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Old June 15, 2007, 01:59 PM   #1
Chris Phelps
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Uh oh! (Resizing issue)

I have a BIG problem. I have 600+ rounds of once-fired Remington brass in .223. The paper that came with my dies says the maximum case length should be 1.760. After calling one of my friends and having him look in the hornady book, he says the minimum case length is 1.750. My cases are all 1.750 BEFORE being resized! If I resize them by following the directions to a T, the case size I end up with is 1.745, which hornady says is unsafe. what's going on here?!? Do I have 600 rounds of brass I cannot use, or is the book (or my friend) off in the measurement?


This sucks.


(FYI, I am brand new to hand loading... I received all of my equipment last night.)
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Old June 15, 2007, 02:25 PM   #2
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First, what dies are you using???

Metallic cases stretch after reloading and firing because the brass flows forward. These cases must be trimmed back to at least the maximum case length.

MAXIMUM case length is the LONGEST average length that will chamber in standard weapons, for 223 it is 1.760.

MINIMUM case length is the SHORTEST length a case should be trimmed, and is 1.750. (By accident I have trimmed cases shorter than the minimum and used them with no ill effects, only increased sooting around the front portion of the neck, until they stretched back to min.)

Your resized cases are now 1.745, which means either you have somehow compressed them, or your measuring device needs to be zeroed.

I have never shortened a rifle cartridge, but straight wall pistol case do shrink ever so slightly with succesive loadings.
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Old June 15, 2007, 02:59 PM   #3
Chris Phelps
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This brass (the majority of it) is at 1.752 before being resized. BEFORE being resized.

I found some inconstancies while measuring the brass. of the 10 rounds I measured, the AR brass is the shortest. The Brass I shot from my Stevens 200 is 1.756.


I am using the Lee 3 die set, and I followed the instructions to a T. I am throwing out the first batch I did, I know they are no good. However, I don't want to screw up any more brass. It seems like I will be set with the brass shot from the stevens, but the AR brass (about 80% of my stock) is garbage.

The calipers do not need to be zero'd... they are perfect.

The first picture is brass from my Stevens 200. Second picture is the same brass in the calipers. The third pic is a shell from my AR in the calipers. These shells were ALL from the same stock... Remington 55gr FMJ.

The brass in these pictures was not prepped.





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Old June 15, 2007, 03:05 PM   #4
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all the brass is garbage. with that being said I will take it off your hands just tell me where to send payment. Lol!!!

Full length resize a about 20 and see what you get for an OAL. I will bet you dollars to pesos that your brass is fine on the OAL. If a little long then trim back. If a tad short then just use a light load or a load with powders that leave more space inthe case so you can seat the bullet to the correct depth.
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Old June 15, 2007, 04:31 PM   #5
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I always size my brass and then trim if it's too long. That way I can crimp it if necessary, and the cartridges get the same amount of crimp. As long as your overall length with bullet seated isn't over length and fits the magizine you should be OK.
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Old June 15, 2007, 04:48 PM   #6
Jim Watson
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A case .005" shorter than the listed trim-to length - 1.745" instead of 1.750" - is in no way dangerous and I really doubt the Hornady book says that. Just means more shots til you have to trim. The pictures you show with cases at 1.752" and 1.757" are fine.

(Why do you not have a manual of your own? That can be dangerous, loading data over the phone, e-mail, or internet is not necessarily right. Books are proofread.)
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Old June 15, 2007, 05:03 PM   #7
Chris Phelps
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I have the Lee reloading book. The phone conversation was a case of .. I read in my book where it said max length, but gave no minimum length. I called my friend, who reloads, to see what he usually did. He looked his information up in the Hornady book. I wouldn't run an entire string of ammo and shoot it based on our phone conversations, but all I wanted to know was if 1.745 was too short. He said it was, According to Hornady.


I will be purchasing hornady and nosler reloading manuals next week. Like I said... I just barely got my reloading equipment last night. I still need a tumbler, and I absolutely hate the scale that the kit came with, so Ill be buying a new one before I start actually loading. I have no bullets, no primers, no powder. Mission #1 is simply to prep the brass. I am completely new at this, and right now I am just trying to figure out where I stand before I ruin any more of my brass stock. I don't even want to touch my 308 or 257 roberts before I figure out what I am doing wrong.
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Old June 15, 2007, 05:18 PM   #8
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As long as the brass has enough neck left to properly hold the bullet securely, it is safe to load. I've trimmed a bit short before and they were fine. Consistency is still the key.

Don't take case measurements or trim until they have been resized, unless you're measureing case head expansion.

Generally speaking, trim to length is .010 under max case length. But by all means, get more manuals and read more, and practice on oddball or reject brass.
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Old June 15, 2007, 05:26 PM   #9
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get yourself the lyman 48th edition as well. It is the best bang for the buck (no pun intended). Amazon has the best price on it.
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Old June 16, 2007, 09:01 AM   #10
b00
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I regularly trim my 223's to 1.740. It allows me to get more firing before a retrim is needed. Nothing wrong with doing so. RCBS even recommends it when using their x-die and accurate powders lists it as the trim length too.
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Old June 16, 2007, 09:13 AM   #11
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I regularly trim my 223's to 1.740. It allows me to get more firing before a retrim is needed. Nothing wrong with doing so. RCBS even recommends it when using their x-die and accurate powders lists it as the trim length too.
DOUBLE DITTOS !!!!!!!
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Old June 16, 2007, 09:38 AM   #12
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I remember when I first started to load, and how many little things kept getting in the way. No telling how many cartridges I ruined by not having a good regiment, and not understanding exactly what I was doing.

