Question about seating the bullet straight

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by overdriv, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. overdriv

    overdriv Member

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    I recently rolled some of my .223 77gr. SMKs on a flat surface finding 60% of them have some run-out and 40% of them have, what I would call, a lot of run-out.

    I'm wondering where in the reloading process this is happening and what I can do to eliminate it. Could the sizing process be moving the neck out of alignment or is the bullet not seating straight? I tend to think the flaw is in the seating process.

    Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a concentricity gauge? That will give you more info on your loads than anything.

    Secondly, and probably most importantly, you can ditch the expander in your sizer die. Regardless of how good it is, it can still impose RO on the neck. Consistent neck tension is certainly a key to consistent accuracy. I use a lube to coat the inside before bullet seating and it works fine.

    When you are in the process of seating the bullet, do you seat it in one stroke of the press or do it in rotations a little at a time?

    I start the bullet seating just enough to where the neck grabs the bullet, then back out and rotate the brass 1/4 turn, then seat a little deeper, and so on until there are about 4-5 rotations during the seating process.

    I also turn the necks.

    2 items that have substantially changed my groups for the better after 15 years of loading are the concentricity gauge and ridding my dies of the expander.

    Good luck.
     

  3. LB

    LB Well-Known Member

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    No question about it, the solution is a chamber type seater, like a Wilson. All the Bench rest guys use them; should tell you something?

    Good hunting. LB
     
  4. Jimm

    Jimm Writers Guild

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Do you have a concentricity gauge? That will give you more info on your loads than anything.

    Secondly, and probably most importantly, you can ditch the expander in your sizer die. Regardless of how good it is, it can still impose RO on the neck. Consistent neck tension is certainly a key to consistent accuracy. I use a lube to coat the inside before bullet seating and it works fine.

    When you are in the process of seating the bullet, do you seat it in one stroke of the press or do it in rotations a little at a time?

    I start the bullet seating just enough to where the neck grabs the bullet, then back out and rotate the brass 1/4 turn, then seat a little deeper, and so on until there are about 4-5 rotations during the seating process.

    I also turn the necks.

    [ QUOTE ]


    [/ QUOTE ] .

    Good luck.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    What he said !
     
  5. overdriv

    overdriv Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Do you have a concentricity gauge? That will give you more info on your loads than anything.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    No I don't,but suppose I should get one.


    [ QUOTE ]
    Secondly, and probably most importantly, you can ditch the expander in your sizer die. Regardless of how good it is, it can still impose RO on the neck. Consistent neck tension is certainly a key to consistent accuracy. I use a lube to coat the inside before bullet seating and it works fine.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Sorry, but "RO" is what? Can one still get the bullet seated without shaving the sides of the bullet without the expander?

    [ QUOTE ]
    When you are in the process of seating the bullet, do you seat it in one stroke of the press or do it in rotations a little at a time?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I have been seating it in one stroke. I will implement this change.

    [ QUOTE ]
    I start the bullet seating just enough to where the neck grabs the bullet, then back out and rotate the brass 1/4 turn, then seat a little deeper, and so on until there are about 4-5 rotations during the seating process.

    I also turn the necks.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I don't do that and probably won't.

    [ QUOTE ]
    2 items that have substantially changed my groups for the better after 15 years of loading are the concentricity gauge and ridding my dies of the expander.

    Good luck.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Another question, just how much will this effect grouping?

    Thanks all for the advice on this!
     
  6. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    RO is Run Out, and is one of the achilles heals of reloading. No Run Out is good run out, even a couple of thousandths is too much to the serious long range shooter.

    Do you know exactly what Run Out is?

    I saw your reply about how to seat the bullet and in one instance you wrote you would implement the change, then in another you said you probably won't. I am guessing that the latter "won't" comment was on turning the necks.

    You can get a great concentricity gauge from Sinclair International. It is my opinion that turning the necks on GREAT brass is a waste of time, but doing it on good to mediocre brass is worth it's wt. in gold in terms of consistent groups. But many do not do this step and it is quite frankly, personal choice. I do not turn Lapua brass, but I do the WW and Fed brass, and in most cases it has made a substantial difference. I like that.

