So I blew up a 1911 (Kaboom)


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essayons21
February 18, 2013, 02:24 PM
*Updated- Looks like it wasn't a double charge... check Page 4*

A cautionary tale for those getting into progressive reloading...

I have been reloading for about 6 years now. I started with a Lee hand press, moved up to a single stage bench mounted press, got a second single stage and have been loading many thousands of rounds in all calibers. In all that time I have had precisely one bad round that did not get any powder. In the same time I have had a higher failure rate from factory loaded ammo.

So I recently sold some factory ammo at inflated prices and purchased a Hornady LnL AP press. It took some searching to find shellplates, but I quickly got everything set up and loaded up about 100 .38 Special, half plate WC and half lead RN, and about 250 rounds of .45 ACP, half 230gr lead RN, half 200 gr lead flat nose.

I went to the range last week, and after spending a few hours on the rifle range, headed over to the pistol side. Burned up a couple hundred .22lr with no issues other than a "new to me" Single Six splitting cases on some 50 year old .22 ammo. I then tested out my .38 loads, getting some outstanding accuracy from a 2" J-frame. No issues.

Then I loaded up a magazine of my .45 reloads. They were 230gr Proofmark lead RN over 5.9 gr of Hodgdon Clays Universal, a load I have been using for years. Hornady lists a max load of 6.2 gr for this combo. I was shooting an older Para 14.45. I fired the first round, then two in quick succession, then the fourth. Recoil felt funny, I felt something hit me in the face, heard the magazine hit the ground, and I looked down to see this...

http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q177/collingscb/photobucket-8267-1361210302173_zpsa9088455.jpg

I was wearing glasses, and got two little pin prick holes in my face, one above my lip, one right below my glasses on my cheek. I think some projectiles were stopped by my glasses as there is a little chip I don't remember being there. Wear your glasses folks!

More pictures....

http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q177/collingscb/photobucket-83142-1361210191844_zps9511526a.jpg
http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q177/collingscb/photobucket-34929-1361210224336_zps51caa929.jpg
http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q177/collingscb/photobucket-15005-1361210235182_zpsade3bd41.jpg

My non-firing hand.
http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q177/collingscb/photobucket-68443-1361210267858_zps222e6125.jpg

Target. The fourth shot is low right
http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q177/collingscb/photobucket-32754-1361210257132_zpsa0419d26.jpg

Magazine (It was forcefully ejected)
http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q177/collingscb/photobucket-57404-1361210291203_zps49a90c18.jpg

I never did find the rest of the barrel. Other than needing a new barrel, the frame and slide look fine. I will certainly have a smith check it out before installing a new barrel.

So its pretty clearly a double charge. I use the Hornady powder cop... but I was having problems while loading .45 and had to fiddle with the timing on the press and tweak the auto priming as well. I also had to adjust the decapping die because it wasn't fully decapping the old primer and causing the press to hang up. This caused me on a few occasions to double charge cases as I attempted to decap the stuck cases, which I was aware of and promptly removed those double charged cases. Every 10-15 rounds I also weighed the powder charge. The highest I found was 6.1gr. I have obviously set aside the rest of the reloads and will be pulling and weighing the charges to see if there are any more. I find it hard to believe I missed more than one, but then again I don't know how I double charged the one that blew up the gun.

But obviously I missed something... What lesson is there to learn? I was hoping some of the more experienced progressive reloaders on here could help me out. How often do you weigh charges while reloading? Do you use a powder cop? If you have issues with a press while reloading do you set that batch aside?

Any suggestions are appreciated.

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Dave P
February 18, 2013, 02:33 PM
"So I recently sold some factory ammo at inflated prices..."

Uh, maybe the Gun Gods saw thru this indiscretion, and decided to punish you for it.

:neener:

bds
February 18, 2013, 02:42 PM
Glad you are OK and were wearing eye protection.

Just goes to show a KaBoom can happen ... with any gun, any brand reloader, any powder, any type bullet, etc.

Now, to root cause analysis discussion for identifying the source of the KB and to prevent another future incident ...

ny32182
February 18, 2013, 02:44 PM
Any time the press jams to the point you have to take cases off the shellplate to fix, without question, you need EXTREME attention dedicated to putting them back in the correct stations or double charge is definitely a possibility.

I don't powder cop. What I do is mount a bright string of LED lights on the frame of the press (650 in my case) right next to the toolhead and I do a visual sanity check on every charge as I'm putting a bullet on top. Light shines directly into the case and squib or double would be very obvious visually, at least with the 9mm I'm loading on there. Maybe .45 is different, you'd have to try.

Are you sure it was a double and nothing else is a possibility?

It also sounds to me like you had too much "busy" going on while tweaking the setup. If I have to tweak something in a station, be it initial setup or follow up tweaking, I don't do it while trying to load with cases everywhere. I empty out the press, get one case, manually place it in the relevant station, and then tweak/run/tweak/run as many reps as needed until it is right, before repopulating the press with components for progressive loading. That way your attention is not divided and you know exactly what happened to which case.

SSN Vet
February 18, 2013, 02:48 PM
this scares the cr@p out of me.... as your background sounds very similar to mine....

I started progressive reloading on a Load Master in Januarry and fear a double charge, only a little more than a squib.

When I'm done setting up the press and am ready to run the first rounds through, I only run one at a time around the horn. Then I don't have 5 things in mid-stage to remember if I have an issue. Once the case feeder is on line, if I have an issue, I manually remove each case as it's dropped (no gate to stop them from dropping) and toss them back in the funnel. This way I can fix my issues without the shell plate re-filling every pull.

These photos look familiar. Have you posted them b4 on a different forum?

essayons21
February 18, 2013, 02:50 PM
Are you sure it was a double and nothing else is a possibility?

It wasn't a squib + another round, pretty sure its not bullet setback, I have a good tight taper on all the other rounds, certainly the right powder. I use mixed range pickup brass but I don't think a bad case would cause such an explosive kaboom.

Anything else I'm forgetting?

essayons21
February 18, 2013, 02:51 PM
These photos look awefull familiar. Have you posted them b4?

Nope... this happened Tuesday.

dmazur
February 18, 2013, 02:53 PM
The only advice I can offer is to think of progressive reloading as a process, rather than a bunch of individual things which can be tuned while the process is "in play".

The instructions for my press describe how to set up each station correctly, in order, before beginning progressive operation. The theory is that, once everything is adjusted, you shouldn't have to stop and adjust a station.

I stop every box (50) for a break, which I use to label the box, make an entry in my reloading spreadsheet, fill a primer tube (every other box), and throw a powder charge into a special case with a spent primer. I also run every loaded round through a case gauge and do a visual inspection for primer seating depth. During this break, the press is completely clear. All cases have been run through.

Have I ever made a mistake? A couple of times. I once found a bad charge during the check and pulled a box of 50 apart as a result. Cause: loose linkage on the powder measure, resulting in under charges. Another time it was a loose shellplate and I found cocked primers.

I've loaded many thousands of rounds and these are the only two incidents.

Even the folks who maintain that single stage presses are the only safe way to reload make mistakes.

Mistakes happen.

If you have control over the process, you will make uniform rounds. If the rounds are being assembled using safe load data, they will also be safe as well as uniform.

Hondo 60
February 18, 2013, 03:01 PM
Well that sucks! :fire:

I ashamedly admit I did something similar not too long along ago.
I lost an SP101.

When I have issues (extremely rare because I have a Dillon)
I dump any unbulleted cases.
I also do NOT mix headstamps, so I can weight each round.
While this is not fool proof, by not mixing headstamps, the rounds all weight within 1-1.5 grains.

I'm not bragging about having a Dillon, but did, atleast for me, eliminate almost all issues.
I tried the cheaper Lee progressive (Pro1000) & boxed it back up because it was just too frustrating.

I'm honestly not trying to start a flame war with those who like the Pro1000.
I'm just stating my experience.


Please, please, please stay safe my friends.

powell&hyde
February 18, 2013, 03:15 PM
Dang, glad your ok.

bds
February 18, 2013, 03:16 PM
Even the folks who maintain that single stage presses are the only safe way to reload make mistakes.

Mistakes happen.
Bingo!

That's the simple reality we must accept and factor into our reloading practice. Had OP used a different brand press, would that have prevented the KaBoom?

The key is regardless what equipment we use to reload, we must develop safe and effective reloading practices/QC checks that will catch overcharge from mixed up load data, overcharge from improper weight verification, uncharged cases, double charged cases and improper neck tension.

Talk of a particular brand press may have prevented a KaBoom is like saying using a different brand powder may have prevented a KaBoom.

It's not the machine but the person behind the machine. ;):rolleyes::eek:

chris in va
February 18, 2013, 03:22 PM
Sorry about your gun.

This is precisely why I still use my Hand Press after two years of reloading. I wouldn't even feel comfortable with a turret press. With my setup i can triple check every stage of cartridge development including visual inspection of powder level. Heck I just recently made the bold leap to a powder measure!

It's not the machine but the person behind the machine.

True, but I liken it to driving a 1988 Ford Taurus vs flying a Gulfstream V. Both will get you there, but the plane has a LOT more going on that needs attention.

Bovice
February 18, 2013, 03:33 PM
With Universal, you have big enough charges to visually verify. If the case is brimming with powder, you doubled it.

I use the same press you do, and before I seat a bullet, I visually inspect the charge. Never had a squib or a double charge.

Root cause of this is not having your press set up before putting powder in the Hopper, possibly going too fast, or too much distraction. Take it as a warning, you can lose your fingers if you aren't careful.

fdashes
February 18, 2013, 03:41 PM
that was not a kaboom,,,,definately a kablewy. Glad you are ok

ConcernedCitizen
February 18, 2013, 03:54 PM
RCBS Lockout Die.

I visually check every case, but would't feel comfortable loading without my lockout die.

blarby
February 18, 2013, 04:16 PM
Well, at least it appears that you just lost a BBL- have it inspected, of course, but another testament to the 1911.

Also, why is it everytime I see that blue koolaid sitting on the shelf across from me, and it starts to simmer in my concious mind to get it out, a thread like this appears ?

