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My new Open gun arrived recently so I set up a conversion toolhead for 38 SC (it was set up for .40) and loaded some initial rounds for testing. I'm running into all sorts of smaller issues, so I figured I ask before doing anything wrong. 

 

Setup: SVI 5" Open gun, 10 grains of 3N38, new Starline brass, Federal #100 primers, 124 .MG JHP bullets at .355 (confirmed to match my chamber), loading to 1.245 OAL and crimping to about .380. 

 

When using MBF funnel, it seems to either get stuck in the case and requires effort to move the handle up, or it doesn't flair the mouth enough. It is as if the shape of the funnel is such that it will stick before it gets to expand the mouth. I looked at it on the upstroke and if I set it up to the minimum where the bullets can be seated correctly, it gets quite sticky. 

 

MBF itself had some issues with flipping bullets in the collator. I had to move the shims out quite a bit and I recently just noticed one upside-down bullet in the tube. Is MBF more finicky with "smaller pointy bullets" compared to the FMJ 180-s in .40 that seemed to have no issues? I'll monitor and keep adjusting, just wondering if there is any trick to it. Also, it will on occasion drop two bullets even though I pushed it to the earliest point where it will release a bullet. I had the assembly touch the powder drop so it was causing issues, but even after setting up much more carefully, it will act up on occasion. 

 

The biggest issue is likely a die issue - I'm using Redding crimping die with micrometer and for some reason it seems to "suck" on the round much worse than the MBF funnel. On the upstroke, it feels as if something is being pulled hard and then it gives with the similar snap as when the MBF funnel releases. I took the die out, checked it for proper orientation, cleaned it up with a brush and couldn't notice anything unusual. Has anyone had similar problem with any of the dies? As I'm pulling handle, there are two stations that seem to be preventing smooth operation - the powder measure and the crimp.

 

Any input or insights are greatly appreciated. 

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On the MBF funnel, polish the funnel end and set to flare just enough that the bullet sits on the case squarely.  For MBF feeding, you'll probably have an upside down bullet on occasion.  But once it's set up properly, that should be pretty rare.  Usually when it starts happening for me, it's because a bullet has worked it's way between the rotating shellplate and the little spring loaded arm, or one's ended up by the flip ramp.  Those are usually the first things I check.  For the crimp die, how much are you crimping the case?  It should be about .002, nothing more.  Basically just enough to remove the flare from the case. 

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My Redding 9mm crimp die pops some also. Mostly an issue on new brass. Backing off just a little helps if it is still enough crimp. Dry tumbling the new brass also helps leave a little dust which will act as a lube on the case, helping the MBF not to stick as bad also.

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I'm crimping to .380, which is about .004 from how they come out from seating die. It's really strange to have the crimping die feel this way, almost as if the brass has sharp outside edges and is somehow catching on the inside of the die. 

 

Good to hear about MBF - I'll just keep adjusting it until I get it to be more and more consistent. It looks like heavier and larger bullets are easier to feed. 

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7 minutes ago, DWFAN said:

My Redding 9mm crimp die pops some also. Mostly an issue on new brass. Backing off just a little helps if it is still enough crimp. Dry tumbling the new brass also helps leave a little dust which will act as a lube on the case, helping the MBF not to stick as bad also.

 

Great - thanks. I just wanted to make sure I'm not damaging anything and that it's not something that I didn't notice.

 

Dry tumbling the brass is a very good idea - I'll give it a shot. Who would've thought I'd want to go from shiny to dull, but it makes a lot of sense. Will probably just do a small batch, say 100, to see whether it solves the problem. 

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Yep, lube definitely helps.  One Shot or make your own with four parts alcohol and one part lanolin.

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I just learned to power through the funnel catching on the upstroke. I use force to raise and lower the ram. 

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3 hours ago, Sarge said:

I just learned to power through the funnel catching on the upstroke. I use force to raise and lower the ram. 

 

I notice that if I go slow and easy, that's when I feel the catch on the upstroke.  If I go steady, firm and at a decent pace, it runs smooth and consistent.  So technique is definitely a factor.

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So, I've tried the brass that ran through a tumbler (new brass, just dry-tumbled it to spread the polish) and it's much softer running through the crimp die. My guess is that it's the correct answer, so I will get some lubricant and lightly spray the new cases to see whether that solves the problem. 

