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Lee 45acp die problems, I'm going nuts!!!

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Red_Dog_Leader, Aug 1, 2007.

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  1. Red_Dog_Leader

    Red_Dog_Leader Member

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    Ok, after a succesfull run of almost 800 rnds of 9 MM I statred doing .45ACP's

    200LSWC, ~125 of 'em, worked great.

    Now I'm tryin to do Raniers 230 TCJ-RN, and below is whats happening

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    1 or 2 good ones then 1 or 2,3 bad ones. All dies reinstalled numurous times by the book. Die nuts finger tight and backed out when called for.
    Good OAL's then some off by .05's...and crushed side wall.

    THE ONE THING THATS DIFFERENT: Is when I started readjusing for the 230's OAL, the screw was stiff and dragged, backed it all the way out and it was torn and about a 1/4 of it fell away.

    Went to LEE's site and figured it was th 7/16th one, stopped by the hardware store and put it on before I ran into this problem.

    Oh, 1 more thing : the sizing die even when cranked down as finger tight as possible, it still "wiggles" just a tad, dont do this on the 9MM turret...

    Dies bad for plated but OK for lead????


    Any help is muy appriciated

    Thanks, Tom
     
  2. muscles

    muscles Member

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    i had the same problem initially, and found i wasnt putting enough "bell" prior to seating/crimping.
     
  3. spencerhut

    spencerhut Member

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    Simple fix . . . not enough bell on the case mouth. Adjust the bell so the first 1/8 to 1/16 slips in.
     
  4. ajax

    ajax Member

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    Red dog you need to flare the case mouth more.
     
  5. dracphelan

    dracphelan Member

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    I had the same problem. Add a little more bell and the problem will go away.
     
  6. Red_Dog_Leader

    Red_Dog_Leader Member

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    And thats another thing I thought of, the bullets is .451, my brass is ~.451-.452 after going thru the expander, so I need even more?

    Ok, I do that with the expander/powder die...

    This is what I dont get reading the instructions:
    "SCREW THE DIE IN UNTILL IT TOUCHES THE SHELL HOLDER, BACK OUT ONE FULL TURN> (did that).
    "FINGER TIGHTEN THE LOCK RING" ( did that)

    "SCREW THE DIE IN UNTIL THE FLARE IS TO YOUR LIKING."

    So, how do you screw the die in more if you have already tightened the lock ring?
    Or you ignore the "back out one turn" part first, get the bell/flare you want, then "FINGER TIGHTEN THE LOCK RING"?

    Thanks for all the help, i've been up since 3AM this morning and I think I ought to hit the rack instead of mangling ammo :)

    T
     
  7. koja48

    koja48 member

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    Keep screwing the die in incrementally, flare, try a bullet. When you get the flare you want, hold the die in position, then tighten the lock ring. For what it's worth, I use Forster lock rings on all my dies (have to for rifle dies, since I use a Coax press), but I liked them so much, I converted all my other dies, also. I like LEE dies for some rounds, but don't like the lock rings.
     
  8. jfh

    jfh Member

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    My fingers probably are weaker than yours--

    but I have found that when I 'finger tighten' the nut I can still turn the die a bit.

    To adjust the bell some more, try turning the DIE BODY in about 1/4 turn--no more. Take a couple of cases and experiment a bit--try adding more belling. Remove the case from the ram and look at it from the side--on one adjusted well, you can see a 'flare' but it shouldn't be so much as to look like a funnel.

    You'll soon get an idea of what you need. If your bullets are square on the bottom, make sure the bullet fits inside the flare 'a bit.' If the bullets have a bevel base (the edge is beveled), you can apply a bit less belling. As you gain experience, you will probably find that you can back off a hair on how much the case is belled--but for now, have enough so you can reliably set the bullet on top and run it into the seater / crimper.

    Unless you change bullet types / sizes, you probably won't have to change it. However, do disassemble the die "every so often" and clean it: brass can get shaved off and dirty up the die a bit. Pay particular attention to the powder-through insert; that has to operate smoothly for the die and measure to work reliably.

    Once this die is all set up, now double-check your seater-crimper die. Lee has good instructions for that, so I won't go into that here unless you ask for it.

    Jim H.
     
  9. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Member

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    My experiences with Lee seating dies, and their lock(less) rings, has not been good. I switched to Hornady and Forster seating dies, and Hornady Lock rings. These dies have a sliding alignment sleeve that aligns the bullet with the case mouth before it enters the case mouth. There are others with the same feature, but not Lee. I like these two because they're good, and you can skip the micrometer adjuster to save money (not particularly useful for pistol ammo). The Hornady Lock rings combine clamping action with wrench flats, for an unbeatable combination. I have a lot of different brands of dies, but they all wear Hornady lock rings.

