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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently started to reload a batch of 30-06 brass all of which had been fired for the 3rd time in the same rifle. Upon measurement 4 of the 20 rounds were substantially longer than the max empty brass length measurment in my Nosler manual. I have not annealed any of these cases. Is the difference in fried brass length from the same chamber simply a factor of the relative strength of each given case or am I missing something here? Related question....how often should brass reloaded to mid-range velocity be annealed?

Thank you
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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When any of my brass is close to or over maximum length I resize, anneal and trim the whole "lot" so it's all the same.

IME, brass from the same batch/lot/brand etc will grow at different rates. I can't explain why, I just deal with it

RJ
 

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I trim the over long lot of brass but rarely anneal.
 

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Is the drawing in the Nosler book showing trim-to length or what? I trim everything at least .010 short of SAAMI and never in 50 years had to anneal anything but radical wildcats.
 

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Brad4 is right. Nosler lists the SAAMI and military max of 2.494" in both their databook and online. SAAMI minimum is 2.474" and the military minimum is 2.479". So most trim-to recommendations aim either at 2.484", the middle of the SAAMI range, or 2.4865", the middle of the military range, to minimize the chance case trimming will wander outside the limits at either end.


Brad4,

The growth variation is common. Growth mostly occurs during resizing because the resizing die narrows the case on its way in, squeezing it out longer, and then starts extruding the neck out longer when the shoulder of the case is pushed back by the shoulder of the die. In other words, the top end of the shoulder extrudes up into the neck. Failure of the shoulder to turn the corner into the neck perfectly is what causes the internal "dreaded donut" ring to form at the bottom of the neck. You usually find the position of the shoulder from the head varies plus or minus a thousandth during resizing, particularly with longer cases, and a shorter head-to-shoulder dimension usually corresponds to the greater head-to-case-mouth length because more of the shoulder was extruded forward.

One trick is to count out a couple of full seconds with the brass pressed all the way into the sizing die so its flow has time to settle will help. You can also resize, lower the press ram, rotate the brass 180°, and run it up again. Particularly with brass that has been extracted hard by the Garand or other gas guns, that double-resizing can even out what part of the head is over the opening in the insertion slot of the shell holder. So if you have high spots from extraction having bent the rim a little, or if you have extractor or ejector tunnel marks on the case head, it ensures the high spot(s) have solid support for at least one of the two sizing strokes, tending to even things out.

Most guns have a chamber whose neck portion is a little longer than a SAAMI maximum case. 0.010" to 0.030" extra space is common. The SAAMI 30-06 chamber spec is a minimum of 0.0156" longer in the neck than the maximum case dimension. That extra length gives you some margin for longer cases before the case mouth reaches the end of the chamber, which is when you have to start worrying about raising pressure. But because manufacturers have some leeway in the length tolerances, a chamber cast is the way to know how much neck length your chamber has.

Or, you could just buy a trimmer and not worry about your chamber dimensions. The Lee basic trimmers are inexpensive, but work, if a bit slow.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nick...really appreciate your comments...upon close reading they make good sense. I am not a high volume re-loader so my thought is to "double re-size" and measure/trim all cases before installing new primers. Thank you...Brad
 

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Ya know there is a simple answer to this. Read what max and trim to length are in the manual your using and follow it! problem solved there. I always resize before I trim case's. Resize the case and it will grow except the case's I do in a collet size die, they don't grow from sizing. I've always though they do that coming back over the expander nipple but maybe not. doesn't really matter why though as they do grow! Trim after sizing.
 

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I anneal after the 2nd reload and probably every 3rd after that. I check for length every time. I generally trim 0.010 below max length when needed. I rarely have to trim again. I love the Lee Quick Trim.

Annealing can be helpful, no matter what Jack says. lol

I've been out of the game for about 15 years and getting my bearings, but even though I'm not forming brass, I still try and stay with what got me to where I am.

Good luck and all the best.
 

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I can't explain the variation in length the OP noted, but in my opinion, the need to trim is driven more by the specific rifle chamber, whether case mouths are no longer square, whether the length of all cases is consistent, or if a certain length is needed for proper bullet crimping. My 1917 Enfield with original barrel has a chamber 0.016" longer than SAAMI maximum. This is similar for my 6mm Remington which has a chamber 0.017" longer, and my 94 Winchester in 30 WCF has a chamber 0.052" longer than SAAMI maximum. You have to actually measure your rifle chamber to know how long you can let the case 'grow' before it's length becomes an issue. If cases are 'long' but chamber OK in ones particular rifle, I'd focus on aspects noted above to determine when to trim.

As far as the OP's question about how often to anneal, it kind of depends on whether he is FL sizing or 'optimally sizing' (only pushing the shoulder back 2-3 thou based on his rifle chamber requirements). The more one is working the brass, the more frequent one needs to anneal the brass. In general, I anneal bottleneck cartridges every 5-6 firings unless I start seeing split necks or otherwise detect that the case neck brass has gotten unusually hard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I can't explain the variation in length the OP noted, but in my opinion, the need to trim is driven more by the specific rifle chamber, whether case mouths are no longer square, whether the length of all cases is consistent, or if a certain length is needed for proper bullet crimping. My 1917 Enfield with original barrel has a chamber 0.016" longer than SAAMI maximum. This is similar for my 6mm Remington which has a chamber 0.017" longer, and my 94 Winchester in 30 WCF has a chamber 0.052" longer than SAAMI maximum. You have to actually measure your rifle chamber to know how long you can let the case 'grow' before it's length becomes an issue. If cases are 'long' but chamber OK in ones particular rifle, I'd focus on aspects noted above to determine when to trim.

