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Thread: 200gr SWC for .45 ACP: Issues with shaving lead while loading?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy VariableRecall's Avatar
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    200gr SWC for .45 ACP: Issues with shaving lead while loading?

    Hi there! My bro, the user Galvin_Ground has been having some minor issues with his newly reloaded Boolits. These are 200gn SWC's, originally sized to approximately .453 according to my calipers.

    Galvin_Ground is using a Bonanza die set gifted by a Boolit Buddy, which RCBS is descended from, apparently. While we can accurately manage to accurately seat to a correct depth, the issue arises with shaved lead showing up above the case mouth of the newly assembled cartridge.

    We have carefully tested seating with Galvin's RIA 1911's barrel, and the cartridge sits slightly below the lug much like a standard factory round.
    However, the cartridge appears to be seating in the correct depth, but it's sitting pretty on the LEAD and not the Brass. I can see that being a potential problem if we were to start putting these rounds to use.

    What exactly is Galvin doing wrong here? Sizing the boolits even to .451 lead to similar results. I'll be posting the finished boolits in question here so that you all can have a look too.

    Here is a photo of a ready to use Boolit and one that was pulled from an unfilled round, so that we could test seating.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The lead getting in the way of the brass. Galvin's been able to reduce the amount of lead in the way by around 50% but that's probably not enough to eliminate potential issues.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    A side profile of the same cartridge, lead clearly in the way of the case mouth.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The side profile, where the lead and brass are almost one.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    What's going wrong here?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    What do the loaded rounds measure at the case mouth ?

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    Boolit Buddy
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    Did you expand the case mouth before loading the bullet?
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  5. #5
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    Be sure to flare the case mouth .
    Seat the boolit just a little deeper . The top edge of the boolits driving band should protrude about the thickness of your thumbnail ...no more .
    If all else fails , size boolits .452" ...fat boolits are harder to get seated fully .

    Do a search on the term "plunk test" and make sure all your loads pass the plunk test .
    Seating boolit and taper crimping in two different , separate steps , also helps .

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  6. #6
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    Size to .452, use a little bit more flare, and taper crimp.
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  7. #7
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    I had to go to seat and crimp in two separate operations to fix my issues

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy VariableRecall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winger Ed. View Post
    Size to .452, use a little bit more flare, and taper crimp.
    With regards to expansion, Galvin_ground is using a Lee .45 ACP expander die, set to about as firm of an expansion as he can get. The brass, when expanded, allows for the base of the boolit to fit in, but the rest of the boolit to wobble around. Would expanding it LESS perhaps fix things? My money's still on the crimping step being the issue.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy VariableRecall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toallmy View Post
    What do the loaded rounds measure at the case mouth ?
    I don't have one handy but these rounds fit the OAL guidelines and chambered in a loose barrel just fine, with a similar "sliding right in sound" as a factory FMJ that we had tested.
    I'll grab one to measure as soon as I get the chance.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy VariableRecall's Avatar
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    The very important question for me and Galvin_Ground is:
    Would these rounds be safe to fire, even with their issues?
    I would expect some severe leading considering the lubricant is sheared off most of the drive bands that we've pulled during testing so far.

  11. #11
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    "originally sized to approximately .453 according to my calipers"
    Is that the size before PC?
    If you plan on using boolits that fat, you need to expand the case more than the Lee expander will do.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy VariableRecall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonB_in_Glencoe View Post
    "originally sized to approximately .453 according to my calipers"
    Is that the size before PC?
    If you plan on using boolits that fat, you need to expand the case more than the Lee expander will do.
    I do happen to have a .452 and .451 resizing die set I got from a Boolit buddy. Sizing to .451 still caused lead to squish into the case mouth the first time, but perhaps if we make another batch where we size to 452 and complete more careful seating procedures, we may have better results.

    Keep in mind that on the second set of Boolits we assembled we managed to get about 50 to 70 percent of the case moth being leased without actually resizing the boolits at all.
    Last edited by VariableRecall; 11-04-2020 at 03:40 PM.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy VariableRecall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonB_in_Glencoe View Post
    "originally sized to approximately .453 according to my calipers"
    Is that the size before PC?
    If you plan on using boolits that fat, you need to expand the case more than the Lee expander will do.
    The Boolits were Hi-Tek coated by their manufaturer, Hoosier Bullets, to .453. I'd double checked with calipers myself.

