Past and Present Moly
This may or may
not apply to you. Lately I have been measuring the force it takes
to seat bullets and this set up uses a flat load cell plate on the
press ram and not a shell holder. This set up as been working
fine for me for the past couple or so years on brass that had been
reloaded a few times before measuring the bullet seating force.
However, I had to start some new brass and noticed that the cartridge
would stick in my Redding Competition Seating Die. I was also
noticing some scratching on the bullets after seating. So I
decided to take my Redding Competition Seating Die apart and clean
in. Wow, what a mess inside the throat of my seating die. I
have not been using Moly Coated Bullets for some time but this build up
sure looked like moly build up in the seating die. I must admit
that I have not very obedient about cleaning my rifle seating
dies. So this is just a note to all past and present moly coated
bullet uses, you may want to check your seating dies for moly build
up. All of my seating dies had some build up. The following
picture shows the Moly build up in my Redding Competition seating die
for my 221 Fireball.
Now for rest of the Story!
That is the
first part of this story, check and clean your seating dies. The
second part of this story I will keep short. The real story could
be a book. I measured the hole in my Redding Competition Seating
Dies and my Wilson in line bullet seating dies while cleaning the
seating dies. I measured the holes in the seating dies using gage
pins. (Actually I was using the gage pins to test if I had hole
in the die cleaned) The bullet seating holes in my 308 and 6XC Wilson
dies for were one thousandth larger and two thousandths larger for my
223 seating die than the bullet seating hole in my Redding Competition
seating dies. Interesting? The Wilson Dies do not use a
shell holder. They just have a small plate with a hole in it for
primer clearance. After cleaning my Redding Competition Seating
dies none my older loaded ammunition would stick in the dies.
However the new
brass which I just turned necks on, most of those loaded cartridges
would stick in the Redding Seating Die. What causes this?
At first I thought my brass which was once fired was sticking in the
Redding Seating Die. This brass could have been re-sized one more
thousandth. The re-sized brass shows a little bolt closing
resistance on some cases. However, the re-sized brass does not
come close to sticking in the seating die. The bullet also slides
easily through the seating die. Yet seated round sticks big time.
Cause inside neck wall and outside neck wall not on same center
line. The inside neck circle is off center by variation in neck
wall thickness. So after turning the necks the hole in case for bullet
is still off center a little. That little bit will cause the
seated bullet to rub on one side in the seating die. When using a
shell holder on the ram the case is easily extracted and any sticking
is not noticed. Some rounds just feel different than others.
Competition Seating Die is very sensitive to any off center bullet
conditions with the die seating hole very close to the bullet
dia. So variations in neck wall thickness may be enough to cause
one side of the bullet to bind in the seating die and require that a
shell holder be used to remove the cartridge after seating the
bullet. The Wilson dies are opened up some so most will not stick
and the ones that do may be easily removed with a screw driver.
That is what the relief cut is for in the bottom of the Wilson Die.
might be another use for the Redding Competition Seating Dies and
Wilson Seating Dies. If you have both for one caliber, you could
use them for a Go and No-Go gauges to check cartridge
concentricity. While the die is not in the loading press, simply
place ether die over the loaded round so the case shoulder bottoms out
in the die. First check some prepped brass without a bullet to
see and feel how the empty brass will slip easily in and out of the
seating die. Also note how far the brass goes in to bottom out on
the case shoulder. Then do the same with a loaded round.
Just using your hands press the cartridge completely into the seating
If a loaded
round sticks hard in a Wilson die – Not very Good
If a loaded
round does not stick in a Wilson die and sticks in a Redding die – Okay
but not great
If a loaded
round does not stick in a Redding Competition Seating Die – About as
good as it gets.
turned brass after fire forming should all past the Redding Die
Test. Cases with unturned necks, I am guessing that most of them
would show some sticking in the Redding Die. The one standard
seating dies I have the hole for the bullet is five thousandths greater
than bullet diameter and could not be used to test for concentricity.
Any Questions or
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Released - June
Revised - June 12, 2010