Need help with 204?

Mike Patton

Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Messages
12
Location
Kansas
Need some help? 204 ruger reloading, RCBS die set, about every 6-8 shells the bullets push in the brass. I am even loading boat tails. New die set, full length resizer, has neck bulb, what am I doing wrong?
 

sable tireur

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Joined
Oct 8, 2010
Messages
2,006
Do you chamfer the neck mouth?

Are you lubing the necks or the expander ball or both?

Is the expander ball too small?

It's possible that the expander ball may need to be polished a little bit. Crocus cloth while the expander is spinning.

This is just a couple of the dozens of suggestions which could be made considering your situation.

Check and measure everything.

Enjoy!

:)
 

just_jon

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LRH Team Member
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Dec 1, 2019
Messages
1,034
Location
SC PA
Sounds to me like you seating die is set too deep causing the brass to crimp before the bullet is fully seated. This would result in increases seating resistance and crushed cases. Check out the attached for more detailed seating die set up/

 

Mike Patton

Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Messages
12
Location
Kansas
Do you chamfer the neck mouth?

Are you lubing the necks or the expander ball or both?

Is the expander ball too small?

It's possible that the expander ball may need to be polished a little bit. Crocus cloth while the expander is spinning.

This is just a couple of the dozens of suggestions which could be made considering your situation.

Check and measure everything.

Enjoy!

:)
New RCBS, all measures correct! I don’t lube the inside of any cartridge, I use anhydrous lanolin on the shell, I believe I may have had it set to deep? Not sure why it only did that to one out of 8. Thanks for advice.
 

Mike Patton

Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Messages
12
Location
Kansas
Sounds to me like you seating die is set too deep causing the brass to crimp before the bullet is fully seated. This would result in increases seating resistance and crushed cases. Check out the attached for more detailed seating die set up/

You were correct
 

just_jon

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Dec 1, 2019
Messages
1,034
Location
SC PA
I’m just glad it worked out. Brass, especially 204 brass, is hard to come by these days.
 

chav0_12

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Joined
Jan 4, 2011
Messages
658
Location
Ronan MT
New RCBS, all measures correct! I don’t lube the inside of any cartridge, I use anhydrous lanolin on the shell, I believe I may have had it set to deep? Not sure why it only did that to one out of 8. Thanks for advice.
Are you trimming all of your brass to the same length? If not some of it may be longer from factory inconsistencies if new, or even once fired, or it could have grown too much. 204 Ruger brass doesn’t typically need to be trimmed too often, but if they’re not the same length and you have the crimp set low it could cause this.

Don’t use this experience and think that every time you crush a case seating it’s because your crimp is too low. I’ve definitely had, more often than a crimp issue, where the necks are too tight or not chamfered enough that causes a case to collapse. I’ve been lucky at not doing too much damage that I’ve been able to size it out on occasion.

The best way to set a die for seating is removing or backing the seating stem waaaayyy out. Run a trimmed and sized case all the way up in the press, then screw the die down until it makes contact. Then back it out at least a a quarter turn. I usually take mine out half to a full turn because I don’t see the need to add a crimp while seating. If I need a crimp I’ll add it later. Then I’ll stick a bullet in the empty case and run it all the way up and start screwing my seating stem down. When it makes contact I’ll lower the ram and give the seat stem a couple of turns. Then run that case back up and measure. Keep screwing it down, bullet puller handy, until it’s where I want it.

Good luck with your 204, they’re a lot of fun and I need to get another.
 
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