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COL consistency?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by justinsaneok, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. justinsaneok

    justinsaneok

    505
    0
    Jul 13, 2010
    Dillon RL 550 with Dillon Dies. What is this machine capable of? I'm getting some very different lengths. I load 9mm and .40 and both have the same problem. When I load 9mm I'm going for a COAL of 1.15 and am getting anything from 1.14 to 1.19 in .40 cal I'm gunning for 1.20 and getting anything from 1.17 to 1.22! How close should I be getting to my mark with this press. I was told this is okay by two people at Dillon. Am I being OCD with this? I was really excited about cranking ammo out on this bad boy but don't want to waste bullets loading ammo that isn't as accurate as it could be. Is there a certain person I need to talk to there?
    To rule out a few known possibilities
    Shell plate is tight, dies are all tight,
    seater is die is clean,
    I'm using the round nose stem for round nose,
    I set the dies with cases in the shell plate,
    I'm using all the same Winchester brass,
    I pull the handle the same( all the way down till it stops)every time,
    my sizing die is screwed down finger tight to the shell plate (I had tried it with the die just off the shell plate too with same results),
    I took out all the slop from the seating stem by putting a o ring under the clip to hold the stem up all the way,
    the press is mounted firmly on a sturdy bench thats mounted to the wall and screwed to the floor,
    I can't find any slop in the machine anywhere,
    ram head seems to be straight,
    I will not accept this as okay or even close to okay. I was told by two different people that I'm off 5 thousandths and thats really good. I told them the lengths over the phone as I measured and didn't catch the mis communication on the hundredths and thousandths. I called back and read the numbers again and he said that was great. I'm good at under 5 thousandths so I told him after the decimal point the first number was the tenth and the second number was the hundredths and the third was the thousandths he was talking about. I said it's 5 hundredths and it wasn't good at all.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011
  2. freedom790

    freedom790

    542
    0
    Aug 10, 2008
    Cheyenne, WY
    your die presses against the ogive, instead of against the tip of the bullet? If you have inconsistency in the bullet's shape, about in the range of the .03" you are listing, it could be that your bullets are the same length in relation to where the ogive contacts the rifling/chamber/however-you-have-it-set. If your ammunition shoots well, cycles your gun, and doesn't show pressure, then I'd say just leave the load be and continue loading it.
     

    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011

  3. justinsaneok

    justinsaneok

    505
    0
    Jul 13, 2010
    It shoots good and cycles good out of two guns I tested it in. Gen 4 G17 and a RTF2 G22 with lone wolf conversion barrel. It is Rainier 115 gr over 4.6 gr of 231 I figured if it got in the lone wolf and out of the Gen 4 17 it should be good but was wondering how close you can get on a progressive like the 550? Is anyone getting them dead on every time?:dunno:
     
  4. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    6,173
    33
    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    First make sure when you adjust you dies that you use the same type of brass and when you tightened them down all stations have sheels in them and the ram is fully raised. Secondly ensure yoou have enough flair prior to seating bullets so that they seat as straight as possible. Try those recommendations and report back.
    FYI, I use a Redding competion seating die and Dillons in the rest of the station. My OAL varience is 0.002 +/- with FMJ's 0.005 with Moly covered lead.
     
  5. fredj338

    fredj338

    21,985
    1,077
    Dec 22, 2004
    so.cal.
    ^This^ The bullet ogive will vary, even w/ the best bullets. Your OAL will also vary if loading mixed brass. New brass has more csae neck tension than old brass & thick brass resists mroe than thin. You will never get them perfect. The best you can do is use a seating die w/ hollow seating plug, so it seats using the ogive & not the noe, use all the same headstamped brass all fired the same number of times. That will get you withing 0.005". Also taking the slack out of your tool head will help.
     
  6. XDRoX

    XDRoX

    6,453
    2,262
    Jan 24, 2009
    San Diego
    Have you tried measuring the bullets? Last time I measured Rainier bullets I was not impressed with their consistency.
     
  7. justinsaneok

    justinsaneok

    505
    0
    Jul 13, 2010
    I might be guilty of not enough bell. I am using the same once fired brass and set the head up with shells in the plate and the plate in the raised position.
     
  8. justinsaneok

    justinsaneok

    505
    0
    Jul 13, 2010
    I measured the width, only on the base. Never measured length.
     
  9. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    6,173
    33
    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    Oh, I do use a Uniquetek toolhead clamp kit but following directions in my first reply will get you just as close.
     
  10. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Nov 2, 2006
    CO
    Thats a .030" Difference. Something is very wrong. Very, very wrong. My cheap arse Lee dies give me .005" variance with mixed brass and my own cast bullets. Same results with Montana Gold bullets. Your variance would be easy to see with the naked eye. That is not normal at all. Are you pulling the handle FULLY every time?
     
  11. justinsaneok

    justinsaneok

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    Jul 13, 2010
    Yes I am.
     
  12. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Then you need to figure out why. No reason for that at all. Check the seating stem.
     
  13. justinsaneok

    justinsaneok

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    Jul 13, 2010
    I did look at the stem looks fine not even dirty. I thought I had the thing backwards because it is made for two bullet shapes. Not the case.
     
  14. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

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    Jan 3, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
  15. justinsaneok

    justinsaneok

    505
    0
    Jul 13, 2010
    Thanks Ron. Are you using Dillon Dies?
     
  16. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

    6,927
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    Jan 3, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
    I started off that way, and still had the same results. I am currently using a Lee resizing die, as I think it sizes the base a little better. Also using the Redding Micrometer seating die, primarily as it's so easy to "dial in" a desired OAL.

    And of course the Dillon PTX (powder through expander).
     
  17. vtducrider

    vtducrider

    1,041
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    Nov 13, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I get +/5 mils with lead bullets, and +/-3 with FMJ's. RL550, with Dillon dies. Is your base plate too loose?
     
  18. PhantomF4E

    PhantomF4E

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    Aug 24, 2010
    South Florida
    Case tension should not matter in regards to overall case length. Resistance maybe, but not affecting oal. Case length is going to be the distance from your case holder to your seating die and theoretically will never vary by much. Unless it gets dirt or buildup in the die. You have a mechanical problem somewhere in the seating process. Since your die is locked tight you got to look at the moving parts something is inconsistent and not doing the same thing each and everytime.
     
  19. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

    14,949
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    Nov 2, 2006
    CO
  20. PhantomF4E

    PhantomF4E

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    Aug 24, 2010
    South Florida
    .030 deviation is going to definately open up your groups at the range as well. Unless you mic the rounds after you are done and group them by length. If it's just general range time, no biggie, but if you want precision, that ain't precision. Also if you are at the high end of your loads that .030 could lead to some over pressure.