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

Possible Issue When Using Case Lube


ZackJones

Recommended Posts

I'm starting a new thread instead of hijacking the case lube thread in the 9mm section.

After reading that thread I recently bought some Frankford Arsenal case lube. I really made things run smoother in the press (Lee single stage). One thing I didn't read closely on the directions was to either wipe down or tumble the brass after resizing it. I didn't do that and while loading some ammo yesterday (.45 ACP with plated bullets). I noticed that several of the bullets would slide down the case with just finger pressure. After double checking the seating and factory crimp die I was was getting cartridges that the bullet would slide down into the case. I ended up pulling all of the bullets and tumbling the brass.

This morning I separated the brass into two groups. The first group I just ran back through the powder drop die and then placed the bullet on the case like I normally do. 5 out of the 50 cartridges still allowed the bullet to slide down in the case with finger pressure but 35 of them didn't. This leads me to believe the expander / powder drop die is properly adjusted.

Before loading the next 50 rounds I removed the decapping pin from the resizing die and ran 50 rounds through the resizing die. Once that was completed I then ran those 50 rounds through the expander / powder drop and this time 0 out of 50 allowed the bullet to slide down in the case. Now I'm wondering if I'm screwing up somewhere in my process. Here's what I normally do.

1 - Deprime with universal deprimer.

2 - Tumble.

3 - Resize

4 - Run resized cases through Lee bulge buster kit.

5 - Expand / Powder drop.

6 - Seat Bullet.

7 - Run through Factory Crimp die.

8 - Case gauge

9 - Go shoot 'em.

I normally do things in batches of 100 - 300 such as resize/bulge bust one night. Prime next night. I really have now idea what may have cause the problem I was having. I was loading the last 100 of 500 plated bullets I had bought recently and the first 400 seemed to load with out any issues. The only thing I have changed in my reloading process was using case lube. If you guys can think of any ideas why things were screwed up I'd appreciate hearing them.

I guess it's time to upgrade to a progressive :).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I still say it's not the lube. You should be able to push a loaded round against your bench and get no movement of the bullet in the case. Either you have some small bullets or you got some really thin walled cases that just won't size enough.

How far will they push into the bullet with ease? If it's just a tad maybe it's the expander, bell, funnel going too deep. If it drops beyond that it's either not sizing the cases due to poor adjustment, thin case walls, or too small of bullets.

As far as I have been able to ascertain you are wasting strokes of the press by using the bulge buster with 45. 45's are pretty low pressure and don't bulge much if at all. IF you want to keep bulge busting them I would do that before you final resize prior to priming. Maybe the bulge buster is expanding the case somehow after you properly size it.

Try removing the bulge buster step first and see what happens.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm attaching a couple of photos. The first one shows how far into the case the bullet will go with just finger pressure. The second one shows how far it will seat now. I did some testing this morning based on your feedback. I first picked 3 cartridges at random from those that I'm having problems with. I then pulled the bullet and ran them through the resizing die. I also measured each bullet and they all measured .451 to .4515 so they aren't undersized. After resizing I ran each one through the expander / powder drop die and then placed the bullet on top as shown in the second photo. Based on your comments about the bulge buster kit I ran the brass back through the resizing die and then bulge buster kit. After doing that I ran each one through the expander / powder drop die and again the bullets seated just like shown in the second photo.

This afternoon I'm going to take the 15 remaining cartridges that I had trouble with yesterday and repeat this process but I'm going to use case lube as directed. After I've had a chance to do that I'll post a summary of my results.

post-50397-0-24998500-1391438586_thumb.j

post-50397-0-48746700-1391438597_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You may need a different sizing die as you should end up with a "wasp waist" effect after all is said and done. Neck tension is what keeps bullets from being pushed back into cases, not crimp. "Crimp" should only remove the bell effect !!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm really scratching my head now :(. I went to to the garage and took the 18 cartridges I had left that I had problems with and put them in the tray. I sprayed them with lube, resized, and then wiped down as directed. I then ran them through the expander / powder drop and then placed bullets on top and they all worked just fine. I went ahead and seated and crimped them and will shoot them in the match this coming weekend.

I then resized and loaded 200 more bullets and all 200 of them worked just fine. I didn't use case lube on them though. About the only thing I can think of is I skipped resizing when I primed the cases that were giving me problems? Do you think trying to load a fired case that hasn't been resized could have caused the problem?

Fortunately I'm through loading these plated bullets and will stick with my Bayou's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I then resized and loaded 200 more bullets and all 200 of them worked just fine. I didn't use case lube on them though. About the only thing I can think of is I skipped resizing when I primed the cases that were giving me problems? Do you think trying to load a fired case that hasn't been resized could have caused the problem?

If you didn't resize before seating the bullet, the bullet can slide into the case down to the powder level (or slide out).

Could you have really forgotten to resize? If so, you need to come up with a better system. I believe you were using a single stage correct? Run all of your cases through each stage before proceeding to the next stage. Not sure why you are using the bulge buster, is to address a problem you were experiencing?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you didn't resize before seating the bullet, the bullet can slide into the case down to the powder level (or slide out).

Could you have really forgotten to resize? If so, you need to come up with a better system. I believe you were using a single stage correct? Run all of your cases through each stage before proceeding to the next stage. Not sure why you are using the bulge buster, is to address a problem you were experiencing?

