Problem Reloading .357Mag - Sizing?


PDA






jjohnson
January 18, 2009, 12:01 PM
High Gents!

I'm having problems reloading .357Mag; 158gr SWC in a Dillon 550B.:barf:

Maybe half of these won't 'go' in a .357 case gauge. The ones that "won't go" all have a light bulge over the bullet itself. :cuss: I can iron out the tight spot by passing them back through a carbide full length resizing die, but that's a pain in the a**.:banghead:

I rather doubt I'm the only person on this planet that ever had this problem.:scrutiny:

So...... what am I doing wrong? I don't seem to get this when I reload .38 Special. I certainly don't get it with other calibers, either. What gives?

If you enjoyed reading about "Problem Reloading .357Mag - Sizing?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Walkalong
January 18, 2009, 12:28 PM
Check your bullets diameter. Should be .358, maybe a hair more. Will they fit in your guns cylinder? If they do, shoot them. Is the bulge all around like they are seated straight, or just on one side. Did you chamfer your case mouth. That helps bullets seat straight. Did you bell the case enough to get a smooth start seating?

The .357 brass is a bit thicker than .38 brass. If the bullet seats real deep, it will generally bulge a .357 case a bit more than a .38 case.

243winxb
January 18, 2009, 01:06 PM
what Walkalong said bullet diameter?, + how are you crimping? To much roll crimp can keep the round from chambering. Brass should be trimmed to the exact same length for roll crimping. If you set your crimp die up on a short cast, the long case will bulge when roll crimping.

rcmodel
January 18, 2009, 02:35 PM
passing them back through a carbide full length resizing die, but that's a pain in the a**.Don't ever do that!

Not only are you sizing the case to the dimension it was before you ran it through the expander die, but you are resizing the bullets way under-size at the same time!

rc

Ben Shepherd
January 18, 2009, 02:42 PM
If the bulge is even(meaning you can basically "see" the bullet inside the case), you're crimped in the groove, and they chamber in your gun, run 'em. Most of my pistol rounds are exactly like that. Nice tight fit. This results in very consistant powder ignition. Especially in the magnum calibers with slow powders.

As rc noted, the ones you resized after loading are most likely going to lead like crazy. So don't panic when they do. Just don't do it anymore.

fecmech
January 18, 2009, 05:25 PM
Sounds like you may have roll crimped them too much. If they will chamber, shoot them as a previous poster mentioned. Then correct the crimp problem. If you have a taper crimper that will work, if not you can use the carbide sizing die but just do the first 1/16-1/8" of the case. That way you won't undersize the whole bullet.

45ACPUSER
January 18, 2009, 06:07 PM
Are you crimping and seating at the same time?

Walkalong
January 18, 2009, 06:15 PM
Good point.

Some bullets do not lend themselves well to being seated and crimped at the same time, especially if the cases are not trimmed to the same length. The heavier the crimp, the more true this is.

jjohnson
January 18, 2009, 06:32 PM
Gents, thanks for your help.

The bullets mike to .358, and don't post a problem in .38 Special brass. I get the occasional 'wave' on the .38 brass, but not often enough to make them difficult to chamber. The bullets are hard cast 160gr SWC.

Oh, by the way, this is all the same batch of once fired brass. I am not trimming to length.

I get enough bell on the casing at the "powder through expander" die. I don't bell them very much at all - just a bit more than what you need to stop lead 'shaving' when you try to seat the bullets.

The third station is bullet seating only. I seat to proper depth and no crimp is applied. At this point, after the bullet is seated, I can take the cartridge out of that station and enough of the 'bell' on the case mouth prevents it from going into the cartridge gauge at all.

In the fourth station, I put another sizing die, the steel one that came with my dies (I use a carbide sizing die). I run the sizing die down only far enough to eliminate the leftover 'bell' on the case mouth - ONLY that far. I do NOT run them any deeper than that. As far as crimping goes, isn't that pretty much the same thing as a taper crimp? :scrutiny:

Sooo........? I've been reloading for decades, but I'm not too proud to ask for advice. Thanks again for the help!

243winxb
January 18, 2009, 06:38 PM
As far as crimping goes, isn't that pretty much the same thing as a taper crimp? NO, not even close. The 357 mag. drawings show a straight wall case measurement of .379" head to mouth, no taper if the drawings are correct. I know some old steel dies did have a taper in the 45 colt, not sure about 357 mag. In your case its not working.

