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Thread: Lyman Ammo checker

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Lyman Ammo checker

    So I invested in a Lyman Ammo checker for my large rifle and pistol calibers. I found that my handloads out of 10 2 will not drop into the Ammo checker. Now Iím not sure what that is exactly telling me or what to do. Is there a fix for this or is it scrap? Will a lee factory crimp die fix these?


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  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master
    mdi's Avatar
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    A Lee FCD will just cover up any problems, not fix anything. What calibers? Most ammo gauges are on the tight side of SAAMI specs., so good ammo sometimes will not gauge, but chamber fine. For semi-auto handgun ammo I use the plunk test. If I have gauge problems for rifle ammo, I'll measure every dimension I can on the rifle cartridge (and not forget to inspect the rims!) to locate where the cartridge is too big. I have had "problems" with cartridge gauges for 3 cartridges, both pistol (2) and rifle (1), and the gauges now reside in a drawer somewhere...
    Last edited by mdi; 11-09-2018 at 12:31 AM.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Mold
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    9mm


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  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Pull thr barrel out of your gun. Drop a cartridge in the chamber. It should fall all the way into the chamber (and "plunk") and when the barrel is inverted, the caartridge should fall out.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
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    Ok thanks. I only bought these cause I had an issue with my .308 and needed to bump the shoulder back. Figured well Iíll buy pistol gauge while Iím at it. Seems like I wasted my money


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  6. #6
    Boolit Master Walks's Avatar
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    I pull the bbl's out of my semi-auto's and do the "plunk" test that way.
    I do revolver ammo by dropping it into a RUGER NM Blackhawk & spinning it with the gate open. I use COLT SAA on half-cock in .44WCF & .38WCF. If they'll drop into an old COLT chamber they'll fit in any rifle.

    As a kid, I sat on the back porch with my DAD, cycling ammo thru rifles, he'd pull firing pins out of bolts first. Something I still do.
    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

  7. #7
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    kungfustyle's Avatar
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    What is going on, if you are using range brass, the col of the brass varies greatly. Separate the seating and crimping and that will help. If you want to get rid of the problem trim the brass. Lee quick trim has a good product for that because it grabs the brass and wont let it spin while you trim. The Lee trimmer will set you back just under $30 for the cutter and trim die.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Back to the device the OP asked about... a loaded ammo gauge is a valuable item if used properly. I dislike having to disassemble my guns to check ammo fit, and loading each round in an assembled revolver or semi-auto at my indoor loading bench just doesn't seem to be the safest strategy. I have no experience with the newer Lyman block-type gauge units , but found the Dillon gauges (one for each caliber) to be very helpful. I was hoping that the new Lyman unit would cover the revolvers well by having a hole for 327, one for 357, one for 44 Magnum, and one for 45 Colt. This would cover the cartridges mentioned and since the cases are cylindrical, would also cover the shorter versions of each caliber. Unfortunately, the most important (for me, at least) is the 327 which is totally absent.

    The semi-auto rounds provide a different challenge as most of these headspace on the case mouth, so there would have to be a separate chamber cut for each caliber and each length. OP, if you will check some of the "rejects" by the "plunk test" mentioned previously, you will be able to determine whether you really do need to adjust your seating and crimping (taper or roll) dies. I'm sure a very small adjustment would go a long way, but it may not be necessary if the Lyman gauge is just too tight (cut to minimum specs.) If a tight gauge is your problem, I would suggest you slowly and carefully lap it out to match your pistol's chamber requirement.

    Regards,
    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  9. #9
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    georgerkahn's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, I've invested in a L. E. Wilson cartridge gage for each caliber I load. Many years ago, I was shooting 10mm in Bullseye competition, and pretty much none of my loads chambered in my pistol -- this, after using an "ammo checker". The Wilson gage line was recommended to me by a saged shooter, and -- as I just wrote -- I now have one to complement, each, 25 of the 29 calibers I load.

    Re what you have, I can only speak to what *I* did, which I'm sure is labeled as 'dangerous, and only a stupid fool with suicidal wishes would do'. I ran them again through the bullet seating, followed by crimp dies. I have/use Lee Factory crimp dies, too, and these marvelous little buggers have sections near their bottoms which squnch (technical term) the top end of your cartridge to grip the bullet. GREAT dies! -- for this purpose. If, say, however -- the bullet you've loaded's diameter plus the case-wall thickness equal a total diameter greater than SAAMI chamber specs -- it is most doubtful. You'll just have a wonderfully crimped bullet in a still too-fat case. What another posted suggested -- the drop in your rifle chamber check -- works, you should be OK. I recall my having to do that once with some .30 Carbine ammo I had acquired... BEST!
    geo

  10. #10
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    I got one of the Lyman gauges for my rifle calibers. If it drops in the gauge, it will fit in my rifles.
    Some of my neck sized case will fit in my rifles but not in the gauge. Need to use some common sense with them.
    I don't have one for the handgun cartridges.

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  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master
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    A chamber cast will tell you exactly the dimensions of your gun's chamber. Good info for many uses but, but not necessary for most handgun cartridge fit. Good for rifle rounds to find bullet seating depth in relationship to the throat, rifling, etc. There are much easier methods for pistol cartridge/chamber fit...

    When I'm working up a load, I usually first make a couple dummies, so I don't put a live round in any gun. During a loading session, I have a gun barrel on my bench and occasionally I'll stop and plunk a couple rounds. I have had so few chambering problems with my revolvers, I don't have to check chambering of a live round in the cylinder...
    Last edited by mdi; 11-10-2018 at 01:57 PM.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by kungfustyle View Post
    What is going on, if you are using range brass, the col of the brass varies greatly. Separate the seating and crimping and that will help. If you want to get rid of the problem trim the brass. Lee quick trim has a good product for that because it grabs the brass and wont let it spin while you trim. The Lee trimmer will set you back just under $30 for the cutter and trim die.
    The OP would have to determine if "crimping" was the cause of his problem. I have been reloading 9mm for only 19 years and 45 ACP for 22 years and I have never had to trim a case. Probably fifty percent of my reloads are "range brass"...
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Same here, I have never trimmed 9 mm, .40 S&W or .45 ACP all range brass. I shoot IDPA & USPSA so I load a lot of rounds per year.

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