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Thread: Dumb question time about bullet seating

  1. #1
    Boolit Master armoredman's Avatar
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    Dumb question time about bullet seating

    I have discovered that this oddball 55gr Bator boolit seems to work pretty well in my BREN 805 rifle. BUT, it seats crooked with bad runout about half the time, and the boolit always has shiny ring indented in the powder coat after seating. Would a different seater stem help with the run out if sized correctly for that boolit type? I have heard Lee will do that if you send them a boolit to fit it too.
    Thank you for your replies.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    Are you using a M die or NOE expander or just belling the mouth, what caliber? More info would help. Had this problem in my Hornet and using the Bator. Bought a Noe expander problem solved. Are you up early or have trouble sleeping like me?

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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    You mention Lee, so I assume you are using a Lee rifle seating die.

    First I should say, I am not about to Bash Lee, I load a lot of calibers and I use Lee die sets (with a rare exception) on Lee presses. I like Lee products.

    With that said, I've found that Lee seating dies have sloppy internal tolerances. They do "OK", with pistol calibers, but I've had issues with 223 as well as 243. Because of that, I have been slowly acquiring BR seating dies to replace the Lee rifle seater dies in all my rifle reloading die sets.

  4. #4
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    runfiverun's Avatar
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    if your letting the bullet go into the die at an angle it is hitting the seating stem at that angle.
    I have found setting the case mouth flair out enough to hold the bullet straight makes a huge difference.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

  5. #5
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    I like and use many Lee products but their rifle seaters are not great for cast. Most of my mix-n-match die sets now include a Hornady seater die. With some I needed to modify the sleeve to accommodate the larger diameters that cast require but it is worth it.

    Seating CB's straight is crucial for accuracy as I found out when I started to measure run out. For me accuracy improved dramatically once I became OCD about seating.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master armoredman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oily View Post
    Are you using a M die or NOE expander or just belling the mouth, what caliber? More info would help. Had this problem in my Hornet and using the Bator. Bought a Noe expander problem solved. Are you up early or have trouble sleeping like me?
    Sorry, using Lee dies for .223/5.56mm, no M or NOE expander, just the one that came with the set. I am up late often.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master armoredman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runfiverun View Post
    if your letting the bullet go into the die at an angle it is hitting the seating stem at that angle.
    I have found setting the case mouth flair out enough to hold the bullet straight makes a huge difference.

    Doing me best to keep the boolit straight, but I'm now thinking the expander isn't wide enough. Hard to hang on to that little boolit as the ram goes up!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master armoredman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blikseme300 View Post
    I like and use many Lee products but their rifle seaters are not great for cast. Most of my mix-n-match die sets now include a Hornady seater die. With some I needed to modify the sleeve to accommodate the larger diameters that cast require but it is worth it.

    Seating CB's straight is crucial for accuracy as I found out when I started to measure run out. For me accuracy improved dramatically once I became OCD about seating.
    That was the really weird thing - I got the same groups, offset or not, as my buddy pointed out, maybe the chamber is straightening the bullet for me...but that's a sloppy solution. I'd much rather have it right and see just how much I can get from this slug.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I use "in-line" bullet seaters for most of my cast loads.

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    Simply custom fit the boolit nose to the seater stem with a small ball of epoxy putty. I have used epoxy putty intended to patch auto gas tanks ( automotive parts store) and epoxy putty from the plumbing section and J-B weld Epoxy putty made for everything.
    Clean and degrease inside seater stem , you want the epoxy to stick. Wax, grease or oil the boolit nose, you don't want the epoxy to stick here. Insert the small ball of epoxy into the seater cavity , assemble everything get the boolit straight and in line and gently begin to seat the bullet , seat just enough until you feel some resistance, force the boolit into the epoxy filled stem and stop . Let it set about 1 hour then remove and gently disassemble , make sure no putty has oozed out into places it shouldn't be . Clean up any ooze and let epoxy cure 24 hours. Perfect fit ! (read directions on epoxy some are fast curing and some are slow) Let the epoxy set up then remove to clean any overrun...after it cures it is not as easy to trim. Don't use too much and non will ooze out.
    I have one I have been using for 20 years, a round nose seater I converted to seat a Lee wadcutter boolit , the epoxy stays put but can be removed if necessary.
    I got tired of buying seaters that were supposed to fit but didn't or almost fit but not perfectly....that little dab of epoxy putty will take of the fit.
    Gary
    Last edited by gwpercle; 09-17-2017 at 06:15 PM.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Like r5r said, If your case mouth not flared enough to hold straight. You can try to partial seat the boolet then rotate the case,pull ram down some, lift n rotate case and final seat.
    I do this as a habit now just because I don't always flare enough myself. Even short pistol boolits get the same rotate.

