Tell me if I've got the right idea re: neck sizing


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Rmeju
May 5, 2013, 12:32 PM
I'm not new to reloading, but I'm new to bolt rifle reloading. Specifically, I've never neck sized before. I've looked through some old posts, and I want to see if I have the right idea. The loads I'll be working up first are for target use. 7mm RM if it's important.

Here's how I think it works:

When I get new brass, I should check the headspace using a gauge. If the brass is virign, in theory it should all fit my chamber, but I may want to FL size the first go around in order to set the proper headspace (if necessary... perhaps not required with Lapua/Nosler/etc brass). If the brass is 1x fired, I'll want/need to FL size, both so it fits the chamber and to ensure proper headspacing. Trim after any FL size. Subsequent loadings can be done with a neck sizing die. You can sorta neck size with your FL backed out, but the preferred method is really just to buy the NS die (Why?). Neck sizing only requires the dry lube on the inside of the neck. Every few loadings (5? more? less? Depends on the caliber?) I should FL size again to ensure proper headspacing. Neck Sizing will lengthen my brass life, and improve accuracy. Accuracy improvements are gained by having the brass fire-formed to your chamber. Case life is prolonged because I'm not working the brass too much and won't be trimming off worked brass frequently.

Does that sound about right?

EDIT: Please see post #16

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splattergun
May 5, 2013, 01:00 PM
I'm not new to reloading, but I'm new to bolt rifle reloading. Specifically, I've never neck sized before. I've looked through some old posts, and I want to see if I have the right idea. The loads I'll be working up first are for target use. 7mm RM if it's important.

Here's how I think it works:

When I get new brass, I should check the headspace using a gauge. If the brass is virign, in theory it should all fit my chamber, but I may want to FL size the first go around in order to set the proper headspace (if necessary... perhaps not required with Lapua/Nosler/etc brass). If the brass is 1x fired, I'll want/need to FL size, both so it fits the chamber and to ensure proper headspacing. Trim after any FL size. Subsequent loadings can be done with a neck sizing die. You can sorta neck size with your FL backed out, but the preferred method is really just to buy the NS die (Why?). Neck sizing only requires the dry lube on the inside of the neck. Every few loadings (5? more? less? Depends on the caliber?) I should FL size again to ensure proper headspacing. Neck Sizing will lengthen my brass life, and improve accuracy. Accuracy improvements are gained by having the brass fire-formed to your chamber. Case life is prolonged because I'm not working the brass too much and won't be trimming off worked brass frequently.

Does that sound about right?

That's about my understanding, but it is chamber size, not so much headspace. The fired brass takes on the dimensions of the chamber of the gun it was fired in, thus limiting how much it will stretch in subsequent firing, which is why brass life is extended.

Use the neck sizing die because it is the right tool for the job, and not a huge investment. I'm not sure all FL dies can be adjusted to neck size.

FL size when the brass becomes too tight in the chamber. That may be 2 shots or 6 or 8, but 5 is a common average, depending on how hot your loads are.

kingmt
May 5, 2013, 01:38 PM
Sounds right. I never FL after the first time with new to me brass for my bolt rifles. Best part it's no need to lube & no stuck cases.

StretchNM
May 5, 2013, 02:04 PM
Rmeju, you have a good understanding and have answered your own question. The problem with using an FL die and adjusting it to neck size only is...consistency. The Lee Collet dies are NOT expensive and are the best thing out there, in my opinion. I bought a Redding die for 300 Savage because Lee didn;t offer any. The Redding is a very handsome die and it works just fine, but at about 3 times the cost of a Lee, it is at least three times over-priced.

On my bottleneck rifle brass, I anneal the cases after every five firings and then full-length size the brass. Trimming brass can occur at any time during the firing "stages", whether neck sizing or FL sizing. I check mine for proper length after each firing. You'll no doubt find your own method for keeping track of brass life, but I have a method that I think is foolproof. If you want it, let me know.

NEW, bagged or boxed brass generally doesn;t need any sizing. Always check several to make sure they'll chamber, then check for trim length. Almost always I'll chamfer the inside of the case mouth. If you look at the mouth of new Rem or Win brass (which is all I use), you'll see they're pretty rough around the case mouth.

918v
May 5, 2013, 02:41 PM
You cannot neck size 99% of bottlenecked rounds with the FL die backed out due to geometry. The rifle chamber allows the case to expand about .005-.010" at the shoulder. A FL sizing die sizes the body of the case by about .005". The FL die will size the body before it even begins sizing the neck (unless you are resizing a giraffe like a 30-06, .270, etc.) When the die puts the squeeze on the body, the shoulder angle changes and the shoulder/neck junction is pushed forward, thereby changing headspace. You will not be able to close the bolt on a round neck-sized using a FL die.

