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Thread: R-P Brass for .45 ACP Failing to Crimp Properly?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master VariableRecall's Avatar
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    R-P Brass for .45 ACP Failing to Crimp Properly?

    This was an issue that I had earlier, but it took a while to finally understand the relation between the headstamp and the issues I was having.

    I'm using an old Bonanza die set to load .45 ACP, combined with a Lee Expander Die to maintain compatibility with the Lee Auto Drum. Earlier, I had issues with some pieces of brass. After the seating and crimping steps were complete, the bullet failed to be properly taut within the case, requiring only a gentle touch to push the bullet into the case, and I could easily twist the whole bullet out with gentle force with pliers.

    Thinking that it was something wrong with the brass, to double check, I loaded up a Speer headstamped .45 ACP case, and the boolit seating and crimping was perfect. But, when I did the same with this R-P headstamped brass, the bullet was left loose in the case. I had attempted, as an experiment, to get the R-P cases seated, but they required so much crimping force that it ruined cases made by any other manufacturer.

    Has anyone else had a bad experience with loading R-P Brass? l have no idea why they have given me so much trouble. I don't think that I've heard of the company to be honest. Either way, any other R-P brass I've used has worked just fine for me.

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub QuackAttack24's Avatar
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    R.P. brass is the thinnest most flimsy brass there is. When I'm re-sizing my brass, I can tell without looking that it's an R.P. case because it requires hardly any pressure from the ram to push it through. Since the inside of the case is what grabs the bullet, with R.P. cases you have to crank down the crimp die a little further to get a good grip. I've pretty much stopped using them unless it's the only thing I have left to load.
    What could possibly go wrong?

  3. #3
    Boolit Master VariableRecall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuackAttack24 View Post
    R.P. brass is the thinnest most flimsy brass there is. When I'm re-sizing my brass, I can tell without looking that it's an R.P. case because it requires hardly any pressure from the ram to push it through. Since the inside of the case is what grabs the bullet, with R.P. cases you have to crank down the crimp die a little further to get a good grip. I've pretty much stopped using them unless it's the only thing I have left to load.
    Glad to know I'm not going crazy or something. What's the actual name the manufacturer that has R-P on it's headstamps? that would be something to avoid for me in case getting loaded ammo ever becomes convenient again so I don't waste my time.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    RP is one of my favorite. I bought a Dillon in the 80's for my first press and still use it. A Merc is junk. I don't have to readjust any 45 acp crimp for any load. I will keep up with the problem. It sounds like a case sizing problem and may need a little lube?

  5. #5
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    I’ve noticed that Rem brass seems to banana more often when it’s got a bulge rather than resize. I’ve got a whole pile of scrapped RP brass. I’m with poster #2, I try and trade it off or save it for ranges that don’t allow me to pickup my empties.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


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    I was loading .357 yesterday. And my Remington brass was the easiest to resize. Almost too easy. I thought they might have been split. But all were ok.
    One round at a time.
    Member of the NRA,GOA and FAOC. Gun clubs Zerby rod and gun club. Keystone Fish and Game Association.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Skipper's Avatar
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    Variable, I had the same problem many years ago. I ended up smashing every piece of R-P and switching to Winchester...never looked back.
    The strongest reason for the people to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against the tyranny of government.
    -- Thomas Jefferson

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Most interesting comments about Remington brass. I had issues with the thickness of brass cases many years ago with the reloaded cases being too large to chamber properly. I was using a cast bullet of .3585" and only Federal allowed easy chambering. Winchester, Remington and probably some others was just too large.

    Variable seems to have left out the actual diameter of his cast bullet from this little issue. A bullet sized to .451" might be a little small for the barrel as well as the cartridge case combination. Or it just could be the brass or crimp.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    If I want new pistol brass it is either Starline (1st choice) or Federal.
    I do agree that R-P brass tends to loose neck tension easier than the others.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master VariableRecall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45DUDE View Post
    RP is one of my favorite. I bought a Dillon in the 80's for my first press and still use it. A Merc is junk. I don't have to readjust any 45 acp crimp for any load. I will keep up with the problem. It sounds like a case sizing problem and may need a little lube?
    My best guess is that perhaps the really old sizing die I'm using perhaps isn't narrowing the R-P Brass enough? Maybe the seater isn't very strong?

