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Reloading Problem

mibpfmibpf Member Posts: 7 ✭✭
My son shoots a 243. We ordered new winchester cases and speer 6mm 243 boat tail bullets and shot them last week. We put the cases in the tumbler for 8 hours. We resized the cases and punched the old primers out and got the cases ready to press new bullets. So far we have pressed 7 bullets. The problem is the bullets fit in the holes good but, you can turn them with your fingers. I have tried to readjust the die but if I screw it in any further we end up crimping the bullet. When we loaded these bullets the first time around the bullets where snug and you could not turn them. On one of the cases the bullet is easily pushed through. Does any body have any suggestions? The book says to take a empty case and place it in the case holder and raise it all of the way up then screw the die down until you feel slight tension and back off a quarter turn and set the stationary screw. I have done all of this and I still can turn the bullet inside the casing. If I do crimp these bullets will it cause any problems when firing?

Comments

  • bsallybsally Member Posts: 3,165
    edited November -1
    Sounds like the expander ball in the sizing die is not the right size. Take the die apart and measure it with a micrometer. Also, measure the diameter of the bullets to be sure the are .243.
  • mrbrucemrbruce Member Posts: 3,374
    edited November -1
    I don't think crimping will help very much as you need more tension than that will allow.
    It will tighten them up a little but you won't get a good powder burn that way.
    It sounds like a oversized neck caused by a overly large chamber, or a larger than normal expander button is causing the problem
    Did you run the new brass through the dies before you loaded the first ones ??
    Try to run one through the die with the expander out of it, and see if that helps any.
    Also check the expander diameter, and the bullets themselves like bsally mentioned.
    Please keep in touch about the outcome.
  • heavyironheavyiron Member Posts: 1,421 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hi,

    A little confusion here. You said the brass was new Winchester brass. At least the cases were new until they were fired the first time. I am assuming the first time they were reloaded they were not resized and this problem did not occur. What type of reloading dies are you using?

    I agree with the others that it sounds like the expander is slightly oversized and there is an easy fix. I have had the same problem with some rifle dies like the Lee dies, although others will do the same thing.

    On most dies full-length resizing and neck expanding is usually completed in one step with the same die. (There are exceptions, of course.) If the expander is too large the neck diameter is opened up too much and upon bullet seating (the next step) there will not be enough neck tension from the brass to firmly hold the bullet in the case.

    These are three fixes (that I can think of short of purchasing new dies) that may be performed to help:

    1. On some dies the neck expander stem can be adjusted by loosening the nut on the stem and then raising or lowering the stem, so as to move the expander ball higher or lower in the die body to reduce the neck diameter and increase neck tension.

    2. The second fix is to remove the expanding stem from the resizing die. Chuck the expander stem into a drill and spin the expander ball on a piece of the finest emory cloth or stone available. The idea is not to remove material but to polish the expander. Diameter should not be reduced more than 0.001 inch to start. Reassemble and reload another cartridge and see if there enough neck tension. If not, polish again, and reload again until neck tension is correct. This step also makes neck expanding easier because the expander itself is polished and can move easily in/out of the neck and might make the rounds more accurate because the neck is less distorted from friction.

    3. The last fix is to remove the expander stem completely from the resizing die, resize, and then bullet seat. I would be sure to chamfer the inside of the case mouth of the cartridge using this technique because the fit will probably be tight.

    I hope this helps your problem.

    Regards

    Heavyiron
  • JustCJustC Member Posts: 16,055 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    either one or more of the following are a factor, as has been covered already.

    1. brass is thin from the factory
    2. expander ball is oversized
    3. die neck body dia is oversized

    You can most likely just take the aforementioned advice of chucking the expander ball in the drill and using metal sandpaper in the 400-220grit range to reduce the dia. Keep it oiled and it will cut faster. Don't go too far, maybe .002" less than where you are now and that should cover you for anything you need to do.

    also, many die sets come with a collar that replaces the expander ball and uses the die body to size the necks.

    If they are bushing dies,..reduce the size of the bushing.

    if it is a collet die, set it down a bit further and take a tad off the expander mandral.
  • ThrockmortonThrockmorton Member Posts: 814 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I think you need to re-read the instructions.IF you are screwing the die down on an unsized case you are stoppiing way to short of where it should be set....you are stopping just as the die is starting to do it's job.IF you are doing this with a sized case,never mind.:)
  • rockchunkerrockchunker Member Posts: 11 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    mibpf
    Your procedure for seating a bullet sounds OK but what procedure did you go through to resize the fired brass as you were removing the spent primer. If the case in the shell holder method you used for the seating die was used, you did not resize the fired brass properly and therefore the neck is still the size it was when the first bullet left the case, and thusly a new bullet can be seated rather easily and turned as you mentioned..
    Proper procedure for resizing fired or for that matter new brass is to raise the ram of the press (handle down)to it's full stroke minus a case and seat the sizing die to touch the shell holder at this point for starters. This puts all the fired brass inside the sizing die for resizing from shoulder to base..(A little extra quarter turn may be needed to get fully sized and proper set back for the shoulder) The expander and primer extracter should give little if any resistence upon entering the case to be resized and adjusted so the primer pops out at the uppermost stroke of the press arm (handle down).Improperly lubed cases will stick at this point so make sure that step has been done as well. With the downward stroke of the loading press (lifting up on the handle) you will feel the expander going through the case neck doing its thing, if this was felt when you initally sized the cases, and you still have the problem you mentioned it is most likely either the expander ball is to large, the bullets to small or the sizing die is not a proper match for the caliber you are resizing.
    Sorry if this sounds like preaching but loading can be a lot of fun when done properly but dangerous as [email protected]## if not!!!
    Be safe
    RC
  • OregunnerOregunner Member Posts: 129 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    mibpf
    Your procedure for seating a bullet sounds OK but what procedure did you go through to resize the fired brass as you were removing the spent primer. If the case in the shell holder method you used for the seating die was used, you did not resize the fired brass properly and therefore the neck is still the size it was when the first bullet left the case, and thusly a new bullet can be seated rather easily and turned as you mentioned..
    Proper procedure for resizing fired or for that matter new brass is to raise the ram of the press (handle down)to it's full stroke minus a case and seat the sizing die to touch the shell holder at this point for starters. This puts all the fired brass inside the sizing die for resizing from shoulder to base..(A little extra quarter turn may be needed to get fully sized and proper set back for the shoulder) The expander and primer extracter should give little if any resistence upon entering the case to be resized and adjusted so the primer pops out at the uppermost stroke of the press arm (handle down).Improperly lubed cases will stick at this point so make sure that step has been done as well. With the downward stroke of the loading press (lifting up on the handle) you will feel the expander going through the case neck doing its thing, if this was felt when you initally sized the cases, and you still have the problem you mentioned it is most likely either the expander ball is to large, the bullets to small or the sizing die is not a proper match for the caliber you are resizing.
    Sorry if this sounds like preaching but loading can be a lot of fun when done properly but dangerous as [email protected]## if not!!!
    Be safe
    RC

    I think you are exactly right.
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