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Discussion Starter #1
Just got a distressing call from Bob James.

I'd sent a pair of SAAs off to him for some 'smithing and regulating POI to a load I've been using for a while, 250gn RNFP Lasercast in Starline Brass using Winchester LP Primers and 5.5 gns of Trail Boss. Nice middling power load, groups well, good in my 1873 carbine as well.

So I recently started reloading this caliber and I HAD been using a Lee loads-all from years ago. You know, the one with a hammer.

Bought a 4-die Lee set and made up some reloads and noticed I was splitting cases.

Meanwhile, had sent 50 of the same loads to Bob for his work, and he just called to tell me that out of 27 shots fired, 12 of the cases split. He mic'd the cases at 8 THOUSANDTHS under SAAMI specs.

I wish I'd troubleshot that before I sent the loads to him.

So I'd tried Dillon dies and didn't like the range of seating depth I got: 1.590 to 1.610 when I crimped the case. Meaning, I'd get the depth set, put a crimp on it, and get that much variation in seating depth. Had a nice talk with Dillon, rep sent me another crimp die, did the SAME thing.

Back to the Lee dies.

Except now I have a carbide die that is overworking the brass.

First time I've EVER had a problem like this, and I"ve reloaded, literally, upwards of 100,000 rounds between two dillon presses, several tens of thousands on single-stage presses (I used to own several machine guns and sub guns and I'm a pistol instructor as a hobby and like to shoot).

Mostly I use Dillon dies, with Hornady for M1 carbine, Lee for .30-06, .44-40, .38 S&W, never had a problem like this. I had a sense the Lee carbide dies were oversizing the brass, but 8 thousandths?

That's background.

Question is, can someone suggest a good set of dies that

1 - don't overwork the brass
2 - seat uniformly
3 - crimp without changing seating depth
4 - will fit in a dillon press.

Open to helpful suggestions.

Thanks in advance.

Norm
 

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I use a single stage press to load .45 Colt with RCBS carbide sizing die. I load to around 700 fps and the brass slides in and out of the sizing die easily.

Many years ago I helped a friend sporterize the K98k rifle his father brought back from WWII. We ordered everything he would need to reload 8mm Mauser, and when we got ready to seat the bullets the case would not go in the seating die. It was plainly stamped 8mm Mauser on the die, but turns out it had been cut for 7mm Mauser. The dies were C&H which I don't believe is in business any longer.
 

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I use Lee dies for loading for my 45 Colt NS and they work just fine. I suspect you have defective dies. Have you contacted Lee?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I use Lee dies for loading for my 45 Colt NS and they work just fine. I suspect you have defective dies. Have you contacted Lee?
No, but I'm going to.

Thing is, now that I've looked at some of the hand loads I've made with Lee dies, I think they're ALL a bit undersized.

I'll take a micrometer to some of them later, but for right now, my first response is to just sh*tcan the things and go with another brand like RCBS (I use those for some of my rifle calibers, like 375H&H and 458 Win Mag).

Now that I've had a few hours to cool down, I'll definitely contact Lee

Thanks.
 

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I myself have not re-sized any .45 Colt Brass when re-loading...i just re-Load them, and I recall no troubles.

I am not sure there is really any need to re-Size any of the old 'low Pressure' Cartridges, unless one has strecthed them using really 'hot' Loads.
 

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Point of interest regarding the statement in post #4: CH is still in business making products better than ever under the new company name of "CH4D". Great people to deal with and great product line.
On point. I quit using my Lee 45 Colt dies and went to the new Hornady product.
 

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IT SEEMS TO ME, you might also have chambers a bit oversized in the 45COLT pistol. "Oversizing" .004"O.D. on a side should NOT cause any split cases in and of itself IF the brass is of the proper temper [ STARLINE ALWAYS IS ! ]
It also seems to me from a second reading you can mix/match your dies and solve that problem !!!
THIS is also why I NEVER miss an opportunity to buy cheap used die sets at gunshows; the tolerences are such that one set of dies CANNOT meet all exintingencies with different sets of components. Some pistol calibers I load have ten sets of dies because of this and I use at least five sets of different 45COLT dies mixed/matched to load that fine old cartridges.
And so it goes...
 

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I myself have not re-sized any .45 Colt Brass when re-loading...i just re-Load them, and I recall no troubles.I am not sure there is really any need to re-Size any of the old 'low Pressure' Cartridges, unless one has strecthed them using really 'hot' Loads.
Do you neck size to provide a good grip on the bullet, or do you rely on crimping to provide sufficient bullet pull?
 

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Do you neck size to provide a good grip on the bullet, or do you rely on crimping to provide sufficient bullet pull?

Had to set all my Loading stuff aside a couple years ago...but from what I recall, I had nice Bullet fit with the un-re-sized Cases, 'as-is', and, I would also do a decent enough Crimp as well of course.

Then too, ( I had forgotten about this part in my earlier post, ) I only used .454-ish Bullets for my .45 Colt Cartridges since the only .45 Colt chamberings I have are old Revolvers where that is the right Bullet diameter.

.38 Special I leaned toward .358 for bullet Diameter.

Some may have been what one might call a medium-snug 'thumb-press' fit as for how much resistence the Case had, to the Bullet being pushed in to depth...and, with an ordinary Crimp, I never had any Cartridges where the Bullet was drifing out.

If I had any where the Bullet would fall in, I would set those Cases aside.

If a .45 Colt Revolver Bore takes a .452 Bullet for the Bullet to fit right, and has 'generous' Cylinder Cartridge chambers, then, probably my habit would not work, and one would have to re-size the Cases afterall.


But I recall no troubles with no re-size in .38 Special loadings anyway, though I do recall older Colt .38 Specials having a little smaller diameter Chambers, than same time period S & Ws seem to have. So my un-re-sized .38 Special Cartridges, you could 'feel' sliding in a little snugger, in a 1920's Army Special, than they would in a 1920s S & W 'M&P'.
 

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Interesting - thanks for the info. I am loading for the NS, so I am using 454 bullets. Eliminating resizing and flaring the case should extend case life significantly. Next batch I reload I will look at this.
 

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Interesting - thanks for the info. I am loading for the NS, so I am using 454 bullets. Eliminating resizing and flaring the case should extend case life significantly. Next batch I reload I will look at this.
Long as you stay with standard Loadings you should be fine, and not have any extraction reluctance or other troubles.

Finding .454 Dies is a little difficult if memory serve...but all you need really is the Crimp Die.

I forget now how I solved that issue...but I do know I found a crimp Die which worked nicely.

If the Crimp Die is too tight, too small, it will not be any fun to use. Lol...and it will either shove the Bullet all the way down into the Case ( with Smokeless ) or end up gripping the Bullet and pulling it out ( if Black Powder ).

I do remember those aspects! Yuck!!
 
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