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Ring around my bullet!

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by duck911, Aug 23, 2009.

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  1. duck911

    duck911 Member

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    Hi all,

    After seating some 55 GR Noslers in some .223 brass (RCBS dies) yesterday, I noticed something I haven't seen before:

    [​IMG]

    On 5 or 6 of the 50 bullets I seated, there is a ring around the top of the bullets. Some are very faint, some are a little more pronounced and seemed to have slightly "dented" the bullet. It looks to me like it's where the bullet contacts the seating stem in the seating die, with the ring perhaps caused by excessive pressure needed to seat the bullet.

    I chamfered the cases before seating the bullets. After I started seeing this issue (which popped up at the end of my reloading session), I gave a little more chamfer to the case mouth and the problem seemed to help.

    Is this common with thin-jacketed varmint rounds? Was this just a case of not enough chamfer and do I need to relieve a little more brass in the future?

    thanks,

    --Duck911
     
  2. Beelzy

    Beelzy Member

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    Yes it is normal, it is from the seater plug.
    If you want to get fancy, you can unscrew the plug and get one shaped differently so
    it won't leave that ring there. It may move somewhere else though, or even start to
    deform the bullet.

    I would note these rounds and check for accuracy deviation, but I doubt there will be anything of note.
     
  3. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    It is very normal to see that ring around the bullet. As Beelzy said...It is of no consequence and will not effect performance of the bullet. As Beelzy stated, it is caused by the seating plug. It probably has a steep angle of attack to the ogive. You can change the angle or just forget it. What you should be most careful about is damage to the base of the bullet. That is where the problems start with bullet performance.

    I have ring on all of my SJHP bullets and it has kinda become a "Bushmaster Trade Mark"...
     
  4. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    This needs to be fixed. Check you expander ball diameter to make sure its the correct size .223" +/- .0002" RCBS can supply a correct seating stem to fit your bullet. Contact them by phone. 1-800-533-5000 Or get out some emery paper and reshape the seating stem.
     
  5. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    And lube the neck with a nylon brush, this will do 2 thing, clean the neck of dirt and help the bullet seat. Dont wipe the lube from the neck after sizing, the expander will remove any excess lube. This will give less drag on the bullet and it will seat easyer. Use rcbs lube
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009
  6. duck911

    duck911 Member

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    I have not been lubing the case mouth or brushing it with a brush (it's virgin brass) but the insides of the necks to look a little dirty from the manufacturing process.

    I'm going to:

    1) measure the expander ball diameter to make sure it's correct
    2) Brush/lube the insides of the case mouths prior to resizing
    3) add a slight bit more of a chamfer

    We'll see if that fixes it.

    I'm hesitant to start reshaping the seater stem myself, only because it seems to me that for concentricities sake, it needs to be perfectly round and I don't trust my eyes and hands THAT much!

    thanks,

    --Duck911
     
  7. GP100man

    GP100man Member

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    yrs ago my cuz aquired a 7-30 waters barrel for his contender & called me to see if i had some 7mm bullets to fireform with ,well i had some i pulled from 7mm-08 brass that were mangled with pliers & side cutters .

    he loaded em up & called i drove over to see the difference in the cases & at 25yds 1 hole !!! 50yds tite clover leaf!! 100yds 1.5" groups , unbelieveable!!! the noses were mangled beyond recognition , we never bettered those trashed bullets groupin 1.5 was `bout what the barrel would do .

    so the ring you see is only cosmetic but ya could take some epoxy fill the seater put a little oil on a bullet insert it ,let it set & ya have yerself a "custom" seater plug.
     
  8. 45ACPUSER

    45ACPUSER Member

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    Compressed loads can do that ring impression, too. The seater stems ie Forster seem to be more prone to the ring.
     
  9. z3ro

    z3ro Member

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    Sorry for deviating from the OPs question, but what does that little orange tip do? Is there a point to it?
     
