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More Lee die ?'s

Bubba Jr.Bubba Jr. Member Posts: 7,624 ✭✭✭✭
I recently started reloading after purchasing a Lee turret press. I am reloading 9mm & .40 S&W. I have the Lee carbide 3 die set for the 9 and the Lee carbide 4 die set for the .40. When I charge the powder for either round I usually get a .2 - .4 grain difference in 10 rounds. Also I found that it was almost impossible to get the exact charge I am looking for. I did find that if I change the height of the rubber O ring, (by removing or using a thicker O ring) I can get closer to the desired charge. This moves the charge disk so that it doesn't go all the way out, and will keep some of the powder from dropping, which will lower the charge. But I still haven't figured out how to get consistency in the loads. Any tricks with this setup?
also is the Lee Micro adjusting Universal powder die worth trying?

Another thing that bugs me, is that when I seat the bullets, I can expect anywhere from .003" to .010" difference in OAL. This is using the same pressure when seating and I have marked the die to make sure it hasn't wandered. The press is mounted solidly to a heavy duty bench and does not move or flex. The only things I can figure out, is that this is due to flex in the die holder plate, or the inconsistency of the shape of the nose of the bullets. It happens on HP's, FN's, RN's, and TC's, of various manufacturers. Any idea what the cure for that is?

Another question, I am using the latest version of the Hornady reloading manual, and it list OAL's, but it doesn't say whether it is the maximum or minimum. Other sources usually say which it is. Does anyone know which it is?

Thanks a lot,
Joe

Comments

  • smith52smith52 Member Posts: 78 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Joe,
    I would recommend the use of taper crimp die or a Lee factory crimp die on your 9mm if you are not already.

    To start, Lee is big on powder volume, notice all your disk are mark in cubic centimeters. The only time I have ever noticed that kind of veriation in my powder charge from my Lee is when I load flake powders, Clays for example. With ball powder I may see .1 gr. veriation. I noticed when I load the flake powders that if I tap the powder hopper prior to chargig the case it is much more consistant. I would think not allowing the charge disk to completely empty would cause a veriation in powder charge as well, I myself would advise against that. The use of the Lee Micro Adjusting charge bar is a better solution to acheiving your desired powder charge. I used that Micro adjusting bar for a while and found I liked the disks better even though you can not always get your powder charge down to the exact tenth of a grain. I'm not sure what to tell you on your OAL issue.
  • jonkjonk Member Posts: 10,121
    edited November -1
    Well with the turret press the dispenser is spinning round with the turret. I'd think that would give it enough 'bump' to settle the powder.

    I agree though, flake powders didn't do well for me. Do you have the autodisc or pro-disc?
  • Bubba Jr.Bubba Jr. Member Posts: 7,624 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by jonk
    Well with the turret press the dispenser is spinning round with the turret. I'd think that would give it enough 'bump' to settle the powder.

    I agree though, flake powders didn't do well for me. Do you have the autodisc or pro-disc?


    Jonk:
    I'm using the auto disc that came in the kit. Most of the time I am using the press in single stage mode, so the only motion the powder dispenser gets, is when I pull the handle.

    I have been using IMR 4756, Alliant Unique, and Hogdson HS-6. I have the least problem with the IMR as it is smaller grained.

    Smith52:
    I have been thinking about getting a factory crimp die for my 9mm, but I don't think it will solve any of the issues I have though. I have the FCD for my .40, and it doesn't change the OAL any.

    Why didn't you like the micro adjusting bar?

    Thank you both,
    Joe
  • dcs shootersdcs shooters Member Posts: 10,969
    edited November -1
    I found the same problem with my Lee turret press.
    I solved it buy selling it and buying a Dillon Square Deal [;)]
  • smith52smith52 Member Posts: 78 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Joe
    In the bottom of the powder hopper on the auto disk there is or was a piece of u-shaped plastic over the hole that kind of directs the powder in from the sides instead of straight down, I cut that out of mine and it flows powder much better. I have have since upgraded to the Pro disk and it seems to flow powder even better.

    I suggested the FCD or the TCD so you keep a nice flat edge on the case mouth after crimping since it is a rimless case.

    As for dcs shooters comment, I have a Dillon RL550B and I was told by everybody I know with Dillon Presses that once I got a Dillon I wouldn't want to use my Lee turret presses any more. I really like my Dillon but I still use my 2 Lee turret presses and my Lee classic cast single stage press quite often. The Dillon is a mite faster but the reloads are not any more accurate.
  • Bubba Jr.Bubba Jr. Member Posts: 7,624 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by smith52
    Joe
    In the bottom of the powder hopper on the auto disk there is or was a piece of u-shaped plastic over the hole that kind of directs the powder in from the sides instead of straight down, I cut that out of mine and it flows powder much better. I have have since upgraded to the Pro disk and it seems to flow powder even better.

    I suggested the FCD or the TCD so you keep a nice flat edge on the case mouth after crimping since it is a rimless case.

    As for dcs shooters comment, I have a Dillon RL550B and I was told by everybody I know with Dillon Presses that once I got a Dillon I wouldn't want to use my Lee turret presses any more. I really like my Dillon but I still use my 2 Lee turret presses and my Lee classic cast single stage press quite often. The Dillon is a mite faster but the reloads are not any more accurate.


