.45 ACP Problems (neck tension)


PDA






H1500308
May 14, 2008, 10:02 PM
First time loading .45 ACP. After seating the bullet to the appropriate depth, (Winchester 230g FMJ RN) I can still push the bullet back in the case with just moderate pressure with my hand. I even tried this with brass that was just sized and not even run through the expander die.

I'm under the impression that you shouldn't roll crimp .45ACP so do I need to use the Lee FCD to get the proper neck tension?

If you enjoyed reading about ".45 ACP Problems (neck tension)" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Ridgerunner665
May 14, 2008, 10:07 PM
45 acp should be taper crimped to .468.

What kind of dies do you have???

H1500308
May 14, 2008, 10:25 PM
Looking on the Midway site, do I need the Factory crimp die or the taper crimp die?

Ridgerunner665
May 14, 2008, 10:27 PM
Taper crimp...but first...which dies do you have now??? The seater die is what I'm wanting to know...

Ridgerunner665
May 14, 2008, 10:31 PM
Some brands of dies have the taper crimp built into the seater die...

H1500308
May 14, 2008, 10:33 PM
I have an older set of 3 Lee carbide dies - 1985.

Ridgerunner665
May 14, 2008, 10:37 PM
OK...I'm an RCBS man...so I don't know for sure if Lee offers the crimp and seat in the same die or not...I'm not trying to sound like a smart a$$...but do you have the instructions for the dies...do they mention crimping and seating???

H1500308
May 14, 2008, 10:40 PM
Yes, I've got the instructions and the seating die is a combo seat/crimp die that I believe applies a roll crimp to the mouth. Plus, I find it very hard to crimp well with this setup. I didn't think a roll crimp was recommended with .45 ACP.

Ridgerunner665
May 14, 2008, 10:44 PM
OK...they are out of the Lee FCD die...(taper crimp version)

This is an RCBS seater die...it taper crimps and seats the bullet all in 1 motion... http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=480528&t=11082005

It will work with your Lee press...the threads are the same...try it, you'll like it.

Sunray
May 14, 2008, 10:50 PM
"...didn't think a roll crimp was recommended with .45 ACP..." It's not. The .45 headspaces on the case mouth. Taper crimp only.

1911user
May 14, 2008, 10:56 PM
What brass are you reloading? (did it come from CCI Blazer Brass and it has a slight concave on the head?)

All of this focus on what seating die or crimp die should be directed at the sizing die. If the sizing die does not squeeze the case small enough, no amount of crimping is going to help.

Tension to hold the bullet is established by the inside of the case being a few thousandths of an inch smaller in diameter than the bullet diameter. If this doesn't happen first, it does not matter what expander, seater, or crimper you use.

Size a case then measure the inside diameter of the neck. Run the case through the neck exander die and measure the inside neck diameter again. Finally, measure the base diameter of the bullet you're using. Report back with all 3 numbers. Take several readings each time to make sure you have a good measurement.

For rounds that headspace on the case mouth (9mm, 40, 45, 380, etc.), think of crimping as removing the bell at the case mouth only. You're NOT trying to squeeze the case into the bullet, just removal of the flaring you did with the expander die so the bullet would start easily into the case. This is called taper crimping.

Texastbird
May 14, 2008, 11:02 PM
I've loaded 45s with my Lee dies for years and my seating die will apply a satisfactory crimp if adjusted correctly. However, last year I went ahead and got the Lee Factory Crimp die so I can break up seating the bullet and crimping it into two steps. Works like a charm, and the FCD sizes the whole case to be sure every one will chamber in a Colt that has a tight chamber that I have.

Ridgerunner665
May 14, 2008, 11:02 PM
Good point 1911user...one of us is right.

H1500308
May 14, 2008, 11:06 PM
Measured a few.

I'm reloading some older S&W brass.

Inside case neck after sizing is .450

Base of bullet is .451, .452

Didn't measure after expanding because I can work bullet into the mouth by hand after sizing (some requre some effort). I can expand as much as I want with the die but can't size smaller than .450.

Ridgerunner665
May 14, 2008, 11:12 PM
For reference...mine sizes to .448.

1911user
May 14, 2008, 11:23 PM
Do you have any other brand brass you could try sizing?

At 0.450, the sizing die is not sizing that brass enough. It could be the carbide ring in the sizing die is too large and/or the brass walls are thinner than normal cases. That's why it would be good to try another brand of brass to help isolate the problem.

