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Any tips to make sure SWC bullet seats square when loading a 9mm?

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243winxb
noylj
Ia.redneck
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DK114
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Any tips to make sure SWC bullet seats square when loading a 9mm? Empty Any tips to make sure SWC bullet seats square when loading a 9mm?

Post by DK114 3/6/2023, 12:51 am

I'm loading 140gn cast SWCs in 9mm, and trying to figure out the most reliable way to get the bullets to go in straight. I have three different seater stem styles: Redding flat stem, Redding conical (that fits XTP's angle), and an old RCBS hemi.

I'm loading on a single stage, Forster Co-ax.

Using any one of the three doesn't seem to work well enough; at least not in single motion.

Conical doesn't quite fit the shape of my SWC's nose, but seems to get the bullet most straight (but not every time); However because it's different shape from the bullet's nose it deforms bullet's lead a bit, and I don't get uniform OAL.

Hemi doesn't get the bullet straight more often than the conical, but produces the desired OAL more reliably than conical.

I haven't used the flat as I'm worried that it doesn't really guide the bullet toward square.

I've figured a trick that works mostly OK, but it's kind of fiddly - I sit in two stages, first with the conical, in three motions of increasing depth, slightly rotating round between each press, and then finish with the hemi to the final depth.

Has anyone figured a decent reliable way to do this? Thanks Smile

DK114

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Post by Dcforman 3/6/2023, 4:19 am

RCBS makes a 38 SWC seating stem that seats off the shoulder. There's a couple used ones cheap on ebay right now. Should work for 9mm.

Dave

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Post by Bigtrout 3/6/2023, 6:33 am

I use a Redding Competition Seating Die.  It squares the bullet before seating and has a micrometer adjustment for seating depth.  Not inexpensive but worth the $ for perfect alignment and confidence.
Dave
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Post by DK114 3/6/2023, 1:52 pm

Dcforman wrote:RCBS makes a 38 SWC seating stem that seats off the shoulder. There's a couple used ones cheap on ebay right now. Should work for 9mm.

Dave

Good point, I should look into this one. Thanks Smile

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Post by DK114 3/6/2023, 1:56 pm

Bigtrout wrote:I use a Redding Competition Seating Die.  It squares the bullet before seating and has a micrometer adjustment for seating depth.  Not inexpensive but worth the $ for perfect alignment and confidence.
Dave

Thanks, I know about this one.. Redding however says this seater is "For jacketed bullets only – not compatible with cast bullets." Smile

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Post by blindshooter 3/7/2023, 9:19 am

Might be as much or more about how you expand/bell the case first.

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Post by WesG 3/7/2023, 12:10 pm

Not sure on 9mm, butt Redding makes 2 different types of comp seating dies. The one I have for 45 has a floating spring loaded insert. The 9mm is a micro adjust stem with a fixed tip. It fit a JHP ok, but none of the cast bullets I had. So I cut it off, tapped a hole in the end, added a c'bore for alignment, and made tips that fit each as bestest I could.

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Post by DK114 3/7/2023, 2:34 pm

WesG wrote:Not sure on 9mm, butt Redding makes 2 different types of comp seating dies. The one I have for 45 has a floating spring loaded insert. The 9mm is a micro adjust stem with a fixed tip. It fit a JHP ok, but none of the cast bullets I had. So I cut it off, tapped a hole in the end, added a c'bore for alignment, and made tips that fit each as bestest I could.

This is kind of where my mind went too, and then I found this video where the guy simply ground out part of the inner seater cone so that all his SWCs go in to the rim, and seems to be happy with it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2qk5889EA0

That's my current best candidate solution. Smile

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Post by DK114 3/7/2023, 2:36 pm

blindshooter wrote:Might be as much or more about how you expand/bell the case first.

Nothing too fancy there - Redding expander from their 9mm premium set, cases belled so that my SWC's go to about 0.08" in.

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Post by blindshooter 3/7/2023, 2:54 pm

DK114 wrote:
blindshooter wrote:Might be as much or more about how you expand/bell the case first.

Nothing too fancy there - Redding expander from their 9mm premium set, cases belled so that my SWC's go to about 0.08" in.
Good thread, I'm going down the 9mm lead/coated rabbit hole now.

I use a Dillon 1050 for .45acp and 9mm with a mix of dies mostly Dillon. Loading .45acp is so much easier than 9mm at least for me.

I think I'm going to try one of Photoescape Inc PTU for 9mm, I think that might help alignment and case swaging of softer bullets.

I have bored round nose seat stems so they just push on the bullet shoulder for .45acp LSWC. Should be an easy solution for 9mm as well?

Good luck!

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Post by DK114 3/7/2023, 4:25 pm

blindshooter wrote:I have bored round nose seat stems so they just push on the bullet shoulder for .45acp LSWC. Should be an easy solution for 9mm as well?

Good luck!

Yep, that's the direction I'm currently thinking in.. Smile

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Post by Ia.redneck 3/25/2023, 8:05 am

Get the NOE case expanders that fit in the Lee Universal expanding dies. They come in .001 step increments to match your boolit diameter. You adjust so the base band is a nice snug slip fit in the case, then nose profile isn't so critical. I use a Hornady seater die with the sliding internal sleeve. Best setup I've found. And I've tried a LOT. Smile

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Post by Ia.redneck 3/25/2023, 8:07 am

It also helps with that tough little 9mm case not making the boolit smaller when you shove it in the case.

