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Old January 19, 2007, 10:51 AM   #1
JohnLizCas
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Join Date: November 21, 2004
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380 ACP reloading

Yesterday I received RCBS reloading dies for my 380. I set up the seating die to specs and tried to reload an empty case. I adjusted the die for the taper crimp and then the bullet seater plug. The plug was set to the lowest point and I still couldn't get the right OAL. To compensate I had to turn down the entire unit. Now the bullets (Ranier 95 gr) have a groove around them where the taper crimp should be. Is this normal or could I be risking over pressure on the round? Lyman manual states OAL of .900 for 95 gr FMJ and Alliant powder specs state .975. Don't want to do anything stupid as I like my hands and face the way they are. LOL John PS: The resizing and expander dies worked OK.
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Old January 19, 2007, 05:45 PM   #2
Dave R
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Quote:
The plug was set to the lowest point and I still couldn't get the right OAL.
Not sure what you mean by that. The seating plug should start high, then work down until you get the right OAL.

You don't want to shoot .380s that are too short. High pressure will definitely result. Cartrdges that small don't have much leeway for short rounds. A kinetic bullet puller is the cheap way to get them apart again, if you're so inclined.

If your taper is set where you want it, you can do a quick adjust on the seating depth by:

1. Pull the seater plug way up.
2. Put a factory round in the press (preferably with a bullet as close to the one you want to use as possible.)
3. Adjust the seater plug so it touches the factory bullet.

You should be pretty close. Make any final adjustments as needed. You can always start too long and shorten, you can never start too short and lengthen.
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Old January 19, 2007, 07:39 PM   #3
JohnLizCas
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seater plug

I set the seater plug to its lowest point and still couldn't get the right overall length. The plug ran out of threads and wouldn't go any lower. Will try the factory round and the adjustment of the seater plug to that. Thanks for the suggestion. Will let you know the results. John
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Old January 20, 2007, 02:24 AM   #4
Shoney
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I've been reloading for 46 year, and have never seen a die that would not seat the bullet deeper into the case than the recommended OAL. The 380 headspaces off of the case rim, so this should not be to tightly crimped.

First (presuming you have the proper shell holder in your press) take the die apart and check to make sure all the parts are in place. Check to make sure the plug slides in and out with no binding, and that the stem screws all the way to the bottom of it’s threads without binding when there is no plug in the die. It sounds like you are either missing a plug on the end of the stem, or it is the wrong plug, or the plug is not going far enough down in the die because of an obstruction or burr.

2nd. Place a factory load in the shell holder and put the ram all the way up with no die in the press. Screw the seater stem all the way up to the top of the die. Thread the die into the press and screw the die down until it is just snug with the factory round, then back up 1/2 turn. You do not want a heavy crimp on Rainier bullets. An additional crimp could be applied later.

3rd. Screw the seating stem down until the plug just touches the bullet. If it doesn’t seat properly, call RCBS Customer Service at 1.800.533.5000 or 1.530.533.5191 Monday through Thursday 6:30 AM - 3:00 PM PST.
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Old January 22, 2007, 08:44 PM   #5
JohnLizCas
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380 reloading

Tried the suggestion of setting the plug on a factory round. Seems to have worked. Won't find out until this Saturday when I go to the range. Thanks for the tip. Man, this is a great site for information
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Old January 23, 2007, 12:00 AM   #6
cloudcroft
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That's how I set bullet-seating with my Lee dies...just use a factory round and adjust the seater to fit it (.45ACP 230-grain LRNs or FMJs).

What's OAL?

Don't even own a caliper, never used one.

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