Problems with loading .45 ACP


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John Wayne
August 22, 2010, 08:10 PM
Hey guys,

I just started loading .45 ACP for the first time. I'm using Lee carbide dies and once-fired brass that has not been sorted, on a Lee single-stage press.

I am full-length sizing the cases (decapping at the same time), but my finished rounds do not chamber in my gun's barrel. I am shooting a Glock 30 with a LWD .45 barrel. The finished rounds go in a little easier in the stock barrel, but they do not chamber in it either. This happens with two different bullets that I've tried, the Georgia Arms 185 gr. JHP (.451) and the Georgia Arms 230 gr. LRN (.452). I verified that the bullets are the correct diameter with digital calipers. Both bullets are seated below maximum OAL, but are not quite at minimum OAL.

I've been reloading .38 special for about a year and have made a few thousand rounds without any problems. The only auto pistol cartridge I load for is 9x19, and I have made fewer than 1,000--none of which failed to chamber and all of which shot just fine.

I ran the rounds loaded with the jacketed bullets through my Lee FCD and now they all chamber and drop out just fine. I am hesitant to do this with the lead bullets though, as I have heard the FCD can cause problems with cast bullets coming loose and getting set back in the case. I would also like to eliminate using the FCD all together, since it just adds and extra step and there is no reason I shouldn't be able to load ammo with just the regular resizing/decapping, expanding, and bullet seating dies.

I noticed there is another thread where a poster is having similar issues with loading the .45 auto cartridge, but I did not want to hijack that thread. I am also using different equipment than him. Since I have issues with the few rounds of each, I only loaded 20 rounds (10 JHP, 10 LRN) until I figure out the problem.

*edit: Forgot to add that the Lee FCD is designed to post-size out of spec rounds. Judging from the resistance encountered, it resized each of the 10 rounds I ran through it. Before using the FCD, none of the 10 would readily chamber and all 10 chamber just fine afterwards.

Any ideas?

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loadedround
August 22, 2010, 08:34 PM
What appears to be happening and is very common in 9mm and 45 ACP rounds is that when your expander die is opening up your case mouth to much. It should be adjusted to just let you start a lead bullet into the case mouth w/shaving lead. Your seating/crimping die should take of your problem chambering problem when adjusted properly. Seat your bullet normally and back off your seating stem several turns. Turn your die body down until it contacts the case mouth and then give itanother quarter turn. Reset your seating stem and you're good to go. Your FCD is really not necessary unless you want to use it as the 4th step instead of setting a crimp with your seating die.

rfwobbly
August 22, 2010, 08:37 PM
John -
Not to worry. With first time reloading, 99.5% of the time it's a simple matter of not removing enough "belling". Before you seated your lead bullet, you put a "bell" on the case so that the bullet would slide in without shaving. The chamber is looking to have that flair completely removed. This is same for virtually all auto cartridges.

You're also correct in assuming that your seating die can do this, and you shouldn't need the FCD. Make some test rounds with case and bullets only. Run the body of the seater die down in 1/8 turn increments until the test round will drop under its own weight fully into the tightest 45ACP chamber you have. Then STOP. Lock the body down right there.

Of course the barrel should be removed from the gun for this test.

That should do you up.

glockgod
August 22, 2010, 08:43 PM
When I first reloaded 45ACPs' years ago I had a Godawful time at first. Problem was solved bigtime when I purchased a taper crimp die. Worked like a charm. I wouldn't hesitate to use the Lee FCD on your lead bullet reloads. I also load a BUNCH of .38 Special for Cowboy Action and use a FCD as a seperate last step. Just add enuf crimp to take the bell off and hold the bullet in place. I test by pushing the bullet tip into the side of the bench. It shouldn't move.

UltimateReloader
August 22, 2010, 08:47 PM
I agree with what has been said here, and would add the following:
The expansion shouldn't be the problem here (when you expand you should be able to tell visually, but it shouldn't be expanded more than just necessary to have bullets sit in the case mouth properly (that'll help prevent lead shaving when seating).

One easy way to adjust your crimp die is to put a factory (or good previous reload) in the shellplate or shell holder, raise the ram, and screw down the crimp die until you feel resistance. You can usually give it a hair more. Taking the barrel out of your gun will give you a good slip fit test.

Hope that helps!

gun guy
August 22, 2010, 09:18 PM
It never hurts, to load 2 or 3 dummy rounds,(no primer or powder) before running off a 1,000 round lot with a new bullet. Sometimes under expansion leads to a tight seat, and sometimes damaged bullets, too much expansion, some of the problems you are experiencing. Set and mark the dies. make the dummy run, check their fit in the barrel, cycle them thru the weapon, you can even take them to the range, load a dummy, then a live round. Fire the weapon, see if the dummy is picked up and chambered. If all is well, do your production run. The taper crimp die cures alot of ill's due to over expansion. Some automatics are fussy when it comes to hollow points. Use the mic, make lots of notes. The only thing higher on my dislike chores, besides running off a 1,000 lot, is tearing it all back down and starting over. Good luck

bds
August 23, 2010, 12:09 AM
John, take a full-length sized case and drop in the LW barrel. If it does not fall freely and you can't chamber it fully, then you have a resizing problem. If it falls in freely, then as many posted, you have problem with not taking in the flare of the case neck in flat when you are seating the bullet - you would need to adjust the taper crimp of the die.

Ky Larry
August 23, 2010, 10:31 PM
I've loaded 1,000's of 200gr lswc's for my Kimber. I always seat and crimp in seperate steps. I use a single stage Rock Chucker. I can "feel" the right crimp as I adjust the searing die to crimp the rounds.It just takes practice.

John Wayne
August 23, 2010, 10:47 PM
Ok, I tried my empty sized cases (not expanded yet) and they drop in and out fine of both my .45 ACP barrels, which suggests that, like many have said, the belling has not been adequately removed. I'm not flaring them any more than necessary to seat the bullets, but I may not have been fully removing the flare either. Before going through the FCD, finished rounds go about 3/4 of the way in, and can be lightly pushed in the rest of the way, but do not fall out on their own.

It never hurts, to load 2 or 3 dummy rounds,(no primer or powder) before running off a 1,000 round lot with a new bullet.
Not to worry, I can't even afford to buy bullets or primers in quantities over 500 at a time :) At least I have plenty of time to perfect my loads on my humble little Lee single-stage press so I'll have some good ones ready for when I can turn out 2k at a time on a progressive press.

One thing I did wonder about was whether or not I have a taper crimp die. I know my Lee 9mm set has a taper crimp die, but my .45 one is marked for .45 Auto and .45 Auto Rim--would that mean it's a roll crimp die?

bds
August 24, 2010, 05:50 AM
John, great - looks like you are making progress.

The 4 die set (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=242098) you have will do taper crimp and roll crimp, depending on how much die adjustment you have with the taper crimp/bullet seat die.

I do not use the Factory Crimp Die (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=716704&utm_source=froogle&utm_medium=free&utm_campaign=9315) when I set up the dies for a new reloader. I have them use the 3 dies (without the FCD) so all of their rounds chamber OK just with the "flat" taper crimp set at 0.47"-0.472". Once we have 3 dies setup, only then, IF they want the extra "factory" finishing touch, then I have them use the FCD. Use of FCD when you do not have enough "flat" taper crimp just erases the flare you did not take in enough with the taper crimp/bullet seat die.

For me, all of my 45 ACP reloads are taper crimped without the FCD and they feed/chamber fine in multiple pistols. Try taking out the FCD from your turret and adjust your taper crimp/bullet seat die so your taper crimp is set at 0.47"-0.472" diameter. The reloaded rounds should fall right into your chamber.

