Loose bullets


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K3
November 27, 2007, 01:07 PM
Sometimes a problem comes up when reloading ammo in fired brass for my bolt action rifles.

I use a Lee Neck sizer to size and deprime. I use the Lee bullet seater to seat the bullet. Sometimes the bullet is loose. Loose to the point I can pull it out with my fingers.

I am using Sierra Gamekings and Hornady VMax bullets which have no cannelure, so crimping is out.

I haven't noticed that any one type of brass is more prone than others, though that could be the case and I just haven't picked up on the trend. I use Federal, Remington, and Winchester brass. I'm anal retentive, so when loasing a batch, I never mix brass types.

When I get a loose one, I pull the bullet, dump the powder, and discard the offending brass.

So,

1) These rounds aren't good to use, are they? I think not, but I welcome advice of others who know more.

2) Is this a problem common to neck sizing? I don't notice it when full length sizing for gas guns or when sizing new brass (I always size brass before loading). Is it maybe a Lee thing?

3) Any tips, ideas, anecdotes, solutions?

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cougar1717
November 27, 2007, 01:22 PM
I have no experience with this, but is this a situation where the case necks need to be annealed?

Grumulkin
November 27, 2007, 01:26 PM
No, the necks don't need to be annealed and the brass is fine. I've also encountered this problem with Lee collet dies.

If you turn the sizing mandrel in the die down 1 or 2 thousandths of an inch with fine sandpaper and turning it in a drill, that will probably solve your problem.

You can also crimp them with a Lee factory crimp die. This will sometimes tighten up the necks and you can use this die even with bullets with no cannelure.

K3
November 27, 2007, 01:26 PM
I have no experience with this, but is this a situation where the case necks need to be annealed?

No. This is once fired brass. I am fairly new to loading, so I don't have mouch other than new or once fired brass available at this point. That will change over time, of course. :)

K3
November 27, 2007, 01:28 PM
No, the necks don't need to be annealed and the brass is fine. I've also encountered this problem with Lee collet dies.

If you turn the sizing mandrel in the die down 1 or 2 thousandths of an inch with fine sandpaper and turning it in a drill, that will probably solve your problem.

You can also crimp them with a Lee factory crimp die. This will sometimes tighten up the necks and you can use this die even with bullets with no cannelure.

Would crimping these bullets affect accuracy? I like my groups...

If not, are you talking about a very light crimp?

rcmodel
November 27, 2007, 02:31 PM
You can crimp them with a Lee FCD without regard to whether or not the bullets have cannelure. I'm doing it with .223 Nosler Ballistic-Tips.
Accuracy improved slightly.

But your initial problem is due to differences in neck thickness in your brass, and to too large an expander button/stem/mandrel, or whatever type Lee uses in the neck-sizer die you have.
Turn it down a couple - three thousandths and your problem will go away.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/KTOG/1224.gif
rcmodel

snuffy
November 27, 2007, 03:14 PM
I use a Lee Neck sizer to size and deprime.

Is that the lee collet die? I'm not aware of any lee neck sizers other than the collet die. Other die companies make neck sizers that just size the neck, but don't touch the body of the shell.

There's a lot of posts like this on THR and other websites about the lee collet die NOT sizing enough to hold a bullet. Some times the operator does not put enough force on the handle of the press. Most times though, the problem is the mandrel that the neck is squeezed against is too big. The solution is to chuck the mandrel in a inch drill, use some fine sandpaper to reduce the outside dimension of that mandrel by .001-.002 so that the neck ends up being smaller on the INSIDE.

Try this approach, then let us know if it worked.

K3
November 27, 2007, 03:18 PM
Is that the lee collet die? I'm not aware of any lee neck sizers other than the collet die. Other die companies make neck sizers that just size the neck, but don't touch the body of the shell.

There's a lot of posts like this on THR and other websites about the lee collet die NOT sizing enough to hold a bullet. Some times the operator does not put enough force on the handle of the press. Most times though, the problem is the mandrel that the neck is squeezed against is too big. The solution is to chuck the mandrel in a inch drill, use some fine sandpaper to reduce the outside dimension of that mandrel by .001-.002 so that the neck ends up being smaller on the INSIDE.

Try this approach, then let us know if it worked.

I plan to give that a shot tonight. If it doesn't work, I'll break out the RCBS die.

Smokey Joe
November 27, 2007, 03:57 PM
K3--Had the same problem w/the Lee Collet die. Asked Lee abt. what to do and their advice was as given to you--chuck the mandrel into a drill press, reduce its diameter with emery paper, and the problem goes away.

Worked for me, I'm happy to say! :)

Grumulkin
November 27, 2007, 06:40 PM
Would crimping these bullets affect accuracy? I like my groups...

If not, are you talking about a very light crimp?

I doubt crimping will effect accuracy; try it an see. You only need to crimp enough to hold the bullet firmly. I use a Lee collet die followed by a Lee factory crimp die with Barnes TSX and Barnes banded solids in a 30/06 and get excellent accuracy.

highlander 5
November 27, 2007, 06:49 PM
if you had bought RCBS,Redding or Hornandy dies you wouldn't be have this problem or conversion. 2 die companies I refuse to purchase from Lee and Lyman

highlander 5
November 27, 2007, 06:50 PM
if you had bought RCBS,Redding or Hornandy dies you wouldn't be have this problem or conversion. 2 die companies I refuse to purchase from Lee and Lyman

steve4102
November 27, 2007, 07:28 PM
Yup, they have it correct again. The Lee Collet die is an excellent neck die, but often times it doesn't give enough neck tension. This can be solve two ways, order a "Reduced" mandrel from Lee, $5.00, or chuck the mandrel in a drill and polish it down a .001 or two.

K3
November 28, 2007, 01:24 PM
Argh. The tech I spoke with at Lee said that I wasn't using enough force on the lever to close the collet all the way. I assured him that I was giving it a bit more than the 35# he recommended. Being into powerlifting and bodybuilding, I have a pretty good idea of how hard I am pressing on something. Besides, the lever just won't go any more!

I had to ask about the reduced mandrel. He never brought it up. He said that they could make one, but then they wouldn't guarantee accuracy. Well, I don't care about the guarantee. I told him I'd go back and load a few to make sure I was giving it enough pressure.

So, I'll load some cartridges trying to be very aware of the collet's action and how hard I am pressing. If that doesn't work, I will chuck the mandrel and reduce it a .001 or two and load a few more. Looks like I'll be loading this evening.

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