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Thread: Resizing belted magnum cases

  1. #1
    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    Default Resizing belted magnum cases

    So, we are all reloading to save $$, so it makes sense to re-use our brass as many times as is safe.
    Whats the skinny on re-sizing belted mag cases to avoid the bulge above the belt, and avoid weakening the shoulder through repeated resizings?
    This is assuming I am going to headspace off the shoulder, not the belt.
    Can you still get the collet resizing die for belted cases?
    Thanks gents.
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    Belted Cases size on the belt. You can size AS IF you were headspacing on the shoulder.

    If you don't push the shoulder back too far, and don't use, too hot, loads your brass should last.

    Handloading Belted cases isn't different than rimmless cases. You observe the same thiings.

    Usually, new Belted brass and Factory Loads have short shoulders, until they are fired the first time.

    Regular Neck sizing dies work fine for me. I have a 3 die set that includes both FL and Neck Sizing dies, as well as the seating die.

    IME, the Lee Collet die doesn't size the neck enough when your brass has been fired a time or two, unless you get a smaller size mandrel.

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  3. #3

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    The belted magnum resizing die listed here http://www.larrywillis.com/ claims to help with that issue.

    I have not bought one myself so I cannot speak to its actual ability to extend case life. If I start experiencing case life shorter than I find reasonable I may get one. So far I dont load enough belted stuff to justify it.

  4. #4

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    I've always headspaced off the shoulder and never had any problem with case life. But I'm not pushing pressures to stratospheric levels. In my book an extra 100 fps from over-pressure loads doesn't mean diddle in the field. If I want more velocity than the SAAMI specs allow, I switch to a round with a bigger case.

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    I've been measuring the case bottoms on my 350RM reloads, and have yet to see any deviation that indicated swelling, but like you gents have said, I'm not pushing things. 225 Gr Nolser part. with 59grains of RL15. Rifle seems to like them just fine.
    I had just read about the swelling issue, and it sounded like it was a huge problem, and I thought that I must be missing something.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukoner View Post
    I had just read about the swelling issue, and it sounded like it was a huge problem, and I thought that I must be missing something.
    Cheers
    Paul
    At the very least, you might be missing the opportunity to generate a little more commerce in a slow economy.

    I should just shut up on this, but when operating at normal pressures for a round, I've never seen it happen in almost 50 years of loading belted cases. I know guys that push pressures, and for them it might be the hottest deal since sliced bread.

    I just "retired" a lot of 100 7mm Rem Mag cases after 8 reloadings with my full power hunting loads. I say "retired" because they're still perfectly fine, but I've moved them on into the collection of cases I use for midrange loads and for low pressure cast bullet shooting. I bet I get another dozen or more loads out of them before they clang a garbage can. I size carefully, trim and anneal as necessary, but other than that I don't go to any extra measures beyond respecting pressure limits for a round.

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    You'd figure that if it was that big an issue, RCBS would have come up with some gizmo to address it.
    Of course, it is our duty to try and keep things moving, economy wise.
    Maybe I need a new rifle
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  8. #8

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    Well, it looks like I am in a minority on that issue, but I have problems with the lifetime of my 300 WinMag cases. I think, the reason I am in minority is my rifle in this caliber is not conventional bolt action, but Browning BPR, which stays for Browning Pump Rifle.

    If I take fresh brass, I have no problems whatsoever during the first three-four cycles. Then, during the fourth-fifth cycle once in a while I have a round that can not be chambered and jams the rifle. During the sixth-seventh-eight cycles this problem intensifies and by the tenth cycle roughly half of my brass jams.

    If I measure problem cases, it is .513-514" just above the belt, while the SAAMI size is .510". This bulge can not be removed with regular dies (I use RCBS X-Die) or with Small Base die (I got one RCBS Small Base die just to try).

    So, this is the story. I have not decided if I need that collet die from http://www.larrywillis.com/, or retirement of the magnum brass after four cycles is a reasonable thing to do. Perhaps this is because I got new toys in 300 WSM and in 30-06, where this problem non existent and put aside my 300 WM BPR for a while.

    Oh, yes, the loads were pretty far from the hot once, pretty much mid-range. And, yes, I Full Size every time (well, it's a pump rifle)
    Last edited by sergeima; 08-14-2010 at 14:35. Reason: forgot to add

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by sergeima View Post
    I think, the reason I am in minority is my rifle in this caliber is not conventional bolt action, but Browning BPR, which stays for Browning Pump Rifle.

    Oh, yes, the loads were pretty far from the hot once, pretty much mid-range. And, yes, I Full Size every time (well, it's a pump rifle)
    Now we're on fertile ground. I'm well acquainted with SB dies from all my years with Savage 99's. Some need it and some don't. The 308 Sb dies weren't all that much of an issue, but the 250 dies were painful. The variation from gun to gun tells me there's quite a range in chamber dimensions among Savage 99's.

    I'm interested that your BPR issues aren't solved by the SB dies. Could be that Browning intensionally made the chambers oversize in an effort to ease extraction, and in doing so took them somewhere beyond the range of an SB die.

    But one question remains. Is the dimension that is giving you fits the base itself, or somewhere else on the case? Dunno, but you might need to do something like a 2-pass sizing job: Once through an SB die and once through a collet die. That's all academic if you're content with 4-shot case life. If not, then you have to weigh the expense of additional reloading tools.

