for me in the future since the bullet was so obviously seated way too deep. However, I then seated a bullet correctly and it wiggled a tiny bit back and fourth. After crimping this problem went away.
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Old February 1, 2011, 08:59 PM   #9
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Something is not right. '06 should be holding a bullet very well. Of course repeated chambering will set a bullet back. I wonder if this is what happened.

Crimping.....I don't do it for a M-1 Garand. Neck tension should be more than enough to hold the bullet. If the neck won't hold a bullet after F/L sizing, your brass is worn out.
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Old February 2, 2011, 12:25 PM   #10
Eagle0711
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This is a what if question. The sizing die properly set should keep any bullets from dropping into the case.

But if that were to occur, you could turn down ths expander plug shightly. This would be accomplished by placing it in a drill and using fine sand paper to reduce it's dia.

Haven't had to do this in over 40 years of handloading. I have read of doing this to shoot 9mm [.356" for lead ] in a 38 special [.358 for lead].
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Old February 2, 2011, 12:48 PM   #11
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Repeatedly chambering a round should not change the seating depth.
Properly assembled reloads should be capable of withstanding the rigors of chambering with no changes, whether it be bolt action or semi-auto.
I would ALWAYS crimp bullets for a semi-auto. The Lee factory crimp is one of the better ways, in my opinion, but brass length is a somewhat critical factor there. If you trim them too short, the crimp die will not do it's job.

There are exceptions, of course. Loads for a single shot rifle, or for a benchrest rifle, etc... most don't need any type of crimp. I never crimp my hunting loads in my 6.5 Swede bolt action, and have never had any kind of bullet setback, even chambering the same cartridges MULTIPLE times.
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Old February 2, 2011, 01:58 PM   #12
Tim R
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Hornet Guy,

Bullet set back after repeated chamberings with a auto loader happens in the real world. Back a few years ago there was a notice that went out to L/E to change the top round of the mag once in awhile because of bullet set back. And I have seen it myself happen in several auto loaders.

An M-1 Garand in this case closes the bolt with some authority. Make sure you thumb is out of the way because if not it will bleed.

Crimping is not the answer to everything. There are those of us who crimp very little. I only crimp for wheel guns and tube mags. When loading auto pistol, I only crimp enough to take the bell out and fed smoothly. Everything else, 223, 308, and '06 is not crimped. But if crimping works for you then by all means crimp away. My ammo only has to be chambered once and then it becomes brass.
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Old February 2, 2011, 02:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenick
You can't reload without dies.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbar4ranch
Sure you can, the buffalo hunters of the 1870's did it every night - pull the primers with a primer awl or pop 'em out with a thin awl from the other end, tap the case down over a new one, fill it with BP, and hand seat a bullet on top.
Heh, heh. Sorry about the sweeping generalization. Didn't mean to dis the muzzleloaders or the Sch├╝tzen or other single shot riflemen. I got caught up in the context of the OP wanting his case necks to grip the bullets.


Chasepreuninger,

What gear are you reloading with and what are the cases you are using? Other than a Lee Collet die, I can't think of a loading tool that will let you fail to get adequate neck tension. The Garand requires cases be sized full length in order to feed correctly, so the collet die shouldn't normally be used with it anyway. The FL Sizing die should be labeled ".30-06" on the die somewhere. No substitutes. If someone at the factory mistakenly put a .303 expander ball into your .30-06 die, that could cause the problem. It seems unlikely, though.
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Last edited by Unclenick; February 2, 2011 at 07:41 PM. Reason: typo fix
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Old February 3, 2011, 06:17 PM   #14
700cdl
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I would say with near 100% that you don't have the sizer die adjusted properly. The shell holder shoudl be contacting the bottom of the die enough to cause the press linkage to pop over a little bit at full stroke. It was this mistake that caused the A- Bolt I mentioned earlier to go KB. A bullet should never move around, at all, after its been seated. Other than a high powered magnum revolver having potential to dislodge the bullet from recoil and pressures blowing back, which I've experienced with a couple of shallow crimped rounds.
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Old February 3, 2011, 09:17 PM   #15
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It sounds like you just seated the bullet a bit deep, that's not a problem unless it's so loose it will fall in or out and I doubt your bullet is loose unless you didn't size it at all. If the shell holder touches the die or not isn't the issue, it's only that enough of the neck gets sized to grip the bullet firmly. Many of use do what's called "partial FL sizing" or neck sizing, the shell holder doesn't need to touch the die in either instance.
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Old February 4, 2011, 11:10 AM   #16
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Tim R...

Yes, I realize that setbacks do occur, it's just that I have NEVER seen one set back that was properly crimped. I suppose it could happen.. I've just never seen it. I've never seen a military round set back, and they put a pretty serious crimp on those rounds. I realize that they also sometimes use some type of sealer on the inside of the neck, but that's another story.
I've shot a few thousand really heavy 45 Colt handgun loads, and have loaded for a Mini-14 and an SKS, several leverguns, several bolt actions, and a few single actions. I try to never say never, but my experience has been, if you crimp it, it will stay. (if you build it, they will come)
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