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Thread: Question about straight wall reloading 45LC and 357 mag

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Question about straight wall reloading 45LC and 357 mag

    I might have posted this a few years ago but I wanted to post again. I have noticed that some of my 45LC and 357/38 shells will not always fit fully in the cylinder. It's not the boolite

    as it seems past that is when I have to use force to push it in.

    Sometimes they work they don't if they do work then it takes work to remove from the cylinder. Other no problems loaded fine and shot fine just every few rounds I find one that just will not fit.

    Is it the dies? Am I not going down far enough when I do the full-size die? I'm I not belling enough or too much?

    I have a $270 gift card to Brownells no choice my old boss was a big fan of paying too much. I'm trying to come up with ideas to spend the money on. There is not much else I want and even with free money it's hard to look at items and say "I can get that for $20 cheaper here or there." Thanks.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    You’re putting too much crimp on the bullet. You only need enough so that the bullets don’t move forward under recoil. By putting too much crimp on the case rim, you’re causing it to bulge out just enough to make it difficult to fit into the chamber.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master
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    A taper crimp will solve your problems.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tayous1 View Post
    I might have posted this a few years ago but I wanted to post again. I have noticed that some of my 45LC and 357/38 shells will not always fit fully in the cylinder. It's not the boolite

    as it seems past that is when I have to use force to push it in.

    Sometimes they work they don't if they do work then it takes work to remove from the cylinder. Other no problems loaded fine and shot fine just every few rounds I find one that just will not fit.

    Is it the dies? Am I not going down far enough when I do the full-size die? I'm I not belling enough or too much?

    I have a $270 gift card to Brownells no choice my old boss was a big fan of paying too much. I'm trying to come up with ideas to spend the money on. There is not much else I want and even with free money it's hard to look at items and say "I can get that for $20 cheaper here or there." Thanks.
    You notice it's with revolver ammo ? Well ... A case that is just a tad longer than the others gets a wee bit too much crimp , and the case will bulge ...ever so slightly ... below the boolit ... that tiny amount of bulge is what is making the rounds hard to chamber ... then when fired they expand and are a little sticky getting them out .
    Make sure all your cases are the same length .
    And put just enough crimp on the boolits to hold them ... No More !
    If that doesn't fix it ...report back .
    It's not the dies just Technique ...you will soon learn all the little "tricks" !
    I had this problem when I started reloading too .
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  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    I've been reloading for 40 + years and have never had that problem with 45 Colt or 357 Magnum. Could be you are not resizing the brass entirely.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Trim so all are same length; Full length resize; taper crimp; role crimp too deep; bullets all sized to same diameter; bell in case mouth different because of cartridge length bulging case; get a tight base shell holder;

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    If out of the same batch, some fit and some don’t, and assuming the dies are properly adjusted and locked in, I could see case length being a possibility, but I’d think the length variance would have to be pretty large. Also I’m assuming you’re not getting a carbon ring buildup in the cylinders.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    I have fired, resized with carbide dies, flared, reloaded (with Lee Loader, single stage press, and progressive press), and crimped multiple tens of thousands each of 357 Mag, 38 special, and 45 Colt, rounds that headspace on the rim of the case, without turning the lengths of a single one of those straight walled brass cases or bulging the case bodies such that they do not load or stick when extracting. I follow the die Mfg's instructions and the results have been flawless.
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  9. #9
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    Have you eliminated the possibility of brass thickness being different because of variation between different headstamps?
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  10. #10
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    Could be the thickness of the brass. Don't shoot the hard to load rounds and notice what there headstamp is. Some companies make there brass with different dimension/thickness. A quick way to do it is to weigh them out if you've sized and deprimed and your getting 3 grains difference it's probably in the thickness. Load a few dummy rounds and see if that works.
    As far as Brownells goes, they have a lifetime warranty on their products. Get something like a Chargemaster or just load your cart and save it till you get enough.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Land Owner View Post
    I have fired, resized with carbide dies, flared, reloaded (with Lee Loader, single stage press, and progressive press), and crimped multiple tens of thousands each of 357 Mag, 38 special, and 45 Colt, rounds that headspace on the rim of the case, without turning the lengths of a single one of those straight walled brass cases or bulging the case bodies such that they do not load or stick when extracting. I follow the die Mfg's instructions and the results have been flawless.
    Same here. I’ve owned more 357mag rifles and handguns than anyone I know. I’ve shot several hundred thousand rounds out of them for over fifty years. You will get a problem loading and extracting when you over crimp. A roll crimp is bet for this cartridge as it holds the bullet better. A long, long time ago I had this problem and way back in the day another old timer told me what I was doing wrong. He was correct. FWIW, I don’t trim straight walled cases. That’s not a problem. I’ve owned several custom built handguns in 357max and I’ve never trimmed and only roll crimp. I’ve had two Bill Davis custom built guns and two custom built Coonan’s. Never a problem with either. Before you spend a lot of time trimming and other things, back the roll crimp off and don’t over expand to get bullets seated….another mistake to avoid.

