reloading question. whats causing this bulge in brass?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by TwinGlock40z, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. TwinGlock40z

    TwinGlock40z New Member

    Feb 22, 2009
    ok this is my first attempt at reloading. ive read several manuals and i thought i had everything down. after trying to make a couple rounds without primers and without powder... just so i could get the bullet seated to the specs i wanted. this happens after i seat the bullet. whats causing this? and how do i fix it?

    i'm using a lee 308 die set with a full length sizing die. the brass looks normal after depriming and resizing. but then after seating the bullet, a bulge is present on the neck as seen in the pic.

    any and i mean any help would be greatly appreciated. thanx guys, mike

  2. pwelsh4hd

    pwelsh4hd New Member

    Mar 10, 2009
    Nice bulge you have there! ;)
    That is typically a combination of bullet seating / crimping.
    1) The case mouth is probably grabbing a firm hold of the "ring" and further downward and crimp pressure is collapsing and bulging the case. Try backing off on your crimp die just a little bit.
    2) May sound stupid, but are you sure you have the correct bullet diameter for the case you are loading?
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009

  3. TwinGlock40z

    TwinGlock40z New Member

    Feb 22, 2009
    didnt make it to crimping. thats what it looks like after i seat the bullet. the bullet is seated to spec. should i still back off a good bit?
  4. 308 at my gate

    308 at my gate New Member

    Dec 6, 2008
    Lost in SW USA.
    Try running the brass up into the die without the bullet and see if it still is causing the bulge. That could help to narrow it down. If it is not crimping you should not affect the brass at all.
  5. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2008

    Go back to your instructions for setting the dies. I believe you have your die in toooooooo far. I would also suspect that you probably made the same mistake in your sizing die. Follow instructions to the tee. take your time. :D:D:D:D:D

    typically you put the shell holder in the ram. lower the handle, screw in the die until it touches the shell holder. lift the handle then screw in the die 1/3 to 1/4 more. lock the die in place. thats typically check your instructions.
  6. TwinGlock40z

    TwinGlock40z New Member

    Feb 22, 2009
    this is exactly what my instructions say to do and its what i thought i did. too late to mess with it tonight out in the shop. i'm going to back it off a good bit tomorrow when i get out there.
  7. Insulation Tim

    Insulation Tim Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2008
    I'm having exactly the same problems with loading 45ACP with Lead SW bullets.

    The instructions that come with Lee leave much to be desired. I think that it is a lot of trial and error getting everything set up correctly.
  8. artabr

    artabr New Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    New Iberia, Louisiana
    I gotta agree with Cyclone. Your seating die is way to deep. Either that or your using the wrong case (.30-06).

  9. army mp

    army mp Member

    Jan 30, 2009
    western Pa,
    Your seating Die is the crimp die , put a case in the press pull the arm down and screw the die in just till it hits the case, with the seater plug backed out ,set the locking ring, then set the seat Depth , once you have that . it just a matter of if you want a crimp or not. You are using lube on the cases. And remember you only need a light coat. Over lubing will dent cases
  10. firewrench044

    firewrench044 New Member

    Jan 1, 2009
    Ft. Pierce, FL
    Problem is in seating / crimping -- not adjusted correctly ( too much crimp )
    seat and crimp in separate steps or do not crimp
    ( neck tension should hold bullet, crimping is not nesesary for most
    bottle neck cases )
    My first atemps at loading rifle rounds resulted with the same problem

    From Sierra Manual --
    " not all cartriges will require a crimp of any kind. For those cartriges
    which can be loaded without resorting to a crimp, we (Sierra ) recommend
    omitting this step altogether."

    not crimping eliminates a group of problems related to crimping
    I do not crimp bottle neck cases, even with bullets that have a crimping gruve

    check your manual, your aplication probably does not need a crimp

    crimp is used to return cases to proper size after belling in strait walled cases, helps in proper ignition in small capasity cases (pistol ), and by military to eliminate rough handling probems and for full auto guns that are rough on ammunition
    is also needed in tubular magazines
  11. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    If you look at your picture again you will see that the bullet is crimped by the case. Onced the crimp is formed and the press ram still has travel left that travel will collapse the shoulder of the case EXACTLY like see in the picture. Your seating die is too low in the press head. The correct way to set up the seating die is as follows:

    Trun the seating die out of the press by several complete turns off the shell holder with the press ram all the way to the top. Screw the seating ram of the die all the way into the die. Now, slowly and incrementally use the protruding ram to seat a bullet into a test case to the required Over All length. If the bullet has a crimp groove and if you want to use the crimp grove (but the the MAX OAL can NOT be exceeded!) then that OAL is so that the bullet seats halfway through the crimp groove. This becomes a test cartridge and a gage.

    Next completely remove the seating ram from the seating die. Slowly and incrementally lower the seating die in the press head until a perfect crimp is formed. If you make the crimp too pronounced you'll be back at the collapsed shoulder of your picture. It should just turn the case mouth into the crimp groove. Now lock down the bare seating die in the press head. Raise the cartridge all the way into the seating die and slowly screw in the seating ram until it just lightly touches the test cartridges bullet (MUST NOT farther seat the bullet!). Lock down the seating ram. Now do another case and bullet to assure it all is adjusted correctly.

    Remember that all cases must be first sized, then trimmed to the "Trim-to length", if you wish to crimp the bullets. All cases must be the same length or the crimp may miss the crimp groove.

    An alternate to this is to back the seating die off the shell holder when the press ram is all the way to the top so no crimping is done by the seating die after it is locked down. Adjust the seating ram of the seating die so that the desired OAL is acheived and do the crimping with a seperate die. The Lee Factory Crimp Die is an excellent choice. It smashes the case horizontally into the bullet after the seating of the bullet is done by the seating die and if set up correctly will not collapse the shoulder with extra crimp. But be careful with this die to not deform the bullet with the crimp.

  12. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    Back your bullet seating/crimping die out about 1/4 a turn and try again. Keep doing this until you get it where there is no bulge.
  13. Popgunner

    Popgunner Active Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    The instructions for the shellholder touching the die is for steel (not carbide) sizer dies-Not seater dies. Your die is set too low & is crimping prematurely.

    Raise your die & screw the seater stem down a little at a time seating the bullet a little further each time till the bullet is seated to the depth you want. then unscrew the seater stem up to get some clearance. You want to keep the crimp part of the die away from the case mouth for this. Then with the stem up & away you raise the cartridge up all the way (should be no resistance at this point) & screw the die/crimper down till it touches the case mouth. Stem is up & not touching anything. Then lower ram a little & screw die down a tiny bit & raise ram over & over till your crimp is like you want it. Then lock your seater die in-place & screw your seater stem down till it touches the bullet(with the ram up) & lock the stem. Now all your rounds will be seated to the right depth & crimped right in one motion.
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