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Thread: Undersize bullets

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub camotes2's Avatar
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    Undersize bullets

    Picked up a Walnut Hill press, and a set of dies for use in a reloading press made by D.R. Corbin. This was last summer. I have not done anything with the Walnut Hill press, except using it to trim rf brass to length. The dies are for .224 bullets, There was no info. on the ogive dimensions, or what jacket they would work best with, but look like 6s. I believe they were intended for use with rf jackets, as a rf jacket maker was in the set. But regardless, of what I have tried, I can never achieve .224 dia. bullets. The cases are tumbled with ss pins, dried, de-rimmed, and then annealed. Cores are cut from wire, formed, de-greased, core seated. Now here is where I run into problems. When I seat, I cannot get over .223 dia. even when exerting enough pressure to move lead past the core seating punch. And of course, I do not get any more diameter when point forming.
    When I use just a core in the core seat die, all I get is .223, so jacket springback is not the trouble. The dies are marked .224. Also I have tapered bullets, within .125 from the base, I only have .222 dia. I have an old die made by Herter's Inc. it is easy to get .224 with it, although it has a home made nose punch, and not with excessive force either.
    The bullets have so much taper, when I seat them in a case, and the base gets below the neck, the bullet falls inside. I tried to make 70 gr. from 17HMR cases thinking the longer bullet would offer more resistance in the die, but not so it is the same, undersize and tapered.
    So here I am asking for direction to get me on the correct road. I waited, and read, and read some more, so as not to bother anyone prematurely, but now is the time for advise.
    Thanking everyone in advance;

  2. #2
    Vendor Sponsor uncle dino's Avatar
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    ..it is possible that you have the wrong core seat punch. Try to run just plain lead bullet through the dies without a jacket. Measure those and compare results..core seat will always be slightly smaller than point form..d

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    As above, I have a set a Dave Corbins dies for making .224" out of .22 LR cases. With my set he supplied a core seat punch for RF cases and a punch for commercial jackets. The RF punch is marked with the diameter and also marked "RF". Again put a pure lead core into the PF die and measure. Should be correct. I too, could not achieve the correct diameter at one stage and did this test. It was perfect. The problem turned out to be my lube quantity on the jacket and some residue on the inside of the die. You do not need much lube on the jackets. I run. 50/50 ratio of lanolin/castor oil with 1gn of lube per 1000 LR jackets, tumbled well in a jar. Lube take up space. Give the dies a really good internal clean with a bore brush and some Shelite or carb clean or similar cleaner.

    let us know how you go.
    Bill
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  4. #4
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    The core seat die is just fine at .2230", you certainly do not want the core seat to be at .224". It is the job of the point form die to finish bumping the bullet up to final diameter.

    What weight bullet where you attempting to point form that came out under sized? What was the diameter of the meplat (tip)?

    If I had to guess you are not getting enough pressure when forming the bullet in the point form die. This could be because the die needs adjustment or possibly the lead core is too light or too little for the given jacket.

    What diameter is the piece of lead when it comes out of the point form die?

    Sounds like the lead wire you where using is probably pure soft lead. Different alloys will produce very slight variations in the finished diameter of the bullet. In your case it sounds like you are not getting enough pressure in the final point form step, I suspect it may be from too light of core (not enough lead) but something to keep in mind..... a slightly harder alloy..... certainly not more then 10BNH but maybe something slightly harder then the 5 bnh pure lead could aid in your attempts.

    Making 22 cal bullets takes less pressure then typical reloading operations, well all except the deriming , you certainly do not want to be pushing that hard on the core seat di, or the point form die for that matter. But it sounds like the core seat die is just fine and doing it's job. The long 22 mag jacket you used has a long barring surface and without a little bit of pressure when forming the point I could see it having a slight taper but.......

    where these dies new or used?

    I suspect the dies are probably good, I certainly would not attempt to polish or lapping anything, simply need a little more experimenting.

