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bulge in .380 brass

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Samari Jack, Dec 30, 2011.

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  1. Samari Jack

    Samari Jack Member

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    I’m new to the reloading thing. Have a Dillon 550B.

    Question: I’ve noticed when reloading some .380s that the brass develops a swollen out place whenever I’m at station two (where the powder is dropped and the bell flares out the opening). It seems to be only with Federal, once shot brass. I’ve checked the amount of bell and it is right on specs. The bulged out part is 5 thousands more than the base. Other once fired brass I have seems to be OK and not nearly as wrinkled.
     

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  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Some Federal .380 brass has a ledge inside it the factory bullet sets on to prevent feeding set-back.

    If your expander is going in past the ledge, or your bullets are seated deeper then the ledge?

    Yea!
    That right there might be your problem.

    Take a look see inside the case and see if there is a ledge or step in there.

    rc
     
  3. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Member

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    From here it looks like extremely excessive crimping, and collapsing/crushing of the case... I see no case cannelure, so from here that looks not to be the problem.
     
  4. Striker Fired

    Striker Fired Member

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    When you zoom up the picture it does look like a pushed out ring,right about where the base of a normal bullet would be. I'd say there is a ledge in the case and the expander pushed it out.
     
  5. Samari Jack

    Samari Jack Member

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    rcmodel,

    I bet you are right. I'll check to see. These bullets are 100 gr RNFB (Berry) and the store bought originals were 90 gr. I double checked the length and it is on according to my Lyman loading guide for that weight bullet. Only makes sense that that extra 10 gr has to go somewhere.
     
  6. bds

    bds Member

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    I had a similar experience.

    When some of my reloaded rounds failed to drop in freely into tight chambers of Lone Wolf barrels, I rechecked all of my reloading steps to include belling of case neck.

    It turns out the seating of bullet was collapsing the case and bulging the case of once-fired PMC cases of a particular lot. I tried other head stamp once-fired cases (WIN, RP, CCI, etc.) and the bulging of cases did not happen. Older PMC cases I had did not bulge the cases.

    I think a particular lot of PMC cases had softer brass that collapsed during bullet seating to cause bulging of cases. Once I culled all the PMC cases of this particular lot, no more bulged cases. :D
     
  7. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    The Federal cases have the ledge inside as rc points out. The expander is going too far into the case and expanding it below the ledge.

    I've also gotten some .380 Blazer brass with the same ledge, and since they're both owned by ATK, they will probably do it with Speer brass, if they haven't already done so.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  8. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    Looking at the round carefully there seams to be a dull area at the top half of the mouth. I do not know what type of crimping your doing but if your doing a roll crimp to a bullet not design for it you will buckle too. Even too much taper crimp will buckle on thing wall brass.
     
  9. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Member

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    Yep, you can see what appears a very excessive taper crimp; as the case mouth is not rolled at all, but is reduced/swaged with parallel sides pretty far down from the mouth, and to the point there almost appears to have formed a bottleneck shoulder, collapsing of the case where a cannelure may/may not be... The cannelures I see applied now-a-days seems little more than cosmetic, and even in a well resized case, would not cause what I am seeing on normal bullet seating , even with bullets a few thou over the defacto (.355/.356") "standard". Wonder what seating die/seating die used for both seating and crimp was used?

    Does not hurt in my experience that Federal brass has some of the lightest/thinnest specs when weighed/measured, and for lack of a better description, "weird" qualities as to feel when resized, belling, and seating... Almost as if the alloy/annealing/heat-reat are just not right.
     
  10. Nick93

    Nick93 Member

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    I have the same problem with magtech brass in 9mm using a lyman m-expander ... to solve the problem i just took 3.5 mm of the first step of the expander to make it shoter ... this solver the problem without taking the great 2 step expanding feature :)

    Hope this helps !
     
  11. Samari Jack

    Samari Jack Member

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    Thanks for all the responses. I got out my magnifying glass with the light. It was the inner lip. I would have never thought of that. It seems this messes up the crimp a little as well as creating wavy looking brass. It isn't quite as bad as the picture as the photo seems to bring out all the warts. I checked the diameter at the crimp and it was a little less than specs with Federal by 2-3 thousands on the three I loaded. Other brass was on spec. Still haven't figured that one out unless there was a piece of polishing media under the brass. The crimp is set up as per Dillon instructions for station 4 but I may back it out a little if/when I ever get 90 gr bullets and decided to try my Federal brass. All brass is definitely not created equal.

