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Old November 8, 2012, 05:54 PM   #1
SEHunter
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Neck or Full Length?

I have been going back and forth between neck sizing and FL sizing. I only load for the same gun and have been neck sizing only for a while now.

In a Rem. 700, 30.06 production rifle with only an action bedding job, how much could i really gain by neck sizing only?

I had the full action and barrel bedded a few years back and recently floated the barrel which changed the accuracy of my previous "perfect load", so i will have to go back to the range and work up another that likes the floated barrel. The hand loads are often hard to chamber but always easy to extract. I do trim each case every loading with the Lee case length guide and use a Hornady chamber length guage to measure my chamber and have the the bullet around an 1/8" from the lands. After i find a load my gun likes, I always use the same fire formed brass, same stamp of cases, same primers and am within the charges of published data. Like i say, i trim, chamfer and debur every case as well as individually weigh the charges. Tried neck turning but gave up on that because i couldnt find a way to be consistant with how far down to the shoulder i was turning.

My components have been IMR-4350, Fed. 210 primers, Rem. Brass and the C/T ballistic silver tip bullet. Im a creature of habit but am thinking of trying a different bullet and maybe powder. I have always assumed the C/T bullet reduces copper fouling which would help more consistant groups.

I have been set on seating the bullet out to the lands for a while now but wonder if i need to give up on that and seat closer to sammi standards. Any advice?
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Old November 8, 2012, 05:59 PM   #2
jwrowland77
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I neck size only in new brass, in all other brass I full length size. To each their own though.

The reason I only neck size in new brass is too just straighten out the necks since they get bent in shipping. New brass should be within specs already.

That's just me though. Each person does it differently.

On OAL, I generally set .03-.02 from the lands. I know some that set .002 from the lands. I haven't quite gotten that brave yet though. I get within .500"-.600" spread with .02-.03 from the lands though in my rifle.
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Old November 8, 2012, 06:02 PM   #3
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"In a Rem. 700, 30.06 production rifle with only an action bedding job, how much could i really gain by neck sizing only?"

If nothing else you save a lot of time neck sizing. No need to lube and then clean off the lube. It also works the brass less and should extend case life. I read (on the internet so it must be true) that a lot of the benchrest accuracy loonies full length resize so that internal case capacity is the same since the case capacity of a neck sized case can vary depending on how fast the case cooled after firing. That sounds a little excessive to me but maybe the question is how much would you really gain by full length resizing. My guess is not much.
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Old November 8, 2012, 06:47 PM   #4
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By neck sizeing only you do not work your cases as much as you do with FL dies. If your cases seem to be sized down alot, you have a large chamber, they will blow out about 1/2 in form the bottom of the case if FL sized. If you have a fairly tight chamber FL is ok and the case neck should split first. This is if you load your cases untill they gie up. I do alot of both, but perfer to neck size only the ammo that is gong back in the same gun. As for seating depth I have found gun that like a long bullet jump, but not many, and other that I jam the bullet into the lands for best accuracy. I would recomand that you try different seatings to find out what you gun likes. As a rule I have found that short bullets can be jumped farther than long bullets. That`s another rule made to be broken. If your looking for another powder to try you might give 4831 a try.
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Old November 8, 2012, 07:48 PM   #5
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I want all the case life I can get, so I have gone totally to neck sizing. I'll FL size if I need to bump the shoulders back, but quite honestly I haven't had to do much of that. Prior to neck sizing, I did a lot of partial resizing. That worked well on tapered cases, but not so well on 223 and 260 cases. If you want the honest truth on what type of sizing gives the best accuracy, you'll need to ask someone else. For me, the accuracy differences (better or worse) due to the type of case sizing are of less impact on my group size than my shooting ability is.
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Old November 8, 2012, 08:52 PM   #6
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i know that with so many variables between different rifles and components, its impossible for many rules to stretch across the board but all of what you guys have said is along the lines with my current understanding.

I use RCBS dies and i have always adjusted them as the factory instructions direct which in RCBS is to set the die down until the press just does cam over-with the ram up, touch it with the die then 1/4 turn further down. What i am not completely sure of is that with the neck die, is it still possible to push back or bulge the shoulder?

