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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have not reloaded for a semiautomatic and just acquired a BAR in .30-06. There seems to be some difference in opinion to these questions:

1 - Do I need a small base die?
2 - Is a crimp necessary?
3- Do powders and bullets vary accordingly? I assume I might have trouble with my beloved Bergers, but one thread on another forum had some saying powder selection was important, too.

Any help appreciated.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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1. I doubt it.
2. My dad never crimped for his Rem autos.... your mileage may vary.
3. The Rems were somewhat sensitive to powder speed and bullet weight. Can't answer for the BAR.... might depend on if the gas system was adjustable?
 

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aNSWERS FROM ONE WHO OWNS 3 BAR'S AND RELOADS FOR THEM ALL.

1. YES- YOU MUST UDE SB DIES TO RELOAD FOR BAR'S

2. NO YOU DONT HAVE TO CRIMP. WHAT MADE YOU THINK YOU DID?

3. WHY COULDNT YOU LOAD BERGERS? i DONT UNDERSTAND THE REASON FOR THE QUESTION
 

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I had an Ohio Ordnance BAR for a coupla years. It worked well with reloads sized in a standard RCBS FL Die. No need for small base in my experience. I used H4895 powder and surplus M-2 152 grain military bullets. They looked right at home in a BAR magazine. I have no experience with Bergers..I just used the beast for plinking.

I did crimp with a Lee Factory Crimp Die but it probably wasn't necessary.
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I googled these questions and went through a variety of other forums.

#1 - On some forums this is a raging debate with some guys insisting you need small-based dies. Now, I've frequented enough forums to know there are lunatics behind many web bushes, so I don't take everything seriously. But, the adamancy behind the answers is quite severe.

2. Same thing on the crimp issue. My first thought was I certainly didn't need to crimp, but on some forums there are those who are insisting you must crimp with an autoloader.

3. The Berger issue is just a guess on my part. Chances are they will work if seated deep enough to cycle. I have used them in more than a few rifles and in my experience they work best in single-shots. Concerning powders I read some reports where W760 and BLC 2 were the most consistent for failure-free cycling.
 

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Well, I plead guilty about the lunatic thingy...I wish I had a nickel for every dollar I spent on guns in my life. I had a brief 40-year span in which I felt the need to own one of everything. I owned the BAR during my US Military Weapons Period.

But the Lunatic repeats that he did not have a problem with ammo sized in regular dies...

Really....

Trust me, I'm on the Internet and I used to work for the Government.
 

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Whoooaahhh! I really AM a lunatic...I thought you were talking about a REAL BAR, the kind the army used to carry. (I just read your post in the Rifle section)

I have never owned the Browning version.

Never mind...
 

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I've loaded for exactly one semi-auto Sunday (NOT a BAR). It was a 30-06.

I did not need small-base dies. I think that would be an idividual rifle thing?

I did crimp the bullets.

I started by clocking a few factory loads in the same bullet weight for a base-line on what to expect for speed and reliable cycling.

I used a slightly faster powder than I would have for a bolt rifle in the same chambering (IMR-4064 vs. IMR-4350).

Worked up to near same speed and stopped.

They shot fine and cycled the action every time. Was well below published maximum.

Purdy easy really.

I know nothing of Berger troubles.

Good shooting to you.

Cheezywan
 

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Hello John,

Good to see you, young fellow, hope everything is great with you and yours. Congratulations on the new rifle- I hope that this doesn't call an end to your work with the other, less mainstream calibers. I own a couple of three 06s, myself, but not any automatics.

I did load some rounds for a bud's 7400 once upon a time, and had to research the issue to that end years ago. I did pay attention to the OAL and neck tension, but I didn't have to go the crimp route. These cartridges worked with a standard RCBS full length die, but I was prepared and ready had they not, and was glad to see that small base sizing wasn't necessary.

Reckon your bullets would be fine, although I did learn that autos need a comparitively quick powder for the 06, as the slower powders are rough on the operating systems. I remember 4064 being one of the selected, AA2520, in that burning range and quicker. SOme of the load manuals have seperate data for the M1 garand, and I would think that serves as a useful guide.

Great to see you John, hope that it works out. Let me know if I can do anything for you.

Steve
 

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I generally agree the die need is individual. Same thing happens with AR's and M14's. You get some that are fine with standard dies and some that aren't. The concern with those floating firing pin guns is that cartridges that hesitate to chamber smoothly increase the chance of an out-of-battery slam fire. That's the dangerous and destructive kind.

Use the search feature to look up Humpy's recent post on his past problems with dies. It is informative. Use a case headspace gauge, like the RCBS Precision Mic to be sure your standard dies actually set the shoulder back at least 0.002" shorter than they eject from the gun. Also, because some semi-auto actions can stretch a case on extraction, double-check that fired cases will rechamber? If not, you may need to set the shoulder back more, in which case the small base die may be a good idea.

