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Thread: Neck trimming

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    Default Neck trimming

    Back again .... Well, I found that if I fireform the 338 WSM brass it drops right in the chamber after resizing UNTIL I put a bullet in the case ... It would appear that I will be forced to shave / trim the necks which I've never done before - I understand that is won't hurt in the accuracy dept. but again, I've never done it before - I could REALLY use some guidance on which trimming tool set-up to get and any wisdom that anyone might offer me re: technique ...

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    Back country, Try and google neck trimming cases. I am sure somebody will have a good explanation and pictures. It is simple, just like reloading but there are several steps involved. after the case is sized and trimmed to length you will probably need to expand the case neck some and then set the trimmer turn the case to remove some but not all brass all the way around and how far down you need to go. I have a Sinclair. It is hand operated. Works ok for the number I do, if you need quite a few look hard into getting one that is power driven.

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    Trimming is pretty easy and in my opinion essental to accuracy and proper seating. You can get a hand trimmer at Sportsmans for under a 100 bucks and a chamfer tool for about 15. Check youtube for a video.

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    Quote Originally Posted by back country View Post
    Back again .... Well, I found that if I fireform the 338 WSM brass it drops right in the chamber after resizing UNTIL I put a bullet in the case ... It would appear that I will be forced to shave / trim the necks which I've never done before - I understand that is won't hurt in the accuracy dept. but again, I've never done it before - I could REALLY use some guidance on which trimming tool set-up to get and any wisdom that anyone might offer me re: technique ...
    Are your necks too thick or too long?

    Are you talkin about "Neck Trimming" (shortening the case length)?

    Or, "Neck Turning" (for necks that are too thick, and for uniform neck thickness)?

    Or, "Inside Neck Reaming", (usually done when you've reformed a larger neck case to a smaller one)?

    If you've reformed the brass and necked them down, you probably need a Neck Reamer attachment for your Case Trimmer.

    I've never had to do it, so that's bout all I can tell you bout it.

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    This feels like there's something else going on here, and we don't have enough information to draw an accurate conclusion. Case neck thickness is not the first thing I would typically question. What's the rest of the story?
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    My suspicion is that the neck is being forced back into the shoulder and bulging the case ever so slightly. Make sure that the seating die is not impacting the end of the neck. Try "seating" a bullet without actually putting a bullet in the case. Just run the case through the seating die without a bullet and then see if it will chamber. Try a couple just to eliminate the possibility.
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    What gunbugs says, happens a lot with those who are new to handloading.

    To adjust your Seating die, put a case in the shell holder and run it up all the way. Turn the die body down til the end of the case contacts the crimping shoulder, then back it off a half turn at least, and tighten the ring. Leave it that way.

    You can then, adjust the seating stem for seating depth of the bullet.

    If you WANT to crimp, that's a nother story.

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    Smitty of the North - sorry, "neck turning" is what I meant but the seating die adjustment is a good point and I'll try it directly and get back to ya'll ....

    cases are .015 under spec for length

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    It's not the seating die adjustment, an empty case makes no contact at all when stroked up - I think I understand how to trim necks as a buddy of mine has preached the process as "the" most important for years - What I am not getting my head wrapped around is, how much to I trim off ? there must be a simple formula for figuring this

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    back country:
    Yeah, there's a simple formula, and not so simple formulas, but although I understand the principal, I can't give one, because from what I understand, it depends on your chamber neck dimensions.

    Neck Turning is something the BR shooters practice when they have custom chambers with "tight necks". It is for accuracy purposes, (Uniform neck tension) and often necessary for the case to even fit their chamber.

    The preponderance of opinion is, that it’s not needed for SAAMI spec. chambers, and won’t help enough to bother with it.

    Others, believe that it helps, to take only the high points off the outside of the neck.

    I called Sinclair International, one time ago, and asked if “Neck Turning” would help my accuracy, and was told, “Probably NOT”. (I didn’t have a tight neck chamber, or too thick necks.) (Just a buddy who shot 1K BR, who also thought it was “the most important”.)

    I concluded that he was just Hung Up on Neck Turning”, thinking it was desirable in any case. BTW, he hand loaded only for his competition rifles, and used FLs and SAAMI spec. rifles for hunting.)

