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need die advice

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by remmag, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. remmag

    remmag Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    hey guys
    somewhat new to reloading , but doing well with it so far

    i have been loading 45 apc with semi wad cuters using a lee die for seating

    i beleive the seating die is more for round nose bullets, no matter what i do not get consistant seating depth

    is there a die made for the flat nose of a semi wad cutter

    thank you
  2. eam3clm@att.net

    eam3clm@att.net Active Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    How much variance is there? You will have some variance due to the sight differences in the bullets and the contact point with the seater, when the seater plug mates with your bullet as it goes into the seater plug. Pull the seater plug out and see where it makes contact with the bullet. You should be able to turn the seater plug over in the die and the flat end will hit on the nose of the bullet ( at least on mine). Also with commercial cast bullets, the bullets are most likely casted using several molds that will vary. Measure a sample of just the bullets and see what the range of variance is before you go buy a new die. Also pay attention of how you place the bullet on the case when seating. I have noticed that if the bullet is tilted one way and on the next round it is tilted the other, I will have an increased variance in the two rounds. I use a lee cast SWC in my 45acp with the lee seater die. I know lyman makes different profile seater plugs, but there is no guarantee that they will work better.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  3. rikman

    rikman Active Member

    Jan 3, 2004
    People's Republic of IL
    Without knowing what dies you have it's hard to guess. Check your instructions. On some seating diess the seating stem can be flipped over for a flat nose bullet.

    Or it could just be the bullets ogive. I am currently loading 45acp 230gr fmj that are plated and having a hell of a time getting consistent lengths.I've heard this is more common with plated bullets vs FMJ's. I'm using a Redding Competition seater.

    I asked my friend who is an NRA reloading instructor and he said not to worry so much about length with 45acp since it's not a high pressure round like 40sw.

    Yesterday I bought a box of Remington 45acp to measure what the factory does and they were ALL over the place. 1.24- to 1.265 and I didnt get to all of them.

    Make a dummy and make sure it fits and extracts ok vi the "pluck test:...theres' a thred here some where with pics on what to look for.
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Nov 20, 2006
    I do not know about the Lee, but RCBS dies come, or at least they did, with two seater plugs. One is designed for SWC's and other flat point bullets.

    Using a round plug will make the OAL vary a bit more, and can deform the nose a bit, but you'll never see the accuracy difference on paper, unless you are really, really, good.
  5. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Apr 24, 2008
    Hot and Humid FL
    I know my RCBS dies come with different seating stems for different bullets - RN, SWC, WC etc.
  6. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Senior Member

    Aug 16, 2009
    If you send a couple of bullets to Lee, they will make a seating stem to fit it.

    I don't know what (or if) they charge for that.

    Before you go to that trouble, you might want to pull the seating stem out and see how it fits your bullet's nose. You might find it gunked up with bullet lube and cleaning it out once in a while will make it seat with better consistency.

    eam3clm@att.net pointed out an important fact. If the bullet is tilted, usually shoving it into the case straightens it out, but if the lead deforms or it doesn't get perfectly straight there might be some variation in overall length. Setting the bullet straight on the case will probably take care of this, but also, try this trick:

    When seating, just after the bullet nose contacts the seating stem, lower the ram of your press just a fraction of an inch, then seat the bullet the rest of the way. See if that helps.

    But here is the most likely cause of OAL variation: The bullets themselves have slightly different nose shapes. Look carefully at the profile of several bullets. Measure the actuall length of the slugs. Lastly, paint the bullets' nose with a felt-tip marker (dry-erase type) and, after seating them see where the marking from the seating stem is in relation to the bullet nose.

    The seating stem's "socket" should contact the entire surface of the bullet, but this rarely happens. Usually there is a ring of contact. If there is a crescent of contact, then something is off-center. If the ring of contact varies in position, your bullet's have differently shaped noses and will never have consistent OAL

    Do some detective work. It's fun. Especially when you solve the puzzle. It's like hitting your head against a brick wall. It feels really good when you stop.

    Lost Sheep.
  7. GLOOB

    GLOOB Mentor

    Sep 16, 2007
    You can also make one, yourself. And it costs only a couple bucks for spare seating stems. I have extra seating stems for all my pistol dies.


    For a wadcutter or semiwadcutter, all you need is a flat seating stem. This is easy to make. Chuck it in a drill, and cut the seating stem flat. You can use a bench grinder/ sander, die grinder, or even a Dremel with a cutoff disc, if the seater plug extends far enough past the chuck. Or use a Dremel with a carbide bit, and you can carve a small flat spot in the end of the plug just big enough for the SWC you're using. Another way to do it is to put some hard epoxy in the seating stem. Then lube the bullet, set it on your bench, and stick the seater plug atop it, so it points straight up.

    BUT that said, I'm curious what kind of bullet you're using, and the hardness. I've never had any problems seating hard cast SW or FP bullets with a round seater. The only bullets that have ever given me issues are plated FP's or jacketed HP's.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  8. JLDickmon

    JLDickmon Active Member

    Mar 15, 2012
    Comstock, MI
    precisely why I use them as well
  9. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Mentor

    Sep 6, 2009
    Manitowoc, WI
    Contact Lee.
    They have (or can make) a bullet seater stem for you.

    Yes, you could go with an expensive die set,
    but I've found no appreciable difference in the
    different die sets.
    (9 Lee, 1 Dillon, 1 RCBS, & 1 Redding)
  10. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Participating Member

    Feb 15, 2005
    For those who care about accuracy, SWCs are seated on their shoulder, not the nose. Ask an experienced Bullseye shooter.
    Several guys make seaters for the Dillon dies and I believe RCBS does or did offer a SWC shoulder seater as well.

  11. remmag

    remmag Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    thanks for all the replies , i am reading through them now
  12. remmag

    remmag Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    my die is a lee seating die, i am using missouri bullet 200 grain swc bullets

    my range in seating depth is from 1.262 to 1.269, .007 difference

    also i am crimping in a seperate step, my die will crimp as well but i would think i have more control in a seperate step

    also i did try and was not able to flip my seater plug


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