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  #1  
Old 02-09-2020, 03:20 PM
Kev_byf Kev_byf is offline
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New to reloading SWC...this look right?

It's been a long time since I've reloaded anything and I never have reloaded SWC rounds in a semi auto.

My friend gave me a Dillon 550B and I am trying to get it setup. I made this dummy round (no primer or powder) using a Bear Creek 185gr HBSWC 45 ACP round.

This is what I have so far:





Cartridge Overall Length is 1.220



Crimp is right around 0.472 to 0.473 depending on how I rotate the round.

They drop freely in and out of a Lyman case gauge.

It'll feed in from a Wilson 47D in three different guns I tried them in if I slam the slide closed. It'll feed slowly into two different custom Colts without any issue, but jams in a stock Colt if fed slowly.

Does it look right? Anything I need to adjust before adding powder and going to the range?
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  #2  
Old 02-09-2020, 03:50 PM
GT40DOC GT40DOC is offline
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It looks fine to my eyes, but the "proof of the pudding" will be how it performs at the range, out of the mags, under actual firing. You may have to play with the OAL if you have feeding issues. Good luck!!
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  #3  
Old 02-09-2020, 06:42 PM
jglenn jglenn is online now
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I'd certainly tighten up your crimp to around .466 - .468 for starters. .471 -.472 for jacketed bullets.

you need to measure just the very last portion of you case mouth with the knife edge of your calipers. you're measuring way to far down based on the photo. for Semi wad cutters forget OAL and simply measure from the bullet shoulder to the end of the case.. .920 or so is what you need no matter the weight
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  #4  
Old 02-09-2020, 06:47 PM
Steve in Allentown Steve in Allentown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kev_byf View Post
It'll feed in from a Wilson 47D in three different guns I tried them in if I slam the slide closed.
First do as jglenn suggests. If his suggestion doesn't solve the problem, read on.

Do you mean the slide doesn't go fully into battery unless you smack the back of the slide?

If so, then remove the barrel from the pistol, hold it vertically so the chamber is up and the muzzle is down, drop one of your freshly made reloads into the chamber. This is commonly known as the "plunk test" and is used in lieu of a chamber gauge to determine if your bullet is seated deep enough.

When you perform the plunk test you should hear the mouth of the brass case impact the steel chamber ledge. You should also be able to apply a little pressure to the back of the cartridge and rotate it freely within the chamber. If you can't that means the bullet has engaged the rifling. It has engaged the rifling because the freebore (leade) was not cut deeply enough by the manufacturer.

A good 1911 'smith can ream your barrel so that you can use the same seating depth for it as you use for your other 1911s. Alternatively, you can shoot the more deeply seated rounds needed for this barrel through all of your other pistols.

Last edited by Steve in Allentown; 02-09-2020 at 07:11 PM.
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  #5  
Old 02-09-2020, 07:38 PM
Oldspad Oldspad is offline
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You might load a few and see how they chamber from your Magazine...sometimes I get jams if the round is to long/short...Follow the OAL posted in your manual.
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  #6  
Old 02-09-2020, 07:51 PM
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Grandpas50AE Grandpas50AE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kev_byf View Post
....

Crimp is right around 0.472 to 0.473 depending on how I rotate the round.

They drop freely in and out of a Lyman case gauge.

It'll feed in from a Wilson 47D in three different guns I tried them in if I slam the slide closed. It'll feed slowly into two different custom Colts without any issue, but jams in a stock Colt if fed slowly.

Does it look right? Anything I need to adjust before adding powder and going to the range?
I agree with jglenn and Steve in Allentown - measure at the case mouth to find the crimped measurement - it should ideally be between .469 - .471 in most guns.

For the bolded part above, the 1911 was not meant to "feed slowly" it was meant to feed at normal cycle speed and force. Mistakes most often seen in classes with students chambering rounds is "riding the slide" - this does NOT allow the recoil spring to do its intended job of stripping a round from the mag and driving the round into the chamber. Don't do the "feed slowly" stuff, either release from full slide back or with the slide lock; at least on a 1911.
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  #7  
Old 02-09-2020, 11:25 PM
Kev_byf Kev_byf is offline
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UPDATE

Well, I just lengthened the OAL to 1.226 and tightened the crimp to .470 and...what do you know...the dummy round feeds smoothly in everything (even creeping the slide forward).

Now it's time to figure out what powder load works best.

Thanks everyone.
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  #8  
Old 02-09-2020, 11:41 PM
mikld mikld is offline
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Lookin' good, now make up some "live" rounds and go to the range!