I ran into this issue loading 9mm using some newish CCI brass. It had thin walls and would not size enough with my Hornady sizing die. I bought a special undersize sizing die to make sure the 9mm cases were sized enough. I don't sort brass by headstamp so I use the U-die (as they are commonly known) for cheap insurance against bullet setback.

Griz44
May 14, 2008, 11:33 PM
Sounds like you have some worn out old dogs for dies. Cabelas has the 4 die delux carbide set of LEE for 32 bucks. A great investment.

H1500308
May 14, 2008, 11:34 PM
woops...I double checked my micrometer and it's actually sizing the brass to .448. I tried some winchester and federal brass along with the S&W and it was all sizing to the same diameter.

1911user
May 14, 2008, 11:38 PM
Try seating a few bullets in the other brands of brass and check the neck tension. Sizing to 0.448 should be enough with a .451-.452 bullet.

Luggernut
May 15, 2008, 12:08 AM
1911user is on the money. I've found similar problems with R&P brass... no problems with any other brass in .45ACP. There is a slight possibility that the sizing die is on the large size of the acceptable tolerance, I've had this happen before with my Hornady die- it may have been a .45 Colt insert or something, that's what Hornady said- they sent a replacement.

rg1
May 15, 2008, 01:09 AM
I've read recently someone having trouble with undersized Win 230gr fmj bullets. Check several bullet diameters and they should be .451". A combination of certain brass with slightly thinner case walls, a sizing die that's on the plus side of specs, or undersized bullets could cause your problem. I've had some brass, including some RP that had thinner case walls and my RCBS carbide sizer didn't size it enough. I could tell when I ran it thru the expander that the expander wasn't doing ANY expanding. If you can't feel your expander die doing anything and the expander plug is correctly sized then you will not get proper neck tension. I bought a Lee Undersized die from EGW that solved the problem on thin cases.
http://egw-guns.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=40&products_id=40
Note that EGW offer them in 5 calibers and you have to select the caliber. They have them in .45, .38spec., 38 super, 40/10mm, and 9mm. They are supposed to be .001" smaller for $22 and they did solve my problem sizing thinner cases plus they size further down on the case than regular carbide dies which can be a help on brass fired in larger chambers etc.
No type of crimp will solve a problem with bullet tension. If you don't have proper tension trying to crimp more may actually worsen the problem. Find the cause of inadequate tension first then with the .45 use a proper taper crimp, just to remove the slight belling of the expander die and approximately .001 thousandths more.

SDefender
May 15, 2008, 08:14 AM
I have this exact problem with CCI-Blazer brass in .45 auto with about 20% of the cases. All cases of this headstamp also size/bell noticeably easier on my progressive press than the other headstamps I have. The Lee undersized sizing die fixed the problem.

In my cases, the brass thickness is the same as the other headstamps I have. So I came to the conclusion that this particular headstamp brass is just weaker than the others I have.

As mentioned earlier, neck tension holds the bullet securely, not the taper crimp.

I have the EGW die and it is actually a Lee- U.

Drail
May 15, 2008, 08:28 AM
Chuck that brass. That is a bullet setback KB waiting to happen! If you can push a bullet deeper before crimping you have a serious problem.

MaterDei
May 15, 2008, 08:48 AM
Don't do this,

Chuck that brass.

Until you've tried this,

Try seating a few bullets in the other brands of brass and check the neck tension. Sizing to 0.448 should be enough with a .451-.452 bullet.

If all your brass behaves the same then I agree that you should work more on getting your seat/crimp die set correctly. If that fails then I can vouch for the die that Ridgerunner665 recommends. I have that die and it works great.

Good luck.

Walkalong
May 15, 2008, 08:53 AM
RP brass is thinner than most. My first RCBS sizer would not size it down enough. (Other brands were fine) I called RCBS and they sent me another sizer. Problem solved.

Buying an undersized die from EGW (Lee die) will solve it, but may unecessarily overwork your brass. Call your die maker and make let them fix you up. It's much cheaper.

A light taper crimp is all you need, and no amount of crimp will make up for lack of neck tension in the .45.

H1500308
May 15, 2008, 09:21 AM
I appreciate all of the responses....wow I love this site. I'm going to check to see that the sizing die is good. It's older but shouldn't be worn out. It sat on a shelf for 15 years. I may check on the undersize die as well.