Most often, problems arise when people try to size cases last fired in other guns with longer chambers. Then a small base die may be essential. Once sized and fired in your chamber, however, a standard die of proper dimensions (again, see Humpy's comments) will usually size it down enough.
 

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I have a 300WSM and a .308 BAR Lightweight Stalker. I load for both without small base dies. I use the Lee Factory Crimp Die for both. There is no reason why you can't load any bullet you would like.

My 300 needs the shoulders bumped a lot, and the Hornady LnL seems to have the muscle to do it.

I crimp to avoid bullet set back and to ensure good cycling.
 

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We just started loading for the '06 BAR this past week. We got excellent function with standard dies and BLC-2. We put the factory crimp on there just for grins. We fired about 25-30 rounds, I'm guessing, and function was fine with a 2" group at 100 yards. We hope to tune that down, or perhaps improve the shooting skills.
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Great to hear from all of you. Whitehunter, good to have you chime in. Send me a personal email and catch me up to date. I'm having trouble changing my profile for some reason so I'll have to list my email here: [email protected].
I'm glad to get this information. One of the reasons I got this rifle was because my father-in-law gave me all of his reloading stuff about eight years ago and I was certain there was a set of ought-six dies in it as he reloaded primarily for his .06 Remington pump and a bolt .243. But, I can't find the dies. I ordered some inexpensive Lee dies and should have gone ahead and bought the three-die set. But, it is post-Christmas, after all, and we are all probably trying to save a few dollars.
I ordered a box of Sierra GameKings, too, as I was afraid to take a chance on the Bergers. A couple years ago I did quite a little testing of terminal ballistics of various bullets. I shot them for accuracy as well as penetration and weight retention. The Sierra GameKings surprised me with their performance in soaked newsprint. (I could mention the bullets that did not impress me but that wouldn't be nice and would undoubtedly set off a small firestorm of protest.)
I was wondering if I needed a hot powder to efficiently cycle the action. So, the guys on other forums who swore by W760 and BLC 2 probably had a clue what they were talking about. Those are more mid-range.

If I had the chance I would probably trade this rifle for a BAR in a short action.

Now, off topic a bit, but it is the time of the year when I have to start writing my columns for GunHunter. I would like to do one on some of the reloading experts -- I mean that sincerely -- that can be found on the Web. I would not use personal names or addresses, just user names. I just think it would be interesting to do a little portrait of about a half-dozen guys listing their professional backgrounds, etc... So, if a couple of you get an email from me, that will be why. Or, if you have someone you think I should contact drop me a note. I think the really knowledgeable guys on the gun/reloading forums do a great service.
 

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I load for three BAR rifles, 300WSM and two 30-06, none require SB dies. Read this, it may help you understand what loading for an auto-loader is all about.
http://www.exteriorballistics.com/reloadbasics/gasgunreload.cfm

Notice the section on neck tension/crimping.

Neck Tension
When we stop to consider the vigorous (read, downright violent) chambering cycle a loaded round endures in a Service Rifle, it becomes pretty clear it suffers abuse that would never happen in a bolt-action. This is simply the nature of the beast. It needs to be dealt with since there is no way around it.
There are two distinctly different forces that need to be considered: those that force the bullet deeper into the case, and those that pull it out of the case. When the round is stripped from the magazine and launched up the feed ramp, any resistance encountered by the bullet risks having it set back deeper into the case. Due to the abrupt stop the cartridge makes when the shoulder slams to a halt against the chamber, inertia dictates that the bullet will continue to move forward. This is exactly the same principle a kinetic bullet puller operates on, and it works within a chamber as well. Some years ago, we decided to examine this phenomenon more closely. During tests here at Sierra’s range, we chambered a variety of factory Match ammunition in an AR-15 rifle. This ammunition was from one of the most popular brands in use today, loaded with Sierra’s 69 grain MatchKing bullet. To conduct the test, we chambered individual rounds by inserting them into the magazines and manually releasing the bolt. We then repeated the tests by loading two rounds into the magazine, chambering and firing the first, and then extracting and measuring the second round. This eliminated any potential variation caused by the difference between a bolt that had been released from an open position (first round in the magazine) and those subsequent rounds that were chambered by the normal semi-automatic operation of the rifle. Measuring the rounds before chambering and then re-measuring after they were carefully extracted resulted in an average increase of three thousandths (0.003") of forward bullet movement. Some individual rounds showed up to seven thousandths (0.007") movement. Please bear in mind that these results were with factory ammunition, normally having a higher bullet pull than handloaded ammunition.
To counteract this tendency, the semi-auto shooter is left with basically two options: applying a crimp or increasing neck tension.
 
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