I don't measure crimps on my semi-auto handloads. I reload for four auto calibers and just reduce the flair to get a good plunk, easily. I would double check OAL and "deflaring" for the Colt and check from the slide lock release, then by shooting live ammo as hand cycling is often too "soft". I reload for 32 Auto, 380 Auto, 9mm (3 pistols) and 45 ACP (2 pistols and one carbine) using the plunk test to determine "deflared diameter" (aka "crimp")...
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  #9  
Old 02-10-2020, 07:19 AM
david_root2000 david_root2000 is online now
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If you place 2 rounds next to each other, you need to be able to see they are crimped. If they touch at the end of the case, not enough crimp.

Less than .470 is good.

David
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  #10  
Old 02-10-2020, 08:32 AM
Big Pete10 Big Pete10 is offline
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Plunk test is better than the gauge.
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  #11  
Old 02-10-2020, 11:29 AM
jjfitch jjfitch is offline
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LSWC: I have never had to crimp below .469. Doing so may cause other issues!

I have a barrel that is .0005 oversize. Crimping below recommendation causes tumbling/keyholing!

Full disclosure: This is a 9mm barrel that SAAMI specs at .355, barrel specs at .3555!

All the best,
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Last edited by jjfitch; 02-10-2020 at 03:02 PM.
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  #12  
Old 02-10-2020, 11:48 AM
david_root2000 david_root2000 is online now
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I crimp as low as .463. Just stop by the Bullseye forum and you will see many do it. Partially because the light charges we use get better combustion.

The crimp on the driving band has no affect (effect?) on the base which seals the barrel.

Just because I do it, does not mean you have to do it, but it does work.

For the plunk test, please take the barrel out of the gun first.

David
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  #13  
Old 02-10-2020, 12:05 PM
Steve in Allentown Steve in Allentown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_root2000 View Post
I crimp as low as .463. Just stop by the Bullseye forum and you will see many do it.

The crimp on the driving band has no affect (effect?) on the base which seals the barrel.
David, can you post the URL to the Bullseye forum? Sounds like I need to do some reading. I always thought that squeezing the bullet too much would deform it in such a way that its aerodynamics would be compromised and it wouldn't fly straight.
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:35 PM
Oldfut808 Oldfut808 is offline
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Concur

Quote:
Originally Posted by david_root2000 View Post
I crimp as low as .463. Just stop by the Bullseye forum and you will see many do it. Partially because the light charges we use get better combustion.

The crimp on the driving band has no affect (effect?) on the base which seals the barrel.

Just because I do it, does not mean you have to do it, but it does work.

For the plunk test, please take the barrel out of the gun first.

David
.....
Yeah, I used to crimp to 463 with wonderful results.
Then I backed off to 465 with wonderful results
Now I'm backed off to 468 with wonderful results.
The brass lasts a little longer at the larger diameter.

Fun fact....
I used to load ammo for the guy that started the original bullseye forum.
Lol
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  #15  
Old 02-10-2020, 02:48 PM
Uppsala1911 Uppsala1911 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve in Allentown View Post
David, can you post the URL to the Bullseye forum? Sounds like I need to do some reading. I always thought that squeezing the bullet too much would deform it in such a way that its aerodynamics would be compromised and it wouldn't fly straight.
https://www.bullseyeforum.net/
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  #16  
Old 02-10-2020, 04:09 PM
Slattin Slattin is offline
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Glad the OP posted this, I had the same questions. I'm loading 200gr SWC from Brazos, and wasnt sure if you measure OAL which hodgdon says 1.225 or if you measure from the lip. I've cycled several mags of my loads and didn't have issues, but the true test is at the range. I crimp using the Lee factory, but I never actually measure the diameter, which I probably should? Then adjust the taper on the top of the die to taper more or less? 230gr RN plated are much easier than coated SWC for sure...
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  #17  
Old 02-10-2020, 04:44 PM
GONRA GONRA is offline
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Maybe GONRA missed it, but make sure yer reloads pass the "plunk test". Safe to do in yer basement.
Save chambering LIVE RELOADS to the range in case ya'll have to shoot 'em off.... (Cause they're STUCK!)