    And yeah, these 200gn SWC are some Chunky Boys. I'd expected some minor issues considering that it's not as traditional of a boolit shape, but I had heard that they are more chambering friendly than most lead boolits.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy VariableRecall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toallmy View Post
    What do the loaded rounds measure at the case mouth ?
    There were two different batches of boolits Galvin assembled.
    One set had a lot more lead in the case mouth. Testing a couple from that batch shows their case mouths are around .471. These had a general OAL of 1.234.

    Strangely, the second batch of assembled cartridges with less lead in the case mouth have a slightly wider diameter at the mouth, at .473ish. These had a general OAL of 1.230.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy VariableRecall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winger Ed. View Post
    Size to .452, use a little bit more flare, and taper crimp.
    I am unsure whether the Bonanza Die uses a roll or taper crimp. Galvin could probably crimp the boolits not as hard. from my best estimation, he's going at about a medium crimp.

  16. #16
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    I don't see anything blatantly wrong, but you might need to flare the cases more before attempting to seat the boolits. This is where the Lee expander shows its faults in my opinion, it just doesn't have enough flare to it.

    The easy fix is to buy a Lyman M-die for neck expanding.

    There was a long thread a few years ago in I think the handgun section about reloading the .45 ACP. It is worth doing search for it.

    Robert

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by VariableRecall View Post
    I don't have one handy but these rounds fit the OAL guidelines and chambered in a loose barrel just fine, with a similar "sliding right in sound" as a factory FMJ that we had tested.
    I'll grab one to measure as soon as I get the chance.
    Maybe so but I have one 45acp that wants something else. Seat a little deeper, taper crimp it, the Lee will do both and try again but remember to flare enough for the boolit. I use a Lee Universal and seat/crimp in separate steps
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  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy VariableRecall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mk42gunner View Post
    I don't see anything blatantly wrong, but you might need to flare the cases more before attempting to seat the boolits. This is where the Lee expander shows its faults in my opinion, it just doesn't have enough flare to it.

    The easy fix is to buy a Lyman M-die for neck expanding.

    There was a long thread a few years ago in I think the handgun section about reloading the .45 ACP. It is worth doing search for it.

    Robert
    The Lee die manages to expand the neck enough for the bottom to seat, and it can leave the brass with a satisfying pop afterward after a firm press. However, the boolit seats in the expanded area of the brass to a very shallow degree. Might have to look into finding some way to expand the brass further.

    I can say that the Bonanza Expander that Galvin has unfortunately DE-PRIMES upon expansion The de-priming shaft thingy is part of the expander, I think. I haven't tried removing the depriming portion, however. This warranted the need for me to grab a Lee Expander which only expands.

    I've had really good results with my Lee Seating and Crimping dies for my .38 Special. Does their .45 die have good success for others?
    Last edited by VariableRecall; 11-04-2020 at 04:58 PM.

  19. #19
    You never said what type of sizer you used. If by any chance do you use a LYMAN especially the older style with a shoulder ( which cuts to the size) ? Newer style swage more without cutting. The Lee style swage also. The bare lead showing makes me wonder which type you use.


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  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master
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    OK, lot to take in here.

    I agree that the bullet should be seated so that just about a fingernail width of the front driving band stands proud of the case.

    That round needs a taper crimp. I can't really tell what crimp that is from the photo.

    I size similar 200gr SWC bullets to .452" and they work beautifully in anything they will chamber in.

    I agree with Mk42gunner in that I don't see anything blatantly wrong.

    As for "are they safe"? : assuming the powder charge is safe, the answer is - YES.
    The real question is, "will they feed & function"? - if they pass the "plunk" test and will feed from the magazine, the chances are good they will work.

    I also agree a Lyman "M" die expander (or clone) would likely be a good solution, if there is a problem.

    Personally, I think the OP and his brother may be getting just a little ahead of themselves. While I wouldn't load up a thousand of those in that condition; I would certainly try a few dozen before I started chasing down a problem that might not be a problem.
    Shoot a few first !

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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