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Old November 17, 2012, 03:12 PM   #1
SEHunter
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Redding Competetion Shell Holders

Do these do a good job at allowing you to adjust for head space without having to adjust the die by trial and error each time?

Besides the obvious, how do they work? Once you determine which measurement of shell holder you need for a particular cartridge/gun, do you simply screw the die down until it touches the shell holder/ram at the raised position every time? If so, this seems to potentially save alot of time as well as provide more consistancy with each sit down at the press.

Any feedback with experience using these is appreciated.
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Old November 17, 2012, 03:32 PM   #2
F. Guffey
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Redding Competition shell holders: Depends, my opinion they come under the category of nice to have but not necessary, then there is the “You ‘gotta" have...etc..

I have one set, a #6 set for magnum cases like 300 Win Mag etc.. there is 5 shell holders in a set, each one is suppose to increase the length of the case from the head of the case to the shoulder .002”, not a problem, 3 of the five in my set are off .001”, Without the Redding Competition shell holder I have 10 options between .000 and .010, that is 5 more options than I had when I did not have the Redding set. When I am discussing the need for ‘a tool’ I never know if I am discussing the tool with the person that manufactures and sells the tool or someone that want a fair and or objective opinion. Again, my dies and presses have threads, the threads make my dies adjustable in the press, that leaves the ‘how to adjust’ part. I use the feeler gage to adjust the gap between the top of the shell holder and bottom of the die, then comes the difficult part, knowing how much gap when adjusting the gap, I determine the length of the chamber first.

The Redding os on the + side, with the feeler gage I can make adjustment on the – side, for short chambers? Forming cases for short chambers that are .012” shorter than a minimum length case does not create a problem when using a RCBS shell holder, with the Lee shell holder add about .003”.

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Old November 17, 2012, 09:09 PM   #3
SEHunter
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Thanks, i suppose my primary objective is to remove as much room for error as possible.

Duh..a feeler guage. Why havent i thought of that? I suppose once i did the work to find the right setting for my die the first time, using a feeler guage will allow me to reinstall my die to the same depth consistantly every time afterwards which is what im after.

Thanks.
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Old November 18, 2012, 01:00 PM   #4
Bart B.
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SEHunter, you can also set the die to a given height in the press then lock its ring snug on the press onto it. That'll stay there so every time you tighten the die into the press, it'll be at the same place. That's what that lock rings on reloading dies are for.

Best thing about the Redding stepped shell holders is if you full length sizing die needs to be .004" above a .125" high standard shell holder to set your fired case shoulders just right, use the .129" one that's .004" higher than standard and set the die such that the shell holder just touches the bottom of the die when sizing cases. A bit of "cam over" on the press handle ensures the case goes all the way into the die. This makes sized case headspace very, very uniform.

Last edited by Bart B.; November 18, 2012 at 01:06 PM.
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Old November 18, 2012, 03:59 PM   #5
jepp2
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Another alternative that will work with all your dies is the die shim set sold by Sinclair link

I find it quite easy to adjust the dies for each sizing session, provided you have an accurate means of measuring your headspace. And if you don't have a good way to measure, you are operating in the dark IMHO.
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Old November 20, 2012, 02:46 PM   #6
F. Guffey
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"A bit of "cam over" on the press handle ensures the case goes all the way into the die. This makes sized case headspace very, very uniform."



Nothing like starting over everyday, there is no ansurance the case goes all the way into the die, there are days the case whips the press, then there days the press whips the case, "....case goes all the way into the die?" If a reloader is going to spend $40.00 for a set of Competition shell holder they should learn to use them.

"set the die such that the shell holder just touches the bottom of the die when sizing cases. A bit of "cam over" on the press handle ensures the case goes all the way into the die. This makes sized case headspace very, very uniform" Just touches? Why? to full length size a case back to minimum length adjust the die down to the shell holder THEN!!! turn the die down an additional turn of 1/4? 1/2?? 3/4??? If the length of a minimum/full length sized case from the head of the case to the shoulder of the same case,the distance from the deck of the shell holder to the shoulder inside the is the same length if it is a full length sizer die that restores cases to minimum length. Just touching the shell holder with the die will not get it because of resistance to sizing and spring/flex of the press AND! the case could have been fired 47 times.



