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Discussion Starter #1
I never had a oppurtunity to ask a question about my techical delemma.  Thank's in advance for the info.
When I load lead bullets, they usually won't fit into the cylinder of my handgun.  I was told by others to resize the "loaded" round.  I don't like doing that.  Is there a better solution?
It is beause of this experience that I have stayed away from loading cast bullets in my rifles.
 

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Hi Sam, Give us a little more info and lets see what we can do.  You mentioned not being able to chamber the rounds in your cylinder. is this from the case not entering the chambers possibly due to bulged or buckled near the crimp? or the nose of the bullet being to large for the throats?  What diameter is your cast bullets? make of firearm? Pull up a chair and hang around as there are some very experienced cast bullet shooters on this forum that will help you get things straightened out.   Jim.
 

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Let's see, Jim,  I had no bulges of any sort.  I loaded .38, .357 , .44 spec. and .44 mag.   I use the right dies, ie 44 spec or 44 mag.  I don't use the special's to load magnums. I bought the lead from the normal distributors.  I was told the lead dia is greater than the jacketed.  That turned out to be true. The jacketed was the nominal dia, .357 or .429.  The lead  bullets were larger.  I just can't recall the exact size, but it was what ever was stated on the box.
So, I just ran the loads back through the sizing die.  I just use jacketed bullets now, and ocassionally I still need to run a few through my carbide sizing die.  The cases are ok, I clean them in the tumbler, check the length, size them if needed, and check them visually.  I don't know what I'm missing.  

I really perfer using lead for alot of reasons.  The most practical is cost, but I don't trust the expansion factor at pistol velocities.  My swc, loaded heavy will work on game animals, car bodies or what ever. I hope I can over come the problem of the bullet not entering the cylinder of my Smith&Wessons.  After sizing they work fine and the accuracy is next to phenominal.  Thanks for any suggestions.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Hey Sam,

Are the bullets too big for the throats of the cylinder?

Drop a bullet into each chamber (not a loaded round), see how far it goes in.  If it goes all the way through or at least as far as one of your resized rounds, that is not the problem.

If it stops short, either the chamber is dirty or the bullets are just too large.

See if you can color a loaded round with a dry erase marker or something similar, and see where it is hanging up.

Let us know and we'll try to help.
 

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Hi Mike G, I just checked one revolver, a S&W Classic. I have some others, but this is what I found quickly.  None of the Hornady 200 grn xtp would slide completely throughthe cylinder.  Four chambers would drop 240 grn Sierra's 2 would not go completely through.  Speer the same.  These were jackected bullets.  No lead bullets would pass through, and not even  the nose would be exposed outside the cylinder.  I wasn't surprised, lead bulletts were ,430 vs .429.  All the bullets would drop ok with a gentle push with a nail in back.
I'm very careful not to expand the mouth of the shell case too much when I decap the primers, but enough to allow the bullet to enter.  Some of the Rem brass seems thinner than WW or Federal shells.
I did have trouble loading some reloads even in my Marlin .44 mag.  So I guess I'm "stuck " resizing.  Thanks for any suggestions.  All the best.
 

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Sam,

Since the bullets will all push through the cylinder throats it sounds like they are a pretty good fit.

The advice to re-size after loading sounds like a good idea, but really isn't.  The probelm it creates is that the sizing die is too small and will excessively size the bullet.  The bullet, or at least the core, is relatively soft lead and will not spring back as much as the case and/or the bullet jacket.  This leaves the bullet core, on jacketed bullets, loose in the jacket.  It will leave the lead bullet with no neck tension and only being held by the crimp.  You can check this with the lead bullets by trying to turn the bullet in the case, odds are it will turn freely.  As a matter of fact, this is a trick used to make bullets easier to pull if you ever want or need to pull any bullets from loaded ammunition!

Lee makes a die specifically intended to solve the problem you are having.  It is the Carbide Factory Crimp die.  It works the same as your carbide sizing die, but the size ring is large enough to only reduce the cartridge to aprox. SAAMI maximum diameter so it should go into any SAAMI spec chamber.  With this die you use it as a fourth die in that you only seat in the seating die and then crimp in the Factory Crimp die.  Try it, it should solve yuor problems without creating another.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Sounds like your Smith has tight cylinder throats.  Sierra bullets generally run on the small side, and as you note, are the only ones to go all the way through the cylinder throats without a push.

Tight throats are not all that bad, as you have reported your gun is accurate, even when the loaded rounds have been resized.  So I'd probably not mess with the gun too much.

One other option to try is re-sizing your cast bullets.  You can get a simple Lee sizer which will fit your reloading press and work just great with already lubed bullets.

Or talk to your cast bullet supplier and see if they'll run a batch for you at .429" or whatever your jacketed bullets run.

Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks fellows.  I'll order a Lee Crimping Die and some "custom" made bullets from Beartooth,  after I bore check all my .44's.  All the best.
 

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Sam S.

I've never had the problem you've discribed...Butttttt I've got a possible solution that I learned of many years ago, when reloading dies and cylinder mouths were no where as tight and accurate as they are now.
I took the case expander, it could be the Lyman M die or what ever came with my reloading dies chcked the expander in a power drill and polished the portion that goes into the case. Not the flaring portion.
It seems to help with the grip on the bullet and makes for more uniform powder burn.
Jim
 
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