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cpg
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Posted: April 23 2017 at 4:52am | IP Logged Quote cpg

I'm still on a learning curve for loading rifle cartridges and came across
an issue yesterday morning. I decided to load up 60 rounds of 30/30
using the same 155gr cast bullet that I used for my initial starting load.
Loaded on single stage press with all dies set from previous loading.
Confirmed everything was in order and started working on the once
fired brass. When I got ready to seat the bullets, 40 cases out of the 60
had really loose neck tension on the bullet. Twice the bullet fell right
through the neck and into the fat part of the brass. I checked the bullet
diameters and no worse than +\- 1 from the .309 size.
So, I ended up taking the loose fitting cases and hand seating them to
the crimp groove and very gently crimping into place. The bullets can
still rotate in the cases, but no in or out movement or powder leakage
that I can see. I even shook a couple upside down over a paper towel
and couldn't see anything.
I guess my questions are, what could I have done wrong to not have
proper neck tension after a full length resize and any reason why I
should not shoot the 40 loose ones? I'd load them single, wouldn't trust
stuffing any into a tube magazine


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joed
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Posted: April 23 2017 at 6:24am | IP Logged Quote joed

I've never experienced this in 38 years of loading.   I'd take a good
look at that sizing die though, something don't seem right.

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richhodg66
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Posted: April 23 2017 at 7:13am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

How old is the brass? It can lose some spring back, but that does sound strange.

I had this happen with jacketed bullets in .303 British using Lee dies. Only circumstances it ever happened to me and I attributed it to low quality dies made for a cartridge with wide variations in groove diameter.

What kind of dies are you using? Not to come off as a Lee basher, but I won't use theirs for bottle neck cases. I actually prefer their dies for straight walled cases though.

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RT58
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Posted: April 23 2017 at 7:50am | IP Logged Quote RT58

I could be the die not sizing them down far enough, or hopefully it's just the expander sizing them up too far.
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Buffalogun
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Posted: April 23 2017 at 8:04am | IP Logged Quote Buffalogun

cpg,

Were these 60 cases all Winchester or all RP or a mix of both?



Mike

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joed
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Posted: April 23 2017 at 1:30pm | IP Logged Quote joed

I'll also add that the bullets only being held by the crimp are
probably not going to give very good performance.



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John P.
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Posted: April 23 2017 at 5:26pm | IP Logged Quote John P.

This happened to me once loading .270 Winchester with a Lee single
stage press. Ram wasn't coming to full extension. I like the RCBS
presses because they "cam-over," coming to full extension.

What type of press are you using?
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richhodg66
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Posted: April 23 2017 at 7:33pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

RT58 wrote:
I could be the die not sizing them down far enough, or hopefully it's just the expander sizing them up too far.


Polishing down the expander ball might help. Lees use a pretty different arrangement to do this than RCBS and most others.

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cpg
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Posted: April 24 2017 at 4:52am | IP Logged Quote cpg

Thanks for the responses, everyone (and those who sent PM's too) . I'll have to check the sizing die to make sure it's adjusted properly. There seems to be an early consensus for being the most probable cause.
The brass is all once fired Winchester that was bought within the last 5 years at most. Now the 40 cases that were loose on Saturday, I had prepped them all to the point of primers installed and waiting for powder about a month ago. The 20 I used for chrony testing didn't have a problem then, not sure why it would be different for the 40 I saved for later.
I am using all Lee equipment. Dies, Challenger press, prep tools, lube, etc. I've got the quick change bushings for the dies, too.

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cpg
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Posted: April 24 2017 at 4:58am | IP Logged Quote cpg

joed wrote:
I've never experienced this in 38 years of loading.    

Not the first response I was wanting to hear haha!

Your right about the poor performance of the loose fitting cartridges. I'm just not sure it's worth it to pull them down and start over. Might put a couple over the chrony and see how they compare.

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The_Shadow
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Posted: April 24 2017 at 6:32am | IP Logged Quote The_Shadow

I have see where some brass would not hold their
resized dimensions, the annealing process can soften
the brass to help prevent spring back.

Are you using a neck expander that flairs the case
mouth? I use one to put a slight flair to hep with
cast bullet loadings.

Test the casing neck fit before any crimp is applied,
it could be the crimp is squeezing the bullets smaller
and leaving them loose.

Good luck!

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cpg
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Posted: April 25 2017 at 5:14am | IP Logged Quote cpg

I checked to make sure the die was set up properly and the bushing & press were cooperating. Everything checked out so on to the next step.
Cleaned out the sizing die, and was finding some crud that looked like residual case lube near the base. Took it apart and found more buildup hiding inside on the decapper that was a different color that what I saw on the bottom of the die.




Gave it a good scrubbing with a brass brush & Rem Oil. Looks better now. Does anyone think the gunk was the culprit?




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Ham Gunner
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Posted: April 25 2017 at 6:20am | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

While the "gunk" or lube could certainly cause the inside of the case to be a bit slick, which would certainly not help with case tension, it is not likely to have been your problem.

Can you measure and give us the diameter of the expander portion of the decapping rod? It should be no more than .307 for a cast bullet and closer to .305-.306 for jacketed according to my die sets. With the .307 being my "M" expander die for cast bullets. My "M" die does have a flair right at the top that will open the mouth of the case a bit more for cast bullet seating, but it does not extend down into the neck.

What I do not understand is why some of the brass cases had neck tension and others did not. No matter the brand of case, I would think that the sizing die should bring any case back down to smaller than desired for jacketed and certainly smaller than is needed for cast.


Edited by Ham Gunner on April 25 2017 at 6:33am


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Rex
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Posted: April 25 2017 at 8:12am | IP Logged Quote Rex

Odd as it sounds I'm having some of the same trouble with .38 special cases. Remington always seemed looser than anything else. I'm having to throw away some .38 special brass that doesn't have a split neck and that pains a tight old man.
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cpg
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Posted: April 25 2017 at 12:07pm | IP Logged Quote cpg

Expander portion is .306".
I'm out of empty brass to play with so need to trip to the range soon.

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richhodg66
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Posted: April 25 2017 at 3:07pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Rex wrote:
Odd as it sounds I'm having some of the same trouble with .38 special cases. Remington always seemed looser than anything else. I'm having to throw away some .38 special brass that doesn't have a split neck and that pains a tight old man.


Rex, are you using steel dies or carbide? I ask because back in his hey day, my Dad actually wore out a steel .45 sizer to where cases run through it wouldn't grip the bullet tight enough anymore. Might be time to buy a carbide sizer.

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Rex
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Posted: April 25 2017 at 3:39pm | IP Logged Quote Rex

Whatever comes with the Dillon 550. I do have a Hornady carbide that I can screw in in place of the Dillon.
Thanks

I FOUND MY PROBLEM!
I had some undersized bullets that I thought I had gotten rid of months ago until I got the micrometer out.
They are gone now!

Edited by Rex on April 25 2017 at 5:19pm
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richhodg66
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Posted: April 25 2017 at 6:16pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Just curious, how undersized were they?

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Rex
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Posted: April 25 2017 at 6:58pm | IP Logged Quote Rex

Rich,
About 2 thousands.


Edited by Rex on April 25 2017 at 7:00pm
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Posted: April 28 2017 at 9:44am | IP Logged Quote taurusshooter59

I'm glad you found your problem, I was about to start
disassembly of my dies, all Lee. I have been using them
for years with no such problem, and I load jacketed and
cast bullets. Thanks for saving me a bunch of extra
work. Incidentally when I take my full length sizing
dies apart to clean I check the diameter of the
expander. Guess it's some of my OCD.

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