Full length size


Active Member
Jan 9, 2018
i was resizing some 26 Nosler and the once fired not sized will chamber and the FL sized will not. I know my press is old like me but I don't recall seeing anything like this before. I was watching YouTube and saw some reloaders size the same brass multiple times. I tried this and sized the brass four times. Now it fits easy in the gun. Do I have too much play in the press to get that last thou sized? The press works great for big bores and 30-06 type ammo. Checked my 7mm wby and it seems tight also. Not as bad as the 26.

Loose dies? Tight chamber? 30yr old press? I would entertain any ideas before I go buy a new press.
These big square Nosler cases take a bit more effort to size than smaller cases, trust me.

It helps to anneal after each firing, and use a consistent lube routine like lubing several on a mouse pad and rolling them back and forth with your open hand to distribute the lube evenly.
Also, get a Heaspace comparator for your calipers, they are indispensable for knowing that you have sized just enough without sizing too far.
Only way to tell if cases are fully sized is to measure them. Sounds to me like the bottom of each case needs to come down a little more. I like the Redding instant indicator to check this.
Firstly, cases lengthen before the shoulder is ever touched, if the case does not get shoulder contact sufficiently, it will stay long.
These Jeffrey based cases also resist the sizing forces, what to look for is the distance between the shell holder and die bottom when sizing a case and measure it with feeler gauges and adjust DOWN until a case just chambers with slight resistance, then screw the die IN an additional 1/24 turn of the die. Screwing a die in until it touches the shell holder and then sizing a case will NOT have the die touching the shell holder, limkage slack and the case resisting the sizing force will have the ram backed down.
I index 12 equidistant marks on my dies, 6 on the hex and 6 in the middle of the flat, half of this is a 1/24.
It gives me fairly precise adjustments.

Agree with Barrelnut. I experienced something similar a while back. My full-length sized cases were difficult to chamber (they would chamber, however) in comparison to once fired, unsized cases. Turning the die in question another half turn in the press solved that issue for me.
Your best bet is to purchase a Hornady headspace guage, take a fired case and measure, then bump the shoulders back .002, this should fit the chamber without it being tight, also measure the case overall length and verify if they have grown, then trim to correct size. I have a Custom 28 Nosler, my new brass was tight to load, after firing and resizing I had a stiff bolt to close. The Smith told me I will need to cam over instead of touch the bottom of the die, I did that and it did help, but you should purchase a Headspace guage to see how far you are setting the shoulders back. I learned from that to use a headspace guage, I wore out a box of brass by over sizing.
Below the case grows when full length resized as you can see in the illustration. And as stated above if you measure the "FIRED" case with a Hornady cartridge case headspace gauge you then bump the shoulder back .001 or .002 for minimum head clearance in the chamber.

Sometimes this can leave the case too long and the top of the shell holder will need to be lapped to push the case further into the die. "BUT" I have only had to this once in over 47 years of reloading, because most dies will push the shoulder back more than necessary. The instructions with most dies tell you to screw the die down 1/8 to 1/4 of a turn more after the die contacts the shell holder and the press cams over. And this will be maximum shoulder bump and if the case chambers with the die not screwed in as far as above without excessive force closing the bolt you are good to go.

Meaning chambers and dies vary in size and how far you screw the die downward can vary regardless of the instructions that come with your dies.



Below I'm measuring a "fired" case from my AR15 rifle and then I set the die to bump the shoulder back .003.

what case lube are you using ? I have much better luck using lube on a pad , or the grease type lubes , compared to the spray lubes . a more slippery lube will allow the brass case to go into the die easier .
New loaded ammo. Shot once. I have the die screwed down and a bit more. Not sure unless the press is too small
Have had some dies that would not completely size brass from chambers that were headspace "snug" on the go gauge. Cure was to remove a couple thousandth off the top of the shell holder. You can also remove material from the bottom of the die.
BTW , I purchased my press from Herters about 50 years ago (Yes it's getting a little sloppy after a quarter of a million strokes)! But it still does the job.
The only way the type lube comes into play is if you do not wipe off the neck and shoulder of the case before sizing. And the build up of lube can push the case should back further if not wiped off.

The OPs die needs to be screwed down further and if that does not work then you need to lap a few thousandths off the top of the shell holder.

Also if you pause for a few seconds at the top of the ram stroke this will reduce brass spring back after sizing.
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