Couple of FNG reloading questions..


January 24, 2013, 05:50 PM
1) When I de-prime and resize this 40 S&W brass, you can see where the die touches the brass and it appears to leave a bubble near the head of the case. On the micrometer is about .005 larger near the head than it is down at the mouth of the case. Obviously, the shell holder wont allow the case to go any deeper into the die, I just wanted to make sure this is normal..

2) My second question is regarding crimping. I'm using the factory crimp die by LEE and I've got it set at what they call a light crimp. It seems to hold the bullet well, I can't move it and I've cycled it thru my gun a couple times and the OAL is the same. Anyhow, take a look at this pic and let me know what you think...

3) Is there ever a need for trimming the length on pistol cases?

4) The final question I have is regarding fouling a barrel with lead bullets... What do I need to look for as I inspect the barrel?

Thanks in advance for any help....

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January 24, 2013, 06:09 PM
Welcome to THR.

1. If the resized cases all fall in the case gauge/tightest barrel you have with a "clink", you are good to go. If they don't, you can push-through resize with the FCD using the Bulge Buster kit (

2. The FCD was meant to be used with jacketed diameter bullets sized at .400" and I load lead bullets sized at .401" without the FCD. As to the proper amount of taper crimp, I usually add .021" to the diameter of the bullet (to allow for average thickness of brass case wall of ~.010"). So for .401" diameter lead bullet, I use .422" taper crimp. I seat the bullet and taper crimp in one step and using .422" taper crimp on .401" lead bullet do not shave the side of the bullet.

As to the OAL, you determine the OAL of the round by first determining the Max OAL using the barrel drop test. Starting with the SAAMI max OAL of 1.135", incrementally decrease the OAL until the dummy round (no powder, no primer) drops in freely with a "plonk" and spin freely without hitting the rifling. Next you determine the working OAL by feeding the dummy round from the magazine and releasing the locked slide without riding it. Sometimes the working OAL is the same as the Max OAL, but often it is shorter to reliably feed/chamber from the magazine. I usually use 1.125" OAL for 165/180 gr 40S&W TCFP bullets.

3. You don't need to trim straight walled semi-auto cases that headspace on the case mouth.

4. For detailed information on leading, check out Chapter 7 - "Leading" by Glen Fryxell -

Much more at the link as to the definition, location, cause, prevention and removal of leading.
Definition of leading. Leading is the deposition of significant amounts of bullet metal on the bore. It can take many forms -- streaks, chunks, splotches, films, etc. (more on this in a minute). It's important to recognize that the mere presence of streaks in the bore is not an indication of leading; many types of bullet lube (especially the commercial hard lubes) leave perfectly innocuous streaks in the barrel that have no negative impact on firearm performance (if a wet patch removes the deposit, it probably wasn't lead). Nor is a gray "haze" on the bore surface necessarily a problem; it can be an indication of a leading problem, but it can also be simply a reflection of the alloy of barrel steel used, how the rifling was cut, or a reflection that the barrel isn't "broken in" yet.

January 24, 2013, 06:09 PM
1. Perfectly normal. The case web, the part of the brass you are seeing, isn't making contact with the resizing die because it hasn't expanded like the rest of the case.

2. That looks fine but it is hard to say 100% yes without you listing the OAL of the cartridge, that is the most important number. That bullet's nose just looks weird too, but it may just be the picture playing a trick on me.

3. I never do, almost no one does. I've never seen a reason to do it even when crimping.

4. If you accuracy is good with the bullets, just shoot and clean it out with a lead solvent. Using the "one size fits most" commercial hardcast bullets most people get at least some leading. Sometimes playing around with the amount of powder can help, usually going up towards max to increase pressure, but thats all generalized advice. Make sure you are getting good accuracy first then worry about leading second. A lead bullet that is undersized will produce awful leading as well as poor accuracy.

January 24, 2013, 07:22 PM
What others said and:

2. Crimping is not what holds the bullet--neck tension created by sizing does that. No amount of crimp can ever create neck tension that isn't there before the crimp.

January 24, 2013, 08:06 PM
Careful using the Lee FCD On lead bullets. I hear it will resize them.

Sent from my CZ85 Combat

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