Hourglass figures are nice.....except in pistol cases...

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AJMD429
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Hourglass figures are nice.....except in pistol cases...

#1 Post by AJMD429 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:26 pm

Sixgun brought up a good point - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=73293#p839488...

In many 45 Colt (and 44 Magnum) guns, the chambers are so oversized that the fires case is skinny at the base and web, then 'fat' from there to the case mouth.

Then you seat a bullet and crimp it in, and you get and even stranger-looking case. If you full length resize it, the midriff bulge is eliminated, mostly, but if you don't, the funnier-looking case I suppose might fit the chamber better if used in several guns.

So you can have all sorts of results cosmetically, and more importantly, in terms of brass stretching and working, and concentricity, and likely reliability in feeding, and even accuracy.

I'm interested in what you all think works best, especially in terms of how much to resize.

As for myself, I've loaded tens of thousands of 44 Magnum rounds over several decades, starting with a Lee ('mallet') Loader, but mostly using fairly full resizing with carbide dies and a Rockchucker or Lee Turret press, and crimping the first several thousand with a RCBS roll crimp then going to a Lee Factory Crimp. All of the brass gets mixed as to number of firings, but some I'm sure I've loaded 10 times with reasonably stout loads, and very few have split yet. They are fired in a variety of revolvers and leverguns and a bolt action rifle.

Once I did load a bunch of cases and only shot them in one Marlin 1894, and worked up a 'most-accurate' load, which I then just proceeded to use in all of my 44's since then, with decent-enough-for-me results in the other guns. Those cases I marked and kept separate, and have loaded 8 times and they still look fine.
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Re: Hourglass figures are nice.....except in pistol cases...

#2 Post by J Miller » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:44 pm

I have been full length resizing my .45 Colt cases with carbide dies for decades. I've had no trouble at all with case failures due to the chamber vs sizer dimensions.
99% of the cases I've had full length split due so on the first firing, the rest on the second. I can count with fingers left over the numbers of full length cases that have split on me.
I don't segregate my brass as to which gun I use it in. All my loaded ammo must chamber in all my guns of that cartridge.

Eventually I want to buy one of the Redding dual ring carbide sizers. That should reduce the wasp waist effect of full length sizing.

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Re: Hourglass figures are nice.....except in pistol cases...

#3 Post by piller » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:36 pm

My RCBS .45 Colt dies with the Hornady lock rings I put on them are carbide and the cases have less wiggle room than my highly accurate .44 Mag Super Blackhawk does with Factory or reloaded cases. The .45 Colt Blackhawk is snug with factory or reloads. Not tight, but not loose. There is not any case rattle sound when either pistol is carried in a holster.
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Re: Hourglass figures are nice.....except in pistol cases...

#4 Post by Sixgun » Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:27 am

Doc,
It would take three pages to describe the many different sizing techniques, from neck sizing, partial neck sizing, part neck and body sizing.......the trick for accuracy is to size your case to the dimensions of the chamber of the specific gun you are using......which many times, requires no sizing at all. Then you have different bullet diameters...cast vs jacketed....

Most modern handguns don't require a lot of thinking...tolerances are pretty much standard ...no brainers like the nine, forty, forty five can be done easily with about any commercial sizer, full length sizing mind you in these autos. Pretty much the same with modern revolvers in common calibers made after the war.

I've loaded and load for cartridge guns of most all common manufacturers from the 1870's to today for over sixty cartridges.. Marlin have different chamber dimensions than Winchester and Colts were different than Smith & Wessons with Rugers being different also, but usually more consistent ..except their chamber mouths. Early guns till WW 2 were all over the place and require different sizing...an example is the early first gen Colts in 38-40...some of those guns will leave a fired case the same size as a 44-40 so full length resizing them will last the case about 3 reloadings.

All in a nut shell.... cases in modern handguns get the full length sizing treatment with whatever die you choose for general shooting and most Target work....if you want the best extreme accuracy you have to think....and I'm tired right now and therefore can't think...using the proper sized bullets is more important.

With modern potentially accurate rifles and all antique guns, I ain't gettin' into it.

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Re: Hourglass figures are nice.....except in pistol cases...

#5 Post by stretch » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:53 am

Lots and lots of variables seem to determine whether a finished round
has an hourglass appearance or not.

Some I've run across:

1. Brand of dies.
2. Carbide or steel dies.
3. Brand of cases - wall thicknesses are NOT the same! I have to sort my 10mm
cases, because some of them only chamber with jacketed bullets. The difference
was the case wall thickness in different brands of cases. That stumped me for
a little while........
4. Aforementioned choice of lead or jacketed bullets. Lead is typically .001" or more bigger
in diameter than a jacketed bullet for the same caliber. Your finished round will
be a wee bit bigger as a result, at least in the area where the bullet is seated.
5. Amount and type of bullet lube.
6. Size of chamber round was previously fired in.
7. Cleanliness of the firing chamber the round was previously fired in.