I'm fully commited at this point to only using it for speeding up my brass processing- I will never use a progressive for charging cases.

My condolences on your loss.

GT1
February 18, 2013, 04:25 PM
Man! :eek: Glad you didn't get hurt.

The process got you. Meaning you were trying to reload at the same time as setting up(re-setting) your press. When more than one thing went wrong it was time to clear everything away and start over from the beginning to make sure it was all working right before completing a single round.

Tom488
February 18, 2013, 04:41 PM
As you found out, a powder cop isn't infallible - if you don't pay attention to it, you don't notice the double-charged case. Same with eyeballing the powder - if you lose your focus, you don't notice it.

Dillon's powder check is a little better, as it has an audible alarm. Of course, it only works on Dillon machines (though it may be possible to modify other presses to get it to work).

This is why I prefer the RCBS lockout die. It will physically lock up the press (not allowing the case to enter it's die) on a double charge (or a no charge). There's no way to ignore that... the handle stops moving.

I've never had it actually lock up on me (other than testing it out), but when I was teaching a friend to load, somehow he managed to get a double charge in a case, and the lock-out die locked up solid.

returningfire
February 18, 2013, 04:53 PM
I too, am glad everyone is OK. This is the reason I have stuck with my single stage press all these years. I had a friend that accidentally (as in progressive press) fed his Glock a 40 cal. round with a double charge of powder. It wasn't pretty but it sure scared the crap out of everyone. I made a mental note right then that single stage press is all I need.

bainter1212
February 18, 2013, 04:56 PM
I load on a single stage. I double charged an '06 round once, luckily a double charge doesn't quite fit into an '06 case. My wife had interrupted me to do some kind of chore I had forgotten to do, I did it and came back to loading. Lost track of where I was at. Told my wife no interrupting, now she doesn't like my reloading hobby anymore :)

Trent
February 18, 2013, 04:58 PM
Glad you're OK dude!

You have any problem getting that barrel out of the slide? Looks like it might be a pain in the neck.

I've blown up an AR15 pistol once, but (knock on wood) never a handgun.

Although I did just sell some 40 S&W at inflated prices and bought reloading components with the money... hrm... hope this isn't "catching"!!!

Kachok
February 18, 2013, 04:59 PM
That is one thing I really like about slow burning powders in pistols, it is nearly impossible to double charge Blue Dot or Longshot in a 9 or 40 and still seat the bullet to length. I did have a beam scale go off once while moving and I did not catch it until I went to the range and flattened a couple primers really bad, I have since gone digital with a test weight that I use every reloading session.

JJ-
February 18, 2013, 05:00 PM
Makes me want to order a RCBS Lock-Out-Die especially since I'm new to progressive reloading

ArchAngelCD
February 18, 2013, 05:02 PM
essayons21,
Wow, I'm glad to hear you weren't hurt and that your gun was not completely destroyed.

I know it's easy to say but you now have to make sure you change whatever you think caused the problem. I think it was said above, you were doing too many things while tweaking the process. Never load live ammo when your attention is taken away from the task at hand, even if it's only tweaking the process. As you see it's too easy to make a mistake.

bds
February 18, 2013, 05:06 PM
I had a friend that accidentally (as in progressive press) fed his Glock a 40 cal. round with a double charge of powder.
I saw several non-Glock KBs before I switched my match caliber from 45/9 to 40S&W (Glock 22) and there were enough KB stories told by other match shooters for me to take extra precautions in reloading for 40S&W and particular with Glock 22. Although Titegroup was favored by most shooters at the time, it was for this reason why I ended up going with W231 for my match loads (165 gr Montana Gold FMJ/JHP 5.0 gr W231) to produce lower pressure match loads.

After 300,000+ rounds later on progressive (the venerable Pro 1000), no KaBoom for me.

One thing I suggest to reloaders new to progressive loading:

If you need to disrupt the progressive cycle and have any concerns, clear the shellplate and start over at station #1. I think this is where many reloaders get in trouble and end up with double charges.

Better safe than KaBoom.

dbb1776
February 18, 2013, 05:15 PM
No help on the kaboom but double check your single six cylinder. If your shooting Lr through a mag cylinder it will split cases. Most magnum are non fluted. Unsure about older cylinders

essayons21
February 18, 2013, 05:34 PM
Thanks for all the advice. I definitely was trying to do too much at once, especially for one of my first runs of the press. I will be purchasing a lockout die, I didn't even know such a thing existed. Better lighting will certainly be in my press's future as well.

Cosmoline
February 18, 2013, 05:45 PM
What I do is mount a bright string of LED lights on the frame of the press (650 in my case) right next to the toolhead and I do a visual sanity check on every charge as I'm putting a bullet on top.

Yup. The eyeball and a light is the best defense against a double charge.

RustyFN
February 18, 2013, 05:57 PM
The process got you. Meaning you were trying to reload at the same time as setting up(re-setting) your press. When more than one thing went wrong it was time to clear everything away and start over from the beginning to make sure it was all working right before completing a single round.

That's what I do on my 550, if I have a problem or need to check something then I clear the shell plate and start over. I have never used a powder cop or lock out die but don't have much confidence in them. I have heard from many that use them that they are good for finding a double or no powder but won't detect +/- 1 or 2 grains. I look in every case and can see that without the die.

OP, I'm glad you are OK.

red rick
February 18, 2013, 06:02 PM
Thanks for the honest post and I am glad you were wearing safety glasses.

I have been thinking about reloading and ordered a Lee Classic Turret Press about a week ago. I just recieved 2 books that I ordered today, Lyman 49th and Lyman Pistol & Revolver 3rd.

After reading your thread I am thinking more about not reloading. I don't think that I shoot enough at my age to save money after buying a press and for sure if I have a kaboom and saving money so I can afford to shoot more is the only reason that I have for reloading. The press is not in stock right now so I have a little while to think about cancelling the order.

jmorris
February 18, 2013, 06:13 PM
Glad your ok. You have me interested in how the Hornady powder cop die works as and how it allowed the round to pass by undetected?

RustyFN
February 18, 2013, 06:17 PM
red rick reloading is not hard it just requires you to pay very close attention to everything going on. The Lee classic turret is one of the easiest presses to use, I have had mine for seven years. No more than one powder on the bench at a time. Verify the powder charge is correct with a scale. Look in every case after the powder charge and before you set the bullet on to be seated for the correct charge. Verify the OAL is right with a caliper. If you can do those things then you can make safe ammo.

Inebriated
February 18, 2013, 06:25 PM
I started progressive reloading on a Load Master in Januarry and fear a double charge, only a little more than a squib.

I got into progressive loading on the LM last night.... I don't trust the Lee powder measure yet, so as of this moment, I'm checking every 50 rounds for the charge. All seems well, within .3 or so grains variance. Now, I'm dumping powder from the case, so that's most likely coming from powder sticking to the case. I'm also weighing and measuring each cartridge before it goes into the box to go to the range. It takes time, but it would have likely prevented OP from having a KB. I'm saving time with the progressive, might as well use some of that free time to do some QC.

ATLDave
February 18, 2013, 06:31 PM
Add me to the "weigh every cartridge" crowd.

vtail
February 18, 2013, 07:03 PM
+1 on the RCBS Lockout Die.

I wouldn't run my LNL without it.

When setting it up make sure it catches both a no charge and a double charge and keep testing it periodically.

Also agree with bds. If there is ever any kind of problem. Clear the press and start over again.

Trent
February 18, 2013, 07:24 PM
BTW, since you had metal penetrate your face in a couple of places, if you get an MRI in the future make sure they do head x-rays. You don't know if it was pieces of ferrous metal or not.

Just one of those odd, random thoughts.

edfardos
February 18, 2013, 08:49 PM
a squib would not have cycled the action. A double charge is obvious, but a bad barrel was my first guess. Is the break jagged? Smooth? Crystaline?

I'm curious if we'll see more of this as manufacturers cut corners to keep up with demand.

edfardos

Elkins45
February 18, 2013, 09:13 PM
I'm not familiar with this powder. Will 11.8 grains of it (a double charge) allow a bullet to be seated deep enough to fit in the magazine? It could have been a bridged or hung charge, where the round before got 2 or 3 grains and this one got the rest plus a full 5.9 grains.

As much as I love the Alliant flake powders, they make me nervous in automated powder dispensers. Is Clays a 'flaky' ball powder like HP-38 is?

essayons21
February 18, 2013, 09:21 PM
A double charge of Clay's Universal will fit and allow the bullet to be seated, with room to spare. I know that this is not ideal, but this powder is extremely versatile for my pistol reloading needs, and I got a great deal on a couple 8 lb jugs a few years back.

JSmith
February 18, 2013, 09:34 PM
I'm happy to see you weren't injured in that.

I load on a Lee Classic turret, one operation at a time. I visually check all my cases after they're charged (one at a time.) Now I'll check 'em twice! I use 9.0 gr of 231 in .44 mag cases and a double charge would fit easily. That would be a peppier load than I'm prepared to fire.

Walkalong
February 18, 2013, 09:48 PM
One of the things I like about my LNL, and my Projector before that, is that the seating takes place in the fourth station where I can see every charge I seat a bullet over. I trust that more than anything else, such as a lockout die. I use an LED light to help see into the cases.

GaryL
February 18, 2013, 11:15 PM
I think it's pretty cool that the OP had the humility and cojones to post up his mistake, since it takes plenty of both.

Root case, as previously mentioned - not fixing the issues before starting the loading process. I don't think it has anything to do with the machine, since all machines are susceptible to glitches and hiccups.

Like a few others, I like to see the powder in every case before placing a bullet, and to use powders that fill the case on a double. I used up all the 45acp with Bullseye I loaded some years back, and would love to go back to that load, but not until I figure out a mistake proof way to make safe ammo with it.

blarby
February 18, 2013, 11:51 PM
since all machines are susceptible to glitches and hiccups.

The most prominent one being a loose nut behind the........ control arm.

