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  #1  
Old 02-11-2017, 09:32 PM
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Reverse Shoulder Set Back When Sizing?


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I taught a good friend to reload last year. He's been doing fine. I think his two young boys bagged deer this year with .243s loaded with 100 grain Sierra Pro Hunters over a moderate charge of H414. Accuracy has been superb (Savage rifles, Sierra bullets, what else would you expect?)

He had two loads however that they could not get to chamber. He was smart enough not to force them. So he marked them and told me about it. Today after a rabbit hunt we did, I secured the two loads, plus some fired cases, and the remainder of the loads that did chamber well and took them home and measured the headspace.

The headspace on the fired cases measure -.001 from SAAMI specs.

Headspace on all the loads that cycled well averaged -.0015. So that's good. When I showed him the ropes, we set the die up with a locking ring for sizing with minimum case expansion in mind.

The headspace on the two rounds that would not cycle was: +.003 and +.006. So it is not any wonder that they would not chamber.

My question is: how does this happen with rounds that came out of a -.001 chamber, and with a FL die that is properly set? My assumption is that the inside of the necks weren't lubed properly and the mandrel "grabs" the neck on the release stroke and "pulls" the shoulder out.

Is this correct? And what is the best way to avoid it? (I know, proper lubing, but more specific suggestions please).

Thx!
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Old 02-12-2017, 01:06 AM
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Are you sure the shoulders are getting stretched? Is the expander pulling out of the case that hard?
I'm wondering if you aren't dealing with cases that are in need of annealing.

The best way to solve case stretch is not use an expander plug. Bushing and collet dies don't have that problem. Next in line to consider is a Humpy plug which is a mandrel that expands the case by pushing inward.
If you want to work with the tools your friend already has, polish the expander. Carbide, elliptical and ball expanders all take less effort to pull out of the case.
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  #3  
Old 02-12-2017, 01:48 AM
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How many times loaded? Perhaps time to anneal?
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Old 02-12-2017, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by vic in va View Post
How many times loaded? Perhaps time to anneal?
Once fired brass. I don't believe annealing is this issue. And 18 loads out of 20 were fine. I'm rabbit hunting with him again to day. I'll see if he had a very hard time pulling the mandrel out on the first couple loads (until the lube was well distributed).
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Old 02-12-2017, 06:58 AM
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On my savage the casing was hitting the top of the magazine as it was being pushed forward with the bolt. This happened quite often so I ground down the front of it where there is a half moon shape so to speak. I only ground down about 1/8", just enough to where I had no more problems. The bolt was actually pushing the casing down towards the front of the magazine instead of up towards the barrel.
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Old 02-12-2017, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by MontyF View Post
I'm wondering if you aren't dealing with cases that are in need of annealing.
That was my initial reaction too. As we don't know the make of the brass or if it was annealed (again) before the manufacturer loaded it (I've read/heard some do, some don't)

RJ
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Old 02-12-2017, 10:36 AM
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Take the expander out, it is almost certainly the culprit.

Expand in a separate step with a Lyman "M" die and his worries will be over. And the result ammo will probably shoot better, since it makes seating the bullets straight a breeze.

If he doesn't want to take the expander out, then just measure each case as it is resized, before proceeding. Doesn't take long and avoids problems on down the road.

Good on you for setting up his dies to closely match the chamber, but the closer the tolerances get, the easier it is for something to foul up the works.
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Old 02-12-2017, 10:59 AM
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Incorrect FL die adjustment. Once fired brass doesnt always give a good reading on chamber size.

It takes about 3 firings of neck sized brass till the brass forms fully to the chamber.

Pull the bullets on the long ones. Size at current die setting, measure. Then we will know.
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:48 PM
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Oh and good on you for actually measuring what was happening, instead of just taking a wild-arse guess. Funny how problems get easier to solve, when you take measurements along the way.

I'm totally shocked that the thread has gotten this far and no one suggested a small base die yet

Be curious to know how it gets solved.
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Old 02-12-2017, 02:18 PM
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Trimmed?

Trimmed? How about It?
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  #11  
Old 02-14-2017, 08:36 AM
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The headspace on the fired cases measure -.001 from SAAMI specs.

Headspace on all the loads that cycled well averaged -.0015. So that's good. When I showed him the
ropes, we set the die up with a locking ring for sizing with minimum case expansion in mind.
The case does not have head space. And then there are bad habits, SAAMI specifications are nice but when it comes to my chambers all I can do is compare my chamber measurements to SAAMI measurements. A reloader should be able to determine if his reloaded ammo will chamber or not chamber. A reloader should know the length of the chamber from the shoulder of the chamber to the bolt face before he starts sizing cases.

