wouldn't a lee push thru sizing die be more accurate (as far as runout) than a conventional lube press; of which some size a little offcenter of alignment
lee sizing dies
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- Last Post 06 February 2023
It would if the threads on the Lee die were aligned with the hole you are going to push the bullet through. They are not all centered or straight. And the shellholder was also right on the money, but maybe not. Like everything, you have to trust but verify.
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on the above alignment note: i haven't tightned any type of die in many years. because of a possible alignment issue. i tighten the die (all dies) then crack it loose. then use a piece of duct tape across the die onto the press. there is still a little wobble of the die. that, with some wobble of the shell holder should give very good alignment. on that note; a friend is a very active national match shooter. many years ago at camp perry he was talking to a marine at camp perry. this marine loaded ammo for the marine corps. so. my friend was picking his brain about reloading. what i remembered was that they use a 45-70 shell holder for bullet seating. lets the case center itself in the seating die.
"The amount of error introduced by negligible component misalignment has much less of an impact on group size than your lousy marksmanship skills or despicable wind reading skills." My PMI at Quantico. USMC. 1973. He was absolutely correct.
"The common denominator between you and your miserable scores is ......YOU!" My PMI at Quantico. USMC. 1973.
Know that to a PMI, even Carlos's scores were doo doo.
The point is that once my marksmanship skills were perfected, I could then deduce what impact loading components and tooling had on the group size. My marksmanship scores had to be repeatable and consistent. We always determined our marksmanship baseline with factory produced ammunition made specifically for us. Factory production ammunition had much lower standard deviation rates of misalignment, velocity, weight, pressure, concentric alignment, and metallurgy. Production of larger batches made sample size (n) much larger of the population size (N) allowing for more measurement metrics and tighter production controls.
When we went afield (now called downrange), we ALWAYS had the same ammunition we baselined with. Period. There was no doubt as to the performance of the ammunition load we carried.
at close ranges you are mostly correct. however at extreme range (post 1973 ranges) ammunition perfection becomes a issue. the USMC "reloaders" did what they did for a reason
I use the same approach as porthos and never tighten my dies. Self alignment seems like a far better bet to me than depending on mass produced equipment built to sell at a competitive price to have perfect alignment. Does anybody actually check dies to see if the hole is perfectly aligned with the threads?
this runout stuff is one of the reasons that some are using forester presses. and now, i understand also the new mec metallic press
Yes, some of do, or did at one time. Almost all of my dies for loading match ammo has Lee "O" ring lock nuts that are just put on lightly finger tight.
Thinking of this topic, I remembered a "trick" I used for bullet seating before buying benchrest seating dies and the Bonanza Co-Ax press. This came from a conversation with the Fort Benning Army Marksmanship Unit who reloaded their .30-.338 ammunition for 1,000 yard matches.
Knowing the bullet would be slightly misaligned due to manufacturing tolerance stack-up, they turned the case 180 degrees after the first seating and then seated again. This was to have the seating die move the bullet back one-half of the misalignment and thus be straight. They checked this maneuver out using a concentricity gauge and it worked.
I did this for both jacketed and cast bullets. The final testing was elimination of flyers which occurred. Once I bought the Co-Ax press and benchrest seating dies this action did not seem to help.
Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest
I think a principle similar to leaving your dies loose so the bullet can self center applies to concentricity in loaded ammunition. I believe worrying about concentricity of a loaded round of cast bullet ammunition is a waste of time. If you have good enough fit of bullet to throat and bore (If you don't you aren't shooting well anyway) and a minimum amount of bullet in the neck, so the bullet can align itself with the throat and bore when chambered, what the concentricity of the round was before chambering doesn't matter. This is true even if the bullet is visibly crooked before being chambered, as mine sometimes are. This was explained by John Ardito when he was breaking most of the CBA records thirty years ago. If Tony Boyer can get by without owning a concentricity gage, so can the rest of us.
The throat not being aligned with the bore is another issue and not rare in factory rifles. Having concentric ammunition won't fix that.
If you have good enough fit of bullet to throat and bore (If you don't you aren't shooting well anyway) and a minimum amount of bullet in the neck, so the bullet can align itself with the throat and bore when chambered, what the concentricity of the round was before chambering doesn't matter.
I believe exactly what you state. Especially the "when chambered" part, but it is so much easier if the case is concentric with the chamber. And you can measure it and test for it and the bullet and the case are good.
my Ace benchrester buddy confessed that under 0.002 bullet runout he couldn't tell the difference ...
sometimes when my obsession bug returns i seat using a blank ... flat and slickery ... shell holder ...
... i started loading my 222 with a loose tru-line jr. seater in a Herters press ... and since it got me an occasional 1/2 inch groups at 200 yards, i never upgraded for the 222 to the better equipment that i read about in the magazines ... still use the Herters a lot ... pretend I am getting ready to take the hounds out ...
oh, you can get a loose shell holder by using a 9mm Luger holder to seat 222 bullets ... ( not full length sizing tho ) ...
ken, always loose ...
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