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Old December 28, 2009, 01:21 PM   #1
gregjc9
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OAL variances ?

New to reloading, got my Lee Classic Turret, 9mm and .45 dies, etc, all set up. I loaded a few 9mm over the weekend with 115 FMJ from Midway. My desired OAL was 1.135, but noticed several rounds were quite a bit less, approx 1.114. None were over. All the rounds chambered, fired, and ejected just fine (shooting from an XDm).

I'll double-check the dies to make sure everying is adjusted correctly, and load a few more rounds and see what they come out as. Would it be better to make a number of dummy rounds first? I did this at the beginning to dial things in - or at least I thought I had things dialed in, the first dummy rounds came out pretty close to the OAL I was after. Other suggestions welcome.
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Old December 28, 2009, 02:20 PM   #2
mkl
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Suggestions:

1) Seat and "crimp" in separate operations. Crimp is in quotes because you really do not want to crimp in the cartridges your mention -- just straighten the bell back in so it is in line with the rest of the case.

2) Make up a dummy round that has the exact OAL you want to act as a gage the next time you adjust your seating die.

If you need detailed instructions as to how to set up a seating die, PM mail me, as I wrote these up several years ago and have posted before.

Best wishes & good luck

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Old December 28, 2009, 04:55 PM   #3
wncchester
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It's not uncommon for wax or something on pistol bullets to collect on the seaitng punch and cause exactly what you are getting. Happily, it really makes no real difference.
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Old December 28, 2009, 05:39 PM   #4
michaeltpo
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It sounds like a question I just had....

Maybe some of this information is useful to you:

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=390742
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Old December 28, 2009, 06:14 PM   #5
snuffy
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Quote:
New to reloading, got my Lee Classic Turret, 9mm and .45 dies, etc, all set up. I loaded a few 9mm over the weekend with 115 FMJ from Midway.
Since you're new to reloading, there's no way for a build-up of bullet lube/wax to have built up on your seating punch.

Now it's time for you to learn that bullet tips/ends are seldom uniform. But your variance is quite a bit. Still, you could have measured the first one that was ultra short, maybe even under-weight, then the rest were standard length.

Quote:
Happily, it really makes no real difference.
Got to disagree with you there wncchester. If the base,(of the bullet), is further into the case than what the manual calls for, the pressure will be higher. If it's seated way too deep, the pressure could be dangerous! Minor variations of a couple thousandths don't make much difference.
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Old December 28, 2009, 07:55 PM   #6
gregjc9
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Snuffy, I noticed pretty quickly the variances in the bullet nose, and that many were not quite manufactured the same. This may account for the OAL variances. Here are a few OALs that I jotted down:
1.138
1.137
1.122
1.144
1.135
1.139
1.145
1.139
1.138

I have a number of bullets I ordered from Rocky Mountain Reloading, I may try making several dummy rounds with them instead of the bullets I got from Midway.
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Old December 28, 2009, 09:14 PM   #7
wncchester
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"Got to disagree with you there wncchester. "

Okay.
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Old December 29, 2009, 02:23 PM   #8
gregjc9
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I received seating die instructions from mkl, and with his approval, I am posting them below. They seemed to work a LOT better than the instructions that came from Lee for their die. Since I have a FCD, I only needed to follow steps 1 through 11.

The target OAL I was trying to get is 1.135, below are the OALs of 5 dummy rounds after the seating die was reset using mkl's instructions.

1.1350 (made little adjustments until reached target OAL)
1.1260
1.1335
1.1300
1.1370

I pulled the index rod and was manually turning the turret, just to make sure.

The big difference between mkl's steps and what came with the dies, is Lee suggests screwing in the die until it lightly touches the shell holder, then back out 3 full turns, then tighten lock ring.

MKL's method makes much more sense. THANKS!!!



(as received from mkl)
====================================

Seating Die Adjustment

I posted this on another reloading forum. Crimping instructions are included, but you probably don't need to perform this step for your 22-250. Perhaps it will help:

Set your seating die like this:

1. Screw the seating stem all the way back.
2. Screw your die into the press three or four turns.
3 Place a sized, primed, and charged case in the shell holder and run the ram all the way up.
4. Continue screwing the seating die down until you feel it run into resistance from the case. This is the crimp shoulder contacting the case mouth.
5. Back off the die one turn. Set the lock ring.
6. Lower the ram, set a bullet in the case mouth and raise the ram.
7 Screw the seating stem down until you feel it contact the top of the bullet.
8. Lower the ram an inch or so, and then screw in your seating stem three or four more turns.
9. Raise the ram and seat the bullet.
10. Check the seat depth, and adjust the seating stem until you get the depth you want, then seat all your bullets.
11. After you are happy with the seat depth, your are now ready to crimp.
12. Screw the seating stem all the way out.
13. Loosen the lock ring.
14. With a cartridge with properly seated bullet in the shell holder, run the cartridge all the way into the die.
15. Screw the die down until you feel resistance. This is the crimp shoulder contacting the case mouth as mentioned above.
16. Lower the ram an inch or so and screw in the die 1/2 turn.
17. Raise the ram all the way up. You have now crimped the bullet.
18 Adjust the amount of crimp by screwing the die in/out a quarter turn at a time. The further in, the heavier the crimp.
19. After you get the crimp you want, set the lock ring and crimp the rest of your cartridges.
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