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Optimal neck tension for hunting

 
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  #1  
Old 05-18-2009, 05:06 PM
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Optimal neck tension for hunting

I spoke with Lee today and told them I was having issues with neck tension on some of my loads. The mandrel in ever one of my dies is -.002 less than the caliber. The bullet is seated well but you can push it in if you want by hand. I did a test with loaded rounds in the magazine and one of the rounds in my .257 WB pulled out some. I have used the factory crimp dies and they tear up the case. It needs to be trimmed alot everytime. I got away from using them and I am just concerned with the bullets staying put when in my pack or magazine. I loaded some Bergers today and have spotty tension. I read an article on this site by Jerry Teo that said Lee dies will give you "that 4-5 thousandths of neck tension you need'. So I took the mandrel out of my .280 die and honed it down from .282 to .280. This obviously gives me 4 thousandths neck tension. I cannot move the bullet by hand. This is the same kind of tension I have experienced on factory amo that is crimped in a canelure. Lee said I could hone the die down for more tension but said I should use the crimp die. Seems to me honing it down does the same thing but keeps your brass in better shape. Any feedback??? What do you guys use for neck tension?
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:16 PM
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Re: Optimal neck tension for hunting

How many times has the brass been fired?

Are you having trouble with neck tension on once fired brass?

Is the Lie die catching the shoulder?
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:37 PM
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Re: Optimal neck tension for hunting

Are you neck turning the brass? Too much neck turning on some cases will decrease neck tension on factory dies. Also, no neck turning at all leads to variance in neck tension. Cases with thin brass will have less tension than cases with thick necks. The goal in consistency. Even if my brass is at 0.002 neck tension, I can't push in the bullet without at least a fair amount of effort. How accurate are your inner and outer case readings? Maybe you really only have 0.001 thou neck tension or less?

I hate expander balls, and if neck tension is an issue, switch to a bushing die so you control the tension.
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:46 PM
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Re: Optimal neck tension for hunting

Brass has been fired 4 times. Not turning the necks. Have not checked the inner diameter. What tool would you use for that? There is a fair amount of effort to seat the bullet now that I took that mandrel down .004. But I don't think too much. No cosmetic effect to the bullet. There is no expander ball. This is a collet that squeezes the neck onto a madrel. I havent them yet to see if there is any difference. I have read on here that 3-4 thou is not that unheard of to keep a bullet seated properly. How much accuracy are we talking here between 2 and 4 thou neck tension? Could this be huge or are we talking micometer size???
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:36 PM
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Re: Optimal neck tension for hunting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris C View Post
Have not checked the inner diameter. What tool would you use for that?
Best thing I have found is a set of pin gauges from CDC tools

CDCO Machinery Corp.

for $55.00 you can get machined pins from .251" to .500". They will tell you a lot about inside dimensions and are particularly useful for finding do-nuts and partial do-nuts and gauging springback.

In my dealings with Lee they insist that the low bullet grip of .001" to .002" is essential to keeping runout down. I have ordered undersized mandrels from them for $5.00 each and with the one that is .003" less than caliber I did not find any additional runout, bullet grip improved and group size stayed the same.

YMMV
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  #6  
Old 05-19-2009, 05:27 AM
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Re: Optimal neck tension for hunting

Go here and do this:

Annealing Cases
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  #7  
Old 05-19-2009, 06:41 AM
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Re: Optimal neck tension for hunting

Thanks for the ideas. I will look into both of these suggestions. Right now the mandrel I have for the 284 is at 280 so I guess if you figure for spring back I have 3 thou neck tension. I will be shooting these this weekend and will see if their are any issues with accuracy. If so I will just order another mandrel that isn't so tight and/or try annealing. Thanks again.
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