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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I got around to loading a few dummy rounds to get my equipment set up, and got them within spec according to both of my manuals... the brass i have now was fired out of a different rifle (which i'm thinking to be the majority of the problem).

the first one would allow the bolt to travel all the way forward but will not turn down at all.

on the last one, the round will chamber... but when the lugs catch and begin to screw in, my necks are tight in the chamber, and is somewhat hard to put the bolt handle all the way down. i found that if i ran the brass through the sizer 2 or 3 times, it gave me some room. i can see marks on the head from the ejector rubbing, and small scratches on the neck from it turning in the chamber. After comparing the dimensions to a factory winchester round, my handloaded case averaged about .001-.002 larger... is one or two thousandths really enough to bind a round?

would the fact the rifle is brand new account for some of this?

i'm ordering a neck sizer tomorrow, so once i have brass fired out of my x-bolt, this shouldn't be a problem.
 

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Are you camming over the press stroke? Run the ram all the way up, then screw the die all the way down so its touching the shellholder, then lower the ram and screw the die in 1/4 more turn and tighten the lock ring on the die. Ideally you want the ram to kind of 'pop' when it cams over, not too hard though. I find that 1/8 extra turn is usually all that is needed for my guns. Even my single shot has no trouble using brass from other guns as long as I resize that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Are you camming over the press stroke? Run the ram all the way up, then screw the die all the way down so its touching the shellholder, then lower the ram and screw the die in 1/4 more turn and tighten the lock ring on the die.
i have done this, maybe i need to screw it in a little more

I know i can get my press dialed in, but I think i'm starting to realize the advantages of a single stage press for rifle loading.
 

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I forgot you had that progressive... the Redding Body Die that will correct your issue (you can size already loaded rounds with this die) is as expensive as a Lee Classic Cast press that would give you the single stage advantage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
i played around with it a little more and got my rounds to chamber smoothly. i found that my shoulder was too far forward, i lowered my sizing die a bit more as you suggested and adjusted everything accordingly. I went on to load my first 5 rounds.

150gr ProHunters with 44gr 748, OAL 2.75

308 manual suggested 42gr as a starting load and Lee's suggested 46, i figured starting in the middle of those would be safe.
 

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Good to hear, its surprising what just a little bit of sizing will accomplish.
 

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i have done this, maybe i need to screw it in a little more

I know i can get my press dialed in, but I think i'm starting to realize the advantages of a single stage press for rifle loading.

Single stage press'es are good, but you can do the same thing on a turrent with no problem. I've been using a Lyman turrent press for years and loaded everything for 45/70 and 30-06 to .223.

The trick is to adjust all the play out of the top. Mine has an adjusting screw, others may need to be shimmed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
i remember reading somewhere that it is possible to size the neck only with the lee sizing die, anybody have any info on this?

i put 20 rounds through my xbolt today (love the rifle) and upon measuring the brass, they are of perfect length and need no trimming or sizing apart from the neck. I'd hate full length size them now, so i'm just trying to get by until my collet die comes in... i can't wait to shoot some reloads.
 

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You can just set your die up so it doesn't quite touch the shellholder. You'll see a little line where the die stops sizing on the neck. Size them like this and see if they chamber. If they don't, screw the die in 1/4 turn at a time until you size them enough to chamber. This should result in the maximum possible case life, and you don't need to buy a seperate neck die.
 

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You should develop a variety of loads w/ a given powder so you can find a sweet spot...

If I were you I'd do 10 rounds of each, 42.5, 43, 43.5, 44, 44.5, 45gr... shoot each and see what kind of grouping you get... You'd be amazed what .5grs of powder will do... I had a load of IMR4064 43.5gr w/ a 168gr SMK that I couldn't get tighter than 2 MOA, two seperate targets 5 rounds each... tested my 44gr IMR4064 (all else the same, length/bullet) and I shot a .284 MOA 4 shot group... 5 bullet was a flyer :mad: because I flinched.

MIke.
 
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