Bullet seating.

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by dave06, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. dave06

    dave06 New Member

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    When I was working up more loads I started to notice that my Die is seating bullets with .005" (+-). Ex: C.O.L. 2.330-2.335 is this normal? Or could this b some part in my accuracy problem? I do not have that much experience reloading rifle but plenty with shotguns (which is worth about as much as tits on a boar right now.) I was just wondering if that (play) was normal? Or do I need to look at my equipment?(which i have done a good visual inspection) If your wondering what press it is. It is a RCBS rock chucker IV. Bought new loaded maybe 250 (+-) 50 rounds.
     
  2. hunter Joe

    hunter Joe New Member

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    Dave it could be the amount of force your putting on the handle or the dies you are using. Is your press rocking on it's mounts? Are you using boat tails projectiles? I find that if I chamfer I get more consistent bullet seating.
     

  3. dave06

    dave06 New Member

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    Hunter,
    Thanks for the info I will look at my mounting system and c if it rocks. And I am using boat tail bullets and chamfering the cases. The dies are rcbs I check for small pieces of brass in it but it was clean as a whistle. And thanks for the tip on applying the same pressure to handle. I will watch myself in the future.

    Thanks again
     
  4. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    How are you measuring COAL? If you are measuring with calipers from base of case to tip of bullet they will all have some variance. To get a good measurement you need a Comparator like the Hornady L-N-L OAL gauge. This device measures measures the distance from the ogive to the base of the case a much more accurate measurement of OAL.

    I highly doubt it is the press as the RCBS RC press is as solid as a tank. You cna and will find that cheap C frame presses like the Lee reloader single stage press will bend and flex causing way to many problems and produce loads with poor accuracy at best. (Don't go turning this into my equipment is better than yours). C style presses are known to produce less accurate ammo.

    Hornady Lock-N-Load Overall Length Gage Bolt Action - MidwayUSA

    Reloading - Shop Reloading Tools & Supplies at MidwayUSA
     
  5. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    How compressed is the load? Are you using the same brass for all loads?

    Variances in neck thickness, neck tension, case length, case volume, powder charge, etc can cause such problems. If EVERYTHING is identical, the load should come out right. ANY variance will cause differences in length, crimp, pressure, velocity and accuracy.
     
  6. Fuzzball

    Fuzzball New Member

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    "...notice that my Die is seating bullets with .005" (+-)."

    A seating die is a steel cylinder with a threaded and secured nose punch, there's no way for it to be the cause of any OAL variation.

    OAL variations come from all the things mentioned above plus even the viscosity of the oil used on the press links and including the rythum of your lever operation.

    And some comes from the bullets themselves. Most bullets have quite easily measured nose configurations/variations that fall into the range you mention. That's why those worrying about such things tend to measure seating depth off the ogive rather than the point.

    How much effect such small OAL variations will have on accuracy is an open question.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  7. dave06

    dave06 New Member

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    I am not loading a compressed load. And I am currently looking at a L-N-L gages to measure from the ogive. I am currently using calipers to measure my COL. If any thing was to blame i would say it lays more along the line of using the same pressure on the handle each time. As for the cases I shoot the same lot number. I don't mix any lot numbers on anything (cases, powder, bullets, primers). Consistency equals Accuracy, Accuracy equals consistency!
     
  8. Fuzzball

    Fuzzball New Member

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    "Consistency equals Accuracy, Accuracy equals consistency!"

    If a load doesn't match the rifles need's, consistancy of the load only equals consistant inaccuracy. Meaning that great consistancy, of itself, means nothing. Agonising over trivial OAL differences contributes nothing to accuracy if the load itself is right.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010
  9. dave06

    dave06 New Member

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    Fuzzy,
    true if a load dont match the rifle it dont match. Being consistent is the only way to achive any accuracy. i make sure all my case sizes, powder chargres, seating depths, are all consistent. changing the seating depth also effects the case pressure, which also effects FPS. which can also effect accuracy. depending on what your deffintion of accuracy is. If it is hitting a bull in the a$$ with a scope shovel consistency don't matter. but if you wana hit the flies off your buddies target at 100 yards then you should be. what i am saying is consistency equals accuracy, accuracy equals consistency. my question is how much it effects accuracy? in an earlier post you said it was an open question?

    If i was to take a wild guess in what is causing this diff. would lie in the operation of the lever. as i take hours making sure that there are no varibles in my loading. but i haven't really paid much attention to working the lever with the same force and repatition.

    As for the load the search still contiunes.
     
