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Discussion Starter #1
:(I guess I should have expected some problems after not doing this for 20 years. The first batch of 50 functioned perfectly and were more accurate then the WWB or Blazer Brass stuff I usually shoot. They smoke some...guessing it's the bullet lube because the powder burned clean. These were once-fired R-P brass, Fed 150's, Oregon Trail Laser Cast 200 gr SWC's and 5.8 gr of W231. The second batch were exactly the same except the powder charge was 5.2 gr. I had 5 of these that didn't chamber completely. All but 2 of them I got to chamber by giving a little rap on the back of the slide. It doesn't have anything to do with the powder charge difference. It's a case dimensions thing. I don't think I changed anything except I didn't bell the case mouths as much on these as I did the first batch. As a result, the bullets didn't seat as good as the others. Sometimes I got a little lead shaving during the seating process. Although I didn't change the seating depth, these seemed to seat slightly deeper. I didn't check the overall length on this batch. The first ones were 1.245".

I got distracted several times during loading the second batch. I also was running them through all the dies and completing one round before grabbing the next case. The first batch I did like I was using a Rockchucker...one step at a time, sizing 50, expanding 50, etc. I'm using a 4 die set - seater doesn't crimp. Crimper die is a taper crimp. The only thing I can think of is that I forgot to run some of them through the crimper. It's sucks to get old!

The Laser Casts did lead a little even though they are guaranteed not to. I shot them in my KP97D and it only had 250 rounds shot through it. Maybe it needs some more shooting with FMJ's to smooth the bore up. I guess it's back to bench and just be more careful this time.
 

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If I may, allow me to give you a little hint. Field strip and take the barrel out of the pistol you are gonna shoot them in and every so many rounds that you reload, take one and see if it chambers. This is a cheap cartridge checker! If it will chamber in the pistol barrel without any pushing then it should work fine.
 

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quote:Originally posted by rman

I had 5 of these that didn't chamber completely. All but 2 of them I got to chamber by giving a little rap on the back of the slide. . I don't think I changed anything except I didn't bell the case mouths as much on these as I did the first batch. As a result, the bullets didn't seat as good as the others. Sometimes I got a little lead shaving during the seating process.
It looks lik you found the problem. Just bell the cases a little more so that you quit shaving lead when you seat the bullet. As gunman said strip the gun and use the barrel to check your finished cartridges.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
quote:Originally posted by gunman42782

If I may, allow me to give you a little hint. Field strip and take the barrel out of the pistol you are gonna shoot them in and every so many rounds that you reload, take one and see if it chambers. This is a cheap cartridge checker! If it will chamber in the pistol barrel without any pushing then it should work fine.
Thanks...actually I did that. Good plan, but poor execution. I checked several in the first box that functioned great. Unfortunately, I got in a hurry on the second box and didn't check any. Dumb on my part after I made a change to the expander die. It's sure a lot easier on revolvers - just make sure you have a good crimp, and you're pretty much good to go!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
quote:Originally posted by 2400It looks like you found the problem. Just bell the cases a little more so that you quit shaving lead when you seat the bullet. As gunman said strip the gun and use the barrel to check your finished cartridges.
I think that was the problem...the lead kind of peels back and the cartridge is trying to headspace on it instead of the case itself. It's my fault - I checked the good box with the barrel, but didn't this one. Got in too big a hurry. I was trying to find a balance between belling too much and prematurely splitting the case mouths and belling just enough to seat the bullet without shaving. Obviously, I didn't get it right. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What do you think? Will the leading go away if I put some more FMJ stuff through it? This one really isn't even broken in yet. I've got a KP345 that has had 500 rounds through it. Maybe I'll try that next. Even with the 5.8 Gr of W231, velocity should be less than 900 fps. (I don't have a chronograph.) I wouldn't think those laser cast bullets should lead at that velocity. The barrel wasn't leaded severely, just enough to make cleaning a nuisance. I'm thinking a rough bore.
 

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I have heard others advise against shooting jacketed bullets after shooting lead bullets, but I have done it for over 25 years with no problem. I always shoot jacketed bullets after shooting lead and it makes clean up much easier. Now, I should say I do not shoot lead out of my automatics. I am talking revolvers here. The only time I shot lead bullets through my 9mm it leaded the barrel so bad it took me forever to get it out. So, I never have tried it since. (That was probably 15 years ago!) But, as long as the barrel is not just leaded so bad it could be obstructed, it should be fine.
 

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Tom

Had the same problem you did. I purchased a Redding taper crimp die and crimp in a separate operation. I hated dinking around with a seating and crimping die. I have a very short patience fuze.

Make sure you mic the rounds at the very neck and they measure no more than .470 and you will be fine. It works for me.

