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Old 09-01-2010, 21:12   #1
srt-4_jon
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Seating bullets crooked?

I am a pretty new reloader but I have loaded 10mm and 5.7x28mm very successfully. I seem to be having a problem with my Lee seating die when trying to load 9mm. I loaded 50 rounds tonight and quit because I got 12 rounds where the bullet was not seated straight and bunched up the jacketing on the case wall. I made sure all the dies are adjusted correctly and made sure the mouths were getting enough flare but I cant make it seat the bullets straight. It also seems that even the bullets that didnt scrape the wall of the casing look a tad bit crooked. If it matters, I am using Berry's 124gr hollow points. Is there something I am doing wrong?

Here is a picture of the bunched up jacketing I am talking about. Ignore the different OAL. Once I felt it bunching up, I quit.



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Old 09-01-2010, 21:15   #2
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are you using the right insert in the die? there is a rounded one for FMJ and a flat one for hollow points.
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Old 09-01-2010, 21:15   #3
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WOW!!! very interesting. sorry i have no info to give you, not an expert on this.
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Old 09-01-2010, 21:19   #4
srt-4_jon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lothar View Post
are you using the right insert in the die? there is a rounded one for FMJ and a flat one for hollow points.
There is only 1 insert and it is rounded.
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:18   #5
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The rounded insert is most likely your problem. The insert needs to fit the bullet shape.

I use RCBS dies, and they come with all the needed inserts.

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Old 09-02-2010, 04:51   #6
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You are not flaring the mouth of your brass enough!
which press are you using? It will be easier to tell you how to fix it if we know. On a dillion you turn your powder shoot deeper into the press.
the step after priming is adjusting your flair and dumping powder. You need enough flair or bell to were the bullet can easily be pushed into the case.
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Old 09-02-2010, 05:07   #7
srt-4_jon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shotgunred View Post
You are not flaring the mouth of your brass enough!
which press are you using? It will be easier to tell you how to fix it if we know. On a dillion you turn your powder shoot deeper into the press.
the step after priming is adjusting your flair and dumping powder. You need enough flair or bell to were the bullet can easily be pushed into the case.
I am using a Lyman turret press. I set up the expander die exactly like Lee says in the manual (touching the press arm, then turned 1 turn out).
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:32   #8
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Measure your belled mouth. It should be between 10 and 20 thousands of an inch. Not enough is just as bad as too much.
Check your press for misalignment.
Are you using a seat and crimp die? If your are, it is not adjusted right.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:12   #9
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Not enough bell. Those are plated bullet from the look as well. I have my flare set to .015" but I don't load plated.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:24   #10
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Another vote for not enough bell on the case mouth. If you can, post a pic or two of cases with the mouth belled. We'll probably be able to see if you have enough on it or not.

I use Lee dies and never had a problem with them only having a rounded seater.

It's also possible that something is loose on the press, but I'm not familiar with a Lyman Turret.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:28   #11
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My Lee seaters have been better then other more expensive dies. Better! not "just as good". Not saying there doesn't exist a better die but I use a Lee seater in 9mm because it's the best I have tried.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:30   #12
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Not enough bell. You're stripping the jacket/coating right off the bullet. Bell is very tricky, too much bad, not enough, as you've seen...bad. Also make sure you are setting the bullet as close to vertical as possible on the casing when you press it in.

You mentioned you set the press up to spec, but you are loading your bullets on your press for your gun. Whats real in the moment and what some guy at a desk typing a manual for a press he's probably never even used, heck there's a chance he's never even fired a handgun, is a very different thing. Trust yourself. Look at the bullets! Throw the manual away.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:36   #13
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Its possible the crimper is contacting the case mouth before the bullet is seated. Try backing it out or seating in a separate step.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:31   #14
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I agree it's likely a lack of bellying (is that a word?), but I had a similar issue with rifle ammo and took apart and cleaned the seating die...problem fixed. Make sure the insert isn't off-center. Also make sure your turret is snug, but not too tight that it can't rotate.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:55   #15
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The belling of a case mouth is surrounded by as many myths as UFO's and amicable divorces... forget what you may have heard and use common sense.

Think about what you're trying to accomplish... flaring the case mouth enough for the bullet to be seated in a reasonably straight vertical position in the case mouth and then be seated with out scraping off material.

Now think of the two consequences if you flare the case mouth too much. 1) You can flare so much that the case mouth will be too wide to actually fit into your seating die... it will actually take on the appearance of the bell on a trumpet. Obviously this is too much flare and your expander plug needs to be backed out. (Most likely Cobra64 will be along and post his world famous picture of his absurdly flared 9mm case which looks like a mushroom. It's his only claim to fame in life.)

