The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old June 3, 2011, 02:11 AM   #1
deepcore
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 24, 2010
Posts: 364
Inconsistent bullet tension

Getting inconsistent bullet tension after/during seating. Varies from: on one end in there real good and cannot turn or move the bullet to the other extreme of loose. Getting more seated well that not.

Backgound (all for .308): Annealed the cases before sizing, loading for bolt action so used Lee Collet neck sizer (used the suggested size-pause-half turn case-size pause technique), using Forster Micrometer seater. My available FL sizer is a Dillon.

I also tumbled the cases to clean off lube already. And tried wiping the inside of the neck and bullets down in case there was any left over lube.

I think it's inconsistent neck sizing because I can see a correllation between how much of the boat tail I can see sitting on top of the case mouth before seating and to how tight or loose the bullet will be.

I'd like to redo the neck sizing (just in case that's the problem) but the cases are primed already. Unless there's a way to remove the deprimer rod on the Lee Collet sizer. I have a Universal Demprimer so that wouldn't be a big deal.
deepcore is offline  
Old June 3, 2011, 07:53 AM   #2
jmorris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 22, 2006
Posts: 1,562
Quote:
Backgound (all for .308): Annealed the cases before sizing
How? Your cases will only be as consistant as your process.

Unless your only intent is not to get cracks you are better off using a machine to anneal, or not doing it at all. Here is one I built, each and every case is done the exact same.

jmorris is offline  
Old June 3, 2011, 08:12 AM   #3
dahermit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near Ohio, Indiana.
Posts: 3,505
As suggested by the creator of the excellent annealing machine above, it is extremal important to anneal each case to the same degree or cases with too soft, still too hard, or inconsistent annealing and therefore, inconsistent bullet pull tension with most certainly result. Only anneal cases when you have to as will be indicated by necks beginning to split. Then, take much care to anneal uniformly using a very expensive-to-construct machine or temperature indicating "crayons".
In short, correct annealing temperature and heat uniformly applied around the whole neck is easier to contemplate than actually do.
An alternative to annealing would be to buy at least 100 cases, do extensive case uniforming (neck turning, primer pocket uniforming, etc.), and then replace the lot when they begin to show neck splits.
dahermit is offline  
Old June 3, 2011, 09:15 AM   #4
deepcore
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 24, 2010
Posts: 364
Thanks!
Will see about the Tempilaq.
Can I light off the rounds were the bullets aren't snug as they should be?

Last edited by deepcore; June 3, 2011 at 09:26 AM.
deepcore is offline  
Old June 3, 2011, 09:42 AM   #5
89blazin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 13, 2009
Posts: 107
Did you full length resize or neck resize...used lube? Did you trim the cases or check for consistant case length? Have you set up the seating die for any crimp?
89blazin is offline  
Old June 3, 2011, 09:46 AM   #6
mrbro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 14, 2008
Posts: 195
I also experienced inconsistent neck tension using the Lee neck sizer using it on a non-Lee press. I returned mine but have been told that the problem can be solved if you tweak the adjustment a little bit.
mrbro is offline  
Old June 3, 2011, 10:29 AM   #7
Doodlebugger45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 15, 2009
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 1,717
I'm not sure what the annealing step might have done in regards to the inconsistent tensions. I don't anneal so I just don't know. However, it can take a few cases to get used to the Lee neck sizer. The first time I tried to use mine, I got zero sizing at all. I measured the ID of the neck, put it through the sizer and measured again and it was exactly the same. I did that several times. I took the dang thing apart to see if there was anything wrong, couldn't see anything so screwed it back together. Tried it a few more times and it was working just fine.

A couple things to check on.

Use your calipers and measure the inside diameter of the neck before and after. It doesn't size them down nearly as much as a regular FL sizer does to the necks. Mine go from 0.312" down to 0.307" after sizing.

Forget about what Lee says regarding the 25 lbs of force. You need to really mash down on the sucker hard. Like you, I push down as hard as I can, hold it a second, release it, partially turn the case and mash on it hard again.

I tried it with the suggested one turn at first, but it seemed to do better after I gave it another half turn.
Doodlebugger45 is offline  
Old June 3, 2011, 02:00 PM   #8
deepcore
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 24, 2010
Posts: 364
Quote:
Did you full length resize or neck resize...used lube? Did you trim the cases or check for consistant case length? Have you set up the seating die for any crimp?
Neck size because I was loading for a bolt gun. Yes, trimmed and check the case lengths after (used Lee cutter cases came out, with some small variation, 2.006.). I did lube (though now I found out you don't really have to with the Lee Collet neck sizer). And I did clean the cases after.

Quote:
Use your calipers and measure the inside diameter of the neck before and after. It doesn't size them down nearly as much as a regular FL sizer does to the necks. Mine go from 0.312" down to 0.307" after sizing.
I have another 50 rounds not loaded. So far they're coming up .306 inside neck diameter though haven't checked them all.