  12. #12
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    Any time there is a fit issue, measure. Measure the cartridge OD in a few places along the body to find out where the cartridge is too big. Then measure after each step to see when the cartridge becomes too big. Then you can fix it (without Band-Aids; FCD or resizing finished round). Like some of the answers above, prolly too much crimp bulging the case. I have used a Redding Profile Crimp on my revolver handloads for many years with good results (never tried a taper crimp on any revolver round)..
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Redding Profile Crimp die is the answer.
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  14. #14
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    A roll crimp is real particular about case length.
    A tall case will often have sort of a bulge right below the crimp if you put a full stroke on the press.

    I full length size with carbide dies, and crimp as a single step with a single stage press when doing a roll crimp.
    I don't trim hand gun brass, but crimping as a separate step, you can feel when a long case comes along
    and you can stop short of doing that little bit of a crush on the mouth of that one.

    If a properly sized case just drops into the cylinder--- sizing isn't your problem.
    Look for thick cases, or ones that are too long.
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  15. #15
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    Take the boolits before you load them, see if they will fit through the cylinder throats by hand, from the front. If the boolits won't fit through the throats, which is a VERY common thing to happen, and after loading the ammo, your COA is long enough to allow the boolit to enter the throat, it will be met with interference and won't want to chamber fully.

    If they WILL fit through the throats with finger pressure, you can eliminate interference with the throats being the problem
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throats honed? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? 480 Ruger or 475 Linebaugh cylinder that needs the "step" reamed to 6 30min chamfer? Click here to send me a PM You can also find me on Facebook Click Here.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    Redding Profile Crimp die is the answer.
    Does that die prevent bulging the longer brass?
    *
    I use the Redding Profile Crimp die on .45 Colt and .357 Mag. However, the Lee Collet Crimp die may be helpful if there’s a lot of variation in the brass.
    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/101683339?pid=100074
    I could be wrong - it happens at least daily.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justindad View Post
    Does that die prevent bulging the longer brass?
    *
    I use the Redding Profile Crimp die on .45 Colt and .357 Mag. However, the Lee Collet Crimp die may be helpful if there’s a lot of variation in the brass.
    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/101683339?pid=100074
    Yes. Redding is FAR superior to the Lee. Profiles the entire round down to shell holder. Lee is crap.
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Loaded more 38, 357, 44 mag and 45 ACO than I care to think about and have never trimmed any of them. If roll crimping set your seating die so the end of the case is midway in the crimp groove. Don't let the top of the crimp groove bottom out in the case. If it does and you get a slightly longer case and you've bottomed out on the groove something has got to give when you give the press handle a final push. Revolvers need the crimp to keep the bullet from moving forward and a mid crimp groove crimp will give plenty of resistance to inertia. If you are worried it isn't enough crimp try pulling some with an inertia bullet puller.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by justindad View Post
    Does that die prevent bulging the longer brass?
    *
    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/101683339?pid=100074
    I've been reloading revolver ammo since 1970 off and on, mostly on. I cannot remember trimming any brass to get consistent lengths nor uniform crimps. In real life .005"difference in case length won't have much noticeable difference in a roll crimp or round performance.

    Reloading methods are personal choice and if keeping revolver brass lengths to +/- .001" pleases you, then by all means do that. If you feel good about your handloads, then they will be more accurate and consistent. I chose a Redding Profile Crimp because of the quality of tool and the shape of the crimp (sorta a hybrid taper/roll). Any crimp die will bulge cases if too much crimp is applied, plain old Metal Shop 101...
    Last edited by mdi; 09-19-2023 at 02:46 PM.
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks, everyone I think the first thing I'll try is the lighter crimp. That would explain a lot I loaded 12 325 gr lead bear rounds they were Ruger-only rounds he challenged me saying he could shoot my 45 LC because it had less recoil and powered his full-power 44 mag rounds. All rounds had everything done that one day had 75% fit and the other 25% did not.

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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