45 ACP Loading Question


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ngaither
February 7, 2013, 11:39 AM
I just started reloading 45 ACP for the first time last night and I have a question. I bought some 230gr RN lead bullets from Missouri Bullets and when I start to seat the bullets I was getting some cutting into the lead. I figure that I didn't open the case mouth enough so I expanded all the cases again. After seating all the bullets and crimped them I checked for fit in my barrel and none of them would fully seat. Instead of pulling all 50 rounds I decided to take the decaping pin out of sizing die and ran them all through. After I did that they all fit my barrel perfectly. Was this a safe or correct way to reshape my loaded cases?:confused:

P.S. I have been reloading now for 5 years but this is the first time with 45 ACP and lead bullets

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UKWildcats
February 7, 2013, 11:43 AM
I can think of two (2) possible issues that might be causing your problem.

1. You are not seating the bullet into the case far enough, the bullet is engagine the lands and not allowing the slide to go into battery.

or

2. You are not removing the "Bell" enough

What is OAL of the cartridge?

Have you "miked" the case of a finished round to make sure you in spec.


UK

blarby
February 7, 2013, 12:00 PM
Its entirely possible it was/is an OAL problem- but its going to be hard to check anything since all of the rounds have been altered.

Usually failure to pass the plunk test isn't a width issue- its a length issue.

A little extra flair when seating lead is ok- but you usually only need an extra .001 or .002, depending on the diameter of your bullets.

I generally don't go "in" for resizing loaded rounds that don't fit.

I set the dies right on a few tester rounds during setup with my tightest chamber handy for the plunk test, and once they are in- THEN I make more :D

mdi
February 7, 2013, 01:53 PM
Measure a finished cartridge. Without knowing where the cartridge is too big, everything is just a guess. What diameter are the bullets you're using? Are you using so much crimp that the cases are buckled (measure diameter of case from mouth to case head)? Are you crimping enough (removing all the flair)?

Basically, a chamber is a hole, and the cartridge is a peg. For the peg (cartridge) to go into the hole (chamber) it must be smaller than the hole...

454PB
February 7, 2013, 01:59 PM
Are you seating and crimping in two separate steps?

1KPerDay
February 7, 2013, 02:00 PM
MBC "softballs" have to be seated deeper than my standard 1.260-1.265" to pass the "plunk" test in my pistols. Mine will fit into the chamber fully with a little push at 1.260, and they cycle and fire fine, but in the "plunk" test, they have to be lightly pried out with a fingernail. They only drop free if I seat to 1.2375"-1.24". Also note that they're sized .452" IIRC so your "post sizing" method may be helping... you're basically doing what the Lee factory crimp die does (but maybe to a greater extent; I don't know the dimensions of the FCD compared to a standard sizing die).

Measure your taper crimp right at the crimp... it should be .472".

Walkalong
February 7, 2013, 02:47 PM
Plunk Test (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=506678)

edfardos
February 7, 2013, 03:53 PM
My 1911 requires a crimp of .471 or less. I try for .4695 to account for powder fouling. It cuts into the bullets, so I have to seat and crimp in separate steps (which sux if you have a progressive press).

--edfardos

Hondo 60
February 7, 2013, 04:42 PM
With MBC 230 gr your OAL should be about 1.265

Then caliper the very edge of you brass just under the bullet.
You should be at .469-.470 any bigger & you're not taking the bell out completely.

Those 2 tips should get the resounding "plunk" when you drop it into the disassembled barrel.

fatcpa
February 7, 2013, 05:53 PM
If all you had to do to make the rounds chamber was rerun them thru the sizing die, I don't see how it could be an overall lenght problem. Sounds to me like the cases weren't crimped enough. I crimp separately to .469-.470.

James2
February 7, 2013, 08:46 PM
Run loaded rounds into the sizer die? That will resize the bullet too. I am surprised they would go. Bad move. Now I suspect your bullets are undersize.

