Advice wanted on my sizing / brass usage.

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by 4ked Horn, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

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    Quite some time ago I bought a batch of winchester .308 win brass. I have full length resized it every time I have reloaded it. I clean the primer pockets and trim to length and debur the mouths every time. I know I have not kept track of which brass has been used what number of times but I would swear that some of the ones I am having problems with have only been used 5 or 6 times.

    The problem I am having is web thinning. I have been told that each time the brass is FL resized the brass will flow toward the mouth of the case and that if ignored this will (obviously) lead to case head separation.

    Questions:

    1. Should this be happening after only 5 or 6 FL resizings?
    2. Would this be a sign of too much case pressure from my loads as well as sizing? (I'm not seeing any other signs of being over a safe load pressure.)
    3. Is this something common to the brand of brass or would this be happening to any brand because of my FL sizing. I specifically bought win brass because I heard rem brass is too brittle.

    After all that, do you have reccomendations on how to reduce this problem? I am thinking of buying a batch of Lapua brass and a lee collet neck die. Any comments on this would also be appreciated.

    Thanks all.
     
  2. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    FL sizing every time is moving the brass much more than just neck sizing. I only neck size until I HAVE to FL size. Then when I do FL size, I set my dies up fresh every time and check to see how much I am bumping them back with a Stoney Point Headspace gauge. I like to only bump my shoulders back .002" or less. This will make it fit into the chamber easily, reduce work hardening, make it more accurate, and decrease the chance of making runout worse.

    You may have a die that is really short and is cranking the shoulder back very drastically. Then you fireform it forward a mile every time you pull the trigger. Then you crank the shoulder back again and the whole process is like a tug of war match. Back and forth, back and forth until it snaps!
    You could also have an unusually brittle batch of brass.

    The only way to really see what is going on so that you can start the process of elimination is to get the headspace tool and see if you can fix the problem by changing or adjusting your dies.

    My advice (besides getting the S.P. headspace gauge) is to get a Redding S type neck die with the correct bushing, and a Redding Body bump die with Redding COmpetition seater. This will give you the ultimate in control and adjustability.
     
  3. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

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    What about the brass brand. If I am going to try a new bullet (one of my other posts) do you think I should look into another brand of brass or do you think a fresh batch of win brass would work with what you've said?

    Oh, What is a "body bump" die? I haven't heard this term before.
     
  4. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    My mistake. That is what I call it. It is actually just called a body die by Redding. It is an open topped die without a decapping stem that just pushes the shoulder back and does not touch the neck at all. That way you move just the minimum amount of brass whether you're neck or FL sizing.

    I would try the other things before scrapping the brass. Many folks load Win brass in a .308 without any trouble, so it is unlikely the brass. It could actually be tough-as-nails brass, and your headspace could be a touch to long. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif
    I hope it's not that.
     
  5. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

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    Okee dokee. Thanks.
     
  6. brian b

    brian b Well-Known Member

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    4ked Horn,
    yes try some better brass, Federal is the best of the domestic but Norma and Lapua are better yet, but I'll bet most of the problems you are having is from oversizing your brass, your other question "what is a body die" it is a die that does not touch the neck so that you can just bump the shoulder back .001-.002" when your brass gets tight in your chamber,then you use a bushing neck die so that you dont size more than is needed and your 308 brass should last 15 firings or more.
    B
    p.s. most of this stuff is made by Redding or Wilson not hornady,rcbs or tonka
     
  7. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    I do agree with Brian B about the brass. Lapua or Norma would be the ultimate, but I know how hard it is to pitch brass in the garbage after you just spent 25 minutes per case prepping the Win brass. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
     
  8. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

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    [ QUOTE ]
    your 308 brass should last 15 firings or more.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    See, that is what I was thinking. I know my .223 stuff is holding up better than this and I use small base dies for it.

    [ QUOTE ]
    most of this stuff is made by Redding or Wilson not hornady,rcbs or tonka

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I posted Hornady accidentaly at first but I edited it to Lee which is what I meant.

