New to Reloading

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by al2ride, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. al2ride

    al2ride New Member

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    So about a month ago I decided to do my own reloading. I bought a Lee Loadmaster with the 45 ACP dies. At the same time I bought a Kimber Raptor II. I wen to the local supplier and got 500 count of brass, lead SWC 200g, Win231 and Primers. I also bought the Lee Modern Reloading book. I studied the book and instructions and decided to start reloading. I loaded about 50 rounds and decided to put feed them through the Kimber when I realized the round would not feed all of the way. I adjusted the seater die a bit deeper and that seemed to fix the problem (too wide case at the mouth?). I ended up loading all 500 rounds...I know, big mistake. Out on the range I had tons of FTFs. It seemed the casings where getting stuck on the ramp. It was a pain, but I ended up firing 200 rounds. Are the SWCs the problem with my Kimber. I ordered 225g FN and just loaded 50 rounds to try them out. I'm thinking the round bullet will help with the feed. One thing I noticed with all 50 rounds is that they feed great, but it seems hard to pull the slide back to eject. Being a newbie to reloading, I would appreciate any tips or help. Thanks in advance.
  2. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    Welcome to TFF and know that we've all had an oops or two; just make sure you pay close attention and double check everything to avoid the big OOPS.

    I load up a few test loads with spent primers and no powder, these are the rounds that I use to cycle test a new load.

    When working up a new load, 5-10 rounds of each step is about it until I reach a point where I've found the sweet spot or reached max pressures.

    You're going to have to break in the Kimber and adjust your seating depth ever so slightly so that it will feed properly. SWC's should feed just fine. Also check the feedramp and ensure that there aren't any burrs or rough looking spots; it happens, even on Kimbers.

    Some pics and measurements of the finished rounds would be very helpful.

    Semper Fi,

    Woolley
  3. Insulation Tim

    Insulation Tim Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I had similar issues with a couple of my 1911's. It turned out that I was not applying enough crimp. Once I did that, the problems went away.

    By the way....Welcome to the Forum. This place is the ultimate Wikipedia on everything related to firearms.
  4. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    Several things come to mind here. If the round does not chamber completely, the sizing may have been done incompletely. Did you use a seperate crimp die? Crimping and seating simulatneously can be a pain, often times having inconsistent results in the seating process, a Lee factory crimp die would greatly improve your finished product.

    Last, I have heard that the ramps on Kimbers are a bit touchy, and do not lend themselves well to SWC. Maybe someone here can offer some COAL measurements that tend to work in theirs. I personally use the data from Lymans 49th and never had a problem with my Springfield and SWC. Welcome and good luck......
  5. American Leader

    American Leader Well-Known Member

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    312shooter, I like your sign off! al2ride welcome to reloading. I wouldn't be surprised some folks will give you a bunch of baloney about purchasing a Lee "Loadmaster", but don't pay no attention. I have been using one for 11 years and loaded many of thousands of rounds. Pay attention to your instructions, keep your loader properly lubricated (note: not all parts require or should be lubed due to the amount of plastic used), and as noted above do a few dry runs with initial set-up to make sure you are really ready to roll. Then, start cranking that handle and fill the bucket cause you will produce a ton really fast. Watch your powder and primer levels too. I also own 2 other Lee presses which I love as well. I find loading very theraputic, and saves you a lot of money to buy more guns!
  6. al2ride

    al2ride New Member

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    I appreciate the comments Woolley. I've included a photo of both loads. The SWC measures 1.22 and the FN is 1.19 As you can see I crimped the FN to see if it helps with feeding. I took a close look at the ramp and it looks perfect. With commercial ammo, the Kimber cycles perfectly, with the SWC it also cycles perfectly, but with the FN I'm having a hard time pulling the slide back to eject (manually). I also noted that some of the brass was the wrong size in diameter and would not fit in the shell plate, I had to throw away a dozen shells for that reason. One more thing I noted was the fact that my loads are very smokey compared to commercial loads. This was my first time shooting lead as I've always shot FMJ and Hollow on my other guns.

    [​IMG]
  7. al2ride

    al2ride New Member

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    I applied a crimp on my 2nd load to the FNs. I'll see if that helps. I'm also going to try both loads on my cheap HiPoint to see if it a problem particular to the Kimber.
  8. al2ride

    al2ride New Member

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    I also thought it was sizing, but after sizing one shell, it chambers perfectly, it was after flaring and seating that caused the diameter to change. I had to adjust the seating/crimping deeper to correct it. The die that I got with the Loadmaster is the Lee seat/crimp in one. Would I have to get a separate seat and a separate crimp die? Or use the current seat/crimp as a seating only die and then get a separate crimp die? Thanks.
  9. al2ride

    al2ride New Member

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    I have to be honest and say that I love reloading...my wife looks at me kinda funny. There is something about pulling that crank and hearing the round drop in the bucket. I'm very meticulous and watch every load after powder and randomly pull one out and weigh the grains. Only thing that really bites is having to pick up the shells at the range. LOL...getting old I guess. The wife loves that Kimber and so do I....that is, when it cycles properly. We are used to a Glock 30, Hi Point JHP, AK 47, and our pocket guns which are both 380s. The Kimber feels like a Cadillac when the others feel like Jeeps.
  10. mikld

