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With a full flame from a propane torch it takes between 6 and 7 seconds in the flame to get the brass to anealing temperature. (750 to 800F)
After that just drop them in a tray. Quenching in water is not required to soften the brass.
I built my own annealer and designed it for 6.5 seconds in the flame. With the flame centered on the neck/shoulder junction I get between 750 and 850F on both the shoulder and the neck. Perfect for cases from 223 to 358 Winchester and 3006. My annealer cost me less than $20 completed and it will hold 250 30-06 shells. It takes longer to load the magazine than it takes to anneal the cases. :)
 

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Ruthless,

The shims can help, but I can see up to 0.002" shortening in some cases just by running the case into the die a second time and waiting a few seconds and then withdrawing it. If that doesn't make it short enough, try the shim.

The resizing difference in getting cases longer (less shoulder setback), as Mike said, is mainly brass variation. The expander pulling on the neck is no help, but even that would be consistent if the brass were perfectly uniform from case-to-case and the neck friction were truly identical each pass.

Use the Redding Competition Shell Holders to get longer head-to-shoulder datum resizing. They come in 0.002" steps of added deck thickness. This will let you resize more consistently because it lets you turn the die down into firm contact with the shell holder, preventing variation in how deeply the case inserts into the die. All presses stretch some under the force of sizing a case, especially larger bottleneck rifle cases. If you set your sizing die up by turning the die just barely into contact with the raised shell holder, then put an actual lubricated case in and run it up, looking sideways across the shell holder you see that will open a crack of light between the case mouth and the top of the deck. If you were to repeat that with a number of cases, you would see that crack of light varies with the individual cases and the slightly different amounts of lube on them. If you were to measure that crack with feeler gauges, you would find your 0.003" range of shoulder setback in the varying amount of stretch in the press. But using the Redding holders lets you touch the deck with the mouth, then adding a fraction of a turn so the ram against the die actually stretches the press more than the case alone would do. That overwhelms the stretch difference between cases and makes the distance the case is pressed into the die the same each time. There can still be spring-back differences in case length due to hardness differences, but it will be less.

Regarding annealing, it is a somewhat complicated business and what shooters do is actually called partial annealing. We don't want the grain growth associated with full annealing. That weakens the brass. What shooters ideally do is induce recovery into the crystal structure of the brass. This happens at lower temperatures than recrystallization, which you don't need. However, if the case is not work-hardened much, nothing happens. A certain amount of stress has to be there to make recovery occur in the time frame we need at the temperatures we use. So, if you anneal every time, you wind up limiting work hardening, though not preventing it completely, as it has to reach the hardness threshold for getting recovery to happen quickly enough. Think of it as a rubber band pulled tighter; when you let it go, it goes faster. That fact doesn't matter to shooters, though. As long as the brass doesn't split, the elastic modulus is the same regardless of hardness, so the same amount of interference fit holds onto the bullet with the same force.
 
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Maybe I read what your doing wrong. You run the die down to the shell holder and a bit more? You do and your are not bumping anything. By turning down a bit your setting to return to SAMMI spec over camming the press. If that is it and your experiencing head separations I'd say you have to large a chamber. Returning to spec, the chamber is to big and when you fire, the case is pulled forward by pressure and pulled from the case hear. To correct that you'd need to partial size and fit your case's to that chamber! Fire a few rounds with the die backed out a bit. Basically neck sizing with an FL die. couple rounds and the bolt won't close on the sized case anymore. Case to big for the chamber. at that point turn the die down maybe 1/4 turn and try chambering the case again. doesn't chamber right, go down another 1/4 turn. Do that till the case will chamber easily. You'll then have a case that fit's that chamber. I do that with all my rifle's and every rifle has a di set just for to. Once I have the case fitting right i lock in the dies and never move it again.

As for the neck dragging on the expander nipple, they all do. Harder they drag the more likely your stretching the cast and gonna have to trim soon. Collet dies seem to get away from that, at least that is what happened with my 243's when I switched to a collet die. With the reg dies, I spray with Hornady One Shot for lube. Set the cases standing up in a block and spray down fron a 45* angle, it's get's the inside of the neck. If it still drage to much and some do, I have a tub of Imperal sizing lube and I put a bit of it in the case neck with a q-tip!
 

