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Setting dies PROPERLY

ftierson

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brownknees said:
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:
Absolutely true...

Good point...

But I only use single stage presses, including a Rockchucker and two Lyman Orange Crusher/Crusher II presses. The Orange Crusher has a cam over ram, while the newer Crusher II has a positive stop.

I think that I've already demonstrated that I prefer a positive stop from my discussion of technique.

But, obviously, such a technique would not work on a press system requiring cam over...

And, Joe is right, there is no need to oversize anything. But there is a need to size it enough. When you load ammo to be used in many different rifles (for example, I shoot 7.62x51mm in 20 different rifles), you need to load for the tightest chamber. As I mentioned, maximum sizing may somewhat shorten case life but, if your chambers meet SAAMI or European specs, the ammo should be safe.

If I load specific loads for one bolt gun, I adjust the sizing die to accomplish the minimum amount of sizing necessary for chambering.

It has worked for me over a long lifespan and many, many rounds...

But, of course, your mileage may vary and all...

For what it's worth...

Forrest

Edited to spell European right after finger fumble on keyboard...
 
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brownknees

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I only have one rifle (err....umm),per caliber, so I guess that explains why I tend to set up for that rifle.

If you have multiple rifles chambered for the same round it would make a lot more sense to have interchangable ammunition though.
:beer:
 

owlcreekok

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Flame suit zipped: CHECK

Lessee, I started loading ammo a good while ago. Maybe 1982-83, not sure. In that time I have had a lot of sour learning experiences. Many from unexpected places that seemed to have been working fine. Reading some of the descriptions of machine and manipulation, I have learned some new things. Some are not likely to change my MO, but are going to give me room for ponderment.

To wit. WTH is "Cam over" ? My rock chucker kind of "cams over" past TDC. Depending on what die is in it and how it is adjusted. :confused:

I have ALWAYS adjusted FL dies thusly: Shell holder in place, ram to top of travel, screw die in until it touches the shell holder, back it off till I see daylight (in recent years, this takes a bit more of a revolution than it used to) lock the bloody thing down. Size away. aught - six, two-sebundy, two two three, three oh eight, blah blah thutty thutty blah blah .38 special and linnerd skinnerd.

Bought a Dillon case dealy when they first come out. Once fired cases showed that they needed trimmed and that they had not been FL sized. Nice dealy, sort of. BTW, It sure weren't stainless then :sad:

I ain't blowed up nuttin yet. (that I will admit to in public.) :angel:

Friendly jab: If I can get my meat skinners on a neck sizing die for 7.55 x 55 I am gonna use it till my brass turns blue> Lol
 

spatin

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Do you get case separations with that method below Forrest?

I was doing something similar with my Lee die for .308 in my Rockchuker press, and I had one break in my FAL, clean line right about where that bright line sometimes appears above the bottom of the case. Yep, I did check every case with the paper clip inside and I don't reload any that have the stretch line inside or outside.

Sidney

ftierson said:


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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WTH is "Cam over"
It's a feature you'll find on progressive presses mostly.
What happens is that the compound leverage system will go past TDC.
Both the extra leverage and the "cam over" have to do with using multiple stations at the same time.
The amount past TDC is slight, a few degrees at most, but it does cause problems setting up dies if not done properly.

If you have a press that "bumps" at a point almost at the end of the press stroke then you have one that cams over.
The problems come if the die is over-adjusted, and this is real easy to do. The die needs to touch the ram without stopping it. The point of camming over is to "break the bond" in the sizing die so that the multiple workstations feel easier to use. If the die is adjusted to stop the ram (usually by touching at the end of the stroke instead the highest point in the movement) the press can't complete the cycle.

screw die in until it touches the shell holder, back it off till I see daylight
Setting up like this you'll never have the problem, as you're allowing a little extra movment, but those who tighten past the contact point will have problems in a progressive press.

Flame suit zipped: CHECK
Extinguisher provided.....PASS:rofl: :rofl:
 

Mebsuta

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owlcreekok said:
Flame suit zipped: CHECK

Lessee, I started loading ammo a good while ago. Maybe 1982-83, not sure. In that time I have had a lot of sour learning experiences. Many from unexpected places that seemed to have been working fine. Reading some of the descriptions of machine and manipulation, I have learned some new things. Some are not likely to change my MO, but are going to give me room for ponderment.

