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Old November 27, 2013, 12:44 PM   #1
Geek's 65
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.308 Case Sizing

Newbie and a long time lurker trying to learn. Have been sneaking up on loading .308 and today started to do the full length sizing. I am using once fired brass (out of my gun) and using a Hornady head space gauge, measured the mid-shoulder at 1.625 on 32 of 40 cases. Rest were between 1.621 and 1.624. (Yes for those of you thinking "Jeesh is this toad an engineer?" - guilty. I told ya - I am sneaking up on this) So I set up my Redding full length die per the instructions and ran three cases that had measured 1.625 prior to sizing. The shoulder measurement was still 1.625 on all three. Shouldn't sizing have pushed the shoulder back a down a hair or so? Case length went from 2.010 to 2.011.

Easy question - Is this normal or am I doing something wrong?

Thanks ahead of time

G
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Old November 27, 2013, 12:50 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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The properly adjusted die should "bump" the shoulder by 0.001 to no more than 0.002.

Die instructions are for making it "functional" more than "proper".

If you're getting the same exact measurement and the case is longer, it MUST be working the shoulder, or it'd end up longer like the rest of the case.

In other words, it seems likely that you want the die 0.001 lower in the press.

That's only 1/71th of a turn.

Before you adjust, run a case that measures 21 through and see if you get 25 after sizing, I bet you do.
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Old November 27, 2013, 12:55 PM   #3
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Wow. Thanks for the quick reply Brian.

You say I might want the die .001 lower in the press. But the set up say to lower the die "until it makes firm contact with the shell holder". So how would I go about lowering it? Use those Redding shell holders that raise the case rather than lower the die?

Good call on trying one of the other cases. Will do.

Thanks again.

G
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Old November 27, 2013, 01:01 PM   #4
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Yeah, you'll have to get into the "flex" inherent in the system. Lower the ram out of the way and screw the die in a tiny bit more. See what you get.

I've never had a die that wasn't bumping the shoulder when it contacts the shell holder. Mine are usually 0.015 or a bit more above the shellholder. Small sample size though, and only Lee and Redding dies.
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Old November 27, 2013, 01:15 PM   #5
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Brian is correct . You should know all brass ( different head stamps ) will size a little different . What I do is size 6 to 10 cases to see what my average case size will be . If the die is way off by .003 or more I adjust the die down to where almost all get sized from .0015 to .0025 longer then brass fire formed to my chamber . I don't know what my % of longer cases are by doing this .003 to .0035 longer maybe 5% . For those I use feeler gages from my local auto parts store . They are VERY thin strips of metal that are sized from .001 thick and up to way thicker then you will need . You place the proper sized feeler gage in between the the case and shell holder and size again .

Meaning
You FL size your cases and your looking for it to be 1.623 but it measures 1.6245 . You then take your .0015 feeler gauge and place it in between the case and shell holder and size again . That should bump the shoulder back to 1.623 or at least 1.6235 . They make special sized shell holder that do the same thing .

Cases can be a little fussy when trying to size them to with in 1/5 the thickness of a piece of paper . Some times you put the feeler gauge in there and it does nothing to the size so you use the next size gauge and that some how bumps the shoulder to far . Some times when your just a little off .0005 / .001 you can use a little more lube to make up the difference . It's a learn as you go thing as to what will work for you
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Last edited by Metal god; November 27, 2013 at 01:25 PM.
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Old November 27, 2013, 01:55 PM   #6
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Got it working. Backed the ram out and just used the wrench to tighten the locking ring which in my case also turned the die a little. Literally backed the measured length down .002 and it was consistent through all the cases. So now I am going to make a bullet with no powder or primer and see if the gun likes it.

Thanks again for all the clarifications.

