Is there anytime neck turning is not a good idea?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by engineer40, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. engineer40

    engineer40 Well-Known Member

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    Is there anytime neck turning is not a good idea?


    Will neck turning always increase accuracy if done properly?


    In your opinions; is neck turning always worth the time and energy involved?



    In a sea of reloading information; I'm just trying to determine what things help the most with reloading accurate ammo. I'm fully expecting the potential of differing opinions on my questions and all input is welcome.
    Thanks everyone! :)
     
  2. rcoody

    rcoody Well-Known Member

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    back in the day I had a shilen .222 benchrest rifle. It was chambered for neck turn brass. Regular .222 ammo would not chamber. Only the neck turned stuff. Now that gun was awesomely accurate. I think that would be the only reason I would do it.

    These days even people building 1000 yrd Dashers and such are using no neck turn reamers. Now do they still neck turn their brass?

    I think if you use quality brass like the lapua and use a case inspector to measure the thickness of the brass in the necks and do a little minimal culling for the best stuff neck turning is not necessary.

    If I were to do it it would be just to dress up( take out the high spots) the necks and not to turn it down to a specific thickness.

    but I have no intention of going there.
     
  3. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    Yes, when it leads to excess clearance, followed by excess sizing. Basically, bad planning.
    There is no one thing that increases accuracy.
     
  4. engineer40

    engineer40 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Mikecr.

    There are many "one things" that increase accuracy. But I'm pretty sure I understand what you're saying.

    Do you personally neck turn ammo for factory rifles in order to increase accuracy?
     
  5. MagnumManiac

    MagnumManiac Well-Known Member

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    As Mike said, there is NO improvement to be made by neck turning brass for a factory chamber.
    I neck turn my 300WM and 338Edge brass to keep neck clearance at .003", and my match grade hunting rifle in 300WM used to get necks turned, but now that I have brass that doesn't require any turning to fit, it doesn't get done. I have seen no loss or gain in accuracy, but I focus on different parameters than just one.
    There are also no 'one things' that improve accuracy, it is a combination of 'things' that improve accuracy, and not all of them work in ALL rifles or chambers in every instance.

    Cheers.
    lightbulb
     
  6. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Well-Known Member

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    Not too long ago I neck turned a bunch of Lake City 308 Winchester brass and tested loads in a couple of rifles. I saw no improvement in accuracy.
     
  7. Canadian Bushman

    Canadian Bushman Well-Known Member

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    Accuracy is derived from a chain of events that are being controlled and repeated. Can you attribute (x) amount of accuracy to any particular link? Maybe, but chances are it will only be relevant to that particular event and not to the idea as a whole. Make sense?

    The idea behind neck turning is to create a round neck of equal thickness eliminating error to a greater degree than you had before you turned.

    If you have the appropriate neck clearance and turning will give you too much clearance id advise against turning unless the thickness variations were just massive.

    If you have a factory chamber with excessive clearance to begin with and the brass is terrible, why not turn? Whats another .002-.003" if you already have .015"? There is usually a trade off for any increase in accuracy one way or another. There is no free lunch!

    This goes back to what mike was saying about planning. Whether or not you want to neck turn should be considered when determining the dimensions of a chamber so the end result will be a uniform case that has the correct amount of clearance and will not require excessive sizing.

    Uniforming a case whether it be turning, sorting, annealing, or sizing is always your friend. How bad the cases are before and after will determine the yeild in accuracy. Just because you tried one individual technique and could not measure the resulting increase in accuracy does not mean it does not exist.
     
  8. engineer40

    engineer40 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you rcoody, Mikecr, MagnumManiac, Grumulkin, and Canadian Bushman! I sincerely do appreciate the time you spent responding to my question. Just another great example of why I love this forum so much.


    My question came about because I was watching a video of a prominent long distance hunter and he said a couple of the most important things you can do to reload accurate ammo is to 1) sand down the expander ball in your resizing die about .001 smaller 2) turn your case necks to equal thickness 3) measure your bullet seating run out. and 4) debur and uniform your primer pockets.

