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Lee Classic Loader 45 ACP note

This is a discussion on Lee Classic Loader 45 ACP note within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Originally Posted by pell This is probably the most arrogant and ill-informed post that I've run across on this forum. My original post was a ...


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Old November 12th, 2012, 08:15 AM   #16
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pell View Post
This is probably the most arrogant and ill-informed post that I've run across on this forum.

My original post was a description of a problem that could represent a safety matter to anyone using the Lee Loader @ 45ACP and my solution to that problem. Just that, nothing more.
Well, pell, talk about "ill informed" . Perhaps your assumption that the 45 ACP Lee Loader has no crimp function is wrong. Improper use of reloading tools is dangerous, not the design of the tools, so your "solution" has no merit. It seems you are refusing input that came directly from the tool's manufacturer. You obviously either haven't read the instructions or have been using the tool wrong. Directly from Lee's tech support (my exact question was "What type of crimp does the Lee Loader ap-ply to 45 ACP cases?");

Hi Michael,

The crimp that is applied to the 45ACP case is a taper crimp.

Thanks,


Peter
Customer Service

Lee Precision, Inc.
4275 Highway U
Hartford, WI 53027
phone: 262-673-3075

Ticket Details

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ticket ID: NSP-829-76055
Department: TechSupport
Type: Issue
Status: Closed




Last edited by mikld; November 12th, 2012 at 08:22 AM.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 09:02 AM   #17
 
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Instruction

This is a portion of the instruction sheet included with the Lee Loader. Please note the third paragraph, Step 9.

Use of the Lee FCD does not prevent proper headspacing in a BH 45ACP, an SR1911, or a Glock 21.

I cannot explain the answer provided by the Lee Customer Service Rep. Perhaps he was overly excited and a little bit confused.


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Old November 12th, 2012, 11:43 AM   #18
 
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To an experience reloader, reading those generic instrictions and knowing how semi-auto cartridges headspace, they would know the generic instructions are for roll crimp rounds (fyi, roll reimping is when the mouth of the die is "rolled" into a cannalure or crimp groove in a bullet. Not for cartridges that headspace on the mouth). Lee's 45 ACP Loader taper crimps (fyi, a taper crimp smoothes out the mouth of the cartridge, swaging it into the side of the bullet. But, for 45 ACP, no crimp is applied just "deflaring" or straightening the case mouth). Sorry, I thought I was addressing an experienced reloader...

But, I may be wrong (and all the reloads that were shot in my Ruger P90 and 1911M1 have not fed, nor shot correctly. Hmmm, I wonder what happened to the last 2 thousand 45 ACP cartridges I loaded with 230 gr. LRN and 185 LSWC? Ammo Fairy stold them ).
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Old November 12th, 2012, 12:28 PM   #19
 
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mikld

You have PM.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 02:51 PM   #20
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In post #13 you said you were running them through the LEE FCD so it sounds like you are taper crimping. Correct me if I'm wrong. Having said that, taper crimping will NOT prevent setback. Setback is prevented by case neck tension and obviously you're not getting enough with 6 out of 50 cases. Since you're not having an issue with the Rainier bullets, and looking at the samples you measured, it could be that some of the Hornady bullets are undersized. Still though, your resizer should be returning the cases to a small enough diameter that even the undersized Hornady's should work. Since there is no expander, it sounds like the resizing die may be out of spec. One more thing you might want to do is to check case neck tension with the loads with the Rainier bullet. Firmly press the cartridge into your loading bench nose down. Good neck tension will prevent them from setting back deeper into the case any more than .001 or .002". If your Rainier loads pass this test, the handloads with properly sized cases using the Hornady bullet should also pass the test. Since it's likely that at least 6 out of 50 will not pass the test then it's one of two issues, the undersized bullet, or not enough diameter reduction with the resizing die. I would call LEE and report the issue. At least they should send you a new resizer. I'd also recommend you at least go to a single stage reloading outfit before too much longer.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 04:02 PM   #21
 
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k57

According to Lee Precision, their FCD taper crimps for autos and roll crimps for revolvers.

