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Old 08-22-2010, 08:41 PM
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Default Trouble with seating 140 gr FTX .357

I'm set up for reloading the 140gr Hornady FTX bullet in .357 magnum. I've trimmed the cases per Hornady. That was time consuming (and expensive) as around 0.030" had to be trimmed off. I forgot the exact no.

I was setting up my seating die and descided to see how the seating plug fit the FTX bullet. The RN plug does not fit at all. It only contacts the flex tip part of the bullet. I'm not about to seat those long bullets by pushing down on that flex tip.

My 460 Mag seating plug is made to fit the 200 gr FTX flex tip bullet. Do I call RCBS and have them make a plug for me for the 357 bullet?

I could drill out the center of the seating plug slightly larger than the diameter of the flex tip, so the plug would only contact the copper jacket of the bullet?
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:20 PM
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Hornady sells special seating stems for their FTX bullets. I don't know if their dies are compatable with any other manufacturers or not though. They do look similar to RCBSs newer style but I don't have any Hornadys to compare them to.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:42 PM
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I called Hornady. They have a plug for their dies, so they told me to call RCBS. RCBS told me they will make a custom plug to fit the FTX bullet, or I was told to just drill out the center of the round nose plug to clear the flex tip. I was also told those plugs are NOT heat treated and should drill out nicely.

The custom plug was $16-$18, but the wait time was 2-4 weeks. So, I went to the hardware store and bought a couple of drills. I have a drill press, so here we go...
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:23 PM
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Drilling out the RN plug did the trick to seat the FTX bullet. I used a G bit (0.261") to fully clear the flex tip and hit the "meat" of the copper jacket.

It took 10-15 min's to set the plug in a vice and 2 seconds to drill the hole while I held my breath. It turns out the plug material (steel) was VERY soft.

I seated about 48 bullets and got just a faint ring around the bullet where the plug made contact.

I could get real uptight about it and use some valve grinding compound on a sacrificial bullet(s) and lap the plug to the bullet. It might take two or three bullets. Its the copper vs. steel thing.
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:57 PM
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Most of my RCBS dies are the older style and when you mention drilling them out, I pictured them in my head, which looked pretty silly. I guess it's a mental block in a way.

Anyway, now that you've drilled yours out, you might try a chamfer tool to make the bullets fit better. Find one that comes closest to the bullets ogive angle and it should help with the ring you're getting.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:16 AM
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Pictures please !!!!!
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Reloading Thread, Trouble with seating 140 gr FTX .357 in Ammunition-Gunsmithing; I'm set up for reloading the 140gr Hornady FTX bullet in .357 magnum. I've trimmed the cases per Hornady. That ...
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