Clark
May 5, 2013, 03:12 PM
918v

You cannot neck size 99% of bottlenecked rounds with the FL die backed out due to geometry. The rifle chamber allows the case to expand about .005-.010" at the shoulder. A FL sizing die sizes the body of the case by about .005". The FL die will size the body before it even begins sizing the neck (unless you are resizing a giraffe like a 30-06, .270, etc.) When the die puts the squeeze on the body, the shoulder angle changes and the shoulder/neck junction is pushed forward, thereby changing headspace. You will not be able to close the bolt on a round neck-sized using a FL die.

I hand load 19 Badger,.222, .223, 22-250, 6mmBR, .243, 25acp, 25-20, 25/35, 250/3000, 257 Robert Ackley Improved, 257 Robert Ackley Improved rimmed, 260Rem, 6.5x55, 270, 7x57mm, 7mm Rem mag, 32acp, 32sw, 32S&WLong, 32-20, 7.62x25mm, 30-30, 303Sav, 300Sav, 7.62x39mm, 308, 7.5Swiss, 30-06, 300WM, 303Brit,7.62x54R, 8x57mm, 338WM, .380, 9x19mm, 9x23mm, 357 Sig, 38 sp, 357 mag, 38sw, 40sw, 10mm, 10.4mm, 401 power mag, 44mag, 45acp, 45Colt, .410, 45/70, 50CB and 12 ga.

So far I cannot ever remember having a problem partial neck sizing with a FL die.
I know I have done it a lot with 257RAI [slow body taper] and 7.62x54r [fast body taper].

So far I cannot remember 918V ever being wrong about anything.

918v
May 5, 2013, 03:19 PM
Neck sizing, by definition, is sizing only the neck.

What you are doing is sizing the neck and the body and the shoulder, therefore not neck sizing.

StretchNM
May 5, 2013, 03:35 PM
You CAN partially neck size and the round will still fit - I've done it many times. But you're right, you are doing more than neck sizing. And, at each loading you're experimenting with the adjustment of the FL die and, therefore, are sizing inconsistently, even though the round will fit each time.

A dedicated neck sizer is designed to do just that, and no more.

If a guy reloads and FL sizes as many calibers as Clark does, well, I believe you could become very expert at adjusting the die. But me? I need a neck sizer.

918v
May 5, 2013, 03:47 PM
The whole point of neck sizing is sizing only the neck and leaving the rest of the case fireformed to the chamber. This is not only done to prolong case life, but also for alignment. A fireformed case is perfectly aligned with the bore. This is why neck-sized cases produce more accurate groups downrange.

A FL die cannot accomplish this: sizing only the neck and leaving the body alone. It just can't.

GLOOB
May 5, 2013, 04:55 PM
The good thing about neck sizing is you don't need any lube.

The bad thing about a collet sizing die is if your brass has a lot of variation in neck thickness, this can affect the consistency of neck tension.

45lcshooter
May 5, 2013, 05:26 PM
I FL size all my brass and still get 5-8 loading out of them. Most times I don't need to trim any. So some will say that neck sizing will prolong your brass life. But I get as many loads out of mine as a neck sizer would.

Walkalong
May 5, 2013, 05:42 PM
You cannot neck size with a FL sizer for the reasons 918v put forth. You can partial full length size, which is just bumping the shoulder back a small amount. This will size all of the neck and size the body a little as well. You can adjust it up farther, but all you accomplish is partial neck sizing, and the body will still be touched a little. Nothing wrong with doing this if it floats your boat, but it isn't neck sizing. Neck sizing is sizing only the neck.

New brass is basically full length sized as it comes. If you want to neck size, buy a neck size die and go for it. At some point in time the brass will likely get hard to chamber and you will either have to size the body a little, or bump the shoulder a little, or both to get the brass back to where it will chamber easily.

For neck sizing I suggest the Lee Collet (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/555614/lee-collet-neck-sizer-die-308-winchester) die or the Forster Bushing Bump (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/814070/forster-precision-plus-bushing-bump-neck-sizer-die-with-3-bushings-308-winchester) die.