Walkalong
August 24, 2010, 07:59 AM
Try taking out the FCD from your turret and adjust your taper crimp/bullet seat die so your taper crimp is set at 0.47"-0.472" diameter. The reloaded rounds should fall right into your chamber.
Agreed. That should be tried first. Just enough taper crimp to remove the bell, and a hair more. I need magnification to see my taper crimp in .45 ACP.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=115832&d=1266369497

John Wayne
September 5, 2010, 02:58 PM
Well, finally got around to trying some of the reloads. Since I hadn't shot the first batch of 20, I didn't make any more. In order to get them to chamber, I had to run all of them through the Lee FCD. After going through the FCD, they all chambered and dropped out fine.

When I got to the range about a week later, over half of them would not feed! Most got hung up on the feed ramp--3 went into battery normally, and I fired these three with good results. They shot to POA and ejected fine. 2 rounds chambered and the striker dropped, but they did not go off! There was a pretty good dent in the primer, but it was off-center and did not have the characteristic Glock striker dent. Decided not to push my luck and called it quits, with the following results:

185 gr. JHP, HS-6 starting load, mixed cases, CCI primers (10 rounds loaded):
-3 fed, fired, and ejected normally
-6 would not chamber
-1 chambered but did not fire (large dent in primer)

230 gr. LRN, HS-6 using Win 540 starting load data, mixed cases, CCI primers (10 rounds loaded):
-9 would not chamber
-1 chambered but did not fire (large dent in primer)

When I took the barrel out and tried the rounds that failed to chamber, they failed the "drop test" in both the LWD and factory barrel. Well, I decided to load 5 more JHP rounds, paying special attention to remove all case mouth flare. Loaded them as normal, screwed the bullet seating/crimp die down 1/4 past the point where it contacted the case, and seated them just longer than minimum OAL. Finished rounds measured .472 at the mouth. They still didn't chamber!

I then ran the 5 rounds I just loaded, as well as all the rounds that I had previously loaded, through the Lee FCD, adjusting the die down farther this time. Keep in mind that this is the second time some of the rounds had been through the FCD. All the rounds then passed the chamber drop test, so I went to the range and fired all remaining rounds without issue. They fed fine and proved to be accurate. The two rounds with light strikes went off without a problem.

All rounds were fired through the LWD barrel, which has a tighter chamber. Also tested this barrel with some factory ammo and it functioned fine (I never suspected a problem with the barrel, but wanted to rule it out as a variable).

What's going on?

bluetopper
September 5, 2010, 03:12 PM
Screw your seating/crimp die down a bit more.

bds
September 5, 2010, 05:16 PM
All rounds were fired through the LWD barrel, which has a tighter chamber. Also tested this barrel with some factory ammo and it functioned fine
John, there's your answer - If factory ammo fed and chambered fine, then your reloaded rounds are out of spec.

1. Make sure you are "full length" sizing your spent cases. If you are using a progressive press, recheck the sizing with all the shell plate stations full of cases (on some press, full shell plate stations change the upward travel and you may need to lower your decapping/resizing die). Always chamber check the resized cases using the tightest barrel (in your case, LWD barrel). Cases that are not full length sized will hang at the base of the case and won't fully chamber.

2. Once your resized cases pass the LWD chamber test but if the loaded rounds won't feed/chamber, then you need to check the taper crimp. Keep adjusting until the loaded round drops into the LWD chamber freely with a "clink". Your loaded bullet diameter should be 0.470" - 0.472" measured at the end of case neck. And again, if you have a progressive press, you may need to recheck the taper crimp measurement with the shell plate stations full of cases.

As to the primer that did not fire, it may have been a high primer. If it was, it should fire on the second primer strike. Properly seated primers should be just slightly below flush with the case base.

You are almost there. Keep us posted.

918v
September 5, 2010, 07:07 PM
Adjust your sizer die to touch the shell holder.

Adjust your case mouth expander to bell the case mouth just enough to accept the bullet.

Start the bullet straight in the case.

Adjust the seater to seat without crimping.

Seat.

Adjust the Seater to crimp without seating.

Crimp minimally, just enough to straighten the case mouth.

Your handload will now fit just fine.

I believe you crimped too much and buckled the case. When the case buckles, it grows in diameter and sticks in the chamber.

Walkalong
September 5, 2010, 07:35 PM
Agreed. :)

bds
September 5, 2010, 08:00 PM
Adjust the seater to seat without crimping.

Seat.

Adjust the Seater to crimp without seating.
John is using Lee 4 die set, so it has a combination bullet seater/taper crimp die and FCD. Are you suggesting to run all the rounds first seating the bullet only then running all the rounds again only to taper crimp them?

There are plenty of us who do the seating/taper crimping at the same time without issues.

As to over-taper crimping, if you start with the flared case and gradually take in the flare while checking with the barrel, you should be able to find the point where the flare goes in flat (0.470" - 0.472") without beginning to start the roll crimping of the case neck with this die set.