I'm interested to know if there is any damage to the frame or other mechanisms of this 1911, or if the BBL and mag took the effects.

gahunter12
February 18, 2013, 11:55 PM
OP- Glad your ok. I too use a LED light looking down in each case after I charge it on my Dillon RL550b. If I have a stoppage I always clear my shellplate, dump my last charge. After clearing my stoppage I always throw 5 charges, then weigh the last before returning back to loading. In 4 yrs of loading I have had 1 squib while loding my first 50 rnds when I started. I know what I did when my daughter asked me to come fix her a snack after school. I stopped loading, then returned, and rotated the shellplate first without pull the handle. Now if I have to stop, and leave the bench, I always run my press dry before leaving.

Mike 27
February 18, 2013, 11:59 PM
The Lockout die is an awesome insurance policy. Also I have to agree that if you are working out a jam, I always dump the case under the powder drop or at least weigh it. Glad you are ok it looks like the 1911 took the brunt of it.

hueyville
February 19, 2013, 12:02 AM
I have seen 3 kaboom's over the years in 1911 pistols. Never one of mine. One was a friend who was so mechanically challenged he had no business reloading at all espacially since I always kept him in ammo till he decided to do it himself. His was a squib followed by a double charge. When we pulled them down, every other round had no powder and the others were double charged. He had 100 rounds like that. Funny thing is the pistol survived except for the grips. He stuck the first bullet which prevented the slide from closing all the way. He tapped the back of the slide which allowed his sloppy tolerance wore out old pistol to fire out of battery. Apparently the top round in magazine was another double charge. Out of battery round blew out the case setting off the top round in the magazine. It dumped the magazine and blew the wood grips off the gun in pieces. It was really odd as he was still holding pistol in two hand hold, his face and hands were covered in black half burned powder but was unhurt. How it blew the grips out from between his fingers without hurting him is something that I still wonder about. He gave me his reloading equipment and went back to shooting my ammo. In 30+ years I have never had a squib or an overcharge that was catastrophic. Good loading habits and not allowing ones self to be distracted is key. Loading with a progressive is no more dangerous than a single stage with good bench habits.

soloban
February 19, 2013, 01:18 AM
Glad you walked away from it. The image painted in the post above mine gives me the mental image of Elmer Fudd after Bugs Bunny jams his finger in the barrel of Elmer's shotgun.

ljnowell
February 19, 2013, 01:21 AM
I think it's pretty cool that the OP had the humility and cojones to post up his mistake, since it takes plenty of both.

He most certainly has my respect. I never could stand an excuse, as a mechanic and a dealership service manager, I have heard almost everyone you can think of. I can usually sniff right through them.

I always liked a guy who would just walk up and say "Boss, I screwed up and need some help so I dont screw it up any farther." As long as he wasnt doing that too often, lol.

788Ham
February 19, 2013, 01:52 AM
This is why I stick with my single stage press, one I've used for 40 years when it was NIB. I'm not saying a thing about anyone who uses a LnL, a BFD, or whatever brand and number, this is just me. I might take a bit more time to load 60 rounds, took me an hour to reload 60 ..38 Spl's last night, so far no Kabooms! I'm glad the OP is okay, glad/hope things work out okay in the regard you get the piece fixed and up and running again. Some folks like the extra gadgets involved, I'm happy for you, I'll stay single.

ljnowell
February 19, 2013, 03:05 AM
This is why I stick with my single stage press, one I've used for 40 years when it was NIB. I'm not saying a thing about anyone who uses a LnL, a BFD, or whatever brand and number, this is just me. I might take a bit more time to load 60 rounds, took me an hour to reload 60 ..38 Spl's last night, so far no Kabooms! I'm glad the OP is okay, glad/hope things work out okay in the regard you get the piece fixed and up and running again. Some folks like the extra gadgets involved, I'm happy for you, I'll stay single.

I have seen kabooms come from the single stage press too. We should never get complacent.

KansasSasquatch
February 19, 2013, 03:48 AM
The RCBS Lockout die is definitely a better safeguard than the Hornady Powder Cop, especially for someone new to progressive reloading. You should do all your tweaks to the press before loading a live round, but occassionally something can happen in the middle of the batch to mess it all up. The Powder Cop requires you to pay attention to it everytime the ram is raised. If the Lockout die is properly adjusted it will not allow the ram to raise on an empty case or a double charge. When the press locks-out the simple solution is to empty the shellplate and figure out what came loose or what seized up. I once encountered an issue on my LNL. I had improperly set the powder measure in the case activated die, causing the powder measure linkage to seize in the up position. The Lockout die did it's job and kept me from producing a squib. I made the necessary adjustment and no further problems.

Do all your tweaks by making a dummy round with no primer or powder. Once you have everything set, size a single case, prime it, expand it, then use it to adjust your powder measure and LOCKOUT DIE. That's what I do. I also mark the stem on the Lockout die, visually check the Lockout die, and visually check the case before I seat a bullet. It's redundant, but it's about as safe as it gets without weighing out every single charge.

9w1911
February 19, 2013, 03:49 AM
1 Add me to the "weigh every cartridge" crowd.
2 I also visually check and feel each primer I seat

I use a 550B LOL (also auto indexing presses kinda scare me)

It is rare I just load away and fill up the bin. Even when I do that I LED every case as I add the bullet

Trent
February 19, 2013, 09:18 AM
1 Add me to the "weigh every cartridge" crowd.
2 I also visually check and feel each primer I seat

I use a 550B LOL (also auto indexing presses kinda scare me)

It is rare I just load away and fill up the bin. Even when I do that I LED every case as I add the bullet

Non auto-indexing presses sort of scare me. At least when you pull the handle of a true progressive a new shell is under the powder hopper. Although, whether it actually gets powder or not depends on you keeping the hopper full. :)

I also visually inspect each case. I leave station 3 on my 650 open (no die) so I can eyeball it, then I seat the bullet in station 4. I trust my eye more than I trust a mechanical doo-dad to tell me if there is powder in the casing.

Grab bullet - Look for powder - Place bullet - pull handle - push handle - grab bullet - look for powder - place bullet - pull handle - push handle.

That's the process.

If you're running a manually indexed press, without a case feeder, how many places do your eyes have to look to grab casing, place casing, index the holder, fetch a bullet, place the bullet, etc?

The more places your eyes have to look, the more operations you have to do, the more likely you are to skip that one part - looking at the powder.

One distraction (children, wife, kids) and you forget where you are.

With that 650, if I get distracted, I have to check powder, place bullet, pull handle. Everything else is being done for me. No risk of forgetting to index (double charge), indexing TWICE (squib), etc.

gahunter12
February 19, 2013, 09:58 AM
If you're running a manually indexed press, without a case feeder, how many places do your eyes have to look to grab casing, place casing, index the holder, fetch a bullet, place the bullet, etc?

I get what your saying, but I never look at station one unless I have a problem. Case in St1, bullet placed in St3, pull handle, push forward to prime/look in case at ST2, rotate, and repeat. I guess over the years I have got a feel for which way the case goes in, and bullets goes on so I rarely look at them.

Trent
February 19, 2013, 10:01 AM
Right, but you are a seasoned vet. :)

New users will find the process very "busy", and if they build up an incorrect / bad habit, they WILL get squibs or double charges.

fehhkk
February 19, 2013, 10:02 AM
Seeing that you load close to max load, it could have been that an additional 0.5 gr slipped by in that particular chart?

Glad youre OK.

Trent
February 19, 2013, 10:18 AM
Seeing that you load close to max load, it could have been that an additional 0.5 gr slipped by in that particular chart?

Glad youre OK.

The Para manual for that gun doesn't say anything about +P, the assumption would be that it is NOT rated for it unless it's specifically stated that it is. An additional 0.5gr would push him in to +P territory.

Still, one round? Even if the firearm isn't rated for it's continual use, it should be able to stand up to 1 round of if; there's considerable margins of safety in the engineering of modern firearms.

This was a catastrophic failure, it was undoubtedly a double-charge.

kingmt
February 19, 2013, 11:39 AM
I got my first progressive a few years ago. I already knew how to load. is been doing it for years. Well that was my biggest problem. It took me half a day just to figure out I didn't know what I was doing(probably not that long but to long). Once on figured that out I started running one round at a time through. I was studying each station. It didn't long to learn this way.

Reloading on a single stage & progressive aren't the same thing. Both are easy but you must take your time to figure out what is going on.

dickttx
February 19, 2013, 11:40 AM
A few months ago I acquired a LnL. I had been using the Lee Classic Turret.
I soon found that if something happens things can go to h### in a hurry. After loading my first hundred rounds I stopped until I received an RCBS Lock-out die. This does not bomb proof you but it certainly helps. I have never used any other progressive press, but the LnL certainly makes LOOKING AT THE POWDER in the fourth station very easy. You are setting a bullet on it anyway so it is very easy to LOOK AT THE POWDER before sitting the bullet. Even after the round has process through the Lock-out die. Even after the Lock-out die has been tested with no charge and double charge. Even after your powder measure setting has been checked. Even after the setting has been verified with a scale. I only use HP38, but even in a 45 ACP a double charge is very noticeable.

kingmt
February 19, 2013, 11:48 AM
I also set a LED over station 4 in the turret of my Load Master.

Drail
February 19, 2013, 12:00 PM
Progressive presses ain't for newbies and amatuers. Over all of the years I saw other guys blow guns in every single case they were using a progressive press they had just bought or they were going for speed. Extreme vigilance is required. One second of inattention can get you a ride to the emergency room. Slow down. Mount a GOOD light so you can see in every case.

788Ham
February 19, 2013, 12:25 PM
ljnowell,

No, I was just stating the single stage, not having to check 5 or 6 different phases of the loading sequence before getting started again, is easier for me, not complacent in any way ! Too many factors, and too many things to check, sometimes it can get tedious if something continues to crop up, that was my only meaning.

essayons21
February 19, 2013, 12:29 PM
On load data... Hornady lists max charge as 6.2. Speer lists max as 5.5. Nosler has no load data for lead .45. These are the 3 manuals I have. I worked up to this load, and it shows no pressure signs in 4 different 1911s. Can someone with some different manuals give me max loadings for 230gr (.452) and Clay's Universal.

bds
February 19, 2013, 12:34 PM
Current Hodgdon load data (http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp)
230 gr LRN Universal - Diameter .452" OAL 1.200" Start 4.5 gr (703 fps) 11,400 CUP - Max 5.4 gr (857 fps) 16,800 CUP

No Universal load data for 45ACP in Lyman #49.

