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Reloading Berger Bullets


neck sizing or fll length sizing

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Unread 05-12-2010, 05:49 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Northwest Ohio
Posts: 276
Re: neck sizing or fll length sizing

Thanks for all the info guys. Bountyhunter you said you have to properly set the sizing die. I was taught to take a fired case from the rifle you are reloading for and place it in the shell holder and raise it to full stroke in the press. Turn the resizing die down until it just makes contact with the case.

Correct if I'm wrong, the shoulder is not pushed back to SAMMI specs by doing it this way. And the cases are formed to the chamber of that specific rifle.

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Unread 05-12-2010, 05:59 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wilmington NC
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Re: neck sizing or fll length sizing

MikeCR and I will agree to disagree.

I would say almost everything in LR BR applies to hunting reloading, some to a lesser degree or more.

Only way NS only works IS if you load each and every one of your loaded rounds into the chamber to verify that the bolt will close, otherwise you risk them not chambering at a critical time. Guess what, seen it more than once! Plus if they do not chamber you get to tear them apart and try again.

Wanna risk the shot of lifetime on a round that may or may not chamber smoothly? Go ahead.

As for the brass life issue, "if you properly adjust the dies" it has absolutely zero effect on brass life over any other method. Brass is destroyed from stretching and work hardening. Improper die adjustments pushing the shoulder back too much kills the brass normally.

Now nothing wrong IMO with NS and then use a body bump die to do the body. I do that with some sets, but I always FL size the body anymore with either the body die or FL die.

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Unread 05-12-2010, 09:18 PM
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Re: neck sizing or fll length sizing

"Turn the resizing die down until it just makes contact with the case. ---
Correct if I'm wrong, the shoulder is not pushed back to SAMMI specs by doing it this way. And the cases are formed to the chamber of that specific rifle."

Okay, this is the correction; Case shoulders are NOT formed to the chamber of any rifle that way, not even close. And it may or may not meet SAMMI headspace specs, that can't be said without measuring.

How much, or how firm a contact we make against the shell holder sure affects how much, if any, the shoulder gets pushed back but screwing a die down until it just touches a shell holder means nothing specific. Every press has some spring - deflection - when under pressure, the lever linkages also have some slop, the dies and shell holders have manufactoring tolerances, etc, so no direct "do this and get that" method of die adjustment can accomplish anything. We have to understand what we're doing and adjust for what we want, not follow a procedure.

To adjust a sizer die right you MUST understand that what you probably now think of as a "small" die adjustment is more likely a massive change. Dies have 14 turns to the inch so they move some 72 thou per turn (.0714285" actually). So, changing a shoulder .001" requires a change of just less than 1/72th of a turn, not the often suggested "small" 1/8 or 1/4 turn. In fact, the total headspace range of most bottle neck cartridges is only 6-7 thou and a 1/8 turn equals a change of some 9 thou! By percentage of error, that's MUCH more than the full permissible headspace range and, to do good work, we need to get much closer to a snug fit that that.

Now, from all that, you may understand that we MUST have a gage of some sort to check what we are doing with the die if we really want to do our best work, it's impossible to do so by a formula.

First, we can use the chamber itself as a gage for resizing. Carefully turning the sizer down until the sized case chambers with just a hint of resistance is okay .. but not precise. Much better is the use of one of the various case length "head to shoulder" tools; RCBS' Precision Case Mic, Sinclair or Hornady's LnL gage with a dial caliper or the Innovative Technologies shoulder length tools all work very precisely.

Last edited by boomtube; 05-13-2010 at 03:59 PM.
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Unread 05-14-2010, 09:00 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 279
Re: neck sizing or fll length sizing

I have tried both ways and have settled on neck sizing with Lee collet dies. Better groups, better brass life and simpler process. I have also noticed that primers are always struck dead center when I neck sized and they where inconsistant when I FL sized them. I think that helps get consistant primer ignition.
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Unread 05-14-2010, 09:56 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Northeast MS
Posts: 388
Re: neck sizing or fll length sizing

I have been getting great results with FL sizing with a properly adjusted FL die. I use the Hornady headspace guage to aid in my adjustment and with a little practice can adjust my FL dies to set the shoulder back just .002-.003, while at the same time having the confidence that all of my cases will chamber no problem. I am not knocking the NS only guys, but this is just what works good for me.
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Unread 05-15-2010, 10:05 AM
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Location: NC, oceanfront
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Re: neck sizing or fll length sizing

Either works and often neither works...
It's fireforming to YOUR chamber -vs- sizing with a STANDARD die.
And as Boomtube implied, nothing is without measuring.

The reason I stand against FL sizing is that to me it's merely another shortcut in reloading. People do it and are happy with it. But this doesn't mean it is ever needed, and certainly NOT that it's the best in sizing.
I have yet to hear a valid basis for FL sizing that bests individual area sizings(BS/BUMP/NS).

If you assume that you aren't lucky enough to have a FL die correctly reset all dimensions out of your fireformed brass, then a solid plan includes use of a Redding body die. Assuming this will not be perfect, you can then send it with a few fired cases to JLC Precision, and Jim will make you a matching neck sizing bump die. Now you're free to NS as you like(any amount), as well as bump and body size the CORRECT amount. And this does not cost more than a roll of the FL sizing dice, that does only one thing (right or wrong) -FL size.

Why does ANYONE here think it's good to alter every bit of a case to an unmatched standard in sizing?
Do you think it's good because BR shooters FL size?
Well be assured BR standards ARE matched, -to the point of turn-key.
Concede that your hunting chamber is not.
BR shooters do not use your hunting chamber, and you do not use theirs for hunting.
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Unread 05-16-2010, 06:44 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 409
Re: neck sizing or fll length sizing

Good thread, usually threads on this subject deteriorate into peeing contests with lots of chest slapping conjecture. Glad to see it's being kept civil.

To the subject, I have some guns that favor a FL sized case and others that favor a neck sized case. The arbitrator is accuracy. You simply have to figure out which works best for your gun.
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