bulge in .380 brass


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Samari Jack
December 30, 2011, 01:25 PM
Iím new to the reloading thing. Have a Dillon 550B.

Question: Iíve noticed when reloading some .380s that the brass develops a swollen out place whenever Iím at station two (where the powder is dropped and the bell flares out the opening). It seems to be only with Federal, once shot brass. Iíve checked the amount of bell and it is right on specs. The bulged out part is 5 thousands more than the base. Other once fired brass I have seems to be OK and not nearly as wrinkled.

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rcmodel
December 30, 2011, 01:34 PM
Some Federal .380 brass has a ledge inside it the factory bullet sets on to prevent feeding set-back.

If your expander is going in past the ledge, or your bullets are seated deeper then the ledge?

Yea!
That right there might be your problem.

Take a look see inside the case and see if there is a ledge or step in there.

rc

Galil5.56
December 30, 2011, 02:22 PM
From here it looks like extremely excessive crimping, and collapsing/crushing of the case... I see no case cannelure, so from here that looks not to be the problem.

Striker Fired
December 30, 2011, 02:27 PM
When you zoom up the picture it does look like a pushed out ring,right about where the base of a normal bullet would be. I'd say there is a ledge in the case and the expander pushed it out.

Samari Jack
December 30, 2011, 02:28 PM
rcmodel,

I bet you are right. I'll check to see. These bullets are 100 gr RNFB (Berry) and the store bought originals were 90 gr. I double checked the length and it is on according to my Lyman loading guide for that weight bullet. Only makes sense that that extra 10 gr has to go somewhere.

bds
December 30, 2011, 02:41 PM
It seems to be only with Federal, once shot brass.
I had a similar experience.

When some of my reloaded rounds failed to drop in freely into tight chambers of Lone Wolf barrels, I rechecked all of my reloading steps to include belling of case neck.

It turns out the seating of bullet was collapsing the case and bulging the case of once-fired PMC cases of a particular lot. I tried other head stamp once-fired cases (WIN, RP, CCI, etc.) and the bulging of cases did not happen. Older PMC cases I had did not bulge the cases.

I think a particular lot of PMC cases had softer brass that collapsed during bullet seating to cause bulging of cases. Once I culled all the PMC cases of this particular lot, no more bulged cases. :D

ReloaderFred
December 30, 2011, 03:47 PM
The Federal cases have the ledge inside as rc points out. The expander is going too far into the case and expanding it below the ledge.

I've also gotten some .380 Blazer brass with the same ledge, and since they're both owned by ATK, they will probably do it with Speer brass, if they haven't already done so.

Hope this helps.

Fred

Blue68f100
December 30, 2011, 04:01 PM
Looking at the round carefully there seams to be a dull area at the top half of the mouth. I do not know what type of crimping your doing but if your doing a roll crimp to a bullet not design for it you will buckle too. Even too much taper crimp will buckle on thing wall brass.

Galil5.56
December 30, 2011, 04:31 PM
Looking at the round carefully there seams to be a dull area at the top half of the mouth. I do not know what type of crimping your doing but if your doing a roll crimp to a bullet not design for it you will buckle too. Even too much taper crimp will buckle on thing wall brass.

Yep, you can see what appears a very excessive taper crimp; as the case mouth is not rolled at all, but is reduced/swaged with parallel sides pretty far down from the mouth, and to the point there almost appears to have formed a bottleneck shoulder, collapsing of the case where a cannelure may/may not be... The cannelures I see applied now-a-days seems little more than cosmetic, and even in a well resized case, would not cause what I am seeing on normal bullet seating , even with bullets a few thou over the defacto (.355/.356") "standard". Wonder what seating die/seating die used for both seating and crimp was used?

Does not hurt in my experience that Federal brass has some of the lightest/thinnest specs when weighed/measured, and for lack of a better description, "weird" qualities as to feel when resized, belling, and seating... Almost as if the alloy/annealing/heat-reat are just not right.

