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NTXshooter

Problems with Reloading Press

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I bought a Lyman Spar T press back in the late 70's.  I used it for several years to reload pistol ammo and it worked great.  it sat up for years until I got back into hunting and shooting, I dusted it off and started reloading rifle ammunition.  The problem I am having is that I am constantly having to re-adjust the bullet seating depth.  It just will not maintain the same length.  The press feels solid with no slop in the turret.  It does this with both RCBS and Hornady dies and all calibers that I shoot.  All thoughts and insights are appreciated.

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 Think I would think about a new press. Other then that my first thought is the seating mechanism in the die is working loose. But two different dies? That is a puzzle. Good news, presses are pretty cheap. This one has me stumped.

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8 hours ago, NTXshooter said:

I bought a Lyman Spar T press back in the late 70's.  I used it for several years to reload pistol ammo and it worked great.  it sat up for years until I got back into hunting and shooting, I dusted it off and started reloading rifle ammunition.  The problem I am having is that I am constantly having to re-adjust the bullet seating depth.  It just will not maintain the same length.  The press feels solid with no slop in the turret.  It does this with both RCBS and Hornady dies and all calibers that I shoot.  All thoughts and insights are appreciated.

 How much off are the COL's & how are you measuring them ?  

 My first thought is that there is some play somewhere in the Press . Seating a Bullet is not exerting very much pressure on the Press ram , so it would have to noticeable play to have changes in seating depth , one would think .

 My old Pacific has a link Pin to there Ram that backs out once in a While & will stop the Ram short if it backs out far enough to restrict the Ram travel , for just an example .

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2 hours ago, mineralman55 said:

Just for the heck of it, do you have a friend with a press? Take your components over there and go through your loading procedures. See if that stops your variance in COL.

  • Wait a minute. Once you get into reloading you spend all your sparetime sizing, polishing, measuring and seating. You no longer have friends because you don't have time for them. After all you have 50 newly empty brass you have to reload.:argue:

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14 hours ago, survivalshop said:

 How much off are the COL's & how are you measuring them ?  

 My first thought is that there is some play somewhere in the Press . Seating a Bullet is not exerting very much pressure on the Press ram , so it would have to noticeable play to have changes in seating depth , one would think .

 My old Pacific has a link Pin to there Ram that backs out once in a While & will stop the Ram short if it backs out far enough to restrict the Ram travel , for just an example .

The COL's could vary as much as .008.  I'll get it set on one round and the next may be short or long.  It is totally random.  I use a digital caliper with an anvil on one side to measure.

I rechecked the press.  The ram has a slight side to side play but is solid vertically.  The turret has a little play so that it can spin but i would think that movement would be pretty consistent from round to round.  Like you said, there is not a lot of pressure seating the bullet.

Edited by NTXshooter

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  0.008", Check you Bullets you are using , take a sample group & measure the length each one of them . Its possible the Bullets are not uniform in length , I had some Nosler Match .308 Bullets that were giving me the same issue .

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9 hours ago, survivalshop said:

...I had some Nosler Match .308 Bullets that were giving me the same issue .

Statement of problem right there. Nosler match bullets don't hold overall dimensions very well. It isn't just their poorly formed meplats (although most learned writers say that doesn't matter). The point of contact of the bullet's ogive seems to vary a lot with Noslers, more so than Sierra or Hornady.

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  Believe it or not , I find discrepancies with all Bullets . I always thought that Match Bullets would be above the rest , but I found thats just not true. I'm not saying the Noslers or any other Match Bullet shoots bad because of it , because most don't like Hornady because of it , they all shot just fine , but & its a big But , I'm not shooting long range , thats where the differences will  probably show up.  

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I think the projectile variance theory has a lot of merit. Just going off the bullets I have on my table right now, Hornady .308 208 gr HPBT Match:

1.485"; 1.474"; 1.481"; 1.489"; 1.475"

I've measured some as high as 1.495" and as low as 1.469". 

What you can do is set aside all the ones over your desired OAL and arrange them in order of length. Start with the shortest one, (requiring the least adjustment) adjust the die a little farther down until that one reaches desired OAL, then move to the next shortest and so on, first seating at the same setting as the last one, then adjusting a little further down each time.