noylj
September 6, 2010, 01:06 AM
John: Let's walk through setting up the dies and then reloading.
1) Remove barrels from gun and take them to your loading bench. Clean them if need be.
2) Place shell holder in ram. Raise ram. Insert and screw sizing die down until it just touched the shellholder. Turn the die UP about 1/16 of a turn. If you haven't previously done this, chamfer the case mouth inside and out lightly to remove any burrs. Insert empty case in shellholder. Raise ram and size case. While case is in the die, you will want to turn the lock ring down to lock it in position. Drop empty case in barrels. The case should drop in with a nice metallic CLUNK. If not, the cases may be bulged or the die has a problem. I have NEVER not had the case just drop in. If case drops in, lock the ring down and resize all your cases. If any feel different, do the drop test.
3) The cases now needs to be primed—generally you will prime in-line with the sizing operation. If so, leave at least two cases unprimed for setting up the following die stations. If you are using an expansion die that also acts as the powder die (such as the Lee Powder-Through Expansion die or the Lee and Hornady variations, you will have to seat the primers before expansion. Personally, I prefer to prime by hand or with the RCBS bench priming tool.
3a) Expanding with a dedicated expansion die (Hornady, RCBS, others). Raise the ram to its full height with a case in the shell holder. Thread the expander die into the press until the expander touches the case mouth. Raise the handle (lower the ram) a little and screw down the die in small increments (each time inspecting the mouth for the first hint of the mouth being flared/belled) until the mouth of the case has been flared just enough to rest a bullet on the case. Insert the empty case into the die and tighten the die body lock ring.
3b) Expand with a powder-through die where the case is expanded and charged with powder in one step.
Easiest is the Lee PTE die. Same idea applies to others, but you need to have the powder measure attached and turing the die can be frustrating. Raise the ram so the shellholder is all the way up. Screw down the Lee PTE die until it touched the shellholder. Back the die out about 1/2 turn. Lower ram, insert empty case, and raise ram to expand the case. Lower ram and remove the case. Do you see a slight flare/bell at the case mouth? Put the case down on the bench and see if a bullet will rest on the case mouth. Inspect and be sure the case mouth doesn't contact the bullet's body. Adjust die in or out to achieve minimum flare that lets the bullet rest on the case mouth and the case mouth will not scrape the sides of the bullet.
If you are not charging the cases at this point with powder, expand all cases (again, set the unprimed cases aside for use in die set-up and as dummy rounds for the following operations).
4) The next step is powder charging. I have always charged the cases and seated the bullets. I knocked over charged cases a couple of times and decided the loading block route was not for me. If you are doing the loading block route, then charge all the primed cases and inspect them that all powder levels are the same.
5) Bullet seating. This is the critical step that determines if your reloads will function in your guns. It is important to note that the SAAMI “COL” values listed in reloading manuals are for the firearms and ammunition manufacturers industry and must
be seen as a guideline only. The individual reloader is free to adjust this dimension to suit their particular firearm-component-weapon combination. This parameter is determined by various dimensions such as 1) magazine length (space), 2) freebore-lead dimensions of the barrel, 3) ogive or profile of the projectile and 4) position of cannelure or crimp groove.
Take one of the unprimed cases to set-up the seating and crimp dies. Look in the loading manual for the maximum COL (for the .45ACP this is about 1.28"). The following is complicated if you want to seat and crimp in one operations. I will describe it, but if you perform these two operations separately, you will simply set the seating die so it does NOT crimp and lock the die down at that position.
To set-up for simultaneous seating and crimping (not recommended), you will place an empty unprimed case in the shellholder and raise the ram. Turn the seating stem in the seating die all the way up and out of the way. Screw the die body down until you feel the die hit the case. This is the start of the crimping part of the die. Turn the die body up two turns. Lower the empty case, place a bullet on it, and raise the ram. Screw the seating stem down until it contact the bullet. Lower the ram a little, turn the seating stem down 1/2 turn, and raise the ram. While the ram in up, turn the lock ring to lock the die body in position.
Lower the case and determine the COL. You should be able to see that the bullet is not seated to a proper depth yet. Some people measure the COL, determine how far they are from Max COL, and calculate how many turns of the seating stem they need. I just screw in the seating stem about 1/2 turn, seat, and measure the COL. In general, your eye is good enough to let you know if the bullet isn't seated deep enough yet. As you approach max COL, turn the seating stem in smaller amounts. When you get to the max COL, you will need to remove the flare/belling so the case can be chambered. Turn the seating stem all the way up, loosen the lock ring on the die body, and turn the die down 1/2 turn. Insert the unprimed case with the seated bullet and raise the ram. Lower ram and inspect for any remaining flare. You can also try to chamber the dummy round in your barrels. If there is any visible flare, the round should not chamber. Turn the seating die down about 1/4 turn until the dummy round freely chambers. This is all the crimp you need. You should see a slightly shiny "ring" around the case mouth from the crimping. Reassemble your guns.
Now, does the dummy round fit in your magazine? If not, you will need to seat deeper until it does. Load another dummy round (unprimed, no powder). Put both in your gun, pull the slide back and release (don't "help" it, let it slam shut). Did the round feed and chamber? If not, the round may be too long. If there is bullet set-back, you will need to use more crimp later. Adjust seating depth until both dummy rounds function in your gun.
You now have a COL that functions in both your guns and is as long as possible.
Place a dummy in the shellholder, back out the seating die and seating stem, and raise the ram. Turn the seating die body down until it contact the case. slightly lower the ram and turn the die body down about 1/16 turn. Raise the ram and lock the die body with the lock ring. Now, turn the seating stem down until it contacts the bullet. Lock the seating stem down.
You are now ready to seat and crimp the charged cases.
As you can see, the seating and crimping steps are where so many things can go wrong. Actions must be performed in the correct order and the seating stem has to be out of the way when adjusting crimp and the crimp section has to be out of the way when adjusting the bullet seating.
This is also why you want to keep those dummy rounds, properly labeled, and a reloading log book so you know what COL you used with each bullet you load. When you come back, you use the dummy rounds to set-up the seating and crimp dies.
Load about 20 rounds. In a safe location, cycle them through your gun. I generally do this at the range. Check them for bullet set-back (there should be only 0.002" at the most). Then fire them at the range.
If there are problems, determine cause. If all goes well, you are now ready to load a mess of rounds with that bullets and you can start checking different charge weights and powders.

918v
September 6, 2010, 01:16 AM
John is using Lee 4 die set, so it has a combination bullet seater/taper crimp die and FCD. Are you suggesting to run all the rounds first seating the bullet only then running all the rounds again only to taper crimp them?

There are plenty of us who do the seating/taper crimping at the same time without issues.

As to over-taper crimping, if you start with the flared case and gradually take in the flare while checking with the barrel, you should be able to find the point where the flare goes in flat (0.470" - 0.472") without beginning to start the roll crimping of the case neck with this die set.
What I'm suggesting is that he has his seater die adjusted wrong. He's seating and crimping at the same time, buckling the case in the process. If he seperates these steps, life will be easier. If he has a separate taper crimp die, then he can ajust his seater die to seat only and use the taper crim die to crimp only.

mboylan
September 6, 2010, 06:09 PM
Agree with everyone here. You need to learn how to adjust your dies. Bell just enough to seat the bullet, seat at the correct depth and crimp just enough to take out the bell.

The Bushmaster
September 7, 2010, 11:21 AM
And get the damned FCD out of there!!

John Wayne
September 7, 2010, 11:53 AM
Cases are, as previously stated, full length sized and drop in fine to both barrels. It is the finished rounds I am having trouble with.

Also, the finished rounds measure .472, indicating that the belling has been removed.

Yes, I am crimping and seating the bullet at the same time. This is the way I load 9mm rounds, without issue, and also the way described in the instructions that came with my dies. I would prefer to do it this way to simplify things; I did not know there were any problems associated with this method.

As for getting rid of the FCD, why? I agree that it should be an unneccesary step, but at this point it is the only thing that let me fire my finished rounds without having to pull the bullets and start all over again.

I'll try seating and crimping in seperate steps and see if that helps.

bds
September 7, 2010, 12:40 PM
John, I spent yesterday afternoon setting up a brand new reloader (Pro 1000) with 9mm, 40S&W and 45ACP dies (Lee carbide) for a shooter new to reloading.

For 45ACP, after sizing/decapping die was set to full-length size (bottom of the sizer "kissing" the shell plate), slight flare was added to set jacketed/plated/lead bullets (230 gr RN) on top of the case neck just inside the case rim. Then the crimp/seating die was set for 0.472" taper crimp and 1.25" OAL.

I pointed out too much crimp adjustment will start the "roll crimp" on the case neck with a grinding noise and shiny case neck rim - we backed off the crimp adjustment until we got 0.472" tamper crimp with no damage to the case neck rim.

All the rounds dropped into his chambers with a "clink". BTW, FCD was not used.

Since factory ammo chambers fine in your LWD barrel, I think if you carefully measure your reloaded case dimensions, you should find where in the reloading steps you are causing the case to go out of specs.

RealGun
September 7, 2010, 05:00 PM
If he seperates these steps, life will be easier.

Well, that's just it, isn't it? That is what the FCD is all about in theory, but too many times it appears indispensable.

If I eliminated an FCD operation, I certainly would still want to own an FCD and have it standing by as needed. Problem is, now I have to gauge every round because I didn't cover variations with an FCD operation. I don't want to find out later that the ammo is not reliable.

Why should I be forced to use someone else's commercial ammo just to gain confidence that it is reliable enough for a match? Why is my ammo only considered good enough for range practice just because I am too stubborn to use an FCD? The part I don't appreciate is having to own a certain type of press just to fit in that extra operation. Oh well.

I plan to carefully go through the process laid out in noylj's post. I will try one more time to see if I can get consistent OAL without a case collapsing. I will also check the .472 finished diameter at the case mouth that bds stressed a number of times. I have a lot more skill and insight now than when I first tried to set up dies. That's always the way. Here I am using an FCD and nothing is broken, and I am trying to fix something. Actually, being able to drop an operation would be very useful in a couple of my scenarios, primarily when limited to three stations and doing all operations on the press (priming).

Walkalong
September 7, 2010, 05:13 PM
Bottom line is the FCD should not be needed unless the bullets are oversized. (At least .453, or more) The fix for that is buy different bullets next time.

