what am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by rivalarrival, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. rivalarrival

    rivalarrival Are we there yet?

    Little help...

    .357, 158gr jhp,

    Too much crimp?
     

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  2. dutchs

    dutchs Well-Known Member

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    Whoa!! This looks like a question for Happysniper1!!
     

  3. G17XJ_BS

    G17XJ_BS New Member

    Maybe not enough flare?
     
  4. RRoss

    RRoss If it goes boom or bang, I want to play with it! Lifetime Supporting Member

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    +1. He's an authority on reloading....OP, maybe shoot him a PM?
     
  5. rivalarrival

    rivalarrival Are we there yet?

    Not enough flare was my first thought, but that didn't seem to help. Figured it out, it was the crimp. Us idiots didn't follow the instructions on setting it properly. We set it with a cartridge that had a bullet already seated. When we then tried to seat and crimp in one stroke, the die hit the case before the bullet was seated enough, so instead of crimping, it just crushed the case. Oh well, only ruined 2 cases.
     
  6. dutchs

    dutchs Well-Known Member

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    OOps!! Glad ya figured it out.:p
     
  7. Check your flare, make sure a bullet will fit into the case just a little bit, if not increase the amount of flare. Also, you need to seat the bullets more, see the crimp groove, that's where they should be seated to. Another thing, looks like you're trying to crimp before the bullet is fully seated so you're trying to squeeze the bullet(i.e. crimp) it before you're done seating it all the way.
    Try using a two stage process. Back your die out so you'll not crimp the case and adjust your seater plug so you seat the bullet to where the crimp groove is. Seat all of em' then go back and back out the seating plug so it'll not hit the bullet anymore, make sure it's enough, then crank in the die so you'll put a nice crimp, not too much, a little dab will do ya' here and then crimp them all.
    That's how I use to do it, seat first, readjust the die and crimp second. Give that a try and see if it'll fix your problem.
     
  8. rivalarrival

    rivalarrival Are we there yet?

    It looks like that, but the O.A.L is actually correct (within a couple thousandths) The case is just crushed that far back.
    That was exactly the problem. We set the seating depth, backed off the seater and set the crimp die. We were too aggressive on the crimp, but because that first bullet was already seated, it didn't matter. When we tried to seat and crimp the next bullet, the crimper hit before the bullet was seated and the combined force crushed the case.

    When we backed off the crimp, everything worked great.
    Not a bad idea.

    Thanks, all, for your comments. Still pretty new to hand loading, but learning more every time I play!
     
  9. Happysniper1

    Happysniper1 New Member

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    Hey!

    WOW! UNSAFE AMMO TO SHOOT!!!!!

    When the crimp is visible like that, it is too much crimp. But first thing first:

    1. The dent is the case is from the bullet seating improperly. Not enough flare (expansion) would be my first thought.

    2. When the crimp visibly bites into the bullet, the crimp is excessive and when fired the round will develop too much pressure inside the brass case before there is enough pressure to push the bullet out past the crimp....this overpressure can blow up the gun.

    Now, if you have a bullet puller and can pull those pictured bullets outta the cases, you will see a ring indented into the bullets from the crimp....not a good sign.

    Looking at your procedure, it looks to me like you used a live (factory?) round to calibrate your bullet seater and crimper die....the hazard with this (and this is just a cautionary note) is that the overall length of the loaded cartridge (meaning "how far does the bullet seat into the cartridge?") is dictated by a combination of the gunpowder used and the bullet dimensions, so even if using identical bullets to factory ammo does not necessarily mean the lengths will be the same unless you are also using the same gunpowder as the factory ammo. Your reloading guide book should give you a COAL appropriate to the specific bullet and powder combination.

    Another thing to bear in mind when using live ammo to calibrate the dies ins that the bullet geometry will vary between HP and RN ammo....the "tip" of a RN bullet gives a greater COAL than the tip of a HP bullet. Does that make sense?

    Having said this, I am glad you figured out what steps you were missing, and must congratulate you on only two messed up cases.
     
  10. Happysniper1

    Happysniper1 New Member

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    Just as a note, case dimensions when reloading are measured down to the thousands of an inch....
     
  11. rivalarrival

    rivalarrival Are we there yet?

    Well thank you, Captain Obvious. :D

    Seriously, though, yeah - even if I could cram those cartridges into a chamber, I'm not quite stupid enough to do it.
    No, we initially used an empty, unprimed case with no powder, and seated a bullet on top of it (through trial and error) to the OAL indicated in the book. We have a good set of dial calipers to check. That put us "in the ballpark", so when we primed and powdered, we should have only needed small adjustments. The crushed cartridges were supposed to be used for the final adjustments, but we were so far off on the crimp that we had to stop and think.
    Yes. Makes a lot of sense.
    Well, only two that you saw. :) We fouled up a couple others that you didn't see, (most will be salvageable when we pick up a bullet puller) but we finally got everything dialed in and ran the rest of 200 cartridges through without incident.

    Yes. In the photos, though, the case mouth is off the cannular by at least a tenth of an inch. We hadn't finished dialing everything in (obviously) when we ran into this problem.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012
  12. Happysniper1

    Happysniper1 New Member

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    Re: pulling the bullets:

    I have never had a single problem (read: primer detonation) when using an intertial bullet puller, so if you need to, whack that baby good to get the bullet out, do not be afraid!

    Different story if the primer had gotten struck before (i.e., pulling the bullet out of a misfire with a struck primer).

    Cheers!
     
  13. rivalarrival

    rivalarrival Are we there yet?

    That's good to know. I've never pulled a bullet, but we're filling a bin with cartridges that need it done. I think I'll pick up an inertial puller this evening.
     
  14. Happysniper1

    Happysniper1 New Member

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    heh! You shoulda seen me years ago, I had an ammo can of rejects that for whatever reason I did not want to fire, and my mentor said "what's wrong with you?! pop those bullets out and reuse whatever components ya got!"

    Then he had me buy an intertial bullet puller, and showed me how....MAN! That first one, I wanted to flee and hide, he was pounding so hard! But the rounds never went off, and I learned from his demonstration!

    Cheers!