Why do I keep scraping the coating off my bullets??

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Why do I keep scraping the coating off my bullets??

Post by Laminarman on 5/22/2016, 9:34 pm

I am using the .45 RCBS Carbide 3 die set for BE reloading.  I seat with the die provided but do not taper crimp with that, I use a Redding taper crimp die separately to .470.  I am using SNS cast and coated bullets and they shoot best with 3.9 WST out of my STI Trojan.  I'm still pretty new to this.  If I expand the case mouth too much the bullets drops in and are very loose (obviously) and the coatings seems to get scraped off.  If I flare it "just right" it is just fine and seats well and no coating comes off.  But about 60% or more of the time, the coating scrapes off and I'm left with a rim of lead colored crud above the case mouth before I taper crimp.  This has been there right along but now that I'm paying more attention I'm wondering why I can't eliminate this?  I think due to case length variability and bullet coating variability there are some that the coating gets compromised.  What I do now since I'm becoming anal is taking a razor and scraping that lead line off.  I hope this makes sense.  The bullets work well but getting ready to give up and go back to the drawing board and regular cast lead which doesn't do this.

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Re: Why do I keep scraping the coating off my bullets??

Post by LenV on 5/22/2016, 9:42 pm

Good idea... Smile

" The bullets work well but getting ready to give up and go back to the drawing board and regular cast lead which doesn't do this."


Last edited by OldMaster66 on 5/23/2016, 6:42 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added quote)
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Re: Why do I keep scraping the coating off my bullets??

Post by Fire Escape on 5/23/2016, 7:40 am

It sounds as though your expander plug is enlarging the cases too much for them to hold the bullet (or they are not getting sized enough?). There should still be some neck tension between the case and bullet even if you flared the mouth out like a trombone (how much neck tension is subjective, too much and you will be sizing your bullets down). Measure the diameter of the smaller (non-flaring) portion of your expander and compare it to the bullet diameter to insure that it is slightly smaller. You may be able to get a smaller diameter expanding plug from RCBS or you may be able to stone down your current expander a bit. When the case 'neck' holds the bullet you should be able to flare the mouth just enough to stop the scraping. This presumes that the bullets themselves are not undersized.

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Re: Why do I keep scraping the coating off my bullets??

Post by jglenn21 on 5/23/2016, 9:02 am

check into the Lyman M die

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Re: Why do I keep scraping the coating off my bullets??

Post by DavidR on 5/23/2016, 10:19 am

sounds like the coating is not very good, ive seen many pics of fired powder coated bullets that don't loose coating even from being fired thru a riffled barrel.
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Re: Why do I keep scraping the coating off my bullets??

Post by Virgil Kane on 5/23/2016, 10:40 am

DavidR wrote:sounds like the coating is not very good, ive seen many pics of fired powder coated bullets that don't loose coating even from being fired thru a riffled barrel.


+1

If it can't hold up to reloading what's a trip down the barrel under a few thousand PSI going to do to the coating?  Not all powder coatings or applying techniques are equal.

I've had the pleasure of trying to scrub out some under cooked powder coating from my barrel. The powder coating baked into the barrel  and was a bear to get out.


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Re: Why do I keep scraping the coating off my bullets??

Post by Gunsnjeeps on 5/23/2016, 3:41 pm

Are you seating and crimping at the same time?  When you do you are pushing the bullet down as you crimp the sides in to it.

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Re: Why do I keep scraping the coating off my bullets??

Post by Laminarman on 5/23/2016, 8:28 pm

Gunsnjeeps wrote:Are you seating and crimping at the same time?  When you do you are pushing the bullet down as you crimp the sides in to it.

Thanks for the responses. No, I'm seating with the seating die then crimping separately with the Redding taper crimp die.  I flare J U S T enough to start the bullet and there's good neck tension holding it, but sometimes it just scrapes the coating off.  Other times it doesn't.  I don't know if posting photos will help.  If I flare more with the RCBS die it bells out but then doesn't hold the bullet well.  I don't think that's adjustable at all, I just screw the die insert up or down to set the amount of flaring/opening I want.  The SNS cast bullets are polymer coated and have a lot of successful users but this is getting tedious.

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Re: Why do I keep scraping the coating off my bullets??

Post by jglenn21 on 5/25/2016, 7:02 pm

think about why you are shaving the edge of the bullets..

they are not entering the case square and are angled..

your seating stem is not aligning the bullet squarely to the case..

for the SWC cast bullets I like the M style belling die that allows you to put the bullet partially into the case and it's align correctly. the die's stem has two steps to it. I also use a seating stem that hits only the rim of the bullets not the round top. much better alignment.. I also have seen folks make a custom seating stem by using glass bedding to form the stem to the exact bullet you are using.


also be sure your current seating die is not rolling the case up too much (closing the mouth) Allow the taper crimp to do all of that.

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Re: Why do I keep scraping the coating off my bullets??

Post by 10sandxs on 5/29/2016, 11:57 am

I've seen dubious results with sns, blue bullets, and several others out there selling coated bullets. Thier coatings are not created or applied equally. I've hesrd numerous complaints thst blue bullets turn people's fingers blue while reloading, not good. If I wanted dirty fingers and dies during reloading I'd stay with cast lubed bullets.

