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Old October 9, 2012, 03:32 PM   #1
brokenanew
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Neck sizing vs FL- bolt pros and cons

rifle/cartridge- Remmy 700 VTR .308
I have debating myself on whether to neck size my brass or continue full length sizing. I dont know what life Im going to get on FL. I started with a lot of brass and the most Ive shot a piece of brass is 4 times, with no stress signs thus far (paperclip inspect)

But would like to make sure my brass lives long- this concern would suggest neck sizing would be better
BUT
I want to retain my accuracy- Many claim that you need to return the case to full manufacturing specs to keep your accuracy which requires FL

I want both worlds...don't we all. Want to keep my accuracy but make my brass live long time.
Any thoughts?
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Old October 9, 2012, 06:20 PM   #2
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FL size, just don't set the shoulders back any further than necessary. The supposed values of better accuracy or case life from neck sizing are greatly exergerated.

Last edited by wncchester; October 9, 2012 at 06:27 PM.
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Old October 10, 2012, 06:36 AM   #3
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IMO if you can, divide and concur. I use a Lee Loadmaster for all my reloads that has spots for 5 dies so each one has an independent task hence, I body size and neck size independently. I think this method stresses the brass less. Plus I can just remove the body die if I feel there is no need.

What you can do is to neck size only 4/5 times and then you do a full body 1/5.
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Old October 10, 2012, 09:06 AM   #4
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Experiment - see if neck sizing improves your accuracy. You may surprise yourself.
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Old October 10, 2012, 09:09 AM   #5
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What wnncchester said. I have done many tests and FLs always comes out on top for me in my rifles. This is a test you need to do yourself and see where you come out
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Old October 10, 2012, 12:07 PM   #6
jcwit
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I have a Rem. 700 VLS in .223 caliber.

I have brass that has been neck sized and fired in this rifle over 70 times without full length resizing. My loads are not on the max end, but are loaded for accuracy, thats accuracy as in cloverleaf holes at 100 yards, or smaller.

I have a friend who loads 6BPC and has gotten as high a 150 reloads from cases, this is neck sizing and bumping when needed as in when bolt locking becomes slightly harder.

YMMV
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Old October 10, 2012, 12:18 PM   #7
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Old October 10, 2012, 04:38 PM   #8
jepp2
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A few thoughts and questions for you:

Neck sizing:
- what type die are you going to use for neck sizing?
- If you use a Lee collet die, you will get the most concentric necks with the least amount of "work" sizing the neck
- If you use a full length sizing die and adjust it so it doesn't touch the shoulder, 2 things are going to happen. 1'st is the neck will be worked more due to a FL die reducing the neck beyond what is required and then the expander opens it up for proper bullet tension. 2'nd, the nature of a FL die will cause the shoulder to move forward from the body sizing that occurs as the die slides down the body. So you will have to bump the shoulder more often and either anneal the case necks or experience some loss due to splits.

FL sizing:
- do you know how to properly adjust the die so you only move back the shoulder the required amount? And if you follow the guidance of screwing the die in 1/4 turn after it contacts the shell holder, you don't know how to properly adjust your die.
- if you FL size and just move the shoulder the minimum amount, then the issues listed above (shorter neck life or required annealing) will apply.

What gives you the best accuracy in your rifle? Only you can tell for sure. But my experience would say your case life would be much greater if you use a collet die, and only bump the shoulder using a Redding body die when the shoulder needs to be moved back. But proper die set up is very important and if you aren't measuring how much you are moving the shoulder when you FL size, you can run into other issues.
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Old October 10, 2012, 05:37 PM   #9
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Virtually all the high power match rifle matches are won with and records set with full length sized cases.

