357 reloading woes...

Centerfires, rimfires, pistol cartridges and everything in between.
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Merlin
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357 reloading woes...

Post by Merlin » Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:44 pm

I have been reloading .357 for my PC Silhouette rifle using 125 Hornady XTPs and mixed (mainly Starline) brass with great results. Just got a trial batch of 125 Precision Black Bullets and every load I am turning out on my 550b is as shown below. The XTPs and Black Bullets come out exactly the same OAL but bent and crinkled. I have turned the stem on the seat die all the way out of the die and it makes no difference. The cartridges are leaving the seating station in good shape - the damage is being done by the Seat die.... WTH am I doing wrong...?

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There are reflections of the dents of the lead loaded shells on the XTP loads but all of the denting is the coated lead bullets.....
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Re: 357 reloading woes...

Post by Bill the Lurker » Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:52 pm

When similar has happened to me, the case length was too long, (for the die setting).
The case mouth was crumpled from hitting the seating die at the top of the stroke.
I had to adjust the die out a bit, so it wasn't contacting the case mouth, and collapsing the case below the base of the bullet.

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Re: 357 reloading woes...

Post by Jason » Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:25 pm

Looks like the seating die that is also set to crimp is crushing the case because of either of two things, brass too long or nowhere for the brass case mouth to crimp into. Brass being too long typically happens with mixed brass where some is longer than the rest. Since your variation seems to be between bullet types instead of brass brands/lots, it's more likely the bullet difference that is causing it. The seating die can only crimp so far on a bullet and then the brass has to either get crimped deeper into the bullet by displacing the metal of the bullet itself (can sometimes happen with soft lead bullets) or the brass case gets crushed. Based only on the pictures here, it looks like your seating die is set to crimp the case mouth into the cannelure on the XTP bullets and the new bullets either have no cannelure or have a much shallower cannelure. That looks to be causing the case mouth to run out of room to be crimped into before the die stops pushing down on it. At that point, something has to give and it's evidently the case walls.

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Re: 357 reloading woes...

Post by Taps » Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:38 pm

Things to check when loading cast bullets:
Diameter of bullet
Case mouth has enough bell to start bullet
Seating/crimping die adjusted to suit

Have you tried partially seating, lift handle, check, seat a bit deeper, check.........., you should be able to then determine when the "crushing" starts.

Also, if it is occurring with the stem removed, you may have the die body screwed down too far which will start the crimp before the bullet is seated. You may have been getting away with this with the jacketed bullets as the brass will "slip" along the jacket. Lead is too soft for that and the brass will dig in to the bullet.
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Re: 357 reloading woes...

Post by Merlin » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:18 pm

RCBS dies. I reset the powder drop brass expander thingie to where it just puts a very small amount of bell to the brass. Just enough to allow the bullet to start and remain "straight up". The seating die inside is about .7 across and, as far as I can determine, never comes close to the belled out brass. The only contact made with the bullet in the seating die station is from the center stem which actually contacts the bullet and sets the depth into the brass. I backed the crimp die out until there is no contact then started moving/screwing the crimp die downward. Everything looked great and the loaded ammo came out appearing to be perfect with a slight visible roll in at the top of the brass..but.. I could press (albeit very hard) with my thumb - my other hand on top of the thumb - and push the bullet into the case. I adjusted downward about an 1/8 turn at a time and JUST when the crimp got to the point it held the bullet the brass started crinkling again. At the point the crinkling started the brass less than 1/2 the wall thickness crimped inward.

As to the bullet "slipping" into the case under thump pressure. I am not a gorilla but I did put a lot of pressure on the bullet with basically a lot/most of my upper body weight into it. Is my test faulty with unreasonable expectations....?
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Re: 357 reloading woes...

Post by Taps » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:37 pm

Is there a crimping groove in the cast bullet?
Perhaps a photo of one beside the jacketed one for comparison?
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Re: 357 reloading woes...

Post by cedestech » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:39 am

Looks like the bullet diameter/friction is crushing the case during seating before the roll crimp even engauges. You can see the "lip" on the crushed cases where the jacket/not crushed cases the roll crimp is present. Forgive me if you have already answered, but have you tried using MORE flare? Are you using a separate flareing die or is the flaring taking place in the powder drop?

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Re: 357 reloading woes...

Post by dhatch » Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:48 am

What is the diameter of the bullets?
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Re: 357 reloading woes...

Post by Merlin » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:01 am

dhatch wrote:What is the diameter of the bullets?
Black Bullet is .358 vs the XPT at .357
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Re: 357 reloading woes...

Post by psteiger » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:11 am

Merlin, I get back friday, come over Fri or Sat and we will get this worked out.

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Re: 357 reloading woes...

Post by OldRanger » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:06 pm

Case too long or not enough flare are my guesses. I wouldn't think the .001 diameter difference is that critical, but maybe it is.
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Re: 357 reloading woes...

Post by IHMSA53393 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:16 pm

Cast bullets, use a Lyman "M" die. Problem solved.

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Re: 357 reloading woes...

Post by Merlin » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:19 pm

IHMSA53393 wrote:Cast bullets, use a Lyman "M" die. Problem solved.
After a little "just goggle it research" the M die really looks good. The holdup with the M die is that I am loading on a Dillon Progressive Press and the Powder drop station is also the expander die.....Unless I am missing something I can't use the Lyman with the progressive press...
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Re: 357 reloading woes...

Post by Jason » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:12 pm

I sometimes use a Lyman M die in position 2 on my Hornady LnL AP progressive press, with the powder drop in position 3. It works fine there, and I was using one for 30-30 loads for centerfire cowboy for a while. I don't use it often anymore because I'm shooting jacketed bullets exclusively for centerfire cowboy rifle and am using a 22 Mag for pistol cartridge. It's because it didn't work well on the progressive, though.

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