Bumping Shoulders Issue

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by statjunk, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. statjunk

    statjunk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    219
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Hello All,

    On the advice of many here I decided to give bumping a try as opposed to simply neck sizing. To say that my first attempt did not go well is an understatement. I'm hoping that by describing what occurred that someone can offer me advice.

    Here goes. I first took the fire formed brass and I measured it using the RCBS precision mic. The measures varied somewhat but I settled on .002 larger than Sammi. I chose to bump the shoulder .002 so that would essentially mean that I need to bump the shoulder into Saami spec. Zero on the gauge.

    I then put the brass in the press and sent the ram to the top. Then I started to thread the FL sizer die down onto the cartridge until it stopped. At this point the die is sticking out of the press like 1/2 - 5/8". This is from a normal position where I would FL size when business as usual. I lowered the ram and dialed the die down a half turn. Lubed the case and sent it up into the die. It met very little resistance pulled it out and miced it. The measure didn't change. Turned the die down a little more, send in the brass, mic again. No change. Did this a couple more times. Nothing. Sent another fire formed brass into the die and it came out .004 under saami spec. Dialed the die out a bit and tried it again. Nothing.

    I went through several pieces of brass trying this before giving up and deciding to write a post here. I had a buddy with me and he was as confused as I was.

    Any ideas what I did wrong?

    Back up inf0: remington brass, Lee dies, Lyman press

    Thanks

    Tom
     
  2. statjunk

    statjunk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    219
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Also wanted to add. I put the die in as instructed. Meaning hit the shell holder and then 1/4 turn more. This yeilded similar results as above. Wild changes in head space based on small movements of the die. Not always in the same direction.

    Thanks in advance to anyone that can assist.

    Tom
     

  3. Moman

    Moman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    827
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    Are you depriming before taking any measurements? Primers can be at different heights and will give you varying measurements.
     
  4. flashhole

    flashhole Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    412
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Not sure I can solve anything for you here but I can share what I do.

    I drill two holes in two sides of a hex nut. One hole is slightly larger than the fired case neck. This allows me to get a datum on the case shoulder for reference as I size the case. In my gun it turns out my brass only grows .002" at the shoulder when fired. I have to use the entire length of my FL sizer to bump the shoulder back. I find I get better accuracy FL sizing than neck sizing in this gun.

    A second smaller hole that rests on the bullet ogive and I use it as the datum point when seating bullets. Again, it's a relative measurement, but once established it's easy to get a seating depth for bullets of similar ogive design.
     
  5. Moman

    Moman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    827
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    Statjunk, I'll try and explain in a little better detail.

    First, I would deprime your cases. Then take your measurements from case head to the datum line using your pm. You should start to see more consistent readings. When setting up your die, back it off a little for starters, remember the threads are course and a little goes a long way. When I am setting up dies, I leave the lock ring lose and backed off so I can turn the die in very small increments, measuring each time. You may only turn the die an 1/8 turn or so to get into the right area, and then just a very slight bump/turn while fine tuning it. As you are adjusting it, you may even see your shoulders grow as the case is being resized and brass flows into the shoulder, in this case just screw it down a bit more. You want to fine tune the position of the die to only bump the shoulder back a small amount. Don't worry too much about where the bottom of the die is in relationship to your shell holder.
     
  6. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Messages:
    5,083
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2001
    You only bump the shoulder when you need to bump the shoulder or you do it based upon a knowledge of your chamber.

    Here is what to do (and there are probably easier methods but this is mine)

    Take your fired brass and start running it through your rifle until you find one that makes the bolt hard to close. Perhaps find a couple more just to double check things being as this is your first time.

    Go to your press and screw in the sizing die but leave it about a quarter inch or so high.
    Lube the brass inside and out
    Run the brass through the die and then try it in the chamber. It will probably still be stiff

    Go back to the die and screw it down some more being as you didn't bump the shoulder. Run the piece of brass through and check it in the rifle again.

