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Old April 12, 2012, 08:37 PM   #1
splatman
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Problem sizing 338 Lapua brass

Hello first time here. I have RCBS full length 338 Lapua sizer die which is
leaving fine parallel lines (marks) along the circumference on the outside of the neck. Using Lapua brass. The dies are new. Is this normal? Dont remember seeing this happen when I was loading for 308 using Winchester brass.

Also have never done this before so hope I do this correctly. I see below
you can use Tags. What are the tags for? THX.

-splatman
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Old April 12, 2012, 09:17 PM   #2
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Splatman, a picture would be really helpful here. Any chance you can post one?
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Old April 12, 2012, 09:51 PM   #3
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Have you called RCBS?
http://www.rcbs.com/general/ask.aspx
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Old April 13, 2012, 12:14 AM   #4
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There shouldn't be any lines anywhere.

New to what? If you've loaded 308Win, it's the same deal. More powder and a bigger bullet is all.

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Old April 13, 2012, 12:57 AM   #5
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Hello, splatman. Just wondering..you said dies are new..did you first clean out any polishing compound the mfg. might have left in there before using?
What type case lube are you using? That sounds like pretty heavy (thick) brass..I normaly use Imperial wax, but for tough jobs..I have found nothing better than Corbin sizeing lube. It sounds like you might have brass sticking in there..look into die with strong light & magnification..if you see streaks of metal standing above surface..thats where your "lines" are coming from..chances are your dies aren't harmed..it's only metal torn from the previous case necks. carefully polish out with 400 or 600 grit wet or dry paper on a dowel & light oil, & clean-up with solvent.
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Old April 13, 2012, 01:15 PM   #6
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Saw a thread with this Lupua 30-06 brass, sized in a new RCBS Die. Never found out why or how to fix it. ??
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Old April 13, 2012, 01:46 PM   #7
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That photo looks like the shoulder/neck junction of the die is razor sharp and needs light polishing. I see the pattern on the inside of the neck, suggesting the neck had it going into the die and the die scraped it. If you can, borrow a bore scope and have a look. If not, call RCBS.
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Old April 19, 2012, 06:37 PM   #8
splatman
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Thanks for all the responses. Sorry for the delay been so busy looking for work. The picture below is exactly what I see on my brass. I called RCBS and they told me to send the die in and they will polish it out. So it sounds like a die problem... bummer. Yea not new to reloading just new to this forum. Yes I always clean the dies using Birchwood Casey Gun Scrubber which works well just protect your eyes. I am using RCBS lube. Also using graphite coated #9 bird shot to lube inside of the neck but does not work to well. It takes considerable force (upstroke) on a RCBS Rock Chucker to remove the case from the sizing die this maybe related the the lines in the neck and the extra friction
it causes.

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Old April 19, 2012, 08:22 PM   #9
243winxb
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Quote:
Also using graphite coated #9 bird shot to lube inside of the neck but does not work to well. It takes considerable force (upstroke) on a RCBS Rock Chucker to remove the case from the sizing die this maybe related the the lines in the neck and the extra friction
it causes.
The RCBS lube, applied to the inside of the neck with a nylon brush, works for me on the tiny 243 win. You might want to put a mic on the expander when the die comes back. See if its the correct diameter.
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Old April 19, 2012, 08:57 PM   #10
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Graphite on shot might be a bit weak. Usually molybdenum disulfide is used that way to avoid having enough loose to contaminate the chamber, but graphite powder or motor mica powder you can just put into a small container like an airgun pellet tin about one neck length deep, then just stick each neck down into it and maybe tap it lightly with your finger tip to drop the excess back in. That's how Imperial Dry Neck Lube works.
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Old April 21, 2012, 07:24 PM   #11
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The RCBS Competition FL die has a raised expander ball. If using this die, the expander may be to high in the die pinching the neck between the expander & die? The Forster brand has this also.
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Old April 22, 2012, 01:14 PM   #12
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Good point. The standard dies have the expander lower down, but I don't have any of the competition style to check. Lee dies can also have the expander set too high for the neck to escape. His scrapes have clearly demonstrated a sharp shoulder/neck corner that's not polished, and polishing should fix it. Nonetheless, if it's a competition sizing die, I would be double-checking that expander position, too. No point bending the brass around corners tighter than necessary.
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Old April 24, 2012, 10:55 AM   #13
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Have not sent my die into RCBS yet. But its just a regular die not a competition die. Also tried RCBS lube on the inside of the neck as suggested as this works a lot better that the graphite BB's. Will this contaminate the powder? if so how do you get the lube out of the case. I used a Q-tip is there something better to use?

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Old April 24, 2012, 09:55 PM   #14
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It's hard for that to contaminate enough powder to matter in general shooting as long as no big glob is in there. I would not do it with match loads. Just tumbling the sized cases for a short time (maybe 20 minutes or so) in plain corncob removes the lube inside and out before you go on to the next steps.

Also, be aware that Hornady makes a carbide expander for RCBS dies as well as their own. I don't know if they have one .338" wide or not, but it's worth checking. I've got carbide expanders on a couple of my dies and it is a lot easier to pull the neck over them.
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Old April 24, 2012, 10:21 PM   #15
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You can also polish your current expander.

Progressively going to 4000 grit will eliminate the need for lube.

