The Firing Line Forums

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old June 26, 2005, 08:57 PM   #1
Dave R
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2000
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,073
Strange Behavior from Lee Die...Normal?

I just started reloading .45acp. Man, I love the big cases, big bullets, etc. Easy to handle. I bought a set of Lee dies for the cartridge. And I'm having some trouble. Wondering if this is normal.

When I seat bullets, about 3/4 of them seat normally. But on about 1/4 of them....

There is a gritty feel as the cartridge progresses up the die. When the seater contacts the bullet, it seems to jam about halfway down to normal seating depth. The press handle doesn't want to go full-stroke. If I force it, the bullets come out with the noses deformed.

Its not a problem with inadequate flare. I checked that carefully.

I also checked to see whether the "sticky" bullets are over-sized, or the brass is thicker. No to either one. This happens with both Laser-Cast 200gr. LRN and Speer 185gr. Gold Dots. It happens with both Win and Remington brass. Headstamps are sorted--it has happened with both brass.

The only other symptom I can find is that the "sticky" bullets seem to have a slight ridge on one side, just about where the base of the bullet would be, or possibly slightly up from there. The ridge looks polished, as though it was rubbed by the dies (maybe the gritty feel????)

The finished rounds will drop in the chamber, and drop back out, so there's no interference from the ridge when chambering.

Is my seater die just defective? If so, then why would it be intermittent, and only about 1/4 of the time?

Should I call or write Lee about it?

Spare me the Lee trashing--I'll switch to another brand of die if needed.
__________________
I am Pro-Rights (on gun issues).
Dave R is offline  
Old June 26, 2005, 09:07 PM   #2
CaptainRazor
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 16, 2005
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 302
Dear Shooter,
I would suggest a good cleaning of the die to begin with, I always take 'em apart and hose them out real good with carburetor cleaner and some swabs.

I don't think your problems lies with the bullet, it sounds to me, (I could be dead wrong on this), that you have to much flare on the case mouth.
The gritty feeling might be the case scratching the side of the die as you pull on the handle, thus, the die is forcing it back into shape while trying to crimp it.

One other thing it could be, you might need to back off the die a little more. It could be putting to much crimp on the case mouth.

These are the only problems I can think of, case length usually isn't an issue unless you are roll crimping or taper crimping really heavy.

my .02 cents
CaptainRazor is offline  
Old June 26, 2005, 10:50 PM   #3
Dave R
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2000
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,073
Good suggestions. I did clean and lube the die.

I don't think there's too much flare, but I'll play with it and see. Will also try backing off the crimp a little. I don't think the crimp is the issue, as the binding starts higher in the stroke, before the crimper hits the case.

Edited to add: the more I think about it, too much flare may be the culprit. I was playing with flare a bit. And the cases that give me trouble start dragging as soon as they enter the die...

Any other ideas, folks?
__________________
I am Pro-Rights (on gun issues).
Dave R is offline  
Old June 26, 2005, 11:08 PM   #4
rwilson452
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 10, 2004
Location: Tioga co. PA
Posts: 2,361
bullet seating

I went to crimping as a separate step. I had this problem with lead bullets that were over lubed. the lube kept plugging up the die. With a Lee factory crimp die and seating and crimping in separate steps I can load any bullet with no problem. I don't think going to a different die mfg will help. You need just enough bell that the bullet starts without shaving the bullet. that sounds like what your getting. If you have the brass and bullets to spare try adjusting the die to not crimp at all and see what happens.
rwilson452 is offline  
Old June 27, 2005, 08:04 AM   #5
HSMITH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 21, 2002
Posts: 2,019
The seating stem doesn't fit the bullet profile, take it out of the die and look at it. The bullets are cocking in the case as they seat. You need a seating stem that fits the bullet.

Both sets of Lee 45acp dies that I have came with a FMJ or ball style seating stem and can cock bullets of a different profile.
HSMITH is offline  
Old June 27, 2005, 02:48 PM   #6
Dave R
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2000
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,073
I checked out a coupla things during lunch...

I don't think its the seating stem. It fits the Gold Dots nicely. Does not fit the Laser-Cast as well, but its not that bad.

I'm leaning more toward too much flare. I checked a batch of 50 that I had flared, waiting for powder. 6 of them seemed to be over-flared, in that they would contact the side of the seating die as soon as they entered the mouth. Gave that same "gritty" feeling.

So maybe what's happening is that the over-flared cases are entering the die, and as the flare is straightened (BEFORE) the bullet has begun seating, the sides of the case (below where the bullet base sits) are closing in. That would make the seating effort much higher, and could create the "ridge" I saw.

So after work I'll try straightening those cases in the seater die and re-flaring. See if that makes them behave properly.
__________________
I am Pro-Rights (on gun issues).
Dave R is offline  
Old June 27, 2005, 10:13 PM   #7
HSMITH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 21, 2002
Posts: 2,019
Dave, over flare can make for crunchy feel and all of that but it won't seat bullets crooked. Crooked bullets are the source of your problems.
HSMITH 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 04:09 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 0.07369 seconds with 9 queries