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Discussion Starter #24
With a full flame from a propane torch it takes between 6 and 7 seconds in the flame to get the brass to anealing temperature. (750 to 800F)
After that just drop them in a tray. Quenching in water is not required to soften the brass.
I built my own annealer and designed it for 6.5 seconds in the flame. With the flame centered on the neck/shoulder junction I get between 750 and 850F on both the shoulder and the neck. Perfect for cases from 223 to 358 Winchester and 3006. My annealer cost me less than $20 completed and it will hold 250 30-06 shells. It takes longer to load the magazine than it takes to anneal the cases.
Any chance you could show us pics of your annealing machine? I'm very interested.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
...
I've never heard of the cordless drill and socket method....How does that work?
But annealing the neck just stops neck cracking and doesn't help case head separation. Case heads crack because of chamber slop and headspace problems. If the case gets annealed far enough back to stop case head separation the case got way too hot and the tensile strength of the head was reduced enough to make the case unsafe to fire.
The idea is that my brass has been over worked, by annealing I hope to get more consistent results when resizing. It appears that my chamber is likely on the very upper limit of saami specs. I need to get a go, no-go, and field gauge, to check it, and for some other projects, but haven't yet. They are on the list, but I have other priorities right now. But that combined with my previous resizing method is what I believe lead to the case head separation.


As for the cordless drill method, it's a lot like your hand method. You just Chuck up something like a 3/8" drive bit with a socket the case will fit down in and preferably just leave the neck and a little bit past the shoulder sticking out. Then stick it in the flame. The drill does the twisting for you, theoretically it should heat more evenly. I don't have the best feeling or dexterity in my fingers, so this will help prevent burning myself and cramping my hands up.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Ruthless,

The shims can help, but I can see up to 0.002" shortening in some cases just by running the case into the die a second time and waiting a few seconds and then withdrawing it. If that doesn't make it short enough, try the shim
Short enough isn't the problem, mine were too short for my chamber. My problem is consistency. I believe it is just variation of the brass. I'm hoping the annealing reduces the variation and helps with consistency.


Maybe I read what your doing wrong. You run the die down to the shell holder and a bit more? You do and your are not bumping anything. By turning down a bit your setting to return to SAMMI spec over camming the press. If that is it and your experiencing head separations I'd say you have to large a chamber. Returning to spec, the chamber is to big and when you fire, the case is pulled forward by pressure and pulled from the case hear. To correct that you'd need to partial size and fit your case's to that chamber! Fire a few rounds with the die backed out a bit. Basically neck sizing with an FL die. couple rounds and the bolt won't close on the sized case anymore. Case to big for the chamber. at that point turn the die down maybe 1/4 turn and try chambering the case again. doesn't chamber right, go down another 1/4 turn. Do that till the case will chamber easily. You'll then have a case that fit's that chamber. I do that with all my rifle's and every rifle has a di set just for to. Once I have the case fitting right i lock in the dies and never move it again.

As for the neck dragging on the expander nipple, they all do. Harder they drag the more likely your stretching the cast and gonna have to trim soon. Collet dies seem to get away from that, at least that is what happened with my 243's when I switched to a collet die. With the reg dies, I spray with Hornady One Shot for lube. Set the cases standing up in a block and spray down fron a 45* angle, it's get's the inside of the neck. If it still drage to much and some do, I have a tub of Imperal sizing lube and I put a bit of it in the case neck with a q-tip!
That is what I was doing before. I am now bumping the shoulder, but with inconsistent results. As mentioned above, I am hoping that annealing will help with consistency issues, but I may just be asking too much of my current equipment.
 

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I'm reloading 6.5 Creedmoor, and I'm having a couple of issues. I'm using Hornady Custom Grade FL reloading dies on an RCBS single stage. I have Hornady, federal, and Winchester brass.