To wit. WTH is "Cam over" ? My rock chucker kind of "cams over" past TDC. Depending on what die is in it and how it is adjusted. :confused:

I have ALWAYS adjusted FL dies thusly: Shell holder in place, ram to top of travel, screw die in until it touches the shell holder, back it off till I see daylight (in recent years, this takes a bit more of a revolution than it used to) lock the bloody thing down. Size away. aught - six, two-sebundy, two two three, three oh eight, blah blah thutty thutty blah blah .38 special and linnerd skinnerd.

Bought a Dillon case dealy when they first come out. Once fired cases showed that they needed trimmed and that they had not been FL sized. Nice dealy, sort of. BTW, It sure weren't stainless then :sad:

I ain't blowed up nuttin yet. (that I will admit to in public.) :angel:

Friendly jab: If I can get my meat skinners on a neck sizing die for 7.55 x 55 I am gonna use it till my brass turns blue> Lol
I use a Chucker too. Instructions for RCBS dies are to raise ram, screw die down until contact. Lower ram and screw die down 1/4 turn. Raise ram and it will spring or cam over at end of stroke. This is maximum smash. I used to try and get clever and set up for zero headspace, but got too many rifelz and end up with some no-chamber that way, so I follow directions for full length resize and maximum smash. Even bought 8x57 finish reamer so I never get stuck with a short chamber.

See? All that trouble to go down to the range and miss every damn thing. As long as I don't shoot the hangers or throw over the backstop they don't kick me out of there. My advice to anyone is whatever way I do it, do the opposite. So lissen to Forrest and Owl.
 

owlcreekok

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:rofl:

After all these years one thing I have never really had explained or illustrated. The internal geometry of a FL die. I always figured that if I did not run the case all the way up to the hilt, I would have a bugged out case at the bottom. Guys are talking about backing off the depth of insertion so as to let the case shoulder "move" forward, thereby tightening the fit in the chamber. Okay. That is easy enough to unnerstan. I also can easily understand the folly in doing this for a self loader (for more than one reason other than multiple rifelz) . What I don't get, is how can this be "accurate" as compared to using a neck sizing die ? If accuracy of fitting the case to the chamber is so all fired important for accuracy and safety, then it appears to me that "trial and eror" with a FL is flirting with da debbil.

When I get my .308 uber schweet bolt gun later this winter, I will be doing the neck size thing.

Edited to remove the junque I was talking. This thread deserves a little more class and a little less smart@@@.

:angel:
 
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ftierson

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spatin said:
Do you get case separations with that method below Forrest?
The term 'method' probably implies more thinking than I'm capable of, Sidney. Perhaps 'technique' is better...:)

I have experienced a few head separations over my reloading life, but I doubt that the ones I've seen were related directly to my 'technique.'

In my experience, the worst offender is .303 British. The Brits didn't bother too much with controlling the hole forward of the rim. If it headspaced, all was A-OK. Consequently, most .303 chambers are overly large, sometimes grossly so...

I have four .303 British rifles that I load for, including an Australian No. 1 Mk 3 (Lithgow), a Canadian No. 4 Mk 1 (Long Branch), a British No. 4 Mk 1/2 (BSA) and a Canadian No. 4 Mk 2 (Long Branch).

I really like the No. 4 Mk 1 rifles, but I really dislike loading for them. Case life is extremely short with most .303 rifles. I have a stash of ammo that I save to be able to shoot in all of the rifles. When I load .303 Brit. ammo, I load for each specific rifle and segregate the ammo to that rifle. Upon first firing of loaded ammo or ammo loaded in new cases, you often find that the case is already severely overstretched. Some can't even be safely reloaded. Currently, I am using a Lee Collet neck sizing die for .303. This die doesn't work on the case at all except for squeezing the neck. Even so, it's rare to get more than one or two additional loadings per case for some rifles because the case was stretched so much on the first firing.

