Neck sizing die....multi-use?


March 9, 2012, 09:36 PM
I have been handloading for around a year now, so not a complete newbie but still learning a lot! My question is........if say i have a neck sizing die for a 30-06, wont that die also neck size any other cartridge neck that also requires a .308 size bullet? So would work say for a 30-30 also? Assuming the case size is close also? Because it only works the neck, correct?

Just wondering here.....??

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March 9, 2012, 11:41 PM
No. For several reasons. One, the 30-30 is much shorter and the shoulder angle is much different. Second, the 30-30 has a very thin neck that would NOT be sized sufficiently small enough to hold a bullet.

Hornady makes a so-called universal sizer for each caliber. A long and a short, meaning for long action and short action cases. BUT the short 30 cal die will not work for a thutty-thutty.

March 10, 2012, 05:50 AM
Sounds good. Makes sense. I knew there had to be a reason why it wasnt possible. I didnt realize that neck thicknesses changed but i remember now that the dies also work the shoulder. Thanks Snuffy. Did you realize that of 86 views, you were the only one to answer? I guess i wasnt alone in not knowing the answer! Thanks for your time.

March 10, 2012, 06:57 AM
I would like to add that with the Lee collet sizer the length of the brass is also important. The brass is sized when the shell holder contacts the base of the die and pushes the collet up into the die body. Most brass with the same neck diameter are different lengths so would not be sized correctly. With these dies you can partial size a neck by adding washers on top if the shell holder actually raising the collet in relationship with the neck.

March 10, 2012, 09:24 AM
Depending on the design of the particular die, the shoulder angle may or may not matter at all. A pure neck-sizing die won't touch the shoulder of the case at all. The shoulder area of the Lee Collet neck sizing die is generous enough that I would think you could resize the AI version of the cartridge with the regular die. Conversely, the various bushing bump dies can be set up to bump the shoulder back as well so the case length, shoulder location and shoulder angle are critical.

I'm of the opinion that dies are inexpensive and last forever so it only makes sense to buy the correct die for the task being accomplished and don't bother trying to multipurpose a single die across multiple tasks or cartridges.

March 10, 2012, 10:37 AM
OK. Thanks for the input FROG and helo. Yep i agree helo, dies are cheap and and would probably buy the right one anyway. I was just curious though whether it might be possible. I am happy to pay Mr Lee though anyway. I very much enjoy using his equipment.

March 10, 2012, 11:04 AM
A bushing die might work, but cost would be high.

March 10, 2012, 03:40 PM
I've been using neck sizing dies for a number of years and my experience has been that they don't touch the shoulder at all. If they were designed to reposition the shoudler at all, I would not have been using them for as long as I have. When it's time to reposition the shoulders, I use a FL die properly adjusted. So no, they don't touch the shoulders at all.

But that doesn't mean a different case than what the die is designed for won't make contact with the shoulder or case body.

March 10, 2012, 03:47 PM
Ah ok. I thought they bumped the shoulder back still the same as FL dies. So they might work if one could work out the comparative lengths and use washers/shims etc. Provided the neck thicknesses were similar anyway.

March 11, 2012, 12:28 AM
The thickness of the neck is not important with the Lee die. It bases the sizing on the inside diameter of the cartridge. The mandrel stops the fingers from closing any further. It also bases the closing of the 4 fingers on how much the die is pressed after the base contacts the shell holder.

So yes, a 30-06 can be sized in a .308 and a .308 can be sized in a 30-30, but I don't think a shorter case can be sized in a longer die. Shims will make a long case work with a shorter die, but I don't think it works the other way. Unscrew the top off of the die, take out the center mandrel and see how it works when it is adjusted properly in the press.

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