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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Wanted to load my Mosin with one of these simple loaders (plastic hammer driven) simple loaders.

Everything works well but one major issue.

I am using PPU once fired brass and from the rifle I shot it in to load with.

After the neck sizing all the way up in the neck sizer, the bullets are not tight in the case. I set the bullet depth (150 .311 Sierras) correctly to length and there is plenty of straight bullet to seat at that depth which is 2.855.

My initial reaction was that my brass was too soft so I went ahead and ran several in the single stage press (primer stem is 308 in the 762x54r dies) and had significantly more bullet grab, actually too much because I need to order the 311 primer stem which these dies should come with from the factory IMHO.

Anyone ever experienced this with these type of good ole take it with you compact loaders?

I am going to try seating the bullet out to 300 overall and see what happens? I cannot think of anything else other than my loader is too large in the neck sizer?

Will get back on this, replies appreciated thanks.
 

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I started out years ago loading .30-06 with a Lee hand set like you describe, and I pretty much remember how it goes. I followed everything you said until this:
My initial reaction was that my brass was too soft so I went ahead and ran several in the single stage press (primer stem is 308 in the 762x54r dies) and had significantly more bullet grab, actually too much because I need to order the 311 primer stem which these dies should come with from the factory IMHO.
When you say you "ran several in the single stage press," do you mean you ran the brass through a regular threaded sizing die in the single stage press? And the necks ended up tight because the expander on your decapping stem is a little undersize?

If your goal is to make the hand set work, then you have to figure out what's going on with those necks. First, I have to ask whether you're sure the Lee set is for sure the correct one for this caliber and brass? If yes, then go to Google and try to find a number for someone at Lee who might field your question. That's my best suggestion at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I started out years ago loading .30-06 with a Lee hand set like you describe, and I pretty much remember how it goes. I followed everything you said until this:


When you say you "ran several in the single stage press," do you mean you ran the brass through a regular threaded sizing die in the single stage press? And the necks ended up tight because the expander on your decapping stem is a little undersize?

If your goal is to make the hand set work, then you have to figure out what's going on with those necks. First, I have to ask whether you're sure the Lee set is for sure the correct one for this caliber and brass? If yes, then go to Google and try to find a number for someone at Lee who might field your question. That's my best suggestion at this point.
It is the correct set for 762x54r.

After getting the loose necks sizing in the hand set that was not holding the bullet even tight enough to not be pushed down with a thumb on several cases did I use the press to full length size the cases.

I just could not get enough downsize in the necks to hold the bullet securely with the hand set. I do not like the threaded die set because the neck expander is 308 and not 310 or 311.

They are actually too tight when the bullet is seated with the screw in dies.

I very much wanted the simple set to work right. Thank you for the reply.
 

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Something else just occurred to me. Most folks don't realize it -- or believe it -- but brass thickness can vary quite a bit between different brands. So, if that fired brass you're working with happens to be on the thin side, that would explain why the Lee neck-sizing die isn't squeezing it down enough to firmly hold a bullet. The die is doing its job, but the brass at the neck is just thinner than "normal." Maybe that's the answer: Change brass.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am using PPU brass. I am contacting LEE today on the phone if I ever get through the busy line? I appreciate it all and will get back with what solves this.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The Rep at Lee told me I would have to use "American Made" brass only. I will try and find a few and try them, get back on this. Thank you
 

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The problem with that particular cartridge is brass availability. Normally, you can only find Privi (PPU), Graf's (which is made by Privi), and Lapua. Note that none of those companies are located in the US. Winchester has sold factory ammo (and possibly brass) in the past, but I strongly suspect that they use Privi brass, also.

ETA: Grafs has Norma brass in stock, but guess where it isn't made, either?
 

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The Rep at Lee told me I would have to use "American Made" brass only. I will try and find a few and try them, get back on this. Thank you
I honestly doubt he was just giving you the "Buy American!" line. What he probably should have said was, "Our loader set that you have needs brass that is (number) thou in neck wall thickness. In our experience you're only going to find that in U.S. made brass. The foreign stuff is all thinner and won't provide enough neck tension to hold a bullet."

Just for yucks, can you measure the wall thickness of that brass you have and let us know what it is?
 

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Something for you to try. It'll tell you if the brass neck is too thin. Take a piece of sized brass or full length size a piece. Now take the expander ball and stem out of the die. Run the brass back into the die all the way. Now try the fit of the neck and bullet. If it's tighter, you'll probably need to chuck the expander ball in a drill and carefully sand the ball to a smaller diameter.. I've had to do that with several of the european cartridges and brass.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Something for you to try. It'll tell you if the brass neck is too thin. Take a piece of sized brass or full length size a piece. Now take the expander ball and stem out of the die. Run the brass back into the die all the way. Now try the fit of the neck and bullet. If it's tighter, you'll probably need to chuck the expander ball in a drill and carefully sand the ball to a smaller diameter.. I've had to do that with several of the european cartridges and brass.
Thank you for the offer to help me.:)

The screw in dies work well with my brass and I have loaded up 50 rounds with good success.