I have triple checked my seating depth when compared to my chamber length (to the lands) and im pretty sure that im not seating too long but i cant figure out why i have a hard time chambering some of the cases. I trim every time so i know its not the case length. The cases extract fine. Any ideas?
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Old November 8, 2012, 10:27 PM   #7
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I'm guessing that you are shooting a near-max load and some of the cases are needing to have the shoulders pushed (bumped) back just a bit, which a neck sizing die won't do. That would account for some difficulty in chambering, but easy extraction. If I'm correct, then you can buy a die that will bump the shoulder back a bit. Or, you can use the FL dies that you already have and partial resize the cases. The 06 case has enough taper that the partial resize will work. The Nosler manual (or the internet) has a brief explanation of how to do this, but the basic answer is that you don't bottom out the FL die like you would to totally FL size the case. You'll be sizing most, but not all of the neck, and you should be able to set the shoulders back just a tiny bit. You'll have to fiddle with it to find just the right amount of sizing to work in your rifle. I used this technique for years with my 270 and 220 Swift. Think of the procedure as a little more sizing than neck sizing, but a little less than FL sizing.
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Old November 9, 2012, 01:13 AM   #8
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I hope you guys come back and read this:::: I may have to repost with a very similar heading.... anyway!!!

I reloaded a while back ago. 25-06 I used a Lee single stage along with Lee Collete Die (Neck Only) Reading what everyone else has posted above, I have to ask:

What did I do wrong? I shot factory no prob. went home and reloaded 117 gr. spBT's same as factory. Took gun and MY ammo out hunting, didn't see a single deer, came home, and was unable to eject MY round out of the chamber. I was scared to keep it hot so I fired the round off and the case came out no prob. This happened a few times when I was out at the range. I would try taking out a live round out of the chamber and was unable to. I put a lot of pressure on the bolt, I'm telling ya, You would have needed a hammer... I always thought it was MY round being such a tight fit that it couldn't be taken back out....

Any ideas?

Going to reload again very soon. Thinking the same question. But a little skeptical of the Neck size only now!!!!!
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Old November 9, 2012, 07:13 AM   #9
SEHunter
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Quote:

"I'm guessing that you are shooting a near-max load and some of the cases are needing to have the shoulders pushed (bumped) back just a bit, which a neck sizing die won't do. That would account for some difficulty in chambering, but easy extraction. If I'm correct, then you can buy a die that will bump the shoulder back a bit. Or, you can use the FL dies that you already have and partial resize the cases. The 06 case has enough taper that the partial resize will work. The Nosler manual (or the internet) has a brief explanation of how to do this, but the basic answer is that you don't bottom out the FL die like you would to totally FL size the case. You'll be sizing most, but not all of the neck, and you should be able to set the shoulders back just a tiny bit. You'll have to fiddle with it to find just the right amount of sizing to work in your rifle. I used this technique for years with my 270 and 220 Swift. Think of the procedure as a little more sizing than neck sizing, but a little less than FL sizing."

Yes- i am near max. I guess i dont understand how the inside of the dies are working as far as partial sizing goes because i have always assumed that by the time the mouth began to be resized, the case body had already been sized from having been run almost completely up through the die.

I have some once fired cases and if they chamber easy, i will have to decide whether to reduce my load charge or begin to FL size every few cycles.
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Old November 9, 2012, 07:32 AM   #10
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SEHunter it's totally up to you dude, but for me,( I use my handloads for hunting) I like to fl resize, then when I get to the field I have zero loading and unloading troubles.
Loademwell, sound to me like you didn't adjust your dies correctly, next time you handload some 25-06, try an empty case in your rifles chamber after you set your die, and see where the termoil came from. I randomly test my empty cases like this so I can further control the quality of my handloads.
SEHunter I like your choice of bullets and powder, but try this one a 150 grn Accubond with IMR 4350,, it really seems to me that alot of 30-06's love IMR4350, it fills the case and burns well in 22 inch barrels.
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Old November 9, 2012, 09:30 AM   #11
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I neck sized for my .257 Roberts for years and would have a little bolt closing interference that I never gave much thought to. Then when the Grand kids started using that rifle, well they had trouble chamber ing.
I then decided I had better FL size for them.
That worked well as for clambering but I found my brass was then to brittle and had case separation issues. Had to toss the whole lot of brass.

