hi there,my friend and i have bought Hornady lock and load press with dies for 223 and 300 win mag and all the other tools that we need to reload.we first tried the 223 and had no luck.the problem seems to arise from the resizing die.we have tried different cases(used and brand new)with no result.here is the main problem,when we attempt to crimp the bullet,its either loose or the shoulder is pressed in.we have tried adjusting it so many times with no result.we contacted Hornady and they have been very helpful but all the instructions that we have and follow gets us nowhere.
we then tried the 300 win mag and had better results,except when resizing, the press handle gets stuck on the down stroke and needs some force to bring the case down.is this normal?
any help is greatly appreciated,we are very new to this and have no one to physically guide us through.
Rifle dies need lubrication on the cases. The spray lubes are hit and miss. The good old RCBS pad, loaded with their bottle of liquid lube, onto which you roll the case assures even coverage. Too much lube causes shoulder dents and too little stuck cases in the dies. Case sizing wax lube also works and you just spread it on the case with your fingers. In any case the lube must be removed before shooting the ammo. RCBS lube is water soluable and can be wiped off with a wet rag and the wiped dry with a different rag. The wax just wipes off with one rag.
Also the inside of the neck needs lubrication. I don't like to put case lube there and I use a neat little can of graphite from Neco. It contains a bunch of small round shot and a bunch of graphite powder. You shake it up, remove the lid and slide each cases neck into the can as you load the case into the press. The graphite transfers from the balls to the inside and outside of the case neck. You occasionally have to put the lid on and invert the can to recoat the balls.
The cases must be clean as well. Never reload dirty cases as it can cause the dies to get scratched and ruined.
The hesitation of the press half way back up on the handle is the expander button in the die dragging on the inside of the neck and the graphite lube on the inside of the neck should help that.
Crimping cases is not as easy as it sounds. First, all cases must be trimmed to the same length. Next the seating die body must be adjusted in small increments to get the crimp just right. Such adjusments should be done with the bullet already seated to the correct length and the seating stem removed from the die. It will be replaced after you have the the crimp correct using the finished round as a gage.
There is a much better and easier way and it is the extra die called the LEE Factory Crimp Die. It works on a collet principal (squeezes in on the case), is easier to adjust, and is very effective as a crimping tool. As with all LEE stuff I have used, the design is great but often the longevity is abreviated due to poor materials choices. These crimp dies work great until the collet galls. At least that was my experience on some older versions and newer ones may not have that problem. Just be aware, that's all. At any rate, totally seperate crimping in a seperate die (LEE or other manufacturer's) is always better than trying to seat a bullet while you crimp it in one operation.
But crimping on rifle rounds is only necesary if....
you are reloading for an semi-auto gun, a lever gun, a heavy recoiling gun, for hunting loads that may be subjected to rough handling, or a gun with a tube magazine. Most other guns only require that the case neck tension be high enough that the bullet won't slip with normal handling or normal levels of recoil. Most commercial rifle bullets, cases, and reloading dies automatically assure the correct neck tension such that crimping is probably not really necessary.
All pistol reloads require crimping, either regular or taper (semi-auto pistols) and rarely are problematical with crimping if set up per the instructions with the dies.
Are your cases lubed? Also for instructions I would recommend getting a video from the manufacturer or at least ask for the die instructions from them. This may not help, but I am also new and have found these to help me.
Again LDBENNETT is right but I would also suggest that you go to your local gun shop and buddy up with somebody knowledgeable with reloading. There are so many little things that would only take someone minutes to show you otherwise one would have to right a book.
personally i would highly recomend not to crimp any case except pistol or tube fed guns due to crimping creates higher pressure. exceding the manufactures pressure limit would not be good. i shoot a 338 win mag and have never crimped a case(never would either)i dont get bullett movement with my max loads. even shooting a ar-15 i never crimped and had no problems there.
the hard part of a progressive is lubing and removing the lube for resizing. if you chamfer the case neck prior to seating a bullett, the bullett seats super easy. i do all my rifle work on a non progressive machine to control the quality
If you go through the exercise of using the starting load and working it up, watching for and heeding excessive pressure signs, and never exceeding the maximum powder levels, it makes no difference if the cases are crimped or not, as you are compensating for the pressure increase in the above process. Every factory round I have seen is crimped. The crimp is made as does the Lee Factory crimp die. The Lee die is a collet that squeezes in on the case, working against the body of the bullet.
I, too, only have a few cartridges that I crimp. It includes your list but also any semi-auto rifle. I think it safer to do them than suffer an overpressure from the bullet sinking into the case after 10 or 20 recoil impacts. Ever use the hammer device for dissasembly of loaded rounds? It works on the same principal that the gun gives with recoil. I think it better safe than sorry but that's just me. Do as you choose.
Chamfering the case mouth on new and brass just trimmed is normal proceedure. Everyone should do that.
My progessive process is not slowed down in the least by using the RCBS pad and their lube. I pick up the case roll it across the pad for one revolution and put it on the press. No big deal. It wipes off with a wet rag followed by a dry rag since it is water soluable. Those extra steps give me the opportunity to inspect the finished round.
Progressive press reloaded ammo is no less accurate than ammo loaded by a single stage process. Throwing charges can get you just as accurate ammo perfomance as dribbling in the last grain as the common thinking NOW is that powder charges with in a couple of tenth of a grain are the equal of more exact measures as the differences are swamped out by other varibles of the process out of the reloaders control. The dies in my progressive are held as accurately as any single stage press and therefore make ammo as precise as any single stage.
For more info on the common reloading techniques of today (not 40 years ago) view the Video "Advanced Handloading..Beyond the Basics" with John Barsness of Handloader magazine.