Lee Bulge Buster

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Fishingted, Dec 26, 2020.

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  1. Fishingted

    Fishingted Member

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    Just Got one a few days ago. So far I like it a lot. Have used it to fix 40 S&W, 10MM, and 45 ACP. That didn't make it thru the gauge the first Time. Wish I had it mounted in a heavier Press but the Little RCBS Partner is working OK with it, So Far I am only using it on Loaded Bullets that I have already made and didn't go thru the gauge smoothly because of small base bulges. Get a good arm workout on some of them LOL. Just wondered if anyone else was using it and what your experiences might have been.
     
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  2. Fordfarmboy

    Fordfarmboy Member

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    I just use factory crimp die and take the stopper out ,works for me. Only do it so many times or case will spilt.
     
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  3. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    I have one as well and also use on .357 Sig brass
     
  4. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    There are arguments both ways. I never needed one but if it makes you happy go for it. There are two ways to deal with a problem. Address the process that creates the issue or add another step to fix the problem. They both work.
     
  5. Warpiece

    Warpiece Member

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    My p226 barrel is pretty well supported, my own brass usually goes through the die with no effort. I do periodically buy once fired brass to replace damaged or lost, and these are almost always bulged. I also pick up a few here and there that others left behind when I'm picking up my brass, can never be sure they're all mine, so I usually run them all through.

    I check my guns now and then to make sure they won't fire out of battery, but not every time I use them. I figure it's making my ammo a little safer and more reliable, so I think it's worth the trouble for me.

    I don't think i would run a loaded cartridge through it though. I'm sure the odds are low that it could set off the primer, but stuff happens.
     
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  6. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    ^^^^^I agree. I use the bulge buster as needed for range brass I buy or pick up, but never ever ever would I put a loaded round nor primed case through it. The push pin is essentially pushing on the primer and if you’re having to exert considerable force....
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2020
  7. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    The problem here is one caused by a correctly operating firearm (a Glock in this case—pun intended). So, addressing the process that causes the problem would mean what exactly? Not using cases previously fired through a Glock?
     
  8. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    Good idea. I now see how good Lee’s marketing is...I bought a tool I essentially already had. But I have the red plastic catcher now.

    And of course the factory crimp die is a safe way of bulge busting a loaded round. (Actually, now that I think about it, I’m not positive it gets low enough on the case.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2020
  9. BiknSwans

    BiknSwans Member

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    I only use the Lee Bulge Buster on loaded .40 S&W ammo. I don't want to case check every sized case before reloading and then case check the loaded round again. Even the Lee manual indicates that you can bust bulges on cases or loaded rounds. It's less risky than seating a primer.

    From the Lee manual:

    Now slide a resized or loaded case onto the base of the push pin ( case mouth up ) and raise the ram to push the case completely through the die. The cases will accumulate in the catch container.
    Using a case lube like One Shot or WD-40 dry lube makes bulge busting a lot easier.
     
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  10. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    Well a thousand pardons if that’s the case (pun unintended). I’ll check my manual too but aren’t we talking about potentially pushing the primer of one loaded cartridge with the tip of the bullet of the following cartridge? I don’t care what any manual says....I’m not doing that. Or is each one loaded and pushed through separately? I’ve never done other than empty cases so I don’t know.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2020
  11. noylj

    noylj Member

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    My opinion only:
    I would never bulge bust a loaded cartridge. This is an almost sure way to swage down the bullet (loss of accuracy and could lead to keyholing) and loss of bullet tension.
    Of course, I would never use the Lee FCD for crimping without first removing that carbide ring that swages down my lead bullets.
    A little case lube can make bulge busting a lot easier.
    Bulge busting should be done, if it is done at all, on all empty cases after you have inspected them and discarded any with visible bulges. To me, a visible bulge means the case has been permanently weakened.
     
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  12. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    Can’t find it in my manual...can you point me to it?
     
  13. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    So using a push through die for sizing the case prior to the rest of the reloading process is different than "final sizing" completed rounds. My first comment was directed at that "final sizing" idea common wit the lee factory crimp die. The other process of sizing of a case due to improper case support during firing is a design flaw common to glock and it seems 40 may be the worst offender. I replaced my 9mm barrel in my pistol because I wanted to shoot lead. I no longer deal with bulge issues and brass with that problem goes in the bucket. I choose to fix the problem when I can.
     
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  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Totally agree.
     
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  15. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    Got it but I shoot 45acp, pick up and buy others’ range brass so I bulge bust—that’s my fix.
     
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  16. dgod
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    dgod Contributing Member

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    I load 40cal for a friend, he shoots Glocks, so we know about the barrel problems. That’s pretty much all I use the Bulge Buster for.
     
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  17. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    Nope, the push pin is hollowed out by design so it pushes on the edge of the rim, not on the primer proper.
    20201227_100742.jpg
     
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  18. BiknSwans

    BiknSwans Member

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    See post #10. I copied and pasted the text from the PDF form of the manual.

    Only the weight of the rounds above the round getting its bulge removed is involved in possibly pressing on the primer. I can't imagine how this could be a problem.

    Lee also says you can use a "loaded case" in their setup video on Youtube.


    I do toss any .40s that have more than a minimal bulge. I'm just busting those rounds that don't pass the case gauge. They always pass the case gauge after I run them through the bulge buster. I've used the Lee FCD since I started reloading in 2011. To me, shooting USPSA, being absolutely sure that a round will chamber is more important than highly accurate ammo. To each, his own.
     
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  19. Warpiece

    Warpiece Member

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    Step 5 from the original bulge buster kit instructions. https://leeprecision.com/instructions.html


    Edit: Sorry for the redundant post, didn't see the one above
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2020
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  20. Fatelvis

    Fatelvis Member

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    Do any of you use the bulge buster on 9 mm brass? I'm asking because after firing my reloads, using range picked up brass, I had two out of 30 that wouldn't chamber because of what looks to be a bulged base.
     
  21. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    Thanks to all who walked me back from the edge:). I’ve stopped hyperventilating.

    I was conflating the bulge buster (which I use only occasionally) and bullet sizer (which I used just a couple days ago). They are remarkably similar if you’re acting stupidly.
     
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  22. Warpiece

    Warpiece Member

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    9mm isn't straight wall, so it doesn't quite work the same. Definitely shouldn't try to use a 9mm factory crimp die, but iirc some folks use the 9mm makarov crimp die with success
     
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  23. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    Yes I saw the text but can’t find it in the manual. It’s all good.
     
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  24. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    Right thanks was confusing with Lee’s bullet sizer push.
     
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  25. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    No, I size all my 9MM brass, then check it all with a Wilson Case Gauge. If they won't fall in and out of it from their own weight, I scrap them. I get about 10% to 15% failures for range brass. After that, I only get the odd one now and again from my reloads. Some of the cases fail demonstrably (9MM Major cases maybe?), and some barely fail, go in but won't fall out, but I scrap them all.

    Passed...
    Wilson 9MM Case Gauge Pic 1.JPG

    Which results in this.....
    Wilson 9MM Case Gauge With Bullet.JPG

    How far the sizer sizes cases.
    Wilson 9MM Case Gauge With Three Cases Pic 1.JPG

    A failed case, some fail worse (Demonstrably) I also
    scrap the ones that go in, but won't fall out on their own.
    Wilson Guage with Failed 9MM FC case.JPG
     
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