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Thread: 458 Lott Reloading issue

  1. #1
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    Default 458 Lott Reloading issue

    New Redding dies and new Hornady brass. I was checking the feeding of my MRC Lott when I discovered that I can not seat the 450 Barnes X bullets without putting a slight bend in the case. This bend will then cause the case not to feed into the chamber correctly. Figure if you will, a case shaped like a banana. Bullets are NOT being crimped at all. The crimping part of the seating die is not in contact with the mouth of the case.
    Cases are under the maximun allowable length (2.790). When I go to seat the bullets they start ok and then strong resistence is felt while working the arm of the press to get the bullet seated to the proper depth. It feels like a serious crimp is being applied, but the die is set not to crimp.
    I tried using Swift A frames (450 grains) and they seat fine.
    It almost seems like the expander ball is not going deep enough to allow the longer X bullets to seat without distorting the case.
    Any ideas?
    Tennessee

  2. #2

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    I'm not sure what you mean by bend- or where it's appearing on the case. If I'm reading what you are saying right, it could be case swelling due to powder compression. The X is awfully long for its weight, so you get really deep seating to achieve the same OAL. Not an issue if your case isn't pretty full, but without pics, it's hard to guess what else is going on.

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    I agree with BrownBears initial thoughts...the X is almost always longer than other bullets for the weight...so I'd start working that variable.

    Seat a bullet to the point that the heavy resistance you mentioned is felt, then let off. Measure the depth of the bullet in the case mouth...is it the same as the Swift fully seated? (Of course, we are not actually making cartiridges to fire...this is just to problem solve the situation...I know that you realize this Randy because you are a very experienced handloader, but who knows about someone else out there reading it).

    I'd also try seating one without powder in a fully resized case, just to make sure the powder charge isn't causing the resistance. (same disclaimer). Do you get the same excessive resistence

    Are you getting excessive shavings off the X when you try to seat the bullet?
    Last edited by Doc; 12-11-2007 at 07:59. Reason: forgot to add disclaimers

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    Bullets were being seating in the case without a powder charge or primer as I was just using the rounds to check for feeding issues. Cases were full length resized as well.
    The pressure of seating the X bullet is actually causing the case to bend. Think of a case shaped liked a banana. It is not noticeable unless you roll the loaded round across a flat surface. One side of the case is making contact with the mouth of the chamber causing it to be scratched. Then on the opposite side at the bottom of the case is the same thing.
    I did some more playing around with this last night and I think it is resolved now. I had to adjust the expander to go deeper into the case. The case still seems to have to good of a grip on the X bullet and the much larger bearing surface of the X bullet is the culprit.
    I do not think this issue would surface on a normal case with a shoulder as the shoulder would offer support for the case.
    Thanks for the comments. We learn something new everyday!
    Tennessee

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    Randy,

    I think your expander plug on the Redding dies doesn't go deep enough in the case. I think I had the same problem with the Lott or the Watts before. The dies are made for "standard" bullets and the long shank of the X is going in deeper. I have dies for the 45 caliber Sharps cartridges and the expander plug is longer. I think that is what I used, the plug from the 45-2 7/8". (45-110) That expander plug is a two step expander with two different diameters, usually .4560" to .4565" and the belling part is about .4595"-.4600". Measure those dimensions maybe they are wrong. Make sure the expander plug is screwed in far enough to slightly flare the case mouth with the larger diameter step. Also that spitzer X doesn't fit the seating stem of the dies very well, they are made for round nosed or flat nosed bullets. The spitzer is easily tipped left or right and if not expanded correctly it will go south on you and cause eccentric cartridge. Maybe this is the culprit.

    If you call Redding tech support they will probably have a solution. If you just need the correct size expander you may talk them into just sending you one by mail. Good luck with it.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Murphy,
    After I found out the expander ball was not going in deep enough I was worried the deeper I set it the more of a "bell" it would create.
    I called Redding (good point). I told them I needed a longer expander plug and a different bullet seating plug.
    I measured the X bullet and .8 of an inch is required to be seated inside the case compared to the Swift A frame's which only requires .5. The longer seating surface of the X is the culprit.
    Now I hope that Redding can offer a longer expanding plug.
    Tennessee

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    I struck out with Redding. The called me back and said they do not a longer expander plug.
    I am thinking my next option is to set the expander ball deeper and then set the seating die to partially crimp to close up the bell, shoot up the X bullets for practice by single loading them, and either stay with Swift's or the 350's X.
    It is either that or have a custom made expander. Now I know why I bought those Swifts from Murphy
    Tennessee

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    Good work Randy, and thanks for walking us through it...I'm always learning.

    My only concern is that you gave Murphy more reason to sing the praises of the Swifts...we may not hear the end of it.

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    Default Swift bullets fit my cases......(subliminal)

    Randy,

    I measured all five of my 458 caliber (straight) sets of dies and all of the expander plugs measure .675" to the step. Meaning, the .456" diameter part is about .675" long, then the .460" diameter part, which is about .150" long. I do have an extra .456" expander which is only .580" long, I think it was the original in my Lott dies and I had them send me another. I don't remember the details but I did have some difficulty with the Lott dies. Of course my problems were minimal since I was using "normal" bullets. I also have some custom expanders for different cast bullet diameters , etc. and a tapered expander to neck up 416 Rem to 450 Ackley. I have some Hornady 458 Lott brass and bullets but nothing spelled with an X. I haven't loaded for it in a while, just wondered if I could duplicate the problem. I hope you're getting it worked out.

    You're definately on the right track by making up dummys first. That's the best way to get the dies set up correctly and make sure the gun will feed and still be safe and do it in the garage.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    I was thinking about picking up another expander and having it turned down to .456 or .457 for it's entire length. Then set the die so it goes deep enough to allow the X bullets to seat without causing any distortion of the case. Finally finishing up with flaring the case mouth enough to allow the bullet to enter easily.
    It is more work but should cure the issue, what do you guys think?
    Tennessee

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    Randy,

    I have a small lathe and it would be no big deal to make up a longer expander. Drop me a pm if you're interested.

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    Paul,
    Thanks. The rifle and stock are now back at McMillan for a free fitting. If I decide to stay with the X bullets I will take you up on your offer.
    Tennessee

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