Neck sizing or full length sizing???

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by jdon72, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. jdon72

    jdon72 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Messages:
    340
    I always full length size my 30-06 and heard maybe I should just neck size. Should I rotate between the two to preserve the cases?

    What do you all do? Any advice?

    Thanks

    J
  2. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,268
    Location:
    Las Vegas NV
    jdon,

    I would suggest at least try neck sizing if you are loading for one rifle. There are many advantages, by neck sizing your brass will form the shape of your chamber, you should see a measureable improvment in accuracy. You will notice that the need for trimming also will be reduced as you are not working the brass as much as F L sizing. The less "working" of the brass will extend its life overall.

    Try a Lee collet neck sizing die, they are $20 or so and easy to setup. I found a good 1/2" improvement in my groups by neck sizing 308 brass with this die, (uh oh! I just admitted using a Lee product!) whatever you decide good luck!
  3. muddober

    muddober Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,447
    I read an article some time ago and it was mentioned that the Cooper Gun Company full length sizes all their cases. That makes sense to me given the fact that the cases are shot in many different rifles. I have seen some of their targets and they leave nothing to be desired.

    Ron
  4. bntyhntr6975

    bntyhntr6975 Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    572
    Location:
    Wichita, Ks.
    312 pretty much got it right. The case is fire-formed to your chamber after you shoot it, so it may not work in a different chamber. You can neck size using a FL sizer, but I can't remember just how to adjust for it. It's simpler to just get a NS die. Lol. I FL size all my .308s and still get very good accuracy. Really not much to take up, but I'm sure NSing would squeeze out a little more.
  5. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,519
    Location:
    Hesperia, CA
    Don't use neck sizing only for ammo for multiple guns or for hunting ammo.

    For target guns you can neck size only but you may eventually have to full length resize once to get the cases back to size so they will again fit into the guns chamber. This is because after many neck sizings the body may grow so as to no longer fit the chamber.

    A technique used in target guns is to adjust the full length sizing die so that it just does not touch or barely touches the shoulder of the case by backing it out of the press. With a case gage you determine the length of the case from the shoulder to the base (rim) of a once fired case from the gun of interest. You then size the case with the die not touching the shoulder. Then you incrementally move the die into the press so that the shoulder gets barely pushed towards the rim. When the shoulder to rim measures 0.002 inches less than the original measurement the die is positioned perfectly for this technique. This forms the body of the case so it will easily fit the chamber but takes up any slop in the chamber between the shoulder and the bolt face. This is an advanced technique and requires the RCBS case gage for the specific caliber. It is not recommended for those new to reloading They should follow the instructions packaged with the dies for setting up the dies in the press and use full length sizing dies.

    LDBennett
  6. jim brady

    jim brady Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,395
    Think a basic rule-of-thumb would be 1.) neck-size for accuracy for use in 1 rifle; 2.) FL size for function and dependability in all rifles.

    There are other reasons to neck size. In my (1916) .303 British, the rifle was made with a slightly oversize chamber (to fire and function with not-so perfect trench ammo). FL sizeing will ruin a case fired in my rifle in 1-2 reloadings, so I neck size and they last longer. Benchrest target shooters also do it for the increased accuracy.

    Unless you have a situation like mine where you have to neck size, or unless you are a competition shooter, I'd say just FL size. You're not going to make any case last forever, no matter how you size them. Good luck!
  7. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,519
    Location:
    Hesperia, CA
    The answer to long lasting cases is the RCBS X-Die. Read what RCBS says about them:

    "ABOUT THE X DIE
    The X-Sizer die is a uniquely designed full length resizing die for
    bottleneck rifle cases. This die not only full length resizes the
    case, it also limits the growth of the case. This eliminates the
    need for repeated trimming after an initial trim is done to standardize
    the case. This die is not intended to shorten the length of
    the case, rather, as the case grows, the mandrel will reduce the
    normal rate of growth. This is the result of the case mouth coming
    in contact with the mandrel stop during resizing. Cases repeatedly
    sized in the X-Sizer die will grow a few thousandths of an inch initially,
    and will then stabilize below the maximum case length.
    Using the X-Sizer die eliminates the need to trim after each shot.
    X-Sizer dies can be used for full-length resizing with or without
    the X feature. Partial neck sizing can be done but only without
    the X feature."

    In addition to minimizing case growth it allows the cases to be useable longer for more reloads than just full length resizing. Recently someone on the Internet ran a test of this and indeed the case did not grow and he was able to get nearly 20 reloads out of a set of 308 cases. Since the norm is about 4 or maybe five, that's incredible. I am trying them but unfortunately my test cycle will take years, maybe decades.

