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Adjusting body diameter and shoulder bump separately for .308 cases

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Steve in Allentown, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. Steve in Allentown

    Steve in Allentown Member

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    Even though I've been handloading since 1986 it's all been straight wall cases. So, here I am - a babe in the woods when it comes to handloading for bottleneck cartridges.

    I've begun handloading for a FAL after shooting nothing but factory ammo through it for 20 yrs.

    What I discovered today is that I have to set the Redding small base .308 sizing die all the way down to "cam over" depth in order to get the the case head barely small enough to chamber. This results in the shoulder being bumped back more than necessary.

    Any ideas on how I can solve this?
     
  2. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    How far are you setting back the shoulder?
     
  3. Steve in Allentown

    Steve in Allentown Member

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    I don't have the number in my head right now but I know it was way more than .005".
     
  4. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    I seem to remember something about a "locking shoulder" to adjust the rifles chamber headspace?

    The headspace may need adjusting?

    My guess.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
  5. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    Humm
    Do you have access to a case gage?
    I figured I was over once also but as it turned out it was fine
     

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    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    For a FAL? Forget shoulder bumping etc, full length size to fit a case gauge and call it good, assuming you know the chamber is in spec.
    How are you getting that number? And have you checked your chambers headspace?
     
  7. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    What is the measured diameter? .470" larger or smaller? 20191117_185528.jpg

    There are custom dies with interchangeable sizing ring fot the case web area, but to costly .

    If you contact Redding, they may want 3 fired brass from your rifle and the dies to make an adjustment to the die.

    Make sure its not a new reloader error , first.:)
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
  8. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    I was heading that direction as well
     
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  9. FLIGHT762

    FLIGHT762 Member

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    Another option is to buy a Redding Small Base Body Die. It will size the case web enough to chamber. Set the die to bump the shoulder of fired brass to 1.630" (SAAMI Min.). You will have to run the cases through a neck sizer or you regular F/L die to get the neck sized.

    I had a Steyr SSG 69 that had a very tight chamber. Any fired brass that had a web larger than .469" would not chamber. I tried a RCBS small base die that I had on hand and a Forster National Match 308 die and neither would get the case web small enough for the SSG.

    I put in a call to Redding and asked the Tech about their small base body die and was told it would get the case web smaller. The Redding Small base body die did it, got the web to .468". The cases then chambered. I was able to set my calipers up for a "Go" "No Go" slot to measure case webs.

    This was the first time I really needed a small base die. The body die can also repair loaded ammo that shoulders hadn't been bumped enough.

    The small base body die also is great for resizing MG fired brass. They cost about $35.00 +-. I have them in 308 and 223.
     
  10. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Body die chased by a neck+bump die, or FL sizer even. Small base body dies are out there, or can be made by reaming the shoulder or cutting off the upper part of a small base sizer.

    Custom dies are always an option, easy enough to procure, just expensive.
     
  11. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Op is using small base
     
  12. fguffey

    fguffey Member

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    The case gage will measure the length of a fired case from the shoulder to the case head and the case gage will measure the length of a full length sized case that has been returned to minimum length. It seems the OP is claiming all of his problems will be solved with a small base die; if that is the problem a Wilson case gage can still be used but the process is complicated.

    If the OP is moving the shoulder back and or has found a way to 'bump' the shoulder back the problem is solved and I am waiting for someone to explain what cam over does. I own 10+ cam over presses, I own three RCBS rock Chuckers that do not cam over.

    I also own small base dies, when I compare my small base dies to non-small base dies determining the difference is a challenge.

    F. Guffey
     
  13. fguffey

    fguffey Member

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    I never forget the deck height of the shell holder is .125" meaning nothing below the bottom .125" of the case gets sized and then there is the radius. I measure case head protrusion, case head protrusion is not the came as case head support. Reloaders need to figure way to measure the diameter of the chamber, it is complicated.

    F. Guffey
     
  14. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    I solve a similar problem in .270 much more cheaply: take a standard FL die and create a true body-only die by cutting it off just below the shoulder. Use an unmodified FL die to set desired shoulder position and follow with the body-only die to resize the body. If they second operation moves the shoulder too much, try reversing the order.

