Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Rifles, Reloading, Optics, Equipment > Reloading

Reloading Berger Bullets


What am I doing wrong??

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 07-22-2008, 08:49 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: N. Central Indiana
Posts: 608
What am I doing wrong??

At first glance, I thought buying the Sinclair Concentricity gauge was a good idea, now after checking some cases I think I'm either looking crosseyed at it, or I have a major problem with my .257 Neck Sizer. :o
Or me. Not that THAT has ever happened before !

Actually, I really believe that the gauge will be a good thing in the long run.

I first checked some Wby brass that I shot in my Vanguard, that I had neck sized only and got a pretty consistent .004" runout. The neck sizer is a RCBS P/N 12630. O.K., maybe it's the gun, right? So I checked some new Norma brass (again .257) that I had neck sized, but not loaded or fired. Same runout. What the heck??? I gotta be doing something wrong on the gauge. So I pull out some new .338 Lapua brass. .0005 to .0015 runout. So, it's not me. I grab some new not touched Norma .257 Wby brass and check that - .002" runout.

Some fired .300 Win Mag brass reads in the .001" - .002" range.

So, what the heck am I doing wrong???? HALP ME PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!

2 Yr. old Rock Chucker Superme press, the above mentioned neck sizer. I clean (tumble) all the brass before running it thru any dies. I give the inside a dip and then a brush with mica, then give the outside a light coat of Imperial (drag my finger across the Imperial, swirl it around the neck, then size), then run it thru the sizer. I'm running the sizer down the neck between approx. .285".

I just checked some loaded rounds from last year. Bullet runout is .005"

I'll try and neck size a couple by rotating the case a few times and hitting it multiple times, and try it by hitting it once with the button in it, then hitting it again with the button out. I'll be back shortly! But in the meantime:

Oh masters of reloading, what sayeth thou???

O.K. I'm back. It seems that it's me. I tried re-sizing the ones that are bad to see if I can change any of the readings.

The first 2 that I did rotating the cases resulted in .002" and .006" runout. So the next try I removed the button but put it right back in because it was about 4 turns loose on the shaft. :o:o:o These next 2 were .0015" and .0025". Just for giggles I removed the button and ran 2 cases and got .002" and .0025. Then I ran 2 more cases but rotated them a few times and hit them a few times without the button in the die as I did the time before - .001 and .0015.

Feel free to add any advice you have, I'm all ears (the're pretty red too!)

Last edited by esshup; 07-22-2008 at 09:09 PM. Reason: further information
Reply With Quote

Unread 07-23-2008, 05:02 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: MN
Posts: 1,219
I was having excessive runout in a 22-250 even using a Redding comp seating die and necksizing die and a FL sizing die (both combinations). I have pretty much solved my runout issue w/ that rifle by turning necks. I'm not sure, but I think the difference in neck thickness and the relatively small neck size v/s the body size caused the neck to "bulge out" where the neck was thinner. Again, I'm not sure if this is the culprit, but it seems to work better since I have started turning my 250 necks. On another note, I shoot a 300 wsm w/ win brass and my runout is around .003 or less on almost all cases with no need to turn the necks??? That is why I'm confused - could it have to do with the perporiton of the bullet size to the size of the body of the case or maybe I just need to aneal my 250 brass?? I dunno, good luck and let me know what you figure out ;)
I used to re-load but now I "hand-load".
-- Well, at least I try --
Reply With Quote
Unread 07-23-2008, 07:40 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,088

Two solutions.

First, disregard what I have to say and take advice from somebody else. There are a lot of ways to skin this cat and I have my way which is not the only way.

Second - My way.

I took advice from a guy on this forum who said to take a Lee neck die in 25-06 and use it on a 257 Wby. He said to grind the collet a little but I never follow good advice and don't do what he says. It still works great for me but I know that the collet is not exactly right so I keep the die a little high. I also use a 257 Wby body die.

You are fortunate to have a runout device. Knowing one is screwing up is the first step toward doing it correctly.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
Reply With Quote
Unread 07-23-2008, 10:31 PM
Posts: n/a

(1) Sometimes neck dies do not hold the body enough to prevent runout. Try full length dies backed off enough to just bump the shoulder. I do this on me 338/378 and the 30/378 Weatherby dies and it works for me.

(2) Try a different sizing button. Sometimes they warp and you will not get concentric sizing.

(3) Try a different shell holder. We have found that they are not always machined the same even with the same stock number.

(4) Check the press ram to ensure you don't have any wobble in it.

(5) Try your procedure on a different caliber to see if you get similar results.