    Regarding, your situation, where did you get your brass? I was thinking that the 338 WSM was a Wildcat. If so, did you hafta reform it from some other cartridge case? (Necking it down, which can thicken necks)

    If so, maybe “Neck Reaming” is your solution.

    I’ve HEARD, that the WSM brass has thick necks, and thick cases. No doubt because those cartridges have higher maximum pressure specs., in which case, Neck Turning could be the answer. I DUNNO.

    My other question is, Do you have a “tight necked” chamber?

    You probably need advice from someone more knowledgeable than me when it comes to “Neck Turning”. BUT, there are numerous Neck Turners on the market.

    You might call Sinclair International, at 1-800-717-8211 and ask them questions, and at least, get one of their catalogs.

    I hope this has been a help to your interesting problem, and not too confusing. I can only relate what little I think I know about this subject.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    back country:
    Yeah, there's a simple formula, and not so simple formulas, but although I understand the principal, I can't give one, because from what I understand, it depends on your chamber neck dimensions.

    Neck Turning is something the BR shooters practice when they have custom chambers with "tight necks". It is for accuracy purposes, (Uniform neck tension) and often necessary for the case to even fit their chamber.

    The preponderance of opinion is, that it’s not needed for SAAMI spec. chambers, and won’t help enough to bother with it.

    Others, believe that it helps, to take only the high points off the outside of the neck.

    I called Sinclair International, one time ago, and asked if “Neck Turning” would help my accuracy, and was told, “Probably NOT”. (I didn’t have a tight neck chamber, or too thick necks.) (Just a buddy who shot 1K BR, who also thought it was “the most important”.)

    I concluded that he was just Hung Up on Neck Turning”, thinking it was desirable in any case. BTW, he hand loaded only for his competition rifles, and used FLs and SAAMI spec. rifles for hunting.)

    Regarding, your situation, where did you get your brass? I was thinking that the 338 WSM was a Wildcat. If so, did you hafta reform it from some other cartridge case? (Necking it down, which can thicken necks)

    If so, maybe “Neck Reaming” is your solution.

    I’ve HEARD, that the WSM brass has thick necks, and thick cases. No doubt because those cartridges have higher maximum pressure specs., in which case, Neck Turning could be the answer. I DUNNO.

    My other question is, Do you have a “tight necked” chamber?

    You probably need advice from someone more knowledgeable than me when it comes to “Neck Turning”. BUT, there are numerous Neck Turners on the market.

    You might call Sinclair International, at 1-800-717-8211 and ask them questions, and at least, get one of their catalogs.

    I hope this has been a help to your interesting problem, and not too confusing. I can only relate what little I think I know about this subject.

    Smitty of the North
    +1 and kudos to Smitty for giving the answer I was thinking, but not articulate enough to compose. I still have difficulty believing that turning your brass is the solution. Am still suspicious that there's something else wrong. But then again I've never owned a gun with anything other than a SAAMI chamber, including my custom wildcat, so my experience is limited to that.
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    Backcountry, what about your OAL? Does your chamber perhaps have a short throat? Is your bullet running into the lands, preventing your loaded cartridge from chambering?
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    Might be time to get the chamber slugged with lead. That would allow for a measurement. Would not be the first bad reamer. Maybe the chamber is reamed incorrectly. At least you would know what size you would need to turn your necks to.
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    Take a case that has been full length resized and cut a slot across the case mouth down to the shoulder with a dremel saw; this makes 2 slits 180 degrees apart. Then take the bullet you've chosen to shoot and insert it into the case down to the bottom of the slots. Place this cartridge in the rifle and carefully close and lock the bolt. When you open the bolt you'll see the contact area where the lands marked the bullet. Seat the bullet 10-20 thousandths short of this length. Bullet profiles change this lets you check the ogive to land engagement. Make one for each rifle caliber you load.
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    OK guys - I just took 2 factory 270 WSM cartridges out and shot them in the 338, brought them in and resized them in the 338 WSM die and then installed bullets (well short enough not to hit the lands) and the bolt closed on them easily - I am thinking it is thick neck walls and a fairly tight but not necessarily a BR, chamber so do I want to just fireform 270 WSM's as my first step and not use the 325 brass or turn or ream my expanded 325 necks ? I am gonna confuse myself all over again if I'm not careful !

