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Discussion Starter #1
Hows it going everyone?! Happy "holiday" lol. Just to inform other readers and my regular question answering buddies; I bought the Lee Progressive 1000 (3 die system). I also bought an additional Stage 1 press; smaller press used just for the Carbide Factory Crimp die.

I have been reading the HELL out of my Lee, Modern Reloading book and am still having alot of trouble and have experimented a few different times with my reloads at the range.

Anyways, I was told to back the crimp/seating (3rd die) out so it seats only; I have stayed between 1.115 - 1.135 inches as stated everywhere. I'm having bullets detach from their casings and getting stuck inside the barrel; not fired and "corked" though, just stuck a bit before the rifiling it seems. They pop out with a good amount of force from the muzzel end using my bore brush. Most of the time I have to apply roughly 60-80% of all of my strength to release it. However, sometimes they slip right out using maybe enough strength as it takes to rack the slide.

Also when they (do) actualy fire, they hardly feed reliably. Sometimes when I go to fire it will "click," like when dry fired. Then I drop the mag and go to release it by locking the slide back. The bullet will actualy (almost) come completely out of the casing. I meassured some of those after I got home with my digital caliper I was advised to buy, and they came to be pulled to 1.965 inches or so. Some of the ones that "dry fired clicked" however did not stretch at all; as they did not have a problem being released.

Sometimes after a good round was fired, when the slide returned to fire the next round loaded, the striker pin was not pertruded all the way from the back of the slide like it normaly would be when ready to fire. Sometimes I could just hit the back of the slide hard enough to knock it the rest of the way forward into firing position. It would sometimes be enough to get it to fire, sometimes I couldn't get the slide to budge forward at all. Then sometimes when one would again, "dry fire click" I ejected the round to inspect it; it would have a slight ding on the primer like a normal fired casing would. I though maybe I didn't put powder in that particular round or something. Then after firing the rest of the magazine out, I loaded the "dinged primer" round straight into barrel while the slide was locked back, then let the slide slam forward by releasing the slide lock, it fired! I did this with all of the rounds that did this, which was 4 or more atleast. It's like the slide isn't returning all of the way forward for the striker to hit the primer enough to ingnite it or something. This would mean my rounds are to long though? My caliper is not wrong, un-calibrated, and is correctly zero(d).

Also, I was already told the reason for this next ordeal but on my last trip to the range, I was having these "gold granules/specs" everywhere about gun powder sized or so. I was told this was infact gunpowder, but halfway unburned or something to that effect. Anyways, I was also told this was from the ammunition not being crimped tight enough, so therefore they weren't being burned correctly and air was leaking inside the casing when it expands as it's being fired. So I went back and tightened down my 4th die (crimp die) and boom, I had no more golden granules or whatever on the next trip to the range, but still had the other problems listed above, which I have had on all of my trips to the range. However, they were reduced EXTREMELY on the trip that I was just speaking of about the "no more golden grains" deal. Anyways, I was then advised to back out my 3rd die COMPLETELY to hopefully fix all of those problems, so I did this by:

Taking the 3rd die completely out and setting it aside. Bring an empty flared shell in the shell holder all of the way to the top and holding it there. Then I screwed down the die untill I saw the shell (touched.) Basicaly, when I saw that shell turn at at all with the rotation of the die of course, I backed the die out so (it was not touching at all.) Then tightened the lock ring. Back out the shell, slap a bullet on, and then find your bullet seating depth as usual. While that is done. I still had all of those problems though.

Just so I am clear because I know that I always sound confusing:

1) My firt "batch" of bullets had the 3rd die STILL crimping "slightly" though, not the same amount of crimp you would use as if there were NO 4th die at all. However, the 4th die was not crimped ALOT. The result was the golden grainy powder and the rest above.

2) Second batch of bullets; I backed out the 3rd die slgihtly hardly at all. Just for reference to you readers of the actual crimping postition, this is the only way I can explain it to you: You would put the shell all the way up (like I was explaining earlier), screw the die down even PAST the part where it turns the shell a few rotations before it actualy stops. Then tightened the crimp on the 4th die SLIGHTLY. The result of this was NO MORE grainy golden powder, bullets falling out of their casings, but still had feeding problems and or the "dry fire clicking/dinged primers.)

