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Thread: How often do you FL size

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    Member HuntKodiak's Avatar
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    Default How often do you FL size

    I read a response by Murphy in another thread, but I don't want to hijack that thread.

    Recommendation was not to full length resize rifle brass each time because it might be a contributing factor to case fatigue. However, I FL resize between each reload. Didn't realize that may not be the right thing to do. Can I get some feedback on why and what folks do for FL and neck resizing frequency. Honestly, I've never just neck sized because I thought it was best to go full length.

    Thanks,
    Mike

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    Only time I'm guaranteed to send brass through the FL die is if it's the first time it's gonna see my rifle. After that, it's neck only.

    Don't notice a big difference with the 308 winnie, but huge difference with my 338WM. 4th shot FL sized = split case just above the web every time. Neck sizing = double that before the necks crack & if I anneal the neck & shoulder every 4th shot I can shoot them till the primer pockets loosen up.

    Hunting Brass gets shot 1x, neck sized and loaded for bear ;-) Will load it for huntin a second time comfortably, but after that it's range brass only.

    If you're shootin a self loader, better be FL sizing them. Just to be sure.

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    I place all of my once shot brass in box and keep some around for hunting ammo. It depends on my gun. I have a 300 win that needs to be full length sized after 1-2 loadings to bump the neck. I have a buddies 275 ruger that needs to have the neck bumped back each time. I have loaded two 338 win that do not care how many times they have been neck sized. My 308 does not care what you put in it, it will shoot an old stick if you put gun powder on it. I have 2 auto loaders and sometimes only virgin brass works with them. My 300 Ultra about 4x like rdkinak said, neck size then FL. I don't anneal.

    That is my limited knowledge. Maybe I need to be more consistent. To me, most always FL sized is gonna work. At hunting ranges (300 yards) I have not seen much difference in accuracy with neck sizing or FL, so I tend to FL my 1x brass to hunt with. I make sure the cases are clean inside and out, polish them up, then put them in a special place to use only on hunting trips and to sight in with before the trip.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Good Question HuntKodiak!
    rdklinak brings up a good point - autos and lever guns are rec to F/L re-size and if you are going to share the ammo with other guns than what is has been shot in for sure. I usually end up with 2 or more of the same caliber of guns and usually F/L re-size so I can change guns with no feed issues. It looks like I am going to play some with this new gun and dedicate loads for it which really won't be a problem. I would rec marking the ammo box clearly to the specific gun you mate it to though...
    Many loading manuals suggest F/L for hunting gun use simply for the "swapping" possibilities that can occur...
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuntKodiak View Post
    How often do you FL size?
    In cartridges for bolt-action rifles, NEVER.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    I FL re-size my 30-06 loads, simply because there are numerous 30-06's in the family and I want the rounds to work in all of them. Same with any .375 H&H.

    The 300 H&H and other odd-balls get neck sized.

    Yk

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    I full length size all my cases all the time. I want my loaded ammo to "drop" into the chamber without resistance. If the brass stretches, then that's OK. I view brass as expendable. The last thing I want is a cartridge stuck in the chamber. I've had to remove too many from other folks guns that were just "neck" sized. There are a lot of other things I can do during the loading process to improve accuracy that don't leave the possibility of chambering problems. Also, the ammo I load will work in any of my other identical caliber guns without the nuisance of keeping the ammo segregated for a particular rifle. Neck sizing is great for a bench rest gun in a small caliber, but my opinion is that it is wasted effort on most calibers bigger than 22 bore. Unless you are the guy that has to get 25 loads out of a piece of brass. Brass is cheap, guns are expensive.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    In cartridges for bolt-action rifles, NEVER.
    What he said.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    I'm rapidly becoming a Never FL size reloader, also,

    I commented in an earlier thread that I thought I learned the hard way about a tight chambering round on a hunt, and that would always full length resize hunting rounds. The more I look at it that was probably a WSM issue, not a tight fitting round,

    Now I'll just be checking hunting rounds before taking them afield by working them all through ahead of time.

    Neck Sizing is so easy, on brass, lube, less trimming, etc. I'm at 98% of the time now.

    It's all my own stuff tho, one rifle for sure, no issues there

    Seems to me the Most of the advantage of reloading your own Custom Rounds for My Specific Rifle,
    is lost, when I full length resize them, back to stuff that fits any rifle, right ??

    How about this fine tune question, "If you work up a load, to the tenth of a grain, 100th of an inch COL, etc. while Neck Sizing only, then load that into a FL sized case for hunting, Haven't you just changed a fairly big factor in your load ? So it may not be what you thought you had ???
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    I have always FL resized for all my rifles just because that is what I learned from reading is best for hunting rifles that you want no probems chambering. Not so sure it is the best thing though (majority of my loading has been handgun)

    One thing that has caught my eye recently. They are expensive, but Redding makes a shell holder set that goes from standard size up to 10,000 over normal. Supposedly, you put the biggest shell holder in, re-size, then try and chamber in rifle. If tight, pick the next one 2,000 less and repeat until you find just the right amount of shoulder set back for your rifle?? Not sure how well these work, but looks like a decent way for the less educated to resize instead of fiddling with trying to adjust the resizing die to neck size.