G
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Old November 27, 2013, 02:35 PM   #7
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In full sizing I cam over about 1/8 a turn down. Bring the ram to the top position, screw the die down till it hits the ram, holding the handle while screwing the die down 1/8 of a turn to take out any slack in the threds & your good to go. What type of rifle are you reloading for, bolt or semi.
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Old November 27, 2013, 02:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
What type of rifle are you reloading for, bolt or semi.
Good question . If semi your going to want a tad more head space
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Old November 27, 2013, 05:04 PM   #9
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Remington 700.
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Old November 28, 2013, 10:26 AM   #10
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“Easy question - Is this normal or am I doing something wrong?”

Wrong? I do not know, different? Yes. Then the part where you ask: (Yes for those of you thinking "Jeesh is this toad an engineer?"), I was not thinking that.

I was wondering how you came up with the dimensions: “Hornady head space gauge, measured the mid-shoulder at 1.625 on 32 of 40 cases. Rest were between 1.621 and 1.624”. Not your fault, Hornady does not sell a head space gage, they sell a comparator. Their comparator measures case length from the shoulder/datum to the head of the case. The 1.621 to 1624 Is short. A die should not be able to reduce the length of the case from the shoulder to the head of the case that much unless the die and or shell holder has been ground by a misinformed reloader. The shell holder should have a deck height of .125”, same for the die, if the base of the die has been ground off the ability of the die to reduce the length of the case has been increased.

That brings us to the Hornady comparator, There could be ‘error’ built into your comparator, when measuring from the shoulder to the head of the case the diameter of the hole should be .400”, ERROR, if the bushing has a radius, the radius causes an error. You said you measured “mid-range”, I do that because I do not insist on using .400” diameter round hole datum, I can choose to use any datum as long as I do not insist on matching the dimensions with SAAMI, I get away with ‘it’ because I use comparators, I measure before, again after firing and again after sizing.

SAAMI says: The length of the case from the datum to the head of the case is 1.634 and SAMMI says it can be shorter by .007”, that would be 1.627. the 1.627 is longer than your 1.624. Make sense? NO! The Hornady gage is not a head space gage, it is a comparator, I suggest using a comparator when comparing, I measure before firing and again after firing. I am comparing the length of the case from the shoulder of the case to the head of the case (before firing) with a case after it has been fired. This is a practice that makes no sense to anyone, I do not need SAAMI, SAAMI informs me what the dimensions can be, and I think that is nice, useless but nice.

“measured the mid-shoulder at 1.625 on 32 of 40 cases” I suggest you add an @, the point on the shoulder is measured from a datum when datum represents ‘from’. I make datums, I collect datums and I purchase datums.

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Old November 28, 2013, 10:33 AM   #11
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http://www.saami.org/PubResources/CC...Winchester.pdf

“Good question . If semi your going to want a tad more head space”

SAAMI does not list head space with, on or near the case, SAAMI list the case with a length from the shoulder to the head of the case. Meaning? It is possible to have a case length longer and or shorter, it is not possible to change ‘head space; because the head space is fixed in the chamber. I off set the length of the chamber with the length of the case. My presses and dies have threads. I measure before firing, after firing and again after sizing.

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Old November 28, 2013, 11:29 AM   #12
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Mr. Guffey You Are Correct Sir

The Hornady is a comparator so my numbers were to a known reference point (datum) using the .400 bushing. Your comment of "I measure before firing, after firing and again after sizing." is exactly what I did. I was looking for a reference that would tell me if what I was doing was being done correctly. I expected to see the "after firing" reference a little longer than the "before firing" and I expected the "after sizing" to be less than the "after firing". It wasn't. That being the genesis of my question. Apologize for my use of the term "measurement" and offering my results as an absolute measurement rather than a comparison of the case size.

That being said, using the comparator, I checked two other sources of commercial ammunition and they too provided me the same relative reference to the shoulder so I felt confident enough to build a bullet without power or primer. I ran the dummy through the rifle and the bolt closed (felt) exactly the same as it did on a commercial bullet. So unless someone comes up with a "Holy Crapola Batman you overlooked an important step" I think I can try loading my first set of test rounds.

