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9mm Bullets Seating Crooked

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Cokeman, Oct 25, 2020.

  1. Cokeman

    Cokeman Member

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    I am loading 9mm for the first time and the 115 gr Berry’s bullets are seating crooked. My dies are RCBS. I posted a few times about it in another thread but thought I should start a new thread. Here is info from that thread explaining what is happening.

    I tried seating a bullet and I think it’s slightly crooked. I used the RN seating stem, not the FP. I noticed that it didn’t fit the bullet nose exactly. I think the stem was designed for a less pointed fatter bullet. I put the bullet in the case and thought I had it straight. When I seated it, it looked like it was leaning to one side a little bit. I drop the round into the chamber of a barrel, and it went in just as far as a factory round. It did not slide out as easily as the factory round, but I have not crimped it yet. I did not want to do that in case I have to pull the bullet. Both go in the chamber the exact same amount though. You can see the bullet leaning slightly to the left in the picture.

    [​IMG]

    I rolled the round on the table and can see that the bullet point is off center as it spins. Here are the two rounds that I loaded. You can see that they are leaning towards each other.

    upload_2020-10-25_1-0-40.jpeg

    What am I doing wrong? I searched other posts and even other sites. Some say that I should flare the case less. Some say to flare the case more. Some say I need to buy other seating stems. Any ideas?
     
  2. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    I don’t recall if the RCBS expander is an M-type die or not, if so, more flare will put a small step that the bullet is set on to keep it straight as it’s seated.

    Your round was more difficult to remove from the barrel because the flare was not removed from the case, not that the bullet was crooked in the bore. Though, I imagine that could happen.

    Your bullet’s noses could still be striking the seating stem before the ogive, causing mis alignment, but the 9mm has always been a rather pointy bullet. Your dies should work. Take apart the seating dies and observe the fit of the stem to the bullet. They make just not like each other.
    RCBS may sell another profile stem. Or you could modify it by drilling it deeper or honing it out with a stone.
    I have used several bullets, sand paper and lapping compound to match the ogive on rifle bullets and stop leaving seating lines. Depending on the fit issue here that may or may not work. It was much less metal to remove on a rifle die.


    Good luck with the investigation!
    Tell us what you find out.:thumbup:
     
  3. ih772

    ih772 Member

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    I had the same issue with Berry's 9mm and my RCBS seating die. Berry's RN 9mm bullets don't fit the rcbs seating stem properly.

    Here's what I did to fix the issue....
    Take a small and loosely packed ball of aluminum foil about the size of a pea and insert it into the seating die just far enough so it doesn't fall out.
    Take a .223 case and put it upside down in the shell holder so that the case neck sticks down into the hole that the spent primers fall through.
    Place one of your berry's bullets on the base of the upside down .223 case and gently raise the bullet/case combo into the seating die pushing the foil ball until it hits the seating stem.
    Once you have gently pushed the aluminum ball all the way into the seating die and you feel it bottom out on the seating stem, Lower the bullet/case combo about and 1/8 to a 1/4 inch inside the seating die then quickly raise it back up until it hits the foil ball. What you are doing in this stage of the process is using the berry's bullet to lightly hammer the foil into a shape that fills the voids between the seating stem face and the nose profile of the bullet. Many light taps are better than a few heavy ones. You will get to a point where you can no longer feel the foil being compressed and it sounds like you are hitting against something solid.
    Remove the bullet and case combo and try and seating some bullets like you normally would and see if they are no longer crooked.
    It might take a couple of tries at forming the foil ball correctly but when it's done properly bullets will be centered perfectly and seat like they should.

    When the time comes that you want to try a different bullet you can unscrew the seating stem and push the foil ball out of the die with a wooden or plastic rod of your choice. Make sure you save the foil so you don't have to reform another one when you want to use the bullets that go with that particular piece foil. I keep mine in the case with the dies.
     
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  4. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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  5. Bill M.

    Bill M. Member

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    A Redding competition seating die will put them in straight. Probably there are other ways too, but that die does do the job.
     
  6. noylj

    noylj Member

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    1) Use Hornady seating die (has floating sleeve to keep bullet aligned)
    2) Get custom seating stems. Contact bullet low on ogive and not at all on meplat.
    3) Get Lyman M-die. Didn't do a thing for me, but many swear by them
    4) Manually use a Lee bullet feeder with a Lee seating die (Lee makes excellent and inexpensive seating stems to fit bullets better--I just tell them what I want and send a few bullets)
    5) Use more case mouth flare and seat bullet into case enough that you can remove case/bullet from shell plate, turn case upside down, and bullet does not fall out.
     
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  7. mdi

    mdi Member

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    I'd try adding more flare (which will be removed with a taper crimp die in the next step) or get a Lyman M die...
     
  8. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    I don't think I would flare the case any more since I cannot see where the base of the bullet sits, even tho it is seated crooked. I'd rather have a crooked bullet than no neck tension in 9mm. I'm thinkin' it's the seating stem. One can send their bullet to RCBS and they will make you a custom one for a minimal price. I know of folks that have used hot glue to make their own custom seating plug. If it was me and I was going to load thousands of rounds with the same quality bullet, I'd probably contact RCBS and have a custom stem made. Otherwise, if it's just cheap plinking ammo I was after, I doubt if the slight angle of the bullet would impact accuracy as much as the use of a cheap plated bullet. It's gonna straighten out in the barrel.
     