So, for those that purchase the set of 5 $40.00 shell holders, adjust the die down to the shell holder, THEN!!!! turn the die in an additional turn of the die in fractional turn, fractional turns converted to thousandths, or in degree, degree converted to thousandths, or use a height gage or a feeler gage, save the 40.00 until you have developed shop skills, and familiarity, become more familiar with the tools you have.

"ensures the case goes all the way into the die. set the die such that the shell holder just touches the bottom of the die when sizing cases. A bit of "cam over" on the press handle ensures the case goes all the way into the die. This makes sized case headspace very, very uniform"



If a reloader wants to know if the case was pushed into the die when the ram is/was raised measure the gap between the top of the shell holder and bottom of the die, touching is not going to get it, Do the Rogers double check, screw the down past the shell holder, make the press work.



Think about it, the die sets on top of the shell holder, resistance isbout the case being shoved into the die, the case offers resistance, to overcome resistance take advantage of the incline plane 'HREADS!!!!' Increase the ability of the press to overcome resistance by screwing the die down.



Worry? Why Worry? The maximum ability of a die and shell holder to return a case to minimum length is in the design, The shoulder in the die can not get closer to the shell holder deck, that means the limit of the die and shell holder is fixed/limited.



Just touching????? Redding Competition shells, same-O, same-O, to add add .006" to the length of the case between the head of the case and shoulder use the +006" shell holder, again, I have a set, I paid $5.00 for the #6 set, I did/do not need it, but 5 shell holders for $1.00 each is more than I could resist, again, 3 of the shell holders are off by .001", not a problem, small stuff does not lock me up, small stuff does not drive me to the curb.



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Old November 25, 2012, 05:24 PM   #7
F. Guffey
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Another alternative that will work with all your dies is the die shim set sold by Sinclair link .

“I find it quite easy to adjust the dies for each sizing session, provided you have an accurate means of measuring your headspace. And if you don't have a good way to measure, you are operating in the dark IMHO”

jeep2, in my opinion many problems are caused by bad habits. Before Skip’s shims there was ‘THE SHIM’ before ‘THE SHIM’ there were reoladers that made the shim obsolete. RCBS made dies for the 38 special, then RCBS made dies for the 357 Magnum, at the same time there were reladers that used 38 Special dies to size 357 Magnum cases. reloaders that used 38 Special dies to load 357 Magnum cases did not have bad habits, they were very confident reloaders, they did not secure the lock ring to the die, they adjusted the die to the shell (or off) holder every time they used their dies.

Difference? The seater die was also a crimp die, for reloaders that were afraid they were going to loose their setting made it necessary for the RCBS to make another set f dies, then RCBS had an discovered??? the difference between the crimp in the 38 Special die and the 357 Magnum die was = to the thickness of a washer, so they included the washer in a set of dies, thus eliminating the need for different dies for the 38 Special and 357 Magnum.

44 Special and 44 Remington Magnum, first they made separate die sets, then they made one set that fit both the 44 Special and 44 Remington, they added a washer to raise the seater when seating and crimping 44 special. Again, it was not necessary to make two sets of die, it was not necessary to add the washer for reloaders that are die adjusters. Skip’s shims? Like the washer/spacer, to install the reloader must remove the die from the press to add the washer/shim, again, I adjust my dies to or off the shell holder every time.

F. Guffey

Last edited by F. Guffey; November 25, 2012 at 05:26 PM. Reason: change an o to an i
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Old November 25, 2012, 06:20 PM   #8
SEHunter
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Question.. (with chooseing the correct Redding competition shell holder size) earlier today, i was in the basement messing around with some cases and was measuring the headspace on a few that i had sized and got to thinking about the Redding competition shell holders again.. i still have the case set aside that i sized by camming the press over while using the standard shell holder. With the RCBC precision mic, the head space of this case measured about -0.005" (way over-sized) while my unsized once fired cases measure an average of -0.001" so would using these two measurements be a good method to say that i would need a Redding competition shell holder that is 0.002" to allow me to cam the press over and have the head space measurement im looking for of -0.003" ? (0.002" shorter than a fired case)