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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    Might be time to get the chamber slugged with lead. That would allow for a measurement. Would not be the first bad reamer. Maybe the chamber is reamed incorrectly. At least you would know what size you would need to turn your necks to.
    Quote Originally Posted by back country View Post
    OK guys - I just took 2 factory 270 WSM cartridges out and shot them in the 338, brought them in and resized them in the 338 WSM die and then installed bullets (well short enough not to hit the lands) and the bolt closed on them easily - I am thinking it is thick neck walls and a fairly tight but not necessarily a BR, chamber so do I want to just fireform 270 WSM's as my first step and not use the 325 brass or turn or ream my expanded 325 necks ? I am gonna confuse myself all over again if I'm not careful !
    Okay, both of you stop right there.

    1. Stid: you slug the bore and take a cast of the chamber.

    2. Back Country: take your rifle to a good gunsmith, there are a few that post here. Start by giving over a couple of your fireformed cases, tell the 'smith whats happening, AND get a chamber cast to see what your chamber looks like. The cast will give you a picture of the chamber, neck and throat.

    Don't do ANYTHING until you've done that. Once you have, you'll have the answers you need. If you do have a tight necked chamber, you need to call Russ Hayden's Shooters Supply and take to Russ or Marsha, they'll have the books you should read before you kill yourself/someone else, or lose your eyesight.

    PM me I'll tell you what tools you'll need, but have a cast done first.

    Lastly, factory rifles with crappy factory chambers won't benefit from neck turning as the neck diameter is so huge compared to the loaded ammo it can only make it worse. Having a tight neck in a rifle will absolutely help overall accuracy. With the tight neck will also come the reamer you've had made to your specs which will be a lot tighter than the sloppy factory reamers. There is a reason people use Lilja, Hart, Shilen, Brux, Bartlein and other barrels and BAT, Harrel, Kelbly, Stiller et. al actions rather than the Remmie for BR and 1K shooting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by back country View Post
    OK guys - I just took 2 factory 270 WSM cartridges out and shot them in the 338, brought them in and resized them in the 338 WSM die and then installed bullets (well short enough not to hit the lands) and the bolt closed on them easily - I am thinking it is thick neck walls and a fairly tight but not necessarily a BR, chamber so do I want to just fireform 270 WSM's as my first step and not use the 325 brass or turn or ream my expanded 325 necks ? I am gonna confuse myself all over again if I'm not careful !
    Necking 325 brass DOWN to 338 should make for thicker necks than necking UP 270 WSM cases.

    If using the resized 270 WSM brass works, that sounds like solution.

    As to your existing brass with the thick necks, Again, an INSIDE NECK REAMER, and then resizing might correct them.

    I'm thinkin, It's probably unlikely, you have a Tight Necked/custom chamber. I was attempting to explain the reasons behind "Neck Turning."

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    Inside Neck Reamers may only be available as an accessory attachment to a Case trimmer, like from Forster, or Wilson.

    Maybe a spendy solution.

    Smitty of the North
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    Necking 325 brass DOWN to 338 should make for thicker necks than necking UP 270 WSM cases.

    If using the resized 270 WSM brass works, that sounds like solution.

    As to your existing brass with the thick necks, Again, an INSIDE NECK REAMER, and then resizing might correct them.

    I'm thinkin, It's probably unlikely, you have a Tight Necked/custom chamber. I was attempting to explain the reasons behind "Neck Turning."

    Smitty of the North
    Smitty; You would be necking 325 WSM brass up not down as the 338 is larger than the 325 by 15 thousandths. The necks should get thinner, not thicker. But, 270 would be thinner still.
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    Actually it's easy to slug the neck of a chamber and that would tell you what you need to know. This is not unusual to have to neck turn wildcat brass that has been made from longer brass or larger bullet dia. brass, or custom chambers as they can be tighter than the loose factory chambers. First you need to know what the chamber neck size is so you can match your loaded ammo to the chamber neck. Be sure to leave a little clearance between the cartridge neck and the chamber neck as you can get very high pressure if the cartridge neck can't expand to release the bullet. Different folks will have different preferences on the amount of clearance needed. I don't care if they are a little loose as I partial size the neck which leaves a small chamber neck size ring just ahead of the shoulder which aligns the round to the chamber neck area. Don't want them too loose as it over works the brass when sizing. I use a HF mini lathe to turn necks cause I have one and it makes the job very easy. I have not used a factory made neck turner so I can't help there. Sounds like this may be your problem.

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