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Case bulge

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Jesse Heywood, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Senior Member

    Dec 9, 2009
    I just started rolling my own after a 30 year break. Hard to believe I could forget so much. Resources like this forum are a big help.

    I loaded some 38 specials in once-fired PMC brass and have a case bulge at the base of the bullet, 148 grain wadcutter. The bulge measures .383 dia., so it will not chamber in my revolvers.

    From looking at other posts, I am guessing that I over-crimped, there is no bulge on cases with different headstamps. My bad, as the PMC cases were a few thousandths longer than the others.

    Can I run these loads through the resizer and get them small enough to chamber?

  2. James2

    James2 Active Member

    Nov 27, 2009
    Northern Utah
    Do not try to size loaded ammo. It will not go.

    It is not unusual to see a bit of a bulge at the depth the bullet goes into the case. The case is reduced in diameter in the sizing process, then the inside is expanded leaving the diameter slighlty smaller than the bullet, so when the bullet is seated it actually expands the brass a bit more leaving a little bulge. It may or may not be perceptible to the eye, but can easily be measured with calipers.

    If your loads won't go in the gun, you are probably right about too much crimp which can bulge the brass. I would take them apart and start over. Once you get the bullet and powder out, you can resize them without the deprime punch and then load them.

    To get good uniform crimps on your loads the brass needs to all be the same length.
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    If you loaded HBWC, you can run them partially into the sizing die and not hurt accuracy when it also squeezed the bullets under-size.

    If they are solid WC bullets, I would not recommend it as you will squeeze the bullets undersize, and they will not expand again to fit the bore like hollow-base wad cutters.

  4. wmurphy

    wmurphy New Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    Las Cruces, NM
    A Lee "Factory Crimp Die" usually fixes a problem like this. This die has a carbide sizing ring that will squeeze the loaded case down enough to permit chambering, but not enough to change the bullet diameter. Using a regular resizing die would change the bullet diameter too much.

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