Need guidance on OAL and barrel hood clearance

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Need guidance on OAL and barrel hood clearance

Post by sixftunda on 8/30/2012, 7:10 pm

I am reloading Quality Cast 185 gr SWC on a Dillon 550B
I use mixed brass for practice and once fired Speer or WCC for matches.
I had made my first batch at 1.250 approx. 500 of them with no issues. I am using an STI Spartan.
I am getting ready to make another batch and realized I should drop one into the barrel of my gun. Lo and behold they stick out past the barrel hood. So I crank down on the die to shorten it. By the time I get it short enough to clear the barrel hood, either the shoulder of the bullet is below the lip of the casing or I get a lead sliver like you see in the picture. Sometimes the sliver is partial like the picture or it is a complete circle. My OAL at this pint is 1.20.

The only malfunctions I had with the first batch were 4-5 complete failures to extract out of 500.

I know that this is not a tight bullseye pistol. I am saving money for a good one but in the meantime I could use some advice. Is it vitally important for the casing to clear the barrel hood?
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Re: Need guidance on OAL and barrel hood clearance

Post by Jack H on 8/31/2012, 12:42 am

What's your crimp?
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Re: Need guidance on OAL and barrel hood clearance

Post by Virgil Kane on 8/31/2012, 7:34 am

I reload 45 acp so that it (the case rim) sticks up about .010" above the hood of my barrel. If I take a cartridge out of the chamber I will see the rifling marks on the shoulder of the lead bullet. Try seating the bullets so that they are EVEN with the barrel hood. You don't have to CLEAR the barrel hood as you stated.



You said that you had failure to extract out of your fist 500 rounds. Being too long will not cause FTE but will cause FTF!



We need more info from you. Do you seat the bullets seperatly and then crimp or do you do it in one step (seat & crimp) ?





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Re: Need guidance on OAL and barrel hood clearance

Post by sixftunda on 8/31/2012, 4:16 pm

Seat and crimp is done all together with a RCBS die. Crimp is .468
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Re: Need guidance on OAL and barrel hood clearance

Post by Founder on 8/31/2012, 7:31 pm

How much bell are you allowing during the powder drop? The only time I have seen the little ring of lead was when I was not opening the case mouth far enough for the bullet to start properly.

Otherwise seat to a depth that the shoulder of the SWC is a fingernail thickness above the case or less. Your crimp should be fine.
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Re: Need guidance on OAL and barrel hood clearance

Post by C.Perkins on 8/31/2012, 8:25 pm

The shaved lead ring comes from seating and crimping with a single die when the bullet is seated just above flush of the case.(seats and crimps/ shears a ring of lead off).

Seat the bullet with about a thumbnail of lead above the case mouth.

I seat and then crimp with two dies, but you do not need to.

If you keep seating and crimping like you are, most of those rings will fill up your die.

Please remove your die now and clean it out with an angled pick cause it will cause varying seating depths.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Need guidance on OAL and barrel hood clearance

Post by sixftunda on 9/15/2012, 5:26 pm

Follow-up:
I separated my seating and crimping operations, started using a Lee FCD, and my reloads look much better and my issues with clearing the barrel hood have gone away.

I picked up a set of Redding dies this week. The seater die pushes down on the shoulder of my LSWC. Have yet to try it.
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Re: Need guidance on OAL and barrel hood clearance

Post by Virgil Kane on 9/16/2012, 9:07 am

I have the same seating die from Redding and it works great! If I want to experiment with different SWC's of a different weight I don't have to change the seating die. Once OAL for your gun is figured out you just set it and forget it.



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Re: Need guidance on OAL and barrel hood clearance

Post by JLK on 9/16/2012, 9:41 am

Steve Bathje, who posts under that name on this bulletin board as well as the BE List, makes bullet
shoulder seating inserts for just about every die brand out there. I have bought a couple for my Star, Lee
and RCBS dies. They work just as you describe, I never have to adjust the depth when going from an
H&G 130 or 068, etc.
If you send him a PM I bet he can help you.
JLK
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