.45 ACP S&B brass Wolf 230 gr FMJ issues?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 2ndtimer, Jun 13, 2022.

  1. 2ndtimer

    2ndtimer Member

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    So I loaded up 50 rounds of .45 ACP today using S&B brass and Wolf 230 gr FMJ RN bullets. After checking the primer pockets and reading about how tight they are, ( most of them will not accept my Ballistic Tools “Go” gauge) I went ahead and reamed them with a Lyman large primer hand reamer. They were full length sized in a Lee carbide sizing die, and belled slightly with the Lee expander die. When I seated the bullets, over a third of the rounds have insufficient case tension to prevent the bullet from slipping farther into the case when pushed against my bench. Any suggestions as to causes or work arounds? I did use Winchester primers as recommended by online posts regard the S&B tight primer pockets, so they primed okay. (These days one cannot afford to waste primers.) Perhaps the Lee die isn’t sizing the case sufficiently to hold the bullet? Or the Wolf bullets are undersized? Inadequate taper crimp from the Lee seating die? Ideas, anyone? Suggestions on salvaging the loose rounds are appreciated. Otherwise, I need to find someone with a S&W .45 ACP revolver, so they won’t be wasted and I have to pull the bullets.

    I have another 50 rounds primed and ready to add powder and seat bullets, but don’t want to waste anymore if they can’t have sufficient neck tension to feed in an autoloader.
     
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  2. Hartkopf

    Hartkopf Member

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    Do you have calipers or a micrometer to check the diameter of the bullets? How new are your dies? Have you used the resizing die before?
     
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  3. LaneP

    LaneP Member

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    Possibly is the Lee dies. While shooting a couple weeks ago I picked up a number of S&B cases at the range to add to my batch of mixed paper punching brass. CCI 300 primers would not seat using my RCBS APS hand tool until I ran a chamfer tool on the primer pocket mouth a few good twists, then they seated with a little more effort than I usually encounter with other brass, but still good to go.

    I ran them through my RCBS TC die set and loaded .451" Rainier plated RN over 4.8gr W231. Neck tension is fine and they look just like any other completed cartridge in my range lot, which has everything from mil surplus to Starline, R-P, Win, and Federal.

    A number of years ago I had a set of Lee dies that wouldn't size nickel plated R-P .38 Spl cases sufficient to hold a .357" Remington JHP, switched over to a RCBS sizer, and that problem went away.

    0xoWUUvB2lZcc5xgeMwzQtSifIfeyBBKOeZrwb7A2y7p2P2J3PEVerPaI4AOrD1fqdcwPrg=w1178-h883-no?authuser=0.jpg
     
  4. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    It’s the bullet. You’ve got a mix of different sized bullets.

    How do I know? I don’t but I can speculate based on this incomplete information and my limited experience. Here’s my rationale:

    1. Nothing about primers or reaming has any bearing on the problem. Nor is it crimping because it doesn’t hold the bullet in place, but even if it did you have an intermittent problem. A bad crimp die would give consistently bad results.

    2. Not the cases. I use S&B cases frequently in 45ACP and in my experience they are serviceable interchangeably with any other brand—I separate by headstamp and have as many as 500 in use but that’s a guess. Sure, maybe they are a little tighter or looser than some other brand, but not to the extent to cause your problem. Have you EVER encountered this problem before with another brand case?

    3. Not the sizing die. Presuming you’re using the correct die (Lee dies are engraved w/size), it’s not the sizing die since that makes the case smaller/tighter. And a die problem wouldn’t cause an intermittent/inconsistent problem. But for grins, check all sized cases in a good case gauge. I use Lee dies as well as Redding. They’re all fine.

    4. Not the expanding die. Again, presuming you’re using the correct die, a maladjusted expanding die would render a consistently bad result not intermittent over expansion. I use Lee dies as well as Redding. They’re all fine.

    5. I’ve never used the bullet you mention and you don’t mention it’s size, but that’s a good place to look as others suggest. Since this problem is inconsistent, the bullet size is also inconsistent. Have you EVER encountered this problem before with this or another brand 45ACP bullet?

    6. Or, it’s something else.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2022
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  5. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Did you try to seat a bullet without belling the cases? This generally will tell you if there is sufficient neck tension after resizing and/or if you are belling the cases too much. If the bullet will seat in an unbelled case, there's no reason to progress any farther, thus saving time pulling bullets. Researching the Wolf bullets, it seems most folks are happy with the quality.

    FWIW, only issue I have ever had with inadequate neck tension was after resizing was with Lee dies.
     
  6. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    The first thing is measure then bullets and make sure they are the correct size. 0.452"+. If good measure a sized case mouth, then expand and see if your not over expanding. You only need to expand enough for the bullet to set/start, hold it so it will start straight. If the bullets have a rounded base, in most cases you could seat them without expanding. This would give you max neck tension.

    Lee has a history of having looser tolerances than any other mfg, slips through QC. Most all work but you run across a few that are out of specs which calls problems.
     
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  7. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Wasn't a .45 Colt die, was it?
     
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  8. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    Could be .451” also.
     
  9. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Yes.
    Adjust your seating die so it crimps your shortest and longest cases the same.

    The .45ACP uses a taper crimp. If your Lee seating/crimping die is set so it crimps your longest cases perfectly, then the shortest will not crimp properly and only most of the mid-length cases will crimp properly.

    You don't say howe far back into the case the bullets are pushing. 0.002"? 0.010"? 0.000005"? All the way to powder column?
    They aren't falling back into the case with gravity, I hope. You are able to push them in using (what I'm hoping is) minimal force. Falling in and being pushed in are two very different things.