The reason the die seats to various lengths is because the seat plug contacts a point on the ogive (a much more reliable measure) rather than at the tip. Check the cutaway view on this page and you'll see what I mean.

https://www.huntingtons.com/store/product.php?productid=18050

 

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23 hours ago, Alamo said:

The reason the die seats to various lengths is because the seat plug contacts a point on the ogive (a much more reliable measure) rather than at the tip. Check the cutaway view on this page and you'll see what I mean.

  Depends on the Bullet design, some may or may not use the Ogive for seating , it may be a long nosed bullet & bottom out in the Seating plug & if you may need to trim them to get uniform seating , like the tools below & there are many more .

http://www.bullettipping.com

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Alamo is right.  Look at this tool: https://www.brownells.com/reloading/measuring-tools/bullet-comparators/lnl-comparator-body-w-14-inserts-prod36535.aspx.

There are several made that do the same job this is just the one I use.  With these tools you are always measuring from a known point since even small imperfections found on even the best made meplats will show a difference that to a point do not affect accuracy.  You no longer measure c.o.a.l. or o.a.l. now you measure ogive to base.  What survivalshop is saying is right as well, these tools are used to set your cartridge length to have a certain "jump" to the lands in long range and bench rest shooting.  With these AR's though we generally need to set length to crimp at the cannalure.  we are held to about 2.80 overall length to fit the magazine.  If rounds are not crimped to the cannalure the recoil of the AR will cause the bullet to set back and result in sometimes dangerous pressures. You then get KABOOM, not a desired outcome.

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8 hours ago, Hotwrench said:

If rounds are not crimped to the cannalure the recoil of the AR will cause the bullet to set back and result in sometimes dangerous pressures. You then get KABOOM, not a desired outcome.

  With proper Neck Tension & a Taper Crimp or Lee's Factory Crimp Die  , the Bullets without a Cannelure don't move . I & others load & shoot a lot of Match Bullets with out a Cannelure & have no issues .

Edited by survivalshop

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I am sure that you do and it works for you, but it makes me wonder what the cannelure is there for. Maybe match is the key word. If the rifle is used in a more (not a fan of the word) tactical situation and more rapid fire used do you think setback might be an issue?  Personally with the round going bang inches from my face, hummm makes you think.

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12 hours ago, Hotwrench said:

I am sure that you do and it works for you, but it makes me wonder what the cannelure is there for. Maybe match is the key word. If the rifle is used in a more (not a fan of the word) tactical situation and more rapid fire used do you think setback might be an issue?  Personally with the round going bang inches from my face, hummm makes you think.

  If you have ever looked a a pulled Bullet that has been Taper Crimped or even more so , from the Lee Factory Crimp Die , you will see they make their own Depression , like a Cannelure . 

  This photo below is a Hand loaded Match Round that because of a Tolerance stacking between two different manufacturers Receivers , would not function with a certain brand of Magazine . The round was shoved into the Barrels Extension , leaving Bolt Locking Lug marks on it . Thats a lot of force pushing that Taper Crimped Bullet against the wrong place ( top ) of the Barrels Extension , the Bullet didn't move .

IMG_0747.thumb.JPG.371024d77afbd91b25972f4ce5831442.JPG

IMG_0746.thumb.JPG.1dabdc9951c9d65135143607627d26d3.JPG

 

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On 1/11/2018 at 7:37 AM, Hotwrench said:

 With these AR's though we generally need to set length to crimp at the cannalure.  we are held to about 2.80 overall length to fit the magazine.  If rounds are not crimped to the cannalure the recoil of the AR will cause the bullet to set back and result in sometimes dangerous pressures. You then get KABOOM, not a desired outcome.

 

On 1/11/2018 at 3:39 PM, survivalshop said:

  With proper Neck Tension & a Taper Crimp or Lee's Factory Crimp Die  , the Bullets without a Cannelure don't move . I & others load & shoot a lot of Match Bullets with out a Cannelure & have no issues .

You guys are both right on, and I've been preaching it here - this is semi-auto land, here, not bolt-gun land.  In a semi, you need to crimp your loads, or you will suffer bullet setback sometime, and bullet setback spikes chamber pressures to the moon.  Doesn't matter how you crimp, where you crimp - it matters THAT you crimp.  Taper, roll, cannelure, no cannelure...  that doesn't matter.  Like SS stated, I use alot of projectiles that don't have a cannelure, and that doesn't affect them.

Edited by 98Z5V

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