rifle competition seating dies?


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ironworkerwill
July 16, 2013, 11:40 AM
I have both Lee and RCBS seat dies and both work ok.

From time to time I will notice the bullets will seat a bit canted, esp with flat based bullets.

I do the ol' roll test to visually pick out the wobblers.

I've been taking the cap off the Lee die and starting the bullet in from the top. It seems to help.

Do any of you gents recommend either the RCBS, Redding, or another brand of comp dies to help eliminate my problem?

Also, I would like to learn the method of alignment each die uses.

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cfullgraf
July 16, 2013, 12:40 PM
I have several Redding competition seating dies and like them for cartridges that I load several different bullets. The micrometer adjuster makes resetting the die for a diferent bullet easy.

For cartridges where I virtually never change bullets, the standard seaters work fine. The extra cost of the competition dies is un-necessary.

The Hornady rifle seater dies have a sliding sleeve to hold the bullet while the case is being raised into the die for bullet seating. Not as expensive as the competition dies but it has some of the same features. Plus, you can add a micrometer stem at a later time if you want one with the Hornady seater die.

*NOVA*
July 16, 2013, 12:49 PM
Hey I'm brand new at reloading - but I did see one trick I thought was a good idea - when seating the bullet, go only half way in then back off, turn case one half turn and then seat the bullet completely. What do you think, would that help?

ironworkerwill
July 16, 2013, 12:53 PM
I'll look at the Hornady die! Thanks.

I saw an image of the RCBS die with a window on the side. It seems like a good idea.

ironworkerwill
July 16, 2013, 12:56 PM
Yep I've used the half turn method. It's a PITA too.

Who ever came up with the sleeve idea was BRILLIANT!

safarihunter
July 16, 2013, 01:19 PM
I still use the half turn method with sleeved seating dies. Can't hurt.

ranger335v
July 16, 2013, 05:58 PM
On average, there are two grades of threaded seaters; Forster and Redding are tied for first place, all others are tied for second.

Sleeved seaters go back to the fifties, sounds good but if the sleeve isn't tight in the die and snug to the bullet - and most aren't - sleeves do nothing a standard die won't do. Redding and Forster seaters are excellant because of the over-all design. Short sliding bullet guide sleeves have to fit loosely for gravity to move them and they do nothing to align the case body to the bullet - and that includes RCBS' costly copy of a failed fifty year old side window design.

The ol' seat halfway, turn half way seating technique can't hurt. Can't help either. No one's seating stems are sufficently tightly fitted for that to matter and once a bullet starts crooked the neck is bent that way so it tends to stay crooked. Lee's conventional rifle seaters are much better than most realise; the die's bullet guide section is usually cut to fit a normal bullet quite snugly and their floating seating plug self aligns to the ogive if the user doesn't try to slam the ram up before it can.

Straight seating demands straight necks and few cases are really straight without a bit of help. Proper mouth chamfering helps a flat base enter straight and so does a tiny bit of mouth flare. Excessive "neck tension", ie, more than about 1 to 1 1/2 thou under bullet diameter, just makes it harder for the bullets to enter the necks straight and going smaller than that doesn't do a thing for additional bullet grip.

Any bullet run out that's visible by rolling is horrible. Even limited runout that can't be eye balled can be pretty bad. If you want straight ammo get a runout gauge and use it.

ironworkerwill
July 16, 2013, 06:58 PM
I was first leaning toward the Redding. Now I'm looking more at the Forster. I haven't seen a bad review yet.

Possibly a run out gage too.

gamestalker
July 16, 2013, 07:34 PM
I've been working with RCBS comp dies for a long time and haven't had any problems with that. The collar holds the bullet in alignment while it's being pushed into the neck.

GS

gibble888
July 16, 2013, 07:48 PM
I turn mine 3 times right when the bullet just starts in then the fourth runs her home....all straight!

Walkalong
July 16, 2013, 08:28 PM
On average, there are two grades of threaded seaters; Forster and Redding are tied for first place
I highly recommend the Forster (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=176289&d=1355794205), but the Redding is very good as well.

ironworkerwill
July 17, 2013, 08:56 AM
Looks like Forster and Redding is at the top of the list. I'm not considering typical seat dies as I already have plenty. I should of done a poll.

Woolecox
July 17, 2013, 10:07 AM
Looks like Forster and Redding is at the top of the list. I'm not considering typical seat dies as I already have plenty. I should of done a poll.
I have both Forster and Redding. They are both excellent and top of the line in my experience. Both companies make entry level and advanced "bench rest" style sets as well. I have found that out of my precision barrels (Krieger, Shilen) that I get the most accurate loads using the Forster Bench Rest Bump Bushing die set. They also work best in the Forster Co-Ax press which allows the die to float and center itself on the upstroke. I have also found that their full length resizing die produces the best ammo over other FL sizers. All of this is a big investment over Lee.

