Diagnosing bullet seating issue (Frankford Arsenal Universal die making loud click when seating, inconsistent depth)

cahunter805

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May 27, 2014
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2,216
Polishing won’t effect established load. You’ll have to disassemble and reassemble the die, so you’ll just have to re-setup the die.

Disassemble the die. Chuck the seater stem into a drill. Wrap a strip of sandpaper around the end of a qtip, start the drill, work the qtip in and out of the seater stem where it would contact a projectile. I usually do 400 grit, then 600, then 1200. Then polishing compound on a qtip. Or just 0000 steel wool then polishing compound if you don’t have a bunch of different grit paper laying around.

The alloy that Hammers uses does seem to stick more than other projectiles. Lucky for me, the sliiiiiiight visible rings I still get don’t bother me at all. If your OCD really can’t take it then lap like @cahunter805 mentioned. Which I believe would be using a projectile with valve lapping compound on it instead of the qtip with sandpaper. Then polish it after lapping. This is more aggressive as you’re actually trying to change the shape of the projectile bearing surface of the seater, not just polish it.

And if THAT doesn’t work then stick the tip of each projectile into some Imperial dry neck lube before loading and it won’t stick or ring anymore.
I’ve only ever lapped one stem and that was on a RCBS die. Usually I just use the VLD stem from Redding and never have a problem.
 

Don Fischer

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Jun 27, 2017
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2,060
Hey folks,

I am new to reloading, and I'm trying to figure out why I'm getting very inconsistent CBTO measurements (+/- 0.010 in some cases) when seating bullets.

Thanks in advance for the advice.
I'm not sure how much .01 is in thousands but can't be very much. Got a suggestion, if you don't trust your bullet seating die, go buy a new one. It seems to me anymore that a lot of guys are no longer looking for good shooting ammo but rather perfect working equipment. Not to say if the die is out of whack I wouldn't replace it myself but I suspect you can load up a box of ammo and when your done measure overall length on each one and find a lot of small difference's! Point is if you didn't have the measuring tools you have, you could load ammo and see how it shoots for you and decide from that how good it may or may not be.

I was just thinking, someone mentioned all these new bullet's and ogives on them. If your seating stem is grabbing the bullet enough to pull it a bit when removing the round from the die, there should be a bright ring around the bullet at the ogive. Once the bullet is seated in the neck, it is gonna take a bit to move the bullet at all. Ever pulled a bullet? In effect that is what your doing if the bullet moves at all. That takes a pretty good grip on the bullet to move it. You push down that hard putting the bullet in and it's gonna leave a ring around the bullet. Tell you how I know when a seated bullet is off the lands in a load. If it's not, the lands leave small marks on the bullet. Can't feel it when you seat them or pull the round back out but you can see them. The bullet does not seem to pull out unless forced into the lands to much. So for peace of mind go get a new bullet seating die!
 
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Don Fischer

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Jun 27, 2017
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2,060
That would be ten thousandths.
I opened up my calipers that far and that is a long way. The seating plug would have to have pretty good hold on the bullet to do that. Have to be a ring around the bullet at the ogive.
 
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