What's the beef with belted magnums?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by upacreek, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. upacreek

    upacreek Well-Known Member

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    Could someone explain to me what the complaint regarding belted magnums is? I understand they are for headspacing. Aside from that I don't know of any other purpose or use for the belt. I hear a lot about how particular cartriges are better cause they have no belt. Could someone please shed some light on this for me? I have been around reloading and guns my whole life, but have just recently started trying to find more education. This site has a lot of insight that I have never heard of. I am not trying to start a ford vs chevy debate here, just trying to learn. I expect different oppinions, as it may be an opinion thing, so if we could stick with facts instead of debates I would apprece it.
     
  2. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I have no preference. The belt is fine or non-belted is fine. I load both for precision and accuracy and my reloading methods are the same for both. I head space either off the shoulder. So I ignore rants about shoulders. I have shot Weatherby's as well as other belted cases all my life. No problem. Two of the most popular chamberings ever built are the 7mm REM MAG and the 300 WIN MAG. How did they get so popular, how are they so accurate, if the belt is an issue? It's all in ones head.

    JMO
    Jeff
     
  3. Jud96

    Jud96 Well-Known Member

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    We shoot belted magnums and the complaint people say is that they wobble in the chamber causing inaccuracy, this can only happen when its headspacing on the belt. When we load, we neck size our brass and it headspaces on the shoulder so there is no way for it to wobble. When its necksized the belt becomes pretty much pointless. I totally agree on what Broz has said. His statement is 100% true about the 7mm Remington Mag and the .300 Win Mag being extremely popular and both having belts. Hope this helps!
     
  4. jimbires

    jimbires Well-Known Member

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    there is nothing wrong with a belted magnum .

    I agree with the other two posters . set the sizing die up correctly , so it only bumps the shoulder back .002 . this makes the case head space off the shoulder , just like any nonbelted case . by doing this you can forget about the belt . I load for 7 rem mag and 300 wby , the belt has never been an issue . I've never had a case head separation , which is caused by sizing the brass to much , making it head space off the belt .
     
  5. upacreek

    upacreek Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input. My newly barreled 7RM should be in my hands any day. I checked my dies and both sets (rcbs) say fl on the box. I think I should be looking for some neck dies soon. Is this correct?
     
  6. Jud96

    Jud96 Well-Known Member

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    Yes that's correct.
     
  7. jimbires

    jimbires Well-Known Member

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    I would not neck size only . you will only get a few resizes until the brass gets tight in the gun , then you will need to push the shoulder back . so why not do it the same every time . here is what I do . I do what is known as a partial full length size . to do this you need a tool that will measure your fired brass case . something like the hornady headspace tool , or a RCBS precision mic ( I use ) , or the Larry Willis innovative tool , I'm sure there are more . measure your fired brass with the tool . then set the sizing die up high and keep lowering your die little at a time until the brass case shoulder is pushed back .002 . I like to use the redding competition shellholders , instead of making very small adjustments to your die . by using the redding comp shellholder set , it's easily repeatable .
     
  8. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I agree , or, do the body/shoulder and neck sizing in two separate steps each time as I do. I use the Redding competition bushing 3 die sets. Size the necks and the body each time with the use of the Competition Redding shell holders. I leave dies set up in a Redding T7 Turret and it is fast and easy once set. When I size with a body die if the shoulder needs a slight bump back it gets it. If not it is not touched. This way my brass is always in spec all the time.

    Jeff
     
  9. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

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    Most times the belt gets to be an issue is when you have to full length size after each firing because you use the brass in more than one rifle. Another time this full resize occurs is reloading for a semi-auto. Seems they need to be full resized back to SAMI spec to cycle properly.

    If you resize back to SAMI each time, you can get case separation after a few firings because the case naturally headspaces off of the belt. This causes the case to stretch quite a bit each time right in front of the belt. You can always see this expansion ring just in front of the belt right after firing a brand new case. This issue can become even more of an issue, if you have a rifle that has a loose headspace to start with.

    But just like all have said, after that first firing, if you then fire in the same rifle and only neck size and then bump the shoulder back about .002 after after about every third firing once they start start to get hard to chamber, there is not issue whatsoever and the brass will last as long as non belted brass for the most part.

    You just need to understand the initial function of the belt, which was to headspace off of the belt rather than the shoulder as most cartridges now do. Seems the belted design was invented to allow easier chambering in dirty chambers in difficult environments. Like in Africa or something.
     
  10. upacreek

    upacreek Well-Known Member

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    This reloading stuff is like starting over for me. I have never used the equipment you are describing, but will be purchasing soon. This makes me very curious because the last barrel I had installed (huge disaster!) Would not chamber ANY of my old brass from the original barrel. I basically threw out 200 brass cause I didn't know what else to do. Now I wonder if I just didn't know how to set the shoulder. After I get all these parts and learn how to use them I bet a LOT of my other guns will tighten up. This is my first serious build and serious long range gun. I think I have been very lucky using the methods I was taught so far. Luck only goes so far.....

    Thanks for the info!
     
  11. Wildboar

    Wildboar Member

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    Why was your rebarrel a disaster? Because you couldn't use your fired brass?
    One of the isssues with belted Magnus is fl sizing. I know people are going to come down on me for this. When the cartridge gets fired it expands, when we do resize we push the brass back down towards the head. Unfortunately there is a belt that prevents the die from sizing all the way to the case head. This eventually enlarges or expands to a point that you cannot chamber your brass any longer, no matter how far you push the shoulder back.
    There is a collet die specifically design do this issue. So as is my practice now, is I neck size my .300wby the first two firings (it saves a ton of time not having to lube and clean every time you reload) bump the shoulder back with the fl sized on the 3rd then collet size the base, anneal, fl size, repeat. Shoot until primers won't seat, around 6-10 firings.
     
  12. MagnumManiac

    MagnumManiac Well-Known Member

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    If you set up your dies correctly, whether they are a FL set or even a bushing style die set, you will NEVER need that collet die you refer to, it addresses a problem that is caused by HANDLOADERS, not the cartridge design.
    I have been loading for belted cases since I was 15 years old, 1985, and have NEVER come across this so called bulge that the die somehow doesn't size away, all cases have an expansion line, it's where the case wall meets the solid web in the case, no matter whether there is a belt or not, this portion of the case DOES get sized and in either case it is only partially sized anyway. The belt cannot be sized because it is adjacent to the solid web, and heavier charges WILL expand the belt beyond the point that it will chamber easily because the entire solid web has swollen beyond it's usefulness.
    I wish people would find out the facts about these these things rather than listening to witch doctors, snake charmers and potion sellers.
    Once again, I will state that a collet die to fix a problem that doesn't exist is a total waste of MONEY.

    Cheers.
    gun)
     
  13. lloydsmale

    lloydsmale Well-Known Member

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    my opinion is it doesnt help anything but then it doesnt hurt a thing either.
     
  14. upacreek

    upacreek Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the repies. I think I have had my basic question answered. I will take all of this into consideration.
    The gun got rebarreled a few years ago by the lowest bidder. It would not group better than 5" at 100yrds. Some research revealed the twist wasn't the 1/9 I ordered. It was 1/12. Plus the chamber looked like it was cut with a carbide burr, and after removal my new smith (not the lowest bidder) found the chamber was not cut right or head spaced correctly. It was a $500 learning experience. $1100 later I hope to have a very accurate gun again. This is why I am trying to learn better reloading practices. If this works out I have plans to rebarrel my 7WSM and build a 300WM.

    Thanks again for the help and patience.