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The Handloaders Bench > Metallic cartridge reloading > Learning to Handload? > Seating problems with Rainier 165gr Plated bullets for .40 Cal

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Seating problems with Rainier 165gr Plated bullets for .40 Cal
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 Posted: Tue Dec 4th, 2012 01:04 AM
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sfchemist
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I've been working on loading information for a Rainier Plated 165 gr for 0.40 Cal and have received excellent help and advice from this forum on another threaed. I decided on 4.6 gr of 231 in a Starline Case.

I've had excellent results with jacketed bullets; however, my first attempt at handloading the Rainier plated bullets has been anything but successful.

At first, I was unable to maintain a consisted OAL from the desired 1.125, ranging from ~ 1.120 to 1.130. Approximately 1/3 of the cartridges would not fit in a Wilson test Gauge. It was then noticed that there was a noticeable bulge in the upper part of the case, which I had never seen when loading jacketed bullets.

The diameter of ten random Rainier bullets were then measured with 3 measuring .401, 5 measuring .402, and 3 coming in at .4025. The weights of these 10 bullets were within SAAMI tolerances of plus/minus 1.5%.
Ten random 165 gr Speer Bullets were measured with 9 at .400 and 1 at .4005.

I've attached (hopefully) several photographs showing a PMC 165gr cartridge, 165 gr handload of a Speer jacketed bullet, and one of the Rainier 165 gr handloads that will not pass into a Wilson test gauge. Diameter measurements are indicated at three positions on the case.

Besides a possible crimping issue, it was also felt that maybe I needed to increase the flare prior to positioning the plated bullet. I tried increasing the flare and that did not make any difference in the bulging problems, inconsistent OAL, or inability to seat properly in the Wilson Gauge.

I'm using a Lee Turret Press with a 4 die set, the factory crimp die is set for zero crimping and the bullet seating/crimp die is set for what I believe is a minimal crimp to just straighten out the case mouth flare.

I have no plans of using any of the loaded cartridges with the Rainier bullets as something just doesn't seem right and I'm hoping someone here can offer some suggestions. Or maybe these cartridges with the bulging plated bullets would function in my handgun: .40 Auto XDM. ?????? or am I being too fussy??

After dealing with the Rainier issues I then loaded 50 cartridges using Speer 165gr TMJ without any difficulties at all.

I'm really puzzled as why I seem to have no problems with jacketed bullets and yet can't seem to load any plated bullets that I would feel comfortable shooting ????


Any help, suggestions, criticisms, or ideas will be welcome...









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 Posted: Tue Dec 4th, 2012 01:12 AM
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swampratt
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with the lee crimp dies i adjust the die until it just touches or i feel some resistance..then all i give it is 1/8 to 1/4 turn on the top adjustment knob..
I measure the case and i usually have .001" tighter at the crimp.
You will need to resize all bullets with a sizer to make your issues go away. I bet..
Different diameter bullets do not shoot great anyway..

So did you say you will now be looking for wheel weights :wink:
or just thinking it.



 Posted: Tue Dec 4th, 2012 01:23 AM
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sfchemist
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swampratt wrote: with the lee crimp dies i adjust the die until it just touches or i feel some resistance..then all i give it is 1/8 to 1/4 turn on the top adjustment knob..
I measure the case and i usually have .001" tighter at the crimp.
You will need to resize all bullets with a sizer to make your issues go away. I bet..
Different diameter bullets do not shoot great anyway..

So did you say you will now be looking for wheel weights :wink:
or just thinking it.

Silly question I know but how does one resize bullets? 

Wheel weights...I've been given it some serious thought...I've got the perfect place in the basement to cast my own, just have to convince my wife that we really really need to make our own bullets.  Although she is a gamer--packs her own .38 and is a darn fine marksman...er, marksperson, or ????..she knows where the center ring is and can usually find it better than I can. :rolleyes:



____________________
If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.
- Dalai Lama, Tibet


 Posted: Tue Dec 4th, 2012 03:25 AM
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swampratt
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I like the lee sizing dies
like this for .401" diameter
will or should work for plated..some imperial sizing die wax would make it pretty easy.
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/447228/lee-bullet-lube-and-size-kit-401-diameter


You install the die into the press and remove shellholder and insert the ram there and place the bullet base on the top of the ram and pull the handle on the press and it pushes the bullet into the die and sizes it.
grab another bullet place on ram pull handle.

It comes in a nifty red container that sits on top of the die and catches all the sized bullets for you...
Pushes against base of bullet not the nose

Last edited on Tue Dec 4th, 2012 03:30 AM by swampratt



 Posted: Tue Dec 4th, 2012 03:31 AM
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Mortis
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I had the same bulging problem some 9mm's.... hard cast.

Ran them them thru the Lee sizing die and no more bulge.



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 Posted: Tue Dec 4th, 2012 03:49 AM
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sfchemist
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Thanks guys, really appreciate your help and will get this die ordered from Midway asap.



