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.380 reloading problem

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by burger, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. burger

    burger Member

    I have been reloading for a little while now for my. 40 and have had no problems started reloading .380 acp and I am having issues I can't get the bullet to stay solid in the case I have tried the lee factory crimp die at different amounts of crimp the bullet stops sliding back into the case but it still spins in the case. I'm loading jacketed round nose bullets
  2. 357 Terms

    357 Terms Well-Known Member

    What type of brass? ( I had a lot of trouble with RP)

    What kind of bullets? (manufacturer)
  3. burger

    burger Member

    The brass is Winchester and the bullets are some I bought from rocky mountain reloading
  4. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Well-Known Member

    You will have a lot more problems with the thinner brands of brass like RP as stated above. You are not getting the case sized enough in the first place or the expander is too large. Try hand seating a bullet in the sized brass. If it will not go in and turn it is probably your expander die. If it is (measure it with your calipers) you can chuck the expander stem in a drill and use sand paper or a file to make it smaller. If your die is too large you will have to send your die back and get them to provide a smaller diameter one.
    I use Lee dies and had to turn my expander button down so I got good neck tension on my RP brass.
  5. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    It sounds like you are flaring too much and or your expander is too large. The crimp really does nothing to increase tension/grip of the case to the bullet.. just iron out the flare (if any) so it'll chamber.
  6. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    You'll also run into a problem if you start loading any of the newer Federal and Speer .380 brass. They changed their brass so there is a small step inside the case to prevent bullet setback, which works great for the factory bullet, but if you load a longer bullet, it becomes a problem. Some expanders also reach too far inside the case and will produce a bulge where the step is.

    I know you said you were using Winchester brass at this time, but thought a heads up might be in order if you pick up range brass.

    Hope this helps.

  7. 777TRUTH

    777TRUTH Well-Known Member

    I'm having the same issue. You might find this thread interesting.


    Lee's stand on this is the .380 die sizes to SAMMI specs, buy a U-Die.

    I purchased an RCBS .380 sizer and only did a couple of test rounds without flaring the case and so far so good on the neck tension. When I get around to loading .380 I'll know for sure if RCBS gets it right.
  8. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Well-Known Member

    I recently finished up a 380 batch with 500 new Starline cases, they worked great. My next session is with some mixed 'range brass' I recently bought. This mix is mostly Speer, Remington, & Hornady, with a few others. I'd try another brass/ bullet combo to get a better fit.

    Chances are your problem will go away with another type of brass, as long as your bullet size is correct. I use my Lee dies & they have been fine.
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    If thin brass is not the problem, and Winchester is usually fine, your sizer is too big, or your expander is too big. Try loading a couple of rounds without using the expander and see if neck tension is adequate. If it is, the expander is too big. If it isn't, the sizer is too big. This is all assuming correct diameter bullets.

    No amount of crimp can make up for lack of neck tension.
  10. kingmt

    kingmt Well-Known Member

    I was trying to here more info before posting. I'll take a shoot at it.

    Is the case going past the ring at the bottom of the die body & into the crimp. The ring at the bottom can fell like the crimp. You may be over expanding also. Do you fell a pop from the expanding die?
  11. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Well-Known Member

    i started loading .380 not too long ago and had the same problem. i scrapped my R-P brass and skipped expanding. now my bullets stay put.
  12. Samari Jack

    Samari Jack Well-Known Member

    Had this problem with Federal brass. Drove me nuts till someone here pointed me in the right direction.
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I had that trouble with .32 ACP with two different sizers. (Same company). I bought an RCBS sizer and all is well.
  14. altitude_19

    altitude_19 Well-Known Member

    Have you used anything other than a FCD? My understanding is it comes with a carbide sizing ring. It may be swaging the bullet down to a smaller size. The brass will rebound more than the bullet, leaving it loose in the casing.
  15. murf

    murf Well-Known Member

    try rcbs dies. no problems here.

  16. loneviking

    loneviking Well-Known Member

    No problem here either with the RCBS dies and mixed headstamps.
  17. kingmt

    kingmt Well-Known Member

    I have no problem with the Lee dies but that doesn't help the OP since he is.

    Rearly is it going to be a problem with the tool but how it is set up.

    Have you got it fixed yet.
  18. altitude_19

    altitude_19 Well-Known Member

    Why are we concentrating on brand? Howzabout concentrating on configuration. FCD might be the issue, where the regular lee crimp/seating die would work fine.
  19. burger

    burger Member

    Thanks all for the help I finally had achance to sit down at the bench and look at some of the things brought up first checked to see if the bullet would slid in the case after resizing I could get it to start but not slid into the case so as suggested I checked the expanding die and it flared the case exsessivly I backed the die out far enough where it would still activate the powder drop with out flaring the case. Then seated a bullet added a light crimp and the bullet is now solid in the case. Thanks everyone for great advice.
  20. brickeyee

    brickeyee Well-Known Member

    Crimp is not what hold the bullet in thecase.

    case (or neck) tension is.

    The bullet is an interference fit in the case, and when forced in stretches the brass.

    The brass has enough tension left ('spring-back) to have a tight grip on the bullet.

    It sounds like your sizing die is not reducing the brass enough.

    The ID of the case should be at least a few thousandths UNDER the bullet diameter.

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