I defer to your experience on the general question of taper crimping not preventing setback. However, I had six setback bullets in hand when I received the FCD and single stage. Using a bullet puller, I brought all six proud of the case, reseated them to the correct depth, and pushed all six bullets back into the cases with finger pressure. I used the bullet puller again and again reset all 6 to appropriate depth. I then ran all six through the FCD. The FCD was set up and adjusted according to Lee directions, but I added an additional 1/4 turn to the crimp. After running them through the FCD, I rapped each sharply (nose down) on a concrete block. Each bullet remained at the target seating depth.

I loaded another 50 of the Hornadys this eventing for tomorrow's shooting using the FCD as the "finish". All 50 were rapped sharply on the block and all remained at target depth.

At present, my working conclusion is that the Hornadys are problematic in my application and the FCD addresses that to my satisfaction. Once I burn through the Hornadys, I'll return to the Rainiers and continue to use the FCD finish.

I understand and appreciate your recommendation to move to a press, but I enjoy using the loaders. This was reinforced when using the FCD in the single stage ... setup and validation was marginally interesting, but pulling the handle 50 times was just dumb work. With the loaders, I really handle each round and feel more connected with what I'm shooting. I used to shoot a lot of factory rounds every week. Now I'm shooting less but enjoying each round more.
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Old November 12th, 2012, 08:37 PM   #22
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Well, I certainly don't mean to recommend something that would deprive you getting that satisfaction. When you pulled the bullets did you resize the cases again? hopefully you did. My thought is simply this, you would probably get more precise and tighter resizing and then you would be using an expander to bring the internal case diameter to a precise fit for the bullet with enough neck tension.

The way you're using the FCD seems very logical to me and hopefully that will continue to work for you!

Last edited by K57; November 12th, 2012 at 08:39 PM.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 01:21 AM   #23
 
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k57

"When you pulled the bullets did you resize the cases again?"
If you think back to your experience with the loader, I'm sure you'll recall that that would be a little exciting. I have no capability @ hand to safely extract live primers. My only option is to discharge them and that tends to irritate the dogs and make the wife crazy.

There have been a number of FCD posts, here and elsewhere, complaining that the FCD unnecessarily resizes the 45ACP (that is "overly" under-sizes the rounds). I did take one "push back" cartridge and run it through the FCD without the bullet and with the crimp insert removed, then reseated the bullet @ the loader. No joy there. My point in mentioning it is that the bottom end of the FCD appears to be a standard carbide ring straight wall case resizer, so I would think that w/out the crimp insert, the FCD should operate pretty much as a resizer anyway.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 01:27 PM   #24
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Sounds very reasonable. But if it were me, I would discharge the primer, deprime and resize. Might be a little irritating for the dogs and you might wait until your wife is out of the house, but very likely it sounds like it would put an end to the setback problem. Accidentally firing a setback condition cartridge could the ultimate irritation for you and your son. If the FCD did act as a resizer you shouldn't have experienced setback. Maybe I'm missing something here. Are you saying that the loads that had setback were not run through the FCD as a final step in the process?
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Old November 13th, 2012, 02:44 PM   #25
 
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k57

"Are you saying that the loads that had setback were not run through the FCD as a final step in the process?"

No. there's a sequence problem that you're not aware of ... when I first got the FCD and single stage I was thinking about the complaints that the FCD "undersizes" and thought I might be able to use it without the crimp as a tighter resizer, so I tried that with 1 "problem" cartridge and it didn't help. After that I began using it with the crimp in place as the finish step.

"Accidentally firing a setback condition cartridge could the ultimate irritation ..."
+1 on that, which is why I thought it would be a good idea to start the thread. Given the amount of crap I've received from some, I won't be posting anything here again.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 07:05 PM   #26
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Don't sweat it, pell. It would be hard for some to understand the pleasure you're getting by doing it the old fashioned way. Reminds me of the movie with Robert Taylor and Stewart Granger who were buffalo hunters. Each night they sat around the campfire building handloads for the next day with the old Ideal plier type reloading tool.

