View Full Version : Seating Stem
02-05-2006, 12:31 PM
With all the custom mold buys and mold makers how does one get the proper seating stem for a seating die. My 30 Carbine dies came with a RN seating stem but I'm useing a MM cast with an 80% meplat and I'm getting misaligned loadings. I've found that misaligned bullets bulge to one side of the case. I don't have a machine shop but need a seating stem to fit my bullet. Any help out there?
02-05-2006, 02:19 PM
I've heard this suggestion from others. Take a spare seater stem and clean it up so the epoxy can adhere. Take a dab of the kneadable epoxy and put a dab in the seating end of the stem, and push a bullet into the soft epoxy. Wait until it hardens.
You might also look for a .32-20 SWC or Cowboy Action Shooting seater stem, chuck the threaded end in a drill and grind the seating end's diameter down until it fits in you .30 Carbine seating die.
When I've had this kind of problem, most of my stuff being RCBS, I've contacted Huntington. They have a great catalog with all kinds of parts for RCBS dies. Their website doesn't let you have access to detailed info, but just call them:
02-05-2006, 05:31 PM
Even with the proper seating stem, I often have problems seating shorter, lighter boolits like the Lee 90301 100gr in .30carb cases. They don't all align properly no matter how careful I am and will not chamber easily in my Contender, so this is what I came up with. I remove the decapping stem from my carbide sizer die and run the rounds back through it after seating. This straightens everything out nicely. They chamber easily, shoot accurately, and I just have an extra step in the loading process instead of a 60% reject rate. You may still need to epoxy your stem to fit the profile better - I don't know how long/heavy your boolits are as you did not say, but resizing cures my troubles. Lee soupcans seat straight and without any misalignment at all despite the great difference in profile and don't need the resizing bit, nor do jacketed 110gr rn bullets. With me at least, I think the problem is caused by the short bearing surface. I use regular RCBS dies and a Lee carbide sizer.
BTW, when you push the boolit nose into the stem to mould the epoxy, make sure you have some kind of lube on it (liq alox is fine) or it will need to be forcibly removed (don't ask how I know). I have had good luck with regular 5min or 30min epoxy, never tried the kneadable stuff but it sounds like a smarter idea. Let it harden for an hour or so and then remove any excess epoxy from the outside with a razor knife while it's still workable, but let the boolit stay in it overnight to give it ample setup time.
02-06-2006, 02:16 PM
Someone has to have a source of of custom seater stems.
02-06-2006, 08:20 PM
What brand of dies are you using?
02-09-2006, 09:07 AM
If you're using an epoxy to make a custom plug, be sure to follow Versifier's advice on a release agent or something similar on the bullet nose. I just tried to make two custom seater plugs for 38-55 moulds (Hoch and a Brooks) with JB Weld, in Hornady plugs, and didn't put anything on the nose. When I went to separate them, small chunks adhered to the nose of the bullets. Now I'm going to have to redo them with some release agent on the bullet noses. Worked good except for this. I finally found my release agent for fiberglassing stocks, but it was dried out, so now I'm trying to re-vitalize it with alcohol; probably have to buy a new bottle.
02-09-2006, 09:10 AM
Robert Stillman will make nose punches for Star, maybe he'll make seter stems too. I usually find one close and finish it up on my lathe.
02-09-2006, 09:17 AM
Robert Stillman punches me in the nose I'll take him out!!! :kidding::Fire:[smilie=l:
02-09-2006, 11:04 AM
You don't really need to use epoxy mixtures to make a custom-shaped stem to fit your bullet...then wait for it to cure.
Rub a little oil on the bullet nose, and use a hot glue gun to fill the cavity on the stem.
Press the bullet into the hot glue and wait a few seconds.
The squeezed out excess is easy to trim off, and if you want to change the shape just heat the stem and press in a new bullet.
It's also pretty easy to clean out all of the glue to start fresh.
This will also work on top punches for your lubrisizer.
The yellow colored stuff made for 'manly work' cools to a harder surface than the clear-looking stuff your wife uses for those (uh...) 'girl projects'.
03-11-2006, 12:16 PM
If a person drilled and tapped both his seating die nose punch and sizing die punch for 1/4-20 couldn't he use the same seating nose in both his bullet sizer and seating die. My top punches for the Lyman mic at .265 .... easily enough to thread to 1/4-20. A bushing might have to be made for the bullet sizer so that he could switch back to other nose punches. This might work for people that load different bullet styles in one caliber. Buckshot .... is this feasible?
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