    Suggestion number one: check your case lengths post sizing and pre-belling to make sure they're not crazy all over the place.
    Suggestion number two: reset your seating/crimping die so it crimps correctly on your shortest cases. Don't worry about the longer cases, it'll be fine. Just don't force them into the die when they hard-stop on the crimping ring.
    Suggestion number three: use a set of calipers, an anvil micrometer, a machinist's rule or some other fairly accurate measuring tool to verify the sizing die is at least close to SAAMI spec'.
    Suggestion number four: tools! You need them! Get a case gauge and a good set of precision calipers - dial or digital doesn't matter.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2022
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  10. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    It occurs to me after reading this and thinking about the push back issue, I have: 1) never measured the length of any 45ACP case for the purposes other than curiosity—if it passes the gauge, that’s good enough for me,
    2) I taper crimp the least amount necessary and doubt (but can’t confirm) the taper crimp has any appreciable effect on bullet “tightness”, and
    3) have never, ever taken a loaded round (pre or post crimping) and pushed it against my workbench to see if bullet moves even a bit.
     
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  11. kidneyboy

    kidneyboy Member

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    ^^^^^^^^^^^^
    I agree with all of this. Check the bullets.
     
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  12. N555

    N555 Member

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    I had that happen with some 9mm. Tried to use some slave labor to size 9mm. Well the slave didn't push all the cases all the way into the die and I had some cases that wouldn't hold the bullets.
    Was able to quickly sort the problem with dial calipers.
     
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  13. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Yup, I'm thinkin he needs a gauge.
     
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  14. EricBu

    EricBu Member

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    The above suggestions are great, but here's one more thing to check. Since Wolf bullets aren't exactly common in load data, I'm going to assume you're using load data for another brand FMJ. Which is fine, except if Wolf has a slightly different profile than what you are using. So, since 230 FMJ load data depending on source, components, etc, can have an OAL of 1.21 all the way up to 1.275, if you are loading it off the ogive, you'll find that the bullet is going to push back -- all 230 FMJ are not created equal! For example, if the Wolf bullets should be loaded at 1.26, but you're using Hornady load data that says 1.21...you very well might be off the ogive on that Wolf bullet, and prone to set back. So what you're going to want to do is measure that bullet and identify where that shoulder on the bullet is, and don't seat it any deeper than that, you want the widest part of the bullet to be in the case, with the crimp occurring BEFORE the bullet profile starts to taper down to the narrow point of the bullet. You can measure the bullet with your calipers at several different points in order to identify where to seat it, if you can't tell by looking at it. Check several of your bullets just to make sure there isn't a huge variation.
     
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  15. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    That’s the best advertisement for common/popular bullets I’ve ever read:)
     
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  16. 2ndtimer

    2ndtimer Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I am going to try a different sizing die, hopefully I can borrow one from a fellow club member to see if that helps. I also will measure the offending bullets with my RCBS dial caliper to see if they are significantly consistently undersized. Appreciate the suggestions.
     
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  17. n2omike

    n2omike Member

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    About not belling the cases...
    I never bell the cases anymore. I don't crimp either. Loading and shooting goes just fine.
    If I were using cast lead bullets, sure... I'd do these steps as it would scrape the lead, but with jacketed and even plated bullets, I don't. Never an issue.

    It saves me time, and also increases case life, as constantly belling and crimping the edge of the case has to work harden the brass and make them more likely to crack.

    Maybe I'm just lucky? I do not use a progressive... just a turret press.
     
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  18. EricBu

    EricBu Member

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    Lol, that wasn't the intent, of course. I use a lot of off brand bullets so am used to working up my load data myself and I learned a long time ago to not assume anything;-)
     
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  19. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    Are you including 45ACP & 9mm in that? I’m going to give it a shot.
     
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  20. n2omike

    n2omike Member

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    9mm and rifle cartridges. Haven't done any .45 in a while. Going to try it on 44 mag and 50 AE next time I do a batch of those as well. Don't foresee any issues. Have done a couple thousand 9mm...
     
  21. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    Thanks…I just started another thread on this topic.
     
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  22. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    For the most part, I bell/flare my cases as minimally as I can get away with. But, except in the instance of my experience with Lee dies, if I do not flare/bell my cases at all, there is no way I can start a bullet or seat it without crushing the case. Believe me, I've tried. If you can start/seat a flat based handgun bullet without flaring your case, I'd be very wary of enough neck tension and would suspect a oversized resizing die. Boat-tail rifle bullets maybe, but I can't do it even with beveled base handgun bullets. Holding a bullet on top the case because you can't start it without holding it, is a pinched finger waiting to happen. While flaring and crimping do indeed work harden case mouths and shorten case life, it's not as dramatic as crushing a few. As for .44 mag, for legitimate magnum loads, a roll crimp into the cannelure does not only help from the bullet jumping under recoil, it also gives the increase in tension needed for most slow burning magnum powders to ignite and combust properly and consistently. A taper crimp is a misnomer as it's not really a crimp, but just the removal of the bell/flare so the cartridge feeds and chambers properly. Out of the thousands of .45 ACP rounds I have reloaded and fired, I've yet to have one ever crack/split at the case mouth before I lost it.
    .
     
  23. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    Well, what’s the word?
     
  24. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    Grease is the word
    Grease is the word, is the word that you heard
    It's got groove, it's got meaning
    Grease is the time, is the place, is the motion
    Grease is the way we are feeling
     
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  25. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 Member

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    Jus t a comment about using those rounds in a revolver — don’t. Under recoil the bullets will pull out of the cases, jamming the cylinder.
     
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