Do You Use Bullet Specific Seating Plugs??


Gary H
August 24, 2003, 08:03 PM
Today I was happily loading some 125 Laser-Cast FP into .357 Mag brass and all was well with the world. My Redding Carbide die set came with a FP seating die. I decided to load 158gr. Laser-Cast RNFP. I remembered that my RCBS sets in .45 ACP and .45 LC came with a couple of different plugs, including one for RN. I didn't like the way the FP plug impacted only the sides of the RNFP bullet and discovered that my Redding set doesn't have alternative plugs. What is the story here? Should I be trying to find a RN plug for more consistent seating? Does Redding make such plugs? It is hard to tell by their website. I know that RCBS even makes a plug for Gold Dot bullets. How important is a bullet specific seating plug? Will RCBS plugs fit the Redding dies?

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August 24, 2003, 08:51 PM
I use the same plugs for all bullets BUT I have also seen some bullets that want to "tip" or not seat straight in the case because of this. Using a plug that matches the bullet contour is the best way to do it, and will yield more accurate ammunition. Bullets not being concentric with the bore will hurt accuracy, no doubt about it.

The bullets I cast load straight, as do the ones I buy. Either find bullets that work with your dies or buy plugs for the bullets you choose.

Gary H
August 24, 2003, 09:10 PM
My question stems from more than an interest in accuracy. The seater changes the shape of the bullet, by creating a circular indentation where it contacts the bullet. This is not a minor alteration of the bullets shape. Yet, I find no mention of alternate plugs in any Redding literature.

Gary H
August 24, 2003, 10:06 PM
?? ??

August 25, 2003, 05:14 AM
I use alternate seater plugs when I load very soft lead bullets. I usually use an RCBS SWC or WC seat/crimp die in my Lee Pro-1000 setups when loading swaged bullets. RCBS, Reading and Lee will supply different seaters for a small charge, if you give them a call.
I spoke to Hornady a few months ago and they said their seater will handle all bullet shapes - I took that to mean it had a "reversible" seater, but the person I spoke to was not a great wealth of information.

I'm not really sure all this trouble is worth the bother, but is does "feel" like the right thing to do.

If your loading defensive "soft" HP rounds (like Gold Dots) you don't want a round nose seater to close the hollow cavity while seating, so you may need to experiment and measure a little.

August 25, 2003, 11:08 AM
I recently had a batch of SWCs that weren't seating to a consistant depth. It turns out I forgot to replace the RN seating plug with the FP one when switching between loads. So yes, in my experience, there is a reason for, and benefit to the different plugs.

Yes, Redding's web site is a poor resource when trying to locate some goodies, but the guys on the phone are great. ;)

I don't understand why one would not want to use a RN seating plug with some HP bullets. If they can't take the force of seating, I doubt they'd survive being jammed up the ramp when chambering.

August 25, 2003, 04:41 PM
I always try to use a seating plug that matches the bullet nose. With Lyman molds and dies, this is a matter of ordering the correct parts. With other die makers, good luck. RCBS will make a seat plug for you if you send them a bullet. Don;t know about others. Since I have a lathe, I usually modify existing plugs to fit the shape.

The reason, seating the bullet straight. Little marks or such on the nose of the bullet are immaterial. Seating the bullet straight is more important, and the base of the bullet is more important than the nose for accuracy. Remember, when the round is fired, the base is where the action is until it leaves the barrel, not the nose.

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