Which die should I use?

Bart B

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Dec 25, 2005
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[ QUOTE ]
When you guys talk about "bumping" the shoulder back, what does this mean and how do you do this?

[/ QUOTE ]Virtually all full-length sizing dies will set the fired case shoulder back from its fired position when the die's screwed far enough down into the press. Most die maker's instructions say to set the die to touch the shell holder with the ram all the way to the top then lock it in place. If the die's set too high, the fired case shoulder won't be pushed or "bumped" back far enough and such sized cases may be hard or impossible to chamber.

Best accuracy with full length sized cases typically happens when the case shoulder is set back .002- to .003-inches from its fired position. It take a shoulder headspace gage to measure this. Belted cases can have their shoulder set back twice that much as they should headspace on the belt, not the shoulder, for best accuracy.

When a case shoulder gage is used, the die can be set then locked in place for fired cases in a particular rifle chamber. A different chamber for the same cartridge may well have different shoulder headspace so the die would have to be reset.
 

Bart B

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[ QUOTE ]
When you guys talk about "bumping" the shoulder back, what does this mean and how do you do this?

[/ QUOTE ]Virtually all full-length sizing dies will set the fired case shoulder back from its fired position when the die's screwed far enough down into the press. Most die maker's instructions say to set the die to touch the shell holder with the ram all the way to the top then lock it in place. If the die's set too high, the fired case shoulder won't be pushed or "bumped" back far enough and such sized cases may be hard or impossible to chamber. Too often, folks set the die too far down causing excessive headspace with bottleneck cases therefore getting poor accuracy and short case life; they go to neck-only resizing which helps accuracy but if they backed the die out a bit things would be better.

Best accuracy with full length sized cases typically happens when the case shoulder is set back .002- to .003-inches from its fired position. It take a shoulder headspace gage to measure this. Belted cases can have their shoulder set back twice that much as they should headspace on the belt, not the shoulder, for best accuracy.

When a case shoulder gage is used, the die can be set then locked in place for fired cases in a particular rifle chamber. A different chamber for the same cartridge may well have different shoulder headspace so the die would have to be reset.

Some neck only sizing dies have a shoulder so the fired case neck can be "bumped" back a bit. Even neck only fired cases grow a bit in shoulder headspace and they need to be "bumped" once in a while. I've tried them for a couple of cartridges but didn't get nearly as good of accuracy as full-length sized cases with proper shoulder set back.
 

abinok

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Nov 25, 2004
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877
[ QUOTE ]
Do you need a lubricant on the body die and if so will the Imperial Sizing wax work?

[/ QUOTE ]
Imperial will work just fine. Really... about anything will work just fine. idon't know why it is... but these body dies that redding makes are super smooth.
 

Delta Hunter

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I'm another big proponent of the Lee collet neck die in conjunction with the Redding body die and Forster benchrest seater. My Redding S type bushing dies have been collecting dust since I tried my first collet die.

To date, most of my reloading has involved belted magnums and I don't recall ever having a problem with a case bulge in front of the belt requiring the die that IT sells. Maybe it's a problem for some folks, but I haven't experienced it.
 

Innovative

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Delta Hunter,

The top of our Belted Magnum Collet resizing Die is used as a case width gauge. If your cases will fit in all the way to the belt - you don't need to use it.

However, if you have reloaded your cases twice or more they definitely won't fit in the gauge on our die. Then you do need to use our collet die. This gauge also confirms that you're cases will chamber properly.

Measure your cases above the belt, and you'll see what I mean. If you don't use our Belted Magnum Collet Resizing Die . . . . sooner or later you'll find that your belted cases will stick in your chamber.

I tried a several prototype dies and found that the collet design is far superior to any type of "cut down" version. That method just pushes the brass to the rear - causing it to bunch up and increase the diameter anyway. It would have been nice if it was that simple.

Remember, top accuracy requires a "consistently" perfect fit in your chamber, and it's not good to close your bolt with a mallet.

