Anyone else get some rounds that are longer than others?

This is a discussion on Anyone else get some rounds that are longer than others? within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I mean the COL. Using my lee classic turret, some of the 9mm rounds I made were coming out a bit longer than desired. Definately ...

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Thread: Anyone else get some rounds that are longer than others?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Anyone else get some rounds that are longer than others?

    I mean the COL. Using my lee classic turret, some of the 9mm rounds I made were coming out a bit longer than desired. Definately pressing the lever all the way, even checked length, put the round back, and hit it again. Some just like to be longer. What am I doing wrong?
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    Senior Member Array fatboy97's Avatar
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    I use a Dillon 550B, so I can only tell you what I do.

    I usually check at the beginning and then every 50 or so rounds and found a variance of only .005, so I now set my COL to be .005 below max just in case they get a little long. I've never seen any more than .005 from what I set it up to start with, and not had one issue with any of those at the range.
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    Member Array houdini's Avatar
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    after I make my rounds I put them in a gauge to see how they look. I have no problem with them.

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    Senior Member Array DMan's Avatar
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    I use the 550B as well, however I have seen some other presses have similar issues. Check to make sure that there is no "junk" build up (powder, or other stuff) that happens to get under the shell. I frequently use a canned of compressed air (like what is used on computer keyboards) to blow out the corners and quickly assure that the nothing is going to hinder the bullet or casing. Also blow you the inside of your dies occasionally. I was surprised at one time when I was having issue with seating depth, and I found a small amount of "crude" built up inside the die. I blew it out, and everything fell right back into line. Any buildup like I experienced causes bullets to seat deeper (brass sits up higher, or the bullet is pressed lower down into brass).

    If your having an issue with variances going long check you dies, tighten them up if necessary, any "play" or anything that "wiggles" should be double checked to determine if it is going to affect the seating.

    Also, are you using the same bullets? or are they different make? Stay consistent. A bullet from different companies or in different styles will seat differently. Select one make/style and do set your dies to that. If you change bullets, you will need to readjust the dies.
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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. The bullets are all from the same batch. (actually, I noticed it with both calibers: .380 with fmj round nose, and 9mm with lead round nose. I was hoping to get a chance to make some, because to be honest, I can't recall what the spread was. I wanna say some were .01 off, but I fired everything I made. (real new, so I'm only making small batches to test).

    What's your opinion on how much variation is too much?
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    .01 isn't that much and I have had variations, like others have said as far as cast bullets sometimes if they shave lead and or lube when seating the bullet it will gum up the die and start seating bullets deeper etc.As long as it's in that range I wouldn't worry just make sure you don't go under the minimum coal or over the maximum
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    Sounds like something's coming loose on you, die, turret, etc.. If something were building up, then your rounds would come up shorter not longer. You should always ck your dies and all mechanical parts of your rig for loose parts and movement - if it's got moving parts it can wear or come loose. If it's new the parts all need to say "hi" to one another and you'll get some minor discrepencies in col or perhaps bullet seat or crimp. My Dillon has things you have to keep an eye on, I guess they all have a personality that you get to know after awhile. Kinda like a new wife or girlfriend.
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by autofix View Post
    Sounds like something's coming loose on you, die, turret, etc.. If something were building up, then your rounds would come up shorter not longer. You should always ck your dies and all mechanical parts of your rig for loose parts and movement - if it's got moving parts it can wear or come loose. If it's new the parts all need to say "hi" to one another and you'll get some minor discrepencies in col or perhaps bullet seat or crimp. My Dillon has things you have to keep an eye on, I guess they all have a personality that you get to know after awhile. Kinda like a new wife or girlfriend.
    That's true unless you adjusted OAL with a gummed up die that was stuck in a lower position but while seating bullets the pressure caused it to move up,then your OAL would increase
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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Dunno. New dies, turret. I'm wondering if its just poor bullet manufacturing quality management. I say this because several would be right on, within .003 or so, then one would be long, then the next would be perfect...

    Stuck at work today (not really, voluntary OT for Doubletime:)), so I can't load any now. I do believe It was way more pronounced with the 9mm cast bullets that I got from a gun show. Maybe the guys' molds aren't all exactly the same?
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    Member Array celticredneck's Avatar
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    Using my old Lyman Spartan press, and assorted dies, depending on caliber, I set my dies for each bullet type that I'm loading with a "dummy pilot round" These are loaded with the first bullet out of a box.and seated in a sized and trimmed case, but without powder or primer. After seating I measure each pilot round and then store it in a labeled drawer, showing cal. and bullet by weight, type and manufacturer. When I go to set up my seating die for that cal. I loosen the seating die, run the press down to full stroke, than adjust the seating die to just where it is firm on my pilot round. My lengths have been pretty consistent over the 10 or so years that I have been reloading.

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Look at the bright side the "longer" bullets get to the target quicker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupcake View Post
    Dunno. New dies, turret. I'm wondering if its just poor bullet manufacturing quality management. I say this because several would be right on, within .003 or so, then one would be long, then the next would be perfect...

    Stuck at work today (not really, voluntary OT for Doubletime:)), so I can't load any now. I do believe It was way more pronounced with the 9mm cast bullets that I got from a gun show. Maybe the guys' molds aren't all exactly the same?
    The easiest way to determine if your bullets are not consistent is to weigh them. Separate them according to weight and then use your caliper to check length.
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  14. #13
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    If you are shaving lube or lead off the bullets it can be getting pressed in to the seating die and after a few bullets crush it enought the bullet gets longer then peel some lube and bullet gets shorter then longer,take your die apart and remove the center bullet seater make sure it doesn't have crug building up on the face of it
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