Let me offer a suggestion. In every Dye box, there is a set of instructions on how to set up and adjust your dyes. In almost every piece of your loading equipment, there is a set of instructions. Take all of these and tape them to a piece of cardboard, and pin them to the wall where you intend to load. This way you will have quick access to a procedure step that you may need to know.
Then take a piece of paper, and list the procedure steps that you intend to follow at each load session. Mine is: Measure Brass. trim to length, tumble, blow out tumble material, Spray with dry lubricant, run through de-priming and re-sizeing dye,de-burr (Inside rim & outside rim), re-prime brass, respray throat portion of cartridge with dry lube, then charge with powder, then load bullet ( checking measurements and dye tightness in press about every 10 rounds or so), then wipe off extra residue from lubricant and box them up.

By having these procedures in front of me on the wall, it sometimes keeps me from messing up a bunch of shells. It's easy to forget a step, and it will make a big difference. Couple of times I got distracted and forgot to put primers in brass, and charged about 50 rounds with no primers in them. Once I forgot to de-burr my brass and wound up crushing the brass back on about 100 rounds where they wouldn't chamber in my rifle.

What I'm saying is that if your new to re-loading, t is VERRRRRY easy to mess up. Get several load manuels and don't just look at them for load charges. Read them through to gain knowledge about chamber pressure, powder types, burn rate, ect.

Learn what powders are best with what calibers, and why.

The more you learn the more you will enjoy re-loading. The more you re-load, the better shot you will become. If you get stumped on ANY problem, you can always get on the Forum, and there are guys on here who have been doing this for 50years or so, and are more than willing to help you out.
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Old June 16, 2007, 10:00 AM   #13
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What you did was simply had the die adjusted a little too far down. You bumped the shoulders back too far. Back off a little and measure again. Even a full length size can make a case too long with repeated sizings.
I dout that your cases being .005 shorter will make it unsafe. Where does Hornady say this is unsafe?
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Old June 16, 2007, 11:00 AM   #14
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As long as the brass has enough neck left to properly hold the bullet securely, it is safe to load. I've trimmed a bit short before and they were fine. Consistency is still the key.
Within reason, Edward, within reason. Too short of a case could stretch too much and separate. I've seen it happen.

I don't think that being .05 short is a problem. But I agree that you probably have your dies set too deep, and are oversizing. Your necks are probably set back too far as well.
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Old June 16, 2007, 12:25 PM   #15
Chris Phelps
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How do you measure the neck to make sure you are not sizing it back too much?

I followed the instructions that came with my die set to a T, and the first case I tried, the neck actually buckled. I got it taken care of so it didn't buckle, but the next 2-3, the neck didn't seem to have a good angle to them. One of the guys on another forum I frequent suggested that I put a case in the press, raise it all the way, then screw the die in until I feel resistance. Pull the case back down, and turn the die another 1/8 to 1/4". I did this, and I think it may have solved my issue... it only pushed the neck back .002". I was very happy with that for the next 10 cases, but then I got one that the shoulder was really deformed on.. it may have had a 10 degree slope down to the neck. When I tried to resize that one, it pushed it back .002" like the rest, but the neck still looked the same.

This die set is the set I am using. The die in the middle is the one I am using, as stated by the instructions. The one on the left is probably the one I am supposed to be using, now that I look at it... but I had an issue with the decapper not removing the primer like it was supposed to.



Here is a picture of the instructions I have. I provided a link rather than resizing, just in case you need to zoom in on any particular section.

Instructions
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Old June 16, 2007, 12:59 PM   #16
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Uh-huh now we're getting somewhere.

What you're using is the collet "neck sizer" that lee supplies with their deluxe DIE set.

You are correct that you SHOULD be starting out with the "full length" die. The collet sizer can actually shorten the brass, as it does not set the shoulder of the case back. The full length die would most likely lengthen the over all length of the brass.

You could use the collet sizer for your bolt gun, but it is not reccomended for your AR rifles. They need the FL die to assure the shells will chamber.

Quote:
Within reason, Edward, within reason. Too short of a case could stretch too much and separate. I've seen it happen. Nothing was said about shoulder position, only the overall lenth of the entire brass case.

