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45 acp fails case gauge


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I just recently started reloading 45 acp.  I load on a dillon 650 with dillon dies. I run all my completed rounds through a shell checker/gauge and I have quite a few that fail.  I am using used brass so I have no idea where it came from or what gun it was shot in.  Is it normal to have a lot of failures?  When I say a lot it is 1-2%. 
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That's the low price fix.  You buy the Lee Factory Crimp Die plus the Lee Bulge Buster kit.  Remove the stem from the FCD.  Install the case-pusher into the press ram.  That way, you push the whole .45 case through the carbide sizing ring in the Lee FCD to reduce case diameter to 0.473".  I leave that set up in my single stage press, too. 

 

Now, there are several "roller sizers" that run from $1000 to $10K that do the same thing - resizing the whole case down to 0.473" to get rid of bulges just above the extraction groove at the head of the case.  Why there?  Conventional sizer dies don't reach down to the edge of the extractor groove because of shell plates/shell holders grabbing the case there. 

 

Where do these bulged cases come from?  Shooting warm or hot loads in the unsupported chambers that some .45 auto pistols have.  The brass swells out where the feed ramp cuts into the chamber.  Unsupported chamber is the popular term for that.  More accurate term might be "over-cut feed ramp" or "butchered chamber."

 

Because I use all the pick up brass I get back in matches, some of which might be from other shooters, I check EVERY loaded round in my loaded-round check gauge and any that don't pass go thru the bulge buster die LOADED.  No damage to the bullet or case mouth because it's already taper crimped at 0.471" diameter.    Only if you have a protruding primer would there be a chance the round would go off - I've not had one go off in running about a thousand rounds through that in 15 years of use. 

 

And you will find some cases where the RIM of the case is quite large.  The chamber checker will catch those cases, and the buster die will swage the unneeded diameter off the rim edge (Speer seems to be particularly bad for large rims.)

 

Unless you try to load 250 grain bullets in your cases, the bulge buster will fix up almost any bulge that the chamber checker rejects.  Of course, loading bullet too shallow in case will not be fixed - for that, adjust seater die depth.

 

good luck, GJ

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Setting out you need to drop your sized and de-primed cases into the case gauge to make sure your sizing die is properly set. If you have rounds that don't gauge, then you know the problem is is either in the seating (not enough bell) or the crimping (too much).

 

I buy once fired brass off GunBroker in large lots. So most comes from police ranges and has Glock firing pin marks on the primer.  I have never used a bulge buster. Set your sizing die correctly make sure the sized round case gauges. I shoot the same rounds though my Glock as the 1911's, no problem.

 

Is your case gauge a Dillon? Dillon dies and gauges are a little larger. I shoot Colt match barrels in my 1911's and the chambers are larger. For me it is a no fail combination, Dillon and Colt. Throw in a custom barrel with a tight chamber and you are headed for grief. Use a gauge from a different maker and your Dillon sized rounds won't gauge.

 

Every die and case gauge maker and every barrel maker has different tolerances. For our game, large and loose works best for me.

JFN

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Bulges just above the extractor groove are pretty common.  I have them on purchased range brass, maybe 5-10 per hundred.  I RARELY have them when reloading my own brass.  I have no unsupported chamber pistols.  I load no +P pressure level ammo.

 

When you have them low enough, as an unsupported chamber will produce with +P loads, the sizer die CANNOT be adjusted down low enough to take care of the bulge.  The bottom of the die runs into the shell holder or shell plate. 

 

At that point you have a decision to make. 

1. Shut off your mind and ignore bulged cases.  Risk having to rap a slide home or jam up the gun.

2. Reduce the bulge down to chamber specifications (0.473" diameter or smaller).  Many of us do this

3. Toss the case away.

4. Swear off using any cases but factory new or brass you KNOW came out of your own gun.

 

All but #2 are, to me, UGLY choices.

 

Checking cases after you size them but before you expand the mouth is going to show you where bulges are that the sizer did not get low enough to erase.  You WILL NOT be able to get the sizer die down onto the bulges.  That is why Lee builds the bulge buster product, and some specialty roll sizer machines are in the market.  And it would require me to process the brass twice on my progressive loader - yuck!  If you don't have any bulged cases, great.  If you do, then see the choices above.

