Shiny New 338 Lapua Brass, Now What?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Rymart, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. Rymart

    Rymart Well-Known Member

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    I recently purchased a nearly new SAKO TRG-s in 338 LM. I will eventually put it into an A-5 stock and have GAP rebarrel it with a Mike Rock or Schneider barrel, but for now, if I can get it to shoot MOA or less and can stand to shoot it, I will use it, as is (no muzzle brake /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif), to hunt elk this season. I've wanted a 338 LM for years and finally took the plunge.

    Here's my dilema (one of many). I just got 100 new shiny pieces of Lapua Brass ($1.36 each at Bruno's). I've never used Lapua brand brass before, and want to make the best use of it both in accuracy potential and life of the brass. I've also never reloaded new brass before.

    So, do I deburr the flash holes with the Sinclair deburring tool, or just leave them alone? How about the primer pockets? Do I uniform them with the Sinclair tool, or leave them alone also? I tried the primer pocket uniformer tool on one piece of brass, and it removed what I thought was a lot of material.

    Next, After much deliberation I took another plunge and went with the Redding Competition Neck Sizer Die Set. Mostly because I really like the ones I have in .308, but also hope that I might get a little more brass life by neck sizing (I know that's debatable). Anyway, I've read that you should full length resize your new brass before you shoot it for the first time. Does that mean that I need to also get a FL die after spending over $200 on the neck sizing dies? Would it do me any good to run the brass through the body die, then neck size it for the first firing. Then again, the bushing neck die doesn't have an expander button so will that be adequate to smooth out any dings in the brass?

    Thanks
     
  2. EddieHarren

    EddieHarren Well-Known Member

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    I would by a good reloading manual and read it thoroughly. Make notes or, reread any sections that you don't fully understand, until you do.
     

  3. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    fishry,

    Great plunge! After you come down from the high of the new purchase and the sticker shock. I'd 'sleep' on it, or maybe even sleep 'with it' for a couple of days then do what DocEd said.

    I'm bettin you're gonna have a great time with the rig. Hopefully you'll even get to poke a shot at that elusive elk.

    Good luck and have fun.
     
  4. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner Well-Known Member

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    I'm no expert but its my understanding that lapua flash holes are drilled not punched so no flash hole deburing is needed.
    JS
     
  5. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    A couple of general observations. I have never used lapua brass but it has a reputation for being of very high quality. This means consistent measurements. Poor quality brass has inconsistent measurements.

    With high quality brass you either do it now and forever and ever or don't do it at all. I use Norma brass. The flash holes are UNIFORMLY SMALL". So once I have started opening up flash holes I have to continue or else recheck my favorite loads and keep brass separted. I am not an organized person so keeping brass separated is not something I can personally handle.
     
  6. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

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    I have been shooting the 338 Lapua and one of it's variants for 12 years now. I am having a 338 Lapua AI built to compete with in 1000 yd BR this year. PM me and I will call you as I can talk a lot faster than I can type. The advice about reading a reloading manual (Sierra for example) would be a good start.
     
  7. Gixxer

    Gixxer Member

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    I would want to FL resize the brass before the first firing, so you are sure the brass actually fits in your chamber. I would not worry so much about tweaking for accuracy till you get the barrel broken in. I would use those shots to get your brass "fireformed" more or less to your chamber after the first firing, outside neck turn, then neck size all previously shot brass from now on. You would need a FL sizer to bump the shoulder every now and again.

    Hitting the brass with the flash hole cutter might not be needed, take a flashlight and actually look inside your shiny brass first. as far as cutting your primer pocket, I would see what the rifle does after the barrel break in, you might not need to do it. Sometimes doing all that work with the primer pocket and flash holes gives diminishing returns.
     
  8. zingdingo

    zingdingo Well-Known Member

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    fishry,

    There is no need to buy an additional full length sizing die, the body die and neck sizing die combo will fully resize the brass. As far as the expander button, I doubt that you will have any significant dings in your case necks, my Lapua 6.5-284 brass came with their necks in great shape. However, the necks were too tight to be able to comfortably be able to seat bullets, and I was grateful that my Type S neck sizing die came with a button for this purpose. If your necks are too tight as well, you should be able to get an appropriate button for ~ $10, although I would only use it the first time you sized them only, as they are purported to create high run out.

    Good luck with your new toy,
    Carl
     
  9. ROCK10x

    ROCK10x New Member

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    And if Gap is going to rebarrel it you will not be able to use your brass if fired in any other Lapua. His chamber is way to tight. I had a trgs and some twice fired brass in it got my new lapua from Goeorge and loaded the old FULL length sized brass and it would not fit in the gun. Called George and he explained it to me pull the bullets get new brass and start over. Get some Rl 25 start at 86 grains and work up I( shoot 88.5) and also had great results with N560 86 grains it is just harder for me to find. I do everything possible to my Lapua brass some say you do not have to match prepare them but I do anyway it just takes a little extra time.
     
  10. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    Buy a Redding body bump die $26, that is what I am using on mine.

    BH
     
  11. Rymart

    Rymart Well-Known Member

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    I've read the Sierra and Hornady Manuals from cover-to-cover more than once (They resided on the back of my toilet for several months before I even started reloading, TMI). I especially liked the Sierra manual. I've been reloading for .308 and 300 wby for a few months now, with good results. I guess reloading for the 308 is like reloading 101 and reloading for the Lapua is like advanced reloading.
     
  12. Rymart

    Rymart Well-Known Member

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    ROCK10X,

    I didn't think about that, but you're right. Maybe I'll only use 50 of my 100 new pieces of brass until after the rebarreling. I'll probably wait about a year to rebarrel anyway.

    So did you have your TRG-s rebarreled by GAP? Or was it a different Lapua that you got from him? If it was your TRG-s, did you have him put in his recoil lug for it and what stock is it in now?

    I have some Reloader 25 powder. Are you referring to the 300 gr. SMK's? I have only been able to find limited reloading data for the 338 LM and would like some help with safe starting loads for some of the bullets and powders that I have on hand. I'll save that for a new thread.
     
  13. Rymart

    Rymart Well-Known Member

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    OK, so let me make sure I understand... As long as the necks aren't dinged up, which it looks like they aren't, then just run them through the Body die that came with the competition die set, then run them through the neck sizing die, then proceed as normal.

    At this point, I don't plan on turning necks. If I recall, I probably won't need to turn necks with the GAP chamber either. Right?

    Could there be any harm (accuracy or reduced brass life) in uniforming the primer pockets with the Sinclair tool? I do this with my 308 and it makes it much easier for me to clean out the primer pockets using the Sinclair tool. It just worries me about how much brass the tool is removing.
     
  14. Rymart

    Rymart Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone for the help and good advice, please keep it coming.