  10. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Best to get a new one.The nose of the bullet is hitting the seating plug, it should not. When the nose goes off center of the inside of the seating stem, it dents the bullet side.This is why its not happening all the time.The bullet is getting tilted on seating at times. Use RCBS lube. It will not hurt powder.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009
  11. something vague

    something vague Member

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    Chuck a bullet that you plan to use in a drill and put some lapping compound on the the bullet and inside the seater plug. Clamp the seater plug in a vise and polish it with the bullet as your drill bit. Make damn sure everything is in perfect alignment and this should relieve the sharp edge on the seater that is causing this deformation. I have had to do this to most, if not all of my rifle seater plugs. Works very well and have no concentricity issues because of it. Bullets also slide in the seater plug much easier due to the high polish.
     
  12. RidgwayCO

    RidgwayCO Member

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    Or...

    if it's a bullet you plan on shooting a lot (because you bought hundreds or thousands of them), you can send two or three of the bullets to either RCBS or Lee and have them make a custom bullet seating stem just for that bullet. The last I checked it cost about $20 which included the new stem. The whole process only takes a couple of weeks, plus they send you the bullets back. I've had this done for some rifle and pistol bullets, and it really does make bullet seating (and the final product) better.

    Check RCBS's and/or Lee's web site for current information.
     
  13. Bart B.

    Bart B. Member

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    I've seen this happen myself. It's typically caused by one or more of the following:

    Very rough surface on seating plug.

    Case mouth's sized way too small; expander ball diameter, die's neck diameter or case neck wall thickness are not right.

    Bullet's are way too big in diameter.

    Case mouth's got a sharp edge at its bottom; wasn't cleaned up after trimming the case to length.

    So, without a total set of measurements of your dies, bullets and cases, it's hard to say exactly what's the cause so the best solution's possible.
     
  14. duck911

    duck911 Member

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    Quick update:

    I took my sizing die apart and measured the expander ball:

    .223 on the nose. These cases have not been trimmed but were chamfered so I don't think rough edges is a problem.

    I took the seating die apart and looked at the seating stem. I took a bullet and put the end into the stem and very lightly rotated the bullet.

    Sure enough, it left a very light but visible ring around the bullet. I can imagine with more pressure, the ring would look exactly like what I have.

    BTW, the ring goes all the way around the bullet and based on my very unscientific test, the bullet tip is not hitting the top of the stem.

    I may try to polish the edge a little - if I ruin the stem I'm thinking they're not too costly....?

    --Duck911
     
  15. something vague

    something vague Member

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    I've had this happen to every seating plug I've used as the bullets I used were never the bullet the plug was designed for. The bottom edge of the seater plug is usually the issue. I wouldn't say that the seater is actually rough as Bart has stated, just has a sharp edge on it that needs to be knocked down. My Forster die was actually the worst culprit and I also have a Redding and RCBS that did it some as well.

    This is probably the best advice of all the suggestions. The issue is the time that it takes to get this done. My last experience with Lee making me a custom mandrel was a nightmare. But once you finally get the custom seater plug back I'm sure you'd be extremely happy with the decision.
     
  16. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Member

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    It provides a better ballistic coefficient by being more streamlined as well as helping initiate expansion upon impact, it acts like a wedge and really splatters the bullet.

    Its orange because Nosler color codes their ballistic tipped bullets by caliber. .224 diameter happens to be orange.

    Plus it looks cool :)
     
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Chuck it up in something and lightly polish the outer edge of the seater stem with some 600 grit. No worries, just don't grind away.

    Yep.

    The other things Bart mentioned can add to, or even be, the problem, but removing the rough/sharp outer edge on the seater stem is easy to do, sure can help, and possibly eliminate, the ring on your bullets. Just fold up some 600 grit, stuff it in there, and polish it up a bit.

    Oh, and those will shoot just fine anyway. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009
  18. tactikel

    tactikel Member

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    The plastic tip also improves accuracy by moving weight (plastic being lighter than lead) rearward making a more stable bullet. Think of a hollow point vs a soft point. It also gives some awesome expansion depending on the bullet construction.
     