Nick93
December 30, 2011, 04:36 PM
I have the same problem with magtech brass in 9mm using a lyman m-expander ... to solve the problem i just took 3.5 mm of the first step of the expander to make it shoter ... this solver the problem without taking the great 2 step expanding feature :)

Hope this helps !

Samari Jack
December 30, 2011, 09:17 PM
Thanks for all the responses. I got out my magnifying glass with the light. It was the inner lip. I would have never thought of that. It seems this messes up the crimp a little as well as creating wavy looking brass. It isn't quite as bad as the picture as the photo seems to bring out all the warts. I checked the diameter at the crimp and it was a little less than specs with Federal by 2-3 thousands on the three I loaded. Other brass was on spec. Still haven't figured that one out unless there was a piece of polishing media under the brass. The crimp is set up as per Dillon instructions for station 4 but I may back it out a little if/when I ever get 90 gr bullets and decided to try my Federal brass. All brass is definitely not created equal.

It was a real pain sorting through approx 300 empties culling 40 or so Federals. To make matters worse, there were half dozen or so .25 cal mixed in. Before I starting reloading, I threw all sizes brass in one bin. 9mm, .380, .25, & .40. Won't do that again.

The whole reloading thing is kind of fun. Almost as much fun as shooting. Kind of like when my wife does needlepoint.

Walkalong
December 30, 2011, 10:28 PM
As usual, rcmodel and Fred were right. :)

Samari Jack
January 2, 2012, 02:22 PM
Follow-up on the mysterious bulge in Federal .380 brass. My Lyman reloading guide, (which I read after the fact) reported that this is something that occurred with this brass. The book said it was OK to shoot if the case diameter was .374 or less in diameter. Mine measures a consistent .378.

I had three Federals slip through my sorting process. For sure it is not the bullet size or weight or depth the bullet is seated that bulges the brass but my Dillon powder measure/bell tool. I watched it happen. This being the case, no matter if I went to 90 gr bullets it would still happen. Iíll have to put all the Federal brass in my scrap metal bin with all the .22 brass. Makes me worry about buying once fired brass.

The top one is the Federal brass. Next down is CBC. Next down is R-P. Next down is WIN. Next down is new WIN. I included a powder funnel (not the .380 as it is being used) to get a picture of how it is constructed. It extends down inside the brass passed the inner shelf.

rcmodel
January 2, 2012, 03:08 PM
I would modify the length of the Dillon powder funnel on a handy dandy belt sander.

Or call Dillon and Whine so loud they send you a shorter one.

You can't be the only person having the same problem with the Dillon powder whatchamacallit being too long for Federal .380 brass.

They may already have a shorter new & improved model ready to send you.

Worth a toll-free call to find out.

rc

Walkalong
January 2, 2012, 04:34 PM
Certainly is. They want you to be happy.

ReloaderFred
January 2, 2012, 05:01 PM
Yep, call Dillon. There is enough Federal brass around that it's going to be a continuing problem, and it's not going away. I'm sure Dillon has already addressed it, or is in the process of addressing it. Myself, I would just modify the Powder Through Expander so it wouldn't happen.

When you think about it, the ledge on the inside of the brass is pretty ingenious. There must have been a real problem with bullet setback, either in the loading process, or in the field, and someone came up with a simple solution. All it took was modifying the inside swaging punch to leave that little step, and no more setback issues with that particular bullet, or other bullets the same length.

Hope this helps.

Fred

918v
January 2, 2012, 05:37 PM
Too much crimp/collapsed case. Ease off on the crimp. You pushed the entire diameter of the case mouth into the bullet shank.

Samari Jack
January 2, 2012, 06:23 PM
I thought about bullet seating and crimp as well. Those in the photo at the beginning of this thread were seated a bit low and crimped a bit to much. I loosened things up a bit and still had a bulge. The length on the last ones were consistently .982. Book calls for .984. I can't imagine .002 would make a difference but I'm definitely not an expert. I watched very closely on the last three different Federal reloads. The bulged took place at station two where there is no bullet. The bullet is seated at station three and crimped at station four. In the last picture, you can see there is no bulge with other brands of brass.

