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Old March 27, 2009, 11:03 AM   #18
F. Guffey
Senior Member
Join Date: July 18, 2008
Posts: 7,257
"I have a lee hand loader" Allow me to ask a question, Is your press mounted on a table? Lee made kits for reloading, Lyman (Ideal) made kits for reloading that did not use a table mounted press.

Determining maximum Over All Length, OAL: You can purchase a lot of tools are you can get more use out of your cleaning rod, or wood dowel, drill the flash hole/primer pocket to a diameter large enough to allow the cleaning rod to pass through it, size the case, seat a bullet, remove the bolt, chamber the test round, insert the cleaning rod in the flash hole and push the bullet out until it stops, this will give you maximum (OAL) length, this does not mean the case will feed, it could be too long, I have tested chambers with this methods and pushed the bullet out of the case before the bullet hit the rifling, what was the builder thinking, he made the reamer, used Remington 03A3 rifles, used Western stocks and built built 5 7mm Gibbs, one rifle came back, we took it to the range, it was very accurate with a narrow selection of bullets and powder, to either side the 'groups' became 'patterns'.

If you drill the flash hole out on 20 cases, you can use this method to make test cases for various types of bullets, and, use the test cases for adjusting the seater die to '0', then, use a depth micrometer to adjust the seater plug stem height, by zeroing the micrometer before you start you can adjust the OAL by adjusting the stem down and read in in .000 thousands. Others shred the case neck and use one case.

Then it is back to head space, head space can be added to to the length of the case between the head of the case and shoulder, this same dimention can be added to the max OAL, Again I have a 30/06 M1917 with .016 head space, meaning I can start trimming when the case gets to 2.208.

Bart B. I have tools that never get out of the box, I have head space gages, Wilson case gages etc., I choose to use gages I make, nothing I shoot or build shoots gages, you mentioned a WCC 58 Commercial case, if I had one it would have started out as a WCC 58 military case, and yes WRA, WWC and WCC cases were lighter than other cases. I have 30/06 military cases that became 308 Winchester cases, in the process while forming I could have stopped at 8X57, 7X57, 7.7 Japanese, 257 Roberts, there is no secret about stopping, I choose to stop sizing just before the shoulder is set back to the point the case will chamber, after that it is a matter of adjusting the die to the shell holder. Again on another forum a man wanted 7.7 Japanese cases, I formed 60 cases using 30/06 new, commercial, military and RP once fired cases, I kept 6 in case I needed them for reference, I mailed them to with instructions, 18 can be loaded and chambered with .005 head space, 18 can be loaded and chambered with .000 head space and 18 should not chamber and would need to be sized and the shoulder set back to chamber because the case from the head of the case to the shoulder was .004 (beyond a go-gage) to long, I did not have a chamber or case gage, I made one, I met him at the Market Hall Gun Show while setting with Don Wooldridge, by that time he claimed he had shot all of the cases at least 5 times, and he had to size and trim the long cases. I ask him if he saved a case from each group, he didn't.

Trouble with the die raising when sizing? worn out threads on the die and or press, collect on the warranty or do as I do, put the press in a bind, tighten the lock nut to take the slack between the threads and start sizing. If you believe the brass is sticking out purchase a feeler gage, perfect for measuring gaps when two pieces do not make contact, and relax, leave the press in a bind with the ram up, if brass compresses or flows give it time.

F. Guffey
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