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In-line vs threaded seating dies?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Otter, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    What is everyone's opinion about in-line vs threaded seating dies? Will the Redding competition and Forester benchrest dies match the minimal runout that a Wilson die will produce?
     
  2. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about Redding or Forster dies but I know that my Lee .308 Seating die produces rounds with as little as .0005" run-out. These dies differ from the "screw dies" in that they use a floating "plug" rather than a threaded stem that provides a fixed ram for the bullet. These "inline" dies have the plug contact the ogive of the bullet and straighten it in the case mouth before pressing it into the case. The Lee die is far less expensive and produces rounds just as concentric as the high priced dies providing the case quality is similar. I check ALL my finished .308 rounds for concentricity. If I load a Lapua case the runout is never more than .001". If I load a Winchester case it is never more than .002" and even less if I have neck turned it first.

    As for the cute micrometer adjustments, I merely measured the amount that the adjustment screw moved with one full turn on the Lee Die (.050") and made my own marks so I could adjust OAL as needed.

    I pocketed the extra $70 in cost difference to be used for powder and primers later. Sometimes the only thing you get from spending more money is more space in your wallet.
     
    evltwn and (deleted member) like this.
  3. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    The number one issue for me has always been seating plug fit to the bullet, I typically use threaded seating plugs (RCBS) and have yet to see any reason to change it, the only problem I have with inconsistent seating depth can be traced back to the dillon presses I've used, head has too much wobble.
     
  4. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    You've no doubt had some bad ones then. I find that the tool head is pushed up against its upper stop with the sizing action as well as pressure from the powder funnel.

    There are also some threaded inserts you can add to the tool heads to remove ALL play if you want. I just put a couple of pieces of electrical tape on the lower surface of the keyway that holds the tool head to keep the one I have my trimmer mounted on from "growling" due to vibration from the motor.

    As for having seating plugs fit the bullet, I find that all you need is for the plug to contact the same point on the ogive to yield uniform OAL's when measured with a comparator. If you are measuring to the meplat then OAL's can be all over the place due to variations in bullet length and meplat uniformity.
     
  5. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    The only way I've really found to get the consistency out of dillon presses (650 and 550) is to run them full of cartridges the entire time, I looked into drilling and tapping the presses so gib screws could be put in there to hold the head up at the top, but I have 5 650's at work that I'm just not willing to take the time to do, I used to have that issue on my 550, which i did finally put some gib screws and lock plates in that made it kinda nice to run my .308 match ammo on (I would dump the powder with an automatic scale dispenser and pour into the top of the powder funnel). The 1050, if you're doing heavy duty resizing operations at the same time you're loading will also get a little wonky on seating depth. Never had any issues on my single stage or my hornady LNL.

    In order to get good seating performance, especially with cast bullets I've had to make some custom punches over the years, usually not too big a deal and it's never mattered whether it was a spacer type, or a screw in type. The two big issues with seating punches no matter what type you use are is it seating the bullet concentric to the case, and is it putting it in the same place every time. For small bottleneck cartridges that's usually not too difficult, once you get up to .45-90, it suddenly becomes a lot more critical because of the amount of force it takes to seat a 535gr swaged bullet and most importantly; not deform the bullet.
     
  6. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    There's a company that sells a kit consisting of a drill, tap, and thread inserts (Heli-Coil or similar) that allow you to replace the tool head retainer pins with socket head machine screws. No change required to the press, just the addition of the threaded pieces in the tool head. It keeps the tool head at the uppermost limit of its tolerance. Less "Mickey Mouse" than most other methods and it doesn't slow changeover times more than a few seconds. Converting a tool head takes at most about 15 minutes if you have a drill press.

    For .308 Match Ammo I just substituted a Lee Universal Powder die for the Powder Measure/Dispenser at station 2 so I could use the same method of adding powder from an electronic dispenser/scale. I still get nice precisely finished cartridges but only have to pull the handle once per finished round. The process is also continuous so I don't have to limit myself to the capacity of a loading block.
     
  7. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    With all the different calibers we load on the 650 (many fewer than we load on the 1050's) 15min each would be a few days work. I'd rather just complain on the internet than undertake a project my boss would just give me grief about. :)