Let's make a custom seating die


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Tech Ninja
July 19, 2013, 01:00 AM
Nosler 158 .357 grain hollow points are reasonably priced good quality bullets. The problem is the soft noses are easily compressed by the shallow curve Lee bullet seating die.

Lee Precision will make you a custom die for a fair price but I reload to save money and that means making a die not buying one. But how are you going to do that without any machine tools? Guns were made for hundreds of years without machine tools and that means we can make a simple seating die without any too. Just a hand drill and bench grinder and some files.

And you know a file in your hand is a machine tool.


Go to the hardware store and get a suitably sized bolt. I paid .49 cents.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=186469&stc=1&d=1374209777

Put the bolt in your drill, clamp the drill down to a bench top. Use a file to reduce the diameter to the same diameter as the seating die. 0.352 in this case.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=186470&stc=1&d=1374209777

Move to the bench grinder and grind the side of the bolt head. I had the grinder off to make pictures taking easier.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=186471&stc=1&d=1374209777

Reduce the bolt head thickness. You can make it thicker than the factory seating die.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=186472&stc=1&d=1374209777

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Tech Ninja
July 19, 2013, 01:04 AM
It looks like this after grinding.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=186476&stc=1&d=1374210121

Move the bolt out further in the chuck so you can cut a groove with a file.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=186477&stc=1&d=1374210121

Now file three notches equally spaced around the head.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=186478&stc=1&d=1374210121


The notches allow you to put the seating die in the chuck so you can size the post with a file.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=186479&stc=1&d=1374210121

Tech Ninja
July 19, 2013, 01:06 AM
Polish it up with some emery cloth.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=186480&stc=1&d=1374210292

It fits like this.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=186481&stc=1&d=1374210292

And the result is happy hollow points!

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=186482&stc=1&d=1374210292

41 Mag
July 19, 2013, 05:03 AM
I've made so much stuff like that using my drill press, hacksaw, and files it isn't even funny. Everything from trimmer pilots, and seating stems, to trigger guards and other stuff.

Usually when I need something like this it is either out of stock, or would cost more to ship than the item itself cost.

Long live the frugal machinist.

critter
July 19, 2013, 06:40 AM
I like that.

Walkalong
July 19, 2013, 07:03 AM
Very cool indeed. Nice job.

oneounceload
July 19, 2013, 08:10 AM
Why not just get the RCBS die with multiple seating plugs. Your .49 bolt, plus your electricity and time just cost you $30

cfullgraf
July 19, 2013, 08:27 AM
Why not just get the RCBS die with multiple seating plugs. Your .49 bolt, plus your electricity and time just cost you $30

The entertainment and education values are priceless, though.

Tech Ninja, nice work.

Delmar
July 19, 2013, 08:48 AM
Had a similar issue with my Lee seating die for my 270 Weatherby..it was flattening the nose of my 130 grain ballistic tips. I took a 60 degree countersink and drilled a relief in the center. I is now a happy reloader

Hondo 60
July 19, 2013, 08:48 AM
This is great for those that have the tools.

fguffey
July 19, 2013, 08:53 AM
A Quote" post 7

"Why not just get the RCBS die with multiple seating plugs. Your .49 bolt, plus your electricity and time just cost you $30"

------------------------------------------- ------- --
Tech Ninja. In the real world there is critique and criticism, if the criticism is not objective it is just plain-o b*tch$ng.

The diameter of your seater plug should be the same diameter of the bullet. There seems to be something missing, I would suggest the bullet be supported when forming/punching the hollow points, meaning you could use a cylinder to support the bullet and align the bullet punch/seater plug.

More money: I have RCBS and Lyman bullet lube/sizers, finding/making a top punch would allow for bullet support and punching hollow points.

I can not see punching the hollow point and seating the bullet at the same time.

F. Guffey

Tech Ninja
July 19, 2013, 09:55 AM
This is great for those that have the tools.

It's just ordinary tools that many people have. Certainly stuff that anyone can afford.


The entertainment and education values are priceless, though.

Yep! Someone once said that you are not wasting your time if you enjoyed what you did.


Your .49 bolt, plus your electricity and time just cost you $30

And I have more time than money. Thirty bucks matters to me.

Walkalong
July 19, 2013, 10:00 AM
Making something yourself, priceless.