    Be safe, Mike
    Last edited by myg30; 09-17-2017 at 07:47 PM. Reason: Corrected spell checker

  12. #12
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Lee flaring tool helps. Even a small flare on the very tip of the case neck gives you a slightly larger ring to help get the bullet started.

    Next I never take the press up until the bullet is sitting straight. Do whatever you have to do but start straight.

    Yes I agree, a little tip does not seem to effect groups much. But I hate seeing crooked bullets. I like my loads to look good. I think it helps with confidence if nothing else. And confidence can make a big difference.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by armoredman View Post
    I have discovered that this oddball 55gr Bator boolit seems to work pretty well in my BREN 805 rifle. BUT, it seats crooked with bad runout about half the time, and the boolit always has shiny ring indented in the powder coat after seating. Would a different seater stem help with the run out if sized correctly for that boolit type? I have heard Lee will do that if you send them a boolit to fit it too.
    Thank you for your replies.
    You are on the right track in my experience. I actually lap my seaters to fit the bullet nose so there is no shinny ring or deformation of the bullet tip. A retired machinist I shoot with started me using on of the old hearters/C&H type seaters. They work great. The sliding core sets on top of the case shoulder. The bullet is maintained in almost perfect alignment. I only use an NOE type expander in a lee universal flairing die to maintain a .002" neck tension. I champher the case mouth and do not flair the neck. I do not get any cutting of the PC and alignment is outstanding. It is worth trying. I use on 308W. and 6X45 with good results.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master armoredman's Avatar
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    How does one lap the seaters? I am not very mechanically inclined, unfortunately. Can the NOE expanders be purchased direct from NOE and it in the Lee Universal Flaring die easily?

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    Quote Originally Posted by armoredman View Post
    How does one lap the seaters? I am not very mechanically inclined, unfortunately. Can the NOE expanders be purchased direct from NOE and it in the Lee Universal Flaring die easily?
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  16. #16
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    gwpercle's Avatar
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    Use a little epoxy putty to custom fit the nose. Refer to post #10 .
    It's easier than lapping !
    Of course some folks just like to do things the hard way.
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  17. #17
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    The Lee seaters are easy to modify with epoxy. a few wraps of masking tape around the stem Use the widest you can and 6-8 wraps around for a solid tube. You want this 1/2"-3/4" above the seater to provide alighnment and hold the bullet in position. Coat a bullet with release agent ( 2-3 coats) allowing to dry between coats. Mix some epoxy and drop a appropriate amount into the seater nose. Make sure there is enough to fill voids extra will push out up into the tube. Insert bullet into the tube and epoxy clamp with a square clamp or vise. Let cure overnight. Clean up excess and test. A light polish with flitz on a bullet nose may be needed.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MT Chambers View Post
    I use "in-line" bullet seaters for most of my cast loads.
    A good option is to get an old Herters in line seating die ( have found a number on E bay). I ream the case mouth and do no additional flaring on 6mm long bore riders. When rolled on a glass table there does not appear to be any axial alignment issues. Prior seating dies always had misalignment.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master armoredman's Avatar
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    Well, I have one solution inbound, a Lee Neck Expander die is coming in from a kind soul for me to use, see if that helps.

  20. #20
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    A little off topic but only by a degree or two, LOL!

    I recently began using a Pair of CH Auto Champion progressive press, one for 9mm and 40 S&W the other for big bore stuff like 45 ACP and 44 mag.

    Started with the 9mm first and it loaded well but I ran into a big issue with OAL I couldn't keep it within .010 inches to save my life!

    Spent a lot of time constantly readjusting the seating depth, die height and even explored a possible fault in my FCD die, all to no luck!

    Then I took the seating die apart and realized that the seating plug was hitting the sides of the boolit, rather than the nose, and was moving as I seated the boolit.

    A quick trip to the kitchen and a small piece of Tin Foil, Reynolds to the rescue!, rolled in it a small ball dropped into the seater die and press a loaded and crimped round up into it to compress it into the seater plug and take the boolits shape, by the way it's Lee's 120 TC non tumble lube.

    It took two or three compress's to settle the foil in but since then OAL has remained static!

    A simple cure left over from a tip I got 20 years ago when dealing with Lyman 429303 44 boolit, faster than epoxy's and easy to remove if needed.

    Try some foil in your seater plug and see if helps, if it does you can pursue an inline seater die to permanently solve the runout problem.

    HM

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check