Pistol seating die problem... never had this before


March 11, 2010, 11:23 AM
I just got a set of 10mm dies and did my setup. Everything is fine except that on the downstroke, I'm getting a moderate hangup on the press that makes a soft 'cracking' noise when I push through.

Lee dies, screwed in to touch the shellplate, then backed out 3 full turns before tightening the lock ring (per Lee setup instructions).

Has this happened to anyone else? What is this?



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March 11, 2010, 02:35 PM
On seating? I'd first check that you're not expanding too much. I use Lee dies and press and noticed this happening on initial setup. Easy fix, in my case. (pun intended)

March 11, 2010, 02:54 PM
To tell you more precisely, Rmeju, we really need a picture of a case and loaded round. And, we need to know more--such as

1. what press? single stage? turret? progressive?
2. what cases? new? used? how much used?
3. what bullet? if Lead, what BHN?

...and so on.

Jim H.

March 11, 2010, 03:24 PM
Hi, thanks for the responses so far. I'm not home so I can't get pics, but here's what I can tell you:

- Hornady LnL progressive press using a basic Lee carbide 3-die set
- Brass is fired and mixed headstamp. I have seen PMC and some Starline in there. It appears lightly used, but I don't know for sure
- The bullets are lead (Missouri Bullet IDP #5, 18BNH). I use the similar IDP #1 in .45, also 18BNH and don't have problems in .45
- I don't believe I am overly flaring the cases...

Anyway, I'm hoping that this will help you answer my questions. If not, I will post pics.



March 11, 2010, 03:46 PM
Thanks for the info so far, Rmeju. What krehmkej said may be the problem--that is, you are hearing the 'cracking' and getting the resistance because there is too much flare on the case.

Since you don't think you are over-flaring in #2, my guess (and I've set up Lee 3-die sets in 10mm, as well as other calibers) is that you need to fine-tune the seater-crimper settings. Remember that both the die body and the seater stem need to be adjusted--that is, get the stem fully backed off, lower the body until contact, then bring the body up or down to get the right setting--and, on a separate adjustment, bring the stem down to the correct LOA.

Because of the way the combined seater-crimper works, and a desire to not overcrimp, you may in fact be leaving too much flare in the case at the #3 location. Have you tried chambering the rounds? Do they drop in freely, or at least OK? (Pull your barrel to do this test, don't try it by dropping the slide, etc.)

Jim H.

March 11, 2010, 04:01 PM
If you have the wire eject system on your LNL, the last die may be contacting the ejector wire.

Hope this helps.


March 11, 2010, 05:05 PM
I've had a primer (from depriming) fall into the hole in the ram of my press and then get smashed/stuck inside the press. It caused a rough hang up on down strokes until I disassembled the press and removed it. Probably not your problem but just in case.

March 12, 2010, 11:17 AM

I backed the crimp out a little bit according to your instructions and it works just find now.



March 12, 2010, 04:17 PM
You're welcome, Rmeju. Since your die setup is now working fine, try building dummy rounds (no primer, no powder) from several different cases (i.e., both PMC and Starline) to see that the tweak you've done works well with your mixed-brass cases. Try them in your barrel; that should assure you of generally-reliable ammo.

FWIW, I do segregate by case stamp for 10mm, and I tend to keep batches together. Even with new Starline cases, I've found splits can show up in as little as five reloads if I am loading at the upper end.

Jim H.

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