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Thread: Loading Belted cases, Sloppy ammo?

  1. #1

    Default Loading Belted cases, Sloppy ammo?

    I have just read an article on reloading the 300 win mag. It talked of fire-forming new brass as the cases were sloppy ( as Murphy had previously mentioned) which apparently causes the cases to stretch above the web and limited case life. I can only assume that full length resizing will take the cases back to their “sloppy” condition. Neck sizing would work, but I wouldn’t want to neck size for hunting rounds. So what is the answer? Have a set of precisely formed brass for practice and separate looser set for hunting to ensure function in less than ideal conditions?

    What do you all do? How do you set up your dies? What happens if your chamber is reamed to max SAMMI specs and your dies are min? or vice versa? I have always used RCBS dies cause that’s what I have and they have been just fine for standard cartridges. Are for instance Redding dies more precisely machined?

    Thanks for any input, Cheers.

  2. #2
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    I have loaded for a 300 WBY Magnum and had no problems with the reloads. I tried both neck sizing and full length sizing and could tell no difference in function or accuracy. I cant remember how many times i would reload each piece of brass before disposing of it though. I may have one of those once in a lifetime guns that eats and shoots anything you put in it and does it well. I have shot factory loads out of it and achieved 1/2 MOA.

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    The answer may well be as you have said, use only once fired, fireformed brass to load your hunting loads then to further assure functionality, run each round throught the action. This I have done as a standard practice for decades. It works.

    I will disagree with anyone and everyone who claims equal accuracy with f/l sized vs neck sized cases, with belted cases. I shot a 300 Winny, and other calibers, competively, at 1000 yards, for a number of years. My rifle and I could rarely achieve 1/2 MOA but clearly necksizing, good brass prep and correct bullet seating brought the rifle to it's capable accuracy. Neck sizing means the case always fits the chamber and especially in a belted case, this is a big difference.

    Here are some facts about accurate shooting and accurate shooters.
    No BR winner f/l sizes brass. No long line (800-1000 yards) winner f/l sizes brass. With the possible exception of custom chambered guns which are made to minimum SAAMI specs to fit a certain brand of ammo. Beltless cartridges suffer less from this "sloppyness" but can benefit from neck sizing as well. Over the course guns, such as autoloaders, use tight chambers and factory match ammo, but only require 1.5 MOA to clean the whole course.

    Now as for hunting accuracy, I believe that can well be achieved without neck sizing but the danger of disableing a gun in the field, with a separated case, is very real. There are many handloaders who would never use handloaded ammo for hunting yet they claim; "no problems" with they way they handload. I haven't used a factory round to hunt with in the past 40 years except in a foreign land where I couldn't bring my own ammo.

    When we load for the utmost in accuracy and we quibble over such things as seating depth and bullet design it seems rather fool hardy to disregard the single most important task in case prep, correct sizing. Case preparation is far more important to accuracy than bullet seating depth.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  4. #4
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    I neck size mainly then cycle the loads in my rifle to make sure they work. If I don't have the correct neck die for a caliber I'm working on I'll partially full-length resize with full length dies. I use a black felt tip marker on the neck of the brass and lower the sizing die until the neck is resized almost its full length.

    Woody

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    For a hunting rifle, I think the simple and easiest answer is to fireform the cases in your rifle and then when you are resizing the brass start by neck sizing and then screw your die down 1/8 turn at a time resizing as you go till the brass will easily chamber or just a hint of resistance.
    Use this die only for the rifle in question unless you want to reset it each time you reload.
    Tennessee

  6. #6

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    Great stuff there Murphy. I have not read anything on this and wondered why. I have 2- 45/70's that have oversize chambers above the flange the fired brass juts out at a sharp angle to the larger dia. then when you try to resize the brass is over worked at the base. I solved the problem by laping the die out in the bad area . I chucked a shortened case and used laping compound to enlarge the base of the die. that worked so well that I also did the same thing on my 30/06's and 7 rem mag. they turned out nice. I would lap and then wash the die and try until I got it right. My one complaint about the .45/70 is the chamber size. If I were building one I would get a reamer cut more to the size of the case. A rifle really comes into it's own with fire formed ammo.

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    When neck sizing with a f/l die we are actually partially sizing the body and the plan here is to just bump the shoulder to facilitate ease of chambering, as others have mentioned. This could very well be the best compromise for hunting loads. If the rifle is good this will give more than adequate accuracy for most big game hunting. There is more to the program than just the gnats butt accuracy, the highest of reliability is needed also. Based on that, the once fired to fit your chamber brass, sized just enough for reliable feeding, is likely the best we can get, especially when using standard off the shelf f/l sizing dies for standard off the shelf rifle chambers.

    When dealing with dies not fitting the chambers correctly, (almost any combination could be said to be such) you can send the sizing die back to the maker with three fired cases and they will polish them to fit. Redding has done this for me to make things fit better without charge but other makers may charge for this service.

    I think if I had my call I'd use neck only sizing dies which cannot set the shoulder back and a body die, when needed, to resize the body and bump the shoulder. This is the preferred method now for any target round and we go further to use a neck die with a carbide sizing sleeve in the neck portion of the case. The body die used just when we need to bump the shoulder. Of course the oversized or odd sized chamber will always offer other problems for the handloader to deal with. And most chambers rarely ever are as concentric as even budget reloading dies.

    Belted cases are the worst thing that ever happened to case to chamber fit in a rifle until we get this brass expanded to headspace on the shoulder and hold the round in good alignment with the bore. ( In which case the belt will not contact the chamber belt groove.) If the case lies down in the bottom of the chamber because of poor shoulder to chamber fit, accuracy will always suffer.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  8. #8

    Default sizing belted magnums

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  9. #9
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    This is what I do also. I use a F/L die for most of my calibers. I set the die so it will resize the whole neck without setting the shoulder back. This will allow even a belted case to headspace on the shoulder same as a standard round.
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