    One thing that may help is a Lee Factory Crimp Die to add to the steps. However, I doubt that this alone would solve the problem of the brass' very nature.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master VariableRecall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Bannister View Post
    Most interesting comments about Remington brass. I had issues with the thickness of brass cases many years ago with the reloaded cases being too large to chamber properly. I was using a cast bullet of .3585" and only Federal allowed easy chambering. Winchester, Remington and probably some others was just too large.

    Variable seems to have left out the actual diameter of his cast bullet from this little issue. A bullet sized to .451" might be a little small for the barrel as well as the cartridge case combination. Or it just could be the brass or crimp.
    My boolits are sized to .452. I had great results with them so far, but that's with all brass but the R-P stuff. With a properly adjusted crimp, there's enough tension in the crimp so that you can't push the boolit in, and enough of the case mouth present to actually seat in the barrel. That balance is a tricky thing to get, but it's been reproducible for all other brass but one.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I’d bet that your sizing die is on the large side of spec.

    Just for grins, run a piece of brass into the fcd without a bullet, I think that’ll size it down, then expand it and try seating a bullet.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Separate out the R-P brass , save it for powder coated boolits or size boolits 0.001" larger to use in those cases . A Lee Carbide 45 acp sizing die will usually size them down far enough to use ...the Lee carbide sizer will over size if not adjusted just right ... my normal sizing die is a CH steel die and the steel dies usually don't oversize .
    It's just a matter of matching sizing dies with thin or thick brass and the right size boolit .
    Gary
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  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    I just grabbed a few cases to resize. They all do .448 i.d. with the Dillon. Win. S&B-RP-Federal-GFL- The Aguila was at .446. My sizing die barely touches the shell plate.
    Last edited by 45DUDE; 07-24-2021 at 01:27 PM.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by VariableRecall View Post
    Glad to know I'm not going crazy or something. What's the actual name the manufacturer that has R-P on it's headstamps? that would be something to avoid for me in case getting loaded ammo ever becomes convenient again so I don't waste my time.
    R-P = Remington Peters.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Boogieman's Avatar
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    I had the same problem Couldn't crimp them tight enough to hold a .452" bullet Loose bullets in an autoloader are bad news
    The 3 people a man must be able to trust completely are his gunsmith his doctor & his preacher ..,his gunsmith for his short term health ,his doctor for long term health ,and his preacher incase one of the others mess up.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    It been forever since I bought new ammo. Is this newer brass? Maybe last 10-15 years? I think my main brass is RP.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I'm with jim147 as to how old your brass is. I have a bunch of just about every manufacture of 45acp brass. And A-merc is junk. And also some of the MFS made in Hungary is also crap. Other than that once I set up my Dillon years back for I've never changed the setting on my dies. All I use is store bought 230 grain hard cast round nose as both my 45's will basically gobble up just about anything. Frank

  19. #19
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    Back in the 1970's and 80's it was a common complaint that Remington brass was thinner than the norm in handgun calibers. Not sure about rifle brass, at least I never had any problems with it.

    If I had just a few R-P brass in a certain caliber, I would set it aside until I had enough to make adjusting die settings worth it. If I had a lot of it, I think I would still separate the brass and treat it as a separate lot while reloading.

    After all, one of the first recommendations in just about any loading manual is to sort your brass. This step is commonly ignored, usually without too much trouble.

    With the proliferation of good affordable brass from places like Starline, we as reloaders have become spoiled and generally forget the small steps.

    Robert

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Back in the 70's, I experienced that problem also, especially with the R-P nickel cases. I had purchased several boxes of new cases at my LGS, after I started reloading. A heavier crimp was a temporary fix, but anyhow, I soon retired those cases. A friend of mine experienced the same issue, and sent his RCBS sizer die back to the factory, and they exchanged it for a smaller sizer, which resolved the issue for him. Apparently RCBS was aware of this issue.

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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