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Old June 15, 1999, 06:00 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 20, 1999
Posts: 171
As I venture deeper into this art I've learned it's a good idea to size only as much as you need to. The format for doing so that I have read is as follows:

1. Set the sizing die as you normally would (according to the instructions) and then back it out two full turns.
2. Color the case neck with a magic marker and run it through the die. You can then see where the die has contacted and sized the neck.
3. Slightly screw the die in and repeat the process until you see the entire neck sized.

Works great but when I get to the part of the neck being fully sized, the die is back at it's original position, so it seems I'm wasting time by doing this.

My questions are- 1. Am I doing this right? 2. Should I forget the whole thing and buy a neck resizer only?

BTW, this is all used in one gun.

Thanks in advance.
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Old June 15, 1999, 06:26 PM   #2
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Join Date: March 11, 1999
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Little-e, You can get plenty of neck tension without sizing the entire neck of the cartridge. On a round that has a decent length neck like a .223 or 30-06 1/2 would be plenty. I have on occasion run into a chamber, die combination where I did need to purchase a neck sizing die to do the job.
Hope this helps a little.
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Old June 15, 1999, 06:31 PM   #3
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My experience has been, despite the many claims that "you can neck size with a full-length die by setting..." is that neck sizing is best done with a neck die. The only exception to this is the Redding 'S' type bushing FL die. If you fiddle with this a bit, you can partially neck size and shoulder bump at the same time.
You don't say what cartridge, but if you can get a Lee Collet Neck set for it, that would work well. It needs no lube, and does not stretch the case. Its also pretty cheap.
After you neck size so many times, you need to FL, or shoulder bump 0.002-0.003". You'll know when rounds get hard to chamber.

Shoot carefully... swifter...

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Old June 15, 1999, 08:03 PM   #4
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When I first started reloading in 1957, I recall the gun writers such as Jack O'Conner recommended neck sizing. I found that I couldn't do the job with a full length sizing die. I think that when you have the die adjusted to get enough neck sizing there is also some sizing of the body of the case. The brass has to go someplace and therefore causes the dimensions of the case to change enough so that the case no longer enters the chamber easy enough to be satisfactory. Accordingly, I have used only neck sizing for neck sizing. After several neck sizings you will have to full length size. When depends to a large extent on how hot your loads are. I always loaded my rifle ammo to practical maximum levels. I don't buy a 7 mm Mag to get .280 velocities, so I expect to get 3100 fps out of a 7 mm Mag with 160 gr bullets. If it won't do that with acceptable accuracy (1 1/2 in at 100 yds) then I would peddle it. I never had trouble with vel and accuracy in any of my hunting rifles. Many don't agree with my approach, so you "pays your money and takes your choice". Do be very careful when working up loads. I Start at least 10 % below max, unless I have experience or good info about thae particular rifle I am working with, and increase charges 1/2 gr at a time. You only get one pair of eyes, etc. Hopefully you have a friend who is knowledgable and can help.
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Old June 18, 1999, 04:02 PM   #5
Art Eatman
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Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
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I full-length resize every third or fourth reload--using case-lube, of course. I've always sized about 1/2 the neck of my '06, and maybe 2/3 of the shorter neck of my .243--without lube. I just back the sizer die out, rather than worrying about a neck-sizing die.

My dies are a mix of RCBS, Pacific, Lyman...Some stuff over 50 years in use.

I definitely concur with Jerry M about starting 10% under the books' maximum loads and working up. I could have a maximum chamber in my '06, and you could have a minimum in yours. I might be using WW or Remington brass, and you might be using the thicker GI stuff which holds some 3 grains weight less powder when full to the brim. What works in my gun could maybe hurt yours.

There are two sweet ladies of reloading: Patience and Prudence.

Have fun, Art
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