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Forum Index > Rifles general discussion > Reloading assistance

Reloading assistance

04 Dec 2015
@ 04:52 am (GMT)

Greg Whorlow

Hello, I was planning to write a nice piece on my journey through using Nathans books, however, I have come up against a problem that needs immediate assistance. I have read a number of reloading books, including Nathans of course, I have accumulated a lot of gear and finally found myself is a position to start reloading. I have a Lee Breach Lock press, Lee Ultimate Die set, ADI AR 2209 powder, [email protected] primers, 150 g Nosler Partitions, the list goes on. I am loading 270 Winchester (yes Nathan I was listening with regard to projectiles) in once fired (in my rifle) Remington brass. The Nosler’s ranged in length from 1.250 to 1.261 inches, average being 1.256, using the closest projectile to the average I checked my COAL, this came out to be 3.325 (please forgive me for having a stainless steel cleaning rod), I used a threaded screw to turn the rod into a male!

With everything set (a bit of Faithless playing in the background) I put the neck sizing die in, turned it a quarter turn once it came into contact with the shell holder and sized the brass as well as removing the used primer, all going well. Put in new primers and was thinking this reloading caper was easy. Measured out the powder (yes the Lee scales do swing like a drunken sailor on shore leave), set the seating depth to give me a COAL of 3.300, remeasured and all looking good for the first three completed bullets. As I progressed along to higher charges I noticed that the COAL on a bullet was way too short, the projectile was very loose on the neck.

I persevered and kept loading a few more bullets as I was convinced that using the Lee Crimp Die would sort out the loose fit, I discarded three shells on the way that I just couldn’t load the bullets without them slipping through. Once I had loaded all the bullets I put in the Crimp Die and crimped away. Problem is that it didn’t seem to do anything! The loose projectiles where still loose, ahhhhhhhh!!!!

Anyway, it is 37 here today (to our northern hemisphere friends that is Celsius) so I decided that I had better come in from the shed and rehydrate with some cold ones (I have continued to do this so I hope this message makes sense). So, can anybody tell me why this might be, my understanding was that the neck sizing and crimp die would fit automatically as long as I screwed them into the press correctly.

A few things to note, I have some very sophisticate laboratory scales and the 10 Nosler’s I weighed were between 9.70 grams (149.694 grains) to 9.72 grams (150.0025 grains), unbelievable that they could all weigh so similar. However, when I measured the projectile diameter I found them to be all 0.276 inches, one thousand under 0.277. As a matter of reference I measured from Speer TNT 90 grain projectiles I recently got (I thought it would be interesting to see what a fox (or skippy’s head) looked like after getting hit by one going at 3,600 feet per second)! The Speer projectiles were all 0.277 in diameter, this makes me think the callipers are about right. To further reference this I measured some factory ammo, these also ranged from 0.276 to 0.277.

I think that’s all, can anybody help, have I make a simple rooky mistake, is the fact the projectiles only 0.276 the issue?

Looking forward to hearing from you all.

Cheers

Replies

04 Dec 2015
@ 05:31 am (GMT)

Wayne Woodard

Re: Reloading assistance
Are you applying the minimum 25pound pressure when using the neck die?
04 Dec 2015
@ 05:44 am (GMT)

Greg Whorlow

Re: Reloading assistance
Wayne, in truth I am not sure, I did try to screw the die in further and also moved it out a little, it didn't seem to matter. I pushed the leaver down to its full extent each time and I could see the teeth on the crimp closing down on the case, the didn't quite close fully prior to the leaver reaching the end of its travel. Thanks for the reply.
04 Dec 2015
@ 07:52 am (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: Reloading assistance
hi greg
two things spring to mind
1st was where i went wrong when i started reloading, make sure you follow instructions as the way the linkage system works on the press you will feel like your giving it heaps of force but its not being transferred to the dies if they are set up wrong.

