9mm neck tension

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by AJC1, Jun 2, 2021.

  1. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Found 2 cases out of the 380 ish I have reloaded in the last two days that had very bad low neck tension. My process has 2 places to identify this problem. First is in the expander die and second is bullet seating. Got me curious how progressive guys monitor for this important item. Both cases were deprimed and recycled.
     
  2. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    It's really a non-issue. It's simply one of the numerous "features" that you get with the more expensive reloading machines.

    Please understand, I am NOT knocking any brand. All I'm simply saying is that when you pay more, then all these type bugs and issues seem to be gone. Yes, they are VERY hard to quantify at the time of the sale. So you won't see it mentioned in anyone's sales brochure.

    Let me explain it this way.... If you drive 5 miles to work, then a Fiat does great. It's not my vision of a car, but I'm not knocking those who drive them because there are very personal reasons to buy a Fiat. But when you drive the Fiat from Florida to Alaska, then some little issues start to show up that never showed up in 3 years of commuter driving. Little vibrations and noises that can annoy.

    That's all I'm saying. And I can't explain it any better than that.
     
  3. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    I pray this is sarcasm...
     
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  4. IMtheNRA

    IMtheNRA Member

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    In my case, the problem was the Hornady resizing die I used when I first started reloading. When I switched to Dillon dies in one press, and a Lee U-die in another, I never had another 9 mm round with poor neck tension again, regardless of what brand brass I use.
     
  5. Hugger-4641

    Hugger-4641 Member

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    I know we're talking about 9mm here,, but I am also curious about rifle cases. According to David Tubbs, neck tension doesn't matter if you are seating into the lands (jam). I don't do this either, so I guess I follow the Erik Cortina line of thought on this one. I know I've watched Erik uses a neck tension gauge in one video, but I haven't seen this as part of his press , it was a separate operation and I'm not sure if he was testing every round.
    So I am also curious if this is commonly done in some way on a progressive press during one of the stages or if it is a separate step?
     
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  6. Soonerpesek

    Soonerpesek Member

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    AJ......any chance that the bullet itself was "out -of-spec"...?
    What type/brand are you using, or did you cast them...?

    I load on a Dillon 550, and haven't noticed that issue, but the only way I randomly check is pushing the finished round against the bench and measuring the COAL. I don't really pay a lot of attention to that particular aspect unless an issue arises...
     
  7. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    One of the cases had a little crack that I found in post inspection and one is not understood. The reality is that progressive reloaders have no idea and no form of quality control. This is exactly the reason for hydroseaters to monitor neck tension while seating, I was just pointing out that progressives are not with error.
     
  8. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    I pulled it and loaded it in the next case. These were win cases and rmr bullets. I'm betting the second one was just a thin case.
     
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  9. NMexJim

    NMexJim Member

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    If we’re talking rifle, I have a lot of control with a progressive. Same as I would have with a single stage. Case prep is king.

    Pistol is more about controlling flare and crimp to me, but it’s the same principal. Know how much you’re flaring and what your crimp dims are and don’t let either get too far out of wack.
     
  10. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    That is a very general statement (broad brush?) and likely isn't based on published research or data.

    If you are loading a progressive press and placing the bullets by hand, you can feel when a case is lacking neck tension as you are placing the bullet into the case mouth.

    If you are using a bullet feeder, you'll feel the difference in effort required when seating the bullet. If you miss that, you'll likely see it as the bullet travels to the crimping station..

    I have both set ups on my bench (Hornady LNL AP and Dillon 750) and have never missed a cartridge which was lacking neck tension
     
  11. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    If your sizing, seating crimping flaring and powder while possibly trimming at the same time you feel bullet seating. I disagree.
     
  12. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    If only the title read 9mm......
     
  13. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    It is very easy as the effort isn't the same, plus there is the visual clue when viewing the OAL before it goes into the crimp die

    While I don't trim pistol brass on my progressive...loading on the Dillon 750 with a Mr Bulletfeeder...I perform all the other functions when loading 9mm. I'm not saying that everyone can feel the difference.

    I wonder if the fact that I lube the cases before loading them makes a difference...it certainly reduces the effort needed to run the handle. I usually only load 800-1200 rounds during a session
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2021
  14. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    I run mixed HS range brass that has been wet tumbled and lubed and can tell you there are varied efforts every pull of the progressive handle but I’ve not equated that to a reduced neck tension problem. If it’s very little effort it’s usually a .380 case, or a case that has been sized/deprimed already.
    I do have a Shockbottle 100 rd gauge that I use and my loads are proud of the gauge so I check for consistent COL, then run a heavy hand over them. It’s not going to be a perfect QC check but it should catch a very low or no neck tension. Good luck.
     
