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Using Hornady 2-die set reloading 7mm Rem. mag. with 140gr Nosler AB. I am use new Remington case which I FL sized. The neck tension was not enough to hold the bullet securely. Also after seating I noticed a round ring scratch just below the plastic tip (1/16-inch). To solve the neck tension problem (or atleast it seemed to solve), I loosened the the die lock ring and backed up the seating a good portion. Screwing the die down on the round I took it another turn or so. This seemed to put some type of crimp on the round. (firing gun will be a bolt action)

Being new to reloading [/U]I am wondering is this normal, neck tension not holding securely enough (I could back bullet out with a tight finger pinch and a pull on case a few tousands at a time slipping off and doing it again). I purchased the die set and brass back in the 80's, wow 20 something years latter I'm finally learning to reload.

I also ask if maybe I should just go ahead and get RCBS dies? I also have the lee factory crimp die for my handgun cartriages, should I consider getting one for my 7 mag.
Thanks
 

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Something is not right here. Neck tension on Full Length sized cases should always be much higher than what you describe.

I have no experience with Hornady dies, but the downloadable instructions don't seem much different from most other manufacturers:
http://www.hornady.com/assets/files/manuals-current/metalic-reloading/new_dimension_custom_grade.pdf

Can I suggest you remove the "Eliptical Expander/Decap Assembly" from the die and measure the diameter of the expander. It should be about the diameter of the bullet you should be using.

The typical reloading full length sizing die squashes the case neck way smaller than necessary, then drags the expander through the way-too-small case neck, returning the case neck Internal Diameter to something a few thousandths smaller than the bullet.

Size a case without the Expander in place, and measure the case neck Internal Diameter. Re-install the Expander and run the case up far enough to run the case neck over the Expander, then remove the case from the press and again measure the case neck ID.

Also, measure your bullets. If you are using a cheap Caliper to measure with, expect them to be off about .002". Expect projectiles from major manufacturers to be precisely the diameter they are supposed to be, and use them as gauge blocks.
 

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"If you are using a cheap Caliper to measure with, expect them to be off about .002".

If by "cheap" you mean the old RCBS plastic calipers, I agree.

If you mean today's Chinese-made, reloading company branded inexpensive stainless steel dial calipers, I find them to normally read off less than a half thou, frequently dead on. But, I've only tested maybe 10-12 of 'em on my Jo blocks so ...?

And I agree that something is odd about the "loose bullet" fit. It's normally determined by the expander.

Backing a FL sizer out only controls the amount of the case that gets resized, it means nothing to bullet fit.
 

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Chris, (and all else)

Thanks a bunch, makes sence the way you explain it. I'll give it a try. My calipers are starrett but old ones.
 

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Ok, here's something else for you guys. It's another question, but the titles of the thread would have been nearly identical to this one, so I figured I'd throw it in here.

I think I might be having neck tension issues with my .223 Rem. I think this is responsible for the vertical spread problem I've been having with my handloads (I've got a few other threads out on it). Is there some way to measure the neck tension on a resized case? Or alternatively, is there some way to come up with a fairly consistent neck tension in the resizing process? I'm using the Lee Collet Die, I have it adjusted properly, but I do know for a fact that some bullets are seating easier than others.
 

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Full-length resizing dies for bottleneck cartridges should be screwed down until they meet the raised shellholder -- and then 1/8 to 1/4 turn more. When sizing a case the handle should come to a stop and then, with a bit more force, you should feel a distinct extra "bump" as the press "cams over". This should give you correct and consistent neck size.
 

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So then, what about neck sizing with a collet die? I would think the same would be true...that it is sized to a consistent size. But it seems as though this isn't the case? The harder I press on the handle, the tighter the neck comes out. It seems to be quite hard to get them all the same though...
 

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Marsms, I had some of the same problems with the Lee collet dies. A couple ways around that is first to anneal the case necks. Spring back on harder cases will reduce bullet tension while the softer necks size more consistantly. As you probably know, after pressing the collets just so hard into the neck doesn't make the neck smaller, it just bulges the shoulder.


The second thing that helps some is to size the neck and turn the case 1/2 turn and run it into the die again. When withdrawing the case from the die you can feel the case neck drag on the mandrel if the neck is nicely squeezed down.