    Are your loads more consistent with the removal of the "bridge"? Did you get the Pro disk upgrade kit? I use the FCD on my .40 reloads, but I was told that it was not neccessary on the 9mm. I've shot samples from each batch that I've done so far, and I haven't seen any issues from not using a factory crimp on the 9's. Is there something that I'm missing?

    God, I sound like some little 3 year old, what happens if you, what does that do, can I try that?[:D][:D][:D]

    Anyway, thanks a lot,
    Joe
  • Tailgunner1954Tailgunner1954 Member Posts: 7,815
    edited November -1
    BTW, as I see no one has answered you yet,
    quote:Another thing that bugs me, is that when I seat the bullets, I can expect anywhere from .003" to .010" difference in OAL. This is using the same pressure when seating and I have marked the die to make sure it hasn't wandered. The press is mounted solidly to a heavy duty bench and does not move or flex. The only things I can figure out, is that this is due to flex in the die holder plate, or the inconsistency of the shape of the nose of the bullets. It happens on HP's, FN's, RN's, and TC's, of various manufacturers. Any idea what the cure for that is?

    The error traces directly to variances in the bullet itself. The seating plug doesn't press on the tip of the bullet (which would hold the OAL exact) but on a diameter on the ogive (curve) between the nose and the side of the bullet. This method maintains the distance between the bullets major diameter and the lands of the barrel better, which in turn increases the accuracy on target. Measure a bunch of factory ammo and you'll find that it varies also.
  • Bubba Jr.Bubba Jr. Member Posts: 7,624 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Tailgunner1954
    BTW, as I see no one has answered you yet,
    quote:Another thing that bugs me, is that when I seat the bullets, I can expect anywhere from .003" to .010" difference in OAL. This is using the same pressure when seating and I have marked the die to make sure it hasn't wandered. The press is mounted solidly to a heavy duty bench and does not move or flex. The only things I can figure out, is that this is due to flex in the die holder plate, or the inconsistency of the shape of the nose of the bullets. It happens on HP's, FN's, RN's, and TC's, of various manufacturers. Any idea what the cure for that is?

    The error traces directly to variances in the bullet itself. The seating plug doesn't press on the tip of the bullet (which would hold the OAL exact) but on a diameter on the ogive (curve) between the nose and the side of the bullet. This method maintains the distance between the bullets major diameter and the lands of the barrel better, which in turn increases the accuracy on target. Measure a bunch of factory ammo and you'll find that it varies also.


    That's what made the most sense to me also. So in other words there is no cure for the problem, just have to check every round and make adjustments as needed. Does anyone make ammo to higher specs, or is that the norm?

    Thanks,
    Joe
  • MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 12,961 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Unless you're having a length problem with a magazine, the specific OAL is not an issue. A few thousands either way is not going to be a problem if you're not firewalling the loads. As to the manual's length specs, in the 9mm and 40S&W the powder space is pretty small and seating deeper will restrict that causing the pressure to rise. Keep the variations from the manual's specs as small as possible. A few years ago, I was loading some unknown maker 9mm bullets that had a very long nose so I had to seat them slightly deeper to fit the magazine. In doing so I created a +P load that eventually ruptured a case blowing out the mag and grips.
  • smith52smith52 Member Posts: 78 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Joe
    Yes my powder charges were more consistent with the "bridge" removed. I purchased the Pro Auto Disk not the upgrade kit. I think it an excellent powder measure. I recommend using the FCD or TCD on any rimless case (.45ACP, 9mm, .40S&W, .38super for example) because the head spacing is measured from the case mouth.
    I agree with Tailgunner1954 & MoBuck about your OAL issue, veriation in the bullets. I checked some of my .40S&W reloads and I only have +/- 0.001" veriation in OAL. I just think 0.010" is excessive. What about your primers? Are the seated flush or just under flush. If the primers are seated a little proud that could cause some veriation in OAL when checking with a dial caliper.
  • Bubba Jr.Bubba Jr. Member Posts: 7,624 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by smith52
    Joe
    Yes my powder charges were more consistent with the "bridge" removed. I purchased the Pro Auto Disk not the upgrade kit. I think it an excellent powder measure. I recommend using the FCD or TCD on any rimless case (.45ACP, 9mm, .40S&W, .38super for example) because the head spacing is measured from the case mouth.
    I agree with Tailgunner1954 & MoBuck about your OAL issue, veriation in the bullets. I checked some of my .40S&W reloads and I only have +/- 0.001" veriation in OAL. I just think 0.010" is excessive. What about your primers? Are the seated flush or just under flush. If the primers are seated a little proud that could cause some veriation in OAL when checking with a dial caliper.


    I make sure all the primers are flush or below the rim, so there isn't any variation there. I have to concur that the variation is probably due to the crown on the front surface of the bullet. I just reloaded some Winchester Silver Tip hollow points today, and the variance was only about .002". Maybe the Winchester premium bullets are made to a higher standard and that must justify the price.

    I plan on buying a FCD for my 9mm., as soon as the hoarding lets up and they are back in stock.

    Thanks again for your help.
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