Full length vrs neck size loads

rwade545

Well-Known Member
I have usually neck sized for my reloading. Now for few reasons am thinking of full length sizing some brass. Do people find their accuracy load changed? As the brass is soft I presume pressure swells case to chamber size relitively early on in the cycle so shouldn't make a difference. Looking for other people's experience. Obviously I will drop load and work back up if I do change.
 

bk

Well-Known Member
I used to only neck size my brass with a bushing so it doesn't get worked any more than it has to and then full length when it starts to get tight to chamber. The full length gave a slightly different poi than my neck sized.
I now kind of full length but only to minimum measurements so the brass is still a very close match to the chamber and it is the same every time I fire it.
The load development stayed the same.
 

deeangeo

Well-Known Member
You should try F/L resizing to 'fired case headspace' dimension.
i.e. take a number of fired cases, remove the primer with a dedicated de-capping die, then measure with a headspace guage from the centre of shoulder to case head.
Take the average dimension from the total and use that dimension to set your die.
If you measure with primer in, there will likely be an additional couple of thou or more in dimension.

Then set your F/L die so that it does not push the case shoulder back more than .002" - I use a rubber 'O' ring under my locking ring, so I can set the die and tweak tighter or loosen as necessary.
You'll find resizing this way does not diminish brass life any more than neck sizing.
Then, after each three or four firings, anneal your brass (an easy peasy job) to renew the brass elasticity and regain good pressure seal once more.

Since doing this quite a few years ago I have pretty consistent lot to lot ammunition and never need go back to neck sizing.
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
In their almost recent reloading manual-they seem to come out with one every six months- Lyman has stated that after years and years (They pretty much invented it here in the US) of data collection and cartridge testing they have found that in most cases, neck sizing has little benefits when the cases are being used in a standard sporting chamber and no longer recommend it on the basis of case life nor accuracy. I FL resize all my ammo as I have multiple rifles in the same chamberings and must interchange ammo between rifles. My accuracy levels are never lacking.~Muir
 

PeterH

Well-Known Member
Yes, I F/L my 6.5 and others peoples - somehow it seems to shoot better, however on my little tac I prefer to N/K and only use the F/L die after annealing
 

Moppy76

Well-Known Member
Always full length resized, no issues and as has been mentioned you can use it in other chambers of the same cal. New brass is no exception, had a chat with a guy the other day and he doesn't FL size new brass, just uses as is. Not best practice as far as I'm aware as you couldn't guarantee its dimensions.
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
That's a bit like saying one shouldn't fire factory ammo in a rifle as you couldn't guarantee its dimensions.
He's got a point though. If you FL resize the new brass in your die then you can have a reasonable expectation that on the next loading, the load will behave like it did on the first. By FL resizing the new brass you have altered it's dimensions close to those of your die. I do this religiously.~Muir
 

takbok

Well-Known Member
He's got a point though. If you FL resize the new brass in your die then you can have a reasonable expectation that on the next loading, the load will behave like it did on the first. By FL resizing the new brass you have altered it's dimensions close to those of your die. I do this religiously.~Muir
Agreed, the neck tension should be more repeatable. But you'll still have shorter headspacing on some of the cases.

I prefer to not size new cases to avoid stretching the necks more than they need to be.
 

Highlandsjohn

Well-Known Member
That's a bit like saying one shouldn't fire factory ammo in a rifle as you couldn't guarantee its dimensions.
+1.. I use norma brass, I visually check it when it arrives then load it. I anneal and Fl size when it gets a bit sticky,usually after five loadings, never had a problem NS . If you use cheap brass you may have to work it, you spend your money and take the chance. Some of us have no problem with cheaper brass and wonder what all the fuss is about spending a quid on a case.
l completely understand if, as in Muir's situation, having multiple guns of the same chambering FL would be the only way to go.
I can also understand BR guys spending more time tweaking their reloading components for long rang accuracy...if you have the time and need to escape to the reloading bench,have at it, it's probably better than watching the box. Personally I reload in order to shoot, not shoot in order to reload.:D
 

ChesterP

Well-Known Member
I FL size all my .308 cases simply because I experienced too many jams in the field with neck sized rounds that wouldn't chamber. I just use a headspace comparitor gauge and ensure I'm within 2 thou of fire formed so that the brass sin't worked too much. The smaller cals, I neck size until the point at which the shoulders need bumping back, and with the 223 I'm up to 6 firings without any need to do that yet.
 

RPA 6MM BR

Well-Known Member
Use a Redding Full length Bushing die so that you can set the die to bump the shoulder 1 or maybe 2 thou and have full control over you neck tension.
 

Highlandsjohn

Well-Known Member
I FL size all my .308 cases simply because I experienced too many jams in the field with neck sized rounds that wouldn't chamber. I just use a headspace comparitor gauge and ensure I'm within 2 thou of fire formed so that the brass sin't worked too much. The smaller cals, I neck size until the point at which the shoulders need bumping back, and with the 223 I'm up to 6 firings without any need to do that yet.
:thumb: Better safe than sorry. Good to know about the 223 though,I have one coming home soon. What brass are you using?

I am quite surprised I have had five firings from Remington factory l 243 l inherited with the rifle. l suppose it has a lot to do with how hot you fire them.. perhaps...
 

Dannywayoflife

Well-Known Member
I personally used to neck size now I just FL size so I push the shoulders back 2 thou. FL sizing doesn't effect case life according to a study I read recently........
 

ChesterP

Well-Known Member
:thumb: Better safe than sorry. Good to know about the 223 though,I have one coming home soon. What brass are you using?

I am quite surprised I have had five firings from Remington factory l 243 l inherited with the rifle. l suppose it has a lot to do with how hot you fire them.. perhaps...
I use Lapua Match with the 223. It's worth the outlay as you can expect a shed load of firings provided that you don't load too hot. I'm on my 6th load with my current batch and have only had to trim twice, but don't shoot hot loads. I know of some who get well over a dozen loads or more using this brass. I'll see what I get on mine, but at present, they're showing no obvious signs of case-head web thinning. I anneal after 5 or 6 firings (just using the cordless drill).
 

Shootist

Well-Known Member
Thanks to all for an interesting and informative thread. I tried neck sizing on .223 for my Steyr Scout without any problems. When I tried it for my .308 Savage F/TR I had about 30 -40% of the cases jamming in the chamber making it almost impossible to open or close the bolt without a rod and a hammer! (And a lot of very bad language.) I also tried it on my Savage BVSS .223 with the same result, so full length sizing for all now. I have acquired a Forster Shoulder Bumping Die which remains in it's box where from time to time I view it with some suspicion until I'm brave enough to try it out for my F/TR rounds.
 

Moppy76

Well-Known Member
That's a bit like saying one shouldn't fire factory ammo in a rifle as you couldn't guarantee its dimensions.
Not quite my meaning but see your point. Swapping rounds from chamber to another without FL sizing was the conversation I had, only to find one day that the a round wouldn't chamber but was forced in, fired and wouldn't extract. At this point I said the case needed FL sizing if you want to use the same ammo in different chambers as there are always differences.
 

Top