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case gauge issue

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mohunter55, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. mohunter55

    mohunter55 Well-Known Member


    I am having a problem with my LEAD reloads. I am reloading .45 acp, and i am using a dillon case gauge. The reloads fit fine in my barrel, but they do not go all the way in my case gauge. A factory fmj goes in to where it sits a little below flush, and my reload is just a hair above flush. Is this normal, or does it have something to do with me using lead?
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    It has to do with you using lead. The bullet is at least .001" larger, maybe more depending on lubrisizer wear. Bullet shape matters, too. Even the most common cast roundnose is not the same shape as real hardball and normally seats a bit shorter.

    It also has to do with the fact that the gauges are cut to maximum cartridge dimensions, which are smaller than even minimum chamber dimensions. So it is not unusual for a reload to fit the chamber but not the gauge.

    If they shoot in the gun, there is no cause for worry.
  3. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    but just because they shoot in YOUR gun, doesn't mean they'll shoot in ALL guns. if it won't fit in the gauge, and you have more than 1 gun in that caliber, you might want to check all the guns.

    i don't think it's because of the lead though. take a sized case, just before you put the bullet in it, and see if it will go in the case gauge all the way.
  4. mohunter55

    mohunter55 Well-Known Member

    taliv, all sized cases fit (without bullets) fit normally in the case gauge
  5. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

    Case Gauge Or Barrel for Rounds that Headspace on the Mouth

    Your Barrel- Best case gauge ever made. COL to long or a lead bullet @ .452" can cause a problem in a tigh chamber. [​IMG]
  6. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Well-Known Member

    If you have more than one 45 and it fits in them all, I wouldn't worry about it. If your reloads only fit in one, well this looks like a job for the(properly setup)Lee factory crimp die. :evil:
  7. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

    Oh no , not again fcd lol

    LOL funny :D :neener: I think its been covered here> http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=491476 Looks like its needed here for sure. ;) :p ITS A PERSONAL CHOICE THING :)
  8. nulfisin

    nulfisin Well-Known Member

    I posted almost the exact same thread yesterday. There's no obvious solution, other than doing what allows your gun to feed well after a period of experimenting. Some put more crimp in. Others seat the bullet deeper. I think that the extra .001 of bullet diameter on the lead bullets (.451 works better for me) actually makes a difference.

    For the extra penny or two per bullet, I think I'm going to use jacketed (plated? I forget the word) bullets and forget about this problem. Rainier sells these bullets fairly cheaply and they work. I'll stick to lead for the revolvers, which aren't fussy.
  9. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    "Every time a barrel rings an angel gets their wings"

    Mohunter -
    IMHO there are several commonly recurring things that could be causing your issue...
    • Not enough taper crimp
    • Using lead bullets
    • Bullets seated out too far

    - Generally speaking, not enough taper crimp is the single largest issue new auto cartridge reloaders have. The taper crimp is there to remove all the belling from the case mouth, and without enough applied crimp the case mouth can still measure at or above the SAAMI case mouth dimension (which is a MAXIMUM dimension) given in your manual.

    - Lead bullets are slightly larger in diameter and may take slightly more "fiddling with" to get going. Close measurements will be required, especially at the case mouth.

    - Lead bullets rarely have a simple ogive shape common to plated or jacketed bullets. Most I've seen have a small step added. That step can strike the end of the chamber or the beginning of the rifling and keep a cartridge from seating all the way. (This does not seem to be your case.)

    In the end, there is theory and practice. Your cartridge gauge is wonderful at measuring finished ammo to SAAMI specs. I love them and use them myself. However a cartridge gauge is more like "theory" in that it represents the optimal chamber dimensions, which may or may not have been followed during barrel manufacturing.

    Real life on the other hand is represented by your barrel. If your finished rounds will (using only their own weight) drop all the way into your naked barrel, and make a slight ringing sound as the case hits the end of the chamber ("ting!") then the cartridges are sized good enough for that particular gun. Maybe not all guns, but your gun 'yes'.
  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    The vast majority of well cast .252 bullets, loaded properly and seated to the right, for your gun, O.A.L., will work just fine with all but the very tightest chambers.

