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Old August 30, 2008, 07:18 PM   #1
rolyasm
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Is "neck" die the same as "F.L." Die??

Just started lubing up my 223 and opened the die set that my g-pa gave me. They are all RCBS. On top the one says "neck", while the other says "F.L.", meaning full length, I assume. Does he just have double the die, or is one different from the other. To me, they look identical. I took out the center priming pin knocker outie thingie and slid a case into both of them. Looks the same. I tried the "neck" because it was in better shape. It gives me some resistance on the way up, then has a little pop resistance on the way down. I am guessing the neck being resized. So the question is: are these the same die, and if not, when would I use one over the other, or do I have to use them both?
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Old August 30, 2008, 07:21 PM   #2
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A neck sizer sizes only the neck, not the whole case. A full-length sizer sizes the entire cartridge and will almost return it to SAAMI standard dimensions. So, one sizes the neck, the other the whole case, not the same. If they were the same, there would be no need to mark them differently.
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Old August 30, 2008, 07:27 PM   #3
bigb00mer
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neck dies are for sizing brass only used in one weapon, it makes the brass fit the chamber perfectly and all you are doing is sizing the neck to hold the tip in place
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Old August 30, 2008, 07:35 PM   #4
rolyasm
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okay, so my RCBS and Speer manual tell me the first thing I do is resize the case and the neck. Does the FL resize both or do I use the FL, and then the "neck". Also, I will only be using this in one gun, my AR15. Is it important to specifically size the neck for that gun, or only if I want the absolute, best, best, accuracy. Should I wait until I get a good load, then maybe neck size a few to see if it improves accuracy any?
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Old August 30, 2008, 07:35 PM   #5
Nnobby45
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You have a two die set. The neck die simply sizes the neck so you can seat a bullet, without changing any other case dimensions. The resistance you felt was the neck being made smaller, and the pop was likely the primer being punched out.

Make certain the decapping assembly is adjusted JUST ENOUGH to punch out the primer when the case is fully raised in the press. Other wise, you'll bottom out the assembly on the case and damage it.

The full length die contacts the shoulder and sets it back. This would be necessary if sizing cases fired in a rifle with a bigger chamber than yours--even in a bolt action. The FL die also sizes the body of the case to a small degree.

Be careful. You're a new handloader and you have a lot to learn. If you'd run the case up into the FL die without proper lubrication, the case would likely have stuck in the die and you'd be in trouble.

Read, read, read. And seek the advice of experienced handloaders.

If you're loading for an AR, then the FL die is mandatory, since the case must be restored to minimum dimensions in order to function through a semi-auto. In a bolt action, you have the strong camming action of the bolt working for you, so it isn't as critical and you can make your ammo to fit your chamber.

The neck die is for sizing only cases fired in YOUR bolt action rifle, since firing the case forms it to your chamber perfectly, making it only necessary to size the neck. For cases fired in another rifle, you should FL size them but not until you thorougly understand the process, since more problems are associated with improper sizing of cases than any I can think of, off hand.

For cases fired in you own bolt action, you can neck size a few times, but the brass will loose it's elasticity and you may have trouble chambering or extracting. Then you'll need to FL size. I prefer FL sizing all the time---but learn to FL size JUST ENOUGH to chamber easily in your rifle in order to reduce headspace. What's Headspace? Read, read, read.

NOTE: When I started writing this post, there were no other replies. Now there are a couple, both with good advice.

Some AR's require the use of "small base dies", which actually restore the case all the way to factory (SAAMI) dimensions so the the rounds will feed properly. Standard dies, as Scorch said, stop a little short of factory dimensions.

That's good, considering the factory ammo must function in all chambers--from minimum to max. Handloaders want ammo that is sized properly only for their rifle.

Because some AR's are a bit touchy, your FL die may not be quite enough, but likely will work fine given that military chambers are on the big side. A semi-auto hunting rifle might be another matter.

To answer your question, both dies size the neck. Make sure you LUBE the case.
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Old August 30, 2008, 07:45 PM   #6
rolyasm
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Thanks,
I am following the manual step by step, after reading it twice. I did lubricate everything, avoiding the shoulder and neck. I even used a brush to lube/clean the inside. I just got a curve ball when there were two sets of die, and no mention of it in the manual. It probably is somewhere I read, but I probably forgot. That is why I have 2 manuals in front of me right now. Checking both.
Actually, I have a three die set. I have the seat, neck and FL dies. Also, these are new brass, so no primers in them. I'll go FL them now. Thanks.
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Old August 30, 2008, 08:19 PM   #7
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Rolyasm,
The neck die sizes ONLY the neck. The full length sizer sizes the neck, shoulder, and the body of case.