Sierra Bullets tried all sorts of fired case sizing tools and techniques in the early 1950's; they've used full length sizing dies since. These days, they use Redding full bushing dies with bushing diameters a couple thousandths smaller than a loaded round's neck diameter for ammo those dies are made for. Redding standard full length sizing dies for all the others. Fired case shoulders are set back no more than a couple thousandths. I doubt anyone gets better accuracy with their bullets than they do. So sized, their test cases produce sub 1/4 MOA accuracy with their best match bullets. . . .at 200 yards. And with metered (not weighed) powder charges in unprepped cases, too. I've seen sets of Sierra's quality assurance test targets with all the 10-shot groups under 2/10ths MOA shot with Sierra 30 caliber 168 grain HPMK's.

Benchresters have been moving to full length sizing dies for some time. Not a surprise to me as full length sizing dies center the case neck more perfectly on the case shoulder. As bottleneck cases center their shoulder in the chamber shoulder when fired, the case neck darned well better be perfectly centered on that shoulder else it'll be off center. . .and therefore so is the bullet to the bore. The case neck floats in space somewhere in the chamber neck; it ain't supported by anything except the case shoulder.

The smallest series of 10- or 15- or 20-shot groups ever fired at 600, 800 and 1000 yards I know of have all been made with cases resized with full length sizing dies; bushing ones for the most part. These aren't benchrest records; just tests with machine rested (normally shoulder fired) match rifles and their ammo.

Set the die in the press such that bottleneck case shoulders are set back only 1 or 2 thousandths. Use dies with the correct neck diameter so no expander balls don't need to be used. Fired case body diameters need be reduced no more than a couple thousandths; more is ok but case life may be less.

Properly set up, full length sizing dies will get a few dozen reloads on .308 Win. cases. Some folks have got several dozen.

Many folks get better accuracy with new cases than any fired case neck sizing tool or process for fired cases. Done right, there's little difference between new and full length sized cases.

It's a common belief that neck sized cases fit the chamber "perfectly" or "concentric" better than full length sized ones. 'Tain't so. Here's why......
After closing the bolt on a bottleneck case that headspaces on its shoulder, the case extractor pushes the back end of the case up or sideways such that the case body at the pressure ring (about 2/10ths inch forward from the case head) presses against the chamber at that point. The back end of the case is never centered in the chamber with the bolt closed on it. Up front, the case shoulder's pushed into the chamber shoulder by in line ejectors and very hard by firing pin impact well centering the front of the case in the chamber at that point. If the case neck ain't well centered on the case shoulder, it'll be off center in the chamber. As there's no such thing as perfectly round chambers or cases, there needs to be a bit of clearance around the case just behind its shoulder else the out of round points may push the case off center on the shoulder. Consider what happens if you chamber a .243 Win. round in a .308 Win. chamber; it'll center perfectly up front and its neck will float well centered in the chamber neck but with way too much clearance for actual firing.

Naysayers need to measure chambered rounds' position in a chamber and see exactly how their necks center in the chamber neck.

Last edited by Bart B.; October 11, 2012 at 10:34 AM.
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Old October 11, 2012, 12:24 PM   #10
brokenanew
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Several dozen loads?! Thats sounds good!

Ok. I have only been reloading about a year, and only about 300 rounds.

Soooo, How do I adjust the die and measure the bumping of the neck. Thats all kind of new to me really. I just put the die in until it meets then screw in a quarter of a turn. How do I measure the bump of the shoulder? How do I adjust accordingly?

I hate feeling like a bother.
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Old October 11, 2012, 12:35 PM   #11
Brian Pfleuger
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Use the Hornady kit to check the shoulder....

http://www.hornady.com/store/Headspace-Gauge-Kits/

Or, you can use any cyclinder that touches a point on the shoulder. All you need is consistent measurements, it doesn't neccesarily have to be at the SAAMI specified point.
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Old October 11, 2012, 01:43 PM   #12
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Caveat: I'm a long time HANDGUN handloader and merely dabble in rifle rounds. I do -NOT- have the hands-on experience that most of the folks in this thread have with regards to rifle handloading. Even so, in your position, here is what I would suggest, and what I do.

Buy a Lee Collet Neck-only size die. Use it with brass you've fired in YOUR rifle.