    You could surmise that turning neck brass is ~ equivocal to trimming the meplats. It just gives you that 2-5% improvement.

    I'd guess that if you seat a bullet with one stroke in a standard seater die then you have lots of RO. And by lots, I mean upwards of 10-15+ thousandths measurable on a concentricity gauge. I've seen this with many of my OLD handloads and factory ammo. Which still puzzles me to this day how some stuff shoots as good as it does under 250 yards.

    Anyway, good luck to you and if you take some extra time with brass prep and concentricity implementation, you'll enjoy your hobby much more.

    [ QUOTE ]
    Another question, just how much will this effect grouping?



    [/ QUOTE ]

    Well, how much this affects grouping is a question that has many parts to the answer. It depends on the exact rifle you are shooting, how concentric and squared it is, if it is bedded properly, and if the action mated to the bbl. is fundamentally sound. Ultimately, with a well built rifle that had the chamber cut with a great reamer and the tolerances are close to zero, the loading steps I describe could mean the difference between a 1/2" rifle at 100 and a one holer at 100.

    As of yesterday, I have now established 4 of my rifles to be one holers, but only 2 are consistent one holers---with 3 shot groups. This has taken me hours upon hours to achieve. But, I have hundreds of the bullets, and up to 8 pounds of the powders in each instance, so all is good, and hopefully repeatable, time and time again. Let me tell you, it is a damn good feeling taking a hunting rig to the range and the bench rest guy 2 tables down is pissed b/c your "deer rifle" is more accurate than his $5000 bench rest 6PPC. And that is with Sciroccos and Btips and TSX bullets. A Juenke bullet gauge will tell you quite a bit about your bullets too. Surprisingly, the Scirocco is actually the most concentric factory hunting bullet (lead core) that I've seen.

    Tell me how you resize your brass and how you measure the fired brass after it is resized, how you set up your sizer die, etc.
     
  7. overdriv

    overdriv Member

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    Derick, yes I know what run out is, just drew a blank when I read RO.

    I am very interested in loading accurate and consistant rounds, but I feel there is a point where one reaps diminishing returns. And I realize for serious long range shooting one must do everything possible to reach ones goals. I can certainly understand how RO could effect the group.

    I first tumble brass then decap with a universal decapping die. At the same time I clean the primer pocket and remove the crimp if it's military. I then full length resize the brass with an RCBS die. It has been suggested to not use the expander ball. I'll try that but not sure it's the right thing to do, but i'll try it. After resizing, I delube the brass by soaking it in citric cleaner mixed with water. When dry, I measure to determine if they need trimmed. I realize I should know what the diminsions of my chamber is to properly trim, but I have been trimming if they are at or over 1.760, then trim to 1.750. I lack a lot of the tools needed to make these measuments. But I will get them as I can afford them. I set the sizer die as per the directions that come with the dies. I seat the bullet with the standard seating plug that comes with RCBS dies. I am a bit unsure whether the seating plug is touching the meplat or the ogive during seating. This I need to resolve and not sure what to do with the seating plug. Could I relieve the inside top of the seating plug so the bullet would be sure of seating with the ogive??

    Please don't think I am disrespectful to your methods or knowledge with my comments. I do appreciate the help and I do want to persue accuracy. I just need to do it a bit at a time.
     
  8. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Please don't think I am disrespectful to your methods or knowledge with my comments. I do appreciate the help and I do want to persue accuracy. I just need to do it a bit at a time.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    No, not at all. I was just curious about your method. Do you have an RCBS Precision Mic or Stoney Point head space gauge? Another CRITICAL area (IME and Opinion) is exactly how you're setting up your sizer die. You might want to measure the headspace on 3 empties that have been fired from your rifle. Then, set up your sizer die so that you are only bumping the shoulder back no more than 0.002, with 0.001 preferred. If you follow the directions that come with the die, then you could be barely bumping the shoulder back or actually moving it 10-15 thousandths. The closer that sized brass is to your chamber, the better. Many guys neck size only and that is a great way to go until you have that one round you wish to chamber and it simply won't. Rare, but happens.

    Checking your headspace is a step that should just be part of your routine, IMO. It does make a difference.

    Good shooting to you!
     
  9. overdriv

    overdriv Member

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    Yes, I understand about the headspace and possibly resizing to much. That is the next tool on the "to buy" list. Which tool in your experience is the best to use for this?

    I hesitate to go to neck sizing as my rifle is a AR-15 in .223, with a 20" SS heavy, not varmint, barrel. I can shoot 1"/100yd groups with it now with my reloads, but there are occasional fliers. Thus the reason for investigating this RO I've found.

    You never commented on my question about seating bullets in brass that are sized without an expander. Is it possible to seat bullets without shaving copper, I mean it must be, but do you have to chamfer the inside of the case month a lot more?

    Thanks again for the help and advice. Don't stop, I'm listening, er... reading.
     
  10. 7mmRHB

    7mmRHB Well-Known Member

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    DerekM,Iv'e been turning necks on all brands of brass for years and one thing I've learned is that just because the next batch is Lapua it doesn't mean you don't need to turn the necks. In the last two weeks I've turned two different lots of 6BR Norma brass,100 6.5-284,and 120pcs. 308win.Norma brass.
    the first batch of 6BR brass was .00175 thicker on one side of the neck.(measured w/Starrett ball mic.). The next 100 6BR the necks were the best i've seen. they were off .00075 and could probably have been loaded accurately without neckturning.
    The 6.5-284 brass was out nearly .003 from side to side and I don't think you could expect low run out without neck turning them. The 120 brass in 308win. were from two lots 20 of one lot 100 from another. the 20 were well under .001 diff.from side to side, the 100 were off over .003 same brand different lot.
    In the middle of this I did 100pcs of 300 RUM brass from a new shipment at Sportsman warehouse and the necks were better (.0006) and more consistent than the mega buck brands. I realise that the Rem. brass was a fluke but I was just trying to make a point. NOBODY MAKES PERFECT BRASS
    If you use a bushing die with no expander ball on unturned brass the outside of the neck is round but the inside of the neck is oval shaped. That can't be a good thing!
    So use a bushing die but always turn the necks.
    Im with you on the seat and turn bullet seating method. It works for reducing R.O.-----7mmrhb
     
  11. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    You never commented on my question about seating bullets in brass that are sized without an expander. Is it possible to seat bullets without shaving copper, I mean it must be, but do you have to chamfer the inside of the case month a lot more?


    [/ QUOTE ]

    Sure, but you need a good coating inside the neck including the brass mouth where you chamferred. There are several ways to do it. I use graphite suspended in alcohol. There's a guy who makes the stuff in California. I just use a good chamfering tool, and use a q-tip, dab it in the suspension and roll it in the case mouth. I've pulled bullets after seating to see for myself if any copper was shaved and there wasn't any. Don't get aggressive with chamfering.

    [ QUOTE ]
    Which tool in your experience is the best to use for this?


    [/ QUOTE ]

    I use the RCBS Precision Mic.
     
  12. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    DerekM,Iv'e been turning necks on all brands of brass for years and one thing I've learned is that just because the next batch is Lapua it doesn't mean you don't need to turn the necks.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    This is true but for my purposes, I have 30.06 Lapua brass and my .06 is not a long range rifle. I bought the brass on sale and have seen no reason to go the extra mile with it because where I take the .06, I do not shoot beyond 300 yards. I've got consistent 5/8" groups with the 168 TSX bullet and it prints just over 2" groups with rapid chambering and a bipod at 330 yards. This is sufficient for my hunting grounds in KY and MO.
     
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Is the Lee dead length bullet seating die any good?
     
  14. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    I cannot answer that. I do not use any Lee equipment. All of my dies are either custom or Redding. Custom dies are best but you might sink $400 into them, and most folks won't do that and do not need to. I have had zero problems with my Redding micrometer seating dies.