The problem was with the lee box loader kit that only neck sizes. The brass, even when driven the neck sizer would not adequately size the neck down enough to hold my 311 bullets with enough tension to keep them from being pushed back in the case. I tried the other end to crimp the top of the case but that did not work either. I had to use the full-length sizing die in a single stage to get the tension in the neck to hold the bullet.
 

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I'm going to assume you are referring to the Lee Collet neck sizing die. It squeezes the neck smaller around a mandrel. If that's what you have, Lee has undersized mandrels. All you would need is the next size smaller mandrel and adjust accordingly. You can also modify the mandrel by chucking it up in a drill and using 00 steel wool, slowly reducing the diameter by .001/.002. I've had to do this with 7.62x 51 brass for an M14. I couldn't get enough neck tension to hold the bullet in place even with a factory crimp die. The steel wool trick made it work right. Make sure you are adjusting the die correctly as these types of dies can be a trick to make right.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ni sir, the lee collet die works fine. I was trying to neck size with the old plastic hammer simple loader.
 

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Ni sir, the lee collet die works fine. I was trying to neck size with the old plastic hammer simple loader.
Sounds like you have the answer... the issue is the sizing die in the "hammer" kit: too large for the brass you're using. (brass too thin, IOW).

It has been 40+ years since I used a Lee "hammer" die set. But, IIRC they don't have a expander ball, so that isn't the issue; the die set just isn't going to work with that brass unless you change the resizing die.

Going back over 50 years of personal reloading history; successes AND failures, there were a few "AH-HA!" moments that most precision reloaders learn sooner or later:

Runnout is extremely important to accuracy. I have found that anything approaching .003" and you can forget about groups (.224 cal bullets) staying inside 1/2 MOA! Anything that reduces or establishes runout to under .002 will pay dividends down range.

I bought an RCBS "Case Master" jig that collects dust now dayz, because once I found the cure for runnout I never use it anymore (except for measuring case wall thickness near the case web).

IF you're interested - I verify ALL my case neckwall thickness to not exceed .001". Most Lapua brass (actually made by Lapua and not farmed out) is extremely uniform and often needs no turning to uniform the neckwall thickness.

I uniform all the neckwall thicknesses, allowing for neck sizing w/o using an expander ball. The expander ball was responsible for tilting the case neck axis, plus working the brass twice as much (neck)

Tight neck chambers reduces the expansion in the first place which reduces the amount the brass is worked in the resizing process.

Neck tension can be controlled precisely with judicious selection of neckwall resizing bushings (size) OR madrel O.D. size (collet vs. bushing dies) in conjunction with precise brass neckwall thickness.

The "TAKEAWAY" from dozens of books on loading for accuracy is: "ELIMINATE THE VARIABLES!" And, a big part of that involved pitching the "hammer dies" forever; ultimately going to uniformed neckwall thickness and bushing dies.

Cheers!

.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I want to thank everyone for their replies and have learned much good information. I have resolved the problem and the fault is my own mistake of over annealing my brass.

I trimmed and annealed once fired brass and should not have done that along with probably getting it too hot.

I ordered 20 pieces of pick up once fired brass from a firing range offered on Etsy. The brass was S&B, Winchester and PPU. I simply tapped them in the lee plastic hammer die and went through the process of loading up all 19 good pieces of brass and the bullets had a good seat and grip on the unannealed brass.

I have loaded thousands of pistol rounds and thought myself pretty good reloader but have found out that I really do not know squat about annealing cases.

I thought it important to come back and let everyone know that the Lee loader set is fine and it was my own screw up.

The Tech I talked to at Lee told me they got feedback if their reloaders had any problems and had not heard of any recently and told me what some of you already have about the brass but actually all the brass is fine if you do not burn it up first.:eek:
 

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I want to thank everyone for their replies and have learned much good information. I have resolved the problem and the fault is my own mistake of over annealing my brass.

I trimmed and annealed once fired brass and should not have done that along with probably getting it too hot.

I ordered 20 pieces of pick up once fired brass from a firing range offered on Etsy. The brass was S&B, Winchester and PPU. I simply tapped them in the lee plastic hammer die and went through the process of loading up all 19 good pieces of brass and the bullets had a good seat and grip on the unannealed brass.

I have loaded thousands of pistol rounds and thought myself pretty good reloader but have found out that I really do not know squat about annealing cases.

I thought it important to come back and let everyone know that the Lee loader set is fine and it was my own screw up.

The Tech I talked to at Lee told me they got feedback if their reloaders had any problems and had not heard of any recently and told me what some of you already have about the brass but actually all the brass is fine if you do not burn it up first.:eek:
I've been a reloader since the late 60s/early 70s and still am learning new stuff. I consider reloading as "the other half of the shooting hobby". Like many here, I started out reloading so I could shoot more, but ended up shooting so I could reload (experiment) more!
 
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