Collapsed Shoulder 1 scaled

An interesting problem has come to light, reported by a person quite experienced in reloading ammunition.  This involved the shoulder of a new virgin brass case having the shoulder collapse in the process of seating a bullet.  The .300 Weatherby Magnum case pictured here cost a little over $2.00 delivered.  Two professional sources were contacted and the problem explained, the first contact thought the case shoulder area was over annealed by the manufacturer, and this was not the cause. 

Some reloading die manufacturers make their seating dies designed to NOT TOUCH the shell holder The die that created this problem has a shoulder inside that will interfere with the case mouth if the die is screwed too far into the reloading press.  The man with this problem had his seating die screwed in touching the shell holder.  So how do we properly adjust to avoid ruining cases.  If the die is in your press unscrew it at about 5 or 6 or turns.  Insert a case in the shell holder and raise the case all of the way up in your press.  Now screw the die down until you feel it contact the case mouth.  Now back your seating die off 1 full turn and snug up the lock ring.  Of course, you will want to adjust your bullet seating stem to acquire the overall cartridge length wanted. 

Problem solved, don’t forget to keep the inside of your dies clean to prevent unwanted problems.  A convenient way to accomplish this, put a patch on a short pistol cleaning rod.  Remove the de-priming pin and expander or bullet seating stem, whichever is present.  Next saturate the patch with lighter fluid and swab the inside of each die.  The lighter fluid will evaporate fast and you are all set to go. 

Hope this solves a nasty little problem and you never experience losing a case.  This certainly proves the philosophy “read the directions and follow the rules”.  Always remember in reloading ammo we are dealing with some very serious pressure, do each step carefully always pay attention to the details. 

Tom Wilson                                                                                                                © 5-23-2024

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