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Having a hell of a time!

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by taylor, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. taylor

    taylor Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    Like everyone I'm affected by the shortages, I'm an old revolver guy but want to start reloading 9mm as I just got a Star Firestar. But no 9mm dies to be had anywhere! Finally I found a 2 die set in the backroom at Ole's, Lyman steel sizing and seating. So I lubed the brass and this sizer is tight! its a full length and every shell comes out grey and with tiny scratches. So I really scrub out the die and stopped the grey but there are lots of tiny scratches running down the shell. So I'm using 4.1grn Red Dot w/ 124grn Rainier FMJ and without an expander,so I seat them but I peened about 5 or 6. So to reload 100 cases it took about 4 hours over 2 days and was a pain in the tookus. Now I'm reluctant to shoot them because of the scratches, Did I do everything right, considering?
     
  2. XSubSailor

    XSubSailor SW WA Active Member

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    The scratches are clearly coming from the sizing die...either the surface finish of die is rough, or your brass is dirty when it goes through the sizing die. Make sure your brass is clean (including tumbling media if you're using a tumbler). If the brass is not the issue, I'd recommend polishing the inside of the sizing die with a Dremel and some Jeweler's Rouge or similar...don't overdo it.

    Why are you not using the expander die?

    If the scratches are not very deep, I wouldn't be overly concerned about safely firing the ammo.
     
    P7id10T and (deleted member) like this.
  3. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    Sailor,he got an old 2 die set..no expander. tough to seat them and not ruin some brass with no expander.

    Taylor,ur doing the best u can with what you have. I"m surfinf for some stuff today,if I see a carbide or even steel 3 die set I'll let u know.
     
  4. taylor

    taylor Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    This set came with only the 2 dies. I was told jacketed bullets don't always need an expanded case, I thought I'd get a tight fit w/o expanding and could skip the crimp since I think the seater has a roll crimp.
    The cases came from Gunbroker and were tumbled pretty clean, so its the die that's causing this.
    If I keep this set I'll take your advice and dremel it w/ some rouge.
    And thanks for looking for a better set for me.
     
  5. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    if u have any gun type stores near u,they do make and sell seperate universal expanding dies.I think I just saw one at Wholesale Sports here in Vancouver,made by rcbs,and I know Lee makes one...and like everything else they show 'out of stock.' :(
    any chance u have or can borrow the expander die from a .38/357 set ? that shoujld work in a pinch.It only takes a tiny bit to allow for easier bullet seating.
     
  6. P7id10T

    P7id10T Cedar Hills Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    While that may be true, it is not so in my experience, so I call Voodoo! I've never tried loading pistol without first expanding the case mouth.


    You're not skipping the crimp step then....

    While I don't crimp my rifle loads, I definitely crimp my pistol loads.
     
  7. taylor

    taylor Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    I forgot I did chamfer each case one at a time. My friend reloads 9mm with a lee loader and there's no expander or crimper with his set, and he gets some decent groups.
     
  8. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    the crimp in the die can be used to 'snug' the case mouth against the bullet even if it is a roll crimp die,which I kind of doubt given the caliber.
    As far as I know all pistol sets now adays come with an expander die,it's the type of crimp die that is sometimes optional depending on caliber and use.
     
  9. B Ready

    B Ready NW New Member

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    Bummer - Before you get too crazy with the 9mm loading, try making sure they feed okay through the weapon. COAL makes a difference on semi-autos. That's the biggest difference I found going from revolver to 9mm. I've found crimp doesn't matter as much as feeding. 1 load i worked up fed fine with 5 rounds, but when i loaded up the mag full, the 1st round wouldn't chamber 100% of the time. The other guns no issue. I made some minor adjustments and no worries.

    I have dillion dies, so can't help you there. It should go a hair easier and faster than the revolver though....
     
  10. P7id10T

    P7id10T Cedar Hills Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    While I found out years ago with the taper crimp on 9mm, if I didn't taper deep enough, when the bullet hits the ramp it can push it back against the powder, jacking your pressures way up. I got lucky because it was a FTF. Saw the bullet was pushed back into the casing. Stopped and checked out all my rounds and proceeded to dump most of them.
     
  11. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    food for thought..rifle dies for the most part do not include an expander die,so pistol ammo should be do-able without one,it just takes luck and patience to not ruin rounds.guide the round as far into the seating die as u can,with your fingers and go sloooooow until it feels right.pain in the butt but it will work most of the time.
     
  12. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    I solidly taper crimp all pistol ammo, it helps feeding and retains OAL with multiple rechamberings

    You're gonna love that Firestar. I've carried a M43 in Starvel (nickel) as a BUG for 25 years now
     
  13. taylor

    taylor Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    I pulled the seating plug and ran them through again to get a crimp, I can't believe it's a 9mm roll crimper! so I gave them a real light roll crimp so I got something to hold them.
     
  14. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Roll Crimp in a Lyman die? I thought Hornady was the only one to do that in 9mm (and 45acp too).

    All the more reason to not use the seating die crimp feature and invest in a Lee Factory Crimp die. The "finish size" feature is excellent as well. Makes sure that ALL finished rounds will chamber flawlessly in a semi.
     
  15. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    i'm' sure u don't need to roll crrimp that ammo.just snug it up tight,then try hard to push it in with your thumb pressure.roll crimping a jacketed bullet can easily affect accuracy,and as I say I think it's overkill.If u can see a 'curl',it's too much,imho
     
  16. taylor

    taylor Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    These are really old dies the box has Lyman AA 9mm Luger on it. I just barely touched it and there is a silver curl, I can't wait for all this hysteria settles down and I'll pick up a Lee 4 die set for a lot less than the $150 they are currently going for on Ebay.
     
  17. Boat Captain

    Boat Captain seattle New Member

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    Try FSReloading (lee factory sales place). Ordered some .270 dies and such a couple weeks ago. Couple things were on backorder (2-3 weeks) but everything shipped within a week.
     
  18. misplacedtexan

    misplacedtexan Beaverton, OR Active Member

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    I think I have a set of carbide lyman dies for 9mm if you're still interested OP. It's the 3-die set (resize, expander, seat/crimp.) The crimp is a taper crimp if I remember right.

    PM, and I'll see if I can find them.
     
  19. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Taylor, If you continue to have problems finding dies, or if Misplaced cannot find his let me know. I just pieced a set together from all my 'spares' and will send them to you. The sizer is not carbide but they are RCBS and in good shape (and in the prescribed green box) All I had left were the later style 'hex' style locknuts for them but a little cleaning and they are ready to reload! I noticed you mentioned you were already attempting to reload 9mm so I assume you do not need a shell holder but I probably have an extra one (RCBS) too.
     
  20. misplacedtexan

    misplacedtexan Beaverton, OR Active Member

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    I found mine and 30$+ shipping will make them yours. They're close to new, maybe loaded 5-700 rounds in them