Trent
February 19, 2013, 01:07 PM
I got my first progressive a few years ago. I already knew how to load. is been doing it for years. Well that was my biggest problem. It took me half a day just to figure out I didn't know what I was doing(probably not that long but to long). Once on figured that out I started running one round at a time through. I was studying each station. It didn't long to learn this way.

Reloading on a single stage & progressive aren't the same thing. Both are easy but you must take your time to figure out what is going on.

Yeah it took me awhile to wrap my head around the Dillon when I got it, too.

I started on a single stage press back in 1998, got a turret press in 1999 (still use it!), and added the progressive back in 2008.

9w1911
February 19, 2013, 01:32 PM
I just look at the 550 like a single stage with different stations, each station requires you to look at something or check something etc. Lately I just weigh each round. I am in no rush.

Trent
February 19, 2013, 01:49 PM
When I sit down on the progressive, it's "an event."

As in, I clear my weekend, and even enlist the aid of my children to help me pack the ammo. This is last year's supply of 45 ACP practice ammo after loading, with my oldest daughter helping me box it up:

http://i.imgur.com/rMrfo2hl.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/378ozvvl.jpg

I load and package it in 1,000 round lots, can usually do 2 or 3 lots on a weekend (9mm and 223 is slower for me, I have a harder time picking up the little bullets.)

dbltaps
February 19, 2013, 02:04 PM
Glad you are ok and only lost the barrel and not some fingers!
When I set up my LNL, I set up each die individually while using a single empty case. The powder funnel is the last thing I set up after making sure all the other dies were adjusted properly.
It is up to you to come up with a safe process/methodology that works for YOU, and so I am only posting to explain my setup process. Please read all the great responses from all of these members - they are much wiser, knowledgable, and experienced than myself. Take what you will from the advice, and adjust your process as you need to be safer and good luck!

Walkalong
February 19, 2013, 02:29 PM
A squib or double charge can be done on any make or style of reloading equipment, so be careful, be attentive, and be safe.

essayons21
February 19, 2013, 08:45 PM
Walkalong was kind enough to open this thread back up. I have learned alot from the suggestions so far, so lets keep this open for other new progressive reloaders. My mistake was not due to the brand or type of press I was using, it was only due to my own inattentiveness, inexperience, and it seems overconfidence.

I have been pulling down these loads this afternoon. I attempted to use my RCBS collet bullet puller, but more often than not it just crushes the soft lead and the bullet stays. So I switched to a kinetic puller, and while I can't get an exact measurement of the powder charge, I can confidently say there have been no double or undercharges in the 50 rounds I have pulled so far.

A PM from another user helping me double check my load data caused me to notice a potential issue. I began measuring the COAL and found it to be much shorter than I had intended. I usually load at 1.24-1.245. The first round I checked was 1.215! This batch averages 1.22. And I never checked this after loading! Another example of how I was doing too much at one time setting up the press and forgot a critical step.

Now I am loading near max pressure according to Hornady, and over max listed by Speer and Hodgdon. .03" will certainly increase the pressure significantly, but is it enough to blow up a barrel like this? There were no pressure signs in the 3 successfully fired rounds....

poor man
February 19, 2013, 08:51 PM
yes a thank you to Walkalong for opening the thread back up, lets keep it clean and informational :)

GaryL
February 19, 2013, 09:22 PM
Now I am loading near max pressure according to Hornady, and over max listed by Speer and Hodgdon. .03" will certainly increase the pressure significantly, but is it enough to blow up a barrel like this? There were no pressure signs in the 3 successfully fired rounds....
Maybe someone with Quickload can run a simulation and tell us what kind of pressures that load generates. I think it would be useful information.

essayons21
February 19, 2013, 09:28 PM
Thanks to MicroTecniqs

1.211 is the shortest round I found


Cartridge : .45 Auto (ACP) (SAAMI)
Bullet : .452, 230gr .666"BL
Cartridge O.A.L. L6: 1.211 inch or 30.76 mm
Barrel Length : 5.0 inch or 127.0 mm
Powder : Hodgdon Universal

Predicted data by increasing and decreasing the given charge,
incremented in steps of 3.846% of nominal charge.
CAUTION: Figures exceed maximum and minimum recommended loads !

Step Fill. Charge Vel. Energy Pmax Pmuz Prop.Burnt B_Time
% % Grains fps ft.lbs psi psi % ms

-38.5 50 3.20 598 183 7510 1405 86.5 1.084
-34.6 54 3.40 630 203 8422 1521 88.9 1.030
-30.8 57 3.60 662 224 9408 1634 91.0 0.985
-26.9 60 3.80 693 245 10470 1745 92.9 0.938
-23.1 63 4.00 723 267 11612 1852 94.5 0.895
-19.2 66 4.20 753 289 12835 1955 95.9 0.854
-15.4 69 4.40 782 312 14142 2053 97.1 0.814
-11.5 72 4.60 811 336 15535 2146 98.0 0.778
-07.7 76 4.80 838 359 17019 2233 98.8 0.745
-03.8 79 5.00 866 383 18596 2314 99.3 0.715 ! Near Maximum !
+00.0 82 5.20 892 407 20271 2389 99.7 0.687 ! Near Maximum !
+03.8 85 5.40 918 431 22047 2458 99.9 0.661 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
+07.7 88 5.60 944 455 23928 2520 100.0 0.637 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
+11.5 91 5.80 969 479 25919 2580 100.0 0.615 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
+15.4 95 6.00 993 504 28025 2640 100.0 0.594 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
+19.2 98 6.20 1017 528 30252 2699 100.0 0.575 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!

Results caused by ± 10% powder lot-to-lot burning rate variation using nominal charge
Data for burning rate increased by 10% relative to nominal value:
+Ba 82 5.20 924 436 23932 2294 100.0 0.642 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Data for burning rate decreased by 10% relative to nominal value:
-Ba 82 5.20 847 366 16682 2401 96.2 0.748

cfullgraf
February 19, 2013, 09:36 PM
Erased

dmazur
February 19, 2013, 10:49 PM
New users will find the process very "busy", and if they build up an incorrect / bad habit, they WILL get squibs or double charges.

True enough.

I did a few hundred rounds on my 550B one round at a time before I used it as a progressive press. I wanted to watch how it worked, and convince myself each station was, in fact, operating correctly even though they were operating simultaneously.

I have read of folks using a single stage and decapping their thumb, because they couldn't pull it out fast enough before their R hand ran it up into the die.

I have also read of folks who meticulously check each case in a loading block, except they went ahead and ran one row under the powder measure twice after being interrupted by a phone call. 10 double charges.

I find it hard to believe that a single stage press is any guarantee of safer reloading practice. I believe that a fool is a fool, regardless of what kind of tools he is allowed to get ahold of.

It may be true that a fool with a progressive press can make a lot more bad ammunition in a given amount of time than if he was using a single stage press. :)

Kevin Rohrer
February 19, 2013, 11:03 PM
Glad to see you were using a 1911 when what you were shooting blew-up. That big, steel slide helps protect shooters.

When I was in MP school, I saw a 1911 blow-up. The first round was a squib (the rounds were made in 1945; it was 1974 at the time) and the FMJ bullet lodged in the barrel. The shooter fired the second round, which struck the lodged bullet. The barrel broke-up and shot out the front of the slide, while the magazine fell apart and fell out the bottom of the frame. The shooter was unharmed.

essayons21
February 19, 2013, 11:22 PM
So I pulled the remaining ~200 rounds. Not a single double charge or squib. I got my collet puller working a bit better. Every single round was plus or minus .1 gr of 5.9gr. There were three 6.0 gr rounds out of the 100 I weighed.

Which leads me to believe that the cause of this Kaboom was not a double charge as I previously thought (although I will certainly adjust my loading practices according to the recommendations here). Looks like I skipped an important step of double checking the seating depth of my seater die and was seating too short. It has been two weeks since I loaded these rounds, but I remember adjusting for a little bit tighter crimp at one point during the reloading process. This is probably where I screwed up. This combined with loading at the upper end of Hornady's already generous load data caused this kaboom.

So it really had nothing to do with the press or my setup, it was entirely user error on my part forgetting a basic step to the reloading process.

Lessons learned:

1. On a progressive, set up my dies the same way I do on my single stage - One at a time
2. Check COAL after doing ANYTHING to the seating die.
3. In addition to regular powder weight checking, I will be randomly checking COAL in the future.
4. Run rounds one at a time through my progressive until I get everything perfect.
5. Double check load data TO INCLUDE COAL, and maybe get a few more reloading manuals. Hornady lists starting loads that are above the max loads listed by Speer for the same bullet/powder combos???

Now I am still very confused over the fact that I have shot hundreds of rounds of this exact same load out of 2 Springfields and a RIA, with no issues and no pressure signs, but I seat the bullet .015 shorter and it blows up my Para? I thought I would see some pressure signs in the brass before such a catastrophic failure.

bds
February 19, 2013, 11:37 PM
When I help set up reloaders on progressive presses, I have them develop a checklist that covers every reloading steps with QC checks to verify critical steps (powder charge, OAL, neck tension, etc.). I have them tape the checklist right behind the press so they can refer to it whenever they need to so as to not skip a step.

Still, whenever the progressive process is disrupted, it may be a good idea to clear the shell plate and start over with station #1.

I think the extent of damage to the barrel indicate a double charge or a squib round followed by another round and not a bullet that got seated deeper. Regardless, developing and utilizing safe reloading practice whether the barrel blew up or the magazine simply blew out would be a good idea.

GLOOB
February 20, 2013, 12:49 AM
I appreciate there's a lot going on with a progressive. Yeah, you can clear the shell plate. Dump all the cases that are filled. Then run one round through until you are sure it all works. But it is still very, very helpful to break it down and look at the root cause at its base. You stuck a bullet over two charges of powder.