Lee makes a die called the Factory Crimp Die that can be used to crimp and size finished rounds, but don't use a standard sizing die for that purpose.

The shape of the bullet determines somewhat the seating depth. If they are rather wide at the front, they may need to be seated a bit deeper. Remember to do the plunk test with the first one, and fix problems before you have 100 loaded.

Rounds need to fit in the magazine, load into the chamber from the mag, and pass the plunk test.

Tips:

Size then expand and bell. Bell just enough that you won't shave lead seating the bullet. If you do shave the bullet a bit, sometimes the shaving gets stuck in there somewhere messing up a nice crimp.
COL should be around 1.26.
Crimp just enough to remove the bell. Use your calipers and put the mouth of the case about 0.001 smaller than back down the casing a little bit but where the bullet is in it.

Overcrimping can do weird things, like buckle the brass or remove some of the tension on the bullet. Either one will make the brass larger and may cause the round to fail the plunk test.

READ THIS! (http://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/crimping.html)

243winxb
February 7, 2013, 08:52 PM
Run loaded rounds into the sizer die? That will resize the bullet too. I am surprised they would go. Bad move. Now I suspect your bullets are undersize.

+1 Depends on the die, but i would guess they are undersize now.

ngaither
February 7, 2013, 08:56 PM
I agree I should have done the plunk test before I loaded up all the rounds. Thankfully it was only 50. The OAL was 1.270 or a little less. I think the problem might been the my seating die is a roll crime instead of a tapered crimp. I never had this problem before and just didn't think this time. Thanks for the info!

BYJO4
February 7, 2013, 09:05 PM
I would not resize a loaded round as that does not fix the problem. As others have said, the problem should either be OAL or crimp adjustment. I would load several more rounds for test purposes. First, I would load one and measure the taper crimp at case mouth which should be .469 to .471. If crimp is not within this area, adjust it until it's correct and try the plunk test. If case doesn't fit properly, I would then begin to seat bullet deeper in small increments and test until bullet drops into barrel properly.

edfardos
February 7, 2013, 10:27 PM
roll crimp? Not good for 45acp. Are you sure? Roll crimp dies have a little ledge int the die. Taper crimp dies are smooth walls all the way up.

getting the (taper) crimp right is the hardest part of pistol reloading. Tolerance is 2 thousndths. Too big and they won't chamber, to small and you're shaving. If you're not plunking *and* shaving then you'll need to seat and crimp in different steps, which I now have to do with my 1911 because my chamber is too tight and the only affordable bullets are .452.

edfardos

ngaither
February 8, 2013, 12:31 AM
Yes that looks like a roll crimp to me. I seated first and went back and crimped the rounds. I think it caused the cases to deform.

For some reason crimping always throws me off. I have messed more ammo up from wrong crimps than anything else.

Hondo 60
February 8, 2013, 12:57 AM
Can't tell from the pic.
Can you show us a close up of problem round?

Steve H
February 8, 2013, 01:10 AM
With MBC 230 gr your OAL should be about 1.265

About a month ago I call MBC and asked about the OAL with this bullet. Their reply to me was 1.250

ngaither
February 8, 2013, 01:42 AM
This about the best picture I could get. The one on the left is little deformed and measures .474". The one in the middle is the one I ran thru my resizing die and it measures .469". And the one the right is a factory round measuring .470".

bds
February 8, 2013, 02:39 AM
With MBC 230 gr your OAL should be about 1.265"
About a month ago I call MBC and asked about the OAL with this bullet. Their reply to me was 1.250"
OAL that will work with your barrel depends on how short the leade or how fast the start of rifling is. Picture below shows a typical leade length/start of rifling in conventional land/groove barrels (see white arrow/bracket).

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=165332&stc=1&d=1338347310


Picture below shows Sig 1911 TacPac barrel with almost no leade and quick start of rifling.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=150526&stc=1&d=1318191679


While M&P45/RIA 1911 will work with OAL to 1.265", if I use longer than 1.250" OAL with the Sig 1911 barrel for the barrel drop test, the bearing surface of the bullet base will hit the start of rifling and stick in the barrel.


