Jump to content
Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!

Belling, seating and crimping. Does my setup look good to you?


Recommended Posts

I'm new to reloading and been setting up my reloader last night for the first time. And some unexpected question arose. I'm loading .40sw

Since I'm reloading 40 and 45 and the case lengths are different by .001-2 roughly they will get expanded different amounts because of their length. My question is do you just expand one case, say short case, and if it hold the bullet enough when turned upside down (the bullet doesn't fall out) you are fine?

Heres my thinking behind that. If I use a shorter case to setup my expander and I happen to get one of then longer cases it will expand it out more so than a short. In my eyes causing more belling than it needs and alos wearing out the brass faster. Am I just being too damn anal or is this logical?

Next thing, My lynman book does not have 180 grain flat nose bullets. But it does have 180 JHP. Is this ok to use for my recipe just start out with the "starting grain measure"?

Lastly OAL. The lyman book for 180 grain JHP said OAL of 1.115, just out of being curious I measured a factory Winchester round and it measured 1.120-1.121. I took my barrel out of the gun and saw the 1.115 had the case neck below the barrel (plunk test) so I adjusted the OAL until the case next was flush with the barrel. This is what I mean by the case neck being flush with the barrel. In this picture (NOT MINE) the case neck is not fully flush with the barrel

Lastly crimping. I have a LEE FCD and I noticed on a few rounds that the sizing ring sized it, which made me worry that I put to much bell on the brass. Just a few did this. I'm kinda of having trouble seeing the crimp (eyes are kinda of bad to see small things) so what I did was slowly turn the crimp knob down until the round would go in to the barrel and make the Plunk sound. Is this right? My concern is dealing with different case lengths which until now I didn't realize or think about. What do you guys do other than trim them?

Also to add when I made adjustment say for the expanding station, I would set it to the min needed and run 50 brass to it and if one didn't hold the bullet enough (shorter case vs the others) I would adjust for the shorter case until it held the bullet better which would be 1/10 of a turn, very very slight. This would cuase more belling on the brass which has me concern being a new re-loader.

Here are some videos as promised. Thoughts please and as always thank you!As a new member I can't upload the videos using links. Any help would be awesome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


You are being anal! (your word not mine) smile.gif

No need to ever trim a pistol case for our needs.

Just bell the case enough to get the bullet to stay put until you can seat it in the case.(very little belling needed)

When crimping all you want to do is remove the bell. One way of checking for proper crimp is to measure the diameter of the bullet and then measure the thickness of the case walls. Double the case wall measurement and add it to the bullet measurement.

Or you can just measure some factory rounds to give you a good ballpark estimate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bell just enough for the bullet to sit in the case without falling off/over, barely any at all

check around the forums to see what other people are doing for OAL with YOUR bullet, longer is not so much of a big deal shorter is

remember longer oal makes for lower pressure, shorter creates a higher pressure

measure crimp with your calipers, I check my finished cases with a case gauge (a few of which I got from the Enos store)

but if you're only firing them out of one gun your barrel works fine

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the heads up guys.

I fired 20 rounds that I reloaded and honestly they felt as if they were factory ammo, while this is not bad I was looking to decrease recoil as to not tire me out so bad when shooting. Plus I save money on powder. The booked called for 6 grains of Power Pistol, minimum. Can I go below this?

Also my crimp measured .421-.22 while factory was .42 I kept turning in the crimp die until I got to .4205/.42 correct?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...