Good luck and good shooting.
 

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Rman, in a rifle they advise not shooting the hardcast after you've been shooting jacketed bullets for some time as it might ring the barrel unless you have given it a pretty good cleaning to get the copper out, I've never had a leading problem with laser cast but I only shoot it in .45 colt in my vaquero and .444 marlin. I don't really know if that might be related to your leading problem but you might check it out.
 

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i always try to clean out all the copper fouling before i shoot lead, i always get less or no leading that way.

using your barrel as a test guage is also a great tip. you leading problem may go away to after you increase the bell and avoid shaving the bullet.

sound like ya have a great start though just dont get to rushed, thats how i make all my mistakes.

edit: when ever i load swc's for acp i only leave about a fingernail width of lead above the rim.
 

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Hey Rman here's a gauge you can get for about $10.00 to check your reloads. They should fall in free and not stick out the other side. I check every one of mine and I haven't had a FTF since I got it.
Your going to have a little leading by the forcing cone,but you shouldn't have any down the barrel. When I shoot 200gr bullets I load 5.2grs of win-231 behind it and I don't have a big leading problem. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I always clean my guns really good after every range trip. I don't think the copper fouling is the problem, but I've been wrong before. I think the combination of not belling the cases enough and possibly a barrel that's a little rough might be the culprits. I always heard you should shoot a lot of jacketed bullets in a new handgun to smooth up the bore some before shooting cast. That could be just another old-wives tale. Strange - I used to think I was pretty much an 'expert' when it came to reloading. Well if I really was (I doubt it) I've sure forgotten a lot. That's a cool guage Baldy - where did you get it?

Thanks for all the help guys! I really appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I loaded up another box of .45's last night and tried to use everyone's advice. I won't always be this picky, but I did a few extra steps this time out of paranoia from the last batch. I cleaned the outside of the cases, resized and decapped them, lightly chamfered the inside and outside of the case mouth and cleaned the primer pockets. I reset my expander so that it does just enough belling to make the cast bullets start easily with no lead shaving. These bullets are bevel-based so they don't need a lot of bell. I adjusted the seater so that I have just enough shoulder exposed to crimp on. Overall length is 1.240. I adjusted the taper crimp die so that it does a light crimp. Hopefully it will be enough to keep the feed ramp from pushing the bullet back in the case. The case mouths all measure under .470 and they all headspace good in barrel. I loaded these with 5.2 gr of W231. Last time I couldn't see any real difference in accuracy between the 5.2 to 5.8 gr loads.

I hope these will function like the first box I loaded and not the second. I'll shoot these before I load any more. If everything works OK, I won't do all the extra steps next time. Getting the expander set right should do the trick.
 

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rman, just a thought, I has a similar problem a few months ago. Found out my sizing die wasn't run all the way down. Apparently the lock ring wasn't tight and the die had backed out just a tad. I use a Lee turret press with different turrets for each caliber already set up. Never had that happen before but carelessness on my part for not checking. Thing is I have a gauge like the one shown by Baldy and the few I checked were a bit snug but would go in. After running the sizer down like it should be, no more problem.
Baker
 

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most of the smoke is coming from the wax type lube they use on those cast bullets.almost all the comm. casters use magma lube (me also) to cut down on the smoke buy a bottle of the lee tumble lube.
just apply a light coat and let the bullets sit over night on wax paper to dry.it will really cut the smoke down and it is a great bullet lube.
pete
 

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Hey Rman sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. You can buy the gauge at the gun shop, reloading shop or you can order one from Dillon on line. They make them for several different calibers. I just use my cylinder on my revolvers. Keeps you from having to take your .45 apart everytime time you want to run a batch. Good luck and good shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks everyone for your input. It's really nice to be able to come here for help and get it from people who know what they're talking about. Just another reason I really like this forum. I'll take a look at Dillon's website - thanks Baldy.
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #18
quote:Originally posted by Baldy

Hey Rman here's a gauge you can get for about $10.00 to check your reloads. They should fall in free and not stick out the other side. I check every one of mine and I haven't had a FTF since I got it.
Your going to have a little leading by the forcing cone,but you shouldn't have any down the barrel. When I shoot 200gr bullets I load 5.2grs of win-231 behind it and I don't have a big leading problem. Good Luck.
Ordered one from Dillons today. Thanks for the tip Baldy!
 

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quote:Originally posted by rman
Ordered one from Dillons today. Thanks for the tip Baldy!
Did you have them put on the mailing list for The Blue Press?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
quote:Originally posted by 2400
Did you have them put on the mailing list for The Blue Press?
Nope - I was afraid Mrs. Rman would see the cover and think I was subscribing to Playboy! A man could get killed before he had a chance to explain.
 
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