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Discussion Starter #1
I have a Lee 3 hole turret press with Lee 9mm dies. I am having a problem getting the bullet seating die to be consistent. I have mad a few dummy rounds to the OAL that I like the best. I can set the die to let say 1.140 using the dummy round to set the die. but when seating the bullet they vary in OAL by up to 0.60+. Does anyone have the same problem? Or any suggestions on how to make this process more exact or is this a +/- spec of the die?
 

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No it's not normal and should be much, much tighter than that. It's been awhile since I've had to change the adjustments on mine but you can check inside the die to be sure that you don't have brass shavings caught up inside. Maybe disassemble it and clean it out entirely making sure that the bullet depth adjustment is free from defect. About the only other thing that could change the OAL after that would be the die unscrewing in the die plate if the lock ring isn't snugged down tight to the plate. Also, you could give a call to Lee in Hartford, WI. They are very friendly and eager for all to have good reloading experiences with their equipment.
 

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OK I going to assume based on what you said you have the Lee Pro 1000 so suggest you download the video's from here San Francisco Liberal...WITH A GUN! as well as the viewer for the videos and watch them. He shows you exactly how to set and maintain everything on a Lee Pro 1000 as well as some other stuff. It has been very informative for me in setting the press up properly for this.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
No it's not normal and should be much, much tighter than that. It's been awhile since I've had to change the adjustments on mine but you can check inside the die to be sure that you don't have brass shavings caught up inside. Maybe disassemble it and clean it out entirely making sure that the bullet depth adjustment is free from defect. About the only other thing that could change the OAL after that would be the die unscrewing in the die plate if the lock ring isn't snugged down tight to the plate. Also, you could give a call to Lee in Hartford, WI. They are very friendly and eager for all to have good reloading experiences with their equipment.
I have done all the trouble shooting described above. I removed the die from the press cleaned with break cleaner and lubed with a little graphite on the inside and a very light silicone spray on the outside to combat corrosion. To give a little more info... some of the rounds are perfect and others are incorrect. there seems to be no movement of the die in the turret. the incorrect OALs are not always in the same run or reloading some times it will be 5 or 6 in a row that are incorrect and other times every other or every 3rd or 4th is incorrect. does any one know what the tolerances of the seating dies are +/-?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK I going to assume based on what you said you have the Lee Pro 1000 so suggest you download the video's from here San Francisco Liberal...WITH A GUN! as well as the viewer for the videos and watch them. He shows you exactly how to set and maintain everything on a Lee Pro 1000 as well as some other stuff. It has been very informative for me in setting the press up properly for this.
I think it is a Lee Original 3 hole turret. Same base as the 1000 but it is not progressive.

I have watched the video you are talking about. But I am still haveing the same issue.
 

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This past weekend I had problems with my 9mm seating die as well. My problem was solved by taking the seating plug out of the die completely and cleaning it. I load lead bullets and had some build up of lube in the tip of bullet seat plug. Die came a part easy and plug cleaned up easily.
 

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Try poking around in here:

Overall Length (OAL) Variation - Support Center just scanned it quickly and one other possibility is inconsistent oal of your projectile.
 

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Try it with the crimp backed off and see if it stays consistent (you can come back and crimp those later with the seating stem backed off). If it does, you may be running into varying lengths of brass, and the longer brass is causing a heavier crimp, which stops the bullet from seating deeper. The 9mm is famous for having a wide range on case OAL. Cases should be sorted by length, or trimmed.

This is one reason a lot of people seat and crimp in a separate operation.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Try it with the crimp backed off and see if it stays consistent (you can come back and crimp those later with the seating stem backed off). If it does, you may be running into varying lengths of brass, and the longer brass is causing a heavier crimp, which stops the bullet from seating deeper. The 9mm is famous for having a wide range on case OAL. Cases should be sorted by length, or trimmed.

This is one reason a lot of people seat and crimp in a separate operation.
I am seating and crimping in 2 steps. My Factory crimp die is setup in a single stage press as an additional step after I get the OAL correct. I will try backing off the die from the turret to see if it is a case length issue. I will report back my findings tomorrow.
 

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I am seating and crimping in 2 steps. My Factory crimp die is setup in a single stage press as an additional step after I get the OAL correct. I will try backing off the die from the turret to see if it is a case length issue. I will report back my findings tomorrow.
What kind of bullet?
 

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Are you using the same projectile in the dummy round as you are loading??
different projectile profiles may hit the seater in the die differently.
also is there any movement in the turret itself in a vertical motion??
(perhaps its worn).
are you fully lowering the ram to its max ??
thats all i can think of off the top of my head.
I set my OAL wihth my calipers on the first round and they remain the same??
 

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Why would lowering the ram to its max change the OAL on a turret press?

The reason i ask is because I'm very new to reloading and the lot of 45 Colt i made up last night grew in OAL seemingly steadily from the first round to the 50th. The last one was about .015" longer than the first. I know I was short stroking more toward the end as I got comfortable with the routine.
 

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Why would lowering the ram to its max change the OAL on a turret press?
QUOTE]

Lowering it all the way would not , but NOT lowering it all the way could!
because you would/could be not forcing the cartridge all the way up into the bullet seater of the seating die.
there by leaving it long(er), a good routine is to try to replicate every motion over and over with the reloading operation if you want consistent results.
Did you check the die itself and make sure it was not backing out of the turret?
 

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I'll mark the die on the turret the next time I start a batch of Colt to see if it's backing out. I'm also using the LFC Die in my 4-hole turret so, like the OP, I'll try backing out the bullet seating die to see if that was causing the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I am seating and crimping in 2 steps. My Factory crimp die is setup in a single stage press as an additional step after I get the OAL correct. I will try backing off the die from the turret to see if it is a case length issue. I will report back my findings tomorrow.

I know I am quoting myself here.

Sorry I did not get a chance to sit at the bench today so I will post back with results tomorrow. Time allowing!!
 

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I'll mark the die on the turret the next time I start a batch of Colt to see if it's backing out. I'm also using the LFC Die in my 4-hole turret so, like the OP, I'll try backing out the bullet seating die to see if that was causing the issue.
While i have little rpoblems with the LEE dies and the adjusting nut, It is easy to screw the thing in to far if you use the top of the die instead of the adjsutment lock ring, same when unscrewing it, if you use the adjsutment ring to tighten the dies down pretty good they don't seme to move but if you leave them loose they will back out a bit on you from time to time.
When begining the reloading process i just back out the seater a bit, seat a bullet and then use the caliper to adjust until i get the length that i want IT doesn't hurt anything as i do not crimp with this die but use the factory crimp Die, takes about an additional 30 seconds to do this but its worth it to me.
Really depends on your routine and how you use the dies that you have.
 

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The best part about the turret press is getting extra turrets for each caliber. I set my dies up 1 time and they are good to go. Yes I still check OAL and the amount of crimp on the first few of each run, however I have not had to make a single adjustment except for when I had to clean my 9 mm dies from the build up of bullet lube in the seating die.
 
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