Walkalong
January 18, 2009, 07:33 PM
Agreed, not a good way to do it. Separate crimp dies are cheap, and adjustable. I can only think they are being seated crooked.

I don't gauge any .38/.357 loads. If they fit my chambers, I am good to go. I get some bulging with some bullets in some cases.

I asked if they fit your chambers. Do they?

Ben Shepherd
January 18, 2009, 08:04 PM
In the fourth station, I put another sizing die, the steel one that came with my dies (I use a carbide sizing die). I run the sizing die down only far enough to eliminate the leftover 'bell' on the case mouth - ONLY that far. I do NOT run them any deeper than that. As far as crimping goes, isn't that pretty much the same thing as a taper crimp?

Nope. You're running no crimp. Get a crimp die. Run the seated round up to the top of the press stroke, run the crimp die down until it contacts the round, back the round out just a touch, and run the die down about a quater of a turn, run the round up fully and then check the crimp. Repeat this proccess until the case mouth is rolled nicely into the crimp groove. Then lock the die ring in place.

BTW: What powder and how much are you using?

jjohnson
January 18, 2009, 11:14 PM
Well, gents, okay.....

And yes, I've tried the sticky cartridges in chambers - but since I have half a dozen .357s, I still need to deal with the 'least common denominator' - that is, I want each cartridge to chamber even in the tightest chamber of them all. I'm not going to sort cartridges into which piles will fit with which firearm. I'd do that for rifles, mind you, since I neck size those, but that's where I draw a line.:scrutiny:

Answer to another question: I'm loading the 160 grain SWCs on top of 10.0 grains of Blue Dot.

I do thank you each for taking the time to help. I'll take the majority opinion here and go with it. I'll order a factory crimp die and stop trying to do something with that second sizing die than what it was designed to do. :eek:
After all, it's pretty annoying :cuss: to say the least to go to the range and start piling up all the ones that won't quite chamber and have to go fix 'em or take them apart. :banghead: I've been pleased with the FCDs I've bought for bottomfeeder reloading.

I did notice - whatever is causing the casings to buckle a little when I'm seating the bullet seems to be mitigated a lot if I slow down the stroke speed. It doesn't eliminate entirely the effect, and there is still a slightly detectable distortion (by feel), but even with that, many of them will drop right into the case gauge.

Crisp triggers to y'all!

Ben Shepherd
January 19, 2009, 02:05 AM
If you're ordering a die speciffically to crimp, I HIGHLY reccomend a redding "profile crimp" die. I run these exclusively now on my magnum pistol rounds.

Also, that load should prove to be very good, I run just a touch hotter at 10.5, but have ran 10.0 in the past with good results.

Walkalong
January 19, 2009, 10:40 AM
If you're ordering a die speciffically to crimp, I HIGHLY reccomend a redding "profile crimp" dieYep, good stuff. I have some Redding Taper Crimp dies in several calibers, as well as a Roll Crimp die in .45 Colt, and they work great, but so do most companies. I also use Lee (polished by me), RCBS & C&H crimp dies.

If you need to squeeze the loaded round with a FCD to fit, something else is wrong. It should "kiss" an occasional round, not resize every round.

jjohnson
January 19, 2009, 01:45 PM
Also, that load should prove to be very good, I run just a touch hotter at 10.5, but have ran 10.0 in the past with good results.

Glad it works for you - I took the half grain off only because I weighed the "158 grain bullet" and it's more like 161, so I backed it off a bit. I also considered that it might lead just a bit less. Most of this batch is going to be spent blowing holes in paper, so I'm not so eager to go to the max as I would be if I were loading specifically for hunting.

I imagine that since Blue Dot is fairly slow burning, there should be some flash :evil:.

Thanks, guys, on the FCD info - I'll look at the Redding first. Fixing this problem is well worth getting a die instead of fooling around with half-a**d fixes every time I load 357Mag.:banghead:

Ben Shepherd
January 19, 2009, 02:43 PM
1. Once you use a profile crimp die, you'll wonder what folks did before they were around. They do a slight taper crimp finished off with a good roll crimp when properly adjusted.

2. Hear that boys? He wonders if there'll be flash with blue dot in a 357! Ha! Oh yeah, that's one of the flashiest powders out there, especially in short barrels.

If you enjoyed reading about "Problem Reloading .357Mag - Sizing?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!