I prefer the Redding FL Bushing (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/668734/redding-type-s-bushing-full-length-sizer-die-308-winchester) die set to barely bump the shoulder.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=176290&d=1355794205

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=181779&d=1364057403

243winxb
May 5, 2013, 05:56 PM
The belted magnum head spaces on the belt. When neck sizing with a neck die, head space is always on the shoulder. This gives 0 head clearance. The area of the brass directly in front of the belt, towards the mouth, becomes unsupported by as much as .015" . This unsupported area, will at times, separate prematurely. The results look almost like a case head separation, but is not, Also, case life is cut short at times by splits or problems in the neck area. Eliminating the expander is the best way to gain longer brass life. Or custom dies that do not overwork the brass. http://www.saami.org/PubResources/CC_Drawings/Rifle/7mm%20Remington%20Magnum.pdf :)

StretchNM
May 5, 2013, 06:41 PM
I FL size all my brass and still get 5-8 loading out of them. Most times I don't need to trim any. So some will say that neck sizing will prolong your brass life. But I get as many loads out of mine as a neck sizer would.

NOT if you're only getting 5 to 8 firings you aren't. But! - I suppose alot depends on what caliber you are shooting and loading. No - you won;t last as long with FL sizing, at least not under normal circumstances with standard caliber bottleneck brass. Maybe there's a few exceptions in caliber selections out there. Clark might have some input here....

All of the following have been neck sized with Lee collet dies, and ALL are still in loadable condition (no signs of pocket enlargement, inc. head separation, cracks in the neck, vertical cracks in body, or other maladies):

20 pieces of RP brass in 22-250 that has been loaded 16 times, and annealed and FL sized three times. (I just know this brass is near the end, but I show no signs of it yet!)

20 pieces of RP in 25-06 is at 13 times, with 2 annealings and FL sizings.

20 pieces of WW in 30-30 that, after firing this time, will have been loaded 9 times and still going strong.

EDIT: 20 pieces of RP in 30-06 that has been fired 10 times and is on 11th reloading. It has been annealed and FL sized twice. I can distinctly remember getting at least 13 firings out of a previous set (RP brass) before discarding.

20 pieces of RP in 300Sav that has been loaded 6 times (not yet annealed). I'm using a Redding neck sizer for this brass and I expect that I might only get 1 or 2 more loadings, but that is unknown yet.

20 pieces of RP in 35Remington that is on its 11th loading (will be on 12 after firing). Never annealed or FL sized.

I could go on, but some calibers will last virtually forever, IF neck sized and treated right. None of those loads above are light either - all are loaded to maximum (except 300 Sav, it's down about 5 to 7% from maximum).

That is just what I show in this particular spreadsheet. One or two of those calibers above have fired brass beyond what I show right now. All of the above are doing fine, with the exception of 300 Sav, and that is due to an oversized chamber and throat. If I FL size that brass, they will seperate, or show signs of seperation, after 2 firings. With neck sizing, I'm up to 6.

StretchNM
May 5, 2013, 07:01 PM
When you FL size bottleneck brass, you are manipulating the body of the brass between head and shoulder of the case. This area doesn't get annealed but it does get sized with the FL die. Plus, I think it is thicker than the neck (not talking about the head, which is certainly thicker, but the body). So you're manipulating thicker brass that's never annealed.

Then, when fired, it is of course fire-formed before you take it home and FL size it again. I cannot see where, since neck sizing does nothing to the body or head, FL sizing could best or even compete with neck sizing concerning brass life.

Of course, the only scientific evidence I have is in 300 Sav cases for one of my Model 99's. It is explained above. With FL sizing, I get two firings. With neck sizing, I'm on 6 and still going (knock on wood). (((:D))) Maybe there is some scientific evidence if you were to say "Yes. I shoot 25 and 30-06, and I FL size, and I only get 5-8 loadings before they must be discarded". I get many more than that with neck sizing, and I'm confident that others do too, so that could be counted as evidence.

Neck size and extend the life of your brass.

...

Rmeju
May 5, 2013, 08:40 PM
@243: I get that the 7mm RM headspaces off the belt, but I don't understand why this makes neck sizing inappropriate (I mean, I understand your description of how the case will fail, but I don't understand why).

Should I not use a neck sizing die? I thought having the expander plug was a necessary part of any sizing operation, whether FL or NS... Am I misunderstanding something?

243winxb
May 5, 2013, 09:42 PM
Rmeju, The case may fail because its unsupported when fired. It takes more than a few loadings. It may not happen at all. The chamber would have to be on the maximun side & brass undersize. Like Walkalong posted > "For neck sizing I suggest the Lee Collet die or the Forster Bushing Bump die" No expander is used with these 2 methods.

