Reloading: setting up the dies

Remington 700

Well-Known Member
#1
I'm trying to set up my .30-06 dies unfortunately I'm struggling to close the bolt on the rifle, where am I going wrong.
I home load .243 and have for years and never had a problem.

Thanks EF
 

swampy

Account Suspended
#2
bolt closing

Hi Elmer,
The brass you are using, is it new? do you full length resize then trim to length?

are you getting the shell holder to touch the die?

is it a new rifle that you have not loaded for before?

I had the same problem with my remmy model 7 in 7mm08. in the end i had to shave the thinest sliver off the bottom of the die as the shoulder wasn't being pushed back properly. but be careful if you take too much off it will effect the head space and will make the rounds too short. so when you pull the trigger you might find the rifle misfires.

to try to see if this is the problem try making a shim out of a slice of coke can , if you can fit this in your shell holder under the case and after pressing the case will chamber then this will be the problem.
You might get away with a new shell holder or a better, target grade one.

steve
 

Remington 700

Well-Known Member
#3
Thanks swampy.

I've tried a number of different things but to no avail. Basically ever question the answer is yes. New brass new rifle and a Remmy too, apart from old RCBS dies that i got off of eBay. I believe its the shoulders of the round that are not quite right. I'll try the shim idea and see how I get on.

Thanks
EF
 

243win

Well-Known Member
#4
Hi elmer,
as it is a new rifle, i know it sounds daft have you tried a factory round, or have a smith check the chamber, new cases usually fit but need the the mouths of the cases chamfered, if you have a micrometer or some thing similar to measure the cases fired and sized etc you can work out if you need to buy some new dies possibly, using the shin idea will work but the dies should work without the need for trimming, one thing is did you fire the cases in your new rifle? as reloading them should be able to neck resized, so full length shouldn't be needed

steve
 

swampy

Account Suspended
#5
full length

Guys, you should always full length resize then trim then chamfer new brass. then it can be neck sized only after fire forming. the shoulder is the thing that headspaces the cartridge not the neck.
maybe you could put some marker pen on the shoulder and chamber it. i found a bright ring on the shoulder showing that the shoulder was the issue.

steve
 

243win

Well-Known Member
#6
swampy
i always full length sized my brass, but the last few batches from lapua(223,243,308) only needed to be deburred the length and sizing seemed ok, but if in doubt always full length size as it should return them to the correct size, i guess it depends on the level of skill/experience that the individual has as to what we do, not to easy though to solve without seeing the rifle/ ammuntion though, iunderstand what you done with your die, using it as a bump die, which is more charteristic when the case is necked a few times only,hopefully elmer can try your suggestion unless he knows someone locally with a set of dies he could try.

steve
 

swampy

Account Suspended
#7
new brass

I imagine with quality brass the problems will be less. The only new brass i have used has been remmy and it was quite rough. i had to size that straight away.

steve
 

Remington 700

Well-Known Member
#8
The brass was given to me so not fire formed in my rifle. The rifle fires well with factory ammo so the alarm bells about the rifle arn't ringing just yet... Although I've not tried to reload since my earlier post. I tried doing some research and got a little more information from "you tube, reloading"

The problem for me is that someone very much in the know set up my .243 dies and gave me some basic information to reload safely, unfortunately I've lost contact with him :mad:

Personally, I think I have to invest in some detailed reloading books or buy a reloading dvd from eBay. Luckily for me Reloading Solutions is only a few miles from me I know they will be able to point me in the right direction.
 

JAYB

Administrator
Site Staff
#9
Am I right in thinking that you are reloading without having read at least one manual? I expect I have misread this, but if not get yourself a manual and read it and when you have read it again. You say that you had a friend who was experienced in reloading and set your dies up for you with your 243. I take it you set your dies up yourself for the 30.06, the ones you got off e-bay. I am beginning to suspect that we may have a bit of operator error here, have you looked here http://www.rcbs.com/guide/printsteps.html it will give you step by step instructions on how to use their equipment. If that does not work then question number1 here, http://www.rcbs.com/questions/dies_questions.aspx relates to your problem. I take it you have tried the empty cases to see if they chamber?

It could be, as everything else is new, that the e-bay dies are the weak link in the chain. If not and you cure the problem, then we all stand to learn something new, which can't be bad news.

Keep us informed

John
 

Remington 700

Well-Known Member
#10
Guilty Hands up :oops:

I dont have any dedicated reloading manuals. All I have is Manufacturers booklets i.e. showing powders / maximum loads / bullet brand /weight etc. with only limited reloading advice at the front of the booklet.

The dies were set up by someone else. I then worked out a load that my rifle liked i.e.33grn's of Hodgdon H4895 using 100grain Speer BT
since then I've stuck with this load for years and had some real success with it.

