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Neck sizing question

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by coloradokevin, Oct 3, 2011.

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  1. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    For those of you who neck size your rifle brass, do you find that you eventually need to run your brass through a full-length sizing die? If so, how do you know when to take this extra step, and/or how many firings does it usually take before you run it through a FL sizing die?

    I'm relatively new to the neck sizing side of reloading, and have been running my .308 brass through a Lee neck sizing die for almost a year now. I've fired about 300 rounds that were loaded from neck sized brass, and some of my brass is now approaching the 5th-6th loading.

    During a recent match I noticed that I was having more difficulty than usual with shutting the bolt as I cycled each round. The bolt still lifted easily after firing, and extracted the fired case without a problem. But, I've been starting to wonder if the brass has just been fired to the point that I need to full-length size it, or if I have something else going on?

    The brass shows no pressure signs, and I'm using the same load I've used for over a year now. Also, the brass has no other obvious signs of imminent failure, etc. I trim after each firing, and measure each piece as I load (this is my match ammo).

    My suspicion is that the case shoulder has pushed forward a bit from use, but I'm not really sure how to confirm this, and running a FL resize seems (intuitively, at least) like the most logical solution.

    THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR ANY ADVICE!
     
  2. steve4102

    steve4102 Member

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    This is your answer. ^^
    Or you can keep track of how much headspace you have after each firing with a Hornady gauge.
     
  3. OldmanFCSA

    OldmanFCSA Member

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    Do you "anneal" your brass? If yes, how often?

    And YES, it is common to Full-Length re-size after about 5 reloadings.

    In our 50BMG reloadings, we have found it works best to full-length resize each time, as long as extreme care is taken to ensure bullet is presented to bore of rifle with least amount of run-out possible. We do this with Bore-Riders or Semi-Bore-Riders, where head of case is properly centered in chamber and bore-riding band of bullet is in or very near rifling. No other part of the case makes contact with the chamber. Of course, paying strict attention to all the other details for case preparations will further enhance your capability to shoot minimal groupings.
    HOWEVER, there is no greater enhancement to shooting accurately than getting TRIGGER TIME.
    Most guns are far more accurate than the nut behind it. (Typical cause for poor shooting by me is "excessive headspace" between the ears.)
     
  4. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    "My suspicion is that the case shoulder has pushed forward a bit from use, but I'm not really sure how to confirm this, "

    Your suspection is correct and tight chambering is all the confirmation you gonna get.

    There is NO fixed number of cycles to tell you when this will suddenly occur.
     
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Yep. :)
     
  6. Funshooter45

    Funshooter45 Member

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    You might get 2-3 neck sizings before having to FL size, or you might get 8-10. It depends on the cartridge, the load levels, the brand of brass and who knows what else. 5 neck sizings seems to be a pretty average normal number though. As soon as it gets a little difficult to chamber, it's time to grab the FL sizer.
     
  7. bigedp51

    bigedp51 member

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    coloradokevin

    After I got out of the military in 1973 I wanted to make up for lost time hunting and shooting. The first rifle I bought was a Remington 760 Gamemaster and a Lee Loader. The third time I neck sized my cases with the Lee Loader and fired them, the cases would not eject until 10 to 20 seconds after firing and the cases cooled down in the chamber.

    That night I bought a RCBS Rockchucker press and full length resizing dies, and I now have both neck sizing dies and full length dies for all my rifles.

    One word of warning on shooting tight fitting neck sized only cases........

    Lube your bolt lugs, the additional friction can cause wear and even galling on your lugs and receiver lug recesses. ;)
     
  8. p5200

    p5200 Member

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  9. sugarmaker

    sugarmaker Member

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    I've had luck with a Lee collet / redding body combination, set the body die to do a .002 setback. My rifles do as well with this combo as they do with neck sizing and I never have trouble chambering.
     
  10. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    When you feel excessive resistence while closing the bolt it's time to bump the shoulders back a little bit. I do this by taking a lubed case and running it thorugh the FL die but with the die adjusted to where it doesn't quite touch the shell holder. Then I test chamber it, and move the die down a bit more if I'm still running into the shoulder, then lube and size again until it's bumped enough.

