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Old 01-05-2012, 12:47   #1
dkf
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.380 Issue

I'm having issues with neck tension reloading .380. Dies are the Lee Carbide 3 die set. I'm using 90gr XTP bullets and once fired blazer brass and winchester brass.

The bullets measure .355". (measured with micrometer) After resizing I can push a bullet into the case by hand. There is some tension there but it seems to move too easy. I can crimp it in place with a decent crimp but that is something I would like to avoid.

Thoughts.
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Old 01-05-2012, 13:02   #2
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Your bullet diameter is correct according to the Hornady manual. The outside diameter of the case at the mouth should be 0.3730" after assembly. I would expect the resizing die to get the case down to this diameter before the mouth is flared to seat the bullet.

Are you sure your sizing die is going all the way down to the shell plate? There is a very slight taper to a .380 case so it's important the the die go fully to the bottom of the case.

The instructions should tell you how to adjust the die but I usually put the ram all the way up, screw the die down until it touches, lower the ram and screw the die down another quarter turn. I want the ram to cam over. Maybe 1/4 turn is too much.

Dillon says to adjust their dies until they just touch the fully raised ram:
http://www.dillonhelp.com/manuals/en...s-May-2007.pdf

Richard
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Old 01-05-2012, 13:05   #3
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BTW, how much flare are you putting in the case mouth? It only needs to be a very few thousandths - just enough to get the bullet started. Too much flare will disturb the neck diameter too far down.

These cases should be taper crimped just enough to close the mouth up to 0.3730"

At the base, the shell diameter should be 0.3739" so you can see the taper is pretty insignificant.

Richard
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Old 01-05-2012, 13:25   #4
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The sizing die is against the shell holder. The bullet can be pushed in by hand even without any flare on the case mouth. I just resized the brass and didn't flare to check the neck tension, which is not very good.

Last edited by dkf; 01-05-2012 at 13:29..
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Old 01-05-2012, 13:30   #5
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Whats the inside diameter of the case after you size it?
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Old 01-05-2012, 13:34   #6
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Outside diameter = .370"

Inside Diameter = Around .353" With the caliper set at .353" the case fits over and can be rotated over the ID jaws of the caliper without forcing. The caliper is a good stainless steel caliper.

Last edited by dkf; 01-05-2012 at 13:36..
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Old 01-05-2012, 13:46   #7
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It almost sounds like the brass is too thin. Nothing that Blazer does would surprise me.

In general, the wall should be 0.010" so a 0.373" OD will have an 0.353" ID and about 0.002" compression fit onto the bullet. You are starting out with a 0.370" OD and getting down to a "loose" 0.353" ID. In fact, the ID might be even larger than 0.353" and that would result in not having as much compression on the bullet.

If the brass is thin, it might not be able to retain the compression on the bullet.

Why don't you get some decent .380, shoot it up and then try again.

Richard
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Old 01-05-2012, 13:48   #8
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The sizing die only corrects the outside diameter. If the brass is thin, the ID will not be as anticipated. This is easy for a factory to accomodate but very difficult for reloaders.

Richard
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Old 01-05-2012, 13:53   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkf View Post
I'm having issues with neck tension reloading .380. Dies are the Lee Carbide 3 die set. I'm using 90gr XTP bullets and once fired blazer brass and winchester brass.

Thoughts.
I had this problem with their 3 die set, so I got their .380 factory crimp die. Problem solved.
See: http://leeprecision.com/xcart/CARBID...-380-AUTO.html
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Old 01-05-2012, 13:58   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F106 Fan View Post
The outside diameter of the case at the mouth should be 0.3730" after assembly. I would expect the resizing die to get the case down to this diameter before the mouth is flared to seat the bullet.


Richard
It should be about .007-.010" smaller after sizing. It should be about .002" under saami after assembly.
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Old 01-05-2012, 13:59   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparky26 View Post
I had this problem with their 3 die set, so I got their .380 factory crimp die. Problem solved.
See: http://leeprecision.com/xcart/CARBID...-380-AUTO.html
That is not going to solve the sizing issue.
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Old 01-05-2012, 14:00   #12
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Originally Posted by dkf View Post
The sizing die is against the shell holder. The bullet can be pushed in by hand even without any flare on the case mouth. I just resized the brass and didn't flare to check the neck tension, which is not very good.
Call Lee and get a new sizing die.
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Old 01-05-2012, 14:09   #13
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Originally Posted by Colorado4Wheel View Post
Call Lee and get a new sizing die.
I will contact them.

I did not think it is brass related. I sized a few pieces of Hornady, Fiocchi and Speer in both nickel and brass with the same results. Most of my .380 brass is just blazer brass and winchester.

Last edited by dkf; 01-05-2012 at 14:12..
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:10   #14
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:21   #15
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Just got the my more accurate small hole gages and measured the ID more accurately and the smallest ID of the sizing ring is. .369". Looks like I will be calling again.

Last edited by dkf; 01-06-2012 at 09:26..
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:26   #16
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Originally Posted by dkf View Post
The guy at Lee said the die measures within spec.(After several minutes of fumbling for specs) He said the inside diameter of the carbide sizing ring is supposed to be .367" and mine is right at .367".
That should leave the ID at around 0.347" and the bullet is 0.355" so you should have 0.008" of compression.

So, after sizing, what IS the OD of the brass? I might expect some springback but I'm not sure how much.

What is the wall thickness (vs brand)?

