problem with 380 lee seating die


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Jeeping
October 12, 2011, 02:17 PM
I'm having a problem with lee seating die and lead bullets. As soon as case touches the seating die, it begins to close the flare on case mouth; causing it to shave some lead of the bullet. I set the die just like instructions tells me, screw it in until it touches the case and then back it out 3/4 of a turn so that it wouldn't crimp it. But it still closes the flare as soon as I start to put the case in the die.
This is a 3 die set that I got of the midway. Did Lee put in a FCD instead of the seating die?

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rcmodel
October 12, 2011, 02:24 PM
An FCD would have a sliding carbide sleeve inside the die.
A seating die would not.

rc

Jeeping
October 12, 2011, 02:31 PM
Sliding, as in I can take it out by hand?
Thanks RC, I'll look at it when I get home.

HOWARD J
October 12, 2011, 03:36 PM
The model # on a Lee seating die is:

AUTO C-9
Check your die

Friendly, Don't Fire!
October 12, 2011, 03:44 PM
I load 380 Auto and I have never had that problem. I seat with an RCBS die then do a separate operation of crimping all the cartridges with the Lee Factory Crimp Die. The Lee Factory crimp die has a loose collar in there that you can hear if you shake the die.

Isn't there an adjustible stem in the middle to raise or lower the seating plug?

rcmodel
October 12, 2011, 04:37 PM
Sliding, as in I can take it out by hand?You can take it out, but not easily.

And there is no adjustable seating stem in the FCD anyway, so it still won't work for a seating die.

rc

ROCKFISH
October 12, 2011, 04:58 PM
If you correctly back off the lee seating die 3/4 turn, it can never come into contact with the case mouth.

Scimmia
October 12, 2011, 05:17 PM
I set the die just like instructions tells me, screw it in until it touches the case and then back it out 3/4 of a turn so that it wouldn't crimp it.

Hold on a minute, 3/4 of a turn doesn't sound right at all. Are you sure it doesn't say 3-4 turns?

Steve C
October 12, 2011, 05:21 PM
Back out the expanding stem a small amount on your flaring. You are flaring the case mouth wider than the die opening which is more than is needed. There should be no shaving of the lead bullet. Sit the bullet on top of the case and then bring it up to the seating die.

A factory crimp die has a carbide insert at the base that can be seen, the FC does not have a seating stem and will not seat the bullet, it does have a sleeve that is the crimping portion. Below are pictures of both types of dies.

Seating Die
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=150722&stc=1&d=1318450698

Factory Crimp Die
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=150723&stc=1&d=1318450698

HOWARD J
October 12, 2011, 08:36 PM
My Lee die instructions say: screw bullet seater die in until it touches the shell holder--then screw it out 3 full turns--then screw the adjusting screw in or out to seat bullet to desired depth.

Jeeping
October 12, 2011, 08:47 PM
Well the stamp on the die says B-1. From your picture Steve-c it looks like a seating die though. I understand that there shouldn't be any shaving of the bullet, but there is. Can you please explain to me what I can possibly be doing wrong? My 357 die works just fine with lead bullet, but this is first time I'm having trouble with this.

rcmodel
October 12, 2011, 08:55 PM
Try chamfering & deburring the case mouths before you bell them.

May be too many sharp edges there somewhere doing something weird.

rc

Rule3
October 12, 2011, 09:00 PM
The seating die will also crimp if you have the body of the dies screwed in to far. Do you have a Lee manual? Look on page 75. If you are using a FCD you do not want the seating die to be crimping.

With a flared case in the shell holder move ram to the top

Screw whole die in until you feel it hit the top of the case (hold the lever so it doesn't move)

The die is now 1/2 turn from a light crimp. LEAVE it there if using a FCD. Tighten the lock ring.

Now turn the adjustment screw out untill you see threads. Start to seat the bullet and keep adjusting untill you get the depth you want. Done.

Now move to the FCD and follow those instructions for crimping.

HOWARD J
October 12, 2011, 09:53 PM
I would take your dies apart & compare them to photo from steve c
to make sure you are using the correct die
Have fun
H

Scimmia
October 12, 2011, 10:34 PM
Well the stamp on the die says B-1.

I just went out and played with my 380 dies a bit. The seater/crimper is marked Lee 380 Auto B1, so you've got the correct die. It is a bit tight at the entrance, if I bell the mouth just slightly more than I usually do, it does contact the die when entering. If it's enough that it's shaving your bullets, maybe yours is just slightly undersized? I do see what you mean now, the issue is all the way at the bottom of the die, not where the taper crimp is normally applied.

