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Small Base Die???

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Unread 03-30-2009, 11:02 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Superior, WI
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Re: Small Base Die???

Originally Posted by 41mag View Post

I am just asking to see if anyone knows of issue that might arise from this type sizing, since I already have the 308 SB die i figured I would give it a while, and I would hate to chunk the 25 cases if this won't work. They are hard enough to size in a FL die, as it is. I darn sure don't want them stuck inside my tight chamber on my custom rifle.
The answer to your question is. Go for it. You're only sizing the base with the small base die. I've done the .243 in the 308 die many times with no problems. The would be true of the 25-06 and 270 in a 30-06 SB die. When you're done with the SB die run the cases thru a regular FL die.
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Unread 03-30-2009, 05:44 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
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Re: Small Base Die???

Originally Posted by boomtube View Post
"Please correct me if my theroy is wrong as im pretty new to reloading and I just useing info from my reloading book. this is just how it makes sense to me."

You are THINKING, and that's always a good thing, but you are wrong. Actually, the shoulder length, as such, doesn't come into play here because the shoulder angle and the body-to-head length is the same for those cartridges.

You are correct that using the larger cartridge die will leave a small portion of the shoulder and all of the neck unsized, but that's true of bump dies in general. In this instance, both the lengths of the shoulder and neck are automatically "compensated", or corrected for, since the neck simply contacts the shoulder at the correct diameter on the shoulder slope. A small portion of the shoulder will be unchanged but that will rarely present any real difficulty in chambering and that's the core issue.
Thanks I now understand, before the only way it would make sense to me for it to work was to set your die so it wouldn't contact the shoulder. but i understand what you are saying now!
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Unread 03-30-2009, 05:57 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 39
Re: Small Base Die???

My head is starting to spin with all the recommendations here. (getting dizzy)

Redding small base dies

small base, full length sizing die --there are three types, one is a bushing die, one is a standard die with expander ball and one is a body and shoulder bump die with no decapping rod. They are made for tight chambered guns or gas guns, OR custom chambers.
You say your rifles shoot good with the loads that you have. Well how good is good? are they different powders with different grain Wt's. and different bullets. Also how have you sized them before?
It sounds like you want to turn your buckets of brass into universal one size fits all. I am starting to disagree with this type of hand loading .
I will tell you why. If you have worked up loads for each of your rifles and found what each one likes and also the most accurate--well then that's
hand loading Eh. That's what we do it for at least thats why I do it.
Custom load for each rifle.
Well let me bring a little guy into the picture called head space. How are you going to control it for each rifle doing it the way you suggest?
At best I think you will reduce your cases back to someplace near factory dimensions--perhaps a little bigger. Again one size fits all. Your loads that you have worked up for each gun may suffer from this. Think about it--all your chambers are different all the head space is different --how can they possibly all work the same in different chambers. Yes you will wind up some way with rounds that fit all the guns but your achievement may --I say may end there.
Do you shoot that many rounds that each rifle needs that many?
At the risk of getting you mad I would say that looking at all that bass is possible overwhelming you. I would decide how many I wanted loaded for each rifle and dedicate them to that rifle. I would sit with the brass and try each one in one rifle at a time. The ones that fit would go in one pile
( you still don't know ware you are with head space) only that they fit.
The ones that didn't fit would go into a different pile. when I have enough for that rifle I would take the cases that didn't fit and start sizing them and trying them in that rifle with the fire control group out of the bolt
( remove fire- ing pin ). That will give you a true feel of how the bolt is closing.
If you adjusted your die only a little you will still have some cases that will be hard to chamber and they will need a little more sizing, and so it goes until you have what you want. That will give you cases that will be close to that chamber--not perfect but close. once fire formed they would stay with that gun. I as in me would repeat that for each rifle and label the cases and keep them separated. If you are concerned with having a lot of ammo in case of a
well you fill in the rest, Then take the rifle you depend on and concentrate on that. I again as in me, can't in good conscious recommend any other way.
There are many ways to open a Pop bottle-Some will get you a cold drink in your mouth and some will get you a little glass.
Sounds like a hell of a-lot of work --depends on what you are looking for.
I am only trying to help here and told you what I would do. It may make sence to you and it may not


I would treat the rifle with the oversized chamber as a separate issue.
With dedicated dies for it.
I could be wrong here but if you have cases that are tite because of the web area being to big--
well wouldn't you have to go all the way into the S/B die to size that area? and wouldn't that be also bumping the shoulder? also if the die has an expander ball and you take it out the necks are going to be very small . You will have a job to open them back up, even in a collet die.

Last edited by gray wolf; 03-30-2009 at 06:46 PM.
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Unread 03-31-2009, 04:46 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Texas born and raised
Posts: 752
Re: Small Base Die???

Thanks everyone for the reassurances, I had in mind that this should work fine but not having tied it as of yet, I figured why not ask. I have WAY too many irons in the fire right now as it is, and am still slowly working on getting my loading stuff back in some sort of organized fashion from the pack up, (read throw everything in waterproof containers,) from the storm last year. Getting closer but still got a ways to go.

grey wolf,

I appreciate all you have posted, and no you haven't even come close to ruffling any feathers. Here is a drawn out explanation of what I hope to accomplish from this.

