I'm Stumped


May 5, 2003, 07:28 PM
I load 9 different calibers. 44's both sp &mag i can turn the bullet by hand in about 50% of the time. I thought the crimp was not enough. I bought the Lee factory crimp die. I can see the crimp increase with that die. But i can still turn the bullets. Help

I use lee dies, berry;s plated 200 gr bullets. new remington and winchester brass, and either acc#2 or w231 powder/

If you enjoyed reading about "I'm Stumped" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Art Eatman
May 5, 2003, 07:34 PM
You shouldn't be able to turn the bullets by hand, even with no crimp at all. (Unless you have ViseGrips for hands. :) )

Have you miked your expander die and your bullets?


May 5, 2003, 07:45 PM
My best guess would be that the bullets you are using are not sized for 44 spec/mag. The first thing I would do is mic them. Most common is .429.

Other than that I couldn't venture a guess.

May 5, 2003, 07:57 PM
There are only three possibilities here

1. Problem with sizing
2. problem expanding
3. Bullet size.

measure the bullets first
Measure the inside inside and outside of case after sizing
Measure the inside and outside after expanding.

My guess is too much expansion. You barely need to flare the mouth. Only a few thousandths in total outside expansion.

May 5, 2003, 08:24 PM
Back when I was still shooting cast, I loaded for a .45 LC and I found that the bullets made for BP revolvers were perfect. They had a reduced heel for easy insertion into the cylinder, and would start in the resized .45 LC case with NO expanding. Saving one step in the process is a biggie, depending on how much you shoot.

Phil in Seattle
May 6, 2003, 12:08 AM
Possibility #4) Oversized brass. I have a pile of Remington 45 Colt brass that measures .455 right out of the sizing die for its inside dimension. Not so great when the jacked bullets are .452 and the lead ones are .453.

The crimp is all that holds them in.

Paul "Fitz" Jones
May 6, 2003, 12:55 AM
If possible stop using Remington and especially nickel plated brass as it is the thinnest brass made in my experience.

In my reloading depending on the caliber
#1 GI Brass
#2 Federal Brass but their Nickel can be ok also.
#3 Winchester Brass
#4 Starline Brass

forget the rest.

John Paul

Steve Smith
May 6, 2003, 09:22 AM
Possibility #5 overcrimping. Can cause the neck tension to diminish and the bullet will spin in the case.

May 6, 2003, 10:35 AM
I second overcrimping.
First, make sure you have adequate neck tension.
Size them for use without crimping. Sizing die touches shell holder when at top of press stroke. Not 1-3 turns out.
Then, expand them as little as possible, just enough to insert a bullet in the case far enough to keep it centered by itself.
Plated bullets are very soft, and straight wall cases usually would require a heavy roll crimp.
Crimp lightly, and let neck tension do it's job.
Also, sometimes plated bullets don't like to be seated deep and crimped in the same step. (I don't know what your setup is currently.)
A good way to check for overcrimping is to pull the bullet with a bullet puller.
If it's distorted in such a way as a ring-shaped depression is easily visible, its overcrimped.
If being crimped and seated deep is causing the problem, usually there is a slight distortion just ahead of where the cannelure would be that causes the problem.
That will be a ring shaped bulge.

May 10, 2003, 08:51 AM
Your sizing die is not reducing enough; LEE 'U' undersized sizing die (gotta call LEE).

May 11, 2003, 09:37 PM
Did you ever get it figured out?
Enquiring minds want to know...

May 12, 2003, 12:10 PM
Most crimping problems can be solved by a systematic approach to the problem, and the handiest tool for the problem, the bullet you are going to use.

1) After firing the case the bullet should slide almost completely into the case. If it doesn't you got a real problem since the bullet is probably not being released properly when firing.

2) Size the case, place the bullet on the case mouth. The bullet should not go into the case at all (unless it is a boat tailed rifle bullet not applicable for the 44) and constantly tip. If it goes into the case after sizing the problem is with too thin brass or check your die setting in the press as it might be not be set up properly since your sizing die is not sizing the case enough.

3) Bell the case. The expansion should be as small as possible. You should be barely able to see the expansion, but the bullet will sit on the case mouth and balance. If too much belling the bullet will not be held properly.

4) Seat the bullet. Try to twist the bullet in the case. You should not be able to do this. Also try pushing on the bullet into the case on a flat surface. Reasonable pressure should not move the bullet. If the bullet moves here the case or the sizing die is at fault. (assuming your belling was OK see 3).

5) Crimp the bullet. 44 requires a roll crimp. Just roll the mouth of the case into the cannelure of the bullet. Not too much. If the bullet starts to move after the crimp operation, back off the crimp depth.

If you follow these steps you should be able to determine where the problem is. If you think it is the brass try a different brand, if the sizing die, again try another manufacturers die.

If you enjoyed reading about "I'm Stumped" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!