    mikld Active Member

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    Welcome! The round on the right has a "roll crimp", not to be used with cartridges that headspace on the mouth. I suggest you get a "taper crimp" die for "crimping" your ammo (I don't like the use of the term "crimp" when talking about 45 ACP reloading. You are NOT crimping the case, just taking out any flare in the mouth put in for bullet seating). Neck/case tension should be enough to hold the bullet in place. IMHO only,this is an example of why a new reloader should start on a single stage press and learn what each step is and why it's done (a 500 round oops? no offence intended to the O.P.).

    Also I would start with a tried and true bullet, to get the hang of reloading; 230 gr. FMJ. Get the basics down with that then move onto SWC and TC bullets.

    Another thought is mebbe the Kimber is still "tight" and needs a bit more "breaking in"
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011
  11. al2ride

    al2ride New Member

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    What is your suggestion with the loaded rounds with the roll crimp? Should I use them or unload? The one on the left doesn't have a roll crimp...they just wont feed and they seem to be getting caught on the ramp. They were very accurate at the range. I believe the included die on my loader works both as a roll or tapered crimp. During the initial load I ran a few trials to just take out the flare, but they seemed too tight to go into the barrel...that's why I went a bit deeper and therefore it rolled crimp. I looked up Lee's tapered crimp dies and it said not needed with newer than 86 dies. Please tell me if this is not the case and it would be recommended to get anyway. I was going to start with FMJs, but a guy at the shop said to go with SWC, he also said lead will extend the life of my barrel unlike the FMJs. No hard feelings...say it how it is, I'm here to learn.
  12. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    I wouldn't fire the rounds that are roll crimped in a semi-auto. I'd moon-clip them and borrow my buddy's Ruger and then blast away with them. Crimp Dies are either Taper crimp or Roll crimp; I've not seen any that do both; claims and bs from a sales rep are different, I've seen plenty of that. I would get a different set of dies and see what happens from there.

    PM sent
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011
  13. Warith

    Warith Member

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    From looking at both rounds the one on the left has no crimp and the one on the right has a roll crimp.

    acp rounds should have a slight taper crimp. When you look at the finished cartrage you she see it slightly tapper at the head(where the bulleti is).
  14. American Leader

    American Leader Well-Known Member

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    al2ride, you should have gotten a Lee Loading Manual/Book with your setup. I strongly suggest reading and re-reading this book, it is a wealth of knowledge and should help you correct all your problems. One of the guy's suggested a single stage press for learning and that is an excellent idea, however, if you don't want to run out and buy another press yet, you can do the same thing by following Richard Lees detailed manual step by step. It really works. Regarding the dies, Lee offers a factory crimp die as well. I went for years without them and got along fine, but am glad I added a factory crimp to each turret. The loads coming off are really sweet. I load 9mm, .38 Spl., 357 Mag., .44 Mag., .45 ACP, and .45 LC. By applying a factory crimp, you also have better control over pressure from round to round. The beauty of the Lee book is it covers all of these things and if you still have a question, just email them for a quick answer. The Lees are experts.
  15. mikld

    mikld Active Member

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    Look at this:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headspace_(firearms) . As you can see, the case is straight sided and must fit the chamber all the way to the chamber end. If your ammo doesn't fit, somewhere on the case it is larger than the chamber. (maybe a good set of dial calipers is in order?) When you flare the case mouth, the case mouth becomes larger than the chamber. After you seat the bullet, the case is still larger than the chamber, so you must make it smaller to feed. To do this, use a "taper crimp die" to remove the flare you put in the case for bullet seating. You are not crimping the case, just removing the flare. For the ammo you pictured it looks like the one on the left has no crimp and the one on the right is roll crimped (the names tell exatly the method of crimping; the taper crimp die has a slight tapered ID to push the case sides down at an angle and the roll crimp die "rolls" the brass into the bullet with a curved portion of the die ID.). I don't know what Lee is saying about not needing a taper crimp die, but I added an RCBS taper crimp die to my Lee 45 ACP die set (on my 4 hole turret press) and have no problems loading for my 1911 and Ruger P90. I personally don't recommend the Lee Factory Crimp Die for lead bullets 'cause it can swage the OD of the bullet small enough to cause leading.

    I wouldn't bother with trying to shoot those roll crimped cartridged, just pull them (or toss them in the "later" can). It looks like you went from no crimp to too much crimp.

    As far as the "gun shop gurus", you need to understand that everyone has an opinion or a "better" idea. Get yourself a copy of ABCs of Reloading, or Lyman's 49th Edition Reloading Handbook and use the "how to" info in them; you won't go wrong using the info and data there. Plus they have a lot of good pictures and illistrations!

    I can't get the link above to work. Try clicking on "did you mean Headspace (firearms)"
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011
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