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Setting dies PROPERLY

FAL GRUNT

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Can someone PLEASE walk me through this?

I've been working on it but I still am hesitant and still feel like I may not be doing it right.

Currently am wanting to run through my .308 and 30.06, tumble, size, deprime, trim and set back for when I get ready to reload them.

However, I am still hesitant because im not sure how I am supposed to set up my sizing/deprime die. It's a full length die, both are RCBS, im just not sure WHERE to put them and HOW to set where they are in the press.

For right now i've been using an old OLD lyman hand tool to seat the bullets. I've been setting the bullet up to where I cannot see the cannlure(sp?) But I still need to figure out setting a crimp...

thanks

-myers
 

brownknees

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Here's how I do mine.

Remove the expander ball/decapping pin.

Take a fired case (don't resize) from the rifle you're reloading for.
Manually lube the case from about 1/4" below the shoulder.

Use a candle to put a thin layer of smoky residue all round the neck & shoulder. (The case should not get too hot to hold by the rim while doing this.)

Screw the resizing die into the press till the base of the die JUST touches the shellholder as it "cams over" TDC. Now back off 1 full turn & tighten the lock ring by hand only.

Resize the case.

Look at the point where the smudge of smoke is removed by the die. If the contact ends short of the shoulder then unlock the ring (that's why you only do it hand tight):biggrin: and screw in as much as you think it needs to bring the resized area down to JUST contact the shoulder/neck junction. Dont re-smoke the case.

Step & repeat till the setup does exactly this. Then carefully unlock the locking ring without disturbing the die itself. Tighten the die (lower in the press) 1/8 th turn & retighten the locking ring by hand again.

Now put the expander ball/ decapping pin back in, making adjustments for position. The tip of the decapping pin should be about 1/8" below the end of the die at this point. Hand tighten the locking for the decapping stem.

Lube a second case from the same rifle.

Run the case up into the sizing die. the primer should just pop out as the ram aproaches TDC. If it doesn't then adjust the decapping stem till it does. (Hint) if you set the decapping stem too short, (to far up into the die) then the primer won't come out & you can use the same case to make changes till it does.

Once you have everything set to your satisfaction.

Lube a third case & run it up into the die, but don't pull it back out.
Tighten fully the locking on the decapping stem.
Now wrench tighten the lock ring on the die.

Tnis only needs to be done ONCE unless you change either the rifle, or the press.

What you've done is to set up the die to resize a fired case just beyond the chamber dimensions of THAT EXACT RIFLE. You've also centered the decapping pin, and (because they're designed this way) set the expander ball to run up thru the case neck right at the moment the leverage system of the press is giving you maximum leverage advantage.

By locking everything with a case in the die you've allowed for any give in the press or dies under pressure.

If you find that there are any chambering problems you can bring the sizing die DOWN another 1/8th turn, then do the opposite (bring up) to the decapping stem. Then size a further case & re-lock everything.
 

spatin

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Thanks for that explanation brownknees. I have heard of smoking the neck of a fired case in a candle flame, but your explanation makes it easier to understand.

Do you have to go through that procedure each time you set up to reload for that rifle?

Or do you have that press dedicated to that particular rifle?

Doesn't the setting move when you remove the die from the press?

I can also add that having a Hornady "Lock-N-Load" Cartridge Headspace Gauge (used to be Stoney Point) helps to actually measure the cartridge headspace for a particular rifle and die setting. The instructions come with the gauge, and it works prettty good. Uses the same theory as you described, but no soot.

Sidney
 

brownknees

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You should not have to do that over unless the lock ring gets moved on the die body, or you switch to a different press. The base of the lock ring indexes on the top surface of the press.

The Stoney point works well, I have one & use it whenever setting up a set of dies.

It does need one thing to match YOUR rifle. If that's your goal. The case that comes with it is a "standard" case for the caliber. You adjust your dies to that standard, not your chamber using this case.