The Bushmaster
May 15, 2008, 02:52 PM
Lee .45 ACP dies are designed for .45 ACP and have a taper crimp...I know. I called Lee a year ago and asked...Besides all you have to do is just remove the bell and no more...

rcmodel
May 15, 2008, 03:03 PM
Walkalong said:
A light taper crimp is all you need, and no amount of crimp will make up for lack of neck tension in the .45.+1

You need to narrow down why you have so little neck tension, be it an over-size die, under-size bullets, or thin brass.

Whatever it is, Crimp is not the Problem, or the Cure.

rcmodel

SSN Vet
May 15, 2008, 04:14 PM
according to Lee's website...

LEE CARBIDE PISTOL DIES

We use a solid carbide insert, ground to a special contour that does not leave the objectional belt mark on the case, common to ordinary carbide dies. With a carbide sizer, no case lube is needed, and you don't even have to clean your cases.

No need for a taper crimp die, plus better accuracy with Lee Dies. Taper crimp dies are used to correct the problems caused by the improper expanding plug design or adjustment. They distort the bullet shank and reduce accuracy. Because the Lee Expander flares the minimum amount, consistent with easy bullet insertion, all of the flare is removed with the bullet seating die, thus eliminating the need for a taper crimp die.

Does this make any sense???

and this ...

Lee Taper Crimp Die

The Lee Taper Crimp Dies is hardend steel designed to overcome crimp problems caused by poor die design. These dies offer little or no advantage when used wth 1986 or newer Lee Dies as the crimp angle is already modified taper crimp. Jacketed bullets must have a crimp groove.

Walkalong
May 15, 2008, 05:34 PM
Taper crimp dies are used to correct the problems caused by the improper expanding plug design or adjustment. They distort the bullet shank and reduce accuracy. Because the Lee Expander flares the minimum amount, consistent with easy bullet insertion, all of the flare is removed with the bullet seating die, thus eliminating the need for a taper crimp die. Horse Hockey. The Lee expander is no better than any, and more roughly machined than any other. The Lyman/Redding two step expanders come closest to this claim, but I still crimp very lightly.

Ridgerunner665
May 15, 2008, 05:47 PM
Horse Hockey

I agree 100% (but I wasn't going to say it until I read your post)...I get match accuracy using RCBS equipment.

rcmodel
May 15, 2008, 06:33 PM
Excessive taper crimp trying to hold a bullet is just not going to work anyway.

Lead cores & copper jackets are much more mailable then brass cases.

So, when you squeeze down the case, it also squeezes down the bullet.

Then, when the round comes out of the crimping die, the case springs back more then the bullet jacket & lead core.

The result is usually a looser bullet then if only a minimum taper crimp was used in the first place.

BTW: The same applies to the Lee FCD "post-sizing" male bovin bed linen. (Bull Sheet)

Squeezing a loaded round is only going to make the bullet under-size, and / or loose in the case.

rcmodel

feets
May 15, 2008, 06:38 PM
Then why am I having such a nasty problem with my 45 Colt loads being loose with a varying degree of roll crimp?
I'm seriously considering a FCD to cure the problem.

BWB
May 15, 2008, 06:50 PM
Have you actually measured the diameter of the expander plug? No amount of sizing will work if the expander is too large and therefore too close to bullet diameter to allow adequate neck tension. Unless the sizing die is so oversize that the expander isn't even working the brass (not likely) the sizing die itself shouldn't be the problem unless you have some very thin brass.

H1500308
May 15, 2008, 07:42 PM
I got home today and tried the following:

I tried 3 types of brass and I was able to seat the bullet to depth and beyond using hand pressure only-moderate, not excessive force was required. I have NOT run this brass through the powder-through-expander die, just through the sizing die.

Some of the winchester brass had the crimping ring on the brass which stopped the bullet from being seated any deeper but the non-ringed brass lets the bullet go all the way to the bottom.

Do I need the U-die or just call Lee and see if I have a defective sizing die??

Bullets measure .451 at the base. Winchester 230g FMJ RN.

feets
May 15, 2008, 07:51 PM
I've adjusted the expanding die so it's not fully inserting and it's still too loose.

Redhat
May 15, 2008, 08:37 PM
I use the Lee seating die to seat only and FCD for crimping. Works great for me.