    The other posts are also correct: you need a tad more bell on the casemouth.

    Andy
     
  10. BAT1

    BAT1 Member

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    Bell more

    I shaved a few with mine but never deformed the brass. Be sure it is timed right on the stop point. After the second bell attempt it could be a bullet out of round [Berry's] Just try another bullet. Or your little plastic square cam guide is hosed. Two come with the kit. Common problem with the Lee.
     
  11. Doug b

    Doug b Member

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    You might give the Lyman (M) expander die a try.Eliminates shaving also.
     
  12. Red_Dog_Leader

    Red_Dog_Leader Member

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    Thanks to all for the help..


    Ok, screw die in till it touches shell holder, lower ram a bit, then screw expander die in, start with a 1/4 turn in... check bell...will do
     
  13. jfh

    jfh Member

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    When I set up my various die sets this spring

    after a ten-year hiatus, I went through each die set.

    Note that the above instructions for the powder through / expanding die do depend on the proper adjustment to the sizer die. You might want to double-check you have that set up satisfactorily, then proceed. Removing the index bar while doing this makes the job easier.

    Once you have all the dies adjusted to your liking, then try constructing one round with the rod out. Check the LOA. Then, insert the rod and do one with indexing. Check the LOA. There should be little or no difference.

    Once you have the belling sorted out, you will want to check your crimping--but that's another topic for now.

    And, for those damaged rounds in the pictures--take them apart with an inertial hammer. There's little doubt in my mind that the bullets are still usable, and the powder certainly is. Forget about the primer and the brass; at your level of experience, do NOT try removing primers, and the brass cannot be fixed.



    Jim H.
     
  14. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    I guess by now you know that you need to put a bit more bell on those cases so I'll not say it too...:D
     
  15. Uncle Don

    Uncle Don Member

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    Turn the flaring die in until it touches the shellholder, then back out 1/2 turn. Done. Make sure you have the seater/crimper set properly too so you make it do what it's supposed to. Lee has some videos on the website that shows how to properly set the dies.

    http://www.leeprecision.com/html/HelpVideos/video.html
     
  16. jeepmor

    jeepmor Member

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    What I don't see in this thread is to seat the bullet and crimp in two different steps. I have to do this with my 10mm when shooting plated bullets. The crimping and seating at the same time closed the belled portion too tightly before the bullet was fully seated. Trust me, I belled a couple beyond belief and still had problems. But not with the 45ACP.

    More bell first, but if it continues, seat the bullet and crimp in two steps intsead of one. Move the seater die body up 2 or 3 turns (it has the crimp in it) and move your bullet seater plug down to your required COL. Then seat all your bullets.

    Now unscrew the bullet seating plug up out of the way. Run the die body down until you have the crimp you need. Be sure your seating plug is out of the way and does not push the bullet in more.

    On your last image you see that it deformed your case some. This is probably in part due to the alignment of the bullet when the seating begins. Push the bullet into the case a little bit so it stays put and runs up into the seater pretty straight.
     
  17. Red_Dog_Leader

    Red_Dog_Leader Member

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    I get it, I get it...:D

    Thats it U.D., thanks for reminding me about the Lee vids.
    Watching the seating die video I'm adjusting it without a case in the shellholder :banghead:

    As usual I've been rushing to get these things loaded, try out a small batch at the range, then make alot more if their good for the steel plates this Sunday.

    However, the honeydo list is not going away and I'm trying to do too much too soon...:uhoh:

    Now that you all have given me this excellent help, I'm going in to tell my boss I dont feel well and am going home....:)
     
  18. Red_Dog_Leader

    Red_Dog_Leader Member

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    Fixed my errors, loaded up 2 clips worth and they shot fine...now to load up 250 more.

    Thanks again everybody.
    Tom
     
  19. RobZ71LM7

    RobZ71LM7 Member

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    I used Lee .45 ACP dies for a few thousand rounds but switched to a set of Hornady dies with my LnL press. I find the floating seating stem that aligns the bullet with Hornady dies means I don't have to flare the case nearly as much as I did with LEE dies.
     
  20. trueblue1776

    trueblue1776 Member

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    If the above doesn't work try using less crimp with your seating die, you could be crimping while seating the bullet.
     
  21. koja48

    koja48 member

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    Fixed my errors

    Glad you got it sorted-out. Happy reloading AND shooting!
     
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