You need to have a fired case (from your rifle) modified to become the tool in the comparitor.
The mods are pretty simple, the primer pocket is drilled out & threaded to bolt on to the tool & you're done.

If you have a way to accurately drill & tap the base of a fired case then you can do it yourself, if not Stoney Point used to make one for you. I'm not sure if this service is still available with the changes in ownership.

If you go with this way of measuring then I suggest you get a digital caliper, and reserve it for this as a dedicated use, it is possible to get variations when removing & replacing a general purpose caliper.
 

W.E.G.

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For setting the shoulder, get an RCBS Precision Mic, and use it.



While the RCBS tool is da bomb for setting the shoulder, that simulated bullet thingy that comes with the tool is a complete piece of shit. Throw that piece in the river.

For setting your overall length (OAL), the Stoney Point tool is the correct instrument.



Crimping is completely unnecessary for recreational ammunition. If you doubt this, omit the crimp on several rounds. Jack those rounds into the chamber and measure the OAL. Its very unlikely you will measure an iota of change. Frankly, if you have a rifle that is so violent in its feeding that it pushes uncrimped bullets back into the case, that rifle is probably pushing crimped bullets back into the case too.

If the whole push-the-bullet-back-into-the-case thing is really causing you to lose sleep, you can even reduce the diameter of the "expander ball" on your die a coupla thou, and that will make the case hold the bullet even tighter.
 

Para Driver

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my 'micrometer' dies recommend trimming to MAX length, not min length..
that may require 'kiss' trimming every time, but every case will be uniform length, and give most consisten results..
 

W.E.G.

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If you are shooting brass in a FAL, you will probably only have to ever trim it once.

By the time it needs a second trim, the action of being slammed and yanked through the FAL mechanism will have likely rendered the condition of the brass unsat.

On the issue of use of Stoney Point tools for setting up dies, allow me to refer this page
http://www.6mmbr.com/catalog/item/1433308/977259.htm#image_1
 

MAINER

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Originally posted by donttellthewife [/i

I don't recommend setting the bullet and crimping in the same operation.
set the bullet to overall lenght with one die then use the LEE factory crimp die to lock it in place. It is a collect type system instead of a rolled crimp. Ignore the cannlure when setting over all length, use calibers instead to set that.

A great book is the ABCs of reloading
...............................................................................................................................
+1

When you are all done with the sizing stuff and before priming:
Try the empty case in the rifle and make sure the bolt will close!
AMHIK!! :redface:
 

brownknees

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red aluminum tube with a plastic internal pusher rod,
They cheapened the pusher rod some, mine's aluminium.

I'll second the bit about cleaning, rotating & measuring several cases though.

Also I forgot the bit about having something to push the case/bullet back out, that's one of the major causes of innacuracy of measurement if you don't do a kind of "push/pull" between the pusher rod & something else at the other end.
 

Survey Punk

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English Mike

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W.E.G. said:
Crimping is completely unnecessary for recreational ammunition. If you doubt this, omit the crimp on several rounds. Jack those rounds into the chamber and measure the OAL. Its very unlikely you will measure an iota of change. Frankly, if you have a rifle that is so violent in its feeding that it pushes uncrimped bullets back into the case, that rifle is probably pushing crimped bullets back into the case too.

If the whole push-the-bullet-back-into-the-case thing is really causing you to lose sleep, you can even reduce the diameter of the "expander ball" on your die a coupla thou, and that will make the case hold the bullet even tighter.
That's not the only reason to crimp though Gary: A friend & I worked up a load for his .270 & found that a medium crimp cut the size of 5 round groups by around 25% compared with identically loaded uncrimped rounds. Others have had the same results.
 

shootist87122

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I only partially size for the Ishapore since it has ample HS. These loads won't chamber in my Rem bolt gun, but will fit in all but one FAL. My setting for the Ishy (only) is with the sizer die just touching the ram. I use a diff brand of brass so I don't mix up the Ishy loads with my standard loads.

