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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

well i was just wondering, i have just bought all the required stuff for me to begin loading my pistol. (i have been loading rifles for a long time, so all i have had to buy is the dies
)

But the one difference here is the dies, (i have brough the dillon dies for my .40
And there are 3. the thured being the crimping die. For the time being, i will be setting these dies up in my RCBS rockchucker press, And am looking for any help, words of experience etc. in how i should best setup this die.

I havent yet got my pistol, and hopefully now the time for it to be complete is less then a month. So being the smart one
i thought that i had better buy all my ammo, etc now, and get a head start on the loading, as i know its going to be a slow process on the single stage press.

I have brought 500 unprimed brass, primers, powder etc.etc.etc though, i plan to make up around 50/100 rnds, b4 the pistol is finished in case for whatever reason the gun doesnt like the rounds. (the spec's im loading to, are the specs the person making the pistol for me has given, so i trust that there should be no probles, though i just thought id be extra carefull.)

I will be using 200grain non jacketed projectile. (i think that the style if it, would be what you's call (im not 100% sure, but i think it looks like what yous would call a Semi wad cutter/ flat nose...???

thought, id doesnt have any crimp line on the projectile, or a lube line/ ring? around it either... I think they are called a hardcast? molicoat type thingie
? (they are black)

anyways, im looking for any tips in setting up the crimp die, so far all i have been told, is that i dont wont to give it much a crimp. Just a tiny bit on the very end of the case.

Other then tips, in setting up etc. i would also like to know about the ideas benind the different styles of crimping and there effects if anyone doesnt mind explaining it to me.

any help will be greatly appreciated,
thanks

Travis
 

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It does sound like you have SWC (semi-wadcutter) bullets. They are what is called a "truncated cone" shape--that is, a cone projecting from an obvious shoulder, with the tip cut off to leave a flat nose.

The setup of the die will vary with the exact style of SWC you have; that is, there is no single OAL (overall length) for all weights and shape variations of the SWC bullet. This is because the length of the cone projecting beyond the shoulder can vary considerably. With the regular lead ones I use, for instance, the difference between a 185 gr. and 200 gr. is almost entirely achieved by reducing the cone--the bullet remains the same from shoulder to base. Once you have an OAL for a given style of bullet, then you want it consistent for that style.

While theoretically a .45ACP bullet headspaces on the shoulder of the cartridge case, in my experience this is seldom the situation with the reloads of SWC's that I use. The cases shorten with firing, first of all, and more significantly there is a tendency for the gun to headspace on the shoulder of the bullet--rather than the case--anyway.

The goal is to leave just enough of the shoulder of the bullet projecting from the case to get a good fit in the chamber. I like to have the bullet just engaging the lands, but not sticking out so far that the cartridge does not seat fully into the chamber. Usually it's about a sixteenth of an inch or less, but that's for my gun.

Your die should be a taper crimp, not a roll crimp, if it's new. Look for "TC" on the box. You are NOT trying to crimp into a cannelure on the bullet. The die will simply crimp lightly into the side of the bullet. Follow the directions that came with the die to set up the crimp. You may have to adjust the crimp slightly after some test shooting. Many forumites recommend getting a fourth die called a "factory crimp die" which is preset for a perfect crimp. This will be a worthwhile investment in the future.

Once the crimp is set, and with the seating plug for SWC (not roundnose; you should have two) installed in the die, tighten down the seating plug partway and see how far it seats a bullet into the case. You can always adjust it down further and reseat the same test bullet, but if you seat the bullet too deeply, you have to start over. Get it to the point where about an eighth of an inch of bullet shoulder sticks out beyond the case.

Remove the barrel from the gun. To get a feel for how a case fits in the chamber, resize a fired case with the first die and drop it into the chamber. The case will headspace on the mouth, as it's supposed to. Your reload doesn't have to go that far into the chamber, but it shouldn't be dramatically different. In fact, with the extractor gripping the base of the case, the cartridge is often held away from the bottom of the chamber a bit anyway.

With regular lead bullets, you can apply ink from a marker to the shoulder area of the bullet before putting it in the chamber to see where it engages the lands and grooves of the barrel, and then adjust the depth of the bullet seating until it just barely touches them. With your black moly bullets, I dunno.

Some more pointers: the finished cartridge should drop cleanly into the chamber. If the fit is too snug, you may not have enough crimp or may have belled the case mouth too much with the expander die. If lead is shaved off of the bullet as it seats, you need to expand the mouth of the case more with the expander die. Excessive leading is usually a sign of too hot a load for the hardness of the lead bullet and/or the bullet jumping into the lands and grooves as it starts from the case.

