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180 grain bullet in 125 grain brass

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Matt 357, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. Matt 357

    Matt 357 Well-Known Member

    I notice when I load a 180 grain bullet in brass that was factory loaded with 125, there is a slight bulge. You can see a slight outline of the bullet. No problems ejecting. Just looks a bit odd.

    357 Magnum

    Reload bullet: Hornady XTP 180 grain
    Brass: Nickel plated Remington Express 125 grain
  2. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    I've run into similar problems with wadcutters in thick walled surplus 38 cases. If the bulge is great enough it can prevent the ammo in question from chambering.
  3. Randy1911

    Randy1911 Well-Known Member

    The main cause is that the sizing die undersizes the brass and when the bullet is seated it leaves a "wasp" shaped look to the cartridge. I consider this normal if it causes no problems chambering.
  4. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Well-Known Member

    Normal. If in doubt check to see if it will chamber.
  5. RyanM

    RyanM Well-Known Member

    If it works fine but the appearance still bothers you, a Lee Factory Crimp die will often remove the bulge.
  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    You would see that bulge in brass previously loaded with any weight bullet, not just brass that was originally loaded with a 125gr bullet. The 180gr bullet is longer than the 125gr bullet so you notice the bulge because the 180gr bullet is seating deeper than the original 125gr bullet.
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    What ArchAngelCD posted.

    The bulge is from the bullet seating deeper. All brass will show it to some degree with long heavy bullets. The brass is for .357, it cares not what weight bullet you load it with. :)
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    It simply cannot remove the bulge without squeezing the bullet shank smaller then it is supposed to be.

    Don't do it.

  9. RyanM

    RyanM Well-Known Member

    That depends. Sometimes cases will actually bulge out just below the base of the bullet, due to the long bearing surface, and an overzealous crimp. When the bulge has been due to the bullet itself, I've yet to see an FCD affect the bulge at all. The Lee FCD is supposed to be designed not to squish bullets any, so it comes down to whether you trust the engineers at Lee Precision or not.

    I did experimentally try running a well-crimped dummy .357 round through a normal resizing die with the decappe rremoved once, just to see what would happen. The bullet started rattling and twisting around in the case, like a cheap-o Remington .22 LR! So if the FCD actually does produce unsafe ammo, you might notice.
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Then I guess I don't trust them.

    The OP's problem stems from the long 180 grain bullet reaching down past the beginning of the case wall taper.

    Common sense tells me if the bullet is bigger then the inside of the tapered case, it will leave a bulge when you seat it.

    It also tells me the only place that bulge can go if you squish it away with a FCD is by compressing the bullet shank when the tapered case wall is forced in on it.

    There is no other logical place the bulged brass can go.

  11. RyanM

    RyanM Well-Known Member

    Every time I've had a bulge that actually was at the base of the bullet, rather than just below it, an FCD didn't touch it. But that's been autopistol calibers, so I really couldn't say for sure what would happen with 180 gr .357s.
  12. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Well-Known Member

    What you described is where the bullet has expanded the brass, since you see the outline of the bullet. There shouldn't be an issue with crimping, since the bullet is tight enough that a light crimp is all that is needed. They should chamber without a problem.

    If the issue is a bulge below the bullet, which is caused by too much crimp. If the round will not chamber pull the bullet. On a straight wall case more crimp will only make it worse.
  13. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    Randy1911 is right. The sizing die undersizes the brass. It doesn't look perfect, but it makes no difference.

    Mine does that too. I see it on all brass, not just ones that were originally loaded with 125 grain bullets.
    and the fcd doesn't change it.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2010
  14. Robert Wilson

    Robert Wilson Well-Known Member

    I want to see the "wasp waist" in heavy bullet loads. It means bullet pull is high enough to prevent recoil pulling the bullets loose and tying up the gun.
  15. Matt 357

    Matt 357 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the feedback folks!

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