918v
September 8, 2010, 01:59 PM
Well, that's just it, isn't? That is what the FCD is all about in theory, but too many times it appears indispensable.

If I eliminated an FCD operation, I certainly would still want to own an FCD and have it standing by as needed. Problem is, now I have to gauge every round because I didn't cover variations with an FCD operation. I don't want to find out later that the ammo is not reliable.

Why should I be forced to use someone else's commercial ammo just to gain confidence that it is reliable enough for a match? Why is my ammo only considered good enough for range practice just because I am too stubborn to use an FCD? The part I don't appreciate is having to own a certain type of press just to fit in that extra operation. Oh well.

I plan to carefully go through the process laid out in noylj's post. I will try one more time to see if I can get consistent OAL without a case collapsing. I will also check the .472 finished diameter at the case mouth that bds stressed a number of times. I have a lot more skill and insight now than when I first tried to set up dies. That's always the way. Here I am using an FCD and nothing is broken, and I am trying to fix something. Actually, being able to drop an operation would be very useful in a couple of my scenarios, primarily when limited to three stations and doing all operations on the press (priming).
The FCD is unnecessary if you do all the steps right. I use a Redding taper crimp die because I do not want my bullet diameter affected.

The problem with seating and crimping at the same time is that this simultaneous operation depends on a consistent case length. Otherwise, short cases won't get crimped enough and long cases will dig into the bullet before it is fully seated- these are the problem rounds:

The case mouth crapes the bullet shank and holds the lead shavings in a place where they interfere with chambering. In addition, depending on lead hardness, the case mouth stops digging into the bullet shank and the case wall starts to peel away from the bullet just below the crimp.

Some people are talented enough to peel the whole case away from the bullet and can spin the bullet (which is held in place only by the crimp) inside the case with their fingers. They go on various internet sites asking if they need more crimp.

Walkalong
September 8, 2010, 02:09 PM
They go on various internet sites asking if they need more crimp. And invariably someone will tell them to use the FCD on them to "fix" them.

John Wayne
September 8, 2010, 06:39 PM
Well, I loaded 30 more rounds today with 230 gr. LRN bullets.

I tried seating the bullets and crimping seperately, as suggested, to see if it would help. I also did not use the FCD this time.

Bullets were seated within OAL specs (toward the longer end of the spectrum), but after being crimped they still would not chamber. I checked after the first three rounds so thankfully I didn't waste any time. I then adjusted my dies so that they were very close to minimum OAL (min: 1.190", mine averaged 2.000"), and crimped these rounds. Crimp was determined by placing an empty case in the shellholder, raising the ram to the top of its stroke, and adjusting the crimp die (with the seater backed all the way out) down until it touched the case mouth--then 1/2 turn more. I made 30 rounds this way and fired them with the following results:

26 fired as normal
2 would not go into battery after the previous round was fired. The rounds would not go into battery by smacking the slide. After ejecting these rounds and loading them in the magazine again, they chambered, fired, and ejected fine.
1 round did not fully go into battery. A light tap on the rear of the slide sent it into battery and everything functioned as normal.
1 round was sluggish to go into battery; the slide did not fully forward until the trigger was released

All rounds were fired from a Glock 30 with a Lone Wolf .45 ACP barrel. Load was Georgia Arms 230 gr. LRN over 7.1 gr. HS-6 (using Win 540 data), COL 2.000, with mixed cases and CCI LP primers. Gun and barrel have had approximately 50 rounds through them between cleanings.

tac_driver
September 8, 2010, 10:51 PM
A 230gr. LRN I seat to 1.250" and crimp to .469" for the lonewolf barrel in my 21SF The lonewolf barrels have tight tolerances.

noylj
September 9, 2010, 12:07 AM
1) The bullets would have to be GROSSLY oversize to cause the problem
2) The FCD does an excellent job of crimping (if you follow directions) and will not size down the case unless it is over SAAMI maximum. That is not a standard sizing ring but oversize to match SAAMI max dimensions. It will not size your case unless there is some other problem and the crimp is excellent. It doesn't swage my 0.358" 9mm rounds or my 0.360 .38 Special rounds, or my 0.454" .45 rounds.
3) John: Did you go through setting up your dies as I described?

John Wayne
September 9, 2010, 12:13 AM
John: Did you go through setting up your dies as I described?

Yes, and that is the way I have always done it with other calibers too. The only thing I did differently was to seat the bullets and crimp in seperate steps, instead of at the same time.

A 230gr. LRN I seat to 1.250" and crimp to .469" for the lonewolf barrel in my 21SF The lonewolf barrels have tight tolerances.

Thanks, I will try crimping to .469". My reloads have been .472"; that may be the problem. Didn't realize the chambers were quite so tight and I did not want to turn the die down too far and risk messing up the headspacing. What bullets are you using?

Walkalong
September 9, 2010, 07:27 AM
Yep. Go below .472.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=116163&d=1266759839

918v
September 9, 2010, 01:20 PM
1) The bullets would have to be GROSSLY oversize to cause the problem

Not really. I had a Wilson CQB with a .452" throat. It would not accept .452" bullets. I had to resize them to .451" in order for the round to chamber. Everything is subject to tolerances. Inevitably someone is bound to get an undersize part and someone else an oversize part.

SSN Vet
September 9, 2010, 02:34 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the words Factory Crimp Die are purely marketing speak.

If you buy a die set for and autoloader cartridge, the FCD is a taper die, with the added feature of a post sizing ring.

Neither my 9mm Luger nor .45 acp LFCDs "squeeze" the bullet in a Collet (leaving the tell tail marks) as does the LFCD for rifle rounds.

The post sizer on the .45 acp die will usually rub the bell on thicker walled cases (Federal brass). And with a .452" dia. LSWC, it will just touch the "belly" of rounds loaded with Federal brass. Thin wall brass from RP or Aguila never touches the post sizing ring at all. I've pulled lead bullets that have been loaded with the thicker Federal brass (and hence post sized) and they measure the exact .452 that they did before being seated.

I can't help but suspect that a lot of the "post sizing" that folks experience with the LFCD is due to putting excessive flare in the brass when expanding the case mouth.

Sure I could set up the seating die to crimp and seat, but I have a four hole turret press and would have to advance through an empty station anyways, so I find seating and crimping in separate strokes very convenient. It makes set up a breeze and allows me to tweak either the crimp or COAL with out affecting the other operation.

I suspect that the source of much of the hot emotions over the LFCD is really Lee's over the top rhetoric.

The LFCD is not the end all to be all..... but it's also not a tool of the anti-Christ.

For all auto-loading pistol calibers, it's just a taper crimp die with a post sizing ring.

918v
September 10, 2010, 12:35 AM
I can't help but suspect that a lot of the "post sizing" that folks experience with the LFCD is due to putting excessive flare in the brass when expanding the case mouth.

That's not it. FCD's have an unacceptable tolerance level and some, like mine, would swage a .452" bullet down in the case. Yours does not. I suspect yours on one extreme end of the tolerance and mine on the other.

USSR
September 10, 2010, 07:19 AM
...would not accept .452" bullets. I had to resize them to .451" in order for the round to chamber.

Had the same problem with my Series 70 Gold Cup, had to use a .451 sizer.

