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Old December 5, 1999, 01:52 PM   #1
Join Date: February 22, 1999
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 51
I have reloaded thousands of rounds for
hangun and semi-auto rifle, but am just about
to start reloading for a .308 bolt action.
I have a couple of questions.

1). Dies? If the brass is to be used only in
the same bolt action. Full length, neck
only, or collet resizing?

2). Bullet drop. The phenomenon I have
noticed for pistols is that heavier bullets
hit the target higher. Does this happen in
rifles as well? Reason for asking is I have
only shot factory 150gr, and find it hits
too high for the available sight adjustment
at 100 yds. I am hoping to fix that with
a lighter or heavier bullet when I reload.

Thanks in advance,
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Old December 5, 1999, 04:40 PM   #2
Paul B.
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Join Date: March 28, 1999
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 3,075
Danm. I'll try to answer your questions as best I can. I would get both a full length die, and the neck sizing die. You would set both dies up in the same manner. Screw the die into your press so that you are about two turns shy of bottoming out on the shell holder. Use a black magic marker and darken the neck and shoulder of a fired round. Size the shell and see where the marks from the die are. Re-darken, and turn the die down about 1/8 turn, and resize again. When you see the markings just kissing the shoulder, lock down the ring on the die. Do this with both dies. By setting your dies in this manner, you will not set the shoulder of the case back creating an artificial headspace situation which can lead to short case life or possibly worse.
Now when you reload, neck size only. You should be able to do this 4 or 5 times before your brass gets to be too tight to chamber easily. Then use the full length die. The next time around after the full length die, and you can neck size again, until they once again become too tight. I have gotten as many as 20 full power reloads from .308 Win. brass using this method.
Your problem with 150 gr. bullets shooting too high for sight adjustment kind of stumps me. It sounds as if your front sight is too low. I do not think going to a heavier bullet will solve the problem. The heavier bullet moves more slowly and spends more time in the barrel. Recoil begins when the primer explodes, therefore your rifle barrel is rising in recoil before the bullet leaves the barrel. The heavier bullet will shoot higher yet. I asume you are using iron sights, but you did not really say. If you are using a scope, you will have to shim the mounts; the front one, or in the front on a one piece mount. That's something I have not heard of being done in years, but it still works. A good gunsmith should be able to do the job for you regardless of the sights you are using.
By the way, good choice on the .308. It is one of my all time favorite cartridges.
If you have any more questions, you can E-mail me and I'll try to answer them.
Paul B.
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Old December 5, 1999, 06:29 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: March 16, 1999
Location: So. CA Mountains
Posts: 540
I'd get a good 2 die set - FL sizer and seater - in Redding or RCBS. Then also get a Lee collet necksizer. It needs no lube, and is one of the best things Lee makes.
Generally, the "heavy bullet hits higher" thing is due to barrel time, and the handgun recoiling more in the extra milliseconds. In a rifle, the bullet is out of the muzzle before the recoil hits, I think.
hope this helps,

The Bill of Rights, and the Golden Rule are enough for civilized behavior. The rest is window dressing. Shoot carefully, swifter...

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Old December 5, 1999, 11:04 PM   #4
Join Date: February 22, 1999
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 51
Paul and Swift: Thanks for the info. I'll
be ordering the dies in the morning.

On the 'heavier bullet hitting higher', I
knew why in pistols, but was not sure if the
same situation held for rifles. And I guess
I am still not sure. I guess I'll either
have to find out for myself, or wait for
further replies? Yes, it is an iron sight
Ishapore. The lowest index on the mid-bbl
read sight is 200 metres, but that hits about
2" high at 100 yards. I think I'll just
admit my age, and abused and deteriorated
eyesight, and mount a scope on it. How much
longer I can decieve myself about my eyesight
I just don't know. Middle age sucks.

Thanks again, DanM
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Old December 6, 1999, 11:17 AM   #5
Jack Straw
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Join Date: July 26, 1999
Location: Georgia
Posts: 362

I have to agree with swifter on the Lee collet die; it is a good product that has given me good results in my 308...and no lubing needed! Some people would not recommend neck sizing only for hunting ammo, but I have had no problems with it.

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Old December 6, 1999, 04:01 PM   #6
Paul B.
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Join Date: March 28, 1999
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 3,075
Danm. Good advice all round. I just looked at the Sierra rifle reloading manual's ballistic tables. If your lowest setting is 200 meters, (about 220 yards, roughly speaking) then the 2 inch high impact at 100 yards is just about on the money. At 2700 FPS, the Sierra manual showa a mid range trajectory for a 150 gr. bullet to be 2.17 inches high. If the grouping is within reason otherwise, you are doing OK.
By the way, you don't need to lube with the RCBS neck sizing die. I don't. Only the full length dies need lubing.
Paul B.
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Old December 7, 1999, 01:26 AM   #7
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Join Date: June 7, 1999
Posts: 3,844
Neck sizing should be o.k., until you reach the point that it takes real effort to close the bolt, then full length size.

Re hunting ammunition, full length size it, and then check it for feed and chambering. You would hate to loose a nice animal, because of a "sticky" cartirdge.

A heavier bullet will striker higher on the target, longer barrel time, with either a pistol or rifle, as I recall.

I shot National Match Course competition for years, and routinely f.l. sized all ammunition, with very few exceptions.
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