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  9. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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    maybe an illusion, but those bullets look extremely deep, I would first suspect the base is hitting the web taper, and pushing it in some other direction. If not, I would consider washed bullets aren't all that straight to begin with.

    Lee die user, they seat everything straight, so if you cant get it fixed, thats an option, at least in a few months.
     
  10. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Here's a pic of that bullet. You can tell by the profile of the Ogive that the OP is not seating it deep enough to contact the case web. It is in fact, a very shallow seated bullet due to this.

    20200720122703_9mm115grRN.jpg
     
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  11. PWC

    PWC Member

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    When I load for rifle, I start the bullet, lower the ram rotate the case 1/3rd and re-raise the ram, repeat for 3 times total; doing the " double pump" works for me on rifle and
    .38. Does not add to time significantly.
     
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Even with sleeved seaters, which are nice, you still need to start the bullet straight, concentrate on doing this, the M-Die or one of the copies helps do this.

    So for straight pistol rounds, it is hard to beat the m die and a sleeved seater, but you still need to start them straight.
     
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  13. film495

    film495 Member

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    when you seat the bullet, just touch it, then rotate the bullet 1/4 turn in the shell holder, and just basically touch it as you rotate the bullet around, just tap it a few times as the bullet starts into the case. I don't think you would ever notice any practical difference in accuracy with the pics of the couple cartridges you posted, but if you are target shooting, you might - or just a stuckler for things really being correct, the aluminum foil trick sounds like it would work to center better. you could also email RCBS and tell them the issue. I did this for just a question once, and they sent me parts that worked to solve my issue, and they refused when I offered to pay for the parts.
     
  14. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    The link I posted above found no difference in accuracy between straight and crooked bullets.
     
  15. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    To the OP; if your ammo chambers in the barrel, ignore the crookedness. It does not affect accuracy (according to the article at the link) so there is nothing to worry about.
     
  16. Johnnyd

    Johnnyd Member

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    Have you verified you are using the correct seating plug? You should be using the cupped plug and not the flat plug. It may be my eyes but from the second picture it looks like all of the flare is not being removed.
     
  17. Fatelvis

    Fatelvis Member

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    That experiment yielded some surprising results. I have to say I am shocked! Thanks for sharing that.
     
  18. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    It surprised me too. I'd have bet money that crooked seated bullets would have produced larger groups.
     
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  19. Typetwelve

    Typetwelve Member

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    I load plenty of Berry's 115g 9mm and there's times when they do the same thing, seat a little crooked. I'm doing my work on a Dillon 550 and their own 9mm dies, BTW. At first it really bothered m but they have always chambered 100% and give me no notable accuracy issues. They do seat deeper, BTW, I've loaded them from 1.130" to 1.100" and all work fine, the 1.130" just lose some umph is all. I've had the best results seating them to 1.100" OAL, give or take.
     
  20. JJFitch

    JJFitch Member

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    My solution to mitigate crooked seating is to rotate the case as I'm raising the ram and seating the bullet.

    I'm using the Dillon SDB and Hornady LNL and Hornady dies. I see no difference in seating Berry's, Xtreme or my cast lead RNFP bullets.

    All the best,
     
  21. Bill M.

    Bill M. Member

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    Nice article. Nice pictures. But...with jacketed bullets. I wonder how the test would have turned out with the Berrys plated bullets the OP is loading?

    I bought and use the Redding die that was shown in the article. It does put the bullet in straight. I do not think my group sizes went down when I got it. I might get a Lyman M die when they are in stock again. I like my bullets to look straight. I can shoot nowhere near the levels of accuracy the article is talking about. What I do like about the article is that it shows how the M die actually produces straigher bullets. Worth it to me whether it makes them more accurate or not. Those were very good shooting guns and loads by my standards.
     
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  22. Fatelvis

    Fatelvis Member

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    I use this powder-through “M style” expander on my RL550, when loading all of my handgun ammunition. It allows you to load progressively, but use the M style while doing it.
    https://lousgunwork.com/
     
  23. Bill M.

    Bill M. Member

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    Wonder if Lee will offer a M expander for their throuigh the powder expanding dies? I wonder if one could make one from a standard Lee flared expander? I hate to give up the Auto drum powder dispensing.
     
  24. Cokeman

    Cokeman Member

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    I think the foil trick worked. There might have been a few that were still crooked, but I’m not sure. I made sure each bullet was straight before seating. I also used the advice on spinning the case around to make sure the bullet was straight and did the 180 degree thing. Thanks!
     
  25. noylj

    noylj Member

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    >I'd rather have a crooked bullet than no neck tension in 9mm
    This is very backwards. More flare will not reduce neck tension per se. Of course, if improving your reloading and accuracy doesn't matter, then simply use the Lee FCD to iron out the bulge and be happy.
    Idea is to START the bullet straight.
    Also, just so everyone knows, you should ALWAYS, but particularly with 9x19 cases, try to push the bullet into the case with thumb or finger pressure after seating bullet (any bullet movement/change in COL is a rejected round). I say particularly 9x19 as that is the cartridge I see the largest variations in case wall thickness.
     
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  26. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

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