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Old November 4, 2002, 03:51 PM   #1
Zak Smith
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West-coast plated 115gr 9mm bullets seating crooked

I have some West-Coast copper-plated 115gr round-nose 9mm bullets, but am having trouble when seating them - they end up seated "crooked", in other words: the bullet's nose is off-center and the bullet is angled in the case.

The slightest misalignment when I set the bullet on the open case mouth produces this problem, and even when great care is taken to place it exactly straight, it often ends up crooked anyway.

This is a strange problem to me because I've never had this problem before in 9mm, using a variety of jacketed bullets, in addition to Oregon Trail hard-cast lead.

I've tried an over-all length of 1.100" to 1.124" with no change in occurance of the problem.

I have two guesses: these bullets are significantly softer and thus don't "self align"; or the case isn't vertical (like a FP or SWC would be) long enough to align.

Any ideas?

thanks
-z
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Old November 4, 2002, 07:25 PM   #2
labgrade
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Two come to mind.

Maybe some junk inn your shellholder preventing the brass from seating firmly in it & getting straight alignment.

Too, how's your belling? May be that a bit more would help.
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Old November 4, 2002, 07:49 PM   #3
Jim Watson
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Well, I would take the chicken way out and load another bullet.
But if you just want to use those bullets, and are loading on a single stage, try a Lyman M die. It does not put a conical flare on the case mouth, it expands a short section for a slip fit on the bullet and it lines up against a bit of shoulder. I don't know if you could get a Dillon "powder funnel" altered to give the same effect.
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Old November 4, 2002, 08:56 PM   #4
Zak Smith
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The belling is currently set up so that the bullet can easily sit inside the mouth, and lead bullets can be seated with no "shavings."

Have tried the seating inserts for both round-nose and SWC/flat-point/JHP, using RCBS dies.

I might just ditch the idea of using these bullets, though.

How much run-out is acceptible?

Will these be just inaccurate, or dangerous?

-z
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Old November 5, 2002, 11:33 AM   #5
john kilgore
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Your'e belling the case way-way too much as a result of over sizing the brass.

You didn't state what dies your'e using and it dosen't much matter. Most dies provide for excessive sizing of 9mm brass because of problems in the 70's and 80's with a lot of "under-spec." forigen made reloadable brass available. Most quality 9mm brass if much better now with the surge in popularity of the 9mm in the late 80's and early 90's. (as well as ammo)
I had the same thing occuring to me loading for 9mm. I spent a great deal of time sorting out the problem as I needed absolute top grade match 9mm's for competition.
(As long as the ammo chambers freely, it should be okay, but will have poor-erratic accuracy.)
My fix was:
1. Size the case initially and decap only sizing the case enough to have adequate neck tension to properly hold the bullet after seating. (about the first 1/4"-1/3" back from the neck)
2. Only expand the neck the very minimum to allow seating of the bullet without scraping or deforming the bullet. This means approximately an additional 1/2 turn of the die for a cast bullet than a jacketed/plated.
3. After seating the bullet, I use a Lee "factory crimp die" to crimp (slight -taper crimp) and remove (smooth) the expanded base of the case to original factory diminsions-this allows all ammo to chamber reliably through all three of my 9mm's.
This results in "very low" to "no" run-out and with premium bullets and proper powder charges, accuracy equivalent to the very best factory ammo.
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Old November 5, 2002, 11:49 AM   #6
Zak Smith
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Thanks for the info John.

I'm using RCBS dies. The resized mouth O.D. was 0.373 (+/- 0.001 variation), and the expanded/belled O.D. was 0.379, or 0.006 bigger.

I just did an experiment with three different bell amounts from "none" (ie, 0.373) to 0.379, and then seated bullets. The ones with less bell didn't seat straighter. Actually, the ones with more bell seated straighter because I could align the bullets vertically before running the press; the bullets woudn't sit in the mouths of the non-expanded case mouths.

