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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The Lee Classic Loader in 45 ACP, unlike the loader in other calibers, has no provision to crimp the bullet in the case, relying instead on the simple friction of the bullet in the resized case.

I recently purchased a batch of Hornady 200 gr JSWC @ .451. A good number of these bullets appear to be slightly undersize. When loaded in Starline +P 45 ACP cases with the Classic Lee Loader, the undersize bullets can be moved deep into the cases using only finger pressure.

Edit:

The original version of this post proposed a solution. That solution is no longer recommended. See Post 27 for the explanation.
 

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Sum Ding Wong here. :D The "crimp" on semi-auto cartridges isn't to hold the bullet in place, but to insure good chambering. If there is no crimp operation available chambering issues would make many cartridges unusable. If the case mouth is flared or stretched during seating, it may not chamber properly. With properly sized cases neck tension should be enough to hold a bullet in place. I would imagine the Loader uses a taper crimp.

IMO; The Lee Factory Crimp die is a solution looking for a problem.
 

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Check your expander. Sounds like it might be a little over sized. Should be about .449" in diameter or less. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
k57
"Check your expander ..."
Would if I could. There is no expander functionality in the Lee Classic Loader for 45ACP.

This is what we're talking about. The picture shown is generic ... the 45ACP kit does not use the expander (middle, right side).
 

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k57
"Check your expander ..."
Would if I could. There is no expander functionality in the Lee Classic Loader for 45ACP.

This is what we're talking about. The picture shown is generic ... the 45ACP kit does not use the expander (middle, right side).
"Please note: the Classic Lee Loader neck sizes only. This is not recommended for semi, pump and lever action guns."

Copied this directly from Lee's link (printed in BOLD type right up front). Of course, real men don't read instructions...;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
"Please note: the Classic Lee Loader neck sizes only. This is not recommended for semi, pump and lever action guns."

Copied this directly from Lee's link (printed in BOLD type right up front). Of course, real men don't read instructions...;)
This is probably the most arrogant and ill-informed post that I've run across on this forum.

My original post was a description of a problem that could represent a safety matter to anyone using the Lee Loader @ 45ACP and my solution to that problem. Just that, nothing more.
 

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pell, I should have known that since I started with the same tool. I was thinking their basic press kit for some reason.

It could be that the cases are not being resized to a small enough diameter to give a tight fit for the bullet. I'd call LEE, they'll probably replace the tool. Life will be much easier when you are able to get a press and regular dies. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
k57

I don't think it's the tool. I've loaded Rainier 200 gr plated SWC with no functional problem in a BH 45LC/45ACP convertible, SR1911, and Glock 21. My son caught the setback problem with the Hornady bullets when he function-checked them in the SR1911.

The loader is certainly a minimalist technology, well-suited to the rigors of the Zombie Apocalypse, but I find that I do enjoy using it.
 

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One thing to remember is that the jacketed Hornady bullets are .451" in diameter and the Rainiers are .452". That extra .001" could be making a difference and preventing setback where you're having a setback problem with the jacketed bullet that is smaller in diameter. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
k57

Sound point, but the Rainiers were also .451 and I did verify that on receipt (Starrett micrometer).

I've not yet measured the Hornadys ... I bought 500 and the "problem" is running about 6 per 50 and, truth be told, I don't relish the prospect of measuring a statistically valid sample.

In a sense, though, it doesn't matter. Since I now know that this can happen, I've incorporated the FCD as a "finish" on all 45ACP rounds. Just seems prudent.

I also load 357Mag with the Lee Loader and that's very straight-forward. The loader kit for 357 provides both expansion for bullet insert and crimp.
 

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I not about to disagree with a Starrett Mic, but its strange that you're not having an issue with the Rainiers if they're also .451". The only other question I have is what brass are you using? I'm hoping you'll tell me it's mixed headstamp brass because Remington in particular has a thinner casewall that might account for the poor neck tension you're getting with 6 out of 50 cases. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sorry, k57, it's all Starline +P. Case history is unremarkable ... shot and reloaded with Rainiers then shot and reloaded with Hornadys.

If it's of interest to you, I'll do some measurements. Won't measure the "problem" bullets as they've been through the FCD, but I'll pick a random dozen and let you know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sampling
The Hornadys were received as a 500 piece bulk pack. A "handful" was removed from the top and transferred to a smaller container for use. Bullets from this container yielded the "problem" cartridges. For measurement, a dozen random bullets from this smaller container were selected.

While the sampling does not withstand strict scrutiny, the results are considered to be casually informative.

Only two examples of the Rainier bullets remain: a damaged bullet and an intact witness retain. The witness retain bullet was measured.

