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  • RELOADING: When to measure the cases

    Well... I have had my press for nearly a year now and haven't reloaded a thing yet. I'm getting ready to reload some .308's. Is the correct time to measure the cases before or after I have sized them?

    For accuracy would it not be best to have them all the same length?

    Since I don't have a shell holder yet(forgot to order one for .308) I went ahead and measured the lengths today. They varied between 2.002-2.00135. Out of 120 cases, 48 were 2.008 Will this difference affect accuracy very much?
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    "Po Po coming through!" all rights reserved DJS



    'Do we really need 'smart bombs' to drop on these dumb bastards?'

    http://www.snipercompany.com/

    M16/AR15/M4 Armorer

  • #2
    Size them first then measure and trim. Yes, it helps accuracy when all the cases are the same length. Rifle brass tends to stretch once fired so I measure and trim before I relaod each time. If you're loading .308 make sure bevel the inside of the case and remove the burrs after you trim.

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    • #3
      Also be sure to LUBE the necks and die before you press them or size them. If you don’t you will regret it.

      As I understand it rifle brass can only be reloaded a handful of times relative to pistol rounds being able to be reloaded almost indefinitely.

      Each time rifle rounds need to be sized, measured and trimmed, but they need to be lubed before you do that or it will get suck in the press. Suck is not an accurate term. Fused is more appropriate.

      You can size them on the short end, but you will get travel between the barrel and the round which will reduce accuracy. You can either use factory tolerances for your lengths or to squeeze out that extra bit of accuracy you can size them to your specific barrel so it just barely makes contact and reduces travel upon being fired.

      If you’re using NEW brass you likely don’t have to do any of the sizing and trimming.
      _____________
      "Corruptisima republica plurimae leges."

      "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."
      - Cornelius Tacitus

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      • #4
        You can trim before or after resizing. I do it before because I use a progressive and it really interrupts the process if I do it right after resizing. Doing if after resizing is a tad more accurate.

        Yes, please lube. Do you have a full length size die or a neck sizer?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Drum Roast View Post
          You can trim before or after resizing. I do it before because I use a progressive and it really interrupts the process if I do it right after resizing. Doing if after resizing is a tad more accurate.

          Yes, please lube. Do you have a full length size die or a neck sizer?
          Full size. I seem to recall if I am only using the rds in one gun I just neck size. Is that so?
          sigpic

          "Po Po coming through!" all rights reserved DJS



          'Do we really need 'smart bombs' to drop on these dumb bastards?'

          http://www.snipercompany.com/

          M16/AR15/M4 Armorer

          Comment


          • #6
            i've always preferred a full length resizing die.

            also inspect the cases before all of this. under a bright light and good specs, look for cracks. you can do this before and after cleaning to determine which works best for you (for me it's before cleaning). be exceedingly critical and toss anything you have any question about. the metal of the case will harden after a few resizings and start cracking which can cause failure under detonation.

            inspect
            clean
            inspect
            lube
            resize
            trim to length (length will change after sizing so i don't trim before resizing on rifle ammo)
            deburr and chamfer
            inspect
            lube
            reload
            inspect, measure, etc.
            Last edited by Bounce; 12-09-2009, 03:13 PM.

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            • #7
              Zep, you can neck size them and it will reduce wear and tear on the brass. I suggest a Lee Collet die for neck sizing. There is also a method to setup a FL die to just size the neck and bump the shoulder back, but it takes some work and I wouldn't suggest it for a beginning reloader. You could easily end up with a bunch of rounds that wont chamber.

              Size the brass then check the length. If it's over the max OAL then trim it. If not, just use it. You may not need to trim each time you load.

              Having them all the same length will help with consistent neck tension.

              Get some Imperial Die Wax for lube. Get some on your fingers, and run it over the case and open case mouth (so a little scrapes off in the neck) before you run the case into the FL die. You don't need lube for neck sizing with a collet die.
              "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
              8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets

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              • #8
                Blackdog, Would, you recommend their crimp die as well?
                sigpic

                "Po Po coming through!" all rights reserved DJS



                'Do we really need 'smart bombs' to drop on these dumb bastards?'

                http://www.snipercompany.com/

                M16/AR15/M4 Armorer

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hornady cabide

                  Hornady also makes a carbide depriming stem that eliminates the need to lube inside the case during resizing. Fits most Hornady and RCBS dies.

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                  • #10
                    Ordered the Collet Die. For another $10 I went ahead and ordered the crimp die too. Reason is I recall when I used to reload the crimps never were as good as I wanted them to be.
                    sigpic

                    "Po Po coming through!" all rights reserved DJS



                    'Do we really need 'smart bombs' to drop on these dumb bastards?'

                    http://www.snipercompany.com/

                    M16/AR15/M4 Armorer

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, the Lee Factory Crimp Die is one of the best crimp dies.

