What did I do wrong?


September 10, 2010, 01:13 AM
Hey all,
This is my first time posting here, so forgive me if this is not where this should go...but I have a question for the community. My father has a .40 cal Xdm handgun and I started reloading for him seeing as how he goes shooting regularly... so my friend helps me get started with what I need he gave me a Lee hand loader the die set and Hodgdon HP-38 powder and some 155 grains tips...now here is my problem I de-primed and all that loaded the charge put a "bell" on it and seated the tip but as I crimped it I noticed that one side of the case (toward the middle I think) buckled out in a crescent shape. I then proceeded to use an extractor to pull the bullet apart and re-straighten the case which got the buckle out. Can the case still be used and if so what did I do to cause the deformity in the first place and how can I avoid it in the future?
Thanks in advance.
P.S. Pics on way

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September 10, 2010, 01:20 AM
It sounds like you are seating & crimping in one step. Try not crimping till all the bullets are seated then crimp them all. I would set those cases aside that buckled till you get more experience and at that point you will know what you can use and not. As long as there is no crease, you should be fine, but 40 is a high pressure round and it isn't wise to take any chances till you know for sure.

September 10, 2010, 03:24 AM
lets see I have 3 dies form lee the de-primer/re-sizer, the die that creates the flare that mouth of the case and the I guess the dies that seats and crimps...unless I have been seating the tip by hand. My friend gave me the lee hand press so...

September 10, 2010, 05:18 AM
Do you have a reloading manual? You really need to have one to get the safe instructions and data on reloading. what you describe is normal. When yuou resize the case, the die "squeezes" (called resizing) to a size that is undersized. When you seat the what you call the tip (it is called the bullet. A complete round is a cartridge) the bullet will cause the case to expand outward and leave a small ridge where the base of the bullet is. This is all normal. Take the barrel out of the gun and use it for a chamber gage to see if you cartridges will fit properly. Pictures would help.

Deus Machina
September 10, 2010, 05:22 AM
Before anyone jumps you on it... ;)

The entire thing is called a cartridge. The 'tip' is the bullet itself.

Edit: check if it's a buckle (like a wripple in fabric) or just a bulge, like the casing was actually slightly too small for the bullet. That one is normal, and just the product of a case sized down toward minimum specs.

Bullseye is right on this. Buckled cases go in the scrap or the 'wait until later' bin and seating and crimping in seperate steps is a good idea.

The way to do that with three-die set is thus: to seat, turn the seating/crimping die out a few turns, and then adjust the seater down until it seats the rounds to the right overall length. To crimp, do the opposite--seater out, die in.

September 10, 2010, 07:59 AM
What's a "tip"?

September 10, 2010, 10:30 AM
i know! Bullets. tips or heads, something like wreck, change or stove-in when describing the damage in an accident.

The crescent appears when the bullet grabs the side of the case mouth and, the case collapse and or tares, it happens when the case does not have enough bell, and it can happen on bottle neck cases when using flat based bullets, the expensive dies have a guide centers the case mouth with the bullet, the guide sets on the case shoulder for the ride up inside the die so the case, guide and bullet are aligned before the handle is pulled.

F. Guffey

September 10, 2010, 11:29 AM
Sinclair Intl. (http://blog.sinclairintl.com/category/videos/reloading-videos/)

Sinclair has a series of free videos that are a good place to start. It's advertising for their products but there is actually some good info here too.

September 10, 2010, 12:55 PM
I'm with Fguffey, in that while the description (due to incorrect term usage) is very unclear, it seems as though the OP is trying to describe a ripped or wrinkled cartridge case near the mouth due to crimping.

• If the brass is wrinkled, folded, or torn, then it should not be used again, especially on a 40. Such treatment will cause a weak area in the brass that is very likely to blow out on next firing. If you ever have doubts about any brass, it is much safer to always discard questionable brass.

2 causes come to mind...
• Too much belling. It sounds as if your dies are adjusted to result in too much flair. The belling die should be adjusted to give the bare minimum flair it takes to seat the bullet without shaving any material off. Dillon quotes a maximum of .010", on round base bullets, such as Berry, you can use nearly none.

• Too much taper crimp. 5 or more test cartridges (no powder; no primer) should be built to help you adjust the taper crimp setting, which is done with the last die. In your case, die #3. Run the body of the die down until it touches the case and add the prescribed number of turns. Run 1 test cartridge and drop it into the naked barrel. Keep adding more crimp by using 1/8 turn increments until the cartridge will drop all the way into the chamber using ONLY its own weight. When you reach that point, then STOP. More crimp is NOT better.