Whew! That's enough from me. Have fun with it, don't be frustrated or afraid to experiment within reason. There's few things more satisfying than shooting X's with your own reloads!
 

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I think most of us just go with a .002 - .003 taper crimp. Measure at the case mouth before and after crimping. You really want a minimum amount of crimping in an auto round, so getting rid of any belling from the expander is the prime purpose.

Ammo for autos are normally taper crimped while revolvers use roll crimps.

The factory crimp die has to be adjusted just like any other, but also offers a carbide resizer that will prevent any oversized ammo from getting past.

I can't agree that .45 cases get shorter after firing but I've yet to see one get too long. Usually they will split first.

I don't load for the .40, but would think the same techniques used for the .45 auto would work for the .40.

[This message has been edited by Walking Point (edited 10-07-2001).]
 

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Originally posted by Walking Point:
I can't agree that .45 cases get shorter after firing but I've yet to see one get too long. Usually they will split first.

[This message has been edited by Walking Point (edited 10-07-2001).]
Rifle cases lengthen thru repeated use, auto pistol cases actually shorten thru repeated use. I have some older 45 acp brass circulating thru my regular brass supply that is getting noticeably shorter.
However, it still works fine. Shoot 'em until you lose them or they split.



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johnnyb
A slow hit beats a fast miss
 

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I have to wonder how it's possible for me to trim cases more than once with a non-adjustable Lee trimmer if auto cases shrink. I manage to do it accidentally fairly often since I normally trim newly acquired brass from whatever source. Invariably some of my older brass finds it's way into the mix and much of it finds itself coming in contact with the cutter blade. This is with .45 auto cases of various manufacture. Again, if I waited for them to exceed max length, they would split first.

My .38 Super cases lengthen quite noticeably after no more than 2 firings. 10mm cases are not much different.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Matt, yes i will be loading 200grn projectiles for my .40cal (as i said up the top
)

I have brought 500rnds of this one style projectile, which came highly recomended by the man building my pistol, and it is generally the one used by most of the people over here shooting standard class STI's/ SVI's.

Though, the way im planing it at the moment, i will be to basically just run these rounds throught the gun to run it in. Then i will be trying out a few different loads to see what i like/ the gun likes. The first thing i plan to try, is the 180grn projectiles, and then some different powder.

Walking Point, and everyone alse, thanks for the help.

Though, im still not 100% clear on a few things.

Walking point, you say that most of you's just use a .002/.003 taper crimp. So what you mean by this is: If i size the case, and measure it b4 the projectile is seated, and then seat the bullet, and begin crimping it, the "general" crimp, is about right when the case end, is around .002/.003 smaller then the measurement taken just after the case has been sized?

Ed. thanks for the lengthie reply. Though i am not clear about one thing you talk about.

I understand about the bullet seating depth etc. though i presumed that like with rifles, the 'thing' to achieve was to seat the projectile out as far as possible (within reason) but not actually into the start of the rifling/ lands. Though i know that i have NO experience reloading pistols (and will be different in all different pistols), i would assume that at least, making the overall lenght of the bullet, as such that the projectiles shoulder is already in contact with the rifleing b4 firing, there would be a ,sum-what increase in pressure?

Other then that, one other thing that comes to mind that has been bugging me is about the primers.The primers ive been told to use (by the guy making the pistol) are small rifle. (Winchester) Is there any problems with this? With regards to pressure?

What are everones different views on using rifle primers.

Thanks again for the help
Travis


[This message has been edited by Travis (edited 10-09-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Travis (edited 10-09-2001).]
 

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You've got the right idea about the crimp. You're looking for the reduction in size at the case mouth.

Except for certain specialized uses, rifle primers are for rifles. High pressure .38 Super loads use rifle primers for the extra strength. I'd recomend a 10mm over the .40 if you want extra power, otherwise you may want to increase your life insurance.

100% feeding is my main concern when thinking of seating depth. From what I've seen with SWCs in the .45 auto, when you make them too long, the round won't chamber completely and the gun won't lock up. With cast bullets seated at 1.250", which is too long for the Lee tumble lube SWC, I have gotten this condition, as I have one gun that likes this length. All indications(expecially velocity) when shooting in other 1911s show no sign of excessive pressure although I'm sure if taken to excess this could be the case.
 

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Originally posted by Travis:

What are everones different views on using rifle primers.