I think you have something else going on there with your Lee dies. They are pretty darn good. I still use Lee Collet dies to smooth out dough nuts on neck sized brass and their fine pistol dies. You should never be able to detect wobble visually. Something is wrong with your sizing method.

http://www.forsterproducts.com/product_images/catalog19938/Orig_BBNS_PP_dies.jpg
http://www.forsterproducts.com/product_images/catalog19938/Ultra_BBNS_kit_dies.jpg
http://www.forsterproducts.com/client_images/catalog19938/pages/images/Co-Ax-Press_Large.jpg

Redding is also outstanding and it may just be a preference thing among competition shooters (Redding vs Forster). Just this week I loaded up some 270 for my hunting rifle with a variety of bullets and standard Winchester brass. I worked the load up carefully. I sized with Redding body die, then neck sized with a Redding Comp S neck sizer using a .301 collet. Did the primer pockets, flash holes, trimmed and chamfered case mouths. The only thing I did not do was turn the necks.

To my surprise I got less than +/- .001 runout on the necks and the bullet ogive. I obviously got ahold of a good batch of brass!! I expect them to shoot well.

Obviously, this level of fuss is not required to produce good reloads for hunting purposes with a hunting rifle. There are no doubt hundreds of guys here that will attest to that and I am one of them. I am just kind of anal about my loads.

Competition is another story. You still have L.E. Wilson and the whole arbor press thing to consider for that. Here is a place with about 2 years worth of reading and research for you.

6mmBR.com (http://6mmbr.com)

Best of luck,
Wooly

ironworkerwill
July 17, 2013, 12:06 PM
Indeed! You should never be able to detect runout visually. The last batch of 139gr Hornady interlock flat based bullets with NEW Norma 7mm-08 brass unsized had a wobbler.
I loaded 60 or so with new Hornady 308 match brass (necked to 7mm)with 130gr SMKs a while back and could not visually detect runout. Used the same process with the 139gr flat based bullets and got wobbelers. All with the Lee seat die.

I assumed since the bullet "guide" area of the Lee die was over bore it allowed the bullet to cant. Since BT bullets are conical and sit neatly on the inside chamfer they are seated square.

I have already exceeded accuracy needed for hunting in this round with my Savage. I have been looking for ever smaller groups streching the capability of my budget minded equipment. 186424

Woolecox
July 17, 2013, 09:08 PM
I assumed since the bullet "guide" area of the Lee die was over bore it allowed the bullet to cant. Since BT bullets are conical and sit neatly on the inside chamfer they are seated square.
186424

Not sure what you mean by that unless that the Lee are maybe a little less precise or less tight.

But yes, the high dollar Redding and Forster dies are designed to align and precisely control everything. Concentricity in the body, neck, and bullet is the goal. They do it real well as long as the brass is of uniform thickness.

The last couple of sets that I bought all had seater plugs that worked real well on VLD bullets. In the past you had to order a special plug. If your seater plug is contacting the point of the bullet instead of the ogive, that will cause alignment problems and damage the points.

Take it out and see how your bullet fits in it. If you spin the bullet, it should leave a light ring on the ogive.

But man that group you posted is awesome! Hard to say if precision dies would make any difference.

Which model Savage are you shooting?

If you really want to spend even more money :) a good concentricity gage in the only way to measure runout. I use the Sinclair gage. It has served me well for years.

http://www.brownells.com/userdocs/products/p_749007271_6.jpg

Hondo 60
July 17, 2013, 10:26 PM
I have 10 calibers that I reload.
I've had RCBS, Redding, Dillon & Lee dies.
I never noticed any difference.
So I sold the expensive die sets & bought more Lee.
Always had money left over too.

Just my 2, YMMV

ironworkerwill
July 18, 2013, 10:08 AM
@Woolecox: The rifle is a Savage 110 Pre Accutrig in 7mm08 (it was a 7mm RM). I swaped XL7 for the 110 evensteven. It has a trued face, recoil lug, and barrel nut. Lapped the lugs and went from about 70% engagement to close to +/-90%. I got put a 26'' Brux 1:8.5 barrel on and lapped the barrel threads into the reciever. I have set the original trigger down to about 1lb cause its about all I can do with out a malfunction. It's all factory(with Savage made facory replacement parts I've ordered from Midway) except for the barrel.

I have 3 weak links on this rifle(4 counting me).
1) the Redfield ?-12x40 scope has too much paralax at 100yds. I got my eyes on a 40/44 Weaver that goes to 20x for $190

2) the factory stock is a joke. It will be replaced with a Choate varmint.