#1 The first problem I have is setting the die to bump the shoulder correctly. I am trying to get .0015 - .0025" but my results are not consistent. I'm getting .0000-.0035". How consistent should I expect? How should I be setting it up? Previously I just ran the die down until it touches and then just a wee bit more. I've had two cases experience partial case head separation, and several cases showing signs of case head stretching. So far it has only happened with Hornady brass, on the 3rd or 4th reload. I believe I have been overworking the brass when resizing.


#2 The second "problem" I have is the expander ball is sticking in the case neck on the way out. I've been able to remedy this by lubricating the neck. I've remedied this with lubrication inside the neck. I've used graphite, Dillon resizing lube (lanolin and alcohol), and Lee resizing lube, all seem to work. I'm just curious what everyone else is using. Hopefully there is a better way.
It sounds like your FL dies are over-sizing the case for your particular rifle chamber. The way I determine how much to size cases for my particular rifle is to use the bolt-drop method to determine when a case has been sized enough. You have to remove the firing pin, ejector (Remington 700), and or extractor (Mauser type) so the bolt has no closing stresses on it. Then, partially FL size the case and progressively run the die down until you feel minimum resistance in closing the bolt on the sized case. The bolt should almost drop closed, hence the term bolt-drop method. Most likely you will find this point well before the shell holder touches the bottom of the sizing die.

On your item 2, I have gone to expanding as a separate process (much like for straight-walled cartridges) using an RCBS expanding die with the appropriate expanding tip. I ground off the expanding ball on the de-capping pin of all my sizing dies so it only de-caps. I always hated the resistance of dragging the expanding ball back through the sized case mouth, and if I got enough lube on it I always had powder stick in the case mouth when charging the case. Further, I felt it was stretching the case when pulling the expanding button out, and it opened up the entire case neck when I only needed to partially expand the neck for the particular bullet I was using. The separate expander does its work by being pushed into the case mouth, and you have full control on how much of the neck you expand. For this process I use powdered mica as the lube which is a dry powder that does not result in powder sticking in the case neck during the charging process, and if some of the mica is left behind it has no negative effects on the powder like some case lube have.
 

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Turning the die down a quarter turn, as I have seen suggested MANY times on this forum, is FAR TOO MUCH. A quarter-turn of the die is around 0.018" and that goes from "does't fit" to "way too much sizing" pretty quick!

The six-sized lock nuts are an easy way to show a sixth of a turn, which is 0.012," and still way too coarse of an adjustment. You need to be making small increment of each 'flat' on the lock nut. Half the 'flat' is 0.006" more sizing, and that is about as coarse as I'd go, personally. Make a mark on the die body with a permanent marker of some sort (put tape on the die body if you don't want to mark it) and then use that mark to move the sizing die a SMIDGE at a time, if you really want to get precise. It doesn't take long and then you'll know.

Just randomly cranking the die up and down 'some' is going to be an exercise in frustration.

Oh, and I expand case necks with a Lyman "M" die, or similar. Not only to avoid stretching the case, and the annoyance of dragging an expander ball back through the case neck, but also because I find it keeps the case necks much more concentric with the case body. That's just personal preference. Plus I like the way that bullets start sitting on the little 'ledge' that it makes just inside the case mouth. Seems to help them seat straighter.

There's all sorts of reloading that can be done without that attention to detail, but sometimes it matters.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Thanks again to everyone for the informative comments.

I believe the problem I'm having isn't so much an adjustment issue with the die. It's inconsistent results with the shoulder bump once the die is locked down. I'm pretty sure, as others have suggested, it is inconstancy with the brass.
 

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I neck turn all brass to get the desired bullet fit with the die or .002" interference. Since I turn all necks for concentricity anyway, its not an extra step. I use carbide plugs otherwise I lube inside the necks with Forester case forming lube. Overkill but it works great and lasts forever.

I have turned case necks where the inside became scored on the mandrel and were very difficult to pull through especially after carbon buildup. Using Forester case forming lube in conjunction a carbide plug solved the problem.