    Anybody tried these?

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    Never had a feeding or extraction issue from FL or NK only sizing.. my trigger finger has sent 40,000 + rounds of centerfire rifle out the muzzle over the last 30 years and not a single one. probably 50/50 NK and FL sized ...Not saying it can't happen... but my average is pretty good.

    Brass is cheap, but I'm cheaper. If I can save $150 by getting 5x more loadings from a case by NK sizing... I'm gonna do it. (Probably gonna spend it on powder) I am an accuracy nut, and I get better accuracy (in my bolt actions) from NK sizing.

    I prefer to hunt with neck sized nickle plated Federal or Winchester cases if I have my choice. Regular brass cases are used for everyday range work until I have enough "used" nickle cases.

    I have had failures to eject from a few different NEF Handi-rifles but that was with factory loaded rounds so that doesn't count ....

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    Member HuntKodiak's Avatar
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    I'm here guys....not being unsocial. Just taking a look now and then while working on a project for my boat....got a spring hunt to prep for.

    A lot of opinions and experiences here, and like I said, I'm the first to admit that I've never NK sized. However, I'd like to minimize the case stretching and thinning if I can do so without sacrificing anything important.

    For each caliber I only have one rifle, and since I load with attention to bullet jump for my rifles, a couple loads are set for shorter jumps. So that and having some loads around max published charge would prevent me from sharing the ammo with others. Consequently, FL sizing isn't an issue for me for the reason of sharing ammo (in most cases).

    Still seems smart to FL size new brass and then trim it to thetrim length, and then I think I'd like to try just NK sizing. Although it's interesting that a couple of you who have earned my respect have said you don't ever FL. Apparently you've found a reason to just let your rifle do the sizing.

    If I may (since I started this thread) add a request, I'd like to know the procedural steps taken from those of you that NK size. I know that I could look this up, but the reason for asking isn't laziness. Instead it's because experience teaches better ways to get the job done. So, I'd like to leach from you those better ways. It might just help me get more consistent chambering pressure in my 7mm-08 too. Heck, maybe I'm not FL sizing completely right either.

    Thanks a bunch guys. Seems like I can't help but learn stuff around this place.

    Mike

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    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdklinak View Post
    If I can save $150 by getting 5x more loadings from a case by NK sizing... I'm gonna do it. (Probably gonna spend it on powder) I am an accuracy nut, and I get better accuracy (in my bolt actions) from NK sizing.

    I prefer to hunt with neck sized nickle plated Federal or Winchester cases if I have my choice. Regular brass cases are used for everyday range work until I have enough "used" nickle cases.
    All the economy in reusing brass comes in the first 4 or 5 reloadings, so I don't care if I'm getting 10 or 20 reloadings of hulls. For example, you buy 100 cases for $40. You reload them once, it costs you 40 cents per case. Twice - 20 cents. Three times - 13.3 cents. Four times - 10 cents. Five times - 8 cents. Six times - 6.7 cents. The incremental savings after 5 reloads is very small compared to the intital cost of the new case. Cracks me up when folks are obsessed with obtaining more reloads and think they are saving "gobs" of money.

    That said. I absoluting hate FL sizing. I try to alternate between FL and NK sizing when possible. FL sizing leads to case trimming, which I also despise. I will partial FL size when it works. I neck sizing for working up loads mostly. Will neck size for my single shots.

    How to tell if a case really needs FL sizing? Take the firing spring off the bolt helps. Gives you a better feel for whether the case chambers w/o resistance. I've never FL size new brass, but will run them thru a neck sizer to round out the necks and make sure I get consistent neck tension.

    Yep - I like nickel cases for all hunting loads.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    I'm with HuntKodiak - since I have always re-sized I would enjoy getting a step by step scenario from you chaps that are hardcore NK sizers to see what I may learn...
    I am guessing you may have to extend the decapping pin a bit if ya back of the die body?
    Randy
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    I'm not a hardcore experienced guy, and I know there are ways to do it with a FL sizing die, but

    I just bought a "dedicated Neck Sizer Die, made by RCBS, but they all make them.
    Seemed better than messing with adjusting the FL die everytime, just $30 something
    Check here for your caliber
    http://www.sinclairintl.com/.aspx/pi..._30_06_Sprgfld

    I use Dry Case Neck Lube, in an old film canister, dip the case in there just up to the shoulder, tap it a bit to knock the loose stuff out, then into the Neck Sizer,(the first time you do this you will be sold forever on how easy it is)
    http://www.sinclairintl.com/.aspx/pi..._Dry_Neck_Lube

    It's then easy to wipe off the extra dry lube off the outside of the case, the inside has a light dusting of it remaining
    (I leave this in there) for ease of seating later
    You can adjust the die according to directions originally and can clearly see how much is being sized
    by the dry case lube that has been pushed down, should be just to the base of the neck.

