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Thread: Newbie questions

  1. #1

    Newbie questions

    Morning everyone

    Iím starting to put equipment together to reload my own ammo. Iíve got hold of a copy of Modern Reloading by Richard Lee as it seems to be highly recommended by folks on here. Iíve a couple of questions:-

    Firstly, I read on this site that a number of those that reload seat the bullet so that itís x thousands of an inch off the rifling. I canít work out how to measure this, so must be missing something. Iíve checked through CSLís very useful guide in the reloading section and seen how he does it. I understand the bit about measuring the overall cartridge length, but am unsure where the Ďknown valueí quoted is obtained from. (Here Iím presuming that (known value- cartridge length) = distance off rifling). Also, is this value specific to the cartridge/calibre being fired, or will it be specific to the particular rifle in use?

    Secondly, in Modern Reloading, Lee indicates that for hunting ammunition, it is sufficient to use a full length resizing die as it leaves the reloaded cartridge able to feed more easily from a magazine, but I notice that a number of you refer to using fire formed cartridges, so I presume that you are only resizing the neck. I was wondering if anyone experienced any difficulties with magazine feed when out stalking using necksized cartridges?

    Sorry if these are basic questions, but any info would be appreciated


  2. #2

    A couple of links to look at that may help re point 1.

    Re point 2, for consistency, I only ever full length resize, but it's a topic on which opinions vary widely.

    Good luck. JCS

  3. #3
    Firstly, in a hunting rifle, the over-all length it best determined by what feeds well through the magazine. Secondly, loading to X distance from the lands is both difficult to do to a given thousandth of an inch is extremely difficult to do with standard reloading equipment and standard hunting bullets. It is also not necessarily where accuracy lies. That said, there are a number of ways to measure this distance from custom tools to smoking a bullet and seating until the rifling doesn't mark the bullet, to slitting the neck of a junk case and allowing a lightly held bullet to be seated by closing the bolt. There are proponents of each method. A rough and ready method is to run a flat tipped cleaning rod into the bore to the bolt face of the rifle. Carefully put a mark at the muzzle. Remove the rod. Remove the bolt. Drop the projectile of choice nose-first into the chamber and push it into the rifling with a short rod. Run your cleaning rod into the muzzle until it touches the bullet tip. Again make a mark on the rod. The distance between the marks is your maximum over all length. Seat inward from there until you get good accuracy. In the old days, seating was measured as seating depth: How far into the case you seated the bullet. A much more valuable measurement in my opinion but that's s discussion for another time.

    I have hunted with both neck and FL sized cartridges. No issues with neck sized cases but if you're hunting things that bite back, FL resize.~Muir

  4. #4
    Like Muir said, your most accurate load may not fit in the mag so not much use as a stalking round. It's therefore probably wise to start at max mag length and work backwards - it's still worth checking the max OAL for reference though.

    The FL/Neck size debate is a long standing one, I think a lot of depends on how the chambers been cut as it seems some rifles grow shoulders more than others. Mostly I neck size only and the only issues I've had with feeding are when I bodged the setup of the seating die and it tried to roll crimp a bullet and bulged the neck.... Some of my brass has been fired .308 7 or so times sans issue. .223 on the hand needed FL sizing after 5 or so...

  5. #5
    Hi Gents

    Thanks for the replies - I'll give the cleaning rod method method a try. Presumably if the catridge exceeds the maximum OAL, it won't chamber and the bolt won't close?


  6. #6
    On the full length/neck sizing thing I must confess that I just neck size even for hunting ammo. I should highlight that my main reason for this is that I hate cleaning lube off a case and as I don't need to lube when neck sizing it has become the method I prefer. However, if going on a big trip what I will do is line up all the rounds I'm taking with me and cycle them through the rifle before I depart. This way I know that they will all chamber. With most of my "big trips" it is only a day or two in Scotland for stags or hinds so I usually only have 20 rounds with me. It isn't a chore to cycle them through the rifle when I'm at the range or when stalking over ground near home and for what its worth I've never had a round fail to chamber.

    So, by all means full length size if that is what you want to do but on the other hand if you want to neck size then don't be put off as it works for me, and others, and there are simple steps you can take to be sure that all the rounds will chamber when you are in the field.

  7. #7
    KISS it! Some may disagree, but keep it simple. Learn to walk before you run. To begin with buy a couple of reloading books, even if they are older. Don't push the pressure. As far as OAL just go with sammi recomendations, or for that matter, just measure a loaded factory round and go from there. FWIW, I always full length resize. Three of us load for the 7x57 and 30-06, and it makes it easier if we should need to borrow ammo. capt david

  8. #8
    as a starting point I have used a factory round and screwed the seating die down till it touched the bullet. I may have got lucky but it gave really good results in two weights of bullet in both 243 and 308

  9. #9
    Learn to walk before running. Go with FL sizing & manuals until you fully understand what you're doing & why. You may even find you don't need to go the neck sizing route.
    When the time comes to experiment further, only ever change one thing at a time & always back off the propellant charge.
    Blaser K95 Luxus KipplaufbŁchse .25-06Rem. Zeiss 8x56, 110gn Nosler Accubond = Game Over!

  10. #10
    Hello Harry, to get your C.O.L do the following,do a full resize on a cartridge,put one cut in the neck with a junior hacksaw. Do not cut the shoulder. Make sure to file the inner and outer area of the cut smooth. Insert your head in the case. Put it into your rifle and close the bolt. gently open and extract the case. Measure it from base to tip,then ruduce length by 0.05".Your bullet will then be approx. that distance from the lands. This is not an exact method but will give you a working overall length, to start off with.

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