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45 ACP rounds sometimes not dropping in all the way into a Lyman check gage.

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Wobbley
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Post by mikemyers Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:57 am

First topic message reminder :

I have a question.  I re-set my RCBS Pro-2000 press from 38 Special to 45 ACP. 
Specs:

  • Magnus #801 bullets
  • OAL = 1.126"
  • Crimp = 0.466"
  • Load = 4 grains Bullseye
  • Dies: Redding re-sizer and expander dies, RCBS lock-out die, RCBS seater/crimper die.


I loaded 30 rounds to test.  I got to the range, and several bullets didn't load all the way - I ejected them, and found all of them would load and fire on the second attempt.  

Got home, and checked the crimp (correct), and the OAL, finding several were slightly over 1.126".  I turned in the seater adjustment 1/8 turn, after which nothing was over the 1.126 setting.  

Decided I would check all 50 rounds using my Lyman check gage.


  • Several rounds when dropped into the Lyman check gage didn't fall all the way in.  
  • I reversed them, to see if the end of the case was too big, but that was not the problem.
  • Something in the Lyman die was making them feel "tight" as the rounds got most of the way in (the thickness of the flange at the bottom of the round was still sticking out of the gage).
  • Wiping the rounds with a cloth improved the situation, but some rounds still wouldn't drop all the way into the case gage.
  • Then I discovered that if I rotated a round slightly, maybe 1/8 turn, it would drop all the way in.
  • I cleaned the inside diameter of the case gage, and while things seemed a little better, I still had rounds that wouldn't go all the way in, unless I rotated them to a different position.


I decided none of this made sense, so went to the range to test, and all rounds loaded and fired with no problem. 

I know that if I use separate seater and crimper dies, that would be good, but the Pro 2000 is a 5-station press, and I'm not going to remove the lockout die.  
(Maybe the rounds would be "better" if I were to do so.  What I may do for a test is to seat in the Pro-2000, and crimp on my RCBS Big Max press.)

Back to this discussion - what could allow a round that didn't drop into the Lyman check gage, to drop perfectly into the same check gage after I rotated it slightly?  
There is "something" at the bottom end of the check gage that gets tighter than the rest of the gage, but rotating the round shouldn't change anything.

Maybe there is a tolerance on the diameter of the check gage, and a tolerance on the roundness of the bullets, and at some orientation these tolerance interact?
Unless there is a reasonable explanation, I think I should buy a new check gage.
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Post by james r chapman Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:52 am

Bioact heated to 200*
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Post by Aprilian Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:09 am

mikemyers wrote:



Sorry about the quality of the photo - I don't have enough hands to do it properly.
brass brush  Hoppes 


Someone posted here how to take a picture of the inside of a barrel - seems like that would have worked for you  Laughing
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Post by Gary Wells Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:04 am

I personally would be afraid of a brass brush even though the opposing material is steel, but that is just me. I clean my Dillon 550B seater die, crimp die & check gage about every 50 rounds with a rag by stuffing a corner of it into the die or gage & pull the rag up as high as it will go and rotate the die or gage. Every 50 rounds? Yep. I always load LSWC's and don't bell very much, leaving some lube on everything else. &n every 50 rounds is a box of ammo & this old man's break time. It probably wouldn't hurt using a brass brush. Every since reading about barrel damage self inflicted due to over cleaning I try and avoid the brass brush.

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Post by mikemyers Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:09 am

Gary, the brass brush and Hoppe's may or may not work.  If I get a new gage, this old one can go in the dumpster, so if the brass brush damages it, it will just get thrown out anyway.

Thanks for everything.

Since the problem started with my gun, that seems to be fixed by seating the bullets slightly deeper.
The rounds now seem to work fine again in my gun.
I suspect that after I clean this gage, and wipe down my cartridges, the issue will be over.
I'll buy a new gage anyway.

Thanks to all the feedback up above.  After two pages of discussion, there is now a reasonable explanation for everything.
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Post by Olde Pilot Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:57 am

Don't mean to be rude. But, who cares about gages when you have the barrel of the gun to use for plunk test. Gages are worse than useless unless the gage has been reamed to match the chamber of your gun exactly.

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Post by mikemyers Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:10 am

I may shoot the rounds in any of three 45's, the Salyer, the Les Baer, and my old Colt.  

No problem even if you were being rude (which I don't see it that way), but I don't understand why I can't reload to the same standards as "factory".  When I buy a box of ammo, I expect it to load and fire in any gun I have that can shoot that ammo.  

If I were going to a competition, I think checking every round would be reasonable, along with checking the weight of every round before seating the bullet.


Last edited by mikemyers on Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Wobbley Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:10 am

Just clean it.  WD-40 is a wax in a paraffin solvent mix...so use that as it will dissolve the wax better.  Then rinse off the WD-40 with isopropyl alcohol.
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Post by spursnguns Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:12 am

Olde Pilot wrote:Don't mean to be rude. But, who cares about gages when you have the barrel of the gun to use for plunk test. Gages are worse than useless unless the gage has been reamed to match the chamber of your gun exactly.

Uh....that would be the first response to this thread.

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Post by Gary Wells Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:30 pm

mikemyers wrote: ....................If I were going to a competition, I think checking every round would be reasonable, along with checking the weight of every round before seating the bullet.
Mike: I'm curious about this statement. What would checking the weight of every round before seating the bullet accomplish?