You really need to buy and read a complete reloading manual, my friend. The object should be to load the best ammo for dad, not endanger him.

All the best.

September 10, 2010, 02:07 PM
You should be using a reloading manual. You should read the said manual from front to back before you even attempt to load any rounds.

A friend giving you the required components and telling you here, load it up with this and giving you a charge amount. And just letting you load away is a recipe for disaster. You really need to read some literature on reloading before you even think about reloading and firing those rounds from a weapon.

September 10, 2010, 02:23 PM
1.If the crescent is at the case mouth, as in a piece of the mouth caught on the bullet as it was seated and was pressed down, then you aren't belling the brass enough. If the crescent, or crease is below the case mouth, and looks like a wrinkle then you are probably over crimping.
2. Lots of test cartridges, just to get your dies adjusted.
3. Buy a Lyman load manual, I like the detail that they go into on reloading procedures and issues. ( You can buy what you want, but that's my recommendation). The small pamphlets that powder manufacturers publish are only intended as sources of load data. An actual reloading manual will have detailed procedures, and usually a trouble shooting section.
4. How many, or how few cases are you dealing with? If you are short of cases, PM me.
5. Never, ever, start with maximum load. If the manual gives you a starting load start there, and work up in even increments until you either (A) reach maximum, as listed in your manual, or (B) see any signs of excess pressure. If your manual only lists maximum load, then multiply that number times 0.90 and use that as a starting load. In other words reduce the maximum load by 10 percent ( there are exceptions to this, that's why you need a manual, H110 is a powder that should not be reduced by more than about 4 or 5 percent)
6. Signs of excess pressure: (A)Hard extraction, a case gets stuck in the chamber when fired. (Not to be confused with a load that is so light that it didn't cycle the action)
(B)Bulged or blown out primers, it is normal for a primer to be flattened, it should however still show a distinct groove around its outer diameter. Very light loads may cause the primer to back out, this is normal. When you fire a cartridge the brass expands and grips the chamber wall, as pressure builds the primer slips back out of the case until it touches the bolt face, as pressure build more the brass case begins to stretch backwards until it to comes into firm contact with the bolt face thus re seating and flattening the primer. Remember, we are talking thousands of an inch here. In very light loads, sometimes the case will expand enough to grip the chamber wall, but the pressure never gets high enough to cause the case head to stretch, thus leaving a nice round primer sticking out of the case head by a few thousands of an inch.
C. Difficult resizing, After you fire a case, if you have trouble resizing it there is probably a pressure problem.
D. I don't know about the pistol, so it would be good to have a few factory loaded cases that have been fired through the gun around, to compare your fired cases to. In the case of a Glock pistol, there is a characteristic bulge on one side of the case very near the case head, and also a distinctive imprint around the firing pin. For the Glock these are normal, and show up when factory ammo is fired through the gun, only by knowing what normal cases look like can you determine what abnormal ones look like.
Good luck!!

September 15, 2010, 02:25 PM
Not to repeat things too much, buy reloading manual(s) one is never enough (from different manufactures). I get a new one every other year from different manufacture just to get all the new stuff. Maybe I'm over zealous but have reloaded for 15 yr and my family has done it my whole life and I'm a gunsmith so I like to stay on top of things but you can never have too much proven data to look at. Not saying anything about anyone here but do you trust your dads safety to someone you don't know.

Just my opinion and everyone has one. Good info in the other posts above.

September 15, 2010, 02:34 PM
Did he give you the directions to go with the hand loader? If not look here (http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi-data/instruct/HP2520.pdf). I think you need to read page 4.

September 15, 2010, 02:35 PM
It is very simple, go to this site: http://www.rcbs.com/guide/default.aspx It is real good and takes you step by step including iliminating possible pit falls. Enjoy your new hobby.

September 17, 2010, 03:50 AM
Thanks for the info will check it out

September 18, 2010, 12:16 AM
Asclepius, when you call the bullet a " tip" people think that you have not done your homework and have no idea even what your asking and just pass the thread on by.

You will definately get better responses when you are versed in proper terminology.
Its not people being mean but , rather just human nature.

September 18, 2010, 01:34 AM
I understand what you are saying I am pretty thick skinned so no worries about offending me at all and thanks for the input on the termanoligy

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