Reloading dies for the 6mm Norma BR

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by Snowwolfe, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. Snowwolfe

    Snowwolfe

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    On Monday am either ordering a Savage 12 as a single shot or a 4 shot repeater in 6mm Norma BR. Currently reload for over a dozen calibers and consider myself pretty knowledgeable. Since some of my loading is for the really long rounds such as the 9,3, 458 Lott, etc my press is an RCBS Ammomaster.
    From my recent readings and research it seems more than a few people are not a fan of tight necks and the neck turning needed to go along with them. Have no adversion to turning necks but many years ago used to do it and never noticed much difference.

    Now, (correct me if I am wrong) it seems that any reloading dies labeled 6mm BR, 6mm Rem BR, etc are for the same cartridge as the 6mm Norma BR. So all this brings me to my question.


    I need to order a set of reloading dies that will give me the best results with my given press and without requiring neck timming (other than maybe a light cleaning of the neck to assure consistency). Not interested in competing in matches, just trying to find a rifle and load without going to extremes.

    What reloading dies would you recommend?
     
  2. Steve Blair

    Steve Blair Site $$ Contributor

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    You might try the Redding Type S Match Full Length set. The bushings provide the flexibility to adjust neck tension and accommodate no turn, light turn, different brass lots, etc. while still allowing light full-length sizing and shoulder bump. The seating die in that set is very good. Here is the set at Sinclair. You might find it cheaper elsewhere.
     
  3. cmillard

    cmillard Site $$ Contributor

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    forster also makes great dies for that round--full length and neck only sizing
     
  4. Snowwolfe

    Snowwolfe

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    Did some reading on these and I like! So the 6mm Rem BR is the same as the 6mm Norma BR correct?
     
  5. Steve Blair

    Steve Blair Site $$ Contributor

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    Yes, and no. This article on 6mmbr.com will give you more background than you need (but it is still interesting).
     
  6. fdshuster

    fdshuster Site $$ Contributor

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    Snowwolfe: Good information on the previous postings. Looking at the Redding box & label for my 6BR dies, #77317, and like most others, it too is identified as " 6MM B.R. Remington". The large red plastic box for the Forster Ultra Micrometer Seater Die is labeled 6BR REM part#U00037. I continue to not understand why the manufacturers use the "old" Remington designation, when it is all but obsolete, with the vast majority of users having the current Norma chambering. They (the die makers) are adding to the confusion. All that being said, I prefer the Redding Type S bushing style full length sizing die, and the Forster Ultra micrometer seating die. Added a 22BR chambering several years ago, and did not have to buy another set of dies: just added a few extra bushings (.246",.247" and .248"), and use the 6BR sizing (and seater) dies as is. Has been a very successful combination.
     
  7. Laurie

    Laurie Site $$ Contributor

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    I use Forster dies on my 6BR Norma, and am very pleased with them except on one count that you can get sorted.

    The sizer dies (both neck and FL types) took Lapua necks down far too much requiring a substantial amount of work by the expander ball (or the mandrel that I prefer). Forster offered a service - presumably still do - where they will open the neck section up to whatever you specify if you send them your own die. (I learned of this on the 6mmBR.com website) As I'm in the UK that wasn't really practical, but an email to Forster saw them make me a custom FL body and ship it in under a week.

    This gives you the same benefit as the Redding Type S but without the flexibility that bushings offer of course. Since the only 6BR brass we see in the UK is Lapua and it's pretty consistent neck thickness-wise from lot to lot, that's not a problem though.

    My rifle has a SAAMI minimum chamber and it is TIGHT. New Lapua cases have a percentage that are marginally over-size giving really hard extraction, so I had to get a Redding small-base body die too. Using the body die every four or five loadings, and the custom Forster FL sizer throughout gives good results, hardly any working of the brass on each reloading (in the tight no-turn chamber, necks only expand a couple of thou'), and long case life. I've tried a little neck-turning just to uniform the cases, but I honestly can't see any benefit in the results so far.

    The other thing I quickly found with both Forster FLS and Redding body dies was that setting the die up to touch the shellholder pushed the shoulder back far too much - like over 20 thou'. I don't know if this is a peculiarity of my chamber, or if the dies are deliberately set up that way because of the 6BR's history and variety of chamber variations still around, but it's something to watch.