Yes, the empty .30-06 cases fit in the rifle and the bolt will close.
Just looking at RCBS website link now.

Thank you
 

JAYB

Administrator
Site Staff
#11
Elma, I was thinking abut this, how sad is that?, and I sort of went back to the real basic's and realised that you have made no mention of the cartridge overall length (COL). I was just wondering how you measured for the length of cartridge? Have you ever been shown how to measure a chamber for cartridge length? Could it be something as simple as the head needs seating a little deeper?

John
 

Mat

Well-Known Member
#12
I'd recommend using a Stoney Point (taken over by Hornady) tool for checking both sizing die settings and COL... Basically, one of their tools measures a datum on the cartridge shoulder and you adjust the sizing die depth until you've pushed the shoulder back a thou or so, another tool uses a modified case, where you slide your bullet into the neck then chamber the round, then push the end of the rod until the bullet engages the barrel, lock the setting, withdraw the tool and measure the length (in a nutshell).

Also, if you get the Redding competition shell holders, then it's pretty much idiot proof: it comprises of a set of 5 shell holders, each with a different depth, so you just screw the die until it touches shell holder, then select the shell holder that gives you the right setting.

As for neck sizing: I wouldn't recommend it for any situation where you don't want sticky chambering. Likewise, make sure you don't seat the bullets such that they are touching the barrel, the last thing you want is to unload a round and leave the bullet in the barrel (and dump powder everywhere).
 

JAYB

Administrator
Site Staff
#13
Mat said:
As for neck sizing: I wouldn't recommend it for any situation where you don't want sticky chambering. Likewise, make sure you don't seat the bullets such that they are touching the barrel, the last thing you want is to unload a round and leave the bullet in the barrel (and dump powder everywhere).
Mat, I don't understand the bit about sticky chambering, are you saying that neck sizing only will leave the case a sticky fit in the chamber. The head can quite safely be seated so that it is just kissing the lands, if it is seated so that it will be retained by the lands on cycling the bolt then surely it will be too long and difficult to close the bolt?.. I suppose I am reading it all wrong.

John
 

Mat

Well-Known Member
#14
A neck sized case will not be as easy to chamber as a full length sized case, depending on how stiff your loads are, how new your brass is etc. I personally full length size every time, so I know I won't have a problem and every case is the same.

As for length: it depends on how much neck tension you have and how far into the lands you've seated as to how much effort it takes to close the bolt. If you're not chasing maximum accuracy, then I wouldn't recommend being any closer than 10-20 thou, besides which you CAN get a pressure spike if you're too close. Just pointing out that it MIGHT be a problem ejecting a loaded round, obviously other people have different ideas and experience...

When I had a Remy 700, the chamber was as loose as you like and the throat unreachably long. Brass expanded unequally so if you neck sized, then the rounds were inherently wonky and if you tried to seat the bullet to be close to the lands, then it was impossible as the bullet was already beyond the neck! :rolleyes:
 

Tim1

Well-Known Member
#16
Elma,

It sounds like a headspacing problem to me and you need to set your die to bump the shoulder back a bit. A Stoney Point 'Head 'n' Shoulders' gauge will help you to set the die accurately to suit your chamber.

I would imagine you'll get the correct answer from Reloading Solutions. Please post the remedy as there is always something new to learn about reloading.

Thanks and good luck,

Tim
 

JAYB

Administrator
Site Staff
#17
Mat, I can't agree with you on a couple of points, neck sized is no more difficult to chamber than a full length sized one. If you bear in mind that when a round is fired what happens is that the brass case is expanded as far as the chamber wall, then the natural elasticity of the brass causes it to contract by a very small amount, which leaves you with a case that is tailored to your chamber, which will fit it every time more precisely than a full length re-sized one. It will stretch lengthwise as all cases will, but this is dealt with when the case is trimmed to length during the case preparation.

As for neck tension affecting how long you load the round, I cannot agree with that at all. If you have loaded the round so long that it requires extra effort to close the bolt, then it is too long. The accepted wisdom, as you correctly pointed out, is to load between 10 and 30 thou short of the lands. You can load with the head touching the lands, to avoid this small jump, if you are chasing extreme accuracy and you think this is the way to do it, but, you would have to develop the load to suit otherwise, as you have stated you would cause an increase in pressure. This being brought on by outside influences, touching the lands, as opposed to too much powder. I would suggest that if you are using a round that is difficult to chamber because it is too long, unless it has been developed at this length, that you do not use it.

As for your Remmy with the long throat, I can't see why you could not neck size. Surely the reamer would have only been long in the throat, and the case would not have expanded any more than usual beyond the shoulder of the cartridge. If you are saying that the case up to the neck expanded unequally then that is indeed baffling, well to me anyway. As the head-space measurement is actually taken from a datum on the shoulder of the case, did you have the head-space of your weapon checked? A long throat itself is not new, the old 6.5 Carl Gustav's are well known for their long throats as are many of the older rifles.

