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Lead bullet too big for RCBS .380 bullet seater

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Old 10-14-2011, 11:12 PM   #1
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Default Lead bullet too big for RCBS .380 bullet seater

I had a 'situation' while reloading .380 RN lead bullets. I thought I'd share my experience with those that someday just might have the same problem as I did and how to resolve it. I've only been reloading .38 spl rounds. So I decided to also reload .380 lead RN's for plinking. I bought a die set of RCBS .380 carb. I ordered and received a box of .95 Gr lead RN .380 bullets from a pvt dealer on the internet and was all set to start. The process was going smooth until I was at the bullet seating step. When I was seating the bullet slowly for depth, on the 3rd press, the shell came down minus the bullet. It was stuck inside the die. When I unscrewed the 'plunger, I saw that the 'cup' for seating was impacted into the soft lead. This was a new unexpected situation for me. I haven't been reloading for too long . After doing it a few times I came to the conclusion that the 'plunger cup' was too small for the head of the lead bullet. I called RCBS's 800 number and explained the situation. Couldn't have spoken to a nicer RCBS customer service person. She explained that the lead casted bullet was too big for the RCBS .380 cup. It can be corrected by sending in 3 lead bullets along with a small letter of explanation and a check for $21.45.
They will made a custom 'cup ' to the size of the lead bullet and send it back in about 2 weeks.
So I'll have two seaters now. I figured this might be a good thing, that if in the future, I order from other dealers or buy bullets from direct store, I'll have options if it happens again. I hope this will help those also new to reloading adventures.
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Old 10-16-2011, 01:48 PM   #2
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The .380 is especially succeptible to this phenomenon as the 90 grain bullet is very short. The bearing surface is insufficient to grip the inside of the case during the seating process. This allows the seater plug to grab the nose of the bullet more than the case wall does. I get the same situation after loading a few hundred rounds of cast lead. The bullet lube will build up in the seater die and stick the bullets in the die. For me simply disassembling the die and cleaning thoroughly solves the problem.
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:56 AM   #3
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another good reason to own a lathe. Ive modified several seating stems and made a few nose punches for my lubri-sizer. RCBS is a good company. before i got my lathe i had a .314" expander stem that should have been .311 or .312" for 32 mag. called,explained and in a week had a new stem at no cost.
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:04 PM   #4
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RCBS does have outstanding Customer Service.
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