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Old 01-20-2005, 04:41 PM
Mykal's Avatar
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Do you do neck turning?

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Hello, gents: after a period of laziness, I have gone back to the basics; that is champhering and deburring, trimming, pocket uniforming and cleaning, etc, etc.; and have been rewarded with improved accuracy. I was thinking of taking it to the next level, i.e. neck turning. lately I have been shooting a factory Remington 700 VS in .223. How many of you folks neck turn? Does it pay off? Thanks.
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Old 01-20-2005, 04:58 PM
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IF the necks are uneven, they you'll probably seen some improvemnt. If the rifle has a special tight chamber, should see some improvment. But if it's a standard production chamber and the necks are nearly uniform as is, you won't see any improvment...and could see a decrease.

Will measure and turn uneven case necks...geting a crooked start seldom does accuracy any good...but I don't currently own any rifles cut with a chamber tight enough to require a reductin in brass thickness. Even is good, thinnner serves no real use if the case gives a clean bullet release as is.
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Old 01-20-2005, 05:06 PM
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I have a couple rifles with very tight match chambers...ive tried neck turning and never found it to be a worthwhile process in terms of accuracy. In a benchrest match, were matches are won and lost by the thousanth of an inch, it might help a little bit, but i notice little to no improvment.
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Old 01-20-2005, 05:14 PM
The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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When the case stretches from firing, the brass does not "flow" evenly and the case neck will be thicker on one side than the other. Neck turning will even the concentricy.

The real challenge is to not take any more than necessary. Too thin necks will not provide proper tension on the bullets for best powder combustion. The cases will exhibit smokey necks, shoulders and sometimes, case bodies.

Most cases will not require much turning, if at all. As previously mentioned, most commercial chambers have plenty of slop to accomodate a slightly thickened neck. Where you might have a problem is a custom chamber that was reamed to a "tight" configuration.

Another area warranting neck turning is when radical changes are made to a case to form a cartridge differing from the original. Reducing the neck diameter to a smaller caliber can cause the brass not only to lengthen in the neck, but to thicken.

Having several wildcats that require a parent case to be modified, I find the necessity to neck turn the cases to fit the custom chambers. Not doing so results in higher pressures than normal. The trick is to remove only that minimum amount to achieve best chambering, pressure signs and accuracy. A Forster lathe type case trimmer is used for this purpose.
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Last edited by kdub; 01-20-2005 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 01-20-2005, 05:45 PM
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Couple of thoughts.

Had a very sloppy chambered .243. Larger than standard neck area...fired cases were a rattly fit on a 6mm bullet after firng...accuracy was horrible. Decided to neck down .308cases...pretty reasoanble thing to do...but to then only turn them (back then I reamed them, but it's the same idea) so that when fired, they were a slide fit on a 6mm bullet. It seemed to help that rifle a good bit.

BUT age is unforgiving. One of those cases found its way into a differnt .243 rifle. Nothing too bad...but it sure popped it's primer, expanded it's case head, and needed a bit of rubber-hammer-persuasion to come out of that chamber. When I did get it out, the neck was GONE! Evidiently, when fired, there was no place for the thick neck to expand to in that new tight chamber, so the bullet just took the brass case neck along for the ride.

Another shooting partner read about neck turning, and decided it was just the way to get his 30-06 to shoot better. Shot a LOT worse. When you make the brass thinnner, the bullet fit is going to be less his case, could spin the seated/crimped bullets in the case. With all that extra space to expand in, the cases developed cracks alot sooner....for his efforts he got accuracy truely horrible and case life that was very short...but I STILL COULDN'T GET HIM TO STOP TURNING!

So he gets a nice Garand and decides he's going to shoot some of his neck-turned .30-06 in his new toy. Now garands are nice rifles, but not know for being tightly chambered or gental on loosly fitted ammo when feeding. Best guess is that one got it's bullet jammed back into the case while being fed,,,high pressure event...ugly. the first case, i did a stupid and fed a case with too thick a neck into a chamber that would just accept it, but leave no room for bullet release.

In the second case, a hard headed (and now pased he DIDN'T die from a gun accident is the mystery) guy feeding loosly fitting bulelts from too much turning into a slam-bang feeding action.

Last edited by ribbonstone; 01-20-2005 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 01-20-2005, 06:05 PM
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I do neck turn for a few varmint rifles with close tolerances in the chamber. But, in a factory chamber, I doubt like heck it'll help any, and in at least one way, it'll probably be detrimental.
Factory chambers aren't as tight as custom chambers- the factory has to cut the chamber for the largest 223 cartridge on the market (including military stuff). So, your case necks probably expand quite a bit as it is. Thinning the necks by turning them (even a little) will make them expand more when fired.
Then they get squeezed down more when you size the cases. Result? Case necks start cracking after a few reloads.
Been there, done that, got the t shirt.
Save yourself the cost of new brass, and some time and effort- don't bother neck turning for a factory chamber, unless it is an unusually tight one.
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Old 01-20-2005, 08:38 PM
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I believe accuracy is affected by uniformity. You may open a bag of brass, size it, load it and shoot it with good results. You can also devote a considerable amount of time to your reloads. You can uniform primer pockets, deburr the flash hole, trim to length, neck turn not to mention neck size only and measure case capacity and weight. Is any of this stuff a waste of time? Maybe. It might depend on what you're satisfied with or what you want to accomplish. It's difficult to gauge what works and what doesn't. Even rifles respond differently. All you can do is experiment and find what works for you. One thing about trimming though. If you decide to neck turn your brass, remove only a little. If they look like they have been lathe turned, you probably removed too much. Take off the very minimum amount to achieve uniform runout and case thickness. If you are having to remove too much brass for minimal runout, just shoot for uniform thickness. Not really a right or a wrong here, different methods work better for different folks.
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Old 01-21-2005, 03:44 AM
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Thanks for all the good advice and thoughts, everyone. Very interesting and thanks for taking the time to answer so completely. I think, since I am only shooting factory rifles at this point, and pretty happy with my accuracy as is, I won't make neck turning a part of the routine. I have a gut feeling for my situation it might be simply overfussing and might even take away some accuracy. If I ever get a custom rifle with a chamber with tight tolarances, it might be worth a go then. Thanks again.
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Old 01-21-2005, 09:06 AM
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Although its not one of my favorite things I have Contender carbine barrel in a wildcat chambering that requires the cases to be neck turned. And with that the payoff is that it is incredibly accurate and very low SD number thru the Chrony.

For the average hunting rifle or high volume varmint shooting there is no way I would turn all those. I personally doubt most guns of production quality will realize any difference.
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Old 01-21-2005, 11:49 AM
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Neck turning achieves several things, #1 the tension on the neck holding the bullet will be even so the bullet leaving the case at the time of firing will not leave canted from an uneven grip on the bullet. #2 It makes the bullet alignment with the bore closer when neck sizing. If you full length size you are defeating some of this and in general will get groups that are no better or worse. #3 If you went this far you no doubt want better accuracy and will pusue it, that is a good thing. My number one thing when I shot competition was to ask questions from the people that out shot me. Far as hunting rifles are concerned and neck turning that is a question you have to ask your self. "Am I doing my best to put down my quarry in the most humane and effiecient way possible through my reloads?" When I was punching paper I asked myself the same question and all my bottleneck calibers get neck turning including my .32 Marlin. Getting a good group or a bad one won't hurt the paper.
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