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.45 ACP Problems (neck tension)

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by H1500308, May 14, 2008.

  1. H1500308

    H1500308 Well-Known Member

    First time loading .45 ACP. After seating the bullet to the appropriate depth, (Winchester 230g FMJ RN) I can still push the bullet back in the case with just moderate pressure with my hand. I even tried this with brass that was just sized and not even run through the expander die.

    I'm under the impression that you shouldn't roll crimp .45ACP so do I need to use the Lee FCD to get the proper neck tension?
  2. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Well-Known Member

    45 acp should be taper crimped to .468.

    What kind of dies do you have???
  3. H1500308

    H1500308 Well-Known Member

    Looking on the Midway site, do I need the Factory crimp die or the taper crimp die?
  4. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Well-Known Member

    Taper crimp...but first...which dies do you have now??? The seater die is what I'm wanting to know...
  5. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Well-Known Member

    Some brands of dies have the taper crimp built into the seater die...
  6. H1500308

    H1500308 Well-Known Member

    Lee Dies

    I have an older set of 3 Lee carbide dies - 1985.
  7. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Well-Known Member

    OK...I'm an RCBS man...so I don't know for sure if Lee offers the crimp and seat in the same die or not...I'm not trying to sound like a smart a$$...but do you have the instructions for the dies...do they mention crimping and seating???
  8. H1500308

    H1500308 Well-Known Member

    Yes, I've got the instructions and the seating die is a combo seat/crimp die that I believe applies a roll crimp to the mouth. Plus, I find it very hard to crimp well with this setup. I didn't think a roll crimp was recommended with .45 ACP.
  9. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Well-Known Member

  10. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    "...didn't think a roll crimp was recommended with .45 ACP..." It's not. The .45 headspaces on the case mouth. Taper crimp only.
  11. 1911user

    1911user Well-Known Member

    What brass are you reloading? (did it come from CCI Blazer Brass and it has a slight concave on the head?)

    All of this focus on what seating die or crimp die should be directed at the sizing die. If the sizing die does not squeeze the case small enough, no amount of crimping is going to help.

    Tension to hold the bullet is established by the inside of the case being a few thousandths of an inch smaller in diameter than the bullet diameter. If this doesn't happen first, it does not matter what expander, seater, or crimper you use.

    Size a case then measure the inside diameter of the neck. Run the case through the neck exander die and measure the inside neck diameter again. Finally, measure the base diameter of the bullet you're using. Report back with all 3 numbers. Take several readings each time to make sure you have a good measurement.

    For rounds that headspace on the case mouth (9mm, 40, 45, 380, etc.), think of crimping as removing the bell at the case mouth only. You're NOT trying to squeeze the case into the bullet, just removal of the flaring you did with the expander die so the bullet would start easily into the case. This is called taper crimping.
  12. Texastbird

    Texastbird Well-Known Member

    I've loaded 45s with my Lee dies for years and my seating die will apply a satisfactory crimp if adjusted correctly. However, last year I went ahead and got the Lee Factory Crimp die so I can break up seating the bullet and crimping it into two steps. Works like a charm, and the FCD sizes the whole case to be sure every one will chamber in a Colt that has a tight chamber that I have.
  13. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Well-Known Member

    Good point 1911user...one of us is right.
  14. H1500308

    H1500308 Well-Known Member

    Measured a few.

    I'm reloading some older S&W brass.

    Inside case neck after sizing is .450

    Base of bullet is .451, .452

    Didn't measure after expanding because I can work bullet into the mouth by hand after sizing (some requre some effort). I can expand as much as I want with the die but can't size smaller than .450.
  15. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Well-Known Member

    For reference...mine sizes to .448.
  16. 1911user

    1911user Well-Known Member

    Do you have any other brand brass you could try sizing?

    At 0.450, the sizing die is not sizing that brass enough. It could be the carbide ring in the sizing die is too large and/or the brass walls are thinner than normal cases. That's why it would be good to try another brand of brass to help isolate the problem.

    I ran into this issue loading 9mm using some newish CCI brass. It had thin walls and would not size enough with my Hornady sizing die. I bought a special undersize sizing die to make sure the 9mm cases were sized enough. I don't sort brass by headstamp so I use the U-die (as they are commonly known) for cheap insurance against bullet setback.
  17. Griz44

    Griz44 Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you have some worn out old dogs for dies. Cabelas has the 4 die delux carbide set of LEE for 32 bucks. A great investment.
  18. H1500308

    H1500308 Well-Known Member

    woops...I double checked my micrometer and it's actually sizing the brass to .448. I tried some winchester and federal brass along with the S&W and it was all sizing to the same diameter.
  19. 1911user

    1911user Well-Known Member

    Try seating a few bullets in the other brands of brass and check the neck tension. Sizing to 0.448 should be enough with a .451-.452 bullet.
  20. Luggernut

    Luggernut Well-Known Member

    1911user is on the money. I've found similar problems with R&P brass... no problems with any other brass in .45ACP. There is a slight possibility that the sizing die is on the large size of the acceptable tolerance, I've had this happen before with my Hornady die- it may have been a .45 Colt insert or something, that's what Hornady said- they sent a replacement.

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