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Reloading Berger Bullets


Do I need FL sizing die?

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Unread 01-18-2013, 01:40 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Windsor, VA (but heading for the Rockies)
Posts: 427
Re: Do I need FL sizing die?

Mikecr, g0rd0

Thanks very much for you sharing and your advice. It's very much appreciated


"History does not long trust the care of freedom to the weak or timid" Dwight David Eisenhower
Sic Semper Tyrannis...Veritas et Aequitas

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Unread 01-27-2013, 11:56 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 6
Re: Do I need FL sizing die?

Thanks guys that was a good read and learned lots. Good to see other guys out there helping others.
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Unread 01-28-2013, 07:49 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wilmington NC
Posts: 4,777
Re: Do I need FL sizing die?

Caution on the details of Mikecrs technique and its non applicability to the majority of LR hunting cartridges.

It works great IF you limit your reloads to 53,000 PSI as Mike has stated he does. Most LR cartridges have Max pressures of 60,000-65,000 and most are shot there. Plus the largest cartridge case he reloads for is a 6.5 WSSM(WSM). Both of these are not normal LR hunting cartridge parameters or even SR BR pressures.

So if you are loading to Max end pressures as most here are you can dang well bet FL (body and neck) will be required or throw the brass away after 4-5 reloads. Now custom matched FL dies are your best bet to minimize sizing as he stated.
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Unread 01-28-2013, 08:04 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: NC, oceanfront
Posts: 4,190
Re: Do I need FL sizing die?

But then loading to max pressures IS a choice. Right?
I suggest there is no particular reason to do so, or assume so, with hunting cartridges.

Lately I've reloaded for 6br, 6xc, 223, and 26wssm. I've managed well at ~55kpsi for these, except my best load for the 26wssm(IMP) is running 64Kpsi(SAAMI max for it).

The load for the 26wssm:
47.4grIMR4350 @ 3020fps. 139LAP - 1.985OgvOAL, BR2, 28" barrel.
This plays with any 260AI(same capacity), or 6.5x284, and would suffice for LR hunting.
I mention this because it is my highest pressure load, but nowhere near where I've had it in testing(+3200fps).
I'm on my second barrel with it, and some of the original ~80 cases I've prepped/culled must have 30 or 40 reloads on them by now. And given that they still exactly match my reference fireformed case, I'm certain they will last forever as they have.

Now if I went with a faster load/powder(H4350), higher pressures, I could reach a node that would flat out pass most 6.5x284s. It might also shoot as well faster I don't know. But with this, I would have to FL size, and my cases would no longer be matching, and my primer pockets would open before long.
Doesn't make sense to do this. Not with a milder 3020fps node at hand.

Nothing about my 26wssm turned out by accident. I drew up the chamber reamer with brass/bullets in-hand, to produce desired capacity and case angles. I drew up the sizing reamer based on what I knew the cases would go to(for custom dies). I had already worked out the best load potential with QL. I went with a magnum diameter BAT action to get enough barrel steel around the chamber.
And when it was all completed and tested, every number hit right on the money.
I did not just neck up wssm brass and waste it in undersize actions, at ever dumber pressures(like most who've failed with this cartridge).

You make good points that most of my loads are lower in pressure than SAAMI max, and that my cartridges are relatively smaller than many hunting cartridges.
But it's all a matter of choices, and that's my point.
If you choose a 30-06, you're choosing FL sizing. If you choose a 30SAUM, or 30WSM & set it up right, well then there are other choices about sizing, that can be made right up front.
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Unread 01-28-2013, 11:42 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,483
Re: Do I need FL sizing die?

Will these issues of full length versus any other way ever end?????? Prolly not.

Sierra Bullets has been full length sizing their fired cases used to shoot their bullets for quality control since the 1950's. I doubt anyone shoots 'em any more accurate than they do. Nowadays, they use Redding full bushing dies for cases they're made for, standard Redding dies for all the rest.

Benchresters pretty much moved from neck only to full length sizing with bushing dies not too many years ago. Their smallest groups didn't get any tinier but their largest ones did; by quite a bit, too. So the average group size got smaller.

High power match rifle shooters have been full length sizing their cases for as long as Sierra has. Many tests with these normally shoulder fired rifles clamped in machine rests have produced groups smaller than current bench rest records.

Minimal fired case sizing helps. Don't reduce the fired case body diameter nor set its shoulder back more than 1 or 2 thousandths inch. Use neck bushing dies sized about 2 thousandths smaller than a loaded round's neck diameter.

Choose the tools and procedures your feel most comfortable with. Note that if one doesn't use any set of tools and techniques correctly, it'll not produce acceptable results. Learn how cases exactly fit the chamber when they're fired with and fired case sizing method; that'll help you decide what's best to meet your objectives. Regarding objectives, list them in order remembering if you move a lower placed one up the list, some higher ones above it have to come down.
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