Do I need FL and Neck dies initially?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by TORCHRIDER, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. TORCHRIDER

    TORCHRIDER Well-Known Member

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    I am starting to reload for the .234AI cartridge. I am going to Fireform 100 pieces of Nosler .243 Win brass. I am assuming I should be able to just neck size after fireforming, correct? Any reason to get the FL die until sometime down the road when the brass needs to be bumped back to fit the chamber?
     
  2. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a good plan to me.
    Just what I do except I don't ever use FL dies, just bump dies.
     

  3. TORCHRIDER

    TORCHRIDER Well-Known Member

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    Apparently nobody make a .243 bump die.
     
  4. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    A neck sizer is optional.
     
  5. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    Redding body die for bumps
     
  6. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    Redding only makes a 40 degree shoulder body die are you sure it matches your chamber?

    Are you a 30 or 40 degree shoulder?

    BH
     
  7. TORCHRIDER

    TORCHRIDER Well-Known Member

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    Well, its a Shilin .243 AI, so I am gonna say 40,
     
  8. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    You had better find out first!

    Just being a Shilen does not mean it is a 30 or 40, they use both reamers probably, plus it could be custom reamer.


    BH
     
  9. TORCHRIDER

    TORCHRIDER Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I will confirm. If it's a 30 degree shoulder I guess I will need custom dies, correct?
     
  10. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    There are numerous versions of AI cartridges that vary wildly even with standard 30 and 40 degree shoulders. Some are cut for one type brass, some have varying body dimensions etc.

    You cannot just "assume" your version is going to be able to successfully use off the shelf AI dies.

    the best option is if you can go back to the seller and find out what reamer was used by his smith and get the reamer print # off it, you can call the reamer mftr and get the reamer specs. Then you can go to the different die makers and see if "their" AI die is close.

    If not, then you have to go to Neil Jones and have a die set made off the fired cases. He can walk you thru the process.

    There are very few body dies for AI cartridges and IMO you would be better off with a fitted (matched to your chamber) FL die and learn to set up correctly. Jim Carstenson at JLC precision is the best at honing factory dies to fit your chamber. There is nothing gained in NS only compared to a proper FL die. I would rather have my brass to the exact same dimension each time compared to see it grow a little each time NS only and then at 3rd or 4th firing size it back down with either a body die or FL die and start all over.

    BH
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
  11. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    Redding did, as I have one. (listed as a body die). In a pinch a 22-250AI will work as well (all Ackley cases use the same taper per foot). You can also do it with a Redding bushing die by simply going with an oversize bushing, so you are leaving the neck untouched (also leave the stem out of the die when bumping the shoulder back a couple thousandths)
    gary
     
  12. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    if memory is right Ackley only did two cases with less than a 40 degree shoulder, and they're kinda obscure. He did do two different .243AI cases, but one is virtually unknown (it ends up being very similar to a 6/250AI but with a longer neck length). Bob Huntington and the RCBS guys did the one with a 30 degree shoulder angle, and probably others as well.
    gary
     
  13. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

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    One reason I own all of the reamers and have my dies made when we build the rifle. You will not know for sure unless you have the actual print or do a chamber cast. One of the perils of not knowing what you are doing when buying used wildcat rifles. NEVER buy without the dies period unless you have the reamer or a print of the reamer. If the reamer came from PTG Dave will have a print on file---see example of one of mine.

    Hopefully this will not be too expensive of a lesson for you.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    It is quite common for wildcatters to take a stock reamer print such as a standard PO Ackley version and "tweak" it in the body, shoulder etc. For example, I know personally of at least 4 significantly different versions of the 300 AI. No way in heck set of dies for one will work with the other three.

    You cannot assume that you have the original version or even the die mftr went of that original reamer print. Plus there are variances in die reamers the die mftrs order from the reamer makers for the same caliber. There is not one magic set of figures, there is a right and left limit and you can be anywere in between.

    Boss Hoss is right, If you want to wildcat, have the reamer prints and reamers. Otherwise it is a total pain in the butt sometimes.

    BH
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010