Yeah, I probably misunderstood. I thought you were running all of your handloads through the FCD as a final step.

Don't let anyone get you down. I'd hate to se you stop posting!
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Old November 14th, 2012, 09:44 AM   #27
 
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In analytical chemistry, an analysis "method" describes everything that you need to do to obtain a reliable and accurate result, everything from how to clean the glassware to data reduction and presentation. Among analytical folks, various methods are known to be "rugged" or "fragile". Rugged methods will provide precise and accurate data even if the analyst is inexperienced and/or a little bit sloppy. Fragile methods are unforgiving: one small preparation error or wearing the wrong tie or shoes will result in worthless data.

I thought that the FCD solution to the Lee Loader problem we've been talking about was "rugged". Turns out it's "fragile" and, while it worked for me, I'm no longer using it and certainly would not recommend it. I've edited the initial post to delete the FCD recommendation. If you're interested in the details, read on.

First, I assume that you've read the whole thread and understand what was going on.

The key post here is k57's Post #20, where he correctly reminds us that a taper crimp will not prevent setback and, since the FCD taper crimps, use of the FCD should not prevent the setback problem. But in my experience the FCD did prevent setback and so I continued to use it for another 150+ rounds. And the fact that it shouldn't work began to nag at me.

Post 15 shows some size data for the bullets in question and notes that, dimensionally, there is no bullet taper from shoulder to base. Notice also the seating depth of the good round @ center in the photo.

I began pulling stable bullets (those loaded with the FCD finish and tested for stability) apart and closely inspecting them.

Think small dimensions here. My selected seating depth left each bullet slightly proud of the case. The FCD applied a taper crimp to the end of the case which, at the case end, pinched the case slightly. Enough of the case mouth was left exposed to ensure correct headspacing, but the pinch "grabs" the bullet and also, importantly, slightly bulges the bullet jacket above the pinch (the appropriate visual is a muffin top). I can see this, but I can't measure it ... there is now a slight taper to the bullet jacket, the taper ending in a slight "shelf" (the muffin top) where a portion of the case mouth drives into the bullet. Again, think small: a portion of the case mouth is grabbing the bullet and forming the shelf on the bullet, but enough of the case mouth is free and exposed to permit correct headspacing.

It's the formation of this restricting "shelf" that is preventing setback in my stable rounds.

Seating depth and the ultimate strength of the "shelf" makes the use of the FCD a fragile solution. Anyone seating with the bullet shoulder flush to the case mouth will have a problem. My loads are medium power ... higher power loads may well overwhelm the shelf and allow setback in other rounds in the cylinder.

Many thanks to k57 for all of the productive conversation.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 01:52 PM   #28
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My pleasure, pell!
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Old November 15th, 2012, 03:49 AM   #29
 
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When I decided to get into reloading in 1970, I purchased the Lee Whack-A-Mole loader for my .44 Magnum.
Halfway through a loading session:
1) Place a new primer into the special base and place the sized case over the primer.
2) Drive the case down onto the primer (whack, whack, BANG!!!)
The middle and ring fingers of my left hand suddenly began to hurt - a lot. They did so for three days afterwards, apparently trying to eject the primer debris embedded in my skin.
The next day, I was down at the gun store purchasing a Lyman Spartan single-stage press. My wife and I had to subsist on franks and beans for a while, but I have a fondness for most of my body parts, fingers in particular.

Now, a lot of you fellas can tout how well their Whack-A-Mole works, but after that incident over 40 years ago, I wouldn't go near one again. In my book, hammers and primers just don't play well together.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 06:30 PM   #30
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My kit came with a hand primer so I never seated primers in the fashion you mention. pell didn't mention any issues with this so I don't expect he's having any issues and may have the hand priming tool like my .41 Magnum kit had.
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