[This message has been edited by Travis (edited 10-09-2001).]
The gunsmith who built my 45 1911, also a long time competitor, said he used small rifle primers in every thing that takes a small primer. He doesn't even purchase small pistol primers. He uses small rifle in his 38 super and 38/357 revolvers.

I tried small rifle in the 9mm, and could tell no difference in performance what so ever. I didn't try them in the revolvers, simply because my match revolvers are primer sensitive.

I use small pistol primers in the pistols, of course but it's nice to know I could substitute if ever I need to.

By the way. I don't load .40 cal, but I listen to the guys at the matches who do. Isn't a 200 grain bullet kind of heavy?

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johnnyb
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Discussion Starter #11
Hi once again,
well now the only question i have is this


What exactly is everyones problem in the US with using 200grain projectiles in a .40cal standard dev. IPSC gun?

I can totally understand this if it was an open dev. race gun, but it isnt. There aint gonna be any compensators on the end of it etc, and it isnt going to be loaded to anything more then what meets the PF. The load that my gunsmith uses, and tells everyone to use in it, makes over 190PF all day everyday. With this load for the last howevermany years including this year, he has kept up his GM grade as well.

Correct me if im wrong, but really i thought that in this game, there are many variables, to which inside the boarders, it all really comes down to personal pref.

All i will be doing, is like i said, trying out some of these different loads to see what i like, starting with what i would have thought the smartest, being the one suggested by the person building it. Honestly he swears by it, and i think that he would have a go at anyone that tried to tell him otherwise
hes one of them old guys (well old compaired to me) who stands by his ways, which i guess is fair enough, as he has more than proved over many years that it can work.

So i am open to all suggestions, and i think its fair to say that one doesnt like the way the 200grner feels in there pistol of choice, but its not to say it is dangerous as long as the pistol is made to cope with the level of load, and the load is developed carefully and safely.

Hopefully it wont be much longer and i can tell everyone how she feels, and what i personally think of the 200grn'ers in my pistol. But once again, it isnt a half supported barrelled glock, so i dont think its fair to say that .40cal's and 200grn projectiles are not safe etc. (that being said, im sure that given the wrong person any caliber weapon, and reloading equip. things could become dangerous.)

So im not sure what the difference is, but over here, most of the people who ive spoken to use either the 180grn or 200grn in there Std. dev. .40cal IPSC pistols


ps, thanks everyone for all the help so far.
Travis
 

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You need a loading manual...

...If you already have one and have been reading up on your loads, maybe you should check some of the IPSC pages on the web and get an idea of what types of loads most are using in the 40 S&W...Have Fun...Do get some more opinions...There are as many as there are people and you may run across one or two with different ideas from your own that may save you a little extra work...I don't think anyone here would want you to dispute your gunbuilder, there are just different ways to achieve the same results and anyone that is so set in their way as to discount others' approach may tend to slow your progress instead of further it...Something to think about as you "begin" what some have been doing successfully for many years...Good Luck

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi gyp_c

and thanks for the view. I couldnt agree more, and i plan on trying out as many different loads as i can.

I only wish that over here we were using the same powder/ projectiles as yous, or vise versa. Though im sure that with the variety of shooter here, and wide range of projectiles around, i will be buisy for some time


Though, now after reading the post about breaking in... im thinking about holding off on the 200grn'ers for a while and running through some Jacketed rounds first. (all using Winchester brass, and small rifle primers) Then i will be running the 200grners with what we have over here (AP50 and AP70 from ADI- an Australian powder maker) working up the loads, then i will try the 180 grn projectiles, and then i think i will try rnds down too 150grn's.

thanks again for the comments, and fingers CROSSED! my pistol might hopefully be finished in the next 2/3 weeks!

Travis
 

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G'luck Trav and stick to it! It'll all be worth it when you get what ya' want!

Good, safe loadin' and enjoy yerself...that's the biggie


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!!!Molon Labe'!!!
 

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I've not bought any Dillon dies yet, but I think their die sets are designed for use on a progressive press, where the powder-charging station replaces the normal (Lee, RCBS, Hornady) expander / belling die.

So, I'm guessing your Dillon die set is missing one die that you may need for loading on a single-stage press. (If you're used to loading bottle-neck rifle cases, you typically don't need an expander die, while for straight-wall cases i.e. 40-S&W, you do need the expander-die. Dillon makes a 'powder die' for this function, but I also think their powder die may not function correctly in a single-stage press. --CC
 
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