Last edited by GONRA; 02-10-2020 at 04:46 PM.
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  #18  
Old 02-10-2020, 05:37 PM
Steve in Allentown Steve in Allentown is offline
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Uniquetek sells a seating die for Dillon reloading machines that contacts SWC bullets at the shoulder rather than the bullet nose. This is what I use. It is not uncommon to find variances in the length of cast or swaged bullet noses which is why using the shoulder to seat the bullets is advantageous.
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  #19  
Old 02-10-2020, 05:44 PM
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RetiredRod RetiredRod is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slattin View Post
Glad the OP posted this, I had the same questions. I'm loading 200gr SWC from Brazos, and wasnt sure if you measure OAL which hodgdon says 1.225 or if you measure from the lip. I've cycled several mags of my loads and didn't have issues, but the true test is at the range. I crimp using the Lee factory, but I never actually measure the diameter, which I probably should? Then adjust the taper on the top of the die to taper more or less? 230gr RN plated are much easier than coated SWC for sure...
In my opinion it's best to get OAL from the bullet mfg/caster and powder charge data from the powder mfg. Since Hodgdon is a powder mfg, how would you know which SWC bullet their listed OAL pertained to?
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Old 02-10-2020, 05:59 PM
Steve in Allentown Steve in Allentown is offline
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Originally Posted by RetiredRod View Post
In my opinion it's best to get OAL from the bullet mfg/caster . . .
For me I simply seat the bullets as long as possible using the constraints of the magazine and the leade as the upper limits to OAL. In other words the cartridges have to be able to be loaded into the magazines with no contact between the bullet and the front of the mag AND the cartridges must pass the plunk test. I pay no attention to what the manufacturer of the bullets recommends. Call me a rebel but I don't hot rod my reloads so pressures are well below max.

I've settled on the .45 bullets I use which makes things simpler and I don't have to fuss with the dies every time.
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Old 02-10-2020, 06:19 PM
Slattin Slattin is offline
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Originally Posted by RetiredRod View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slattin View Post
Glad the OP posted this, I had the same questions. I'm loading 200gr SWC from Brazos, and wasnt sure if you measure OAL which hodgdon says 1.225 or if you measure from the lip. I've cycled several mags of my loads and didn't have issues, but the true test is at the range. I crimp using the Lee factory, but I never actually measure the diameter, which I probably should? Then adjust the taper on the top of the die to taper more or less? 230gr RN plated are much easier than coated SWC for sure...
In my opinion it's best to get OAL from the bullet mfg/caster and powder charge data from the powder mfg. Since Hodgdon is a powder mfg, how would you know which SWC bullet their listed OAL pertained to?
Doesn't the powder manufacturer list the specs not only on the grains but also the OAL and pressures? I thought the OAL also plays into factor the amount of pressure that is generated.
If you look at hodgdon site, typically they list the type of bullet and the specs, like LSWC, RN, HP, etc. And most bullet manufacturers tell you to refer to the powder manufacturer for reloading specs.
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  #22  
Old 02-10-2020, 06:48 PM
blindshooter blindshooter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve in Allentown View Post
Uniquetek sells a seating die for Dillon reloading machines that contacts SWC bullets at the shoulder rather than the bullet nose. This is what I use. It is not uncommon to find variances in the length of cast or swaged bullet noses which is why using the shoulder to seat the bullets is advantageous.
This^^^^^^
I made my own from the o ringed Lee seat dies. This fits the Dillon seat die and makes for easy clean up without worrying about adjustment changes. I think they also start the bullet much more square/straight.
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Old 02-10-2020, 08:57 PM
CT911 CT911 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slattin View Post
Doesn't the powder manufacturer list the specs not only on the grains but also the OAL and pressures? I thought the OAL also plays into factor the amount of pressure that is generated.
If you look at hodgdon site, typically they list the type of bullet and the specs, like LSWC, RN, HP, etc. And most bullet manufacturers tell you to refer to the powder manufacturer for reloading specs.
Just keep in mind that in many cases the oal listed is the oal "tested" not recommended, it could have been tested in a barrel fixture. You should use it as a reference point and find an oal that works in your gun.
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Old 02-10-2020, 10:11 PM
Slattin Slattin is offline
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[/Quote]
Just keep in mind that in many cases the oal listed is the oal "tested" not recommended, it could have been tested in a barrel fixture. You should use it as a reference point and find an oal that works in your gun.[/QUOTE]

True. Hodgdon says 1.25 for RN 230gr, I've loaded between 1.22-1.25 and all have functioned and cycled perfectly.

Last edited by Slattin; 02-10-2020 at 10:23 PM.
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  #25  
Old 02-11-2020, 06:14 AM
david_root2000 david_root2000 is online now
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25 yards, .463 crimp 5 shots.

Click image for larger version

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Getting just under 2" @ 50 yards from sandbags. Gold Cup, Kart Barrel.

Brazos 200 SWC Hi Tek coated,
4.0 Bullseye
1.250"

I too use the seating stem that pushes the SWC by the driving band.
OAL is set by the barrel and Plunk test. Barrel OUT OF THE GUN. They should go in the barrel and be able to turn,
or fall out when the barrel is turned muzzle up.

Its what works for you. OAL, Crimp and powder charge.
If you go to the bullseye forum listed earlier, you will find pages of loads by masters and Grand masters.
Spending the time trying out different loads helps you get to know your gun.

David

Last edited by david_root2000; 02-11-2020 at 06:21 AM.
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