Another newbie reloading question -- Pistol bullet seating issue


PDA






Onewolf
January 10, 2013, 09:41 PM
Never mind..... Ol' dummy here realized his Lee die set came with an expander die. Duh.



I am reloading my first batch of pistol ammo (9mm 115gr FMJ). I have sized (and deprimed) the brass using the Lee carbide sizing die. I am now attempting to seat bullets, but so far (20 rounds) every one has been a complete battle to get the bullet to stay 'upright' atop the case before I can stroke to 'set' the bullets. See attached photo. It just seems like the straight wall case and straight/flat bullet base profile is problematical.

Is there a solution for this (other than pulling my hair out)? :banghead: Do I need an Expander die?

Thanks for any advice.

Doug

If you enjoyed reading about "Another newbie reloading question -- Pistol bullet seating issue" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
rcmodel
January 10, 2013, 09:50 PM
Hold the bullet on top of the case and guide it up in the seating die.

(Then, Remove your fingers before they get pinched.)

The die will straighten the bullet up and guide it into the case once you get it inside the die.

rc

oldpapps
January 10, 2013, 09:58 PM
Onewolf,

Different DIE makers process in differing ways.
As you are using a LEE sizing DIE, I will go with the rest of this set of DIEs being LEE.
DIE one - sizing and de-priming.
DIE two - through the DIE charging and bell the case mouth. This is just a little, only enough to allow the bullet/s to enter the case.
DIE three - seat the bullet. Will also put a 'role' crimp - don't.
DIE four (if you have it) - factory taper crimp.

I would bet you went directly from 'one' to 'three'.

Even if you use other methods to charge, run your brass in DIE two.

Other DIE makers; size, then deprime and bell.

Onewolf
January 10, 2013, 10:26 PM
Onewolf,

Different DIE makers process in differing ways.
As you are using a LEE sizing DIE, I will go with the rest of this set of DIEs being LEE.
DIE one - sizing and de-priming.
DIE two - through the DIE charging and bell the case mouth. This is just a little, only enough to allow the bullet/s to enter the case.
DIE three - seat the bullet. Will also put a 'role' crimp - don't.
DIE four (if you have it) - factory taper crimp.

I would bet you went directly from 'one' to 'three'.

Even if you use other methods to charge, run your brass in DIE two.

Other DIE makers; size, then deprime and bell.

I bought these new dies a couple weeks ago and placed the sizing and seating dies on the turret back then. In the interim I subsequently forgot about the expander die so like you said I went from step 1 to 3 and skipped expanding. After I added the expander die to the process it went much smoother.

Thanks for the replies!

rcmodel
January 10, 2013, 10:28 PM
Yes, I bet it did!!

I never thunk of that right there!! :banghead:

rc

BYJO4
January 10, 2013, 11:12 PM
You need to use you expander die to expand the case mouth just enough to allow the base of the bullet to start into the case.

gamestalker
January 10, 2013, 11:29 PM
Welcome to THR!

Although this is not a common method used for seating rimless cartridges, it is the method I've used for decades for seating jacketed bullets as follows. i start by evenly chamfering the inside of the mouth and then just set the bullet on top and seat. Don't bell the case mouths, and don't crimp, as it is not necessary when seating this way. Bullets allign and seat nice and straight as well. It's also a really nice, fast way to seat because it entirely eliminates expanding (belling) the case mouth and crimping as well. The best part is that maximum obtainable neck tension is achieved using this method. Another positive point is it reduces how much the brass gets worked.

The last THR guy that tried this said it was a bit faster than having to adjust the expander (belling die) and as well, not having to mess with adjusting the crimp die being it's unnecessary to crimp rimless cartridges if your not belling the mouths. In this respect it might be a good time to inform you that crimping rimless cartridges does nothing to increase or produce neck tension.

As for rimmed cartridges, crimping is necessary for bullet hold to prevent bullet jump from the case mouth caused by recoil.

Good luck and have fun!

GS

oldpapps
January 11, 2013, 03:17 PM
"Never mind..... Ol' dummy here realized his Lee die set came with an expander die. Duh."

Want to know how I figured that one out so fast?
I did the same thing :D

Load safe, shoot safer.

Trent
January 12, 2013, 03:04 PM
In this respect it might be a good time to inform you that crimping rimless cartridges does nothing to increase or produce neck tension.


I second this observation through first hand experience.

I bought a mess of .452" 230 grain projectiles, semi-wadcutter. Because of the bullet shape, getting them to feed reliably in semi-auto handguns turned out to be QUITE the adventure.

In my extensive and exhaustive testing to find an OAL that would feed reliably in 6 semi-auto 45 handguns, I observed that no matter HOW MUCH I crimped the neck the bullets would inevitably get set back on one particular firearm.

The firearm in question was the Springfield XD45. The feed angle on this handgun is so aggressive that (on this particular bullet shape) it would ALWAYS set the bullet back, regardless of crimp used.

The round would impact the top of the chamber with such force that it would set the bullet back considerably in to the casing. It also would NOT feed the semi-wadcutter bullets. The design of the XD45 prevents such bullets from functioning, as the very steep angled chambering process RELIES on the curved meplat region on round nose FMJ and HP bullets to guide against the top of the chamber - the rounded edge serves to guide the bullet forward under slide pressure, much more pronounced than other firearm designs.

The chambering mechanism of the XD45 is a horrible design, no smoothness to it whatsoever, which left a sufficiently bad taste in my mouth that I discontinued my ownership of said pistol at the earliest possible convenience. :)

Every other 45 ACP handgun I tested this semi-wadcutter ammunition in functioned flawlessly, excepting that design. In fact, the accuracy of the load I developed has lead to that bullet being my preferred one for target practice.

Anyway back to the point; crimping is unnecessary in straight walled pistol cases; just use the crimp enough to straighten the case out from the belling process, and no more. (If you crimp too much, you can mess up your headspace and cause pressure problems as the front of the case crimped on the bullet will enter the lands, causing the back of the bullet to have to "swage" itself past this self-induced bottleneck point).

If you enjoyed reading about "Another newbie reloading question -- Pistol bullet seating issue" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!