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Reloading Berger Bullets


Neck Turning In A Lathe

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Unread 02-12-2009, 07:02 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Mountians of SW NC, near Asheville
Posts: 1,595
Re: Neck Turning In A Lathe

"... the bullet should be as concentic as possible to the outside case diameter."

Understand fully. And agree in concept. Share my experience just for food for thought.

What I did for a holder was to counter bore a (3/8") brass 3C collet about .475" wide and .25" deep, leaving a sharp shoulder to index the case head against. That part worked good.

I then chucked a tapered pilot into my tail stock's high grade 3 jaw drill chuck. Used that pilot as a guide to align the case before securing it firmly in the collet. Removed the pilot and inserted a conventional (Forster) neck reamer. Slowly fed the reamer into the centered necks (which had already been sized and expanded to leave the interior slightly tighter, maybe a thou, than the OD of the reamer). The interior cut worked good and, as you note, that made sure my neck was both smoooth and the center line was in direct alighment with the CL of the case.

After boring the neck, and without moving the case, I swapped the reamer for a snugly fitted (and well lubed) pilot as a work mandrel and then just turned the necks normally.

It worked pretty well but, for me anyway, annealing and using a conventonal outside turner, followed by a couple of hot firings, has done just as well.

It was fun to try but with no real gain for all the sweat and tears on the lathe, I did not repeat it! Maybe you can improve on it?? If so, I'd love to hear your method and results.

Good luck!
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Unread 02-13-2009, 09:10 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Arvada, Colorado
Posts: 496
Re: Neck Turning In A Lathe

Nice read Boomtube,

I agree that doing what you did would be very time consuming for very little gain. I also believe that cases are inheritely very concentric and well made with very little work needed to make them shoot very well.

For my own peace of mind, I plan on building a quick change collet system that will only leave the neck portion exposed. I can eliminate several operation if I do not need to remove case each time or need to support it.

I have a large machine shop and just need time to make some prototypes for my own use. Collets are the most time consuming part of all.

Thanks to all for the suggestions and well informed input.
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