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Old July 21, 2010, 07:06 PM   #1
Back Yard Shooter
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Lead build up in my die.

I am reloading .38 spl, Speer, lead 148 gr HBWC. Every 2nd or 3rd bullet I seat in the case I have to remove the die and clean the lead out of it. Am I doing something wrong?
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Old July 21, 2010, 07:34 PM   #2
Don H
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More info please. What sort of lead build-up are you experiencing and where exactly in the die? Are you belling the case so that lead isn't being scraped off the bullet as you seat it?
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Old July 21, 2010, 07:51 PM   #3
Back Yard Shooter
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Lead build up in my die.

When I seat the bullet in the case, some lead scraps off on the side of the case, but the build is in the die stuck on the seater plug, If I don't clean it out it will build so much that the bullet seats deeper in the case.
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Old July 21, 2010, 07:55 PM   #4
Semper Paratus
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If you are getting lead on the side of the case it sounds like you needs more case flare to allow the bullet to seat without shaving lead. Go easy on the adjustment in that you can ruin brass with too much flare. No lead on the case then no lead in the seating die.
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Old July 21, 2010, 08:07 PM   #5
Back Yard Shooter
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Lead build up in my die.

Thank you Semper Paratus, I will put more flare on the case.
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Old July 21, 2010, 09:44 PM   #6
BigJakeJ1s
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I agree with the advice about more flare. I've found Lyman M-type expanders work very well. I think Redding has the same design.

I've also found Hornady seating dies work very well, and disassemble without tools for cleaning, without removing the die from the press, and re-assemble without changing the settings. Just pull the little spring clip off the bottom, and the alignment sleeve and seating plug (the only things that come in contact with the bullet) fall out the bottom. Great lock rings, and optional micrometer adjustment screw are just icing on the cake.

Andy
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Old July 22, 2010, 02:49 AM   #7
Back Yard Shooter
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Lead build up in my die.

Thank You BigJakeJ1s, I will look into the other dies if more flare dose'nt do it. Mike
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Old July 24, 2010, 12:49 PM   #8
Sid
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I had the exact same problem with .38 special a couple of weeks ago. I received the same advice that you are being given and this solved the problem. When I took the seating die apart it was literally caked with lead inside. After cleaning this out, I increased the bell being applied to the empty cases and have not had any difficulties since. Last point. It took only a very small increase to accomplish this result.
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Old July 24, 2010, 11:37 PM   #9
noylj
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Lead shavings

1) As said, you need more flare (more case belling)
2) I found that I needed a larger exapnder. The standard expander leaves case so small that my swaged bullets were getting "re-sized." A 9mm Mak exapnder will allow you to set the bullet into the case enough that it doesn't tip. That long wadcutter tends to want to tip and get nicked by the brass. It needs support while being seated (either the Hornady seat die or a larger expander so bullet can sit deep enough not the tip).
3) I also like the Hornady seating dies, except that I have had one "fail." Apparently, the bushing, that attempts to align the bullet, wore out (made elliptical) one of the holes for the spring clip by "clunking" down on it over and over. After that, just about every time the bushing came down, it would crash on the shell plate. I bought a blank die from Hornady and tend not to let the bushing drop free.
4) I de-prime while sorting brass and before cleaning. Because of this, I only need the decapper on the sizing die to knock out any kernal of corn cob media I missed. I found that unsized cases were more accurate in my S&W M52 and I used the body of the Lee FCD to size cases for revolvers (unsized cases will not drop freely into the cylinder).
5) The best crimp die I have found, at least for my .38 Special loads, is the Redding Profile Crimp Die.
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Old July 24, 2010, 11:57 PM   #10
SVO
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If you are loading the Speer 148gr wadcutters, the buildup you are getting is bullet lube, not lead. Speer uses what appears to be some kind of graphite based lube. If you look in the box the bullets came in, you'll see flakes of the bullet on the box. That's what building up on your seater plug.
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