Loademwell;
I have closed my bolt on very tight loads due to neck sizing and have never had any trouble opening bolt before or after firing. The only time I had a bolt opening issue was when I had a extreme over pressure caused by my re sizing lube cementing the bullets into the cases on a batch that was a couple years on the self. I wasn't cleaning the lube out of case necks after I was Q tip ing necks with RCBS case lube., anyway, if I had your rifle in my hands I would make up a few dummy rounds and feel very carefully how the bolt handle feels closing. I am thinking you have a shoulder or indent in the locking lugs from some previouse issue or birth defect of the rifle, if you will.
If you have trouble opening the bolt handle with a dummy load chambered I guess you might bump the bolt forward with a soft block of some kind.
But in careful feeling of the bolt closing you should feel something.
Or visit a Gun Smith.
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Old November 9, 2012, 10:33 AM   #12
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hooligan is certainly right, in that you can FL size the cases each time and probably have no chambering issues. But, if what you are doing right now is neck sizing, then further adjustment of the die won't change the tight chambering problem at all. My suggestion about partial resizing would be that you back out the FL die enough so that when you raise the ram and shellholder up to the base of the die, there's about the width of a dime showing between the base of the die and top of the shellholder. That should be enough to size most of the neck and still bump that shoulder back a small amount. Find a case that you've neck sized and that chambers with difficulty. Then do the above-described partial resize and then see how that same case chambers. I think you said that you have a 30-06. That tapered case will partial resize quite well.

Of course, you could just FL resize each time. The result will be shorter case life, but maybe that isn't an issue with you. As for accuracy, there are those that say that FL resized cases shoot better than Partial Resized or Neck Sized cases. Maybe to the long range guys that's true. My personal feeling is that my neck sized and partial resized cases shoot a bit better than the FL sized cases (in my rifles), but I don't have hard data to support that, and I suppose it's possible that I just want to believe that. Anyway, try the partial resize out and see what you think. Can't hurt, and tinkering is always fun.
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Old November 9, 2012, 10:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
What did I do wrong? I shot factory no prob. went home and reloaded 117 gr. spBT's same as factory. Took gun and MY ammo out hunting, didn't see a single deer, came home, and was unable to eject MY round out of the chamber. I was scared to keep it hot so I fired the round off and the case came out no prob. This happened a few times when I was out at the range. I would try taking out a live round out of the chamber and was unable to. I put a lot of pressure on the bolt, I'm telling ya, You would have needed a hammer... I always thought it was MY round being such a tight fit that it couldn't be taken back out....

Any ideas?

Going to reload again very soon. Thinking the same question. But a little skeptical of the Neck size only now!!!!!
I consider neck sizing or partial neck sizing to be sloppy reloading practices and your experience shows it.

I do not know why your cases come out after firing but I am of the belief that given enough neck sizing cycles, it will take a cleaning rod and a block of wood to get them out of the chamber. I think this will happen because of the inability of brass to spring back as much when it work hardens.

I full length resize everything, I use cartridge case headspace gages in setting up my dies, (I also headspace my rifles, most of them at least) and if the rifle headspace is between Go and No Go, then sizing to Gage minimum ensures that all cases will chamber without resistance. Also ensures that standard pressure loads extract without resistance.

You can look at this image and see that both the chamber and case expand and contract during combustion. There is a tiny amount of springback in the brass and if the case did not over expand due to over pressure loads, there will be a clearance between the chamber and brass first firing. Second firing the brass will be a little harder and the clearance will be less. If the load is overpressure there will be an interference fit between the case and chamber. If you start out with an interference fit, such as people here are claiming is perfectly OK with neck sized rounds, then after firing, you will have even more of an interference fit.



As for case life, with my gaged chambers and gaged sized cases, I took one set of LC 308 cases 23 firings in match M1a’s. I lubricated the cases so I did not get any case head separations during extraction, dry cases will give about 8 to 10 loads before separating. I full length sized with small base die and bumped the shoulder back about 0.003” and got match winning accuracy out to 600 yards.