    It was a real pain sorting through approx 300 empties culling 40 or so Federals. To make matters worse, there were half dozen or so .25 cal mixed in. Before I starting reloading, I threw all sizes brass in one bin. 9mm, .380, .25, & .40. Won't do that again.

    The whole reloading thing is kind of fun. Almost as much fun as shooting. Kind of like when my wife does needlepoint.
     
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    As usual, rcmodel and Fred were right. :)
     
  13. Samari Jack

    Samari Jack Member

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    follow-up info and picture

    Follow-up on the mysterious bulge in Federal .380 brass. My Lyman reloading guide, (which I read after the fact) reported that this is something that occurred with this brass. The book said it was OK to shoot if the case diameter was .374 or less in diameter. Mine measures a consistent .378.

    I had three Federals slip through my sorting process. For sure it is not the bullet size or weight or depth the bullet is seated that bulges the brass but my Dillon powder measure/bell tool. I watched it happen. This being the case, no matter if I went to 90 gr bullets it would still happen. I’ll have to put all the Federal brass in my scrap metal bin with all the .22 brass. Makes me worry about buying once fired brass.

    The top one is the Federal brass. Next down is CBC. Next down is R-P. Next down is WIN. Next down is new WIN. I included a powder funnel (not the .380 as it is being used) to get a picture of how it is constructed. It extends down inside the brass passed the inner shelf.
     

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  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I would modify the length of the Dillon powder funnel on a handy dandy belt sander.

    Or call Dillon and Whine so loud they send you a shorter one.

    You can't be the only person having the same problem with the Dillon powder whatchamacallit being too long for Federal .380 brass.

    They may already have a shorter new & improved model ready to send you.

    Worth a toll-free call to find out.

    rc
     
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Certainly is. They want you to be happy.
     
  16. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    Yep, call Dillon. There is enough Federal brass around that it's going to be a continuing problem, and it's not going away. I'm sure Dillon has already addressed it, or is in the process of addressing it. Myself, I would just modify the Powder Through Expander so it wouldn't happen.

    When you think about it, the ledge on the inside of the brass is pretty ingenious. There must have been a real problem with bullet setback, either in the loading process, or in the field, and someone came up with a simple solution. All it took was modifying the inside swaging punch to leave that little step, and no more setback issues with that particular bullet, or other bullets the same length.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  17. 918v

    918v Member

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    Too much crimp/collapsed case. Ease off on the crimp. You pushed the entire diameter of the case mouth into the bullet shank.
     
  18. Samari Jack

    Samari Jack Member

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    I thought about bullet seating and crimp as well. Those in the photo at the beginning of this thread were seated a bit low and crimped a bit to much. I loosened things up a bit and still had a bulge. The length on the last ones were consistently .982. Book calls for .984. I can't imagine .002 would make a difference but I'm definitely not an expert. I watched very closely on the last three different Federal reloads. The bulged took place at station two where there is no bullet. The bullet is seated at station three and crimped at station four. In the last picture, you can see there is no bulge with other brands of brass.

    I sent an e-mail to Dillon. And will post response.
     
  19. 918v

    918v Member

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    A little bulge is normal. Sizing dies size the case more than the factory dies. If you buy new factory brass and seat bullets in them, you will prolly not see a bulge. As far as crimp goes, adjust the die to remove the bell and maybe another .001" more. That's all you need.

    .002" will not make a difference.
     
  20. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Yes but, this is not a even a crimp issue.

    It is a Federal .380 case issue, which have a reduced diameter ledge inside them his expander is pushing out into a bulge before the bullet is even seated.

    rc
     
  21. 918v

    918v Member

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    Actually, this is a "I applied too much crimp and collapsed the case walls, thereby further bulging the case" issue.

    Yes, FC 380 brass is easy to bulge by deep seating, buth the OP went way beyond that.
     
  22. ole farmerbuck

    ole farmerbuck Member

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  23. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Yep. I learned something new in that thread. :)
     
  24. ole farmerbuck

    ole farmerbuck Member

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    Same here!
     
  25. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    That photo of the Federal .380 Auto case in Post #12 of ole farmerbuck's thread is exactly what the problem is, not overcrimping. The expander is reaching past the ledge on the inside of the case and pushing the thicker portion of the wall out.

    The OP said he's getting the bulge at station two, the expander station, prior to the bullet being seated. This precludes it being a crimping problem, period.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
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