lead shaving when seating

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lead shaving when seating

Post by Aprilian on 12/13/2016, 9:14 pm

I may have a mismatch between dies and bullets.

Magnus BNWC flat base #802
Winchester brass - once of twice fired
Lyman M-1 expander die
Redding micrometer seating die
RCBS Rockchucker

Brass is expanded to the point that half the rear driving band easily sits in the case.   I check the bullet is sitting straight and then press it home.  Every 4th to 5th round gives a sliver of lead around the edge of the case.  It does not happen as often with the Magnus #802, but still occasionally.

I tried lowering the expander button in the die body and went too far - as the outside of the stretched brass was then rubbing on the body of the seating die and giving a polished ring on the tip of the case.   I backed off a bit at a time, so now I know it is expanding as much as possible without rubbing in the seating die, but the slivers still occasionally show up.

I am guessing the sliver comes off the bottom edge of the rear (later edit;  I wrote rear when I meant to write front) driving band as the case mouth moves over that square edge.  It is always attached firmly and takes fingernail and rag to break it free.

1) will these slivers leave the driving bands damaged to the point of impacting accuracy?
2) anyone had a similar occurrence?
3) suggested steps to avoid it?

Thanks

Ian


Last edited by Aprilian on 12/29/2016, 1:52 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Wrote brass when I meant lead sliver and rear, when I menat front - sorry)
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Re: lead shaving when seating

Post by 243winxb on 12/13/2016, 9:50 pm

 a sliver of brass   


If its lead??   My RCBS  seating dies inside diameter was to small. It removed the bell to soon. 

I opened it a few thou using a wood dowel and  emery paper.

Do not go to deep and remove the taper crimp area. 

Or you could try,  seat and crimp in separate operations.  This requires the seating stem to be turned down a lot.
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Re: lead shaving when seating

Post by LenV on 12/14/2016, 12:04 am

+1 on seating and crimping in separate operation.

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Re: lead shaving when seating

Post by Aprilian on 12/14/2016, 6:12 am

Redding's seating die is supposed to have no crimp and I am crimping separately.

Yes, it is lead.
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Re: lead shaving when seating

Post by Virgil Kane on 12/14/2016, 7:23 am

I had similar problems and here's how I cure it.  

All seating dies have some taper to them otherwise the belling of the mouth would not fit into the die and you would crush the case.   Sounds like you have the body of your seating die turned down just a bit to far. Try backing out the body of the seating die about a half turn at a time and then re-adjust the seating stem to the length you want. The backing out of the die body should get rid of the lead shaving when seating.  Even with my Redding Pro seating die I have this problem if I screw the die body down to far.

A heads up, the shaving of lead can cause problems with a 1911 and a tight chamber if they are not cleaned from the cartridge before firing.


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Re: lead shaving when seating

Post by SteveBrown on 12/14/2016, 8:18 am

I have this problem with flat base bullets also. (Beveled base bullets are never a problem.) What I have to do with flat based bullets is place the bullet in position by hand just prior to seating. I usually seat and crimp separately but it really doesn't matter in this case. When I place the bullet in position I can feel if it is positioned past the edge of the brass and slightly into the bevel. It's quite obvious when the bullet is not positioned slightly below the lip of the case and resting on top of the case instead. If the bullet is resting on top of the brass and is not slightly past the lip and into the bevel you will likely get "shaved" bullets as you described.
As far as it having an effect on accuracy, I am a believer in the theory that the back of the projectile is far more important than the nose. I read the method and results of a projectile test from some time ago and it makes sense in my mind. To summarize the test, they distorted the nose of a series of projectiles in various ways and the effect was minimal. They then distorted the base of a series of projectiles and found that the bullets were extremely off target and very unpredictable.
When a bullet is shaved during the loading process, it is removing material from the base (rudder) of the projectile and will likely not fly true. (There are surely some that will disagree!)
End of rant.

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Re: lead shaving when seating

Post by Aprilian on 12/14/2016, 8:35 am

More info to add to the discussion.

Virgil, The Redding seating die is up almost as far is it can go since the seating stem only has 1 1/4 turns left on the micrometer until it bottoms out. 

Taking some 1000 grit to the mouth of the die this morning, it was loaded with brass.  I'll keep taking it down until I get a slight increase in the diameter to avoid it behaving like a crimp die.  

Steve,  It is definitively not coming from the base.   The bullet drops in the "bell" to the middle of the first driving band, so it is physically impossible for the base to be the source of the shaving.  I am having some shavings on bevel base too.
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Re: lead shaving when seating

Post by Virgil Kane on 12/14/2016, 9:27 am

Did you try adjusting the set screw on the top of the micrometer body? 

http://www.redding-reloading.com/tech-line-a-tips-faqs/139-com-seat-bullet-depth


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Re: lead shaving when seating

Post by Aprilian on 12/14/2016, 10:49 am

Thanks Virgil.