    Keep doing this until you finally get the die screwed in to just barely size the case enough that the bolt closes easily.

    At this point you need to do two things.

    Get your runout gauge out and check the neck for straightness. If it is straight then lock the ring on the die so that it will never ever move again. If the neck is not straight then you have to fiddle with the lock ring and try to get the die lined up to where it is straight and then lock down the ring tight so it never ever move again.

    To sum it up, I do not use a measuring tool. I use the feel of the bolt closing to determine when the die is set properly to "bump the shoulder"
     
  7. Winchester 69

    Winchester 69 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    430
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2007
    Realize that an 1/8th turn of the die represents 0.009" of height. If you make fine adjustments using a feeler gauge between the die and the shell holder, you will find it easier to get to where you want to be.
     
  8. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,595
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    "Any ideas what I did wrong?
    "

    Yeah. It's highly likely you are changing your die by massive amounts as you do "little steps."

    The full range of headspace tolerance of most bottle neck cartridges is about 7 thou. A 1/8th turn of a die is very close to 9 thou, being about 28% more than the total allowed range of headspace tolerance. Even half that. 1/16 turn, changes the shoulder almost 4.5 thou.

    If you want to see adjustments in the 1-2 thou range you gonna have to make 1/64th turns, which gvies a bit more than 1 thou sholder change. All that means you gonna have to learn what "small die changes" really amounts to.

    And, you likely gonna have to learn a different lever cadence than you normally use if you want any kind of consistancy at all. Push the lever fully down and HOLD it down for a full second, maybe two. And lube each case as nearly identical as you can too. Both things really do make a difference.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2010
  9. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,252
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    It's possible that your FL die isn't right for your bumping. FL sizing, neck sizing, body sizing & bumping are different animals, and not every die can hit em all right for every chamber. This leads to many inquiries here...
    Forget SAAMI. As BB implied, Think YOUR chamber. Feel your case chamber.
    Also as mentioned, lube consistency is vital for bumping.

    Your results should have been more predictable though. So if I were you, I'd try it as an independent operation. Pick up a Redding body die(they're cheap), and RCBS case lube, and see if things go better.

    I'm sure it isn't the answer you're looking for. You might not want to bump seperately from FL sizing.
    But you can, & very well.
    Hell, I do everything seperately.
     
  10. gunpower

    gunpower Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    111
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    The only way that I have found, is that you have to turn the shell holder down- 2- 10 thou, that way you can push the case farther up into the sizing die. I just did one today for the 243, a fired case would fit the chamber, but when sized , it would not fit the chamber without forcing the bolt closed! I tried different settings with the die but no luck. I smoked the cases to see what was wrong and found that the case necks were not being bumped back enough. I phoned a friend who has done this many times. Turning the shell holder down ,will be a lot more help than trying to adjust your die!
     
  11. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,728
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2001
    I use the same method as described by BuffaloBob. There's no mistaking (in my mind) going from that slight crush feel to no crush feel on the case when the rifles bolt closes on it. JohnnyK.
     
  12. jimbires

    jimbires Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    916
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
  13. flashhole

    flashhole Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    412
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    This is what I do. It's very simple.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,273
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    I'm Not sure that you did anything wrong you may have a set of dies that won't let you bump
    the shoulder. (Some dies are adjusted by seating the die against the shell holder).

    I switched to dies that don't seat against the shell holder so I could fully adjust to what case
    size I wanted. I like the new dimension dies from Hornady because you can adjust down to
    a small base setting (Normally .003 to .004 smaller than SAAMI Spec.)

    There have been a lot of good suggestions and I would add that I always anneal before I
    bump the shoulder to minimize spring back.

    Also I remove the expander ball during the setup and just keep turning the die down untill
    I get the desired size(One case) and then try a new case to check if it needs tweaking then
    replace the expander ball/plug and proceed.

    As BB said I never bump the shoulder unless it is nessary and always anneal befor I start.

    Hope this helps.

    J E CUSTOM