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  #1  
Old 05-13-2017, 06:56 AM
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RCBS Dies and Hornady Dies


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I reload for three rifles in 35 Whelen. One is a Ruger bought new in 2015. Two are Encores, one has a TC barrel and the other with an MGM barrel. The two Encores are really picky about brass they will chamber. The Ruger will chamber most anything.

I had backed off on my RCBS sizing die so as not to set the shoulder back too much. Fine for the Ruger. Neither Encore wanted to chamber them. Not wanting to have two different sets of rounds for a single caliber I decided to size them all to chamber in the Encores as the Ruger does not care. I found that if I run fired cases through an RCBS resizing die, I cannot get the brass to chamber in my MGM Barrel. The brass leaves about a half inch sticking out. Right now I do not have access to the TC barrel. If I run them through a Hornady die they will slip right in. I have adjusted the RCBS die every way that I can and it will not size the cases small enough. A case run through the RCBS die that will not chamber in the MGM barrel will slip right in if I run it back through the Hornady die. I actually have two RCBS dies. One has a broken depriming stem broken so I pulled it out. It acts the same as the other RCBS die. Length is not an issue. I have some shorter 30-06 brass that I tried and it does the same thing as the Whelen brass. Factory loads chamber fine in the MGM barrel as would be expected.

Anyway, I thought this to be a strange situation. I check my sized brass with a Wilson case gage. No problem there. I thought dies were pretty much uniform in their sizing capacities, but I guess not. Aside from the die s sizing differently I am beginning to wonder if I have a bulge in the brass and maybe I need to toss them. These are twice fired and three times fired brass. They look OK. No noticeable signs of case head separation problems.

FYI, a couple of years ago I did have a case head separate with once fired brass. This was brass from a once fired factory load. The brass was fired in a TC barrel that was sent back to TC with a bad chamber.
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  #2  
Old 05-13-2017, 07:33 AM
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No not all dies are cut to the same dimensions. I've found Hornady and Lee seem to work the brass more than Redding and RCBS. Have a Wilson case gauge for the magnums and something really has to be amiss before it won't pass a case.

Since you seem to want every round to fit all three rifles you are stuck resizing to fit the smallest chamber. The disadvantage doing that is brass life will suffer. Accuracy may take a hit in the looser chambered rifles.
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Last edited by MontyF; 05-13-2017 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 05-13-2017, 07:54 AM
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Make a chamber cast of the rifles and a cast the dies.

MEASURE the differences and pick the ones that work.

Dies can be as much as .010 difference. It sounds to me you have some odd chambers.

The Wilson die makes no sense at all unless you're going to shoot it. It is a comparator not a measuring tool. If all three guns chambered cartridges checked in the Wilson guage, it would be usefull.

What press have you got? If the die is not TOUCHING the shell holder at full up, it's not doing all it can do.
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Last edited by JBelk; 05-13-2017 at 07:56 AM.
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  #4  
Old 05-13-2017, 07:56 AM
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I would measure the brass and compare to SAAMI drawings. SAAMI
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  #5  
Old 05-13-2017, 08:18 AM
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For myself, if I had three different rifle's in the same cartridge, I'd have three different set's of dies, each dedicated to a particular rifle. For the first time in my life I have two rifles in the same cartridge, 243. The ammo loaded for the Remington will not let the bolt close in the Mossberg. Simple solution, two different dies dedicated for each rifle. For each rifle I have a FL die set to partial size the case for that chamber. And a seating die set to also seat the bullet for that chamber also. I think it would be easy enough to simply FL resize all the case's so they will fit in either rifle. Each could be set to seat the bullet in both rifle's. That would work!
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Old 05-13-2017, 12:19 PM
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Thanks for the help, guys. I started off with one Encore with an MGM barrel. I had Hornady dies and it shot really will with full length resized dies. My son had an Encore with a TC barrel and we found his shot well with the same loads and die setting as mine. Then I misplaced the Hornady die and bought a set RCBS dies and bought the Ruger bolt action. I found that the Ruger would do well with neck sized cases. I more or less ignored the Encores for a while. But when I ran low on the ammo I had reloaded for them using the Hornady dies I tried ammo loaded for the Ruger on RCBS dies. The Encores would not chamber them. I found the Hornady dies the other day in my 35 Rem. box.