As I understand it, the screw is for moving the setting rod up or down in order to allow the zero to line up with the ?vernier? line on the body.  That way your ideal setting is with the "0" lining up with the body's line.

I have dismantled the die a couple times for cleaning.  When the micrometer is all the way to the bottom of its adjustment stroke, a shelf on the seating rod hits a shelf in the die and there is no further adjustment possible with the micrometer or the "set screw" on the top of the body.   Since I was thinking of lowering the seating die in order to offset raising the body (thereby reducing the pseudo crimp), the set screw would not give me additional range of movement.

Please let me know if I have misunderstood this.
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Re: lead shaving when seating

Post by Virgil Kane on 12/14/2016, 11:11 am

You got it. 

I had a problem with a Redding seating die just like you do and the only way I figured it out was this.

I took a sized but unprimed case without a bullet, belled the mouth and ran it up into the seating die. What I was looking for was if the bullet would still be able to go into the empty case AFTER I ran it up the seating die. In my instance the bullet would NOT enter the empty case after this. I kept backing out the die body until I COULD seat the bullet in the case after I ran it up into the seating die.  I had precious little adjustment left with the seating stem after I did this, as a matter of fact hardly none at all but it did cure my shaving of the lead when I seated the bullets.

Bullseye shooters are a strange bunch compared to most shooters. We reload SWC bullets with the shoulder seated just thousands of an inch off the case mouth. Now if you were shooting Nosler 185's or 230 grain FMJ you would have plenty of adjustment left with that seating die because you would be seating them with a nose fitting stem but with SWC's and a shoulder seating stem there is hardly none. Sad but true that Redding doesn't make that die with BE shooters in mind. If backing out the body of the die helps eliminate the lead shaving in an empty case perhaps a call to Redding is in order to see if they might have a different seating stem that would give you more adjustment for the micrometer?  Every time I've called Redding they were very helpful and many times took my address and sent out the correct parts I needed at N/C to me.


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Re: lead shaving when seating

Post by dhenry132 on 12/14/2016, 12:17 pm

Set your dies with the lock ring a little lose. When you have the die where you want it run a case up in the die all the way then lock you die down. Gets a better center for your brass


Last edited by dhenry132 on 12/14/2016, 12:19 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fat fingers)
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Re: lead shaving when seating

Post by Aprilian on 12/14/2016, 10:40 pm

Update from some adjustments.

I have the occurrence reduced in half and will keep working on it
1) raised the seating die in the press to the point where there is still a tiny amount of adjustability when using my shortest brass 
2) sanded the inside of the seating die with 400 wet dry or increase the space for the belled case
3) opened up the WC stem as the nose of the 200gr was hitting a shelf inside the seating die and that was possibly letting the bullet be pushed crooked.  I found it by marks on the bullet and now the stem only pushes on the shoulder
4) experimented with expanding the brass until it seemed easy to seat but the expanded mouth did not rub on the inside of the die (which acted like a crimp as the bullet went home thereby reducing the inside diameter below .452)
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Re: lead shaving when seating

Post by Rich/WIS on 12/17/2016, 8:46 am

I have this happen now and then as well, but very infrequently.  Using Hornady dies if it matters.  Have you checked the inside of the case mouths to be sure there are no burrs or sharp edges.  I have always chamfered the inside of case mouths for rifle but have never seen a need for pistol ammo, but don't suppose it would hurt to try a few and see if it helps.

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Re: lead shaving when seating

Post by Gary Wells on 12/17/2016, 2:33 pm

I also have had this problem occasionally but when I belled the cases a tad more it went away.

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Re: lead shaving when seating

Post by Aprilian on 12/29/2016, 8:23 am

Rich, the shavings are long, so it is the full case edge, not just a burr.

w4ti, I did not put calipers to the bell as my test is whether the .452 bullet drops into the case straight and the edge of the brass is not touching the driving bands.  How would you get a repeatable caliper measure as it is measuring the inside of a curved surface?

I am now experimenting with a Redding expander which I highly polished.   I have not loaded enough full rounds to see yet if that is a total cure.  I use a single stage press and am prepping a summer's worth of cases (deprime, size, expand, clean primer pocket, clean case, prime and bag).  Then when I select the powder load for the summer I will finish the rounds.