I sent an e-mail to Dillon. And will post response.

918v
January 2, 2012, 07:16 PM
A little bulge is normal. Sizing dies size the case more than the factory dies. If you buy new factory brass and seat bullets in them, you will prolly not see a bulge. As far as crimp goes, adjust the die to remove the bell and maybe another .001" more. That's all you need.

.002" will not make a difference.

rcmodel
January 2, 2012, 08:35 PM
Yes but, this is not a even a crimp issue.

It is a Federal .380 case issue, which have a reduced diameter ledge inside them his expander is pushing out into a bulge before the bullet is even seated.

rc

918v
January 2, 2012, 08:56 PM
Actually, this is a "I applied too much crimp and collapsed the case walls, thereby further bulging the case" issue.

Yes, FC 380 brass is easy to bulge by deep seating, buth the OP went way beyond that.

ole farmerbuck
January 2, 2012, 09:30 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=494157

Walkalong
January 2, 2012, 09:36 PM
Yep. I learned something new in that thread. :)

ole farmerbuck
January 2, 2012, 09:42 PM
Yep. I learned something new in that thread. :)
Same here!

ReloaderFred
January 2, 2012, 10:20 PM
That photo of the Federal .380 Auto case in Post #12 of ole farmerbuck's thread is exactly what the problem is, not overcrimping. The expander is reaching past the ledge on the inside of the case and pushing the thicker portion of the wall out.

The OP said he's getting the bulge at station two, the expander station, prior to the bullet being seated. This precludes it being a crimping problem, period.

Hope this helps.

Fred

Para Cassatt
January 2, 2012, 10:26 PM
It should iron out the loaded round by using a Lee Factory Crimp Die with the collet removed like the Redding GR buldge buster shouldn't it?

Walkalong
January 2, 2012, 10:38 PM
If you seated the bullet past the ridge, then used something to smooth the outside, you would push the ridge into the bullet, and who knows what that might do to pressures.

He needs the expander to not go in past the ridge, and then not seat the bullet past the ridge either, as intended by the brass/ammo makers.

Para Cassatt
January 2, 2012, 10:57 PM
Good point Walkalong. I have yet to experience any high pressure signs but I only load light loads for plinking in 380. I see where it could be a problem closer to max but so far with the 115 gr. XTP's and 125 gr. swaged bullets I like to use they still appear mild.

918v
January 3, 2012, 01:27 AM
The OP said he's getting the bulge at station two, the expander station, prior to the bullet being seated. This precludes it being a crimping problem, period.

The bulge he is seeing at station two cannot possibly be as huge as the one in the picture. The one on the picture is clearly a collapsed case, especially given the amount of crimp he applied. Look at it closely. Enlarge his pic.

ReloaderFred
January 3, 2012, 01:59 AM
I know what I'm looking at because I've personally seen the same thing with Federal .380 brass in my press. If the expander goes too far into the case, it pushes out the case wall exactly as pictured.

I would strongly suggest you pick up some Federal .380 brass, with the bullet stopping ledge on the inside of the case, and run them through your dies. When you have some personal experience with them, then come back and give your results.

Fred

Friendly, Don't Fire!
January 3, 2012, 02:44 AM
Because a lot of .380 cases are tapered just below the mouth, being thicker. I had that problem when belling .380 cases that had been trimmed to proper length using RCBS resizing dies and the expander button after resizing.

The case would expand a bit too deeply, RCBS sent me a new expander that does not go quite as deep into the case in order to bell the mouth sufficiently to set and seat the pill.

Take a case that does that and run your calipers at the case mouth and in a bit and in a bit further and you will find there is either a ridge in there and/or the case metal tapers thicker as you go down to the base.

Samari Jack
January 3, 2012, 01:54 PM
918V,

I fully admit to adding to the confusion. My first post #1 picture was a messed up reload and I shouldn't have been so quick on the "put up post" trigger. The picture in post #13 is the modified after making necessary corrections. This was my first go-round at trying to reload .380s and I'm new to reloading in general.

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