I use Redding special shell holders of extra thickness to control shoulder bump. There is no guess work or linkage slop as the die is set to contact the shell holder per standard procedure so the results are very consistent, certainly better than .003" if the cases are all from one batch, i.e., same lot, same number of reloads, same annealing.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Ok, so just to clarify. The Redding competition shell holders are thicker than the standard shell holders, correct?
 

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From the 'pusher' surface of the shell holder to the top is .125. A FL die is usually .002 to .003 shorter than headspace minus .125. If the top of an 'ordinary' shell holder is in contact with the bottom of the die UNDER LOAD, you have re-sized all you can in that die, unless you can SHORTEN that .125". You do that with shim stock on the 'pushing' surface.

Nobody but an armorer needs three headspace gauges!! Buy a GO and make it longer by adding tape or paper to the back of it. If you don't have bolt 'feel' on three layers of masking tape (.009) you have a serious problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Nobody but an armorer needs three headspace gauges!! Buy a GO and make it longer by adding tape or paper to the back of it. If you don't have bolt 'feel' on three layers of masking tape (.009) you have a serious problem.
I plan on building a 6.5 creedmoor Savage someday. So I figure I might as well buy them in the process.
 

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The GO gauge is the standard. The others are longer. You can make a GO gauge longer by adding tape to the back. There is no practical use for the other gauges unless you're an Armorer inspecting small arms. Then they save time, otherwise they're just wasted money.

I still don't know what problem you're having re-sizing. It sounds like you think something is wrong because you don't get the same measurements. Get used to it. Brass changes and springs and swells and deforms. the most critical reference we have in rimless cartridges is part of a double taper with the 'hole' and the 'peg' made by different people in different factories with different tooling. The re-sizing die is another variable that has to take into consideration spring-back and deformities.

Just a few questions answered will help clarify.
How do they fit the gun? Can you re-chamber a fired case? How about if the case is oriented in the chamber the same way? Will it rechamber then?

What is the neck diameter of an unfired round? Fired neck OD?
Does a new case swell just above the rim? Is that swell concentric with the case?

How do they shoot?
How long do they last?
How does a new cartridge compare with a fired case in all dimensions? HOW can you measure that? (You can't without specialized tools and inspection equipment.)
That was a trick question that can drive a QC man nuts. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #35
The GO gauge is the standard. The others are longer. You can make a GO gauge longer by adding tape to the back. There is no practical use for the other gauges unless you're an Armorer inspecting small arms. Then they save time, otherwise they're just wasted money.

I still don't know what problem you're having re-sizing. It sounds like you think something is wrong because you don't get the same measurements. Get used to it. Brass changes and springs and swells and deforms. the most critical reference we have in rimless cartridges is part of a double taper with the 'hole' and the 'peg' made by different people in different factories with different tooling. The re-sizing die is another variable that has to take into consideration spring-back and deformities.

Just a few questions answered will help clarify.
How do they fit the gun? Can you re-chamber a fired case? How about if the case is oriented in the chamber the same way? Will it rechamber then?

What is the neck diameter of an unfired round? Fired neck OD?
Does a new case swell just above the rim? Is that swell concentric with the case?

How do they shoot?
How long do they last?
How does a new cartridge compare with a fired case in all dimensions? HOW can you measure that? (You can't without specialized tools and inspection equipment.)
That was a trick question that can drive a QC man nuts.
I know the go gauge is all I really need to set headspace when re-barreling, I'm just curious to know if my chamber would close on a field gauge.

The resizing question is more about what my expectations should be. I know that .002" of bump is pretty much the rule of thumb for a bolt rifle, but what is the tolerance for that .002" is +/- .002" acceptable? I've been reloading for a few years, but never for precision, and mostly for .45acp for a 1911, and .223/.308 for gas guns. For those I always resized them all the way. so the shoulder bump is a rather new issue. This is also the first time I have had case head separation. From what I can tell so far, my chamber appears to be at the max of saami chamber specs, possibly a bit over.

