Need new dies.....

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by sakofan, Jun 6, 2004.

  1. sakofan

    sakofan Well-Known Member

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    Just bought a factory Rem.VS in .308.
    Always used Forster BR dies on my hunting rifles, and they have turned out some pretty tight ammo over the years.
    Using Win brass, I generally crank out rounds with about .002 run out average.

    But, new rifle makes me kinda look at differant alternatives. Reddings are high on my list as well. Never used the bushing dies, and I am not sure I understand all I know about them. [​IMG]

    I am looking for extreme accuracy, and not wanting to cut corners.

    All advise appreciated, of course...sakofan..

    PS, if you recommend bushing dies, would you kindly tell me exactly what I need and how to set them up?? TIA....
     
  2. nowler

    nowler Well-Known Member

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    redding bushing inline dies are the business sakofan. to use them well though, you'll need to neck-turn your cases to minimise run-out and ensure consistant neck tension.

    if you are familiar with neck-turning and are keen to get these dies, email me on nowler@hotmail.com and i'll give you the low down on how to set them up and use them to their full advantage.

    kind regards

    derek
     
  3. sakofan

    sakofan Well-Known Member

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    derek, I will take you up on your more than gracious offer. Thanks..sakofan.. [​IMG]
     
  4. shilen30

    shilen30 Well-Known Member

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    Hey Sakofan. You know, the more and more I read and the more I talk to different competition shooters, I realize now derek is right on the money. I think the bushing dies are the way to go to reduce runout and to increase case life. Also, I spent 20 minutes on the phone a few months ago with the tech at redding and he went through every step one by one on how to use the dies and how many bushings you need. Tell you what though, he will scoff at any other brass than lapua for the .308 (as well as the 300WM) though. He says he's given up on all other headstamps due to noniformity and since wall thickness varies little with lapua and wall thickness is almost always consistant from one side to the other. He states he does not neck turn when using very consistant brass like this and only needs 2 or 3 bushings to boot (unlike 5 or 6 for winchester brass). Can't go wrong with bushing dies and lapua brass, and again you won't have to necessarily turn the necks with good consistant brass. Drop derek a line and call the tech at redding and they'll have you convinced!

    [ 06-07-2004: Message edited by: shilen30 ]
     
  5. sakofan

    sakofan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Shilen.

    I have a K&M Expandiron, that has taken the place of all my expander buttons on my dies. This tool resizes the case mouth and makes them much more cooperative to work with. My question is, wouldnt this delete the need to have all those bushings?

    I just tried using the Expandiron on my Win. cases and a RCBS short base die and the runout is about .002-.003 when this is done. The necks may have to be turned and seem a little tight in the chamber. I guess I dont understand the bushings concept yet. Neck tension is around .002-.003 as well, which seems about right. I havent shot any rounds from this rifle as I am waiting on my new scope to be delivered.

    I may give Redding a call and maybe they can explain it to me so I can understand it.

    Please dont take this post as an arguement about using Redding dies. Not at all. I dont seem to grasp the bushing die concept. I have produced very nice ammo using Forster dies and have never seen the need to get into the bushings.

    Lapua brass will probably make a number of problems go away as well...sakofan..
     
  6. shilen30

    shilen30 Well-Known Member

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    sakofan,

    Wall thickness will vary from case to case, as much as .005 in some lots of winchester, RP brass, and the bushings allow you to get .002 tension for EVERY case, you just nead more than 1 bushing. The bushing dies make it so you don't need the expander unit, thus little working of the brass is done. The bushing shrinks the diameter to .002 less than it would be when a bullet is seated for every case even though an expander unit was not used during sizing (considering your using the correct bushing for every case). Most dies are set up to shrink to minimum SAAMI specs, and if you took the expanding unit out and sized a case with fairly thick walls, the inner diameter may be .005" less (or even less than this)than the diameter after seating the bullet. You thus need to be concerned with neck tension without the expander unit since this will give you an idea of how much your case is being work hardenned and the potential for runout. Deformation during the upward thrust as well as along the expander ball causes work hardenning of your brass and this is your total work hardenning. With the expanding unit in place there may be .002-.003" tension (inner diameter .002 or .003" less than when a bullet is seated) for each thus a variation of only .001", but your work hardenning varies MUCH more from case to case than this (and of course work hardenning is much greater in general using a standard die with an expanding unit as compared to dies with bushings even if case wall thickness was consistant), and brass that is more work hardenned will apply more tension on your bullet even though all your cases may show a variation in inner diameter of only .001" before seating the bullet when using standard dies with the expanding unit in.

    [ 06-07-2004: Message edited by: shilen30 ]

    [ 06-07-2004: Message edited by: shilen30 ]
     
  7. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    sakofan

    You can convert your forester dies to bushing for $35. Jim Carstenson at JLC Precison in Precision Shooting or advertises on BR central. All of mine are done that way and works great. Get the tritium nitride bushings.

    If you are changing bushings in the middle of reloading a batch of ammo you are creating more problems than you are eliminating. If the wall thickness varies that much. They need to be neck turned to clean them up. Set up of bushings will vary how far up and down the neck you size, which will effect neck tension. Will take you 2-3 pieces of brass to get them adjusted to same heigth. You have zero idea if that is giving you the same tension unless you are using inline dies with arbor press and dial indicator. No other way to tell. Have to have some measurement of force or just SWAG.

    neck tension will start to come from work hardening with firing and the only way to stop that is virgin brass every 2-3 times or annealing the necks.

