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Old March 11, 2019, 09:02 PM   #1
fpchief
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Neck Sizing die needed?

I found a plastic bin full of primed 5.56 brass in my reloading room..it is once loaded military and was pulled down. The specs look good, but would I need to run it through a neck Sizing die or just jamb it with powder and projectile and hit it with a Lee FCD? I forgot I even had all of this and was very happy to find it!!

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Old March 11, 2019, 09:15 PM   #2
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Depends on how it was loaded. A lot of military ammo had a slip-fit neck with the bullets glued in with pitch. If that's what you have, you will want to be sure the pitch is gone (mineral spirits) and then use a neck sizer.
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Old March 12, 2019, 02:53 AM   #3
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Clean the necks off and remove the decapping pin from your sizing die.
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Old March 12, 2019, 06:05 AM   #4
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Clean the necks off and remove the decapping pin from your sizing die.
I'm trying not to run them through a FL die if not needed. Will have to lube them as if needing to be resized.

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Old March 12, 2019, 07:14 AM   #5
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How many do you have, if a lot, I would neck size a few and test how they feel. If it seems you're sizing the neck a bit, do them all.
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Old March 12, 2019, 08:31 AM   #6
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Fpchief,

Get the economical Lee Collet Die (this eBay vendor has free shipping). It takes a little getting used to, but it sizes necks without growing the case length and introduces no neck runout to the case, which matters to accuracy. I use one for precision loading in concert with a Redding body die to resize the portions below the neck. Here are some tips for using the collet dies.
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Old March 12, 2019, 11:45 AM   #7
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You will have to remove the crimp in the primer cup
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Old March 12, 2019, 11:55 AM   #8
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You will have to remove the crimp in the primer cup
I think he inferred that the bullets were pulled and powder emptied and they are still primed with unfired primers.

It varies but most of the military rounds I've dealt with were crimped. That crimp may have opened up enough to allow a bullet to be seated, you'll just have to try it and see. I would probably set my depriming pin high and just expand the neck and then resize the neck, ream the inside and then use a standard seating die which should give you about .002 neck tension. Make sure you use 5.56 dies and not .223 dies because the brass is thicker on your 5.56 cases and a .223 seating die may put more neck tension on it than you want.
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Old March 12, 2019, 01:48 PM   #9
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"...Neck Sizing die needed..." Nope. Depends mostly on what rifle you plan on using 'em in. All semi's require FL resizing every time. You don't know if those cases have been sized at all.
'Once loaded' does suggest they may have been resized, but you need to know for sure. Being already primed removes the primer crimp issue.
You can 'neck size only' cases that were fired out of the same bolt action rifle.
Mind you, nothing is going to burst into flames or cause any other grief, if you don't resize 'em. They'll just give you feeding issues.
E-Bay, of course, funds the people who want to take your firearms away from you.
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Old March 12, 2019, 02:47 PM   #10
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As I said, if the bullets are a slip fit, he'll need to size them. Since the cases are primed, the mandrel on the Lee die will have to be adjusted up to prevent decapping. On the bushing dies the decapping pins and expanders should be removed and a just-enough size bushing used.
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Old March 12, 2019, 03:22 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Unclenick View Post
As I said, if the bullets are a slip fit, he'll need to size them. Since the cases are primed, the mandrel on the Lee die will have to be adjusted up to prevent decapping. On the bushing dies the decapping pins and expanders should be removed and a just-enough size bushing used.
Nick,
No dies local so i will have to order. What i did do was run a few of them through the press and (as lineman commented on the crimp) they will allow a round to be seated, however there is no neck tension on some of them therefore allowing the round to be pushed deeper very easily. I assume a neck sizer would help out with this...i have never used a neck or collet die so that is where the questions come from.

All of this brass is never fired, loaded at Lake City and pulled down by Hi-Tech Ammo. Bought all of this from Steve Huey if you happen to have heard of him (Hi-Tech Ammo). God rest his soul...
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Old March 12, 2019, 04:25 PM   #12
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I just double-checked my Lee Collet Die to see if the mandrel can be adjusted the way I thought to avoid decapping, but it can't. I'd have to drill the aluminum retention/safety cap/plug for that. I was thinking there was enough thread to let some washers take up the slack, but there is not. So your methods are going to be to get a neck bushing die or modify the collet die by drilling a pass-through hole in that aluminum retention cap (Lee will sell you a whole replacement plug for very little if you don't have a lathe or other tools for making one) or to do partial resizing in a standard die (inserting the case only until half or two-thirds of the neck are sized) and then expanding afterward (nothing special; just put the expander back in the die and dry lube the inside of the case mouth and run the case into the mouth of the die just far enough to go over the expander and then back out again).
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Old March 12, 2019, 06:20 PM   #13
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It is as Unclenick says.
Unlike Lee's full length die, where you can adjust the depth of the deprime/expander, the collet die has a flat cap screwed onto the top.

I have in some instances used a neck sizing die, with the deprime/expander removed.

Am i the only one that finds it odd that cases would be primed, without sizing first?
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Old March 12, 2019, 08:34 PM   #14
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It is as Unclenick says.

Unlike Lee's full length die, where you can adjust the depth of the deprime/expander, the collet die has a flat cap screwed onto the top.



I have in some instances used a neck sizing die, with the deprime/expander removed.



Am i the only one that finds it odd that cases would be primed, without sizing first?
This was at one time fully loaded military ammo. When there are (X) number of issues with a certain lot# of ammo, they can Code H it and have it taken out of stock. This ammo is either out of contract or other methods put in hands of companies that separate the bullets, powder, and cases. They can all be sold individually. The ones I would buy were pulled with some sort of air puller....no marks on bullets at all.

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Old March 15, 2019, 07:32 PM   #15
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You can buy spare mandrels from Lee, so another approach is to take your Dremel tool with a cutoff wheel and remove the decapping pin from the mandrel you have and order a new mandrel to make it whole again. It will still be cheaper than buying a bushing die and bushings.
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