Walkalong
May 15, 2008, 09:20 PM
feets
Then why am I having such a nasty problem with my 45 Colt loads being loose with a varying degree of roll crimp?
I'm seriously considering a FCD to cure the problem.
Expander too big, brass to thin, sizer die too big, or perhaps even undersized bullets.

Try seating a bullet without using the expander at all. It may not work with lead unless it is a bevel base, but if it does it will tell you if it is a sizing problem or an expanding problem.

The Lee FCD will not cure your problem. Fixing the neck tension will.

An excessive roll crimp can actually ruin neck tension sometimes. Find the problem and fix it. Forget the Lee FCD. It can have its uses, but fixing bad neck tension isn't it. I won't use them. Tried em, scrapped em.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
H1500308

I tried 3 types of brass and I was able to seat the bullet to depth and beyond using hand pressure only-moderate, not excessive force was required. I have NOT run this brass through the powder-through-expander die, just through the sizing die.

Some of the winchester brass had the crimping ring on the brass which stopped the bullet from being seated any deeper but the non-ringed brass lets the bullet go all the way to the bottom.
Do I need the U-die or just call Lee and see if I have a defective sizing die??

Sounds like a bad die. The 45 Winchester brass is generally pretty thick. If .451 jacketed bullets are not tight in that brass after sizing and seating WITHOUT using the expander, the sizer is almost surely to big. Call Lee.

Luggernut
May 15, 2008, 09:24 PM
H- if the bullet are the correct diameter and you are reasonably sure the 3 types of brass aren't 10 years old I'd say get another sizing die. Like I said... it could be you have the incorrect insert in the die.

feets
May 16, 2008, 01:57 AM
Sorry to hijack...

I set the expander out far enough that the bullets wouldn't drop in. On this last batch, I was either shaving the jacket off the bullet, crushing the case with the bullet, or had bullets that would spin in the cases when crimped.

These were two different .451" 185 JHPs, neither of which had cannelures.

I didn't have the problem when loading the .452" 300 XTPs but they have two different cannelures.

Ol` Joe
May 16, 2008, 06:43 AM
I set the expander out far enough that the bullets wouldn't drop in. On this last batch, I was either shaving the jacket off the bullet, crushing the case with the bullet, or had bullets that would spin in the cases when crimped.


Do the bullets spin when seaed but not crimped? The neck tension alone should be tight enough to keep them from being turned by hand. Over crimping will loosen the cases grip on the bullet as someone else posted. If you can`t move a seated bulllet but can after crimping your crimp is too much.
The 300 gr bullet seats deeper in the case then the lighter ones. The case walls taper as you go down the case to the base. The thicker walls will "grab" tighter on the longer bullet then they will on a shorter one.

rcmodel
May 16, 2008, 12:46 PM
Then why am I having such a nasty problem with my 45 Colt loads being loose with a varying degree of roll crimp?

These were two different .451" 185 JHPs, neither of which had cannelures.

No cannelure + .451" = You are loading .45 ACP auto-pistol bullets in the .45 Colt case.

.45 LC revolver jacketed bullets are .452", and they all have a crimping cannelure.

Also, if you have very old .45 LC dies, they used to be set up for .454" bullets, which were more common then.

New .45 LC dies today are adjusted to size & expand for .452" bullets, not .451" auto-pistol bullets.

If you insist on loading .45 ACP bullets in .45 LC you need to turn down the expander a couple thousands to get the correct neck tension. But even that may not work if you have older dies that size cases for .454" bullet diameter.

No amount of roll crimp will make an under-size bullet tighter in the loose case neck.

rcmodel

feets
May 16, 2008, 02:38 PM
The dies are only a couple years old.

The bullets can be pushed into the cases and/or spun with the fingers before and after crimping.

I knew the light bullets were a thousandth undersize but was hoping I could make 'em work for some lightweight plinkers.

rcmodel
May 16, 2008, 04:35 PM
You should try seating some without using the expander plug.

That will tell you if your sizing die is pulling the case down far enough to get any neck tension.

If that works, turn a couple thousandths off of the expander rod.

It just isn't going to work right without proper neck tension to start with.

rcmodel

SSN Vet
May 16, 2008, 05:03 PM
male bovin bed linen.

now that's funny...

yes, Richard Lee can be a wee bit over the top with his marketing hype.

If you read Modern Reloading, just make sure you have a set of Pom-Poms handy, just in case you feel the need to join the cheerleading.

