Today's lessons learned from the fng handloader.

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by AJC, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. AJC

    AJC

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    Today I pulled the handle for the first time on a rifle case and popped my cherry. I decided that I would use a bunch of range pickup 308 to get started. I lubed up about 20 cases and started sizing them up in my forester national match die. I wanted to see how much the neck would be sized and I had a .320 average with a few .319s in the mix. Non of the brass was annealed so I am guessing the diameter of the die is around .318. I set up the die per the direction but did not check shoulder bump but should have considering there has been reports of issues in this area. I got more growth than I am used to hearing of the two I tracked completely the first went from 2.007 to 2.016. The second went 2.003 to 2.013. That seems excessive but not tracking the shoulder may have made that happen, lesson #1. I also ended up with at least one case that had a huge angle at the mouth. It looked like 20 or more degrees. Is this normal? After that I tried out some neck turning for the first time. What fun and not to hard. I did learn why people trim from the neck reference not oal, lesson #2. It appears that trimming before turning is a great idea. Might also not matter if you turn new brass. Anyhow today's adventure was interesting and fun. Scrapping it now and going to look for more to learn on. Wma brass sucks.
     
  2. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Silver $$ Contributor

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    Are you sure those numbers for sized neck diameter are correct (.319" and .320")? A no-turn neck chamber for .308 Win is typically around 0.342". If you start getting down around the 0.339" range or below, commercial .308 Win loads may not fit easily in the chamber. I typically size .308 necks (Lapua .308 Win brass) with a 0.336" bushing, which gives me about 0.3355" to 0.336" neck diameter after sizing, and 0.338" (loaded round) neck diameter. Maybe I'm misunderstanding the the numbers you posted, but they seem very tight, even for brass with much thinner neck walls than Lapua. Squeezing down the neck that much might explain the growth in length.
     
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  3. nso123

    nso123 Silver $$ Contributor

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    I agree, something sounds off. I use a .336 with Lapua brass as well and get the same numbers as Nedd.
     
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  4. SPJ

    SPJ Silver $$ Contributor

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    The difference in length before and after is similar to my experience using an expander ball system.
     
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  5. AJC

    AJC

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    I pulled the expander ball out of the die to see how much the brass was being moved. I had plans to use the 21st century expander mandrel for bringing them up to turning diameter. I just wanted to know how much movement that the national match die was going to have on the neck and it's a lot. Now that I know I feel like I should get the die honed sooner than later.
     
  6. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens COVFEFE- Thread Derail Crew

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    Lemme give you my advice to a fng. Forget all this complicated bullshit you read about here. Get a wilson case gage, set your die to fit into that, measure oal with calipers- trim and chamfer as needed. Run your charges and seat your bullets like you want (mag length or whatever) and go shoot some. Dont complicate this so bad you cant even do it. Go work on powder charges and seating depths and shooting in general. The internet has complicated this so bad that a fng cant see the forest for the trees.
     
  7. SPJ

    SPJ Silver $$ Contributor

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    ^^^this+ this vv
    Not really sure why everyone starts with Hornday and Forster and ends up with Whiden Harrell’s or Wilson F/L bushing dies, but that’s what happens.
    OOPS
    Almost forgot Redding
    J
     
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  8. fyrewall

    fyrewall

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    There is really nothing that complicated about what you are attempting to do. Assuming you have a manual take a look at the cartridge diagram that appears at the beginning of each cartridge load data. This and measurements using your calipers will provide guidance and direction. A Wilson case gauge or equivalent will provide a quick determination of the sizing results. Not having a case gauge chambering an empty sized round (no primer, powder, or bullet) into the rifle, closing the bolt will give an indication of inadequate head space (distance between brass & bolt face). A gauge is much to be preferred.

    Since you have plans for neck turning. Upon firing one of your cases, a measurement of the neck diameter will provide the neck diameter of your chamber but will probably be .001 short due to brass spring back. Use this dimension for guidance in neck turning. Best to start with just a light skim or almost clean up. See if a bullet easily slips into a fired case, if not the neck needs to be turned more. Chances are that extensive neck turning will not be needed.

    Starting with free range brass is a good way to start. Lapua brass is the best but pricy. I use Forster F/L dies almost exclusively and I have Forster hone them out after I get am idea of what my chamber is like. If you are using Foster dies in a conventional press don't obstruct the die vent hole.
     
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  9. AJC

    AJC

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    I have a box of lapua that I plan to use but I'm going to turn a lot of brass before I touch one of those ;)
     
  10. Bc'z

    Bc'z

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    So check this out.
    30-06 loaded round measures .336
    Neck thickness .0145- .015 unturned
    Fired case diameter .340
    Inside fired case neck diameter .3105

    By my math I should be using a .333 bushing,
    No bullet hold.
    Switched to .332 still no hold, even flipped bushing over as per Wilson's instructions, nope no hold yet.
    Installed .331 can still slide bullet in case by hand starting to feel a little bit of snuggness.
    Gonna try .330 next.
    I'm at a loss, and I'm not a FNG !
     
