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Old April 2, 2014, 11:11 AM   #1
Smokey Joe
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Resizing loaded ammo...

When loading ammo for my .45 acp target pistol, a 1911, I run each piece through a Midway "chamber checker" after seating and taper crimping the bullet. (There's gotta be a technical term for "chamber checker"!)

Last session, had about a dozen rounds that wouldn't chamber in the checker. Hmm, what to do about that?? If I'm using these in a match, and one of 'em gets into a magazine to be used for timed or rapid fire, there could be a problem...

Had a brainstorm--Removed the decapping pin from the sizing die, and ran each round through the sizing die--WITH Imperial sizing die wax on the round. Then wiped off the Imperial, and tried 'em in the chamber checker again--Voila! They all "chambered"! Yay!

Have fired some of these in my 1911--they chamber just fine there, and their performance is no different from my other .45 acp reloads. So I'm happy with that.

One puzzler--why so many rounds that would not chamber-check, this time around? Using all same bullets, mixed manufacture brass. There was no connection between the brass maker and whether the rounds chambered.

And--Am I doing something dangerous, here? I can't think how it might be, but mebbe other members know something I don't.

Anyhow, I thought I'd share. We just never stop learning.
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Old April 2, 2014, 12:46 PM   #2
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Ive done it a couple times, and I always feel like my press will explode when I do... no good reason why that would happen though.

Could you see where the deformation was on the cases?
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Old April 2, 2014, 12:54 PM   #3
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Remove the barrel from your 1911 and use the barrel to check fit.
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Old April 2, 2014, 02:44 PM   #4
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I use the LEE Carbide Factory Crimp Die.
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Old April 2, 2014, 03:01 PM   #5
Smokey Joe
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Nemesis 45--Deformation was in the bulge of the case around the bullet. There normally is a bit of a bulge when the bullet is pressed into the case. Apparently the bulge was greater than usual on the dozen or so cases that wouldn't chamber.

Mdmtj--Deformation on a few of those rounds was clearly greater than would fit in any .45 acp chamber--A couple wouldn't even go into the Midway chamber 1/2-way. They all worked fine after resizing.

Weshootz--The Lee Carbide FCD resizes whatever bulges there may be in the cases, I take it?
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Old April 2, 2014, 04:18 PM   #6
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You can safely run it through a Lee factory crimp die with one of these.
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Old April 2, 2014, 04:26 PM   #7
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Never, Never run a loaded round through a regular Sizing die.

The sizing die is waaaay to small.

There are those that are against the use of the Lee Factory Crimp die that post sizes the loaded 45 ACP round to a Minimum spec diameter of .472-.473. Your Sizing die is much smaller sizing the case down to .467-.468. That's reducing the diameter of the bullet well beyond acceptable levels.
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Old April 2, 2014, 06:51 PM   #8
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I have had ammo that will not drop into the chamber.
I have run it through the die without the recapping stem.
I have run it through the larger Lee factory crimp for handguns.
I have made my own dies with 7/8-14 threaded rod and a boring bar in the lathe.
I have opened up the chamber with the barrel in the lathe.

Just like the chamber can elastically expand more than the brass... the brass can elastically compress more than the Lead core of the bullets.
As a result...
Resized ammo always runs the risk of the bullets getting smaller and no longer being constrained by the original crimp.

So you can check the bullet crimp and figure out how to fix it, or go back and figure out why seating a bullet is making the ammo not fit in the chamber.

If the ammo does not fit nicely into the chamber, a huge pressure spike can result.
If the ammo does not fit nicely in the chamber, it may be very hard to extract an unfired round.
If the ammo does not fit nicely in the chamber, the gun may fail to feed.
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Old April 2, 2014, 07:25 PM   #9
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Steve4102 nailed it.

I use the Lee Factory Crimp Die and it properly sizes that occasional round that distorted - for whatever reason - back within spec. That's what it's designed to do. And it works.

