What is the best way to "unload" cartridges?

Discussions of powders, bullets and loading information.

Moderators: Kirk, Lucinda

Bohonkie
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:11 am
Location: Utah

What is the best way to "unload" cartridges?

Post by Bohonkie » Tue Apr 27, 2021 1:21 pm

Hi all. About 8 years ago I bought a Shiloh Quigley model in 45 2-7/8". For several reasons, I never got around to shooting this rifle (wife passing away, etc.) until recently. I had a dozen or so cartridges loaded up from all those years ago and they worked fine at the range. However, when I loaded them the second time, I had to clean between each shot when at the range - if I didn't the cartridge wouldn't go all the way into the chamber. When I got home, I checked and double-checked everything and loaded up 20 more rounds (five shots each of four different loads and processes) to experiment with to find out what the problem was. I am embarrased to report that none of these loads would chamber. They go into the chamber until about 3/8" from fully inside then get stuck. I won't bore you with the measurements, particulars, etc, but I will report that I measured the chamber for the exact chamber length (2.888") and trimmed my brass to .014" short of this measurement. I also determined the seating depth of the bullet I am using, according to the chamber dimensions. I even tried grease cookies.

Long story short, I originally thought my cases were expanding too much near the rim. I finally discovered that the problem was at the other end: The cases were too big at the bullet end. Here's what I was using and what I was doing:

Cases: Norma 45-110 (thickness at mouth .012")
Bullet: Montana Precision Swaging, 500gr .458 RN SPG lubed
Primer: Federal GM200M and Fed GM215M
Trimmed Length: 2.874" (Wilson trimmer)
Powder: Swiss 1.5f compressed .060" with vegetable fiber wad (drop-tube, 92.5gr weight)
RCBS FL sizer (45-100) and Lyman short neck sizer (sizes .8" of the neck)
RCBS expander and flare
RCBS seater and roll crimp (medium) and Redding taper crimp (.007")

After a lot of measuring and experimenting, I discovered my problem was the expander and the roll crimp. The RCBS expander measures .456" and that makes the brass at the mouth too large (.480" OD). Further, when I apply a very light roll crimp (barely more than just removing the flare) the dummy cartridges must be pressed into place the last 1/16". I'm concerned that this will require cleaning between shots again so I switched to a taper crimp, applying .002" crimp. Works great! Fully seats with ease. I suspect applying a roll crimp results in a slight bulge just below the crimp - as roll crimps often do. My calipers seem to support this. Note that the taper crimp, when used in conjuction with the .456" expander, doesn't help at all. For a flare I used the Lyman BAC neck expander M-2 LO3. This expander measures .450" which means it doesn't expand the brass at all from the post sizing measurement (.474" OD and .452" ID). By the way, FL sizing or neck sizing has the same results.

I hope you're still with me. I wrote all of the above mostly for other shooters who might be having the same problem. I saw a guy at the range one day who had a small plank of hickory (2" x 10" x 3/8" thick) he used to wedge-force the cartridges into the chamber of a 45-70; maybe he was having the same problem?

But I do have a couple of questions. I didn't see a search function at this site so I don't know if this has been covered before and I just spent 2 hours searching (yeah... I got side-tracked many times reading really good posts!).

First: I have 20 rounds of loaded ammo. What is the best way to disassemble these loads so I can start over? I am extremely hesitant to use an impact bullet puller. I have a collett set which I can use and I also have the Grip-N-Pull set (which will pretty much destroy the bullets).

Second: When I bought the rifle I also bought the Shiloh seater... the one that is cut the same as the rifle's chamber and uses an assembly that mounts to my press. I can't use this if I apply a flare. I am going to try it anyway, without a flare but cases inside chamfered via a deburring tool, but is there someone out there who can advise me?

Last: I plan on increasing the compression to about .125" when I load these rounds again. However, the instuctions for the Shiloh seater say you cannot compress the load at all if you use their seater. Why?

Many thanks to all! I look forward to responses.
The Ultimate Predator
Bohonkie

Coltsmoke
Posts: 1344
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:55 am
Location: GA.

