December 4, 2011, 05:08 PM
When loading for my Vaquero 44-40 it seems no matter how careful I am I will get some bullets in crooked, not really bad but enough to cause problems chambering them. I have been taking the decapper out of my sizing dies and running them back through it. Does anyone else have a problem with this? I am using Lee dies.
Also on this I am considering building a seating die where the diameter around the neck of the case is the same size and a sizing die or within .001-.002 thousands... Would this cause any problems and you know of?
December 4, 2011, 05:13 PM
One of two things are wrong.
Or maybe both.
1. You are not belling the case mouth enough to get the bullet started straight before trying to seat it.
2. Your seating stem does not match the bullet shape you are using so the nose isn't being centered in it.
Making the seating die .001" over case neck is bad because it will close the case mouth bell before the bullet gets there.
Running them through your sizing die after loading is real bad, because it is squeezing every bullet way undersized.
December 4, 2011, 05:16 PM
You didn't mention on who bullets you are using. But it sounds like you need to flare the mouth just a little bit more to help start the bullet.
This is where the Hornady Dies shine with there drop down alignment tube on their bullet seater. It hold the bullet straight while you get your fingers free of the press.
December 4, 2011, 05:19 PM
You should be able to hand start each bullet in the case far enough to pick them up out of a loading block before you even try to seat them.
The thin case necks of the WCF cartridges makes this even more importent.
December 4, 2011, 06:32 PM
thanks for the replies. I hadn't thought about closing up the mouth before the bullet was in but I can sit the bullets in the case and pick them up with it. I'll try opening it a little more and seeing it that helps. Also didn't know Hornady had the guide tube, I'll look into that and my get a set of those as I like that idea.
The bullets used have been both cast RN and commercial RN 200gr. The seater is radiused so I'm thinking that should be centering the bullet but will check fit for sure. If nothing else I can make on of those as I made on today to seat cast HP 44's with out using the tip of the bullet.
I know running them through the resizer is probably sizing them small but even at that I have one of the few Ruger 44-40's that gets decent accuracy. Get this figured out and it should get even better :)
Thanks again :)
December 4, 2011, 06:44 PM
Loading the thin-wall .44-40 is a vexation but good technique will allow you to ruin less brass. First, make sure you have a good neck expanding/belling die. It should make a slight bell on the case mouth. Next, seat the bullet by hand in each case about 1/10 of an inch before attempting to seat it in the seating die. Make sure the seating die only seats the bullet to the correct depth without crimping. After all your cartridges have bullets seated, re-adjust your seating die to create the crimp--be sure the bullet seating screw is screwed out far enough to not touch the bullets as they are seated. Yes, seating and crimping in two seperate steps is a PITA but it works better with these delicate cases.
December 5, 2011, 11:20 AM
I would check to be sure you are using the correct seating stem.
Though I only load jacketed bullets, I rarely ever bell my mouths and have no issues. I just make sure each mouth is slightly reamed and chamfered. This method has also completely eliminated mouth splitting. Some bullets are a little too squared off at the base and will sometimes require me to bell the mouths a tiny bit.
December 6, 2011, 01:34 PM
I never bothered looking for a solution. Mine shoot tight little knots at 50yds, even when they look funny.