230gr RN lead bullets from Missouri Bullets and when I start to seat the bullets I was getting some cutting into the lead
I seat and taper crimp in the same step using Lee dies. For .452" sized Missouri bullets, I use .473" taper crimp (.452" + .021" = .473") and I do not shave the lead. I add .021" to the diameter of the bullet for taper crimp as most case wall thickness are around .010"+.

Below is a comparison picture of factory 230 gr RN, Berry's 185 gr HBRN, Missouri 230 gr RN with .473" taper crimp

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=165330&stc=1&d=1338344110

jjjitters
February 8, 2013, 03:01 AM
I would pull those bullets and start over . You will have nothing but leading with them now. If you have a acp roll crimp die it should say so on the side of the die.

bds
February 8, 2013, 08:39 AM
The one on the left is little deformed and measures .474"
If you are using the term "deformed" to describe the "bulge" you see about the bullet base of your picture on the left (white arrows), that's normal bulging of resized brass case when using larger .452" diameter lead bullets (Jacketed bullets are .451" in diameter and will show less bulging of case when reloaded). Depending on the head stamp and condition of the brass, case wall thickness and malleability of brass will vary and will affect how much of case bulging you see.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=179323&stc=1&d=1360327018

I checked for fit in my barrel and none of them would fully seat.
Even with the tight chamber of Sig 1911, .473" taper crimped cases will fully chamber. My guess is that the OAL was too long for your barrel and the bearing surface of the bullet (notched shoulders) was hitting the start of rifling.

Instead of pulling all 50 rounds I decided to take the decaping pin out of sizing die and ran them all through. After I did that they all fit my barrel perfectly. Was this a safe or correct way to reshape my loaded cases?
I would not suggest resizing loaded cases through the resizing die with the decapping pin removed as the diameter of the case and bullet will be reduced but afterwards, the brass case may spring back out while the reduced lead bullet will not, which will decrease the bullet-to-barrel fit not to mention the decrease in neck tension.

If the bullet shoulder hitting the start of rifling was keeping the rounds from fully chambering, the reason why resized loaded rounds chambered was due to bullet diameter being reduced and bullet shoulder clearing the rifling. To check reduction in bullet diameter, pull the bullet from a resized loaded case and measure the diameter of the bullet and see if there is a reduction. To check reduction in neck tension, measure the OAL before and after feeding/chambering the finished round from the magazine by manually releasing the slide.

Bud0505
February 8, 2013, 08:58 AM
The picture in post #16 looks like the seating plugs is one for an SWC bullet and not a RN. If it is that could cause a problem with getting the proper seating depth. Also I would recommend seating and chrimping in two separate steps.

bds
February 8, 2013, 09:22 AM
I would recommend seating and chrimping in two separate steps.
I do believe the OP is seating and crimping in separate steps.

I seated first and went back and crimped the rounds.

Walkalong
February 8, 2013, 10:41 AM
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=179312&stc=1&thumb=1&d=1360297542

Hornady is putting a 45ish degree crimp ledge in all their sleeves. Revolver dies, auto dies, doesn't matter. It roll crimps pretty well. (I call it a modified roll crimp (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=144675&stc=1&d=1309297843) when I log the load.) It does not, however, work worth a flip for proper taper crimping.

Hornady is doing reloaders a disservice by taking this shortcut IMHO.

Pick up a taper crimp only die like this Lee (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/244052/lee-taper-crimp-die-45-acp) or this Redding (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/709739/redding-taper-crimp-die-45-acp-45-auto-rim), and crimp in a second step.