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Post by Gary Wells Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:41 pm

A very similar thread regarding this same subject currently running over on "1911Addicts"

https://www.1911addicts.com/threads/case-gauges.56641/

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Post by mikemyers Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:32 pm

Gary Wells wrote:
mikemyers wrote: ....................If I were going to a competition, I think checking every round would be reasonable, along with checking the weight of every round before seating the bullet.
Mike: I'm curious about this statement. What would checking the weight of every round before seating the bullet accomplish?
Sorry, I meant the load weight - when the case reached the bullet seating station, I'd verify that it read 4.0, and if not, would reload that round.  

If I was going to a competition, I think I've learned to be much more particular about matching everything, and especially after this experience, I would do just as you guys suggested, verify each load goes 'thunk' properly in my barrel.  

For normal use, going to the range, I think all that would be overkill.  Also, while I'm using the Salyer most of the time now, I sometimes just decide to bring my Les Baer instead.  I'd like to get ahead of things, and have enough ammunition loaded that I can pick up whichever gun I want to bring, and take ammunition from my preloaded boxes.  Ditto for 38 Special, which is all being loaded as if I would bring my M52, but will work fine in any of my 38/357 revolvers.

Most of my experience since the 1980's has been with 54 ACP and 44 Special.  None of them ever gave me any problems, even back when I barely knew what I was doing, and was mostly following instructions.
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Post by james r chapman Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:22 pm

I'd never spend as much time on pistol ammo as 1000 yd rifle ammo.
Just saying..
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Post by Gary Wells Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:18 pm

james r chapman wrote:I'd never spend as much time on pistol ammo as 1000 yd rifle ammo.
Just saying..
It would actually depend upon whether a person shoots 1000 yd rifle ammo & whether that person reloads or not.

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Post by mikemyers Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:43 pm

Am I wrong in assuming that the top Bullseye shooters in this forum match their cases, weigh every charge, and clean and inspect every round they take to a competition?   I hardly ever shoot at 50 yards, but if get to the point where I can do this, wouldn't that be a requirement to do well?   

I'm perfectly happy shooting CCI SV 22 rounds, but the better shooters I watch seem to be using much more expensive ammo.  

I thoroughly enjoy shooting the used Salyer 45 that I bought, but if I were to get good enough for all of this to make a difference for me, I think I'd be buying a new gun from one of the expert smiths we discuss in these forums.  



Back to this discussion.  When someone buys a box of "factory ammo", would the diameter of the ammo be identical to what we make with hand loading, or is factory ammo just a tiny amount undersized to make sure it will work in every gun that accepts that ammo?

Testing now...
My 45 reloads, case diameter ranges from 0.4720 to 0.4725
Winchester White Box factory ammo.....     0.4695 to 0.4700

Factory ammo is slightly smaller diameter than my reloads.
So, what is the official diameter for 45 ACP ?
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Post by mikemyers Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:51 pm

If this drawing is correct, and the diameter at the base is 12.09mm, P1, then that is 0.4759"

45 ACP rounds sometimes not dropping in all the way into a Lyman check gage. - Page 2 500px-45_ACP_dimensions
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Post by Gary Wells Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:22 pm

I'm pretty sure that is correct, Mike. Slight difference between that & the  back of the case.

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Post by Slartybartfast Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:14 am

mikemyers wrote:If this drawing is correct, and the diameter at the base is 12.09mm, P1, then that is 0.4759"
To be pedantic, 0.4760" according to the SAAMI document I linked to.

Seeing as the case is supposed to taper along it's length, perhaps that's why reloads aren't dropping all the way into the gauge? The reloaded brass might have too straight a sidewall?

Again, just my uninformed speculation.
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Post by mikemyers Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:50 am

Slartybartfast wrote:To be pedantic, 0.4760" according to the SAAMI document I linked to.
You are correct.  I didn't round up.
From Google's calculator:
12.08999995mm = 0.47598425 inches.

Despite the image I linked to, if the original design was 0.4760 inches, that would be 12.0904mm.
Maybe I should have looked further to find a the original design dimensions in inches.

I wonder if a cartridge that large would still pass the "plunk test"?
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Post by CR10X Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:07 pm

Am I wrong in assuming that the top Bullseye shooters in this forum match their cases, weigh every charge, and clean and inspect every round they take to a competition?   I hardly ever shoot at 50 yards, but if get to the point where I can do this, wouldn't that be a requirement to do well?   

YES.  However, this is perfectly acceptable if you want to be an Master class Reloader.

I thoroughly enjoy shooting the used Salyer 45 that I bought, but if I were to get good enough for all of this to make a difference for me, I think I'd be buying a new gun from one of the expert smiths we discuss in these forums.  

Once you shoot at least 97% to 95% over a 900 Aggregate with Dave's gun, then I'm sure that buying another one from someone else will correct any remaining issues.

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Post by Allgoodhits Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:31 pm

Consider trying a Lee Factory Crimp Die
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Post by tomj44 Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:09 am

When I use a Lee Factory Crimp Die my ammo always plunks and always functions well in my guns. But it does size down lead bullets about .001".

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Post by New2BE Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:43 am

How about using a plastic bore brush, a dab of fitz or jb and some kroil or light penetrating oil? Flush with a blast of wd40 and wipe out with a patch?

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