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what to do with cases with excessive neck run out?

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Unread 01-01-2012, 09:53 PM
cbb cbb is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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what to do with cases with excessive neck run out?

I'm new to detailed hand loading and new to long range equipment. I am loading for a 338 edge- Defensive Edge Canyon (pics pending) and have been following the advice I have read from posts on this site and Shawn Carlock's reloading video.

New Rem brass that varies wildly before necking up using Redding FL S bushing die. I have been necking up the brass by running the brass just up over the expander, removing the expander, and then sizing the neck with the bushing - expander removed.

I have tried letting the die float, the expander/stem float, letting everything float, running a good case up and locking the die down, and everything else I read on a detailed post from Kirby Allen on this site. I have measured each step, and my actions have not allowed a neck off at the beginning to really be improved during this process. Only a 0.001 or 0.002 improvement on really off necks. Neck runout varies from 0.001 to 0.013. Only about 1/2 the brass ends up at 0.004 and below.

1. Is this a normal yield on new brass or do I have a technique problem?
2. What do you do with all the excessive neck run out cases? Would it be better to just size more brass and end up with all good cases or spend the time and materials to fire form the brass. Would they even be good then?
3. I have standard RCBS 300 ultra mag die and was considering running the brass through it in the 2 step process before using the redding die to neck up the brass to 0.338 in a 2 step process. Would that be a good idea?

I tried to do my homework and read many posts on neck run out, but I did not find the answers to these questions.Thanks for your help. I hope to get some quality ammo going to finally shoot the new gun and get some pics of everything to share here!
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Unread 01-02-2012, 12:10 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Libby, MT
Posts: 237
Re: what to do with cases with excessive neck run out?

I have the neck bushing tightned up so it sizes the complete neck, well as much as will go into the bushing are you sure you have sized the neck enough or just barely the very end of it and are getting the bad readings from the part that was just expanded but not sized in the bushing? with my chamber, I have to make sure the shell holder cams over on the base of the die or my bolt is stiff to close.
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Unread 01-02-2012, 06:41 AM
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Location: PA
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Re: what to do with cases with excessive neck run out?

Fire all that brass and again check concentricity; your chamber should straighten the necks. Then, remove the expander ball completely and use a bushing that is about .002" under loaded neck diameter. With the die set properly, the bushing should size about 80% of the neck. Expander balls are a common culprit in crooked necks.
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Unread 01-02-2012, 10:57 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: NC, oceanfront
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Re: what to do with cases with excessive neck run out?

While I doubt you read it, or heard it in a video, there are reloading basics related that you should understand:
The root cause of runout is thickness variance.
The action that brings it to affect is sizing.
Your best die is always your chamber.

If you care to produce ammo with low runout you have to measure and cull cases by thickness variance. Rake offenders into a trash can.
Then, you need a plan to manage your best brass with minimal sizing.

New brass and FL sized brass contains all kinds of evil energies. As gene mentioned, it will have to be fireformed to take it to any straightness. Anything you do with it beyond that, will release some runout. And nothing but re-fireforming can straighten it back up..

So once your brass is straight, try the actions you've learned so far, measuring results of each. Don't deny any truths in it. Just fix this & fix that, until your runout is best you can achieve.
But your 338RUM is pretty long, and it's highly unlikely that your runout will ever be stellar anyway. It can be 'relatively low'.
So don't drive yourself to madness with it..
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Unread 01-02-2012, 11:09 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: OHIO
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Re: what to do with cases with excessive neck run out?

My opinion: Remington brass is the crappiest out there. I won't use it unless I have to.

Even after firing the brass in your chamber, Remington brass does better with neck turning. Even if your chamber neck is not a tight one.

I use Federal brass in my 300 RUM but have Remington for my 270 AM.

Others may disagree but I suggest you start by turning all the necks.
Derek M.
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Unread 01-02-2012, 11:41 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SW Montana
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Re: what to do with cases with excessive neck run out?

I would contact Shawn Carlock, the internet is a great place to get screwed up and a direct conversation with Shawn would get you on the right track since he built the rifle and knows exactly what steps your going to need to do!!!
"Pain is weakness leaving your body"
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Unread 01-02-2012, 12:50 PM
cbb cbb is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 7
Re: what to do with cases with excessive neck run out?

Thanks eveyone,
I was sizing nearly all of the neck to start. I tried sizing to 75% of the neck length but I was not able to decrease my run out. I was measuring in the middle of the area actually sized and not on the ends. I did not check to see if unsized portion will cause a chambering issue. I'll have to go check.

I was just running the brass up over the expander mandrel without running it up to the bushing. I would remove the expander and then run the brass all the way up to the bushing. Two steps in the same die to get better run out.

I understand that firing brass in my chamber will straighten it out cases and get my run out much lower if I only use the bushing and not the expander on fired cases. Around .001 from Shawn's video in which he is loading for guns such as mine and made by him. Die was also bought from him so it should match the gun. I will double check the expander and case measurements once I get some fired brass. Thanks

New to the game, I am afraid of wobbling several rounds down my first custom gun just to get correct cases with .005 to .013 run out because I'm not sure how a case in this category will effect accuracy compared my best new cases and/or once fired cases. I'm afraid they won't be accurate enough to tell me much about the gun or my ability to shoot. Any Info hear would be helpful. Also, a recommendation on fire forming using just primer, powder, and something like cotton.

I find that the Rem Brass is beat up out of the bag. Dents and some case mouths have flat spots. I was wondering if I ran the brass over a 30 cal expander and then went to the necking up with the 338 die sounds like a good idea. Or, should these cases just be culled?

What neck variance would you accept and cull when neck turning?

Thanks for help and please correct my thinking should it be off. My goal is to get the best from new brass so that each shot is a reflection of my shooting and not the equipment. I'm sure I need some work.
I plan on keeping in touch with Shawn. He has been very helpful and answers all of my questions. I asked these questions here on a day his shop was presumed closed - Holiday weekend. I will be asking Shawn these same questions. I am also trying educate myself enough to ask intelligent questions and not being too big of pain to anyone. Casey

Last edited by cbb; 01-02-2012 at 01:20 PM.
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