Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Issues with my dies

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by hadmanysons, Apr 7, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. hadmanysons

    hadmanysons Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Messages:
    582
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I have two sets of dies, a 30-06 Lee Pacesetter set and a 308 Deluxe set. I have noticed that with the seating dies for both cartridges, COAL can vary as much as .015" That is really annoying because if I want to get as exact as possible I have to back off the depth adjustment every time and slowly dial it down with each round to reach the same or approximate COAL. The OAL length of the brass shouldn't affect COAL because the bottom of the die touches the shell holder every time, right? I even trimmed all the brass to the same length, to the best of my ability, and it still came out with this variance. :banghead:

    Am I doing something wrong? Do I have unreasonable expectations for the accuracy of my dies? I realize I didn't spend $85 on a "Competition" seating die but nothing is changing from round to round. The only thing that I could think of would be that maybe the bullets aren't all EXACTLY the same length. I have noticed a few bullets that had a little extra piece at the tip.

    Also, with the Lee Collet neck die for 308, neck tension is really inconsistent. Sometimes a 168gr SMK will get about 3/4 down the boat tail before being held by the neck, sometimes almost all the way, rarely it's about halfway up the boat tail. I know it says a minimum of 25lbs of pressure, which I'm pretty sure I'm applying because I'm flexing the plywood top of my bench a good amount. I'm pretty sure i see the collet move up when the shell holder hits it. How much is it supposed to move?

    Am I doing something wrong here too? Am I retarded? I can except that answer as long as some one tells me how to fix it.
     
  2. Sport45

    Sport45 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2004
    Messages:
    2,783
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Are you measuring length to the ogive or to the bullet tip? The latter is not as important and the bullet causes more variance than the dies typically do. How to the base to ogive measurements compare from round to round?

    I don't have a collet neck sizing die so I can't offer much there. But is the brass all from the same lot? Seems the brass would all have to be the same to get the same neck tension.
     
  3. hadmanysons

    hadmanysons Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Messages:
    582
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I am NOT measuring to the ogive. How does a man of um.... how to say.... fiscally conservative tastes go about doing that?

    The brass IS all from the same lot and fired not but a few minutes apart. All handled the same, tumbled the same, same same same
     
  4. rjbishop

    rjbishop Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Colorado
    What press are you using?

    One of the common problems is you must be sure the shell holder firmly seats against the bottom of the die- this will ensure all the "play" in your press is taken out. Once you have confirmed this, then you set your bullet seating depth.

    I get +- .002 when using Lee dies (and that's measuring OAL, not to the bullet ogive- but of course quality bullets.
     
  5. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Messages:
    5,936
    Location:
    Oregon Coast
    First of all, before you load any of your bullets, measure the lengths of the bullets themselves. You're going to find some variances in bullet lengths.

    You have to understand that the dies aren't pushing on the tip of the bullet when it's being seated. The seating stem is a cone, and contacts the bullet on the ogive. When it pushes the bullet into the neck of the case, the point on the ogive that is being pushed against is the measuring point for the seated bullet, not the tip of the bullet, even though that's what you're measuring. The overall length has more to do with case volume and leade of the chamber than it does with the actual measurement, if that makes any sense to you. Also, in some rifles, a shorter overall length is required for the round to fit in the magazine and feed properly.

    I've probably only confused you with this, but without writing a whole chapter on the subject, this is where your problem lies, not in the brass.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  6. P-32

    P-32 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Messages:
    1,050
    Location:
    the dry side of Washington St
    ReloaderFred hit the nail square on the head. You even got it right.

    Even the SMK's can be a little different in length out of the same box. 15 thousands is a wide spread and I understand the frustration. Keep in mind damage to the base of the bullet does more to affect how a bullet fly's than the nose of the bullet. Most rifle seaters seat by pushing on the ogive of the bullet. Because the end of a match bullet jacket is drawn out and ends up with a small hole, the bullet lenght can be different. To fix this, there are Meplat uniformers which even out the end of the bullet. Most give up on the plan because it is a pain in the arse after a while.

    When I load match ammo I alway make sure a random sample of at least 10 rounds will work in at least one of the mags I use to shoot matches. So far this has always worked to make sure my ammo doesn't hang up in the mags. If I have 1 round hanging up I shorten the entire lot by a couple of thousands and try it again.

    I would make your finished ammo fit your mag and call it good. The Ogive's should be pretty close and thats what counts.

    If your brass is having issues with neck tension, I would suggest maybe it's time for new brass.

    Now for the bad news.....I have a 308 M-1 which is match tuned. The gun plummer said to reload 308 brass no more than 3 times. (M-14/M-1A same rules) I have gone 4 with no ill effects but if your shooting a bolt gun you should get a few more times out of your brass.
     
  7. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Messages:
    2,899
    Location:
    Nicholls,GA South Georgia
    http://www.sinclairintl.com/product/5582/s

    [​IMG]

    Use the above product with your calipers to get an accurate measurement of the OAL using the ogive. There are two sizes of the Hex nut devise that fit just about any caliber bullet.

    Jimmy K
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    48,892
    Location:
    Alabama
    See post above. Works great.