For all other 7.62/.308 (I load for several rifles) I use a chamber check gauge and set the die to resize between minimum and maximum. Accuracy "might" suffer slightly, but for me, reliability is more important.

How you set your dies can vary depending on your specific situation.
If all else fails, just follow the directions than came with the dies. :)
 

Right Side Up

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FALGRUNT, invest in a set of Redding competition shellholders. They come in +.002" and go to +.010" in .002" increments.

Set the die up so that the shellholder comes into solid contact with the bottom of the die when at the end of the stroke. Size a case with the +.010" shellholder. See if it chambers easily. If it does then that's the shellholder to use with THAT rifle, *if* it's a bolt gun. If it doesn't, try the +.008" etc. and keep going until the case just chambers easily.

If it's a bolt rifle, size the case (bump the shoulder) just enough for it to chamber. If it's a semi auto go another .002" past that for reliable bolt closing. Sizing cases minimally like this will help prevent case head seperations, and your brass will last longer.

The neat thing about doing it like this is you can R&R the die from the press over and over without having to redo the setup with a standard shellholder. Just put your die in and the proper shellholder and start sizing.

Good luck.
 

FAL GRUNT

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I appreciate everyones input...

Right now im just trying to get everything set up on a basic level.

I sized, primed but didn't trim one 30.06 case, and it chambered in my M1 with no problems... so thats a positive thought.

I managed to get a casing siezed in my RCBS .308 sizer... so that halted my .308 endeavor. I didn't realize with One Shot... you need to drench the cases.

Everyone (almost) has mentioned the fact that you are sizing for a perticular rifle. How is it that you set that sizing for the perticular rifle? How is it different than sizing to standard size?

Im sorry if someone covered it their post, i'm going to go back and re-read.

thanks

-myers
 

brownknees

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If you are reloading for just one rifle then you can custom fit the fired cases to have a minimal clearance in that exact chamber. This reduces brass wear, expands brass life & improves accuracy through carefull fitting.

What you're doing is compensating for manufacturing tolerances by making the fired case a "pattern" for the inside of the chamber.

Now if you have several different rifles they'll all have slightly different chambers, again due to manufacturing tolerances.

If this is what you're doing then the "factory standard" case will be guaranteed to fit all your rifles. Setting up fot this "standard" is what the manufacturers instructions will do for you.

What we're saying here is how to modify those instructions to customize the resizing for an individual chamber.
 

Right Side Up

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FAL GRUNT said:



Everyone (almost) has mentioned the fact that you are sizing for a perticular rifle. How is it that you set that sizing for the perticular rifle? How is it different than sizing to standard size?


The chambers can vary a lot on two different rifles of the same caliber. I've had .308 chambers as long as 1.637", and as short as 1.630". .007" difference. I wouldn't want to use previously fired cases sized for the 1.630" gun in the 1.637" gun. Too much headspace, and will lead to a case head seperation. Not on the first firing, but maybe the second or third. An example of mine is an AR10 barrel that has a 1.637" chamber. If I put a 1.628" (base to datum line) round in there that's made for my 1.630" chamber it will have .009" headspace. That's a lot, and can be dangerous if the case has been fired and resized back to 1.628" several times.



The easiest and most reliable way IMO to have an accurate and repeatable die set up is to use the Redding shellholders. Just figure out which shellholder you need for each gun and keep notes of it. Also take note of the "base to datum line" of the ammo you produce that gives you the correct headspace that you like for each gun. The RCBS Precision Mic or the Stoney Point tool will tell you that.

Once you have it all figured out and recorded for each of your guns in that caliber it's simply a matter of putting the correct shellholder in the press for the gun you're loading for at the time. You won't have to go through the process of getting the die "just exactly" where it needs to be in the press every time you want to load some ammo for a gun.