3) my seating dies. I'm gonna order the Forester payday.

fguffey
July 18, 2013, 01:06 PM
Ironworkerwill, you do the ol' roll test to visually pick out the wobblers, that technique is possible, the difficulty comes when you choose to it visually, there are straight edges and flat surfaces. both the flat surface and straight edge come in handy when sorting cases by length in thousandths with speed and efficiency.

F. Guffey

ranger335v
July 18, 2013, 01:41 PM
ironworkerwill" "I assumed since the bullet "guide" area of the Lee die was over bore it allowed the bullet to cant. Since BT bullets are conical and sit neatly on the inside chamfer they are seated square."

Lee's bullet guide is usually very tight, so tight that many cast bullet shooters buy other brands to get a sloppier fit to avoid damaging their slightly over large lead bullets.

The tapered base of a boat tail bullet effectively accomplishes what proper chamfering and/or a bit of belling does for flat based bullets.

Forster (and Redding's copy) seaters work better than others because of their cartridge length sleeve which aligns the full case and bullet before seating begins. NO other brands of threaded seater's do that. (But nothing can seat straight in a bad case neck.)

No matter how you try it, it's impossible to spot low but still bad bullet or neck run out by rolling on anything, our eyes simply can't follow that small a change on something moving. Most chambers are tight enough to straighten massively tilted bullets. Only a decent run out gauge such as Sinclair's can tell us both how much off axis our ammo really is and, more importantly, can help us identify how/where it's happening so it can be corrected for.

ironworkerwill
July 18, 2013, 04:18 PM
As I have stated above "budget based equipment". I've never had the money to use on just what ever reloading gage I WANT. I can want in one hand and sneeze in the other. Only now in my life do I have a good bit of spending money for Will. I've had to Improvise - a lot.

ranger335v
July 18, 2013, 07:27 PM
"Only now in my life do I have a good bit of spending money for Will. I've had to Improvise - a lot."

Wife and kids will do that and a lot of us understand, a real man has proper priorities but some of us don't.

Good luck!

Woolecox
July 18, 2013, 09:47 PM
You obviously know what you are doing Bro! I think all the things you mentioned will tighten up your groups (which are excellent already). With good optics you should be able to shoot way out there with that rifle with confidence. Good bedded stock is a must for accuracy.

How are you sizing and prepping your brass? I think that is just as important as precision seating and alignment of bullets.

We all can relate to the "funding" issues. I started out in 1984 with a factory Ruger in 25-06, a RockChucker, and the very basic set of RCBS dies. The gun scope and all cost me less than $400. The barrel is heinously shot out (though my buddy took a decent white tail with it last year), I still have the rifle, press, and all. I have just manage to slowly piece together some pretty nice stuff over the last 3 decades. It just takes time for most of us.

I just try to buy good stuff when I can. I know it will last several generations and work great.

ironworkerwill
July 18, 2013, 10:22 PM
Thanks guys family first always.

The lee die is .288 rcbs is .286 in the guide areas.

The lee has a short guide area .15 while the rcbs is the whole length past the crimp.

The bullet can be moved the entire tolerance of both tip guides. That is the o.d. Of the guide to the I.d of the die(or in the case of the lee it would be the cap). Rcbs is .006 lee is .043

The lee has .04 head wiggle on a fl sized case as the rcbs has .02

These measurements indicated to me that the rcbs die should seat with the least amount of run out.

ironworkerwill
July 18, 2013, 10:32 PM
Well the wind doesn't blow in Alabama summers less its gonna rain..and that helps just as long as you don't run out of blood to feed the skeeters. And the sun doesn't keep your barrel from coolin of makin a mirage that looks like an open bottle of propane shootin across your scope lenses. All the magic happens before 9:00 am.

I just don't know how yall out west shooters do it. The feakin wind blows all the time. I lived in Lawton OK while in the army an 30mph wind is normal.

Walkalong
July 18, 2013, 10:42 PM
the least amount of run outStarts with straight brass. Then and only then do the seaters come into play. I am getting .00025 to .001 run out using Lapua brass, a Redding FL bushing style sizer, 168 Gr SMKs, and either the Forster threaded seater or the Wilson hand die seater (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=181779&d=1364057403). Both seaters seat equally straight. Too much neck tension makes the run out numbers go up.

ironworkerwill
July 19, 2013, 12:26 AM
I've used all sorts of brass with mixed results 243 win brass shot good 5 shot sub moa. Sized up with rcbs fl turned necks to lowest common thickness and seated into lands no crimp.


Most 7mm08 brass shot poorly using the same method minus the Norma brass which shot great

308 Hornady match brass shot good it was fl sized turned chamfered burred. Easy 3 shot .3xx groups. In good conditions and no coffee.

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