.45 LC...Starting the bullet into the case.
The way my bullets cast I get an O.D. of right around .454. with the lead I am using. It is a Lee 90234 mold. My lead is measuring right around BHN 8 to BHN 16
The case expanding die (also from Lee) opens the cases up such that the bullet requires a bit of yutzing to get it to start into the case. I was doing this by hand because I could not rely upon the press to start the bullet if I just sat it on top of the case.
Problem with doing it by hand is that I could not consistently get the bullet alignment right. In addition, handling the bullets left an awful lot of lube on my fingers and wiped the lube out of the grooves.
So I came up with a contraption that starts the bullet with great alignment every time. It reduces the amount of handling and smooths the lube into the grooves of the bullet.
It is made up of three components. One is a block of rock maple that is inletted to hold the case firmly in place in a rim up position. The second piece is made of a block of ABS plastic with a hole drilled though it. The hole has two different diameters. The smaller diameter is the perfect size to accept the bullet with a very little bit of force required to push it into the hole. The larger diameter is big enough to fit snuggly over the brass case. The third component is a little wooden Tee handle made from an oak handle and a dowel.
To use it, I lube the bullet and then force it through the larger diameter hole in the plastic block and into the smaller diameter part of the hole in the block. I put the bullet in nose first from larger diameter hole to smaller diameter hole. It stays put in the smaller diameter hole because of the snug fit with the nose just peaking out of the hole.
Then I put the casing with powder and card into the maple block to hold it upright and secure.
I put the plastic block with the bullet in it over the maple block with the bullet in perfect alignment with the case.
I then use the Tee handle to force the bullet about a 16th inch into the case.
Then I put the cartridge with the bullet into the press and seat and the crimp the bullet normally.
The plastic block holds the bullet secure in the right alignment. It also distrubutes the lube properly into the grooves.
I noticed when seating the bullet with the press that a little extra force is needed if the bullet alignment isn't right. This makes sense and I was concerned I was damaging the bullets because of this alignment problem. When I use my little contraption, since the alignment is always the same (and hopefully always right) I use the same force each time I seat the bullet.
My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson