Redding micrometer seater

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by BROWNT, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. BROWNT

    BROWNT Active Member

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    I am using RCBS dies but I am interested in using the Redding micrometer seating die. Can I use my RCBS resizer and just buy the Redding seater?
    Thanks
     
  2. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

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    I can't see why not. I use a Lee Collet die neck sizer and a Redding comp seater and a Hornady resizer and a Redding comp seater so RCBS should be no different .
     

  3. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you can. The Redding micrometer i.e. Competition, seater is great. You can get spot on OAL's with it. But their sizer dies with bushings are great also. Any sizer with an expander ball can pull the case neck out of alignment: Not good.
     
  4. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    I've been reloading for a very long time and used/owned more brands of dies than most of today's reloaders ever heard of. Yes, dies of mixed brands work as well or better than the same.

    So far as average results by brand I've learned there is as much variation between individual dies of the same brand as between brands; they are all made to the same SAAMI tolerances. (Occasionally it seems a bad die can get out from any maker but they ALL will replace defects.)

    I've found there are two groups that all dies fall into, on average. Clearly, Redding/Forster dies are tied for best because of their full-length body sleeve that holds case and bullet in proper alignment before seating starts. All other dies are tied for second best, and I mean all of them, no matter any cute and costly little gimmicks they may include.

    The effective loading difference between the two groups of dies is clear but usually not massive; a really good conventional die set will load ammo just as well as a more costly set. A MUCH bigger issue than the dies is the loader's lack of or possesion of skill and not a lot of "experienced" reloaders have great skill. Neither time at the bench nor volume of reloading means much, of themselves. Some good loaders have ten years of experience, some poor loaders have one year of experience they've repeated twenty (or more) times without learning any more!

    Poor cases can easily negate the value potential of any expensive dies. And NO ONE can tell how precisely he has assembled his ammo without using a concentricity gage. Rolling cartridges on a flat plate may expose really poor ammo but no one can tell if the run-out is small and run-out matters.

    Micrometer seater heads make it easier for us to set bullets to a specific OAL, they don't do a thing other than that; mic heads can't do anything to improve concentricity or OAL that a conventional seater screw doesn't do.
     
  5. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    save yourself enough money to buy at least one case of beer, and buy the Forster seater. Redding just copied the Forster and added about $20 to the price tag, but the Forster head seems to have less backlash built into it. Still both seaters have some backlash in their heads, no matter what.
    gary
     
  6. BROWNT

    BROWNT Active Member

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    Thanks Tricky, I believe I will
     
  7. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    I use both brands, and I like the Forster Ultra seater better, but still there's just not a lot of difference except for money spent. If you load just one bullet, there's little to be gained with the micrometer head. Once you have all the settings down you won't be moving things around much. I mostly use the micrometer heads on 22 centerfire and 6mm rounds because I change bullets a lot. What I do is to keep a log book with the settings in it. Always try to start from the middle of travel on the head; that way you can go up or down with it. Kinda like doing clicks with a powder measurer.
    gary
     
  8. BROWNT

    BROWNT Active Member

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    Well the reason I wanted to try the micrometer seater was that I recently watched the Defensive Edge reloading video and that is what Shawn used to seat his bullets. I have been having trouble reloading Berger VLD and keeping the OAL measured at the ogive the same. And his solution looked like a good idea.
    Thanks again
    Troy
     
  9. Trikstr

    Trikstr Well-Known Member

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    Something to consider.

    Bought a set for my 338LM. They had a card inside that said NOT to use the competion seating die to seat bullets with compressed charges of powder as damage would result that would not be covered under warranty. Hadn't seen this before with any of the the other calibers I load for. Called them up to inquire if it was only for the 338 or any caliber comp. seater and they said all.
     
  10. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    BROWNT there can be reasons for your dilemma regardless of the die.
    -For one, whatever OAL comparator you're using probably doesn't contact the bullet nose at the same datum as the seater plug. With this, slight variances in ogive radius can change your comparison. Micrometer adjustments are useful to counter.
    -Another is the press itself(it's alignment, flex & tolerances) and your setting of it w/resp to the shellholder.
    I've never used a Forster. I've used Redding Competitions with a Harrell press. But my preference is Wilson inlines with micrometer tops. This, because it eliminates press errors.
    -Oversizing necks can increase seating force to a point where you get wedging with the seater plug. A definite source of trouble for consistency. Oversizing is anything beyond 3thou under cal(after springback).

    I don't seat to within a tolerance. I seat to an EXACT number -every round.
    I'm also fussy about loaded round runout off noses.
    Wilson seaters and rational sizing take care of the last two factors. I qualify ogive radius on my bullets to eliminate the first factor.
     
  11. BROWNT

    BROWNT Active Member

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    Thanks Trikstr for the heads up but the loads I'm playin with now are a 6.5x284 and they are not compressed.

    Mikecr you are correct on the position of my comparator measurement point to the seater plug contact point but I did not realize Berger could have ogive variances. The Wilson die sounds like it helps, I don't know anything about them but I will be looking into that because loads to an exact # is what I'm trying to accomplish.
    Thanks
    Troy
     
  12. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    Hold On!

    we are compairing apples to oranges here.

    * with the gauge setup you are setting up your own personal gauge line deminsion that has little if anything todo with some written in a book or posted on the internet. Now you can take this a step further (assuming you have access to a Shadowgraph), and figure out the perfect datum line O.D. Most all of us can't do that, and in the end means little. The best way to do this is to either figure out what Forster or Redding is using on their seater stem, or simply come up with you own set of number that will put you in the general area you are seaking. I do it a slightly different way, in that I often use the actual bore size of a certain barrel. Still other times I just make up a bushing that contacts the bullets where I want it to. I actually have more bushings that I've custom machined than came with the kit itself. (probably forty)

    That measurement is your own gauge line to go by, and dosn't interchange with a gun setting right beside it. I keep a log book that seperates each bullet I use and each barrel / bolt combo. If you have the Hornaday/Stoneypoint tool, then you get get very close to the max overall length without getting into a jam condition. Then you setup a max deminsion off that length ( with the bushing you selected). Now I always recommend that a person do this setup several times to be sure he is correct. Then simply throw out the max numbers at each end and then average them out. That'll put you very close to what you are seeking. Then you will say "hey I want .015" bullet jump", and set the die for that number. I recommend you establish a dummy round that just touches the rifeling, and drill out the primer pocket you you don't loose it.

    * if you decide to machine your own bushings, always try to keep all faces parallel and round. I prefer to bore mine rather than ream them. Secondly take a Scotchbrite pad and lightly wipe the shoulder that will contact the bullet. I will usually have about .010" radius there when done. I also use the same method for sizing cases, but the datum O.D. is figured as half the distance from the neck O.D. to the shoulder O.D.

    gary