The finished round should look something like this.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=153244&d=1322011199

nitesite
February 8, 2013, 11:32 AM
I'm tagging this because I'm seeing more and more reloaders with similar problems lately particularly with 1911s and this is a great thread to point them toward.

ngaither
February 8, 2013, 12:30 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=179312&stc=1&thumb=1&d=1360297542

Hornady is putting a 45ish degree crimp ledge in all their sleeves. Revolver dies, auto dies, doesn't matter. It roll crimps pretty well. (I call it a modified roll crimp (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=144675&stc=1&d=1309297843) when I log the load.) It does not, however, work worth a flip for proper taper crimping.

Hornady is doing reloaders a disservice by taking this shortcut IMHO.

Pick up a taper crimp only die like this Lee (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/244052/lee-taper-crimp-die-45-acp) or this Redding (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/709739/redding-taper-crimp-die-45-acp-45-auto-rim), and crimp in a second step.

The finished round should look something like this.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=153244&d=1322011199
That was what I need to know. I should of mentioned that it was a hornady die that I was using. I'm going to get a different die today.

brickeyee
February 8, 2013, 01:22 PM
My 1911 requires a crimp of .471 or less. I try for .4695 to account for powder fouling. It cuts into the bullets, so I have to seat and crimp in separate steps (which sux if you have a progressive press).

Only if you do not have enough die stations.

James2
February 8, 2013, 01:53 PM
The OAL was 1.270

OK, there is the problem. Seat them deeper.

mdi
February 8, 2013, 02:02 PM
roll crimp? Not good for 45acp. Are you sure? Roll crimp dies have a little ledge int the die. Taper crimp dies are smooth walls all the way up.

getting the (taper) crimp right is the hardest part of pistol reloading. Tolerance is 2 thousndths. Too big and they won't chamber, to small and you're shaving. If you're not plunking *and* shaving then you'll need to seat and crimp in different steps, which I now have to do with my 1911 because my chamber is too tight and the only affordable bullets are .452.

edfardos
I used a roll crimp die with 45 ACP before I could afford a good taper crimp die. The reason it worked is because 45 ACP ammo should not be "crimped". A crimp die is used to remove any flare in the case mouth, and If you are careful, a roll crimp die works well as you just want to straighten out the case mouth, not "crimp" the case into the bullet. For some reason, this is hard for new reloaders to understand...

Krogen
February 9, 2013, 09:56 AM
Back "in the day" there was no such thing as a taper crimp. We all used a roll crimp die -carefully- on cartridges like .45 ACP and 9mm. As mdi says above, they work well if done correctly. Unlike a taper crimp, with a roll crimp it's a fine line between no crimp and too much. I recall when taper crimp dies hit the market. Except for revolver cartridges, I abandoned roll crimp dies in short order. Slicker than deer guts on a doorknob!

ngaither
February 15, 2013, 12:32 PM
I just wanted to give an update on this problem that I was having. I went yestarday and bought a Lee 4 die 45ACP set and reloaded 50 new rounds last night. I have to say that I really don't like the Lee dies that much but the crimp die did the trick. I have never used a stand alone crimp die before and I was surpised to find that it did a slight resize of the case and a crimped in one. This is a much better way to crimp because the resize supports the case as you crimp which helps in keeping the case from deforming during the process. This was a very good lesson in crimping that I needed to learn.

Thank for all the great information!!!:)

furfinsandfeathers
February 15, 2013, 09:06 PM
You could check out this video... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kjTqhZPaDk&list=FLYDhJfM1OYgCDcp9aF0YKjg ....Or go to Youtube and type in reloading & shooting Colt 45 Auto (ACP) f Accuracy Go to 11min. 30sec for seeing a plunk test. It's a good video

DC Plumber
February 17, 2013, 10:09 AM
I've used 230g LRN and 200g LSWC for my 1911s.

I read here once that about a thickness of a thumbnail is the amount of lead that you want sticking above the case for a loaded round, that is, the larger diameter of the bullet where it engages with the rifling. I ignore OAL with lead rounds, as I'm never shooting a max charge anyways. That said, I always do the plunk test too, just to be sure.

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