3) Third batch of bullets; I then did what I described earlier by back out the 3rd die crimp. Then I tightened the crimp on my 4th die even more. Now there is scraping of mouths I guess you would say of all of the casings. Like it was polished or something, you can literaly see from 10 feet away, that there's a ring around the top of every casing. Basicaly, I thought this meant that there was to much crimp, so I backed it off untill it stopped and or was minimal, but was still at a slighty tighter crimp than the previous batch. The result of this was, back to the grainy golden powder stuff, bullets falling out, dry fire clicking, dinged primers (then re-fired), and feeding problems all to hell, you name it, it happened. Back to square one!

Thanks everyone and hope you have a happy holiday! I will try as well, lol. I would appreciate the advise of anyone if you don't runaway from my long drawn out post in the first place lol. I would especialy appreciate the advise of the people with similar systems, and if you do have a similar system and do not have these problems, it would be nice to here a detailed instruction of the last two die's. Thanks guys,


Mike :D
 

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Well it sounds like you may be belling the case mouth too much and the bullets are not being retained. Three things to check make sure you are sizing the cases correctly, not belling more than .001 to .003 and that your crimp die is set up to do a medium crimp.
If the side is not going into battery it may be that your cases or crimp are too big. Use a case gauge or your barrel out of the gun to test this. I load on a Dillon so I can’t advise you as to how to set up your press. I would suggest removing your dies and start over following the manual very closely.
Good luck
[/code]
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I just edited my first post in more detail because I thought it didn't make much sense.

Thanks for your response, belling meaning flare correct? It shouldn't be belled more than .001 - .003 from it's original condition out of the box; I am using used casings also.
 

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Belling - flare yup same thing. After you resize the case measure it at the mouth. Then after you flare it is should be .001 to .003 larger.
Also you did not mention what caliber you are loading.

One other comment. It's not a great idea to allow the side to slam into battery with a round in the chamber. It puts a lot of stress on the extractor, and can damage or break it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Lmao, sorry about that. I am using a 40 caliber.

One other comment. It's not a great idea to allow the side to slam into battery with a round in the chamber. It puts a lot of stress on the extractor, and can damage or break it.
Really, thank's for the fact; I really didn't know that to be honest.

And thanks to both; again, for responding. I will meassure that up right now as we speak and post back to you guys.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Excellent, I meassured 6 rounds after passing through the sizing/de-priming die, 4 of which were .419, another being .420, and another at .421 inches in diameter. Not in that order though. I then measured .428 - .430 inches after passing through the next die. Damn, sounds like I'm a bit off LOL.

I see why this would be a problem when then (skipping) crimping on the next die, passing it right along to the Carbide Factory Crimper at a whopping .430 inches; being that the reason of getting scraped/shaved casing mouths. I am still a little in wonder though how this would effect any overal performance (being the problems I stated earlier.)

If I put a 50 caliber bullet "hypotheticaly" through this die, it should still come out to whatever it usualy would; when putting a .422-.424 inch casing through it, wouldn't it?

Also another question about that die now that it reminds me, when a round is going up it, (hard to describe) it basicaly has two different "steps" or "stops," how about restrictions, we'll try for that then, lol.

Anyways: round is on it's way up, then it stops, then you have to apply more pressure to finish the stroke. It does this again a second time (stopping/restricting) thus having to add an even greater amount of pressure to finish the stroke. Right near the top when it looks like the shell holder is just a tad or so away from touching the die, there is another stop/restriction, but this one is different than the other two, the other two feel very similar to eachother. The third is much more stiff, and does not click or anything like that when passing it. It takes more pressure for that stop/restriction is what I am trying to say. On the way out, the round clicks twice, just as it did almost identicaly as the first two restrictions when going up. It almost feels they are in the same place as well. But the there is not 3 restrictions on the way out; as there are 3 on the way in.
 

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SteveW1958 said:
One other comment. It's not a great idea to allow the side to slam into battery with a round in the chamber. It puts a lot of stress on the extractor, and can damage or break it.
What? :? And when you fire it doesn't slam shut .The repeated dropping on a half way extracted or stuck round will brake your extractor not a properly seated in the pipe round.
OK mike first of all what kind of primer are you using? and are they seating fully.
The belling of the Case is just to keep the bullet from hanging on the edge of the case.
When I first started I was not crimping well enough and they wouldn't load properly.
Standard case diameter is .420 at the crimp my come out to.415 that is the very edge with the narrow point of the calipers
Also what kind of bullet are you using? Makes allot of difference on seating depth :shock:
 

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XD40 Mike,

Tell us what-

1) Bullet

2) Case

3) Powder (including charge)

4) Primer

5) Brand of dies

You are using. Forgive me if you mentioned this somewhere in your original post, but it was just too much info for me to process.
 