    Details: my problem is a slightly egg-shaped chamber in a rifle I like. Much like yours, if I FL size sufficiently to address the body, the shoulder is set back WAY too much.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  15. FLIGHT762

    FLIGHT762 Member

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    O/P said he thought the case head wasn't getting sized down enough. I had two Small base dies that wouldn't get the case web small enough for a tight chambered Steyr rifle. I discovered the Redding Small base Body die got the case web sized smaller than the other small based dies I was using. Fixed the issue. I wouldn't have believed it, but the Redding S/B die did it. RCBS and Forster didn't.
     
  16. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Get one of these gauges, in 308 Win, and size your cases to gauge minimum.

    XOHUEzE.jpg

    Never, ever, neck size, partial neck size, or try to size to the exact size of the chamber. You want to full length size, preferable with a small base die, and you want clearance between the shoulder and the chamber, and clearance between the case walls and the chamber walls. And use CCI #34 primers. If you use a "match" primer you are likely to have a slamfire. I have a number of FAL slamfire accounts I have copied. Luckily, they are all in battery, but, given enough tries, I don't see why one of them might not blow the bolt out the back in an out of battery slamfire. Don't blow this off. Use the least sensitive, which are the mil spec primers, in this mechanism. Match primers are intentionally less sensitive. Federal primers of all types are the most slamfiring primer around. Don't use them. Find the #34's and use them.

    This mechanism had some sort of firing pin block, which fails enough that it is not hard to find a number of spectacular FN 49 out of battery slamfire threads on the web. This was a precursor to the FAL.

    Nt6l9ro.jpg


    I don't know all the rifles you have, but if all you have is single shots and bolt guns, a FAL is a totally different animal. And a huge problem bolt gunners have with reloading for gas guns is they think the extracted case is chamber dimension. It is not! These mechanisms unlock while there still is pressure in the chamber. It is called the residual blowback effect. Pressure is below 750 psia, or whatever pressure level will rupture the case walls.

    oMRSvid.jpg

    The desire is to pop the case loose of the chamber and use that pressure to keep the mechanism extracting while there is energy available.

    FqIAJEe.jpg

    OvuSHJk.jpg

    This has the real affect of stretching cases, such as these cases fired in my M1a

    TqQrriR.jpg

    SBbRam1.jpg

    And to make things worse, your FAL is a rear locking mechanism. This action really, really stretches cases. Not only at unlock, but before because the bolt to so flexible, the whole thing bows under compression. Front locking lugs bow, but they are only a half inch long, but when the lugs are in the back of the bolt, the whole bolt compresses, and the lugs, and you find for rounds fired in a FAL, they will stretch to a case head separation in short order. I recommend you fire your cases lubricated to reduce sidewall stretch. What happens with a lubricated cases, is that the case slides to the bolt head instead of being glued to the chamber walls and having to stretch in the mid section to reach the bolt face. Also, you can adjust the gas system down as there is less case friction. That makes extraction easier and increases the life of your extractor.

    Take pretty much everything you learned about reloading for single actions, straight walled cartridges, and ignore it. A semi auto is entirely different.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  17. Steve in Allentown

    Steve in Allentown Member

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    I have taken your good advice and just ordered a Sheridan .308 case gauge. When it arrives later this week I'll take another swing at full length resizing a few cases. I'll take detailed measurements and notes so I can report back with substantive information.

    My to-do list:
    CC! #34 primers
    Lubricated cases
    Don't try to resize the brass as if this were a benchrest rifle

    I can attest to the positive effects of lubricating cases. I tried this technique on the FAL some weeks ago. Using Hornady One Shot case lube allowed the rifle to function normally with the gas nut opened all the way (maximum amount of gas being vented out). Using Johnson's Paste Wax required the nut to be closed some to allow more gas to move the operating rod and naked cases required the had to be closed even more for reliable functioning. All ammo was factory PPU 145gr FMJ.