I realize that to know for sure how accurate it is, i would eventually just have to get the shell holder and use it then measure the sized case, but in my logic, i thought this told me which one i need. Does this work out like im thinking it does?
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Old November 25, 2012, 07:30 PM   #9
Bart B.
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Quote:
With the RCBC precision mic, the head space of this case measured about -0.005" (way over-sized) while my unsized once fired cases measure an average of -0.001" so would using these two measurements be a good method to say that i would need a Redding competition shell holder that is 0.002" to allow me to cam the press over and have the head space measurement im looking for of -0.003" ? (0.002" shorter than a fired case)
I think that should do. Try it then post the measurements. Use fired cases to test with.
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Old November 26, 2012, 03:19 PM   #10
F. Guffey
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Quote:
With the RCBC precision mic, the head space of this case measured about -0.005" (way over-sized) while my unsized once fired cases measure an average of -0.001" so would using these two measurements be a good method to say that i would need a Redding competition shell holder that is 0.002" to allow me to cam the press over and have the head space measurement im looking for of -0.003" ? (0.002" shorter than a fired case)

I think that should do. Try it then post the measurements. Use fired cases to test with.




Bart B. he said “With the RCBC precision mic, the head space of this case measured about -0.005". I measure the length of the chamber from the bolt face to the shoulder of the chamber, I measure the length of the case from the head of the case to the shoulder of the case before and again after firing.

Now tell me again what ‘Sammy says’. again, I measure the length of the chamber, I measure the length of the case THEN! I subtract the difference. Are you saying his head space is .005”? My opinion based on my observations it appears you have two different standards.

I am the fan of standards, transfers and verifying.

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Old November 27, 2012, 09:47 AM   #11
Bart B.
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Guffey, if you're asking me if I think his headspace is .005", then no; I don't think that. I don't think he thinks that either.

I think his sized case headspace, not the barrel's chamber headspace, is .005" less than the standard (SAAMI GO gauge headspace spec) for his cartridge. I've no idea what his barrel chamber's headspace is but it's probably a thousandth or more longer than one of his fired case headspace measurements relative to the Mic reading on one.
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Old November 29, 2012, 08:11 PM   #12
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Two things:

First, no matter how you set your sizer for a precision return your cases will springback differently by brand and number of times fired, annealed, etc. Meaning IF you only want to set the die precisely the same, that's quite easy to do with the lock ring. But IF you want to size your cases the same you will need to slightly change the die occasionally.

Next, fired cases have expanded and shrunk back a thou or two from full chamber length. Meaning there's absolutely no need to size shoulders further back from the fired length.

(Guffy is mostly a fan of seeing his own words on screen.)
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Old November 30, 2012, 03:43 PM   #13
Bart B.
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wnchester sez:
Quote:
Next, fired cases have expanded and shrunk back a thou or two from full chamber length. Meaning there's absolutely no need to size shoulders further back from the fired length.
Except when the bolt face is out of square with the chamber axis and the case gets oriented 180 degrees out form where it was previously fired. The high point on the case head will be aligned with the high point on the bolt face and the bolt will bind a bit when its closed.

If you don't set fired case shoulders back a bit using full length sizing dies, that shoulder will get moved forward a few to several thousandths by the die sizing down the case body before the die's shoulder starts pushing the case shoulder back. So one needs to set their full length sizing die such that no fired case ends up with too long of a case headspace after full length sizing.

Benchresters learned this a decade or two ago when they finally realized proper full length sizing produced better accuracy. Their smallest group sizes didn't change at all, but their larger ones got a lot smaller so aggregate groups and scores were better.
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Old November 30, 2012, 04:05 PM   #14
F. Guffey
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“Next, fired cases have expanded and shrunk back a thou or two from full chamber length. Meaning there's absolutely no need to size shoulders further back from the fired length.

Wncchester, I hear that a lot “Next, fired cases have expanded and shrunk back a thou or two from full chamber length....” I will extend a courtesy to you, ‘HOW?’ How is it possible?

Again, I check 30/06 chamber length for the M1917 with a 280 Remington case, I check 03 Springfield chamber length with a feeler gage only, both methods will indicate case shrinkage after firing.

I am not a fan of perpetuating a myth, goes with the myth, a case gets longer and or shorter when fired. No one measures before and again and they do not know where the shoulder was located in reference to the case head and they all believe the shoulder is bumped, and I ask how? When does bumping stop and forming starts?

