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Discussion in 'Reloading' started by hunter966, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. hunter966

    hunter966 Well-Known Member

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    Howdy,

    I've got some new Lapua 308 brass that I have FL sized and am using Redding standard dies.

    My question is when I pull the cases out of the FL die, around the outside of the case neck there are grooves that were not there before, what is causing thses lines or gooves?

    When I size the brass I am using Imperial sizing die wax and because the brass is so hard I am putting some wax inside the case mouths to make sizing easier.

    Any suggestions? As far as accuracy is concerned I am getting really good groups.

    Thanks,
    hunter966
     
  2. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hey Hunter,

    Some marking of the brass is prefectly normal during the resizing process, inevitable, really. However, if you're seeing what you'd call scratches on the brass, either body or neck, you may need to clean the dies out thoroughly. Any grit or errant range material that found its way back to the relaoding bench can cause problems like this, and it needs to be removed.

    The Imperial is great stuff, and will easily handle normal resizing tasks. When you say you're putting it inside the case mouths, I assume you're feeling some excessive "pull" as the expander ball passes back though the neck? Very common, but still no fun and not a good thing. There's a couple ways to get around this. One, you could have a machine shop hone the neck out to the correct diameter so that this is minimized. Easier still, would be to replace the die with one of their Type-S full length bushing dies and just use the appropriate size bushing. This will minimize the expander passage problem, or, you can eliminate the expander altogether. Polishing the existing expander should help in the meantime. Some 600 grit crocus cloth or emery paper should clean it up nicely without altering the diameter too much, and will make it easier to use. I'd suggest the Type-S die, they're a big step in the right direction.

    Kevin Thomas
    Lapua USA

    Glad to hear that it's shooting well for you in the meantime, though!
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010

  3. hunter966

    hunter966 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Kevin,

    The Lapua is really tough I guess due to the annealing process. I am thinking along with you as to going with the type s dies as that is what I am using on my 243.

    I really like the brass so much that I sold all of my other Remington and Winchester.

    Thanks,
    hunter966
     
  4. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "Any suggestions? As far as accuracy is concerned I am getting really good groups."

    If you're getting good groups seems you really don't need any suggestions, keep doing what you're doing!

    Annealing makes the brass soft, not hard.
     
  5. hunter966

    hunter966 Well-Known Member

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    I didn't know that annealing made the brass softer, I just figured it was the opposite. This is the first brass that I have ever reloaded that was annealed, I usually reload either Remington or Winchester.

    My accuracy is pretty decent, I shot today and with a 3 shot group in an almost 20mph wind, we were shooting North and it was blowing from the Southeast to the Northwest I covered three shots with a dime.

    I have never seen these lines on any of my other brass before this.

    Thanks
     
  6. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hunter,

    Glad to hear it! Accurate performance is what it's all about in the end anyway, so it sounds like your on the right path.

    And no, Boomtube's right about that anneal; it's a process to soften certian areas of the case. Working, bending, flexing (all the stuff we do when we fire and resize cases) hardens the brass. Some regions of the case have to be softer than others, and that's wehre the anneal comes in. The shoulder, and particularly the neck, needs to be softer than the body of the case, while the head needs to be pretty hard. Many shooters anneal their own brass, for a variety of reasons, but I wouldn't mess with it in your case just yet. Try the bushing dies, do away with the expander (or at least minimize the amount of tension it puts on the ID of the neck when it passes thru), and that should help. Keep the brass clean, the dies clean and use proper lube and you'll do just fine.

    Kevin Thomas
    Lapua USA
     
  7. Moman

    Moman Well-Known Member

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    Hunter, you've got some great solid advice already but wanted to throw this out there as well. After you pull your expander stem out of the die and clean it, if the marks continue, try putting a small amount of lube on the outside of your neck. I typically lube the outside of the necks on all my brass as this area gets worked pretty hard. Just try to keep the lube off of the shoulder. Good luck.
     
  8. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "This is the first brass that I have ever reloaded that was annealed, I usually reload either Remington or Winchester."

    Naw, it's all annealed. The others just tumble/polish that light color change off before loadin' it.

    What do you mean about "lines" or "grooves" outside the necks - are they deep or shallow? Do they run lengthwise or around the necks? IF they are shallow and lengthwise it's "normal" from a light collection of galled bits of brass stuck on the die wall. That comes from a failure to properly lube the necks and running them into the die dry. A soft metal will literally weld itself in microscopic bits to the harder metal unless it's properly lubed and then scratch successive cases. It can be lapped off fairly easily and be like new.

    Unless you are doing tons of rounds and actually need a different lube and method of applying it, try Imperial Die Wax OR Hornady's copy, Unique, lube.
    And DON'T use it on a lube pad, apply it by touching the soft waxy stuff with your finger tips and then applying a THIN coat ALL over the cases - neck, shoulder and around the head - as you pick them up for sizing. Both of those case lubes work good and prevent sticking or galling, are easy and fast to apply and easy to clean off the brass and fingers. It won't cause shoulder lube dents either - not unless you vastly over do it!

    Have fun... :D
     
  9. hunter966

    hunter966 Well-Known Member

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    The lines run up and down and are shallow, after firing the round you can hardly see them.

    I never thought about needing to lube the necks of the cases. Now that I think about it after I lubed the inside of the case necks thinking that was where I needed it I can see what you mean about it galling on the out side of the necks as well.

    After I clean my die I am going to run a few through with the out side of the necks lubed and see what happens. I just started using the Imperial wax lube and like it alot more than the ol lube pad.

    I'll let you all know how she turns out here in a bit.

    Thanks,
    hunter966