Quote:

He told me they sell a smaller undersized sizing die that has a .364". I asked him if I can exchange my current resizing die for the "undersize" resizing die. I just got the set mid December and this is the first I'm using it. He said "we normally don't do exchanges". He said a .354" case ID after sizing is fine.
0.354" ID doesn't leave much for next tension if the bullets are 0.355"

Quote:
So what do I do? Buy the undersized sizing die and spend more money on a product from a company that doesn't seem to care or just go out and buy another set from another company and hope they work or stand behind their product.
I tend to vote with my wallet. I would certainly not buy another product from them. Since I tend to buy from Dillon, I would get a die from them for about $27 plus shipping.

If the 0.367" diameter for the carbide ring is correct, I'm not entirely certain what to expect from another brand of die. Hopefully, a different die will solve the problem. It's not like you are the only person on the planet who loads .380.

Richard
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:33   #17
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I have to pay and send the die back so they can measure it and determine if I'm worthy of getting a replacement die.

He said the ID of the sizing ring is supposed to be .367". Mine is measuring measuring at .369" so I think its out of spec. I got my hole gage set for a more accurate measurement.

Looks like loading up .380 is pushed off even farther. I finally got powder (was out of stock) now this. Thats my luck.
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:39   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F106 Fan View Post
BTW, how much flare are you putting in the case mouth? It only needs to be a very few thousandths - just enough to get the bullet started. Too much flare will disturb the neck diameter too far down.

These cases should be taper crimped just enough to close the mouth up to 0.3730"

At the base, the shell diameter should be 0.3739" so you can see the taper is pretty insignificant.

Richard
As I posted earlier I'm not doing any flaring of the case for the measurements I posted.(To rule the flare as the culprit) I'm just sizing (with the sizing die adjusted down tight to the shellholder)

I just sizing the case thats it. I can push the bullet into the case with my fingers with no flare on the case at all.

Od of the sized brass is .370" and the ID is at .354". The case wall is at .008".
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:51   #19
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Originally Posted by dkf View Post
Just got the my more accurate small hole gages and measured the ID more accurately and the smallest ID of the sizing ring is. .369". Looks like I will be calling again.
Tell them you need a warranty. Don't argue about the size . All that matters is it doesn't work. Ask for a R.A. #. It's out of spec simply because it doesn't work.
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:03   #20
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Tell them you need a warranty. Don't argue about the size . All that matters is it doesn't work. Ask for a R.A. #. It's out of spec simply because it doesn't work.
I should have. I already agreed I would send the die back.

Peter didn't seem too concerned nor very knowledgeable on the subject. Everything had to be looked up in books.

Last edited by dkf; 01-06-2012 at 10:04..
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:23   #21
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So I just sized 4 cases using some mixed brass. Blazer and Win. Win sized to .369 OD, Blazer sized to .368. You may not know but I have measured a lot of sizing die ID rings. Long story. But I know from past experience with 9mm and 10mm that the sizing ring needs to be at least .003" smaller then your desired/target O.D. So if mine is sizing blazer brass to .368 my sizing ring is about .365" I have to take the primer punch out to measure it and I just don't want to hassle with that. The other thing I found is Lee normally set it's sizing dies up about .010" smaller then the SAMMI max size. I did not look it up but from what other posted that would make Lee's target ID sizing ring about .363". The .380 is a pretty small case so I ma not surprised to see mine be just a little bit bigger then that .010" number. You don't want to work a small case as much. But .363 and my .365" guess (because of how mine is sizing) is not that far off. NO FREAKING WAY a die with a ring at .367 is going to work right. That would make your OD on sized cases about .370" That would suck.

I just noticed your OD is .370. So my numbers seem to be spot on.
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:32   #22
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He said they have an undersized (.354" sizer ring ID) available also. I asked if I could exchange my sizer for one of those because my die is brand new. He said "we normally don't do exchanges"

No need to rip your setup down colorado, what I have ain't right. The sizing ring looks like it has a slight taper to it and its hard to get an accurate measurement with a caliper on slippy carbide, thats why I got my hole gages.

The thin case wall is going to expand when the bullet is pressed in. Peter (the guy from Lee) seemed to think a .001" undersize fit is ok. Which it is not for such a thin walled case that expands when the bullet is pressed in. Plus the case will have some "spring back" after exiting the sizing die.

I've been a machinist for quite some years now and a standard press fit rule is around .0015" undersize per 1" diameter HOWEVER that is on parts with a beefy wall. Thin brass just bulges too much for that rule to work.

I appreciate the help from you guys. More helpful than Lee thus far. Of course you guys are actual reloaders.

Well except maybe for Jack, he probably just would have put tape on it and call it good.

Last edited by dkf; 01-06-2012 at 10:34..
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Old 01-06-2012, 13:16   #23
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The thin case wall is going to expand when the bullet is pressed in. Peter (the guy from Lee) seemed to think a .001" undersize fit is ok. Which it is not for such a thin walled case that expands when the bullet is pressed in. Plus the case will have some "spring back" after exiting the sizing die.
Spring Back is about .003-.002" from what I can tell. It varies with the brass of course.
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Old 01-06-2012, 13:36   #24
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Ah LEE QC srikes again. Make sure the die is marked 380 & not 9mm, diff specs. The sizing die should reduce the case back to factory spec +/- 0.001". Measure a loaded factory round & your sized case, if they don't at least come close, within 0.001", then it's likely the sizing die. As C4W notes, the LFCD doesn't fix anything.
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Old 01-06-2012, 14:04   #25
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Ah LEE QC srikes again. Make sure the die is marked 380 & not 9mm, diff specs. The sizing die should reduce the case back to factory spec +/- 0.001". Measure a loaded factory round & your sized case, if they don't at least come close, within 0.001", then it's likely the sizing die. As C4W notes, the LFCD doesn't fix anything.
The sizing die should size the case well below factory spec. The FCD sizes it to factory spec. It's a big difference. It's almost like he has a FCD sizing ring in his regular sizing die.
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