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It sounds like your expander plug is too large of a diameter.
For reference, WWW 165 grain bullets measure .414" right at the crimp (bullet/case interface) and .418" when measured in the middle of where the bullet sets in the case (.120" down from the crimp edge). My reloads, with 180 grain West Coast plated bullets measure .420" right at the crimp (bullet/case interface) and .419" when measured in the middle of where the bullet sets in the case (.120" down from the crimp edge). Looks like my reloads could use a bit more crimp.
I'm no expert but, as I understand it, case tension on the bullet, which is a function of the expander plug diameter, is what holds the bullet in place. The taper crimp is mainly to remove the case mouth bell.

WyoBob
 

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What? :? And when you fire it doesn't slam shut .The repeated dropping on a half way extracted or stuck round will brake your extractor not a properly seated in the pipe round.

R/T Performance
When the slide strips a round off the mag in normal functioning, the case rim slides under the extractor hook as the slide moves forward. Weather the round is fully seated or not the extractor hook is still forced over the case rim. On a fully chambered round the forces would be greater as the slide has traveled farther and has more inertia behind it. I am not sure about the XD owners manual (I don’t have one in front of me) but most pistol manufactures advise against dropping the side on a chambered a round.
I'm no expert but, as I understand it, case tension on the bullet, which is a function of the expander plug diameter, is what holds the bullet in place. The taper crimp is mainly to remove the case mouth bell.

WyoBob
This is my understanding as well. Although I believe the crimp does provide some bullet retention, but can not overcome excessive mouth diameter.


The seating die or the crimp die will not change the diameter of the bullet. The seater just applies downward pressure to set the bullet to the correct depth. The crimp die is designed with a taper (greater taper for a roll crimp) to remove the belling that was created to make bullet seating easier. One way to verify you have created a solid round, is to place the bullet nose vertically on a scale. With a block of wood (to save your fingers), push down on the back of the case. With a reasonable pressure (I expect about 40 # on my 357 SIG reloads I have not recently checked my 40's) the bullet should not move back more than a couple of thousandths.

Again I am not familiar with your press. I would not expect to feel anything but a smooth stroke as you activate the ram through it's full range. This may not be the case with your press. Hopefully some one with first hand knowledge of your press will chime in.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Awesome, thanks everyone for responding...

Ok first, I am loading 145 grain hard cast leads.

The bullet depth, "standard margin" is 1.115 - 1.135 inches. Also I have a range report for you guys as well.

After my post yesterday about my flaring being WAY to much, I backed out that die some so it would only flare to .423 inches, from .420 inches.

This is hard to word correctly and make it sound thourough but I'll try anyways; I then loaded up 5 different boxes of 50 rounds, each I marked because each one was different. On the first box of 50, I turned the Carbide Factory Crimp Die a quarter turn tighter; more crimp. I thought this was my problem all along anyways: not being crimped enough, why the hell else would a bullet release from it's casing.

Anyways, the 5 boxes were a quarter turn more than the previous box, so tighter, tighter, tighter, etc. Oh ya and not to mention I was getting lead shaving rings from my seating die, and if not from their; the Factory Crimp die would finish off the caking of lead over the brass. (Obviousely I backed out the flare to much but whatever at this point)

After 200-300 rounds, I only had 2 bullets come apart. Which is remarkable as compared to the day before. The ONLY reason those two released: After getting a round to actualy cycle and then fire, when the slide was on it's way back bringing in the next round, it would "stick." The striker was almost pertruding like it would normaly, but I could clearly see that it was jammed or something. Screw it at this point I said; I would just slam it forward with the palm of my hand. Most of the time I could get it back into the firing position, however, two times I could not. When trying to lock the slide back to see what was the deal, and that's when the two bullets came apart, (two different times of course.)

That's it for the range report basicaly, except the rounds wouldn't cycle worth a damn. Sometimes every single one would jam. I did find that on 90% of the rounds that jammed; all had a similar mark on the top of the round at the edge, it was basicaly a gash I guess you could call it. Pretty deep too on some of them, then again leads soft.

invssgt:

1) Bullet

2) Case

3) Powder (including charge)

4) Primer

5) Brand of dies
145 grain hard cast lead SWC

Casing where all various, I picked them up at the range and cleaned them.