Build the same load that currently gives you ____ accuracy that you find acceptable.

Compare your shots for accuracy with _____ accuracy that you set as your standard.

If it's acceptable, your own experience will tell you how long case life ends up being... but the benefit, IMO, isn't necessarily accuracy or case life. The benefit is ease of use.

With this operation, you don't lube cases and you don't inside lube the case mouth. You also don't use near the same amount of muscle or energy on the press handle that is called for when F/L sizing. As bottle-neck sizing goes, it's MUCH easier than full-length sizing.

Asking for advice & opinions is always a fine idea but in this situation, I think it makes the most sense to do your own testing-- especially when it's so easy, fun, and well...obvious that your own testing will reveal all that you need know and what will work for YOU.

Maybe if the Lee die cost a hundred bucks or was some large investment... but this is like a $20 expenditure. It seems like giving it a try would give you the best opinion/evidence of how well it will serve your needs.
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Old October 11, 2012, 02:14 PM   #13
Bart B.
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Brokenanew asks:
Quote:
Soooo, How do I adjust the die and measure the bumping of the neck. Thats all kind of new to me really. I just put the die in until it meets then screw in a quarter of a turn. How do I measure the bump of the shoulder? How do I adjust accordingly?
You'll need a gauge that measures the distance from case head to shoulder reference (RCBS Prec. Mic, Hornady, etc.) to measure what a fired case headspace is. That's the length from the case head to a reference point on the case shoulder. Then adjust your full length sizing die in the press to set the shoulder back 1 to 2 thousandths. Note that 1/4 turn on your die changes its height about 18 thousandths. Adjusting the die such that its threads move 1/10th of an inch around the lock ring (about one 70th of a turn) changes it about 1 thousandth inch. This is all based on the 14 threads per inch the die has and that's about 71 thousandths of an inch between threads. 1 divided by 14 equals 0.0714 inch.

The die may well be set correctly such that it's bottom is a few thousandths off the shell holder. It all depends on several things with the press as well as the die's dimensions; these are not important. Wherever the die needs to be locked in place to set fired case shoulder back 1 to 2 thousandths is correct.

You'll notice that full length sizing a batch of cases then measuring the case headspace on each, the spread in measurements will be a few thousandths of an inch. That's 'cause of the spring back properties of the press and how much lube you put on each case. Try to get the same amount of lube on each case; very little is needed all over its outside to do well.

Last edited by Bart B.; October 11, 2012 at 07:58 PM.
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Old October 12, 2012, 12:05 AM   #14
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I only have one rifle in 30-06 and one rifle in 6mm Remington. Since my reloads will not be used in other rifles, I have only neck sized these two calibers and never full length re-sized them. I not experienced any problems so far. Trim them and neck size. It seems to me that it can't get much easier, but do remember to not to try to shoot them in a different rifle.
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Old October 12, 2012, 06:13 AM   #15
twins
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95% of my reloading is for bolt-action rifle (currently 5 different calibers) and I neck size (with Lee Collet Neck-sizing die) because of one reason:

It is much simpler (no lube required) than FL sizing.

Is it more accurate than FL sizing? Don't know since I don't FL size a brass after initial firing for comparison. Once I do find an accurate load, accuracy is repeatable with each subsequent neck sizing load.

Does the brass last longer than FL sizing? Don't know since I haven't run a batch of only FL sizing to compare. Currently, the 30-06 and .270 neck-sizing reloads are on the 6th cycle with no sign of failure.

I like the Lee collet neck-sizing die and highly recommend them.
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Old October 12, 2012, 09:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Soooo, How do I adjust the die and measure the bumping of the neck. Thats all kind of new to me really. I just put the die in until it meets then screw in a quarter of a turn. How do I measure the bump of the shoulder? How do I adjust accordingly?
It has been my experience, most FL re-sizing dies are made to bring the case back to a specified size and and head space when it is set up like the instructions say, the ram contact and 1/8th turn thing.

