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Neck sizing for .223

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by CJK8, Sep 11, 2011.

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  1. CJK8

    CJK8 Member

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    I had spoken to a few guys about neck sizing and discussed it a little here on this board coming away with a consensus that neck sizing would increase accuracy. After firing six rounds that were first FL sized, I neck sized those rounds and shot them out of the same bolt action rifle. Accuracy fell way off...but might have been my shooting that particular day.

    I had a bit of a hard time closing the bolt on one of the rounds. I was talking to a fellow today who said you have to be careful when you neck size because the action can become out of alignment, and he said that this is caused by the type of round I had where it is difficult to cause the bolt to close. He was in a hurry and didn’t have much time to talk. I was just wondering if this rings a bell with anyone here. Thanks.
     
  2. Clark

    Clark Member

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    The benchrest guys that can shoot .1" groups in a windless warehouse while; 1) neck sizing, 2) full length sizing, or 3) no sizing.

    With a hard kicking light weight rifle with some Copper fouling and on a windy day, I get get 6" groups while1) Neck sizing, 2) full length sizing, 3) pinching the bullet by hitting the case neck with a hammer.

    You can neck size by; 1) partial sizing with a full length sizer die [the die adjusted up far enough to not bump the shoulder or even size all of the neck] 2) with a neck sizer die, 3) with a Lee Collet die, 4) with a bushing neck sizer die, 5) by partial sizing with a full length bushing die, and by partial neck sizing with a full length sizer die with the neck honed out.

    You can full length size with; 1) a full length die, 2) an old Wilson vise die, 3) a full length bushing die, 4) a full length die with the neck honed out to minimize the damage.

    You can full length size to; 1) touch the shoulder, but not move it back, 2) push the should back, but only .001" so it springs back unchanged, 3) push the shoulder back .002" so it only springs back .001", 4) screw the full length sizer die down until it touches the shell holder and get the shoulder pushed back .005" or .020" or whatever happens and then have to trim the brass, or something between 3&4.

    The bolt may be hard to close with neck sizing if 1) If the bolt face is out of square with respect to the chamber, 2) if the chamber is out of round, 3) if the brass has been neck sized too many times, 4) the brass needs trimming, 5) the brass was fired in a different rifle, or 6) the bullet is seated too long.

    The inherent accuracy differences between full length sizing and neck sizing is small to compared to the difference between sizing with stock full length sizer dies with the expander ball installed vs with the expander ball not installed.

    It is possible to do a really good job of neck sizing, and it is possible to do a really bad job of neck sizing.
    It is possible to do a really good job of full length sizing, and it is possible to do a really bad job of full length sizing.

    What does it all mean?
    There are lots of out of control variables that are making it hard to tell you exactly what to do.
    In your experiments for accuracy, make sure you solutions make for an easy to close bolt.
     
  3. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    10-4 to that Clark!
    I have my days where it doesn't matter if I'm shooting the worst reloads I've ever made, and I'll get em to group perfect. Other days I can be shooting the best of components and be lucky to get em on the paper. No seriously, I really don't know how much noticable difference all of the extra time and trouble makes. I think I just do it all because I like tinkering with reloading, maybe too much acording to my Wife
     
  4. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Whats the twist of your barrel?
    Do you have a heavy barrel?
    Is the barrel free floating?
    What bullet are you using in relation to your barrel twist?
    How mild/hot a load are you using?
    What powder are you using?
    What brass are you using?
    Have your flash holes been uniformed?
    What is the torque of your action screws?

    I may have left out a couple of important items but this is a place to start, now ask questions.
     
  5. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Full Length VS Neck Sizing- Do your own testing.

    My guess is, he was talking about the chamber being in line with the bore.
    If the bolt face is not square to the chamber, neck sizing will not work well. :) Firing that reloaded case, with it indexed in the chamber 180 out from where it was first fired, causes more inaccuracy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
  6. OhioChief

    OhioChief Member

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    Gamestalker, that's funny as hell. The most honest of posts I've read all day!
     
  7. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    Concur all. My eyes aren't good enough to shoot consistent subMOA groups no matter what cases I'm using, how I sized them, what powder, what bullet at what depth, what OAL, how much neck tension....

    I reload for the pure enjoyment of doing it, and the mid-range stuff I've loaded so far without fussing over all the above is at least not significantly worse than mid-price factory stuff.
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Numerous posters here also told you it may or may not increase accuracy. There are more variables involved besides sizing the case. Many more. ;)
     
  9. amlevin

    amlevin Member

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    Ever notice that those who tout neck sizing, neck turning, flash hole de-burring, primer pocket uniforming, using an in-line seating die, etc, as essential for accuracy fail to tell you that they are shooting these "boutique" rounds in custom rifles with chambers cut short so you don't have to load so long the bullets risk falling out if the case on the way to the range.
     
  10. CJK8

    CJK8 Member

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    All I was wondering was why it was hard to close the bolt on my neck sized round. I think there is an answer in there somewhere, although the reason for that particular round might not be one listed. Thanks.
     
  11. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    CJK8, without actually trying your bolt, I'd say it's either that:

    1) the loaded cartridges are too long, forcing the bullet into the rifling when you close the bolt, and potentially causing overpressure issues, or

    2) the loaded cartridges are too big on diameter, causing a tight fit "laterally"

    Number 1 seems more likely.
     
  12. cacoltguy

    cacoltguy Member

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    All neck sized brass chambers a little tighter and requires somewhat more force to close the bolt. When you fire the round, the brass form fits to the size and shape of your chamber. Since neck sizing only re-sizes the neck, the rest of the casing remains fitted to the size of the chamber. Gradually it requires more and more force to close the bolt with each reload and eventually you need to full length re-size back to factory spec and start all over again. Depending on who you talk to, you need to full length re-size after 3 or 4 reloads. I Imagine it depends on your loads of course. If one specific cartridge required more force than the others and you say they had all been neck-sized only one time, check the casing for defects and of course see if the head-stamp is the same as the others.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2011
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    He's lost his mind.

    You could have buckled the neck slightly seating or crimping. Did the fired brass fit before you loaded it?

    Beginners should just FL size for starters. Get tricky later if you want. :)
     
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