Powder is Accurate #2, charge is 5.9 grains "supposively" using the Lee Auto Disk Powder Measure on the .49cc setting.

Primers are CCI. (small pistol)

Dies and press are Lee, http://www.shooterscatalogue.com/products/reloading-Lee1.html
Thanks for the link Polarbear. Anyways I am using the Pro 1000, and then the small reloader press for my Carb. Factory Crimp.
 

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Mike where did you go?
You bought your press locally right? How close do you live to the store maybe you could get somebody on the staff to stop buy and give you a hand?Just a thought that would be one of the advantages of buying locally.
P.S. Mullman if your still watching this thanks for pointing me to the dillon
 

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Discussion Starter #14
R/T Performance said:
Mike where did you go?
You bought your press locally right? How close do you live to the store maybe you could get somebody on the staff to stop buy and give you a hand?Just a thought that would be one of the advantages of buying locally.
I bought it right around the corner actualy; good idea, I guess it couldn't hurt to ask, they're pretty cool guys.www.10ring.com

P.S. Mullman if your still watching this thanks for pointing me to the dillon
LOL, come one now Rob now that's just mean :evil: Lmao, I'll get it working some day :D
 

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Mike,

Respectivly, you must use more flare with cast lead bullets, use just enough flare so that the lead shaving problem goes away. If you have your crimp die set correctly it will correct it at that station. Also you said you are loading .40, USED casings right? If you are have they been shot thru a glock? Check the casing at the webbing for bulging, this will cause the exact problem you are describing. I happen to use an EGW undersise resise die for this problem myself. It has no flare and will resise all the way to the bottom of the case. 8)
 

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it realy sounds like your oal may be to long,

field strip the gun, use your barrel as a case gauge.

have a dowl rod handy incase you get one stuck push a round into the chamber pull it out do you have a ring on the bullet? does the round sit flush like a factory round?

when you drop that round into the chamber it should slide in easily, slowly increas your seating depth using dummy rounds untill you get one that sits in the chamber easily, go back to minimum powder charge load a few, and test fire those, see how it works chase that brass check for signs of overpessure ect.


it takes allot of tweaking before you get used to adjusting dies for flare when loading lead bullets.

another thing when you pick up range brass the glock ammo will ahve the rectangular primer strike. i havnt had a problem with them but i havnt loaded for an xd yet.

one time i tried to shoot the ammo i loaded for a p89 in a cz 75, no go i had the problems you satated above wouldnt chamber when you pulled the slide back it would rip the round apart sometimes.
 

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XD40 Mike-

Ok first, I am loading 145 grain hard cast leads.

The bullet depth, "standard margin" is 1.115 - 1.135 inches. Also I have a range report for you guys as well.
Too much variance- try to hold your margin of error to .001, .002 max when you establish the OAL that works with your gun.

After my post yesterday about my flaring being WAY to much, I backed out that die some so it would only flare to .423 inches, from .420 inches.
Forget all this "measuring the flare" crap. You want to expand the case just enough that you can seat the bullet without shaving lead on the case mouth. I always take the bullet I am loading and press it into a belled case when I am setting up the die. When it can be started with your fingers, just enough to hold the bullet, you are there.

This is hard to word correctly and make it sound thourough but I'll try anyways; I then loaded up 5 different boxes of 50 rounds, each I marked because each one was different. On the first box of 50, I turned the Carbide Factory Crimp Die a quarter turn tighter; more crimp. I thought this was my problem all along anyways: not being crimped enough, why the hell else would a bullet release from it's casing.

Anyways, the 5 boxes were a quarter turn more than the previous box, so tighter, tighter, tighter, etc. Oh ya and not to mention I was getting lead shaving rings from my seating die, and if not from their; the Factory Crimp die would finish off the caking of lead over the brass. (Obviousely I backed out the flare to much but whatever at this point)
Here is some of your problem. You cannot adjust the crimping die with lead all over your cases. Set the expander die until you get no shaving, and start over with the crimp die.


After 200-300 rounds, I only had 2 bullets come apart. Which is remarkable as compared to the day before.
This should happen NEVER- zero, zip, nada.