    Laurie,
    York, England
     
  8. fdshuster

    fdshuster Site $$ Contributor

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    Laurie: I believe if you took a survey the results would show that most of "us" on this side of the pond disregard the "instructions" to adjust the sizer die down 'til it touches the top of the shellholder. For one thing, shellholders do vary in thickness so right there any precision adjustment goes out the window. I've always used the Stoney Point/Hornady gauge with the headspace attachments and take a dimension from a newly fired case, measuring from the base of the case to the datum reference point on the shoulder of the case, and adjust my lock ring on the sizer die to that same dimension, if I want to lock up the loaded round "snuggly" front to rear, in the chamber with a little resistance on bolt closing. When bolt closing becomes too tight/harder to close, I will set the shoulder back about .002", usually after 4 or 5 reloadings. The "screw it down 'til it touches the shellholder" is one-size-fits-all, guaranteeing that all ammo will fit in all chambers, even those that may be short. I have some of my benchrest chamberings (6ppc, 22BR, 6BR) that are so closely fitted I am able to take a fired case, clean it off & reload without any sizing what-so-ever. Brass (Lapua of course) lasts for over 30 loadings with no stretching or trimming required. Usually have to toss it out when primer pockets start to open up. :)
     
  9. Laurie

    Laurie Site $$ Contributor

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    Frank,

    same here! I'm a near fanatic for measuring case headspace length on each and every case sizing session using the Stoney-Point gear.

    For some reason, I didn't use it on the first batch of ammo I loaded for this rifle - in a hurry, or maybe no fired brass available. The giveaway that something was wrong was the amount of case stretching I subsequently found showing something was obviously not right given the tight chamber.

    The point at issue was the amount of shoulder setback. I'd never found so much with any other cartridge using factory dies - and I have a fair bit of experience as I write on handloading for various UK shooting magazines and have probably tried my hand with 40 or 50+ cartridges over the years.

    The only similar situation I've come across is the good (bad?!) old .303 service cartridge where the problem is deliberately oversized chambers allied to headspacing on the case-rim, some chambers so 'roomy' up front that fired cases look like 'improved' brass, albeit without the sharp Ackley shoulder form, case-neck length much reduced by shoulders moving forward!

    Best wishes,

    Laurie
     
  10. jo191145

    jo191145 Site $$ Contributor

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    Frank

    I think die manufacturers continue to use the confusing designations because the dies are interchangable. I do agree time is up for the 6BR Remington and its time to rename everything appropriately.

    When I ordered my first 6BR barrel I noticed Shilen still has reamers designated 6BR Remington and if memory is correct only one reamer designated 6BR Norma. This too adds to the confusion.
    The very nice woman on the phone could'nt give me specifics beyond the info on the site.
    Being green I just told her I want a Norma chamber appropriatly throated for an 8 twist barrel.
    I figured Shilen knew more than I about freebore and would get it right. They did a great job IMO ;D
     
  11. fdshuster

    fdshuster Site $$ Contributor

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    jo191145: I've been corresponding with a very active shooter/reloader in France for almost 3 yrs now, who recently had a custom 6BR built, and he also was confused about the issue, so the problem is "worldwide". There could be a problem if somehow a chamber were cut with the original Remington dimensions, then the reloader tried to chamber Lapua/Norma brass, it being 1.560" vs. 1.520" for the Rem. Bolt closing would also be a problem, since I believe the Lapua/Norma is approx. .002" larger dia. in the case head: all designed to prevent a Lapua/Norma from being chambered in a Remington chamber. Anyway, just a little stumbling block with a really great cartridge, my #1 favorite in 6mm. ;)
     
  12. jo191145

    jo191145 Site $$ Contributor

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    Frank

    No doubt, The two differing cartridges should not be mixed. You could shoot a 6BR Remington in a Norma chamber, right? I would'nt do it but I doubt anything bad would happen.
    The off the shelf dies are interghangeable tho.

    Unless we're willing to let the United Nations step in and demand uniformity we'll just have to live with the slight confusion. I for one vote for the confusion :D

    By the way. I also vote for the Redding S series FL dies. I seem to get better accuracy FL sizing compared to neck sizing.
     