Measurement
Measurement was made using an older Starrett 231. Micrometer zero was confirmed before the measuring session. Data were read and recorded to 4 decimal places. The first 4 Hornadys were measured at the base and the shoulder. There was no measurable taper from base to shoulder. The Hornady data recorded and reported were from the middle of the body.

Only 1 intact Rainier bullet was measured. Again, no taper in the body, but the bottom edge is beveled. Measurement was @ the middle of the body. (Note: another single sample of the Rainier bullets was previously measured to a nominal .451 with a Starrett 233).

The photo

Hornadys @ left (note the thickness of the jacket). Loaded rounds @ center, 1 with finger pressure setback. Rainier @ right (the "wrinkles" on the damaged piece are actually accordion folded plating)

Data
Rainier: 1 measured
1 @ .4511

Hornady: 12 measured
1 @ .4510
1 @ .4508
2 @ .4507
2 @ .4506
5 @ .4505
1 @ .4504

This should not be considered a dig at the Hornady bullets. It's a fine product and, nominally, a .451 product that would work well in 99.99% of applications.

In looking closely at the bullets, it's easy to imagine why the Rainier appears to be closer to and tighter in spec … the plating is vanishingly thin, allowing the lead slug to dominate the dimension. The Hornady jacket appears to be about 0.025 in thickness and is probably more difficult to produce to a tight specification.

If we assume that my Lee Loader body is in spec, but loose, then the smaller diameter fraction of the Hornadys may well have caused the problem.
 

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This is probably the most arrogant and ill-informed post that I've run across on this forum.

My original post was a description of a problem that could represent a safety matter to anyone using the Lee Loader @ 45ACP and my solution to that problem. Just that, nothing more.
Well, pell, talk about "ill informed" :eek:. Perhaps your assumption that the 45 ACP Lee Loader has no crimp function is wrong. Improper use of reloading tools is dangerous, not the design of the tools, so your "solution" has no merit. It seems you are refusing input that came directly from the tool's manufacturer. You obviously either haven't read the instructions or have been using the tool wrong. Directly from Lee's tech support (my exact question was "What type of crimp does the Lee Loader ap-ply to 45 ACP cases?");

Hi Michael,

The crimp that is applied to the 45ACP case is a taper crimp.

Thanks,


Peter
Customer Service

Lee Precision, Inc.
4275 Highway U
Hartford, WI 53027
phone: 262-673-3075

Ticket Details

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ticket ID: NSP-829-76055
Department: TechSupport
Type: Issue
Status: Closed
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Instruction

This is a portion of the instruction sheet included with the Lee Loader. Please note the third paragraph, Step 9.

Use of the Lee FCD does not prevent proper headspacing in a BH 45ACP, an SR1911, or a Glock 21.

I cannot explain the answer provided by the Lee Customer Service Rep. Perhaps he was overly excited and a little bit confused.


 

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To an experience reloader, reading those generic instrictions and knowing how semi-auto cartridges headspace, they would know the generic instructions are for roll crimp rounds (fyi, roll reimping is when the mouth of the die is "rolled" into a cannalure or crimp groove in a bullet. Not for cartridges that headspace on the mouth). Lee's 45 ACP Loader taper crimps (fyi, a taper crimp smoothes out the mouth of the cartridge, swaging it into the side of the bullet. But, for 45 ACP, no crimp is applied just "deflaring" or straightening the case mouth). Sorry, I thought I was addressing an experienced reloader...

But, I may be wrong (and all the reloads that were shot in my Ruger P90 and 1911M1 have not fed, nor shot correctly. Hmmm, I wonder what happened to the last 2 thousand 45 ACP cartridges I loaded with 230 gr. LRN and 185 LSWC?:p Ammo Fairy stold them :D).
 

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In post #13 you said you were running them through the LEE FCD so it sounds like you are taper crimping. Correct me if I'm wrong. Having said that, taper crimping will NOT prevent setback. Setback is prevented by case neck tension and obviously you're not getting enough with 6 out of 50 cases. Since you're not having an issue with the Rainier bullets, and looking at the samples you measured, it could be that some of the Hornady bullets are undersized. Still though, your resizer should be returning the cases to a small enough diameter that even the undersized Hornady's should work. Since there is no expander, it sounds like the resizing die may be out of spec. One more thing you might want to do is to check case neck tension with the loads with the Rainier bullet. Firmly press the cartridge into your loading bench nose down. Good neck tension will prevent them from setting back deeper into the case any more than .001 or .002". If your Rainier loads pass this test, the handloads with properly sized cases using the Hornady bullet should also pass the test. Since it's likely that at least 6 out of 50 will not pass the test then it's one of two issues, the undersized bullet, or not enough diameter reduction with the resizing die. I would call LEE and report the issue. At least they should send you a new resizer. I'd also recommend you at least go to a single stage reloading outfit before too much longer. ;)
 
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