Safety and function are my highest priorities and I am skeptical about the supposed “accuracy” benefits of neck sizing. People who fuss over ¼” differences in group size when using a 300 lb concrete bench and 30 pounds of sandbags, and yet, get them off the bench they are unable to hold well enough to hit a refrigerator at 100 yards. These people wasting their time with esoteric reloading techniques, and if their ammunition jams in a hunting situation, they have wasted a lot more time and money.
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Old November 9, 2012, 01:47 PM   #14
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Slamfire must not have had his happy meal this morning. A lot of people are sure going to surprised to hear that their neck sizing (or partial resizing) is sloppy and ill advised.

No need to be rude.
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Old November 9, 2012, 02:12 PM   #15
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Maybe 603, but what he finished his reply with is spot on in my book. + 100 for Slamfire.
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Old November 9, 2012, 02:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slamfire
I consider neck sizing or partial neck sizing to be sloppy reloading practices and your experience shows it.

I do not know why your cases come out after firing but I am of the belief that given enough neck sizing cycles, it will take a cleaning rod and a block of wood to get them out of the chamber. I think this will happen because of the inability of brass to spring back as much when it work hardens.

I full length resize everything, I use cartridge case headspace gages in setting up my dies, (I also headspace my rifles, most of them at least) and if the rifle headspace is between Go and No Go, then sizing to Gage minimum ensures that all cases will chamber without resistance. Also ensures that standard pressure loads extract without resistance.

You can look at this image and see that both the chamber and case expand and contract during combustion. There is a tiny amount of springback in the brass and if the case did not over expand due to over pressure loads, there will be a clearance between the chamber and brass first firing. Second firing the brass will be a little harder and the clearance will be less. If the load is overpressure there will be an interference fit between the case and chamber. If you start out with an interference fit, such as people here are claiming is perfectly OK with neck sized rounds, then after firing, you will have even more of an interference fit.
Are you using FL bushing dies or FL dies with an expander button? I would assume that since you are into rifle match you are using bushing dies. I think that people need to make that disctinction when they talk about FL sizing.
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Old November 9, 2012, 04:23 PM   #17
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Again, I use full length sizing dies with threads on the outside, threads make my dies adjustable, all I have to know is “how to adjust”, not fair to other reloaders, my full length aizer dies are versatile, I can form/size cases for short chambers, .012” shorter than minimum length, I can size cases that are ‘beyond’ field reject or longer, I can size a case that could be considered ‘to infinity’ or a more particle .014” longer than a minimum length case from the head of the case to the shoulder of the case. That is 26 different lengths with one full length sizer die.

Nothing like knowing the length of the chamber from the bolt face to the shoulder of the chamber when setting up a die that is versatile. reloading would be too boring for me if I had but two choices as ion full length sizing and neck sizing.

I have small base dies, full length sizer dies and I have versatile full length sizer dies, again, threads on my FL dies turn them into vestal dies, then there is the feeler gage, the companion tool to the press, the feeler gage turns my dies with threads into vestal dies.

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Old November 9, 2012, 04:45 PM   #18
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hooligan, if you'll read what I wrote in post #5, you'll see that I couldn't prove that one way of sizing gave better accuracy than another, though I did feel that neck or partial sizing gave better results in my rifles. It's an opinion that may or may not be fact. As for the OP, he had a problem and wanted a little help. In my view all he had was a case shoulder or three that needed to be pushed back just a bit. A minor issue and easily corrected with either partial or FL resizing.

And where in the world did the OP or I ever suggest that we wanted less than safe loads or functioning loads? In the last 40 years, I have not had a case that didn't chamber just as I wished or a final load that didn't shoot as well as I wanted. And never have I ever had any safety issues when hunting or reloading, at least not rifle or ammo related issues. As for accuracy, my longest shot offhand was a successful shot into the shoulder of a nice 9 point whitetail at approx 450 yards (with an astonished witness and without a lead sled or sandbags). I'm a safe reloader and a fine shot and hopefully the OP is too. Neither the OP nor I deserved any rude and angry comments from you or Slamfire.

I've said things on this forum in the past that I wish that I hadn't said, so I understand how easy it is to do that.
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Old November 9, 2012, 04:46 PM   #19
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Quote:
Are you using FL bushing dies or FL dies with an expander button? I would assume that since you are into rifle match you are using bushing dies. I think that people need to make that disctinction when they talk about FL sizing.