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Post by DK114 3/25/2023, 5:45 pm

Ia.redneck wrote:Get the NOE case expanders that fit in the Lee Universal expanding dies. They come in .001 step increments to match your boolit diameter. You adjust so the base band is a nice snug slip fit in the case, then nose profile isn't so critical. I use a Hornady seater die with the sliding internal sleeve. Best setup I've found. And I've tried a LOT.  Smile

Funny you should say that. I do have NOE's 355, 356, 357, and 358 expanders on their merry way to me. Smile

Was planning to try the 357 with the .356 140gn cast bullets I use.

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Post by Ia.redneck 3/25/2023, 7:56 pm

Oh good! I bet you'll like them. 👍
I've found the fattest 9mm boolit that will chamber reliably is usually the most accurate

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Post by noylj 3/26/2023, 1:09 pm

I order custom seating stem that only contacts the shoulder of the bullet.

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Post by DK114 3/26/2023, 4:02 pm

noylj wrote:I order custom seating stem that only contacts the shoulder of the bullet.

I hollowed out one of my standard stems so it does the same. Will be testing soon to see how it works now Smile

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Post by DK114 4/17/2023, 10:54 pm

Ok, quick update: I got a Hornady New Dimension die set, and it looks like the ticket. I used their expander followed by their seater, then one of my sizer dies to crimp. I made 5 test rounds, and they all went into the gauge die without scraping the bullet.

The real test of course would be when I make a full batch, but from the first pass it looks good.

Why Hornady - their seater has a floating design that straightens the bullet before pushing it in. It looks kinda similar to Redding's competition seater, except the floating part extends out of the die when the ram is open.

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Post by 243winxb 4/27/2023, 7:52 am

Does your Hornady expander have the M type expander?  My RCBS  does. Gives the bullet a straight start. Any tips to make sure SWC bullet seats square when loading a 9mm? Full
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Post by DK114 4/28/2023, 3:47 am

243winxb wrote:Does your Hornady expander have the M type expander?  My RCBS  does. Gives the bullet a straight start. 

Hornady expander is a funny one - the expanding element is inside with no visible way to remove. Judging by what the expanded case looks like, it appears to be tapered, not straight.

Anyway, the experiment with Hornady seater didn't go all the way I wanted - some cartridges did come out with more runout than I'd prefer. Next on the list is the Redding competition seater.. Smile

Anyone has any opinions on what a good neck tension would be for 9mm with a cast .356 projectile? 0.002"?

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Post by bruce martindale 4/28/2023, 6:17 pm

DK114 wrote:
243winxb wrote:Does your Hornady expander have the M type expander?  My RCBS  does. Gives the bullet a straight start. 

Hornady expander is a funny one - the expanding element is inside with no visible way to remove. Snip

I've wondered about that plug too, I'd lke to measure it and or modify it.  

 Is it a press fit?

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Post by DK114 4/28/2023, 6:20 pm

bruce martindale wrote:I've wondered about that plug too, I'd lke to measure it and or modify it.  

 Is it a press fit?

Hard to tell. There really is very little space between the body and the expander plug to see much of anything. Press fit would make sense, can't imagine it being machined as a single piece.

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Post by PhotoEscape 4/28/2023, 8:45 pm

I load cast/coated 158gr SWC for 38 Special for DR.  My solution is quite simple and effective.  Please see pictures below.Any tips to make sure SWC bullet seats square when loading a 9mm? Img_6210
Any tips to make sure SWC bullet seats square when loading a 9mm? Img_6211

I am using my custom 9mm / 38 HTC PTU (selecting .357" or .358" expander based on bullets OD) and custom seating stem for Redding Seater die.

Expander length is equal to bullet's seating depth minus 1/16th for neck tension.  Technically, I can push bullet almost all way in by finger, and have seater finish seating to desired depth.

AP
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Post by DK114 4/28/2023, 11:54 pm

PhotoEscape wrote:I load cast/coated 158gr SWC for 38 Special for DR.  My solution is quite simple and effective.  Please see pictures below.

[pictures cut]

I am using my custom 9mm / 38 HTC PTU (selecting .357" or .358" expander based on bullets OD) and custom seating stem for Redding Seater die.

Expander length is equal to bullet's seating depth minus 1/16th for neck tension.  Technically, I can push bullet almost all way in by finger, and have seater finish seating to desired depth.

AP

I have NOE expanders, so worth giving it a try. Sounds like a fun day with Ransom Rest is coming up Smile

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Post by PhotoEscape 4/29/2023, 8:53 am

DK114 wrote:I have NOE expanders, so worth giving it a try. Sounds like a fun day with Ransom Rest is coming up Smile

Yes, definitely.  NOE Expanders is a good solution, especially for jacketed bullets.  They have expander step sufficient for proper bullet insertion.  Down side for lead bullets (cast or coated) is insufficient depth of expansion.  Base of the bullet gets swaged, which is major factor affecting accuracy.  If your RR testing provides you with adequate / desired accuracy, that is all you need, IMO.

AP
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