 

Trying to gauge check fired cases before loading them will give you no useful information, since the brass is already expanded by firing, with or without any extra bulges.  Most will fail to drop into the gauge.  Just to prove this, I grabbed 20 fired cases from a box of range brass I bought 5 years ago.  I've never loaded cases from that batch.  15 out of the 20 would not fully enter gauge because the case was expanded from firing.  One had a large rim, but the rest of case checked OK.  3 were expanded enough to only fully enter gauge if pushed in with my finger.  1 case out of 20 slipped right into the gauge (a "pass" check result).     I use a Dillion .45 auto gauge.

 

The bulge buster approach will show you a shiny band of brass right above the extractor groove where it resized the case.  About 20 to 30 thousandths high.  Not shiny before bulge removal.  Shiny after applying healthy pressure to push the case through the die.  Case/round won't gauge check before.  Case/round will gauge check after.  Sounds like "proof solid" to me.

 

good luck, GJ

 

 

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My sincerest apologies Joe. The purpose of my post was to give my experience, which happens to be different. I didn't intend to challenge your position as the preeminent expert on everything.

No, I don't use a bulge buster. After loading and shooting 250,000 Wild Bunch rounds in the last 10 years I haven't found a need for one.

I do make sure that the sizing die kicks out a round that will case gauge. Adding powder, seating a bullet and crimping isn't going to make it any smaller. If it doesn't case gauge there it won't after going through the next three stages on the press.

I have encountered a number of 1911s with tight chambers. Before I'd buy a bulge buster I'd send the barrel to BD and have him ream it out. I did that with an 9mm 1911, last year. The rounds would case gauge but wouldn't drop in the chamber. Another was a new shooter I loaded some ammo for. The last I heard was that the barrel was so tight BD had to modify a reamer before it would even go in the chamber.

JFN

 

PS: It is good to see you finally agree with BD on something.

Joe.thumb.png.0addf2d2f160d2d0c491aaab2688cea1.png

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UK, I fired 50 new handloads at the range yesterday, along with 50 Winchester 230gfr ball asa control.  Two failures to feed with the handloads (not sure it was the ammo.) Accuracy and grouping pretty much the same with the handloads and the factory ammo. 

 

One issue that I keep having though:  I am gauging each round as it comes out of the press.  about 8 percent are not passing (generally about an eighth of an inch  from fitting flush in the gauge,  Case mouth external diameter is a uniform .471.  Cases appear to be bulged above the extractor groove.  I'm using mixed cases, mostly Winchester but a fair number of Starlines (both of my feed failures were Starlines.)

 

Eight percent strikes me as a high reject rate. 

 

Thoughts?

 

Doc sends.

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Exactly the same as I replied to you before.  Bulge busting is needed to remove those failures to gauge.  If those failures to gauge are not concerning to you, and they feed ok, then you can take the risk of shooting them. 

 

Personally, I don't.  I fix the loads with the Lee Bulge Buster/FCD die  with stem removed combination, until they do case gauge.  I prefer to have the gauge reject more than my 1911 barrels.  Makes me sure the gun will not jam on ammo.

 

8% is close to the failures to gauge when I load random range brass the first time.

 

good luck, GJ

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Run the ones that fail your gauge through a bulge buster to see if it makes a difference in the grouping and cycling. I run mine through a buster as my Thompson and AR pcc’s really beat the brass up. On the first stage of our WB match last weekend I had a jam halfway into my first mag [we still do 5 rds as cas shooters also shoot and it keeps it simpler for everyone]. Swapped mags and finished the stage. I stopped using the ??mag and switched from 200 gr swc to 225 rnfp for the rest of the match and had no more issues. Other than 2 misses. Only using ss Chip McCormick mags.  Got home and tried another magazine of swc with no problems. Go figure.
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Yeah, it's usually hard to find stuff when fewer folks are working and lots of people are starting to do a new hobby all at the same time.  At this point in time, it's reloading supplies and equipment.

 

Set aside your bulged cases and fix 'em later when you can find an FCD in stock.

 

Or post a WTB request for the Lee FCD die in the Classifieds.

 

good luck (really), GJ

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