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 7, 2010
  9. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Messages:
    9,392
    Location:
    Hopewell Big Woods
    Seating Depth Oal.

    http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/faq/index.cgi
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
  10. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Messages:
    9,392
    Location:
    Hopewell Big Woods
    Lee Collet neck die

    You may need a smaller custom mandrel from Lee.From Lee website >
     
  11. hadmanysons

    hadmanysons Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Messages:
    582
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Ok. I am using the Lee Breech Lock Press (fiscally conservative, remember). And I am pretty sure that my shell holder is securely in place. I've never felt any play in it up, down, left or right.

    I will give one of those hex nut deals a try. Thanks for clearing that up. Maybe it's not a variation at all and just variation in the bullet length and my stuff has been good to go this whole time.

    As far as the neck tension goes, before this thread I disassembled the collet die to make sure that it was functioning properly, I had been putting my upper body weight into the die and I had been (forced) to try and put a bullet in each case, see it slide down, then neck size and make sure that bullet does not seat by hand. But still, while being as consistent as possible, the neck tension (as felt through force exerted on the ram while seating a bullet) can be very inconsistent.
     
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    This is not correct.
    If you adjust a seating die like that, you will be applying so much crimp the case will wad up in a ball in the die!!

    Firm shell holder contact is necessary for the sizing die.

    But it most certainly isn't for the seating/crimping die.

    rc
     
  13. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,797
    The few Lee "Dead Length" seaters I've used had no crimping ring. They were meant to be used with the shell holder hard against the bottom of the seating die and failure to use it that way negates a good percentage of what that die was designed to provide.

    Mr. Hadmany, for most sporting rifles you are over agonising on OAL trivia. Find a seating depth that shoots good and allow the seating plug to do its thing, the ammo will be fine. No rifle really cares where the tips of the bullets are, they just hang in space.
     
  14. rjbishop

    rjbishop Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Colorado

    Not true, as pointed out by ranger335v above. Lee Pacesetter and Deluxe sets for rifle do not have a crimping ring. Their directions specifically point out the proper adjustment, which is with the shell holder hard against the bottom of the seating die.

    I would agree with you for pistol dies, or other manufacturers rifle dies in some cases.
     
  15. hadmanysons

    hadmanysons Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Messages:
    582
    Location:
    Arkansas
    And normally I wouldn't really worry about it. If I was making some hunting rounds for my 30-06 I wouldn't be stressing about consistency like that but this isn't the case. These are gonna be my loads for my rifle that I built to get out to 1000 yds and anything further that I find it's capable of. That would be why I was being so anal about everything. I'm not saying I don't appreciate your advice, cause I do, I just think I have a little justification for being as nit picky about this as I can be.
     
  16. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Messages:
    9,392
    Location:
    Hopewell Big Woods
    Lee Die Sets so confusing, just buy RCBS

    Die set explanations :rolleyes:

    Pacesetter die set Go here and read > http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/faq/index.cgi

    Includes a full length sizing die, bullet seating die(taper & rolls in same die)., factory crimp die, shell holder, powder dipper and load data.
    This set is recommended for assembling ammunition for hunting purposes as the finished rounds chamber easily and can withstand rough handling of the firearm action.


    Deluxe die set

    Includes both the full length(requires case lubrication) and Collet neck sizing dies, dead length bullet seating dieNo crimp., shell holder, powder dipper and load data.
    This is essentially a Collet die set with the addition of the steel full length sizing die so that one can prepare newly acquired cases for the first firing in the rifle.


     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2010
  17. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,797
    "Lee Die Sets so confusing, just buy RCBS"

    Well, a lack of choices does reduce the potential for confusion. I've seen TV reports of Russians returning home because America is too confusing; so many kinds of green beans and milk, so many colors of skirts and shoes, so many brands and prices of tires and tools, etc.

    To each his own, according to how well he can handle making choices. Personally, I kinda like having as many options as possible, it allows me to better select things that work the way I want them to work.
     
  18. rjbishop

    rjbishop Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Colorado
    243winxb- Thanks for clearing that up. I had forgotten that Pacesetter dies include crimp in the seating die (I only use Deluxe Sets, and buy the factory crimp separately).
     
  19. Duckdog

    Duckdog Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Messages:
    245
    You need to measure to the bullets olgive for an accurate measurement with either that hex nut, or a Stoney Point comparatator for measuring the bullets overal length, as the brass and bullets are not anywhere close to being the same, as was mentioned above. I have never had an issue with the dies, but rather the other variables. Ive even made my own collets for measuring different calibers, such as 44, 45, etc and as long as they ride on the bullets olgive in a certain spot consistently, it will work just fine.
     
  20. hadmanysons

    hadmanysons Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Messages:
    582
    Location:
    Arkansas
    So 243winxb, What I get from your previous post is that the collet die should be screwed in far enough that the shell holder touches the bottom of the die BODY and not just the collet. That could be my problem, that my shell holder isn't closing the collet enough because the ram reaches it max stroke before it can close the collet all the way.
     
  21. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    Messages:
    9,392
    Location:
    Hopewell Big Woods
    Yes but collet die needs turned down 1 more turn. OR > After the bottom of the die touches the shell holder with ram/shell holder full up, lower the ram/shell holder and turn die down 1 more turn. Or in other words, after making contact, screw the collet die down 1 more turn, if press cams over type 2 turns down. I do NOT own a Lee collet die, just reading instructions. :D
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page