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Old March 10, 2000, 03:02 PM   #1
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Help! I've just started reloading and I'm having a lot of problems with the seating/crimping step. I've read the directions for the dies (RCBS, and I have an RCBS reloader special press) about a million times, gone to their website, read the parts in the Speer reloading book and I still end up with squashed .44 Magnum cases or bullets with the noses seated flush with the case mouth.

I'd also appreciate a good medium power load (~1000 fps out of a 6.5" barrel) using 2400 powder and a 240 grain cast SWC.
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Old March 10, 2000, 06:19 PM   #2
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you might try seating all your bullets first.have the bullet seater screwed way out of the way. put a empty case in the shellholder and run the ram up.adjust the die down until you feel the crimp shoulder in the seating die touch. ease off a hair. lock you ring and now adjust your seating screw down until your bullet is seated to the desired depth.when you have seated all your bullets,screw the seater up out of the way. unlock the die ring and adjust it down until you get the desired crimp.lock the die and crimp all your rounds. you might considered buying a redding profile crimp die which would keep you from making all these adjustments.good luck.


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Old March 10, 2000, 06:28 PM   #3
Trigger Jerk
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Obviously you have a problem. We jus have to figure out specifically what it is that is wrong.

First, you may not be expanding the mouth enough to accept the bullet. If there is not enough bell on the case then you will crush the case when trying to seat the bullet.

If the bell is clearly visible and there is no problem accepting the bullet, the next thing I would suspect is that your crimp is adjusted too tight. Back off the crimp die and see what happens.

I usually prefer to seat and crimp as seperate operations. When you do that it adds an extra step, but is not a problem when using progressives. Since you are not using a progressive, it would add a step. You would also need a seperate crimp die. I prefer the Lee factory crimp dies.

But try the first two things and get back to us. Since you are not experienced, you may read the instructions, then make an adjustment, and feel you made a significant adjustment. It might just be that you are not making as big a difference as you are expecting. These are precision pieces of equipment, and a little adjustment may not go as far as you expect.
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Old March 10, 2000, 10:47 PM   #4
Bud Helms
Join Date: December 31, 1999
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Another (remote) possibility ... I did this once: If the bell is too extreme, the crimp may just fold it back over, make a "flap" and crush the heck out of the case. Is what's happening anything like that?
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Old March 11, 2000, 03:12 PM   #5
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I always seat and crimp in one step and have never had a problem (well O.K., almost never).

What I do is bell the case mouth just enough to insure a good start for the bullet. With the seater/crimping die, I start with the seating plug screwed way down in the die and the die itself just started in the press. I then place the case with bullet in the shell holder and gently press down on the arm until I can feel the bullet start to seat. I then look at the round and see how much farther it needs to go. I then screw the die further into the press to allow deeper seating. I continue this process until the bullet is down enough that the crimping grove is aligned with the top of the case.

Once the crimping groove and top of the case mouth (I like to have the case mouth cover aprox. 2/3 of the crimping groove) are correctly positioned, I unscrew the bullet seating plug as far out as I can. With the arm still down, I then screw the die body into the press until resistance with the case mouth can be felt. Raise up the press arm and screw the die body into the press a SMALL amount (no more than 1/8 turn). Press down on the arm once more. Repeat this procedure until you get the desired crimp. At no time during this step should the bullet seating plug touch the bullet.

When you have the desired crimp, lock the die body into the press with the set screw. Now with the press arm pushed down, screw down the bullet seating plug until it firmly contacts the top of the bullet. You should now be able to seat and crimp the remaining rounds with one step. If the bullet depth is not quite correct after this, just make MINOR adjustments to the bullet seater plug.

I will probably take less time to do procedure this than read this posting, it is really quite simple.

Good luck.

[This message has been edited by Cactus (edited March 11, 2000).]
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Old March 12, 2000, 11:25 PM   #6
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Well, by putting all of y'alls good advice together, I finally came out with 100 good rounds out of 112 cases attempted. My problem was basically what Trigger Jerk said, my inexperience led me to believe I was making adjustments I was not making. What I'm doing now is a slight modification what Cactus does, but I'm starting the die in a little deeper and the seating plug out a little further.

Muchas Gracias again, folks!
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Old March 13, 2000, 02:42 PM   #7
Trigger Jerk
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You are muchas welcomas. I'm bilingual, I betcha didn't know that.
I can't believe I actually said something that helped some one. I'm gonna tell my wife about this...

P.S. Next week I'm going to learn French.
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Old March 17, 2000, 01:03 PM   #8
Unkel Gilbey
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Another thing to look for is whether or not the correct seating plug is installed in the die. I know that RCBS supplies two different bullet seater plugs with their .45 ACP dies, can't remember if their 44 mag dies have the same deal. This could effect how deep the bullet is seated if the wrong seater is in place.

Also, I'll second (or third) the suggestion to make seating and then crimping two distinct, seperate operations. For a beginner, this is something that I would almost consider to be law. Sure, it's a pain to have to add an additional step to the process, but if you are like I was when I started out, components were near and dear, and wasting even one case/tip/primer was something to be avoided. Maybe this is the frugal Vermonter talking here, but I'd rather get the whole process correct (even if it meant more effort then have to discard a bunch of components just because...

Good Luck, Unkel Gilbey
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Old March 20, 2000, 01:34 PM   #9
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Unkel Gilbey- I've gone ahead and added two operations to the loading sequence. 1) I'm now using a plier-type priming tool instead of the primer arm and feed tube on the press. 2) Bullet seating and crimping have become two distinct operations. I have also invested in a kinetic puller. I've waited some years now before I started reloading, so hurting the wallet badly is not a big issue, it's just that the "frugal Texan" in me doesn't want to waste components unnecessarily. I don't consider the added time painful at all.

Trigger Jerk, my wife didn't believe I'd listen to someone else ("must be another man").
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Old March 20, 2000, 03:06 PM   #10
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Gilbey, the RCBS .44 seating die has two seating plugs (like the .45ACP).
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