cast bullets not fitting brass

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Aug 18, 2009
I'm loading some 45-70. The bullets are 405 grain, 458, cast lead flat nose. The cases are once fired and have gone through my sizer/de-capper die. First two seated ok, but shaved a little of the lead; there are small burrs on the mouth of the case. But the next two were way too loose. In fact, while checking for OAL, the calipers pushed the bullet all the way into the case.

Any insights or advice?
Cast bullets should be consistent, usually about 1-3 thou larger than jacketed.

Sized brass should also be consistent.

Seating cast bullets (nearly) always requires flaring the case mouth.

You have a shaving problem (needs flaring), and an inconsistency problem.
I'm thinking inconsistent trim length on the brass maybe. Longer brass will wind up with a lager flare
Won't explain the loose fit though.
Awaiting OP reply on Post #6

while waiting...
- (Full) sizing should take the case waaaaay down under bullet diameter
- Expander die should bring internal diameter back up to within a coupla' thousandths (less) than bullet diameter

Nothing should leave things so large as to produce a loose slip fit.
A friend of mine recently had a similar problem. After assuring that the cases were properly sized and that he wasn’t over flaring the cases, on close inspection, I was able to confirm that he unknowingly purchased pulled and undersized bullets. They were undersized .001”-.002”.

I suggested he purchase a Lee undersize die to draw the cases down an additional .003” to accommodate the smaller, pulled bullets. He’s waiting for it to arrive.

Bad things sometimes happen with manufacturers! Do a mic-check with some random bullets from your box of bullets! Perhaps inconsistent sizing from the manufacturer or handgun bullets mixed in with the 0.458’s! memtb
I would use bullets right at .459-460 for that cartridge. Bell the mouths a little to prevent lead shaving.
If you shaved lead then the bullets are now undersized and wont have proper neck tension.

You have to bell the case enough not to shave lead and then you need to have the seating die set properly or be using a crimp die to put a proper crimp so the bullet doesn't push into the case.
Loading lead is more technical than loading jacketed. There are tools that are made specifically for the task to make things easier to get right. A two step mandrel like a lyman M or noe will help a lot. Good measuring tools also help tremendously. 45 caliber can be rough because there are three sizes. 451, 454 and 458. Using a sizer that works well with your barrel is important. Your issue of neck tension can only be a few things. 1. Sizer not small enough 2. Expander to large or run to deep or 3. Bullet to small. It's one of those three.
I just zipped over to Hornady to see what is available for a 45-70 and you can see that they offer an expander die (044568). the seating die will iron out the flare you put in w/ the expander. If your bullets are consistent, then you just need to flare enough to allow the bullet bases to start into the case. That will stop lead shaving and also make for a straighter bullet seating.

I'm sure you can get the same from most any manufacturer of dies.

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