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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. I load 9mm, 41mag, 44mag/special and 45acp with good results and always enjoy reloading. But past month I've been cussing 40 since getting new custom 2011 for limited division. Worked through inadequate bell causing bump below bullet due to thin walls. Got to enough crimp to take out extra bell without too much crimp. Screened out fails due to "Glock bulge", ordered a Lee FCD to use as push through.

Learned hard way at match that passes through Dillon case gauge do not necessarily chamber. Custom gun has Schuemann Ultimatch barrel. I guess it is tight. Dillon case gauges always worked well for 9mm and 45acp.

Yea I know ... just check with barrel. That's what I've been doing. But prefer gauge as it is always at the bench, no field stripping the gun. Also a gauge covers all around bottom of rim, barrel only at contact with hood.

So does anyone have gauge that is tight? I've read EGW and Lyman are tight. Amazon Prime has Lyman so leaning to it if comparable to EGW.
 

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I just checked my Lyman gauge for .40S&W and the diameter at the mouth of the gauge is 0.415". Check the diameter of your chamber against that to see if the gauge will work for you.

The case gauge is tighter than the chamber of my XD40 (not a match barrel), so everything that fits in the gauge is certain to fit in my gun. Like you, I find it easier to use a gauge rather than disassembling the gun to use the barrel. I've taken some grief for it, but to me it is worth the $20 on Amazon for something I will use for the rest of my reloading life.

Hopefully the info helps.
 

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You are always going to be fighting it if the barrel is just chambered too tight. What may be ok for a bullseye shooter is altogether different from what is "good enough" for an action shooter. What is "good enough". Do you need a gun that will print one hole groups at 25 yards when you are paying for it daily by not being able to put any reloads in it at all? Might it be better to have a gun that will shoot into a silver dollar at 25 yards and still be able to use handloads? The real question is... can you actually HOLD and SHOOT the gun at the speeds required to have a 1/2" difference at 25 yards really matter? For human beings that I have known in the gun games, the answer is to ream the chamber and forget about the difference in accuracy it might make if you were a robot who could hold to the fineness required to wring the absolute maximum accuracy out of the gun. If you personally can, standing on your two legs and holding the gun in your hands, shoot less than a 4" group at 25 yards on demand you are a very good shot, but still not as good as that very tight but unusable gun can deliver... so really, relax, take a deep breath, and ream the chamber.

And, by the way, if you do ream the chamber, the gun will still shoot better than you or any other human can hold it.
 

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All the current gauges should be saami max or better. The issue with the 40 is range brass. Set the dies up with known brass would help a lot. A pass thru sizer like the redding should fix the range brass issues. Match bbls are great, but really work best with brass only from your gun, regardless of caliber. Fwiw, I have dillon gauges for a few diff calibers & for checking my match ammo. So far so good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I just checked my Lyman gauge for .40S&W and the diameter at the mouth of the gauge is 0.415". Check the diameter of your chamber against that to see if the gauge will work for you. ... to me it is worth the $20 on Amazon for something I will use for the rest of my reloading life. Hopefully the info helps.
this does help JP - my chamber measures .424 and my Dillon gauge measures .429. So your Lyman is tighter then my Dillon. Of course they will both have some variations, the Lyman I might get may be slightly different, but should be only a thou or so I would think. Seems like should be better for my chamber.
You are always going to be fighting it if the barrel is just chambered too tight. What may be ok for a bullseye shooter is altogether different from what is "good enough" for an action shooter ... so really, relax, take a deep breath, and ream the chamber. And, by the way, if you do ream the chamber, the gun will still shoot better than you or any other human can hold it.
totally agree JSG - I have thought about reaming. No I am not good enough to notice a few thou in chamber, but I did buy a custom gun so would rather not loosen it, would rather make my ammo better if I can
All the current gauges should be saami max or better. The issue with the 40 is range brass. Set the dies up with known brass would help a lot. A pass thru sizer like the redding should fix the range brass issues. Match bbls are great, but really work best with brass only from your gun, regardless of caliber. Fwiw, I have dillon gauges for a few diff calibers & for checking my match ammo. So far so good.
agree Fred, Dillon gauges have served me well for 9 and 45. But as you can see from numbers above, my Dillon is looser then JP's Lyman. My Dillon is bigger then my chamber, JPs Lyman is tighter then my chamber. BTW, I did screen out range crap, ie Glocked brass.

A further note: as I struggled through belling and crimp, I decided that must crimp just a bit more then ideal. Belled more to avoid bump just under bullet (fighting the 40 thin walled cases), and then had to crimp more to remove that extra bell. I had to increase crimp about 1/3 turn more then the sweet spot that is just enough to hold bullet with nice neck tension. In order to fit chamber I am leaving just a little ring mark on plating - not ideal, but not terrible I think.
 

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Until Glock provides complete support of the case-head rather than just improving poor support of the case-head, culling out Glocked brass is a good idea, IMO. You can get dies that will remove the bulges, BUT they do not repair the structural damage (weakening) caused by the bulge and are therefore only a cosmetic remedy. Combine a few other variables like poor (very-fast burning) powder selection with that pre-bulged area finding its way back to the unsupported area over the feed-ramp and Ka-Booms have occurred.

I've only bought 1 single case-gauge in my lifetime and it was for .40 S&W. Your barrel's chamber is still the best case-gauge you can use. If your sizing die is not getting cases resized down small enough for your chamber, maybe a different sizing die is in order, i.e. REDDING as Fred mentioned. ;)
 

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Best case gage, and only one I have ever used, is the gun's barrel.
Bump below bullet (I assume it was a case bulge at or near the base of the bullet) means that the bullet was seated crooked. This means either you didn't expand the ID of the case at all (or your expander plug is too small) or your seating stem is such a poor fit to the bullet that it allowed (forced) the bullet to seat crooked. Case flare has nothing to with this. If you are using an expander like the Powerfunnel that ONLY flares the case mouth, try some loads with the expander that came with the dies to actually expand the cases efore you charge the case and see if that improves things.
Then, there is the band-aid approach and get a Lee FCD in .40 to iron-out the problem so the rounds will chamber (they may or not be accurate, but they will chamber).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
An update: received Lyman case gauge today (gotta love amazon prime). It measures .422, .002 less then my chamber, .007 less then Dillon gauge. So just tight enough. I had used barrel as gauge last reload session. 500 rounds, 15 rejected with barrel. Dillon gauge passed all but one of those, lyman rejected all 15. So looks like Lyman is a better go/no go for custom gun (nothing wrong with dillon at SAAMI spec). Yes the Lyman will reject some that would be fine in barrel - that's ok with me as will use same process as I do for 9 and 45 in normal barrels: good rounds get boxed, rejects get evaluated and either pulled or into bag for target practice only, bags never to matches. One thing I'm going to fool around with for 40 is rejects through FCD without crimp inner ring - doubt those will ever make it from bags to boxes for matches.
 

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For a lot of the gun gamers who use 40cal, the standard procedure is to use a GRX Redding "push through" die on cleaned brass which eliminates the "Glock bulge" thing, and then use a "U die" or undersized die for sizing the brass. This seems to work pretty well for reducing rejects and still keep production up to reasonable levels without having any quality problems with finished rounds. Personally, I have never had to use a U die, but I do use a GRX die on brass the first time I use it in 40cal and thereafter it is good to go if shoot through my guns, though none of them have so small a chamber as yours seems to.
 
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