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Reloading belted cartridges

 
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  #1  
Old 01-09-2011, 03:03 PM
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Reloading belted cartridges

Well I have been roloading for a couple years for my 300 wsm and will be acquiring a 7 rem mag. The pocess I use for sizing my 300 wsm brass , no belt, is as follows for fired brass. To determine how much resizing I want I put the resizing/de-priming die in but screwed way off the full length sizing. I run the case through the press and the then check it in my rifle. The bolt always closes stiff the first time. I continue this process making very small turns and re-checking how the bolt closes. I do this until the bolt closes with what I feel is just right resistance so that I can cycle rounds smoothly as this is a hunting gun. I then clean the flash holes and chamber/deburr, then they go in the tumbler, then prime, charge and seat bullets. My main question is this method appropriate in gereral and if so for the belted cases as well. I heard that people have been spacing belted cases of the case heads and not using the belt, is this is true is this how you would do that? So any input as to if Im doing anything wrong or ways to improve my reloding would be appreciated. Thank you
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2011, 03:08 PM
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Re: Reloading belted cartridges

I use a different technique to set up my resizing dies using Larry Willis' "Digital Headspace Gauge". I set it up for a .002" bump on the shoulder using the following procedure:

1. I take a case fire formed in my firearm. The case should be a tight fit so that it's as close as possible to chamber dimensions.
2. Set the case in the Digital Headspace Gauge and zero the gauge (can use Hornady or RCBS gauges). Here's the link:
Innovative Technologies - Reloading Equipment
3. Insert a .003" shim on the FL or redding body die and screw the die in the press till it's snug on the shellholder. Here's the link for the set of shims:
SINCLAIR INTERNATIONAL : Skip's die shim kit - (7/8-14) (22-400 ) -
4. Resize the case with that set up.
5. Place the case in the Digital Headspace Gauge and get a measurement of the amount of shoulder bump.
6. If the bump measures .005" all you need to do is replace the .003" shim with a .006" shim and you get a .002" bump.

The beauty of this set up is that you don't need to touch the die even if you have multiple guns of the same caliber - you just change the shim in accordance with the bump you need. Also you can use another shim if you want more or less bump.

Occasionally, you get a minimal dimension chamber where you can only get less than .001" with the FL or body die. When this occurs, I use a dedicated shell holder which I sand on a flat surface to take off .001" or so.
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:12 PM
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Location: clearfield county , Pa
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Re: Reloading belted cartridges

I size a belted case just like a nonbelted case . push the shoulder back .001 or .002 and it's good to go . Jim
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  #4  
Old 01-10-2011, 10:03 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 110
Re: Reloading belted cartridges

You are doing it right. Nothen like getting in the field and finding that your rounds either will not chamber or you got some brass that you have to cram which is very very hard on the bolt lugs, chamber, and your rifle in general. I use the Redding competition shell holders and a full length resizing die. The shell holders are in .010, .080, .060, .040, and .020 thickness for shoulder push back. Use the .010 first and try to chamber, if no chamber go to the next etc. You set up your full length resizing die as per normal with the shell holder tight against the loader with a cam over. The shell holders take care of the proper case size. Simple, quick, and no more worries. This system works for all belted as well as non belted brass. I reload everything from 22/250 - 30/30 Winchester to 338/378 Weatherby.

Last edited by eaglesnester; 01-10-2011 at 10:12 AM.
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  #5  
Old 01-10-2011, 01:49 PM
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Location: Mountians of SW NC, near Asheville
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Re: Reloading belted cartridges

"My main question is this method appropriate in gerera..."

Yes, you're doing good. Belted, rimmed, rimless are all the same to a reloader. The frequent agonising over how to accommodate different methods of "headspacing" and how it's measured are silly to us, just make the cases snuggly fit the chamber and we're done.

Last edited by boomtube; 01-10-2011 at 01:54 PM.
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  #6  
Old 01-12-2011, 07:49 PM
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Posts: 865
Re: Reloading belted cartridges

I do all of my die setup just like you. Make sure that as you are checking your brass in your gun.......be sure to size a differant piece of brass each time you make an adjustment.....just put the long ones in a pile to do again later. Make sure that most or all of the lube is off of the case before you chamber the brass.....a buildup of lube in your chamber will skue your test....and will be downright dangerous if shot without being cleaned.

Also, for better feel I remove the firing pin.

Just forget that the brass has a belt and you will be just fine. A belt has zero effect on accuracy.

On the other end of the spectrum......belted casses are actually SAFER to handload than non-belted....Take the newbi....doesn't have a clue....turns the FL die all the way down to the shell holder. He may have just bumped the sholder 20 thou.....that may be trouble with a non-belted case, but not with a belted case....you always have the belt there to headspace on.
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  #7  
Old 01-13-2011, 05:07 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Casselberry, FL
Posts: 190
Re: Reloading belted cartridges

4xforfun .......

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4xforfun View Post
On the other end of the spectrum......belted casses are actually SAFER to handload than non-belted....Take the newbi....doesn't have a clue....turns the FL die all the way down to the shell holder. He may have just bumped the sholder 20 thou.....that may be trouble with a non-belted case, but not with a belted case....you always have the belt there to headspace on.
You're right about not pushing the FL die too far down on a case. However, there's no benefit at all to having a belt on ANY case except the H&H Magnums. In fact, due to "newbe" reloading techniques they can be more dangerous to reload than non-belted calibers.

Here's why:

Belted magnum handloads absolutely MUST headspace on the shoulder - never the belt. The fact that belted magnums will always have a belt to rely on is meaningless, because if the shoulder is pushed back too far the fired case expands to fill the chamber, and the case gets stretched.

So what?


Case stretching is repeated at every firing, and it soon makes the case paper thin just above the belt. (That's what causes headspace separations.)


What makes belted calibers different?


Factory loads always headspace on the belt. If you compare one of your fired cases to a factory round, you'll see that the shoulder has to stretch -.020" to .030" when it's fired. That's quite a stretch! Especially when you consider that this always happens on the very first firing. Belted cases are already seriously weakened.


What can you do about that?


You can limit future case stretching by accurately measuring the exact clearance "at the shoulder" that YOUR handloads have in YOUR particular chamber. Then bump the shoulder -.001" to -.002" at the most.


What I recommend ...


I recommend using the Digital Headspace Gauge. It works on ALL different calibers, and it needs no special bushings or extra attachments to operate, and it reduces case run-out. Your brass will last longer, and you'll never see a headspace separation.


Good Shooting,
Larry Willis
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