Runout with a Redding Bullet seating die W/Correct VLD seater

Blkrflguy

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Dec 4, 2020
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Southwest Wy
Guys,
I've got a Forster press and just set up a new Mec press. I've measured the case neck thickness and case runout with Sinclair thickness, and runout gauges. The case neck thickness varies from .005-.0015, and the case runout is .000-.002". I also use an expander mandrel prior to seating during the test just to make sure variences were pushed to the outside. Yet still get from .002-.0045" of bullet runout! I've emailed back and forth with a Redding customer service guy who suggested I get a VLD stem, which I did after our first correspondence. When that didn't fix it, he suggested turning the bullet half way during the seating, making sure the necks are deburred, etc. I've employed that technique for years. And still, the concentricity issues remain. I'm currently using Hornady brass which mentioned above, I've checked and sorted. While not Lapua, i've had good luck in the past and this batch of 6/5 has been quite good! In his last email after I've tried all his known tricks which I already do, he recommended I use Lapua brass. That's when I asked him if he thought I should switch die manufactures too! He's yet to get back to me on that one..
So have you guys had this issue with Redding and how did/do you address and fix it? I think i've tried everything except buying another die which, I'm not wanting to.
 

Carlos88

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Is your shell holder square with the bottom of the resizing & seating die? If not you can try a different shell holder and/or die lock ring. You really need to make sure the neck thickness is the same for each case. If not, you'll have to turn necks and resize again. Are the cases all the same length? They need to be.

BTW, what rifle are you shooting these with? What is the measured accuracy for 5 or even 10 shot groups?

I've never had issues with Redding dies. That doesn't mean there aren't duds out there. The internals of the die would be the last culprit in my opinion.
 
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MagnumManiac

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Feb 25, 2008
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3,612
Is this die a comp seater die or just a regular seating die?
If it’s a comp seater die, have you adjusted it so that the die body, not the sleeve, is slightly camming over and then have the lock ring tightened?
It’s important to remove all slack from the die/press threads and the die linkages to get everything aligned squarely.
If you don’t, you get what’s called tolerance stacking.
Sometimes, even with a VLD stem, it’s where it contacts on the ogive that causes the runout.
You can try forming the stem to the bullet using Devcon, you wax up a bullet, fill the stem with Devcon after lightly sanding the inside then push a bullet in there and let it cure and trim off the excess. The bullet will now fit and won’t go off to either side while seating.

Cheers.
 

Carlos88

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"You can try forming the stem to the bullet using Devcon, you wax up a bullet, fill the stem with Devcon after lightly sanding the inside then push a bullet in there and let it cure and trim off the excess. The bullet will now fit and won’t go off to either side while seating."

This does work. I did that many years ago with some 7x57 dies but I drilled a bit of material out of the cup to allow for variances in the bullet tip (139gr Hornady Interlocks).
 

Blkrflguy

Active Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2020
Messages
33
Location
Southwest Wy
Is your shell holder square with the bottom of the resizing & seating die? If not you can try a different shell holder and/or die lock ring. You really need to make sure the neck thickness is the same for each case. If not, you'll have to turn necks and resize again. Are the cases all the same length? They need to be.

BTW, what rifle are you shooting these with? What is the measured accuracy for 5 or even 10 shot groups?

I've never had issues with Redding dies. That doesn't mean there aren't duds out there. The internals of the die would be the last culprit in my opinion.
The shell holder on the MEC is square. There isn't one used on a Forster. I don't turn necks but, I have loads for a 308 that only have .005-.0015" of run out which is far more acceptable. I used a expander mandrel to insure any thickness variations were pushed to the outside of the necks so, the inside mouth of the case is perfect. The gun is a 6/5 Savage and only has 85 rounds through it. I did break the barren in. So far the groups have been good at a half min, and the best group was just under .220".
 

Blkrflguy

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Messages
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Location
Southwest Wy
Is that a problem? Is it showing up in your groups? I’d be surprised…

How are you measuring that?
It can be. I've only got about 85 rounds down the pipe so far, it's a new gun. But the groups so far have been .220-.5". I was breaking in the barrel and have already done LD. My thinking is If a bullet is out of concentricity by .004" it means it's wabbling out of the barrel like that too. A bullet that starts out straight, will tend to fly straight. I'm measuring the neck thickness and concentricity with Sinclair gauges. I've only shot to 100 with this gun but plan to get out to 1600 so I want this concentricity issue addressed before I get out that far with this gun.
 