    Jim covered it in the second post. If your reloads work in your gun, don't worry if some won't pass a case gauge. :)
  11. jfdavis58

    jfdavis58 Well-Known Member

    A max cartridge gauge is cut to minimum chamber size. This is still larger than the maximum cartridge size per SAAMI specification; in 45 ACP about 0.0014" (yeah a whole thousandths and a half).

    You can 'fudge' and continue to use the cartridges in the chamber they fit or you can fix the problem. If resized cases fit (and they should fit both the gauge and the chamber with room to spare) then something is not adjusted correctly down stream of resizing.

    Lead bullets often require more belling and always need the right seater stem profile. If you have a clearly visible bulge below the bullet (a second bulge below the deformation typically caused by the bullet seating), belling is one of two possible causes. You've crushed the case-check with a caliper. If the case stretch needed to seat the bullet isn't uniform around the circumference of the case, check the fit of bullet nose to seater stem; the bullet may be seating off center.

    Failing to remove enough belling is too obvious to elaborate. It's first cousin is too much crimp with another possibility for crushing the case. Back-off here until you can actually feel something of the belling still present and slooowly dial-in crimp. Do the nose-push-on-edge-of-table to insure the bullet doesn't set-back easy--add more crimp (a little at a time) until safe.
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    No amount of proper crimp on .45 ACP will make up for poor neck tension. If your neck tension is 99% there, the crimp might make the difference, but neck tension is where it is at for auto calibers using a light taper crimp. Roll crimps on revolvers is a whole different story, but even then, you must have sufficient neck tension as well, or the crimp will not be enough.
  13. mohunter55

    mohunter55 Well-Known Member

    okay, here is what a test i did. I took an empty case, resized it, and seated a lead bullet and crimped. It fits like in the case gauge like a factory round...so i dont get it. I guess i did something wrong with the other rounds, which i cant figure out. Do i need to pull the other bullets? they seat like the picture of the bullet in barrel above on the far right (number 4)
  14. mohunter55

    mohunter55 Well-Known Member

    i am assuming they are safe to fire, but i am going to run into reliability issues?...i have 50 rounds, and the are range use only, so reliability will not be that big of a deal for these 50. Also, running thes through the Lee FCD would help, i'll go out and buy one tomorrow to fix the issue.
  15. fguffey

    fguffey Well-Known Member

    A friend called and wanted to how the trip to the range went, answer was good except the 45 ACP, I explained to him the pistol liked new commercial ammo and nothing reloaded, he offered to load some and meet me at the range, arrangements were made but I told him his reloads would not work, sure enough his reloads worked in 4 45ACP, not in mine.

    Back to the first day, I went home dug out a box of new unfired commercial ammo and measured every detail and compared the dimensions with my reloads, the only way I could duplicate factory dimensions was with a sizer die, I adjusted a RCBS carbide die in the press to 'partially full length size the case' or 'to partially full length crimp the case', I went back to the range and shot all of the ammo that was crimped in the sizer die without a problem and accuracy did not suffer,

    Back to the range with his reloads, his reloads would not chamber, then it became something wrong with my pistol, I would not trade the accuracy for the fix? I returned home with his reloads, I crimped? the cases with the sizer die and went back to the range, his reloads after crimping went through the pistol like store bought ammo.

    I took the test with this pistol and reloads crimped with a sizer die, while visiting with Dillon in AZ. I discussed this with them, (Dillon tested everything before they went to seating with one die and crimping on another, including dies by other manufactures, and they said other manufacturers made some good stuff) they informed me there is not much I can try 100 times that they have not done 10,000 times, it boiled down to, out there they are shooters, a case that does not feed reliably cuts down on shooting time, crimping with a sizer die worked, Lee crimp dies worked, after testing and experimenting they developed their crimp die and they claim it is better. Again, I use a 'lock out die' or 'powder die' in the 4 position tool head of the 550B, this leaves me to crimping the 45's with the sizer die after loading or crimping and seating on the same position.

    Appearance: the sizer die removes the bulge in the case that makes it look like the case swallowed a bullet.

    F. Guffey
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Like Jim posted much earlier, if they fit your barrel, shoot em. They'll be fine. After all, you say they are for the range. No big deal.
  17. Iron Sight

    Iron Sight Well-Known Member

    Had the same problem with some local cast 45s. Many were oversize, had to re size the projectiles. Was fun I got to buy a Lee resizing tool.

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