what do you prefer ? lets here here it.

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by HunterGreen, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. HunterGreen

    HunterGreen Well-Known Member

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    For those who reload for tightest groups possible. Do you use nk bushing dies only or fl bushing ??

    I notice top shooters having neck tension of .002th less than loaded ammo..

    Please tell me and everyone your methods. .
     
  2. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind that the guys tuning neck tension aren't doing that with production rifles or with chambers cut using standard reamers. Unless you are shooting a custom rifle with a "tight neck" chamber, benchrest loading techniques are irrelevant in real world shooting.
     
  3. Sully2

    Sully2 Well-Known Member

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    What he said!!
     
  4. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    As I understand it, you never really have more than about .002 neck tension because that is all that brass is going to spring back. i.e., if your neck OD before seating is .290 and after seating is .294, you do not have .004 of neck tension because the brass has been stretched by the seated bullet. If you pull the bullet, your neck OD will/should be about .292.

    One good thing about using bushings is you can get a bushing to put minimal work on the brass by not pushing the neck in more than it needs to be to provide good tension on the bullet. Off the shelf sizing dies shrink the neck way down then the expander reams it back out which puts a lot of work on the brass.

    I prefer using a custom FL bushing die or non-bushing sizing die with a neck cut to my specs that does not shrink the neck anymore than 2-3 thou smaller than the seated OD. I like using an expander with it to push the neck out ~ .001 and push outward any irregularities inside the neck. I Like ~ .001 - .002 neck tension and the closer to .001 the better. I have found I tend to get better extreme spreads when neck tension is minimal.

    I like using a FL die instead of a neck only die (and I've used both) because it returns the case back to the same dimensions every time. If you neck size only, at some point you will have to body/shoulder bump the brass back because the case will continue to grow until you can not chamber it. If you're shooting max loads, this might be after every or every other firing. I found myself having to neck size and body/shoulder size after every firing loading for the 300
    RUM after the second firing. Using a 2 step process just did not make sense to me so I abandoned it.

    Also, in my thinking, one of the most important concepts in handloading is consistency. Everything should be consistent and exactly the same everytime for the best precision and predictability. Neck sizing only is counter to this concept IMO.
     
  5. CB11WYO

    CB11WYO Well-Known Member

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    As I've gotten more and more into reloading I feel this way as well...
     
  6. Mark611

    Mark611 Well-Known Member

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    I have a Savage FLCP-K 308win, I use Lapua brass and fully prep them before loading them, I turn my necks just enough to remove excess brass off the neck and usually end up at 14.5 thousands all the way around, I use a Lee neck mandrel collet die to neck size my brass after firing it before trimming for the next reload, I have had very good luck with this die for a neck sizing only operation, my run out about 1 thousandth of an inch or less using this die, I have tried bushing dies that I have had much worse run out then this Lee die! I'm no fan of Lee's reloading equipment I'm an RCBS/Redding tool user I'm a firm believer in you get what you pay for! but I will say this die from Lee has been the best neck sizing die I have used! and my accuracy from this rifle is under 1.5 inches @ 200m, I know this may not seem to be great accuracy for some but IMO from a stock factory rifle for a 10 shot group I think its pretty good and I'm sure I can make it better:D
    I forgot to add the mandrel is 305.5dia my 175gn SMK's are 308.5dia.
     
  7. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    Montana I agree with what you're saying except this:
    This is entirely dependent on cartridge design. Better designs benefit from minimal sizing. Worse designs don't allow for minimal sizing.

    You notice ES improves with with minimal sizing because your variance in tension is then minimal.
    As far as the body, capacity is analogous to tension. And just the same, minimal sizing means minimal capacity variance.
    You imply that FL sizing is inevitable, yet I never do.
    I partial size necks in Wilson dies, expand with Sinclair's expander die, and I bump shoulders with JLC Precision or Redding bump dies.
    I'm confident as well that my loaded round runout is lower than ANY FL sized brass.

    The 'counter' to consistency is more than needed, in any form, which includes FL sizing.
     
  8. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Mike,

    I can't really argue a lot with the above and the Sinclair expander is probably a good way to go. Various methods are used successfully by hand loaders but from what I have been reading in the BR world, FL sizing has become more popular and is producing good results.

    Do you do the above routine for every reloading or do you only do the shoulder bump when you feel it needs it?

    In neck sizing for the 300 RUM, as I stated, I found I needed to bump the shoulder and body every firing after the second firing. It just made sense to me that FL sizing was a better way to go being a one step process.

    I use a custom Hornady FL bushing die for my 6-284 and an off the shelf Redding 270 WSM Type S FL bushing die for my 6.5 WSM. Neck runout with most of the sized brass is .0005-.001. Some of the necks get to .002 and a very few exceed .002. And this is with unturned necks.

