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Lee Bullet seating die question

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by blackadder, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. blackadder

    blackadder Everett Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    So, went to load some 300 blackout today, and I could not get consistency out of my bullet seating die. So I unscrewed the die, wiped out off, relubed it, reassembled it, and started again. Still had a variance of .02" in the COAL which in my mind is unacceptable. Then I remembered having a similar issue with my 7mm die last time I used it. So maybe its me, but I'm pretty consistent. Both times it was on my Lee turret press, so maybe I need to switch to the single stage press?
    Comments about how much Lee sucks and I need a Dillon or whatever will be ignored. I know that Dillon is better, but I have the Lee and it has worked just fine for pistol rounds and 223 for several years. Just having a specific issue with precision rounds. Thanks.
     
  2. JustShoot

    JustShoot Oregon . Hillsborito area Active Member

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    What is type and make of bullet used ?
    You messuring OAL of the round from . Ogive to base . or Tip to Base ?
    I would put the starting suspect on a ( .02 Hundredth ) of inch discrepancy of your OAL measurement being the Bullet OAL . then work your way back to the Die & the press .
    .
    I run a old Lee single stage for Seating only with every rifle round I load . And use it also with different brands of Seating Die . It is surprising accurate on concentric and the seating depth .
    Max Accuracy for seating, ( IMHO ) get a good single-stage press you trust, Or go the way of 'arbor press ' style Seating Die .
    .
     
  3. blackadder

    blackadder Everett Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Bullets are FMJBT, and I am measuring the full length of the round, tip to base of the cartridge. If the seating die does its job, regardless of the bullet length (assuming the same style and manufacturer) the OAL length should be the same. I switched to the single stage press, and it still has the discrepancy. I have to back the die off, then recalibrate it for each round if I want to be sure of consistency. It's a pain in the @$$.
     
  4. JustShoot

    JustShoot Oregon . Hillsborito area Active Member

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    I have loaded a lot of accurate rounds with just using a strait OAL measurement from tip to base . You don't necessarily have to go off the Ogive of bullet for accuracy if the bullets are a quality run (burger, lapua, sierra, etc, ) and very consistent the same size .
    When I am getting serious, I will run the Round OAL off Ogive to get the exact jump from the ' Bullets Bering Surface ' to the Lands every round fired . along with chasing the Lands on the barrel throat burn . (that is a lot of work ) .. AND, Even High-$ dolor bullets will have a OAL fluctuation of there total OAL .

    your bullets are FMJ BT ..? .
    are these hand swaged customs ? . Or just bulk bag, 147 grn. FMJ boat tails ?
    Be interesting to take an average measurement ( bullets only) of some of your FMJ's bullets from Ogive to the base & then a total OAL of the bullet to see length .

    You using the same Die on every Round with the same Press lever stroke on every Round also . Your progressive Press ( or Any progressive Press setup ) is not a precision devise . It is used to load 'bulk ' . But Most concerns of the 'Press & Seating', if your precision concerned . Is the press giving a CrapLoad of runout with bullet seating . Not with OAL concerns .

    Your Seating Complaints (IMHO ) . If you are really starting to get picky and start Mic. all your Rounds under the microscope . Then you are going to drive yourself nuts unless you go all Round OAL off the Ogive measurement and go Single-Press or Arbor Press with the capping .
    .
     
  5. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Yea, it's not your seater, it's the variation of bullets and how they relate to the profile of the seating stem.
    If you want perfectly consistent oal, use a flat stem.. but of course that'll make the bullets into flat points. lol
     
  6. blackadder

    blackadder Everett Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Ok, so the consensus seems to be that it is the bullets (admittedly bulk bag unknowns) and inconsistency in their manufacture that is causing the issue. Especially since I don't remember having that issue with the Hornady A-Max bullets I used on my subs.
     
    BoonDocks36 likes this.
  7. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    That's my opinion. You just proved to yourself that it's not the press. Unless the seater profile is such that it's actually randomly deforming/buckling the bullets, to my mind it's the bullets.
    I know it's frustrating and it seems that they should all be the same.. but they are not and therefore cannot be, using "normal" seating methodology.
     
    blackadder likes this.
  8. Flopsweat

    Flopsweat Slightly right of center Well-Known Member

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    This. Your die doesn't just press on the end of the bullet - it's shaped to spread the force out a little. Since most of us don't get our dies custom cut to match the bullets we use, it's not a perfect fit. Cheap bullets can be have inconsistent size and shape, and the end may stick up into the die a little further or a little less, which will give you a different OAL. I have a Lee turret press and it gives me nicely consistent OAL when I use quality bullets.