    I agree I need to make the next step and start ordering from places like Sinclair and stop shopping the local hunting and fishing store for the best bargain.
     
  9. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

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    [ QUOTE ]
    but I know how hard it is to pitch brass in the garbage after you just spent 25 minutes per case prepping the Win brass.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    No big deal. I will use it for the non critical plinker and reduced loads untill it is expired.
     
  10. Waltech Jim

    Waltech Jim Writers Guild

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    4ked Horn,

    First of all, I have been reloading safely for 35 years and for the last 5 years have been reloading extensively for several relatives (and myself) that do a fair amount of pd hunting. (over 30 lbs of powder last year) In reloading for all of these different guns I have developed some techniques and observations that I would like to share with you. I have developed a way to keep track of the exact number of times a case has been fired so you can start getting an idea of brass life in each of your rifles. It is quite simple.

    I score the case heads with an old sharpened screw driver. Each score mark represents one firing of the case. My reloading regime starts with marking the case heads, then I proceed to the next step. (In this case I removed the primer to make the score marks easier to see)

    The first photo shows a case that has been fired 3 times. I drill holes in my bench to hold the cases for marking. The second photo is of the ergonomically designed tool to do the marking and various holes for the cases to fit in upside down for marking. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Using this method you will be able to tell just how many times a case has been fired.

    Also some observations. Each rifle (chamber) is a story in and of itself. No one but you can tell what the brass life will be with each of your guns. By keeping track of the firings and watching for splits, cracks, etc., you will eventually get an idea of how many times you can reload a case for THAT chamber.

    As others have stated FLR can decrease the life of brass. But I would guess most of the stretch in your cases is coming from when the round is fired. FLR alone does not stretch the case web. This stretching indicates the live round is lose in the chamber for what ever reason, and the solutions for this are listed above.

    If you feel you must FLR, I would not buy "high end" brass. The brass you are using is not the problem. A significant outlay of cash will not (in all likelyhood) significantly increase the number of loadings you will get. I use WW brass when ever possible, but have used RP, FC and PMC and have found them servicable as well.

    BTW, for all of the 22-250s I load for, I neck size for 4-5 loadings, FLR and then neck size again for a total of 10 firings. After the 10th I discard the case. A lot of experience has told me that after the 11th loading "things" can happen and I don't want them happening on the prairie. (But once again, this has been my experience)

    Jim
     
  11. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

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    That is a great idea. Simple enough that I wonder why I had not thought of it myself.

    I do think I have a large chamber for the caliber since after firing my brass has a slight bulge on one side of the case right at the top of the web area. It is a very small bulge but it is visible to the eye. This is why I was thinking that neck dies would benefit me in both saving brass costs and in improving accuracy.

    Thanks for your suggestion. I like the "ergonomically designed" engraving tool. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
     
  12. .264 win mag

    .264 win mag Member

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    What kind of brass is it? I use lake city brass and if I could get 5 shots per piece I would be happy. Try anniling the mouth that seems to make a cart. last a little longer.
     
  13. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

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    [ QUOTE ]
    What kind of brass is it?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    "Quite some time ago I bought a batch of winchester .308 win brass. I have full length..."

    [ QUOTE ]
    Try annealing the mouth that seems to make a cart. last a little longer.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    "The problem I am having is web thinning. I have been told that each time the brass is FL resized the brass will flow toward the mouth of the case and that if ignored this will (obviously) lead to case head separation."

    [ QUOTE ]
    I use lake city brass and if I could get 5 shots per piece I would be happy.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    My .223 brass is just a bulk mix of brands and a good share of it is wearing an L.C. headstamp. I have been quite happy with this stuff even though this gets fully sized every time with a "small base" die for shooting out of my Mini 14. Who knows?
     
  14. .264 win mag

    .264 win mag Member

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    Might want to anile the case after 4 shot. That seems to soften up brittle case necks for me.