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Issue with 9mm cast

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Schrag4, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. Schrag4

    Schrag4

    1,264
    196
    May 21, 2010
    Wichita, KS
    Ok so I half-way got into casting at the start of the year, but then work got pretty busy for a couple of months so I'm just now getting back in the swing of things. Here's the problem. I think my bullets must be casting a bit wider than expected. Most of them seat just fine like the one on the left (with a little extra flare of course) but every once in a while I get one like the one on the right:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the case has actually been visibly marked by the seating die. I'm thinking this can't have anything to do with how much flare there is, but instead it has to be that the bullet's diameter is simply too large. The seating takes more force, enough that it's definitely noticeable. I compared the mouth diameter of the two in this picture and the one on the right is a couple of thousandths larger.

    I tested a couple to see if they would feed, and they do so just fine. I've noticed that unlike the ones that seat OK, these produce shavings during seating, so I'm sure they'll lead the barrel.

    FYI, these are the tumble lube 124gr RN from a Lee 6 cavity mold. I've measured quite a few individual bullets at the lube grooves, pre-lubing, and it appears very few are coming out at 356. Most are 357 to 359. I'm using straight wheel weights, water dropped.

    Also, I realize I got a little too much liquid alox on these. :embarassed: How much is enough?

    Thanks! I have a ton to learn and I know it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  2. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Nov 2, 2006
    CO
    Out sure looks like the bulge is only on the left and not as much on the right. If its like that or low on one side and higher on the other the bullet is seating crooked.
     


  3. Schrag4

    Schrag4

    1,264
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    May 21, 2010
    Wichita, KS
    I believe it's just the camera angle. I just took a closer look at that case and the marks appear on most of the case, with 2 small bands on opposite sides where no mark appears. So if I had turned the case a bit, you would have seen marks on both sides of that place that isn't marked.
     
  4. happie2shoot

    happie2shoot

    2,678
    556
    Jan 5, 2008
    It looks like that poor kid that was in a fire and got his eye lids burnt off.
    The doctor rebuilt them out of his foreskin and said he will be ok, just a
    little kockeyed.
     
  5. fredj338

    fredj338

    21,708
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    Dec 22, 2004
    so.cal.
    One reason I like to size all my bullets. It's almost impossible that each cav in a 6cav will throw the exact same size bullet. Throw in mixed brass, this will happen. The TL does not size well, so switch molds & start sizing or live with it.
    Also, more flare helps the bullet seat a bit straighter. The Lyman M die even better.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  6. Schrag4

    Schrag4

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    May 21, 2010
    Wichita, KS
    Since they feed fine, I'm OK with the notion of just adding a bit more flare so that the larger bullets don't get shaved during seating. Would brass life suffer significantly due to A) more flare or B) the scratches from seating oversized bullets?
     
  7. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

    14,937
    166
    Nov 2, 2006
    CO
    If there is any variation in the bulge (for lack of a better word) along the case they are not seating straight. Roll them on the table and see if they wobble at all. I think you need more flare. Don't worry about case life. Unless your flaring over .020 it wont significantly different as gear as case life.
     
  8. Schrag4

    Schrag4

    1,264
    196
    May 21, 2010
    Wichita, KS
    I've got a couple of votes for more flare, so I'm going to give that a try and see if the problem goes away. Now that I think about it, maybe the markings are just from the lead shavings being smashed/rubbed up against the outside of the case inside the die as it's seated - or maybe I'm full of it :dunno:

    Thanks for your input. I'll try to report back once I've had a chance to load some more (hopefully this weekend).
     
  9. BigDog[RE]

    BigDog[RE] NRA Member

    1,030
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    Oct 11, 2005
    Miami, FL
    Do you size your bullets after casting? If you do they should all be the same size...
     
  10. cookselk

    cookselk

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    Jan 28, 2009
    Nebraska
    I once ran into a similar problem using mixed brass. One brand of foreign brass, don't remember which one right now, did the same thing. The problem was that the brass walls were thicker near the base and as a consequence the heavy 147 gr. bullets that I was casting encountered this thicker case wall and caused it to bulge at this point. I've since switched to Lee 125 Rn's and 120gr. TC's and no longer have that problem.

    Since you are using TL's it may a combination of a oversize bullet and thicker brass. I thought, like others, that the bullets may be seating cock-eyed. I've felt a bullet catch on the case mouth and pulled out a completed round that looks like this too.

    Try belling your brass more and pay attention to your brass head stamps and see if it makes a difference.
     
  11. AZson

    AZson

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    Oct 5, 2005
    Tucson
    A Lee factory crimp die would smooth bulge out. I use it on all my semi-auto rounds.
     
  12. Schrag4

    Schrag4

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    May 21, 2010
    Wichita, KS
    I was under the impression that bullets of the tumble-lube variety cannot be resized, at least not without damaging the lube grooves.
     
  13. Schrag4

    Schrag4

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    May 21, 2010
    Wichita, KS
    I've found that these are casting a little too large for my FCD, so I'm just removing the flare during seating. I posted about problems a couple of months ago and the majority here convinced me to ditch the FCD for my particular setup. The FCD was actually swaging the bullets in the case, to the point that they were loose enough to push into the case by hand with very little force.
     
  14. SJ 40

    SJ 40

    13,317
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    Jan 17, 2011
    Vermont
    If only Lee multi cavity moulds produced two or more bullets anywhere near the same diameters.

    I would and have sized TL bullets in the past with no issues.
    SJ 40
     
  15. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Dec 22, 2004
    so.cal.
    UGhhh, it also resizes the lead bullet in the process. LFCD, really??:dunno:
     
  16. fredj338

    fredj338

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    so.cal.
    Exactly, true with any multi cav mold, but Lee tend to be worse. Then throw in casting temp & alloy variation, as cast size will be all over the place. While you can size the TL bullets, success will depend on what size they start at & finish size. Many times the small grooves get sized completely off. Why the regular groove design is a better bet IMO, you can still tumble lube, but have the option to effectively size.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
  17. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Nov 2, 2006
    CO
    If you look closely at the bullet and the exposed ring of the bullet above the case you can see its not even.
     
  18. dkf

    dkf

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    The number of guys that use the LFCD as a bandaid for reloading issues is astounding.
     
  19. fredj338

    fredj338

    21,708
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    Dec 22, 2004
    so.cal.
    Hey Mr Lee says it's magic like Obamacare. Hmmm.:upeyes:
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
  20. Schrag4

    Schrag4

    1,264
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    May 21, 2010
    Wichita, KS
    I added some flare and loaded some more today. There were far fewer that had these markings, and the markings were less pronounced when they did appear. I'm pretty sure lead wasn't getting shaved off of the bullets anymore. It seems like adding flare made a positive difference. I've only added 1/4 turn so far.