Forgetting to resize is the only logical explanation I can come up with for the problem I experienced. I am loading on a single stage press and do things in batches such as resize 100, prime 100, etc. I don't want to have to deal with this again so I've labeled the buckets I use with things like "Need to be resized", "Ready to Prime", "Ready to Load" etc. so I'll know exactly at what stage a given bucket of brass is in.

Regarding the bulge buster I get brass from various sources and running it through the bulge buster seemed like a good idea. I'm no longer going to do that unless the following two conditions are met (1) the loaded cartridge fails to chamber check and (2) it won't fully seat when loaded on a moon clip. I've had some cartridges that wouldn't chamber check in the gauge but would drop right into the cylinder of my 625.

Thanks for the feedback guys. It's clear I have to pay more attention to detail when I'm reloading.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you really feel the need for the bulge buster, do that before you size the case. Also, cleaning primer pockets is generally a waste of time, unless you are loading US military cases made prior to about 1963. The lube should have no effect on bullet seating. It is possible the bulge buster is causing the case mouth to open slightly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you really feel the need for the bulge buster, do that before you size the case. Also, cleaning primer pockets is generally a waste of time, unless you are loading US military cases made prior to about 1963. The lube should have no effect on bullet seating. It is possible the bulge buster is causing the case mouth to open slightly.

I plan to only use the bulge buster if needed. It states in the instructions that you can run loaded cartridges through it so if I can't get one to go into the cylinder of the 625 I'll run it through. Otherwise it's just going to sit on the shelf collecting dust.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a few questions based on what I'm seeing here.

1. Are you lubing your cases because you use steel dies, or are you lubing with carbide?

2. Are you using a Lee FCD with plated bullets like Berry's?

Especially since you're using a single-stage press, I'd suggest you cut out any unnecessary steps to speed the process for you. You don't need to lube clean cases for use with a carbide die. You don't generally experience bulges with .45 (.40... yes). The FCD isn't suggested for use with plated bullets (though I've used them with very thickly plated). Cleaning the primer pockets isn't necessary.

Here's what I do:

1. wet tumble the brass for 1.5-2 hrs in cold water (Primers in, 9mm case full of lemi-shine, and 2 Tbsp Dawn)

2. Rinse with plenty of cold water (until soap is gone), then tumble in media separator to get pins out.

3. Blot them all in a towel to remove water droplets from outside of cases, then leave them on towel to dry for a couple days

4. Resize/deprime/prime (I have a 550b) in stage 1.

5. Flare/powder drop (stage 2)

6. Seat

7. Crimp (I only use the FCD if I'm using jacketed bullets or thickly plated ones).

I can do several hundred cases in about 2 hours, with minimal hassle, nights during the week. By the weekend, I have time and dry cases to load up.

The issue with the FCD is it resizes the brass with the bullet in it. Brass springs back a little, but lead does not. With cast or swaged bullets, you'll resize them smaller than they should be (+.001 over the bore diameter). With plated, you have combination issue with the potential to resize the bullet as well as damage the very thin plating with the crimp. For jacketed bullets, it's not so much an issue.

YMMV, but this has worked for me for thousands and thousands of rounds. Rather than taking the time to perform unnecessary steps, you can be loading more ammo or practicing. This isn't a case where more is better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a few questions based on what I'm seeing here.

1. Are you lubing your cases because you use steel dies, or are you lubing with carbide?

2. Are you using a Lee FCD with plated bullets like Berry's?

1 - I tried using lube after reading about it here on Enos. I hadn't used lube on any press I've owned in the past (SDB / XL650)

2 - I was using the FCD on plated bullets of unknown manufacture. They were some bullets I picked up from Lucky 13 Bullets the last time I was in North Carolina. I normally load Bayou Bullets.

Regarding the bulge buster - I bought it to use with .40 S&W but since it also works with .45 ACP I figured I've give it a try.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a few questions based on what I'm seeing here.

1. Are you lubing your cases because you use steel dies, or are you lubing with carbide?

2. Are you using a Lee FCD with plated bullets like Berry's?

1 - I tried using lube after reading about it here on Enos. I hadn't used lube on any press I've owned in the past (SDB / XL650)

2 - I was using the FCD on plated bullets of unknown manufacture. They were some bullets I picked up from Lucky 13 Bullets the last time I was in North Carolina. I normally load Bayou Bullets.

Regarding the bulge buster - I bought it to use with .40 S&W but since it also works with .45 ACP I figured I've give it a try.

And that's cool. Looking back at my post, it came across much more condescendingly than I intended. Sorry about that.

My point is more, if you weren't having issues, there are likely little to no benefits to adding steps to your process. On the flip side, it's likely you'll introduce new issues you were happily unaware of... a case of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". If you can resize without lube, using carbide cases, I'd suggest you do. Then you don't have to content with cleaning up the lube from the cases. If you can use the brass without the bulge buster, leave the step out. It's likely squeezing down the base of the case is opening up the mouth. The plating on some bullets is VERY thin and the FCD will damage it. Once the integrity of the plating is compromised, it can come apart after exiting the barrel - resulting in real accuracy issues.

The upside is this is a tremendous amount amount of effort you can shave off your process with little to no adverse effects. Good luck to you with whatever you choose to do. Like all free advice, take what you like from mine and see how it works for you. You can't beat the K.I.S.S. principle sometimes, though. :)

Happy Shooting!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt


×
×
  • Create New...