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Old April 27, 2012, 10:39 PM   #16
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Flitz and a 12ga shotgun bore mop, chuck the bore mop in a drill apply flitz polish, a minute or so will take care of the galling in the die. As has been suggested lube the inside of the neck before sizing will help plus polish the expander too. A few minutes in a tumbler should take care of any lube inside of the case. William

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Old May 5, 2012, 02:04 PM   #17
splatman
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Thanks for the suggestions. Would like to get away from lubing the inside of the neck if at all possible. Even with using the lube (RCBS) its easier, but still seems to put too much stress on the case given the amount of leverage one can generate with the RCBS Rock Chucker. May try to polish the expander as suggested. Also can not believe the pressure it takes to seat the primer
in these Lapua brass, using Federal 215 primer. This Lapua brass maybe more
trouble than its worth. I could not find a neck brush to apply the lube but an
eraser on the end of a real wood pencil works great. I went ahead and used a
Q-Tip to clean the residue left inside the neck.
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Old May 6, 2012, 07:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Would like to get away from lubing the inside of the neck if at all possible.
If you don't lube the inside of the neck using a standard sizing die, you will tend to pull the neck off center.

One way to get away from neck lubing is to size the body with a Redding body die then size the neck with a Lee collet die. This will produce sized brass with the straightest necks to reduce bullet runout.
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Old May 7, 2012, 10:54 AM   #19
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Yep. That's what I've been doing over the last year or so. Works great.


Splatman,

Sometimes you get brass with tight pockets. I have some IMI brass in .308 that was so tight I just gave up trying to seat primers in it without first running them through a swager normally used to remove military crimps. If you don't run a large volume of these .338 cases, the smoothest seating I've ever experienced comes from using the Wilson case trimmer's primer pocket profile cutter. You do need to own one of their trimmers to use it, but the basic trimmer, .338 shell holder, and the profile cutter combined are still less than some of the swaging tools (try Bruno Shooter's Supply on pricing). It's also one of the best trimmers made for precision and smooth cut.

As to neck lube, try the graphite powder. You don't have to remove it afterward.
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Old May 15, 2012, 07:41 PM   #20
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jepp2,


Not sure how the Lee collet die works. In my RCBS die the FL die sizes the
neck under bullet diameter and the expander ball sizes it up to provide the
correct neck tension. Does the Redding body die do anything to the neck?
Can you explain how the Lee collet die works.
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Old May 15, 2012, 07:56 PM   #21
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Quote:
Not sure how the Lee collet die works. In my RCBS die the FL die sizes the neck under bullet diameter and the expander ball sizes it up to provide the
correct neck tension. Does the Redding body die do anything to the neck?
Can you explain how the Lee collet die works.
The Redding die only sizes the body and if adjusted so, will move the shoulder back. It does nothing with the neck of the case. This allows you to adjust and properly size the case body for proper headspace without any influence of the neck of the case (and yes, you can use a full length die, but it works differently).

The collet die is a very inexpensive die that simply presses the neck of the case against the mandrel of the die. This will do two things your FL die cannot do:

- it will provide case necks with lower runout than your FL sizing die can do.
- it will resize your neck without "working" it as much as your FL sizing die will. This is because as you mention, a FL die undersizes the neck, then the expander opens it back up. This work hardens the brass more and unless you anneal your case necks, you will probably suffer neck splits earlier.

An added benefit is that the Lee collet die required absolutely no lube. On a FL die, if you don't reduce the friction by some means, bad things can happen. It can pull the neck off center, stretch the neck, and if you hear a screech when your expander pulls back through the case neck, one or more is probably happening.

I also use the collet die for neck sizing and only size the body and move the shoulder back a couple of .001" when chambering starts to get difficult. The Lee collet die does have a learning curve, and if you are unwilling to read and follow the directions, you probably will damage the die.
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Old May 15, 2012, 09:21 PM   #22
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And use the body die first. That way any brass flowed into the neck tends to be flattened on the mandrel, avoiding the formation of the interior donut.

This video on the collet die's effectiveness is a good watch.
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Old May 15, 2012, 09:28 PM   #23
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Will watch the video thanks for the info and explanation as well!
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Old May 15, 2012, 11:33 PM   #24
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One problem, Lee does not make the collet neck sizer die in 338 lapua.
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Old May 16, 2012, 08:50 AM   #25
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No, it's not available off the shelf. You'd have to get it through their custom order form. That takes the "inexpensive" out of it, though if you get a few other .338 Lapua shooters interested, I expect you could get a significant discount for additional copies once their tooling is set up. You'd have to call them. Unfortunately the base of the .338 Lapua is wider than their 0.555" limit for their standard series collet dies, so the large series price has to be paid and that's almost three times higher.

Absent that tool, you can still get a Lee universal decapping die to decap cases separately, or get an undersized Redding expander to hold their decapping pin in place, then use a Redding bushing die with the bushing selected to result in the correct neck ID and without the undersized or absent expander touching the inside of the neck. You then need only to lube the outside of the neck to prevent neck pulling.

A third possibility is to decap separately or put an undersized expander on a standard sizing die, then use a Sinclair mandrel die body and neck expanding mandrel to final size the neck ID. This expands the neck by entering it with a gradual taper and pushing down rather than pulling up. The gradual taper applies less axial force than a typical expander does when pulling up, especially if you get one of the carbide mandrels, and it also puts the case in compression rather than tension during expansion, which is more resistant to the neck tipping off-axis as the applied force then fattens rather than thins the profile. Pulling a standard expander out of a case neck is always just a little like pulling a finger out of a finger handcuff.
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