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Reloading Berger Bullets


First major boo boo

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Unread 08-23-2011, 02:52 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Prince George B.C.
Posts: 195
Re: First major boo boo

Originally Posted by Loner View Post
You back your load down all you want, you are still going to stretch the brass and take
a bunch of life out of it. But hey, ignore what I told you. It's only been used 1000's
of times by us old timers.
I wasn't ignoring what you suggested, I don't have a larger ball expander than what is currently in my die, it is the largest caliber that I own. I have also just ordered 50 new cases, instead of rushing trying to save the brass I have I will try to salvage them at pace where I am not rushed. As my wife pointed out to me last night "Your not the luckiest person around, if something bad can happen it will happen to you, just spend the money and buy new brass" I will give the oversizing trick a try later

Last edited by bman73; 08-23-2011 at 03:10 AM.
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Unread 08-23-2011, 03:37 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Prince George B.C.
Posts: 195
Re: First major boo boo

Okay, after some more reading on headspace and headspacing problems I think that I have found out what it was I did wrong. If I'm not allowed to post this link then moderators feel free to remove it, but I found it an informative article, especially since it has in big bold lettering exactly what I did, and telling people to never do this.
Some Random Thoughts on Headspace, Headspace Measurement and Gauges

I have been setting my die just like it said in the instructions, contact with the shell holder then 1/4 more and lock it so that it overcams on the travel. I must have tightened it up a bit more than usual this time,either that or my locking ring came loose and I have since forgotten about it after just retightening. Hopefully this experience will help someone else from making the same mistake. I know I won't ever do it like that again. Thanks to all for your help and insight, now hopefully I can still mange to save some of that new brass using some of the tips I got on here
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Unread 08-23-2011, 08:25 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: NW Mt.
Posts: 599
Re: First major boo boo

His pictures didn't show up for me either.

Don't set your die that way at all. It is a generic book solution and is a terrible way to
treat brass. Neck size only until your brass causes the bolt to close and open a little
hard on an empty case. Then; Start with your die set to neck size only. Take it down 1/4 turn
at a time checking to see each time if the brass chambers easily again. When it does,
back the die off 1/4 turn, put in another piece of brass and go 1/16 turn at a time until
it chambers correctly. Then I do one more 1/16 turn backed off and recheck with one
more piece of brass. The repeated resizing does make the brass a hair smaller is why.
You can leave the expander ball out while you do this. No sense in working the neck
every time. Expander balls are very cheap, the mandril you have will work fine.
Headspace gauges are nice but we managed without them for 90 years. They have
really just become popular in the last 10 or 15 years. They can be off as well from
what I have read. I don't use them myself.

Last edited by Loner; 08-23-2011 at 08:34 AM.
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Unread 08-23-2011, 11:26 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Grand Forks, ND
Posts: 130
Re: First major boo boo

Got the photo fixed. This was a first run of a couple cases to test out my dies. I have since ran the necks down a little further. Still end up short on the neck, but they work.

Oh.. almost forgot....A few years back, I bought a nice used .243 Win M77 MK II with a Hart barrel. Shot some factory ammo through it and didn't notice anything till I started hand loading for it. I was FL sizing those cases, and noticed this....Excessive head space... Set the barrel back and we were good to go. Still shoots 1/2" on good days, but when it finally goes, it's becoming a 6.5X47 or a .260 AI.

(Notice the faint line about 1/5 up from the bottom on the right case, just above the web).
Attached Thumbnails - Click to View Larger
First major boo boo-img_1577.jpg  

Last edited by spitfire_er; 08-23-2011 at 11:33 PM.
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