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Loading lead bullets

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by travisd, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. travisd

    travisd Well-Known Member

    Just picked up a box of lead 230gr rn bullets for .45acp today. Haven't been able to get them to seat right yet. The case will always shave some lead off which is sticking out around the bullet. The rounds won't chamber without difficulty and when I force the slide closed it will be very hard to pull it back to remove the round. I did some looking and people either said to bell the case more or crimp less, I've been messing around with both settings for the last hour and haven't made any improvements. Still shaving lead off no matter what I do. They are about half the price of jacketed so I would like to make them work. Any suggestions?
  2. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Well-Known Member

    Use a set of calipers to make sure your bullets are the right diameter.

    What make/model of firearm?
  3. travisd

    travisd Well-Known Member

    Bullets come in right at .452 as advertised. Gun is a Remington 1911
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    You need more flair on the case before seating. If you have enough flare, the case won't shave the bullets. The only other possibility is the body of the seater die is so tight it is pushing the flare back in too much as the bullet is seated.
  5. James2

    James2 Well-Known Member

    You need to bell (flare) more. Then crimp only enough to barely remove the bell.
  6. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member


    Two suggestions. As Walkalong said, you need to flare them more. And, I suggest you get a L.E. Wilson .45 ACP Pistol Gage so that you can set your die up for the correct amount of taper crimp.

  7. Reefinmike

    Reefinmike Well-Known Member

    Im getting ready to load up a few hundred 45's so I just threw a casing through the dies for you. Im using .452" cast boolits. lee sizing die sizes the fresh case down to .467 and I bell them out to .471 at the case mouth to fit the boolit. If you are seating and crimping in the same step, too aggressive of a taper crimp can shave up some lead as the last few thousandths of the bullet are seated. crimp just barely enough to remove the bell. The 1911 headspaces on the case mouth so make sure that mouth isnt dug into the bullet. Remove your barrel to do the "plunk test". slowly seat the bullet deeper and deeper until the bullet drops in the barrel and falls out by its own weight when tipped over.

    good luck!
  8. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

    Its possible to have a seating die with a smaller than normal inside diameter. This will remove the bell to soon, causing lead shaving. No adjustment will correct it. Metal must be removed to increase the diameter. But at the same time, being careful to not remove the taper crimp area. Running an empty belled case part way into the die is a good way to take a measurement.
  9. LivewireBlanco

    LivewireBlanco Well-Known Member

    Seat the bullet and crimp in two different stages with two different dies. That's the only way I was able to do it.
  10. OldTex

    OldTex Well-Known Member

    ^^ This will cure the problem if your seating/crimp die just isn't right for your purposes. You can use the same die in two steps by seating the bullet first with the die body screwed up so that it doesn't do any crimping. Then come back for a crimp-only pass through the same die after adjusting it down (and the seating stem up out of the way).

    In some of my old west calibers, I use a Lyman 'M' die that uses a different form of belling out the case. It makes more of a stepped increase in diameter to avoid shaving. This die is made specifically for seating the big lead bullets without a bunch of flare than can stress case rims in some of the old cowboy calibers with thinner case mouths, but it will work fine in any application using cast bullets.
  11. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member

    The Lyman Type M die is a good one for lead bullets, and is what I use.

  12. hAkron

    hAkron Well-Known Member

    I had some frustrating issues when I started loading lead for my 45. That was when I first started. There are lots of tricks to getting a lot of horse power from lead bullets that include slugging your barrel and sizing bullets to your barrel diameter, selecting the correct hardness for your application, lube selection, etc. Lots of these steps are really only practical if you are casting your own bullets.

    My advice is that if the bullets have been measured and verified to be .452, make sure you are seating them just to the very edge of the shoulder, make sure you are sizing your brass all the way down, make sure you have enough flare on your case mouth. Try seating and crimping in separate steps. Don't over crimp, and if you still can't get them to chamber, try the Lee Factory Crimp Die...some of these steps will turn out to be unnessasary, but they represent a practical approach.
  13. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    +1 on caliper use. I seat and taper crimp in one step and for .452" sized bullets, using more than .473" taper crimp will result in lead shavings. If you are seating/taper crimping in one step, try the following.

    Don't flare the case mouth too much as it will decrease neck tension. Flare just enough so the bottom of the bullet sits inside the flared case mouth. Usually I can't barely see the flare but definitely feel with my finger tips.

    To test the maximum amount of taper crimp for your chamber, apply .475" taper crimp to a flared case and see if it will chamber fully (case only, no bullet). If it won't, try .474" and .473" (Most chambers should allow .474"/.473" taper crimped cases to chamber fully).

    Then see if .474"/.473" taper crimp will shave the lead by seating a bullet. If they don't, try .472"/.471" and if they start shaving lead, go back to .474"/.473".
  14. travisd

    travisd Well-Known Member

    I got the bullets to seat without shaving much lead, but crimping at the same time appears to be the problem for some reason. Ill mess around with the crimp and see what happens.
  15. James2

    James2 Well-Known Member

  16. dnite

    dnite Active Member

    You need more bell (flair) on the case. I fussed with my Dillon and finally got the right amount of belling and then you need to adjust the crimp die a little tighter for the round to pass the plunk test. You should not shave any lead if the bullet is the right diameter.

    do you use a case gauge? if not use the barrell of your pistol and gauge that way.

    Seat and crimp in two steps
  17. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Well-Known Member

    If you are flared enough so that the bullet sets atop the case easily, the flare is not the problem.

    If your seating die is screwed down too far so it starts crimping too soon that could be the problem. If the bullet is still seating past a certain point, voila. Shaving occurs. If you set up your die perfectly with an R-P casing you'll probably shave lead with a PMC casing.

    I sort by headstamp, use an LFCD and adjust the seating die for each bullet/brass combo to where it just removes the flare.

    This is the part where the LFCD haters chime in with what a waste and a scam is the LFCD. All I know is it works for me. However, a separate taper crimp only die would free me to use any brass I wanted with .452 lead bullets. With thicker cases I do feel a bit of bullet squeezing going on with anything but R-P brass.

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