2nd is the mandrel might need checking and or tightening, lee actually sell undersized mandrels now, not sure if local shops sell them but lee's direct service is great i needed die parts under a week from usa to nz.

one other point which not sure everyone would agree with me on, is a cheap easy to work with projectile might be good to start with until you get some confidence up, the tnt will be fussy and the partitions need to be pushed hard.
im a big fan of the 150gr interlocks as they are easy to work with cheap and perform well if you don't push range to far.
04 Dec 2015
@ 08:21 am (GMT)

Greg Whorlow

Re: Reloading assistance
Thanks Thomas, the Partitions are planned to be my "proper" deer rounds, the Speers more for a bit of a laugh which I planned to load some time later. I will check the linkage and see if that helps. Cheers
05 Dec 2015
@ 01:19 am (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Reloading assistance
what do your die instructions tell you to do??????
I still 20 years on have my lee die instructions in front of me while setting dies up. do you fell goodly amount of resistance when you move lever back up...2nd stroke when sizing???? if I dont lube quite enough I often need a very firm lifting arm to get sizing ball through case neck...(better since polished as per instructions)
reason I ask is that would point to undersized ball would it not????
05 Dec 2015
@ 03:31 am (GMT)

Greg Whorlow

Re: Reloading assistance
Hi Mike, yes I read the instructions, I screwed in the die till it touched the shell holder (yes it was in place and not touching the piston), I then turned in in a quarter turn ( I even scored the top of the die so I could be sure how far I turned it), the cases have lube on the outside only. I have since tried a few other cases of different brands to see what happens, essentially nothing, there is no pressure on the handle other than when the primer is pushed out of the pocket.

The internal and external dimensions of a number of cases prior to and after neck sizing (external ranged from 0.308 to 0.310, internal from 0.278 to 0.2785), there was no change in size after putting them through the press.

I have taken apart the die, the mandrel is 0.275 in diameter and the collet is in the die, there is also what looks to be a spacer which should squeeze in on the collet, the end cap is in place. Everything is stamped with 270 Win.

I can easily slide a de-primed case into the die when I removed it from the press, I don't know if that means anything but I wouldn't have though you should be able to do this.

Cheers
05 Dec 2015
@ 03:55 am (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: Reloading assistance
i think you haven't set up die properly greg, full length die is 1/4 to 1/3 more turns.
collet die is til it touches shell holder plus one more full turn, you can obtain more by extra 1/4 turn according to my instructions.
also so make sure you put a fear bit of force into it as you have pulled die apart im sure you have seen how it works,
05 Dec 2015
@ 06:11 am (GMT)

Brendon Greig

Re: Reloading assistance
With my press ( Lee anaversery press ) when I set it up I found I had to wind the dia in about a full turn after first set up due to flex or take up in linkages when held under pressure with a shell in. it did take a bit to work out what was wrong until I held the handle down with a shell in it found there was about a 50 thou gap or more between the shell holder and the shell which ment it wasn't going all the way into the dia properly. Don't know if this is of any help but worth mentioning
05 Dec 2015
@ 08:33 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Reloading assistance
Hi Greg, go down a full turn plus a quarter as per the instructions. You have read the quarter turn bit but missed the full turn bit, just a rookie mistake is all, no harm done.
07 Dec 2015
@ 11:04 pm (GMT)

Greg Whorlow

Re: Reloading assistance
All, back again to inform you that I have a lot of egg on my face, but before that I would like to thank all of you who replied to my message, every tip and trick has been of benefit.

Without wanting to go into a whole story about how this happened, I will say this. I was using the instructions for the full length sizing die, not the neck sizing die, a very embarrassing and rooky mistake!

On the upside, the neck sizing die now works well, my press is in excellent working order, I have full length sized a few shells for practice, this also went well and the crimping die is doing what it should and my COAL is spot on (I guess the proof will be in the shooting though). You will all be happy to know that I have a large set of instruction stuck to the wall just above my reloading table.

Another good thing is that I got a Fellow Deer right on dusk last Saturday night, 265 metres (289 yards), bullet entry just behind the front leg and exiting through the opposite shoulder blade, the shot took out the entire heart and a good portion of the lungs.

Thanks again.

Cheers
08 Dec 2015
@ 12:43 am (GMT)

Shawn Bevins

Re: Reloading assistance
I did the same thing. If you feel you aren't getting enough neck tension, you can spin the mandrel with some fine sand paper to reduce the diameter.
 

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