NeckSizing Question

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by 2A-Jay, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. 2A-Jay

    2A-Jay Well-Known Member

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    I frequently read references to Neck Sizing Bottleneck cases, never read anything about how to accomplish Neck sizing only. While at the gunshop yesterday, I noticed Neck Sizing Dies that cost as much as my entire set of reloading dies. Is there a way of neck sizing only using the Full length Sizing Die? Like maybe backing the die out of the press and screwing the Neck Sizer further into the die?

    Or do I need to invest the $30+ for the neck sizing die (I would actually need 2 of them)

    TIA
     
  2. slayer

    slayer Well-Known Member

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    If you back your full length die out you can neck size the case that way. Some will smoke the shoulders of a case or color the shoulders with a sharpie until the die just touches the colored/smoked area of the shoulder.
    I just back my die out and run the case in and watch for the ring that’s created around the neck. Once the ring is almost at the neck/shoulder junction I lock my die down and it’s good to go.

    I do have a lee collet neck sizing die for 8x57. I have two mausers chambered in 8x57 with two very different chambers and two different OAL’s so the lee neck sizer set made the most sense.
    If you only have one rifle chambered in the cartridge you want to neck size, just backing out your full length die is the way to go.
     
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  3. 2A-Jay

    2A-Jay Well-Known Member

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    That helps a lot Thanks. I have 2 30-06s My AXIS XP, and '03 Springfield When I shoot those I keep the spent cases separated, Even though both have the same powder load and bullet. The new 270 will be on its own anyway. I have to buy a new set of 270 dies, seems a box that my 270 dies and my 30 carbine dies is in is missing. May be in storage at one of 3 places.
     
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  4. PRR1957

    PRR1957 Well-Known Member

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    You mite also try to size the neck down no more then the bullet diameter, in your case .308. The 30-06 case neck length is .3485". If you size the neck to .308 in length, this will leave .0774" of the base of the neck unsized which will help the loaded cartridge to align with bore in the chamber seeing that you want the unsized cartridge case to better align with bore. The only down side to neck sizing is that after so many firings, you will have to full length size the case when bolt lift starts to get stiff, so a separate neck sizing die mite make sense so you won't have to adjust the FL sizing up and down. Also with a neck sizing die you can bump the case shoulder so that when you close the bolt on the round, it dose not bind the bolt lugs against the receivers bolt abutments reducing ware to both, and reduce the brass case head from galling onto the bolt face.

    Another idea is to use a washer in between the FL die and the top of the loading press to move the die up with out adjusting the FL dies lock ring. You can make your own with large body washer by opening up the hole to about .780"-.790" so the die will fit through it. Depending on the washers thickness you may have to use two or more washers.

    I have found that most guns will get a slight increase of accuracy with neck sizing. Also on the plus side, your not working the brass case as much which will prolong the case life.
     
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  5. dbcooper

    dbcooper Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I do not use a special neck sizer or collet die. For .243 I found a used RCBS sizing die in a big box of misc reloading peices on the floor of a LGS. I ask them how much and they said make an offer and I got it for $3 because it had some rust on the threads. I cleaned it up and keep that die handy for neck sizing only
     
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  6. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    There two ways to size cases to take advantage of the fact that fired case out of the same gun fits the chamber more exactly than full length sized cases.

    The first way is buy a neck only sizing die. The collet die made by LEE squeezes the neck on to a rod of the correct diameter to assure good neck tension on the bullet. There are other manufacturers of neck size only dies but the LEE collet die makes the most sense to me. Eventually the brass will be hard to close the bolt on and you will have to do an occasional full length sizing. With this approach there is the risk that when you need it, the case may not allow the bolt to close easily or at all. If I were a hunter I would never use neck only sized brass on a hunt. A hunt could suffer an early termination because the ammo no longer fits the gun's chamber. A target shooter probably would not be hurt by the failure.

