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45 ACP Failing "Plunk" Test

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by PCCUSNRET, Jan 13, 2013.


    PCCUSNRET Well-Known Member

    Resized some brass using RCBS dies and used the barrel from my Glock to see if the brass is resized properly. Several pieces of the brass seem to be sticking prior to hitting the rim. I have turned the die down until it touches the shellholder, but no further since I don't want to damage the carbide ring. Should I discard this brass or am I doing something wrong with sizing of this brass? Thanks.
  2. IMtheNRA

    IMtheNRA Well-Known Member

    You may not be sizing the brass fully.

    I usually screw the sizing die to the shellholder and then a little more to compensate for the springiness of the press and slop inside the die threads and Hornady die bushings. Two different Hornady techs advised me to do the same thing, even though doing so contradicts their printed instructions.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  3. mkl

    mkl Well-Known Member

    If you continue to have problems with a carbide die, check Ebay or a gun show for one of the old all steel (non-carbide) sizing dies. Those you can crank down as far as you want past "touching" the shell holder to compensate for any spring in your press.

    And if that's still not enough, you can grind a little off the bottom of the die and try sizing again. I keep a couple of those old dies around for the occasional problem cases I run into (usually range pickups shot in a sloppy/oversize/not fully supported chamber).

    You will need to lube the case in a non-carbide sizing die.
  4. Mike 27

    Mike 27 Well-Known Member

    Is it the factory barrel? Make sure your projectiles are seating straight. I have had this with my 10mm and the bullets were seating a little crooked. If this is the issue back out the seating plug as far as you can without crimping and try a little more bell on the expander. Probably no issue with the dies if you are lucky.

  5. Jenrick

    Jenrick Well-Known Member

    I was not aware that setting the die past contact with the shell holder could damage the carbide. Lee's directions state to tighten it 1/4 - 1/3 past contact with the shell holder. What exactly is supposed to happen if you tighten it past contact with the shell holder?

  6. MifflinKid

    MifflinKid Well-Known Member

    What was the head stamp on the brass that would not plunk? I have found that AMERC brass in particular will not drop freely into my .45 ACP chambers.
  7. 918v

    918v Well-Known Member

    Are you saying that an empty resized piece of brass won't chamber?
  8. Nikdfish

    Nikdfish Well-Known Member

    If you already have a Lee Factory Crimp Die for .45 ACP, you could pick up their "bulge buster" kit & use it to press the entire cartridge through the FCD's carbide ring (after removing the insert & adjustment screw). That would resize all the way down to the base & rim as the brass is pushed up through the die.

    If you have a bullet sizing kit, you could use that for pushing deprimed brass through, but the piston on the bulge buster kit has a recess to permit pushing through primed/loaded rounds without potentially putting pressure on the primer.

  9. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Well-Known Member

    Does your brass show a pregnant guppy belly?

    Glocks and a few other semi-autos have the feed ramp positioned in the barrel so that the brass is partially unsupported by steel. The brass, under pressure of firing, can flow into that area.

    Does your brass have the "Glock bulge"?

    With rimless cartridges, it is possible to push them all the way through a sizing ring and remove the bulge entirely. Typically known as "bulge buster" dies, one should solve your chambering problems IF that is your problem.

    Lost Sheep
  10. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

    Loaded round- More taper crimp or shorter COL
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  11. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Well-Known Member

    Is this empty brass or have you seated the bullet?
  12. Mike 27

    Mike 27 Well-Known Member

    Can you post some pics of the brass/rounds that are presenting a problem. That would probably help diagnose the issue. I have not heard of any issue with glocks bulging 45acp brass. It is a low pressure round and should not hurt the brass. If you are running an aftermarket barrel such as a Lone Wolf any small issues will affect bullet seating.
  13. mike.h

    mike.h Well-Known Member

    (quote) Is this empty brass or have you seated the bullet?
    seat a bullet in your brass (no primer or powder)and then pass it through the LFC. Then do the "plunk" test.

    PCCUSNRET Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the suggestions. This is a completed bullet, not just the brass. I am using once fired Speer brass. It does not appear to have the Glock Bulge prior to resizing. I will try some other brass and see if this is the problem. I will let you know what I find was causing the problem. Thanks again!
  15. 918v

    918v Well-Known Member

    Not enough crimp, too much crimp, wrong OAL...
  16. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Well-Known Member

    Try this?

    Thanks to 90-18V for prompting this more considered suggestion.

    OAL is but one thing that might be the cause of difficult chambering. If it is not OAL, though, I suggest trying these diagnostic steps.

    Try re-chambering a freshly fired case.

    Then size some cases and try chambering them.

    Then bell some cases' mouths and try chambering them

    Then seat some bullets (with minimal taper crimp) in those cases and try chambering them.

    The point in the reloading process where the chambering difficulties present themselves will reveal much.

    Lost Sheep
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  17. presspuller

    presspuller Well-Known Member

    Carbide while hard, is very fragile. If the carbide extends below the bottom surface of the die and comes into contact with the shell holder it can crack from the pressure of the shell holder hitting it.
  18. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Have you looked closely at the carbide sizing ring. I had the same issue once with a 9mm die and didn't think it was the carbide insert until I looked at it with a magnifying glass. The fracture on my 9mm die would close up when it didn't have the pressure of the brass against it, which made it almost invisible during inspection, so look very carefully.


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