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My latest run (just over 50 rounds, adjusting powder measure and running through chrono) was pretty smooth. As if it took a few dozen rounds to "settle down." The dirtying of the cases also seems to have helped. At this time, I'm just getting an inverted bullet on occasion, but I couldn't replicate it by running MBF manually - a few hundred bullets ran through it while I was standing on a stool and watching and not a single one was inverted. My current hypothesis is that it has to do with the vibration related to the force applied on the upstroke. If I figure anything else out, I'll post in this thread. 

 

Thanks to everyone who posted. 

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I loaded a boat load of 38 SC without issues. 

Campfer new brass. New brass is a pia. 

My set up was almost the same as yours, SV, 3N38 ..... I was on a 1050. Crimping was the last stage. 

 

On on set Up:

i spent a lot of time on each stage. 

Primer depth is in important. Multiple sets of measurements. 

Powder funnel flaw requires multiple tries to get it right.

i used only Zero bullets. 

I seated in the second to last station and crimped in the last. 

 

Lots of lube. 

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On 7/14/2019 at 10:27 PM, IVC said:

My current hypothesis is that it has to do with the vibration related to the force applied on the upstroke

Good hypothesis.  How is your MBF attached? I attached mine to a pipe from the ceiling.  Problem solved. 20180424_083803_001.thumb.jpg.a9897ed0ccc911528281aab2a14e65ba.jpg

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6 hours ago, Youngeyes said:

Good hypothesis.  How is your MBF attached? I attached mine to a pipe from the ceiling.  Problem solved. 20180424_083803_001.thumb.jpg.a9897ed0ccc911528281aab2a14e65ba.jpg

I did the same and it fixed my upside down bullets 100%

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8 hours ago, EEH said:

Hypo what ?

A supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.

I hope that clears things up🤣

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17 hours ago, Youngeyes said:

A supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.

I hope that clears things up🤣

Don’t forget the null hypothesis. If the null is true then the hypothesis is false with a 95% CI w/ .15 SE. Fundamental research methodology, with a little statistical inference for S&G. 

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Get rid of the MBF funnel and use the Dillon funnel, I got tired of the sticking and went back to the Dillon funnel. Once you get It adjusted 

it works great. I have not had a bullet tip over in a long long time

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21 hours ago, sauza45 said:

Get rid of the MBF funnel and use the Dillon funnel, I got tired of the sticking and went back to the Dillon funnel. Once you get It adjusted 

it works great. I have not had a bullet tip over in a long long time

How you handling expansion? Lyman M die?

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44 minutes ago, Laxman2809 said:

How you handling expansion? Lyman M die?

I use the primer swage backup for that.  No need to swage 38SC (except maybe to check all primers are decapped), but the top die does a decent job of expanding the cases.

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The Dillon swage is what I use. I use all Dillion dies

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I use the Redding premium expander in the swag spot as it is not needed for 38 S. My 1050 use to pop on the up stroke badly.

Now it is very smooth with the expander die and a little one shot lube.

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On 7/27/2019 at 11:59 AM, Youngeyes said:

Good hypothesis.  How is your MBF attached? I attached mine to a pipe from the ceiling.  Problem solved. 

 

Thanks for the tip - mine is attached the standard way, to the case feeder.

 

I'm thinking that if it's indeed about vibration and not about how I set it up, it's better to first solve the "sticky stations" problem and only then continue with MBF if the problem remains. One thing at a time and make sure that I'm not introducing additional problems by adjusting too many parameters at once. At the moment, I can tolerate the amount of upside down bullets. Also, I have a shelf in the area above the press, so I might just connect it that way. 

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On 7/31/2019 at 7:37 AM, sauza45 said:

Get rid of the MBF funnel and use the Dillon funnel, I got tired of the sticking and went back to the Dillon funnel. Once you get It adjusted 

it works great. I have not had a bullet tip over in a long long time

 

On 8/1/2019 at 3:30 PM, Blacktail 8541 said:

I use the Redding premium expander in the swag spot as it is not needed for 38 S. My 1050 use to pop on the up stroke badly.

Now it is very smooth with the expander die and a little one shot lube.

 

I'll have to experiment with this - Dillon rep said not to use unsupported swaging (he obviously said it had to be a Dillon die, but I've now tinkered with MA swage backup without any flaring). I don't care for swaging for 38 SC, as many pointed out, it's just that I like to use it to detect failed deprimes. 

 

My current thinking is to keep swager intentionally adjusted lower so that it's not enough to exert too much pressure on the shellplate, but enough to detect a spent primer. With a setup like that, I can use any number of expanders in station #3 and not worry about damaging the shellplate. Interesting. 

 

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