Quote:
How? Your cases will only be as consistant as your process.
12 mm socket in a drill. Drill plugged into a speed control. Both drill and router speed control set on low. That way I didn't have to modulate speed by feel. Then counted revolutions (by a mark on the socket). I pre-counted number of revolutions in 5 seconds. Using one burner (was thinking of using a second). Might be the variations of the case distance to/in the flame. Nice machine.
deepcore is offline  
Old June 4, 2011, 07:59 AM   #9
dahermit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near Ohio, Indiana.
Posts: 3,505
Quote:
...I'm not sure what the annealing step might have done in regards to the inconsistent tensions...
Unless great care is taken, some case necks will end up softer than others or one side of the neck will be softer than the other. If a case is softened too much it will barely hold the bullet and the bullet pull will be very much less than a case neck that is harder (and springs back more). In extreme instances, when a case neck is softened too much, and when using a common neck-sizing die (not a Lee collet die), the case neck will actually prolapse into the case when neck-sizing is attempted. In short, if annealing is attempted, great care must be take to do it correctly...it is very easy to end up with an inconsistant result.
dahermit is offline  
Old June 4, 2011, 08:26 AM   #10
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,338
Quote:
Originally Posted by doodlebugger45
Forget about what Lee says regarding the 25 lbs of force. You need to really mash down on the sucker hard. Like you, I push down as hard as I can, hold it a second, release it, partially turn the case and mash on it hard again.
Something is very wrong with your setup or die if you have to put that much force on it to get proper sizing. The Lee collet die has an aluminum screw cap that is designed so the threads will strip if too much force is applied. Pushing down as hard as you can is very likely to break the cap.

The collet die is designed so the collets are pressed together as the shell holder pushes the sleeve into the body of the die. Closing the collets does not take much force, though it does vary between calibers, and once they are closed no amount of force will produce any more sizing.

The collet dies should be disassembled, cleaned and checked for burrs and machine marks on the moving surfaces. Many users (myself included) have found it beneficial to polish the surfaces that move/slide and apply light amounts of lube to the outer surfaces of the collets. I polished the decapping rods, outer surface of the collets, inner surface of the dies and apply a light coat of Eezox to all surfaces. Once the Eezox dries, I apply a bit more to provide wet lube to the collet outer surface.
__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old June 4, 2011, 10:03 AM   #11
chris in va
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 26, 2004
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 12,492
Quote:
loading for bolt action so used Lee Collet neck sizer
I had the same issue with my 30-06. The bullets would spin in the case. Went with a FLSD and separate crimp die, problem solved.
chris in va is offline  
Old June 4, 2011, 01:40 PM   #12
wncchester
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 1, 2002
Posts: 2,832
Lee's excellant collet neck die has a moving part that requires understanding and has a slight learning curve. It is NOT a conventional 'push the case in, pull the case out' kind of tool but those learn to use it correctly generally love it.
wncchester is offline  
Old June 4, 2011, 02:36 PM   #13
mrbro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 14, 2008
Posts: 195
There's no rocket science here. It is a simple machine that, for some reason, some of us cannot get repeatable results with right out of the box. The quality of the results from those that have mastered the machine is not being questioned.
mrbro is offline  
Old June 4, 2011, 03:23 PM   #14
dlb435
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 26, 2009
Posts: 654
Not trying to knock Lee dies here but I had some issues with them. I only have a few Lee dies left in my kit. Most are now RCBS and Dillon. On some set-ups, I've gone through 3 sets of dies before I found a set that would give good results every time.
Try an other set of dies and see what happens. You might even find that you need to use FL dies to get what you want.
Unless you way over heated your brass; the annealing was probably not the issue. The tricky thing about brass is the exact type of brass you are dealing with. Temps to anneal can range from 500 to 750 deg. C and even higher for some alloys. My general rule of thumb is that if its hot enough to see it glow in a well lit room, then its too hot. I usually dim the lights so any over heating is obvious. Keep in mind that you don't need to get the brass as soft as possible. It just needs to be soft enough to work without splitting.
dlb435 is offline  
Old June 4, 2011, 08:37 PM   #15
deepcore
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 24, 2010
Posts: 364
Now here's the headscratcher:
I loaded the remaining 50 pieces of brass and all of them had great neck tension. The previous 50 had 5 REALLY loose necks and 10 marginal.

All 100 of them were randomly (universal) deprimed, tumbled, annealled, sized, trimmed, hand primed, and as they were primed put in the blue ammo boxes. After which powder charged and seated. What are the odds all the odd ones wound up in the same box?

Thanks for the replies. Will work on annealing consistency and keeping track of things (like before and after measurements during sizing).
deepcore is offline  
Old June 4, 2011, 10:13 PM   #16
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,338
Did you make any changes in between, such as removing and reinstalling the die?
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old June 5, 2011, 12:25 AM   #17
Volucris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 30, 2009
Posts: 293
In addition to confirming annealing uniformity, try using a brass bore brush and scraping the necks after cleaning before final loading.
__________________
"From my cold, dead hands!" - Charlton Heston
Volucris is offline  
Old June 5, 2011, 12:53 AM   #18
deepcore
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 24, 2010
Posts: 364
Quote:
Did you make any changes in between, such as removing and reinstalling the die?
I was going over that in my head. And...no... at least for the case prep items I mentioned all the way up to seating. I didn't change any thing from the previous load session (except I tried annealing).

Now, I did back out the seating stem on my Forster because I was planning to load the second batch .010 taller than the first 50 (experimenting with OAL). Don't know if that would have mattered. I don't think so because I did this time check each case's inside neck diameter in the second 50 with my calipers before I seated... .305..seat.. .306 seat... .305 seat etc. Didn't do that with the first 50. I don't claim to be the best with a caliper so not sure if the variations (though in the end all of the second 50 still wound up with good neck tension) were my measuring errors, "acceptable variations", or variations due to my first annealing attempt.

Which brings me to what I now remember didn't do this round of case prep that I was doing the previous prep sessions. I used a bullet to check the neck after sizing (by lightly placing the bullet in the mouth) on EVERY case. Sorta of like a go/no go gauge. Not the most accurate test...maybe even brain surgery with a chain saw but it's quick. Now if there is a cylindrical shaped tapered tool with diameter marks on it you could stick down a case to measure/check neck diameter....maybe I can use/mark a bullet tip instead of using the base...
deepcore is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:11 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10658 seconds with 9 queries