problem with lee dies

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by larrydickman, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. larrydickman

    larrydickman Member

    Jul 19, 2008
    I was loading some 9mm and toward the end the seating die started to pull the bullet back out of the case. I had to remove the die and get the bullet out, this happened several times. I am not sure if it is just dirty, the bullets are 115 grain and they had been loaded already and I used a kinetic bullet puller to remove the bullet. The load was a bit too low and would not cycle the guns properly. So I reloaded them with a bit more powder. Would this be because of pulling the bullet? I rebelled the case and added the new powder charge but then when seating the bullet some would pull out and jam in the die. Any help app. Thanks
  2. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    Your resizing die may be too loose and or your case brass too thin. THIS, if so, IS A DANGEROUS COMBINATION. The bullet of a loaded 9x19 mm cartridge must withstand a minimum of 35 pounds of push or pull force to be within SAAMI specifications and be safe.

    Some early (like 20 years ago) Lee dies met industry dimensional specs, but were on the loose side of said specs. When used with thin walled brass (especially Winchester, nickel plated brass) one could get a loose bullet in a finished cartridge, which is very dangerous.
    Lee subsequently corrected this problem.

    In the matter of a 9x19mm cartridge, should a cartridge (loaded to factory ballistics with a fast burning propellant like W231 or Bullseye) have its bullet shoved in an additional 0.1" on the loading stroke of the slide; your breech pressure will likely more than double to over 70,000 psi, with very bad results. Speer basically warned as to the foregoing in at least one of its reloading manuals around 1987.

    Be safe, not sorry.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012

  3. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    There are couple of things that may have caused your problem.

    First might be the seating die. LEE dies are fine but a bit crude in the internal finish. That might make them have more friction than other's dies, making slightly bigger bullet stick in the seating die.

    But most likely it has to do with your pulling the bullets. Tapper crimping squeezes the case mouth onto the bullet. How much is controlled by raising or lowering the seating die. Get it wrong (too much) and the bullet is deformed slightly. That deformation might cause the bullet to stick in the seating die.

    Here is probably the correct way to do what you wanted (pull bullet and make up the rounds over again), in my opinion:

    Pull bullets then dump powder. Pull the primer depriming pin from the sizing die (only the replaceable pin, not the assembly) or adjust the depriming pin such that the primer is not removed in the sizing operation. Resize the cases. The primer will not be removed. Now bell the mouths of the cases and reload normally. But do check the diameter of the pulled bullets against a new one. If different or damaged throw the bullets away and use new bullets.

    I have no idea what load you were using but the lightest listed loads in reloading manuals usually cycles 9mm pistols. I certainly hope you were not using a load level outside the listed loads in the reloading manual. Do you have a reloading manual? Have you read the "How-to" section multiple times so you understand it thoroughly? Too light of a load is just as dangerous as too hot of a load. Stick to the data in the reloading manuals for maximum safety. Now, it may be the gun has been screwed with and it has a too strong of a recoil spring. Some change out the recoil spring to protect the gun from hot loads. That is a bad idea. You should not be reloading to get hot loads. Keep the stock spring in the gun and stick to the reloading manual loads.

    Hope this helps.

    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012
  4. larrydickman

    larrydickman Member

    Jul 19, 2008
    The entry load I used was for a 115 gr bullet over 5 grains of power pistol. I dropped it to 4 grains. I would not cycle my Glock 26 well and was hit and miss on my M&P I loaded up some with the 5 gn and it worked fine. I had done this with my 45 acp and could get it low enough to drop the case right next to me. I have loaded about fifty rounds past the re re loaded rounds and there does not seem to be a problem. I guess it may have even distorted the bullet nose with the impact of it hitting the base of the bullet puller.
  5. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    Do not go below start loads, they are just as likely to cause catastrophic failure as an over charged load!
  6. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2011
    Nashville TN
    Ya, sounds like the projectile is now too small
    or the brass is too weak, or both.
    One check to perform, mic your 'used' projectile
    against the size of a new one, then if ok, try loading
    in new brass.
    I would think the last of the problem is the die.
    BUT [not that you did], NEVER load below or above
    the data given in the manuals.
    IF I load correctly [within data range] and I have a
    failure in cycling on a semi-auto that I have tweaked
    away from OEM.......I don't even pull them so I can
    reuse them, I just shoot them in a revolver, the ones
    that I can anyway.
  7. larrydickman

    larrydickman Member

    Jul 19, 2008
    I called Lee and talked to CS. TS said that because I did not resize the brass, and lost a bit of the friction compounded with the possible distortion of the bullet from the kinetic bullet removal, and then because I was using waxed lead it most likely built up wax, caused a bit more friction on the bullet and possible more friction on a distorted bullet and less friction on the case would cause this. I have loaded about a hundred new rounds without any problem so I think he hit it.
  8. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2011
    Nashville TN
    Uh, yeah....
    I didn't see that info in the OP.
    Always size your brass after you stick anything in it
    to expand it.
    If I load with waxed lube I regularly clean the dies,
    about each 500 rounds or so.
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