Other stuff I'm missing, but you get the idea.

I have some 9mm rounds I loaded with lead bullets, and they have a REAL hourglass
shape! They shoot fine, though. Pressure is initially probably a wee bit higher in
those rounds than the straighter ones, but not enough to worry me in that application.
I suspect the Dillon die is mostly at fault here, although the brand of brass could be a large part
of the problem, too.

I think Sixgun is conservative in his estimate the amount of space needed for a
thorough discussion of the subject! :lol:

-Stretch

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Re: Hourglass figures are nice.....except in pistol cases...

#6 Post by Sixgun » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:17 pm

Well said Stretch! I wrote that last night at about 1 am and was pretty much brain dead...which is not too far off from when my brain is operating normal.

You brought up an interesting point....case thickness ......I once had an early third gen Colt single action in 44-40 that would not chamber R-P brass with a .430 bullet which is what the cylinder mouths were. After checking everything else as to crimp, amount of crimp, seating depth, I found this one particular lot of brass had necks that were .002 more than other brands. It was a PITA as I load for a dozen other like guns with several having dual cylinders and I like to keep loads for all using uniform velocities.....and I'm not one to throw out perfectly good brass. :D

Can't remember what I did to alleviate the issue...

So yes, we all learn when difficulties come up in our quest to release hot lead ...accurately....into "capture points". Ya live...and ya learn and your never done.----6
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Re: Hourglass figures are nice.....except in pistol cases...

#7 Post by M. M. Wright » Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:54 pm

6, I still have a bunch of R-P 44-40 brass that I never use because the early Colt SAAs I use as Main Match guns will not chamber, (well, they are very tight) when loaded with .429 bullets. My solution has been to simply use Starline brass which is slightly thinner. Don't tell anyone but I opened the throats to .430 and re-cut the forcing cones. The Uberti 73 I use is happy with the same loads so all is well. The Vacqueros I used earlier liked the R-P brass just fine but then they had .429 bores and the chambers were looser.
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Re: Hourglass figures are nice.....except in pistol cases...

#8 Post by Chuck 100 yd » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:15 pm

It seems oversized chambers in .45 Colt rifles are the norm. Cases fired in my Marlin 1894 Cowboy are .017” larger in diameter than cases Full length resized in my RCBS carbide die . Many of those cases have been reloaded dozens of times without a single failure. Most of my brass is mixed but I prefer Star - Line . Accuracy is good enough for me.

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Re: Hourglass figures are nice.....except in pistol cases...

#9 Post by AJMD429 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:04 pm

I guess one of the things that amazes me goes along with what several of you guys have said: The fact that even the hourglass-looking cases seem to hold up to numerous reloads.

With even minute amounts of stretch and 'working the brass' seeming to significantly shorten case life in the bottleneck rifles I've reloaded for, I guess maybe brass is much more tolerant being stretched in diameter rather than length [.....easy, Sixer; resist the innuendo urge....don't day it.....there might be children present....bite your tongue.....you can do it.... :wink: ].

Or maybe it is just that the rifles using bottleneck cases are running 65k psi vs 35k or less for the 45 Colts or 44 Mags - I guess if I had a sloppy-chambered 454 Casull I could test that theory some more. (..... actually, come to think of it, I did have to send a Rossi 92 in 454 back to Rossi for rebarreling because cases were splitting. I'll have to dig up my notes on that; I don't remember if I did a chamber cast, or which way the cases split. None were reloads though, so no sexy hourglass shapes yet - maybe when I get around to reloading the brass that didn't split I'll find out. Sadly, my 500 S&W kind of got all the attention this year instead of the 'puny' little 454 Rossi... :( ).
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Re: Hourglass figures are nice.....except in pistol cases...

#10 Post by gundownunder » Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:27 am

Dang, I miss the good old days when one of our members would have supplied pictures of some of those hourglass figures :twisted:
I had the hourglass problem when I first started to reload for my 32-20.
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Re: Hourglass figures are nice.....except in pistol cases...

#11 Post by M. M. Wright » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:45 pm

When I'm loading 45 ACP I try to get wasp waist loads. That way the bullets don't set back in the case. Head spaces on the mouth so requires a taper crimp so about the only way to assure you don't get any set backs is to full length size and only expand and flare to a minimum. By the way, I use some spritz lube with the carbide dies for the lower force required to size the case. I'm lazy.











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Re: Hourglass figures are nice.....except in pistol cases...

#12 Post by jnyork » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:30 pm

I have a Uberti 1873, 44-40. For cast bullet accuracy I need to load Oregon Trail .431 diameter bullets , makes the loaded round kind of hourglass-like. AFAIK, doesn't hurt a thing.

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