Get a GRIP! (on the bullet.... that is).

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Indy Bob, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. Indy Bob

    Indy Bob New Member

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    I am back with another question. I had a "bolt sticking" problem thread that I received great information on.
    http://www.thefirearmsforum.com/showthread.php?t=108033

    I am still in need of an answer to one of the things I thought was causing that problem of the sticking bolt after firing . Since being "guided" to the true solution to the problem, THIS problem will more than likely only be an issue of consistent accuracy.

    I shoot fire-formed cases and only use a de-prime/neck-sizer die. I do all the other case prep "by the book". When I get to bullet seating, I find some new bullets can be slightly started into the case neck with little resistance, while others will barely fit or may be balanced slightly on the case neck. (no boat tail).

    I have used a nylon rifle cleaning brush, twisted in the neck to clean better, I have used the deburring tool after any case trimming procedures. I do have sorted case brands, but this will happen about 50% of the same brand, and at that same rate to the other brands too. (Winchester & Remington).
    I used my new digital calipers, :) , and measured the case necks and the OD is consistent with the specs. The ID is about .001 - .0015 smaller on the tight fit cases.

    Do I need a die with a neck-expander ball?
    I can't seem to find a die listed like this ....or is this part of a "full length" sizing die?
    I this "brass-flow" related?
    AND will the inconsistent grip on the bullet cause erratic groups?

    I am not a true "benchrest shooter", but enjoy shooting from a bench trying for the tightest groups possible. A wanna-be!! :D

    Thanks in advance,
    Indy Bob
  2. carver

    carver Moderator

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    Measure your bullets, I would bet money that's where the problem is.
  3. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    If you are using dies that don't have an expander (kind of unusual), then any variation in wall thickness (which you've already demonstrated is there (i.e. O.D. is the same, I.D. varies .0015") will cause uneven neck tension on the bullets. This will affect accuracy. Neck turning your brass will regularize the wall thickness, a good thing in a benchrest chamber, but really you need an expander to maintain a consistent I.D. A normal SAAMI spec chamber won't really notice small variations in the O.D. of your brass.
  4. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I have never seen a die that doesn't have an expander ball, except of course the universal decapper dies.

    I agree with carver on the size of the bullet, no matter how good their quality control is, things are not going to be perfect. Try weighing some match grade bullets and see the variation in the weights! It might not be much but it is there.
  5. Indy Bob

    Indy Bob New Member

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    I wish that were true. I measured several bullets and they were right on.
    22-250 ...... Hornady Match HP were all .224 diameter.
  6. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    I'm not sure I follow you.
    Are you saying that when seating "Flat Based" bullets (no boat tail) you are having difficulty getting the bullet started?

    If so, then don't worry, this is perfectly normal.

    Make sure you chamfer the inside of the neck. Place the bullet on top of the case mouth and hold it there with your fingers while raising the ram slowly. Once the tip of the bullet has entered the base of the die let go of the bullet and continue raising the ram to seat the bullet.

    If you are crushing necks and shoulders then you have your seating die set up wrong.
  7. Indy Bob

    Indy Bob New Member

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    Yes ... Bullet will go in but in the "tight fit" case neck.
    That being said ..... If the neck tension was all the same on ALL the cases it would be OK.
    I am being picky I guess, but the bullets that easily slip in about 1/8" seem like they would mess up the pressure slightly and give more open groups.
    Bob
  8. Indy Bob

    Indy Bob New Member

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    Hello gdmoody and myfriendis410,

    I did measure my bullet diameter of about 10 bullets and they are right on .224 OR actually smaller .2235. So.... the neck ID is varying somewhat. I also measured the ID of the case neck right at the end and it also reflects a smaller measurement on the tight or no-go cases, compared to the batch of cases that will allow the bullet to start in the neck opening.

    Now ..... to the "no expander" on my die. These are a 2 die set, Lee Collet Dies #614-316, .. neck sizing and dead length bullet seater die. I have disassembled the die and there is no expander ball on the decapper rod. That rod is the same diameter all the way up @ .2225
    I don't know where to go from here. Lee does make a "power thru expander" die. but I don't think I can buy it separately AND I do think it is only for pistols. :(

    What do you think? Do I have to "Bite the Bullet" (pun intended), and buy a new die set to get that one die? OR any other ideas?

