Semi auto vs bolt dies

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by skamania, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. skamania

    skamania New Member

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    I am looking to reload some 30 06 and 308 ammo, I am looking at the dies I have and the 30 06 is a small base and the 308 is a full lenth, will the 308 full length work for reloading for a semi auto?
  2. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    You shouldn't have any problems with the 308, unless your chamber tolerance is very tight. What are you shooting for 308, AR-10? What are you shooting the 30-06 out of?
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
  3. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I had to go with a small base when loading for my M1A. It didn't happen all the time but occasionally the brass wouldn't extract when I had only FL die to use. I thought all sorts of different things, so I made sure that I trimmed the brass with each reloading, checked seating of the bullet (length), and so forth. I could not figure out what the problem was. A friend who owned the shop where I bought the M1A told me to try the SB did. When I bought and started using the SB die, the problem stopped.

    BTW, I have a brand new RCBS .308 Neck Size die that I will sell if any body is interested, PM me for price.
  4. skamania

    skamania New Member

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    Shooting a browning BAR 30 06 and a RRA AR 10, shot factory ammo and no problems. What does the small base do diffrent?
  5. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    SB dies size the case full length, but they size it to a smaller dimension. Depends on the manuf, but typically by .002-.003"

    I would suggest that you try the FL dies first, no need for SB dies if you don't need them. There isn't any advantage to using a SB die if the gun does just fine with FL sizing. The only slight disadvantage to SB dies is the fact that they work the brass just a little bit more. As to whether or not this affects case life in the real world, I don't have definitive proof, but simple logic implies that the more you work it, the shorter the life. Alot would depend on what loads you're going to use, ie How Hot?
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
  6. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    If you had a bolt gun and want peak accuracy; you would want a neck sizing die. Once the brass is fire formed ( first time you fire the cartridge in your gun ) then you size the neck only. The reload is only suitable for use in the gun in which it was fired. You can neck size only so much before you'll eventually have to give it a FL resize. Usually this is indicated by increased resistance while extracting; being familiar with the gun and loads will indicate when a FL resize is needed.
  7. skamania

    skamania New Member

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    Thanks for all the information, getting ready to start on some and wanted to make sure all the my tees were crossed and i's dotted.
  8. GBertolet

    GBertolet Member

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    Get the small base die for the 308. Unless you have a real sloppy chamber, the small base die is added insurance for reliable functioning. The small base die brings the case back to factory dimensions.
  9. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    I load for 3 Browning BAR's, 3 AR-15's and 2 Ruger Mini's and I have never found the need for a SB die. Go with the standard FL die before you waist any $$ on a SB die.
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