Shooters Forum banner
  • Hello Everyone! Let us know what you would spend a $50 Amazon gift card on, HERE For a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About 5 years ago I became interested in cowboy action shooting but life had other plans and I never followed through. At the time, there was a well recommenced fellow who reloaded .45LC ammo (commercially) for a number of local shooters. I never used the ammo until about a week ago. When I load and fire a round, it fires ok. The problem is the reloads have not been fully resized when they were reloaded so some of the cartridges do not fully seat into the cylinder. This causes the cylinder to hang up not allowing it to rotate. I can see they have been fire formed in another firearm prior to being reloaded, but then they were not fully resized. Why this fellow did not full length resize ammo he knew would be used in other revolvers I cannot answer.
The question is - can the loaded cartridges be safely full length resized and it so, how would I go about it?
I have a Hornady LNL press.
Any help greatly appreciated.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,044 Posts
Not really. A round with bullet seated is too big to go in a resize die.
I would suggest pulling the cylinder and plunk testing all the ammo to sort out stuff that doesn't fit. Be aware also, not all chambers are the same in one cylinder. Find the smallest as the plunk test hole.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jimboro

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was afraid of that - maybe best to trade them to someone that can use them. I don't believe they are unsafe or won't fool with them, but with ammo so hard to get these days, looking for a way to save the investment.
Thanks for you prompt and courteous reply.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
317 Posts
Maybe a dumb question (my specialty! ), could the OP use one of those Lee carbide factory crimp dies w/ maybe the crimp funtion disabled/removed? A part of the carbide 4 die set but maybe available seperately? I personally have zero experience w/them but was thinking situations like this were what they are for. It will all depend on if the offending rounds will enter the carbide ring or not (as noted by JBelk above). All depends on the radii of the entrance to the carbide ring, which also impacts the ability to correctly size all the way down the case wall.

A concern to me has always been the spring back of the brass might be more than the lead, leaving loose or low pull bullets.

On another line of thinking, do rounds from other sources all fit your chambers? It is possible (but not likely) your chambers are under sized.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
317 Posts
One more thought. I had this incomplete size problem on my early attemprs to reload .357 Mag. It was traced to a carbide die w/a very large entry radius.

Ok. 2 thoughts. Is it possible the faulty .45LC cases are ballon head? Cowboy loads, therefor being low pressure, & a bulge @ the base? Just a thought. Might want to pull a few bullets just to know.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,044 Posts
I don't think I've ever seen a balloon head cartridge except it collections. AFIK, cartridge cases have been drawn from strip since about 1895.

In the early '70s, a neighboring county had a problem. Their Star machine was slightly out of time and seated about 100K 38 wadcutters just a little crooked. Every case showed a bulge on one side and they wouldn't chamber. I had a good friend at the FSU Earth Sciences Lab that was as good a machinist and unpapered engineer I've ever known. He made a machine to straighten ever round. There was a base plate with a rim width groove down it. The ammo was fed in by gravity to a steel wheel turning about 100rpm that was suspended by strong overarm (old punch press frame) over the base plate and adjust down to cartridge diameter over the base plate with two rollers set flush so that the cartridge was held like a Vee block. When a bulged cartridge made its way to the wheel the wheel spun it one revolution and ironed the lump out slick as deer guts on a pump handle. At one revolution, the downhill roller was released by a cam which released the repaired round. It rolled the lump out of about a hundred thousand bad rounds in one day.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jimboro and Pudfark

·
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Joined
·
38,163 Posts
Lee factory CARBIDE crimp die would be your best hope of avoiding pulling all the bullets and starting over. Not the stab-type crimp die that they also make (unsure if those are available in .45 Colt, but they might and the difference is important).

Best of luck.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pudfark

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,044 Posts
Since carbide is applied to dies in a 'ring', I think the die body that would be doing the work is steel. That's not a bad thing, even mild steel resizing dies will last 10k rounds.
When I had access to a metallurgical lab, I asked the head guy about carbide dies. He said bring one in and I'll show you a trick.
He waved a hot torch over the outside of the die near the mouth until it turned straw (700F) and tapped it. The carbide ring fell out. It measured .0006 larger than the ground socket it was in. He said it's probably a cryo fit process with warm dies and cold rings. One tap to seat firmly and when they equalize in temp and get their final polish, near undectable.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Im2Tall2Play2!