I would suggest the bullet be supported when forming/punching the hollow points, meaning you could use a cylinder to support the bullet and align the bullet punch/seater plug.
They are already JHPs, he is just using that to his advantage with his unique seater plug.

ranger335v
July 19, 2013, 10:22 AM
"Why not just get the RCBS die with multiple seating plugs. Your .49 bolt, plus your electricity and time just cost you $30"

Why not apply that logic to reloading itself?

Add the costs of loading tools, components, the supposed value of our leisure time and the very real costs of a loading books, bench/room, electicity/heat/cooling, storage shelving, etc, against buying factory and the whole thing is foolish for at least 80% of us.

Maybe you think we could better use our valuable spare time drinking beer and watching TV ??

oneounceload
July 19, 2013, 12:27 PM
Maybe you think we could better use our valuable spare time drinking beer and watching TV ??
I prefer to spend mine shooting more....but to each his own.......

buck460XVR
July 19, 2013, 02:55 PM
Nicely done. I have found that the very slight deformation I get with both the 158 gr .38 caliber and the 240 gr .44 caliber Noslers when using the standard seating plug makes no difference at all when it comes to accuracy/velocity whether they are shot from revolvers or carbines.

Cosmoline
July 19, 2013, 03:03 PM
I've gone the other way and hollowed out the seating die. But that does tend to reform the lead a bit for spitzers in .357 Maximums.

horseman1
July 19, 2013, 03:07 PM
Great job and very innovative!

Jesse Heywood
July 19, 2013, 04:41 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=186471&stc=1&d=1374209777

I was taught not to use the side of the grinder wheel. Weakens the wheel.

Turn the drill 90* and grind the corners down. Then support the drill (or the shaft) and turn the drill on and grind with both the grinder and drill running. The part will come out very round. Doesn't seem to matter which way the drill is turning.

PapaG
July 19, 2013, 08:14 PM
I have made firing pins for side hammer double shotguns this way. Used socket head machine screws.

rcmodel
July 19, 2013, 08:20 PM
I was taught not to use the side of the grinder wheel. Weakens the wheel.+ 1,000!!

I have seen them crack and blow up, badly injuring the grinder person.

They are not designed for side loading, or heat buildup on one side while spinning at 3,600 RPM!!

rc

Safetychain
July 20, 2013, 01:32 AM
"I was taught not to use the side of the grinder wheel. Weakens the wheel." Yes, we all know the safety rules that are provided with our tools. But we usually find that when following all those rules, we are definitely safer but take the shortcuts that come with familiarity to save on time. The side of the wheel usually gives a longer straighter grind and avoids having to constantly redress the wheel. I'm not saying that not following the safety rules is a good thing. How many times when you need to hit something with a hammer, even one blow, do you run down a pair of safety glasses? How many times have you put on safety glasses to put air in a car or bike tire? By the rules, you should. How many who wear normal prescription glasses in place of safety glasses or even know that they are typically not interchangeable? I try to follow the rules but usually don't. By the way, the two rules to follow with a bench grinder is to not stand directly in front of the wheel and wear safety glasses. I do follow those rules, especially the one not standing in front of the wheel as it sure keeps the debris from getting on your clothes and face, even in the eyes with fully enclosed (perforated sides) eye protectors. As a side note: my Craftman grinder has gone through at least 3 wheel changes due to wearing down and at least 25% of my grinding is on the side of the wheel. In 40+ years I have yet to have one come apart, but I will agree a wheel could come apart and probably will now that I've said this, however that is why they all come with a wheel cover that is designed to catch and prevent the explosive wheel disintegration.

Tech Ninja, very good tutorial and pictures. I find it very satisfying to do-it -yourself little projects like this. Hang, that's why I started reloading in the first place. Even though I have found a small stoneaged little lathe, I still use the battery powered drill and sometimes the drill press with a side angle grinder to get it done faster if exactness is not required.

Captaingyro
July 20, 2013, 07:54 AM
Jesse Heywood: Excellent tip about running both the drill and the grinder. I love learning little bits of expertise like that. Thanks!

Peter M. Eick
July 28, 2013, 06:38 AM
Nice job. I am impressed at your results and have to hand it too you for doing it.

GW Staar
July 28, 2013, 12:20 PM
And then there is the other "time" factors:

1. What you made you have....now, not a week from now. Matters when you need/want it now.

2. Some things you build just aren't available any other way.

Good job!

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