So as long as you do not put a bullet onto a case until you have put an eyeball on the contents, you will not have this problem reoccur. Forget all else, and make this your mantra.

essayons21
February 20, 2013, 01:11 AM
Now, any ideas on getting the barrel out of the slide without cutting it?

Walkalong
February 20, 2013, 08:31 AM
but I seat the bullet .015 shorter and it blows up my Para? I wouldn't think a 6.0 Gr charge of Universal Clays under a 230 Gr lead RN bullet blew up simply from seating one .015 shorter than rounds which were fine.

That said, 1.211 OAL is very short for a 230 Gr RN bullet, and is already too deep in the case for 6.0 Grs of Universal. If you were seating at 1.265 it would make a big difference.

Trent
February 20, 2013, 10:22 AM
Now, any ideas on getting the barrel out of the slide without cutting it?

Don't know if a hammer and chisel would work to push that bulge on the right side back in. But, if you try, be very careful not to hose up the finish of the gun.

I can't see how .015" would make that big of a difference. I've had lightly crimped bullets set back that much (or more) and singly fed them (wearing kevlar gloves), without seeing overpressure signs. I seat my 230gr semi-wadcutters in 45 (which have a very long bearing surface compared to a FMJ or JHP), extremely deep in the casing, and they shoot just fine even as I approach the high end of the powder charge.

Now... if your crimp was too light (or missing) and a bullet got RAMMED back in to the case on chambering... THAT could really mess your day up!

kingmt
February 20, 2013, 12:42 PM
I'm betting it was a double. All you hear to do was studder on a stroke to get a second charge in one case.

It is still passable that you got a bridge also. 4gn in one 8 in the next.

ljnowell
February 20, 2013, 01:15 PM
Now... if your crimp was too light (or missing) and a bullet got RAMMED back in to the case on chambering... THAT could really mess your day up!
It wasnt crimp. Crimp doesn't hold a bullet in place in an autoloader.

I'm going to go with an accidental double charge. I dont believe that too short OAL caused this one. Most of the guns I see , at least in 45acp, that have blown up to that extent we the victim of a double charge or a squib+bang. I am willing to bet that for whichever reason it happened, there was at least 50K in that chamber at some point. Definately more than 35-40K.

Thats all speculation, of course, and my opinion. I have seen a lot of blown up guns though, and helped more than one person figure out why they did it.

1911Tuner
February 20, 2013, 04:40 PM
Squibs followed by a normal round don't blow up .45s like that.

This was caused by a double charge.

ljnowell
February 20, 2013, 05:16 PM
Squibs followed by a normal round don't blow up .45s like that.

This was caused by a double charge

Thats my guy feeling too, looking at the damage. Though I have seen some catastrophic failures of 45s that were squib-banged. You may be right though, I dont know that many of them saw that level of destruction. Most of them were on polymer guns too, so it can be a little more difficult to gauge the damage to the frame. What doesnt show at all on that 1911 could have been a frame broken and cracked all over if polymer.

Either way, I'm still saying a double charge.

Elkins45
February 20, 2013, 05:43 PM
I still vote double or a bridge. 0.15 setback doesn't give that kind of pressure excursion. MAYBE a case head blowout, but not shattering the barrel like that.

Trent
February 20, 2013, 06:32 PM
What happened to the bullet on that last round? Did it stick in the barrel or did it go downrange while the chamber was getting blown apart?

Trent
February 20, 2013, 06:37 PM
It wasnt crimp. Crimp doesn't hold a bullet in place in an autoloader.


Crimp sure as heck DOES help to hold the bullet in place on an autoloader. If it didn't, why would we even bother?

If I don't crimp my 8mm or 7.62 semi's, the bullet will get shoved back a full quarter inch on chambering.

When working up my 45ACP jacketed SWC load, if I didn't crimp the case, chambering in a 1911 would set it back .15", an XD would stovepipe and shove it back almost a quarter inch, a Glock would set it back .10".

So don't feed me that line, I've witnessed setback on both rifle and handgun rounds in autoloaders with my own two eyes, and it is repeatable.

Sure, neck tension is the primary source of seating strength, but that taper crimp is your insurance. It literally forms a shallow ledge on the bullet itself, which locks it in place and PREVENTS it from being shoved back further in to the case, if it is done properly.

kingmt
February 20, 2013, 06:54 PM
Not on my jackets pistol rounds. I don't even have a die that will crimp rifle. If it is being at back .25" something is wrong.

Walkalong
February 20, 2013, 06:58 PM
It wasnt crimp. Crimp doesn't hold a bullet in place in an autoloader. I have to agree with this. Neck tension does the job. If it doesn't, you need more neck tension. A proper crimp on a auto pistol caliber won't help at all. If you crimp enough to make a difference, you are crimping too much.

Tell me how .001 (Maybe .002) or less "crimp" is going to overcome poor neck tension.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=131392&stc=1&d=1291121200
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=153244&d=1322011199

TheCracker
February 20, 2013, 07:01 PM
Bad lick

Trent
February 20, 2013, 07:15 PM
I have to agree with this. Neck tension does the job. If it doesn't, you need more neck tension. A proper crimp on a auto pistol caliber won't help at all. If you crimp enough to make a difference, you are crimping too much.

Tell me how .001 (Maybe .002) or less "crimp" is going to overcome poor neck tension.


On those jacketed SWC's I load in 45 ACP, I have to crimp enough to deform the bullet (visibly, if you pull it), or they WILL set back, period. When they feed, it's not at all smooth like a FMJ round or a JHP where there is a rounded bearing surface. They get jammed in to the top of the chamber. Due to the shape of the bullet it's a pretty serious impact. Enough so, that it will refuse to feed at ALL in a Springfield XD unless I help it along; the edge of the flat nose and the edge of the shoulder of the bullet both hit simultaneously, due to geometry, and it wedges solidly in place, due to the steep chambering angle of the XD.

Granted, loading jacketed SWC in an autoloader is "an oddity", but I brought it up as an example to "never say never." If I didn't crimp those SWC's they'd set back far enough to become a serious problem.

It can and does make a difference, depending on what you are loading, and what you are using it in. :)

Do I have to crimp that hard on a FMJ or JHP? No, the neck tension is enough (assuming the brass itself isn't worn out, hardened, and not retaining it's sized shape; occasionally I'll run across a piece of old / bad / overworked brass that doesn't hold the bullet tightly, and pitch it).

I don't shoot the Springfield XD much anymore (it's up for sale), that steep feed angle it has REALLY turned me off to that platform. It chambers cartridges VERY hard.

Anyway, we're drifting some, my apologies. :)

ljnowell
February 20, 2013, 07:21 PM
Crimp sure as heck DOES help to hold the bullet in place on an autoloader. If it didn't, why would we even bother?

If I don't crimp my 8mm or 7.62 semi's, the bullet will get shoved back a full quarter inch on chambering.

When working up my 45ACP jacketed SWC load, if I didn't crimp the case, chambering in a 1911 would set it back .15", an XD would stovepipe and shove it back almost a quarter inch, a Glock would set it back .10".

So don't feed me that line, I've witnessed setback on both rifle and handgun rounds in autoloaders with my own two eyes, and it is repeatable.

Sure, neck tension is the primary source of seating strength, but that taper crimp is your insurance. It literally forms a shallow ledge on the bullet itself, which locks it in place and PREVENTS it from being shoved back further in to the case, if it is done properly.


No, it doesnt. Those cases headspace on the casemouth. If you push the casemouth into the case they will not headspace properly and will headspace off the extractor instead. Also, you have the issue of brass springing back at a different rate than a bullet, causing loss of case neck tension.

In the whole scheme of things, taper crimp does not hold a bullet in place, it doesnt prevent setback. If you experience either of these things you have poor neck tension. If you compensate by overcrimping the round you will eventually cause yourself problems in other ways.

If you crimp enough to make a difference, you are crimping too much

Thats a fact.

Trent
February 20, 2013, 07:23 PM
The load I was talking about in the previous post:

http://i.imgur.com/4Fdx4Y3l.jpg

And two sample pulled projectiles from when I was doing load development, you can see the crimp marks deformed the bullets:

http://i.imgur.com/i0noxxbl.jpg


(As far as WHY jacketed semiwadcutter in 45ACP... well, it was 2009 and everything was hard to find. So I ordered a thousand off Midway - it was literally the only .451 or .452 they had in bulk. After nit-picking through the load development, and getting it to work in all but one of my handguns, I found that the dang things were highly accurate .. AND packed a wallop against pins, on pin shoots. I set the club record in major auto with this load. :) And subsequently ordered another several thousand.)

ljnowell
February 20, 2013, 07:31 PM
Looks overcrimped to me, definately considering its a plated bullet.

Trent
February 20, 2013, 07:36 PM
If I don't crimp it that much, due to the angle of impact at the top of the chamber, and the mass of the slide, it WILL set back.

If you shorten ANY 45ACP round enough, in any firearm with a steep enough feed angle (to the verge of stovepiping a round), you will get setback unless you've got a firm crimp.

The OP said he loaded these too short. The 1911 has a moderate feed angle. If he was running his OAL short enough - to where it's on the brink of stovepiping every round, and wasn't crimping, but merely straightening his case walls back out, I *guarantee* additional setback was happening.

The mass of the slide crushing the base of the case with the nose of the bullet wedged at the top of the chamber? That's a hard impact. And it will set the bullet back.

Like I said, I *measured* setback on the rounds I was working up with these .452 SWC, it was one of the issues I had to overcome when loading up such a strange 45 ACP load. Getting those to work reliably in all but one of my autoloaders was no small feat.

On a sufficiently shortened FMJ, or JHP, on a firearm with a moderate or severe feed angle, set back is not a probability, it's a guarantee. The round may (barely) get fed in but the top of the chamber and back of the slide will put that bullet under considerable force while doing so.

On a proper length 45 ACP, the feed angle is shallower, the nose of the bullet and rear of the casing aren't under as much force, and it slides in easier.

Either way, a firm taper crimp is SOME level of protection against setback - straightening the case wall isn't sufficient.

