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Reloading Berger Bullets


Competition Dies?

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Unread 04-28-2005, 09:41 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: on the rifle range in Utah
Posts: 2,704
Re: Competition Dies?

Could this be a problem like you have stated that the brass could have too much grip?

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Regular dies squeeze the neck down as much as .020" then the expander ball brings the diameter back to bullet diameter size or slightly under. Then the brass "springs" down and creates a Vulcan death grip on your bullet thereby shaving copper of it and degrading it's accuracy.

I am currently running only .001" bullet grip on every gun I own except my 300 win mag which runs .002" grip, and my 6br which runs .0005". The 300 mag runs from a magazine so it needs to be a bit tighter, and the BR ammo is for benchrest only and I don't handle the ammo rough or I might push the bullet down into the case!
Generally speaking, the less grip you have on the bullet, the more accurate it should be. There are a few exceptions but unless I'm loading for a semi-auto I try to get the tension down to .003 or less.

It is not much but enough to hurt the accuracy down range, and one things for sure it isn't helping my accuracy.

[/ QUOTE ]

Or your bullet's b.c.! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]
Find it
Range it
Click it
Pull it
Dump it

If it's not far, it's boring.
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Unread 04-28-2005, 11:06 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Northern California
Posts: 180
Re: Competition Dies?

<font color="red"> WOW </font>

I just did the rolling the shells on the glass trick since I don't have a runout measurer. No wonder I can't hit my ***** with one hand! I found 1/10 th of them to be reasonably strait! Ha I guess it is time to get a new set of dies and a runout gage. Maybe my rifle isn't a peice of junk after all?
I shoot 1/4 inch groups at a 1000 yards. That is...till my second shot.
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Unread 04-28-2005, 11:14 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 262
Re: Competition Dies?

Goodgrouper and Fiftydriver- You guys are right and I was wrong---to a degree. MY point (and I made it badly) was that for the average guy with an average hunting rifle standard dies with some tuning will make excellent hunting ammo for any reasonable hunting situation. My attempt was to point out his efforts at accuracy gains would probably be better spent at working with different loads and seating depths, practice, working with a clean gun etc. YES, the benchrest crowd does use firarms of a different quality than the average hunting rifle and will benefit from ammo produced in match grade dies. And benchrest matches are won by tiny margins and are not shot in normal hunting conditions. BUT this also requires (Usually) that the benchrest shooter do alot of work with his brass sorting..... neck thickness etc. I sensed and possibly wrongly that the original poster wasn't a benchrest shooter. I kind of sensed that he was looking to improve his ability in the field.
My best "claim to fame" for reloading was a one shot kill made by a friend of mine which got him his grand slam of sheep. The range was lasered @ 683 yards. He was on a hunt in Mexico (very expensive). The gun he used was a custom made 270 wby by Rifles inc. It was topped with a scope that had a custom reticle by Premier Reticles with mildots for long range shooting. NOW the fancy part.....the bullet was a $.15 cent hornady 150 grain made on $20 hornady dies. When I make him ammo I always sort it by loaded runnout and mark bullets with less than .002" runnout with a green marker on the primer. I tell him to use these bullets for his hunts but he tells me his gun shoots all of them amazingly well. The point of all my rambling is dies are really the small part of a total accuracy equation for the average hunter and hunting rifle. There are far more "make or break" inputs that need to be ironed out before the dies eak out that last tiny bit of accuracy.
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Unread 04-28-2005, 11:43 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 262
Re: Competition Dies?

7mm--You will have fun with the runnout gauge. Below I will copy how I "tune" my dies. You can start buying those fancy dies if you want but you can make fantastic ammo with the dies you already own. I can tell from your posts that you are "thirsting for reloading knowledge" and you will pick up alot in the forums and by possibly "buddying up" with an experienced reloader. This knowledge as you pick it up will get you to the higher levels of accuracy more efficiently than just investing in the best equipment. --Here's my comparison---Tiger Woods will kick the ass off most any golfer using a set of K-mart irons---but if you or I pick up the very best set of clubs we really won't see an improvement till we master the funamentals!!

Anyhow--here's the copy of my post on tuning dies!