How do they fit the gun? I haven't had any trouble chambering anything.

What is the neck diameter of an unfired round? Fired neck OD? I haven't bothered checking the neck dia. because I have no means of controlling it with my current equipment.

Does a new case swell just above the rim? Is that swell concentric with the case? New cases often do show signs of stretching, but it's not always concentric, and some are worse than others (factory loads)

How do they shoot? Pretty well, my hand loads have been sub moa out to at least 300yards.

How long do they last? Right now I have two cases that experienced partial speration on the 4th firing, and some that show very obvious signs of incipient case head separation after the 3rd firing. I've since inspected and culled that brass.
 

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I prefer "no go" gauges. If the no go will not go in and a factory case will chamber fine I know I'm in the ball park. But there is something to be said about doing it the other way. Using scotch tape of a known thickness can tell you something that using the no go gauge can't.....Hmmmmm Maybe I will try the other way again and re consider.
 

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To make a 'Field' gauge, simply stick three layers of masking tape (.003) to the rear of a GO gauge. If the bolt closes without 'feel' on that, the gun is unsafe to shoot.

I truly believe your desire for 'precision' is misplaced. Precision ammo does no good at all in an imprecise gun.

If you have case separations in four rounds, you have a problem in the rifle . Now, the goal should be 'make the ammo fit the rifle. To do that, you need some (precise) measurements and maybe some different loading gear.

New cases often do show signs of stretching, but it's not always concentric, and some are worse than others (factory loads)
THIS is the sign of an oversize chamber or oval chamber. NOW, more than ever, the important questions need to be answered to go any further---

DOES a fired case re-chamber in the rifle?
WILL IT RECHAMBER if put back in with the same orientation?

This will tell us the general shape of the chamber without pouring a cast of it.

"Bumping Shoulders" is mostly BS!! The case has TWO TAPERS to it. TAPERS act different than parallel chambers! It is a difference in geometry that's extremely important but hard to understand until you've been around machine tool spindles for a while. (Most don't know that drill press spindles and chucks are two matching tapers of hardened steel. Nothing else. They're about ten times more precise than the average rifle chamber.)

It has to be understood also that brass is totally different that hardened tool steel. It absolutely defies you or anyone to precisely measure something that moves around as much as brass does. (Hand an unmarked gauge block to a dozen people with micrometers and see how many different measurements you get.) To think you're going to get the same measurement to the datum on multiple cases is just not going to happen except by accident. Tomorrow they'll be totally different.

The GOAL is to get the case to fit the chamber again with the LEAST amount of re-sizing. TAPERS are resized incrementally, not 'in sections' like the neck is.

When a fired case is pushed into the FL die, it is the mouth of the case that hits the die first. Take the innards out of the die and try it by hand. Measure the gap between shell holder and the bottom of the die to confirm this. (By hand, measure how much of the case sticks out of the die. The shell holder is .125 of that. What's the difference?) Once contact is made with the mouth of the case, you can't feel what's happening to the rest of the case in the die.

SO, CUT THE NECK OFF a fired case. Now, what is the gap between the shell holder and the bottom of the die when first contact is made? SHAZAM!!! That just showed you how BIG the case is compared to the die. There's probably a hundred thousandths or more of sizing the BODY of the case before the shoulder even gets close to the die.

If the body of the case is too big, sizing it back down 'pooches' (gunsmithing term) the shoulder out so a case partially sized won't rechamber without stuffing the case all the way in so the TWO TAPERS come together.

Re-sizing is MUCH more complicated than just stuffing a big case in a smaller die and the 'shoulder' movement is in two directions under some conditions.

If you have a 'big' chamber and a 'small die' you'll have VERY short case life.
If you can MEASURE, I think I can get you going.
 

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I'm reloading 6.5 Creedmoor, and I'm having a couple of issues. I'm using Hornady Custom Grade FL reloading dies on an RCBS single stage.
Good for you, shooting and reloading are an excellent past time, your equipment is as good as the best and better than the rest.

