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Neck sizing brass question
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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tlo7mm
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:31 am    Post subject: Neck sizing brass question Reply with quote

So I have been talking to a few others who have been reloading for years and they say that after fire forming brass in my guns I should only neck size my brass to extend brass life. What I have been reading on the net tonight is that most cartridges must be neck sized with a special neck sizing die so that the rest of the case is not sized in anyway. Is this true or can I neck size using just my standerd FL sizing die? Is it really necessary to only neck size my brass in order to get more reloads out of my brass?

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dhc4ever
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:26 am    Post subject: Re: Neck sizing brass question Reply with quote

I havent tried neck sizing with a full length die although I have seen it mentioned on the web, I fell it wouldnt be all that effective on some of the straighter walled rounds. As cheap as I am I've always just bought a neck sizing die.
Neck sizing does improve accuracy out of the rifle the rounds were fire formed in, in comparison to full length resized rounds (not a lot but every little bit helps.)
Depending on the caliber you're shooting you may find you will have to full length resize in 3 to 4 reloads anyway as chambering becomes harder.
Also it may pay to full length resize rounds for hunting to avoid feeding issues with neck sized only rounds. Having said that I've never had an issue with feed problems with neck sized rounds.
How expensive is brass over there?
Over here I can get 100 Lapua .308 for $62 other calibers are more expensive but generally the cost of each case is less than the cost of the projectile and therefore not really an issue.
Case life is dependent on pressure, heat and chamber dimensions, for instance I've had more than 10 reloads out of a .222 rem, on the other hand I've had signs of web wasteing and near head separating on a 25/06 in only 7 reloads, I have friends who have 10+ reloads on their .308s and that is with mainly neck sizing.

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Grumulkin
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:08 am    Post subject: Re: Neck sizing brass question Reply with quote

1. If you want to neck size with a full length sizing die, set the die so it only sizes about 2/3 of the neck. Better yet, get a neck sizing die.

2. Neck sizing should improve brass life.

3. Neck sizing doesn't always improve accuracy.
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slimjim
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:31 am    Post subject: Re: Neck sizing brass question Reply with quote

I've only neck sized but have used Lee Classic hand loaders. I'm running full-loads on my .270. I gave up counting how many times I reload a case. I'm estimating around 20 times. I have never had feed issues with my bold actions - except when case length grew beyond max. I can feel when the bolt is getting a little hard to close and it correlates with case length. Now I use that as my criteria to throw away the brass and introduce a new case.

I tried neck sizing only in my AR and found it feed fine but only with loads that were on the lower power sided. As the powder increased, I reached a point where the pressure was too high for the shell to be extracted.

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Ominivision1
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:28 am    Post subject: Re: Neck sizing brass question Reply with quote

Grumulkin wrote:
1. If you want to neck size with a full length sizing die, set the die so it only sizes about 2/3 of the neck. Better yet, get a neck sizing die.
2. Neck sizing should improve brass life.
3. Neck sizing doesn't always improve accuracy.

^^ THIS

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:48 am    Post subject: Re: Neck sizing brass question Reply with quote

Neck sizing can extend the life of the case simply because of less work hardening...... but you can also extend case life by annealing the cases !!!
The firing and re-sizing process causes the cases to become brittle over time and eventually split bodies and cracked necks are the result.

I recommend using the neck die instead of trying to use a full length !!!
I've tried this and it has not worked for me. Setting the die to neck size 1/2 the neck resulted in the body receiving some sizing. That in turn pushed the shoulder forward (headspace) and made chambering difficult.
Keep in mind as you FL size the brass from the body flows upward, the case needs to be completely inserted into the die in order to reset the headspace.

As mentioned, the amount of pressure will determine how many firings you'll get before eventually needing to FL size. It is possible however to never have too if you stay within the cases elasticity.

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MRFixIT
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Neck sizing brass question Reply with quote

Only thing I can add is after you fire form and neck size the case most times will only fit in the rifle you fired it in. example if you have a Browning 308 and a Remington 308. Brass fired in the Browning and neck sized most time will not chamber in the Remington. This is not allway true but most times it is.

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Neck sizing brass question Reply with quote

good point, MRFixIT. I think chamber size can also vary in rifles made by the same company. For fire-formed brass to be reused in a different rifle, the same chamber reamer has to be used and headspacing the same. Of the other rifle has a larger chamber, e.g., the .270 brass from my buddy's Rem 700 fits in my Tikka because his has a smaller chamber. I found out by mistake one day when I mixed his brass with mine. I had to replace his with new brass.

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wncchester
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Neck sizing brass question Reply with quote

Neck sizing with standard neck dies doesn't do much, if anything, for case life and rarely does much for accuracy. Cases usually die from split necks and, on average, neck dies work them as much as FL dies do.
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MRFixIT
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Neck sizing brass question Reply with quote

wncchester wrote:
Neck sizing with standard neck dies doesn't do much, if anything, for case life and rarely does much for accuracy. Cases usually die from split necks and, on average, neck dies work them as much as FL dies do.

a lot of truth in that
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slimjim
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Neck sizing brass question Reply with quote

MRFixIT wrote:
wncchester wrote:
Neck sizing with standard neck dies doesn't do much, if anything, for case life and rarely does much for accuracy. Cases usually die from split necks and, on average, neck dies work them as much as FL dies do.

a lot of truth in that

I don't think I would agree. Regardless of pro's or con's, it requires significantly more work and tools to FL size vs Neck size. If there is no advantage to FL sizing for a particular rifle and its action, why bother?

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MRFixIT
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Neck sizing brass question Reply with quote

Slimjim I think what he was saying is that when a case fails it is usually the neck that splits, so whether you full size or neck size your still working the neck and the neck being the first to show signs of fatigue. I'm not saying one is better than the other just that I see the reason behind wncchesters thinking

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MacD
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Neck sizing brass question Reply with quote

Okay at the risk of being wrong I would think that a die that simply brings the neck down to size as opposed to squeezing then expanding in the same stroke would cause less work hardening. Also when you size the whole case down to original spec are you not going to add work hardening to the shoulders as well as the rest of the case? Do you have to trim more often if you neck size, FL size or is there no difference?

The gunsmith who gave me my reloading lesson told me I need only FL size brass fired in another rifle. I have followed his advice for the 1500 rounds (mostly 223) that I have fired from my two rifles with one batch of cases now on its 5th reloading. That batch has been trimmed once and then only little more than a slight scrape that took off the original roughness around the edge of the mouth. I have another batch that I have subjected to the Lee factory crimp die on each reloading with a different load just to compare velocity with an non-crimped identical load. Since crimping is working the brass I am waiting to see which cases first start to show signs of failure. I have a small batch of cases I tried annealing the necks. I will work up again from minimum loads with them to see if I got it right. I have a 10X jewelers loup that I use to inspect cases.

Since having a "Doh" moment in an earlier post on lubing I have reread everything that I have been able to find on case prep. It seems that the FL sizing and the neck sizing camps are pretty evenly populated. In neither case did I find an empirically based, scientific comparison of the two options. If anyone knows of one I would really like to read it.

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MRFixIT
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Neck sizing brass question Reply with quote

MacD I only neck size myself. Hornady brass for the Axis and Lapua brass for the model 12. I stumbled upon this site last week, has some good reading www.three-peaks.net/reload.htm I found it a nice refresher.


Last edited by MRFixIT on Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:08 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Vince
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Neck sizing brass question Reply with quote

Hey Fixie...the link is bruck mate. Very Happy Very Happy Laughing

Cheers, Vince

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