loose bullets

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pj1

Well-Known Member
Hi there. I'm fairly new to reloading but have had good results so far. I've just loaded my first batch of fireformed cases and some bullets have seated ok but others slide into the case neck easily and can be pulled out by hand with no great difficulty. As far as I'm aware I'm doing everything the same. Any ideas gratefully received.
Loading with a Lee loader. 308. 165 gn Sierra game kings. Winchester brass ( I have my suspicions it's this )

​regards Pete
 

8x57

Distinguished Member
Very unlikely to be a problem with the cases other than you have not resized them properly and almost certainly nothing wrong with the bullets. Your sizer is not resizing the case neck sufficiently to hold the bullet in place. If it were a conventional die or a collet die I would say go back and adjust the die but as it is a Lee loader of which I have no personal experience I can't advise on how to adjust.
 

Hootsman

Well-Known Member
Hi Pj1 I had this when my neck re sizer and de primer die wasnt set right. I screwed it in another half a turn and it tightened the neck of the brass. cheers Hootsman
 

pj1

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the replies. I lee loader as far as I am aware has no adjustment for sizing. You quite literally knock the case into the "die"until it is flush with the bottom. As there is no adjustment would a different make of brass with a thicker neck make the dirrerence.
 

finnbear270

Well-Known Member
I wouldn't mess about, just get a set of adjustable dies, if your current setup has no facility for adjustment the problem will probably recur.
 

JMS906

Well-Known Member
Your cases are not properly resized. It sounds like you have not got the die fitted properly in the press. Find the instructions - if you don't have them, look for the online or pm me - and follow them. Then resize one of the offending cases (if it has a primer fitted then go very gently and discard the primer once it has been popped). Take the resized case and try putting the bullet into the neck by hand. It shouldn't be possible to hand seat the bullet.

-JMS
 

jthyttin

Well-Known Member
There's no press as OP is using Lee Loader:

Lee Loader 308 Win - Lee Precision

To the OP, did I understand correctly that you've loaded the same cases brand new and had no problem?

I'd say if you have access to micrometer go on and measure the OD of bullets, and neck diameter on a loaded case where bullet was seated properly and also on a case that bullet slips in/out with fingers. If the bullet OD does not vary and neck diameters are same, there must be variation in neck thickness (neck thickness itself is quite hard to measure, that's why I suggest the above method). At this point your best bet would be to try different cases as you suggested. Or upgrade your reloading equipment (anyway you can't use Loader, or any other neck sizing method, forever on the same cases, since shoulder bump is needed at some point).
 

finnbear270

Well-Known Member
Lee Loader, pretty much cave man reloading these days, O.K. for the survivalists amongst us!:lol:, Get a set of R.C.B.S. or some other quality press mounted gear.;)
 

1066

Well-Known Member
Hi there. I'm fairly new to reloading but have had good results so far. I've just loaded my first batch of fireformed cases and some bullets have seated ok but others slide into the case neck easily and can be pulled out by hand with no great difficulty. As far as I'm aware I'm doing everything the same. Any ideas gratefully received.
Loading with a Lee loader. 308. 165 gn Sierra game kings. Winchester brass ( I have my suspicions it's this )

​regards Pete

Hi Pete
I really think it's a brass problem, well not a problem exactly but more brass compatibility.
Winchester brass tends to be on the thin side and as the Lee loader system has no expander set-up, bullet tension is controlled by sizing the outside of the neck - you have no control over this - you bash your case in, it's sized. Now, what if you were using thick military cases, the outside of the neck would be the same but the hole would be smaller ie. higher bullet tension.
There is a very fine line between too much and not enough - Lee are probably somewhere in between. A cast, slightly larger bullet would work or your bullets with slightly thicker brass would work.

Keep the Winchester brass (use it with the new press you will soon buy) but in the meantime measure your bullets to make sure they're the right size, there's not much difference between .308 or .311. Scrounge a few different cases. You need to change your components to work with the fixed Lee loader rather than adjust the die to work with your components as we usually do.
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
Lee Loader, pretty much cave man reloading these days, O.K. for the survivalists amongst us!:lol:, Get a set of R.C.B.S. or some other quality press mounted gear.;)

Crude but effective?
I have loaded some very accurate ammo using these units. BUt for the lack of an arbor press, they are in essence, the same kind of gear used by bench rest shooters. I always felt that if a guy showed up at the range with a Lee Loader and a small arbor press they would get more respect. It's that mallet thing that turns people off! :D

Unfortunately, they are what they are, and brass compatibility is an issue especially since 308 has a wide range of neck thickness between say Lake City Military and Winchester.~Muir
 

pj1

Well-Known Member
To the OP, did I understand correctly that you've loaded the same cases brand new and had no problem? I'd say if you have access to micrometer go on and measure the OD of bullets, and neck diameter on a loaded case where bullet was seated properly and also on a case that bullet slips in/out with fingers. If the bullet OD does not vary and neck diameters are same, there must be variation in neck thickness (neck thickness itself is quite hard to measure,

hi thanks for all who have replied

yes jthyttin i have loaded these winchester cases once befroe when new. this is their second load. as i hope you can see from the photos all the bullets i tested measured spot on .308.

you can also i think see the difference in case thickness. left is a rws. centre a winchester and right a federal. all have been fired in the same rifle.
i have scratched together 20 federal cases so will load these up and see how we go.

as people have suggested a set of dies and press would be good but funds wont stretch im affraid.
 

pj1

Well-Known Member
ok sorry cant seem to upload photos. just comes up with url rather than selecting a file from computer. is it me???
 

1066

Well-Known Member
The reason the cases had sufficient neck tension on first loading was because they were SAMMI spec to start with ie. been full length sized at the factory. Normally, when you resize cases with standard dies and press, the sizing die squeezes the neck smaller than required and on the up stroke of the press the expander ball opens up the hole to the correct size - so hole diameter is set by the size of the expander no matter what thickness the brass. You are just squeezing the outside of the case back to shape.
Nothing wrong with doing it that way if you select the right components.
This is only an upmarket version of the same thing and very highly thought of.
 

FrenchieBoy

Well-Known Member
To the OP.
I too use a Lee Loader for both .222 and .243 and have experienced exactly the same thing on a few occasions, mainly with the .243 using PPU brass that has only been fired through my own rifle. I can often tell if one of the heads are not as tight as they should be as the bullet head will push in by hand without using the mallet on the bullet seater. If this is the case then I just safely discard that particular case as I'm not sure that there is anything much that can be done except for maybe seating the bullet head with the correct OAL and then using the crimp tool on it - But I have to say that I personally would not be in favour of this method for my rifle ammunition!
 

pj1

Well-Known Member
Thanks 1066 useful video.

Frenchie boy have you fired a few that have a looser fit. Do they sound different. Just occasionally I have noticed some being louder or at least a different tone. Didn't really put it down to anything but now discovering the looser bullets I wonder if this will stop.
 
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