(Too much and you won't headspace; I had to find the right balance on the load above)

ljnowell
February 20, 2013, 07:55 PM
I don't crimp it that much, due to the angle of impact at the top of the chamber, and the mass of the slide, it WILL set back.

If you shorten ANY 45ACP round enough, in any firearm with a steep enough feed angle (to the verge of stovepiping a round), you will get setback unless you've got a firm crimp.

The OP said he loaded these too short. The 1911 has a moderate feed angle. If he was running his OAL short enough - to where it's on the brink of stovepiping every round, and wasn't crimping, but merely straightening his case walls back out, I *guarantee* additional setback was happening.

The mass of the slide crushing the base of the case with the nose of the bullet wedged at the top of the chamber? That's a hard impact. And it will set the bullet back.

Like I said, I *measured* setback on the rounds I was working up with these .452 SWC, it was one of the issues I had to overcome when loading up such a strange 45 ACP load. Getting those to work reliably in all but one of my autoloaders was no small feat.

On a sufficiently shortened FMJ, or JHP, on a firearm with a moderate or severe feed angle, set back is not a probability, it's a guarantee. The round may (barely) get fed in but the top of the chamber and back of the slide will put that bullet under considerable force while doing so.

On a proper length 45 ACP, the feed angle is shallower, the nose of the bullet and rear of the casing aren't under as much force, and it slides in easier.

Either way, a firm taper crimp is SOME level of protection against setback - straightening the case wall isn't sufficient.

(Too much and you won't headspace; I had to find the right balance on the load above)


I load 185gr JHP all the time in 45acp, no overcrimping and no setback. I turned the expander down .002 in my 45acp Lee PTX die. It worked just fine.

Plenty of neck tension, no overcrimping.

No matter the reason, overcrimping doesnt fix a problem, it covers up one and can present another.

GLOOB
February 20, 2013, 09:06 PM
Crimp sure as heck DOES help to hold the bullet in place on an autoloader. If it didn't, why would we even bother?
The main reason to bother tapercrimping a straight-walled semiauto round is to remove excess flare and/or to otherwise get it to feed and to fit in the chamber.

If I don't crimp my 8mm or 7.62 semi's, the bullet will get shoved back a full quarter inch on chambering.
Rifle is different. When you pull the expander through a bottle-necked cartridge, you have a hollow tube that is only 2 mics under bullet size. Some longer bullets might even seat all the way through the bottom of the neck. Since the cartridge headspaces off the shoulder, this doesn't matter. If necessary, you can roll crimp the cartridge. But even with rifle autoloaders, neck tension, alone, is often all you need.

When you flare a straight-walled case, you only expand the area where the bullet seats (or using a universal expander, you barely flare the mouth, at all). The rest of the case is more greatly under the size of a bullet. Combined with neck tension, this is ordinarily enough to prevent setback.

I always tapercrimp 45ACP, because my gun has a tight chamber. The round won't drop in unless I use some crimp. I often don't use any taper crimp on my 9mm and 40SW. I understand a little bit of taper crimp can increase neck tension, up to a certain point. But not much.

I have run across brass that won't hold a bullet. Instead of trying to add more crimp, the safer solution is to toss the brass.

Trent
February 20, 2013, 09:18 PM
I disagree with you 100%.

When you taper crimp, you're pushing the casing IN to the projectile. That brass has to go somewhere.

45ACP brass is .010 - .013" in thickness depending on brand. When that brass is pushed in to the projectile, the sharp edge of the case mouth forms a corresponding sharp edge in the bullet.

This "ledge" that forms is slight, but it IS there. Moreover, it's provides unidirectional resistance against setback. The bullet can LEAVE the casing because the mass behind the crimp is tapered, and easily pushes the brass out of the way. Conversely, the bullet cannot further ENTER the casing without working much harder, because you've formed a ridge with two sharp edges that mate together.

You can push that sharp edge of the case mouth in .005" to .007" (about half the thickness of the case wall) across the entire diameter of the bullet and still have positive headspacing due to the taper. The bullet can leave with virtually no additional resistance, but it cannot further ENTER the casing without pushing past that ridge.

Because the case wall is (generally) straight, there's a lot of resistance to skip past that ridge formed by the taper crimp.

If you are NOT taper crimping your ammo, regardless of the projectile, or feed angle of the firearm, sooner or later, you're going to run across a piece of overworked, bad, or thin brass and get setback. The steeper the feed angle, the more likely this is to happen. (Case point; Springfield XD. With that severe feed angle it has, I've measured factory Winchester white box before & after chambering and found setback of as much as .007").

And when that happens, if you are unlucky, your gun will look much like the OP's. You shorten the case depth .100 or .200" and you are DRAMATICALLY increasing the pressure of the cartridge if you're loading anywhere near max. How much that pressure ramps up depends on depth and powder type.

When I was working up the loads to those SWC's above, if I did NOT crimp, the Springfield XD would force the bullet deep in to the casing; as much as .250". It would chamber - usually, because as the bullet was pushed back the rear of the casing was being lifted by the slide, eventually shallowing the feed angle enough for the round to enter the chamber.

That's a TON of set back. When I crimped that same load, it would simply stovepipe and stop the chambering of the round in it's tracks, because the bullet couldn't get pushed back in to the casing even with the mass of the slide hammering at it. No setback. No chambering.

WITHOUT the crimp, that Springfield XD WOULD chamber the round, and if I were working with live ammo instead of dummy rounds, and a load anywhere NEAR max, that chamber would be blown to pieces.

Anyway, I'm not going to debate the issue further - you are an adult and can choose what you want to do. It's your hands, and eyes, and face; not mine. You might be lucky and never have a problem.

I'd prefer to have a little ridge form that prevents the bullet from coming back in. The brass itself only offers resistance from sprung tension. The ridge created by taper crimping creates a positive hardpoint of resistance that a bullet has to overcome.

I've PROVEN this already in my own trials. You're welcome to do the same and draw your own conclusions.

ljnowell
February 20, 2013, 09:30 PM
I disagree with you 100%.

When you taper crimp, you're pushing the casing IN to the projectile. That brass has to go somewhere.

45ACP brass is .010 - .013" in thickness depending on brand. When that brass is pushed in to the projectile, the sharp edge of the case mouth forms a corresponding sharp edge in the bullet.

This "ledge" that forms is slight, but it IS there. Moreover, it's provides unidirectional resistance against setback. The bullet can LEAVE the casing because the mass behind the crimp is tapered, and easily pushes the brass out of the way. Conversely, the bullet cannot further ENTER the casing without working much harder, because you've formed a ridge with two sharp edges that mate together.

You can push that sharp edge of the case mouth in .005" to .007" (about half the thickness of the case wall) across the entire diameter of the bullet and still have positive headspacing due to the taper. The bullet can leave with virtually no additional resistance, but it cannot further ENTER the casing without pushing past that ridge.

Because the case wall is (generally) straight, there's a lot of resistance to skip past that ridge formed by the taper crimp.

If you are NOT taper crimping your ammo, regardless of the projectile, or feed angle of the firearm, sooner or later, you're going to run across a piece of overworked, bad, or thin brass and get setback. The steeper the feed angle, the more likely this is to happen. (Case point; Springfield XD. With that severe feed angle it has, I've measured factory Winchester white box before & after chambering and found setback of as much as .007").

And when that happens, if you are unlucky, your gun will look much like the OP's. You shorten the case depth .100 or .200" and you are DRAMATICALLY increasing the pressure of the cartridge if you're loading anywhere near max. How much that pressure ramps up depends on depth and powder type.

When I was working up the loads to those SWC's above, if I did NOT crimp, the Springfield XD would force the bullet deep in to the casing; as much as .250". It would chamber - usually, because as the bullet was pushed back the rear of the casing was being lifted by the slide, eventually shallowing the feed angle enough for the round to enter the chamber.

That's a TON of set back. When I crimped that same load, it would simply stovepipe and stop the chambering of the round in it's tracks, because the bullet couldn't get pushed back in to the casing even with the mass of the slide hammering at it. No setback. No chambering.

WITHOUT the crimp, that Springfield XD WOULD chamber the round, and if I were working with live ammo instead of dummy rounds, and a load anywhere NEAR max, that chamber would be blown to pieces.

Anyway, I'm not going to debate the issue further - you are an adult and can choose what you want to do. It's your hands, and eyes, and face; not mine. You might be lucky and never have a problem.

I'd prefer to have a little ridge form that prevents the bullet from coming back in. The brass itself only offers resistance from sprung tension. The ridge created by taper crimping creates a positive hardpoint of resistance that a bullet has to overcome.

I've PROVEN this already in my own trials. You're welcome to do the same and draw your own conclusions.

Im not sure what you have "proven" in your tests. If you are saying that brass springback cant occur from overcrimping a round, causing loss of neck tension you are wrong. 100% wrong. Anyone thats reloaded for any amount of time knows this, its readily available information. The fact that you need to overcrimp simply points out that you are either doing something wrong in your reloading or that you have a faulty die.

Those are facts. Painful as you may find them, they are true. Your overcrimping to compensate for lack of neck tension simply porves that overcrimping the round held the bullet in place. Thats not the purpose of any type of taper crimp on an autoloader round.

You said yourself that the metal of the case gets pushed into the bullet, displacing material. When a round headspaces off the case mouth this is not the proper method of assembling the round. Thats a fact.

GLOOB
February 20, 2013, 09:34 PM
sooner or later, you're going to run across a piece of overworked, bad, or thin brass...
I agree.
...and get setback
Nope. I toss this brass.

There's a heck of a lot reloaders that don't crimp 223 ammo for autoloaders. Lots o folks don't tapercrimp semiauto pistol ammo. You obviously don't need to do it to prevent setback. And there are other reasons to do it.

You can push that sharp edge of the case mouth in .005" to .007" (about half the thickness of the case wall) across the entire diameter of the bullet and still have positive headspacing due to the taper. The bullet can leave with virtually no additional resistance, but it cannot further ENTER the casing without pushing past that ridge.
I don't doubt your logic. But OTOH, of all the factory ammo I've examined, it's quite rare IMO to see a semiauto pistol round tapercrimped this much, one that has any visible degree of what you're describing. Most of the time, there's no visible crimp, at all.