That said, I'm very happy with ALL of my Lee equipment and if it wasn't for Lee making the hobby affordable, I most likely would never have taken the plunge.

Griz44
May 16, 2008, 05:57 PM
Mount Soapbox, install flame shield.

Wow, such a batch of brand snobs. My next door neighbor looks down on the rest of us because he drives a Lexus, and I drive a 20 year old GMC. I laugh at him because he pays 1200 for a tune up and I can buy a new engine for that - installed! We both get to work on time, reliably and in comfort. I spend 6,000.00 a year less on transportation. My choice. I reload to save money and enjoy myself. If not for practical and affordable Lee equipment, I would be shooting once a month instead of once a week. Some of you must reload for the social status that having a blue or green thingy on the bench must surely bring you. I am happy for you that you have what you want out of life. Us thrifty folks still get the job done, and have a great time doing it. We don't point fingers and make fun because we think you waste money. Hey - live and let live folks. I have a set of RCBS dies and a single stage RCBS press I picked up used. I like it, but no more or less than my Lee Challenger. I also have a set of Lee dies for the 45 acp, and I prefer the Lee, but both sets do a good job. I size and decap separate after 1st polish, then use separate stations for a gentle mouth flare (helps round egged cases as well), powder through die with case expander, and taper crimp final. I load what I can find cheap at the gun shows, Laser-Cast lead at .452, plated- (Berry and Rainier) at .451 and FMJ at .451 - (Winchester). I also cast TL-45-230-RN with a Lee mold at .452. I make minor adjustments at the flare, expander and seating stations for the different bullets and have nice tight bullets with no shaving. I use a lot of assorted pick up range brass, (again to save money) and some of it does have very thin walls that require some additional adjusting. Accuracy is excellent. It all works for me and the 300-400 rounds a week I shoot are easy and fun to crank out with a LEE Loadmaster that I picked up new for 215.00 including case feeder, catcher, powder dispenser, etc.. and and a full set of dies. The RCBS or Dillon progressives that do the same thing are really nice but were pushing the 600.00+ mark to get all the same equipment. I am approaching 10,000 rounds now, and have no complaints. The 400.00 difference buys a lot of powder, primers and a few bullets. Key note here, even a grand worth of the finest machines in the world will produce crappy ammunition if not used properly. The cheapest setup can and will produce very high quality ammunition in the right hands. A 19.95 Lee tube loader held the worlds 1,000 yard accuracy title for many years. Point, be gentle with the new loaders, they have to learn like we all did, by doing and listening and enjoying the process.

Dismount Soapbox.

Happy Shooting Everyone!

Walkalong
May 16, 2008, 10:37 PM
Point, be gentle with the new loaders, they have to learn like we all did, by doing and listening and enjoying the process.Jeez, I didn't see any posts being tough on anybody. :scrutiny:

TurboFC3S
May 20, 2008, 12:47 AM
Exact same problem here, but only with RP brass.

I'm using a new set of Hornady New Dimension dies, and a Lee FCD. To get the RP brass to hold a bullet firm I had to give it more crimp on the Lee FCD than I like ... I'll probably end up throwing the RP brass out.

Wildfire
May 20, 2008, 01:16 AM
Hey there:
I left this one alone , cause RC and walkalong got it done. I didn't see any newbe bashing at all.
I thought he got the best advice possible.
No matter who's dies he uses the problem remains the same. The fix also remains the same.:)

The Bushmaster
May 20, 2008, 11:40 AM
Griz44...If it will make you feel better...My reloading equipment consists of Lee Presses (three hole Turret and a single stage). Lee dies and RCBS ancilary equipment and most of it is 20 years old. There now...Ya feelin' better?

Griz44
May 20, 2008, 10:21 PM
I just caught back up on the thread. :( I must have been having a really bad day. That is not my style. I like the live and let live idea. I offer my humble apologies to all.

Quickdraw McGraw
May 20, 2008, 10:35 PM
I understand Griz44 beside it takes a man to admit when he's wrong. I know some people who buy better stuff (just to have stuff better than other) and don't use it like it's supposed be used. I buy the best of whatever I can afford. My reloading bench looks like an easter basket (red turret press, green tumbler, trimmer, case prep, blue swager), not to mention the mismatch of dies, and other tools.

If you enjoyed reading about ".45 ACP Problems (neck tension)" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!