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  15. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Then please identify the brand of press and dies you use which, by your reckoning, left you with 2 sub-standard cases.
     
  16. forrest r

    forrest r Member

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    Myself, I'm on the picky side when I comes to the 9mm's and reloading. I typically only use ww, fc & blazer cases and inspect them for excessive scratches/wear.

    Everything else gets either tossed out or into the load/use 1 time and then scrap pile.

    The other thing I decided to do seeing's how I only shoot my own cast bullets anymore is to make a custom expander and use nothing but .358" in diameter bullets. Doing this allows me to use the same bullets in the 9mm, 38spl & 357's. Lack of case neck tension is a non issue with the .358" bullets.

    Been thinning the herd for the last couple years downsizing the the boxes of 9mm brass I had laying around. In the last batch I did there were a couple old s&w headstamps, they quit making ammo in the early 90's. There was this piece of brass in there also.
    Y0Vr9FI.jpg
     
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  17. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    I know what your saying and I agree. I had some 9mm cases that no matter what I did to them I could not get any neck tension on them. They were all the same headstamp and all that headstamp got scrapped when I found those four or five cases.
    I found them at the seating die.
    I use a tension gauge to check my neck tension with.
    tension gauge.jpg I quit loading mixed 9mm brass quite a while ago due to problems like this and the fact that quality control was just to difficult with it.
    Sorting brass for in a progressive helps me feel bad brass in my resizing die.
    The feel of the resizing die is also more consistent.
    The only way I feel it in my seating die is if I resize ahead of time. Then it's easier to feel something that is out of sorts.
    Sometimes it's my imagination and sometimes it isn't. I also spot check with this tension gauge the same time I spot check my powder.
    I learned a long time ago, when I feel something odd in my LNL-AP, whether I think it's my imagination or not, it get's checked.
    I pick out the difficult to resize cases at the sizing die and scrap them also, I figure they have been shot to many times and they cause OAL issues.
    I can usually find a split case in the resizing die also and if I miss it there I usually find it in seating die due to the way the bullet seats.

    You would be amazed as to what you can feel in a progressive press once you tune in on it.
     
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  18. KentM

    KentM Member

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    I've always wondered how the progressives do quality control. When I resize I'm constantly aware of how much pressure I'm using, especially for rifle rounds. If a casing feels little hard, then I stop and reinspect the case and relube it. The same goes for bullet seating - if the force required is unusual, then I take a look there. But if you're resizing, decapping, powder dropping, bullet seating, and possibly crimping on 4 different shells, all at the same time, how can you get any feedback of how things are going? Especially if you don't have both a shell casing feeder and a bullet feeder, I'd think you would be so busy with all that motion that it would be hard to keep track. Not saying it doesn't work, just wondering how.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2021
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  19. Mark_Mark

    Mark_Mark Member

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    just crimp the neck tension out
     
  20. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    and that’s when the fight started :rofl:
     
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  21. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    First I batch load on a SS press. But it seems a stacking of tolerences issue. The sizing die is doing a minimal job there. Good for not overworking the brass but not so much for providing good neck tension. Some brands of dies do this on purpose I understand. Then inter a particularly thin brass neck. Assuming the expander and bullet are still sized as they are supposed to be, if not more problems. You end up with the bullet loose on that round. I am happy I still have the luxury of being able to load all I will use on a SS press. Also why I hand prime off the press. I feel the primer seat and know it will function correctly. Just sayi'n.
     
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  22. Dudedog
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    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    More crimp won't fix poor neck tension.
    I have three 9mm sizers 2 Lee one Hornady.
    Both the Lees size tighter but every now and then if you use range brass you will get some that just won't have any tension...bad brass.
     
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  23. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    I guess I have just been living on the edge. I never gave much thought to 9mm "neck tension" Loaded on a single stage, Turret and Progressive.
    Thousands of rounds and no issues.

    How anyone can claim to "feel" a difference of neck tension on a progressive is beyond me?? The only difference I can feel is if a piece of brass has been deprimed? I just de-prime and resize on the press, so if a previously deprimed makes into the mix, I can feel it. Also can not feel any difference between mixed brass, it;s not that sensitive.
     
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  24. Mark_Mark

    Mark_Mark Member

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    Wait till I get home for pics... I’m using 95gn SP 380 bullets in a 9mm, shoots great and accurate, getting 1525 with 7.5 of AC. but back it down to 7.0 of AC for 1450.

    Well, I was not getting good neck tension, So I gave it a nice hug with Lee Hugging Crimp Die
     
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  25. chamokaneman

    chamokaneman Member

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    My final QA is to give my pullets a push on the bench edge before I put them in the ammo can.
     
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