I have Hornady, federal, and Winchester brass.
Using three headstamps of brass and trying to achieve precision is never a good "idea" no matter how well they shot "together" in factory form.

#1 The first problem I have is setting the die to bump the shoulder correctly. I am trying to get .0015 - .0025" but my results are not consistent. I'm getting .0000-.0035". How consistent should I expect? How should I be setting it up? Previously I just ran the die down until it touches and then just a wee bit more. I've had two cases experience partial case head separation, and several cases showing signs of case head stretching. So far it has only happened with Hornady brass, on the 3rd or 4th reload. I believe I have been overworking the brass when resizing.

I had this "problem" with Sevumag* "range brass" purchased from the local gun club. Rather than try and make my press work harder by over centering, over camming, or in other words, over working my press, I ground .020" off the bottom of the die ( no shell holders were killed or injured) so that after annealling, necking UP to .308 then back down to .284, thereby creating a false shoulder where I was able to accurately measure not only shoulder setback but also the use of the false shoulder made each cartridge, in affect, the same length so there was zero headspace. After fire forming, all that brass fit my rifle exactly. I did the same thing several years ago after being presented with a custom Sevumag* on a K98 Mauser action that the original owner had passed away and the nephew "couldn't get it to shoot" as it kept separating brass. A quick visit to my neighbor Ray Seusserman ( Dr. Suess as he was known in the Madison Valley) where he taught me the "false shoulder" trick when dealing with a rifle that had generous headspace. It always works, always. Ray was so confident that he offered to remove the barrel, re-cut and head space the chamber for $25 if it didn't solve the head separation issue.

#2 The second "problem" I have is the expander ball is sticking in the case neck on the way out. I've been able to remedy this by lubricating the neck. I've remedied this with lubrication inside the neck. I've used graphite, Dillon resizing lube (lanolin and alcohol), and Lee resizing lube, all seem to work. I'm just curious what everyone else is using. Hopefully there is a better way.
I don't always use an RCBS neck sizing die, but when I do I use Imperial's neck sizing lube which is in a "kit" and I'm sure consists of graphite but always works well.

The best remedy is a Lee collet die tailored to your press, shell holder and rifle. It is easily done and your press will thank you.

https://www.shootersforum.com/handloading-procedures-practices/151402-tailoring-your-collet-tutorial.html

RJ

* Sevumag is from the Montana Native Dictionary, meaning 7mm Remington Magnum.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
DOES a fired case re-chamber in the rifle?
WILL IT RECHAMBER if put back in with the same orientation?

This will tell us the general shape of the chamber without pouring a cast of it.

"Bumping Shoulders" is mostly BS!! The case has TWO TAPERS to it. TAPERS act different than parallel chambers! It is a difference in geometry that's extremely important but hard to understand until you've been around machine tool spindles for a while. (Most don't know that drill press spindles and chucks are two matching tapers of hardened steel. Nothing else. They're about ten times more precise than the average rifle chamber.)
The cases fit back in the chamber in any orientation without a problem. I don't think the chamber is oval. I do think it is a oversized though. Or possibly the dies are under sized, I had not previously considered that.

My goal is to hone my technique, more than make this particular rifle more accurate. It's a $400 Ruger American Predator, I'm not expecting a lot. I am getting ready to start loading for my Bergara HMR in 300PRC though, and that rifle has a lot of potential. I've only shot about 35 rounds out of it so far, just playing with the scope, getting it set where I want it and adjusted. I have already been able to shoot a couple <3/4" groups at 200 yards with factory ammo. I just want to get my technique right before I start messing around too much with the more expensive components.

I'm somewhat familiar with how machine tool spindles work, I work with some very high end machines for a living, and I understand that brass will "spring back", and that compound tapers will react differently.

I guess I'm just trying to figure out how much variation is acceptable between cases.

I don't currently have any fired cases to cut down, everything has already been resized. I'll cut some down next time I go shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
One other thing I forgot to mention, I took a few fired cases to the lgs and they chambered them in a couple of their rifles without any problem. Which made me think maybe my chamber isn't too long.
 
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