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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a 760 pump rechambered to 358 winchester. It feeds and fires factory stuff without a problem. However, reloads are finicky. Some feed fine, others are hard to chamber or won't chamber.

Unfired brass or brass fired in this gun are full-length sized with Lee dies. The die is solidly hitting the shell-holder on the down stroke.

I think my next step is to try small-base dies. I've checked online at a coupl of my favorite reloading suppliers and cannot find them. Who makes a small base die set or just a small base sizer for 358 winchester?
 

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RCBS does not list a small base die set for .358 Winchester. I am not aware of any others available either...perhaps someone can enlighten us.

Are you using a Lee shellholder to match your Lee sizing die?

The sizing die should be screwed in about 1/4 turn or so after you have firm contact between the shellholder and the die. The ram should "cam over" as you bring the handle all the way down when sizing. Also, check your cases for length and make sure you are not bulging case necks or shoulders with a too-firm crimp.

Since your rifle has been rechambered, it is quite possible that it was done to minimum headspace dimensions and perhaps the chamber is too tight. You could ask your gunsmith about this.

If I were you and none of the above is the problem, I would try a different brand of dies and see what happens. The .358 generally shouldn't need small base dies.

You can send some fired cases to RCBS and they will custom make a die set for your chamber and solve your problem. It may cost a few bucks, but it will make the problem go away.
 

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It probably can be fixed by simply turning the sizer down another 1/8 th turn. If not, make some effort to find where the tight fit is coming from. But, only when you find where the "rub" is coming from will you have a clue as to what's causing it.

Paint the bullet with a black or other dark color "Dri-Eraser" felt tip marker (they show things better than the premanent types do). Chamber the round, withdraw and check that you aren't jamming the bullets or end of the case into the lands or end of the chamber. If that's okay, paint the shoulder and neck, test for hard contact on that part of the cartridge. If that's okay, test the lower case and head.

It's possible that your sizer is out of spec but it's HIGHLY unlikely, no matter who made it. And your rifle shouldn't be chambered that tight, unless the reamer was worn a good bit, so it's unlikely to require a small base die. But, if you do get a full circumference ink rub around your loaded cartridges at anypont...maybe so.
 

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The maximum amount of sizing that can be accomplished is determined by the distance from the deck of the shell holder and die cavity when the die is adjusted down to make contact with 'the 1/4 additional turn' , the length of the case can be reduced from the head of the case to it's shoulder by placing a feller gage between the deck of the shell holder and bottom of the case while sizing, with an RCBS shell holder the maximum is about -.008 thousands, Lee Dies? you can add .005.



I would suggest starting with .003 thousands then attempt to chamber, you can seat a bullet to check feed (no powder-no primer), is feeding is reliable reduce the size of the gage to .001, once you settle on a sized case that feeds reliably, order a shell holder from Redding, tell them the thickness of the feeler gage, or continue using the feeler gage, I do not recommend grinding the shell holder or die.


F. Guffey
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The maximum amount of sizing that can be accomplished is determined by the distance from the deck of the shell holder and die cavity when the die is adjusted down to make contact with 'the 1/4 additional turn' , the length of the case can be reduced from the head of the case to it's shoulder by placing a feller gage between the deck of the shell holder and bottom of the case while sizing, with an RCBS shell holder the maximum is about -.008 thousands, Lee Dies? you can add .005.



I would suggest starting with .003 thousands then attempt to chamber, you can seat a bullet to check feed (no powder-no primer), is feeding is reliable reduce the size of the gage to .001, once you settle on a sized case that feeds reliably, order a shell holder from Redding, tell them the thickness of the feeler gage, or continue using the feeler gage, I do not recommend grinding the shell holder or die.


F. Guffey
Good idea. Thanks!
 

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Guffy: "The maximum amount of sizing that can be accomplished is determined by the distance from the deck of the shell holder and die cavity when the die is adjusted down to make contact with 'the 1/4 additional turn':"

Well, it's true that a case can't go any further into a die than shell holder to die contact will allow, that's why the common "directions" for setting a sizer reads that way. Problem is that presses vary quite a bit in the amount of "spring" under load. If they were truly rigid NO extra turn would be needed. AND, a LOT of people adjust the die with no case in the die so they have no idea how far the die may be off the shell holder under compression. SO, following that "extra 1/4 turn rule" is really not a dependable way to go! We MUST adjust our die for results; if the cases aren't going in far enough, the die needs to be turned down a bit more.

In some 40+ years of loading for a couple dozen cartridges with many different FL sizers in some ten or so different presses, when a sizer is properly adjusted I have NEVER needed to resort to putting a feeler gage pad in a shell holder. Thus, my first suggestions is always to turn the die down a tad further. (But, that's just me, your mileage may vary!)
 

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358 win small base dies?

Ranger338V, I will never catch up with you, he said he had a rifle chambered, he said factory ammo worked without a problem. but was having a problem with sized cases chambering, some not all.

"I had a 760 pump rechambered to 358 winchester. It feeds and fires factory stuff without a problem. However, reloads are finicky. Some feed fine, others are hard to chamber or won't chamber"

"a LOT of people adjust the die with no case in the die so they have no idea how far the die may be off the shell holder under compression"

In a trade the 1/4 to 1/2 additional turn would be called a pre-load.

If they have no ideal how far the die is off the shell holder under a load they need to purchase a feeler gage, with the ram up and adjusted there should not be space between the shell holder and die when the case is sized and the press under a load with the ram up, if a feeler gage will not fit between the shell holder and bottom of the die (ram up and under a load), the press won, if a feeler gage can be inserted in the gap between the shell holder and die (under a load with the ram up), the case whiped the press, the gap can be measured in thousands, a remedy could be an additional 1/4 turn. I do not know what press he is using

I spend a small amount of time determing the length of the chamber from the face of the bolt to the shoulder of the chamber, I also spend time making cases for short chambers, back to maximum amount a case can be sized, there is a limit, I do not use cases with excessive resistance to sizing and there is no way to reduce the length of a case without grinding the top of the shell holder and or bottom of the die or purchase the shell holder from Redding, make sure the shell holder is a negitive shell holder and not a plus. If one grinds the shell holder and or die then determines neither was the problem, now what? If the feeler gage eliminates the guessing, he is ahead and the intergity of his equipment has not been compromised

He said the shell holder was solid against the shell holder. I believe him and I accept the ideal the maximum amount of sizing as in reducing the length of the case from the head of the case to it's shoulder can not be done by crushing the die.

F. Guffey
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
You guys can argue this one all you want. I believe my technique is sound. Press is a Rockchucker II. I can't remember for sure, but shell holder is probably Lee. Most of my dies are.

I will use the feeler gauge and report back, but it may be a while. We had -15 degrees this morning, so I'm not anxious for bench time. :eek:
 

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mogawi, forgive, as soon as you said "Good idea. Thanks!" I knew what was coming next, I would like to know how you solve the problem, please send email.

F. Guffey
 

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Good comments on die/shellholder set-up.

I suspect the re-chamber job at this point. Measure everything to tell the whole story. Something got missed or interpreded bad.

I cant recall the the last time I had a bad die/shellholder from any maker?

Cheezywan
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good comments on die/shellholder set-up.

I suspect the re-chamber job at this point. Measure everything to tell the whole story. Something got missed or interpreded bad.

I cant recall the the last time I had a bad die/shellholder from any maker?

Cheezywan
This die & shell holder combo has worked for 2 other 358s that I have owned. I use this shell holder for a 35 whelen, 2 30-06's and 2 308 rifles. Only one is a bolt action. No chamber problems for any of the others. Makes me think something is different in this gun
 
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