    Good post, and food for thought. My mind can certainly use the nourishment!

  10. #10
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    Thatís a good question from BB.

    POSSIBLY, the shoulder is TOO BIG AROUND. I say that because of the experience I had with my 7mm RM. And, my interpretation of what happens when I FL resize.

    When I FL Resize, my 7mm Mag. Cases, I have to adjust the die to the absolute MAX for them to chamber. I call it ďOver-adjustingĒ, and by that I mean with the shell holder touching the die and then some.

    Since the fired cases fit fine, Iím convinced that the problem is due to SIZING, and not FIRING. (Fired cases chamber fine, Sized/Loaded rounds donít always.

    Assuming that brass loses some of itís elasticity, each time it is fired, after a while, when itís sized, it doesnít end up as small in dimensions as it did before.

    Nonetheless, when you begin sizing a bottle neck case, adjusting your die as you go, to arrive at the proper adjustment, you may get to a point where the shoulder is EXPANDED, and if you stop there, the case may not chamber.

    Of course, this depends on the die dimensions, chamber dimensions, case design, (How straight the sides), etc. I believe that with the right, or wrong, combinations you can have case sizing that doesnít fit, or fit the chamber well, and it has nothing to do with the base of the case size.

    Rightly, or wrongly, I donít have any faith that the Colette die that is always mentioned when people have trouble sizing belted cases. I do however, think that sizing (FL) belted brass MAY be a ďtadĒ, (to use an EKC expression) more problematic than sizing rimless bottle neck cases.

    Anyway, I solved my problem, the one I mentioned above, by getting a Neck Sizer die from RCBS.

    I dunno if Neck Sizing would solve the problem with that Pump Rifle, but maybe die adjustment would. Anyhoo, like BB says, it would help to know what dimension on the case is causing the problem with chambering.

    I would sure like to know. Sometimes, we run into a problem that isnít in the books, or the normal ones, anyway. Itís a good thing we have people like BB to help. I wonder if he puts any credence to my own thoughts.

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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    I wonder if he puts any credence to my own thoughts.

    Smitty of the North
    I'm right there with you. I hadn't even considered the idea of neck sizing, but you're right.

    I think your suggestion about shoulder diameter expansion has a lot of credence, especially if the shoulder is unsupported as could be the case in using a conventional sizing die backed off to neck size only. Though the comparison is round about and caused by different dies, I'm reminded of my 25-35 and bullet crimping. If the necks get even slightly long, crimping the bullet will keep a round from chambering, even though there are no visible bulges in the case neck. I've never miked them, but it could well be that the long bullet is supporting the long neck and preventing bulging, while the shoulder is the next area in line to be affected.

    Man, my brain is feeding high on the hog now!

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    Thanks BB:
    Smitty of the North
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    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
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    If a person was using their loads in only one rifle, could you neck size only (belted and non belted) instead of FL?
    I see that you can neck size only with the FL RCBS dies, is that a desirable way to go?
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    That's a very provisional "maybe." If your rifles happen to have compatible chambers, sure. But if they're enough different, as they usually are, multiple rifles are reason enough to full length size. Or if you prefer neck sizing, at least to keep batches of cases tied to specific rifles.

    I've got three 257 Roberts- two factory built and one built for me by RCBS in the early 70's. All will shoot cases when full length sized with factory dies, but the Roberts from RCBS came with a die they made for it to match that specific chamber. It's a dandy for long case life in that particular rifle, but rounds sized in it won't fit either of the other two Roberts. Not "neck sizing," but it serves to illustrate just how individualistic rifle chambers can be.

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    I hear you loud and clear on the "maybe".
    I've got one .280, one 7mmRM, one 30-06, and one 350RM. Not planning on any more additions to the quiver, so the loads for each would be only for that rifle.
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    my .300wm. i have to FL i was NS only and was getting tighter brass each round as i am running the high end to max on my loads in it... the case just stretches to much to NS only.. one maybe two times the with the neck... then back to the FL.. so i just fl every time now.. still get 8-9 per brass so not too bad.
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    Neck sizing with a FL sizing die (Partial FL sizing) may not work, because the shoulder MAY get expanded before enough neck is sized. (Like I was talking about.)

    It's my understanding, that eventually my Neck Sized 7 Mag. cases will hafta be FL sized every once in a while, but I haven't reached that point yet, because I'm not loading hunting rounds for it now.

    A 300 Mag doesn't have much neck anyhoo. Neither, does a 7 Mag, actually.

    Smitty of the North
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    It's my understanding, that eventually my Neck Sized 7 Mag. cases will hafta be FL sized every once in a while, but I haven't reached that point yet, because I'm not loading hunting rounds for it now.
    That's been my experience with my son-in-law's 300 Winnie and the fairly hot loads it likes. You get 3, max 4, neck sizings before you have to drop the die back down for a full length pass. It's kind of a PITA really, because after the second and neck sizing, you have to run every case through his chamber to make sure it still fits. Can't convince him to buy his own neck sizing die, but maybe if I sit his hiney down at the loading bench for a couple of 100-round lots he'll dip in his wallet rather than waiting for me to spend my own.

    Actually I paint an unfair pic. He's a really good guy and spends months to a year at a time deployed, so his home time is scarce. I'm happy to do his reloading because I'm happy our daughter married a good guy who also loves to shoot. Gotta jerk his chain gently now and then.

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