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Old December 1, 2012, 07:48 PM   #15
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As a 'courtesy' to you, I'll point out that it seems everyone in the world except you knows cartridge brass springs back a bit after it's formed, including after sizing and again after firing. That spring back in diameter is typically a thou or so, in shoulder length it can be as much as two thou.

For goodness sake fellow, forget repeatedly telling the world what you do and how long you've been doing it, what tools and lathes you have, how many feeler gages and ogives you keep under your bed. If you can't provide relivant information, at least avoid meaningless chatter that only serves to confuse new guys who try to make some kind of sense out of your nonsense.
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Old December 3, 2012, 12:39 PM   #16
F. Guffey
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wncchester, I hope you did not hurt your self, I ask you a question, the easiest answer I can give someone is “I DO NOT KNOW”. You claim the case gets shorter, you claim the case diameter reduces after being fired, and I ask "How is that?", I thought you knew how to check. I have rifles that allow me to determine if the case got shorter, I have fired cases that have been hammered so hard they have no memory of what they were before I pulled the trigger, then there are the 257 Roberts with 30/06 head stamps, 30/06 cases with 280 Remington head stamps etc., etc...

Then there are the rifles I am installing barrels on and extending/bending bolt handles, at the root of the bolt handle is a cam surface that contacts the rear of the receiver, when the bolt is raised it cams back, the ‘camming’ of the bolt gives the shooter a leverage advantage when pulling cases from the chamber. I know, the extractor is a JIC thing (just in case), the extractor is not a necessary thing but just in case all my Mausers have one. I could leave the extractor off, fire then open the bolt and point the rifle straight up and the case will fall out because it is shorter in length and smaller in diameter than the chamber?????

I need an extractor on everything I shoot, it is most difficult to look cool at the range when the case has to be knocked out with a dowel or cleaning rod because there is no extractor, I need an extractor, my bolts cam back when the handle is raised.

Again, not my intentions to provoke, I can not afford to loose it on a reloading forum, I have practiced the old philosophy “I DO NOT PROVOKE, I DO NOT PROVOKE” for many years. It is most irresponsible for someone on the Internet to allow themselves to become belligerent and be involved with firearms, if a bad situation does occur the behavior displayed on a forum could compromise the mental state.

Yes I know, the shooting in Dallas is referred to as “A GOOD SHOOTING”, I ask “Were you there?”. ‘YOU’ as in rhetorical. And NO!, I do not want an answer.....or an opinion.

F. Guffey

Last edited by F. Guffey; December 3, 2012 at 12:45 PM. Reason: add an and add " ?"
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Old December 4, 2012, 08:45 AM   #17
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"Indexing" case alignment

For those of us who shoot guns with less-than-perfect alignment of chambers axes to bore axes and bolt faces, and then size them in presses with less-than-perfect alignment from die cavity axes to ram axis and shell holder face:

"Indexing" cases with the head stamp (or other mark made on the case) so that they are placed in the gun and dies in the same orientation every time (within a few degrees of rotation) can make a worthwhile difference in accuracy.

That does not remove the need for making the lengths appropriate, but it may help remove some confusion about die adjustment IF the orientation of the cases changes the measurement any (as postulated in a previous post).

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Old December 4, 2012, 09:14 AM   #18
Bart B.
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SL1's observation:
Quote:
"Indexing" cases with the head stamp (or other mark made on the case) so that they are placed in the gun and dies in the same orientation every time (within a few degrees of rotation) can make a worthwhile difference in accuracy.
I agree. Here's a good article on it:

http://riflemansjournal.blogspot.com...e-checker.html

And the more the bolt face is out of square with the chamber axis, the more indexing rounds the same way in the chamber helps.

This is the reason why military rifle teams quit trying to resize fired cases from their service rifles. None of their bolt faces were ever squared up and some were way out of whack. But they shot new cases in factory or handloaded ammo very, very accurate.
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Old December 4, 2012, 09:10 PM   #19
SEHunter
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To simplify these facts in basic terms is this saying that if i were reloading all Winchester brass, i would position the "W" of the "WIN" stamp of all cases at say 9 0'clock in the press when sized? Same when putting the case in the chamber? (I admit i didnt read the entire article)
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