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Old October 8, 2013, 05:10 PM   #1
603Country
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Use a Body Die on loaded ammo?

The short version is that I sold my Ruger 260 and got a Tikka 260. The Tikka chamber is a good bit tighter, though COAL is the same for both guns. I have ammo loaded for the Ruger that won't chamber in the Tikka. I could pull all the bullets and resize the brass, but the new rifle likes exactly the same load that the old rifle did. So...all I need to do (theoretically) is to slightly bump the shoulder of the loaded case back a bit, using a Redding Body Die. I have a Body Die on order, which is good, but I haven't had a chance to examine one. Is the top of the die open, so that the bullet in the loaded round can extend through the die?

If the die has the open top, then this resizing sounds doable to me. If it isn't doable, for whatever reason, please do share your opinions/knowledge with me. Thanks.
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Old October 8, 2013, 05:43 PM   #2
steve4102
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Yes, the top is open and will accept a loaded round.

I have sized loaded ammo with my body dies. Is it safe and a good idea, duno, but I did it and I'm still in one piece.
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Old October 8, 2013, 05:45 PM   #3
Dave P
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I have used the redding die many times on loaded ammo. It is a great tool to have. 308 is what I do.

Yes, there is a hole in the top for a bullet.
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Old October 8, 2013, 06:06 PM   #4
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Yep, done it many times.

There is no impact and nothing at all is touching the primer. Completely and totally safe.
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Old October 10, 2013, 05:04 PM   #5
F. Guffey
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Unless a reloader is using a bullet swage shell holder (no primer hole) noting touches the primer one way or the other.

Then it needs to be understood the body die is not a body die only, it is a full length sizer die with a large diameter neck. The neck can cause donuts on the outside of the shoulder/neck junction.

I have body dies that are 45+ years old, the 8mm 06 for 30/06. 30/06 for 270, with a little tweaking the 280 Remington can be used for the 270 Winchester.

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Old October 10, 2013, 06:58 PM   #6
Bart B.
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Firing pins cause donuts on the outside of the case shoulder/neck junction because that's smaller in diameter than the same junction in the chamber. Especially when the chamber shoulder angle is greater than the case shoulder angle.
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Old October 10, 2013, 08:21 PM   #7
603Country
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For info sake, once the 45 or 50 loaded rounds are bumped sufficiently to chamber in the new 260, the plan is to begin using a Lee Collet Die from then on. I'll use the body die again when cases begin to be hard to chamber in the rifle. That said, it remains to be seen if the Lee Collet die will help the rifle shoot any better than it does with the standard Hornady dies. I think that the rifle is accurate enough that any improvement in accuracy will be tough for me to determine. I think the potential of the rifle exceeds my ability to shoot, and I'm a pretty good shot.

The rifle in question is a brand new stainless Tikka T3 with a 20 inch #4 contour Brux barrel, and it is truly a great shooter. This afternoon I took it to the bench and shot it a bit. The first group of the day, including the fouler, went into about 1/2 inch or maybe 5/8 inch. This is my new deer, pig, coyote rifle. I'm happy.
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Old October 10, 2013, 08:38 PM   #8
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i load for several 44-40,s and two have very tight necks,if i load with .429 diamiter lead bullets they will not chamber, so i take the decapping stem out of the size die and size the loaded shells just enough that they chamber easily. i have been doing it for years with no problems at all. eastbank.
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Old October 10, 2013, 11:02 PM   #9
F. Guffey
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Bart B., that is quite a trick, the firing pin is causing a do-nut before the case is chambered?

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Old October 11, 2013, 08:53 AM   #10
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Guffey, yes, firing pins do that.

But the last 1/8th inch of their tip has to be bent out 90 degrees from their long axis. Then placing it inside the case mouth such that it bears on the case shoulder .005" up from the case mouth diameter at that point. Then press with 17 pounds of force outward at evenly spaced points all the way around the inside of the case. The number of pressure points is pi (3.1416...) times the case mouth diameter in millimeters. A 30 caliber case would need 25 points (close enough for good accuracy) around it to form that donut on the outside of the shoulder.
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Last edited by Bart B.; October 11, 2013 at 05:28 PM.
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Old October 11, 2013, 10:07 AM   #11
F. Guffey
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Bart B., I will assume you are telling me the firing pin is the cause, the other option would be: Are you asking me?

I am a case former, I am a wildcatting case former, I make donuts, I have dies, methods and techniques that turn dies into donut making machines. I have never used a firing pin to make donuts, I have ask the question "Flow or stretch, flow and stretch etc.? and I have said I have never found skid marks on a case.

To your response, all I can say is "FANTASTIC!".

