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Old March 25, 2006, 09:02 PM   #1
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Join Date: March 13, 2006
Posts: 7
Bullet Tightness (Looseness)


I justed recieved a LEE Classic turrent and began loading for the first time last night. Overall build quality and functionality of this press is very robust.

But, I noticed that even when I got the round where I wanted it (length, crimp etc.), it seemed loose. Some of the bullets could even be pushed into the case more deeply with my thumb or made to rotate. So I adjusted the crimp on the case seating die but became concerned about having too much crimp since I use Super 38, which seats on the case mouth.

I also have the factory crimp die, but it had little affect after crimping real hard on the case seating die. In the Lyman instruction book it seems to indicate you use one or the other, but not both.

In any case a friend, who is very knowledgeable of about such things said he had the same problem with his RCBS (so no Lee bashing please). In fact he said this is a universal problem that has been around for years. On the Lee the problem is in the powder dispensing die which has a small "nosel" that widens the case mouth to accept the bullet and is used to acutuate the powder dispenser. I guess the RCBS has it on the case resizing die (the one that pops the primer out).

It appears these dies widen the case to far down the neck and cause very little of the bullet to abutt against the bullet casing, as can be seen in some factory loads. For example, my Cor-Bon loads you can clearly see the shape of the bullet on the exterior of the case indicating it is snug all along the bullet. Also, the ridge of the catridge doesn't appeared to be crimped at all - if it is it is slight - so it is quite thick in appearance.

So he will machine down the "nosel" for me; he adjusted his RCBS die years ago.

Anyone else had this problem? Perhaps I am missing something? Any thoughts?

Take care,
Sachem is offline  
Old March 25, 2006, 10:23 PM   #2
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Join Date: October 15, 2004
Posts: 934
It's your bullets, sorta. A .38 Super might take bullets anywhere from .355 to .358. One size ain't gonna fit all. Flare a couple of sized cases any way handy and seat your bullets to make sure the sizers is sizing small enough, and the expander is really the problem.

If it is, call Lee, and tell 'em. They'll send you another one.
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Old March 26, 2006, 12:04 AM   #3
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Join Date: August 26, 2004
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when i first started loading for the 9mm luger, i had the same problem. come to find out that i was just belling the mouth too much, and backed off some. Nobodies fault but my own
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Old March 26, 2006, 12:26 AM   #4
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Join Date: March 13, 2006
Posts: 7
Thanks for the replys.

I'll call Lee and tell them what I am loading and see what they say. I think the resizing die is getting them right. I measured several catridges and they are all .380. Lyman book lists them at .384, so they are fine.

The problem is the accuator part of the powder die. It appears to be going to deep. Hard to change this as one must apply pressure to get the powder. Although I suppose if I raise the die it won't go as deep, although did try this. Perhaps backing it out more will do the trick.

I'll have to experiment, which I expected. It's still been a lot of fun so far.

Thanks again,
Sachem is offline  
Old March 26, 2006, 03:41 AM   #5
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Join Date: September 7, 2001
Location: Washington State
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It sounds like the expander (part of the die that bells the case) is too big.

The straight portion of the expander before the belling shoulder is sized to barely expand the case. This promotes good neck tension.

Or, it is a possibility that your sizing die is of the wrong type. Do not use a universal decapping die as a sizer; the case dimension must be reduced for good bullet "pull".
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Powderman is offline  
Old March 29, 2006, 01:32 PM   #6
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Join Date: March 13, 2006
Posts: 7

Looks like I licked the problem. My friend ground down the little nozzle on the powder dispensing die and the bullets came out terrific.

When I start loading the 40 S&W I am going to see if I can back out the die far enough to accomplish the same thing while still activating the powder dispenser properly.

Take care,
Sachem is offline  

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