The few dummy rounds I loaded did not shave the bullet.   I also pulled the bullets back out to see if there was any gouging, which there was not.   The bell is visible and easy to feel.
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Re: lead shaving when seating

Post by 243winxb on 12/29/2016, 9:50 am

I use a vernier caliper  or micrometer to measure the outside diameters difference between case body and bell. 

I "hang" the case in the jaws of the vernier. Then wiggle case till it pulls thru the bottom of the vernier.

The case  measurement will be oval, but gives an idea how much bell is on the case mouth.

To test if the seating die inside diameter is to small, put a lot of extra flare/bell on the case mouth.

Run case into seat die a tiny bit, measuring each time on the bell.   Go a little deeper after each measurement. 

If you not shaving a ring of lead that ends up in the chamber, its not a problem.

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Re: lead shaving when seating

Post by Aprilian on 12/29/2016, 10:51 am

Don't you also have to have a thickness gauge to then calculate the internal bell diameter to compare that to .452?   I assume a small internal bell diameter is the one which causes lead shavings, not the external diameter and that since case thickness changes external diameter is not sufficient.   This is particularly true if you read the other thread on only shooting mixed brass and spending more time dry-firing!  Smile Razz Cool

I have also noticed some "same headstamp" cases have different brass formulas (or annealing) which I can feel as increased handle resistance when sizing and expanding.   That difference makes me think that the different brass formulas have properties differences with respect to plastic and elastic deformation (please look up, I don't want to rewrite my college textbook).   For any brass with higher elastic deformation, the inside of the bell would be smaller for the same expander die setting.  That is why I am currently setting expander height by bullet seating behavior, not a measurement.
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Re: lead shaving when seating

Post by Virgil Kane on 12/29/2016, 11:55 am

just my opinion but....... first, the lead shaving is not coming from your rear driving band. If you bell the case properly and the lead shaving was from the rear driving band it would get stuck in the lube grove before it ever made it up to the top of the case. Second,  how was the brass cleaned or was it cleaned at all?  You said that you used a Lyman M expander which is made for lead bullets. Your Redding expander will probably be smaller in diameter that the "M" expander and polishing it reduced it even more. I would bet a steak dinner that your problem is still with the seating die that is reducing the bell on the case mouth before the bullet is seated all the way and therefore it's pushing up a sliver of lead off of the  FRONT driving band. It has nothing to do with the expander die or the belling of the case mouth especially since you say the rear driving band will fit inside the case once it's expanded.
Did you do as I suggested and take an empty case, bell it and WITHOUT seating a bullet run the case into the seating die to see if you could still get the bullet in the case mouth afterwards? I'm betting if you do this you will find out the bullet will not go into the case at all. If this is the case I would use a regular ( or Redding Pro) seating die and sell the micrometer one or figure out how to make that seating stem longer so you don't have to screw the die body down so far.

Third, you didn't make this clear but does this lead shaving appear when you seat the bullet before crimping or does it appear after crimping?

Lots of possibilities and without actually being there or seeing picture it could be a lot of things but my bet is still on the seating die squeezing the case mouth closed before the bullet is seated all the way.


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Re: lead shaving when seating

Post by Aprilian on 12/29/2016, 1:43 pm

Virgil Kane wrote:Good Questions Virgil
just my opinion but....... first, the lead shaving is not coming from your rear driving band. AGREED If you bell the case properly and the lead shaving was from the rear driving band it would get stuck in the lube grove before it ever made it up to the top of the case.  AGREED , that is why I think it is coming from the front driving band Second,  how was the brass cleaned or was it cleaned at all?  Ultrasonic cleaner with RCBS cleaning solution You said that you used a Lyman M expander which is made for lead bullets. Are there different expanders for .451 vs .452? Your Redding expander will probably be smaller in diameter that the "M" expander and polishing it reduced it even more  it had ridges which were removing some brass, I only took off the high points and sharp edges using 2000 grit and then simichrome . I would bet a steak dinner that your problem is still with the seating die that is reducing the bell on the case mouth before the bullet is seated all the way and therefore it's pushing up a sliver of lead off of the  FRONT driving band. It has nothing to do with the expander die or the belling of the case mouth especially since you say the rear driving band will fit inside the case once it's expanded.
Did you do as I suggested and take an empty case, bell it and WITHOUT seating a bullet run the case into the seating die to see if you could still get the bullet in the case mouth afterwards? Yes.  It was possible to see that the seating die was polishing the outside of the bell, but after all my adjustments it no longer does that I'm betting if you do this you will find out the bullet will not go into the case at all. If this is the case I would use a regular ( or Redding Pro) seating die and sell the micrometer one or figure out how to make that seating stem longer so you don't have to screw the die body down so far.  I've thought about modifying the stem or die to give more space before the seating stem bottoms out in the die.  it looks to  have sufficient meat on either end to get a couple tenths back. 