    As to the fired cases, the One Shot treated cases stretched very little if at all in the case head area (no bright line where incipient separation occurs) followed by the Paste Wax. All non-lubed cases displayed the bright line.

    I decided to save the bacon grease lube for making tacos :)

    Below is a picture of the gas regulator setting I had to use to get the rifle to function 100% using the non-lubed cases.

    QPPHqtx.jpg


    And here's the setting that allowed 100% functioning using the Hornady case lube.

    KBHkmG7.jpg


    The Johnson's wax setting was two clicks opened from the non-lubed setting.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
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  18. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Love it! :rofl: My Mom and older sister fried corn tortillas in bacon grease, served them to the family, and nothing except similarly fried corn tortillas taste good to me. :p It is only by the grace of God that I don't have heart stints!
     
  19. fguffey

    fguffey Member

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    I have small base dies and then I have small base dies. I have small base dies that will keep ever case that is shoved into them, The only way a case can be removed from some of my small base dies is to use c stuck case remover; WHY? It is not as easy to size the head of the case as some believe. Two of my small base dies reduce the diameter of the case head .005".

    No one measures the case head thickness of the case head from the bottom of the cup above the web to the case head, I do. I have cases with a case head thickness of .260; those thick headed cases make it impossible to size the case head with a small base die that has the ability to size the case head.

    F. Guffey
     
  20. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    @fguffey
    So I’m not hearing a solution to to OP questions from you or perhaps I’m missing something.
    J
     
  21. Wreck-n-Crew
    • Contributing Member

    Wreck-n-Crew Member

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    Simply put that die mostly for 308 semi-autos like the AR-10.

    If you back the die off you can always use a Lee collet neck sizing die so size the neck as long as your still able to get an empty case to chamber easily.

    I currently reload 308 for precision shooting. what I use is a Redding body die followed by a Lee collet neck sizing die and a Forester bullet seating die. I get perfect consistency and seating overall length and neck run-out is less than a thousands and sometimes less than half a thousandths.

    I also turned my case necks and I also aneal every time I fire for consistent neck tension.
    I go through a long process (of course it's precision reloading).
     
  22. kwg020

    kwg020 Member

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    I did not read all of this. So, I'm going to comment of the OP's question. Small base dies squeeze the case and make them slightly longer. If you are having problems getting your case to chamber after you resize with your small base dies, use a neck sizer. This should bump the shoulder base of the neck and the top of the shoulder back. Another way to do this is use a body die and then the neck resizer. The body die squeezes the lower portion of the case but not to the degree that a small base die will do it. I use RCBS dies and a Redding body die for .223. I have a Lee small base die for the .223 as well but I rarely use it. Sometimes you have to fish around and find the combination of dies that works for your rifle.
    kwg
     
  23. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    Here’s a question gents
    When you buy factory ammunition for a semi automatic rifle. Where on the box does it say small base ammo intended for semi auto.
    Just curious
    J
     
  24. fguffey

    fguffey Member

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    Reloaders do not have a standard for minimum length cases; reloaders can not compare full length sized cases to minimum length full length sized cases. Reloaders can not size 308W cases fired in a machine gun; There is something about the case's ability to resist sizing the reloaders does not understand. If I adjust the die to full length cases I can determine if the case was sized before lowering the ram. For many years the first tool I start with is the feeler gage. If the case wins the top of the shell holder will not contact the bottom of the die; if the die does not make it to the shell holder the case is not full length sized.


    I can not imagine you missing anything.

    I can not move the shoulder of a case back, I can not bump the shoulder of the case back. I have used feeler gages in the absence of small base dies. And then there is measuring short chambers; manufacturers do not make gages for short chambers. I did not give it a though before I was measuring the length of a short chamber two different ways.

    F. Guffey
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
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  25. Conelrad

    Conelrad Member

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    Don't forget, most FALs out there are built from surplus kits. Kits from military usage, with barrels chambered for 7.62 NATO.

    Not materially different from .308Win, but enough to be in the ball park of measurements per this thread.

    To wit, mine eat NATO fine, are tight with .308W.

    Said, as I'm not sure what breed of FAL the OP has.

    Conelrad
     
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