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If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.
- Dalai Lama, Tibet


 Posted: Tue Dec 11th, 2012 06:00 AM
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noylj
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The thing to do is systematically work out where the problem is.
First, disassembly your gun and take the barrel to the bench.
Now, let's set up the die. You will take two empty cases and have NO powder in the measure and NO primers in the system. You will make two inert rounds.
Set up your sizing die. Raise the ram and turn the die down to just touch the shell holder. Lower the ram and insert an empty case. Raise the ram. With the case in the die, lock the die body down. Lower the ram, remove the case, and drop it in your barrel. It should drop in and go "plunk." If you turn the barrel upside down, the case should drop out. If so, you have resized the case. Drop in your case gage, too, if you want. Resize the second case.
Next, set up your PTE die. Raise the empty ram and turn the PTE die until it touches the shell plate. Lower the ram and turn the die body 1/2 turn UP. Place one of the two cases in the shell holder and raise the ram. Lower the ram and inspect the case. There should be a slight flare/bell at the case mouth. The case ID below the flare section should be 0.399-0.400". If it is much smaller than this, two things can happen: The soft plated bullet could be swaged down in diameter (thus destroying some accuracy) and/or the bullet will sit crooked and will bulge out the case where the case walls are the thinnest. Many people ignore the whole expanding step and ONLY flare/bell the case mouth. Good for them, but it doesn't work well for me. If you aren't getting enough case expansion (again, NOT flare/bell but expansion of the case ID over most of the length of the seated bullet), you can order a slightly larger size from Lee.
The flare/belling of the case mouth is sufficient if you can seat a bullet on the case and it doesn't rock back-and-forth and the case mouth can not contact that thin plating during seating. To get more flare, turn the die body down. If the flare/bell is acceptable, run a case in the die and, with the case in the die, lock the die body with the lock ring. Run the second case into the PTE die.
Next, we will seat the bullet. Ignoring the factory round, we will seat the bullet just deep enough that the case and seated bullet (the "round") will fit in your magazine.
Place a case in the shell holder and raise the ram. Raise the seating stem up all the way on the die. Turn the die body down until you feel the crimp section contact the case. Raise the die UP 1 turn.
Lower the ram and place a bullet on the case and position it square with the case. Raise the ram. Lower the seating stem until it contacts the bullet. Partially lower the ram and turn the seating stem about two turns. Raise the ram and seat the bullet. Now, take the round and check it with you magazine. It is probably too long to fit. If so, continuing turning down the seating stem in small intervals and re-seat the bullet until the round fits your magazine.
Now, assuming you have a separate taper crimp die (or Lee FCD), take the round and run up the taper crimp and adjust the taper crimp until just enough flare/bell has been removed to allow the round to chamber in your barrel. It may, at this point, still not drop in the case gage, but all we care about is the barrel--particularly at this time.
Blacken the bullet and case mouth area with a magic marker or such and drop in the barrel. Drop each inert round in the barrel. If the rounds do not completely chamber, rotate the round back-and-forth a couple of times. When you pull the bullet, you will either see scratches on the bullet ogive, indicating that you need to seat the bullet deeper, or scratches around the case mouth, indicating that you haven't remove all the case mouth flare/bell. Either seat the bullet deeper or remove more flare until both rounds chamber in the barrel.
If any lead or plating is scrapped off, due to lack of crimp, remove it from the case mouth so it doesn't interfere with chambering. Damage to these bullets does not matter.
Here is where you see the need for coordination between seating and crimping--you can't verify seating until the flare is removed and you may have to switch between dies (but, since neither die has been locked down, it is no big deal).
If you are seating and crimping in one step, you need to raise the seating stem and lower the die body in small steps until you have removed the case mouth flare/bell. Using one die for two operations means that, until you have a functional inert round, you will raising and lowering the seating stem probably a couple of times.
OK, you now have two inert rounds with a long COL that fits your magazine and chambers in your barrel. If you having the same problem you had in your post, you should have an idea of what step caused it (most likely is not enough expansion or some problem during bullet seating).
Reassembly your gun, load the two inert rounds in your magazine, and hand cycle the rounds. If the feed and chamber easily, then go back to the press and set the seating and crimp dies using these rounds.
Load 10-20 rounds, go to the range, and verify that these rounds still feed and chamber.
Take note of the COL and record it. You can lower the COL a bit if you need/want to. You now have the COL that works in your gun. You can also determine the range of COL that works in your gun. However, I have never found a need to use a smaller COL, unless I am loading for several guns.
Also, you CAN NOT sit there and decide what charge to use. You always start with the lowest starting load you can find and work up. Twice in 40 years of reloading, I have found a starting charge listed in one manual that was over max in MY gun. Don't make this mistake, Find at least two independent sources of starting loads and use the lowest to begin.



 Posted: Tue Dec 11th, 2012 06:16 AM
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sfchemist
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noylj,

Wow, I really appreciate such a detailed and easy to follow set of instructions. You should be a teacher...

It's a little after midnight here in Montana and I've got a few things do before turning in---like convince my Basset Hound to go outside for his nightly ritual with a wind chill of 0, he won't be happy. But I will print out your instructions, sit down by my press sometime tomorrow and follow your ideas step-by-step.

Seriously, I really appreciate your time and effort, it's unbelievable how much talent resides on this board.

Thanks a lot and I'll let you know how things turn out.

Wayne

:beer:



____________________
If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.
- Dalai Lama, Tibet


 Posted: Tue Dec 11th, 2012 06:09 PM
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sfchemist
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noylj,

Your ideas and well written instructions worked perfectly. Following your suggestions I was able to seat the Rainier bullets as well as any Jacketed bullets I've used. Everything worked flawlessly and I will be loading a dozen or so later on today and hopefully test them tomorrow.
Thank you , and all the others, who have helped with this issue. I continue to learn from you guys and appreciate your generous efforts.
Wayne



____________________
If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.
- Dalai Lama, Tibet


 Posted: Wed Dec 12th, 2012 07:24 PM
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sfchemist
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noylj,

I just came back from the range where 10 rounds were fired using your loading guidelines. The handgun worked flawlessly with 10 well grouped rounds on the target---now by that I mean well grouped rounds for my skill set. :cool:

Thank you very much for your help, it solved my problem and I'm now going to load the rest of the Rainier bullets.



____________________
If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.
- Dalai Lama, Tibet


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