- Innovative
 

abinok

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[ QUOTE ]
if you have reloaded your cases twice or more they definitely won't fit in the gauge on our die.

[/ QUOTE ]
Am I understanding this to mean that a twice reloaded ( which by definition would mean no more than 3 firings) cartridge will swell to the point that unless its sized in your die, it will jam in my chamber? ive read this line about a dozen times now, and I can't figure how else it was meant. When I first saw your die, I thought that it was a pretty cool solution to a problem that could arise. I tried to purchase it a couple of times... only to find that it was out of production. After having fired many thousands of rounds without it, and having reloaded many hundreds of cases many times more than twice... I realize that it is a pretty cool solution to a problem that <u> MIGHT </u> arise. This tool is a neat idea, it really is, but suggesting that its use is mandatory... or that failing to use it after as few as 2 firings will result in a jammed case, is almost funny. On rare brass, in a oversized chamber, using brass without a thich enough web to support the belt... I could see that it would be useful or even mandatory... and the collet die is certanly the best way to do it. No doubt you were thinking when you put the idea together!
However: Your statement above is inaccurate to say the least. I fear that this statement will confuse a great many shooters getting into reloading who don't know any better.

Ill take one more run at this before im done just for clarity's sake... as ive been misunderstood before... This is a cool tool, and ill probably have one one of these days, but I think its utility has been overrated. It does what it does to the cases it needs done to... no doubt! Im just not sure that what it does needs done to the cases most shooters are using. That said, congrats on getting everything worked out, and being back in production! Ive also notticed that midway and others have picked it up as a standard item. Something else worth congratulations!
I would be curious to know what diameter you cut in the top of your die to use as a gauge. .513 is saami spec for most of these cartridges... .515? .520? Shooters thinking about purchasing your die may also be interested in this dimension, as it would allow them to determine its suitability to their particular rifle.
 

Bart B

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Dec 25, 2005
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[ QUOTE ]
Remember, top accuracy requires a "consistently" perfect fit in your chamber...

[/ QUOTE ]What's a "consistantly" perfect fit?

Lots of folks say that's important but have never see it explained. As there is no such thing as a perfectly round case or chamber and the extractor pushes the loaded case against the chamber, it must be something lengthwise relative to the bolt face, case and chamber.
 

Bart B

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[ QUOTE ]
I tried a several prototype dies and found that the collet design is far superior to any type of "cut down" version. That method just pushes the brass to the rear - causing it to bunch up and increase the diameter anyway. It would have been nice if it was that simple.

[/ QUOTE ]Good point.

I don't have that problem. I use a conventional full-length sizing die first then use my cut down version. I've had no brass moving nor diameter increasing on belted cases fired in minimum SAAMI chambers.

Should a larger diameter chamber be used, then I can see how things could go sour.
 

Delta Hunter

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Like I said above, I have NOT experienced the kind of problem with belted magnums that would require the use of the die in question. I usually reload a particular batch of brass way more than twice and maybe I'm just lucky, but I have not needed a mallet to date to close a bolt.
 

Innovative

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Most reloaders don't accurately record the number of times that they reload each case. If they did, and if they measured the area "just above" the belt, they would clearly see that their cases are not getting resized enough in this area to insure reliable chambering. Some shooters just might be lucky. I suppose that this can happen .... but it is very rare. If the brass hardness is incredibly perfect, and his particular chamber size is exactly the optimum dimensions, and the stars and the moon all line up just right, things might work out pretty well. However, sooner or you'll find that belted handloads will become impossible to chamber.

All belted cases have this problem, and when they don't get properly resized - they will stick in your chamber. A very slight "bulge" forms just above the belt (at the pressure ring) that never gets fully reduced by using conventional resizing dies. I designed the Belted Magnum Collet Resizing Die to solve this problem. If you never load your cases more that 2 times - you'll probably never even need to use it. After the second reloading .... well .... good luck.