    Try making a 55-57 grain bullet from 22lr brass and see what happens.

    Keep at it and swage on.

    BT
    Last edited by BT Sniper; 03-20-2017 at 10:43 PM.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Bub camotes2's Avatar
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    Ok, so I cleaned the PF die solvent and Q-tip, and used a pure lead core with only just a hint of lube, none that I could see or feel. I pushed the core in till the lead went well into the ejection pin hole, and all I can get is .2233. I have checked my mic. and tried my second back up mic. same same, .2233. Now I am sure I am doing something to cause my own grief, but I'll be danged what it is. My PF punch is .219, and the core seat punch is .201. Do I need a bigger core seat punch? I am scared that I might bust a die. The ejection punch is .079, and I was making 55.7gr bullets. The tip is .096. Is the ejection pin supposed to be well above the tip of the bullet? These dies were used, could the pin be too short? I can push the bullet up high enough to make a little pipe on the tip.
    Last edited by camotes2; 03-20-2017 at 11:18 PM.

  6. #6
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    .199 to .201 will work with the commercial jackets or jackets made from 22 mag brass.

    .205-.207 is typically what is used to seat the core in 22lr jackets.

    Try to form your bullets just to the point at which any more will get you that stove pipe at the tip (in the corbin dies as I understand it, different in my dies).

    interesting that even with the lead alone pushed into the point form die it still is only .2233 ???

    Maybe it is a slightly undersized die? Best thing to do is contact the manufacture I suppose at this point.

    No doubt the bullets would still shoot but I bet a bullet closer to the nominal .2240 will have a better chance for accuracy, oh.... and getting the undersized bullets to seat and stay properly in the case Might need a smaller expander in the FL sizing die.

    Maybe others will have knowledge to chime in with

    Welcome to the forum, hang in there and swage on!

    BT
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    Good shooting and swage on!

    Brian

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    That die might be a .223 diameter. Some older 22 caliber rifles had bores smaller than .224.

    Those .2233 bullets just might work in your rifle.
    To lazy to chase arrows.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master Faret's Avatar
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    Could the dies be made for a .22 Hornet? They take .223 do they not?

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub camotes2's Avatar
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    The Dr. or Dentist that I got these from his estate, was a big fan of .22 hornet. He even had a small custom progressive press to load hornets with. I had thought of this as well that they were for hornets, but the die boxes are marked .224. I had tried to make some 40 gr. bullets, but they were way to short to form at all in these dies. And most unlikely he would have used light bullets, there were thousands of Sisk 37gr bullets that I could not get. So thanks for all the help so far, I will start again from scratch, and start a fresh batch and see.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Depending on how much they have been used. I know that some make .224 dies that the bullet measures .2235 reason is to make the dies last longer. Not sure if that helps you or not.
    Last edited by Utah Shooter; 03-25-2017 at 01:34 AM.
    "Consequently we move away from other shooters to remain focused on our passion, as our ideas are quickly dismissed or misunderstood by others. Sharing does not come easily for swagers, not because they are necessarily selfish, but because they have been whittling away in their only little world for so long, that being able to relate to others what they understand is no simple task."

    ​Mentor



  11. #11
    Boolit Bub camotes2's Avatar
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    Hello, sorry for being away for a few days. Had a trip out of town, and made some smoked cheddar for our local gun show coming up on the first. So I have started fresh some of the de-rimmed jackets were from the previous owner. De-rimmed my own fresh brass, cast cores there was not much wire left anyways, squirted the cores to 49.9gr, as I want 60 gr. for my fast twist bbl. Then I took my old ram from a left over project from my Lyman orange crusher, and threaded it to the Walnut Hill so I could use the dies there instead of the Orange crusher. Wow what a difference in leverage. But I see that my WH is swage only, there is no second hole for reloading. and the Ram to toggle pin is too long, so when it shifts sideways the E-clip snap ring gets squashed by the frames lower nut. Never would have thought that would happen? Tried to seat a core, and I still have only .223, which should be ok, as BT mentioned, but I will make a new core seat punch to .205 tomorrow. Just effortless with the WH, starting to get excited, but I can see where I will need and auto ejector for sure.
    How much space, or length should there be between the top of the ojive, and the bottom of the ejection pin? could that cause the lack of pressure when point forming? I would not want to buckle the ejection pin. First things first, make a new core seat pin then I'll report back.
    Thanking everyone again in advance....