(6) One trick is to back off the lock ring and insert a rubber o-ring between the press
and the lock ring. This will allow the die to align with the ram if it is not perfectly aligned already.

(7) Get a good magnifying glass and check the surface finish of the brass. You might be reading surface imperfections as well as runout.

(8) Almost forgot, increase the dwell time the case is in the die. Say for a ten count or so to allow for the brass to "go to sleep" and minimize spring back.

(9) Finally, turn a case neck and do all the measurements again after it is fired in the gun.

FWIW, I spent 30 years in the submarine force and on more than one occassion, really missed the center of a watertight door or a hatch when passing through during a casualty or another emergency. They tend to ring your bell and they do not move.

Anyway, I always look at the relationship of the bullet to the center of the bore and the orientation of same as if It were a sub hatch or watertight door. You are much better off being perfectly aligned than not.

Using my Sinclair tool, I rotate the loaded case and mark the high side. I orient the high side to the 12 o'clock position in the chamber. Works for us very well.

Good luck in getting the bugs worked out.

Reply With Quote
Unread 07-24-2008, 04:59 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: South Africa
Posts: 422
I'm watching this with interest too. I have also just picked up a concentricity gauge.

I've got a similar story - unsolved as yet.

I will send a query to Redding Tech direct, but I see that Redding does point out that neck sizing thin brass fired in a factory (max SAAMI?) chamber results in too much sizing and out of kilter necks. (My question here of course is why this isn't a huge problem when necking down .308 Win to 6.5-08 / .260 Rem? Hmmm.....)

I do "float" the die and shellholder with O-rings.

Mine go from fired at 0.0005-0.001" to a sized anywhere from 0.004-0.010"! That said, my Win brass is pretty thin. The cases are sorted for max neck wall variance at 0.001 to 0.0015".

One solution I've seen suggested is sizing in stages - i.e. 2 different bushings (which is not a long term fix as it's a pain in the behind).

I intend to try the Lee Collets dies as BuffBob suggested.

I think I'm learning that some of the more sophisticated equipment requires a more sohpisticated system (chamber / brass / bushing (die) dimensions fit relative to each other) where things are appropriately fitted to get the right results. Not suggesting across the board, just saying SOMETIMES.

Now whislt we are at it and not to highjack the thread, here's a question: Assuming the loaded round, and specifically the bullet, runout is minimal (say 0.0015" max), does it matter that the unloaded and sized case is more out of kilter? Or is straight at the end all that matters?

Last edited by LRHWAL; 07-24-2008 at 08:54 AM. Reason: Addition
Reply With Quote
Unread 07-24-2008, 04:09 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: N. Central Indiana
Posts: 608
Guys, I really, REALLY appreciate the tips and tricks. I've only been reloading for metallic cartridges for a few years and I realize that I haven't started to scratch the surface in my journey for great reloads. Please keep the tips/hints coming. I'll bet that a lot of you have forgotten more tips/tricks than I will ever learn, but I'll try!

I realize that I won't get a great reload every time, but with diligence, consistency and care taken on my part, that the great reloads will start happening with more and more frequency.

I'd rather take the time to understand the how's and why's of precision reloading AND acquire the equipment to do it, rather than to reload poorly and not take advantage of all the accuracy that the rifles are capable of.

Until the snow flies, I won't have much spare time for reading, but if there are any books that you recommend on precision reloading, I'll add them to the library.

Thanks again!
Reply With Quote
Unread 07-24-2008, 05:28 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,088
Let me mention that sometimes there is no hope and you may as well give it up.

I have a factory Rem 700 in 17 Rem. It's chamber is so out of alignment with the bore that the base of the case gets cockeyed. You can buy any die you want to but it won't cure a bad chamber. Don't do what I did and spend a lot of money trying to make it right. If you have a runout gauge then you can tell if it is your die setup or you have a bad chamber.

A factory rifle or custom rifle with a "true" chamber is a delight and you can do good things with it.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads for: What am I doing wrong??
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Am i doing something wrong? Blacktail Reloading 7 11-24-2011 09:55 AM
What is wrong with the NIB 338 RUM? TheHunt Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics 19 11-24-2011 12:00 AM
This looks very wrong to me Bishop Reloading 10 05-29-2011 04:04 PM
Something wrong? tayhot Reloading 25 12-20-2009 02:12 AM
What am I doing wrong? Agunner012 The Basics, Starting Out 12 05-22-2006 02:37 PM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:24 AM.

All content ©2010-2015 Long Range Hunting, LLC