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On convential dies bullet tension is determined by the expander diameter. No matter how hard you jam the case into the die, the neck is sized when pulling the case back over the expander on the way out of the die. The case going into the die closes the neck down. Coming out it's opened up to expander diameter.
 

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So then, what about neck sizing with a collet die? I would think the same would be true...that it is sized to a consistent size. But it seems as though this isn't the case? The harder I press on the handle, the tighter the neck comes out. It seems to be quite hard to get them all the same though...
If you are not bottoming out that die with every stroke, you are not sizing the full length of the neck. The result is that the bullet may be firmly gripped by 1/4 of the neck one time, 1/2 of the neck next time, the full neck the time after that. You must be consistent with each case, and if you do not have a positive index -- like, the thing won't go any further, no matter how hard you oush -- you will not get consistent cases. For the same reason, of coure, you must be sure all cases are trimmed to a consistent length.
 

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Ah, thanks Monty. I actually did start sizing the second time after a half turn just yesterday, when I reread the instructions for the die to make sure it was set up correctly. I didn't stop to think it might make a difference in the tension department as well, though I guess it does stand to reason.

I guess I'll give this annealing a try!

Sorry for the hijack.
 

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I had the same problem with a set of hornady dies for a 300 mag. A gunsmith in town told me to try sticking a small piece of paper towel in the seater die. I tried it and sure enough it worked!
 

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" Is there some way to measure the neck tension on a resized case?"

Yes. 1) Mike the sized neck diameter. 2) Seat a bullet and mike it again. Subtract diameter 1 from 2 and the difference, in thousants, is what most folks call "tension".

It's really not tension, it's just a measurement of the "interference fit" between the neck and bullet. Real 'bullet tension' applies to how hard it is to pull/push it outta the neck and that mostlhy depends on how hard the brass is. Annealing softens the brass and should actually decrease the sized neck's inside diameter but reduce real bullet tension.

Lee's collet sizer die is perhaps the best neck die available for factory rifles but, with that moving part, it's not a simple, "push the case in, pull the case out" process like it is with other neck sizers. Learn to use it, you'll learn to love it.
 

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I had the same problem with a set of hornady dies for a 300 mag. A gunsmith in town told me to try sticking a small piece of paper towel in the seater die. I tried it and sure enough it worked!
Where do you put the paper towel piece? Between the bullet and case?
 

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I just noticed that the moving sleeve comes to a rest when the top of the lettering on it just comes in line with the bottom of the die body. I'll have to try using that as a reference as well when I'm sizing next time.
 

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Yup! It sounds crazy but I chewed a little piece of paper towel to get it wet so it would form and jamed it between the bullet and the inside of the seater die. I then left the case in the press for about 30 minutes to let the paper towel dry to the shape of the bullet. Of course I had to adjust the seating depth to allow for this but it fixed the problem. I have only noticed this with Horady dies , the RCBS dies that I use for other calibers dont leave that little ring on the bullets.
 

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I've even seen those rings on commercial ammo. Just a sharp edge on the seater stem. A box of Winchester .45 ACP 185 grain SWC target loads I had all had those seating stem marks. They don't hurt anything as they are too shallow to affect air boundary layer laminar flow. However, the ersatz paper mache solution sounds good. Rust in the stem would be my only concern. You might try gently removing the dried paper wad and cleaning and oiling the die. Then treat the paper with a little Rot Fix or one of the other super thin epoxy resins designed to penetrate and reinforce rotted wood fiber.

A number of folks have waxed a bullet and used JB Weld or Accraglass bedding or some such epoxy material to permanently modify a seater for a particular bullet. There is nothing to prevent you waxing the seater as well as the bullet to get a removable part you can keep for the bullet type. The only issue with all this is that bullet ogives have a certain amount of radius variance from one tool set to the next. As a result, one lot number doesn't always fit exactly to the form of another. Especially not if your bullets are made by a manufacturer who doesn't segregate lots by the tool set they came off of, as Sierra does. So you may have to make these more than once.

Another thought would be to use Decon Flexane 80. It is a two-part polyurethane rubber. It responds to mold release, too, so a cast made with that might be the ticket for accommodating small ogive variance?

Finally, if it is just the appearance of the line that bothers you, you could pull the part our and run a felt buffer tip on a Dremel tool loaded with mild compound. If you chuck the part in a variable speed drill and turn it while you polish, you should be able to evenly radius the sharp edge just slightly to dull it enough to stop leaving the mark.
 
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