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The other day I went through some various hulls I have shot recently. Some factory and some of my loads with both fired & new hulls. I came up with 44 hulls of 5 different types. Yesterday I trimmed, deprimed and sized them. And then a quick trip through the SS pins. Today I loaded them and got this...................

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These short shells are loaded with Lyman pellet slugs. A few days ago (before it turned cold) I cast 180 Lyman slugs from a mix of range lead & WWs. Pure lead slugs weigh 515gr and these weigh 505gr.

Tomorrow I will load some 00 buckshot short shells.

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Well...... loaded (loading) over 2+ days.......

Machine Machine tool Auto part Tool accessory

The last of a batch of 300rds of 380 Auto. Loaded with a 95gr FMJ bullet and 3.2gr of W231.


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The first of a batch of 500+rds of 38 Special. Loaded with a 142gr BNWC and 3.0gr of Bullseye. I am using Federal primers with this ammo because some of this ammo will be shot in tuned revolvers.

And finally................

Brown Bead Ammunition Orange Metal

This is the Winchester purple brass that Shrek sent me. After a trip through the SS pins the brass comes out a dark gray. A quick glance at this ammo and you would think it is steel case ammo. Loaded with a 165gr plated bullet and 6.0gr of W231.

Also working on a 300rd batch of 45 Auto using all Federal nickel brass.

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41fan, you actually win double points. I wasn't even thinking of not have a sizing die in the press. This 550 is the BL-550 which is the Basic Loader model. The BL model doesn't come with a priming system or a powder measure. I am running sized and hand primed brass through the press.

The red bin in the lower left of the pictures is attached to my old RL-550 press.

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BM, it looks like you are putting too much taper crimp on those rounds. It might just be reflections in the picture. Please post a clear close up of the round where the bullet meets the case.

Also, I feel your W231 loads of 4.3, 4.6, 5.0gr are going to be too light. With a 230gr bullet I suggest 5.3 or 5.5gr of W231.

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BM, thanks for the pictures. They do help me.

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Looking at this portion of one of your pictures I see issues.
1. It appears to me you might be using a roll crimp die and not a taper crimp die. What dies are you using? Is it a 4-die set? I still see what I think is too much crimp.
2. Looks like some bullet shaving on the left side of the picture. That is not good. From your other pictures, it looks like you are putting enough bell/flare on the case. I bell cases more when loading lead bullets than I do when loading jacketed bullets. The extra bell help stop bullet shaving.

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BM, is there resistance when the case mouth first enters the factory crimp die? The crimp die in my 4-die set of 40 S&W does this, and I don't like it. It is LEE's version of a case checker. The more bell on the case the more resistance going into the die. It SUCKS ! ! !

Also, make sure the seat die is not screwed in too far. There should be a very noticeable bell left on the case after the bullet is seated.

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Working on 45 Auto now...............

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The first of a batch of 300rds. Loaded with a 225gr M-Bullet and 5.0gr of Bullseye.

I normally don't load Bullseye in 45 Auto, but I have over 10# of the stuff so I need to start using it.

BM, I tried to take a close up picture of the bell on a case after the bullet is seated. 10+ pics on 3 different backgrounds and they all sucked. Sorry.

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BM, yes..... we have some problems here.

Lets talk about setting each die.

1. The bell/flare die setting looks good to me. No need for any adjustments.

2. The seat die. Remove the seat die from the press and remove the adjustment knob on top of the die. Now remove the insert inside the die. Note that the insert goes in only one way (concave side down). Now, make sure the inside of the die and all its parts are clean and free of lead build-up. Put a belled case in the press and run the ram all the way up. With the seat die still in pieces, screw the die body down by hand as far as you can. Lock the die down and lower the ram. Drop in the insert (concave side down) and screw on the knob. Just get the knob started and stop there. Now place bullet on a charged and belled case and run the ram all the way up. Screw in the knob until it stops. Lower the ram and screw in the knob 2 revolutions and run the ram back up. The bullet should be partially seated. Keep making the knob adjustment until you get the correct OAL. At this point be CAREFUL not to bump the knob.

3. The taper crimp die. Same with this die. Remove it from press and take it apart and clean the parts. You set this die like the seat die except you use a case that has a bullet seated in it. The knob adjustments will vary the amount of taper crimp. Note: With the LEE crimp die, you will have to use the ram's force to get the case started into the die and past the "case checker feature". Now you can screw in the die body by hand until it stops and lock it down.

Try this and tell us your results.............

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BM, before you load too many 45 Auto rounds with a light charge, please understand this...........

With a revolver all you are worried about concerning function is getting the bullet out of the barrel. With a semi-auto, the main concern is fully cycling the slide. Depending on the weight of the recoil spring, light loads might not do that, resulting in jams.

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