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So I'm finally getting ready to charge and seat my first batch of .223 rounds. I went to make a dummy round (case with no primer or powder) before I got going on the real rounds. I followed the instructions; raise the case, adjust the seating die, back off 1 turn). I placed the round on the case and seated the bullet. The problem is the bullet didn't just seat a little bit, it went down half of the length of the bullet.

The OAL is supposed to be around 2.26 and I measured the dummy round at 2.1. I'm using Hornady Vmax 55 grain. 22cal .224. Trim length is in tolerance. The opening on the case is measuring smaller than what the book says. Using the Lyman 49th ed.

Just tried it with a live round and same result. I even backed off 1.5 turns to see if that would work and 2.1 on the dot. Any ideas?
 

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It sounds like you skipped a step, from your description above. You inserted the case and adjusted the die, then backed off one turn - that established the position of the crimping ring in the die to slightly above the mouth of the case. Next you need to back off the bullet seating stem in the die so that it doesn't contact the bullet when you put one on top the case and raise it again. With the case/bullet combination raised in the die, adjust the stem until you feel it contact the bullet. Back the case and bullet out of the die, then turn the stem into the die by one turn or so. Reinsert the round and the bullet will seat slightly; repeat this adjustment and measure after each try until you get the OAL you want.
 

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Okay so yeah did miss a step. I didn't adjust the seating stem. I'm actually doing this without a crimp due to the bullet not having a cannalure(spelling?) So I tightened the lock ring on the seating die. Inserted the bullet into the case mouth and raised the ram. I then adjusted the stem until it just touched the bullet. The problem i'm now having is that the bullet sticks to the stem when I lower the ram. I can sometimes shake the bullet out, otherwise I have to take out the stem and the bullet will still stay stuck in the die.

I use the nut as a place marker and put the stem back in. Then I lower it 1-2 turns and raise the ram again. I bullet will just seat but the case neck will be crushed. I tried deburring the case a little bit more and have even backed off the die an extra turn to see if this would help. Still crushes the case.
 

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Chamfer and deburring is both done. There needs to be a very slight bevel on the inside of the case lip. Don't over do it. Imagine a booger between your fingers, just a couple simple back/forth rolls then flick! Except don't flick the case after you tweedle the tool. Then do like rawright54 stated. Read his remarks w/ your die instructions to help understand.
 

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Chamfer and deburring is both done. There needs to be a very slight bevel on the inside of the case lip. Don't over do it. Imagine a booger between your fingers, just a couple simple back/forth rolls then flick! Except don't flick the case after you tweedle the tool. Then do like rawright54 stated. Read his remarks w/ your die instructions to help understand.
Nice analogy...
 

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Okay so yeah did miss a step. I didn't adjust the seating stem. I'm actually doing this without a crimp due to the bullet not having a cannalure(spelling?) So I tightened the lock ring on the seating die. Inserted the bullet into the case mouth and raised the ram. I then adjusted the stem until it just touched the bullet. The problem i'm now having is that the bullet sticks to the stem when I lower the ram. I can sometimes shake the bullet out, otherwise I have to take out the stem and the bullet will still stay stuck in the die.

I use the nut as a place marker and put the stem back in. Then I lower it 1-2 turns and raise the ram again. I bullet will just seat but the case neck will be crushed. I tried deburring the case a little bit more and have even backed off the die an extra turn to see if this would help. Still crushes the case.
Keep working at it; it takes a little practice. I don't know why the bullet would stick in the seating stem - never had that happen. As Drymag said, an internal chamfer is required to get the bullet started without damaging the case neck, but it only takes a very little bit, say 0.002" of chamfer. That's the reason I try to buy only boattail bullets, as they start themselves if I forget to chamfer.

It's okay to use a light crimp on a bullet with no cannelure, just don't push it. You'll need some amount of crimp to hold the bullet securely in a semi-auto anyway. A better bet is to invest in a Lee Factory Crimp Die (FCD). This is a unique tool that eliminates most of the risk of damaging the case from over-crimping. Using the usual crimp ring in a standard seating die, the crimping force is directed inward and downward. Too much crimp can crush the shoulder of the case and ruin the round. The Lee FCD is unique in that all of the force is directed inward; it can even create a slight cannelure in a bullet that doesn't have one.

It's sounds like you're sneaking up on the right procedure for your use. Keep it up and you'll get it right and consistent. Have fun, and be safe!
 

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ive had horrible luck with seating bullets in empty cases with .223 personally....more so then with any other caliber I use, I dont know if its because its thinner brass or simply just smaller, but it does seem to squish easy. I use RCBS dies, what I normally do is set the main piece how the directions state (to the top of the bullet seater +/- quarter turn) and back the center piece all the way out. I put the bullet in, and raise it, then slowly turn the screw in a little, put the brass and bullet in and cycle it, and then lower it a little more, and cycle it, and repeat it until it touches the bullet, and then until I get it to seat to the proper depth. Then I tighten the nut down where it needs to be. Takes a little time...but I can usually get it just right doing it that way. Of course, depending on the powder your using, you may have to adjust it again once you put powder in it. The powder Im using in my current loads is a compressed load, if I seat the bullet in with a light load or empty brass it squishes the brass, with the powder in, I have no problem at all.

This is of course assuming that the brass has been deburred and chamfered first.
 

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I forget who, but they brought up using the Lyman "M" die. I bought one and really liked it. I like to use FB bullets for the 100-200 yards then BT for 300 and greater. The "M" makes for nice concentricity.
 

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55 VMax OAL-2.250......I haven't loaded a lot of these,but I noticed being a FB bullet,the case does have to be chamfered a little more.I mainly load training ammo,all BT,slips right in regardless.I trim(WFT)all to 1.750 and about 50% of the bullets I use have cannelures,but I use a FCD on all.
 
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