The .351 Win SL has converted me


Still Shooting
January 8, 2013, 04:27 PM
When I took up reloading (again) 4 years ago, I had an old RCBS case lube pad, and some lube. I still remembered with less-than-happy thoughts all that goop, the stubborn, sticky residue on the loaded rounds, etc. -So I went out, and grabbed a spray bottle of Hornady's "One Shot."

It's fussy, because if it's too wet or too dry, it doesn't do the job well. It took me a couple of stuck cases to find the "just right" answers, and I've loaded a couple thousand rifle rounds with the stuff.

But now I have to reload some ammo for the old Winchester '07. I tried the spray-on technique (lay 'em down on a paper towel, shoot one side, wait 10 minutes, shoot the second side, and wait 10 more minutes to resize). I tried the plastic bag + cases + lube thing, which works pretty well, and neither one let me resize a case.

The O.D. of the fired brass is running 0.3845 - 0.385", and the resizing die is at 0.375" O.D. I could only get 1/3 to 1/2 way down on the case before my Redding Big Boss just wouldn't push anymore - unless I wanted to risk a new die with a rimless brass lining!

SO now I have relented, and yesterday ordered a tin of Imperial Case Sizing Lube from Midway. If it works as well as I'm hearing on this blog, I'll likely just throw out what's left of the Hornady stuff.

Thanks, guys, for being an excellent source of info on all things reloading!

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January 8, 2013, 04:36 PM
I stuck my first rifle case I ever reloaded (lubed properly with One Shot), and on the advice of the forum I immediately switched to Imperial Case Lube and have never looked back.

I use one shot to batch spray a big box of pistol brass to help ease it through the carbide dies (unnecessary but slicks it up some), but that's the only thing I use it for. Seems to work okay for that.

Still Shooting
January 11, 2013, 05:07 PM
I tried the Imperial wax on a few .30 remington rounds, and it beats One Shot by a mile. Then I went back to my problem .351 Win SL rounds, and no difference! -They still went down HARD, and only halfway, and the bottom edge of the die was shaving brass on one side of the case. I looked at the base chamfer, and it wasn't a chamfer; it was a sharp-edged 45 deg. bevel. I decided to take a fine dremel point and relieve the edge. No change in only going down halfway on the case. I really forced one case, got it fully into the die, got it back out, and there was a point halfway up the case where there was an abrupt diameter change. I looked up into the die with a light, and sure enough - there's a diameter change (small, sharp shoulder) that has been stopping the cases from going all the way into the die - I think it is also assymetric, as the brass shaves primarily on one side, not uniformly around the case.

Who would have thought, on a set of higher-priced (custom) Redding dies, that the sizer would be bad??? -Not just bad, but totally unuseable. I'm disappointed, 'cause in general I like Redding better than anyone else when it comes to die sets.

January 11, 2013, 05:24 PM
Contact Redding; they'll take care of you.

Still Shooting
January 26, 2013, 06:31 PM
I tried to resize some .351 WSL once-fired brass after changing over to Imperial wax for a case lube, but still couldn't get a good resize. The die shaves brass, only passes the case about halfway up in, and that's leaning my entire 200+ lbs. of body weight on the lever of my Redding Big Boss press!

I finally got one case to resize down to tne base, but when I did so, there was a ring of shaved brass in the indent. I have attached photos. I also noticed that there's an apparent neck-down with a little shoulder about 0.235" below the case mouth.

On the second try for resizing by brute force, I got about 2/3 of the way down the case, and no further. When I tried to raise the press lever, it tore the rim off the case. I then measured the one full-sized case, and compared a couple of once-fired rounds to it. I also looked at the SAAMI specs for the chamber, and compared to both the resized case and the once-fired cases before sizing.

The table shows the once-fired cases' dimensions, the SAAMI chamber spec, and the resized case dimensions (note: the rifle is a semiauto, and ejection somewhat "ovals" the case mouths).

