Problem with reloaded ammo.

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Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by mikemyers on 4/30/2018, 5:00 pm

First topic message reminder :

I loaded up 25 rounds of ammo to check if I'm doing things properly.  As per an earlier thread, the info is:


  • Magnus #801 bullets, 45-185 grain, BNWC .452 did.
  • 4 grains Bullseye
  • OAL 1.130"
  • Crimp: 0.469



The good news is that when the ammo shoots, it's better than anything I can remember testing from the past.  Here's a photo - shot with the heel of the gun on a sandbag, and for one shot I could feel something move slightly, which explains the bad shot - very happy so far:




So far so good, but here's the problem.  While the gun shoots fine when I put one cartridge in the magazine, when I put more than one in, the second round will not fire.  The trigger behaves as if the grip safety is on - the trigger moves so far, and then won't go any further.  I did this several times, and it's very repeatable.  Here are two rounds after ejecting them from the gun:




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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by orpheoet on 5/1/2018, 2:02 am

I had the exact same problem when I got my gun back from Dave Salyer. He said plunk test and make sure case is not above hood of barrel. Zero problems since. I use 0.469" crimp.
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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by Chris Miceli on 5/1/2018, 5:06 am

orpheoet wrote:I had the exact same problem when I got my gun back from Dave Salyer. He said plunk test and make sure case is not above hood of barrel. Zero problems since. I use 0.469" crimp.
does he finish ream barrels?
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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by Aprilian on 5/1/2018, 5:56 am

Mike, look at the bullet in your 8:06 post vs. the 9:00 round.  See the deformation in the first from your seating stem?   Seems to me that could be a confirmation of insufficient bell on that particular case.  

You are making good strides to understanding all the variables.  

One small note: when looking at why rounds are shaving lead, I measure the top driving band as that is where the lead shavings usually come from.
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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by mikemyers on 5/1/2018, 10:24 am

Thanks!  There has been so much I thought I understood, but found otherwise.

Took the gun apart, and tried my sample bullet in the barrel before cleaning.  The bullet went in, and I got the "plunk", but the barrel was obviously dirty.  Cleaned the gun, paying extra close attention to the barrel, and the chamber.  Lots of gunk came out, but cleaning was not difficult.  As far as I can tell, no lead attached to the barrel.  Gun is ready to re-assemble now, but there is one thing on the press that I don't believe is correct.  

To seat the bullet, for a length of 1.130, I think I'm doing something wrong.  As per the instructions I've read, you first raise the press to the upper position.  Then you screw on the seater die housing, until you feel resistance (which I think is the "chamber" within the die resting against the top of the case).  Then you back the die off one full turn, so in use, the die will never hit (and crunch) the case.  That part went fine.

Next, you take the center part of the die, and screw it in, continuing to do so until when you raise the press and check the bullet, you get 1.130" length.  You'll notice in my photo that the part that pushes on the bullet is as far in as it can go.  That doesn't make sense - it should have a little more adjustment.  To me, either the press has an issue (I don't think so), or the top of the die plate is higher than it should be (doubt it), or the "plunger" I am using is defective (unlikely), or the shape of the "cone" in the plunger is wrong.  For doing Magnus #801 bullets, should I be using one with a flat bottom, rather than the hollowed out bottom (doesn't seem right for these bullets), or some unknown cause.


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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by Chris Miceli on 5/1/2018, 10:28 am

mikemyers wrote:Thanks!  There has been so much I thought I understood, but found otherwise.

Took the gun apart, and tried my sample bullet in the barrel before cleaning.  The bullet went in, and I got the "plunk", but the barrel was obviously dirty.  Cleaned the gun, paying extra close attention to the barrel, and the chamber.  Lots of gunk came out, but cleaning was not difficult.  As far as I can tell, no lead attached to the barrel.  Gun is ready to re-assemble now, but there is one thing on the press that I don't believe is correct.  

To seat the bullet, for a length of 1.130, I think I'm doing something wrong.  As per the instructions I've read, you first raise the press to the upper position.  Then you screw on the seater die housing, until you feel resistance (which I think is the "chamber" within the die resting against the top of the case).  Then you back the die off one full turn, so in use, the die will never hit (and crunch) the case.  That part went fine.

