New Lapua brass - can I just load it or ???

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by mjgillen, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. mjgillen

    mjgillen Silver $$ Contributor

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    Hi guys!

    I've been saving this new Lapua brass for a build I am working on and hope to shoot the new rifle very soon. My question is: Can I just load and shoot the new Lapua brass or should I do some "processing" like full length resize or something? My Lake City brass I just loaded it and shot it...

    Thanks!
    Michael
     
  2. jds holler

    jds holler Gold $$ Contributor

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    Don't know what your build is, but you must make sure that your "loaded neck diameter" of your cartridge fits the neck of your chamber with at least some clearance. If that and your trim length are good, you can proceed to get as picky as you do -- or don't -- want to get about all the other possible enhancements. jd
     
  3. mjgillen

    mjgillen Silver $$ Contributor

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    Its supposed to be a "no turn neck" chamber. Its a Savage "pre-fit" Criterion.
    And I forgot that I did chamfer and de-burr the necks on my LC brass (not just load them).

    I'm reading about "mandrels" right now. Is that something I should do? if so, and I buy a Sinclair mandrel, what does it attach to? One of my dies? Does it screw on the end of my full length die (unscrew the expander ball?)

    Michael
     
  4. hrlincoln

    hrlincoln

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    21st Century expander mandrels that I use go in their expander die body. Sinclair may have a similar setup.
     
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  5. Dos XX

    Dos XX Russell Myers Gold $$ Contributor

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    I would expand them. The necks tend to be pretty tight, at least the calibers I shoot do.
     
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  6. mjgillen

    mjgillen Silver $$ Contributor

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    I should mention that I'm shooting a .223 Rem ordered the .223 Rem "Match" chamber (longer freebore?) which handles the longer 80-90gr Berger VLDs

    I just looked at the 21st Century site and now I understand how they work. Unfortunately they are out of the dies. I'll call them tomorrow. Would love to try their stuff. Looks like really good quality.

    Michael
     
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  7. gstaylorg

    gstaylorg Silver $$ Contributor

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    In my hands, virgin Lapua necks can be all over the map. I open them up with Sinclair's oversized expander mandrel, then FL size with the appropriate bushing die. In this case, the second step really only sizes the neck to a specific diameter; it does not touch the shoulder or body. Brass prepped this way has pretty good consistency, much better than straight out of the box.
     
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  8. 6MMsteve

    6MMsteve Gold $$ Contributor

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    you can go with K&M you can get them off ebay and shipped fast, if you buy a nk turner and ething make sure you cart it, jwsattic seller on ebay he has a good selection of reloading stuff
     
  9. ShootDots

    ShootDots Gold $$ Contributor

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    Here is what you do to ANY brass, Lapua or not, to make them shoot properly. If you are not improving the cartridge (i.e. making an Ackley) or completely forming it, like making a BRX or Dasher, you can make virgin brass fire as accurately as fireformed brass.
    1.) Expand the necks. If it's a .22 cal or whatever, get a .22 expander mandrel and expand the necks. This will push most, if not all, of the imperfections in the neck to the outside. TRICK: when expanding the case necks, run the case up in the mandrel body die and then back off, spin the case about 1/3rd turn, run back up in the die. Do this 3 or 4 times (it takes an extra 5 seconds) and you will feel the case gong up in the die very smoothly>>>then you know the imperfections have been pushed to the outside.
    2.) If it is a "no turn neck", at least skim-turn your necks to about 90 percent "clean-up". This will turn off the imperfections you just pushed to the outside.
    3.) Anneal the necks>>>even on virgin brass
    4.) Chamfer the inside and outside of the case mouths.
    5.) Heat has a way of moving metal. So, run the brass back thru the mandrel to straighten up the necks>> using the spin method once again...
    6.) Using a "used / carboned up" neck brush, vigorously brush out the necks.
    7.) Prime the case
    8.) Using a Q-Tip, swab out the inside of the case neck with Imperial DRY neck lube.
    9.) Charge your case with powder,
    10.) Seat your bullet.

