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Thread: Why crushing some of my rounds?

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    Member Fireman JB's Avatar
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    Default Why crushing some of my rounds?

    I've started reloading some of my left over piled up 40cal. rounds and am crushing some of the shells on about every 5th round. Any body have any ideas?

    Using Lee classic press
    RCBS 3-die carb. 40/10 dies
    winchester new brass
    4.5g titegroup
    180g hornady xtp bullets
    my oal is 1.135" per the nosler reloading book

    Like I said it only happens every 5th round or so, plus my die is leaving a ring around the bullet just under the cuts on the hollow point for the petals. If that is a big deal or a sign of something.

    I was wondering if I just didn't chamfer enough on those few rounds that are crushing? Here are some pics:


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    Most likely you have the crimp portion of the seating die set incorrectly. Read the instructions that came with the RCBS dies and back off the crimp.
    Tennessee

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    Check OAL on your cases. If you run an overlength case through the crimp die the case will collapse.

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    Member Fireman JB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    Most likely you have the crimp portion of the seating die set incorrectly. Read the instructions that came with the RCBS dies and back off the crimp.
    I have read the instructions that came with the dies. I can't back off the crimp without out backing off the seating depth. If I do that I'll be over my AOL of 1.135"

    Quote Originally Posted by Beer:30 View Post
    Check OAL on your cases. If you run an overlength case through the crimp die the case will collapse.
    I measured all my cases and they were measuring between .8440-.8495 and max is .85 so I don't think it is that. I've just expanded the mouth of the case. How far am I suppose run the expander into the case?

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    Default Crushing rounds

    The probable cause is that you aren't flaring the case mouths enough and the edge of the bullet is getting caught on one side of the case and puhing it down until the bullet finally seats in the case.

    Pull one of the bullets out of a crushed case and examine the bottom edge. You will probably find a cut or damage where it contacted the mouth of the case.

    You could have other problems but increasing the flaring of the mouth will take care of what you show.

    Been there- done that

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    Member Fireman JB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    The probable cause is that you aren't flaring the case mouths enough and the edge of the bullet is getting caught on one side of the case and puhing it down until the bullet finally seats in the case.

    Pull one of the bullets out of a crushed case and examine the bottom edge. You will probably find a cut or damage where it contacted the mouth of the case.

    You could have other problems but increasing the flaring of the mouth will take care of what you show.

    Been there- done that
    I was wondering about that. Thanks for the help TV I'll go try that out.

    Jarrod

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    I tryed that but if I flare it to much it hits the edge of the inside of the die on the up stroke and pushes the neck in around the bullet before it even gets to the seater.

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    I'm fairly new at this so toss my opinions to the wind...

    But looking at the pictures, I'd guess that your die that expands and flares the neck isn't adjusted to flare enough. Even if the neck isn't expanded enough, I think the bullet would slide in well enough anyway if the flare was correct. Your one picture that shows one side of the case smashed lower than the other is what makes me think this. If you crimping die was adjusted too low (too heavy a crimp), then the crushing should be more even and go all the way around the case, not just on one side like that. The other response that said the bullet is 'catching' on the edge is a better explanation.

    BTW, the way I adjust my seater/crimper die is to build a dummy round (no primer) first: I back the crimping die way off so it doesn't crimp at all and the seater inward until it seats the bullet to the right depth. Then I back the seater way off so it won't touch the bullet while I adjust the die downward to increase crimp until it's just right, then set the main lock nut on the die to hold it there. Then with the dummy round all the way up (press handle all the way down), adjust the seater down until it touches the top of the bullet with reasonable pressure and set the locknut on the seater stem. Then I load a couple of rounds and examine the bullet depth and the crimp ...should be good.

    And BTW, the ring on your bullet is not unusual from a the seating die, but maybe in your case it's another sign that the bullet required too much pressure to push it into the case. That's more evidence for giving it a wee bit more flare. I've been told to flare it just enough where the base of the bullet 'just' fits into the case (about 1/32" or so) and it stays in the case when you turn it upside down, i.e. barely grips the base of the bullet. In my experience so far, that's worked just fine.

