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Old October 16, 2001, 01:12 PM   #1
Join Date: November 26, 2000
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How do you seat bullets perfectly straight?

No matter how careful I am when loading straight wall cases (45 ACP for instance) very often I do not get lead bullets seated 100% straight. Seems the "buldge" is never consistant the whole way around the case. I know that what starts straight, ends straight and I guess I just am unable to start straight. Have any of you guys tried Redding's Competition Pistol Seater Dies? They have that sliding alignment sleve that works great with bottleneck brass and I thought maybe they might solve my problem. If you have any less expensive things I can try please let me know.

Thanks in advance.
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Old October 16, 2001, 01:41 PM   #2
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I know exactly what you mean. One thing which seems to work for me is a single stage press, making sure I have belled the case mouth sufficiently, using the proper seater (round nose or flat for SWC's) and making it a two stage operation by seating and then taper crimping. I find it makes a lot of difference, but I would also be very interested in one of those redding dies if it works.
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Old October 16, 2001, 01:54 PM   #3
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Seat bullets perfectly straight

I have been using the Hornady NEW-DOMENTION dies since they came out and, have had no problem.

RCBS, Lyman and, others have a a straight seater.
Hornady has a "FLOATING" seater. It might work or it might not work for you...
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Old October 16, 2001, 02:42 PM   #4
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Thickness of the case has a lot to do with it, as well as sizing. I clean cases well before sizing, lube my sizing die a little with One-Shot, and am usually happy. New cases almost never show uneven seating unless I rush my stroke. Oh, I also tumble my bullets before loading (takes oxidation off, which reduces possibility of uneven friction during case seating).
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Old October 16, 2001, 02:44 PM   #5
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Charmedlyfe-do you also tumble your lead bullets?
Another thing I have noticed: Some expansion dies will only open the case mouth while others will open up the case slightly below the bell, which seems to make a difference. My Lee autodisk opens the case up slightly below the bell created and seems to assist the bullet alignment provided I place the bullet relatively straight before raising the ram, while the regular Lee and RCBS dies only bell the mouth.
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Old October 16, 2001, 03:55 PM   #6
Chris McDermott
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Try a Lyman "M" expansion die, it works well for me. It leaves an even "ledge" at the top of the case just big enough to set the bullet on straight, without making the mouth of the case too big. You can get them from Midway or some of the other mail-order places for $10-$12. And as David said, use the proper seating plug. A seating plug for roundnose bullets let SWC bullets tip, and the seating plug for SWC bullets will let roundnose bullets tip. Often a call to the manufacturer of your dies will get the proper seating plug sent to you free, or for a couple of bucks at most.

Another thing to try if you are using a single stage press is to seat the bullet halfway, then rotate the case 180 degrees and finish seating the bullet. DON'T do this with a progressive as you will end up double-charging the cases with powder.

And if you just can't get the bullets in straight, you might see if the LEE "Factory" crimp dies will straighten things up during crimping. I understand that this die has a re-sizing ring in it, and it might be able to iron out any bulges in the case - straightening the bullet as it does.
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Old October 16, 2001, 07:36 PM   #7
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I have had the same problem in the past but seating and then crimping in seperate stages solved the it.Best....dewey
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Old October 16, 2001, 08:11 PM   #8
Big Bunny
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Wobbly bullets

IHMO - the accuracy deficit on a handgun would be minor surely.
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Old October 17, 2001, 08:07 AM   #9
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Re: Chris & The Lee FSD

The Lee FSD DEFINITELY DOES get the wrinkle out.
Don't know about straightening the bullet out though
Don't think it "touches" the bullet.
Thats the whole idea of the separate crimping die.
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Old October 17, 2001, 08:58 AM   #10
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Three things. First: Bevel the edge of the seating stem where it contacts the bullet. There is often a small flat portion that the bullet can catch on. This can be done with a sharp pocket knife.

Second: Seat your bullets with the seating die as far down as possible without contacting the crimping shoulder. This will allow more support from the smaller portion at the upper end of the die.

Crimp as seperate step.
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Old October 17, 2001, 09:56 AM   #11
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Bell the cases more. I would occasionally crumple a case and had lead shavings when I didn't bell enough ( I had used Lee speed dies, you can't adjust their belling) I started to flare the cases more, and haven't had a problem since.
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Old October 20, 2001, 12:18 PM   #12
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Bullet runout

I only handload for my .44 magnum in handguns. My experience is with rifles. However, I make sure the cases are trimmed to uniform length and true. Then I seat the bullet a little at a time rotating it about 1/3 turn each time. By the last stroke of the press I have made one full rotation with the bullet. I only use single stage presses. Then I roll the bullets on a hard surface and eyeball them for runout. It's a poor man's method, but you may be surprised how accurate the eye can be in spotting wobble of the bullet tip.
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Old October 22, 2001, 12:10 AM   #13
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Perfectly straight?

Make sure your dies are squared in your press, luck hotdog
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Old October 22, 2001, 12:32 AM   #14
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Have to ask the question...

Are you showing an accuracy loss?

I use Lee dies in a Dillon XL650 and really don't notice any "wobble" in handgun rounds. My accuracy in target guns is first rate.

Still, a good "bell" on the case and the proper seating die stem should do very well.
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Old October 22, 2001, 10:08 PM   #15
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By "squaring " your dies, what you need to do .if you havent already, is to loosen the lock nut on your dies and put a case in your press. Run your ram up until the die is in on the case and then lock your lock nut.

Do this with a loaded bullet that is known to be concentric with your seating die also.

If this is not done, there is enough clearance built in to the male /female threads to push all of the clearance to one side, thus making your bullets less than concentric.

This is called" squaring"the die. IF it is not done, it will make a difference and I have seen this important step ommited by begginnig and novice reloaders. This is the first step to reloading accurate ammo that looks good and functions without fail.
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Old October 23, 2001, 09:15 AM   #16
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use a die with an inline seater. get a plug made for the and crimp with 2 different dies and use a lee factory crimp die
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Old October 26, 2001, 08:14 AM   #17
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I've found ,by mistake??,it seems to help if I start to seat the bullet about 1/3-1/2 way then turn the cartridge 90 degrees or so then fully seat the bullet this seems to help.

I also crimp in seperate steps.I found this by noticeing that the crimp wasn't fully touching the bullet the same all the way around the case mouth so I started to give the cartridge a half a turn and run it up twice.....seem to help.
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