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,007 Posts
Good story JBELK. . Many years ago in a four months period I loaded about 5000 rds. Of 308 winchester and buy not paying attention the sizing die worked lose not enough that you would notice but I had about 1/3 of then that didn't fully resize so I had a friend turn the neck out of a lee 308 full sizing die so I could.
full length size the loaded cartridges .. young and dumb .. but it worked great saved a bunch of work .. that 308 die hangs on the side of the loading bench along with a few other goof ups to remind me how easy it is for things to go wrong. .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Some really good suggestions along with a couple of great stories. I’m gonna take my Marlin .45 out tomorrow and see if problem can be something I can deal with. I really appreciate you all jumping in with suggestions. Thanks.
 

·
Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
Joined
·
11,812 Posts
I don't think I've ever seen a balloon head cartridge except it collections. AFIK, cartridge cases have been drawn from strip since about 1895.
I have some 45 Colt and 44 special balloon head cases (Winchester) from the early 50's. Most of the 44 Specials I loaded as a kid were balloon head cases in a Tru-Line Jr.

Anyways

Balloon head cases have been out of production for quite some time and the likelihood of any still being around and used by anyone who knows what it is is very remote.

RJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,236 Posts
When you say: "I can see they have been fire formed in another firearm prior to being reloaded, but then they were not fully resized.", how are you judging that, is it by incomplete sizing die burnishing marks on the case, or can you see a larger diameter from fire forming in an oversize chamber?
If it is visibly oversized, you may be able to 'shrink' it down slightly by running them into your seating die, rather than your sizing die. All dies are not created equal and your seater may just act as a 'semi-sizer', if you get my drift, and it would be worth the few minutes to test it. If you try it, just be careful of your crimp setting, back it off to start.

P.S. Edit: I just went downstairs to test my theory. One of my sets of 45 Colt dies are a set of RCBS steel dies (not Carbide) dated 1970. I took some fired cases and tried them, by finger, in the seater die. They would go in all the way, but with a snug fit, meaning no wobble or side to side movement, so they touched all around. I could not finger enter those same cases into the sizer die, so the seater is obviously larger...it has to be! Those fired cases had no visible bulges, but if they had, that seater die would have had at least some degree of sizing effect. And, since it is a seater die, it is entirely safe to size down a loaded round...worth a try!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,119 Posts
The Lee Carbide Factory Crimp die is a better option. The carbide rings in them are designed to ensure the OD of a finished cartridge does not exceed SAAMI maximums. You simply unscrew the crimp ring adjuster/retainer at the top of the die and drop the ring into your hand and set it aside. When you put it in your press It will then act as an OD corrector.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Allen

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,236 Posts
The Lee Carbide Factory Crimp die is a better option. The carbide rings in them are designed to ensure the OD of a finished cartridge does not exceed SAAMI maximums. You simply unscrew the crimp ring adjuster/retainer at the top of the die and drop the ring into your hand and set it aside. When you put it in your press It will then act as an OD corrector.
I've never used one. Would the seated bullet diameter present any problem (or compromise the fit of bullet in case 'neck) as the loaded round passes through the remaining carbide ring?
P.S. Just looked at this cutaway view, so I now see how it works, obviously has clearance for the loaded bullet. So, it's larger than a conventional sizer die.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,119 Posts
If you were to put an oversized cast bullet in your case that expanded the OD of the case over the bullet to exceed SAAMI specs, then the die would squeeze it down by squeezing the brass to spec, but otherwise, it is pretty much just for catching sizing or other odds and ends of fit problems. Many folks swear by it for feed and function insurance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
My vote is for the Lee carbide factory crimp die. I use them like that all the time.... 👍
Folks I have been using the carbide die to fix this little problem I use a RCBS carbo die for this operation I find the Lee die to have a larger ID. some of my revolver loads go through this process, I take the Cylinder out and use it as a go/no go
gauge. On a non carb I just use a bit of sizing lube on the case and run them through the die then use the gauge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
410 Posts
The largest permissible size of a .45 Colt cartridge is .480 and that's what the Lee die sizes them to. The chamber dimensions according to SAAMI for the .45 Colt is .484 to .489. My chamber is .487 in my Uberti 73. The problem I have with .45 Colt when I size cases is a standard resize die will take the case down to about .468 or there about depending on who made the die. I have two different brands and they vary by .002 from each other. That works the brass way more than I'm happy with. My own opinion is SAAMI should not have allowed so much clearance in the chambers. I read they did that because older chambers used .454 diameter bullets and the tolerances back in the day were very loose so to make sure everyone's ammo worked they made the chamber sizes larger. I wish they would tighten up those tolerances.
All these numbers come from my memory so I hope I remembered them correctly. 🤔
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top