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45 reloading question - checking reloads before I buy them.

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AndyLueck
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Post by mikemyers 3/15/2022, 7:53 am

My RCBS Pro2000 is set up for 38 Special, but I wanted to shoot some 45 rounds - rather than change around my press for a small number of rounds, I bought some reloads from a club member.  The rounds individually shoot fine, but when I load a magazine with more than one round, the slide sometimes doesn't return to battery - it's about 1/16" still open.  I asked Dave Salyer about this, and he said the answer was obvious - the rounds are too long.  So, I checked with my match barrel and a case gage, and sure enough, the end of the round sticks out too far.  Here's a series of photos, of a typical round, and how it looks in my test gear.  

I probably should have already known this immediately, just from looking at the round - it's been two years since I last reloaded 45.  Apparently, the part of the bullet that I can see resting against the case, that appears to almost the same diameter of the case, THAT is the dimension that is important, as shown in my second photo as 0.9645" which is too long, and therefore that is my problem.

Assuming I'm right, what would be a reasonable dimension for lead bullets for bullseye shooting?
(If I buy any more rounds, I'll either bring my micrometer or my case gage, and better yet, get ahead of the game in 38's, and switch my press over for 45.)


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Post by SingleActionAndrew 3/15/2022, 8:29 am

First guess is that they were loaded for a revolver, where headspace off the case extractor groove with moon clip rather than off the case mouth like in a semiauto e.g. 1911
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Post by Pinetree 3/15/2022, 8:36 am

Just curious, what's the OAL?

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Post by BE Mike 3/15/2022, 8:45 am

I had an accurized 1911 bullseye pistol that wouldn't function with those short nosed bullets. It would function well with the longer nosed ones.
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Post by JIMPGOV 3/15/2022, 8:47 am

THE WAY YOUR MEASURING THE ROUND IS CORRECT. MOST BULLSEYE SHOOTERS LOAD TO THE FOLLOWING DIMENSION.
 .920" to .925"

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Post by mikemyers 3/15/2022, 8:53 am

Pinetree wrote:Just curious, what's the OAL?

1.169"
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Post by mikemyers 3/15/2022, 8:58 am

JIMPGOV wrote:THE WAY YOUR MEASURING THE ROUND IS CORRECT. MOST BULLSEYE SHOOTERS LOAD TO THE FOLLOWING DIMENSION.
 .920" to .925"
Well, while I didn't know this before, it makes perfect sense, and explains why I'm having issues with his rounds.
Apparently he needs to seat the bullets deeper.
Now that they're crimped, I wonder if they can still be adjusted by seating deeper?

How does that saying go, "If you want something done right....."   
Not that I feel so capable, but I'm quite good at following instructions from those who understand much more than I do.

Thanks!
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Post by STEVE SAMELAK 3/15/2022, 9:47 am

It may be helpful to know if your friend has a seater that works off the nose or shoulder.
Seating semi-wadcutters off the shoulder seems to yield more consistent results.
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Post by rburk 3/15/2022, 10:38 am

0.92" to the shoulder is what I was told to use.  I think 0.96 is too long, I would be concerned with getting a round stuck in the chamber without the slide going all the way into battery.

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Post by Al 3/15/2022, 11:58 am

When I first started reloading 45's, I used a wide variety of bullets. Some were good, some not, and while most were a H&G 68's, there were a few odd ones used. A high master advised me to seat my bullets so just a thumbnails thickness of lead was exposed above the case and make sure my taper crimp was at least .468.

I adopted his advice on the seating depth and experiment with the crimp on all bullet/case combinations. Now I use .462 - .465 on all my lead loads. All depends on what the Random tests show.

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Post by zanemoseley 3/15/2022, 12:52 pm

Use .920" to the bullet shoulder and you should be good to go.

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Post by mikemyers 3/15/2022, 2:24 pm

He casts his own bullets.

As for me, I normally buy from Magnus Bullets - Terry always gets me what I need, and I have his bullets sitting right here - I just wanted to check something on my 45 and didn't want to change over my press - at least not until I've loaded up enough 38 special for my M52 (which work find in my revolvers, too).  Thanks - I now understand this much better.
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Post by Wobbley 3/15/2022, 3:51 pm

I load to (as pictured) .915 inches.  Works fine.  There is nothing to be gained in seating “to the lands” like in rifles.
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Post by CR10X 3/15/2022, 5:47 pm

Is this a commercial reloading operation?

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Post by Kermit Workman 3/15/2022, 6:19 pm

I agree the rounds are too long but I would also give my chamber a good scrubbing.

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Post by Schaumannk 3/21/2022, 8:40 pm

This is one of those things that really depends on the gun, how the feed ramp is cut and the chambering.  Had a gun that shot most everything fine.  Broke the extractor, and had it changed out.  All the sudden the gun got a great deal more picky about feeding.

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Post by AndyLueck 3/21/2022, 10:09 pm

You really want to use your barrel as your case gauge.  A barrel in a given gun may be more or less forgiving than the case gauge.  So to know that the round will plunk you want to check it in your barrel.  In the pic with your barrel, it looks like the end of the case is protruding a slight amount.  So the round is head spacing on the bullet.  You want the bullet seated deep enough so that the loaded cartridge head spaces on the crimp in the case, not the bullet.  

If the length isn't the problem, it's possible that you don't have enough crimp.  But I'd start with the length, they look a little long.  Someone once told me a rule of thumb is that you want about a thumbnail of shoulder showing.

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Post by Bob Fleming 3/21/2022, 10:10 pm

The obvious answer is buy another reloader and leave it set up for large primers!
Your friend's gun may like those short nose bullets loaded long like that.

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Post by orpheoet 3/21/2022, 11:20 pm

I’m a fairly meticulous reloader. No squibs or doubles yet. But I would never feel comfortable selling my reloads or using another’s. That’s just me, but I’ve seen enough bulged barrels at matches to be very cautious.
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Post by Cazmont 3/25/2022, 3:03 pm

Another reason to not put all your eggs in the progressive loader basket.
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Post by Dr.Don 3/26/2022, 2:11 pm

Mike, every reloader ought to have a single stage press for things like this, even if it's just an inexpensive Lee.  There are lots of times when changing over the progressive is too much trouble for a minor trial.
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