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Old September 9, 2008, 09:17 AM   #1
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? on reloading belted cases

I have never reloaded a belted case such as the .350 Remington Magnum. Before I buy the barrell for my Encore and reloading dies, I was wondering what problems , if any, that I may run into reloading this round?
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Old September 9, 2008, 10:53 AM   #2
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Belted cases headspace off the belt. If you full length size each time, pushing the shoulder back, you'll get case stretching just like any regular case. With belted magnum cases this stretching occurs just in front of the belt. You'll get the classic stretch mark that you can feel with the bent sharpened wire feeler method. It feels like a little dip or depression in the inside of the case wall just in front of the belt.
To avoid case stretching and possible case separations you need to measure the shoulder of fired cases and when sizing adjust your belted magnum size die to only push the shoulder back minimally. If measured fired case shoulders expand forward .006 for instance, then you only want to push the shoulder back a couple thousandths rather than back to zero. If you don't adjust your sizing die and full length size belted cases each firing you're probably only going to get 3 maybe 4 loadings before the cases are stretched and dangerous.
A good tool to measure the shoulder length would be either the RCBS Precision Mic or Hornadys (formerly Stony Point) Lock and Load Headspace Gauge set.
The belted case seems to show case stretching worse than non belted cases I guess from the belt headspacing and not moving and the forward section of the case stretching. Other than adjusting sizing dies to minimally size the shoulder it reloads just like any other rifle case. I've not reloaded for an Encore but I've read that you should size the shoulder back just enough that the action will close easily. I've read where some use shims or layers of tape on the case head to get a measurement of what the maximum shoulder length should be.
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Old September 9, 2008, 11:41 AM   #3
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Thank You rg1

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Old September 9, 2008, 11:48 AM   #4
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I second rg1's comments. I reload for the 7mag, 8mag and 7mmSTW. As long as you push the case back .0002 or less,(neck sizing only also is good) in my experience case life will be at least 5X or more.
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Old September 9, 2008, 11:50 AM   #5
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Sorry, one too many zero's... .002 or less.
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Old September 10, 2008, 04:27 PM   #6
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i reload for 300 weatherby and if I get once fired brass I full size them, then on I only neck size them. Some of them are on their 6 or 7 th reloading with no apparent problems.

I have found that on a few of my cases 2 out of a hundred that the belt wont go into a no go guage. the belt wont resize in the rcbs dies. So I chuck them into the recycle brass if they are hard to chamber/remove.
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Old September 10, 2008, 04:32 PM   #7
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I would opt for the neck sizer also. Saves a LOT of wear and tear on the case.
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Old September 10, 2008, 07:54 PM   #8
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I always FL sized my 300 WinMag brass for the first firing and partially sized them after that by turning the sizer die out about 1/8 turn to just bump the shoulder a bit so they would chamber easily. Case life was good; I got 5-6 loadings before they had to be FL sized again. Usually at that point I would get the shiny ring on the brass telling me that the brass had had enough.
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Old September 17, 2008, 10:19 AM   #9
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I am on my 3-4 reload of factory Winchester and Remington brass in my 7mm Mag. I have been neck-sizing. They feed fine in my mauser-style bolt gun.

I cleaned 38 of them last night and none of them had stretched and they look pretty good. Make sure you coat them, I tend to not get the lube all over them and they get stuck. Whereas the .270 Win rarely do I have stuck case.

I like magnum powders (RE 19, RE 22) and magnum primers in these cartridges. The 350 rem. mag is shorter, but my Nosler book says it like H4831 which is a magnum powder similar to RE 19 and RE 22.

They are much easier to handle than my little .223 cases.
When all is said and done, there is a lot more said than done.
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Old September 17, 2008, 02:37 PM   #10
Paul B.
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This will work for any bottlenecked case with or without belt.

This is how I set up my sizing die for bottleneck cartridges.

1. Take a once fired factory round and blacken the neck and shoulders with a Magic Marker or Sharpee pen. Some people like to smoke the neck and shoulder, but I find the Magic Marker/Sharpee pen a bit better.

2. Carefully lubricate the case.

3. Loosen the lock ring on the sizing die and back off about two turns from when the die is set to touch the shell holder.

4. Size the case. Note where the marks are on the case and turn the die down about a half a turn and size again. Turn down some more, and resize again. What you are looking for is the marks on the blackening just touching the shoulder.

5. Clean the lube from the case and try it in the rifle. It may chamber just a bit on the snug side. If so, turn the die down ever so slightly, lube and size again. Wipe off the lube and try in the rifle. If it slides in as easily as a factory round, you should be good to go. If not, usually one more very slight adjustment should fix the problem.

6. Tighten the locking ring for the die and you're done. You have just set your sizing die up for a custom fit to your specific rifle, rather than a generic one size fits all guns.

Paul B.
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