    The other way is to just bump the shoulder in a raised full length sizing die. But it takes a special tool to be sure you get it right (a case gauge from RCBS for your specific caliber cartridge called a Precision-MIC). Again the cases can only be used in this one gun. Take 5 or 10 fired cases and gauge them (the RCBS tool measures from the reference point on the slopped part of the case to the base of the case at the rim. Note the average to them (they should all be within a thousandth or two of each other). Raise your full length sizing die a turn or two then repeatedly lower it, measuring the sized case until you reach one or two thousandth shorter than the noted average measurement from the original fired cases. This assures most of the case body is close to the size of the chamber but the cartridge will easily fit the chamber. If I hunted I could consider reloads done this way for a hunt although the safest bet is to only shoot commercial ammo on an expensive hunt for total reliability of the ammo.

    http://rcbs.com/Products/Case-Preparation/Measuring-Tools/Precision-Mic.aspx

    LDBennett
     
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  7. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I guess that I should get up earlier, seems the answer has been given. I don't own a neck sizing die either, I back out my FL sizer.
     
  8. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    For the rifles that I neck only size, I buy the neck only sizing die.
     
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  9. jwdurf

    jwdurf Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I use my FL die as Slayer explained, but I only neck size when I'm prioritizing accuracy. The round I neck size mostly is 22-250, but I shoot it single shot from a rest even when we shoot ground squirrels. Reliability isn't a huge factor, but accuracy at 300 plus yards on small targets is.

    I'll second LD's position on hunting ammo. For hunting I prioritize my ammo for reliability, function, lethality, then accuracy. Mind you, my hunting loads are accurate, I hunt with rifles and ammo that consistently shoot at or better than MOA. But they are assembled to be reliable and to function every time and to be lethal for the intended game. For a hunting load I would never sacrifice reliability for a little gain in accuracy.
     
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  10. mikld

    mikld Well-Known Member

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    For my 308 I just back the F/L die out about 1/8". Seems to work but I'm thinkin' about getting a collet neck sizing die, just because...
     
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  11. 2A-Jay

    2A-Jay Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the info and recommendations. At the moment I am not in dire need of neck sizing only. For 30-06 I am flush with cases, so if a few need to be retired I can still keep a fairly large stock pile of loaded ammo. I am going to be starting out fresh with the 270, I can buy new cases. Though at first I will be using factory ammo for breaking the new gun in.

    This is all part of the learning process.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
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  12. Don Fischer

    Don Fischer Well-Known Member

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    I think I have two Lee collet dies, 243 and 30-06. I really like the collet dies but I'm always wondering if the neck really sized. Ever 3 or 4 case's I try slipping in a bullet, so far the die has not failed. Haven't reached a point where FL sizing is needed with those case's but then I load quite a few case's before starting over. When I do FL, I partial size only, make the case fit the rifle it was fired in. For years I FL'ed every thing. Cut since going to the collet die I have a lot less case stretch caused by the expander plug. The most expansion in bottle neck case's come's from dragging them over the expander in FL dies. In time, I hope to have the collet die for every thing I shoot if the die is available for the cartridge.
     
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  13. drymag

    drymag Well-Known Member

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    You can either buy a comparator or make one, but the idea is to measure your shoulder then wirte it down. Track the growth and try to determine before it happens when you need to bump the shoulder. This will also give you an idea when the brass is getting near to bump time. Don't camp that one measurement in your head for all brass as spring back, etc can trap you if you press the limits. Leave a healthy margin.
    -
    To make a comparator gage (think relative like gain ratios): Find a piece of aluminum or brass tubing or drill a hole in a block of material to where the neck slides in and meets somewhere in the 3/4 the way up the shoulder and long enough to accomodate whatever the longest bullet you'd ever stuff in it where you are using just a bullet diameters worth of neck contract when seated. That way you can measure w/ no bullet or w/ a bullet. The size of the hole will be on a piece of brass that has a bullet in is so that way it will fit a non-bullet piece of brass and once fired. Then just measure from base to the end of your self made comparator. From that point on you have a reference showing growth. You can also see the difference in manufactured rounds right out of the box.
     
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  14. jonb32248

    jonb32248 Well-Known Member

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    I bought mine from Midway USA (Lee neck sizer). They were on sale with the seating die and dipper for like $23.00
     
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  15. Big Mak

    Big Mak Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Are there certain cartridge calibers that shouldn't be neck sized?
    for example, I neck sized some 30-06 brass that was shot once by my rifle, and only that rifle. I neck sized 10 rds (using the marker method down to just kiss the shoulder) and loaded them up. At the range, none would chamber without giving that bolt a good push. one or two wouldn't chamber at all. (They were trimmed .02 under max length so THAT wasn't the issue!)

    So I went back to full length resize and no more issues. (Shrugs)
     
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