45 ACP Lead RN reload help


March 21, 2005, 08:06 AM
Howdy all,

I need some help with a load I am working up for my BIL's Springfield 45.

My BIL bought this gun from Cratz2 here on the forum and the gun has a tight chamber for some reason (stock barrel). My 230 grain FMJ reloads worked fine in the gun except when a AMERC brass reload snuck in the bunch (wouldn't chamber).

My new batch of reloads is using a Meister hard cast Lead round nose bullet. I believe the bullets measure 0.452 to 0.4525 in diameter. The overall length is a little longer than the FMJ loads but I am appearing to apply the same taper crimp. Anybody using this same bullet???

Do i need to just buy the Lee Factoy Crimp Die and squeeze the cartridge down a bit? I think I need to shorted the loaded round a little bit too.

Any suggestions???


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March 21, 2005, 08:23 AM
I think you are on the right track. Order the Lee FCD.

Your over all length of the cartridge is possibly too long.
If you have calipers measure the length and post here.

If you do not have calipers, remove the barrel from the
gun. Then take a round that you do not have problems
with and drop in the chamber. Note if any of the cartridge
is sticking out too far. Next drop in the problem round and
see if it sticks in the chamber or if it sticks out further than
the round that has no problems.

Most 1911 style guns are sensitive to too long or to short
of a cartridge.

Good luck.


March 21, 2005, 10:52 AM
Pretty much second what Jed said. Use the Lee die for sure. As far as OAL, neither of my Springfields like to be near max OAL. I'm at work so don't have my OAL lengths in front of me, but my TRP needs to be a tad under listed max OAL, and my Micro needs to be a good deal under max OAL.

After using the Lee die, I would start taking your OAL down in small increments (perhaps 0.005) while staying within published max-min ranges and see how things go.

March 21, 2005, 11:08 AM
I disagree on the recommendation of the Lee FCD. It will only cover up the problem if it helps your situation. I think you will be better off finding the cause of the problem.

Measure the case mouth with the bullet loaded. It should be about .471" with good brass. Your regular crimp die from the set you are using now will do this with no problem. When you get the crimp right drop one in the barrel. Does it sit flush with or just a hair under the end of the hood? If not try seating them a hair deeper until it is flush with the hood or a couple thousandths under. When you get them seating in the chamber OK twist them and then look at the bullet for marks to make sure the rifling is not contacting the bullet, you just want a couple thousandths of clearance, it really doesn't take any more than that.

Also throw out all the A-Merc brass.

Jim Watson
March 21, 2005, 11:14 AM
Undersize chambers are common, the factory tries to get one more batch of barrels done with a worn reamer. I had a SA barrel that had been hit so hard with the stamp that when FLG ran in a new sharp reamer you could see where it took steel off under the dent.

The Lee CFC die will be a big help loading bulk cast bullets.

The picture of the Meister 230 gr RN shows it like most other brands, with a noticeable step between the .452" bearing surface and the round nose, almost like a SWC shoulder. Seat this step maybe .020" above the case mouth and chamber check. If it won't chamber FREELY, seat deeper, down to where the step is flush with the case mouth if necessary.

OAL will be ABOUT 1.25" but the chamber check and actual feeding are the real test, not an arbitrary measurment. Make it shoot first, then write down the OAL that works.

March 21, 2005, 12:50 PM

That is the kind of expertise that I was hoping for!!! I will try what everyone suggests and let you know how things work out.


March 21, 2005, 06:16 PM
For now, forget the FCD. Measure the chamber. If it is indeed undersized, have it reamed to the correct diameter. I don't mean to step on folk's toes, but too many folks use the FCD as a symptomatic cure-all. I firmly believe post-sizing cast rounds can decrease case neck tension and impair accuracy.

March 22, 2005, 08:23 AM
Thanks everyone.

I will try everything without the FCD before I go that route since I would have to buy the die in the first place. Now the trick is going to be getting the barrel from my BIL to check the fit of the completed rounds.

Thanks again,


March 22, 2005, 11:11 AM
The bulllet can make a big difference in feeding.My son's .45 auto feeds jacketed rounds great,but seat a lead round to the exact same length and it almost ,but not quite,feeds reliably.A smidge deeper than book 'specs' and wer'e good to go.

Jim Watson
March 22, 2005, 11:29 AM
Do be careful in all that you do, boo.
Loading ammunition for others is a FFL business and if you should chance to screw up and cause damage or injury your BIL (brother-in-law, right?) might not be such a fine fellow as you now think.
If the chamber is so undersize that it will not FREELY, even loosely, take a factory round, get it reamed first before trying anything else. Chamber measurement per Bronson, is a tedious proposition. My 'smith doesn't bother. If he does anything around the barrel or feedway, he runs in a reamer just to be sure.

March 22, 2005, 12:43 PM
I figured that the rounds were probably too long. Factory and FMJ reloads feed fine and freely. Just having some sticking with the LRN bullets.

No liability issues here Jim. Only single stage presses here. My BIL ususally sits right next to me and seats primers or deprimes more cases for the next batch. He will now apply the taper crimp in a separate step after I seat the bullets to length. And no money is ever exchanged. He buys the components and comes over and we reload together.

Master Blaster
March 23, 2005, 01:01 PM
You may not need to have the chamber reamed, especially if it feeds factory ammo fine :rolleyes:

Skip the FCD it just compensates for other problems.

You may be having the problem because the crimp die is set down too far, you said you had it set for the slightly shorter bullets from another manufacturer, it could be that the wider longer bullets dont need as much crimp. and so you are over crimping (not really crimping but pressing down on the already crimped round) and as a result slightly bulging the base of the brass If you drop the rounds into case gauge or a barrel does it cause a shiney spot/ring at the base of the case?

In any event back off your crimp die 1/16 turn and see if this makes any difference, then perhaps try 1/8 turn. (do make sure you still have a secure crimp by pressing the round bullet first against the table with your thumb it should not go deeper into the case)

Unless your OAL is too long (if so seat deeper) this may fix the problem.

I mention the possible cause as over crimping because I had the problem you describe when I first started reloading and had switched bullet suppliers. an experienced reloader at my club looked at my rounds and mentioned that I might be overcrimping, He was right and backing off about 1/8 turn on the crimp die ended my feeding / chambering problems.

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