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Old 09-03-2021, 06:05 PM
50150me 50150me is offline
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Default 40S&W Bulging cases?

I am just about to start reloading 40S&W. I use range brass. Do I need a 4th die to prevent bulging? I have reloaded 9, 38 and 45's for years with out cases bulging problems. Firearm would be a S&W Shield.
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Old 09-03-2021, 06:56 PM
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If you size the case , bell it and don't seat the bullet too deep in the case......

most pistol ammo should not have a bulge, if the correct dia. is used
in a chamber that meets spec's.
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Old 09-03-2021, 07:02 PM
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The problem is the guns that have an unsupported area that allows the case to bulge on firing. This is something that is more common with the .40 than any other cartridge. If you have those cases you'll need to do something about it. Lee Bulge Buster is the best solution. The FCD as a final step may help but it still can't get all the way down the case. You are likely to run into problems but you can wait until you do.
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Old 09-03-2021, 07:03 PM
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Could use a bulge buster
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Old 09-03-2021, 07:10 PM
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Oh, "That" kind of a bulge................

Unsuported case bulges need to be fixed or tossed.

Just remember that these are damaged cases, that you will be using...
that have a structural damage.
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Old 09-03-2021, 08:28 PM
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It is becoming less of an issue since starting with the Glock 4th gen, they started to support the cartridge almost fully. Not familiar with other manufacturers.
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Old 09-03-2021, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevada Ed View Post
Oh, "That" kind of a bulge................

Unsuported case bulges need to be fixed or tossed.

Just remember that these are damaged cases, that you will be using...
that have a structural damage.
I would not run any of those in my guns.
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Old 09-03-2021, 10:34 PM
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Anything with an extreme bulge gets tossed. I use the Lee Bulge Buster/Factory Crimp die and have very few issues. I tumble brass then push all brass through FCD/Bulge Buster and then load as normal. I check all rounds in a Lyman case gage and also plunk test a few in my barrel. I've loaded cast and plated bullets with no issues.
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Old 09-03-2021, 11:30 PM
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Run them all through my Dillon dies with NO issues or need for a bulge buster.........

Randy
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Old 09-03-2021, 11:38 PM
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Exclamation Just Toss 'em!

I just throw out any 40 S&W cases I find (at any step along the way) that exhibit any bulge or visible or tactile imperfection...

Actually, I do this with all cases for all calibers as an S.O.P. (SOP?).

This can happen while depriming, after cleaning with SS pins, while resizing and/or expanding, when hand priming or in the powder/seating step. If one makes it to crimping and final inspection (usually a case gauge) I'm going to set it apart and break it down anyway.

Cheers!

P.S. I have found less than a couple dozen bulged 40 S&W cases in years of reloading this caliber, even going way back to the "GLOCK smile" era. Over supplied with brass for all the calibers I reload. I'm easily picky.
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Old 09-04-2021, 05:55 AM
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See my post #30. Most of the bulges you won't even see with your eye but you do when you gauge them or load them. (Rollsizing)
9 mm reloading and gage
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Old 09-04-2021, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevada Ed View Post
Oh, "That" kind of a bulge................

Unsuported case bulges need to be fixed or tossed.

Just remember that these are damaged cases, that you will be using...
that have a structural damage.
There were a number of Glock "Kaboom's" in .40 cal a number of years ago. Most all involved using reloaded .40 brass that had been fired in earlier generation Glock's that had poor case head support - AKA "the bulge". Brass is cheap, and I wouldn't use brass that was bulged at the webb. I am unsure of the amount of case head support in the Shield.

Larry

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Old 09-04-2021, 09:01 AM
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Pre-Gen 4 Glocks seemed to be the biggest brass bulger offenders. I'd toss brass that is bulged in the case head area as such a bulge will result in a weak case head.
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Old 09-04-2021, 09:24 AM
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Get a bulge buster. I use one on my .45acps that get banged up in pccs. Ones that are noticeably deformed throw in your brass recycle. But I thought they could be reused in a fully supported chamber.
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Old 09-04-2021, 09:44 AM
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Glock improved the unsupported issues a few generations back.

My understanding is that this was mostly a Gen 1 factory Glock barrel issue. Seemed to be exacerbated by new brass supplies (mostly Speer at the time) that had a thinner case area. Brass cases have been thickened and Glock provided for increased bbl support. Gen 2 bbls were improved, most factory loads showed no issues. Some fired brass would exhibit the "Glock smile" in Gen 2 bbls with hotter loads only.

If fired cases are from older 80's-90's Gen1 G22/G23 or maybe Gen2, roll size or use a GR-X.
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Old 09-04-2021, 09:51 AM
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When the case expands and bulges excessively down at the head and then you push it back into orig shape in a die,,the brass is probably already work hardened beyond where it should be.

The case head portion of a cartridge is supposed to be harder (temper) than the mouth to contain the pressure of unsupported brass in that area.
But some guns have more unsupported area than others.
Some brass starts out a bit softer than it should in that area.

When you bulge it that far that's cold working the metal. It might already have micro cracks in it.
Then the sizer die pushes it back into shape and all looks well, but it may crack more or that second operation develops cracks and more brass hardness.

Then when it's fired and that area is unsupported once again there's a good chance it may not bulge and hold,,but just blow out.

I was shown a STAR Model B-Super not long ago that a case blew out. That in turn cracked the plastic grips and blew some brass into the shooters palm of his grip hand.

