Weird change in 45acp seating consistency


February 24, 2013, 02:52 AM
I've been struggling for years to consistently make 45acp rounds with cast bullets that would drop into a chamber gauge. I tried different dies, different process, different bullets, and slowly made progress.

My last few batches got so that maybe 85% would go in, maybe half would "plunk." The 15% would usually be slightly crookedly seated and would chamber well enough. Maybe 1% would have trouble going into battery, and I was happy with that.

I had no such problems with jacked rounds, and I can seat and crip in one step an still get a nice "plunk" all the time.

My crimp die was set to get about .471" at the mouth, and after measuring another reloader's rounds thought maybe a little more crimp wouldn't hurt.

I moved my crimp die down to get .470-.469" to see if that made any difference.

I loaded 300 rounds of 185gr MB Buttons and had only 10 not "plunk" and 200 rounds of 200gr MB Bullseye had only 5 rounds that hung up a little on the rim going into the gauge.

I can't imagine that a little more crimp fixed crooked seating, but maybe that little bit of extra clearance at the case mouth made a difference with getting cleanly into the gauge.

I'm pretty happy now!


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chris in va
February 24, 2013, 04:08 AM
I have trouble with the Lee 228 ogive. It looks nothing like a standard FMJ bullet in profile and has to be seated pretty deep before it passes the plunk.

I also have to make sure the case mouth doesn't shave off lead, creating a ring that prevents chambering fully.

February 24, 2013, 08:37 AM
If bullet being seated off-center is an issue, then the better seating dies will have multiple seating anvils to help center different shape bullets. If you only use one brand of bullet, then a machinist can remake the tip of your anvil to better fit your bullet. One size fit all anvils don't.

February 24, 2013, 10:48 AM
then a machinist can remake the tip of your anvil to better fit your bullet.

I have RCBS seating dies and RCBS has made me seaters in the past. I was waiting to see if I could get happy with the MBC bullets, but I think that after this last batch going so well that I'll stop searching and just have them make me a couple of seater plugs. I think they only charge $15 or so each.

That's a great idea that I forgot about. Thanks!


February 26, 2013, 04:41 PM
All my .45ACP reloads plunk in my autos, they don't always go into the gage like they should. I separate the ones that go into the gauge for my 625 revolver and make sure I shoot the others in the autos. I don't know the exact reason why. Remington brass works best. Cast bullets are usually .001 larger than jacketed and this makes a difference. For some reason my autos have larger chambers than the revolver.
Remington brass is thinner than the others, some GI brass seems thinner also.

February 28, 2013, 06:20 AM
Have you tried a Lee Factory Crimp Die on the last stage ? That should bring all your loaded rounds to exactly the same spec.

March 2, 2013, 04:24 AM
beat me to it, fifty! The Lee FCD makes loading for bottom feeders absolutely painless!

March 2, 2013, 02:19 PM
I might give it a try. I need to get set up on te club ransom rest to make sure it does t affect reliability.

I also worry about leading if the bullets get crushed a little. Worth experimentation.


March 2, 2013, 02:45 PM
Since you're not shooting these rounds from the case gauge, why not just use your pistol barrel for the gauge, since that's what you'll be shooting them in?

I've got a complete set of gauges for both pistol and revolver rounds, and I think it's been at least 10 years since I've used any of them. In my experience, they create more heartache than problems they cure. Just my thoughts on the subject.......

As for bullets being seated crooked, you can make a properly fitting seating punch yourself. Just take an extra seating punch that is too large for the nose of the bullet you're going to be loading the most and clean it thoroughly with degreaser. Then wax the nose of the bullet you're going to use with some type of automotive wax, or something similar, to act as a release. Put some epoxy, or even some hot glue, in the seater and press it down on the nose of the bullet and let it harden. I like to use my drill press for this, since it aligns the punch and bullet in a straight line. Of course, the drill press is not running during this process. Once the glue/epoxy has hardened, trim off the excess and you've got a perfectly fitting nose punch for that bullet.

Hope this helps.


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