Walkalong
May 5, 2013, 10:33 PM
Yep, as long as you are going for extended case life, why use a neck die that will squeeze the neck undersized and then use an expander (dragging screaming through the case neck) to push it back out. Use a collet or bushing style neck sizer.

Besides, expanders were invented by the devil to pull shoulders forward, ruin concentricity, etc.

savanahsdad
May 5, 2013, 10:52 PM
^^^^^^Plus 1 ^^^^ go with the bushing dies,

witchhunter
May 6, 2013, 01:05 AM
FL size new brass, just to be sure. trim to length, uniform the primer pocket, deburr flash hole. Chamfer and deburr mouth. Prime, powder and seat bullet. Shoot. Neck size, chamfer mouth, prime, powder and seat bullet. Repeat until the bolt gets hard to close. Trim and FL size if necessary. How often depends on a lot of things, but usually 4-5 times before you need to trim or FL size. This works for me, has for years. Oh, and big yes on the bushing dies, they are great. Carbide bushings, easy on brass. If you are careful, brass lasts a long time.

Clark
May 6, 2013, 09:23 PM
OK, I put a fired 7mmRM case in a die, and the shoulder touched and the neck was a ways away from making contact.
So I moved on to a faster taper cartridge, the 7.62x54R.
It makes contact with the neck of the die first.
The neck is ~ .325" long and I can partial size 0.125" of neck without changing the shoulder.
In the pic I took a fired 7.62x54R Lapua case, cleaned it, painted it with Die Chem, and then partial neck sized it in a Forster Full Length sizer die with no decapping stem.

What does it all mean?
Some cases can be partial neck sized without changing the body.
Some can't.
It depends on the taper of the case and the length of the neck.

Innovative
May 6, 2013, 10:55 PM
Reloading a belted magnum cartridge is different from non-belted calibers.
Handloads must be headspaced on the shoulder (not the belt).
Accurate FL resizing is by far the best way to go.
Cases bulge during the reloading process (not in the chamber).
Handloads should NEVER fit tight in your chamber.
Unreliable chambering is never an option.
Case head separation is always avoidable.


There are a dozen pages on my website that covers this specific subject.

readyeddy
May 6, 2013, 11:17 PM
I know the OP only mentioned target use, but it should be mentioned that necksizing is not recommended for hunting ammo. I didn't know this when I bought my necksizing die, which now makes a nice paper weight.

Innovative
May 7, 2013, 08:21 AM
The 7mm Rem Mag can be a real tack driver, but it's definitely no benchrest caliber. However, most benchrest shooters use full length resizing dies.

mdm
May 7, 2013, 11:15 AM
necksizing is not recommended for hunting ammo
Why?

Walkalong
May 7, 2013, 12:16 PM
Ask the folks who have gone out hunting and tried to chamber a round, only to find out that was the magic number of loadings when the cases didn't fit well any more.

fguffey
May 7, 2013, 01:21 PM
Rmeju, first, the case has a case length, head space is not a case thing, the case has a length from the shoulder/datum to the head of the case, that is the reason L.E. Wilson labels their case gage as case length gages, others refer to their gages as head space gages.

The chamber has head space, head space is measured from the shoulder/datum to the bolt face, head space, to me, is a blank that is to be filled in as is , after I fill in the blank I use the diminution to measure cases before firing, after after firing and again after sizing. I have more confident in my equipment than most reloaders, I adjust my die to and or off the shell holder with a feeler gage.

Back to neck sizing, 918V is correct, neck sizing is neck sizing, there are no shades and or excuses, anything beyond neck sizing is sizing, and as 918V said, there is no way to neck size with a full length sizer if the die contacts the shoulder after the die contacts the case body, there are degrees of sizing, anything less than knowing the length of the chamber from the shoulder to the head of the case is just going through the motion, again, I adjust the die to avoid sizing the case more than necessary, without filling in the blank after head space a reloader is talking about reloading, sizing, neck sizing, and bumping. I can not bump, again, when the sizer die bumps? the shoulder the same die has already contacted the case body and case shoulder etc., again, I control the length of the case with the threads provided on my press and die, and because installing a micrometer is not convent I use the feeler gage.

http://www.saami.org/PubResources/CC_Drawings/Rifle/7mm%20Remington%20Magnum.pdf

Notice the link furnished head space diminutions on the chamber, not the case.

F. Guffey

918v
May 7, 2013, 01:21 PM
If you want to have your cake and eat it too, you can take your FL die and lap it in using 3-5 fired cases with the necks cut off. This will open up the body to about .001" under fired dimensions and you'll be able to FL size with impunity without working the case much at all.

