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Discussion Starter #1
WOW...my 2nd problem post today. I'm loading some .40 this afternoon. Using Lee dies. I'm seating the bullets. 180 gr FMJ flat nose. My bullet seating is down all the way and not no where near seating the bullet. In fact, barely inserting it in the case. I adjust the entire die in ( don't want to crimp in this process but it crimps the bullet anyway). But still does not nearly seat the bullet and the crimp is WAYYYY to low on the case. It seems as though the bullet seating stem is too short. Help....

Thanks in advance,

Kevinh
 

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Picture.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Alpo, sorry, I'm not that technologically advanced. The seating stem is all the way dialed down. Won't seat the bullet. Dial down the entire die and still won't seat bullet and with the die dialed down, it crimps the brass, and way too far down on the brass. If that helps any.
 

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Is this a new set or did you buy a used set? I'm thinking that if it is a used set some one has slipped the wrong bullet seating stem in it. Take it out of the die and set it along side the die and see where it comes to. Now set a case next to it. Im' guessing that the stem is too short. Why?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It's the first time I used it, but it is a new set I bought from either cabelas or Bass Pro.

Kevinh
 

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Set the dies aside and order Redding dies. Problem solved.
I cannot agree more but aside from the lee arguement; if you are seating a flat nose bullet with a round nose seater, you may have a problem right there. Is there another seating plug in the set?
 

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Amen bntyhntr6975. I have been loading for over 40 years and I have never owned a set of Lee's. Most of mine are Redding's but not all, RCBS. In fact nearly all of my equipment is Redding. PM, Scale, press. I too am a Redding fan, they have served me well. I have never had a problem with anything. Don't need their phone number.
 

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I do like Redding dies. I have some RCBS and Lyman too, but the ones I use most are Redding. Never had an issue with them, at all. As was asked, I was also wondering if another stem was included. Or maybe the wrong one got pit in there? Or maybe theyre 10mm only dies? (Mine do both, can only assume Lee would also?) All my seater stems have WAY more threads than could ever be needed. Something isnt right, and a pic would really help.....
 

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Since the die set is new, call LEE and get them to solve your issue with their dies. Many who report here say LEE service is good (???).

In my mind, here is the problem: LEE stuff is lowest priced reloading equipment on the market. You get what you pay for. RCBS, Hornady, Lyman, Redding, Forester.... All make excellent dies set but all cost more than LEE's. There is a reason for that. I used to buy LEE die sets but over the years I have been replacing them with better RCBS die sets. If I had not been so penny wise I might have saved myself the cost of the LEE die sets. Over the years I have set myself up to reload for 30+ cartridges and have bought at least that many die sets. The best dies for the least money that I have found are the RCBS die sets. Others work fine but tend to be more costly. I'll admit that only LEE makes couple of my cartridge die sets so in those cases I reluctantly have to buy their dies sets.

In fact, I made a mistake and gave the LEE die sets away to some who report here and all I got was complaints and accusations about my reloading techniques so I now throw the old replaced LEE die sets into the trash with a smile.

LDBennett
 

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Have ran over 5000 rds on my Lee 40 S&W dies and have no problems. LDBennett let me know befoer you pitch them in the trash i will buy them and i will not complane!
 

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It's the first time I used it, but it is a new set I bought from either cabelas or Bass Pro.

Kevinh
Go back and "READ" the instructions for setting up your dies. A lot of new reloaders don't think that reading all the material is important, but it is the foundation for success! Know what you are doing! I made the same mistakes when I first started.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the advice (and criticism of the Lee dies). Don't worry, I have no ego to bruise, they work for me. Problem solved. I called Lee and explained the problem. I'm missing the plug inside the seating stem. Don't know how that happened because it's a new set and first time I used them. I've dealt with Redding and Hornady customer service before and I'll say Lee was every bit as accommodating. They're sending out the plug today.

Carver, you know I'm just across the state line from you. You would probably get pissed off if you were reloading with me because of the amount of time I spend with the instructions. I mean, although I have a progressive press, I use it as a single stage, one process at a time. And I read each section at least 3 times before I'm happy with the setup enough to run a round through.

Thanks again for all the help.

And for the Lee haters...ppffffftt!

Kevinh
 

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Im not a Lee hater. I like Lee molds, and the powder dipper spoons, and....ok, so thats it.
 

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Other than 40 and 380, do you load any other pistol calibers? You may be able to borrow the seating plug from a 9 mm set if you have one.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Howln, you're genius. I do have a 9mm set. I pulled it out and looked at the plug today when I called Lee. Thanks...

Kevinh
 

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Most of the Lee seater plugs are interchangable, pistol to pistol and rifle to rifle. I've swapped a few out in the past hoping to find a better fit to the bullet profile.
 

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If I'm reading this correctly, it sounds like it's just a simple matter of die adjustment. Screw the seating stem out/back as far as it will go. Adjust the die up/out from where you have it now. Place a case in the shell holder and raise the ram up to its highest position. Screw the die down to where it just barely makes contact with the brass, and back it off a quarter of a turn and lock it in. Place a bullet into/on the case and adjust the seating stem down to where you are satisfied with the over all length, and lock it in. I think your problem was trying to seat and crimp in the same step. Do your crimping as an additional step, I had similar problems until I went to this route. As a rule the .40 and other semi-auto rounds use non canalured bullets and requires a taper crimp, and needs to be done separtely from the bullet seating. Revolver ammo generally use bullets with a canalure and get a roll crimp, with proper die adjustment seating and crimping can be done in one step Even if you have to buy another die, it will make your ammo much more reliable
 

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Twicepop:

Your method of course works (two separate operations for bullet seating and crimping) but that is not absolutely necessary if the die is set up correctly.

You screw the seating die into the press then back it out a couple of turns. you turn the seating stem all the way in. Now carefully and without a full stroke you seat the bullet in a empty case to the desired Over All Length (to be used as a gage later). Remove the gage case from the press.

Next remove the seating stem or at least pull it all the way up. Iteratively adjust the seating die body until it crimps the required amount on the gage cartridge. For semi-auto cases that usually is as per the instruction for the die since this is a taper crimp. For the revolver you start high and work the die down until you get the required crimp without bulging the case so much it exceeds the dimension listed in the reloading manual or will not readily drop into the guns chamber. Lock the die down on the press. Now insert the gage cartridge and raise the press ram all the way up. Slowly lower the seating stem until it just touches the gage bullet and lock it down. Reload a few cartridges with this die setup (powder and all) and verify that the adjustments are correct.

Doing the seating and crimping in two steps or better yet with two dies (seating die and separate crimp die) is easier but cost you time and maybe the cost of the extra crimp die. The seating/crimping combo die is designed to work correctly IF adjusted correctly.

But we all get to choose.

LDBennett
 
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