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Issue with Hornady Match Grade FLS

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by syhunt, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. syhunt

    syhunt Member

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    Greetings to all. Long time researcher, one day re-loader here. Apologies in advance for a long winded post. Just loaded my first batch of 30 rounds of 160 AB's in Nosler "fully prepped" brass (load development with H1000 for a 7mm Rem Mag, mixing Dan N's OCW and ladder testing). As expected this was a terrifying but fun experience. Cant wait to send them downrange.

    Back to the reason for posting. I was messing around with the FLS die on some once fired (in my rifle) brass last night and could not get it adjusted correctly for a shoulder bump or partial FL size. According to one of the Hornady instructional videos, the die is screwed in until contact is made with the shellholder, then backed off "1" turn. From here small adjustments are made until the desired head space/shoulder bump is achieve. My issue was not being able to find a middle ground between 0.0 bump and 0.006 bump. The adjustment was so small I ruined 7 cases and then gave up for the night. Right or wrong I was looking for 0.0015 to 0.002 bump. The match grade FL sizer is a bushing style and neck was sized to my desired tension.

    Has anyone had the same experience with this die set? What suggestions would you guys make. Please spare the "just go buy this or that brand" or philosophical side debates.

    Thanks
     
  2. Rod47

    Rod47 Member

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    Skips Die Shims from Brownells. Run the die down to contact shellholder and then shim it up to desired dimension. Remember all brass is not the same so keep notes.
     
  3. syhunt

    syhunt Member

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    Thank you. I'll look into that.
     
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, you really have to creep up on it once you get close. My guess is you were not patient enough with your adjustments. It will try your patience sometimes. Go back after a good nights rest and go slow.

    What are you using to measure shoulder position?
     
  5. syhunt

    syhunt Member

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    Walkalong - 24 hours later with some patience and was able to find the sweet spot. Even tested repeatability after locking it down and removing from the press (LnL bushing). Will always recheck but glad to know it wasn’t a major equipment issue. I’m using the Hornady comparators for measuring headspace and CBTO and keeping very detailed notes. Before I was able to get everything setup on my bench I spent a lot of time measuring factory Ammo and my fired brass. Luckily this gun is sub MOA (0.5actually) at 100 with two different factory loads (Hornady PH 162 ELDX and Nosler TG 160 AB’s) so my plan is to recreate these loads as a way to get into the game. Probably should’ve picked an easier cartridge learn with than a belted mag but oh well...
     
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  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Excellent! Job well done. Patience is a reloaders best friend, along with focus.
     
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  7. syhunt

    syhunt Member

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    We’ll I’m back with another anomaly from my Hornady sizer. I sized some of my fire formed Nosler brass about a week ago. Bumped shoulder back avg 0.001-0.0015 and used 0.309 bushing to get 0.003 tension. Sat down last night to charge and seat and first bullet slid right in which was odd but OK. Grabbed the next one and same thing. Out of 30 sized rounds I’d say half I could push bullet in by hand with no resistance, the other half took only slightly more hand pressure to push bullet in. Checked neck size and the brass had sprung back to “loaded” round dimension of 0.3125. Checked bushing stamp and its 0.309. Checked the ID of bushing with my caliper and it confirms .309. Is this a common issue? Should I have seated right after sizing to eliminate the spring back? this is my first experience sizing formed brass so I’m at a loss.
     
  8. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    Maybe grabbed the wrong bag?
     
  9. FLIGHT762

    FLIGHT762 Member

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    Take a couple of the cases and re-run them through the .309 bushing die. See if that changes anything.
     
  10. climbnjump

    climbnjump Member

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    Yeah, I think so also. It sounds like the brass isn't getting sized. If there is any spring back, it certainly wouldn't be back to the pre-sized dimensions.

    I haven't used the Hornady dies that the OP is using, but I have loaded quite a bit of Nosler brass for my 7mm Rem Mag and it has always "behaved" properly...
     
  11. syhunt

    syhunt Member

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    Did just that a few minutes ago @FLIGHT762. Ended with .3095. Seated 3 just fine..problem solved right? 4th slipped right in. Now the rest have sprung back to 0.310-0.3105.

    This is once fired from a new box of Nosler “fully prepped”. Checking a few of the new pieces OD is .310 and had no issues seating these prior to first fire.
     
  12. syhunt

    syhunt Member

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    I can’t help but point to operator error in sizing since this is my first go round. However I was able to achieve my desired bump and neck was sized to within 1/2 thousand of bushing size. Question for you guys where is the proper point to measure the neck OD? I notice at the mouth I measure .310. As I move down towards the shoulder OD increases to .3145 in a tapered fashion.
     
  13. FLIGHT762

    FLIGHT762 Member

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    Might need a .307-.308 bushing. I use Redding bushing dies for 308 Win. I have 5 bushings, .337", .335" , .333" .330", and 329".
    This is for all of the various Mfg. brass I've accumulated over the years. All of my brass was free, once fired through bolt gun cases. I haven't had to buy 308 cases for the past 35 years, that's why I bought so many bushings to use all of the different brass. I reload for about 6 - 308 Rifles, bolt guns, AR-10's and M-1A's.

    I have found over the years, some of the Hornady and Winchester brass has changed in neck thickness. I've had to segregate these into lots. The oldest cases weighed 156-160 gr. (.329-.330) Newer cases weighed about 165 Grs. (.333-.335) and the newest cases are in the 170-172 Gr. (.335). These different cases take a different sized bushing to get proper bullet hold.

    Federal 308 cases have been pretty stable @ 182-184 grs. (.337) for the past 20 years, although, I do have some 30+ Y/O federal cases that were thinner @ 164 Grs. that took a .333 -.335 bushing.

    You just might need another bushing or two to give yourself some flexibility.

