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I shot some test ammo out of my Ruger 300 win mag the other day.  The load was in R-P cases, 74.0 grains RL-22, Win WLR primer, 165 gr Rem PSPCL.  This is a mid range load that shoots pretty well from this rifle.  Anyway, the cases had been previously fire formed to this rifle, and I had neck sized them using a Lee Collet die.  Out of 15 rounds, something like 5 or so rounds were hard to close the bolt on.  After shooting, when the cases were again neck sized, I couldn't close the bolt on them.  I then ran them thru a full length die, set to partially size the case (to the base of the neck), and the cases will now chamber.  I noticed that the cases have a bright smear in front of the belt where the outer diameter was swaged back down by the die (Note, this is not the bright ring associated with an incipient case head failure - I checked the cases with a dental pick).  The smear appears to show that the chamber is quite a bit larger in diameter then the die is.

So, what should I do?  Full length resize every other time?  Get the chamber verified for proper dimensions?  Get a different die set? Not worry about it?  Is it typical to have to FL resize cases after a load or two, due to "growth"?  I don't seem to have these issues with other rifles I load for, at least not to this extent.

The rifle is an older Ruger M77 I purchased new in about 1982. It probably has 250-300 rounds thru it, max.

Thanks for any info, Tom
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Hi, Tom:
  It's normal for neck sized cases to need a full length resizing after a few loads. Your mileage may vary. I saw that bright ring just above the base on some high mileage brass when I got a new set of .222 dies.

  I'd measure the brass just above the ring before and after resizing to see if you've got an oversized chamber or an undersized die. Your reloading manual should have a case drawing with dimensions.

Bye
Jack
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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F-L size them "as necessary" - different guns will give different results and no I don't know why. My .257 Rob (also a Ruger) will shoot neck-sized cases indefinitely, although I don't use the Lee collet dies.

Possible also that the chamber is slightly out of round, and the cases don't go in the same way each time?  Just a guess.

It is also possible that the force exerted on the case by the collet die is causing the body of the case to bulge just a teeny bit.  Take careful measurements along the body of a fired case, resize w/collet die, and take new measurements.

If a case came out of the chamber easily, then it should go back in easily - period.  If not, then something is causing it to 'grow' just a little.  The downside of neck-sizing is that the body of the case being an exact fit in the chamber, won't tolerate much additional growth (or dirt, fouling, etc.).

Let us know if you come to any conclusions.  I've been interested in the Lee collet dies and would like to hear some feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I did a partial full length resize using another die, so all is well with this batch.

Regarding using the Lee collet dies, I have them in two calibers, the aforementioned .300 Win Mag and in 7mm Rem Mag.  I have had very good luck with the die in the 7mm, as some cases have been resized several times and still chamber fine.  Accuracy has been very good, as well - better then with using the FL RCBS dies I was using before.  I only use Federal brass in that caliber, and the rifle is a Win M70 classic stainless sporter.

THe .300 dies also work well, but not as good as the 7mm.  By that I mean that I seem to have more problems with the cases chambering etc.  This could be due to some tolerance mismatch between the rifle and the dies, for all I know.  Accuracy has been good, however.

I have bi\ulged some cases in the .300 using the collet die, it appears to "swell" at the shoulder if they are crushed too much.

I also have a RCBS neck sizer die in 30-06 that works OK, but I prefer the Lee as I think there is less bullet runout, although I have not measured it.

HTH, Tom
 

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I too have the lee collet die in 300winmag. I haven't had to full length size yet. 15 times and still going.   doug
 
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