Last edited:

Blkrflguy

Active Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2020
Messages
33
Location
Southwest Wy
Is this die a comp seater die or just a regular seating die?
If it’s a comp seater die, have you adjusted it so that the die body, not the sleeve, is slightly camming over and then have the lock ring tightened?
It’s important to remove all slack from the die/press threads and the die linkages to get everything aligned squarely.
If you don’t, you get what’s called tolerance stacking.
Sometimes, even with a VLD stem, it’s where it contacts on the ogive that causes the runout.
You can try forming the stem to the bullet using Devcon, you wax up a bullet, fill the stem with Devcon after lightly sanding the inside then push a bullet in there and let it cure and trim off the excess. The bullet will now fit and won’t go off to either side while seating.

Cheers.
It's a comp. I followed the installation instructions per Redding which is, to compress the sleeve until the shell holder meets the body and then back off a turn. Unless I'm misunderstanding you, the instructions say not to cam over if the die body is touching the shell holder because that could damage the die. I'll try seating one and then tightening the locking ring to remove any slack before lowering the arm. I'm currently loading for the Hornady 143's so if I go to Bergers (which I've shot for years in other calibers) I'll probably need another bullet stem right?
 

MagnumManiac

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Feb 25, 2008
Messages
3,612
I used to follow the instructions too, but we are talking a bees **** amount of contact.
If you’re not comfortable doing so, that’s fine, you can do exactly what you describe, it may work just fine.
A .002” runout won’t affect your groups much, the throat tends to straighten a small amount of runout in my experience.

Cheers.
 

Mikecr

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Aug 10, 2003
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Location
NC, oceanfront
Is brass of concern new or fire formed for your measure?
What point on seated bullets are you measuring 'bullet runout'?
\When you say: The case neck thickness varies from .005-.0015, what do you really mean? The necks are not 1.5-5thou thick, and 5thou of variance is worse than I have ever seen.
 

nksmfamjp

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Joined
Jan 5, 2004
Messages
1,356
The case neck thickness varies from .005-.0015
What does this mean? I think there is a typo in there affecting my understanding.

The case neck thickness varies from .005-.0015, and the case runout is .000-.002". I also use an expander mandrel prior to seating during the test just to make sure variences were pushed to the outside. Yet still get from .002-.0045" of bullet runout!
Is this case neck runout measured on the od with rollers at the base and shoulder…..and no visible case defects?

your case neck od runout + neck thickness runout + seater misalignment is your minimum bullet runout. It seems like neck thickness variation is your biggest issue.

Do you use an expander ball? I find it helps runout on these no neck turn situations.

Forgot to add….how does your seater fit your bullet?
 
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Old Infantry Guy

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Joined
Feb 12, 2019
Messages
31
Location
Limestone,NY.
Guys,
I've got a Forster press and just set up a new Mec press. I've measured the case neck thickness and case runout with Sinclair thickness, and runout gauges. The case neck thickness varies from .005-.0015, and the case runout is .000-.002". I also use an expander mandrel prior to seating during the test just to make sure variences were pushed to the outside. Yet still get from .002-.0045" of bullet runout! I've emailed back and forth with a Redding customer service guy who suggested I get a VLD stem, which I did after our first correspondence. When that didn't fix it, he suggested turning the bullet half way during the seating, making sure the necks are deburred, etc. I've employed that technique for years. And still, the concentricity issues remain. I'm currently using Hornady brass which mentioned above, I've checked and sorted. While not Lapua, i've had good luck in the past and this batch of 6/5 has been quite good! In his last email after I've tried all his known tricks which I already do, he recommended I use Lapua brass. That's when I asked him if he thought I should switch die manufactures too! He's yet to get back to me on that one..
So have you guys had this issue with Redding and how did/do you address and fix it? I think i've tried everything except buying another die which, I'm not wanting to.
Using Redding dies, both sizing and seating, for my 6.5 PRC, and using Hornady brass, I end up with a little over a thousandth of an inch in run-out. I use their Big Boss II press and their shellholder. I employ K&M neck turning tools which includes the expand mandrel.
I would like to think that my success with concentricity is a result of my superior reloading skills, but it's really the result of superior tools.

Worst case scenario: .0045" run-out is still quite acceptable.
 
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