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Thread: Bulge buster: before or after loading?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Bulge buster: before or after loading?

    Hey folks,
    I am new to the bulge buster but I find that Im needing it in 45 ACP and possibly other calibers. I wish to know whether you in the community run your cases through after loading as complete cartridges, after sizing and before loading, or before sizing.
    -BE


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  2. #2
    Boolit Master Sig556r's Avatar
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    after sizing before priming

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    merlin101's Avatar
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    Before and after, I've had some cartridges that the bullet wasn't centered properly and have a slight bulge, no prob just run it thru the BB and there ya go! All fixed and ready to go, keep in mind this is just plinking/range/blasting ammo if it was for any other purpose I'd fix it properly.
    It's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years (Abe Lincoln)

    "A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government. George Washington

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Just the factory crimp die (not the collet version) will often for auto pistols make them work if the problem is not in the bottom 1/4 of the case.

  5. #5
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by onelight View Post
    Just the factory crimp die (not the collet version) will often for auto pistols make them work if the problem is not in the bottom 1/4 of the case.
    What he said!!!

  6. #6
    DOR RED BEAR's Avatar
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    I don't use them so excuse my ignorance. Doesn't running them through after loading size down your bullet.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

    gwpercle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RED BEAR View Post
    I don't use them so excuse my ignorance. Doesn't running them through after loading size down your bullet.
    They sure do !
    Bust the bulge before reloading the case is the proper way...after loading is just a quickie fix ..
    and not a proper one .
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by RED BEAR View Post
    I don't use them so excuse my ignorance. Doesn't running them through after loading size down your bullet.
    It depends on the size of the bullet for autos
    I have 2 sets for revolvers 357 and 44 you can push a sized case in by hand and remove it and you can’t feel it touch the case where the bullet is for up to 359 or 431 the largest I have tried the reports of it sizing bullets at least close to standard size are exaggerated at least in my 2 samples.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Bulge buster: before or after loading?

    I do think about the swaging effects (same as using the fcd). Im going to continue experimenting to find what works for me.


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  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy gnostic's Avatar
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    I'd be wary of a case that my normal size die wouldn't size to spec. A case with a large bulge wouldn't be a candidate for a top notch handload. Over the summer, I picked up from the ground, a five gallon bucket of 45 cal and 9mm brass at no cost. Why bother with brass that may not even be safe to load?

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnostic View Post
    I'd be wary of a case that my normal size die wouldn't size to spec. A case with a large bulge wouldn't be a candidate for a top notch handload. Over the summer, I picked up from the ground, a five gallon bucket of 45 cal and 9mm brass at no cost. Why bother with brass that may not even be safe to load?

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

    mdi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RED BEAR View Post
    I don't use them so excuse my ignorance. Doesn't running them through after loading size down your bullet.
    Yep, which, besides unnecessary, is the major complaint of FCDs for handgun cartridges...

    My thinking; a bulge buster is for swaging/repairing a case, so I'll do the repairs before I load the case. When I reload, I start off with good components so have no need to correct a problem after I assemble the components...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boolseye View Post
    Bulge buster: before or after loading?
    I do think about the swaging effects (same as using the fcd). I’m going to continue experimenting to find what works for me.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    The Lee Bulge Buster is the Lee Carbide FCD with a couple extra parts.
    I use the Lee Bulge Buster on all the 40S&W range brass I acquire (before any other case prep), as it is an unknown if they were fired from a gun without a fully supported chamber, if I find one that is extremely difficult to push through, it likely had a large bulge and I'll reject those. 45auto is a lower pressure round and is much less likely to have that issue, so I don't take the time to bulge bust those.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master



    M-Tecs's Avatar
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    Never used one so no comment on them. This is from Lee .

    "About this item
    Description
    Lee Bulge Buster Kit and appropriate Lee Factory Crimp assures your mixed brass is bulge free. This push through die adapter will quickly remove the annoying bulge rings that shell holder constrained dies simply can't reach. The Bulge Buster Kit includes: extension sleeve, push through punch, catch container and complete instructions. Works with these rimless cases: 380 ACP, 10mm, 40 S&W, 41 AE, 45 ACP, 45 GAP, and 45 Win Mag. NOTE: 9mm cases are not able to be used in the Bulge Buster because it has a slightly tapered case and the rim is not completely flush with the case. Glock Cases: We do not recommend "fixing" cases fired in pistols with unsupported chambers, because there is no way to make them safe once they have bulged. The case wall is thinned where it bulges, and resizing the outside of the case back down to the correct diameter does not restore the case back to its original thickness. If this case is fired in a pistol with an unsupported chamber again, and this thinned section of brass happens to line up with the unsupported part of the chamber, there is a high probability that the case will rupture.

    Features & details
    Assures your mixed brass is bulge free
    Works with these rimless cases: 380 ACP, 10mm, 40 S&W, 41 AE, 45 ACP, 45 GAP, and 45 Win Mag. NOTE: 9mm cases are not able to be used in the Bulge Buster because it has a slightly tapered case and the rim is not completely flush with the case"
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 07-17-2019 at 12:26 PM.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    That was what I was wondering. Bulge busting before any other stage sounds much more appealing than interrupting the process with it.


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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I like the factory crimp (not the collet) in auto pistol rounds because it deals well with different length cases and thus eliminates having to sort by length to get an acceptable crimp and a side benefit is they chamber and fire in all my guns chambered for that round even the tight cylinders on Ruger convertibles if I see a case with an obvious bulge after sizing I pitch them. Different strokes we get to make the choice.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master


    tomme boy's Avatar
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    I questioned Lee about the safety of the bulge buster when they first came out. At first they told me it was not a problem with the 40 cal brass. About a month later this above warning was issued on the site. Seems they do listen a little.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    No .40 Smith gets loaded here without going through the bulge buster. I first decap, then tumble with pins, regular size die, then use the bulge buster before loading.

    I've not had a problem with .45's, though.

  19. #19
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    stubshaft's Avatar
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    +1 although I run them through the bulge buster before doing anything including tumbling.
    If God didn't want man to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of MEAT!

    The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    After cleaning and before sizing.
    If you bulge bust a loaded round, you can swage down a lead bullet (just as you can by using a Lee FCD for its intended purpose). The carbide ring on the FCD is designed to bring the case dimensions to below the minimum chamber dimensions. The sizing die takes the case down below the maximum case dimensions (and sometimes even below the minimum case dimensions).

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check