Don

918v
September 10, 2010, 01:22 PM
Some 45 ACP chambers have conical throats, meaning they are closer to a revolver forcing cone than a typical rifle-like freebore. Those accept all kinds of bullets. Wilson cuts a straight freebore that is supposed to be .453" in diameter. If you get a tight one, as I did, you'll run into problems.

noylj
September 10, 2010, 10:57 PM
The FCD is needed, in that it does an excellent job of crimping.
It is NOT needed if all you are doing is trying to iron-our your errors—which it will do, but should you be firing that case?
My FCD dies do not size the case or swage the bullet, unless I have screwed something up.
For a roll crimp, I find the Redding Profile Crimp and the Lee FCD give me the best, most accurate, crimp.
For a taper crimp, I find the Redding Taper Crimp and the Lee FCD give me the best, most accurate, crimp.
The FCD also makes a really good push-through sizing die.

tac_driver
September 11, 2010, 01:01 PM
Yes, and that is the way I have always done it with other calibers too. The only thing I did differently was to seat the bullets and crimp in seperate steps, instead of at the same time.



Thanks, I will try crimping to .469". My reloads have been .472"; that may be the problem. Didn't realize the chambers were quite so tight and I did not want to turn the die down too far and risk messing up the headspacing. What bullets are you using?

Midstates cast bullets (http://www.bulletsdirect.com/)
45 acp 230 gr. RN sized to 0.452

RealGun
September 11, 2010, 02:09 PM
The FCD is needed, in that it does an excellent job of crimping. It is NOT needed if all you are doing is trying to iron-our your errors—which it will do, but should you be firing that case? My FCD dies do not size the case or swage the bullet, unless I have screwed something up.

If the post sizing ring isn't needed, or it is not wanted until rounds are gauged, then the FCD could as well be just a taper crimp die. Lee doesn't make just a carbide taper crimp, so no, lead bullet guys are not going to be happy with Lee's crimp die. It's not a bad die. It's just the wrong one in some cases.

Here is a question I had when looking at what dies were available. Would a die that does nothing but taper crimp need to be carbide or lubricated? So what, if taper crimp dies are not that commonly available in carbide?

Rico567
September 11, 2010, 03:26 PM
I don't know what problem some people seem to have with the Lee FCD.......I certainly can't see it. I started using it because maybe 7-8 rounds in 100 wouldn't quite pass the case gauge. All the rest of my rounds were just fine, and I could never seem to "adjust it out." I started using the FCD and the problem went away. Very rarely, I can feel the size ring on the FCD engage a round, but the real beauty of this is that I've been able to quit doing the separate case gauge step with my ammo.

And, no, I don't believe a word that the FCD is somehow going to give lead bullets excessive setback. Something else is wrong if that is the case.

Walkalong
September 11, 2010, 04:55 PM
Would a die that does nothing but taper crimp need to be carbide or lubricated? So what, if taper crimp dies are not that commonly available in carbide?
No, it does not need to be carbide. There is very little contact with the case. Lee makes a taper crimp die that only taper crimps. I am sure it does a fine job. There is nothing magical about how a FCD taper crimps. It works just like any taper crimp die except the part that does the crimping "floats" on an o ring.

The FCD's carbide ring that "post sizes" is an answer to a non problem. Unless you are loading over sized bullets, there is no need for it. Even then I would just say buy different bullets. Chamber too small for .452 lead and decent brass? Get it reamed out a couple thou.

The one argument I hear that I can live with is folks who use it as a "gauge" instead of gauging the ammo after loading to ensure function for a match. That ammo does not need to be super accurate, just accurate enough. It does, however, need to function 100%.

RealGun
September 11, 2010, 05:39 PM
The FCD's carbide ring that "post sizes" is an answer to a non problem. Unless you are loading over sized bullets, there is no need for it.

That is simply not true. The problem is rounds that won't gauge (or chamber). The solution is running them through an FCD. The "prevention" might be something else, but the FCD definitely solves a problem. Those who use an FCD regularly don't really need to care about being perfect without an FCD. That is not a goal for its own sake unless one is loading on a three hole turret. I do that in one caliber but then am stuck with having to gauge every round.

Walkalong
September 11, 2010, 06:26 PM
The solution is running them through an FCD. The "prevention" might be something else, but the FCD definitely solves a problem.

The "prevention" is something else, as you posted, but it does not "solve" the problem, it "masks" the problem.

Those who use an FCD regularly don't really need to care about being perfect without an FCD. That is not a goal for its own sake unless one is loading on a three hole turretWell, if ones standards are that low, I guess it works. Personally, I do care about the quality of my reloads.

RealGun
September 11, 2010, 07:22 PM
Well, if ones standards are that low, I guess it works. Personally, I do care about the quality of my reloads.

I don't think that's a fair statement. What matters is whether the round will chamber and go bang! No ones "standards are low", and no one is stupid or foolish. They just want ammo that works. If everyone could control all the variables involved with used brass and trying to automate, they might not need that failsafe operation (FCD).

918v
September 12, 2010, 12:25 AM
What matters is whether the round will chamber and go bang!

I guess if one does not care about accuracy, then the FCD is a way to make crappy rounds chamber and fire.

noylj
September 12, 2010, 01:12 AM
These are my results:
I tried every combination of dies that I had and a few I picked up cheap at a gun show.
For 148gn HBWC in .38 Special, the most accurate ammunition was unsized and slightly roll crimped with the Redding Profile Crimp die. Almost as accurate, based on over 50 groups each, was the Lee FCD. These two were head and shoulders above the others. I found that the most critical aspect of loading the HBWC was NOT to swage down the bullet during seating or crimping. Brass is way over expanded so about half the bullet sits in the case before seating a bullet. The only way I could approach and exceed factory ammunition was: unsized brass; an old RCBS expander that did not flare the case out as expansion was increased; a Hornady, Dillon, or Lee seater die with the seater machined so it did not distort the "bump" at the front of the bullet: and the Redding Profile Crimp or Lee FCD. They both eliminate the excess expansion without swaging the bullet (which is .358 at the head and .360 at the hollow base).
For my .45ACP, I have done some of the same, but the .45 is no where near as touchy and sensitive to reloading actions. Again, the Lee FCD puts on a taper crimp every bit as nice as the Redding taper crimp die and, while I don't have the statistics I have on the .38 Wadcutter, they appear to be more likely to produce very accurate rounds than the Hornady, Dillon, and RCBS dies I have.
Thus, for me, the Lee FCD is inexpensive and gives me about the best crimp I have gotten.
I have always crimped until I can not see or feel the flare any more. This works out to .472-.470" when I have measured.

918v
September 12, 2010, 01:20 AM
I have cut factory HBWC groups by 50% by seating the bullets quarter inch out past the case mouth and taper crimping with a Redding taper crimp die. I size my brass with a Lee oversize carbide sizer which returns the brass to factory spec. I agree that HBWC cannot be molested, else they will shoot like crap.

Walkalong
September 12, 2010, 08:39 AM
and no one is stupid or foolish. Never did I say that, nor infer it.

The crimp part of a die is very simple. Any properly made crimp die will work well. We all have our favorites of course. I choose not to rely on a carbide ring to make reloads fit guns, so I want crimp dies that do not have that feature. The FCD for auto rounds does a nice taper crimp, just like any decent taper crimp die, but a beautiful crimp can be had without using the FCD with its "post sizing" carbide ring, so I choose not to use the FCD. Besides, I do not need it to make my reloads fit my guns, even on very tight chambers.

It is of course easier to set up the seating and crimping in separate steps, but with auto rounds that use a very light taper crimp it is totally unnecessary if one does not want to buy an extra die. The bullet is being seating such a small amount as the crimp is applied that it won't hurt a thing, if set up properly.

The Bushmaster
September 12, 2010, 09:41 AM
If you need a FCD to correct your mistakes you need to go back and figure out and correct your reloading procedures.

I do use a FCD for crimping .30-30 rounds. But for crimping only as I prefer the crimp that it produces.

