I have one and I can say that it definitely extends brass life, BUT, I cannot quantify exactly how much yet. My average brass life in the .300 Win. is about three or four loadings. The load is up there but it is very accurate. Am on loading number six and no sweat with that bunch of Fed. brass - no cracks and the primer pockets are tight. Hoped to have a lot more experience with the die than I do but my pans went to hell and I did not shoot the magnum stuff I hoped to. Will get loading with it again this spring, just have to get away from the .308 Win.
Only negative is that it adds another step to the reloading process. You can even use the die on loaded ammo but I use it after sizing. This is not a big deal, the benefit of the process is worth it to me. I have thrown away so much magnum brass in the past. I wish I had one when I shot the Weatherbys so much a few years ago.
Would I suggest buying one - yes.
Jhuskey makes some good points above. It IS incosistent to an extent and I have noticed large ES's. Even with culled brass and bullets. Especially number 7. That one hits home all too hard. I learned this lesson the hard way. It took me three months to figger this one out and now I neck size in batches and the loads have been VERY consistent. I also began sizing the neck to where I leave approx. .010 of the base unsized. This has helped in aligned the pill a little more evenly with the bore. It's a tough load to develop, but Howa (Weatherby) seems to have the most consistently accurate 300WM I have yet to own. The only problem has been free-bore, which we all know is excessive in Weatherby/Howa's. It is a VERY picky cal. It will shoot sub MOA groups with Win West. brass, a 200gr. Sierra MatchKing, 82grs. 872, a Fed. 215 primer, with the bullet seated .002" off the lands. and groups open WAY up if any one of these elements is deviated from. I have to start all over when I get a new batch of any of these elements as well. All in all, if you have the patience, time, and money, it's an AWESOME long range round. Thus far, I have had the absolute best luck with WW brass (Ni plate to be exact). My first task would be to find the optimal seating depth for each bullet you plan to shoot and work from there. VERY picky caliber. Best of luck to you. If you run into problems, let us know, that's what we are all here for. To help each other and spread the knowledge in the world of the shooting sports. Good luck bro.
On another note: I have pushed the WW Ni plate brass to 15 loadings before seeing signs of impending case/head seps. This was using a rail gun with a remote trigger. Neck sizing only was used. The Lapua brass, I pushed in the same way and got about 11 loadings. The loads were ALL average and moderate using 82grs. 872, Fed 215 primer,a nd a 200gr SMK bullet seated to .002" off the lands. The one case that I DID use and abuse saw about 11 reloadings before impending signs of separation with the WW brass. 9 loads using the Lapua brass.
Austin,I am sorry for confusing the issue on Pressure with my previous post as we are talking of 2 different things..The case separation issue has to do with the strength of the action /barrel not the amount pressure the case can actually withstand.i have taken the Lapua cases you talk of to way higher pressures than your useing,getting 10 loads(so far) with zero thinning/separation in the web.I even took 6 cases to destruction with up to 82gns of H4831sc with a 190 gn bullet with no change in the area you speak of(my losses were to massive case head expansion..The reason that the Lapua would fail earlier is because the bottom part of the case is a lot harder than the Win.I would look to the mechanical side of things for these failures including barrel treads ,barrel tension, and the method of head spacing..JR..Jeff Rogers
Jeff: I have been spacing off the shoulder and not the belt and i've been pretty careful in my measurements, so I have (for the most part) ruled out headspace. But, as you say, I have seen excessive expansion around the area of the head, but the web seems to be OK. You could be right about the mech. issue since I have now started considering the fact that I might have a sloppy chamber. I scoped it the other day and it looks like someone took sandpaper and a screwdriver to it. There are quite a few tooling marks in the head-end of the chamber. Hmmm.... Doncha just LOVE factory bbls! Thanks for the tips bro!
Austin,The reason i say it's probably a mech/flex problem is because my action is so much overdesigned in strength i can make these assumptions.The action is home made of 709m moly steel ,it's 2.00 ins in dia ,12 ins long ,barrel tenion dia of 1.250x16tpi that is 1.125 long,weighs just under 7 lbs...It has 2 openings as it has a drop port for case ejection in the bottom of the action,even with this it is a way over design factor on a factory mauser style action...Even still to get a piece of brass the way i like it to shoot again ,i have to reswag the primer pocket and bump the shoulder every shot..I run the pressures well up there because i have found a better level of performance above 65000 psi but it's not for everyone..JR..Jeff Rogers