And then there are reloaders that believe they can size cases with an exactness/presision that allows them to have a tolerance of .0005". After that they pile on the excuses like 'my meck sizing ball is pulling the shoulder forward and I ask; how would they test that theory, it is possible but it is easier to talk about it than to 'do it'. Add that to jump back, snap back and spring back; remember, reloaders are not going for it, they are trying to sneak up on the case by making a timid effort to sized the case.
The timid effort is called 'bump', to me bump has always been associated to an accident except in the very old days when cam over represses were referred to as bump presses, presses that did not cam over were not bump presses; and now? ever sentence about sizing includes the word bump.

If you chambered a round and the bolt closed and if you pulled the trigger and the round fired you know the length of the chamber from the shoulder of the chamber to the bolt face. If you have the skill to measure the length of the case from the shoulder to the case head before and again after firing you know the length of the chamber within .001". But if you are going to compare the results with SAAMI specifications you are going to be required to verify the tools.

F. Guffey

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Old 02-14-2017, 08:53 AM
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This isn't rocket science, or nuclear bomb making. I don't know why so many people make it so hard.

Forget SAAMI specs. Beyond ensuring the chamber is basically within the limits established for the caliber, SAAMI is irrelevant. Take several fired cases, use a headspace gauge like the Hornady to measure them and take an average to get the fired case length. Let's say that average is 1.500".

You want the sized length to average 1.497", or .003" less. Run a fired case up into the backed out sizer die, and gradually screw the die in until it sizes to that length. Do several cases to get an average and if its correct, lock the sizer down. End of story.

99 out of 100 times you don't need small base dies, so save your money for components. Lubricate the inside case neck before sizing, and there's no chance of dragging the neck out longer. Anneal your cases at 750 deg every 4 or 5 reloads to keep work hardening under control. Make sure you chamfer the inside of the case mouth to make seating easier. Above all, don't force anything. Stop, figure out the problem and fix it before continuing.

Don't overthink it, keep it simple. It doesn't matter what type of case it is. Rimmed, rimless, belted, whatever. If its a bottleneck case, the above will work. Little or no case trimming, better accuracy, long case life all comes from proper sizing.
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:03 PM
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Guys, (rifter and Fguffey).......settle. The SAAMI spec is just the baseline the instrument (RCBS Precision Mic) uses to read each chamber. I know I am measuring THAT CHAMBER and setting the die appropriately to load for minimum case expansion. This particular chamber spits out cases that are -.001 from the SAAMI spec. That is as good as number as any to calibrate to and communicate with. You could use a comparator/caliper and get a reading from the shoulder datum in inches. I have done this too. Same same.

Back to the point, it's not "Incorrect FL die set up" as someone said when 18 out of 20 loads were perfect. My friend said he had a real tough time getting the case out of the die on a couple. Mike G nailed it I think, the expander is the likely the culprit due to inadequate lubing in the case necks on those two bad ones. My buddy is strong and he muscled them out but surely stretched the cases a bit in the process. I told him: 1) lube more thoroughly, especially on the first couple loadings; and 2) resize the case a second time if this happens again.
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:38 PM
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Note that the RCBS "Precision Mic" may not be calibrated. I assumed they were, until I had TWO of them and neither agreed with a headspace gage that should have read the same for both.

But, regardless, the Precision Mic is a good tool for relative comparisons. Which is what we are after when setting up a resizing die.
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:44 AM
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Note that the RCBS "Precision Mic" may not be calibrated. I assumed they were, until I had TWO of them and neither agreed with a headspace gage that should have read the same for both.

But, regardless, the Precision Mic is a good tool for relative comparisons. Which is what we are after when setting up a resizing die.
Bird Dog made a comment about SAAMI being a 'baseline' for the RCBS tool. My point was that the real baseline is what your fired cases measure. When I use the Hornady tool, I zero the readout on the caliper after measuring the case. Any changes as I adjust the die show a negative figure. -.003" is the target. SAAMI has nothing to do with it. I could use a 9mm case for the collet and get the same result.

If you can do that with the RCBS tool, that's great. But if you're thinking about SAAMI baselines, etc., less experienced reloaders are going to get confused. I know that because I've helped some of them remove the confusion. To each his own, however.
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:18 AM
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Guys, (rifter and Fguffey).......settle.
As long as we are clambering for attention that will never happen. But; there is something about 'ZERO' that alludes a reloader. When it comes to zero we all should come up with the same measurement; zero should be zero.

There are reloaders that continue to refer to the Wilson case gage as a drop-in gage and use their thumb for precision measurements, the same reloaders that do not understand the Wilson case gage insist all reloaders should have a Hornady gage. If they understood the Wilson case gage they would understand the Hornady Gage is noting more than a comparator; meaning it is designed to be used to measure before and again after.

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Old 02-15-2017, 02:05 PM
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Are you using the same make of shell holder as your sizing die?
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Old 02-15-2017, 03:47 PM
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Are you using the same make of shell holder as your sizing die?
I have a set of dies that comes with instructions that was made in the mid '60s. On the box it is written: "This die set was designed to be used with a shell holder with a height of .125". I added the term 'deck height'; all of my shell holders have a deck height of .125" regardless of the manufacturer.

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