    If you do this to virgin brass, you will not see a difference between the virgin and fireformed brass. DON'T do this with virgin Lapua (or any brass) brass and you are kidding yourself!
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  10. Shynloco

    Shynloco You can lead a horse to water, but ........ Silver $$ Contributor

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    I pretty much agree with what Shoot Dots wrote. However, I've gotten into the habit of just shooting the new Lapua brass BEFORE doing anything to it in a new chamber. Do not FL resize it prior to at least one firing. I want my new brass to FIREFORM into that new chamber at least once before going through the procedures outlined above. Virgin brass is just that, unfired, brand new and I believe it needs to through the heat, pressure and expansion/contraction process in the chamber it is going be fired in. Just my .02 worth.

    Alex
     
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  11. 6brmrshtr

    6brmrshtr Wes Cummings Silver $$ Contributor

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    New
    ^^^^^ Ben shared the above with me several years ago and I have to say I immediately saw results on target in matches I shot. Concentricity was improved and runout was negligible.
    +++ on this tried and tested process.
     
  12. Barlow

    Barlow Silver $$ Contributor

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    I just run them into the die far enough to expand the necks, to make sure they are round and uniform. I do not full length size them the first go round. I would add that first make sure they will chamber in your rifle right out of the box. Barlow
     
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  13. B_Thomas

    B_Thomas Silver $$ Contributor

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    I prepped new Lapua brass as listed above, except step 3 and 5. Slight variation on step 6, wrap steel wool around worn brush, removing factory scratches inside necks.

    Without re-annealing............I was very surprised how inconsistent the seating forces where with Lapua's factory annealing?
     
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  14. mjgillen

    mjgillen Silver $$ Contributor

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    Thanks for all the info guys. Plenty to digest.

    I've only been shooting long range for less than a year and am trying to keep is simple. I don't yet have a case trimmer or neck turner so I likely will have to wait on those steps... which brings me to another question:

    Do I have to do ALL those steps EVERY time I reload or just once? I can see where case trimming might come into play as the cases stretch and so I might have to do that occasionally however what about the turning, primer pocket forming, flash hole demurring etc etc.? Just asking those with lots more experience than I.

    Thank you,
    Michael
     
  15. gstaylorg

    gstaylorg Silver $$ Contributor

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    Everyone's results are different. You received a whole bunch of different information that will cover a very wide range of attention/effort on your part depending on what you choose to put it into practice. All my F-TR rifles have no-turn neck chambers, including several .223 Rems, and I've never necked turned a single piece of brass in my life. These rifles all shoot extremely well and I think I've done fairly reasonable using the most simplistic approach, just as others have done well by going the extra mile and carrying out several more steps with virgin brass. So ultimately, it will be up to you to decide how much effort you wish to expend, and whether you can actually quantify any benefit should you choose to the most rigorous approach.

    My suggestion is always to start simple and see how it works. You can always add/subtract steps as time goes on. With a very basic start of opening (mandrel) and resizing (bushing die) virgin necks, you can then determine whether additional steps offer any benefits you can measure, and add them to the process, or not, as you choose.
     
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  16. Macropod

    Macropod

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    I anneal new Lapua brass. You may not think it needs it but variable seating force is there if you don't.
     
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  17. Webster

    Webster

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    It's annealed when you buy it????
     
  18. spife7980

    spife7980

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    Nope, once they are done they are done aside from trimming as the brass gets longer. You necks wont get fatter unless you neck turn incorrectly and thick shoulder gets pushed up but even then it should still be concentric so moot. Your primer pockets will only get larger and you cant add more material to uniform away a second time. You wont be redrilling your flash holes like they can come from the factory so no burrs there to take care of.

    And honestly all of those arent needed for factory lapua and since youre asking I doubt you would be able to make the lapua any better. Just run them into your die enough for the expander ball to press out the bumps in the neck and make them a uniform diameter but dont push the shoulders back anymore. They are already at minimum saami spec already more than likely so bumping more is over kill.
     
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  19. mjgillen

    mjgillen Silver $$ Contributor

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    Yeah that's what I'm going to do - thanks gstaylorg. I'm a fellow San Diegan so likely see you at a Match somewhere.

    Thanks everyone for all of the suggestions, detailed steps, opinions, and wisdom. I read every suggestion carefully and I will do what I can with the time and tools I have on hand and will plan for more in the future, like case trimming and neck turning.

    Michael
     
  20. ShootDots

    ShootDots Gold $$ Contributor

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    That is precisely why you need to anneal virgin brass..
     
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