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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Loading .45acp with 185 gr jhp all strictly by the book. I use a square deal b to assemblr the rounds and the switch to a forester single stage for finishing with the Lee FCD for 45acp. Been doing it for years and have run about 15,000 rounds that I way. Tonight as I was setting up I had a cartridge jam in the fcd. Stopped all and disassembled the die, then carefully drove the cartridge out. Lubed another round — and I’ve never lubed before. Same thing. So is this what happens when carbide dies wear out? Or is it just that this is still 2020?
 

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That's interesting...

Keep us posted on what you unearth....??
 

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I'll wager Lee will replace it for you... Contact their customer service group.
 
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There are a few other variables I'd be looking at before assuming the problem is failure of the factory crimp die.
Incorrect djustment comes to mind right away. Next I'd be measuring Bullet size and the diameter of the carbide insert while also checking it for "roundness" and making sure it is free of damage. After those are verified I'd take a look at the cases I was using. The OAL of the cases and thickness of the case wall should be checked. Perhaps you've already done these steps. If not, I'm curious how you concluded "Die failure"..??
It's been my experience that especially with auto pistol cases such as 45 acp and 9mm....virtually every "issue" that arises when reloading them is traced to the cases (or cases) involved.
 

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There are some brands of ammo that use smaller .451 FMJ bullets with thicker brass. When reloading .452 FMJ bullets, I found that even with proper taper crimp, the loaded rounds would still not clear my drop in gauge without binding.

I ended up tossing the brass when I encountered it.

Carbide is more likely to crack than scratch because it's quite brittle.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the ideas, and there are some I can follow up on. Paves, I use the fcd to get a uniform taper crimp and to smooth the occasional bullet bulge. Adjustment problems are not out of the question. I had just finished 2k 200g jswc and switched to the 230g jhp and ran a trial batch of 10 with no problem. When changing loads I always check all adjustments and run a short sample batch to chronograph and check for function. Then switched to the 185 g Zero jacketed hollow points and ran 3 with no problem. Then everything fell apart, as it were. I also changed brass batches to a large lot I had tumbled with steel pins so they were actually clean. Brass is mixed lot of 3rd round starline, WCC, Federal, and others. I’m going to back up and try some more 230’s to see if the lighter bullet is causing the trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
checked. Perhaps you've already done these steps. If not, I'm curious how you concluded "Die failure"..??
It's been my experience that especially with auto pistol cases such as 45 acp and 9mm....virtually every "issue" that arises when reloading them is traced to the cases (or cases) involved.
I concluded die failure because I’ve NEVER had the problem before, even on the same batch of brass. But on your remark I checked and realized I also never ran these bullets before. Will mic a few and compare them to my 200g jswx gold standard Sierras. thanks.
‘more data. Cases measure .881 to .892 — all a tad short of SAAMI spec. Bullets are all .4510 on the dot. As per Hodgdon reloading data. Col on 230g is 1.200 in and the 185g is 1.135 in which is just starting to bury the meplat below the rim. All I can figure is time and wear, but I’m game to experiment a bit more if anyone has more suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
There are some brands of ammo that use smaller .451 FMJ bullets with thicker brass. When reloading .452 FMJ bullets, I found that even with proper taper crimp, the loaded rounds would still not clear my drop in gauge without binding.

I ended up tossing the brass when I encountered it.
I have got some off-brand brass, RP and PCC come to mind, that are often a source of trouble and I, too pitch them when found. Would love to have a reliable supply of TZZ match brass, mid 80’s, since the few I have are easy to load and very consistent.
ah, well. Research continues and I may see a light at the end of the tunnel.
thanks
 

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Since I'm using my club's range brass (I'm a "brass rat" after shooting), TZZ, - Starline and a number of nice pieces of brass do pop up regularly. My last bath of 1,000 probably included 100 of them.
 

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Please explain whey you need a FCD after loading the on the Sq. Deal that has a taper crimp die?
I've been loading 45acp on a Sq. Deal for over 22 years and never had a bullet jump the crimp or slide back into the case. And that's used in multiple 1911'a and ACP revolvers.
What am I missing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Please explain whey you need a FCD after loading the on the Sq. Deal that has a taper crimp die?
I've been loading 45acp on a Sq. Deal for over 22 years and never had a bullet jump the crimp or slide back into the case. And that's used in multiple 1911'a and ACP revolvers.
What am I missing?
Mainly to tame bullet bulge on 45acp. Yes , I’m aware that the sdb has an excellent taper crimp but sometimes I get rounds out that are fat and the fcd brings them in to spec.
 

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Mainly to tame bullet bulge on 45acp. Yes , I’m aware that the sdb has an excellent taper crimp but sometimes I get rounds out that are fat and the fcd brings them in to spec.
Okay. Just realize that when you swage out that bulge you're also swaging down the dia . of the bullet too. Happy shooting!
 
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