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Old January 26, 2012, 11:20 AM   #1
Lilswede1
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.223 Once-fired brass, neck dia. too small

Purchase 1000 rd. .223 from Topbrass. Label reads "reamed/cleaned/sized/trimmed". So - Ready to load.
When I tried to seat the first bullet (50 gr. Sierra Blitzking) it took considerably more pressure then normal.
Inside neck size is .210 - .211. Ran several thru a FL RCBS die on the Rockchecker and they measured .217 - .218.
Called Topbrass but the Tech is on vacation for 2 weeks.
Anyone else ever encounter this problem?
I am really pleased with the condition of the brass, all but 20 ea. are LC - brass is bright and clean, inside and out. Only found 1 reject after visually inspecting all 1000 pcs.
Everything is great except for the narrow inside diameter of the neck.
Am concerned that neck tension may affect accuracy.
Rifle is a T3 Tikka .223 bolt action.
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Old January 26, 2012, 01:08 PM   #2
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not to get off Operator but dont you love the Tikka. Just bought one in 22-250 about 4 months ago. Developed a load that this gun absolutely loves at 100 yards. It a Hornady 50 gr. SP SX with Varget. Can punch same hole over and over. Gun is so smooth. I also really shoot more 223s than anything else. have been for about 8 years but friend had an unfired Tikka wanted to sell for $250.00 so I got it.
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Old January 26, 2012, 01:16 PM   #3
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That is very small.

But as long as they don't split while seating they should work just fine.

Not even sure how they got them that small unless they used a bushing that was way to small.
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Old January 26, 2012, 01:23 PM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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Brass only has a "springback" of something around .001 inch. As long as you can seat bullets without crushing the cases you won't have any more neck tension than if the necks had been .218 Which, even .218 seems pretty small to me. I normally see about .002-3 less than bullet diameter in all my calibers. Either way, don't matter anyway. The brass will stretch just like it does when fired and maintain about .001 "springback".
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Old January 26, 2012, 02:17 PM   #5
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Sounds like the neck is over-resized. Even your RCBS die does that before you pull the case off over the expander. The reason is that brass has a neck wall thickness tolerance of 0.004", or 0.008" diameter range outside a seated bullet. The sizing die has to be set to size it so the thinnest brass the tolerance allows will still be tight enough to grip a bullet. What you are seeing is brass that is on the thick side of tolerance after being sized to an OD suitable for brass of the thinnest tolerance.

In your RCBS die, the expander corrects the ID back out after thick neck brass has been run in. The drawback is that the expander often pulls the neck slightly off-axis, as it works on withdrawal, only. For some reason the Top Brass folks aren't expanding after sizing. It's sort of like a skipped step. On the other hand, this lets you control the neck tension if you want to size it to a specific ID by buying an expanding mandrel and die body from Sinclair to let you do that. Cast bullet shooters, for example, usually use a slightly oversize bullet, so they want a larger neck ID.

On the other hand, as you already have the RCBS die, I would just stick the necks mouths down into a quarter inch of powdered graphite or motor mica and slip them in the shell holder and just run them up far enough to go over the expander, then right back out again. No outside lubrication is required as you won't be pushing the case in far enough to need that. You may want to back your die up in the press far enough so this happens at the top of the stroke so you can't accidentally go in too far. Because you'll push in rather than pull off during the majority of the stretching, you should have less of an issue with tilting the necks.
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Old January 26, 2012, 03:23 PM   #6
mrawesome22
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Was thiz brass deprimed?
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Old January 26, 2012, 04:16 PM   #7
chris in va
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Sounds to me like they used the wrong decapper rod. Using lee dies, mine measure .220.
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Old January 26, 2012, 06:53 PM   #8
hoffbill
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Sounds like wrong decapper/expander or no expander at all? I agree if the bullet will seat without shaving it should be ok. If it is a little tighter it would be the equivilent of crimping it.
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Old January 26, 2012, 07:26 PM   #9
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I would follow unclenick's advice. I would run them over the expander, and pull it back out. Then load and shoot. I do all of the work with the once fired brass I use due to the fact that I am the schmuck that picks it up, so I have to do all the work once I get it home.
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Old January 27, 2012, 09:06 AM   #10
lockinload
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Are the bullets boat tails? I am sitting on 1000 bullets that are not boat tail and they are a pain in the butt to reload, to the point that I don't reload them, hence I am sitting on them.
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Old January 27, 2012, 09:48 AM   #11
confirmed shooter
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thay most likely used a tight neck sizing die. it will size fine and maintain memory for your rifle chamber.
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Old January 27, 2012, 10:49 AM   #12
bullspotter
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While i dont know how top brass dose the prep, I might say they are using dillion equipment, If it was trimmed, they pry didnt use an expander in the trim die, you cant, the trim station die is a size die, so if they did it this way, and didnt run a 2nd size die with expander after the trim station, the neck pry didnt get expanded back out where it should be. This is commen with many places selling ready to load 223/556 brass as well as 300 black out.
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Old January 27, 2012, 11:07 AM   #13
mehavey
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I even run an expander into new Lapua brass to uniform the neck tension.
`Recommend the OP do same on his brass.
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Old January 27, 2012, 05:14 PM   #14
Unclenick
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I'm pretty sure it says somewhere on the Top Brass site that they roll size the brass. This means it is rolled between two carefully spaced plates that have the correct exterior case profile. It has the advantages that the plate profile can be made to size the head and rim and extractor groove along with the rest of the case, where a handloader's dies do not. A lot of military surplus brass has bent rims from vigorous extraction, so that feature would be valuable in returning it to serviceable condition. It is also a fast sizing method that can be automated. It requires no case lube that would have to be subsequently removed, either. Just decap and clean the brass to keep the plates from getting scratch up, and run the stuff through.

Roll sizing also may not grow the brass as much as a handloader's sizing die does because it acts on the shoulder and sides of the case simultaneously, where a handloader's die narrows the case first, pushing the shoulder forward, then pushes the shoulder back, causing brass to squirt into the neck area. By holding the shoulder down as you narrow the body, as much brass may flow down as up.

I don't know how they incorporate trimming into their process. Expansion, if they were to do it, would require adding an operation and cost.


Lockinload,

Assuming equal quality, flat base bullets are almost always easier to get best short range accuracy with. What you can do is use a Lyman M expander die to get the bullet sitting upright for seating. You then adjust the seater die so the crimp profile built into it just closes the expanded portion back flat against the bullet.
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Last edited by Unclenick; January 27, 2012 at 06:10 PM.
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Old January 28, 2012, 10:26 AM   #15
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The diameter of the die's neck isn't the issue but the size of (or lack of) an expander ball is; sure sounds like there was NO exander used on those cases. Excessive "neck tension" WILL greatly increase bullet runout.

I would FL size those cases in my own dies before charging and seating.
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Old January 28, 2012, 04:47 PM   #16
Unclenick
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There's nowhere to put an expander in a roll sizing die, but the OD's should be right. He can check with a case gage, but I think just the expander or a mandrel is likely all he needs to use. That way he avoids the whole case lube and removal issue.
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