Cases for Cast Lead Bullets

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Jul 16, 2004
Dallas, Texas
I just finished seating some .452 dia. 230 gr cast lead round nose bullets. The cases were from Winchester 230 gr FMJ factory cartridges. I noticed that the cases are noticeably swelled in the area of the seated bullet. The case diameter before seating was .468, the case dia over the seated bullet is .472, an increase of .004 on the diameter. is this a problem? I have not applied a crimp to these yet.
.472" before crimping isn't a problem, my 45 ACP reloads are usually .471" AFTER crimping. The cases look swelled because the sizing die took down the neck diameter more than the factory rounds, this provides better tension to hold the bullet in the case. Factories can provide better neck tension by controlling how soft the brass in the case is, everytime the case is fired and reloaded the brass hardens a little bit and doesn't hold the bullet quite as well, so reloading dies tend to make up for this by reducing the neck diameter more than is needed.

Edited to correct spelling
CMcDermott pretty much nailed it. This is a normal appearance for reloaded ammo, especially with lead bullets that are 0.001" oversize. I usually taper crimp mine to 0.470 to 0.472".
Sounds like you are doing everything about right, you want to put a bit of a taper crimp to remove the bell on the casemouth though- you don't need much though. The Cartridge should almost have a coke bottle shape when you are done- this is perfectly normal.

I size my hard hand cast bullets .452, use the thickest long lived GI .45 brass exclusively and set my Progressive Reloader to always taper crimp and have done so for decades.

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