Next, you take the center part of the die, and screw it in, continuing to do so until when you check the bullet, you get 1.130" length.  You'll notice in my photo that the part that pushes on the bullet is as far in as it can go.  That doesn't make sense - it should have a little more adjustment.  To me, either the press has an issue (I don't think so), or the top of the die plate is higher than it should be (doubt it), or the "plunger" I am using is defective (unlikely), or the shape of the "cone" in the plunger is wrong.  For doing Magnus #801 bullets, should I be using one with a flat bottom, rather than the hollowed out bottom (doesn't seem right for these bullets), or some unknown cause.




take all your bullet seating steams out of the die and check them to the bullet by hand.
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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by mikemyers on 5/1/2018, 10:33 am

"Bullet Seating Stems"....   thanks, didn't know what to call them.   I did what you suggested last night, but I didn't know what I should be looking for.  The one I used was the one that went the least distance over the end of the bullet.  Seems to me they should be longer... ???
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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by james r chapman on 5/1/2018, 11:00 am

The seating stem should be the contour of the bullet but a flat on will work.
Take the stem out of the die, put a fired case in and run the case up into the die. Torn the die down until it contacts ( firm resistance) the case. Back the die body out (counter clockwise) 1/8-1/4 turn.
Take a sized primed belled case w/powder, place bullet on/in case. Raise cartridge up into die. Lower seating stem till resistance is felt. Lower cartridge a little and screw in stem 1/2 to a full turn. Raise cartridge. Remove cartridge and drop in bbl.
Repeat adjusting the seating stem and plunking the cartridge till flush with barrelhood.

Sometimes your bell will prevent chambering. If so very lightly crimp
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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by USSR on 5/1/2018, 11:01 am

Properly setting up the seating die is without a doubt the most time I spend in my reloading class.   You'll get there, Mike. Smile

Don
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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by mikemyers on 5/1/2018, 12:22 pm

Between what you guys wrote, a phone call with RCBS, and a long phone conversation with Terry, things are now much better.

I opened up the expander die 1/16th turn, so the bell was a hair larger, meaning the bullet drops into the bell better.

The seater die wouldn't push the bullet in far enough.  Removed it from the press, and tightened it in manually, in my hand.  There was a "flaw" on the threads which stopped it from turning, but by applying a bit more pressure it went on quite a bit more.  Much more.  It is now back in the press, with a seating stem with a flat end.  

The OAL right now is 1.126.  The curvature of the bullet goes directly to the edge of the case, if anything a hair above the case.  The bullet fits into my tester perfectly, and drops into the barrel with a nice "thunk" as it bottoms out.  The end of the case is maybe a hair under the barrel hood - looking at it, they're flush, but moving my finger over them, I sense that the case is "lower" than the barrel hood - but I can't see it, only feel it.  Crimp is 0.4695 .

Everything is now back together.  I need to order some "die nuts" from Midway, to replace the knurled disks that lock the dies in place - not enough room to get in there with grips, to take one out, and I need to order one of the RCBS special tools to loosen/tighten the dies.  

Somewhere I read "a little knowledge is dangerous".  This thread proves it.  I used to do this 30 years ago, with no problems, but that was on a single station press.  I would do each operation 50 times, then switch to the next die.  This was for 44 Special and 45 ACP, feeding my Colt Combat Commander.  Now it's a lot more time consuming.  What I read and remembered was obviously not enough.  Even the gun was an issue.  It's a Salyer that the original owner had Dave install a full length guide rod.  The next owner left it like that.  When I got the gun, everything seemed clean, but not the slide, and I had no idea how to disassemble it.  By taking out the slide lock, the upper parts came out as an assembly.  Easy to do, but I wanted to do what I used to do.  I finally found a YouTube video, so the gun is now properly taken apart, and cleaned.  The chamber was full of "grunge", which probably contributed greatly to my problems.  

I think I'm now done.  I need to lube it and re-assemble the gun, and put all my stuff away.  I will make two or three more "dummy rounds", and cycle them through the gun.  Tomorrow or Thursday I will go to the range, and fire maybe 25 rounds to make sure all is well, then put everything away for a while - am leaving for India next week.