Third, you didn't make this clear but does this lead shaving appear when you seat the bullet before crimping or does it appear after crimping?  Before crimping, I remove it before running in the crimp die.

Lots of possibilities and without actually being there or seeing picture it could be a lot of things but my bet is still on the seating die squeezing the case mouth closed before the bullet is seated all the way.  AGREE, however my changing the inside die body shape and using the Redding to create a bell closer to 45 degrees (Lyman was looking steeper)  seem to have reduced the occurence in the test rounds so far.


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Re: lead shaving when seating

Post by Virgil Kane on 12/29/2016, 2:37 pm

Ok  more questions, do you lube the cases inside and out after you clean them in the ultrasonic?
The only reason I ask is this. I clean with SS pins, Lemi-Shine and Dawn dish soap. When I'm done cleaning and the cases are dry they are so clean that they seem sticky. I have learned to tumble them in corncob/walnut shells with polishing media for a few minutes before I reload them otherwise they seem to drag in the resizing die and expanding die. I would try lubing some (if you don't already) and see if the expanding die leaves a smoother surface on the inside of the case and the lead bullet will not stick as much to the inside walls of the case.  And while I have never measured my Lyman "M" expander I can feel when I put bullets in the cases that it was bigger in diameter than my Redding expander that was designed for jacketed bullets. I would take them out and measure them and use the larger of the two.

What I did with my seating die was this. I thought it was squeezing down the brass (and it was) to the point of closing the case mouth before the bullet was fully seated ( even my Redding Pro seating die did this and Redding says it doesn't....go figure? When I took my setting stem out and looked inside the seating die there was a ledge or lip that the case mouth was hitting way up in there and this squeezed down my case mouth, I had turned down the die body to it's limits and then some. I have very little adjustment with my setting stem now, maybe about 1/2 turn and that's it). I belled the case mouth just to where the bullet would enter without shaving lead. I then ran it up with the ram of my reloader all the way WITHOUT THE SEATING DIE IN PLACE and then started to screw down the bullet seater die body by hand WITHOUT the seating stem in place. As I screwed down the seating die I stopped as soon as I felt resistance (remember this is by hand) and then backed it out 1/2 turn and set the die locking ring there. I then put the seating stem back in place (without ever removing the seating die from the press) and turned it to the depth of where I wanted my bullets. That cured my lead shaving problems forever. 

We have to remember also that sometimes manufacturers let something slip past QC by accident or design. If you were loading jacketed bullets you wouldn't have this problem and QC would deem this within it's design limits figuring the end user wouldn't notice.  It just might be that you have to get new dies but then I would try everything possible first before investing more money on dies. Your idea of modifying the seating die might be the best way to go, especially if you try what I suggested here and find out it is the seating die body squeezing the cases down to much and you don't have enough adjustment to seat the bullets to the depth you want/need.

If we stick with this long enough we'll get you dies running the way we should. It would be a lot easier to see this in person but with the price of gas and plane tickets it's best we keep chipping away at this over the net.  Wink


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Re: lead shaving when seating

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Re: lead shaving when seating

Post by 243winxb on 12/29/2016, 4:29 pm

Aprilian, we are over thinking this. Opening the inside of the seating die has seemed to stop the lead shaving.

Measuring the bell- A loaded round measured over the bullet is .472" Subtract bullet diameter .452" Brass wall thickness is about .010" So a .474" + bell works for this brass lot.

Use mixed brass and the bell still has to be 2 thou or more larger than the fatest loaded round of the lot.
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Re: lead shaving when seating

Post by jglenn21 on 12/29/2016, 8:47 pm

Virgil,

swap you Dawn out with a good car wash/wax and your need to tumble will go away.. leaves a fairly slick coating on the cases.. no sticking..
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Re: lead shaving when seating

Post by Aprilian on 1/9/2017, 9:02 am

Final wrap-up post.   

I loaded 300 this weekend with no long fingernail shavings.   Just 2-3 small shavings which percentage-wise is fine for me (they were probably due to a small defect on the front driving band).  This was with 3 different bullet types.  I even tried inserting the bullet crooked and that did not cause any shavings

Summary of my solution
Highly polished Redding expander die
Slightly enlarged Redding seating die body cavity (I am using a separate Lyman taper-crimp die)
Changed inside profile of Redding SWC seating stem to prevent long-nosed bullet being seated at inconsistent angle by pushing by the side of nose
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Re: lead shaving when seating

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