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Thread: crunching sound when seating bullet

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    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    Default crunching sound when seating bullet

    Is it normal to hear the RL19 powder being crunched while you seat your bullet? I've switched to the tipped barnes X bullets, they must be longer.
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    well that depends on if your making compressed loads or not. what case? what cal? what bullet? i only have one load for my .300 that is a compressed load and thats with 7828.. by switching to a longer bullet you are running the same COL. and are compressing the load now..

    i would stop, unitl a few of these other more experianced guys weigh in, and look at the load data, you might over pressure them..
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    Member jkb's Avatar
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    You might try a long funnel it will compress the powder by the powder falling the extra distance. Have a load that it will swell the case if a long funnel is not used.
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    There are two factors impacting your efforts...

    First, you're right that TSX's are longer than other bullets of the same caliber and they also are typically seated further from the lands, so you end-up seating them deeper into the case than other bullets. Therefore, when working loads using powders and/or charges that fill greater case volume you have an increased likelihood that the TSX bullet base will contact and compress the powder during seating. Second, RL-19 is an extruded powder (as opposed to a spherical powder). Extruded powders will take-up greater case volume than the same charge of a spherical powder in the same case.

    I suspect that the sound you are hearing is the extruded powder compressing and perhaps breaking as you seat the bullet. I also suspect that you will see some bullet creep as a loaded and uncrimped case is left to sit over nite...try it and see. Assuming that the charge you are throwing is within book specs (and you still want to try it), you will need to compress the charge before bullet seating. The long funnel idea of jkb's can help to compress an extruded powder load, and I'm sure you'll get some ideas from others.

    There are several other alternatives that don't involve compressing a load, but let's see what others say.

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    That is normal using compressed loads of stick powder. I settle the powder by holding the powdered case against my vibrator tumbler with my finger over the case mouth. It can settle powder up to 1/4" on bigger cases. If heavily compressed and no crimp the bullet may creep back out a ways and if to heavily compressed can even swell the case. When either of these happens, I usually switch to a ball powder or deal with a lesser charge.

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    Hmmm, my old neck bones make that sound no matter what powder I am working with!
    I think DOC pretty well covered it!
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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Kodiak, If you've switched bullets you need to go back almost to the beginning and check your distance off the lands. Not only might the bulet you are now using be longer than the previous one, but the profile of the bullet and ogive will be different too. Every time Barnes makes a new bullet, or updates an existing one, they tweek the design a little bit. Example: A 210 grain Barnes-X, a 210 grain Barnes-XLC, a 210 grain Barnes-TSX, and a 210 grain Barnes-TTSX all have different nose profiles and different ogives. Your seating die needs to be set up differently for each bullet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    Hmmm, my old neck bones make that sound no matter what powder I am working with!
    I think DOC pretty well covered it!
    That's funny Smokey...and thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    That is normal using compressed loads of stick powder. I settle the powder by holding the powdered case against my vibrator tumbler with my finger over the case mouth. It can settle powder up to 1/4" on bigger cases. If heavily compressed and no crimp the bullet may creep back out a ways and if to heavily compressed can even swell the case. When either of these happens, I usually switch to a ball powder or deal with a lesser charge.
    That's a great idea rbuck351...how long do you generally need to hold the case against the tumbler?

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    Doc: It only takes a couple of seconds. I wish I could figure out a way to vibrate them while seating a bullet. Hmmmm!

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    I would have to agree with above comments in that most likely you are compressing an extruded powder. I sometimes use a 24" drop tube which will add 1 to sometimes 3 more grains of powder to a case depending on the powder and the case. Sometimes this will convert a compressed load to a 100% case capacity load - not unlike tapping a full case or touching one to a vibrating tumbler.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shphtr View Post
    I sometimes use a 24" drop tube which will add 1 to sometimes 3 more grains of powder to a case depending on the powder and the case.
    You wouldn't happen to have a picture of your drop tube setup, or at least a good description, would you? I have read about doing that several times and have encountered a few instances where I think I could utilize one but have never seen one used or heard it really explained well.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evandailey View Post
    You wouldn't happen to have a picture of your drop tube setup, or at least a good description, would you? I have read about doing that several times and have encountered a few instances where I think I could utilize one but have never seen one used or heard it really explained well.
    evan, maybe shptr will be able to produce a photo for you, i don't have the capability. But I can tell you that a drop tube is simply an extension tube on your funnel. You can buy them very inexpensively or fashion your own. The idea is that as the powder falls the additional distance through the tube, the particles have time to sort themselves out and find a happy arrangement resulting in a higher density in the case when they all come to rest (it helps the powder "settle"). Sometimes experimentation with different tube lengths can make a bit of a difference with different case sizes and different powders. Vibrating the case will bring similar result.

    Personally, I don't care for highly compressed loads. I don't like the idea of crushing the powder which changes the shape, surface area ratio, burning characteristics, etc... I don't have any experimental data, or examples to cite, and there are some good loads out there, the recipes for which call for compressed loads. I personally just don't like the idea of crushing the hell out of my powder, and would prefer to switch to a different powder rather than try to make a highly compressed load work. That's just me.
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    I was reading about factory loads in .458 win. The bullets were seating to deep and it was causing over compression and people were killed and wounded by elephant charges. They did some testing and found that 10 percent of the factory loads were chronoed at 1200 fps instead of 2200 fps and there was no penetration on an elephant skull. Because there was no shoulder on the brass and no land on the bullet over compression was potentially fatal. This over compression was thought to have happened after the bullets left the factory. The .458 had a really bad rep for a while as well. This was in the 70s.
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    I dunno if you'd call it a "drop tube" or not, but I have Forster Pwdr Funnel that has about a 5 inch tube on it.

    I don't remember what it cost, but IIRC, it twern't much. Check their cakalog, or website.

    I thought it was for, and I use it for getting the powder into the case evenly.

    I've never used any compressed loads, but I spose it would help with them.

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    Smitty the drop tube works well for Black Powder Cartridges as well. If you still load for them. If you wish to hear the crunching stop use a ball powder or a extruded powder that is a couple of burn ratios faster than RL-19.
    Many benchrest powder measure measures have a drop tube attached and they are available for most all standard powder measures on the market today, NIX the funnel.
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    Thanks Brav01:

    I acknowledge.

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    The method I developed works well for me. I slowly pour the powder from the pan into a funnel atop the case, slow enough that the cylindrical grains settle onto their sides and spiral down into the case, the funnel is held between my thumb and index finger while the remaining three fingers drum against the case creating vibration, aiding the settling of the powder grains.

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    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    Thanks alot guys, now I'm waiting for my lyman 1200 2 to get back from repairs.
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