Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Great Peice of Hand Loading Equipment.

Hand loading for different guns of the same caliber can be a challenge. Cartridges that will chamber and fire in one gun, may not work in another. Why is this? Well, like everything else, firearms and ammunition have a set of specifications. Factory ammo uses new cases and is loaded to industry standards, including published dimensions and length.

Hand loading has several unique situations that complicate this. First is the use of the fired case. It has to be returned to usable dimensions by the sizing die. Next the primer is seated to below the edge of the primer pocket. Another tricky part, the case is flared slightly to allow the base of bullet to enter the case for the seating process. This flare must be reduced during the crimping process, or chambering problems can result. Add in the factors of powder charge, bullet design, and the reality that the hand loading process must be repeated hundreds (or thousands) of times for satisfactory results. Given the cumulative error of all these variables and specifications, it’s no wonder that there can be problems with hand loads.
The Lee Factory Crimp Die

There is one piece of equipment that can help. The Lee Factory Crimp Die. My 45 ACP loads have to fit into several revolvers and pistols, plus two carbines. The Lee Factory Crimp die actually has a carbide sizer ring that will bring the hand loaded round back to factory specifications. The die also puts a good crimp on the cartridge. This allows the round to chamber in all guns just like factory ammo. It also guards against bullet creep in revolvers, and bullet set back in semi autos (an dangerous situation).
Get the factory crimp die, it’s well worth the money.

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