    Generally I'll get about 5 or 6 neck sizings before I bump. There are exact methods of determining how much the shoulder needs to be pushed back, but this has worked fine for me for a long time.
     
  11. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    Thanks for the info everyone! I guess it means that it is time to lube up these cases and run the full length sizer for a while!

    Incidentally, I'm currently using Remington brass, I haven't annealed it, and I'm running a 175 SMK bullet with 44.4 grains of Varget powder. Seating is to maximum magazine length, which is right around 2.810" on my rifle. I double checked and it looks like this issue occurred while chambering the round for its 5th firing (didn't happen with all pieces, just a number of them).
     
  12. bigedp51

    bigedp51 member

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    Make sure you adjust your full length dies to only push the shoulder back .001 to .002, your cases will last longer and you will reduce the chances of case head separations.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. quartermaster

    quartermaster Member

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    headspace

    Suggest buying a set of the Hornady headspace guages. They are very cheap ande save time by not having to keep trying to keep chambering rounds in your rifle They also make a bullet comparator setup which is also cheap and utilizes the same componant which is fastened to your calipers. This will help when seating bullets to get the same measurement to the olgive of your bullet and eliminate measuring the oal on lead or damaged plastic tips
     
  14. fguffey

    fguffey Member

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    You go to the range, set-up, chamber a round and find it difficult to chamber, or it chambers with resistance to bolt closing, how is that possible? How insane is that? To me that is one very bad habit you need to correct! Chambering an 8mm57 in a 30/06 has all of the warning signs you just mentioned, the 8mm57 will chamber with resistance to bolt closing, the cause? Part of the neck requires partial sizing when chambered, same when fire forming 30/06 cases to 30/06 Ackley improved. Then there was this shooter that offered to zero a rifle for his friend, he purchased 308 W ammo for his friends 25/06, right up to the point he pulled the trigger the ammo and the rifle gave him a small indication something was not correct, the bolt closed with slight resistance. That was all the warning he got, and he blamed the ammo and the manufacturer of the rifle.

    Bad habits are perpetuated by short answers on the Internet.

    "During a recent match I noticed that I was having more difficulty than usual with shutting the bolt as I cycled each round"

    "Recent match" ?, something not understood by reloaders is 'time is a factor', especially when 'during a match' is applied to reloading and resistance to extraction and chambering, for those that shoot for accuracy and use cases that have been fired so many times they no longer grow due to work hardening must understand the case can not/must not be sized or allowed to be fired in a chamber without support.

    Again, I determine the length of the chamber first, then form cases for that chamber, it saves me a trip to the firing range, and if you look at all the support tools you are being offered for a price think of all the money I save.

    F. Guffey
     
  15. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I just recently experienced reaching the limits on some 7mm RM brass. They chambered, but really tight, so I thought as long as the bolt will close I could go one more cycle before having to push the shoulder's back. But the result was my brass had premature failure.

    My advice, is when you feel some unusual resistence such that it requires more effort than usual it's time to run them through the FL die. But if you want your brass to last as long as is possible, only adjust the die down enough to allow the brass to chamber without the resistence felt by the head and shoulder bottoming out, or if you have the gage to measure with, about .002" should do the job.
     
  16. bigedp51

    bigedp51 member

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    gamestalker

    Your cases had case head separations because they stretched on the first firing and you didn't fire-form them properly. When you have case head separations and your are neck sizing only this should tell you something.
     
  17. murf

    murf Member

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    suggest you visit riflemansjournal.blogspot.com. there is an august 2009 article on case headspace that might interest you.

    murf
     
  18. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    Bigedp51, no they didn't. Those cases had been fire formed at least 6 or 7 times using stout charges of RL22 and only necked up until the session they failed.

    I think this topic has been over stated, now we are just beating a dead horse. Enough said.
     
  19. bigedp51

    bigedp51 member

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    gamestalker

    You don't fireform a cartridge 6 or 7 times, you fireform the cartridge the first time it is fired and keep it from stretching in the base web area.

    If the case doesn't stretch and thin you will not have a case head separation caused by a weak thin area in the case.

    Your cases fell apart because of stretching and thinning which caused your case head separations. Its like a tire, you had a blowout from improper inflation and the tire let go.

    Now look at the animated images again below, if you do not allow the case to stretch you will not have case head separations.