    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireman JB View Post
    I tryed that but if I flare it to much it hits the edge of the inside of the die on the up stroke and pushes the neck in around the bullet before it even gets to the seater.
    You may have to fine tune to find the 'just right' adjustment, but also try wiggling the case as it goes into the die. Mine sometimes require that and will just barely hit the die off-center and not want to go in. For some reason though, that problem seems to have gone away ...breaking in my shell holder? More repeatable way of putting the case into the shell holder? Don't know, but I did have off and on problems with the flared case striking the end of the die a bit. Wiggle it and see if it goes in...

    Brian

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    I think you are confusing seating the bullet with applying the crimp. Screwing down the die once it makes contact with the case mouth is what cause's it to crimp.
    The bullet seating depth is controlled by that small seating stem that you adjust from the top of the die.

    As far as expanding the case mouth, if you can just barely put the bullet inside the case with your fingers it is expanded enough. The less expansion you need the better so you will not overwork the brass.

    I am not trying to insult your intelligence, but take the instructions RCBS furnished with the dies and sit down and reread them. You will figure it out Trust me. If not give me a jingle and come over to my house and I'll show you.

    Step 1; Resize the brass
    2; Expand the neck just enough to slide the base of the bullet inside the case maybe 1/16th of an inch.
    3. Back off the seating stem and screw in the seating/crimping die. Put a empty case in the shell holder and raise the case inside the die. Screw down the die untill it just touches the top of the case then back it off a turn. Lock it in,
    4. Place a bullet inside the case mouth and seat it. Adjust the seating stem until you are at the correct depth. Then you can juggle the seating stem and screw down a little at a time till you achieve the correct crimp and the correct OAL.

    I havent loaded for the 40S&W for a long time. If my memory is correct this case headspaces on the case mouth so do not crimp it to much.

    Your seating die is leaving that mark on the cases because you are using more force than necessary for seating the bullets. Some dies come with different seating stems for wad cutters versus round nose, etc.
    Tennessee

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    Default Disposal of Crushed Loads?

    A bit off subject I know, but, where is the best place to dispose of crushed handloads (I have two on my reloading bench that have been sitting there for a couple of months). Sorry for the hijack.

    DS

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireman JB View Post
    I have read the instructions that came with the dies. I can't back off the crimp without out backing off the seating depth. If I do that I'll be over my AOL of 1.135"
    Yes you can. Back off the seater and screw down the seating stem, the black threaded rod that sticks out the top of the die. Then when all rounds are seated, readjust to just crimp only by backing off the seating stem and screw down the seating body.

    [/quote]I measured all my cases and they were measuring between .8440-.8495 and max is .85 so I don't think it is that. I've just expanded the mouth of the case. How far am I suppose run the expander into the case?[/quote]

    Your cases vary in length but as long as they are between .8400" and .8500" they should be ok. The trim length is .840" the max is .850" , you're right about that. Then before seating any more bullets adjust the expander die to give more flare to the case mouth. there is a straigh part of the expander and a belled part, run it in deep enough to give enough flare to the mouth to seat bullets in the top 1/16" by fingers and then invert thecase to see if the bullet stays put. That is how far.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Thanks for all the help fellas. I think I have it figured out. Now I need to get me a bullet puller to get my powder. The list of little odds and ends keep gets bigger and bigger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireman JB View Post
    Thanks for all the help fellas. I think I have it figured out. Now I need to get me a bullet puller to get my powder. The list of little odds and ends keep gets bigger and bigger.

    Yeah, that's the way it seems to go. You can salvage and reuse the bullets also. A plastic hammer "Kinetic" puller is about $15-$20.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Shovel View Post
    A bit off subject I know, but, where is the best place to dispose of crushed handloads (I have two on my reloading bench that have been sitting there for a couple of months). Sorry for the hijack.

    DS
    Knock the bullets out with a bullet puller, burn the gun powder on the ground (the kids love it), then fire the primers in your gun (like blanks ...the kids love that too), then toss the brass.

    Brian

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Or, just another idea... after pulling the bullet, dump the powder back in the hopper (as long as it wasn't contaminated), carefully remove the primer with your universal decapper, and toss the brass in your scrap metal bin for recycling.
    Winter is Coming...