Disapproving of the Lee FCD seems to be in vogue these days. There's talk of how they side-step the underlying problem, yadda-yadda-yadda. It's all well and good to talk about theory. Bottom line is, it can correct a loaded round from being a failure-to-feed/go-into-full-battery problem, to proper function. I don't think that's such a bad thing.
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Old April 2, 2014, 07:42 PM   #10
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I use a "cartridge gauge" on my 38spls, 9mm and .38s after loading. I've only had a couple of 9m that wouldn't drop in the gauge like they should. I use a Lee 4 hole turret with a Lee 4 die set. I seat with the seating die and then use the FCD for crimping - I only load lead bullets that I've cast.

On the sever 9mm that didn't quite fit right, I just ran them up into the FCD a second time and that seemed to take care of it - seems like it should have taken care of it the first time but perhaps I didn't have the ram raised completely? A lot of folks don't like the Lee FCD - but I've never had a problem with any of them on any of the calibers I reload - and it doesn't "swage" my lead bullets down like a lot of folks claim it will and complain about. I load a lot of 38s and cast four different bullet designs and tumble lube them in Alox/Paste Wax. Never had a problem with leading and if the FCD was "swaging" my bullet below specs (I size my 38s to .358 and sometimes load as cast) - they would be leading the bore of one of the half dozen revolvers I shoot.

The FCD is designed to insure the cartridge corresponds to SAAMI specs. and I think it does a great job. I haven't loaded any 45 ACP . . yet . . but will in the future and I expect that the set up I'm using now will work equally as well with that caliber.
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Old April 2, 2014, 09:09 PM   #11
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I sure hope no one else tries this.....DANGEROUS!
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Old April 3, 2014, 09:13 AM   #12
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I built a 45 ACP, new factory, over the counter ammo will fly through it, reloads, my reloads that have the appearance the case swallowed a bullet does not work.

I measured full length sized cases and compared them with the cases after bullets were seated then measured. All I had to do was make the 45 think it was getting new ammo I accomplished that by sizing the case with a RCBS carbide sizer sizer die. I sized the cases down to the base of the bullet after crimping. The sized cases flew through the pistol.

A very disciplined reloader said I did not know how to load 45 ammo, so, he met me at the range, we loaded two clips of his ammo and that is where the ship hit the sand. He offered his reloads to everyone at the range with 45s, there were 4, sure enough, his ammo flew through all of the 45s. And they wanted to test some more.

I left the range, returned home and sized his cases that had the appearance of having swallowed a bullet. I then returned to the range and his ammo flew through the pistol. I have another pistol that is a non 1911 Colt type, same thing, but I have three complete slides for it. A member on this forum is another very disciplined reloader, he came for his annual visit, he brought with him some of 45 ACP reloads, close, but not quite.

Point? I have sized loaded ammo, I do not full length size, I remove the the appearance that reminds of a snake that swallowed an egg. I know, I have bullet sizers, I can make bullet sizers.

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Old April 3, 2014, 10:50 PM   #13
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As others have said, isn't this the whole reason the Lee FCD was created? To "re-size" (I realize it does not re-size the case and just removes any excess bell you made in the expanding phase) the completed round to ensure chambering?

I run all the ammo for my semi-autos through one.
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Old April 4, 2014, 11:39 PM   #14
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I believe the term is "Cartridge Gauge (or gage)

I had that issue with 9mm, it would not go all the way down.

However, I also pulled the barrel from my pistol and checked them in that chamber and it did.

My take is that either the gauges are coming in at the low end of the tolerance, they are at Minimum SAMI spec and possibly the pistol chambers are at the large end.

Regardless I can tell from how far they sit up in the gauge if they are actually bad or not (I have made some that were just plain bad)

I also had some brass that it worked in in that they sat all the way down. It all shoots fine.

So the gauge is useful but not necessarily going to tell yo if they fit, check with the barrel, get the latitude and good to go.
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