  13. Snowwolfe

    Snowwolfe

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    Guys,
    I appreciate all the advice as you helped me steer down the correct path with my soon to be ordered rifle. Am sure I will back with more questions.

    Is Lapula the brass to start with?
     
  14. jo191145

    jo191145 Site $$ Contributor

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    Lapua's the stuff to start and end with. No need to look elsewhwere.

    Off Post??
    I would go with the single shot. More bedding area if you decide to bed it.
    Should be a stiffer action too. Never heard of anyone finding an accuracy difference between single and repeater in the short action but..... can't hurt.

    I would start with any twist appropriate economy bullet. Factory tubes are not hand lapped custom barrels. Usually require some shooting time before they settle down. 75 Vmax maybe.
    Then I would look hard at the 80gn Bergers. Should work well with the 12 twist. Darn things shoot awesome in every barrel I've tried. .010 jam and off you go.

    Who knows the Vmax just might be the ticket. Nothing wrong with those pills at all ;)
     
  15. Snowwolfe

    Snowwolfe

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    This will be a new learning curve for me. Used to loading only for hunting rounds and mostly what I shoot iron sighted double rifles where 1-2 inches at 50 yards is considered more than acceptable!
     
  16. jo191145

    jo191145 Site $$ Contributor

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    In that case we can all rest assured the 6BR will not cause you to develop a flinch.
    Should be like shooting a BB gun for you ;)
     
  17. 1000yardstare

    1000yardstare

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    Snowwolfe, I am with you on the indecision on neck turning. Been shooting competition for 50 years - benchrest, TR, F Class. Been seriously going at the Redding bushing dies and Sinclair neck turning gadgets these past few years. Am wondering if the effort is worth the results.

    Took second in F(O) at the 2009 Ontario Fullbore Champs with a 6AI using Win brass not turned, run through a Sinclair non-bushing neck die and not sorted by weight. That is about as 1950s as you can get.

    Anyway, good luck in your quest.
     
  18. fdshuster

    fdshuster Site $$ Contributor

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    Two of my four 6BR chamberings are .265" chamber necks (1-14 twists), cut with the same reamer back-to-back. The other two, a 1-9.25 and a 1-8 are .272" no-turn chamber necks, also cut with the same reamer (my Pacific) back-to-back. Just the other day took ammo loaded with the same "recipe" as is used in the .265" chambers, but loaded in the .272" no-turn Lapua brass, fired numerous five shot groups at 200 yd. in the 1-8 twist, and could find no difference in group sizes, either individually or the overall average of 6, 5 shot groups. My "standard" 1,2 & 300 yard "short range" load is 31.5 grs. of VVN135, 68 gr. Berger seated to touch, Fed 205M. To me, this, and other previous experiments comparing no-turn to turn at least questions the value of outside neck turning the already superior Lapua brass. My 6ppc (.262" neck) is nearing the end-of-life, another Pacific reamer with a .272" neck is standing by and with a Krieger 1-14 is on my gunsmiths schedule for re-barrel. At this point, I really begin to have doubts regarding the advantage of outside neck turning for a tight, fitted neck. It really hurts when you are turning the Lapua neck walls to .0085" ( for the 6ppc), when .013"/.0135" may do the job just as well. Yes, I understand the short range group shooters are using tight fitted necks, but for my purposes I will continue to lean toward no-turn. With the .272" 6ppc I will be making one very light "clean-up" cut only, not reducing them to almost paper thin as is required with the .262" chamber. ;)
     
  19. Steve Blair

    Steve Blair Site $$ Contributor

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    I am with Frank on neck thickness. I turn to .013 wall for my 6mm BR's .272 chamber. This is a very light pass on Lapua brass that sometimes leaves a small patch near the case mouth untouched. I cut to a shallow ring on the shoulder past where the bushing and bullet bases reach. Since I only use Lapua brass in the 6 BR, this approach works for me.
     
  20. Snowwolfe

    Snowwolfe

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    Now I am thinking to just get a standard resizing die and skip the bushing die. Leave the Lapula necks unturned and have a go at it. About the only case prep I do now for my other bolt actions is to clean up the primer pocket depth and clean up the flash hole. Not even sure if this helps any but makes me feel a little better. Always nice to listen to the advice of the people who have more experience than me.

    Thank you.
     

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