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Old November 30, 1999, 11:16 AM   #1
DblTap
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Join Date: January 22, 1999
Location: Farmington Hills, MI
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I have been reloading for pistol for the last seven years but have now been bitten by the rifle bug. I have purchased two rifles in .308 (Steyr Scout and Stoner SR-25) which are both very accurate.

Now the only thing that I do to my pistol brass is throw it into the tumbler, clean it up and inspect it for cracks before reloading it on the Dillon 650.

What else do I have to do to rifle brass after I tumble it and before I start the reloading process?

Is neck polishing necessary?
Is case trimming necessary?
What other stuff is necessary?

What equipment do I need to do all of the above and is it worth it? I am trying to duplicate the Federal Gold Match loads using Sierra 168 gn bullets and before I get too deep into this, I would appreciate some feedback from a rifle reloader or two.

Thanks,
DblTap
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Old November 30, 1999, 02:49 PM   #2
Kuiper
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Join Date: December 22, 1998
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A case trimmer is definitely something you want when reloading rifle rounds. So that is definitely something to buy when shelling our for quality dies etc. If you have a progressive press, you'll probably need another dieplate too.

Here's what I do for reloading .223. I tumble the cases to clean, spray some caselube on them to make the sizing and decapping process easier(lubing is a must, a stuck case in the sizerdie is not something you want to deal with). After sizing, I clean the decapped, sized cases with hot water. Let drie and do a quick retumble for that new look I like. I prime the cases and load at my convenience.

note: I do all my reloading on a Rockchucker press, since you are reloading on progressive press. The order of things can be different. Something you will have find out yourself.


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[This message has been edited by Kuiper (edited November 30, 1999).]
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Old November 30, 1999, 07:42 PM   #3
Ankeny
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Join Date: December 14, 1998
Location: Shoshoni, WY USA
Posts: 556
Precision rifle reloading is a blast and the quality of ammo you produce can be much better than what is available commercially.

My procedure for fired brass goes like this:

1. Clean the case.

2. Check case wall for stretching internally with a Case Master gauge.

3. Uniform the flash hole internally if not already done.

4. Ream the primer pocket for consistent depth if not already done.

5. Trim to proper length.

6. Chamfer case mouth.

7. Neck size or full length resize if needed.

8. Seat primers individually by hand or with priming tool for consistent feel. Never use the press for this.

9. Add powder charge using an electronic scale. Weigh each charge.

10. Seat the bullet with a micrometer type bench rest seater die.

11. Check the loaded round for run out with Case Master gauge. Anything over .002” goes into the practice bin.

12. Go to range and shoot under half minute of angle groups with hunting rifle. Better if competition rifle is used.

13. Repeat steps 1 through 12.

Of course, this is a bit on the extreme side. Then again you ought to see what I go through with my wild cats.
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Old November 30, 1999, 07:57 PM   #4
HankL
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Join Date: March 11, 1999
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Case trimming is a must. If you are using the Dillon 650 then the number of cases to be trimmed would indicate the purchase of a Dillon case trimmer. To make full use of the progressive press a case lube that will not cause your primers to become inert is a must. I have used Dillon's D.C.L. with sucess although I must tell you that my test lot is only a little over 4 years old. Then you will need to figure out how you will get the case lube "lanolin in Dillon's D.C.L." off. You should not fire a case with lube still on it in a rifle! I would also suggest a Dillon or Wilson case gage for your caliber as it will take a lot of trial and error out of your setup. Trying to duplicate a factory or military load that your rifle lovescan become a quest but you can get close, near, or better in most cases.
Hope this helps,
Hank
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Old December 1, 1999, 04:39 PM   #5
sundog
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ankeny, i like number 12 best. good list. for number 2 i use a bent wire (poor boy, doncha know).
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Old December 2, 1999, 01:04 AM   #6
Art Eatman
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Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
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No argument with Ankeny's precision, but it depends on your usage.

Unless it's scrounged brass, I only neck-size for my '06 & .243. If your brass was fired new in your gun, there should be no problem with only neck-sizing, unless you have headspace problems. Neck-sizing means a lot less working of the brass and thus less embrittlement. You can neck-size with a FL die; just don't run the die all the way down. Check it by running the case up into the die and adjusting until it resizes about 2/3 of the neck.

I haven't figured out, yet, how many reloads before case trimming, but with the relatively sharply-tapered shoulder of the .308, it'll be quite a few. A case trimmer is a Good Thing, but if you're watching pennies, buy it last.

A gentle job of chamfering the inside of the case-mouth really helps in seating the new bullet, and helps avoid crumpling cases.

I've always weighed my "serious" rifle rounds, but for plinkers, use a measure...Hey, I like this new stuff. I thought it was really fine when they put the weights directly on the scale, instead of putting your load-weights in the pan and adjusting the scale-weight on its threaded transverse rod, to zero! And then somebody thought up the magnetic damper! Yeehah! (One of these decades, I'll go electronic...)

When I first started loading, they didn't make these prime-by-hand tools. I learned to "feel" the primer into the pocket, on my uncle's Pacific C-press. Hold the case firmly into the shell holder and give it a little twist as you start the priming stroke. It's not all that hard; just don't be in a hurry.

Which is what your seven years have taught you: Don't be in a hurry!

FWIW, Art
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