I have never had any complete head separations with .303 British, but I have had a few partial (burn through) separations. I've gotten pretty picky in which cases I will devote additional time to processing.

And, it's a bummer, too, because, as I mentioned, I really like the No. 4 Mk 1 rifles. I'd shoot them more if reloading for them was a little more productive...

The complete case head separations that I've experienced were with Winchester white box 154 gr Ball 8x57mm Mauser ammunition loaded during the WWII years, when fired in a Hakim rifle. I have fired the 196gr Egyptian Ball ammo in this rifle with absolutely no problems. I've also fired 154gr Canadian produced (1944) boxer primed ammo in this rifle with no problem either. However, I'm guessing that the Win. ammo has two problems. First, I think that the brass cartridge cases (and they're boxer primed, too, so it hurts to lose them, if you know what I mean) are not quite ductile enough and a little too brittle. However, since this ammo does all right in bolt guns, I also think that whatever powder was used by Win. to load this ammo is not appropriate for the Hakim gas system. I'm guessing that the bolt is extracting the case too violently while the pressure is still a little too high. I tried adjusting the gas down but, when I reduced the head separation problem, I ran into problems with enough gas for consistent functioning. By the way, this was in a rifle with like new bore and chamber...

I had a number of complete head separations, but far enough forward of the case web that the chamber was completely sealed, with no gas leak (otherwise, kaboom, you know). The rifle would fire normally, with no sign of any case problem. The case head and body would both be ejected and the rifle would autoload the next cartridge. The only indication of a problem was noticing the case head and case body laying on the ground, but not connected to each other...

That's been my experience with case head separations.

So, to make a long story longer, problems with case head separation due to loading technique?

No...

Slightly less case life for many cartridges because of 'oversizing' (maximum sizing) when using this loading technique (bottoming the shellholder against the bottom of the FL sizing die)?

Probably so...

But, with most rifles with normal chambers, not enough of a decrease in case life to warrant taking the chance that cartridges won't chamber in different rifles.

For what it's worth...

Forrest



Forrest
 

owlcreekok

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Your paragraph on the .303 is another prime example of what I said up there, Forrest.

Oh man would I like to discuss .303 loading at length. Maybe another thread sometime. I have a cherished few .303 cases that I have been sparingly enjoying for years. I never heard of what you just said.

One of those bittersweet revelations.

:(
 

spatin

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Hi Forrest. Thanks for the comments on the reloading technique.

Now that I have already resized (and primed) a number of .308 cases ("RP") to about 0.005 less than the fire-formed case from my M1A, I suppose I'll have to fire those in the M1A to start over again.

You don't see any inherent danger in doing that do you?

Sidney
 

ftierson

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shootist87122 said:
Sidney,

What part of the resized case is .005" less than the fire formed case?
What Joe asks, Sidney...

I'm assuming that you mean pushing the shoulder back 0.005" from where it is located on your fire-formed case.

Let me attempt an answer from a different direction, if we are talking about dangerous or not.

Reloading die manufacturers have to be concerned about all the ways that their reloading equipment might be misused. First, there's the simple ethical concern about maximizing the probability that no one will get hurt with your stuff. Second, there's the very real concern that someone will spill some hot coffee on themself while they're trying to adjust your die and then sue you for contributing to their clumsiness/stupidity.

Reloading manufacturers in this country have, for the most part, standardized certain items, including shellholders. All manufacturers producing the RCBS type clip-in shellholders design for, and attempt to put into steel, a certain depth from the bottom of where the cartridge case sits to the surface that contacts the bottom of the die when resizing. This, supposedly, insures interchangeability of clip-in shell holders across manufacturers. By and large, this has worked out pretty well.

Secondly, manufacturers have designed dies with the 7/8x14 thread to mate with these shellholders in such a way that, when maximum contact is made between the shellholder and the die, the cartridge cannot be undersized enough to be dangerous in a chamber meeting the SAAMI specifications for that cartridge. To do otherwise would be moronic.

If you produced the cases that you're talking about being 0.005" 'shorter' in a standard die/shellholder setup and the chamber of your rifle meets SAAMI specs, your ammo should be safe to shoot. You may be overworking the brass and shorten case life somewhat, but it should be safe.