    The red and yellow areas below show the high stress areas of the case as it stretches to meet the bolt face.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If you do not allow the case to stretch on the first firing and allow no more than .002 head clearance after resizing the case will not have case head separations

    [​IMG]

    After the case is fireformed the case will headspace on the shoulder and as long as you have no more than .002 head clearance the case can not stretch.

    [​IMG]

    There are severial methods of fireforming cases, and what you need to do is Google fireforming cartridge cases.

    The simplest method is to load the bullet long so the case headspaces on the bullet ogive. The bullet must be seated hard against the lands, with plenty of neck tension.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  20. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Which keeps the case head against the breech so stretching does not occur. As posted, there are two keys, hard into the lands, and lots of neck tension. Use a full load.

    Another trick is greasing cases, but it puts a lot of stress on bolt lugs, a whole lot. I don't recommend it.
     
  21. fguffey

    fguffey Member

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  22. fguffey

    fguffey Member

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  23. fguffey

    fguffey Member

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    Then there is “Hatcher said”. Hatcher moved the shoulder forward .080 thousands, he chambered a round, pulled the trigger and ? nothing but a bang, he anticipated the case head would have insipient case head separation, instead Hatcher became a fire former, the cases, when fired in his new creation were ejected as 30/06 Hatcher +.080 Modified cases, it hung him up.

    I have chambered 8mm57 ammo in an 8mm06 chamber, pulled the trigger and nothing but a bang, no case stretch, no case head separation, no insipient case head separation, cases after firing were ejected as 8mm06 cases with very short necks, when an 8mm57 is fired in an 8mm/06 chamber there is .127 head space, the primer, case, powder and primer did not accelerate to a speed sufficient to out run the firing pin, the firing pin crushed the primer before the case, powder and bullet knew their little buddy, the primer, was crushed.

    F. Guffey
     
  24. bigedp51

    bigedp51 member

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    Hatcher was shooting a rifle with a Mauser type claw extractor and the claw extractor held the case against the bolt face. He kept reaming the chamber increasing headspace and was surprised he didn't have any case head separations. What this means is the light bulb didn't come on when Hatcher was conducting this experiment. What this means is Hatcher screwed up and started a myth that goes on to this day. And if someone quotes Hatcher on this headspace subject it means they aren't thinking either. :eek:



    The 7.62 NATO cartridge below was fired in a 30-06 with a half inch of excess headspace when the 7.62 NATO is chambered. Now look at the center case in the photo below, the amount the primer is protruding is the head clearance or excess headspace. The primer can only back out of the primer pocket as far as the bolt face will allow it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Bottom line, if your rifle doesn't have a Mauser type claw extractor your cases can stretch further to meet the bolt face. ;) So much for "fire former" theory and quoting Hatcher. :rolleyes:

    My Enfield rifles do not have a Mauser type claw extractor and have throat erosion from Cordite powder which prevents seating your bullets long. I said the heck with Hatcher and put a rubber o-ring around my .303 cases and the rubber o-ring holds the case firmly against the bolt face. A .303 case with .058 rim thickness can have .016 head clearance and the o-ring reduces this to zero. ;)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You can even have fun fireforming cases shooting .312 pistol bullets with Trail Boss. :D

    [​IMG]
     
  25. fguffey

    fguffey Member

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    “The 7.62 NATO cartridge below was fired in a 30-06 with a half inch of excess headspace when the 7.62 NATO is chambered. Now look at the center case in the photo below, the amount the primer is protruding is the head clearance or excess headspace. The primer can only back out of the primer pocket as far as the bolt face will allow it”

    The 308W/7.62 NATO you claim was fired in a 30/06 chamber never happened. The 7.62 when fired in a 30/06 has .000 head space, the 308 W is not a drop in case for the 30/06 chamber, the diameter of the 308W/7.62 NATO is larger in diameter by .011 thousands at the shoulder than the 30/06 chamber at the same juncture, for those that have 30/06 chambers that will allow a 308 to chamber with out resistance should measure their chamber diameter.

    And it started when a smith decided to chamber a 308 W chamber to 30/06. after test firing his new creation he discovered the 30/06 reamer did not clean all of the old chamber, the case when ejected had a ring around the case at the 308W shoulder juncture.

    F. Guffey
     
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