It appears that the best thing for me to do for accuracy and case life is to use different dies for the different guns.
Initially, I thought this was going to be a problem keeping track of them. It really is not going to be an issue now that I think about it. I have to go back and reset my RCBS dies now. It was a lot of work getting them set to neck size just right for the Ruger. I changed them back to full length resize for the Encore and was shocked when they did not work.

The big surprise to me was the difference in the Hornady and RCBS dies. This is the first time i have had to load for multiple rifles in one caliber, other than straight wall case handgun dies. Never had a problem with them. So, I just assumed, obviously in error, that resizing dies took the brass back to SAAMi specs.

Thanks again for the comments. I had to run this by somebody to get my head straight on it.
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Last edited by 1Calicocat; 05-13-2017 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 05-13-2017, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
that resizing dies took the brass back to SAAMi spec.
The sizing die can do NOTHING for the last .125 of the case (base and rim) because that's where the shell holder sits. SS barrels have no case sticking out, so if a cartridge has been fired in an oversize SS barrel it can't be re-sized enough to fit some tight chambers no matter what kind of gun or die.

The answer is to MEASURE brass and a cast of the die. It's nothing but trial an error otherwise.
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Old 05-13-2017, 02:58 PM
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35 Whelen Dies-go the simplest way first.

I would suggest sending the dies to RCBS including three fired cases. Those cases would be from the rifle that would chamber the RCBS sized cases. RCBS could establish quickly if the dies were defective. Experience with RCBS has been a quick turn around and and a good answer without a bunch of drama. Might do well to call Hornady at the same time. Removing the dies from the equation would allow you to move onto problems with the chamber. Are these Whelen dies new or possible made years ago for a wildcat chamber?

Before all that I'd suggest adjusting the sizing die for FL resizing to see if the problem went away. This would remove another variable. Also, it would be helpful to see if the fired cases would interchange between all three chambers. Should they not interchange, it may be simpler to keep the brass segregated. I'd also suggest considering a neck sizing die or setting the FL die to neck size only. Fiddling with the shoulder may be the problem.
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Last edited by William A. Reed; 05-13-2017 at 03:21 PM.
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  #9  
Old 05-14-2017, 08:13 PM
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Full length resizing with the RCBS die has no effect. By the way, I have access to another RCBS die from another reloader. His die did the same thing mine does. Will not fit in the MGM barrel after full length resizing. I am thinking the MGM barrel has a really tight chamber. It does shoot sub-moa. The Ruger shoots sub-moa and its chamber seams to be rather loose. So, I will segregate the brass, use the Hornady die for the Encores and the RCBS die for the Ruger and they are happy. I do not have access to the other Encore for now so will just play with my two Whelens.

JBELK, I agree that the only way to really get to the bottom of this is to take a cast of the die. I may do that at some point. Now that I know what works with what rifle I can get on with my reloads. If I was having and accuracy problem it would be another story.
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  #10  
Old 05-15-2017, 01:27 AM
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Rcbs

Glad you are making some progress. The chambers in my wildcat Whelen's
are very different. It was necessary to do as you described. You gotta keep dies and brass separate. Here, it's bad enough to cause misfires.
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  #11  
Old 05-19-2017, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Calicocat View Post
Thanks for the help, guys. I started off with one Encore with an MGM barrel. I had Hornady dies and it shot really will with full length resized dies. My son had an Encore with a TC barrel and we found his shot well with the same loads and die setting as mine. Then I misplaced the Hornady die and bought a set RCBS dies and bought the Ruger bolt action. I found that the Ruger would do well with neck sized cases. I more or less ignored the Encores for a while. But when I ran low on the ammo I had reloaded for them using the Hornady dies I tried ammo loaded for the Ruger on RCBS dies. The Encores would not chamber them. I found the Hornady dies the other day in my 35 Rem. box.