    He stated the neck turning so "matter of fact" I began to think I was missing the wagon here. But you guys set me straight. Thanks again!
     
  9. rcoody

    rcoody Well-Known Member

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    neck turning is all about uniform neck tension. With the quality of today's brass and reloading equipment neck turning should be the last thing in the list of things to do to control and uniform neck tension.

    Sand down your expander ball? That is one thing to do. A better path is neck sizing your brass and eliminating the expander ball.

    I use lapua brass. Don't debur and uniform primer pockets or uniform flashholes. I have found that the less I do to that brass the better.

    I do believe in checking runout. I have checked a bunch of brand new lapua brass and runout is nonexistent. Now I use a coax press and all match forster dies and runout after full length resizing is .002 average. After bullet seating it is between .002 and .004. I can't seem to do better than that. When I want to shoot tiny groups I take the 002's.

    I have weighed cases and grouped them together. Might help a little bit but it is hell to try to keep them all separated during the cleaning and brass prep. Gave it up.

    I think one thing that really helps consistency and your ES and SD is accurately weighing your powder. Now when I want to shoot tiny groups I weigh my powder to 0.02 grains. vertical spread disappears. Most people would be surprised how much their powder charges really vary.

    oh I forgot annealing. Every 3 firings.
     
  10. 220s

    220s Active Member

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    I would tend to agree although it doesn't stop me giving brass a light skim to even them up, probably achieves nothing but isn't going to hurt either.
    If it makes you feel better or gives you a little more confidence then its worth doing.
     
  11. MagnumManiac

    MagnumManiac Well-Known Member

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    I'm afraid that if it makes you feel good doesn't make it so.
    Neck turning in most factory chambers is fruitless and a waste of time.
    This is why, if you introduce even more clearance into the necks, the chances of your cartridges being eccentric to the bore is greater. There are very few action designs that hold a cartridge perfectly perpendicular to the chamber and bore, therefore, the tighter a cartridge fits, the less chance it wiil be eccentric. The other reason is the more a neck expands, the more chance there is that the gases can tip the bullet as it enters the throat.
    Accuracy is essentially the combined elimination of all things that would otherwise negatively effect it, doing things that do not change anything is not conducive, and unless tested, may in fact be less accurate than when not doing it.
    I give this advice to everyone, test before and after each prep step to be sure it's not making things worse without you knowing.

    Cheers.
    lightbulb
     
  12. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

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    I have all factory chambers, except for a 300 WSM that just has a longer throat. I do not turn necks, as my understanding is it doesn't help SAAMI specked chambers.

    BUT, I do only resize the top 2/3 of the neck with a bushing die. My understanding of this is that the bottom 1/3 that is not resized fits the throat better and helps align the bullet to the bore. There by improving accuracy. I guess, never tried to prove it.
     
  13. Canadian Bushman

    Canadian Bushman Well-Known Member

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    Im not against neck turning for factory chambers especially if only skimming to true up the neck thickness. I find it helpful to keeping consistent neck tension and lowering sd. Usually the amount of metal removed will only be a small fraction of the clearance that already exist. Granted the difference may not show up shooting groups i feel it sizing and seating bullets.
     
  14. 220s

    220s Active Member

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    As I said a light skim, by this I mean I turn so that the cutter makes contact with about 50-75% of the neck.
    In effect all Im doing is uniforming neck thickness across the batch of brass.
    Thining any thicker spots and not touching any thinner spots, it is possible I'm increasing eccentricity but at the same time increasing the consistency.
    Your right in that even in sub 1/2moa varmint rifles I haven't been able to attribute any increase or drop off in accuracy to it
    It does give me something to tinker with on a wet day and I don't think you can underestimate the placebo effect, I think everyone shoots better the more confidence they have in their gear regardless of if there is any measurable improvement.