My $.02 worth---ALL dies with expander balls need tuning. Think about it...a piece of typing paper is .003" thick--what are the odds that the expander is not PERFECTLY centered in a die??? Pretty good I'd say. Pull the expander stem out of the die (and now is a good time to clean the inside of the die). Run about 5 brass into the die and see if they come out concentric. If they do (and usually they will) you now have to try and get that stem centered on re-assembly. A great way that helps is to put a piece of very concentric brass up into the die to hold the stem in place as you tighten it down. Sometimes this takes 2 people unless you have 3 or 4 hands. AFter reassembly try sizing some brass and check runnout. If not good then do very small turns of the expander stem--probably 1/32 of a turn at a time. Resize some brass and repeat the small turns. At some point I can almost guarantee that you will get GREAT RUNNOUT CONSISTANTLY. (Somehow, someway the expander spindle will hit almost perfect centering in the die body) I have many dies that consistantly make less than .002" runnout after sizing with most of the brass at .001" and less. I own, hornady, redding, forester, rcbs, and lee dies. ALL OF THEM HAVE BEEN TUNED and most make fantastic ammo and all make good ammo!! I have never ever got a set of dies from any factory that made as good of ammo as those that I have done this simple work with.
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Unread 04-28-2005, 12:22 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Wis.
Posts: 150
Re: Competition Dies?

7mm mag man,

If you decide to research/buy dies you may want to consider these: Lee Collet Dies I would suggest talking to reloaders that have actually used them.

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Unread 04-28-2005, 12:40 PM
ds ds is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Cz
Posts: 235
Re: Competition Dies?

7mmag man,

If you are getting a concentricity gauge something that I have noticed on two Sinclair concentricity gagues is that the ball bearings on which the case rides seem to wear easily, they are chrome plated but I guess the steel inside is soft, on the two that I have seen the contact surface of the ball bearings starts to take on a slightly flat angle. just something to note.

I use a concentricity gague, and batch ammo according to runout. I also know people who have gauges and use them more as paper weights, they have tried them and found no practical difference in their group sizes so dont bother. When they kick my ass in comps it`s hard to argue (tactical type comps).

Truth is getting the best concentricity you can is never going to hurt.

But also credit to Kraky 1, his last post also made good sense to me. I just find Redding dies work better for me and that is where I am happy. It is possible to take things a step further and have a chamber reamer made up to cut a chamber and then used on die blanks to give you a perfect die, sometimes with wildcats it may be the only way, but it aint cheap or O Neil dies for $180-240 each, (not 100% sure on that, the prices frightened me so I ran away).

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Unread 04-28-2005, 12:50 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Fort Shaw, Montana
Posts: 6,848
Re: Competition Dies?


Hope things are going well for you my friend!!

With a set of Redding Comp dies it is critical to maintain these dies.

This is very simple to do, they just need to be disassembled and cleaned up from time to time. Especially the neck sizing die. When using the neck sizing Comp die, eventually small brass filings can build up around the sizing bushing itself. If these chips make their way behind the bushing and its support the bushing will be out of axial alignment with the sleeve and you will see increased run out.

Other then that it is good to clean the body of the sleeve and the die to keep any dust or chips out from between these two componants. This will reduce wear which will loosen the fit of the die, also the sleeve should be oiled "lightly" on its outter surface so reduce friction and wear.

TO set these dies up properly, raise the ram in the press up to its highest point with the shell holder in place. Then screw in the Comp neck sizing die until the spring loaded sleeve is compressed totally, DON"T FORCE THINGS. At this point unscrew the die body in the press at least one full turn and lock the die in place.

Then to adjust the amount of neck sizing on the case, use the mircometer adjustment and raise it as far up as possible without removing this stem.

Insert a case and raise it to the top of the sizing stroke. Now turn down the mircometer adjustment until you feel the bushing contact the top of the case.

Lower the case and turn down the bushing adjustment 0.100" or so and size the case. Adjust as needed until you get the correct amount of neck sized for your needs.

The seater die is set up the same way.

I generally roll my ammo over an RCBS case master concentricity guage to check both neck run out after neck sizing and bullet run out after final bullet seating. This monitoring allows me to keep track of any run out problems which are 99% of the time a result of a brass chip.

Good Shooting!!

Kirby Allen(50)
Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

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