Re: What is the best way to "unload" cartridges?

Post by Coltsmoke » Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:16 pm

Insert round in chamber, close lever, cock hammer back, pull triggers. :lol: I'm sorry I couldn't help myself. I know, my wife calls me that all the time. :)
Swamp Man Shelby Stanza for President!!

MSalyards
Posts: 213
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:18 pm
Location: Nine Mile Falls Wa

Re: What is the best way to "unload" cartridges?

Post by MSalyards » Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:33 pm

And wipe between shots. :)

77 sharps
Posts: 275
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:45 pm
Location: N. CA

Re: What is the best way to "unload" cartridges?

Post by 77 sharps » Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:33 pm

First check to see if the nose of the bullet will slip into the muzzle of the barrel. If it does, remove the decamping stem from your fl sizing die. Lube the loaded round with a quality case sizing lube and start sizing the loaded cartridge a little at a time checking the fit in your chamber. Seems to me you’re way over thinking the loading process. You do not mention a compression die, get one. Do not use the bullet to compress your powder.

Kenny Wasserburger
Posts: 4348
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2002 3:53 pm
Location: Gillette, Wyoming

Re: What is the best way to "unload" cartridges?

Post by Kenny Wasserburger » Tue Apr 27, 2021 11:59 pm

How are you compressing the powder?

Kenny Wasserburger
We'll raise up our Glasses against Evil Forces, Singing, Whiskey for my men, Beer for my horses.

Wyoming Territory Sharps Shooter

martinibelgian
Posts: 1472
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:20 pm

Re: What is the best way to "unload" cartridges?

Post by martinibelgian » Wed Apr 28, 2021 12:03 am

Don't size cases, use fireformed brass only. Don't expand, don't crimp. Put powder in the case, seat wad, compress with compression die to the appropriate depth for the bullet to touch the rifling. Slip-fit bullet in case. Load. Wipe. Shoot.

Woody
Posts: 5732
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:02 am
Location: Freetown, Indiana

Re: What is the best way to "unload" cartridges?

Post by Woody » Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:04 am

The basic question was- Unload.

Don't try to salvage the bullet. Remove the decapping stem from your sizing die and carefully run your loaded round into it to bump the mouth of the case back to spec. If your sizing does not allow this, then remove the die from your press, run the round up into the press, grab the exposed bullet with channel locks and lower the round. The bullet will be removed with ease. Again, don't try to salvage the bullet.

Woody
Richard A. Wood
If you are surrounded. You are in a target rich environment.

Bohonkie
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:11 am
Location: Utah

Re: What is the best way to "unload" cartridges?

Post by Bohonkie » Wed Apr 28, 2021 9:47 am

Thanks, all, for the replies. My Grip-N-Pull is very similar to using channel locks so I'll try that. I'll toss the bullets into the 20:1 casing lead I have on hand and cast new ones. I am going to search for and buy a compression die - didn't know there was such a thing. I'll have to measure cases after firing to make sure they chamber when empty and with a bullet loaded (dummy) and go from there. I forgot to mention my barrel dimensions: .4572" (bore) and .4488" (rifling). I'm sure, now that I have your advice, I'm good to go.

Thanks again!
The Ultimate Predator
Bohonkie

Clark Badgett
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2020 2:14 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: What is the best way to "unload" cartridges?

Post by Clark Badgett » Wed Apr 28, 2021 3:49 pm

What are you using to get measurements to the 10thousandths of an inch on the bore slug?

Kenny Wasserburger
Posts: 4348
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2002 3:53 pm
Location: Gillette, Wyoming

Re: What is the best way to "unload" cartridges?

Post by Kenny Wasserburger » Wed Apr 28, 2021 4:29 pm

Bore, is the smaller measurement, grove Is the depth of your rifling... you got your terminology all messed up...

You’re bumping up the bullet when compressing powder.

Kenny W.
We'll raise up our Glasses against Evil Forces, Singing, Whiskey for my men, Beer for my horses.

