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Neil Jones Custom Dies ?

 
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  #1  
Old 09-08-2010, 03:19 PM
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Neil Jones Custom Dies ?

I just recieved my dies from Neil Jones. They are for a 338 Lapua Improved. I noticed that the neck sizing dies allowed for .003 to .004 neck tension. I like to hold my neck tension to .0015-.002 Not sure if this is right but it is what I have been doing.

I called Neil Jones and asked what so much neck tension? His reply was that after 3-4 firing the brass will start to work harden and this is why he allows an extra .001 or .002 for spring back.

I told him that I planned on annealing after 1-2 firings. He strongly suggested that I do not anneal brass at all for the life of the case. His reasoning is that his custom dies are built to give maximum case life and annealing would defeat the purpose of his dies.

I do not doubt what he is saying but would like to know if any of you with NJ dies follow this procedure and forget about annealing or what? Thanks for looking.
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Old 09-08-2010, 05:04 PM
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Re: Neil Jones Custom Dies ?

Neil should be in the process of building me some dies for a 6 Long Dasher.
He said that he'll include a different bushing for different neck thickness/tension. I am assuming that you've only got one bushing?

I bet that he could build (maybe even already has some built) a slightly bigger bushing for you to only size down for .002 instead of .004.

On another note, I don't know for sure that anneaning is worth all the trouble of doing it. What I mean is; I've shot the barrels out of a couple of rifles after Thousands of rounds and used the same batches of cases for those rifles from start to finish..........Never did any annealing at all.

Perhaps I would have gotten a little better ES's or something if I had annealed, but the reloads shot as good (sub 1/2 moa) as when the brass was new right up till the barrels started going bad. Used WW brass exclusively.

I know that some folks anneal and believe in it wholeheartedly, just as others believe in abrasive bore cleaners or moly coating bullets or Chevy/Ford Trucks or....ect. But perhaps with the NJ dies not working your brass as much as standard dies do, your brass won't ever work harden the way that some does? Might be worth a try...............Opinions may vary.
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Old 09-08-2010, 05:29 PM
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Re: Neil Jones Custom Dies ?

Neil sent me two bushings. One at .362 the other is .363. The .363 bushing will give me .003 neck tension. I am sure he would build larger bushings if I asked. I have a Sunnen Hone and can easily open up the holes myself.

I too have read where a lot of people prefer to anneal. I recently purchased a annealing machine and was planning on annealing after every firing. Especially now that I have fireformed my cases.

I have no doubt that Neil knows what he is doing. Maybe using his custom dies does not require annealing. He assures me this is the case! (Punn intended)

I just want to make sure I am doing this right. It has taken a lot of work to get my cases setup perfectly and I do not want to mess up now. It would be nice to eliminate a step in my process but I am not looking for shortcuts....just perfection .
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:12 PM
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Re: Neil Jones Custom Dies ?

I hear what you are saying "a lot of work to get my cases setup", and Lapua brass isn't cheap. The stuff I am buying is $1 a piece.

I've got to neck them down first and then I'll also have to fireform, but the first fireing has to be without a bullet because the gun has got a tight neck. Then the cases will have to be neck turned before a loaded round will even chamber and fireformed a 2nd time (don't want to turn necks until I know where the new shoulder will end up from the 1st fireform) ..........all this before I can even begin load development. With all this work, it very well may be worth annealing in order to make the brass last longer. Personally, I don't think I'll anneal until it looks like I have to. I just don't want to add any more steps to the process than I am already having to do. I may end up having to anneal anyway, but I am keeping my fingers crossed for now.
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:23 PM
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Re: Neil Jones Custom Dies ?

SHRTSHTR, Remember a few years ago when I got my 338 LM. I was only sizing the necks down .002" under the loaded round neck diameter. Neal is right on because after 4 firings I lost neck tension due to spring back and also started getting some carbon on the necks from them leaking. I took this to mean the harder neck were not sealing as well as they did when the brass was softer.

I looked and no bushings were available in .001 or .002 smaller so I called you and you loaned me one until I could get one. Then after researching the problem fully, I bought my first annealer and started annealing the necks. This solved the problem and I was able to go back to my origional bushing. Also after annealing the carbon soot on the necks went away.

I now anneal every firing. I know this is overkill, but it is just easier for me to keep track and run the brass through all my steps. I feel good knowing every case is perfect and I will also have very consistant neck tension and hardness on each loading.

My first 100 cases are still producing .0005" TIR for an average. They now have 10 firings on them. After the 9th firing I inspected the brass inside and out looking for weak points to avoid any potential case failure. I found that all the brass is still healthy and will continue to use them till I see differently.

I have known you long enough to know you make a perfectionist look sloppy. I think you should consider when Neil makes his dies they are going to be used by a variety of people and he needs to make them so they work well for all.

You sir know metal well. Do what you feel will be best to produce the most consistant ammo you are capable of, every single case, one at a time.

JMO

Jeff
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Last edited by Broz; 09-08-2010 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:45 PM
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Re: Neil Jones Custom Dies ?

Broz, what would you do?

Hunting ammo would benefit from 0.003; besides the rifle may shoot better using 0.003 tension. Before making any changes I would shoot it first and see how well it does and then check and see if my tension is staying consistent without annealing, if not then I would anneal as necessary.

Good thread!
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  #7  
Old 09-08-2010, 07:28 PM
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Re: Neil Jones Custom Dies ?

David Tubb uses/recommends .003 neck tension on his 6 XC.

"My experience has been that the only real danger is having too little neck tension to hold the bullet (less than 0.002" difference)."......out of his page on the 6 XC.

However, he's talking about .003 on a 6mm bullet..........maybe a .338 bullet would be different?

I don't know if or how often he anneals...?
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