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Old December 18, 2012, 03:48 PM   #1
poline
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Collet die

Purchased a Lee Collet die, 308 winchester, with the idea being to ex-
tend the life of the brass because I would not have to full length size it
every time I reloaded it.
Brought the brass, loaded, at a gunshow. I shot it once and used the
Collet die, shot it again and used the Collet die again. Upon the 3rd shooting
the brass was very hard to chamber. In short, it appears that I can only use
the die twice then I must full length size the brass.
Don't ask me why, but I thought I would be able to use the Collet die
more than twice before it was necessary to full length size the brass.
I'm disappointed.
Thanks in advance for any and all replys!

ps The rifle is a Spanish mauser.
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Old December 18, 2012, 04:01 PM   #2
5R milspec
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give us the rest of your load info.I am going to go ahead and say that your hot.
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Old December 18, 2012, 04:30 PM   #3
primape
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That is strange. I have been using the Lee collet for my 308 for over 10 yrs with no problems and even with 10 reloads the brass is good. My loads are not up at the hot end.

With that said, I have seen in my Rem 700 every now and then that the bolt closes a tad bit easier with full size over neck size.

As mentioned above, it would be interesting to see your load data.
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Old December 18, 2012, 11:10 PM   #4
Bart B.
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Some foriegn milatary rifles' bolt faces are way, way out of square. They were never intended to use reloaded ammo.

So, after a round's been fired in one, its case head is way out of square. After sizing thay round any way and it's indexed 180 degrees out from where it was when first fired the high points of the bolt face and case head are against each other. That causes the bolt to bind when closing.

Check your case heads on those that bind and see if there's a bright streak around the case head. If there is, your bolt face may be the culprit.
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Old December 19, 2012, 12:18 PM   #5
Smokey Joe
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Other factors...

Poline--In what are you firing these .308 loads? That'd have a major bearing on the need to FL resize. Neck-sizing-only is usually confined to cases which are used only in a bolt gun--Other types of actions have enough flex that, as you are finding out, the case is elongated and needs FL resizing.

The other factor, as has been pointed out, is how heavy are your loads? A very high-pressure load (but I'm going to assume, within published loadbook limits!) will also cause cases to stretch, even in a bolt action. I'm finding this to be true with my .300 WSM bolt gun: The cases need FL resizing after 3 neck-size-only resize/reload cycles.

Bart B. has another possible cause: the boltface being out of square with the chamber.

So: Give us more details, and we will give you more theories!

ETA: I should have said, that I use and like the Lee Collet neck-sizing die; have it in most of the cartridges for which I load bolt guns.
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Last edited by Smokey Joe; December 19, 2012 at 12:21 PM. Reason: The usual--had another thought.
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Old December 19, 2012, 07:57 PM   #6
5R milspec
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I over looked the PS part,so these guys might be onto something
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Old December 19, 2012, 09:22 PM   #7
m&p45acp10+1
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Some rifles you will only get a couple of reloads with the collet die befoe having to bump the shoulder back.

Did you measure the brass? Is it at trim to length?

Even neck sized brass can stretch so it could be that.
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Old December 20, 2012, 01:43 AM   #8
Bart B.
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Primape, top competitive shooters learned decades ago that best accuracy is attained when there is no force whatsoever needed to close the bolt.

Anytime the bolt needs a little bit of force to close on a round whose bullet is seated deep enough to not touch the lands, the bolt will not end up at the same place as it locks up on the round. Its head will be in slightly different positions depending on how the case head mates with the bolt face. And that causes the barreled action to whip differently from shot to shot before the bullet leaves. So all the bullets ain't pointed in the same direction when they're fired.

Even with rifle with their bolt faces squared up perfectly with the chamber axis, they better not need any force to close on a loaded round unless the bullet's seated long intentionally to center itself well in the origin of the rifling.
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Old December 20, 2012, 08:25 AM   #9
primape
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Bart B, interesting info there. I will have to look into it. My 308 is a Rem700light tactical rifle that is super accurate. I really only hunt with it except for a few times a year range time to check it out or develop new loads. I reload using Nosler BT 150g at 2.800 and consistently get quarter size 10 shot groups at 100 yds. It is a great hunting round.
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Old December 20, 2012, 08:48 AM   #10
Bart B.
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Primape, that bolt-binding issue was a common problem with benchresters who, for decades, only neck sized their fired cases. They had to full length size them after a few to several reloads as the case shoulder kept moving forward after each shot and would eventually cause the bolt to bind. Even on their near zero tolerance bolt fit to the receiver and perfectly squared up bolt faces, that caused accuracy problems when their worst groups were in the 1/3 moa range. Sometimes they would full length size their cases. At other times they would use neck sizing dies with shoulder contact to set the fired case shoulder back 1 or maybe 2 thousandths at the most.

Meanwhile, folks shooting high power match rifles in three positions using Win. 70 factory actions with a sloppy bolt fit had been using full length sizing dies with their necks opened up to a couple thousandths smaller than a loaded round's neck diameter shooting test groups equalling or bettering what the benchresters got with neck sizing. Sierra Bullets' has been doing this since the 1950's.

A decade or so ago, most benchresters gave up on neck only sizing and nowadays use full length sizing dies with neck bushings sized to reduce case body diameters and set the fired case shoulder back no more than .001". Some use custom made dies and others either Redding or RCBS full bushing dies. While their smallest groups have stayed the same tiny size, their largest ones have got smaller. The result is their aggregate group and score numbers are now better because the average group size is now smaller.

It's all based on the simple fact that rifle and ammo accuracy is best defined by the largest groups fired. That's what can be counted on all the time. The tiniest ones happen only the smallest percentage of time and happen only when all the variables cancel each other out. When all those variables add up in the same direction, then the groups are the largest and best reflect how much all those variables contribute to inaccuracy. Those variables are masked in the smallest groups.
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Old December 20, 2012, 09:58 AM   #11
higgite
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You say you bought the brass already loaded which sounds like they were reloads. Do you know for sure if they had been full length resized? You may not have been starting from "zero".
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