Custom Seating Stem

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ArchAngelCD, Sep 19, 2017.

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  1. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I'm thinking about making a few custom profile bullet seating stems. I don't own or have access to the machinery to fabricate new stems so I'm looking for an easy way to modify existing stems.

    I was thinking of using hot glue. Anyone ever try that? Any suggestions are welcome, thank you.
     
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  2. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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  3. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I completely forgot about those options, thanks.
     
  4. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    Can't imagine hot glue would last, so ya JB Weld might work.
     
  5. noylj

    noylj Member

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    My "concern" is how do you ensure that it is "square," so you don't have it off center. Seems that having a well-fit seating stem that is off center would defeat most of the reason to have a custom seating stem.
    Personally, most of my custom seating stems are made by Lee for not much money.
     
  6. redbullitt

    redbullitt Member

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    Epoxy here. Made a few flat seaters. I filled the seater and then sanded it flat. I used sandpaper on a piece of granite counter top, so it is quite level. I find the flat seater does most pistol bullets that I use very well!

    Works like a charm. No more rounded off 10mm gold dots for me lol.
     
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Apply the epoxy in the seater, coat the bullet lightly with oil, run it up in the die, rotate, run it up, rotate, run it up. Should give good results.

    Me too.
     
  8. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    If you have a drill press, you can chuck the seating stem in the press, and after putting a dab of epoxy inside the cavity, run it down on top of the waxed bullet to get a good square fit. Of course, you would do this without turning on the press............. Just use the press and the flat surface of the press table to get good alignment and then trim off the excess.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
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  9. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    I thought I saw some custom seating plugs in the latest Redding catalog. It was only a few for match bullets only.
     
  10. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    OP always has the option of buying "custom" seating stems but that's not what the OP posted for this thread.

    Some of us like to "tinker" :D
     
  11. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Yup, what fun would it be if I just bought them? Besides, like many reloaders I'm frugal. (read cheap) :thumbup:

    I thank everyone for all the above suggestions. They are all very helpful.
     
  12. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    The OP also said, "Any suggestions are welcome..."

    Contact the manufacturer of your dies. Not long ago. RCBS and Lee would modify their stock stems for you if you send them the bullets and a modest fee. I assume they still offer this service.
     
  13. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    It has to be a quality drill press. The $39 one I got from Harbor Freight that basically just holds a wire wheel has so much play that I wouldn't trust it to be square.
     
  14. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    hdwhit,
    bds is correct, I did not ask about buying stems. Yes I said I don't have the machinery to fabricate stems but you left off half of what I said.
    Please try not to cause this thread to drift. It happens way to often. Thank you for your suggestions.
     
  15. jell-dog

    jell-dog Member.

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    ArchAngelCD,
    I have made "custom" seating stems like this:
    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/made-some-custom-seating-stem-modifications.780903/#post-9917594
    I have Lee dies so the "stock" stems only cost about $7 each, besure you get correct stem for caliber of bullet you are making a "custom" stem for:D
    By the way, plug the hollow point bullet or it will stick to your new stem (don't ask how I knowo_O
    [​IMG]

    Bullet Seating Plugs


    Starting with a Lee bullet seating plug, I drill the end deep enough that the bullet ogive rests on the rim of the hole in the plug. I use one of the paste type 2-part epoxies that come in a tube. After I mix up the epoxy, I fill the hole I drilled in the end of the plug level with the end of the plug. I coat the bullet with white grease as a mold release and insert the bullet tip into the epoxy which will ooze out around the bullet. The trick to keeping the bullet and plug in alignment is to clamp them between the jaws of a good vise. Because the bullet bottoms on the ogive instead of the tip it will self center, and the jaws will keep the bases of the bullet and plug parallel. Once the plug and bullet are held securely in the vise, you can wipe away the excess epoxy that has oozed our around the bullet. After the epoxy has cured at least overnight, I bridge the bullet on a low metal edge and tap the side lightly with a brass hammer as I rotate the plug until it pops loose. Enough epoxy will remain on the bullet that you probably don't want to try to use it, so I use it for a dummy load for setting up my press.
    For hollow points, I stuff the tip with paper to keep the epoxy from getting inside and making it more difficult to separate them.
    Hope it works for you.
    JD
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  16. dgod
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    dgod Contributing Member

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    I made one for belling my 243 cases, there wasn't one in the die set I have. I don't remember the size of the Lee de-priming rod (Solid Steel), I started with, but I cut the bottom of the rod off, that left the rod slightly larger than the 243 case, so I could then load Lead bullets without shaving them. I'm sure a little research would yield the size needed to do something similar.

    Dan
     
  17. Dentite

    Dentite Member

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    I "made" custom seating stems for 9mm and .45 ACP. My dillon .45 stem was making a slight crease in my bullet.

    I bought two extra seating stems, roughed up the internal aspect, lubed the bullets with Redding/Imperial sizing wax, and rigged up a setup to keep it square. I used deep wall sockets on a level surface to keep everything level.

    I used JB weld for mine.

    Here's some pics...in the picture that shows the loaded .45 ACP round, you can see the crease I was getting on the bullet. Customizing the insert remedied that.

    I even got nerdy and stamped the bullet specs on the seating stem/insert.

    IMG_7668 1000.jpg

    IMG_7671 1000.jpg

    IMG_7689 1000.jpg
     
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  18. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Nice work.
     
  19. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I'll agree with using JB Weld. It is reasonably tough and it is easy to work with. It sands and cuts fairly easy.

    The alternate is to get the die manufacturer to make a custom seater.
     
  20. 30Cal

    30Cal Member

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    I've messed with hot glue trying to seat a truncated cone bullet (9mm) in a dillon die. Didn't work. If your bullets tend to start out very straight to begin with, it may work out, but the hot glue is grippy and won't let things slip into place like you want them to.
     
  21. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, very nice.
     
  22. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    JB Weld is just epoxy with powdered metal in it instead of fibreglass.
    "...seat a truncated cone bullet..." Seats with a regular SWC/HP seater. Been using 'em for eons. A slightly rounded GD isn't going to matter either.
    "...belling my 243 cases..." Rifle cases get chamfered, not flared.
     
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