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.380 Issue

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by dkf, Jan 5, 2012.

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  1. dkf

    dkf

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    Aug 6, 2010
    I'm having issues with neck tension reloading .380. Dies are the Lee Carbide 3 die set. I'm using 90gr XTP bullets and once fired blazer brass and winchester brass.

    The bullets measure .355". (measured with micrometer) After resizing I can push a bullet into the case by hand. There is some tension there but it seems to move too easy. I can crimp it in place with a decent crimp but that is something I would like to avoid.

    Thoughts.
     
  2. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    Oct 19, 2011
    Your bullet diameter is correct according to the Hornady manual. The outside diameter of the case at the mouth should be 0.3730" after assembly. I would expect the resizing die to get the case down to this diameter before the mouth is flared to seat the bullet.

    Are you sure your sizing die is going all the way down to the shell plate? There is a very slight taper to a .380 case so it's important the the die go fully to the bottom of the case.

    The instructions should tell you how to adjust the die but I usually put the ram all the way up, screw the die down until it touches, lower the ram and screw the die down another quarter turn. I want the ram to cam over. Maybe 1/4 turn is too much.

    Dillon says to adjust their dies until they just touch the fully raised ram:
    http://www.dillonhelp.com/manuals/english/Dillon-Die-Instructions-May-2007.pdf

    Richard
     


  3. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    Oct 19, 2011
    BTW, how much flare are you putting in the case mouth? It only needs to be a very few thousandths - just enough to get the bullet started. Too much flare will disturb the neck diameter too far down.

    These cases should be taper crimped just enough to close the mouth up to 0.3730"

    At the base, the shell diameter should be 0.3739" so you can see the taper is pretty insignificant.

    Richard
     
  4. dkf

    dkf

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    The sizing die is against the shell holder. The bullet can be pushed in by hand even without any flare on the case mouth. I just resized the brass and didn't flare to check the neck tension, which is not very good.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  5. CVO

    CVO

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    Dec 23, 2009
    Florida
    Whats the inside diameter of the case after you size it?
     
  6. dkf

    dkf

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    Aug 6, 2010
    Outside diameter = .370"

    Inside Diameter = Around .353" With the caliper set at .353" the case fits over and can be rotated over the ID jaws of the caliper without forcing. The caliper is a good stainless steel caliper.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  7. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    Oct 19, 2011
    It almost sounds like the brass is too thin. Nothing that Blazer does would surprise me.

    In general, the wall should be 0.010" so a 0.373" OD will have an 0.353" ID and about 0.002" compression fit onto the bullet. You are starting out with a 0.370" OD and getting down to a "loose" 0.353" ID. In fact, the ID might be even larger than 0.353" and that would result in not having as much compression on the bullet.

    If the brass is thin, it might not be able to retain the compression on the bullet.

    Why don't you get some decent .380, shoot it up and then try again.

    Richard
     
  8. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    Oct 19, 2011
    The sizing die only corrects the outside diameter. If the brass is thin, the ID will not be as anticipated. This is easy for a factory to accomodate but very difficult for reloaders.

    Richard
     
  9. Sparky26

    Sparky26

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    Dec 24, 2011
    I had this problem with their 3 die set, so I got their .380 factory crimp die. Problem solved.
    See: http://leeprecision.com/xcart/CARBIDE-FACTORY-CRIMP-DIE-380-AUTO.html
     
  10. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    CO
    It should be about .007-.010" smaller after sizing. It should be about .002" under saami after assembly.
     
  11. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Nov 2, 2006
    CO
  12. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

    14,937
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    Nov 2, 2006
    CO
    Call Lee and get a new sizing die.
     
  13. dkf

    dkf

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    I will contact them.

    I did not think it is brass related. I sized a few pieces of Hornady, Fiocchi and Speer in both nickel and brass with the same results. Most of my .380 brass is just blazer brass and winchester.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  14. dkf

    dkf

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    Aug 6, 2010
  15. dkf

    dkf

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    Just got the my more accurate small hole gages and measured the ID more accurately and the smallest ID of the sizing ring is. .369". Looks like I will be calling again.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  16. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    Oct 19, 2011
    That should leave the ID at around 0.347" and the bullet is 0.355" so you should have 0.008" of compression.

    So, after sizing, what IS the OD of the brass? I might expect some springback but I'm not sure how much.

    What is the wall thickness (vs brand)?

    0.354" ID doesn't leave much for next tension if the bullets are 0.355"

    I tend to vote with my wallet. I would certainly not buy another product from them. Since I tend to buy from Dillon, I would get a die from them for about $27 plus shipping.

    If the 0.367" diameter for the carbide ring is correct, I'm not entirely certain what to expect from another brand of die. Hopefully, a different die will solve the problem. It's not like you are the only person on the planet who loads .380.

    Richard
     
  17. dkf

    dkf

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    I have to pay and send the die back so they can measure it and determine if I'm worthy of getting a replacement die.

    He said the ID of the sizing ring is supposed to be .367". Mine is measuring measuring at .369" so I think its out of spec. I got my hole gage set for a more accurate measurement.

    Looks like loading up .380 is pushed off even farther. I finally got powder (was out of stock) now this. Thats my luck.
     
  18. dkf

    dkf

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    As I posted earlier I'm not doing any flaring of the case for the measurements I posted.(To rule the flare as the culprit) I'm just sizing (with the sizing die adjusted down tight to the shellholder)

    I just sizing the case thats it. I can push the bullet into the case with my fingers with no flare on the case at all.

    Od of the sized brass is .370" and the ID is at .354". The case wall is at .008".
     
  19. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

    14,937
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    Nov 2, 2006
    CO
    Tell them you need a warranty. Don't argue about the size . All that matters is it doesn't work. Ask for a R.A. #. It's out of spec simply because it doesn't work.
     
  20. dkf

    dkf

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    I should have. I already agreed I would send the die back.

    Peter didn't seem too concerned nor very knowledgeable on the subject. Everything had to be looked up in books.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012