I cast and powder coat using the "shake and bake" or "asbb" method and get excellent results. I've had short casings go through with no flare and they never shave off coating/lead.

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Re: Why do I keep scraping the coating off my bullets??

Post by DarkThanatos on 1/15/2018, 11:10 am

To answer your question about why some of your .45 will seat the powder coated bullets fine when you have the correct expansion on the case mouth but as you said you still have about 60% of the bullets getting lead shaved off of them. I was running into the same issue with 38 special. Till I remembered that every time we fire the brass the it will stretch and when we crimp it the case is trimmed in a way this is usually more prevalent with a roll crimp as opposed to a taper crimp. Most of us don't trim our pistol brass. I actually don't know anyone who does. So to fix your problem yes you need to make sure the bullets are going in strait however when your ready to run your brass through your expansion die for the case mouth grab your calipers and measure the length of the casings. Most should be close in length to each other but you will have a couple that are a little on the short side. I usually find the shortest one I can find within about 20 to 30 casings. After that set your expansion die for that short casing and run all your brass through with that setting. At that point as long as you are seating the bullets relatively straight you shouldn't have any problems. What I have found is that if you set your expansion die for one of the longer casings then the shorter ones don't have enough expansion on them to keep from scraping the bullet usually right after the lube ring. Also when I do this I lower my seating die down to the case mouth then back it off anywhere between 1/2 to a full turn that way the die isn't crimping down on that expanded case mouth. After I seat my bullets then I go back and crimp. Doing this way I may only have 1 or 2 bullets out of 100 that have had any powder coating shaved off and the amount removed is miniscule at best. Hope this helps

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Re: Why do I keep scraping the coating off my bullets??

Post by Laminarman on 1/15/2018, 8:31 pm

Wow, I forgot I posted this thread over a year ago but appreciate this excellent advice!

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Re: Why do I keep scraping the coating off my bullets??

Post by aaronb on 1/16/2018, 6:06 am

So what fixed the problem?

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Re: Why do I keep scraping the coating off my bullets??

Post by 243winxb on 1/16/2018, 9:20 am

Had this problem with my RCBS seating die.  A seating die may remove the bell to soon, resulting in lead being shaved from the bullet. This may leave a ring of lead in the chamber. Open the inside of the seating die with a wood dowel and emery paper. Be careful not to remove the taper crimp area. Seat and taper crimp in separate operation.
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Re: Why do I keep scraping the coating off my bullets??

Post by SmokinNJokin on 1/16/2018, 10:15 am

The hornady seating die is EXCELLENT for lead and coated bullets, the new style with the collar that slides down.

The collar is separate from the seater, and hangs down out of the die to straighten the bullet up before it engages the seater portion. This die also does not remove any of the bell so no issue with shaving.

This is my setup on a hornady LNL for mass producing lead/powdercoat ammo and I get NO shavings, ever.

Station 1 - Lee 45 colt carbide sizing die. Have found most .45 auto dies unnecessarily undersize the brass for 1911 match chamber. YRMV, but works great for me, minimal stress on brass and less effort on press handle.

Station 2 - Hornady PTX .45 colt expander. Perfect size and depth for seating .452 lead bullets without needing to flare much. Bullets will seat all the way to the grease groove and no deeper by hand, perfect. Works with jacketed as well, just have to set expansion depth shallower so that bullet has some base support from setback.

Station 3 - Hornady bullet feeder die. This works about 85% of the time with PC bullets due to the variance in diameter and coating thickness. Just have to be watchful. With plain lead or jacketed it works 100%.

Station 4 - Hornady .45 auto seating die, with micro-adjust seating stem added. The alignment collar puts this die ahead of the more expensive redding micrometer version, lines bullets up nice and straight before any downward pressure is applied.

Station 5 - Dillon crimp die

This setup can easily be copied on a 4-station press by eliminating the bullet feeder. It has taken me a lot of trial and error to get to here, but now I can blast through a big loading session and nothing but a few stray grains of powder fall onto the shell plate. And the handle actuation on the press is very smooth, which equals consistency.

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Re: Why do I keep scraping the coating off my bullets??

Post by wileybelch on 2/3/2018, 4:12 am

So far no one has mentioned the practice of taper reaming the case mouth to aid the inital seating of cast bullets.  I know jacketed bullet shooters often ignore chamfering case mouths because the jacket material is hard enough to withstand distortion/gouging.  Plus, beveling the case mouth takes extra time!  Mouth beveling and a Lyman 'M' die have all but eliminated 'shaving' with my cast bullets.  Be on notice, however, that the Lyman expander nipple will wear out.  The 'step' on my .38 and .45 'M' nipples rarely survive 3 - 5000 rounds before they are worn down and may need replacing.  When I tried to order replacement nipples from Lyman, they would not sell me just the nipple, I had to buy the complete expander stem.

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Re: Why do I keep scraping the coating off my bullets??

Post by Gary Wells on 2/3/2018, 9:38 am

Aw, you guys are life savers, many thanks. I was just getting ready to buy a few K's of these both lead & coated for a friend of mine & myself but after reading all this i think that I will stay with plain ol' 200 gr LSWC & 185 gr H&G # 130 "button" bullet style LSWC. Might look into a different brand &/or different coating type. Or just stick with lead poisoning.

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Re: Why do I keep scraping the coating off my bullets??

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