I recently purchased a nearly new SAKO TRG-s in 338 LM. I will eventually put it into an A-5 stock and have GAP rebarrel it with a Mike Rock or Schneider barrel, but for now, if I can get it to shoot MOA or less and can stand to shoot it, I will use it, as is (no muzzle brake [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]), to hunt elk this season. I've wanted a 338 LM for years and finally took the plunge.
Here's my dilema (one of many). I just got 100 new shiny pieces of Lapua Brass ($1.36 each at Bruno's). I've never used Lapua brand brass before, and want to make the best use of it both in accuracy potential and life of the brass. I've also never reloaded new brass before.
So, do I deburr the flash holes with the Sinclair deburring tool, or just leave them alone? How about the primer pockets? Do I uniform them with the Sinclair tool, or leave them alone also? I tried the primer pocket uniformer tool on one piece of brass, and it removed what I thought was a lot of material.
Next, After much deliberation I took another plunge and went with the Redding Competition Neck Sizer Die Set. Mostly because I really like the ones I have in .308, but also hope that I might get a little more brass life by neck sizing (I know that's debatable). Anyway, I've read that you should full length resize your new brass before you shoot it for the first time. Does that mean that I need to also get a FL die after spending over $200 on the neck sizing dies? Would it do me any good to run the brass through the body die, then neck size it for the first firing. Then again, the bushing neck die doesn't have an expander button so will that be adequate to smooth out any dings in the brass?
A couple of general observations. I have never used lapua brass but it has a reputation for being of very high quality. This means consistent measurements. Poor quality brass has inconsistent measurements.
With high quality brass you either do it now and forever and ever or don't do it at all. I use Norma brass. The flash holes are UNIFORMLY SMALL". So once I have started opening up flash holes I have to continue or else recheck my favorite loads and keep brass separted. I am not an organized person so keeping brass separated is not something I can personally handle.
I have been shooting the 338 Lapua and one of it's variants for 12 years now. I am having a 338 Lapua AI built to compete with in 1000 yd BR this year. PM me and I will call you as I can talk a lot faster than I can type. The advice about reading a reloading manual (Sierra for example) would be a good start.
The Truth Is Not Always Good For Business!!
I would want to FL resize the brass before the first firing, so you are sure the brass actually fits in your chamber. I would not worry so much about tweaking for accuracy till you get the barrel broken in. I would use those shots to get your brass "fireformed" more or less to your chamber after the first firing, outside neck turn, then neck size all previously shot brass from now on. You would need a FL sizer to bump the shoulder every now and again.
Hitting the brass with the flash hole cutter might not be needed, take a flashlight and actually look inside your shiny brass first. as far as cutting your primer pocket, I would see what the rifle does after the barrel break in, you might not need to do it. Sometimes doing all that work with the primer pocket and flash holes gives diminishing returns.