.45-70 LE Short Brass Crimp Solutions.

Discussion in 'Other Marlin Rifles' started by Hyphenated, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    Yesterday another member and I exchanged a lot of emails about a reloading problem he was experiencing. The issue was not being able to get a crimp on once fired 45-70 LE brass. I would not be surprised if other people have experienced this, the first time they tried to reload LeveReveloution brass, because of the short length.

    After we bounced a few ideas around I suggested using a .45 Colt sizer die for the crimping operation. All that was needed was a little bump in the die to get rid of the flare and put a small taper on the case neck. By using the .45 Colt die, you are not locked into any pre-set positions provided by your crimping die or something similar like the Lee FCD.

    The following is my last actual email after I put my plan into use. This explains the steps I used and shows the results.

    Okay, I couldn't let my theory go untested. So I hit the gun room after dinner and cranked out a box of 45-70's using my 405gr cast bullets. I did everything as usual, except on the last step I substituted my RCBS 45 Colt sizer die in place of the 45-70 Lee FCD. I bumped the rounds into the die twice, 1/8" at a time, to maybe a depth of 1/4". This should have caught about 3/16” of brass for the actual crimp. Everything went as planned and put a very nice taper crimp on the shells.

    I filled up my 1895 with three rounds and cycled them as normal. They fed and chambered perfect. This procedure would work no matter what your brass length. Here are some pictures of the finished product.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  2. lever addict

    lever addict Member

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    Great idea! You gonna ring some dingers with those?
     

  3. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    I wish I was ringing dingers with them...but I prolly will be putting holes in paper next week. Maybe run a couple of them through my chrony.
     
  4. Big bore

    Big bore Active Member

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    Good looking rounds you have there. I'd say you found a way in dealing with LE brass. Nice work!
     
  5. Rooster59

    Rooster59 Well-Known Member

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    Hyphenated,
    Do you think your process is consistent and repeatable? I might be afraid I wouldn't get it the same on each round given the press/shellholder isn't bottoming out to create the same stopping point each time. For me at least.
     
  6. xwrench3

    xwrench3 Active Member

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    i struggled with this for a while also, after a few failed attempts, i discovered that using a nickel on top of the shell holder would allow me to make the taper crimp using the bullet seating die. the trouble with that, was that the shell got stuck in there, and i had to use the bullet seating adjuster to push the cartridge out, then back it off so i could do it again. of course, doing that required crimping a separate operation from seating the bullet. after a few months of this, i got fed up with it, and figured out that all that really needed to be done was to shorten the oal of the die. that would allow the cartridge to enter further, and allow the top of the shell to reach the taper crimp section of the die. my brother is a machinist, so it was way easier, and much more accurate, to have him chuck the die up in a lathe, and cut 0.080" off the bottom of the die. these are lee dies. another brand may need more, or less removed. i did not do anything with the fcd die. i will only use the taper crimp on the hornady brass. all the rest will be able to use the fcd if i desire to. this in no way affects any other part of the bullet seating die. i would suspect that a similar modification would work for the fcd, but, it would effect its use on all other brass. if you really want to fcd the hornady's, you will probably have to custom make a separate fcd die just for them.
     
  7. melsdad

    melsdad Member

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    Hyphenated what mold do you have to cast those 405's?
     
  8. Rooster59

    Rooster59 Well-Known Member

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    I've just about resigned myself to purchasing a Hornady seating/crimping die for the crimp operation. They claim their standard seating/crimp die will crimp the LE brass. Either that or get another FCD and have a machinist friend modify it as you described. That would be cheaper than buying an FCD, sending it to Lee, pay for the mod, and ship it back.
     
  9. xwrench3

    xwrench3 Active Member

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    Rooster59, please note that the mod i did was to the standard Lee seat / taper crimp die. i did not modify my Lee FCD. as i use that for other bullets. the Hornady FTX bullets are great, but they are on the pricey side for just plinking / target practice / short range or heavy brush hunting. i have the scope sighted in for the FTX bullets, but the others usually only require a height adjustment. and since my scope is a mil-dot scope, those are easy enough to remember.
     
  10. aka

    aka Well-Known Member

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    how much shorter is the LE brass in comparison to Starline or Win?
     
  11. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    @ melsdad...
    Those bullets were cast in a Lee block and sized and lubed in a RCBS press.
     
  12. xwrench3

    xwrench3 Active Member

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    standard brass length is 2.105". in order to load the FTX bullets, and have the cycle thru the action, the brass needs to be trimmed to 2.050" max. so the Hornady brass is already cut to that length.
     
  13. aka

    aka Well-Known Member

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    @xwrench3 Thank you.
     
  14. xwrench3

    xwrench3 Active Member

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    oops, double post.