  10. Fuzzball

    Fuzzball New Member

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    Dave, I rather suspect it's your variable press operation too.


    cpttango: "You cna and will find that cheap C frame presses like the Lee reloader single stage press will bend and flex causing way to many problems and produce loads with poor accuracy at best. (Don't go turning this into my equipment is better than yours). C style presses are known to produce less accurate ammo."

    I've been doing this a looong time and I have no blind brand loyalty at all so none of this is a 'mine vs. yours thing' but I suspect your comments on the Lee Reloader and other C presses aren't based on actual tests of the presses. I have tested a few and was more than a little surprised at how badly wrong "conventional wisdom" is.

    I use a 'Chucker for my main press. I have two of Lee's very small "Reloader" Cs for primer work. A few years agp I got a magnetic base for my .001" reading dial indicator and soon checked a lot of things around my shop. I decided to 'prove' how rigid my RC was and how poor the small C presses are. That isn't what happened tho.

    Using the same box of fired .30-06 cases, shell holder and dies, with an RCBS Precision Case Mic to measure that all was done the same, I found the RC springs about 3 thou during FL sizing. Not a lot but sure not rigid. Then the first Lee...it didn't move enough to measure, nor did the second one.

    Not saying the small alum alloy Lee C presses are as massively strong as the cast iron RC, that would be silly, but within the limits of their surprising strength, they ARE MORE RIGID! And, as you mention, rigidity IS helpful in assembling precision ammo. Later testing on some old iron C presses showed them to be much less springy than is commonly said.

    The press may well be the least signficant component in our whole array of tools. Meaning the skill of the individaul reloader is much more important than the press he uses. I KNOW I can asssemble equally high quality ammo on any common press if I use my own selected dies, components and methods.

    As a side issue, I've also measured the output of a lot of dies from all makers but Dillon. I've found as much average internal variation between individual dies of the same brand as between brands, dies of no color or cost is a guarantee of perfection so I drink no maker's Kool-Aid. All of my "selected" die sets have a mix of sizers and seaters from different sets and makers, all chosen for what they actually do, not brand or how pretty their outsides are.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2010
  11. dave06

    dave06 New Member

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    Fuzzy,
    so i would be able to buy diff. brand dies then loader? i was unsure if the threads would be the same. (wasn't sure if they changed the threads between compaines.) what brand are you having good luck with. i know you said that you are not brand loyal or anything but with ur experience what has been working for u?
     
  12. Fuzzball

    Fuzzball New Member

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    Well, it it helps any, I know where you're coming from 'cause I was once where you are. Seems most of us who have learned a little are quite emphatic that other noobs buy and use what ever turns us on rather than what the noob really needs. I'd rather help you with what you need than have you duplicate what I do after well over 4 decades of reloading for and with virtually everything available.

    First, a perspective; you can be absolutely certain that all of our makers produce very good tools. No matter what you get you will get more than you need for both performance and longivity; NO maker has a lock on any average superiour manufactoring.

    Some tools are better values than others and some have unique features their fans treasure above all others. Some like one kind of lock rings and another will hate the same ones, etc. Such personal fixations are important to the individual but mean exactly nothing to others, nor should they. Some will seriously tell you, "I have used brand X for years with no problems" as if that means anything. Even long time loaders who have no signficant experience with other brands make some firm accessments but that lack of experience sorta negates any such info, does it not? Fact is, no brand causes problems of themselves IF the user does his part. And nothing works very well for a mechanical klutz!

    I suggest new guys don't get a kit simply because that locks them into a single brand for all the basic tools and that's really not a good thing. Instead, build your own "kit", one item at a time, by getting suggestions from others if need be. Just ignore things like, "Get RX, it works for me". If people can't offer a rational reason for a suggestion then it's just another opinion of taste but without basis.

    A press is a very simple device but it's the foundation tool. Since it's easier to learn on a single stage, and many of us will never need more, it seems best to start with one of them. The outstanding 'best' single stage value at this time is Lee's Classic Cast. It's all cast iron and steel, large and strong enough to load .50 Cal. Browning Machine Gun ammo, very well made, it handles primers better than most others in it's class, the lever is unique in that it's fully adjustable for the user's needs and the price is right. Actually, any skilled loader can make equal quality ammo on any press made, so it mostly comes down to a new guy just spending what he wants to spend.