The problem with that is there are differences in rifles and dies, I have one 30-06 rifle that is a little finicky, even with factory new ammo, the head space is just a tad loose, still within spec, but not perfect.

I also have two or maybe even three different 30-06 FL sizing dies, my Redding puts cases for this rifle right on the money if you set it for contact on the shell holder, another Pacific Durachrome die will push the shoulder back a bit if set up that way, yet that is how the instructions say to set it up, this die is set up with several thousanths of an inch between the shell holder and the die.
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Old October 14, 2012, 02:17 PM   #17
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What others have said- FL size...with correct shoulder bump for your chamber.
If you neck size, you still have to FL size occasionally, anyway-as the case will expand and get progressively harder to chamber.
I've never had an issue with brass life.

Get the Hornady LNL headpsace gauge kit, inexpensive and provides comparative measurements between your fireformed brass and that which comes out of your sizing die.

You can get more precise with FL sizing by getting precision bushing dies to get precisely .002 neck tension, which is where I'm headed for our long-range shooting loads:

http://riflemansjournal.blogspot.com...k-tension.html

http://riflemansjournal.blogspot.com...izing-and.html
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Old October 15, 2012, 08:34 AM   #18
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brokenanew, it is a rut, everyone (reloaders) believes they have two choices, one is to full length size, the other is neck size. It is not fair, from the big inning manufacturers have made available to me 'versatile dies'. My versatile dies are labeled 'full length sizer dies', with my versatile full length sizer dies I size cases for short chambers, I size cases for minimum length/full length sized chambers, I size cases for go-gage length chambers, and I size cases for chambers that are of infinite length or a more practical .002" longer than a field reject length chamber. When measured from the head of the case to its shoulder that is 28 different case lengths from the head of the case to its shoulder.

I do not believe there is a difference between the dies available to me when compared with dies purchases by other reloaders, I do believe it is more about the way I use my dies. My dies have threads, my presses have threads, threads make my dies adjustable, all I have to know is 'how to adjust my dies', to know how to adjust my dies I have to know how to measure the length of the chamber from the bolt face to the shoulder of the chamber, before I go to the range, everyone else 'fire forms' I form first then fire, when ejected my formed cases come out as once fired. Keeping up, I know the length if the chamber 'FIRST! I know how to adjust the die to, below, or above the shell holder, I do not wake up in a new world every morning.

Then there is time as a factor, a new phrase, I am the fan of time as a factor, I like the ideal the case expands to fill the chamber, I like the ideal there is air between the chamber and the case, clean air, I am the fan of the running start, I want my bullet to have the 'jump start', the running start and the jump start are part of 'time as a factor'.

The part I am not a fan of is full length sizing without a clue as to the length of the chamber, and 'bump', bump sounds like an accident, there is nothing I do when a sizing cases that is an accident. If someone researched instruction before the Internet there is a possibility they would find 'bump' had to do with adjusting a die in a press that cammed over, all of my cam over presses bump twice, once on the way up and again on the way down, and that is the part that causes most to lock-up. For a cam over press ram move down it must move up first. If a cam over press is adjusted the additional turn of the die (down) the top of the press raises as in flex/spring out of shape.

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Old October 15, 2012, 09:48 AM   #19
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Bart B. says:

“You'll need a gauge that measures the distance from case head to shoulder reference (RCBS Prec. Mic, Hornady, etc.) to measure what a fired case headspace is. That's the length from the case head to a reference point on the case shoulder. Then adjust your full length sizing die in the press to set the shoulder back 1 to 2 thousandths. Note that 1/4 turn on your die changes its height about 18 thousandths. Adjusting the die such that its threads move 1/10th of an inch around the lock ring (about one 70th of a turn) changes it about 1 thousandth inch. This is all based on the 14 threads per inch the die has and that's about 71 thousandths of an inch between threads. 1 divided by 14 equals 0.0714 inch”

Memory work, etc., purchase all the tools, then there is another tool to purchase for another and or different chamber...?