It's alot of work and only works for that particular chamber.

Clark
May 7, 2013, 05:50 PM
fguffey,
I am going to recycle the pic I made for the first page of this thread.

Never say never.

The Di Chem was rubbed off the neck and not the shoulder.

It was a fast taper cartridge: 7.62x54R, but there are other fast taper and long necked cartridges.



http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=183665&d=1367885788

housecat
May 10, 2013, 02:57 AM
The belted magnum head spaces on the belt. When neck sizing with a neck die, head space is always on the shoulder. This gives 0 head clearance. The area of the brass directly in front of the belt, towards the mouth, becomes unsupported by as much as .015" . This unsupported area, will at times, separate prematurely. The results look almost like a case head separation, but is not, Also, case life is cut short at times by splits or problems in the neck area. Eliminating the expander is the best way to gain longer brass life. Or custom dies that do not overwork the brass. http://www.saami.org/PubResources/CC_Drawings/Rifle/7mm%20Remington%20Magnum.pdf :)

My previous experience with rifle reloading has been for semiauto rounds, so I always FL sized them. I just bought a 375 H&H, with a a three die set so I could neck size the cases. So, should I just forget about necksizing? I've reloaded for many years, but this is my first experience with a belted cartridge.
Thanks, in advance.

243winxb
May 10, 2013, 09:00 AM
Housecat, I always FL sized my 7mm rem mag. & 300 win mags. Here is a thread where there was a problem when only neck sizing. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=620692 Take note that the neck sized brass that gave the problem was very hard to chamber. Is it a common problem? I do not know.:confused: Gamestalker "I solved the puzzle" http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=621161 Innovative would be te expert on the subject, not me. :)

fguffey
May 10, 2013, 01:12 PM
fguffey,
”I am going to recycle the pic I made for the first page of this thread”

OK, I assume you know, I know, that method is not necessary, I assume you understand the taper of the round case creates varying diameters, I assume you understand I am not interested in wiping stain off the neck of a case, I assume you understand if you want to know when a case neck is being partially sized in a full length sizing die the best choice of cases is a fired case.

Without the paint, a reloader should be able to measure the neck diameter, I do not know a reloader that can not look at the neck and see the neck that is partially sized (neck down) and expanded when the expander plug is pulled through will have two different neck diameters. I would suggest you show the top of the die, does it have the primer punch/neck sizer plug assemble installed.

F. Guffey

housecat
May 10, 2013, 09:58 PM
243winxb, thanks.

I hadn't really thought about difficulty in chambering. I was more worried about getting a face full of super hot gas in the event of a case failure. Prudence indicates FL sizing. The funny thing is I was going to neck size the case in the hope of prolonging case life. Next time, I'll ask questions before buying dies.

StretchNM
May 11, 2013, 12:01 AM
If it were me, I would get a Lee Collet die and neck size. You'll be able to tell when it comes time for you to full-length size. When guys neck size, it doesn't mean that they never FL size the brass, they're just refraining from doing it every time.

Rmeju
May 12, 2013, 06:33 PM
Thanks everyone for taking the time to help me with the basics. As usual, I am thankful for the THR community knowledge-base.

I'm going to start a new thread to drill down on some of the more specific questions this thread has raised!

Thanks again all!

witchhunter
May 12, 2013, 08:42 PM
If you worried about using neck sized rounds for hunting, you can always cycle them through the action to make sure they fit easily. Mark any tight ones for FL sizing after the next firing at the range with a marker and keep them separate.

kingmt
May 13, 2013, 10:33 PM
I have never FL a case that I have been neck sizing.

StretchNM
May 13, 2013, 10:42 PM
Well, maybe the cases are burning out (splitting, etc) before you need to bump the shoulder back some. Eventually, you need to take should back a little, and you can't do that with a neck sizer. I can assure you, with 22-250, as just one example, reloading the brass 16 times without full length sizing would not be possible. Somewhere between 1 and 16, the brass is going to decide that you can't close the bolt.

Walkalong
May 14, 2013, 08:41 AM
It's a pressure thing.

kingmt
May 14, 2013, 09:47 AM
I don't have a 22-250. I have 5-6 loads some maybe a few more in my 30-06 & my 243 somewhere over 30 I lost count or just quit counting long ago. I've only lost cases on my 30-06. My 223 I usually only shout still cases. they get neck splits before they need anything. I usually lose one out of every 5 after the 3 use. I don't keep them sorted to know how many firings are on each case tho.

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