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Old May 5, 2008, 08:59 PM   #1
digger658
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I want to modify my .223 seating die.

Can the crimping portion of a seating die be drilled out so the shell holder and die can make contact. When I set my seating dies up by the instructions I have to back the die out to keep from crimping. When I do this I get a .003 to .008 variance in seating depth depending on how much pressure I use on the handle setting the bullet. If I could drill out the crimping portion of the die the shell holder and die would make contact and it would not matter what pressures I put on the handle the bullet would be at the same depth ever time.

Does anyone else find a variance in their seating depth which is due to different amounts of pressures on the handle?
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Old May 5, 2008, 09:48 PM   #2
rg1
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The method you're using is correct for adjusting your die to not crimp while seating. A sized case in the shellholder, raise the ram up, turn your die in until it just touches the case neck, screw it out approx. 1/8 turn, lock the die body down tight with a wrench, then seat a bullet by turning in the seating stem until the bullet is at the desired depth. Trying to drill out the crimp portion would only ruin the seating die especially if later you need to crimp some rounds. My guess is that the bullets themselves vary a few thousandths of an inch. Bullet tips whether lead tipped or plastic tipped vary in shape. A slightly rounded tip of lead or plastic will measure slightly shorter than a sharply pointed tip. Just use the same amount of force on the press handle when it bottoms out and the overall length won't be effected. The ogive of the seated bullets are probably very close. Hollowpoint bullets have uneven tips too and will vary if you measure with the caliper over the tip. Having the seating die bottom out on the shellholder won't help anything as far as getting the exact overall lengths when measured from bullet tip to base for the reason above. Do a google search for "bullet ogive" and read a couple articles and you'll see what ogives are and how to measure length of seated bullets plus tools to measure.
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Old May 6, 2008, 06:56 AM   #3
CPTMurdoc30
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If you are measuring from tip of bullet to base of cartridge that is where you are getting your variance from. Dies are hardened steel that hs been polished. I can see it being a tad on the diffacult side to auger this out. Maybe with a lath and the right equipment you could git-r-done but i do not know.

Why not just buy a seating die that does not crimp? Wouldn't that be the cheaper easier way to go? The you have both. I personaly never crimp rifle ammo. Only pistol ammo gets a crimp in my reloading room.
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Old May 6, 2008, 06:59 AM   #4
Sevens
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Is this help or yet another question? You decide!

When you buy the collet neck-only sizing die separate from the full length sizer and bullet seater as sold in the Deluxe set, they give you another die that they call the "Dead Length Bullet Seating Die"

I don't know what the heck this die offers over the standard seater/crimp die.

Can anyone help? Is this die in question a solution for the original poster?
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Old May 6, 2008, 07:22 AM   #5
steve4102
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One of the best dies for the money.
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...eitemid=177937
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Old May 6, 2008, 01:43 PM   #6
Alleykat
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Sounds like you need the Lee seating die that comes with the Collet Die Set.
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Old May 6, 2008, 01:48 PM   #7
30Cal
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Just back the die out till it stops crimping.

Also, overall length will vary because bullets are not uniform from one to the next. What matters is the length to the ogive of the bullet which is what your seating die should be pushing on.
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Old May 7, 2008, 01:06 AM   #8
scsov509
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Quote:
Also, overall length will vary because bullets are not uniform from one to the next.
+1. The seating plug is generally pushing up against the ogive and not just the tip of the bullet, meaning that small differences from one bullet to the next will most certainly effect your OAL. Before you go modifying your dies, I'd check your bullets to see how consistent they are from one bullet to the next. Also, how are you loading these bullets? Single stage, progressive, turret, etc? I know that rounds from my progressive vary a little more than those from my single stage. That might be still another factor to consider.
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Old May 7, 2008, 01:09 AM   #9
totalloser
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It won't be easy to machine. I have tried to machine sizing dies with c2 and c6 carbide, and it is nearly impossible to do well. I think the only way to modify this sort of thing is by grinding. Probably not worth the effort.

I have never had that kind of variation with any of my dies. I wonder if perhaps something else is hanging up? Do you run a progressive? And definitely consider the previous posts on adjusting the dies-good advice!
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Old May 7, 2008, 03:03 PM   #10
30Cal
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FWIW, on my match loads with match bullets, I see approx. 0.005" variation in OAL when the ogive length is essentially constant.
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Old May 7, 2008, 04:11 PM   #11
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I ran into this last night. I'm setting up a load for .223 to do some rock chucking. I saved the expensive bullets for the .25-06 and bought cheapies for the .223. I picked up 500 Winchester 55 gr FMJBT's at Cabelas. Last night I was running my single stage press and could see the whole cannelure on some bullets but most were pressed in deep enough to hide it. I've elected not to crimp so I'm just ignoring it, figuring that the ogive on a few has a .100 variance. I checked the OAL and did find the variance so I chambered a couple of the long ones and they fit fine. Since the die presses on the ogive area I figured OAL dimension didn't matter as much as ogive dimension and that on those few the tip of the bullet will just start out farther down the bore. This will probably cause a slight accuracy problem for those few but who cares if I miss a rock chuck?
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Old May 7, 2008, 04:54 PM   #12
30Cal
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Quote:
and that on those few the tip of the bullet will just start out farther down the bore. This will probably cause a slight accuracy problem for those few but who cares if I miss a rock chuck?
No accuracy problem there. The tip of the bullet really doesn't play into what happens to the bullet once the round is chambered.

Also, cannelures are not necessarily uniform either.
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Old May 7, 2008, 06:33 PM   #13
digger658
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First of all, Thanks to everyone, I'm learning a lot with this thread.

OK, I've measured all my bullets ogive with a Hornady comparator and all measure the same. The seating plug on my RCBS die does not touch the tip of the bullet. It is actually bored out so it can't touch the tip. All the brass measures the same and the case head (primer hole area) are all flat and I'm using a single stage press. Yesterday I used a thick flat washer between the die and case holder and was getting a +-.0015 variance. So I think I'm on the right track. The die that I'm modifing is a LEE die so no huge loss.

It just bugs the h-ll out of me when all the bullets are not seated the same length. I guess working with tight tolerances all day at work is not helping the matter
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