    Dies are very much the same sort of things. No matter the pretty externals, the insides are what makes ammo and inside they are all made to the same SAAMI tolerances. So, once again, I'd suggest Lee's dies for starters. Over time you will likely want to try others and that's good. Most dies work quite well and it's unlikely most reloaders will ever gain the shooting or reloading skills to see any improvement with high cost premium dies.

    Anyone wanting the very best threaded dies should start and stop with Forster BR and Redding Competition dies. None of the others offer any consistant average quality advantage of output over what we can get with Lee's dies. And all threaded dies (except one rare Dillon type) have the same threads. Shell holders are also interchangable too so we can mix brands as we wish.

    Scales? Got to have onea and digitals are the current craze but I fail to understand why. The better ones are costly, still tend to be finicky, are no more accurate and are very little faster in actual use - if any at all - than any beam scale except Lee's. None of them will last even nearly as long as a beam scale. I would strongly suggest you get a beam, something like a RCBS 505, Redding, Dillon, etc. There's no effective difference in any of those that look basically the same!

    Case trimmers can get a bit too costly in a hurry. Perhaps the very best of the hand lathe types is the Wilson and the base price is modest. But Lee's very simple case trimming tools do a very good job for very low cost and that might be a better choice to start with. Even if you later move to something else you won't be out much money.

    A good powder measure is a tremendous asset. All of those that look virtually the same ARE virtually the same, brand and price doesn't matter. Of the cast iron bodied measures, the Redding 3BR and Lyman 55 are perhaps the best values. Actually, Lee's (semi) Perfect (plastic body) adjustable measure is very good. In fact, it's perhaps the most consistant measure available for popular coarse rifle powders! Get a bench stand for your measure, don't put it on the front edge of your bench or in your press, both places are far to clumsy for easy use. And get a powder trickler too, a Hornady or Redding, no others are heavy or smooth working enough for easy use.

    Every loader pretty much needs a precison 6" stainless steel caliper. I prefer the dial type over the digitals simply because they don't need batteries but I have both and would be happy with either - IF I kept a spare battery on hand. ALL of the reloading branded calipers seem to be made in the same Chinese factory so get the least expensive you can find. MidwayUSA frequently has them on sale for around $20 but so does Harbor Freight Tools and for as little as $12.

    No loader "needs" a case tumbler but they really are nice. MidwayUSA or Cabela's usually have the best prices on their house brands. Media type doesn't matter a bit nor does any type of polish. It blows me away how some are so fasinated by an artifical looking glittery, plastic-like shine on ammo that is going to quickly tarnish anyway.

    Perhaps the better loading manuals for noobs today are the Hodgdon and Lee. They have the widest variety of loading data, very good basic instructions.

    Small items such as a case deburr tool, loading blocks, powder funnel makes little difference. You can clean primer pockets with a small screw driver as well as anything.

    All resizing lubes work but it seems a lot of people have more case sticking problems with the spray lubes than others. I tossed out my oily, messy case lube pads years ago and only use Imperial Die Wax or Hornady's Unique lube now. It's cleanly and quickly applied with the tips of my fingers as I pick each case up for sizing. A stuck case remover is nice to have in your kit. IF (when) you fail to properly lube a large case you WILL pull the rim off and leave the case firmly in the die! A simple RCBS stuck case remover, or one like it, does a very good job of pulling them out.

    For repriming, Lee's hand held "AutoPrime" tool works very well for little cost but I suggest you stick to priming on the press for a good while yet.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2010
  13. dave06

    dave06 New Member

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    Fuzzy,
    For a set up I am very fortunate I have a good set up good beam type scales, press and equipment. Just I have a lack in the process I am self taught I have read hornady 7th issue And lyman's new book. I have only loaded maybe 200 or so rounds. So what I am lacking in experience most part. And about the question I was just wondering what could cause variances in bullet seating.
     
  14. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    Fuzz I started reloading on a C frame press a massive HOLLOYWOOD to be exact. It was big solid steel and built like a tank. You can't tell me that a chinese made cast aluminum press will produce ammo as accurate as a RCBS Rock Chucker or a Redding or any O frame press. It is just not gonna happen.

    We go through this all the time. everyone here knows I HATE LEE CRAP. Never meet a lee products that was worth the money I paid for it.

    Back on topic.

    Measure the length of your bullets. some bullets will vary slightly in length. If your brass varies in length and your bullet varies in length a little the both combined can add up to be a lot.

    today all presses take the same dies no matter the manufacture. I use RCBS dies in my RCBS press and my dillon. I use Hornady dies in my RCBS press.
     
  15. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger New Member

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    I thought you had a LEE press?