RCBS competition seater is gouging my bullets!

BWYoda

Private
Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
Apr 12, 2009
94
1
54
NC/Baghdad
Guys, what am I doing wrong? Every time I seat a bullet I get a nice circular gouge around it. Best I can tell it's properly adjusted. Has anyone else had issues with this?
 

madd0c

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Mar 6, 2010
453
0
52
South Carolina
Re: RCBS competition seater is gouging my bullets!

If it is truly a gouge, that you can feel with your fingernail and not just a slight marking, then maybe your neck tension is a little tight.

A small ring that is visible on the jacket is pretty normal. It is where the seater contacts the ogive.

madd0c
 

High Binder

Resident Tribologist
Full Member
Minuteman
Jun 18, 2008
502
19
Occupied Colorado
Re: RCBS competition seater is gouging my bullets!

Mine leaves super small little marks but nothing worth mentioning. How deep are the gouges?
 

USMCj

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
May 1, 2008
4,059
8
42
Nazzifornia
Re: RCBS competition seater is gouging my bullets!

Take out the seating stem, put some lapping compound on a bullet, lap the seating stem so it takes the shape of your bullet. It will no longer leave a mark. Dont overdue it though, a little lapping goes a long way.
 

SPAK

Stupid can be fixed
Full Member
Minuteman
Apr 3, 2009
2,255
105
Alaska
Re: RCBS competition seater is gouging my bullets!

are you loading compressed charges? Redding doesn't reccomend doing any compressed loads with the competition seating die, I guess the seating stem can crack. it might be too much pressure for it If you're getting that much imprinting in the jacket.
 

vman

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Nov 23, 2009
3,719
3
38
Australia
www.google.com
Re: RCBS competition seater is gouging my bullets!

you serious? no compressed loads on a comp die?

That doesnt sound right... but sucks if thats what they are saying
 

SPAK

Stupid can be fixed
Full Member
Minuteman
Apr 3, 2009
2,255
105
Alaska
Re: RCBS competition seater is gouging my bullets!

I just realized the OP has an rcbs comp die, not a redding. Either way, I had a similar problem and when I called redding they told me not to use compressed charges or extremely high neck tension with their comp die as it would likely damaage the seating stem.
 

BWYoda

Private
Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
Apr 12, 2009
94
1
54
NC/Baghdad
Re: RCBS competition seater is gouging my bullets!

No compressed charges, in fact no charge at all because I was testing the bullet seat depth. Now the comp seater comes with a full length re-sizing die - could this be increasing neck tension too much? The gouges are more than cosmetic - enough to snag a fingernail which can't be good. I'm a newbie here so I could be overlooking something more experienced reloaders wouldn't. If it is neck tension, how do I solve this? The case necks are chamfered and de-burred properly. Not enough lube?
 

SPAK

Stupid can be fixed
Full Member
Minuteman
Apr 3, 2009
2,255
105
Alaska
Re: RCBS competition seater is gouging my bullets!

What's your ID neck diameter measure? what is your bullet diameter?? To find your neck ID, measure the OD of the neck and subtract the thickness of the neck x 2. For example. If my neck thickness measures .0145" and my outside diamter is .335" :
.335" - .0145x2 = .306" Bullet diameter is .308" so my neck tension would roughly be .002"

not an exact science but it will give you an idea of what you're working with.
 

Papagrizzly

USA F-Open Rifle Team
Full Member
Minuteman
Re: RCBS competition seater is gouging my bullets!

Here's something else you can do.

Remove the seating stem and stick it in a drill chuck. Take some 600 grit wet/dry sand paper (the black stuff) and squirt some WD40 on it. Then just kiss the inside edge of the stem mouth with that as the drill is running and it will remove the harsh corner of the stem. I have all of mine rounded off so they do not damage the bullets or leave marks on them.
 

BWYoda

Private
Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
Apr 12, 2009
94
1
54
NC/Baghdad
Re: RCBS competition seater is gouging my bullets!

.005 on the neck tension (case neck diameter = .337 - (.017x2) = .303. 308-303=5 if my calculations are correct. Is that too tight? These were obviously measured after re-sizing.
 

HOGGHEAD

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Aug 23, 2009
704
1
63
Rivesville, WV
Re: RCBS competition seater is gouging my bullets!

I am assuming the marks are near the tip of the bullet?? You probably are seating a bullet that is not compatible with the seater stem. I have seen this before. Personally I use Forster dies. I was loading 75 grain A-Max bullets in a 22-250 and had the same problem. I called Forster and told them what was happening. They told me they could send a new stem that fit the 75 A-Max, or I could send my stem and a bullet to them. Then they would re-cut the stem to conform to the bullet tip of the 75 A-Max. Forster took care of it. I am assuming RCBS will do the same. Call them, they will take care of it. Tom.
 

BWYoda

Private
Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
Apr 12, 2009
94
1
54
NC/Baghdad
Re: RCBS competition seater is gouging my bullets!