    For my 300 RUM, I am using the standard Redding FL die and expander. Runout is not so good with that but not too bad. It's the expander that causes the runout when it expands the neck out about .003. Runout without the expander is about .0005 for almost all the necks I have checked without the expander. Once again, unturned brass. The rifle and load shoot well. Not 1's, but a couple of 2's so far. When I get some new Bertram brass in, I'll be sending John Whidden some fired brass hulls and and my reamer print for a custom FL Bushing die that shrinks the neck minimally as described in my previous post, with an expander that pushes any irregularities of my unturned brass outward.

    If I can get that rifle to shoot consistent 2's and 3's, I might not be winning any BR competitions but I will be very happy with the "hunting" rifle and load I have. I think FL sizing is more hunting rifle friendly than neck sizing and bumping shoulders. JMO

    If your system gets better runout than mine, that's OK. I am satisfied with the results I am getting with the 6-284 and 6.5 WSM and hope to be getting the same with the RUM when I get a new die.

    Agreed, and I would say minimal tension facilitates minimal variance.
     
  9. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    A friend suggested an interesting approach to FL sizing. He said Redding will grind a FL die to match your brass so you don't use a sizer ball. Naturally one would be neck turning for consistency then order the die to reduce necks the amount specified. I would imagine it would size the brass with very low runout.
    I did something similar in a backwards manner. I was working with a 30 BR and a RCBS FL die. I discovered after turning the necks to a specific thickness the RCBS FL did worked perfectly without the sizer ball. I accomplished the minimal body bump, the correct neck tension with very low runout.

    As MikeCR and I discussed in another thread about using a fitted neck chamber for NO SIZING!
    It is a very interesting approach but not practical for a LR hunting rifle.

    Montana Rifleman: I think you are going to like Whidden's dies. I have a FL bushing die for a 338 RCM which impressed me. Great workmanship and a cool box too!
     
  10. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    I got a set of Whidden Dies for my 270 Montana (270/300 Dakota). Yes they are fine dies as far as I can tell but haven't put them to work yet. The FL die is the standard non-bushing die with neck to match my seated unturned brass to be expanded about .001 for about 1-2 thou of tension. He will getting all my business in the future.

    In a perfect world, I would turn the necks and use no expander but I have gotten very good results without turning necks and I hate neck turning.
     
  11. jfseaman

    jfseaman Well-Known Member

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    Again I agree with MontanaRifleman. He and I got off to a bad start but I knew that we would agree more than not.

    Except for plinking loads I at least skim turn all brass.

    RUM is FL sized or at least bumped always.
    WSM is still an experiment in progress. All hunting loads are FL sized. Since this is a hunting forum, that's is more important. Target/Steel loads are only FL sized when annealed. They are different brass lots. Slightly less accurate after FL sizing for this rifle+die. Could a custom die chang this, sure, not ready for that.
    The 260 is Lee collet neck sized as long as possible as that is the most accurate for that rifle. Then annealed and FL sized. It is strictly target. I don't shoot this one fast. I shot it in a 2x20@1000 for a 386-8x. My first ever 1000 so not changing anything yet.

    All other chamberings are hunting and FL sized to about .002 short of fired shoulder. Even the belted cases.
     
  12. HunterGreen

    HunterGreen Well-Known Member

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    Some very interesting suggestions. I enjoy redding equipment and will be calling in custom neck bushings die, I had nothing but great results with redding.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
  13. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Fred, I don't even remember the details of any disagreements and yeah, I think we agree much more than not.

    Back to the subject, I think I should clarify what I mean by FL sizing. Some call it partial or partial FL sizing because I only bump the body and shoulder just enough to chamber easy.
     
  14. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    The competitive among BR competitors are those using the ultimate work-around for internal ballistics; extreme peak pressure. With this, they have no choice but to FL size, and of course that's where they're at. They also notice and embrace other benefits of their work-around, like not needing neck turning, or low runout, or matched capacity, or matched neck tension, or set primer crush, or tight powder tolerances.
    There are prices to running extreme pressures though. It isn't free. But this has become the quickest route to competitive shooting, and I would go straight to it myself(if I were a competitor).

    When my brass is fully fire-formed I hold control over headspace. From this point I bump every cycle.

    This comes down to how many stable reloading cycles you intend from your brass, and what kind of ACCURACY you're reaching for.
    FL sizing is actually less reloader friendly, as there are prices for it(more trimming, annealing, etc).
    Also, generalizations that accuracy in hunting can somehow be lower(if that's what you mean), are often opposite of reality. A varmint hunter for example needs cold bore field accuracy that is beyond what most BR guns/loads can produce. This is not hot bore grouping, off a bench/rest, from 17lb+ naval guns. This is what you carry & set down on a bipod in the dirt & kill things with.

    In the context of my posts, I refer to FL sizing as actual FL sizing.

    You can do this with any bushing die, but it produces higher loaded runout.
    Necks need to be expanded before seating bullets, so that thickness variance is driven outward away from seating bullet bearing.