I don't think that being .05 short is a problem. But I agree that you probably have your dies set too deep, and are oversizing. Your necks are probably set back too far as well. Necks don't get set back only shoulders do. A collet die does nothing to the shoulder.
Older shooters/reloaders will remember when the 7-08 first came out. Rifles were available but new cases were hard to find. It was either buy expensive factory rounds to get cases or make them from .308 brass. The resulting 7-08 shell formed from .308 ended up being .020 SHORT! (.308 2.015- 7-08, 2.035). Untold thousands of these formed shells were fired, are still being fired at .020 short. So your brass is just fine at ONLY .005 short, won't hurt a thing.
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Old June 16, 2007, 01:30 PM   #17
Chris Phelps
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Okay, I tried the CORRECT die. Apparently, I needed to run an unprimed case through it first, so the decapper would drop down and do its job. Everything works flawlessly now, and I am seeing case lengths ranging from 1.755 to 1.757. This includes the cases that I had previously screwed up. I took one that was measured at 1.747, ran it through the FL resizer, and ended up with a case length of 1.753. It seems no brass has been wasted, after all!

I also noticed today, that when I received my dies from Midway, the die set for the 257 roberts was missing a couple of pieces. The collet neck sizer was missing the decapper and cap. (and everything else inside the neck sizer body.) I have emailed them regarding this issue. I also think my Lee kit was supposed to include a case gauge that goes inside? I dont know. I asked them about that as well.

Thank you all for your help and baring with my stupidity as I learn!
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Old June 16, 2007, 03:50 PM   #18
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hank you all for your help and baring with my stupidity as I learn!
Chris, you used the wrong word there, stupidity. The word you should have used is ignorance, that,(in my way of thinking), means you realize you don't know but are admitting that, and want to learn! There's no such thing as a stupid question one that don't get asked IS a stupid question, because you will remain ignorant.

It's great that you're being carefull, asking ??? before going on. You will go far grasshopper!
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Old June 16, 2007, 08:28 PM   #19
Chris Phelps
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"Ignorance" is one of my pet peeves. People think it simply means "don't know". Look at the root word. Ignore. Ignorance is when people tell you repeatedly, and you still don't listen or learn. For example, if you were to tell me I was using the wrong die, and I said "No, you dont know what you are talking about..." and continued doing it wrong... THAT is ignorance. It ****** me off royally when people call me ignorant, even though I know at least half the time, they simply do not know what that word really means.



How about this... Excuse the fact that I am at "Notch 1" on the learning curve. That seems to fit the bill rather well, at the moment.


Not having a tumbler right now is driving me nuts. I want to finish prepping this batch of brass, but most of it is rather dirty. I'm about to start hand polishing them individually. UGH.
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Old June 17, 2007, 12:00 PM   #20
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IMHO.

Ignorant=lack of education.
Dumb=inability to learn (for whatever reason).
Stupid=you know better, But do it anyway.

Chris in your spare time, read the whole, Lee book. Some of it applies, now some later.
Frankfort Arsenal has a nice little digital scale. The Lee scale is a PITA. But, very accurate. IE. it moves when you breath on it.
Can't get to Midwayusa. Or I would send you a link.

Tumbler. You get what you pay for. Make sure, there is a fan underneath for the motor. Heard some don't have a fan.
On your bolt reloads, you could get away with 0000 (4/0) steel wool.

I use corn cob, a hand full of walnut (for range pick ups), and Nu-finish.
Have fun. Be safe.
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Old June 17, 2007, 12:03 PM   #21
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Chris how is that 10FP?????????????
Got mine in Feb.
On my 3 powder. Still experimenting.
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Old June 17, 2007, 01:45 PM   #22
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Within reason, Edward, within reason. Too short of a case could stretch too much and separate. I've seen it happen.
Agreed but nothing had been said about shoulder / headspace. I would think that checking them in a case gauge for headspace is a given. Good point though as headspace is an issue and should be considered at the same time.

Within reason indeed. Brass is cheap rifles are not.
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Old June 17, 2007, 01:54 PM   #23
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You've done well by coming here. You'll learn a lot by both asking questions and posting questions of your own. There's a LOT on knowledge and experience here. ALWAYS, ALWAYS ask if your not sure!!

I also recommend the loading forum www.handloads.com dedicated to handloading. You'll like it there to!
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Old June 17, 2007, 03:04 PM   #24
Chris Phelps
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Chris how is that 10FP?????????????

I am absolutely 100% in love with the 10FP. IMO, I have a powerhouse rifle right now. I'm not fond of the factory stock at all... I can twist the rifle around while its on the Bipod, but a duramaxx stock will take care of that! I don't regret even one second of my purchase. The Accutrigger has been leaving quite the impression at the range, too. Everyone loves the feel of it!
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Old June 18, 2007, 09:03 AM   #25
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"Ignorance" is one of my pet peeves. People think it simply means "don't know". Look at the root word. Ignore. Ignorance is when people tell you repeatedly, and you still don't listen or learn. For example, if you were to tell me I was using the wrong die, and I said "No, you dont know what you are talking about..." and continued doing it wrong... THAT is ignorance. It ****** me off royally when people call me ignorant, even though I know at least half the time, they simply do not know what that word really means.
Chris, this shouldn't be a pet peeve. Regardless of the root of the word, ignorance simply means lack of knowledge. Any connotations you are adding are of your own doing and likely not the speaker's intent.

http://www.webster.com/dictionary/ignorance

What you are describing more closely fits stubborness.
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