RealGun
September 12, 2010, 10:14 AM
The "prevention" is something else, as you posted, but it does not "solve" the problem, it "masks" the problem.
What would that problem be? What ultimate wisdom completely rules out a round failing to chamber? Isn't this just another FCD pissing contest? If I shouldn't need an FCD in your opinion, tell me what I should fix, so I don't indeed need an FCD to correct stray issues on some rounds, not all.

There is an irony here in that conditioning 40 SW or 45 ACP brass before reloading can include use of an FCD shell as the key component in a Bulge Buster.

It isn't helpful to just gloat about how one hasn't needed a post sizing die in 40 years or reloading. So far, with the best adjustments I can manage I am getting 5% gauging failures needing to be run through an FCD. If I had the turret station available, I could include an FCD and virtually eliminate gauging.

bds
September 12, 2010, 10:23 AM
Walkalong:
Well, if ones standards are that low, I guess it works. Personally, I do care about the quality of my reloads.
RealGun:
Those who use an FCD regularly don't really need to care about being perfect without an FCD. That is not a goal for its own sake unless one is loading on a three hole turret
I help setup presses/dies for those new to reloading on a regular basis (It's my way of paying forward and sharing knowledge/information) and get asked the same question about FCD, "When do you use it?"

What I tell them is this. I was taught by my reloading mentor to ensure my reloaded rounds are within specs to feed/chamber in ANY pistol. He intentionally made me not use the FCD to achieve this objective. He told me that I could use the FCD afterwards IF I wanted to.

This is THR and many new to reloading come here for information. When someone new to reloading buys a press and dies (let's say non-Lee brand so no FCD), how should we advise them to load their reloads? Of course, to specs or to drop freely into the tightest barrel they have. If they did not load their rounds to specs, their rounds would simply not drop freely into the chamber and they would post, "My rounds don't chamber." We would then recommend that they recheck their die settings to "correct" the dimensions of the loaded rounds. We would not tell them to go buy a FCD and run those out of spec rounds through them.

I believe the FCD has a definite use to "push through size (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=502850&highlight=bulge+buster)" cases that have been over-expanded at the case base that normal resizing won't take care of.

RealGun
September 12, 2010, 11:11 AM
When someone new to reloading buys a press and dies (let's say non-Lee brand so no FCD), how should we advise them to load their reloads?

Notice here (http://tinymicros.com/wiki/Reloading_Press_(JCW)) the example of buying a Dillon 650 yet including a supplemental Redding die and a Lee FCD. This is originating from a group of some pretty hard core reloaders that shoot in competition with no time for misfeeds.

918v
September 12, 2010, 12:49 PM
What would that problem be? What ultimate wisdom completely rules out a round failing to chamber? Isn't this just another FCD pissing contest? If I shouldn't need an FCD in your opinion, tell me what I should fix, so I don't indeed need an FCD to correct stray issues on some rounds, not all.


The problem is sloppy technique. People sizing their brass incorrectly, seating the bullets crooked, crimping too much or not enough, etc.

If you size the case all the way down to the base, bell minimally, start the bullet straight in the case, seat and crimp properly, there is no need to "fix" anything.

"Fixing" a round with the FCD is like fixing a watch with a hammer. The FCD does not fix anything. It is a patch, kinda like a car cover you throw on a POS that is devaluing your property.

Red Cent
September 12, 2010, 01:08 PM
918v, what reloading press do you use?

Red Cent
September 12, 2010, 01:10 PM
John Wayne, uhhh......mmmm.... what was your question?

918v
September 12, 2010, 01:15 PM
918v, what reloading press do you use?
I have a CH 4 station press, several Lee Hand Presses, and a Meacham.

Walkalong
September 12, 2010, 02:12 PM
Isn't this just another FCD pissing contest?
It certainly wasn't meant to be, but since you seem bent on trying to blow things out of proportion to make it that way, I am done. Besides, this thread is way off track from the OP's question. AC

RealGun
September 12, 2010, 02:41 PM
What I meant was that an FCD cannot be mentioned without someone jumping in to mock anyone who uses one. That would be okay if realistic ways of avoiding use of an FCD were offered at the same time.

918v
September 12, 2010, 02:59 PM
Seating bullets straight in the case is unrealistic?

Sizing the case all the way down is unrealistic?

Paying attention is unrealistic?

If people are not willing to learn to do things correctly, they should not be assembling ammunition.

RealGun
September 12, 2010, 03:15 PM
Actually, I did appreciate your response but now that you mention it, no, it is not realistic to get bullet alignment perfect every time.

No, it is not realistic to size the case full length without hitting the shell holder. Some calibers are not straight wall cases, allowing a pass through die operation. The main component for that is the shell of an FCD or special die of similar size.

Some dies that go down farther than most others have to sacrifice some of the chamfering of the mouth that is needed for slight variations in alignment on progressive presses. What one can accomplish on a single stage might be more exacting but would be unacceptably low productivity in many cases.

I am not sure where the paying attention thing comes from. Problems occur all the time even when paying complete attention.

918v
September 12, 2010, 03:47 PM
No, it is not realistic to size the case full length without hitting the shell holder.

It is perfectly OK to hit the shell holder. I have been doing it for 17 years. It is not OK to cam over it. That may crack the carbide ring.

918v
September 12, 2010, 03:50 PM
no, it is not realistic to get bullet alignment perfect every time.



You don't have to get it perfect, but dropping bullets into the case mouth at a careless angle is pure negligence. That's how you get bulges.

918v
September 12, 2010, 03:58 PM
Some dies that go down farther than most others have to sacrifice some of the chamfering of the mouth that is needed for slight variations in alignment on progressive presses. What one can accomplish on a single stage might be more exacting but would be unacceptably low productivity in many cases.

So your contention is that ammunition produced on progressive equipment has to be inferior to ammunition produced on single stage equipment?

bds
September 12, 2010, 04:04 PM
RealGun:
What I meant was that an FCD cannot be mentioned without someone jumping in to mock anyone who uses one.
RealGun, the OP (John Wayne) posted that his reloaded rounds wouldn't chamber but when they went through the FCD, they did.
John Wayne:
Forgot to add that the Lee FCD is designed to post-size out of spec rounds. Judging from the resistance encountered, it resized each of the 10 rounds I ran through it. Before using the FCD, none of the 10 would readily chamber and all 10 chamber just fine afterwards.
The reason why many asked the OP (including me) to eliminate the FCD from his reloading process (for now) was because his reloaded rounds were "out of spec" or dimensions too big to fit the Lone Wolf barrel chamber. Once his reloaded rounds fit the LW barrel, THEN, if OP wants to put the extra "factory crimp" finish on the case neck, he is free to do so.

We are all just trying to help the OP out so he can enjoy shooting his lead reloads out of his LW barrel in his Glock 30. I have nothing against the use of FCD, once your reloads are within specs or freely drop in to your tightest chamber.

Peace. :D

RealGun
September 12, 2010, 05:49 PM
Once his reloaded rounds fit the LW barrel, THEN, if OP wants to put the extra "factory crimp" finish on the case neck, he is free to do so.

That would miss the point of the FCD over other taper crimp dies. It is the post sizing that the FCD contributes. That might not be advisable on the .452 lead bullets, but John Wayne, the OP, mentioned first working with JHP. He had two batches of bullets. I went back and read all his posts, and others might want to do the same.

What I thought was an okay idea but might be confounding is that he switched to doing seating and crimping as separate operations. That is okay if running two different setups with the seating die, the first with just seating.