If you, as a manufacturer, were going to design a reloading setup that worked quite differently than what has become the standard, you'd need to make sure that your dies didn't just screw into any old press out there. In other words, you'd need to change the hole/thread in the press.

I have a friend of mine who has a rifle chambered in a magnum cartridge that is slightly shortchambered. Rather than lengthening the chamber a little, he just shaved a little off the top of the shellholder (which, of course, allows the case to slide a little farther into the die and sets back the shoulder slightly more). That solution works for that gun with that shellholder. But then using that 'shortened' shellholder for a different rifle could well present problems. He just keeps track of it all and that works for him.

So, my point is that, if you FL sized the cases in a standard RCBS FL sizing die/shellholder setup, the ammo you load should be safe as long as the chamber in your M1A is OK.

And, by the way, my comments above in this thread about maximum sizing assume standard die/shellholder setups. Personally, I use shellholders from RCBS, Lee and Lyman pretty interchangeably. I originally started with Herter's dies, then restocked with all RCBS die sets, and then, again, restocked with Lee die sets. For rifle cartridges, I usually use RCBS dies, except that, for autoloaders, I also use the Lee factory crimp dies. For pistols, I use the Lee Carbide die sets...

I have had very good luck with RCBS and Lee die sets. They're inexpensive and they work well. However, having said that, my next die purchase will be a Redding 7.5x55mm K31 sizing die, since they make one especially for the K31 chamber (which is slightly different than the M11/K11 chamber). The RCBS die set that I have oversizes the base of the case compared to what needs to be done.

Damn, talk about making long stories longer, and all...

I'll go now...

:)

Forrest
 

spatin

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Well, here's the story. It probably won't be as long as ftierson's ha ha.

I started reloading with the standard Lee die set up. ie raise the ram to the top, screw the resizing die down to the top of the ram, in 1/8 or so inches, then crank away.

That all worked fine for a couple of few hundred rounds or so, until I had a case separation about a cm in front of the case head base, about where the infamous "bright line" usually appears - except that there was no bright line before this round was loaded. Also, I always run the bent paper clip into the used brass case to see if there is an indentation where the bright line typically occurs. There was no bright line on this case. None. Nada. Not even a hint of one. Neither outside nor inside.

Well, one day at the range, I was firing these .308 rounds in my FAL, and one of them came out incomplete. A little piece of the head was laying on the ground and the rest of the case was on the wooden bench. It's not supposed to do THAT. WTF? I got worried. So, I have been obsessed with trying to figure out what happened and why for upwards of a year now.

I have fired lots of mil-surp in my FAL and my M1A to measure the fire formed cases, then I have bought several kinds of gauges to measure the cases and to figure out how to screw in or out the Lee resizing die to get it to where the case will only be shoulder sized back to about .003 - .005 of the fire-formed cases to prevent metal working of the cases.

BTW, the best and most consistent gauge I found was the Stoney Point (now Hornaday) case headspace gauge. There are others out there but SP seemed to work the best for me.

Ok, that having been said, I finally figured out how to set my Lee resizing die to where all my crushed reloads will be within those parameters as set out above.

Now, I am getting some messages that say that such reloads might be "dangerous" or might not load when I have to make a statement of some kind in a "socially difficult environment." Resizing the cases so close to the fire formed case might make the lip of the brass snug down the bullet and increase the pressures to ka-boom. Or the resizing of the brass might give a case that will not give a closed chamber, which is either ka-boom or a no fire at all.

Not wanting to be "challenged" in such a situation, I was wondering if I should worry so much about working the brass, and whether I should consider resizing to minimum tolerance- aka ftierson technique - and not worrying about maximizing the number of reloads I get from each case.

Maybe I should just start reloading with maximum crush to make sure that my 7.62x51 (WW .308) reloads will fit and fire in just about anything wtih any semblance of a .308 WW or a 7.62.x51 chamber?

Or maybe I should worry about having one of those debilitating case failures where the 50,000+ psi of gas pressures comes out when the case separates and turns my gun into a hand grenade?

So far, no damage, as I am still sitting here as I write this. ...

I love reloading, don't you?