I would crimp my jacketed pistol ammo just like you describe... if someone would trim all my pistol brass for me.

Trent
February 20, 2013, 09:47 PM
I agree.

Nope. I toss this brass.

There's a heck of a lot reloaders that don't crimp 223 ammo for autoloaders. Lots o folks don't tapercrimp semiauto pistol ammo. You obviously don't need to do it to prevent setback. And there are other reasons to do it.


I don't doubt your logic. But OTOH, of all the factory ammo I've examined, it's quite rare IMO to see a round tapercrimped this much, one that has any visible degree of what you're describing.

As mentioned, I had to go much more than I had in the past with this particular bullet due to the geometry and physics involved when it's chambered.

On a properly loaded (OAL) FMJ or JHP, you'll NEVER need that much crimp, because the round is loaded at a shallower angle and you have a smooth, curved surface to aid chambering.

HOWEVER - if you load a round too SHORT (as the OP did), then the casual safety net you enjoy without a crimp gets tossed out the window.

That short OAL cartridge causes the bullet to impact the top of the chamber, setting the bullet back severely. As the bullet is set back the slide continues to move forward. Because the cartridge is shortened, the back of the case slides up the face, and once it reaches a shallow enough angle, it will chamber. Neck /wall tension is *NOT* enough to prevent that from happening. Only a hard crimp would protect you.

Given

A] that a firm crimp - done properly - will not affect headspacing

and

B] that a firm crimp which slightly deforms the bullet will not affect accuracy, whatsoever, in a pistol round

Why NOT put a crimp on?

It's an added level of safety.

(We're off topic here, but on 223 I load cannelure bullets with a roll crimp for casual plinking ammo. If I load something like V-MAX which has a smooth bearing surface, it's DEFINITELY possible to get setback. I've measured this on brass with up to .005 neck tension. On precision rounds - 69/77/80 gr, I neck turn and use collet dies to get precisely .002 neck tension, and don't crimp to avoid deforming the bullet, but have to single load them.)

GLOOB
February 20, 2013, 09:53 PM
Why NOT put a crimp on?
Lots of reasons. Sometimes you can't effectively taper crimp while seating, and on a SS press that means an extra step. Also, it may cause intermittent grief, unless you trim all your brass to the same length.

If I load something like V-MAX which has a smooth bearing surface, it's DEFINITELY possible to get setback.
It's always possible to get setback if you don't use a crimp. It's for you to determine when you need it, and when you don't, for which firearms and which bullets/brass.

SlamFire1
February 20, 2013, 09:55 PM
I am glad you were not hurt and it is just amazing that the grips did not blow out or that you did not get metal particles in the eyes.

If you need to disrupt the progressive cycle and have any concerns, clear the shellplate and start over at station #1. I think this is where many reloaders get in trouble and end up with double charges
This is good advice.

I must have loaded a over a hundred thousand rounds, maybe a couple hundred thousand rounds, on my Dillion 550. I get in a rhythm of picking up bullet, case, turning shellholder and if I get out of rhythm I stop and clear the shell plate.

Keeping my fingers crossed but no Kaboom’s to date.

I believe I am more likely to double charge when using a loading block. I still have my Little Dandy powder measure, it was easy to day dream and forget which case I charged.

Coltdriver
February 20, 2013, 10:03 PM
I have a progressive and I have always been leery of loading very small pistol loads with it. So what I do is one last quality check where I weigh every round on an electronic scale. It will pick up a squib or double in a heart beat. I have had no doubles but I have caught one where I missed getting powder in it.

Jim Watson
February 20, 2013, 10:29 PM
Those stubby JSWCs like factory match usually get a very wide and deep barrel ramp that is ok with light midrange loads. I bet getting them to run with bowling pin loads in a regular ramp was a challenge.

The trend has been from those and similar cast bullets like HG 130 and Lyman 452460 to the long nosed HG 68. A lot of target shooters have moved on to accurate ogival JHPs from Nosler and Zero.

The plated SWCs from Rainier look like but do not feed like HG 68s.

The XD .45 is reportedly incompatible with SWCs in general.
The XDM was supposedly revised to accept them.

My first P220 was also. I haven't asked the second to try.

Trent
February 20, 2013, 11:40 PM
Those stubby JSWCs like factory match usually get a very wide and deep barrel ramp that is ok with light midrange loads. I bet getting them to run with bowling pin loads in a regular ramp was a challenge.


I got those Remington Match JSWC .452's to run right up to max load, in everything except the XD, where they wouldn't run at all. I had to load up well over 100 dummy rounds (5 per .001) and record, meticulously, which firearms fed 100%, occasionally fed, or didn't feed at all. My hands were raw by the time I was done, from jacking slides. :)

I found a remarkably SMALL zone (.002 or .003 if I recall) that would feed in all of my 45's except the XD. (Tested OK in Glock 21, Taurus PT145, S&W M&P, Taurus 24/7, Springfield 1911 GI, H&K USP45 Tactical)

It was a ridiculously time consuming endeavor.


The trend has been from those and similar cast bullets like HG 130 and Lyman 452460 to the long nosed HG 68. A lot of target shooters have moved on to accurate ogival JHPs from Nosler and Zero.

The plated SWCs from Rainier look like but do not feed like HG 68s.

The XD .45 is reportedly incompatible with SWCs in general.
The XDM was supposedly revised to accept them.



I guarantee the original XD is incompatible with those match JSWC's, I tried every combination of OAL (that I could crimp, up to the point of 100% failure in all the 45's) in .001 increments; they wouldn't work, period.

I don't have an XDM so can't try in it.

Regarding setback of FMJ rounds, I just completed testing 40 trials of Ranier plated 230 gr FMJ (20 in a 1911 and XD, each, with uncrimped brass). Brass was Winchester Match, once fired (most consistent I have on hand). Seating depth was set to 1.270" (+/- .002, since I measured each round before starting and tracked them all individually through the course of the test, initial seating depth errors were eliminated.)

Here's my findings:

Out of 20 rounds chambered in the 1911, setback was measured from 0.000" to 0.013", with an average of 0.003421". The rounds were chambered by pulling the slide completely to the rear and releasing.

Out of 10 rounds chambered in the XD, with manual slide release (full to rear and release), min setback was 0.000" with max setback of 0.005", and an average of 0.0019".

Out of 10 rounds chambered in the XD, released from the slide lock, setback was measured from a minimum of 0.001", a maximum of 0.005", and an average of 0.003".

Over the 20 rounds in the XD chambered both ways, minimum setback was 0.000", maximum 0.005", average 0.00245"

Over the 40 rounds, average setback was 0.00285"

Clearly, with this bullet /brass combination and these two particular firearms, setback in the brass is minimal. (Full metal jacket chambers smoothly)

For those who might carry uncrimped reloads and chamber /unchamber the top round frequently, here's the OVERALL figures, tracked over 10 rounds chambered 4 times each:


Minimum setback: 0.004"
Maximum setback: 0.028"
Average setback: 0.01140"

The lesson here, is to rotate your top carry round, if you are not crimping (and just straightening the case back out), because it WILL get set back over repeated chamberings.

The worst setback I found was 0.013" in the 1911. Overall, setback in the Springfield 1911 was about 50% worse than the setback I saw in the Springfield XD.

Clearly the JSWC ordeal I went through, where I found it required heavier crimping, does NOT apply to your typical FMJ or JHP loads unless you are already pushing max, seating deep, and chambering the round more than once (or just unlucky.)

Keep in mind this was with 100% homogenous match grade brass, mixed brass reloads could vary significantly from what I found in my study tonight.

:)

Trent
February 20, 2013, 11:46 PM
Also somewhat noteworthy if you are a reloading geek:

I tested 185gr Golden Saber bullets, same setup as above, lot of 6, chambered 4 times each with the bullet seated 1/2 twist of the seating die deeper each pass. Worst setback over 24 chamberings and 4 seating depths was .010" and occurred at the deepest seating depth on the 1911 (2 full twists down of the RCBS die from standard Premium factory load on that bullet weight).

I took pics of that process but haven't put the data in Excel to analyze fully.

Jim Watson
February 21, 2013, 02:01 AM
I had trouble with RP 185 JHP and Rainier SWC setting back.
I just quit fooling with the Rainier and went to moly coated, eventually to roundnose.

The JHPs get a case cannelure at the base of the bullet like some factory loads.
That keeps them put, by gum.

Trent
February 21, 2013, 06:53 PM
This all reminded me of another issue. I had SEVERE problems with setback on 147gr golden sabers in 9mm, enough so that I discontinued using them. The "driving band" they form in to those is one of the drawbacks to the round. Crimping didn't help whatsoever in that case - because the driving band at proper seating depth is BELOW the case mouth (leaving an open air "gap" between the case mouth and the main body of the projectile).

Really poor design overall.

BTW, the setback was bad enough to cause severe "guppy bellies" on brass even when shot with moderate loads in load development. (That's why I really dug in to the problem in the first place.)

Had I been shooting those at max, or +P pressures? Bad news indeed.

Anyway, to crimp or not to crimp, that is the question....Most of the time, no, but if you like to experiment, sometimes you find it's necessary to meet your goals.

Walkalong
February 21, 2013, 07:53 PM
Really poor design overall.It is a bore riding design. (Something you see mostly with lead rifle bullets.) In my experience with them in 230 Gr .45 ACP and 124 Gr 9MM they will get less velocity with the same charge as another similar JHP, but you get less pressure from less bore friction, so you can add more powder and get more velocity with them than the conventional JHP.

I have not had any setback problems worth worrying with with either caliber. Is there a little if the gun feeds roughly, as in banging on the "feed" ramp on the way to the chamber? Yes. Enough to worry with if you shoot the round without multiple re-chamberings? No.

TonyT
February 22, 2013, 03:47 PM
The first and only time I expereinced a squib was when I was making up some test loads with various powder charges on my newly acquired progressive press. I learned a valuable lesson. Whenmaki ng any adjustments on a progressive press clear all the cases and start from scratch!

dmazur
February 23, 2013, 10:47 AM
I have a progressive and I have always been leery of loading very small pistol loads with it. So what I do is one last quality check where I weigh every round on an electronic scale. It will pick up a squib or double in a heart beat. I have had no doubles but I have caught one where I missed getting powder in it.