Working backwards, after making all of Bart’s adjustments, VALIDATE! Validate the adjustment, after thinking about the validation process ask yourself why not start with the validation tool, use the tool to make the adjustment first, skip all the memory work and the ‘step-sequence’ go straight to the feeler gage/thickness gag.

“You'll need a gauge that measures the distance from case head to shoulder reference (RCBS Prec. Mic, Hornady, etc.) to measure what a fired case headspace is”. The shoulder reference Bart is referring to is .400” the .400” is not a line with an arrow pointing to it and identified as ‘DATUM LINE’, The .400” reference is a round hole, for those that do not understand ‘measured from’ there are tools to purchase, expensive tools, tools that are nice to have but not necessary, for the rest of us there are savings.

Again, I make tools, I am not hard headed, the reference to datum with an arrow is not for reloaders, reloaders that do not understand the datum line post pictures with a line and arrow pointing to ‘DATUM LiNE’, a word or group of words with no meaning, anyhow the datum as in ‘reference’ is a hole, a round hole that is used to measure the length of a case from the round hole to the head of a case. it is not the hole the measurement is taken from but the plain of the plate the hole is drilled through. AGAIN: Do not put a radius on the hole, the radius lowers the .400” datum, datum? as in measured from.

Then there is me, no memory work, I do not have to keep up with the .400” hole as the reference when we talk about ‘measured from’, I do not have to keep up with the reference .375” hole that is used as the ’reference’ measured from for the 30/06 family of cartridges including the 7.7 Japanese etc.. Those that understand the term ‘measured from’ do not need the RCBS tool, they do not need a tool that is mistakenly marketed as a ‘head space gage’ because? The tools sold as head space gages are comparators.

I do not measure head space, I measure the length of the case from the head of the case to the shoulder of the case, I have two ways of accomplishing this task, one I can and do use a shoulder that is conveniently cut into a chamber gage or a tool like the L.E. Wilson case gage, the Wilson case gage has a datum, the datum of the 30/06 case gage is .375”, the Wilson case gage datum has a radius, the radius contact point between the gage and shoulder is .375”. OR! I can drill a hole straight through a plate or cylinder, the hole can be .375”, for those that can not drill a hole or fail to understand the ‘DATUM, as MEASURED FROM’ can purchase a case comparator labeled ‘head space gage’. Anyhow, I make gages.

Reloaders, trying to get Sammie to agree with the manual to agree with their chamber to get their chamber to agree with their dies... WHY!? In the big inning we started with the comparator, then a reloader started posting pictures with an arrow pointing to ‘DATUM LiNE’, there is no line, the line is making reference to ‘measured from’. Back to the .400” and the .375”, a reloader that understands measured from and understands this is not about head space but the length of the case from the head of the case to the shoulder and length of the chambers from the bolt face to the shoulder of the chamber understands without SAMMIE they can compare the length of a case before it is fired from the head of the case to its shoulder and measure again after firing to determine the effect the chamber had on the case.

THEN, one day someone with have one of those moments, all alone and by them self there could be a relation between the difference in length between the unfired and fired case that that could be used to adjust the die to the (or off the) shell holder. It works for me, I choose to off set the length of the chamber with the length of the case when measured from the ‘usual places’. Again, I have a 30/06 chamber that is .016” longer from the bolt face to the shoulder of the chamber, that a minimum length, new, store bought, factory make ammo, when sizing cases for that chamber I adjust the die opff the shell holder .014”, that cuts down on all that case travel, me? I am the fan of cutting down on all that case travel.

It is not necessary to use .400” (reference) for the 308W family of chambers, It is not necessary to use .375” (reference) for the 30/06 family of chambers, it is necessary for a reloader that choose one or the other to understand why it is not necessary.

And I make gages, I have sent 4 sets to reloaders, collectors and machinist that were fair and objective, the go-gage was the most useless in their opinion, the most useful was the the one that matched their maximum acceptable length for a chamber.

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