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Thread: Neck Sizing

  1. #1
    Member 8x57 Mauser's Avatar
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    Question Neck Sizing

    I decided to try just neck sizing some brass to reload it. I keep reading that it'll make my brass last longer and maybe improve accuracy.

    For starters, the rifle in question seems to have good chamber tolerances - fired brass is easy to drop back into the chamber, and takes almost no force to remove. Once I neck sized it, the fired brass slipped right back out with no more force than gravity provides.

    But I don't have a separate neck-sizing die. One of my loading manuals says just lower the full-length sizing die 'till it hits the shell holder, back it off one full turn, and you're good to go.

    The result is that only a little more than half of the neck gets sized. It looks like the case has a second, smaller shoulder on the neck. I lowered the die a bit further, but the point was not to size the shoulder, so I stopped short of getting the whole neck.

    Here's the upshot and the question: The neck on the case is about .3 inches long. I've adjusted my die to leave about .06 inches unsized above the shoulder. Am I good to go, or do I need to go back and do it again so the neck is sized all the way to the shoulder?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default A little more neckin'....

    You could go down a little bit more maybe leave about .025-.030" unsized neck. This will be a fraction of a turn with the 7/8" x14 die threads. The purpose of neck sizing is to prevent setting the shoulder back. Some f/l sizing dies, or specifically some fired brass, due to chamber dims, can't set the shoulder back anyway. This is due to minimum headspace dimension of the chamber. Dies are made to reestablish that minimum headspace dimension when screwed down to contact the shell holder. If the chamber is already cut to the minimum, then the die wont move the shoulder. That's a good thing. You would notice this if you tried to fit brass fired in another rifle, into your chamber. It wouldn't go.

    You're doing it correctly. Size a little at a time and look for the mark of sizing on the neck. You could do quite well with where you have it now, but I would go a little closer to the shoulder. Wherever you end up sizing, lock the die down and use that setting each time to avoid variations in neck tension. This is a minor factor in accuracy. We want consistent neck tension from shot to shot. A neck only sizing die is available for about $20.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  3. #3
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    Default

    Depending on the relationship of the particular die to the particular chamber, you may not be able to size as much of the neck as you want to, without squeezing the shoulder too, and pushing it forward at the same time.

    That can make the case harder to chamber than an usized, fired case.

    You can try it, and if it works fine, but a neck sizing die is probably best for neck sizing only.
    Smitty of the North

  4. #4
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    Default target or hunting?

    While neck sizing only is great for target shooting I would get full length dies and just "bump" to the shoulder for hunting.

    Even people with only 1 rifle in a caliber somehow wind up with brass fired in someones rifle other than their own.(same mystery as the lost sock in the dryer)

    But if you are dead set on neck sizing only then chamber every round at the shooting bench before you save it for a hunt.

    Or (while at the reloading table)REMOVE firing pin stryker assy., aim rifle in safe direction (because high primers can crushfire)and chamber every round before saving the ammo for a hunt.

    Like I said before, I am sure people have done laundry by themselves with no one else at home. Then while folding clothes realize that a sock is gone.....vanished. So dont think an oversize brass casing cant just appear in your range bag.

    jedi

  5. #5
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Sizing

    I agree too I full length and set the shoulder back just a tad....Brass Prep and a good bullet seater die like Hornady's are a plus.

    The Lyman "M" Die works good also.
    Alaska

  6. #6
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    Just a comment on the brass life. Most sizing dies size the neck down considerably smaller than it needs to be sized, then open it back up with the expander button. It is this over-working of the neck that causes the brass to get brittle and crack. Ideally a neck sizer die should only size the neck enough for bullet tension, and no expander ball would be used.

    I've yet to find the steller improvements in accuracy from neck or partial sized brass, and after several firings the brass will become difficult to chamber and require full length sizing. Since I don't like suprises in the field, I fl size all my cases and trim when required. I get plenty of brass life by loading to reasonable levels.

  7. #7
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    Default

    It's much easier and accurate just to use a neck sizing die. Both the neck and full-size die can be adjusted as follows, but first have fired once or fired twice cases from the same batch:

    1. Dip the case's neck in powdered graphite, and then size the neck with the neck sizer, or the case with the full-size die.

    2. Look at the neck carefully, and see how far down on the neck toward the shoulder a ring of graphite has moved to. Adjust the die (a little at a time) so that in the following sessions the line or ring moves to where the shoulder and neck meet, not above, nor on the shoulder, but exactly between the two.

    3. Dip the same case's neck in the graphite, size the neck (or case), watch the ring of graphite, and adjust the die as needed. Continue doing this until the ring has moved just between the shoulder and the neck.

    4. Once the ring has moved to the correct place, grab another fired once, or twice, case and size that one in the same manner as before. If the ring of graphite still is in the same location as before, then back the the die 1/16th of a turn, and lock it in place.

    To lock the die in place:

    1. Place a deep-well mechanic's socket on the shell holder. In can be placed right on top of it, but use the right-size socket so that it does not go inside the die and damage it (find the right size socket).

    2. Move the ram so that the socket is firmly pressed between the die and the shell holder, and perfectly centered, and hold it that way until you lock the die in place.
    -----------------
    Don't forget to also lubricate the case up to just below the shoulder if you are using a full-size die.

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