I shot a 223 NM AR15 barrel out with a standard Lee Sizing Die. My 223 and 308 Lee dies give me 0.001” case neck run out and I think that is pretty good. However the Lee Die does not reduce cases as much as a small base die, as evidenced by this case that won’t drop all the way into the reamer cut case gage.




This Redding Die I will use when the RCBS small base die I used to size this case wears out. If you notice this case was reduced enough to drop all the way in.



I have buds who are outstanding shooters, and two are National F Class champs, and some play with bushing dies, some don’t. I am not good enough of a shot at 1000 yards that neck bushing versus standard sizing die makes a difference on target. What I have observed, is the ability to hold your rifle consistently each shot, a consistent trigger pull, and being spot on with your wind call, makes for smaller groups than super duper reloading equipment. Many times I have had the wind blow my round three feet left, or three feet right, and neck sizing, bushings, or standard sizing dies techniques won’t fix that issue.

After three years of shooting competition small bore prone, at least once a month, more often twice a month, and shooting at the Nationals, with a hand held rifle I am occasionally (v. Occasionally!) getting 50 yard targets that look like this, but three years ago, I would be shooting 47’s, 48’s with a couple of X’s. It takes work at the range to shoot well. Poor shooting skills cannot be compensated for with esoteric reloading techniques.

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Old November 9, 2012, 06:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
Loademwell;
I have closed my bolt on very tight loads due to neck sizing and have never had any trouble opening bolt before or after firing. The only time I had a bolt opening issue was when I had a extreme over pressure caused by my re sizing lube cementing the bullets into the cases on a batch that was a couple years on the self. I wasn't cleaning the lube out of case necks after I was Q tip ing necks with RCBS case lube., anyway, if I had your rifle in my hands I would make up a few dummy rounds and feel very carefully how the bolt handle feels closing. I am thinking you have a shoulder or indent in the locking lugs from some previouse issue or birth defect of the rifle, if you will.
If you have trouble opening the bolt handle with a dummy load chambered I guess you might bump the bolt forward with a soft block of some kind.
But in careful feeling of the bolt closing you should feel something.
thanks! I bet that was the problem I was having. My mentor (who is an old school reloader) wasn't advised that I had neck sized die's. or didn't understand it yet. He told me "Always use lube on your casing" Even when I questioned him about the "lubeless dies" he replied; "Don't know nothing about them, but I'm sure it wouldn't hurt anything."
So all in all, I bet that was the prob. While letting the live round sit in the gun for a while, the lube fused inside of the chamber. Shooting it off must have jolted it free.
Lessons learned, Clean all finished rounds off before you load them up.

Thanks guy for all your info....
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Old November 9, 2012, 07:06 PM   #21
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Neck sizing versus FL sizing. It will never be put to rest. Some rifles shoot better one way over the other. I have found in a 5 of my rifles FL sizing wins everytime. It takes time and patiance to do,but load development is as fun as shooting to me. You just need to do your own tests and see what your rifle likes. Brass lasts longer neck sized only?. 6 of one half dozen of the other on that story also. Brass is still cheap enough that you really don't need to worry about it. I get 12 reloads out of my 308's, 17 reloads out of my 6MMBR, 14 reloads in 243, Around 8 in 223 and about 10 in the 22-250. I don't know if brass is shot by then,but like i say,, It is to cheap to take any chances after that. Those are just where i stop to be safe.
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Old November 9, 2012, 09:17 PM   #22
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Im not ill about Slamfires post- all i care about is having no lack of confidence when i squeeze the trigger at 200+ yards on a coyote or deer or what ever game i am after so, i appreciate all advice but i will admit that im confused now because i have read in so many places that neck sizing (when using fire formed brass in the same gun exclusively) yeilds the best results from a precision standpoint.

That is the sole reason i do it-not because its faster. Im not concerned with case life simply because after i find my load, i only check my scope and hunt from that point foreward and am not a high volume shooter. I understood that a case thats formed to a specific chamber will bring the most consistant results. Is this more misconception than fact?

