Case Bulges


January 10, 2003, 01:59 PM
I am getting bulges in my cases when i load for .45 ACP and sometimes .40 S&W. I am using brand new Winchester brass with Magtech .45 230 grain FMJ bullets and 4.6 grains of 231 and an OAL of 1.270. I am using Lee Carbide pistol dies. The Lee FCD makes em work right but you can still see the bulge and if I remember correctly it can weaken the brass. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance

Meant to say its on a brand new Lee Turret Press and i set the dies up as it said then, after seeing it was bulged cranked the beller down and it did nothing, should I crank the bell die down even more?

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Jim Watson
January 10, 2003, 02:11 PM
Bulges where?
Do you mean you can see where the brass is a bit expanded over the bullet and there is a slight "Coke-bottle" effect under the base of the bullet?
If so, that is normal and desirable; showing that the bullet is in there tight and not likely to be set back when it hits the feed ramp. Also, the Magtech bullet is .001" larger than most jacketed bullets and will show the effect more than other brands.
If it is off-center, you may not be aligning your bullets straight up and down as they enter the seating die; or the seating die may be sloppy; or the brass may be uneven. Not going to help accuracy, but not a real problem as long as they chamber.

You will likely lose .45ACP and probably .40S&W before you wear them out by reloading.

January 10, 2003, 02:34 PM
What brand of brass?
(Crossing fingers and muttering "please not A-merc, please not A-merc!")
If not a crazy off brand of brass that many of us have had trouble with, I concur with Jim.

January 10, 2003, 07:14 PM
Thought I had put the brass in. For .45 ACP its brand new(just opened the bag today in fact) Winchester brass. For the .40S&W it was a mix of everything(I got the 500 piece once fired bundle). Thanks for the input

January 10, 2003, 07:29 PM
Here is a picture of a case bulge over the feed ramp.
Notice the extractor mark just left of center. The center of the feed ramp case bulge is then 90 degrees clock wise from there.

This case bulge was cased by putting more LONGSHOT powder in the case than the maximum load per Hodgdon for 180 gr 10mm.

I should also say, if you have a feed ramp case bulge, be afraid and reduce the load. A case failure may be very near that load. Case failures can be expensive, painful, and embarasing.

Standing Wolf
January 10, 2003, 09:36 PM
I've found that if I use too much crimp, I end up with slightly bulging cases. They shoot fine, but a.) they can be difficult to extract from cylinders with tight chambers, and b.) I'm sure it shortens the life of the brass.

January 10, 2003, 10:01 PM

Your reply would also be a good reply to my "identifying signs of excessive pressure" thread.


January 11, 2003, 09:28 AM
Sounds like you may be crushing the cases slightly, if they are bulging after you crimp them, then perhaps your crimp is a little overkill.

January 11, 2003, 10:49 AM
Do you get bulges on all of your cases, or just some? If it is on just some of the cases, check the adjustment of the finger that hold the case in place at the crimp station. It should be set to hold the case snug into the shell plate. If you get the bulges on all cases, I'd be willing to bet that your crimp is set way to low. The bell should be set as light as it can be set and still allow you to get a bullet started into the case. The more the open the case mouth, the less you can reload the brass without case cracks.

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