Jeeping
October 12, 2011, 10:59 PM
Thank you Scimmia, maybe I got the bad die here? I'll give Lee a call tomorrow; maybe they'll be able to help.

Scimmia
October 12, 2011, 11:03 PM
You know, it's also possible your bullets are a bit oversized, too. Have you put the calipers on one yet? What bullets are you using?

Jeeping
October 12, 2011, 11:07 PM
Now that you mention it... I'm casting Lee 105gr SWC and size them to .358 ( barrel on my Bersa is .357). I might have to open up the die a little? How would one go about doing that?

Scimmia
October 12, 2011, 11:13 PM
Yeah, having them a couple thou over the normal size could explain it. I bell the mouth just barily enough to start a .356 bullet, and as tight as that is, I wouldn't want to go any larger. I don't know if there's a good way to open up the die. I wonder if you could seat the bullet with a 9mm die then crimp separately? The 9mm dies don't seem to be as tight as these 380 dies do.

Jurist
October 12, 2011, 11:14 PM
I looks as if you have the internal parts switched in thier respective dies.Try switching them around and let us know how things work out.

HOWARD J
October 12, 2011, 11:54 PM
They must have different markings on Lee 380 seater die
As you can see mine says C9
BTY---I don't use a Lee seater die--I don't like it---I use a Hornady seater die & then a Lee FCD.

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/8351/53620697.th.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/31/53620697.jpg/)

Jeeping
October 13, 2011, 12:21 AM
Fellas I think it’s a two part problem here. First we got a classic case of “I’m a men, I don’t need instructions”, where like some of you pointed out, I need to back out the die 3 FULL TURNS; and not of a turn. Second is that like Scimmia said, my .358 slugs might be just a tad too big for this die. Unfortunately I wont have any bullets made up to try until Saturday.
I’ll be sure to report back on how this works out. Really hoping that all I have to do is set the die like Lee tells me to.
Thanks for all your help, really goes to show that two brains are better than “mine” hehe.

Scimmia
October 13, 2011, 12:40 AM
First we got a classic case of “I’m a men, I don’t need instructions”, where like some of you pointed out, I need to back out the die 3 FULL TURNS; and not of a turn.

Actually, I'd like some clarification on that one. I know I'm contradicting myself since I brought up the three turns instead of 3/4, but reading your original post again, I'm wondering. IIRC the instructions say to screw in the die until it touches the shellholder, then back it off. You mentioned that you were screwing it in until it touched the case, then backing off. If you were setting it from a sized case and not from the shellholder, that could very well be enough to keep the die from crimping.

HOWARD J
October 13, 2011, 01:00 AM
Lee instructions on their website are different from the ones that came with my dies----

http://leeprecision.com/xcart/Single-Station-Adj.html

Steve C
October 13, 2011, 04:51 AM
Can you please explain to me what I can possibly be doing wrong? My 357 die works just fine with lead bullet, but this is first time I'm having trouble with this.

Most bullets for the .38/.357 mag have a beveled base and start in the case easily. They also have a long body that helps self correct any out of alignment with the case as you push them into position.

Short bullets don't have much length to self adjust so if you don't have them started straight they can scrape lead on one side or the other. See it you can hand start the bullet in the case by applying pressure on the top of the bullet with your finger to prevent the bullet from tilting to one side or the other. Another thing I've found is if I seat bullets that's been shaving 1/2 way and then spin the case 180 degrees in the shell holder and seat the rest of the way it helps in bullet alignment. This is usually with a flat point or SWC that's being seating using a round nose seating stem that doesn't guide the bullet as well as one made for flat point bullets.

Try one or the other and see if that doesn't help end your lead shaving problem.

Rule3
October 13, 2011, 10:45 AM
The better instructions (as stated by Lee) are those in the manual(which I posted), which are different than those provided with the dies.
If you are using oversized bullets than that's a different situation.

HOWARD J
October 13, 2011, 11:10 AM
When we buy Lee dies how do we know that the instructions in their reloading manual & on their website are the proper ones & not the ones that came with the dies??
Every instruction that Lee has SUCKS BIG TIME as compared to their
competition.

Rule3
October 13, 2011, 12:06 PM
When we buy Lee dies how do we know that the instructions in their reloading manual & on their website are the proper ones & not the ones that came with the dies??
Every instruction that Lee has SUCKS BIG TIME as compared to their
competition.
True their instructions are not the best, in the case of the dies only the seating die is better explained in the manual, you comment certainly helps the OP.

HOWARD J
October 13, 2011, 12:59 PM
We had to learn all this stuff the hard way.
With this internet a newbee can learn stuff that took some of us a long time & we are still learning.
Sometimes the truth hurts---YES

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