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Old June 13, 2005, 01:19 PM   #1
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Location: Alexandria, VA
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Slightly "Fat" 45 acp using HCL

I run a Dillon 650.
Use 230 Hard Cast lead in 45 acp
(HCL is .452 in dia as opposed to .451 for FMJ).
I Size with a Lee
Flare with the Dillon powder funnel
Seat with a RCBS and
Crimp with a Lee Factory Crimp Die.
I check with a Midway Finished Cartridge Check Gauge.

Try as I might, to adjust the Dies;
I come out with about "half" my finished cartridges;
Not quite "dropping freely into the check gauge" without a little help".
They stop about an eighth of an inch short of flush
A slight push with a finger gets the finished cartridge to "Click" over whatever is holding it up and fall the rest of the way into the gauge.

The finished cartridges fall in and out of my .45 barrel(s) without any problem (at least so far), but there is that slight hesitancey falling into the case gauge.

If I:
Size, flare and crimp without seating a bullet.
The processed case falls freely in and out of the check guage

It HAS to be the extra .001 diameter (.452 vs .451) in the bullet.

Feeling the finished cartridge with sensitive finger tips, I can percieve an ever so slight bulge in the case, near where the base of the bullet winds up.

Lamp blacking a finished cartridge and then "clicking" it full into the case gauge indicates an ever so light scraping/scratching on the case at near the same area.

I thought the Lee Factory Crip Die was supposed to remove any such bulges!

Am I not using the Lee FCD correctly ?

Should I Deep six my Midway finished cartridge Check gauge??

Am I worrrying too much ???
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Old June 13, 2005, 02:05 PM   #2
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What's your OAL? Seems like your seating too deep and the bullets are getting down to the web of the case and expanding that past minimum spec dimensions. Those Midway/Wilson chamber guages are min SAMMI spec IOT to give a worst case scenario.

If they run in your firearms, that's the important part, since I don't think you plan on firing rds from your chamber guage, right S/F...Ken M
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Old June 13, 2005, 02:12 PM   #3
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Either what EFM said or too little crimp. You should be at .470-.471 max after crimp. Gauge with calipers against the book specs and you;ll find out for sure. Book specs give it all in max.

The case gauges are usually made to minimum saami specs also. How do they fit in your guns chamber?
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Old June 13, 2005, 11:10 PM   #4
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I agree. Check your crimp diameter. Take it to .469 if you have to but .470-.471 is ideal. Why would you size .452 cast bullets through an FCD . Kind of negates .452 for cast bulllets, doesn't it? That slight bulge is normal as long as it's concetric. The bulge will be a bit larger with cast bullets.
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Old June 14, 2005, 07:57 AM   #5
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Why FCD an oversized (.452) Hard cast lead 45acp....?

I am fairly confident that I am not seating too deep.
No where near the Web...but I will check anyhow.

I use the FCD because I want to separate Seat and crimp on the 650...and..
The FCD was the only "Crimp" I had besides the combination in my three die set...I guess I could get a separate (normal) crimp.

I hadn't thought about the .452 for HCL being "negated" by the resizing ring on the FCD.
Can the Lee FCD really "resize" the .452 Bullet

The Lee literature says that you CAN NOT "overcrimp" with their FCD.
I assume this means that there is a limit to how much the taper will crimp, and cranking it down beyond that just "doesn't do anything more".

I cranked it down till I realized that I was not getting any further crimp.

I got Lee FCD's for all my calibers when I was using a RCBS PiggyBack.
They ARE the greatest thing since sliced bread for those of us who Seat and Crimp in the same station.
Now that I graduated to a separate seat and crimp, I find them largely unnecessary.

Thank you all for the reassurance.

I'm not going to worry about the "slight click" fully seating the finished round in my check gauge.
As everyone pointed out the gauge represents the absolute "Minimum" a regulation chamber can be.
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Old June 14, 2005, 08:31 AM   #6
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It's not the .452 size giving you trouble. I shoot almost exclusivly lead in my 45's and have been sizing to .452 for many years.

You didn't mention what bullet you're using, or if you checked dimensions with a caliper. I suppose you could be seating the bullet too deep and bulging the case. I get that sometimes with revolver cartridges (without seating too deep) but never with an auto cartridge. The reason it happens with revolver cartridges (at least) is that the sizing die takes the beass to smaller than factory dimensions. I did get a box of commercial cast bullets a few years ago that were oversized at .453-.454, mistakes happen, tooling wears. I just resized to .452 and went on my merry way.

Check weight before loading a new batch of bullets, and dimensions before, during & after loading and you'll not be wondering at these things. From the lack of mention in your post about calipers...I take it you do not own any. I'm telling you, if you get some calipers and check all dimensions, the problem area will become evident! Lacking funds for calipers right now? Take your case gauge and a handful of rounds into your local gunshop and they might let you do a few checks with theirs. The case gauge might even be undersized.
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Old June 14, 2005, 09:29 AM   #7
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Have you tried firing any of your "problem" reloads? If they feed and function, I'd say just start using that Midway case gage as a paperweight.

Some people have reported that they won't use the FCD because it does resize some cast bullets. I don't shoot anything but plated and jacketed, andI do use the FCD, and it's always worked for me.

What's your o.a.l.?
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