- Innovative
 

abinok

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Nov 25, 2004
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[ QUOTE ]
Most reloaders don't accurately record the number of times that they reload each case

[/ QUOTE ]
I load 3 cases to neck splits or 10 firings whichever comes first before I call a load "established" so Ican measure to ensure that primer pocket expansion is moderate, and so I can see how much flow there is for trimming purposes, and to figure out weather or not the load will benefit from bumping the shoulder over simply neck sizing. I follow this process for any rifle load I produce. Ive loaded for 7mmrem, 7stw, 30-338, 300WM, 300wby, and even a little bit of 338WM. Ive had 180Bergers over 3150 from reformed remington 300WBY cases with Retumbo, that last 6 firings before the primerpockets get loose. They still chamber without difficulty. Ive currently got 4 barrels for my savage switch barrel gun that have belted chambers cut in them... and 2 I don't count in the corner on account of them having throat erosion too severe to shoot anymore. Each barrel gets its own notebook to record every range session, and count every round... and every barrel gets its own cases in boxes with individual numbers... sorted for weight uniformity, and neck thickness variations. My 300WM barrel for instance has 4 boxes (200rds total) each time a box of primers get moved from box to case, it gets noted on the box of brass... so I know exactly how many times my brass has been fired... and its more than 2. Most of the brass on the current barrel is at 4 the box im currently shooting from is 5. Im using federal brass... most agree the softest on the market.
Heres my numbers... will you share yours? Im very curious to see how my chambers, my brass and your dies might get along.
 

Hired Gun

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Take this for what you will. I disagree with this double standard. The premise that a belted case is more accurate if it's bumped back so far as to only head space on the belt yet a beltless round works best if it's fire formed to the chamber and fits very closely to a chamber is the way to go. I believe they both shoot best fire formed and neck sized only. I like to feel a little tension on the bolt when I close it up. I keep my lugs clean and lubed so it doesn't hurt the rifle in any way. As I have stated in the past I have been abusing belted magnum cases for 27 years now and have NEVER stuck a case in a gun due to not sizing. I will admit that in my early years I had to use a mallet a time or two to open a bolt from some youthful exuberance at the powder scale.

I get easy 10 reloads out of a case before it needs annealing or the necks split before that. I have some 7 Mag cases that have been reloaded over 25 times pushing 150 grain bullets at 3200 with 4831. I did get a couple head separations from bumping shoulders back a couple thou but since I switched to neck only or to backing the body die up at least a full turn this has never happened again. My 257Wby shoots 100’s at 3650, no trouble at 10 firings there other than they have lost neck tension and now need annealed. The primer pockets are still good. My 300Wby does 3300 with 180’s and they are at 10 times I have a few cases from development that went 3475 with 180’s that I still use and the belts on those catch on the bottom of my collet die but they still shoot fine neck sized only in my Mark 5. I have been ignoring the belt for 27 years and will continue as long as my stuff continues to shoot bug holes with no other prep than a pass through a Lee Collet die. Since I switched to collets my brass necks go 3 times as long as they used to before splitting.

Over the years I have tried all the bench rest super case prep tools and have slowly given them all up as a waste of time. I have seen my trimmer in years. I take brand new brass and run it through the collet die and go shoot fat 1” to 1½” groups. Then after those cases are fire formed to my guns will turn around and then start shooting .2” to .4” out of factory rifles. If my cases ever do get to tight to chamber then I will only hit the shoulder hard enough to get them to chamber again but will not push them back any more than that. So far that has never happened.
 

Innovative

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Abinok,
It sounds like you keep very good notes on your handloads. Unfortunately many reloaders don't do a good job at this.

You want to compare numbers - aye? I assume that you mean case diameter at the pressure ring.

It's like this:
New Factory brass = .507" (Average)
Min SAAMI spec <u>chamber</u> size = .513"
My die gauge ID = .512" Pin Gauge will fit.

After 2 or 3 reloadings, most belted cases measure .513" and sometimes a lot more after being resized with conventional resizing dies. What do yours measure?

- Innovative
 

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