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Reloading Berger Bullets


new to!

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Unread 03-31-2005, 07:11 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: west of Little Rock ,Ark.
Posts: 1,271
Re: new to!

I'm beginning to see the light [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img](had to put my shades on there,blinding)Yoooou guys have been ratholing on us wannabees!What youre afraid of is if the word gets out there wont be enough to go around(truly a valid concern) [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]Afraid I'm going to wax political here and thats a terrible thing for me (cause I hate the word and what it applies to)When we make mandatory wage laws,that apply across the board,and saddle manufacturers with excessive employee benefit regardless of their performance we have well and truly shot ourselves in the foot and every other part of our collective anatomy!Rewards should be earned,job performance is the scale and nobody is entitled........... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]whew! ,sorry, that one got by me.Anyways, this laa-poo-waa(I learned that from you six)brass is the cats meow.BTW, if I want to load a fireforming load with bullets as opposed to the COW method and am not looking to get more than 8 or 10 loads on the brass will /are the chances of the brass performing well without hardening and splitting reasonable? Jim
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Unread 03-31-2005, 07:25 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 398
Re: new to!

Using the brass in .220 Russian I have really hammered it and gotten 15 loads and only lost cases due to enlarged primer pockets. I use in for my .308 WIN brass for wildcats, in 30-06 for everything else. The only brass I've had that was better was Hirtenberger (sp?) and good luck finding that anymore. Heck jimm, why I was completely bald before I started using it, laupa and now I have a full head of hair. (only kidding) jimm, this is the stuff!
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Unread 04-01-2005, 09:12 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Southwestern Montana
Posts: 294
Re: new to!

OK Guys I've made a couple of decisions. I have my new die 2 die set and am going to get a neck sizer for the 243AI. I am going to use the cream of wheat method to form the cases. I am going to be using virgin (new) brass. Giving my current brass and 60 loaded rounds to a friend.

Here is my question...

Is the Lapua brass worth the added expense? I am not looking for bench rest accuracy but want the best possible success rate for the forming process. If I get a bunch of split cases using cheaper brass I would rather use better stuff and only have to do it once. Besides I may want the accuracy potential later.
If you're gonna be dumb you better be tough.
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Unread 04-02-2005, 12:49 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 250
Re: new to!

Cowboy ,
I initially bought Winchester brass for my .243 AI and found it to be well under spec. in terms of diameter at the case head expansion ring . Got a big bulge there every time I fireformed one . Ugly but not really a problem . Weights were all over the place so sorted them into 3 weight groups . Punched flashholes so chamfered and deburred them.
Bought 100 Lapua cases and found that all of the above jobs were already done . No ugly bulges either . Many people observing that if you buy Lapua brass all you need to do is neckturn if you have a tight neck chamber and chamfer the mouth . No measurable accuracy improvement coming from other case prep.
I haven't lost a single case when fireforming . I use 42.5gns Varget with the 70gn Nosler BT .
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Unread 04-02-2005, 10:27 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Northamptonshire England
Posts: 676
Re: new to!

My Shooting club and range are situated in the hills on the Shropshire/Wales border, about a 100 miles from my home.
We have a 100yard range with covered firing points featuring 15 concrete benches and a rear reloading hut.
We also have 1500 acres of Welsh valley with ranges from 100m to 3000m with calibre approval up to 40mm [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
But due to petty bureaucracy and red tape(and a bit of jealousy) by the authorities it is temporarily closed. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

We are back to this neck sizing thing, i cant help myself, every time i open a new case of virgin brass my hand automatically reaches for the neck turning equipment, maybe i've got some kind of "Dr Strangelove" affliction when it comes neck turning! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]

I already have a good selection of neck bushings in 6mm that i have used in my 243 Redding and 6mm PPC Wilson dies.
(just in case you did not know Redding and Wilson bushings are interchangeable). The chamber drawing that my smith gives me will be a starting point to determine what bushing i will need.

I have chacked my brass with a tubing mike, and rolled them on a precision mandrel under a DTI,( having worked in QC in an engineering shop, desireable measuring instruments sort of fell into my lunch box) and yes they are very consistant, i find about 2% to be different from the others,but i will still neck turn.

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Unread 04-05-2005, 06:22 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: west of Little Rock ,Ark.
Posts: 1,271
Re: new to!

Centrepunch , Just wanting to be sure I understand something about your loading procedure.When you speak of using a neck mandrel to enlarge the case mouth is this in response to the neck turning ?I guess what I am gettingat is that if I use my (newly ordered) redding bushing dies to size the neck do I then need to use the body die with a neck mandrel in it to prepare for bullet seating?If so how does this differ from dragging an expander ball back through the dies .I know these are questions of ignorance,so ,enlighten !, please and thanks ,Jim
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Unread 04-05-2005, 09:22 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,459
Re: new to!

jimm, if I may jump in, once you use the bushing die, add powder and bullet. The sizing is already done. Avoid the expander ball if at all possible. Main source of runout and case growth.

Cowboy, I have shot a variety of commercial/match/surplus brass and can say Win brass is as good as any. In fact, the 308 I now have shoots in the 1's with Win brass. Not bad at all.

I use LC 69 brass in all my '06 and variant rifles. All shoot in the 1's and 2's. Sub MOA out to 1000m. Not bad considering these are mostly hunting rifles.

You will have to look in the archives but the debates of case prep have been raging for some time. Bottom line is you want each case to be the same as the last. Weight is not a good indicator of that. Case volume and annealing (metal harness/consistency) is what matters.

Also, eliminating runout during the sizing and seating stages really make ammo shoot. I neck turn as often as it helps. For a large SAAMI chamber, neck turning below 13thou will probably hurt more then help. I prefer 15thou.

As you said, will it matter in the rifle I am shooting. Probably not. If everything else is dialed in, sure...maybe. However, I have found much more gains in other parts of my reloading.


Not knocking Lapua brass at all. Great stuff, but for everyone except mabye competition shooters, commercial stuff does the job just fine.
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