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  11. Olspark

    Olspark Gold $$ Contributor

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    My guess is either a measurement is wrong, bushing is not the size as indicated or the bullet you’re using is undersized. Is it the same bullet used in the loaded round case you measured. Your math is correct.
     
  12. Bc'z

    Bc'z

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    Yes sir 185 vld's.
    Been talking to SPJ about it a bit.
    I'm gonna turn bushing stop in so as it dont rattle 1st. Bushing stop is backed off 1/16 of a turn as per directions.
    I'll measure bullets!
     
  13. Olspark

    Olspark Gold $$ Contributor

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    Possible spring back in neck after sizing but that could be resolved by measuring before and after sizing. Just a thought.
     
  14. divingin

    divingin Gold $$ Contributor

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    So it sounds like the OP pulled the expander ball from his die, and is surprised that it leaves the neck fairly tight (unless I'm misreading things.) The expander ball is what sets the final neck diameter, so removing it will cause wacky results. I can see the reason for doing so once you figure out what you're doing and where you want to go, but for a first time reloader, I'd say this is a little overkill. Use the equipment the way it's supposed to be, and it will make learning the process a lot easier.

    Bc'z: Was your brass annealed within the last few/several firings? Hardened brass will exhibit what you're seeing. You should be able to bounce the diameter of a sized case neck against what the bushing is supposed to be. If they're way off, it's likely either hardened brass, thin case walls in the neck, or an oversized bushing (and I'd tend toward the former two until proven otherwise.)
     
  15. Bc'z

    Bc'z

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    Lapua is new with 1 firing
    Rp brass god only knows the times they have been fired
    No annealing ever done.
    2gr weight variance between lapua and rem
    brass. Remington being heavier and probably softer.
    I don't know? Head scratching here.
     
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  16. Bc'z

    Bc'z

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    I was just talking with gunsmith he agrees on annealing were both to busy to do right now.

    Bullet diameter is .308
     
  17. AJC

    AJC

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    Correct i did pull the expander because i had sizing mandrels to set the correct size for neck turning. I also wanted to know how much work my brass was doing, and then have my die honed to significantly reduce that amount of work. I have the tools and i have the desire to learn, and to understand your tools you need to use them and test for results. This cant be that much different from learning to use my Logan lathe or mill.
     
  18. cem

    cem

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    Notice, and it matters, that Forster National Match dies traditionally have not been any better or worse than the rest of the very fine Forster line. National Match does not mean better or more accurate or more labored over. Forster National Match Dies have traditionally been optimized for gas guns shooting over the course and so DO have different dimensions than dies for bolt guns.

    Per Forster's website:
    "308 National Match “bumps” or sets back the case shoulder, thereby reducing headspace A by.003" from the 308 Win. Case body diameter B is the same as the 308 Win. Intended for use in bolt-action target rifles. (Order No. 018311)"

    For a starting place on shoulder bump - in .223/5.56x45/.308/7.62x51/.30-'06 - I use Forster's headspace gage sets by thousandths. If I were chambering I'd use gages from the reamer maker but Forster match gages are cheaper and I hope but do not know match up with the dies pretty well.

    Myself, I do not have tight necked chambers on gas guns so I see no reason to turn necks. Maybe some reason to sort because that's easy enough anyway.

    I do have tight necked chambers and the barrel so marked on some bench and varmint rifles. Neck turning can be to fit a tight necked chamber or to deal with the dreaded doughnut. See Zediker's latest book for an extended discussion on the dreaded doughnuts including his trial of custom reamers.

    I do not vouch for what national match means in the trade anymore than I expect national match parts for a 1911 from a gun show to be any better or worse because of the label.

    Agreed that Forster is as good as any and the factory honed dies are a great bargain IF they suit the user just so.

    My own choice has been Redding where available - because I can exercise control on my own bench rather than sending off and relying on somebody else then being stuck with what I get in the mail. As noted I gauge the Redding parts and the brass as I feel appropriate - trust but verify, even Wilson case trimmer shell holders can be a little off square but mostly aren't - using Wilson gages as a minimum and the RCBS case master as well as some custom to get half a tenth dimensions I can trust to be nearest tenth.

    By the time I know exactly what I want and so could use a custom honed Forster I have enough bushings and expanders that there is little reason to bother. And yes I said expanders plural - case necks, chambers and bullets all vary so I think the optimum does too.

    And finally this is obviously overkill for anybody not a rifle loony. A package deal on sale and go shoot works for more people more of the time.
     
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  19. 6ShotsOr5?

    6ShotsOr5? Gold $$ Contributor

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    Not me. I didn’t start this when I was younger and broker. I got a lot of good advice on this forum and for some reason I paid attention to y’all. I just started loading about two months ago at the ripe young age of 58. I skipped buying the stuff that most people start with and replace as soon as they can.
     
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  20. AJC

    AJC

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    Wow what a quality post full of good information. I did see that headspace spec in the description and was hoping that it would help me avoid the to long die that I have herd on this site. I might be crazy but not wanting to send the die back or take it to a machinist to be able to get a shoulder bump. I dont believe I'm in love with 308 as I like softer recoil and my 6mmbr is just so nice about that. I figured the die I got was a small expense to teach me what I dont know. Again you post was a great help and i appreciate your time.
     

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