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Reloading Techniques For Reloading


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new to reloading

 
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  #1  
Old 10-30-2013, 11:52 PM
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new to reloading

SUPER PUMPED, just ordered a RCBS rockchucker supreme reloading kit. seems to come with every thing except dies and shell holder. Now the powder, brass and primer searches begin. what kind of dies do you fellas recommend? neck or FL?
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  #2  
Old 10-31-2013, 06:12 AM
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Re: new to reloading

Howdy Big Mike,

I think you should start with a FL sizing die first. Or if you want to spend more money you can get something like a Redding S bushing die and a body die to separate the functions of a FL die for more attention to detail. Most beginners are better served with a FL/seater die set.

As for usage, ignore the instructions in the RCBS box on how to use the RCBS die. Their version will work but will overwork the brass causing problems.

I just wrote the how to on another thread and will copy and paste here:

Proper sizing with a FL die is best described as partial FL sizing. It will extend brass life and IMO is the proper way to resize brass.

I always wondered why RCBS would have the following instructions for their FL dies:

"Screw the sizer die into the press until the die touches the shell holder when the shell holder is brought up to the top of the press stroke. Be sure all play is removed from the press leverage system. To do this, adjust the die as above, lower the shell holder and set the die 1/8 to turn further down so that the press cams over center. Set the large lock nut and you are ready to size. "

This is wrong unless you have a very tight headspaced chamber. To do so will work the brass and will cause excessive stretching of the case requiring more frequent trimming and more importantly eventually cause case head separation.

I feel the correct way to resize brass is to size enough so the shoulder/body taper is slightly reduced to fit the chamber with little or no bolt closure resistance. This is what we reloaders call partial full length sizing. To do this the die will be turned down approximately a 1/8 inch space between the shell holder and die. Size a piece of fired brass, wipe it off and see how it fits the chamber. Continue turning the die towards the shell holder in small increments till you get the fit you desire. Once you have this determined you can set the lock ring for future use. I prefer to use feeler gauges to determine the gap and throw them into the die case for the future. In my experience lock rings don't always stay locked so I adopted the feeler gauge approach. You can size less so there is some resistance it is up to you. Personally I prefer no resistance especially with a hunting rifle.

If you want to neck size only, get a good bushing die that only sizes the necks. You can get away with no body/shoulder sizing for a few firings then the brass will get too tight and you will have to partial resize the brass anyway. The body die is for sizing the shoulder/body only.

Another important thing to do when sizing brass is to lube the case body. I like imperial sizing wax. A tiny bit on my fingers, rubbed onto the body will make sizing easy. Don't put lube on shoulders or necks, just the body.

Unfortunately not every instructional section in a Loading manual or instructions that come with the dies explain how to use the dies properly. Hope this helps. I like to help beginners as do others that post here. If you have more detailed questions all you have to do is ask.

Ross
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:23 AM
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Re: new to reloading

Amazing, urtterly amazing.
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  #4  
Old 10-31-2013, 06:35 AM
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Re: new to reloading

Ross, when you partial size does your entire case neck get reduced? In my experience, no. So, in some of my rifles, if I continue to shorten the distance between the shell holder and the die, the case head space actually lengthens and will not fit into my chamber at all. I tested this using the RCBS micrometer. The fired case measured zero, then full length resizing to where shell holder just made contact to die lengthened the case anywhere from 2-4 thousandths, and those cases will not chamber. It was only after I overcammed, per RCBS instructions, did my shoulders start bumping back 1-2 thousandths and would fit.
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:55 AM
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Re: new to reloading

The case will actually increase in length when you first begin to partially full length size. I didn't mention that because I thought I wrote enough stuff for one thread. Sorry....

When the die is adjusted a bit deeper and the brass is sized with the process repeated at some point the brass will fit the chamber. It would appear your particular chamber is on the short side (which is a good thing) and you are able to get the proper fit only by camming over the top.

I had a few chambers made by a local gunsmith that were so tight that I had to grind some material off the shell holder. Worst case would be to have to grind off some of the die!

Now you know what it takes to size your brass. I use a sharpie and write a note on inside of box. With this cartridge I'd write something like "light camming" or "heavy camming" as a reminder for future setup. When you end up with a dozen or so rifles those notes become very useful. I also keep a notebook on every rifle with procedures, load data etc.

It is not that unusual to find that some of the neck isn't sized with some partial FL sizing. That could be a good thing as that portion of the brass will center itself in the chamber. Redding's bushing dies don't size a portion of the neck for that very purpose.

The details seem endless don't they? Keeps things interesting.
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  #6  
Old 10-31-2013, 08:42 AM
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Re: new to reloading

Quote:
Originally Posted by big mike 2121 View Post
SUPER PUMPED, just ordered a RCBS rockchucker supreme reloading kit. seems to come with every thing except dies and shell holder. Now the powder, brass and primer searches begin. what kind of dies do you fellas recommend? neck or FL?
Welcome to the reloading world and you have every reason to get pumped. The best advise I can give you is keep it simple and safe ... stick to the basics first ... don't complicate things.

As you gain experience and confidence then safely press to the next level(s)

Good luck and happy safe reloading.
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  #7  
Old 10-31-2013, 09:04 AM
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Re: new to reloading

Quote:
Originally Posted by big mike 2121 View Post
SUPER PUMPED, just ordered a RCBS rockchucker supreme reloading kit. seems to come with every thing except dies and shell holder. Now the powder, brass and primer searches begin. what kind of dies do you fellas recommend? neck or FL?
Full length for semi-auto, and lever action firearms. Neck sizers work best with bolt action firearms. The best purchase you can make as a new reloader is to buy a good reloading manual, such as Bergers, or Lyman's 49th Edition. Read it from cover to cover, keep it close to your bench for a handy reference. Welcome to reloading, its a great hobby.
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