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Old April 19, 2005, 04:25 PM   #1
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Headspacing on the .40s&w using lead bullets

I am having a problem getting my handloaded lead ammo to properly headspace on the case mouth. I have no problem at all using jacketed bullets with a taper crimp but when I load my cases with Lasercast 180 gr TCs, the case will not seat all the way to the case mouth. Since the lead bullets are .401 and the jacketed bullets are .400, is this the reason and how do I fix it? I seat to the Oregon Trail figure 1.130. Thanks for any help
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Old April 19, 2005, 10:38 PM   #2
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Try crimping a little more.
I haven't used Laser Cast in .40, but I've fired thousands of Bear Creek and D&J bullets with no problems.
I set my crimp by using the barrel as a guage. Remove the barrel from the pistol. Load a representative round. Drop said round into the chamber. Increase the crimp gradually until the round drops easily into the chamber with a satisfying clunk. Don't overdo it to the point of bulging or buckling cases.
Seating depth is also a factor. My Glock 22 (Bar-Sto barrel) likes them a little short at 1.125. My Para-Ordnance P-16 likes a little more length at 1.135.
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Old April 19, 2005, 10:53 PM   #3
Join Date: December 8, 2004
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When using SWC handloads , it is sometimes necessary to use a throating reamer to remove the rifling just ahead of the chamber so the shoulder of the bullet does not jamb into the rifling. Usually .020-.025" is enough.
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Old April 19, 2005, 11:34 PM   #4
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I've had the exact problem with Laser Cast 155 gr bullets. I loaded my first ammo on my new Hornady L&L AP today using these bullets in Win. cases and had the same problem again. As soon as I get my Unique and these 155 gr lead bullets used up, I'm done. I'll go with the West Coast copper clad bullets which have worked very well in the past.

I don't know what is causing the problem. I've measured and measured (OAL 1.12). I've tried different seating depths and different taper crimps. Most loads chamber OK but a few don't seat deep enough. The West Coast are .001 less in dia. I believe. One thing I did find on the lead bullets was that, every once in awhile, a small ridge of lube or a fine hair of lead will show up and this can cause some chambering problems.
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Old April 20, 2005, 01:21 AM   #5
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gunnyjim2, more than likely your bullet is engaging the lands of your barrel prematurely. Since it is a TC bullet you can decrease the OAL. I would say try 1.125, but really the best thing to do is to check the chamberlength of your pistol, which you didn't mention, but that's OK. Take a fired case and insert a bullet into it. Do not resize or reprime! Once the bullet is in the fired case, put it into the chamber of the barrel and lightly tap it on the case rim until the case seats in the chamber. Use a plastic mallet or the handle of a hammer if you don't have a plastic mallet. Use very light taps and when the case is seated remove the dummy cartridge and measure the OAL. This will tell you the chamber length with a particular bullet. Once you have the correct chamber length, reduce the OAL of your handloads by .005-.010" for proper headspace. If you are certain, after doing this several times, that you have the correct OAL, I would go with a .005" reduction in OAL for accuracy of the handload. A SWC has a smaller diameter in the nose of the bullet. A TC tapers from the bearing surface to the actual nose of the bullet, so this problem is most likely encountered with a TC rather than a SWC. You could even go down to an OAL of 1.120", but with any reduction of OAL, you must decrease the powder charge by the same percentage at least, on a percentage basis! Give us the Pistol and be as specific with your data as possible and we can help you correct this problem easily. SWC's will help you avoid a problem like this and I plan to use the Oregon Trail 170 gr. SWC with HS-6. The chamber on my XD Tactical is long so I won't likely encounter problems like this, but I have with other pistols, like the CZ's in 9mm. We're here to help!
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