Use one or the other depending on your needs but you do NOT have to use both. If you want everything sized, use the FL die. If you want only the neck sized, use the NECK die.
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Old August 30, 2008, 08:25 PM   #8
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I got it. I'm with ya. I just checked length, after full sizing, and have cleaned the lube off. Now for the primers... thanks.
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Old August 31, 2008, 12:14 AM   #9
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You have your safety glasses on while you're loading those primers, right? And you washed your hands first too, right?

hehe, I'm just learning too so it helps me to remember by reminding you.
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Old August 31, 2008, 12:21 AM   #10
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If you neck size only with a semi auto you'll most likely have feed/extraction problems.
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Old August 31, 2008, 07:33 AM   #11
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"...sizing the neck to hold the tip in place,,,"

Necks have "tips" that need to be held in place???
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Old August 31, 2008, 05:39 PM   #12
LHB1
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Quote: "It gives me some resistance on the way up, then has a little pop resistance on the way down. "

Rolyasm,
Sizing dies (both neck and FL) for bottle necked rifle cases have a small expander button on the depriming shaft. This button passes thru the fired case neck as the case enters the die and is inside the case body when die is resizing the neck. Then as you extract the case from sizing die, you wil feel the expander button being pulled thru the now tightened neck and expanding the diameter slightly. Thus you will feel resistance on both entry and exit from sizing die. If the exit resistance becomes noticeably strong, then lube the inside of case necks LIGHTLY before sizing with a non-oily lube OR clean/dry the inside of case neck after sizing case with a barrel bore mop of the proper size. If oil residue is allowed to run into the case body, it can later contaminate/partly kill the powder charge.
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Old August 31, 2008, 06:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Then as you extract the case from sizing die, you wil feel the expander button being pulled thru the now tightened neck and expanding the diameter slightly. Thus you will feel resistance on both entry and exit from sizing die. If the exit resistance becomes noticeably strong, then lube the inside of case necks LIGHTLY before sizing with a non-oily lube OR clean/dry the inside of case neck after sizing case with a barrel bore mop of the proper size. If oil residue is allowed to run into the case body, it can later contaminate/partly kill the powder charge.
Lubing the inside of the case neck is important. Without lube, the expander can pull the neck out of alignment with the case and effect accuracy. Putting some sizing lube on an RCBS brush made for that purpose works just fine. As mentioned, just a little.

You'll know when you have enough lube by how it feels when the case is pulled off the expander. Unlubed cases will sometimes actually screech, and this is what pulls the neck out of alignment. Properly lubed cases feel smooth and make no noise.

By holding a bunch of cases in your hand, in and out one time with the brush for each case will do it.
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Old August 31, 2008, 07:20 PM   #14
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If your going to use it only in an AR-15, You always want to full length size. And I also did away with the liquid case lube for neck sizing and switched to powdered Mica for lubricating them. I found it works alot better and you dont have to worry about powder contamination. They sell the mica kits at Midway pretty cheap with the brush set included.
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Old September 1, 2008, 02:51 AM   #15
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If your brass is un fired brass then FL sizing is necessary. Once fired brass can be neck sized several times but will only fit your chamber as it has been fireformed to your rifle. As your RCBS neck sizer has an expander plug it will stretch the necks in length as you come down in the press. There for it is necessary to check overall length of your cases after sizing. Be sure to lube the inside of the necks with a dry graphite powder to minimise stretch.

If full sizing be sure to lube case walls and inside case neck. After several sizings clean inside your FL die there will be build up of lube in there and it will cause your case shoulders to from dimples in them.

Look at a Lee collet neck die they require no lube at all and there is no stretching of the case neck and minimal case movement. Reason the case neck is squeezed onto a mandrel by fingers. Setting up can be quite fiddley as i found out. I bought one and got all my advice from members on these froums on how to correctly adjust the die. Ive been loading for 10 years and i learn every day.

For self loading rifles its a good idea to FL all the time. For bolt action rifles neck sizing is the preferred option. Good luck and be safe
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