I appreciate the schooling (I am NOT being caustic or cynical here. I like it when someone will take the time to make me look at something differently than I do) and all the help. You guys are a real wealth of experience and I am lucky to have it to draw upon.

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Old November 28, 2013, 12:59 PM   #13
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With a Rem. 700 I fire form my cases with zero head space, Neck & partcial neck size. there are some that full size & bump the shoulder back, fire form & partcial size works best in my Remington 700. I'm a bench shooter, using med. loads for 200 yards, thats the max. distance for the ranges on LI NY.
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Old November 28, 2013, 01:06 PM   #14
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Yes I know Guffey but I'm still having a hard time using the term case length for two different uses . My book says case length is 2.015 but when I use my comparator it measures 1.625 . how can the both be right . when I size my cases to 2.015 using the comparator they don't chamber and when I trim them to 1.625 there's no neck left .

It's my understanding using the term head space when talking about the length of the case from datum to head has been excepted for quite some time now . I believe head space can mean two different things just like case length does

If you size a case short from datum to head . When that cartridge is chambered and or fired you will have more SPACE between the HEAD and the bolt face
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Old November 28, 2013, 01:45 PM   #15
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Question #1: Does the 1.625 case fit/chamber in the rifle? If so, that's your de facto baseline case headspace dimension. Use that from now on until you happen onto a longer dimension that still chambers. Then use that. (This is why God invented the Hornady comparators)

Observation #1: If your overall case lengthened 0.001" during resizing (banana effect from squeezing the sides), then the fact that your headspace dimension stayed the same tells me the sizing die did bump the shoulder to preserve that 1.625 figure.






GRADUATE EXERCISE:
- Unscrew the die from contact with the ram by a half turn (effectively pulling back 35 thousandths)
- Take a fired 1.625 case and size it. (It will likely lengthen.)
- See if the case will chamber
- If it does, measure the headspace dimension as your new baseline.
- If it doesn't, screw the die in 1/16 turn (0.004") or less at a time until it just does chamber.
- Measure/baseline your new case headspace dimension for use forevermore.
- Adjust your die to reproduce this dimension each relaxing session. (It will vary)
.

Last edited by mehavey; November 28, 2013 at 01:57 PM.
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Old November 28, 2013, 09:43 PM   #16
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Metal God, head space refers to three things regarding the .308 Win. One's the distance from the rifle's bolt face to the reference plane (datum) on the chamber shoulder. Another's the distance from the head of a GO head space gauge to the same reference plane on its shoulder; this one's the standard that others are often compared to. And finally, the case headspace is the distance from its head to the datum on its shoulder; not any official term but commonly used in the reloading world.

If a .308 Win case with 1.625" head space is put in a chamber with 1.630" headspace, when the round's fired, the space between the bolt face and case head's called "head clearance" with a .005" dimension; SAAMI lists this term in their glossary along with head space. If that same case was put in a .308 Win chamber whose head space measured 1.634" (the number put on a .308 Win NO-GO gauge), that case would have a head clearance of .009".

cw308, here's a link to a page that will help you adjust your die very accurately:

http://s860.photobucket.com/user/jep...ent-1.jpg.html

Print in on label paper then cut out the one you want to stick on a die's lock ring. Much easier than adjusting a die some fraction of a turn.
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Last edited by Bart B.; November 28, 2013 at 10:58 PM.
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Old November 28, 2013, 10:08 PM   #17
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Thanks bart I'll try to remember to use case head space rather then headspace alone when referring to the length of a case from datum to head
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If you have some time IMO this is worth a listen/watch but it takes a few minutes to really get going .
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Old November 29, 2013, 01:57 PM   #18
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Bart B, thank you for the die settings. You should set up your own site for questions & answers. As always thanks again for the helpfull info. Chris
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