You are making me rethink a lot of things now :???:

John
 

Mat

Well-Known Member
#18
(Just expressing my opinions, so quite happy for anyone to disagree on any points that I have raised)

I can't agree with you on a couple of points, neck sized is no more difficult to chamber than a full length sized one. If you bear in mind that when a round is fired what happens is that the brass case is expanded as far as the chamber wall, then the natural elasticity of the brass causes it to contract by a very small amount, which leaves you with a case that is tailored to your chamber, which will fit it every time more precisely than a full length re-sized one. It will stretch lengthwise as all cases will, but this is dealt with when the case is trimmed to length during the case preparation.
That's all fine in theory, I've certainly found that full length sized rounds chamber with very little extra effort when closing the bolt. For me, for when it matters, then it's full length sizing every time, if you're happy to neck size, then it's your choice!

As for neck tension affecting how long you load the round, I cannot agree with that at all. If you have loaded the round so long that it requires extra effort to close the bolt, then it is too long.
That wasn't quite the point I was trying to make: my point was that IF you decide to load the bullet to touch the lands, then extra effort will be required to push the bullet back into the case, hence the neck tension.

The accepted wisdom, as you correctly pointed out, is to load between 10 and 30 thou short of the lands. You can load with the head touching the lands, to avoid this small jump, if you are chasing extreme accuracy and you think this is the way to do it, but, you would have to develop the load to suit otherwise, as you have stated you would cause an increase in pressure. This being brought on by outside influences, touching the lands, as opposed to too much powder. I would suggest that if you are using a round that is difficult to chamber because it is too long, unless it has been developed at this length, that you do not use it.
Totally agree with you there, I'm not a believer in touching the lands, then again I'm not chasing ultimate accuracy, I spend my time shooting, not load testing!

As for your Remmy with the long throat, I can't see why you could not neck size. Surely the reamer would have only been long in the throat, and the case would not have expanded any more than usual beyond the shoulder of the cartridge. If you are saying that the case up to the neck expanded unequally then that is indeed baffling, well to me anyway. As the head-space measurement is actually taken from a datum on the shoulder of the case, did you have the head-space of your weapon checked?
When I said it had a loose chamber, I didn't mean loose headspace: the diameter of the chamber was huge, which meant that the case expanded more on one side than the other. This meant that the cartridge was no longer concentric. Quite how Remys ever shoot well out of the box is a mystery to me...

I used to neck size, but I'm now a firm believer in full length resizing every time.
 

JAYB

Administrator
Site Staff
#19
Mat,

I still can't see any reason to change my thinking, I can't see how you can say my reasons for neck sizing are OK in theory, when what I have said is a fact. I just don't know what you mean by "when it matters".

I still think that if you load touching the lands so that extra effort is required to close the bolt, you are loading too long. I cannot see any time when extra effort should be needed to close the bolt unless something is wrong. Even when just kissing the lands it should still not need extra effort, and I would suggest that if it did need extra effort then you would have to crimp the neck, to get the round to extract. The amount of tension that would be need by simply resizing would surely preclude the head from being loaded.

I don't chase ultimate accuracy, I have said on here before that I do not think that minute of gnat's cock is necessary for hunting. However I do find reloading interesting and like to learn as much as I can about it. As for your Remmy chamber, that is beyond me I shall have to study up on that a bit.

We need to talk about these things in order to progress, it's good is it not?

John
 

Mat

Well-Known Member
#20
...Thread drifting... :lol:

My personal experience is that neck sized rounds are harder to chamber. Take it or leave it. In theory, yes, brass is elastic to some extent, depending on various factors, so it should be slightly smaller on the way out. In practice, brass is never perfectly uniform, nor is the chamber perfectly round, nor is the rifle action perfectly stiff. If your loads are quite soft, then you may never experience this.

I've also noticed that different rounds required different amounts of effort to close the bolt, differential case volume can not be good for consistency. Rifle actions are not designed to be reloading presses: effortful closing of the bolt probably results in extra wear. Too many unknowns in my mind: just full length resize and forget about it.

I am a target shooter (first stalk is booked for a couple of weeks time though :lol: ), some of the things I shoot involve rapid fire, so for me that's "when it matters", I can only conjecture that in a stalking situation, should you require an additional round, the last thing you want to do is to fumble a reload.

I don't dabble with seating bullets touching the lands, but I do hear of people who actually force bullets into the lands, like 20 thou BEYOND the point at which it is only touching.

I'm all for useful debate, just as long as it doesn't decend into a slagging match... :)

Cheers,
Mat
 

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