One thing I think should be reviewed here is that the statement was made earlier that commercial boxed ammo chambered okay. I believe I would want to measure those carefully before concluding that the crimp yield needed to be less than .472, squeezing bullets in the process.

bds
September 12, 2010, 10:47 PM
OP:
I would also like to eliminate using the FCD all together, since it just adds [an] extra step and there is no reason I shouldn't be able to load ammo with just the regular resizing/decapping, expanding, and bullet seating dies.
We are all just trying to help the OP fulfill his objective from post #1.

Sure like to hear back from the OP as to his progress.

John Wayne
September 14, 2010, 08:50 PM
Ok, here's another update. I set out to load 20 more rounds with the same GA 230 gr. LRN bullets, sized .452, and HS-6 powder with mixed once-fired cases, all through the LWD barrel.

I tried crimping bullets to .469", as recommended. Turning the bullet seater/crimp die a little over 1/4 but not quite 1/2 turn got me down to around .472". I kept turning the crimp die down until I hit .469", but at that point the round had an obvious bright and shiny roll crimp on it, and still would not chamber. I did not want to fire a roll-crimped round in an auto pistol, so I tossed that one and tried something else.

Up until this point, I had been crimping rounds using the bullet seater and crimp die. I started off trying to do this operation in one step, and after experiencing problems, decided to try seating and crimping in two seperate steps, to no avail. With this batch, I first seated the bullets using the seating die, and did not apply any crimp. I then used the FCD to crimp the rounds. It took 1 turn of the FCD past the point where it contacted the case mouth in order to get the rounds to chamber--and they still did not readily chamber with a "clink." They go in easily but do not fall out without a gentle shake or tap. Well, they were starting loads and I'm quite frustrated at this point so I decided to try them. Here are the results:

Of 19 rounds fired:
-1 FTRTB
-1 slow RTB (slide went "ka-chunk")

All rounds fired were just as accurate, if not more, than factory rounds. Also put 5 rounds of Winchester PDX1 factory 230 gr. JHP through the barrel, and experienced 1 FTRTB with that ammo. When tested, it readily chambers with a "clink" and falls right back out. Maybe I need to do more extensive testing with factory ammo, and other bullet styles. I only tested the LWD barrel initially with 1 10-round mag of factory FMJ ammo before trying reloads. LWD bbl. chamber measures .475" by my digital calipers. Is this in spec?

Also, the bullets leave a slight line on the case where they're seated. I'm guessing this is what the FCD is smoothing out, and also what is preventing the rounds from chambering. They do not hang up until this part of the loaded cartridge enters the chamber--then it requires a slight push to fully chamber. Could my bullets simply be too large for the tight dimensions of this aftermarket barrel?

*edit: I would just like to say that I do truly appreciate all those who have tried to help me and read this thread through instead of arguing over the FCD. This has been a frustrating experience for me and I welcome your advice.

Walkalong
September 14, 2010, 09:02 PM
A .45 ACP seater should have a taper crimp built in. It should not roll crimp, so I am confused there.

It is normal for some bulge to show at the bottom of where the bullet is seated in the brass. Unless things are crooked, or the bullet is oversized, it should not need to be removed, assuming the chamber is not undersized.

jhallrv4
September 14, 2010, 09:39 PM
I thought I had "reloading" issues with my DW 1911. Then I finally went to a 1911 expert, and he altered the feed lips on my mags, problem solved.

I guess the moral to the story is "don't assume it's the reloads".

I fought that for WAY to long. Take it to a real 45acp smithy.

Jeff

bds
September 15, 2010, 12:34 AM
jhallrv4, the OP is having problem with his reloaded rounds not falling freely into the chamber with the barrel out of the pistol. He's not even to the feeding/chambering from magazine freely yet. :D

John Wayne, just to rule out another variable, could you try another bullet? I will be happy to send you some sample of 45ACP lead bullets I use (200/230 gr) and some of my dummy rounds so you can chamber test in your LWD barrel (they are sized at 0.470"-0.472").

If they don't fall in freely, it may be the LWD barrel and you can have LWD enlarge the chamber for you under their life-time service warranty. If they fall in freely with a "clink", it may be something else.

PM me if interested.

tac_driver
September 15, 2010, 06:54 PM
some things to check:
1. set sizing die to just kiss the shell holder when handle down position.
2. drop sized case into barrel it should drop in easily and fall right out without any shaking.
3. expand case mouth .17 to .20 over sized case diameter.
4. seat 230gr.RNL bullet starting at 1.260
5. in a seperate station crimp cartridge to .469 using a taper crimp
6. test in barrel
results should be round drops in easily and falls out with no effort.
if the round sticks:
re-seat bullet 1.255 then run through crimp die without re-adjusting die.
keep doing it until you get the desired result.

In my LoneWolf barrel I started at 1.272 (from Lyman 49th)
and settled at 1.140 (I set die at 1.143 to get +-.3)

If you use jacketed bullets set crimp to .470.

Plese post back with results.

Here is a tip for you:
put a small line on the top of the seating and crimping dies with a black magic marker so you can gauge your adjustments.
It's not always perfect but a quarter of a turn is .10 and a eighth of a turn is .5

claybrook
September 15, 2010, 11:41 PM
I just went through this with 230grn LRN bullets. I was seating them to long. They started reliably chambering at 1.20 for me.

John Wayne
September 15, 2010, 11:45 PM
A .45 ACP seater should have a taper crimp built in. It should not roll crimp, so I am confused there.

Maybe I'm not using the correct term...but the case of the round I mentioned definately "rolled" in towards the bullet, as opposed to having sharply defined edges like factory auto pistol cartridge rounds.

I thought I had "reloading" issues with my DW 1911. Then I finally went to a 1911 expert, and he altered the feed lips on my mags, problem solved.

Well, the gun works fine with the stock barrel; the only variables that have been introduced are the LWD aftermarket barrel and my reloaded ammunition...unless my Glock 30 is having some FTRTB problem that just seems to manifest itself with particular bullet styles. I have read about the G30 having FTRTB problems, and I'd like to get a stronger recoil spring. FWIW my gun is Gen 3 and has the "-1" connector. I know Glock modified the connectors in the model 30 at some point to address the FTRTB problem, so that may be a contributing factor.


John Wayne, just to rule out another variable, could you try another bullet? I will be happy to send you some sample of 45ACP lead bullets I use (200/230 gr) and some of my dummy rounds so you can chamber test in your LWD barrel (they are sized at 0.470"-0.472").

If they don't fall in freely, it may be the LWD barrel and you can have LWD enlarge the chamber for you under their life-time service warranty. If they fall in freely with a "clink", it may be something else.

I appreciate the offer, and have been considering buying some different bullets myself. I tried two different styles and weights, but both were from the same manufacturer (Georgia Arms). I think I'll buy some Hornadys (which I know to be of good quality) and try those.

I dont think I'll buy GA lead bullets again. What kind do you use/recommend? I have heard good things about both Penn Bullets and Missouri Bullet Co..

That is good to know about LW's warranty policy; for what I'd be using this barrel for I would rather have it be a little looser in tolerances if it made the gun more reliable. (I shoot reloads to save on money and in competitions like steel challenge, where accuracy is not paramount). If switching bullets does not do it, I may very well contact them.

1. set sizing die to just kiss the shell holder when handle down position.
2. drop sized case into barrel it should drop in easily and fall right out without any shaking.
3. expand case mouth .17 to .20 over sized case diameter.
4. seat 230gr.RNL bullet starting at 1.260
5. in a seperate station crimp cartridge to .469 using a taper crimp
6. test in barrel
results should be round drops in easily and falls out with no effort.
if the round sticks:
re-seat bullet 1.255 then run through crimp die without re-adjusting die.
keep doing it until you get the desired result.