    Seriously you will see the benefit of Neck Sizing, how much LESS you are working the rest of the case right away.
    The lubing process is sooo much easier than even spray on FLsizing lube, that you have to wipe off or tumble off later.
    There is literally NO Trimming to be done anymore, (beyond new brass purchase uniforming, etc.)
    as your cases just don't go through all the stretching,
    And you will feel the advantage of a snug fit in your chamber vs. a sloppier fit with FL Sized cases, right away,

    Really makes sense. so I'd say just get the NS die, there's room for it in your Die box already,.... for some reason
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    OK Kodiak - then are you using your FL sizing die for just decapping? And if so what do you do just back die off in holder some and extend the decapping pin further out?
    Never mind - I went to your link and get it now - Duh....
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Member HuntKodiak's Avatar
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    I like what you are sayiing Al, but if I could use my FL dies to NK size, that would save me a good chunk of change. Sure, one die might only cost $30 something, but then multiply that by how many different caliber rifles I've got and yuck.

    I will admit, the simplicity and process sounds great, and my brain like the idea that leaving the case "fire formed" to my my specific rifles should create another constant in the finished ammo. Like so many other things in life, the more that's made constant.....the less room left for variables, and that makes the outcome more predictable. I like predictable.

    Like L.G. said, I also hate how FL drives me into trimming, which I do with a manual trimmer and like about as much as I like hitting my finger with a hammer.

    Who does NK sizing with their FL die and what are your steps. To call out a few of you that I'm sure have the experience and knowledge to school me......1Cor, Murphy, Marshall, rdkllinak, L.G. Pretty please.

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Just while we wait for those guys, I'd like to hear from them also,
    but I believe the method using your FL die is to back off your FL die,
    one full turn out of the press, to just size the neck

    So you set it up as normal, Ram up to top, screw die down til touching the ram or case holder, then back ram down, and INSTEAD of going further down with the die til it cams over y'kno, you unscrew the die a full turn, set the locknut
    Technically you are now "not sizing the lower body of the case but just the neck,..."

    I'll look for a place in the archives to confirm this, Murphy is also big on Neck sizing, his posts on it are what convinced me to just go dedicated NS die.

    So yes, you can save the $30 for every caliber you have, and use your FL die, it will still decap also.
    I haven't done it that way tho so not sure how it goes lubing the cases, imagining you don't need any on the body but just the neck, don't take my word on that tho

    They should be along soon to help with any more good details, or I'll post some links if I find em
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  19. #19
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Here's a pretty good post, (emphasis mine in bold)

    07-28-2008
    Murphy

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    I am a neck sizer, tens of thousands of rounds every year. I am thoroughly convinced that it is always easier on the brass and generally makes for a more accurate load. In the small case where accuracy is the game anyway it would be most recommended. BUT...you need to size the neck length and the dies are pretty precise with 14 threads per inch one turn is about .070". That is the most you will need to back off the die. So run the die down until it touches the shell holder then back off at least 1/2 turn and no more than one turn.
    Every chamber is different and every die is different but the f/l die is designed to return the case to minimum SAAMI dimensions in every dimension but the one we are concerned about is the headspace dimension.
    Case head to shoulder datum point should be allowed to stay as it was when ejected from the rifle. Otherwise it will be fireformed anew with each firing and will stretch that little bit each time it is fired after it is f/l resized and the shoulder is pushed back.
    If you have a chamber that is minimal then this will have less benefit but if your chamber is quite liberal in dimension it will benefit a great deal. Thats why the .035" to .070" dimensions headspace is controlled to within .006" for most ( the GO and NO GO gage is .006" apart) and worst case is .010" so the .035" will clear any varying headspace.

    When we want to get precise we use dies made to match the chamber of the rifle and just size the neck only (neck sizer die) the correct amount and when we need to bump the shoulder back for easy chambering we use a shell holder that is longer by .002".
    Match winners use this technique with various makers dies. I like to use this for everything because it saves the brass and is better accuracy with just about every caliber.
    Make the shot,

    Murphy

    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  20. #20
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Ok just a few more but this is good info from this thread,
    (watch now, Murphy will probably pop in on us and say, "aww changed my mind on that a few yrs back,..." )

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ht=Neck+Sizing

    another from Murphy

    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.
    Make the shot,

    Murphy

    this is RayfromAk
    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.
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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