While this sounds good, variability in case and bullet weights often makes it impossible to pick out even a 5 gr difference and have it mean anything.

This "myth" seems to have a life of its own, and those who believe it works simply don't understand elementary statistics.

Trent
February 23, 2013, 11:13 AM
Yup. Weigh a batch of bullets and brass sometime. You'll see an extreme spread that will be eye opening. :)

Captaingyro
February 23, 2013, 02:07 PM
As far as WHY jacketed semiwadcutter in 45ACP...I found that the dang things were highly accurate

Those wouldn't happen to be the Remingtons, would they Trent? I have a friend who did extensive testing on the accuracy of different 200 grain SWC's, and found (to his surprise) that the jacketed Remingtons were the most accurate in the test guns.

As for the OP, I don't think anyone has posted this link yet (at least in this thread), but these LED light strips for progressive presses are excellent:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/945236/inline-fabrication-universal-led-light-kit-with-ceiling-light-for-reloading-press

Trent
February 23, 2013, 03:04 PM
Those wouldn't happen to be the Remingtons, would they Trent? I have a friend who did extensive testing on the accuracy of different 200 grain SWC's, and found (to his surprise) that the jacketed Remingtons were the most accurate in the test guns.


Yup, the one and same.

I liked them so much I ordered more in late 2009, and have about 300 pounds of them still. I'll be shooting them at bowling pins and paper until I'm old and gray. :)

Well, old, anyway. My hair is already skipping gray, and turning white.

EDIT: TO clarify, I have the 185gr versions here (I mis-remembered the weight earlier and just checked my invoices from 2009)

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/539623/remington-match-bullets-45-caliber-452-diameter-185-grain-full-metal-jacket-truncated-cone-box-of-2000-bulk-packaged

When I bought them they were 342.99 per 2000.

I ordered 5 boxes total (10,000), but one split on the way here and most of the 2000 bullets in that one ended up on the side of the road, my driveway, my neighbors driveway, and rolling around in the UPS truck(s).

HighExpert
February 23, 2013, 04:08 PM
That sure looks like a rollcrimp to me Trent. If not, what brand of taper crimp are you using?

Trent
February 23, 2013, 06:02 PM
That sure looks like a rollcrimp to me Trent. If not, what brand of taper crimp are you using?

It's just an aggressive taper crimp, from an RCBS seating die, part of a standard RCBS carbide seating die set.

ljnowell
February 23, 2013, 07:00 PM
That sure looks like a rollcrimp to me Trent. If not, what brand of taper crimp are you using?

Thats what an overly taper crimped round looks like.

Trent
February 23, 2013, 07:08 PM
Thats what an overly taper crimped round looks like.

Yes, it is "overly" crimped, but with those particular projectiles in an autoloader, it was absolutely necessary, to prevent significant setback.

FYI, they still shoot just fine, remarkably fine, in fact. :)

ljnowell
February 23, 2013, 09:34 PM
Yes, it is "overly" crimped, but with those particular projectiles in an autoloader, it was absolutely necessary, to prevent significant setback.

FYI, they still shoot just fine, remarkably fine, in fact.
I have no doubt that they still shoot just fine. I just think there are better ways to fix the issue. I used to shoot a lot of 185gr JHP in 45acp, just because they were the cheapest jhp I could find. I took my PXT die apart and measured the expander inside and found that it was .450". I took it and polished it out until it was at .4485". No problems even on 185gr JHP after that and great neck tension on the other bullets. I did the exact same thing to my 38/357 dieset, it allows me to use brass I probably would have thrown away otherwise, and, I can actually use 9mm cast lead in a few of my loads for certain guns.

By fixing the issue that way I dont have to worry about the issues that come up with overcrimping(yes there are some legitimate concerns). Not that you will have problems with every case/bullet combo, but eventually you will come across a case that when overcrimped like that will lose more neck tension instead of helping.

Trent
February 23, 2013, 09:57 PM
I have no doubt that they still shoot just fine. I just think there are better ways to fix the issue. I used to shoot a lot of 185gr JHP in 45acp, just because they were the cheapest jhp I could find. I took my PXT die apart and measured the expander inside and found that it was .450". I took it and polished it out until it was at .4485". No problems even on 185gr JHP after that and great neck tension on the other bullets. I did the exact same thing to my 38/357 dieset, it allows me to use brass I probably would have thrown away otherwise, and, I can actually use 9mm cast lead in a few of my loads for certain guns.

By fixing the issue that way I dont have to worry about the issues that come up with overcrimping(yes there are some legitimate concerns). Not that you will have problems with every case/bullet combo, but eventually you will come across a case that when overcrimped like that will lose more neck tension instead of helping.

It's not a matter of increasing neck tension - the neck tension is plenty strong (and these are even .001" larger diameter than normal jacketed bullets, on TOP of the normal neck tension being set).

The problem is that unlike FMJ or HP ammunition, these impact the top of the chamber in such a fashion is SHOVES the bullet straight back. You simply do NOT get that with FMJ or JHP, due to the ogive. You don't even get that shooting lead cast SWC (which I also do), because lead will actually deform under that sort of pressure, and the round will slip in. Crimping the lead SWC is an exercise in futility as the lead will simply give way; copper is much tougher, and once that taper crimp ridge forms there's no way to set that bullet back any further. If it stovepipes (like in the XD) the mass of the slide isn't enough to push it in.

Even setting it straight up and smacking it with a hammer takes a profoundly hard whack to get it to budge, set up this way; it has to shear copper off the bullet. Do that with any other bullet without a crimp and it'll just compress straight in to the casing.

There's simply no other way to do it, period. Even if I set the neck tension .002 harder, it's STILL going to get pushed in when chambering (assuming the brass doesn't just buckle on seating; it's already damn tight).

ljnowell
February 23, 2013, 10:12 PM
It's not a matter of increasing neck tension - the neck tension is plenty strong (and these are even .001" larger diameter than normal jacketed bullets, on TOP of the normal neck tension being set).

The problem is that unlike FMJ or HP ammunition, these impact the top of the chamber in such a fashion is SHOVES the bullet straight back. You simply do NOT get that with FMJ or JHP, due to the ogive. You don't even get that shooting lead cast SWC (which I also do), because lead will actually deform under that sort of pressure, and the round will slip in. Crimping the lead SWC is an exercise in futility as the lead will simply give way; copper is much tougher, and once that taper crimp ridge forms there's no way to set that bullet back any further. If it stovepipes (like in the XD) the mass of the slide isn't enough to push it in.

Even setting it straight up and smacking it with a hammer takes a profoundly hard whack to get it to budge, set up this way; it has to shear copper off the bullet. Do that with any other bullet without a crimp and it'll just compress straight in to the casing.

There's simply no other way to do it, period. Even if I set the neck tension .002 harder, it's STILL going to get pushed in when chambering (assuming the brass doesn't just buckle on seating; it's already damn tight).

Wow. Can you actually feel the bullets hitting? I would think that if they were hitting that hard it would be something you could physically detect. I'll be honest I have never seen a round hit that hard to do that. I load all kinds of funky shaped JHPs, and I've probably loaded about every variation of the swc in 45acp. Never had one hit that hard.

Trent
February 24, 2013, 12:10 AM
Wow. Can you actually feel the bullets hitting? I would think that if they were hitting that hard it would be something you could physically detect. I'll be honest I have never seen a round hit that hard to do that. I load all kinds of funky shaped JHPs, and I've probably loaded about every variation of the swc in 45acp. Never had one hit that hard.

Oh yeah, you can definitely feel a little ripple when it chambers, as you shoot (except the Taurus PT145, it's as smooth as butter in that gun.).

I can smooth it out a lot if I set the OAL per-firearm, because each tends to have a sweet spot they like, but that won't reliably chamber in others. The 1911 likes them a little longer, the Glock likes them a little shorter. If I wasn't so anal about getting a universal load to work in everything with one OAL, I could easily load them to that sweet spot and forego the heavy crimp.

It's really tough to get SWC to feed reliably in ONE autoloader, but to get one load that'll work in 6 different brands of firearms reliably is tricky. The load I landed on works in the Glock 21, H&K USP Tactical 45, Taurus 24/7, Taurus PT145, Springfield 1911, and the Smith & Wesson M&P5. I couldn't get it to work at any length in the XD.

Those firearms have pretty dramatically different feed angles, ramps, etc, and I only found a very narrow range that would work in all of them.

GLOOB
February 24, 2013, 12:58 AM
I didn't know a Glock could feed a SWC, at all. I gave up after one try. The empty case would hit the shoulder of the top SWC in the mag, as it was being extracted/ejected. Aside from causing jams, I didn't think it was doing my extractor any favors.

Trent
February 24, 2013, 02:58 AM
Gloob; I primarily shoot this stuff out of my Glock 21. I've gone through 1,875 rounds at this point with no problems (have 2.5 loaded boxes left).

The last batch of it that I loaded is nearly gone:

http://i.imgur.com/378ozvvl.jpg

My oldest daughter helping me pack it up:

http://i.imgur.com/rMrfo2hl.jpg

Crashbox
February 24, 2013, 12:49 PM
If you need to disrupt the progressive cycle and have any concerns, clear the shellplate and start over at station #1. I think this is where many reloaders get in trouble and end up with double charges

Sage advice right here.

If I remember correctly, several months ago I was reloading .357 on my LnL AP and I ran into some sort of snag, and for some reason I must've backed up the shellplate manually and not cleared the press. The next time I pulled the handle I wound up with a double charge of Herco in one case which overflowed it, and I think there was a no-charge in the case ahead of it. Naturally, the double-charge caught my attention. Even though I use an RCBS Lock-out die on my progressive, if you do something unorthodox while reloading you can wind up inadvertently bypassing even the safety measures you build into your routine.

Funny thing is, when I first took up reloading I would clear the press when any snag was encountered. Guess who's gone back to that routine?

The moral of the story: establish a SAFE routine and stick to it, period.

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