2) You can technically flare too much but yet meet your goal of seating the bullet correctly. The only downside to this is the brass tends to get work hardened a bit sooner than using less flare. Pretty much a non-event since you're going to lose the brass well before it becomes unserviceable.

Donate your calipers to an under privileged junior high school, you do not need them for setting up your expanding die. Simply eyeball it. You should see a definite flare at the case mouth that holds the bullet upright and allows it to sit down in the case below the top of the mouth. When seating the bullet no material, be it lead, plate or copper should be scraped off. Don't complicate this stuff and forget about these unnecessary measurements mentioned about belling and crimp. Other than too short of an OAL that can raise pressure or too long of an OAL that can impact on lands or effect magazine functioning there is nothing a pair of calipers can do that the eye can't. (Somebody call 911 and get them over to Little Stevie's house... he's having a heart attack right about now.)

Depending on how you're seating your bullet, in one or two dies, make sure your crimp function in a one die procedure doesn't crimp until the bullet is almost completely seated. If you use two dies, (seat then crimp) this is not a concern. Contrary to popular opinion a one die system works every bit as well... you just have to be disciplined enough to learn how to use it.

This stuff is as easy as breathing... don't over think it.


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Old 09-02-2010, 08:57   #16
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I had the same problem when I started reloading.


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Old 09-02-2010, 09:09   #17
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One more vote for not enough flare (bell). Lead or plated bullets better to have a little too much than too little. I target about .020 flare lead and plated bullets.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:29   #18
srt-4_jon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclebob View Post
Measure your belled mouth. It should be between 10 and 20 thousands of an inch. Not enough is just as bad as too much.
Check your press for misalignment.
Are you using a seat and crimp die? If your are, it is not adjusted right.
The press is aligned. I load 5.7 and 10mm on it with no problems. I am using the Lee 3pc carbide set. I assume that the seating die also crimps a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado4Wheel View Post
Not enough bell. Those are plated bullet from the look as well. I have my flare set to .015" but I don't load plated.
They are plated bullets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsupglock View Post
Not enough bell. You're stripping the jacket/coating right off the bullet. Bell is very tricky, too much bad, not enough, as you've seen...bad. Also make sure you are setting the bullet as close to vertical as possible on the casing when you press it in.

You mentioned you set the press up to spec, but you are loading your bullets on your press for your gun. Whats real in the moment and what some guy at a desk typing a manual for a press he's probably never even used, heck there's a chance he's never even fired a handgun, is a very different thing. Trust yourself. Look at the bullets! Throw the manual away.
I thought that too so I tightened up the expander plug to give it more of a flare.

I did adjust the seating die to set the bullet in the casing further so it would chamber in my gun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado4Wheel View Post
My Lee seaters have been better then other more expensive dies. Better! not "just as good". Not saying there doesn't exist a better die but I use a Lee seater in 9mm because it's the best I have tried.
I am not trying to badmouth the Lee dies at all. They work great for 10mm and 5.7, thats why I bought them in 9mm. I was figuring it was something I was messing up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oneofthose View Post
Its possible the crimper is contacting the case mouth before the bullet is seated. Try backing it out or seating in a separate step.
I think this is my problem. So to adjust this, I would just back the seating die out some and adjust the seater plug down?
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:29   #19
oneofthose
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srt-4_jon View Post
The press is aligned. I load 5.7 and 10mm on it with no problems. I am using the Lee 3pc carbide set. I assume that the seating die also crimps a bit.


They are plated bullets.


I thought that too so I tightened up the expander plug to give it more of a flare.

I did adjust the seating die to set the bullet in the casing further so it would chamber in my gun.


I am not trying to badmouth the Lee dies at all. They work great for 10mm and 5.7, thats why I bought them in 9mm. I was figuring it was something I was messing up.


I think this is my problem. So to adjust this, I would just back the seating die out some and adjust the seater plug down?
That's what I would try. Good luck. Let us know what you find.
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:44   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsupglock View Post
Not enough bell. You're stripping the jacket/coating right off the bullet. Bell is very tricky, too much bad, not enough, as you've seen...bad. Also make sure you are setting the bullet as close to vertical as possible on the casing when you press it in.

You mentioned you set the press up to spec, but you are loading your bullets on your press for your gun. Whats real in the moment and what some guy at a desk typing a manual for a press he's probably never even used, heck there's a chance he's never even fired a handgun, is a very different thing. Trust yourself. Look at the bullets! Throw the manual away.

I assume your statements were an attempt at being facetious... if not perhaps a few decades of experience are in order before offering advice.


Jack
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