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Thread: .356-95-RF in .357

  1. #1

    .356-95-RF in .357

    After powder coating some Lee TL356-95-RF I noticed they measured .360 without sizing so I tried loading 'em in some .357 mag cases with a minimum charge of BE-86. The accuracy was marginal so I tried the next step up the ladder (1/2 grain more) and after loading I noticed the bullets don't seat straight in the case.

    Perhaps this is due to the short bearing surface of the bullet? I am using a Lee seating die, and a Lee collet-style crimp die.

    I suspect this will never shoot well if I don't get this corrected. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy

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    I would try sizing them down to.358 or.359" and see if that helps. Should straighten out an unevenness of the powder coat

  3. #3
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    Just to prove it did happen.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Flailguy View Post
    I would try sizing them down to.358 or.359" and see if that helps. Should straighten out an unevenness of the powder coat
    So the biggest cylinder throat in my Ruger Blackhawk is 0.3591" and the groove diameter is .3577". Do I want to match the cylinder throats? Or would .358 be good? I wish Lee made a .359" bullet sizing die.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    I 2nd sizing them, then running them into the seating die twice, the second time up give the round a 1/4 turn. Should straighten em out before crimping. I was doing this on a Lee turret press, with 7.62x25.

    Ive loaded the 95 grainer in 38s, but mine seated fine with lee dies. I couldnt get them to group slow or fast. And the sights wouldnt adjust that low, so I moved up to the 125. Let us know what you find for accuracy.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Id go 359. Ive read of members polishing out lee sizing dies with dremels.

  7. #7
    I sized them to .359 and switched to the Lee FCD (previously using the Lee collet-crimp) hoping the sizing ring might straighten things out. It improved a lot. Now I can't tell they are out of whack when I just look at them, I have to roll them on the table and see of the bullet wobbles. Perhaps this will be sufficiently accurate for my purposes. I have to test them at the range.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    I haven't tried them in 357 brass, just 38 SP. At the time I bought that mold, I was using it for 380 ACP and 9 MM, and had purchased the Lee 358-125 RF and the 358 158 RF for use in 357 SIG and 357 MAG respectively. Since then, I haven't played around with other loads for those boolits and calibers but it is time.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Here is an idea for getting them seated straight in the case. Us a seating punch with a flat surface as with some full wadcutters. Rather than trying to fit the curved sides of the nose, fit the flat on the front.
    You can do this two ways. Get a different seating die with a flat, wadcutter seating punch, or fill the seating punch in the Lee die so that it has a flat surface instead of a curved one.
    Filling the Lee punch can be done with epoxy, clay, and hot glue. Two of those are removable if you need something else.
    With the epoxy, such as JB weld, you can do a precise fit to the nose to hold the boolit perfectly straight every time by coating a boolit with grease and pushing it into the JB weld before it solidifies.
    This is a relatively easy fix and doesn't permanently ruin your seating die as the parts can be purchased from Lee cheaply. Extra seating plugs are available from Lee for $2 and shipping. https://leeprecision.com/38-357-b-seat-plug.html