Once again, for those that have not read the first several pages, cases are full length resized and fall freely into and out of my barrel. They are also expanded to the absolute minimum diameter that allows me to start a bullet in the case.

Regarding seating, it seems that most people in this thread recommend seating the bullets toward the maximum OAL...which is fine, but shouldn't the gun function as long as the finished rounds are between min and max OAL? I usually seat them closer to min length to get higher velocities with less powder.

bds
September 16, 2010, 01:15 AM
What kind do you use/recommend?
I currently use Missouri Bullets 200/230 gr SWC/RN (18 BHN) with very happy results.

shouldn't the gun function as long as the finished rounds are between min and max OAL?
How well the particular OAL feed and chamber depend on the bullet nose profile and pistol. Some pistols will feed any bullet and OAL while others are more picky about bullet type and OAL.

Regarding seating, it seems that most people in this thread recommend seating the bullets toward the maximum OAL...which is fine, but I usually seat them closer to min length to get higher velocities with less powder.
I used to do the same with plinking reloads to cut down on powder usage. However, the longer OALs that will feed/chamber reliably from the magazine will engage the rifling faster and provide more consistent accuracy.

I typically load my 230 gr RN to 1.25" OAL, but will seat my 200 gr SWC longer for match shooting accuracy.

Walkalong
September 16, 2010, 07:30 AM
Powder is one of our cheapest components. Seat the bullets to feed, and adjust the powder for performance. (Accuracy/velocity)

tac_driver
September 16, 2010, 11:49 AM
longer is better as long as it fits in the magazine and drops out of the barrel without sticking. The LoneWolf barrels have tighter tolerances so you won't be able to seat as long as a 1911 barrel but you should be able to get them to 1.250" (1.253 +-3) Measure a winchester white box factory round i got 1.260" crimp .469 - .471.

bds
September 17, 2010, 01:27 PM
John Wayne:
That is good to know about LW's warranty policy; for what I'd be using this barrel for I would rather have it be a little looser in tolerances if it made the gun more reliable. (I shoot reloads to save on money and in competitions like steel challenge, where accuracy is not paramount).
Actually, if Lone Wolf enlarged the chamber a bit, it would still probably be tighter than most factory chambers or be comparable. As to accuracy, I don't think enlarging the chamber a bit will have much effect as accuracy comes mostly from bullet-to-barrel fit and pistol construction.

nofishbob
September 17, 2010, 03:07 PM
Hi John Wayne-

I had similar problems a few years ago loading lead bullets for a stock G21.

The bullets (NO-Name brand) were inconsistent is diameter. most were ok, but about 25% bulged the brass enough to cause misfeeding. I had already loaded a few hundred before this became apparent.

I dug out the old FCD and ran all of these loads through it. All were then reliable.

I don't use the FCD normally, as it quickly becomes obvious that it is not doing anything to rounds that don't have a problem.

In the great FCD debate, I think that it is noteworthy that all commercial reloading machines that I know of use the equivalent of an FCD as the final step before the round is finished.

I have had great luck with Missouri Bullet Co, both their bullets and their service, with no FCD required!


Good luck!

John Wayne
September 17, 2010, 05:28 PM
Loaded up 25 more rounds, this time using 185 gr. JHP bullets from Georgia Arms. Finally got them to chamber freely (with a "clink") and they fell right out. I checked every single round in the tightest chamber I have (the Lone Wolf barrel).

I went to the range and could only get three of them to fire. The rest simply would not go into battery. Now these are rounds that are within OAL specs, don't have a huge HP cavity, fit fine in the magazine, pass the chamber drop test, etc., and they still don't work!

I even tried them in the stock barrel. They simply would not allow the gun to fully go into battery, even when the back of the slide was smacked. I am starting to wonder if I should toss the Glock and get a Sig!

Unfortunately I don't have any friends with .45's, so I can't try my reloads in another gun to verify that they are not the problem. Since they are "in spec" and pass the chamber drop test, I believe the gun to be at fault, at least in this case.

tac_driver
September 17, 2010, 08:13 PM
All rounds were fired through the LWD barrel, which has a tighter chamber. Also tested this barrel with some factory ammo and it functioned fine (I never suspected a problem with the barrel, but wanted to rule it out as a variable).
This statement leads me to believe it's not the gun that is the problem but something to do with the reloading process.
Are you using your calipers on just the very tip of the case on the finished round? Because that is where you measure your crimp. I would also recommend measuring a factory round to see how they compare to your reloaded rounds.

bds
September 18, 2010, 10:16 AM
John Wayne, I agree with tac_driver. Based on what's been posted on this thread so far, I believe it is indeed your reloading process and not the barrel or the pistol.

Loaded up 25 more rounds, this time using 185 gr. JHP bullets from Georgia Arms. Finally got them to chamber freely (with a "clink") and they fell right out. I checked every single round in the tightest chamber I have (the Lone Wolf barrel).
Jacketed 45ACP bullets are typically smaller in diameter at 0.451" as compared to 0.452" for lead bullets, but I still taper crimp them to the same 0.470"-0.472". Your JHP rounds dropped freely into the Lone Wolf barrel and that's great.

As to new JHP loads not feeding, jacketed hollow-point bullets have different nose profile than round nose bullets, so you need to adjust the OAL to feed and chamber properly from the magazine. Make a JHP dummy round at longer 1.27" OAL and see if it feeds reliably from the magazine (pull the slide all the way back and release without riding the slide). If the dummy round doesn't feed at the longer OAL, gradually decrease the OAL by turning the seater knob and recheck the feeding/chambering from the magazine. Once you determine the OAL that feed/chamber well from the magazine, they should do well at the range.

You are almost there. Keep us posted.

John Wayne
September 18, 2010, 11:21 AM
I know JHP has a reputation for causing feeding problems, but the bullets are seated as deep as they can go. They are not at minimum OAL but the widest part of the bullet is right at the case mouth. Any deeper and the tapered part of the bullet will be below the case mouth, and it seem like this would make feeding problems even worse.

Also, it's not a particularly wide HP cavity, and it won't feed in the stock Glock barrel either. Glocks having feeding problems is not a very common complaint. Also, as I mentioned before, I only tested the LW barrel with 10 rounds of factory FMJ ammo--not a very extensive test. I could not get it to feed all 5 rounds of JHP ammo fired through it with 100% reliability, which is why I suspected the barrel may have been part of the problem.

As for crimp, yes, I was measuring it right at the case mouth. When chambering rounds, I never ride the slide forward--I always release it when fully retracted or release it using the slide lock. The slide goes all the way forward except for maybe the last 1/4", where no amount of coaxing will get it into battery. I also have to remove the mag to get any chambered round out, a problem which a Glock armorer told me is "normal." So, as you can see, the pistol has provided me with some reason for suspecting that it may be contributing to the problem.

bds
September 18, 2010, 02:53 PM
The slide goes all the way forward except for maybe the last 1/4", where no amount of coaxing will get it into battery.
When this happened to me in the past, it was either bottom of the case not being fully sized and getting stuck in the chamber opening of LWD barrel or case neck flare not taken in fully and getting stuck forward of the chamber.

I am perplexed since your resized cases are dropping in freely into LWD barrel.

Can you take the rounds that won't chamber the last 1/4" and drop into the LWD barrel out of the pistol? If they don't drop in freely now, the cases must be getting distorted during crimping/seating and you'll need to revisit your taper crimp/bullet seating steps.

Keep us posted.

bds
September 18, 2010, 02:59 PM
Also, if those rounds that won't go in the last 1/4" won't drop freely into the LWD barrel, color the case of the rounds with a marker to identify where it is contacting the chamber.

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