                      Lots of people bash the Lee products, but they work well for me.
                      "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
                      8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for all the help.

                        Hopefully everything will arrive Monday(or before). Bullets are scarce around here. The only thing I could find in 168 Match was Berger. I ordered SMK 168 as well. Someone at snipershide recommended Varget powder which I got at the last gunshow.

                        Get my lighting over the workbench the way I like it and I'll be pretty much good to go.

                        Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait,,,, at least it'll all be here before Christmas.
                        sigpic

                        "Po Po coming through!" all rights reserved DJS



                        'Do we really need 'smart bombs' to drop on these dumb bastards?'

                        http://www.snipercompany.com/

                        M16/AR15/M4 Armorer

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Finally have all my stuff in to start reloading.

                          I’ve not reloaded in over 20years and never have I reloaded precision like I am trying to do now.

                          Question bullet seating. Using the Lee Dead Length Bullet Seating Die I adjusted it to where the bullet would not go deeper into the case when I chamber it. Do I seat the bullet any deeper? Or is this ok/safe/good/stupid or what.
                          sigpic

                          "Po Po coming through!" all rights reserved DJS



                          'Do we really need 'smart bombs' to drop on these dumb bastards?'

                          http://www.snipercompany.com/

                          M16/AR15/M4 Armorer

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by zeplin View Post
                            Finally have all my stuff in to start reloading.

                            I’ve not reloaded in over 20years and never have I reloaded precision like I am trying to do now.

                            Question bullet seating. Using the Lee Dead Length Bullet Seating Die I adjusted it to where the bullet would not go deeper into the case when I chamber it. Do I seat the bullet any deeper? Or is this ok/safe/good/stupid or what.
                            If you can seat the bullet to point it is just touching the lans & grooves it improves accuracy like in a Ruger. If you're loading for a rifle that semi auto or something like that make sure you never exceed max length.
                            Last edited by dadyswat; 12-15-2009, 07:19 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for everyones help. Blackdog, dadyswat, scarney, Bounce, Drum Roast, SCV-Sop.


                              After asking a few questions and getting answers letting me I’m on the right track I proceeded to do some loading today.

                              First I loaded the 10 that I practiced on along with the bullets that I pulled out of them. Yes I resized the necks again. I used a less than $100 electronic scale which seemed to work ok. Wife had supper ready so those 10 were all I got done in the first sitting.

                              After supper I went back out and started again. The less than $100 electronic scale was doing some weird stuff like shutting down when I took the pan off to dump the measured powder into the case. I filled 10 more cases with it and decided to check just how accurate it was against a beam scale. Out of the 10 only 2 were dead nuts on. The rest were off enough that I decided to redo them along with the remainder with the beam scales.

                              I powdered up 50 cases before I started putting bullets in. I have a Hornady progressive press which should make things go pretty doggoned fast once I get the hang of it. It does have one flaw and that is the cases tend to slide out of the shell holder as it rotates. For now to compensate for that I hold them in with one hand whilst I pull the lever with the other. On the 7th case I got spaz and the case exited before the bullet got seated with powder and bullet going to the floor, followed by the case when I let go of it. Kinda ticked me off. I set the case & bullet aside to assemble later.

                              I used the Lee Collet neck sizing die, dead length bullet seating die, & their factory crimp die. Components Varget Powder, Federal Primers, & Berger 168gr Target BT Match Grade Bullets Prvi Partizon cases.

                              The load I started out with using Varget powder was 41.9 gr. The first 10 with the used bullets and the 2nd 10 with new bullets got that charge. Next I loaded 10 with 41.5gr. 10 more with 41.1gr & finally 10 more with 39.7gr.

                              I seated the bullets so I would have about 0.010 clearance. Average overall length is 2.830 with about 1/8" clearance in mag.

                              Weather tomorrow is supposed to be warmer than it was today. I hope to go to the range and try out the loads and maybe have one that is pretty doggoned good.

                              One thing I noticed was how just one little piece of powder could move the scales a noticeable amount. Glad I bought powder trickler.

                              Side note. I got the Hornady a year ago and today was the first time I loaded with it. I couldn’t find the tube that you fill with primers. I called Hornady and it and all the parts that go with it are on the way no charge.
                              Last edited by zeplin; 12-15-2009, 11:05 PM.
                              sigpic

                              "Po Po coming through!" all rights reserved DJS



                              'Do we really need 'smart bombs' to drop on these dumb bastards?'

                              http://www.snipercompany.com/

                              M16/AR15/M4 Armorer

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