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Size em. I had some 45acp 200 swc that were loading crooked as heck. Got to checking and realized that a bag of unsized, slightly out of round bullets had made it to the bench. Sized em and they loaded perfect. Dont know if it is only a pc thing or what, but out of round pc'd bullets will tilt.
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by tazman View Post
    Here is an idea for getting them seated straight in the case. Us a seating punch with a flat surface as with some full wadcutters. Rather than trying to fit the curved sides of the nose, fit the flat on the front.
    You can do this two ways. Get a different seating die with a flat, wadcutter seating punch, or fill the seating punch in the Lee die so that it has a flat surface instead of a curved one.
    Filling the Lee punch can be done with epoxy, clay, and hot glue. Two of those are removable if you need something else.
    With the epoxy, such as JB weld, you can do a precise fit to the nose to hold the boolit perfectly straight every time by coating a boolit with grease and pushing it into the JB weld before it solidifies.
    This is a relatively easy fix and doesn't permanently ruin your seating die as the parts can be purchased from Lee cheaply. Extra seating plugs are available from Lee for $2 and shipping. https://leeprecision.com/38-357-b-seat-plug.html
    Taz, if I tried the custom seater with JB Weld suchas you described with my skills I would end up making the bullet imprint crooked.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Jaque Janaviac View Post
    Taz, if I tried the custom seater with JB Weld suchas you described with my skills I would end up making the bullet imprint crooked.
    It isn't as difficult as you might think.
    Put the JBweld (preferably the two part putty kind) into the seating punch grease the boolit, place the boolit bottom down on a table on waxed paper, press the seating punch down onto the boolit holding the seating punch vertical.
    With the putty, you don't need to hold it there long. Just a few seconds. The putty will hold it's shape after you make the indention into it.
    In any case, you can make the seating punch into a flat by simply filling it with epoxy or JB weld and scraping it off flush.
    It should work either way.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Jaque Janaviac View Post
    I sized them to .359 and switched to the Lee FCD (previously using the Lee collet-crimp) hoping the sizing ring might straighten things out. It improved a lot. Now I can't tell they are out of whack when I just look at them, I have to roll them on the table and see of the bullet wobbles. Perhaps this will be sufficiently accurate for my purposes. I have to test them at the range.
    But your also sizing the bullet smaller in the FCD so you might as well just size the bullet down smaller to start with if your using the FCD as a fix. The Lee FCD should be sizing the loaded round down to 357 ish which could cause bullet tension issues since the brass has more spring back then the lead bullet.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy Cheeto303's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tazman View Post
    Here is an idea for getting them seated straight in the case. Us a seating punch with a flat surface as with some full wadcutters. Rather than trying to fit the curved sides of the nose, fit the flat on the front.
    You can do this two ways. Get a different seating die with a flat, wadcutter seating punch, or fill the seating punch in the Lee die so that it has a flat surface instead of a curved one.
    Filling the Lee punch can be done with epoxy, clay, and hot glue. Two of those are removable if you need something else.
    With the epoxy, such as JB weld, you can do a precise fit to the nose to hold the boolit perfectly straight every time by coating a boolit with grease and pushing it into the JB weld before it solidifies.
    This is a relatively easy fix and doesn't permanently ruin your seating die as the parts can be purchased from Lee cheaply. Extra seating plugs are available from Lee for $2 and shipping. https://leeprecision.com/38-357-b-seat-plug.html
    FYI if you follow the link to Lee and click ADD TO CART the first part is free you pay shipping. On the home page go to PARTS on the left side of the page and you can add whatever parts you need to your cart. The first part is free. I get a bunch of spare parts for the cost of shipping.
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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Muddydogs View Post
    But your also sizing the bullet smaller in the FCD so you might as well just size the bullet down smaller to start with if your using the FCD as a fix. The Lee FCD should be sizing the loaded round down to 357 ish which could cause bullet tension issues since the brass has more spring back then the lead bullet.
    Perhaps.
    My Rossi '92 has 0.3577" grooves. My Blackhawk has 0.3591" cylinders. But the motivation behind this endeavor is to find a rabbit load for the lever action. So I can probably afford to size it down a bit more.

  16. #16
    Sigh***

    I tried sizing, and pluggin the concave part of the seating plug to make it flat - still seats the TL356-95-rf crooked.

    Guess I'll just stick with the 125.

  17. #17
    A ray of hope!

    I experimented with the 95-rf some more. Along with following Tazman's advice I also found that gently setting the bullet on the case works better than jamming it on snug with my fingers. When I gently set the bullet on it seems that the flat-faced seating plug can adjust the bullet. I had been setting the bullets in snug. Which I noticed when I pushed them in that way they were more difficult to straighten, but if the bullet was just resting on the belled case it was much easier to make alignment adjustments. Well I figured that if I could feel the resistance then the seater plug was facing the same problem. So I began gently setting the bullets on the cases. I found that even if they were very crooked the flattened seater plug could correct them.

    It is not perfect, but I find myself having to really examine the cartridges to see if they are crooked, and even then most appeared straight.
    Last edited by Black Jaque Janaviac; 03-08-2020 at 10:27 PM. Reason: Spelling

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