The problem was that the feed ramp of the gun, both the frame & bbl,,had been altered slightly in attempts to get hollow pt and other bullets to feed better. That left the case unsupported much more than the orig design which had a rather steep and abrupt ramp.

But the pistol was designed to used FMJ ammo and they work just fine with that in most instances.
The ammo was reloads as well,,so they may have also been bulged from previous multiple firing & reloadings and the brass suffered from the above condition.

My best advise was to use factory FMJ in the STAR. Or if he want to continue to reload,,use other new or once fired brass (that shows no bulge on the case).,,reload that and then toss it.
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Old 09-04-2021, 02:04 PM
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40 S&W and 10mm are known for their bulged brass. Badly bulged ('guppy belly') gets tossed, medium bulge for softer/medium reloads, no bulge for any reload. My LE Wilson case gauge is indispensable.

The standard 'busting' procedure is to run them through a pass-through die (e.g. Redding G-Rx) before sizing. Aftermarket bbls are often used to replace OEM Glock bbls to minimize bulging - KKM for me.
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Old 09-05-2021, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 50150me View Post
Do I need a 4th die to prevent bulging?
I have reloaded 9, 38 and 45's for years without cases bulging problems.
Maybe the Op can clarify his question as there's a difference in obtaining a fired case that's bulged & bulging a case while reloading.

If he's asking should be buy a 3-die reloading set or a 4-die reloading set I always go with the 4-die sets.

No matter, either set should not cause bulges in just reloaded cases unless you're doing something wrong.

.
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Old 09-06-2021, 02:07 PM
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Thank all of you for the help and information. I'm now mentally equipped to reload S&W 40.
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Old 09-07-2021, 12:53 PM
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I find all Glock bulge cases by doing an empty brass plunk, then dump test into my Wilson gauge after sizing/depriming, wet tumbling in my FA, drying and visual sorting by headstamp. Lately, there have been fewer and fewer Glock finds from range brass as time passes.

Last batch a month ago from about 5 years of storage revealed 6 cases which hung up about 1/8" out of the gauge out of about 400, all of which went directly into the trash can.

I just don't think it is worth taking the chance considering information in several of the postings above.

Jack
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Old 09-12-2021, 05:28 PM
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Thanks for all of your response. I bought a EGW case gauge and did some investigating. Between 9mm, 38's 45's and 40S&w, the 40S&W raw expended range brass expanded the most. None of them will fit in the case gauge. BUT After running the 40S&W thru my handy Lee Carbide sizing die all of the 40S&W brass slides easily into the case gauge. Question answered.
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Old 09-12-2021, 08:22 PM
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Yes, resize first then gauge the cases. Sounds like you've not encountered a bulged case yet. Full length resizing will not rectify a bulged case because the die doesn't size down to the case head. That's when the Bulge Buster comes in.
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Originally Posted by 50150me View Post
Thanks for all of your response. I bought a EGW case gauge and did some investigating. Between 9mm, 38's 45's and 40S&w, the 40S&W raw expended range brass expanded the most. None of them will fit in the case gauge. BUT After running the 40S&W thru my handy Lee Carbide sizing die all of the 40S&W brass slides easily into the case gauge. Question answered.
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Old 09-13-2021, 05:00 PM
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8 or 10 years ago I decided not to have any 40's because because of glocked brass. I reload and usually with range brass and just wasn't going to take the chance.

In more recent times, brass has improved, chambers have improved and I now own a 40 for which I reload with purchased range brass. I haven't seen any glocked brass in the few thousand rounds I've bought.

It's worth watching out for but it shouldn't be a deterrent these days.
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:48 AM
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Default Lee bulge buster

Quote:
Originally Posted by 50150me View Post
I am just about to start reloading 40S&W. I use range brass. Do I need a 4th die to prevent bulging? I have reloaded 9, 38 and 45's for years with out cases bulging problems. Firearm would be a S&W Shield.
I have a Lee bulge buster that works great on the 40's
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Old 09-16-2021, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maurice H View Post
40 S&W and 10mm are known for their bulged brass. Badly bulged ('guppy belly') gets tossed, medium bulge for softer/medium reloads, no bulge for any reload. My LE Wilson case gauge is indispensable.

The standard 'busting' procedure is to run them through a pass-through die (e.g. Redding G-Rx) before sizing. Aftermarket bbls are often used to replace OEM Glock bbls to minimize bulging - KKM for me.
I dont know, is it the cartridges that are known for case bulge or is it the guns most commonly associated with them? My guess would be it has more to do with the barrel/ chamber design than the cartridge itself. I have a Dan Wesson Silverback 10mm that does not have this issue because the case head is fully supported by the chamber/breech and believe me I fire some very, very high pressure loads in that gun and have brass with a multitude of firings. I do use the Lee BB and it does work but as a testament to the great work DW has done to the venerable 1911 design many of the cases go through the bulgebuster without much needed force. It could be just my speciman but either way, it's the experience I can testify to.
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Old 09-16-2021, 05:11 PM
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I have a S&W 357 Sig Sigma that produces a Glock smile, Then it is a close copy of a Glock.
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Old 09-17-2021, 06:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBro View Post
I dont know, is it the cartridges that are known for case bulge or is it the guns most commonly associated with them?
"Glocked" brass.

I can't find a cite right now, but I recall reading where Federal had strengthened their case head design in response to the problem.
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