I have three different .243's, and quite a bit of once fired brass. Most is from years ago, and has been in storage. I only shot one of them for the most part through the years but aquired another a year or so ago and it has rekindled my interest.

The 25-06 cases in question were given to me, they are once fired, but not in either of my rifles, and will have to be sized in a SB die or trashed, as they still will not fit in either of my 2 chambers after FL sizing. I have one factory standard 25 and another custom built AI 25 for which I would like to use these cases in. The rifle they were fired in has since been re-chambered to a 257 WTBY so it was no longer needed by that person.

The 270 cases are mostly new once fired range brass that I collected from folks who did not reload. I also have a very large amount from my own personal shooting through the years. Since I only have one at this time, no big issues on them.

Surplus cases in both 308, and 30-06 I also have quite a bit of and both of them will get the SB treatment before being loaded. Some will feed any one of my 3 30-06's and some will be available for conversion to other calibers. Either way I will still need to get one more SB die.

As for my reasoning behind this. Your correct in your statement to use "x" amount of cases for each rifle. I generally do so and then stick with those cases until they are rendered useless or lost in the field. My goal behind reducing them all back as close to factory specs as I can, is so that when I do need to start up with another 50 rounds for a particular the cases will already be in a state that I can use for any of the rifles I choose to run them through. As for the work getting them there, not a biggie, I do some here and some there until I get them all processed. Some I run through my progressive which makes it rather quick.

I spoke with one of the fellows from Redding just yesterday about their SB body die, he mentioned that there should be no issues running them through. It does not have an expander, which I would have removed anyway, and it will for the most part only size the middle and bottom portions of the smaller caliber brass. He also mentioned that if using it to just touch the shoulder it should not cause any headspace issues. This will work just fine for me if I run them through the progressive having the SB in the first stage and the FL in the second. All of the cases in question are smaller in caliber than the SB die will be. In other words, I am looking at running the 243's through the 308 die and the 25 & 270's through the 30-06 SB die. As to the necks getting smaller they should remain the same as nothing will be touching in this area.

This was really not an issue for me until the hurricane last year. I had most of the cases stored in cardboard boxes, and in preperation for the storm hitting, I consolidated them into plastic containers,(five gallon buckets with screw on lids). As such, at the time, I wasn't worried so much about which went where or to which rifle, as much as keeping them together and from getting wet when the thing hit. Where we are, we had the potential of getting upwards of several feet of water in our house, and there is only so may things you can put up on top of other stuff. My loading components were not at the top of the list for being elevated. Fortunately for us we only got enough in my shop area to get the floor wet and after a day or so with the blowers all was fine again. The rest of the house came through fine, less a few shingles.

Since then I have been running tumblers just about every weekend we have been home getting it all nice, clean and shiny. Sorting it out by brands, and calibers. This has been more of a pain than the sizing ever will be, as I am at the point where my arms are no longer long enough to focus in on the head stamped names. So I sit in the living room floor with one of those extending lighted magnafying glasses inspecting cases and sorting into piles. Once at they have been sorted, they are being processed for loading, then put into plastic bags by brand, and then stored in ammo cans per caliber. Then if and when I need them I pull out enough for a batch and go for it. One thing I learned from this past storm is that you can store a LOT of stuff in ammo cans, and they stack nicely and are small enough to be put out of the way. So this has been my overall quest aside from getting things back into order. To be able to have it all in containers which will be water tight, and can be moved or stacked quickly and not have to worry about them in the event things get bad.

My loads are not overly specific. Except for the pump, I could shoot them in any of my like caliber rifles. I generally work up mid ranged loads which I try to test in everything for that caliber. If one shoots it better so be it, I like to be able to grab a box and a particular rifle and hit the woods knowing I can at least hit within 2" at 100yds with the particular load. Generally this ends up being closer to 1". With the pump I have to keep it loaded to levels that will function with the rotating lugs, and that will feed from the shorter magazines. No biggie there either. They are easily kept separated and I only shoot a box or less a year through it anyway.

Anyway, again I do appreciate your input on this, and I am sorry if this has gotten somewhat confusing about my intended goals. More about being able to salvage and use what brass I have on hand rather than spend cash I don't have available to buy more. Trust me if I could I would simply just purchase a thousand or so Lapua for each caliber and be done with it. Instead I will happily use up what I have on hand. It should be enough to last both myself and my grandsons for years to come, if the current administration doesn't do anything stupid in the next couple of years.
Mike / Tx

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"Heck why would I lie, most folks don't believe the truth when I tell them"
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Unread 03-31-2009, 07:30 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 39
Re: Small Base Die???

First off let me say that it is a shame that you had to go through all the mess with the high water. good for you getting through it and coming out on the right side of it. Also for taking the time to make sure you are understood and exactly what the problem is.
That being said I think your situation with the brass has been played out in your mind enough that you have confidence in your plan and calling Redding was a smart thing to do. You know what to expect and it sounds like you will reach your gold and be safe. I think after you are done you will have accomplished quite a little task--credit to you.
Hey let us know how it progresses--updates are good if you have the time. It has been a good exchange thank you again for being so specific.
Hey if I need some 270 Win. brass I know who to ask Eh.

Best to you

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