Comments?

Sidney
 
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shootist87122

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Sidney -

Other parts of the equasion would be:

HS of the rifle in question.
Brand of Brass (I think you said RP commercial).
Load & chronograph data.
Diameter of the case just in front of the web of a)fired case, b) resized case and some factory (or unfired surplus like SA and Aussie) to compare your measurements with others.

Maximizing case life - how many reloads are you trying to get? Depending on the other factors, three firings (two reloads) might be max.

I trust RCBS and Redding sizer dies over others, but that's just me.

Forrest - you will like the Redding 7.5x55 K-31 die.

Owl - Neck sizing 7.5x55 brass is considered a no-no Unless you are shooting very mild loads. (Risk of failure to go into battery and possible damage to the straight bolt system.) This is from the more knowledgeable members on the Swiss Rifle boards.
 

spatin

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Hi Joe. I didn't answer your question before. Forrest was correct. I am trying to just move the shoulder back about .005 or even less in order to minimize stretching of the case wall when it it fired in my FAL or M1A. By the way, the fired cases from the FAL and the M1A measurements are almost identical on the caliper. - Sidney

shootist87122 said:
Sidney,

What part of the resized case is .005" less than the fire formed case?

Joe
 

owlcreekok

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I just had it occur to me, having been ruminating over the good things this thread is presenting me, why (?) the swiss round should not be neck sized.

The concept of working the brass along it's full length has been illustrated here in the context of how to set your die to work it "all the way down". (one of the facets of my take on all this) As I ponder this, I am playing it through my mind's eye what happens to this brass cartridge in a bolt action (mauser for illustration) and then a gas gun. The gas gun doth not matter, rotating bolt or not (M-1 / 14 - FAL respectively). This process just opened my eyes to something regarding the Swiss round. While it is called a bolt action and has forward locking lugs, it is really not a bolt action like a Mauser, but a manually operated action, much like an M-14 or an M-1 that is NOT manually operated.


:?

Maybe THIS is why one should not neck size a full house load for the cartridge.

I haven't a neck sizer for it yet. I HAVE been loading cast bullets for it and have stellar results so far.

Now I got to go tell Dynomike that I was / am fulla owl poop.

:rofl:
 

ftierson

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By the way, one further comment about sizing brass for a tight fit in your chamber.

If you're loading for a self-loading rifle, don't...

Minimizing chamber size, minimizing headspace and/or minimally resizing the cartridge case (keeping it as 'big' as possible and still have it chamber) all dramatically increase the chance of having your ammo slamfire as it's being chambered by the rifle action.

While having a chamber that's close to, but not quite at, the no-go depth will cut down on brass life compared to a 'tight' chamber, at least it doesn't cut down on your rifle's life or your life.

Forrest
 

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Sidney, have you measured fired cases (base to ogive) from your FAL that were longer than the chamber? I have. In my experience it's a stab in the dark to base my base to ogive length for a reloaded round off the measurement of a case fired in my FAL. I've had cases come out .003" - .004" longer than the chamber. That's why the gun locks up when the cartridge isn't ejected and the bolt slams back home on it. Pogo time. I *think* the headspace on an FAL grows under chamber pressure. Receiver flex probably, due tothe open top design. Don't know what else it could be.

"Now, I am getting some messages that say that such reloads might be "dangerous" or might not load when I have to make a statement of some kind in a "socially difficult environment.""

As far as I'm concerend, reloads are for informal shooting. When the target shooting's finished and the rifle is cleaned and loaded for home defense use new brass for *those* loads.

.005" setback of a shoulder when resizing is not a problem. The cases will die from split case necks rather than a case head sesperation doing that (unless the rifle has a *tight neck* chamber).
 

brownknees

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Different strokes.........:beer:
I think of my reloads as my first string rounds.
Accuracy with my handloads is 50% better than any milsurp I've yet to try, Functioning has been 100%, and so I use these first.
MilSurp is my plinking ammo.
JM2C though.
 

Right Side Up

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My "handloads" with new brass are for serious situations. Reloaded brass is delegated to the shooting range.

That's the way I do it. I don't have confidence in reloaded brass for home defense.
 
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