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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am using a Lee bullet seating die in the Lee 50 BMG Kit press setup with 08 Lake City brass cases trimmed to 3.903 inches COL. While attempting to seat a 750gr Hornady A-MAX .510 bullet to an OAL of 5.450 inches, I am unable to bring OAL below 5.480-5.482 inches without crushing the shoulder of the brass case.

While preparing the bullet seating die, I bring the die in contact with the mouth of the brass case internally and then tighten down the lock ring (no ¼ extra turn for the crimp). With the adjustment screw all the way down in the seating die, it will not seat the bullet below the 5.480-5.482 inch OAL. Any adjustment (additional turns to the bullet seating die) that brings the brass case mouth deeper into the bullet seating die results in a crushed shoulder when cycling the press.

I think the dimensions of the bullet seating die are wrong to have this problem. This is not my first time loading shouldered cases, but it is my first time using this setup and loading 50 BMG. Usually working off a 4 stage Dillon 550 in .223, .270, and .308.

Thoughts???
 

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I us the CH/4 Die's and was having the same problem. I am not familiar with how the Lee die's are set up but I was the problem for my problem. I had set the crimp to low and as the slug was pushed down the die crimped it just before full seating was achieved and thus crushed the neck I probably distroid about 10 cases before I called CH/4 only after destroying the bullet seater inside of the die. When I recieved my new replacement part from CH/4 I found out what I had done CH/4 could not tell me what was going wrong. So you may want to check out were the crimp is set you would this that a case that large that it may not be that critical but after my expereance I thing that the large case makes it actually more critical to have all of the dies set as proper as posible. Also if the Lee dies come with a neck sizer die check and see if you have the rite size. That was the thing that CH/4 thought my problem was untill I told them what size I had in the die. Good luck I have not met very many shooters that are even triing reload the 50 and that just makes it harder on the few of us that are doing it GOOD LUCK AGIAN and always have fun!!
 

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I don't have any experience with the 50BMG, but I have had similar problems with 223 when I first started loading for it. If the die starts to crimp the neck before the bullet is all the way seated it can continue to press the bullet down, taking the neck and shoulder with it. I switched to using a Lee factory crimp so that I could seat the bullet without any crimp, since then I have not had any problems with crushed shoulders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thank you for the quick responses. Using QuickLoad software I determined that the 750gr A-MAX is .4 inches longer than the military 660gr XM33 bullet. This is a huge difference for any bullet seating die to address. Virtually everything I have read from folks loading the A-MAX indicates that they are using a OAL over 5.470 inches or greater. This is great in a single shot bolt action, but becomes problematic in a magazine fed 50 like the Bushmaster BA50 or Barrett M107, where internal dimensions of the magazine limit the OAL to under 5.480 inches. I agree with the feedback, the crimp is definitely occuring to early in the seating process when dialed down below 5.480 inches, thereby crushing the shoulder. Unfortunately on the Lee die I have no room left to lengthen the space between the crimp and case without leaving OAL well over 5.450 inches. Thanks to all for your feedback, I am going to ask Lee if they have encountered this before. I'll keep the group posted.
 

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As mentioned, if you have already set your dies to just touch your case mouth, any further die movement either crimps the mouth into the cannelure on your bullet, or starts to buckle the case as the crimp tries to form on no cannelure.
You might want to look at the bullet seating plug in the die. Most rifle seating plugs use a deep tapered hole in order to accomodate a wide range of bullet now shapes. You might find it useful to custom fit the plug to your longer bullet, perhaps with epoxy or devcon. In that way you could reduce the amount the bullet goes into the plug and therfore give you some more room to work with.
 

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It sounds like you aren't adjusting the bullet seater stem... I almost never set the die to touch the case mouth - I just use the seater stem to get the bullet where I want it. I'm using RCBS dies.
 

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He just has a seater insert that doesn't suit the extra long bullet. He's trying not to crimp, but when he runs out of seater adjustment (a threaded plug you screw down in the Lee) the only way to further reduce COL is by turning the whole die in. That creates the excessive crimp.


Waterboy0915,

Welcome to the forum. Rules are to join in and have fun and play nicely with the rest of us kids.

You have two options. One is that Lee may simply provide you with a different seater rod to put under the adjustment plug? I read they did that once for a .223 die when the standard seater rod couldn't push a very light weight bullet in far enough in to seat it. They just have to drill the bullet recess hole .3" less deep.

You could also grind .3" off the bottom end (the end with the bullet profile hole cut into it) of the seater rod, then cut a .3" cylinder of steel or brass to take up the extra space to the bottom of the adjustment plug. You may need to use a little care to be sure the bullet tip goes into the seater rod hole, as it will be narrower after that adjustment.
 

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Nick I'd totally agree if that AMax was a short bullet, but its actually very long... something isn't right with your adjustments or the whole die is not right.
 
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