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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by james r chapman on 5/1/2018, 1:11 pm

Mike, one thing I found, mine needed fair amount of crimp.
I wouldn't be afraid to crank on it a bit and get down into the .465+ range.
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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by Chris Miceli on 5/1/2018, 1:15 pm

A little more expanding and a little more crimp isn’t going to hurt you. As cases very length even in the same lot # you’d be better severed with a little extra. When you run across those cases that are short you have enough bell for the cases and won’t shave Bullets
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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by dronning on 5/1/2018, 1:43 pm

james r chapman wrote:Mike, one thing I found, mine needed  fair amount of crimp.
I wouldn't be afraid to crank on it a bit and get down into the .465+ range.
FYI - I was using a .469 crimp, I'm getting more consistent powder burn and slight tighter groups @ 50yd with a .465 crimp.
- Dave
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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by mikemyers on 5/1/2018, 2:11 pm

I will re-adjust the crimp to .465/.466 - I'm mostly shooting 25 yards.   
I already opened up the expander - bullets drop right in (but don't go very far).

Too late to get to the range to try anything today - need to go food shopping, and load 25, 50, or 100 rounds, depending on how confident I feel.  Right now I'm feeling very good about all this.

There's a benefit to everything - had my original bullets not been so bad, I might not have started this thread, and learned so much.  Someone in the forum even offered to send me some sample (dummy) rounds, so I could see the goal - thank you very much Russ!  

The progressive press is so straight forward, I think I'm gaining much more from separate seating and crimping stations, even if it's at the expense of the Lockout Die.  Maybe I can mount a mirror someplace, so I can visually check each load after the powder drop.  I've got lights, but I haven't yet found a way to look into each shell.

.........maybe I'll eventually revise my die plate with 38 Special dies the same way.
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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by james r chapman on 5/1/2018, 3:26 pm

Food can be purchased when dark!
Daylights' wasting!
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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by mikemyers on 5/1/2018, 3:58 pm

Jim, lowering the crimp die a bit more did get the crimp to .466 / .467, but now the die is "grabbing" onto the case - it doesn't want to let go when I lower the press.   It does of course, but feels like it was getting something "un-stuck".
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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by james r chapman on 5/1/2018, 4:16 pm

Mine does that too! Let me know when you figure that one out!
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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by mikemyers on 5/1/2018, 4:38 pm

I will test using RGBS Case Lube.  That might be all it takes.  

I left the old RCBS Big Max, expecting to use it for crimping.
There's an ancient Lyman press on the floor, that I was going to use with an old Bullet Puller.
Following what you guys are suggesting is certainly easier.....



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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by Chris Miceli on 5/1/2018, 7:23 pm

How are you measuring the crimp ?
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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by USSR on 5/1/2018, 7:29 pm

Ah, Mike, I see what the problem is.   Your loading bench is too neat and tidy. Smile 

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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by mikemyers on 5/1/2018, 7:40 pm

Don, if I didn't put things where they belong, I'd lose track of where they were.   :-)

Chris, I take a pair of digital calipers, and get as close to the end of the case as I can, and measure the diameter at several locations.  This is for taper crimp.  I have no idea how to measure "roll crimp".  If there's a better way, please let me know. 

.......is this one more thing that I've been doing "forever" because I didn't know a better way?
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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by mikemyers on 5/1/2018, 8:02 pm

Chris, I did some searching, and found this:

I measure crimp using a micrometer. It is a tough thing to mic so I also use a eye loupe. As I have stated before I taper crimp my .45 ACP rounds to .469. I set my mic to .469 and visually see when I have it right, the case just about "enters" the anvils. 

Not sure if you would approve, but it does sound logical to me.
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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by james r chapman on 5/1/2018, 8:04 pm

Use the 15/16th hole in a drill index chart. If it starts in your good.
Also, review lens pics on his taper crimps.
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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by mikemyers on 5/1/2018, 8:08 pm

james r chapman wrote:Use the 15/16th hole in a drill index chart. If it starts in your good.
Also, review lens pics on his taper crimps.
Jim, that would be a one inch hole, or do you mean something else.  I'm lost???

Will review his photos.
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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by Deerspy on 5/1/2018, 8:17 pm

should be 15/32 drill hole = .46875

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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

Post by mikemyers on 5/1/2018, 8:33 pm

Uh oh, if this image is what we're doing, what I'm visualizing for a taper crimp is wrong...
Is the top of the brass parallel to the bullet, not angled into the bullet?
If this is correct, it answers why the bullet gets "stuck" in the die.
Confused.

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Re: Problem with reloaded ammo.

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