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Thread: Getting started ...Q's on primer pockets, calipers

  1. #1
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    Default Getting started ...Q's on primer pockets, calipers

    Here's some opinion-gitters for you:

    1. Calipers...dial v. digital? Brand? Is the Franklin Arsenal digital caliper any good? It's cheap ...and on sale at Midway.

    2. People use all kinds of terms when it comes to preparing primer pockets, i.e. "clean", "ream", "uniform" etc etc. In the catalogs, I see large and small reamers, and recall something about deburring (am I forgetting?) the flash hole. For my .30-06 ...what primer pocket tools do I need (or is a good idea to have) and for what purpose are they? Oh yeah ...I've got a couple hundred rounds of once-fired Federal (mostly) brass that I'll be using.

    3. Murphy mentioned something about 'truing up' the neck? If you're reading this Murphy, would you mind educating me a bit and expanding on this topic?

    I'm sort of at the stage where I'm collecting up the last tidbits to get going and have just about wrapped it up. I have at least 1 or 2 weekends of cleaning to do in the garage so I can get to the reloading bench that I built last summer (garage is now 'cluttered' from a summer's worth of boat building and house projects.) While I wait upon your answers, I'll go get busy reading the Hornaday manual that everyone seems to recommend...

    Thanks,
    Brian

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    Default Stand by for information over load.

    My first caliper was a plastic one from RCBS or Lyman. It did the job. I replaced it with one (and a mic.) from Sears. It's better than I need for reloading, but I like the extra quality for something that will last for years. I got the digital, very easy to read and quick. Keep an extra battery on hand.

    Your 06 will use large rifle primers. At a min. you want a brush to clean the pockets. I ream the flash hole to be sure there's no burrs. Only need to do it once in the case's life time. You can add more steps. I inspect every installed primer to be sure it's seated.

    I run all new or 1X brass through my trimmer to cut to min. length. Then deburr inside and outside of the mouth.

    I usually do several hundred bits of brass at a time. At each step I put it in plastic bags and write on the bag at what step it is in. "Cleaned" "Resized" "Primer Pocket Deburred" "Trimmed" etc.

    I reload for 5 times. Then that brass is removed from serious use to practice use until I've "lost" 10% or so, then I toss it. I mostly load for semi auto and they're hard on brass.

    Suggest you pick up extra deprime pins for your sizer die. Cost very little, a broken one will stop your reloading. Also suggest you either buy a stuck case remover kit or put one together. A stuck case stops your reloading. I just drill a hole in the primer pocket, tap the hole, then run a small bolt through a proper sized socket with washers on the end and back the case out. Only a matter of time before you put a little too little lube on a case and rip off a rim; always the night before you want to go shooting!

    Be safe, have fun.

  3. #3
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    I would prefer to put my money into a good quality (Starrett) dial caliper rather than a plastic digital. One is certainly as easy to use as another but none are more accurate than .001", regardless of advertising. These are the most useful of all the tools.

    There is a tool that is called a primer pocket uniformer. It is of the correct dimension to cut and/or clean primer pockets and leave at the correct depth. There is variation in the depth of pockets from the factory and they must be the same depth and primers must be seated to the same depth (bottom of the pocket) for best results. You need primer pocket uniforming tool. They make one size for large rifle and one for small rifle. Small rifle and small pistol pockets are the same size in diameter and depth. Large rifle is same diameter as large pistol but pistol pockets are not as deep, don't use a rifle tool for large pistol. Redding and Sinclair both make good tools and you want carbide, they never get dull and you can use to clean with without dulling on the primer residue. You need one of these.

    New brass has primer flash holes punched. This punching pushes the floor of the primer pocket in and it leaves a burr on the inside of the case. This is cleaned out with a flash hole deburring tool. This tool is a long screw driver shape with a correctly dimensioned cutter at the tip. Insert in to the mouth of the case, find the flash hole and cut until the burr is gone. Then set the adjustable stop to fit your caliber case to keep from over cutting the hole. If you use one of these cut all cases and work up loads with all cases deburred. This changes the efficiency of ignition and can change pressures of loads. You need one of these tools. I have a Lymon with a wooden handle that I like. The stop is tapered and can be adjusted for several calibers. Redding makes a good one but you must have a pilot stop for each diameter (caliber) of neck.

