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Reloading belted mags.

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Old 02-23-2006, 06:49 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: North Bend, Oregon
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Re: Reloading belted mags.

I ignore the belt along with the rest of the brass body. I haven't full length sized a case in near 20 years now. When I used full length dies I adjusted them to only hit 1/2 to 2/3 of the neck any way. Now I only use Lee Collet dies on everything. My 257Wby's, 7mmRM's, and 300Wby's all shoot best with fire formed brass. Cuts my groups in half neck sizing. After a few really hot ones sure they get snug to close but they usually won't hold a primer by then anyway. At reasonable pressures just keeping my lugs and recesses clean and well lubed and the bolts close nicely.
Build a man a fire and you heat him for a day.
Set him on fire and you heat him for life.

Only accurate rifles are interesting.

Gordy and Brady.
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Old 02-23-2006, 06:49 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
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Re: Reloading belted mags.

Reloading belted cases is not really any different than other cases. I usually fire every case once just to get it to chamber size and then load it up with my hunting laod.

I don't shoot benchrest so my principle concern is hunting accuracy. Belted cases have over the years been "magnum" cases and some variaton of H&H cases. In other words,if you were a long range hunter you were most likely using a belted case because you needed the velocity in order to deliver a killing impact at long range.

Probably the most famous of the long range benchrest clubs is at Willaimsport Pennsylvania. These people have been shooting 1000 yd matchs on some ole ridgeline with nasty winds for about half a century. You can look at the cartridges that are used and you will find many many 300Wby based wildcats.

Read the results and you can make up your own mind about belt or no belt.


In fact, if you read Howard Wolf's advertisement of smithing 50% of the winning guns, he says he specializes in the 30-378 Wby -- not only belted but double radiused too. Maybe he is an idiot and don't know anything about guns. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
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Old 02-23-2006, 06:52 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: western U.S.A.
Posts: 74
Re: Reloading belted mags.

I have been neck sizing for thw .264 for 25 years without seeing any accuracy difference, I will have to full length size some and see what happens.
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Old 02-23-2006, 07:22 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Re: Reloading belted mags.

Taos, in the late 1960's, my first long range target rifle on a Win. 70 action was a .264 Win. Mag. Sierra Bullets' Test Range Manager explained why I should full-length size cases for it instead of neck sizing 'em. So I did some tests. I knew the barrel was going to wear out quickly, so I limited my tests to two 15-shot 1000-yard groups. Neck sized cases shot about 13 inches with Norma 139-gr. match bullets. Same bullets in double-full-length sized cases went into 7 inches. Won some 1000-yard matches with that barrel but it died at 648 rounds and started shooting wash-tub size groups.

Martin Hull (then Sierra's bullet tester extraordinaire) gave me a couple of boxes of their then-new .264 caliber 140-gr. match bullets. He said if I could shoot them well enough to win a couple of matches, Sierra would give me 2000 more of them to use in my next three .264 Win. Mag. barrels. I shot four 10-shot test groups at 1000 yards with them but none were under 20 inches, so I told Martin Hull I couldn't get them to shoot. He said neither could Sierra. Apparently they couldn't get jacket material good enough to make those long jackets' wall thickness uniform enough. They had the same problem in 1970 with their first .284-inch 168-gr. HPMK bullets. It wasn't until the 1980's before anybody could make copper sheets good enough for very accurate, very long match bullets.

Sierra's guy told me he used full-length sizing dies for all of Sierra's test ammo; both stuff to test their bullets for accuracy in very thick and stiff test barrels as well as all kinds of rifles to develop handload data. When he gave me a tour of their California site, their loading room was very well stocked with only full-length sizing dies. Sierra still full-length sizes all their cases for testing and I don't think anybody shoots their bullets as accurate at 200 yards than they do. Martin Hull passed a few years ago but I still remember his phrase explaining how a bottleneck case has to fit the chamber for best accuracy; "It's gotta fit the chamber like a turd in a punch bowl!"
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Old 02-23-2006, 07:44 PM
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Re: Reloading belted mags.

Bart, some turds might be a press fit!
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Old 02-23-2006, 08:06 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,114
Re: Reloading belted mags.

Bart, some turds might be a press fit!

[/ QUOTE ]
I agree. When one considers a GO gage for H&H belted cases is .220, the NO-GO gage is .223 and the FIELD gage is .226, that's only three thousandths spread for normal use and six for emergencies.

Which means that step in an H&H fired case that's been traditionally full-length sized and is much longer than .006-inch will probably interfere different ways with different cases with proper headspacing. If another sizing die gets rid of it and sizes the H&H case body down to its original diameter all the way back to the belt, there won't be any interference in proper headspacing.
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Old 02-23-2006, 08:48 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 2,127
Re: Reloading belted mags.

Check out the 1,000yd group fired by this belted case.
300 Win Mag
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