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    Cool Smashed cases---AAAAARRRRRGGGGGGHHGHGHH#$%^&$&*($

    JB, the above is what i feel like when I do one of these. and I have been at this for about near 20 years. I still have it happen occasionally. I load for a Glock 40, one of the most dangerous types of guns to load 40's for, so here's my 2 cents worth on this. everyone here is right really, as several things can be the problem. I feel though, that the one about your seating/crimping operation MUST be separate. I have been there, tried that, and there are few calibers where it can be done as one operation. You mentioned not being able to back the die out without re-adjusting the seating stem. Well, you have to. When you get the powder dropped in all your cases, then, you put one case in the press, and with no bullet on it or anything, you run it all the way up, then screw the die all the way down to touch the case. You do this part without any of that seating stem even in there, or screw it way out so there is NO CHANCE of it hitting the case. When the die comes down and bumps the case, then back the die back out at least 1 turn, maybe yet another half turn. then, tighten the lock ring on it and get a bullet ready. Put the seating stem back in the die, or screw it own a little bit, and put the bullet on the case. Run the case all the way up again, then with the other hand, screw down the seating stem til it's tensioned against the bullet. When at this point, you have to screw it down a turn or so, then take it out and measure for that OAL length. When you get to that point, go ahead and screw down the little lock ring for that seating plug. Now, you are ready to rock and seat all bullets. once this is done, take the seating stem OUT OF THE DIE. Just get it out of there and lay it somewhere. Then, undo the lockring for the die, then with a seated cartridge in the press, run the bullet up in there while screwing the die body down a tiny bit at a time until you get a satisfactory crimp. bear in mind though, that a roll crimp IS NOT the proper crimp to put on a 40 or any other auto pistol round as the other guy mentioned about them head spacing on the case mouth. About all of them do it this way, so a TAPER CRIMP die is the preferred one to use for that. You can try this basic die you have first and see how they do, but I have had no luck using a roll crimp die to crimp auto pistol rounds. Murphy can chime in here and agree with me I hope.
    since you are real new to this, you should really only load about 10 rounds and take to the range to try out, that way, in case you get some goofs made, you won't be pulling 50 or more rounds while spouting a bunch of good cuss words. When I tried loadig some 9 mm rounds for a buddy's pistol a few years back, I loaded 400 freaking rounds on my new Dillon 550 progressive, without doing only a few test rounds, and he ended up tossing almost 400 rounds in the dumpster because they wouldn't fire. It was because of that headspacing thing, and that was a valuable, and expensive lesson learned. your welcome to call me JB and I can chat with you a little today or tomorrow if you have the time.

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    I agree with Whelenator, definately crimp in a separate operation. I believe though that any of the dies for semi auto rounds such as the 40 will have a taper crimp in the seating die. I adjust to seat only with the seater die. Then I use a separate crimping die (about $20 and worth every penny) that way you don't have to change the settings once the dies are adjusted and locked down.

    Semi auto pistol rounds headspace on the case mouth. Only a taper crimp can be used. A roll crimp will roll the mouth of the case in and increase the headspace and likely will allow the case to move forward when the hammer falls and won't fire.

    Since it is such a pain to adjust seat/crimp dies correctly and often leads to lost cases, I like to leave them set up and locked down when stored in the box. Then when going from one set of dies to another, I just pop them in the press ( I use a 7 stage turret press) and I'm good to go. The turret holds the sizer, expander, seater and crimp die with room to spare.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    I think I'll do that too ...buy a second seater/crimper die so I can always do them in separate steps. Good idea.

    Brian

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    Default What to do with roll-crimped 9mm?

    400 live rounds in a dumpster? Please tell me it ain't so.

    If you can't shoot them in a semi-auto, find someone with a 9mm double action revolver and moon clips. Or the Ruger Service Six with the springs in the ejector.

    They would love to empty the cases for you, I am sure. For 400 rounds, it might even be worthwhile to BUY a gun with which to shoot them.
    Last edited by Lost Sheep; 03-15-2008 at 00:11. Reason: to add the gun buying paragraph

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