The bullet is a sierra 168 HPBT. I would have assumed it fit given it's popularity but we know what you get for assuming!. Here's my other quandary - when resizing I've actually had several cases increase in size by .001/.002. Could this be because the expander is tugging on the case as it exits, in which case I need to lube it more? There must be a knack to setting the fl sizing die I've not yet mastered, because I only want to bump the neck by .002 and it seems to be re-sizing inconsistently.
 

gunsnjeeps

Retired Swab Jockey
Full Member
Minuteman
Dec 15, 2009
1,626
475
Norfolk, Va
Re: RCBS competition seater is gouging my bullets!

Sizing typically stretches necks. You'll have to trim every couple of loads. Unless the seating stem is made specifically for the bullet being loaded you'll get some type of mark on thin jacketed bullets.
 

GRIM

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Dec 21, 2009
454
1
56
Wisconsin
Re: RCBS competition seater is gouging my bullets!

Redding says no compressed loads on their competition dies. I use a Forester bullet seating die for compressed loads.

Take out the bullet seater/stem and polish the inside where the bullet comes in contact with the seater. You'll want to take any edge off the seater that you find. Don't get carried away.

Another trick you can try:
- Make up a dummy round that is PERFECT in every measurement (case/neck/bullet runout) and have the bullet seated exactly like you want it to be. Lube the tip of the bullet with some type of non-stick spray - Hornady One Shot or ?
- Have your die setup in the press like you want it.
-Put your dummy round in the shell holder and run it up into the die.
- Take a hot glue gun and squeeze some of the hot glue into the bullet seater then QUICKLY screw the bullet seater into the die and run it down onto the dummy round/bullet. Let the bullet seater come in contact with the bullet but don't get carried away with how hard you screw in the bullet seater. Let it cool off and setup then lower the ram and you'll have a custom fitted seater for your SMK 168's.
 

BWYoda

Private
Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
Apr 12, 2009
94
1
54
NC/Baghdad
Re: RCBS competition seater is gouging my bullets!

Aaaaaah! Great idea with the got glue. I polished the seater already with some lapping compound and that really seems to have helped with the gouges. What's messing me up now is the inconsistency with the re-sizing die - either too much or too little. I'm using the rcbs precision mic gauge which indexes off the shoulder so I can't see how the neck stretching with the expander ball should affect it.
 

gunsnjeeps

Retired Swab Jockey
Full Member
Minuteman
Dec 15, 2009
1,626
475
Norfolk, Va
Re: RCBS competition seater is gouging my bullets!

After loading some 52 grain Sierras tonight the Redding also leaves a mark in the jacket with no powder contact. The 77's have a crunch at the end. I'll have to try the polish idea.
 

USMCj

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
May 1, 2008
4,059
8
42
Nazzifornia
Re: RCBS competition seater is gouging my bullets!

Wait, your bushing die has a expander ball in it? Next time buy Redding!
 

BWYoda

Private
Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
Apr 12, 2009
94
1
54
NC/Baghdad
Re: RCBS competition seater is gouging my bullets!

How do you re-size the neck if there isn't?
 

Quicky06

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Nov 25, 2008
308
0
33
St. Louis
Re: RCBS competition seater is gouging my bullets!

Bishing dies are designed so you can adjust neck tension. Difrent size bushings for diffrent brass and tension. They also tend to cause less run out because they dont have the expander.

To awnser your question

It sizes the od and not the Id. This is why turning necks can be important.
 

USMCj

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
May 1, 2008
4,059
8
42
Nazzifornia
Re: RCBS competition seater is gouging my bullets!

With the bushing. Who is the moron that thought it was a good idea to put a expander ball on a bushing die? The whole point of busing die is to control the neck tension to the thousands of an inch. Running a expander through the neck after the bushing has done its job only fucks with the work the bushing did.

Like I said, next time buy Redding comp dies instead.
 

BWYoda

Private
Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
Apr 12, 2009
94
1
54
NC/Baghdad
Re: RCBS competition seater is gouging my bullets!

I'm inclined to agree having seen the thing in action - lesson learned. Looks like I'm placing an order with reading. Not fucking impressed with RCBA at all - the seater die digs bloody great chunks out of the bullet and the re-sizer die works backwards!
 

KYpatriot

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Mar 31, 2009
706
71
48
wishing i was in KY
Re: RCBS competition seater is gouging my bullets!

Yoda, had this exact problem with a Forster micrometer seater. It was making a small popping sound when I lowered the round out of the die and leaving a ring around the bullet ogive. The seater was grabbing the bullet under the pressure of seating a slightly compressed load, due to some tiny machining burrs. I couldnt even see them by eye, but it was even pulling the bullet back out a few thousanths and giving really inconsistent seating depths. Maddening!

I took some 0000 steel wool, twisted some into a "bullet shape" around an old bore brush, and using a hand drill just polished the inside of the seater. Problem solved. Works perfect now. Think polishing here, you are not resurfacing the thing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sfowler_uk