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Star Line 45 acp brass

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Hammer457
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Post by Rodger Barthlow 6/9/2024, 9:35 pm

I cast and size my own lead SWC bullets and today was the first time I tried to use once fired Star line brass.
Sized them with a Dillon sizing die and expanded them with one of Photo E Scapes PTUs for flat base bullets.
It's not unusual to see the bullets rise up after seating them and have to push them back down. Today was different and the bullets stayed seated, but when I tried crimping them they would slip down into the case almost like a roll crimp on a full wadcutter.
The crimp die was also a Dillon taper crimp and I even tried a RCBS taper crimp and had the same results. I would partially pull the bullet to reseat it and recrimp them but got the same results.
I finally got frustrated and called it a day.

Looking for some explanation on what was going on, after messing with it for a good hour I came up empty on a fix for the problem.
This has never happened when using WW brass or any other brand just Star line.
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Post by DA/SA 6/9/2024, 9:50 pm

What size are your bullets?

Sounds like your bullets may be a bit under size, and the star line brass may be a bit softer than the brass you have been using, resulting in a slightly larger case after expanding.

I question your bullet size, as I have never seen bullets rise back up after seating.
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Post by rburk 6/9/2024, 11:24 pm

This seems odd, I don't see any difference loading Starline or WW brass.  Couple of questions:

  • Are your bullets flat or bevel base?
  • How deep did you set the PTU expander?


You have to be careful using the PTU expander, not to expand to deep.  The instructions say to leave at least 1/16" non-expanded under the bullet so that you can't easily push it in too far.

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Post by Hammer457 6/10/2024, 10:37 am

rburk wrote:This seems odd, I don't see any difference loading Starline or WW brass.  Couple of questions:

  • Are your bullets flat or bevel base?
  • How deep did you set the PTU expander?


You have to be careful using the PTU expander, not to expand to deep.  The instructions say to leave at least 1/16" non-expanded under the bullet so that you can't easily push it in too far.

Measure the thickness of your Starline & Winchester brass.  Winchester is 0.001" thicker than Starline on my calipers.  I try to shoot exclusively Starline & Winchester brass and adjust when when switching brands.

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Post by Rodger Barthlow 6/10/2024, 1:04 pm

Thanks for the replies guys.
The bullets are resized to .452" and are flat base. This was my first time trying to load these bullets in Star Line brass. I have never had this happen in the past with any other brand.
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Post by fc60 6/10/2024, 2:15 pm

Greetings,

Too many missing facts...

What does the sized brass case measure? 0.465" - 0.470" is a typical range.

The expander plug? What diameter is the small and larger diameter?

You cannot accurately measure case wall thickness with a caliper. You need a tubing micrometer.

Using calipers is a waste of time for PRECISION gauging.

If you do not own a micrometer, contact me off line and I will help you out.

Cheers,

Dave
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Post by PhotoEscape 6/10/2024, 4:57 pm

Rodger,

If you loaded Winchester or any other brand of brass and switched to loading Starline without adjusting PTU a little bit up, this is something to check, - Starline cases, unless they were reloaded at list half a dozen times, normally have length in 0.890"+ while most other brands are in sub-0.888".  If you were flaring cases previous to switching to Starline, you would be right at -1/16" rburk mentioned in his post.  Wall thickness is additional aggravating factor here.

AP


Last edited by PhotoEscape on 6/10/2024, 6:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Rodger Barthlow 6/10/2024, 6:28 pm

Thanks again for the information.
Dave thanks for the offer but I think with PhotoScape's
response answered my question and the PTU needs to be adjusted for the longer cases.
Thanks for your responses.
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Post by DA/SA 6/11/2024, 8:32 am

PhotoEscape wrote:Rodger,

If you loaded Winchester or any other brand of brass and switched to loading Starline without adjusting PTU a little bit up, this is something to check, - Starline cases, unless they were reloaded at list half a dozen times, normally have length in 0.890"+ while most other brands are in sub-0.888".  If you were flaring cases previous to switching to Starline, you would be right at -1/16" rburk mentioned in his post.  Wall thickness is additional aggravating factor here.

AP
But if nothing changed but the case length, the bullet would still be seated in the same depth in relation to the PTU depth. Especially if using a shoulder seating die.

Case length has no effect on OAL of the finished round.
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Post by bruce martindale 6/11/2024, 2:36 pm

Have you cleaned your dies?  Any wax deposits will stick to the nose and pull it up. A separate crimper will push bullets in if there’s junk present. Just had both happen to me. Cleaning solved it, for me.

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Post by PhotoEscape 6/11/2024, 3:23 pm

DA/SA wrote:But if nothing changed but the case length, the bullet would still be seated in the same depth in relation to the PTU depth. Especially if using a shoulder seating die.

Case length has no effect on OAL of the finished round.
Glenn,
You are correct.  However, devil might be in details.  This is where wall thickness and sizing die can be a factor.  And crimp die as well, - also something to check, Rodger!  Longer cases go deeper into crimp die, and hence you might have noticeably stronger crimp on longer case.  I don't think Dillon's crimp die has roll portion.  However RCBS die might.

Bullets popping up can be caused by compressed air.  Once fired Starline brass most definitely has tight primer pockets.  Good quality bullets most definitely have good bases and defects free barring surface, plus lube can be a sealant.  I wonder, Rodger, if you head puffing sounds while seating bullets?

However, Bruce also has a valid points. 

AP
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Post by WesG 6/11/2024, 3:25 pm

I've also seen the opposite, bullets going deeper and deeper.

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Post by Rodger Barthlow 6/11/2024, 8:07 pm

Thanks for all the good input guys.
I cleaned the dies and adjusted the PTU up. The dies were fairly clean with little wax. Checked both crimp dies I use and switched it to the RCBS since it had less round count. Tried loading Starline brass again with same bullet form the batch I had cast. All went well and no problems occurred. 
Maybe a fluke occurred with that one bullet or piece of brass, I don't know.
Yeah I cleaned and made adjustments but had loaded several hundred rounds with the same settings and dies before the problem. I also loaded some of the WW brass with the new setting on the PTU with no problems, so all is good for now.
Thanks for all the suggestions that helped me work throw the problem.
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