    The expandiron takes you back to nominal caliber with zero neck tension. you need to resize the neck for neck tension.

    You will get .001 spring back and normally need .002-.003 so you will need a bushing of .004 smaller than loaded diameter.

    Unless you have a custom barrel and chamber doubt many factory guns shoot well enough to tell you any neck tension variations anyway and they all have oversize chambers to start.

    BH
     
  8. Savage99

    Savage99 Active Member

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    Sakofan,

    Don't turn necks for a factory chamber. It just makes extra work.

    Buy a set of Lee Collet dies. They will size necks wtih the least runout.

    For FL sizing buy a Redding "S" type FL die without the bushing. When you have loaded up some rounds measure the diameter of a loaded neck and order a bushing .002" smaller.

    Use this die without the expanding button. They supply a primer knockout pin holder that will not touch the inside of the necks thus no lube is needed.

    If precision loading is to be done then a competition seating die could be purchased. But this is not that necessary as getting the dies above that will work the brass as little as possible and therefore have the most even tension, least trimming and low runout.
     
  9. nowler

    nowler Well-Known Member

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    here are my thoughts on redding in line dies.... please don't take them the wrong way if you use dies of other makers and are happy with your results!

    with the exception of custom dies for use with arbour presses by wilson or similar, i would definitely opt for redding dies or converted forsters.

    they are the only dies that will neck size uniformly and concentricly and the are the only dies that will seat the bullet concentricly, because the case is held in a chamber that then slides up into the die.

    when using the dies this is what i do:

    1. neck turn my cases to a uniform thickness, trying to remove the least amount of brass as possible. you need to have uniform neck wall thickness to ensure that you have consistent neck tension when using bushing dies. people that tell you don't need to neck turn lapua brass (for example)are talking rubbish, all brass has variation and this needs to be uniformed by neck turning.

    2. prepare a loaded round to your desired o.a.l and measure the outside neck diameter using a micrometer capable of reading to a tenth of a thou.

    3. you need a bushing slighlty smaller than this, how much smaller depends on many things from the size of the calibre, the amount of tension you want, the hardness of the brass...

    4. in terms of accuracy, you want as little tension as possible to ensure that the bullet is not going to move or be affected by recoil. i go for 1 - 2 thou tension for hunting ammo, but i don't use any seriously kicky calibres...

    if a loaded round measure .263 for example, i'd buy a .261 bushing and try it first. in theory, this should size to .261 and allow a little spring-back of the brass to around .262 giving a thou or so of grip.... in theory.

    a couple of things to consider are that freshly turned brass will thin out after a few firings so neck size to about 1/3 of a thou over the final size you desire

    if using the redding comp dies, you only need to neck size down 2/3 of the length of the neck. this will mean that the remainder of your fire-formed neck will be tight in your chamber and offers you some of the centralising benefits of using a tight neck chamber using a saami chamber.

    if you use the body sizing dies to bump your shoulder to allow for easier chamber, do it after you have neck sized to ensure concentricity.

    hope this is off some use....

    i only use redding comp dies so maybe i am biased in my opinions. i wouldn't use anything else and they allow you to work to tight neck levels of accuracy using standard factory chambers....

    any questions then please feel free to ask and i will try to help if i can

    kind regards

    derek
     
  10. sakofan

    sakofan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Savage, Derek, and everyone else. I will give Redding a go..sakofan..Stay tuned..will probably have some more questions. [​IMG]
     
  11. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    Derek, that was helpful. Thanks!
     
  12. sakofan

    sakofan Well-Known Member

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    Derek, was going to email you again, but thought it might help someone else out who may be in the same boat as me.

    I know you refered to Reddings Competition dies. Whats the difference between the Competition and the "S" dies?
    Besides price??

    And, I need a neck sizer, FL sizer, and a seating die, correct??...TIA...sakofan...
     
  13. nowler

    nowler Well-Known Member

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    i think the s type dies are the same as the comp dies but without the micrometer adjustment for bullet seating and neck sizing, they just have the knurled bolt and lock nut.

    i'd opt for the comp ones because the micrometer heads are fantastic for load development when trying to adjust seating depth etc. etc. they are in thou increments and you just screw up or down by the desired amount to adjust bullet jump....

    if you get the comp set you'll get a body sizing die (it doesn't size the neck, it just bumps the shoulder and sizes the base a little) a neck-sizing die and a seating die.

    that's what i'd opt for, though i know they are more expensive.

    derek
     
  14. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    Derek

    Obviously more than one way to skin a cat, but some things you do are just opposite with magnums and high pressure rounds.

    However part of it is difference in SAAMI and minimum SAAMI chamber and tight neck versus factory.

    If you are shooting a tight neck with minimum SAAMI chamber extra care is needed.

    brass will flow and thicken AFTER firing and you will often find that you need to "clean up" turn after firing once or twice. Particularily in magnum calibers, if you did not neck turn down onto the shoulder of the case.

    .001 neck tension often will not work for hunting rounds and magnums. They often want about .003 tension. .001 tension is not a guarantee of accuracy even for 6PPC guns, neck tension must be tuned for each gun and each load. Neck tension variations will really show up at LR distances versus short range. However, IF you do not have a tight neck and match barrel, doubt all that work will be even noticable unless you are running .004-.006 variation in neck thickness.

    If you have plenty of time and it is factory barrel, then may want to test 10 pieces of brass before you spend a lot of time and effort for no positive results.

    BH