If you're trying to load a lot of "One size fits all" ammo that can be used in all your guns of that caliber, both short and long chambers, the ammo will have to fit the shortest chamber. This will leave you with a lot of headspace on a long chambered gun (depending on its chamber dimension). IMO it's best to use NEW cases in this situation. New cases can handle one firing in a long headspace gun. But size that case back down to SAAMI minimum spec and put it back in that long headspace gun and you're asking for a case head seperation.

There's no reason to ever have more than .004" headspace on your ammo/gun combination. I run .001"-.002" on my bolts guns, and .003"-.004" on semiauto's. If you go past .004" you'll stretch the case at the web area.
 
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shootist87122

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owlcreekok said:

Every time I think I am tired of this board, I drift back in here to THIS, my FAVORITE forum and get all misty eyed.

:bow:
"Misty eyed"?...Prolly just from RSU playing nice.... The Redding shell holders ARE a heck of a good tip, after all.
 

Mebsuta

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shootist87122 said:
If all else fails, just follow the directions than came with the dies. :)
Gah what fun is that? How's he gonna lern anything if he never shows up to the range with a shit-ton of ammo that won't chamber?
 

spatin

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Thanks -myers - for bring up this subject. I have learnt a lot from this.

Are you coming to FAL Fest 2008?

You can get a whole world of information about reloading and other important FAL stuff from talking to the people who attend there, not to mention good food, good targets, good ranges, and a lot of fun.

Sidney

FAL GRUNT said:
Can someone PLEASE walk me through this?

I've been working on it but I still am hesitant and still feel like I may not be doing it right.

Currently am wanting to run through my .308 and 30.06, tumble, size, deprime, trim and set back for when I get ready to reload them.

However, I am still hesitant because im not sure how I am supposed to set up my sizing/deprime die. It's a full length die, both are RCBS, im just not sure WHERE to put them and HOW to set where they are in the press.

For right now i've been using an old OLD lyman hand tool to seat the bullets. I've been setting the bullet up to where I cannot see the cannlure(sp?) But I still need to figure out setting a crimp...

thanks

-myers
 

ftierson

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Mebsuta said:
Gah what fun is that? How's he gonna lern anything if he never shows up to the range with a shit-ton of ammo that won't chamber?
As a matter of fact, I actually followed the instructions that came with a set of RCBS FL dies once and ended up with 1000 rounds of 7.62x51mm M80 Ball equivalent that wouldn't chamber...

I don't read the instructions anymore.

Unless I'm loading for one specific rifle and want to maximize the case life for it, I just screw the sizing die down until the shellholder just touches it, and then I turn the die in another 3/4 inch (that's 3/4 inch, not 3/4 turn) so that the shellholder comes to a solid stop against the bottom of the die. Of course, don't wack the ram against the die too hard. Then, there is a completely consistent solid stop for every case, and your ammo will chamber in any rifle that doesn't have a defective chamber.

Might you be over stretching the case a little when it's fired by this maximum resizing? Probably. But I still get several reloadings for .308 cases resized that way, no matter what rifles they're fired in.

And I won't be stuck with a bunch of ammo that won't chamber in my rifle when the chips are down and I'm drawing down on the attacking alien cyborgs...

Forrest
 

brownknees

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That will absolutely guarantee full length resizing in any single stage press.:bow:

BUT, I would not try that in any progressive press. It'll stop the ram from camming over TDC, and prevent the normal operation of the other stations.:wink:
 

shootist87122

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Dillon Stainless Case Gage.




My Forrester Turret single stage press "Cams Over" which IMO is superior to the non Cam Over presses - including the Rock Chucker. (Flaming actions shall commence momentarily.)

The Cam-Over does not rely on how much pressure you apply to the ram AND the case is sized both coming and going. The Case Gage allows you to set to spec, Or set little under or over if desired. For feeding multiple rifles just set to spec and forget it.

There is No Need to over size everything - IMO that could even be dangerous in some rifles.
 
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