-z
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Old November 5, 2002, 03:44 PM   #7
wingman
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had same problem using west coast 124gr, I purchased a lee factory crimp
die and used the seating die for seating
only(no crimp) problem was solved.
The dies are Lee and they suggested a
new plug made especially made for the bullet, $11.00 I believe, however I have
used the factory crimp die on other auto
cartridges and prefer it, although it does
cause one more step.
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Old November 6, 2002, 11:35 PM   #8
Bompa
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Have you cleaned your brass ?? I had this problem with some 38 supers..Didn't clean the brass and got crooked ammo..Guess there was enough crap inside the case that caused the bullet to not seat normally..Stuff shot alright though..
Clean your brass and if necessary deburr the cases a bit inside the mouth..
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Old November 7, 2002, 10:30 AM   #9
Zak Smith
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Thanks for the tip, Bompa.

I was using brand new, resized & expanded Winchester brass.

-z
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Old November 7, 2002, 11:48 AM   #10
tonyz
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West Coast 9MM Bullets

I have reloaded well over 5000 of the 9MM West Coast Bullets with no problems.

I use a Dillon Square Deal B to reload with. I tryed to produce a crooked bullet by playing with my belling size, and setting the bullet in at an angle, but was unable to produce a crooked Bullet. I dont think its a bullet problem, but If you know someone else that reloads let them reload a few of the west coast bullets just to make sure. I use West Coast Bullets for all my calibers, from 380 to 45 they are the best Plated Bullet IMO.


Tony
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Old November 7, 2002, 11:55 AM   #11
Zak Smith
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In case it's something funny with the dimensions of the dies, or the press, I'll try some through my SDB tonight.

(Just got the SDB yesterday!)



-z
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Old November 7, 2002, 02:37 PM   #12
buford1
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Ran into the very same problem when loading 458 win. Turned out I had the wrong seating plug in the die.Trying to seat round nose bullets with a flat point seating tool. Ruined 3 cases before I figured It out
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Old November 7, 2002, 02:40 PM   #13
Zak Smith
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I was using the RN seating die in the RCBS press, but also tried the flat-point die.
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Old November 7, 2002, 03:10 PM   #14
Bompa
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New brass most times has a bit of a burr around the inside edge of the case mouth.. Just a light chanfer in that area should go a long way to prevent that,crooked bullets,in future loadings.. Makes seating a bullet easier also..
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Old November 7, 2002, 11:06 PM   #15
Zak Smith
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Problem Solved.

I tried these bullets in my new Dillon Square-Deal B and they seated straight, with no perceptible runout, when using the "round-nose" seating plug.

I conclude that the problem is with the RCBS seater die & plug.

-z
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Old November 7, 2002, 11:56 PM   #16
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RCBS has an alternate seater plug for about $5 but may send you a free one. They did for me a few years back.

They'll also custom make one for any bullet shape you want.
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Old November 8, 2002, 08:48 AM   #17
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I conclude that the problem is with the RCBS seater die & plug.



Now, you got it.!!!!
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Old November 8, 2002, 09:37 AM   #18
labgrade
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Hmmm re RCBS seater stems.

Every pistol caliber I have has at least two stems - one for round nose & another for flats/hollow points.

Obviously, use the proper stem for your bullet tip profile.

Goes a long ways for establishing a good start.
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Old November 12, 2002, 03:51 PM   #19
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Does it just drive you crazy when you have problems with your reloading equipment?

Gald you found the fix so you can get back to reloading and not troubleshooting.
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Old May 22, 2007, 05:24 PM   #20
GerberSchwintz
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I hate to bump an ancient thread but I'm also having this problem with X-treme brand plated 115 gr bullets. Both RCBS seater plugs result in slightly crooked seating and also deform the bullet nose.




I've checked the alternate plugs RCBS offers and I don't see another type of plug for 115 gr bullets. Does this mean I need a new seater die? If so what brand?
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Old May 22, 2007, 05:37 PM   #21
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Golly, isn't that special? I've had to machine my own seating plugs for some rounds, but if you don't have a lathe, that's problematic.

A couple of commercial solution. Jim Watson's old reply about the Lyman M dies is correct. Redding dies are now made with the same type M expander profile. Instead of a funnel flare, these expand the case straight down a short distance, then flair the mouth. That lets the bullet start in with much better alignment. I actually turned my own powder drop tube/funnel/op-rods for my Dillon measures in this profile because it is so superior.

The flat nose on your rounds is odd. Most seaters have a hole in the top center so lube can squirt out. I suppose you could drill one? Redding makes a competition seater for straight wall cases now. Not inexpensive, but designed to guarantee alignment. #55172 in 9mm. I got one in .45-70. They work well.

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