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Well, after a week delay..... I got to load my first 40S&W ammo today.





My loading area is not as dark as this picture shows, but my older eyes do need the lamp. Also, forget you see all the CRAP in the background...




OK.... Now why I am not happy...... I never thought I would say this, but...... The LEE 4-die set I bought SUCKS Big Time ! ! !



First, when I was setting up my Dillon 550 to load this morning, I couldn't get the sizing die to set low enough (ran out of threads). The RED arrows show how much of the case didn't get sized. The BLUE arrows show (not very well) the line of very small scrathes the factory crimp die is putting on the cases. I also bought a regular LEE taper crimp die, but have not used it yet.




Here is part of the 3rd - 100rd batch of 40S&W ammo. Production is SUPER SLOW because of this...............



PIECE OF SH*T die. This is LEE's "newer" bullet seat die. The outside cone is there for LEE's auto bullet feeder on their progressive presses.

Notice the SHARP edge where the unseated bullets enter the die. If you don't have the bullets put JUST RIGHT on the case mouth, you get this......



SHAVED BULLETS..... Mainly do to flat-point bullets. NOTE: The shaved areas appear to have blue tint.




And I got a few of these......... NOTE: Yes, I felt some resistance, but I cranked down on them anyway. I was getting PISSED ! ! !


I will load a 100 more and then call it quits for now. If things don't improve..... then is is.... "Hello Dillon. Send me a set of your 40S&W dies".


Since almost all of 40S&W bullet types are a flat-point design, this LEE seat die will not cut it....... unless modified on a lathe.

.
 

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I ran into the same crimping die issue - scratched cases - with the .480 S&W I was loading for G1D .. looked like crap .... I just do not like the Lee crimping system. For 9mm, 40s, and 45s I use a separate taper crimp die .... I like the OLD Lee dies much better ..
 

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WOW....I guess I got lucky on my .40's...I'd gotten a set of used RCBS's and had no troubles at all...beginners luck I guess....

But I've had days at the bench like this...everything you touch seems to go to sh!t....I've felt that way many tiimes with rifle loads...I still have a whole lot to learn....

I'm thinking about getting an arbor press and some L.E. Wilson dies for .308 Win and 300 Win Mag
 

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Only had 1 set of Lee dies, smoothing and polishing never helped, so I chunked them...all I buy are RCBS. That's some buggered up boolits for sure.
 

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SubGunFan said:
....First, when I was setting up my Dillon 550 to load this morning, I couldn't get the sizing die to set low enough (ran out of threads). The RED arrows show how much of the case didn't get sized.
Interesting - will they chamber in your pistol? I had this same problem with "some" of the brass I had - "Glocked" 40s ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I finished my first 400rds..... It was SLOW, but the last 200rds went better than the first 200rds. No screw-ups on the last 200.

If I can't find somebody with a lathe to modify the LEE seat die, then I will buy a set of Dillon dies. It is not that I plan to shoot truck-loads of 40, the slow loading and worrying about that die are a PAIN in the A**.

I tried chambering some of the rounds and they work fine. Not exactly sure what the "Glock bulge" is, but some of the brass was fired in a Glock. All the brass in this first loading is once-fired Winchester.

I will not get a chance to test this ammo until I am at the UZITalk Full-Auto Shoot in Texas. The ammo should function fine...........

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The picture you picked for your avatar is the one I was going to suggest for you!! Fits you like a glove!!!!!!!! (Not O.J.'s Glove!! :lol: )
 

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As explained to me, the Glock bulge results from a chamber that is not fully supported. I don't know if that is the problem, but if it was, then there is a solution.
 

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I have same problem with Glocked brass...problem comes from the case not being fully supported...

especially noticeable with higher pressure 40 s&w....that's why there's tons of 40 range brass around...folks are scared to death to reload it for some reason....40's have never once been hard to find...wish I could say the same about 45ACP


Good news: easy fix is a low-base or undersize die

http://egw-guns.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=40&products_id=40&zenid=5925472f217e8c95fb7a4a43b753f04f

The bad news: They are made by Lee :lol4:
 
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msredneck got it right when he said the problem gets worse with higher pressures. The problem occures when the Glock fires. The top part of the chamber is only partly supported and the bottom half of the chamber is open around the base of the cartridge, thus an unsupported cartridge in the chamber. I understand that this is only the case with Glock .40 cals. Also, some Glocks are worse than others in creating the bulge right about the base of the cartridge. The easiest fix for brass of this kind is a Redding 40 cal die made just for the purposes of removing the bulge. The shell case is pushed all the way thru the die (cases have to be lubed even though the Redding die has a carbide ring insert in it), thus sizing the whole case. The bad part is that this adds another step in reloading the 40's because you still have to size the case as you normally would after you have used the bulge removing die. I use one and they work perfectly along with my set of RCBS 40 cal dies.
 

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I'll toss in my $.02 and hope it is worth at least half of that. LOL

The Dillon dies will load great but I don't really like them and wouldn't recommend them personally. Some will certainly disagree, but here are my reasons:

The resizing die is belled heavily at the bottom. It will feed brass incredibly smoothly on a progressive machine, but it doesn't size far enough down just like the areas with the red arrows in your pictures. I had lots of failures with a case gauge using Dillon dies.

The seating die is also heavily belled which is nice. It is easy to disassemble and clean. Again, nice. However, it requires wrenches to adjust OAL. If you only plan on shooting one bullet type and length, it is fine. I change bullets from time to time and also change lengths from factory to extra long for my SV's, so I don't care for it.

The crimp die is again heavily belled which is smooth feeding, but it also takes wrenches to adjust the crimp. Admittedly, this one can usually be set and never adjusted, but it is still an issue.


I use and really like the undersize die sold by EGW that 'Neck linked above. Yes, it is made by Lee, but I have several of them and like them a lot. As an example, I loaded about 500 rounds for the Classic this past weekend. 3 failed the case gauge, and only one of those wouldn't go in the chamber of my Limited gun. With one of these, a pass through die like Lee and Redding make aren't necessary, but could be used just to clear up the few rounds the undersize die doesn't take care of.

For the seater, I like the Redding Micrometer competition die. Yep, they are expensive, but they sure are nice. Keep the numbers for your different bullets and lengths written down and you can go from one to the other quickly, easily, and accurately. Hornady makes one that is also easily adjustable that costs a good bit less.

I like the Lee Factory Crimp alright. I haven't had the problem with the scratches, and I like the ability to adjust it without tools. The carbide ring and "post sizing" the case sounds good, too, but I don't know if it really does anything when teamed with the undersize sizer.

I have the above setup on my 550 in several calibers and the Super 1050 in .40 and really like all of them.
 

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As for the last picture you posted, tighten the bolt that holds the shellplate down. It is too lose and allowing the cases to tilt slightly which is causing them to tear like that when they go through the powder die.
 
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