    LDBennett
  8. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    18,269
    Location:
    Heart Of Texas
    necksize whenever possible, and if the task at hand requires full length you can usually get away with a partial resize. Set the F.L. die so that it just bumps the shoulder thereby fully sizing the neck and as little of the case body as possible. This method works well in the many semi autos I load for. All my bolt guns have their own brass and get neck sized only;) happy shooting
  9. dardascastbullets

    dardascastbullets New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Essexville, MI
    Hi JDon,

    Purchase an RCBS case gauge for your 30-06. The gauge will measure the headspace of your fired brass (which gives you a relative measurement of your chamber's headspace). You will then be able to set your full length die to set the cases' shoulder back to a known dimension to prevent excessive headspace (which will shorten the life of your cases dramatically). Typically, a setback of 0.002" is all you need and your loaded rounds should chamber flawlessly.

    Good luck!
  10. jdon72

    jdon72 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Messages:
    340
    Thanks guys for the input...I watched the RCBS video and read about the x die and neck sizing dies. Based on everybodies info, I only reload for one 30-06 and therefore should neck size. I think in the picture i have seen, it also decaps the primer. The ammo will be for plinking and hunting.

    Thanks again.

    Jeff

    LD, why do you say not to use for hunting? curious!!!
  11. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,519
    Location:
    Hesperia, CA
    jdon72:

    After several neck sizing only's the cases MAY NOT fit the chamber anymore. For that reason when hunting you should not use neck sized only brass. It cost too much to hunt today to loose the whole hunt because of bad ammo. If that bothers you (having plinking ammo and hunting ammo) then buy factory ammo for hunting.

    We all get to choose and that is my opinion. Yours may differ.

    LDBennett
  12. jdon72

    jdon72 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Messages:
    340
    Thanks for the info LD. I may use rotation like neck size twice and then full size. What do you think?

    I have always full sized, but if I can stretch out the life in the brass-that is what I will do.

    Hunting ammo needs to be accurate and correct for the one time shot.

    Thanks

    J
  13. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    18,269
    Location:
    Heart Of Texas
    The hunting reason LD explained is why I use the FL die to necksize. most of my ammo, unless its for my .303, which I only use for targets.
  14. jdon72

    jdon72 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Messages:
    340
    JLA,

    I know what you mean, but I do not like resetting my dies. Since I only have one 30-06, I like to keep the same settings. I do, however, always check to make sure the settings are always correct.

    Thanks for the input...i always like to know how everyone likes to do things.

    J
  15. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,519
    Location:
    Hesperia, CA
    jdon72:

    Neck size until you find the cases become hard to chamber then full length resize. Or do as you suggested but don't hunt with neck sized only cases unless you chamber every round in the gun you intend to use to verify it chambers easily. It must not be hard to close the bolt during this trial chambering because that indicates that temperature changes in the hunting area MIGHT make the cases not able to chamber at all. Of course, do this trial chambering at the range in a safe manner with the gun pointed down range.

    I think it better for hunting to use known good factory ammo but I'm not a hunter. Loosing a entire expensive hunt because of badly reloaded ammo has to be a bad thing.

    LDBennett
  16. jdon72

    jdon72 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Messages:
    340
    good advice LD


    Thanks

    J
  17. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Messages:
    2,513
    Location:
    NH
    I neck size my hunting ammo and then run them thru the chamber of my bolt actions to make sure they fit. If they don't I pull bullets for those few that don't. Maybe it's my imagination but neck sizing seems to improve accuracy.

    If I'm shooting a semi auto I full length anyway.
  18. jdon72

    jdon72 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Messages:
    340
    I would figure neck sizing once or twice between full length sizing should work...or am i wrong.

    J
  19. Sandman

    Sandman New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Messages:
    559
    Location:
    Louisiana
    As a newbie, I am just going to continue FL sizing for now. How many uses can I expect to get from a case if I FL size it each time? What are the warning signs to toss a case in the garbage? Pressure signs after firing? Or when case measurements exceed tolerances?
  20. jdon72

    jdon72 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Messages:
    340
    Sandman,

    Go to RCBS.com and watch their videos on reloading. I watched them and even though I know what I am doing....it reassures me on what I am doing.

    J
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ammo & Reloading Forum carbide neck sizing button for 223 May 26, 2014
The Ammo & Reloading Forum neck sizing Jul 19, 2013
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Full Length vs. Neck Sizing Mar 18, 2013
The Ammo & Reloading Forum neck sizing Feb 8, 2013
The Ammo & Reloading Forum 30.06 Neck Sizing Info May 24, 2012

Share This Page