The ONLY reason those two released: After getting a round to actualy cycle and then fire, when the slide was on it's way back bringing in the next round, it would "stick." The striker was almost pertruding like it would normaly, but I could clearly see that it was jammed or something. Screw it at this point I said; I would just slam it forward with the palm of my hand. Most of the time I could get it back into the firing position, however, two times I could not. When trying to lock the slide back to see what was the deal, and that's when the two bullets came apart, (two different times of course.)
The 40XD has almost no "throat", and bullets with a sharp driving band (classic SWC) have to be seated a tad deeper because otherwise, the shoulder will engage the rifling and pull the bullet- or deep-seat it, driving pressures WAY up. Stop before you blow yourself up. When you smacked it forward with your hand, the rifling got a good bite on the bullet.

That's it for the range report basicaly, except the rounds wouldn't cycle worth a damn. Sometimes every single one would jam. I did find that on 90% of the rounds that jammed; all had a similar mark on the top of the round at the edge, it was basicaly a gash I guess you could call it. Pretty deep too on some of them, then again leads soft.
XD40's (ours at least) do not like SWC's. In order to get them to feed, I had to seat the driving band almost flush with the case mouth. Again, be careful with powder charges when doing this! You need to start BELOW the minimim starting load when you short your OAL below the minimum length. And for God's sake, buy a good scale! NEVER trust a powder measure without confirming it with a reliable, zeroed scale.

I'm gonna try to take a pic of a properly-crimped round later, and add it to this post.
 

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Here's a photo which might be helpful in understanding how the .40 Semi-wadcutter (SWC) and Truncated Cone TC bullet profiles compare, how much to expand the case, what the crimp should look like, etc. The two bullets on the left are sitting on top of inverted, fired cases; this was simply to get them all about the same height for the macro shot.
From left to right-
___________________________1. 175 lead SWC____________2. 180 lead TC____________3. Expanded Case____________4. Case w/bullet inserted____________5. Seated, Crimped Round



First, take a look at the two bullets. Note how much farther forward the shoulder on the SWC bullet is, the fact that the shoulder is sharper, and that the length of the SWC is greater as well. You will have to load the SWC shorter than the TC to get it to "miss" the top of the chamber as it feeds; it is also easier for the sharp shoulder of the SWC to engage the rifling, if you load it too long. Remember that when you go below the OAL listed in the manuals, you must reduce your powder charge accordingly, to keep pressures within safe limits.

Next, take a look at the expanded case. You can just see the "flare", but it don't look like a blunderbuss, either.

Now look at the next image, which is a 180 TC seated in the expanded case- with finger pressure alone. Note that it went into the case about halfway to the lube groove. This is not critical, but I mention it becasue it provides a reference point as you are adjusting your expanding die. Using this much "flare", the bullets will seat perfectly, without shaving any lead or bullet lube whatsoever.

The last image is a finished round with the 180 TC, loaded to an OAL of 1.125 and crimped using the Lee "Factory Crimp" die. These loads feed like butter through our XD40's. If you look closely you can just see the case mouth rolled into the bullet. Not only will these bullets NOT deep-seat on the feed ramp- you can push the loaded round against your workbench, nose first, and it will not move. This consistency of crimp provides us with safety, as well as accuracy- a consistent bullet release contributes to consistent accuracy.

They also shoot real well, too. The target below was fired at 50 yards from a standing Weaver position. The orange bull is 3 inches; four of the five rounds went into 2 1/2 inches. Of course I managed to "flub" one, but I have no doubt that this is an accurate load. These guns continue to amaze me with their accuracy potential, despite the fact that they were designed as service weapons. The XD is a hell of a pistol.
 

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Thanks for the pics. Are those store bought or did you cast those bullets?
Pretty darned good shooting, too!

WyoBob
 

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Thank you Bob- I was having a "good" day, excepting the flyer.

The 175 SWC was cast by the now-defunct Lane Bullet Co; the 180 was cast by Bushwacker at Nevada, MO. I don't cast my own, although I have been real tempted to try Lee's 180 tumble-lube SWC mould.

Heck, I barely have time to reload- but I intentionally handicap myself with single-stage presses. At least I know exactly what is happening with every pull of the handle. I also load a couple hundred .30-06's every 3 years or so, so the single-stages work fine for what I do.

Don't know when I'd ever have time to cast bullets.

If I didn't carry this gun to work every day, I'd put a match trigger on and just see what it was capable of. I believe it would run with the big dogs, properly outfitted as a target pistol.
 
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