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Thread: Bullet Seating (not straight)

  1. #1
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    Bullet Seating (not straight)

    I tried searching, but couldn't find the help I was looking for.

    I just got a Dillon 550 and am starting to load .223, I am new to reloading. Right now I am trying to load plinking/training ammo for a DD 16" using Hornady 55 gr FMJBT, 844 powder, and CCI #41 primers. I am having a hell of a time trying to get the bullets to seat straight. I don't have a concentricity guage, but I don't need one. Some are so bad I can see they are crooked just looking at them, others I find them crooked when I roll them on a flat surface.

    I am probably around 50% (or maybe worse) "reject" rate. I tried searching but couldn't find much help other than to make sure the bullets are straight before seating them. Short of spending a couple minutes per round to delicately adjust the bullet as it sits on the case, what else could be going on? When I set the bullet on the case for the seating die, I am looking to make sure it appears straight.

    Also, I am noticing that the bullets have a light ring pressed into the jacketing after seating. Is this normal? I was seating at 2.245 OAL. The brass is short to begin with, that OAL didn't even get the bullet to the cannelure. I then shortened the OAL to 2.240 in hopes that would straighten the bullets. But it didn't, and that length get the case mouth just barely to the beginning of the cannelure.

    Any help would be appreciated. I am trying to work up some test loads to try out on Monday.

  2. #2
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    Are you using a neck expansion die?


    If not, it will help with setting the bullet in brass. If you are, you'll need to adjust it so it opens the brass neck up a little more.

  3. #3
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    Shortcut: try getting a Redding seating die.

  4. #4
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    My guess is that your bullet doesn't fit into your die quite right. Do you have any other 223 stems/dies? One that is more shaped to fit your bullet point and concentricity.

    ETA. +1 to the above by quiet shooter. By far the best.
    Last edited by Ghost__1; 06-09-12 at 12:53.
    "I know enough about a lot but enough to get me in trouble none the less." Me

    Quote Originally Posted by C4IGrant View Post

    Believe me, I know about not doing the "popular thing." Be a gear and gun dealer, go onto a tactical gun forum and tell folks to STOP buying crap they don't need.


    C4

  5. #5
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    Call Dillon's tech number 800-223-4570 and have them check your setup. You have something grossly out of adjustment - probably the seating die, but impossible to know. Take a close look at the dies and their instructions and make sure you are using the correct dies for .223 and in the correct order - and they are set the correct amount off the shell plate.

    You want to be full length sizing a lubed case first of all - preferably in a separate toolhead. Good neck tension is very important, so the sizer die setup is critical.

    After lube is removed from the cases, seat primer, drop powder and seat bullet. You should not see any visible runout by just eyeballing. Be sure you are using a good scale to set the powder measure.

    ETA: My COL using the Hornady 55gr FMJBTs is around 2.222". It's not necessary to seat to the cannelure (or to crimp), but I do and use a very light taper crimp.
    Last edited by shootist~; 06-09-12 at 13:05.

  6. #6
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    I second the redding seating die. It makes a HUGE difference, even on a single stage.

  7. #7
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    New seating die (Redding or Forster) or seat bullet half way, raise ram, rotate case 180 deg in shellplate and finish seating. A real PITA but free.

    I'd spend $50 and get a new die.

    The other thing I'd do is borrow a concentricity guage and make sure your resizer is not bending the cases. You may be creating this situation through the resizing operation, but w/o a concentricity guage, I don't know how to check for that.
    Last edited by jmart; 06-09-12 at 23:39.

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