Wyoming Territory Sharps Shooter

User avatar
Lumpy Grits
Posts: 7486
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2003 7:58 pm
Location: Springfield, Missouri-U.S.A. Earth

Re: What is the best way to "unload" cartridges?

Post by Lumpy Grits » Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:19 pm

What's the diameter of the casemouth?
You want no more than .479-.480.
If yours is larger. Just bump'em in a size die.
Gary
"Hav'n you along, is like loose'n two good men"

martinibelgian
Posts: 1472
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:20 pm

Re: What is the best way to "unload" cartridges?

Post by martinibelgian » Thu Apr 29, 2021 12:27 am

Woody wrote:
Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:04 am
The basic question was- Unload.

Don't try to salvage the bullet. Remove the decapping stem from your sizing die and carefully run your loaded round into it to bump the mouth of the case back to spec. If your sizing does not allow this, then remove the die from your press, run the round up into the press, grab the exposed bullet with channel locks and lower the round. The bullet will be removed with ease. Again, don't try to salvage the bullet.

Woody
Yes indeed - but as the issue seems to arise from his loading procedure, that's where the cause is...

User avatar
bucksnort
Posts: 541
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2003 8:50 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: What is the best way to "unload" cartridges?

Post by bucksnort » Thu Apr 29, 2021 1:57 am

I once bought 60-rds of loaded .45-90 cartridges. There were cryptic notes on the sides of the cardboard boxes. I bought them mainly for the brass. I pulled the bullets and threw them in the pot. Then I dug out whatever powder was in the case and threw it in the garden. Then proceeded to tumble/size/trim the brass. They still work today.

77 sharps
Posts: 275
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:45 pm
Location: N. CA

Re: What is the best way to "unload" cartridges?

Post by 77 sharps » Thu Apr 29, 2021 5:36 am

Check to see if the bullets in the loaded cartridge will slip into the muzzle. If they do, use the sizing die to reduce the neck so they will chamber in the rifle. Go shoot them. You will need to wipe or use a blow tube for each shot. When you reload them, only use the RCBS dies. Use a compression die to compress the powder. Use the RCBS bullet seater to put the bullet in but don’t don’t don’t crimp. Only remove the flare. There are two types of Norma .45 basic cases. The 2.88 cases work perfectly, but the.45 3.25 brass often has excessively thick necks when trimmed to 2.88”. Which cases do you have?

Bohonkie
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:11 am
Location: Utah

Re: What is the best way to "unload" cartridges?

Post by Bohonkie » Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:42 am

Thanks again. I agree with the aforementioned - shooting cartridges is the BEST way to unload or disassemble them. I didn't realize that using the bullet to compress the powder was bumping up the bullet. I ordered a 45 powder compression die from Shiloh (also a 40 since I have a Browning 1885 BPCR I have not yet fired). I'll use the dies for sure but I also wonder two things: How to ensure there is no air gap between bullet and powder (or bulet and veg wad) and how to determine bullet seating depth to both eliminate the air while contacting the rifling? Is there somewhere on this site where I can learn?

I partially sized my loaded cartridges, about 3/4" down the case mouth, and the cases now measure .4795 at the mouth. They fit just fine into the rifle's chamber. I'm on my way to the range to "unload" them!

I don't mind wiping between each shot for accuracy but I didn't like wiping in order to make the cartridges chamber. I'll experiment with sizing (FL and short neck) vs not sizing and flaring vs not flaring at all but I still wonder about shaving metal off the bullet (case neck ID will be .453 if sized while the bullet is .458) and getting the bullet to seat straight. Sizing with the RCBS FL die and the Lyman Short Neck die, results in a fantastic .00075" - .0015" runout after sizing. This results in a final cartridge RO of only .001" - .002". If I do flare a bit I'll probably use the taper crimp die to remove the flare after seating - but not to crimp at all.

It's been years, but I don't recall any mention of these things from the book I've read (SPG Loading Primer, Buffalo Rifles of the Old West, BP Loading Manual, BP Handbook, Browning 1885 BPCR book, etc.). I have, but yet to read, all of the books by Mathews. I need to.

Thanks again for all the help!
The Ultimate Predator
Bohonkie

Post Reply