As far as the OP's question about how often to anneal, it kind of depends on whether he is FL sizing or 'optimally sizing' (only pushing the shoulder back 2-3 thou based on his rifle chamber requirements). The more one is working the brass, the more frequent one needs to anneal the brass. In general, I anneal bottleneck cartridges every 5-6 firings unless I start seeing split necks or otherwise detect that the case neck brass has gotten unusually hard.
I can't explain the variation in length the OP noted, but in my opinion, the need to trim is driven more by the specific rifle chamber, whether case mouths are no longer square, whether the length of all cases is consistent, or if a certain length is needed for proper bullet crimping. My 1917 Enfield with original barrel has a chamber 0.016" longer than SAAMI maximum. This is similar for my 6mm Remington which has a chamber 0.017" longer, and my 94 Winchester in 30 WCF has a chamber 0.052" longer than SAAMI maximum. You have to actually measure your rifle chamber to know how long you can let the case 'grow' before it's length becomes an issue. If cases are 'long' but chamber OK in ones particular rifle, I'd focus on aspects noted above to determine when to trim.

As far as the OP's question about how often to anneal, it kind of depends on whether he is FL sizing or 'optimally sizing' (only pushing the shoulder back 2-3 thou based on his rifle chamber requirements). The more one is working the brass, the more frequent one needs to anneal the brass. In general, I anneal bottleneck cartridges every 5-6 firings unless I start seeing split necks or otherwise detect that the case neck brass has gotten unusually hard.

JDinFBG...on edit...I routinely full length re-size during my handloading process for all 5 calibers for which I re-load.
Brad4
 

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I can't explain the variation in length the OP noted, but in my opinion, the need to trim is driven more by the specific rifle chamber, whether case mouths are no longer square, whether the length of all cases is consistent, or if a certain length is needed for proper bullet crimping. My 1917 Enfield with original barrel has a chamber 0.016" longer than SAAMI maximum. This is similar for my 6mm Remington which has a chamber 0.017" longer, and my 94 Winchester in 30 WCF has a chamber 0.052" longer than SAAMI maximum. You have to actually measure your rifle chamber to know how long you can let the case 'grow' before it's length becomes an issue. If cases are 'long' but chamber OK in ones particular rifle, I'd focus on aspects noted above to determine when to trim.

As far as the OP's question about how often to anneal, it kind of depends on whether he is FL sizing or 'optimally sizing' (only pushing the shoulder back 2-3 thou based on his rifle chamber requirements). The more one is working the brass, the more frequent one needs to anneal the brass. In general, I anneal bottleneck cartridges every 5-6 firings unless I start seeing split necks or otherwise detect that the case neck brass has gotten unusually hard.
optimally sizing! That's a new word I suspect means the same as bumping the shoulder and partial sizing.
 

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From Uncle Nick
One trick is to count out a couple of full seconds with the brass pressed all the way into the sizing die so its flow has time to settle will help. You can also resize, lower the press ram, rotate the brass 180°, and run it up again. Particularly with brass that has been extracted hard by the Garand or other gas guns, that double-resizing can even out what part of the head is over the opening in the insertion slot of the shell holder. So if you have high spots from extraction having bent the rim a little, or if you have extractor or ejector tunnel marks on the case head, it ensures the high spot(s) have solid support for at least one of the two sizing strokes, tending to even things out.
Thank you, learn something new every day, been reloading since I was 17 and have never read or heard anyone give either one of these two tips.
 

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Brad4 have you tried neck sizing only?
It is interesting to mark a case with a permanent marker so it goes into the chamber with the same orientation and only neck size it, remark , reload the same and continue for awhile , measuring as you go to see what the case does.
Using a single case that is reloaded as per your normal method and firing that on the interim as a base line , measuring as you go.

interesting to see the difference between the two .
Adding a third or fourth case that are anealed
At different intervals makes a good test batch.

fun way to spend an afternoon.
I did it with my 222 rem and changed the way I reloaded for it.
I started a thread on the case deformations that occurred after countless firings.
interesting journey that taught me a lot that I did not no.

cheers.
 

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This all assumes that the brass started out trimmed to the same length be4 firing the first time, and all had the same wall thickness and hardness. Probably not !
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
To provide context for this thread, Brad 4 is an "intermediate" re-loader...defined as about 8 years experience reloading for hunting purposes only. I reload in small volumes ...about 40-60 rounds per caliber for myself and son-in-law across 5 calibers. I highly value the experience and suggestions provided by Forum members..thanks to all.
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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Are you using the third-person, and first-person for yourself; Or are you someone else using his login?
 

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I have neck size dies for 6mm Remington/244, 25-06, and 270 Winchester. When I started reloading again, I found that FL sizing worked better "for me". I know it is just a book-keeping issue for the most part, but I like being able to shoot the same loads out of those rifles. My Ruger #'1s have tighter chambers than their counterparts, but the extra resizing doesn't seem to matter on paper, so I quit worrying about it. I still have to do more than "bump sizing" on my 270, but I have a really good load that shoots out of both rifles. My custom 25-06 has always seemed to shoot better than the Ruger, no matter what I have done.

Good luck on no matter your endeavors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Darkker...I apologize for the poor grammar...I should have used first person in my edit post...Brad4
 

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My Ruger #'1s have tighter chambers than their counterparts, but the extra resizing doesn't seem to matter on paper, so I quit worrying about it.
Does the extra sizing have an effect on chambering a round? By design the full length sized case is .005" shorter from the shoulder to the case head that a go-gage length chamber from the datum to the bolt face for the 30/06 case and chamber. .

JDinFbg said:
My 1917 Enfield with original barrel has a chamber 0.016" longer than SAAMI maximum.
I wonder if JDinFbg would know how much clearance he would have if he chambered a full length sized case into his long chamber?

F. Guffey
 
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