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Old September 9, 2012, 01:56 AM   #1
deepforks
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RCBS bullet seating die variance ?

so i loaded up some 180gr hornady sst rounds this morning for my 300. went out to the range this evening and shot ten rounds. wasnt happy with the groups so i came back home and loaded ten more 2.5gr less. never touched the dies and went through every step the same. checked the length of these ten (to ogive using the hornady comparator) and they were ALL seated .010" longer. checked the ten rounds that i had left from the range to compare, just in case i wrote it down wrong. my original were about .020" off the lands so these put me right about .010". i'm stumped at why they would be that far off? hell, maybe they'll shoot better, but i'm not too comfortable about the mystery change. anyone else experience this?
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Old September 9, 2012, 07:00 AM   #2
1stmar
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.01 is a big difference, I haven't seen that much variation from cartridge to cartridge but I do get .001-.002. Did you check the lock ring on both the die and the seating stem, are they tight? What about the die, was it tightened in the press? .010 is about 10-15 degrees of a turn I believe.
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Old September 9, 2012, 02:58 PM   #3
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everything was locked down tight. i have no clue. i'm going to load about ten more. turns out those last ten were not a better load.
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Old September 9, 2012, 03:13 PM   #4
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Were you shooting a "compressed" load ?

I've had bullets push out of case when seated against powder charge. But these were in cases freshly annealed and set to a very light bullet pull.

Did you tighten die differently into press?
Did you use a different shell holder?
Did one of the linkages come loose?
I have one press that slowly works one pin out of linkage- affecting case length.
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Old September 9, 2012, 03:20 PM   #5
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nope. 74.5gr of rl22 in the first batch and 72gr in the second. second batch being the one that didnt seat in as far.
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Old September 9, 2012, 03:34 PM   #6
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Just one unlikely, but possible thing to consider: Were the bullets from both batches of hand loads from the same lot of Hornady bullets? Or, were they from a new box or lot?
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Old September 9, 2012, 04:23 PM   #7
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same lot/box. just bought them a few days ago.
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Old September 9, 2012, 07:29 PM   #8
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Read Mic wrong the first time?
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Old September 9, 2012, 07:50 PM   #9
wncchester
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'I've been doing this a long time and have no emotional connectiont RCBS equipment, nor any other. I've seen a good bit of OAL variation over the years but have never seen OAL variation that was 'caused' by a seating die.
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Old September 9, 2012, 08:11 PM   #10
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Agree with wncchester. Didn't happen by a seater die that was tight.
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Old September 9, 2012, 09:55 PM   #11
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well i'm stumped as to what happened. i checked all locknuts and everything was tight as hell.

didnt read it wrong. had previous loaded to compare them to.
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Old September 9, 2012, 10:00 PM   #12
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Gravitational forces. LoL. I don't know. Strange though.
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Old September 9, 2012, 10:06 PM   #13
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Had seen that loading some 38s or 357s SJHPs. When seating bullets they actually were seating them deeper. Was due to lead accumulation building up in die and more lead and so bullets were getting deeper and deeper. Had to take die off press and get lead out and everything was normal but the SSTs have jackets and polimer tip. They would not do this. Yes it leaves you scratching your head.
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Old September 9, 2012, 10:11 PM   #14
deepforks
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maybe its time to upgrade to redding comp dies
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Old September 9, 2012, 10:16 PM   #15
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It still can't be the die as wnnchester stated. If this really happened like was said, whatever happened would have regular die, competition or any other. My opinion.
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Old September 10, 2012, 09:32 AM   #16
dahermit
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Quote:
same lot/box. just bought them a few days ago.
I suggest comparing the bullets to confirm they are of the same exact shape despite coming from the same box...just to be sure and to eliminate the possibility that bullets with a different ogive have been mixed in the same box at the factory as the source of the problem.
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Old September 10, 2012, 09:43 AM   #17
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"well i'm stumped as to what happened. i checked all locknuts and everything was tight as hell." "maybe its time to upgrade to redding comp dies"

Okay, but all you've proven is it's not the die that's causing your variation. You're getting up to 10 thou of variation. Fully half, or more, of that can easily come from inconsitant press operation. Or even the use of a thick oil or grease in the toggle linkage pins.

Some of it can come from variation in case neck tension. I mean real neck tension and not the neck diameter to bullet variation that gets wrongly called 'tension.' A bullet that is a tad harder to seat takes more slack out of the press toggle linkages and that can resist seating as deeply as those with less tension.

IF you're actually measureing OAL, I mean measuring to the meplat/tip of the bullets, bullet nose differences can easily account for that much variation. Even if you're measureing from the ogive with a comparitor, all commercial bullets will vary almost as much as you're seeing.

OAL/seating matters, or more truthfully it's the jump to the rifling that matters, but sweating it to the last thousant does not. Each rifle and load will have a seating jump 'window' in which small differences make no observable difference; my rifles have OAL windows as wide as 15 thou. IF I seat on either side of a ragged edge of that window small differences can make a significant difference in accuracy. But, IF I identify the full width of that good window and seat in the middle of it then small variations like your's have no effect at all.

If you just want to get a costly seater do it but don't kid yourself it will eliminate your present OAL variations.

Last edited by wncchester; September 10, 2012 at 09:49 AM.
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Old September 10, 2012, 09:51 AM   #18
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From the time you shot the brass to loading you did something different in preping the brass. The only way to solve the difference is to go over each step in the loading process.
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Old September 10, 2012, 10:16 AM   #19
farmerboy
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Maybe you short stroked your handle on press. Maybe it's crap bullets. I used Nosler 40 cal bullets my friend gave me about 100 of. I loaded them and you talking about inconsistencies. They were all over the place. Never bought Nosler again and I know why my friend gave them now.
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Old September 10, 2012, 08:34 PM   #20
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"From the time you shot the brass to loading you did something different in preping the brass."

I'm puzzled. It's clear that case length affects how much the necks over lap seated bullets but I see no way for case length (or diameter) to affect OAL. Since the bottom of each case firmly rests on the shell holder/ram and the top of the bullet is firmly pushed down by the seating stem, how does anything about case prep matter to OAL?
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Old September 10, 2012, 08:51 PM   #21
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Aree also case prep has nothing to do with COAL
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Old September 10, 2012, 08:56 PM   #22
deepforks
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i appreciate all the input guys. pretty interesting suggestions/ideas/critques to think about. i know something happened it'll be interesting to see on the next batch, which will be in the next day or two.
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