View Full Version : Cause of case damage is puzzling
This is the second time I have encountered this type of case damage.
While loading a batch of 300 rounds of 9mm on range pickup brass, the powder funnel in stage 2 somehow damaged three cases. Two cases were damaged within the first 20 rounds. After checking and readjusting the tightness of the shellplate and wiping the entire area beneath the shellplate clean, I only had one case get damaged in the next 250+ rounds.
The powder funnel is not scratched, and the shellplate is tight. I am of the opinion this was just the result of a shellplate that was adjusted too loose. Has anyone else had a similar problem? Thoughts?
What type of press are you using?
I've seen that a couple of times... your range picked brass may have had a burr on the inside and/or your shellplate locator pins are the wrong size.
Once brass goes on the ground, all bets are off about the mouth of the case being round when you pick it up. Usually, sizing the cases will round them out again -- unless they've been stepped on and have a crease in the brass at the mouth. I used to try to straighten these out, but increasingly just toss them in the interest of time.
I've seen that happen more frequently in the seating station than the flare station. In the seating station it's because there was not enough flare and the projectile snagged.
When I've seen it at the flare/dump station it's always been in a progressive press. Things we've looked at have been, on a Dillon, 1) was the correct shell plate installed (happens), 2) were the right pins installed (happens also) 3) most often, the shellplate was not tight enough (or worked loose), causing the index to be a bit off.
One tip from Dillon is to lock down the dies when there is a round in each station and the ram is up. This centers the dies on the rounds.
I'd also check to make sure the flare die is not loose in the mount.
Is this on a 550? Is the shellplate indexing (ball bearing) mechanism clicking into place? I have had a problem where the shellplate did not click which caused simialr problems.
Thanks for the suggestions, fellas. This occured on a 550b with the correct shellplate #5 and locator pins #3.
I was also leaning towards the indexing bolt having worked itself loose and thus giving some sloppy alignment. The readjustment after the first two cases were damaged sure seemed to help, although I did have one case become damaged after the readjustment/tightening. The set screw to prevent the indexing bolt from working loose was tight. I suppose it could still have worked itself a bit loose.
I hadn't considered it could also have been from inside burrs on the RPU brass that just happened to catch the funnel - good point! And Dudel, thanks for that thought, but the dies were set up with cases in all four stations when this toolhead was initially set up.
If you have any other thoughts, please let me know. Clearing the damaged case is no major event and it's easy to spot while I'm performing my visual powder check when reloading. It does slow down the process though.
Polish the funnel with some 1000grit wet dry paper or a scotch brite pad. Thats just part of the maintence on the dillon powder funnel. Be sure you bolt is tight for the shellplate, be aware if a case get off center under station 2 this can happen. Dillon will send you a #8 pin if you need to tighten up the case in station #2. You may have to trim it down a little to make it work. I don't use it in station #2 I use one is station #3 because it's the only way my in-line seating Hornady die will work right.
I just started losding 9mm for the first time on my 550b. I had the same thing happen a couple of times. This never happened with any other caliber. I'm going to polish the funnel as mentioned before. Also make sure the shellplate clicks into position as said.
Make sure that the two bolts holding the Platform onto the Ram are tight.
I see this w/ the 9mm & sometimes the 357sig. Make sure the shell plate bolt is snug, the carrier shoul djust turn freely. Then slow down a bit. It is the powder funnel striking the edge of the case. Polishing it won't help much, but it won't hurt either.
You may want also check the alignment of the platform. If you do not have an alignment tool call Dillon and they well send you one.
With brass in the shell plate press down on the silver arms you use to rotate the shells around. If the tops of the brass move then you need to make the shell plate tighter.
My guess if your shell plate is not tight enough and sometimes the bottom of the powder funnel rests on the rim of the case. When you pull down on the arm raising the shellplate the powder funnel only rises so much before it can not retreat anymore and then causes the damage you are seeing to the brass. You will also probably get some spillage of powder. Good luck.
Again, thanks for the suggestions everyone. I hadn't had any problems in the past with 45acp or .223, and only one time before with 9mm. I think it must be specific to the latest changeout of the shellplate, ie. not tight enough as was mentioned. It would also seem that the readjustment that I performed all but eliminated the problem (only one case damaged thereafter).
I'm not sure about the alignment of the machine as unclebob mentioned. I would presume that it is correct if I haven't had problems with the other calibers. I'll just keep my finger's crossed that the shellplate adjustment was the culprit.
Again, many thanks.
I've done it to a couple of 40 S&W cases on a XL650. My problem was the primer station locating tab had gotten stuck in a compressed state and allowed the brass to leave the shellplate slightly.
I have done this my self, usual when I am seting the flare and powder meassure and I leave the locator button out. I usualy tighten my shel plat to the point it is draging a good bit, a little tough to turn. Then back off just enough to let it move and index with a solid feel or click.
I would call Dillon Monday morning and get the alignment tool itís free and it is easy too use. Just too make sure you do not have an alignment problem. If it were on station one I would say the cartridge spring is out of adjustment for the case you are using. Another thing I would do is mark the shell plate at the station that does it. And see if it is only at that one shell holder. You could have a warped shell plate. I had one on my 650.
I would go ahead and order that alignment tool and ask them what they think it might be.
Unclebob, I'll call them tomorrow. Shame, I just received an order yesterday that I placed on Thurs.
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