  19. HydeSmyler

    HydeSmyler Member

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    I fixed mine by chucking up the seater plug in a drill motor and running it slowly while lapping it with bullet of choice (with some lapping compound of course). Seater plug hole stays round this way.
     
  20. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    "what does that little orange tip do? Is there a point to it? "

    Now that there's funny! :)
     
  21. Bart B.

    Bart B. Member

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    RidgwayCO suggests:
    As long as the bullets are all from the same production lot, that'll do OK. When the bullet company's tool and die shop makes a new pointing die (the one that forms the ogive over the lead core), it won't be exactly the same radius/shape as the last one. A thousandths or so in dimensional difference may well make different rings around the next lot of bullets.

    Best seating stems I know of have a constant taper in them. They're easy to make very smooth and fit different bullet lots very well. They're also very easy to polish out should they get a bit rough from microscopic grit on the bullets as they're seated.
     
  22. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Crimping & Seating Die Adjustment.

    Then the slightly "dented" area maybe from starting the bullet crooked/ not straight :confused:Try to get a better alignment when hand seating the bullet into the case mouth. A faint line will do no harm, the "dent" must go. ANOTHER THING , make sure you are not crimping when seating the bullet. The crimper is built into the seating die. Turn the die down to far and your crimping while seating, not good. This can put extra pressure on the bullet where it contacts the seating stem. To NOT crimp using RCBS dies, you need 1/16" between the shell holder and the die, about the thickness of a nickel. Never more. The reason for "never more" is the die is used to help align the bullet with the case mouth. If your cases are trimmed to all the exact same length, you can cheat on this 1/16" by having the case mouth kiss the crimping ring for more exact alignment of the bullet to case mounth. But you must reset the die ever time. More than you want to know i am sure.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2009
  23. counterclockwise

    counterclockwise Member

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    For AR's don't go too light on neck tension...

    Otherwise you can end up like this...

    [​IMG]

    Bolt guns are a different story.

    [added] Mil-Spec. for M193 / M855 (IIRC) is 45 pounds force retention.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
  24. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Neck Tension.

    Can you supply a link to this government information? Having just tested my reloads using Federal & LC brass, loaded with Win. 55gr fmjbt, RCBS dies "no crimp" , expander measurement of .2232" the rounds easly go past the 34lbs. One i kept going till 47lbs was reached when the bullet went into the case. A crimp should help if done correctly with all brass trimmed to the exact same length to roll crimp. The cement that water proofs the military factory ammo would seem also to hold the bullet better, giving more neck tension. The crimp also helps water proof the rounds as i understand it.http://74.125.93.132/search?q=cache:1KctN0Nfp20J:www.dtic.mil/ndia/2003smallarms/hawk.ppt+5.56mm+neck+tension&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a After page loads, click link at top for water proof info.
     
  25. counterclockwise

    counterclockwise Member

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    Thanks for making me look this up....:rolleyes:

    Like to never have found it.

    For M855 ammo, go here: MIL-C-63989C Section 3.3

    http://www.bradfordherrick.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/m855.pdf

    And, IDNRC---it is 45 lbs minimum, not 35 lbs minimum.:eek:

    But wait!......Let's go back to days of yore for M193 Ammo, go here: MIL-C-9963F (1976)

    [URL="http://assist.daps.dla.mil/docimages/A/0000/0000/7850/000000015878_000000128786_MFNGWQEYVH.PDF?CFID=34902897&CFTOKEN=54a1ab2d55423636-542F7F7B-1372-548A-D3652280E443BB71&jsessionid=0630c86bb3fa1819f481]http://assist.daps.dla.mil/docimages/A/0000/0000/7850/000000015878_000000128786_MFNGWQEYVH.PDF?CFID=34902897&CFTOKEN=54a1ab2d55423636-542F7F7B-1372-548A-D3652280E443BB71&jsessionid=0630c86bb3fa1819f481[/URL]

    and find herein Section 3.2 minimum retention force is 35 lbs!:)
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
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