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Some new reloader questions

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Soybomb, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. Soybomb

    Soybomb Well-Known Member

    So I really started doing my first work on reloading today and came away with a few questions. Whats the general feeling on chamfering the inside/outside of both pistol and revolver brass? I've read several opinions but few that agree. Right now I'm inclined to go with the people that say you're belling the case anyway so its a waste of time.

    I'm using a lee hand press and full length resized some fired .223 brass, sized some fired .38 special brass (carbide die), and ran some new starline 10mm through its carbide sizing die just to be sure. I was surprised by the results, the .223 was cake, I could virtually pull the ram down with 1 finger. After all the talk of rifle sizing in hand presses I thought I was going to be in for something entirely different. The .38 special brass was middle of the road, a little resistance but largely in and out. The 10mm brass easily took the most muscle. I thought new brass would be very close to the proper shape already and take very little work. I assume the rifle cases went easier because I used lube instead of relying on a carbide die but why the difference between the fired .38 and the new 10mm on sizing?

    How much do you bell cases? Just enough to be able to set a bullet inside the brass and have it stay? I've read stuff about over belling being hard on the brass but it really takes a lot of turns to get the bass open, it seems like it would be hard to mess up unless you just cranked it all the way down.

    How often will I need to trim my ar15's brass? Thats a pain.

    I know people buy case gauges for both handgun and rifle rounds, how necessary are they for me? It seems like for handguns I can start with the seater up high and gradually crank it down until it starts seating at just a smidge under the saami spec. Anything that didn't get sized properly should be corrected when it goes through the factory crimp die. If I was really worried I could strip the gun and drop the guns in the barrel for a test. For my 5.56 rounds the same seems to hold true. Resize and trim the brass, run the seater down through trial and error to get just under saami spec. Run through factory crimp.
  2. moxie

    moxie Well-Known Member

    I chamfer and deburr any new handgun brass lightly, just once. As far as belling goes, you are right. Just enough to allow the bullet to sit and stay. Sizing force varies. Depends on the chamber diameter relative to the sizing die diameter, the type of load, headspacing and a number of other variables.
  3. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Well-Known Member

    I chamfer all my cases. Not heavily, but enough to remove any burrs that might be tucked into the case when I seat the bullet. Is it absolutely 100% necessary? I haven't a clue..... But I just don't like the idea of tiny burrs breaking off and going down the barrel.
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I agree with the last two posters.

    Trim and ream/chamfer revolver brass one time. Do nothing to auto brass except shoot it.

    10MM is a much tougher case than .38 and new brass is generally a tad tougher to size.

    Just bell the case enough to get the bullet started good, no more.

    Trim .223 brass every 4th to 7th fireing depending on many things. Some folks trim it every time.

    The RCBS X die is refuted to stop case streching and trimming. Some folks swear by it, I have not tried it yet.

    I loaded for 20+ years without a case gauge with no problems until I got a 9MM with a tight chamber. Then I got a 9MM case guage and gauge the sized brass.

    Cheapest case gauge link, or buy seperate Wilson ones.
    I would not worry with them unless you run into a problem.

    And before it gets started, I think the Lee FCD die for pistol cartridges is a waste of time and sometimes detrimental to the loaded round. Load them properly and they will fit your chamber. No need to squash them to fit.
  5. mkl

    mkl Well-Known Member

    I chamfer all my cases just once, both inside and out.

    You want to bell the case just enough to prevent shaving lead when you seat a bullet. Generally this is just a few thousandths of an inch. Use the minimum bell possible to avoid overworking the brass. In most cases the bell should not even be noticeable to the casual observer.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2008
  6. Shoney

    Shoney Well-Known Member

    Agree with Walkalong, and add that all bottleneck cartridges should be chamfered after trimming.

    refuted = 1 : to prove wrong by argument or evidence : show to be false or erroneous
    2 : to deny the truth or accuracy of <refuted the allegations>
    Shoulden't that be
    Reputed = believed ; considered
    Sorry for playing word police, but the difference is considerable.
  7. SASS#23149

    SASS#23149 Well-Known Member

    You might try what I do when sizing pistol brass.. I pre-lube about 10% of the cases,and put on of these cases in every now and then.
    I don't lube the whole case,just lightly around the top of the case.Actually so litttle that I don't worry about wiping it back off.YOu'd be surprised how easy the sizing task goes with this little trick.
    I never chamfer cases that will be belled,and only outside chamfer cases that have been run through the trimmer.I actually just clean up the burrs on the outside with little or no actual chamfer.
  8. Soybomb

    Soybomb Well-Known Member

    How come revolver brass but not autos?

    I thought crimping was more to keep them set to the proper length by keeping the bullets in the airweight from pulling out, keeping the rounds in magazines from changing sizes, keeping the round from getting smaller when the nose hits the feed ramp, etc.

    Is there any particular reason to bell before priming or does that matter?
  9. mkl

    mkl Well-Known Member

    Soybomb, you are correct re crimping.

    I've got a Bowen conversion in 45 Colt that will back out my 300 grain bullets after two shots unless I use the Lee Factory Crimp Die. When I say back out, I mean all the way out of the case!

    Hand cannons need a really good crimp to keep the bullet in place.
  10. strat81

    strat81 Well-Known Member

    Get an X-Die for your .223. A regular one is fine, no need for small base. Follow the directions and it will work.

    Bell your cases enough to seat the bullet and that's it. No need to shorten case life by overworking the brass.

    If you trim your AR cases to 1.75", you'll probably have to resize every other loading. This depends on the brass, load, and chamber.

    For seating with your AR, just under SAAMI-spec might be too long for your magazines. If you're loading 55gr FMJBT, crimp to the cannelure, and you should be fine. Don't go to heavy on the crimp.
  11. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    With new brass I chamfer the mouth inside and out to break the sharp edge and avoid the little wires of brass you get when running non-chamfered cases through the dies.

    Used brass and factory once fired brass doesn't seem to need it.
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Considerable indeed. Just plain wrong. :eek: And I know better. :banghead:

    Hope they got my meaning though. :)
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Yep, and when we squash the round with the carbide ring in the FCD die we can screw up neck tension.

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