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Thread: Had trouble loading boolits as cast

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Had trouble loading boolits as cast

    I castes some .452 200gr SWCs this week. I'm waiting on a .452 sizer, but I thought I'd try to load them as cast.

    I had problems. Boolits were visibly not straight in the case. A couple of boolits got shaved even though the case mouth was generously flared. The section that shaved was the second driving band, and not the base.

    Is is this a common malady of loading unsized boolits? A couple of weeks ago I loaded these same boolits after running them through a .451 sizer and they were straight as an arrow, so not sizing is the only thing I can think of that's different.

    The boolits are not perfectly round. Most of them are .452 at their narrow point and .453 or .454 at their wide point. It's not a huge amount of out of roundness but it is there. Is it possible this is the cause?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Probably, are you using a Lee mold?
    Last edited by clum553946; 03-06-2017 at 08:51 AM.

  3. #3
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    randyrat's Avatar
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    I size .451 Accuracy, loading and feeding seems to be at it's best with no leading. I also run a separate taper crimp die than the seating die.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by clum553946 View Post
    Probably, are you using a Lee mold?
    Yes. Lee 2 cavity .452 200gr SWC.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Some of my lee molds are good, and I can load as cast without issues. Others seem to need a trip through the sizing die.

    It does take some time/practice to learn just how much to flare the case mouth. You don't want to overflare and work the brass more than is needed. But you should be able to have it "grab" the cast boolit and have it stay put while you put the case in the press and run it in.

    This is also one of those area's where to me you run into conflicting reports.
    Larger boolits are IMO easier to cast, but are harder to load. Where a say 30 caliber boolit may be harder to cast. But for example the .30-30 to me is a joy to slide those boolits in. That nice long neck, and the 30 caliber boolits to me slide in straight and easy. Although I do think that a little Ben's Liquid lube or Alox on the base does make them slide better.

    Stick with it do not let it throw you. You can do this. You just have to learn how and master the skills.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    I had that exact result when I loaded a few that I thought were sized.
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  7. #7
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    You may need to taper the inside of the neck more.I was shaving some off the bullet and this cured the problem.
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  8. #8
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    Bullets sized .452 and larger may not chamber in some "match" chambers with some brass. As randyrat suggests .451 always works for me too. The seating problems can easily be solved with correctly belled case mouths and a seating stem that fits the bullet nose correctly. The seating stem can be modified of the easiest is to use some epoxy in the stem "bedding it" so to speak to fit the bullet nose. If your bullets are TLs lube before sizing lightly (just enough for a "golden" shade). then lube again. Let dry completely before sizing or loading.

    Larry Gibson

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Sometimes those Lee molds cast out of round thus requiring resizing. Try the.452 & see if that corrects the problem. If not, go down to .451. If it's in the cards down the road, look at Noe molds, their quality is very good!
    Quote Originally Posted by jamesp81 View Post
    Yes. Lee 2 cavity .452 200gr SWC.

  10. #10
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by clum553946 View Post
    Sometimes those Lee molds cast out of round thus requiring resizing. Try the.452 & see if that corrects the problem. If not, go down to .451. If it's in the cards down the road, look at Noe molds, their quality is very good!
    Been salivating over a few of those, but not in the budget right now. Maybe later.

    I know if I crimp my case mouth to .471 my guns will chamber .452 boolits. Didn't figure that out until recently with advice from folks here. Until then I'd been taking .452 commercial cast bullets and swaging them down with a Lee FCD to get them to chamber. It worked and didn't lead, but I'd bet good money that a softer .452 boolit will shoot straighter, so as you say I'm going to try .452 sizing first and see what happens.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I like to try and load "as cast" on a number of different boolits and calibers but sometimes, you just have to size. I don't load 45 ACP - am just adding that to my line-up but I load 45 Colt. I can't remember which mold it is that I have (design/weight) but if I remember correctly, it's an old Ideal mold - and it casts a little out of round. I tried loading as cast and it just wasn't a good thing with the boolit so I know I have to size from that mold. I have had to ply with the flaring at times as well and I like to put minimum flare but sometimes, you just have to increase it and then iron it out in the crimping stage. I size with the Lee push throughs and I've accumulated enough of the sizers that I am pretty well covered for any possible size I need just in case I have to size and can't shoot as cast.

    If you use your sizer and still have some issues, you might consider getting a Lyman M die or one of Al's expanders on the NOE site. I use an M die on a number of my cartridges and I refer to it as my "shoe horn die" to get the boolit in the case without problems.

  12. #12
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    back the taper off and just seat some.
    if that fixes the problem use 2 separate steps, I use 2 steps any way.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

  13. #13
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    Might look into an NOE pistol expander plug. At $6.50 they fit in the Lee universal expander and provide a consistent neck size plus a set amount of case flare. http://noebulletmolds.com/NV/index.php?cPath=89 can't say exactly what size you need, that has to be a touch (1 or 2 thousandths is common) under the bullet size. In my use I backed the powder through expander die up to where it did not flare and added this die ahead of it. I can feel a more smooth and consistent pressure when seating bullet. Seems to squeeze the lead down less too, no shaving because expander size is based on bullet size.

    Works well on 4 hole turret if you seat and crimp in one, or if you size and de-prime as own operation leaving that station for the expander plug.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master fredj338's Avatar
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    I size all my cast bullets but that issue usually is your seating stem. I have the same problem with short for caliber bullets in 45acp. I bought a Honrady seating die, solved my bullet tipping problems. Seating & crimping in separate steps also helps, but you need a flat point seating stem in your die.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
    I size all my cast bullets but that issue usually is your seating stem. I have the same problem with short for caliber bullets in 45acp. I bought a Honrady seating die, solved my bullet tipping problems. Seating & crimping in separate steps also helps, but you need a flat point seating stem in your die.
    Your suggested setup is precisely what I'm doing. Hornady seating die with flat stem, crimping on a Lee seater die with the seater stem backed way out.

  16. #16
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    try swapping them around.
    you should have no problem seating a 452-453 diameter boolit, unless your cases have been sized down to about 440sumthin ID
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

  17. #17
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    You need to understand a boolit mold. The hole is round when cold but shrinks 90 to the parting line when hot. The hotter the mold the smaller the boolit will be in that direction. It is why I avoid frosted boolits.
    When I make my molds I get them up to casting temps and drop the cherry back in to turn with a wrench and you will not believe the metal it removes. I then get almost perfectly round boolits.
    But the guys are correct and you need to size them. I would say .451" for the ACP too.
    I also avoid all fancy crimp dies, seat and crimp in one operation with Hornady dies. In 63 years I never found a need to crimp separate with any caliber that needs a crimp.
    I will never crimp with a die that sizes the boolit and brass either, breaks tension as brass springs back.
    Don't over think and make it complicated, you will not gain.

  18. #18
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    rintinglen's Avatar
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    Loading boolits as cast is an "iffy" thing. If the stars line up right, especially with a low cost mold, you can get some decent blasting ammo. But very often, you run into out-of-round or over-sized boolits, in which case you are sort of like the guy who says "it hurts when I do this." Don't do that.
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  19. #19
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    Hold my beer and watch this.

  20. #20
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    Are you seating and crimping at the same time? I've had the crimp push up a ring of lead when doing so even on sized boolits. I've been seating and crimping separately for many years now. This fixed the issue for me.

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