It appears that the best thing for me to do for accuracy and case life is to use different dies for the different guns.
Initially, I thought this was going to be a problem keeping track of them. It really is not going to be an issue now that I think about it. I have to go back and reset my RCBS dies now. It was a lot of work getting them set to neck size just right for the Ruger. I changed them back to full length resize for the Encore and was shocked when they did not work.

The big surprise to me was the difference in the Hornady and RCBS dies. This is the first time i have had to load for multiple rifles in one caliber, other than straight wall case handgun dies. Never had a problem with them. So, I just assumed, obviously in error, that resizing dies took the brass back to SAAMi specs.

Thanks again for the comments. I had to run this by somebody to get my head straight on it.
Your third sentence answer's your question. One rifle shoot very well when FL sized with the Hornady dies. I'd bet you FL with each set of dies and the problem will go aay. Sound's like you are partial sizing with the other dies. The round won't chamber! Reason for that, case is not to SAMMI spec's. Set your dies with an mty case and keep re-lubing and re-sizing and screwing down the die a very little t a time until the case does fit your chamber. Chamber's are cut a number of time's with the same reamer. First chamber will be a max chamber, every one after that, the die wears and the chamber get's just a bit smaller down to min SAMMI spec and when it reaches there the reamer is thrown away! It's at min spec's. You have to either adjust for FL every time or adjust the die to fit your chamber, partial size. There is a difference between partial and FL sizing. FL sizing take the all the way back to spec's, move's the shoulder. Partial size' down to the junction of the neck and shoulder and done right just a bit more. That's the bump the shoulder you read about. If you just neck size, you never push the shoulder back so after a few round's, the fired case will no longer chamber until you bump the neck back. The whole case will be r-sized then but only to a min that allow's it to chamber. Start out neck sizing until the case won't chamber any more, to or three rounds. Then start adjusting the die down maybe an 1/8 turn at a time and then try to chamber it in the rifle it goes in without the shoulder rubbing, you will feel it rub, it's the shoulder that keep's the case from chambering. With every firing the shoulder is pushed forward just a bit and at a couple firing's down the road the case will no longer fit the chamber, it's to big. So, you can either FL or partial size for the rifle's. The FL will fit in every chamber the partial will probably only fit the chamber it was set to.

I have two 243's each has it's own set of dies. The box's the Rem rifle case's are in is well marked with a felt tip pin and so is the box it's dies are in. Same thing with the second rifle! Of course if you already loaded the case it could be the ogive hitting the bullet. All the rifle's may have a bit different seating depth needed. Seat the bullet a bit more at a time till you can no longer see the mark the land.s make on the bullet where it touch's. they will be plainly visible on the bullet.
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:41 AM
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Don--- I know it makes sense but that's NOT the way it works---

Reamers are ground to the specs given by the gunmaker. Those specs are within SAAMI specifications, but they have their own dimensions.
A chambering reamer is used until it cuts OVERSIZE because it's getting dull. Then, it's re-sharpened and good for another hundred or so chambers. They're throw away when dropped and broken or the gap gets too wide between belt and body in belted magnums.

Dies are SMALLER than chambers. How much smaller depends on the die maker and the reamer HE specified.

Pour a simple chamber cast of YOUR rifle and YOUR dies and MEASURE the differnce and please quit guessing about a problem. Look at and see the difference! In an hour you'll know exactly. Why wait?

<Rant mode turned down to simmer.>
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:06 AM
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Partial full length chamber.

You are already having problems with sizing your cases. Fooling with the partial FL sizing will have you doing the heel stomp on your break open guns to chamber. Hint: How well did you do with dies and brass being separated by the gun?
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