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Reloading belted mags.

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Unread 02-23-2006, 04:03 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 28
Reloading belted mags.

What is the difference between reloading for a belted mag. and standard cartridge? The ease or difficulty of reloading belted mags. will dictate if I buy 300 Win. mag. or not.
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Unread 02-23-2006, 05:01 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 2,514
Re: Reloading belted mags.

I neck size all of my belted mags. Unless you are really pushing the pressure limits you will get several reloads without difficulty. If you run pressures high then you will need to run them through a full-length die periodically.

No different than the way I reload my non-belted cartridges.
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Unread 02-23-2006, 05:11 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 54
Re: Reloading belted mags.

I would like to see what everyone's opinion is about this also. This to will affect my choice between a 300 wsm or a 7mm mag.
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Unread 02-23-2006, 05:49 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 419
Re: Reloading belted mags.

I don't do anything different with my 300WM than with any other cartridge.
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Unread 02-23-2006, 06:02 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,483
Re: Reloading belted mags.

The big difference in reloading bottlneck H&H belted cases and bottleneck rimless cases is that darned H&H belt. Top shooters have known for over 60 years that unless one sizes the case body all the way back to it, accuracy will suffer.

Check out the following web site for one solution:

After WWII when folks used the .300 H&H Magnum and later the 30 and 28 caliber cartridges bases on large cases with the H&H belt for 1000-yard matches, they learned that best accuracy happened when new cases were used. It wasn't until someone (top riflesmith Elmer Shook, I think) cut about 1/4th inch off the bottom of a .30-.338 full-length sizing die then cut its top off just below the shoulder, smoothed off the sharp edges and used this die to size the case body all the way to the belt. Conventional full=-length sizing dies left about 1/32nd of the case body just in front of the belt unsized. This special "body sizing die" seemed to work best after a conventional full-length sizing die was used. And the case shoulder has to be set back to almost its new position so the case headspaces on the belt like it's designed to.

Top military 1000-yard shooters gave up on full-length sizing and just used new cases all the time. They must have given away thousands of .300 Win. Mag or .30-.338 Win. Mag. cases to all the civilians at the big matches.

Both military and civilian top shooters tried neck sizing but the results were never consistantly great. Once in a while someone did great with neck sized cases, but the folks who used new cases or full-length sized cases second sized with the special body die (or double sized) shot the best scores much more consistantly.

My own tests confirmed this. I've worn out four .30-.338 barrels shooting 1000-yard matches. Each one's been tested at least twice for accuracy using neck-only sized cases as well as single full-length sized, double full-length sized and just brand new cases. I fired 15-shot test groups at 1000 yards as follows:

Neck-only sized cases, 12 to 22 inches.
Single-full-length sized cases, 8 to 15 inches.
Double-full-length sized cases, 5 to 7 inches.
New cases, 5 to 7 inches.

I recommend you stay away from belted cases unless you're willing to double size them with proper full-length dies.
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Unread 02-23-2006, 06:17 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 262
Re: Reloading belted mags.

Bart--I find your results really interesting. I don't doubt them but it just doesn't seem to make sense. Do you have any idea why "not filling the chamber" with tight fitting brass would cause this. I have to admit over at Snypers Hyde the guys that shoot benchrest seem to be looking for the collet die real hard.....they are kind of on hold looking for a manufacturer that can make the quality die at a lower overhead. (Applaud them for not letting it get cheaper).
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Unread 02-23-2006, 06:48 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pennsyltucky
Posts: 2,631
Re: Reloading belted mags.

it's because after 1 or 2 firings some will fit almost loose in the chamber and some will be almost a crush fit.most 1k competitors full length size their brass because they are more accurate than neck sizing.

that's how i understand it,but Bart has a whole bunch more experience then i, what say ye Bart?
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