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HELP with 40 cal reloading

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Old 08-20-2009, 10:37 PM   #1
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Default HELP with 40 cal reloading

I have been reloading for several years mostly 38,357,223. I have just started reloading for 40 cal and have a few questions. ok to start with I have a walther P99 in 40 cal that I want to reload for. I have the press and all componets needed to reload. the set of dies I have, I bought new a few years ago. Hornady custom grade new dimension dies #544533. I have reloaded a few rounds some will chamber in the gun and some hang up. so I took the gun apart and all will fall into the chamber of the gun like they should. the OAL is correct and all measurement are correct according to the reloading book. I have read that the 40 needs a taper crimp I understand that but am not sure about these dies. I tried to crimp a few and it looks like a roll crimp to me. do I need a seperate taper crimp die? the other problem is when I chamber a round in the gun the bullet is sliding further back into the shell as it is going into the chamber. the bullet I am using is the berrys 165 gr. flat point. I have never had a problem with any other bullet in this gun. tell me what I need to do. I may have to switch to a different design of bullet but how do I keep the bullet from sliding back into the shell? sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for the answers.

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Old 08-21-2009, 02:16 AM   #2
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Default .40 S&W loads.

Fever, let me start with this-If your bullets are pushing back in case=YES you have problems==this can cause excessive chamber pressure in any semi-auto load! Start at the size die-is it all the way down against the press ram with all play removed-most die mfg. say 1/8 turn after ram contacts die-unless you are using carbide dies. With carbide dies-just barely touching. Next belling-only bell enough to start the bullet into sized case. Seat to desired OAL. I DO NOT crimp at the same time that I seat the bullet-some do I don't. After you have seated a batch (50-100) of rounds, if you don't have a separate crimp die, un-screw your seater punch/plug, as to not contact seated bullet, screw the die assembly down to contact loaded round-lift up on ram-screw down 1/16-1/8 turn at a time until desired crimp is installed. When proper crimp is done, you will NOT be able to push bullet into case, or turn in case with your fingers. I do not, at this time load .40S&W. I do load 9MM+.45acp. I use Dillon Dies for these loads. For the best overall performance of my loads, I run all of these loads through a Lee Factory Crimp Die when done. This die puts the proper crimp on case mouth, and also the die has a carbide ring at the base of the die that "smooths" up the entire round. I have had NO=0-FTF/FTE of either of these cals. since I started using the Lee Factory Crimp Die-And I am NOT a fan of Lee products!! I know I'm long winded, but it takes longer to type this process than it takes to do. Hope this helps+I'm sure some of the .40S&W loaders will step up to give their 2cents worth..

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Old 08-21-2009, 02:47 AM   #3
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I have had similar problems with the only set of Hornady Dies I own - also "New Dimension". I bought a set of 6.5 x 55 mm Hornady New Dimension dies years ago and cannot use them due to the fact that they oversize the necks on my cases. After sizing, there is not even enough neck tension to hold the bullet in place! I bought the Lee Pacesetter Dies and never had this problem again! I believe your problem is with the Hornady dies. I reload for .40 S&W also and I use Lee Dies. even after belling the cases there is enough neck tension that I do not have to crimp the bullets in place. You are correct in that a taper crimp is necessary for rimless autoloading ammo because they headspace off the cartridge neck. Revolvers use a roll crimp because they index off the cartridge rim. If you have to rely strictly on a crimp to provide enough neck tension to hold your bullets in the cases, you need to replace those dies because they are oversizing the brass, and a crimp will only provide a small area of contact to grip the bullet. This will affect pressure, accuracy and velocity.
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:24 PM   #4
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Always taper crimp in a separate operation. Roll crimps (revolvers) can be applied at the same time as bullet seating. If you are experiencing bullet set back, you likely do not have sufficient crimp. +1 on the minimal belling of the mouth. Use just enough allow the bullet to start into the case w/o shaving any bullet material off. I generally bell more for cast bullets than for jacketed, in between for plated (Berry's).

Make sure the bullet is not seated too deeply as that will prevent the crimp from having anything to hold onto. For .40 ammo, I try to leave a sliver of driving band visible above the case mouth (about 1/16 inch) to insure a good solid crimp. If you seat the bullet so the driving band is flush with the mouth, you will get significant set back.
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