.45 ACP Reloading Newbie Question

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by OhioFTT, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. OhioFTT

    OhioFTT New Member

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    I'm loading 45 ACP on my Dilion 550b press. I have an OAL or 1.250. After making dummies to cycle through my 1911 the rounds are now 1.242 is this normal?

    I'm checking the OAL before and after crimping. I'am also unable to change the OAL by pushing on the cartridge on the work bench with "normal" force.
  2. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    Sounds like you are having bullet setback, a stronger crimp may do the trick, coversely crimping certain bullets excessively will create the situation due to bullet deformation. I find plated bullets to usually be the culprit. Have you pulled these bullets to see if they are deformed? Drop testing them a foot above the bench top with the bullet downward is usually how I find setback is occuring YMMV
  3. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    Welcome to the forum. In a word NO, and 312shooter is correct, you need to put just a bit more crimp on the bullet so I would turn the crimp die down 1/8 turn and see what that does for you. If you are using a combo bullet seat and crimp die you will then have to adjust the bullet seater up about a 1/4 turn because it is a finer thread than the main body threads. You will need to do that to regain your 1.250 OAL.

    You might have to do that two or three times to achieve your desired result.

    Ron
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  4. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    The crimp on a 45 ACP is applied only to remove the flare plus maybe a thou more. It is not used to secure the bullet, that is what neck tension is for.

    What bullets are you using? What dies?
  5. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  6. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    Steve with all due respect I believe you are mistaken. The proper crimp die for a 45 auto is a tapper crimp die and it is the die that creates the neck tension you speak of. If not please advise me what you think creates the neck tension.

    I am always open to learn something new.

    Ron
  7. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    312shooter, you bring up a point I had not thought of, a roll crimp die for 45 auto, and I should have because I have one for loading 45 auto rim.

    Also you were a bit faster on the key board than me so our post look redundant.

    Ron
  8. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    There's some confusing answers given here and some clarification is necessary.

    Neck tension (the force the throat of the case exerts on the bullet) is achieved by the sizing die. The sizing die first necks the case smaller than required on the down stroke of the press. As the press ram is returned up, the expander on the de-priming rod is pulled through the case neck, sizing it to one or two thousandths of an inch smaller than the bullet diameter. That is the neck tension.

    The purpose of the crimp is to hold the bullet from moving during its travel through the gun which includes recoil from other cartridges being fired. In the process of crimping the flare introduced by the flaring die is removed and the edge of the case is pushed inward, locking the bullet in place. While the crimp adds to the force required to move the bullet out of the case, it is not termed neck tension. That is, as stated above, the interference fit of the bullet into the case throat without the crimp.

    There was a time years ago (at least in the late 1950's) when pistol reloading dies produced no neck tension and only the crimp held the bullet into the case, especially for revolver rounds. This is definitely not the case today. Neck tension is THE way all pistol dies are made today. The crimp's job is to lock the bullet in place.

    I hope this clears up the answers. Terminology must be done correctly or we are not all on the same page. The poster's problem is the taper crimp needs to be a bit more but adding crimp also seats the bullet deeper and that has to be compensated for or the results of more crimp will be a substantial shorter OAL for even a small change to the crimp.

    The adjustments can be made trial and error but a better way is as follows:

    1). Turn in the seater post all the way. Slowly raise the ram up, checking the seating until you get the OAL perfect. Do it a little then cheek it. Do it some more then check it. Do it repeatedly until it is right on. Set it aside.

    2). Pull the seating post out of the die. Adjust the die out then slowly adjust it in until you get the right crimp on the just seated cartridge. Lock the die down.

    3). Put the seated and crimp cartridge into the die all the way with the ram of the press and slowly turn in the seating post until it just touches the finished cartridge's bullet. You are using the correctly seated and crimped bullet/cartridge as a gage to set up the seating depth in the seating die.

    4). Run another case and bullet through the set up die and verify all is correct and make any slight adjustments as required (it will only be the seating post that you are adjusting and if done correctly it will not be by much).

    Done this way you never loose any cartridges during the process of adjusting the seating and crimping processes.

    LDBennett
  9. ryan42

    ryan42 New Member

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    What he said.:)
  10. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    As far as C.O.A.L. goes, at least on a 1911, the procedure I use is to remove the barrel from the pistol and use that as a gauge to determine proper overall length. As the 1911 cartridge headspaces on the case mouth you don't want the loaded round supported by the extractor. There are numerous descriptions of this process and I would recommend following one of them.
  11. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    If we are going to be so anal here I will add to it. While I agree 100% of the process as LD has describes it happens, it is the terminology that I have a problem with. Prior to the case going to the powder/expander die the case has been squeezed down to a point that a bullet cannot be loaded into the case. Once the case is brought too and filled with powder the expander die removes/destroys any and all of the "throat" and or "neck" tension qualities of the case to some point from the top edge of the case down to the base of the flair that allows the bullet to be placed/started into the case. Then in the tapper crimp process that neck/throat tension is restored by the crimp. What steve 4102 stated was that the crimp is NOT what secured the bullet but rather "neck tension".

    Apparently OhioFTT's problem is there is not enough neck/throat tension left from the sizing process to secure the bullet and it moves back as it cycles through the gun. And I stated that if he properly tapper crimps he will restore the neck/throat tension lost by the expander die. All meaning that until he does, the neck/throat tension first created by the sizing die is not sufficient to hold the bullet in place until it is restored by the tapper crimp die. Once restored how could it possibly be characterized as anything other than neck tension?

    Ron
  12. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    muddober:

    Since I don't use all of the standard die sets (the flare die is discarded) I guess I really don't know what the standard flare die does. The powder die (which is the flaring tool used in a Dillon reloading press and is a separate part only provided by Dillon) is the die that flares the mouth of the case. It is of a size that does not change the throat diameter of the case but only flares the case's mouth about 1/32 to 1/16 inch down the case.

    For rifle cases there is no flaring die at all. Most rifle die set are just the sizing die and the seating/crimping die.

    You have not convinced me I am wrong. From all the reading I have done in the last 25 years what I said is the way it is. The flaring die for pistols only flares and does not size the interior of the case. For rifles there is no flaring die. If the job of the flaring die was to size the interior of the case why would you even need the expander on the de-priming rod in the sizing die. Sorry, buy I really think you are wrong.

    I'll try to do a little research to back up my position.

    LDBennett

    Special note: see the post below. In short I was wrong!
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
  13. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    muddober:

    I apologize. I was only half right.

    What I said is true of the rifle die set but not the three die set associated with pistol dies. The flaring tool in a three die set is indeed the expander according to both Hornady and RCBS. The powder die in the Dillon example must do the final expanding of pistol cartridge necks. In the Dillon it does the expanding of the pistol case, the flaring of the mouth, and acts as the funnel to guide the propellant into the case.

    We are never too old to learn, I guess.

    LDBennett
  14. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    LD and Muddober,

    Definitions aside, there is still "tension" between the bullet and case. This can be increased by turning the taper crimp die (or seating w/TC die) downward toward the shellholder. The OP problem should easily be resolved with some added taper crimp. Unless there is a term other than "neck tension" that refers to the tension between the neck and bullet please clarify. This has really been over analyzed.
  15. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    Da!

    Ron
  16. OhioFTT

    OhioFTT New Member

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    Thanks, I was able to solve it by a little more case crimp. FYI once I switched to 230grn I have not had an issue.
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