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by camotes2 View Post
    How much space, or length should there be between the top of the ojive, and the bottom of the ejection pin? could that cause the lack of pressure when point forming? I would not want to buckle the ejection pin. First things first, make a new core seat pin then I'll report back.
    Thanking everyone again in advance....
    As far as length I am not certain, as long as it is out of the way when pointing. From what I understand (and it may be minimal) the ejection rod should not even come into play when point forming. It is an ejection rod solely for ejecting and not for creating the meplat. I am sure that some of the ejection pins push off the lead core but as far as I know this is not optimal for pointing bullets. I know that with my dies the ejection rod should only pushes on the meplat to eject. Pushing on the lead could and have caused stuck bullets on the ejection rod.
    "Consequently we move away from other shooters to remain focused on our passion, as our ideas are quickly dismissed or misunderstood by others. Sharing does not come easily for swagers, not because they are necessarily selfish, but because they have been whittling away in their only little world for so long, that being able to relate to others what they understand is no simple task."

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  13. #13
    Boolit Bub camotes2's Avatar
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    Yes a stuck bullet would only add to my frustration, not really frustration, but my lack of being able to see why my bullets are undersized. So with my new core seat punch today .205" I seated 11 cores, very nice, no lead squirting past the punch, nice flat bases, and hardly any visible rim groove mark. Up to this point I am sure all is correct. But when I point formed the first bullet while trying to get the smallest tip to create the most resistance to gain my final size I had a little core push up into the ejection pin hole, so back out the die an 1/8 of a turn, and that problem was solved. Pointed up the rest, all looked great weights varied from 59.8gr to 60.0gr., happy again, but still were only .223 looked like one was bigger by a couple of tenths, till I re checked it, nope still .223. I think maybe it is time to call Corbin to see if it might just be an undersized die?
    Thanks again for the help.

  14. #14
    Boolit Man
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    Is it possible--and this is a WAG--that maybe Corbin stamped the outside of the dies as .224 as a standard practice, but finished the internals to the customer specs? I say this as a person with no advanced knowledge of machining or die making, but after the dies are hardened they would be difficult to stamp without specialized equipment (probably another WAG). Depending on the age of the dies, I could see this as a standard practice that has been subsequently superceded.

    And I would expect a Hornet in Australia (er, um, cough, cough, Canada) to be .223.

    I think you're correct, time to contact Corbin, but your simplest solution may be to undersize your expander and see if the bullets bump up enough in the bore to give acceptable accuracy.
    Last edited by jsn; 04-08-2017 at 04:50 PM.

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub camotes2's Avatar
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    Spoke with Dave Corbin a couple of times now, he assures me it is no problem to fix. When I showed him a pic of the dies, he told me that they were quite early production dies, and that there could be a mismatch in the core seat, and the point form dies. So I was happy to hear that, and Friday they will be packed, and shipped for inspection, along with a few samples from each stage so he can determine where I might have gone wrong that is if all else turns out good. Then the wait will seem to be forever, I am not too good at anticipating parcels. Hope also to be able to get a point form die for 40gr. to 50gr. semi spitzers just for a 22/30carbine I finished this last winter. Thanks again for the help and suggestions..

  16. #16
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    Dave stands by his products. I had a similar problem in 30 Cal when I was first getting started. Couldn't get .308 to save my life. Was an undersized core seat punch. Took sending the dies back to Dave for him to check out with the jackets I was using to figure it out. Didn't charge for the service, even the shipping. I did buy them from him new though. He does a great job.
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