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Old October 11, 2013, 08:11 PM   #12
603Country
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The Body Die and the Lee Collet Die showed up this morning, so Saturday I'm going to use them both. First I'll use the Body Die to resize some of the previously loaded ammo that was for the old 260 by the smallest amount that will allow easy chambering. Then I'll shoot some of that resized ammo and hope that body sizing them didn't negatively affect neck runout. Then I'll resize some cases with the Lee Collet Die and see if I can determine any positive or negative accuracy change from use of that Die. Truth is that the rifle shoots well enough now that I really don't know if I will be able to really tell if accuracy improves. I'll be able to tell if the accuracy from the Lee die is worse, but from my use of that type die with the 223, accuracy should improve.

The rifle has so far shown itself to be accurate enough that the weak link in all of this is most likely going to be me. We shall see.
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Old October 11, 2013, 08:37 PM   #13
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I like having a body die for the calibers I load for most often.

When the brass gets tight in the chamber a run through the body die clears it up
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Old October 12, 2013, 11:58 AM   #14
603Country
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Ok, this morning I used the Body Die on about 50 rounds of 260 that had been loaded for the previous rifle. Then I took 5 rounds that were loaded yesterday and 5 rounds of those previously loaded rounds that I put through the body die. They all shot in the exact same spot, and except for one round (which chambered harder than the others), they shot into the same ragged (somewhat enlarged) hole. So...that little job worked out quite well and I don't have to pull all those bullets and redo the cases.
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Old October 12, 2013, 12:34 PM   #15
Bart B.
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The round that chambered hard made the bolt close to a different position than the other rounds did. Such has been the cause of shots going wild for decades.

You're one of a very few reloaders to link that flier to how the bolt closed on the round that shot it. Same thing is common with benchresters neck only sizing their fired cases and one has got too long at the shoulder making the bolt close hard on it.

Keep doing all that right stuff shooting tiny groups.
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Old October 12, 2013, 01:18 PM   #16
F. Guffey
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The body die is a full length sizer die with a loose neck, I know, it is called a body die, caution!? If when using the body die and there is additional effort required bodying there could be a more pronounced problem with the shoulder/neck juncture, I know, Bart B. insist the firing pin does that, but just in case it does not 'do it' remember, if a donut forms, when chamber and or fired or both the do nut has to go somewhere.

I believe you mentions Faraday, Louisiana, stopping and visiting with Big Daddy at his restaurant was always an event to look forward to.

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Last edited by F. Guffey; October 12, 2013 at 01:21 PM. Reason: change on to in
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Old October 12, 2013, 02:53 PM   #17
603Country
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I don't believe I have a donut problem, at least not as it applies to ammo. All I did with the Body Die was to bump the shoulder of the previously loaded rounds back enough for it to chamber in the Tikka. Apparently the Tikka chamber is a bit tighter than the Ruger chamber was.

Ferriday, Louisiana...I don't remember mentioning that on the forum, but yes...I was born there. There's a scrap yard where the old hospital was, assuming that I was born in a hospital and not in that scrap yard. I have plenty of family there now, since I'm the only sibling that left Louisiana. I'm in Texas now and plan to stay here. It's a known fact that moving to Texas will immediately make a fellow taller and better looking - so I got here as fast as I could.

It was Bart that enlightened me on the fact that tough chambering of a round will lead to decreased accuracy. Naturally, I had to run some tests and prove it to myself, but yes...he was absolutely right. And when I closed the bolt on that 260 round and it was harder to chamber than the other rounds, I immediately wondered where the bullet would wind up. It was only about 1/8 of an inch out of the group, but still...
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Old October 13, 2013, 05:30 PM   #18
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603Country

How much were you setting back the shoulder? If you were only setting back the shoulder slightly more than your new rifles head space, inconsistent application of case lube can result in inconsistent shoulder set back. If you only had 0.001" of clearance it could just be that one case didn't size quite the same.
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Old October 13, 2013, 05:59 PM   #19
603Country
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jepp, I suppose I could have measured the cases that need modification but I didn't. I used the country boy approach and just set back the shoulder enough to chamber. And maybe you didn't read the whole thread, but the loaded rounds were for a previous 260, and that rifle had a more 'generous' chamber. For the new rifle I started with the body die screwed down to where I could feel the shoulder of a round loaded for the new rifle (with a fireformed case). Then, in small increments, I turned the die in on empty cases until I got them to chamber. Took quite a few small incremental turns to get there.

The long term plan was to begin using the Lee Collet Die once I needed to reload again and then use the body die when rounds became difficult to chamber. The flaw in the plan is that I wasn't expecting the rifle to shoot that darn well, but now that I see how well it shoots with ammo loaded with standard dies, I probably don't need the Lee die. And I possibly may never need the body die again. But if I do...
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