    For bushing sizes, I used the easy method of measuring the O/D of a loaded round with a Mic the minus .001"-.002". This has worked our for me.
     
  14. syhunt

    syhunt Member

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    I don’t have a mic but I’m considering one. I watched a video from “the real gunsmith” and one of his pressure sign measurements involves measuring just ahead of the case head. Also seems to be the “only” way to accurately measure thickness and such. I digress. I believe I’m on to something with the “tapered” measurement of my neck being the issue. My new Nosler brass unfired brass measures 0.3095 - 0.310 everywhere between the mouth and shoulder. So now I just need to figure out how to fix it....
     
  15. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    I always measure in the center of the necks. But I've started turning most of my necks to some degree to even them out.
     
  16. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Keep in mind the bushing will have a radius on the hole and a slight taper at first so the oversized brass will enter the hole. So it will always be ever so larger at the neck shoulder junction. Also bushings are all slightly different sizes due to manufacturing tolerances. Neck turning and annealing will help make the brass identical but are these steps worth the trouble to you? At least in the beginning. YMMV
     
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  17. syhunt

    syhunt Member

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    @FROGO207 that makes sense a bushing would havea slight taper to get things started. And I agree/accept that manufacturing tolerances are not all the same. I’m just getting my feet wet so annealing/turning necks seems a bit advanced or unnecessary for me.

    For grins I loosened the cap that holds the bushing in for a looser fit..but no dice. Then had a lightbulb go off that maybe I’d installed the expander ball instead of the decapper retainer....also no dice. I took the bushing out and can see a slight wear ring (probably lube) on only the first 1/2 or so of the bushing. That indicates to me the neck is not getting pushed all the way into the bushing. Next logical step would be to screw the die in some more but then I’d be pushing shoulder back more towards SAMMI. Would it be worth buying a regular FL die and forget all about controlling the neck tension? From my understanding I can still bump the shoulder. At this point I have a small fortune tied up and cant seat a bullet...frustrating to say the least.
     
  18. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I always recommend that one first buy a die set made to full length size. You are going to need that FL sizing die after a couple teloads anyway. Also making ammo that will be standard sized, at least at first, will allow you to get the basics down before adding other possible problems IMO. Also belted mag casings have their own learning curve with case head spacing. l use a Lee FL die to size my 7MM MAG ammo and so far I get about 8 reloads before primer pockets get loose and I recycle them. I do however anneal the necks every three reloads.
    Reloading can be easy and fun-----if you get things set up correctly in the first place, or a head banging experience if things are a little off. Starting with a standard FL die set is your best choice for getting usable ammo first time around. Get that FL die.:)

    I reload for about 37 different calibers so lets call that a few small fortunes. Tou will get there.
     
  19. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    Remove the bushing and set the Body die up to size the case like any other sizing die. Since your working with a bolt rifle you only need to bump the shoulder 0.001" and your good to go. Once you have it set now install the bushing and size again. It should now size the neck. Keep the neck bushing loose, at a min back off 1/2 turn fromt contact. You want the bushing to float so it self centers. You can back off more as you get comfortable using this type of die. A lot on 1/2 to 3/4 the neck, allowing the lower part to expand to the chamber. This makes the round self center to the bore. Neck turning helps center the round.
     
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  20. syhunt

    syhunt Member

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    Now I don’t know up from down...I’ll further concrete my naïveté with the following. Are you saying that a partial FLS (either with a standard FLS die or the bushing style FLS die I currently have) will result in eventually needing to FLS back to spec? I thought the purpose of partial sizing was to keep it chambering with minimal working of brass. I’m not trying to take this thread into the dirt with a necksizing/FLS debate..just looking for clarity, and possible some humble pie if I’ve misunderstood something.

    I could put the 7mag tools away and learn with one of my non belted’s..7mm08, .243, 22-250?
     
  21. syhunt

    syhunt Member

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    @Blue68f100 was typing previous reply and didn’t see yours come through. In a little rush now but will reread and try it out later. Thanks for the advice all.
     
  22. syhunt

    syhunt Member

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    @Blue68f100 i tried your method and did not see any changes. All of the brass i have is either new or sized already so I don’t have anything to play with. Out of curiousity measured neck thickness with my caliper and get fired/sized brass measuring 0.0025-0.003 thinner than the new Nosler brass. I know this isn’t an accurate measurement (ordering ball mic today) but its relative, does this tell me anything?
     
  23. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    Different wall thickness in brass will require a different bushing size. Need to seat a bullet then measure the OD at the neck, take 0.002"-0.003" off that and that the bushing size you will need for that wall thickness brass. One of the reason some of turn necks to even things out. I have something like 7 bushing for my 6.5 and maybe 8 for my 224 calibers.
     
  24. FLIGHT762

    FLIGHT762 Member

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    No. You will only need to F/L size the cases after firing them several times (3-5) when neck only (N/O) sizing. Setting your F/L sizing die to bump shoulders back .001"-.002" from fired cases IS F/L sizing. Those cases will always chamber.

    N/O sizing firings will require a F/L sizing after a while due to the brass expanding enough to cause the cases failing to chamber, you can't N/O size forever. I learned my lesson years ago by having to beat on the bolt handle with a stick to get it open on stuck N/O cases. If I decide to N/O, I will not reload cases past 3-4 firings or less.

    Now, belted cases may require a special sizing die to bring the cases back to spec due to expanding of the cases just above the belt where your F/L die can't get to. A die made by Larry Willis can cure this. I have this die, but I've never really needed to use it yet. Most of my belted case reloading is for hunting rifles that cases don't get reloaded a lot.

    The die can be found at larrywillis.com. Info for this can also be found on the net. I'm not saying you need this die, only giving you the infor for future use.
     
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  25. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep.
     
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