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Reloading Berger Bullets


How to reduce bullet runout?

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Unread 10-28-2008, 10:30 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 430
Re: How to reduce bullet runout?


You're fighting two problems. The first is fitting the seating plug to the pointed Berger's tip. You can open it up some with a drill press, milling machine or lathe, and then polish the machined area to better fit the bullet's shape. Other brands of dies will provide you with alternate plug shapes; I don't know about Lee. A gunsmith will help you if you aren't able to modify or replace your die's plug.

The second problem is your press. While many adhere to the idea of compliance in the case/shellholder being advantageous, when the press's ram is furnishing the compliance it is working against you. The ram's force is working to misalign the ram with the workpiece rather than the workpiece aligning itself with a ram whose force is stable. The press needs to have a new ram installed or be replaced itself. It is a factory defect and should be warranted.

Your location I would expect is disadvantageous to your getting satisfactory factory service (I seem to recall your being in South America), but an e-mail to Lee will confirm what they are able to do for you.

Last edited by Winchester 69; 10-28-2008 at 10:36 PM.
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Unread 10-29-2008, 01:41 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 85
Re: How to reduce bullet runout?

Winchester 69, Thank you for your comments. I am in South Africa, so i have serious doubts if returning the press would be the answer. I will contact lee and investigate the possibilities.
The other option would be to use the lee iron (it is a sturdy casting) and machine out the press bearing surface to accept a brass bush. i can also have the ram ground for a PERFECT fit. I suspect that if i put in some effort and elbow grease the (tuned)lee can match the best presses out there...
as far as the seating plug goes, i can turn up another seating plug and see if that improves things before plunging into new equipment.

looks like i'm heading for "pimp my gear"
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Unread 10-29-2008, 08:24 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 430
Re: How to reduce bullet runout?

Originally Posted by zoeper View Post
I am in South Africa....
Got the hemisphere right, anyway.

I have a suspicion that your press's problems lie in the ram itself, as it was mis-machined for the shellholder. If you get some measurements of the ram's diameter and the press's bore, Lee should be able tell if a ram replacement will be effective.

Unless you're doing the machine work yourself, I don't see the bushing approach as economic, and it may be difficult to align the new bore with the die. And the ram needs replacing because of the shellholder problem. I believe you should be open to just replacing the press as you first surmised if Lee can't help you.

Redding makes very well-made equipment and would be my choice for an O-frame press, but you may have another favored choice. I recall from posts on another forum some of your neighbors making recommendations for equipment dealers in your locale. If you need some help say so in a subsequent post, and I'll try to locate the posts and provide a link.

Lee equipment is inexpensive, but it is also cheaply made and has high production variances. If the warranty can't be exercised in your part of the world, buying it turns out to be a craps shoot. Worth keeping in mind for future purchases.

Last edited by Winchester 69; 10-30-2008 at 01:39 AM.
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