FL sizing would not make my loading secessions longer because i still tumble twice with neck sizing just to make sure my finger prints from case prepping dont stain the case and also to know i dont leave any brass shavings in the case from trimming, deburring, etc.
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Old November 10, 2012, 09:48 AM   #23
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I understood that a case thats formed to a specific chamber will bring the most consistant results. Is this more misconception than fact

Bingo. Not so much misconseption as not always the case. Each rifle will react different.
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Old November 10, 2012, 11:14 AM   #24
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“i appreciate all advice but i will admit that I'm confused now because i have read in so many places that neck sizing (when using fire formed brass in the same gun exclusively) yields the best results from a precision standpoint”


“I understood that a case that's formed to a specific chamber will bring the most consistent results. Is this more misconception than fact”

It is not fair, when I eject a fired case it comes out as a fired case, if I eject the case after firing it for the first time it comes out as a once fired case. I could measure the case to deterring the effect the chamber had on the case when fired but as A RELOADER I knew the effect the chamber would have on the case when fired. I form first then fire.

Skill Level: fire forming is a matter of chambering a round and pulling the trigger. I am more impressed with reloaders that measure the dimension of the case before firing and again after firing, then there are the ‘snap-backs and spring-backs, the fired case offers no information because it snaps/springs back?’. My cases recover with little memory of what they were before the trigger was pulled, unless they get hammered, again, I am the fan of air between the case body and the chamber, not a lot, just a little because I am the fan of ‘time is a factor.

I form first then fire, I eject once fired cases. I cut down on case travel by matching the length of the case with the length of the chamber. It sounds impressive, “I seat my bullets .002” off the lands”, all I want to know is the distance from the bolt face to the beginning of the lands, I do not want my bullets setting at the lands when everything behind the bullet is getting serious, I want my bullets to have a running start, I am the fan of the bullet having a jump, not a problem setting up the seater die, I transfer the measurement from the chamber to the die, then back to the chamber, I did not say I did not have some nice tools, I said they were not necessary, again, I am the fan of transfers, standards and verifying.

The dial indicator on top of seating dies is impressive, in appearance, a reloader with a height gage and or a dial caliper can accomplish the same accuracy, all they need to know is ‘where is zero’, I transfer that measurement from the chamber to the seating die, then! ZERO.


“from a precision standpoint” ?

from the standpoint of cutting down on case travel from the head of the case to its shoulder, yes, avoiding full length sizing can extends the life of the case, to hear some versions ONE would believe the case jumps up, turns around, flips then recovers and aligns with the chamber after being fired.

Again, for $120.00 I bid on and won a rifle that was declared the ugliest rifle rifle ever built, the choir on forums jumped on it, I ask them to hold off, I did not want the rifle to become famous before the auction ended, my effort paid off 1 out of 10 cooperated, I had the rifle shipped to Carrolton, TX, I warned my friend, he got it half way out of the box and put it back, too ugly, I could not believe someone could build something that ugly without knowing what he was doing, sure enough, I took 12 different loads of 10 rounds each to the range, new cases, once fired cases, formed cases, different powder and bullets. each group could be covered with a quarter, some groups shared the same hole. Again, I did not believe the person that built the rifle knew nothing, he was kind enough to scribe his driver license # across the top of the rear receiver ring. I thought I was safe when I bid on the sum of all the parts, the Timney trigger was worth $70.00, the stock is embellished with at least 3 different woods, the oak enhances stability, the oak does else.

Point? If I change anything about this rifle I change the accuracy, if ammo was the controlling factor it would seem the rifle would have found something it did not like, then there is the $150.00 rifle made by Santa Fe, a most magnificent rifle. I purchased the rifle for the receiver, I have an 03A4 barrel that is chambered to 308 Norma Mag. the accuracy of the Santa Fe shooting the R-P ammo purchased with the rifle (from SEARS) in the early 60s indicates I can not improve on the accuracy.

F. Guffey
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Old November 10, 2012, 02:02 PM   #25
SEHunter
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Join Date: October 6, 2009
Posts: 221
After these posts, im not as set on neck sizing as i was. I do understand that i dont want to push the shoulder back when FL sizing but if the brass gets to the point where i want to push it back, i need to know how far by having my FL die correctly adjusted.

Stupid question- i ordered a head space guage from Brownells- how is this tool used correctly to adjust a full length die? Its the tool that the case fits into- not the tool that goes in the chamber to check head space. I had planned on using a fired case to make my head space measurement.
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