    Thanks,
    Bob
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2012
  9. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    The Lee Collet die is an exelent neck die. You are correct it does not have an expander button , the case mouth is squeezed around the mandrel. The Lee die is set up from the factory for about .001 neck tension. Many feel this is not enough "grip". One can increase the "grip" by chucking the mandrel in a drill and polishing it down a thou or two. Or you can call Lee and order a reduced mandrel for $5.

    It may be that you are feeling the difference when seating because of to little neck tension instead of to much.
  10. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    You really do need dies with an expander ball. You can still neck-size using an F/L die set by simply turning the die out some distance (t.b.d.). As your die currently only contacts the outside of the case, normal variations in wall thickness will translate into variable inside diameter measurements. The I.D. can be dealt with using a sizing die that incorporates an expander. As to overall wall thickness; you would need to neck turn the brass. Probably not necessary on a factory rifle. I do believe it is more effective in small bore rifles like yours. Only you could determine what is ultimately going to work for your setup.

    Definitely acquire a sizing die that has an expander ball built into it. I like the RCBS "X" dies--they do a good job in the calibers I've used it in.
  11. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    Not with the Lee Collet die. The Lee die is different than any other die. It does not over size the neck then open it back up with an expander ball like all other dies. It squeezes the neck around a mandrel sizing it to the desired size, no over sizing and expanding. It is truly a great design and a great Neck sizing die.

    I still think Indy is noticing the difference in bullet seating do to not enough neck tension instead of to much.
    Do a test on a couple of your loaded rounds. Take a couple that seated hard and a couple that seated with ease. Place the tip of the bullet on your work bench and see if you can push the bullet deeper into the case by hand. My guess is that the ones that seated hard will not move and the one that seated with ease will be pushed into the case. IMO if you can seat the bullet deeper by hand there is not enough neck tension.

    If you must have an expander die then get a Lyman "M" die.
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/368112/lyman-neck-expander-m-die-22-caliber-short
  12. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    Well something is not right with his dies or setup. For the brass to come out of the press with varying i.d.'s in the tight fitting cases (sic) there has to be some other mechanism in play. The mandrel dimension he quotes of .2225" should be the same across the board, even with wall thickness variations. Hmm. Very odd.

    Could some of the brass be work hardened enough that it springs back after sizing? Case annealing might solve the problem. My experience is with conventional dies and I don't see this happening with them.
  13. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    How are you measuring the ID with a caliper?

    Very possible.
  14. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    all my calipers have a set of ID feelers ( short ) on one side, and the OD feelers ( long ) on the other side.

    are yours not that way?
  15. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    Yes, but I find them very inaccurate when trying to measure the ID of a small neck like the 22 cal.
  16. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    imho.. accuracy should not change throughout the range of the calipers measurement. it should be just as accurate at just under 250 thousandths as it is a 3" or it's useless.

    you may want a better caliper if yours is inaccurate at smaller dimensions.

    as for user error reading the caliper or using it to measure with.. that's not a caliper issue, IMHO.. it's a user issue.

    soundguy
  17. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    Actually steve4102 does have a good point. You can measure fairly repeatably with calipers, but for measuring in the fourth decimal place an i.d. micrometer is required. You would be surprised at the difference.

    For most of what we do a set of calipers is sufficient.
  18. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    i rebuild antique tractor engines.. have a decent measuring tool set including many precision micrometers, both id and OD.

    i cheat and use my tools both for engines and guns. :)

    and yes.. i agree.. anything past 3 decimals on a caliper is not trustworthy.
  19. Indy Bob

    Indy Bob New Member

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    I hate when that happens!!:rolleyes: :)

    I had a reply all set to go ...... Now I cannot find it. It was about 4 hours ago. Oh Well.
    Summarizing ............ I did a lot of sorting of brass. In checking necks of all my empty brass with a bullet..... Only 25 out of about 130 cases had an easier "slip in about 1/8" fit".
    The rest were all what "should be".
    All cases were trimmed, deburred, and ready to go for powder and bullets.

    I am starting from scratch and am going to do the Load Development Ladder Test by JLA as posted at the start of this forum.

    I can't get out till next week but I will post some results.
    Again ...... I read and studies ALL the replies and THANK YOU!!
    Bob

    Attached Files:

  20. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    looking good!
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