    Trueing (sp) the case mouth is just cutting (trimming) the mouth just enough to get it even length all the way around. I would prefer to have a case trimmed a little too short than have an uneven case mouth. New brass comes with dented and uneven mouth and it must be necked sized to straighten it and make the neck concentric. Factory ammo has brass that is uneven and if crimped into the cannelure, has a jagged edge also. Both will need to be trued up and trimmed to the correct length before loading. Usually this is .010" less than the max case length. Max case length for 30-06 [I remember this one] is 2.494" it is trimmed to 2.484".

    After trimming you will need to deburr and chamfer the case mouth, this is done with a case mouth chamfer/deburring tool. A little hand turned tool that does the inside on one end and the outside with the other end.

    This should get you started.
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    Default loading tips

    1. I like dial better. Probably because I am old fashioned.

    2. Lee sells a primer pocket cleaner. One end for Large Rifle, the other for Small rifle. Should be all you need.

    3. I have never trued or turned case necks. I have never found it necessary to reach my hunting rifle accuracy goals. I have been told by some knowledgable fellows that you wont see a big difference in accuracy by truing the necks if you are shooting them out of factory rig. If you want to turn necks, the process i am familiar with is turning them on a lathe like rig with measuring the outside of the neck for inconsistency with a dial indicator.

    The hornady manual is a very good one. Especially the chapter on headspace, bullet seating, and pressure.

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    Ok ...took a lot of notes. Thanks for the great explanations. My Hornaday manual will get on the plane with me for the Christmas vacation. Looks like the remaining items that I need aren't too spendy too. Hate to tell the wife how much I've spent already ...heh heh.

    Brian

  6. #6

    Default tools...

    Murphy is dead on as always, and I highly second his good opinion on the Lymon flash hole deburring tool. It is easy to use and no pilots to change. I bought it on recommendation from someone after I'd invested in one from RCBS and numerous pilots for different calibers, now the RCBS (and all those pilots I paid for) doesen't get used.

    TomM has a good recommendation too on the the primer pocket cleaner from Lee that has large on one end and small on the other. I have one and really like it. Inexpensive and easy to use, another must have for the bench.

    I started with an old fashioned dial caliper of middlin quality, and still have and use it along with a decent digital dial caliber and a very good Starrett micrometer (another like recommendation from Murphy's post). I have certain tasks I use them all for, but I managed with the plain dial caliper just fine for a long time.

    LeonardC makes some great points too, especially about bagging your brass and writing what step/stages you have done with it. I keep good notes when loading ammo, but sometimes I will piddle around with brass and then later not remember what I did, eg. debur flash holes, trim to length, etc. Just last week I bought some zip lock bags just to put brass in with a note on what has been done so weeks/months/years later I will know.

  7. #7
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    Ok ...got all the recommended items except for the primer pocket uniformer ...need to find where to get a Redding or Sinclair carbide one. Are these available in Fairbanks anywhere? Didn't see anything like that at SW. I'll look at stores Oregon in a week too, otherwise it'll have to be an online order.

    Thanks all. I'll be preparing brass as soon as I get back from the holidays.

    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by tananaBrian View Post
    Ok ...got all the recommended items except for the primer pocket uniformer ...need to find where to get a Redding or Sinclair carbide one. Are these available in Fairbanks anywhere? Didn't see anything like that at SW. I'll look at stores Oregon in a week too, otherwise it'll have to be an online order.

    Thanks all. I'll be preparing brass as soon as I get back from the holidays.

    Brian
    Try this.


    http://www.redding-reloading.com/pages/primpockuniform.html

    1-800.531.2666
    http://www.grafs.com/fc/browse.php?page=4&p=485&q=&v=&s=
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  9. #9
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    Thanks. Got the Redding primer pocket uniformer on the way, plus 200 Starline brass cases for the 500 S&W. Does Graf's UPS/FedEx Ground shipping make it to Fairbanks? I added a note saying that if not, that USPS Priority Mail is a safe bet...

    Brian

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