When I shined a bore light into the die, there is a dark ring at about the point where the cases "hang" in the die. Also,the case mouth in photo no. 1 shows what looks like compression at the case mouth. In Photo no. 2 you can see the brass being shaved, and in photo no. 3 the shaved brass "ring" is evidnet down by the rim indent. Also in no. 3, you can see faintly the little "shoulder" just below the case mouth. Since this is a (slightly) tapered case, almost a straight wall, it shouldn't show a shoulder at all.

The ammo was once-fired Winchester factory from the early '80's.

I am thinking that there was a missing step in Redding's manufacture of the die. It looks from the evidence that the die was likely drilled out first, with 2 different drill diameters, and then shoukl have been reamed to final size. It looks to me like it didn't get reamed. What say you?

January 26, 2013, 08:40 PM
Agreed. Send that info (and pics) to Redding. I'm sure they'll make it right!

Still Shooting
January 29, 2013, 10:23 AM
I got a very courteos email yesterday from Redding Customer Service. They asked that I send the sizing die and 5 once-fired rounds, and they will either rework or replace the defective die. They will also (if the chamber is outsized) custom-size the die to the chamber - all at no charge.

Since the fired brass I measured is within the tolerances for SAAMI chamber spec, I think I'll ask them to simply rework to standard size for the case. While I might get one or two more reloads out of a custom sizer, having standard ammo is preferable to me.

Since it's about a 3-1/2 hr. highway drive from home to Cortland, I'm tempted to drive down with the die, just to see the Redding operation...

January 29, 2013, 01:20 PM
I am surprised that Redding had a problem die. I am NOT surprised they offered to do what is right and proper! Unlike Lee, for which problems like yours are fairly common, Redding, RCBS and Dillon actually DO stand behind their stuff and will work to make it right. Redding has great folks!

35 Whelen
January 29, 2013, 01:42 PM
When I took up reloading (again) 4 years ago, I had an old RCBS case lube pad, and some lube. I still remembered with less-than-happy thoughts all that goop, the stubborn, sticky residue on the loaded rounds, etc. -So I went out, and grabbed a spray bottle of Hornady's "One Shot."

FYI, If after using a lube pad your cases have sticky goop on them, you're using WAY to much case lube.

I've used the spray-on lube but GEEZ what a mess! Went back to my tried and true RCBS lube pad.


January 30, 2013, 01:28 AM
I guess I am the outlier here, in that I have used One Shot for years with no problems. Many thousands of rounds of various calibers, including necking down .308 to .260 and quite a bit of milsurp 5.56 from M249 ranges. I generally keep my brass in old cat litter tubs, or in ziploc bags if only a small quantity. I give the tub a 1-2 second spray and shake it around a bit and start resizing immediately. When the cases start to get tough to resize I repeat. No mess and it takes a step out of my reloading process.

Still Shooting
February 20, 2013, 11:55 AM
I wanted to update this thread to let everyone know that the folks at redding Reloading equipment - especially Chris Fox in Customer Service - are very good at what they do.

At Chris' request, I sent my .351WSL sizing die along with 5 fired cases to Redding on 1/28. Chris responded on 1/31 to let me know the package had arrived, and that he would have it reviewed the week of Feb. 4th. Early the next week, I had a call from him verifying that the die was undersized, and that the chamber was running within tolerance, but on the large side of nominal. He asked if I wanted the die reworked to dimensons based on chamber size, or to SAAMI spec. I responded that I wanted to go with the SAAMI nominal spec, even though it might cost me 1 or 2 fewer reloads.

On 2/6 I had a call from Chris telling me the die had been reworked, and 2 of the 5 cases I sent had been resized in the die to confirm it was OK. He confirmed my shipping address, and said he would have it shipped back that day. I received the reworked die, with the 5 cases I'd sent to him on 2/8.

Total turnaround time, with 4 days for shipping back and forth, was 9 days. I consider that to be a very good response. The die was returned in a fresh Redding die box, with a complimentary tin of Imperial case size wax. No charge to me, other than postage to ship the die to Redding.

I not only like these guys' products, I like dealing with them!

If you enjoyed reading about "The .351 Win SL has converted me" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!