So to continue on this post, have a set of RCBS dies for 45 ACP and so far most of what I have done is adjust the belling die to expand the case enough to fit a 230 grain round nose bullet. Then without powder fit the bullet and then have it taper crimp. I finally got a case guage to make sure what I load with fit into my son's 45. Well I can't even make them fit the case guage. Not sure if I am belling them too much and when installing the bullet the taper crimp is making the case longer as I am about 40-50 thou. from fitting in the case guage.
I used one of his factory rounds to set the depth of the bullet seater and the factory round fits the case guage just fine, but the reloads still won't fit flush with the top of the case guage. OAL meets the spec's in my reloading book. The sized case fits just fine also.
0.040 to 0.050 is a lot! What is the diameter of the bullets? They should be 0.451-0.452..... .45 Colt bullets typically run about 0.454 or so. Do the cases have "panty lines" after you seat the bullet? (panty lines, means you can see how far the bullet is seated in the case, by observing a slight bulge in the case caused by the seated bullet) case gauges are normally manufactured to minimum chamber dimensions, to make sure gauged ammo will fit in any chamber.
What kind of bullets are you loading? Jacketed, cast, plated? Do the loaded rounds drop into the case gauge, and just stop suddenly, or do the "tighten up" gradually as they enter the gauge? Is your case gauge the type, that if you drop just a bullet in, it will just fall though?
This is an interesting problem, please keep us posted! I've probably got more questions..... I see your in Sparks, so not to far away, will get this figured out!
Bullet diameter is 0.452 and they are poly coated. The case gauge is a L.E. Wilson. There is a stepped edge so they don't fall thru. They just stop at one point very close to the edge were the factory round stop. This is the reason I got the case gauge as they weren't loading into the chamber of my son's 45. Just measured and they are about 0.020 from going completely into the case gauge. Measured the diameter of the factory round and at the top of the case it measures 0.468, the reloaded round is at 0.465.
Bullets are DG Bullets. You can see the part that has the tapered crimp at the top of the case.
"Bullet diameter is 0.452 and they are poly coated."
Is that 0.452 the diameter listed on the box the bullets came in, or is it what you miked them out to?
Reason I ask is, one of my older brothers , who has been reloading as long or longer than I have, experienced this same issue recently with poly coated bullets. The Box said the diameter was .0452, but the bullets miked out a anywhere from 0.455 to 0.457" diameter.
The Box size was before the polycoating, and was due the company that made them screwing up and poly coating slugs already sized to 0.452" instead of ones that were sized further down to 0.449 to allow for the polycoating's increase in the diameter of an average of 0.003".
Try miking the slugs if you have not already, to be sure that at the base they do measure 0.452".
If they do, then.............
As Mac suggested ^^, can you size a case and then have it fit perfectly into the chamber gauge?
If so, then the problem is with the bullet, try seating a standard 230 grain FMK slug or cast lead slug, no coating, sized to .0452".
If that fits the chamber gauge, then those poly coated slugs, even though miked to 0.452 are the source of the malfunction, and I would hazard a guess that maybe you actually are not belling the mouth enough, and what is happening as you seat them the poly coating is being rolled or bunched up inside the mouth, but not showing, and when you finish seating the bullet it is preventing the case from going forward far enough to actually seat on the case mouth in the gauge or the gun's chamber.
Maybe it's just the photo, the lighting in it, or my tired old eyes, but it looks to me like the mouth of that case in your photo flares out slightly in the last .002-.003 inches or so before the actual mouth opening.
A couple of good observations above. Like MAC702, pointed out, the shell holder should contact the sizing die, and NYECO old eyes spotted, the bell the bell might not be completely removed.
Years ago, a friend bought 10,000 poly coated .45ACP bullets, and gave me a couple hundred (I may have bought them, can't remember) that I measured at about .455, as this was my first experience with poly coated bullets, I loaded them anyway. The first 10 or so shot like lasers, then the accuracy slowly deteriorated, figured I was just getting tired. When I got home, I couldn't even see any rifling, it was so full of lead. I've repeated the experiment more recently with poly coated 9MM bullets, with the same result..... I just haven't had good luck with poly coated bullets, but I know plenty of others have had great success with them, wish I could. .
.45ACP is generally considered a fairly easy round to reload, .38 Special might be easier, report back after considering MAC, and NYECO's suggestions, they both know what they are talking about!
Will start with Mac. The re-sized brass fits just fine in the case gauge. The first part of the belling die was not opening the case enough to fit the bullet in as it was stripping the coating and some lead off when it was seated. So I pushed the case into the belling die so it would just fit the bullet.
The bullet mikes out at 0.452, I measured a hand full and they are all the same. The shinning part of the case at the top measures 0.461 and then gets bigger as you go down to the bottom, at the base of the bullet in the case it measures 0.472 then shrinks back to 0.468. So that might be where my problem is.