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Neck only sizing

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Neck only sizing

Postby MJ1 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:22 pm

After a lot of hassle last weekend trying to neck size with a FL die I just pulled out 50 new LAPUA cases Now I have about 80 once fired cases. LEE dosn't make a 7.62X54R collet die and I have not used any RCBS dies I liked so what do the boys and girls here use to neck only size ? I did watch a u-tube on using the 303 collet die but give me a break, there has to be a better way.

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Re: Neck only sizing

Postby Grindl » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:13 pm

In order to neck size only , I followed the advice of several very learned site members and purchased a Lee .308 Collet Die . I then went to my local Ace Hardware and purchased two flat-ground steel washers , 1" in diameter , .060 thick , with a .437 ( 7/16 ) hole in the center . The closest to correct size . I opened the hole to .510 w a Dremel and de-burred the hole on both sides , so they would fit over the case . Place case in shell-holder and slide washer down over case to shell-holder . Operate the press in the normal manner . If you can't find a washer .060 thick , get the closest thickness to that , and sand it , grind it , turn it down to .060 thick .

If you're wondering where I came up with the .060 dimension , it was through careful fitting to get a match slightly above the base of the case neck , at the top of the shoulder angle . . As you set your Collet Die up for use , make sure you don't have it turned to deep to cause any "bell-mouth" at the case mouth . If you get any "bell-mouth" , back the collet die off until it disappears , and the neck is straight .

If you want to adjust the neck tension to make it tighter , remove the arbor rod from the collet die , and polish it carefully with 800 grit wet / dry paper , followed by #4 steel wool to smooth the surface of the arbor . Be very careful with the sanding and take your time , checking with a micrometer or good quality caliper as you go . DO NOT RUSH . To small is to small . Should you make a mistake and sand the arbor pin to small , they are available from Lee . But here's the magic secret . If you get a .308 Collet Die , the arbor pin is the correct size for putting the proper interference fit in your case for a .311 bullet .

Now ; a suggestive word of caution . Cases should be F/L sized at least every other firing , and the neck trimmed to proper length , and de-burred . Which is 2.110" OAL. Never F/L size without Imperial Case/Die Wax .
If done correctly , you'll have cases that are very consistent ,and it will improve accuracy . There aren't any "short-cuts" to making accurate ammo . It requires time , patience , and following a process . The same way every time .
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Re: Neck only sizing

Postby Grindl » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:19 pm

BTW .... This is the basic equipment / process I use on my S&B brass to shoot F-Open at 600 and 1,000 yards . It does create cases with .001 run-out or less , if done correctly . Good Luck .
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Re: Neck only sizing

Postby MJ1 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:22 am

I just happen to have all of the above mentioned bits except the washers. I will snatch up my micrometer and hear to ACE today after BINGO

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Re: Neck only sizing

Postby MJ1 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:28 am

Well it looks like I have miss-spoken and don't a LEE .308 neck sizing set. I have an RCBS neck .308 die but that is not the same. I spent some time at ACE and came up with two washers I don't have to grind on that give me .118" not the .120" you recommend. So I'm off to find a LEE neck die. It looks like LEE has been shut down for a time and supplies are short. I think I recall like Dillon there has been a key person loss. All else fails I will post in one of the many WTB pages around the net.Thanks for the advice.

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Re: Neck only sizing

Postby Grindl » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:11 pm

Use only one washer at a time . The second washer is a back-up in case I mis-place the other one . :lol: If you ever saw my bench , you'd know why I get two . Try going through Titan Reloading . They should have the Lee .308 Collet Die in stock .
Collet Die , Jack . Collet Die .
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Re: Neck only sizing

Postby Grimstod » Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:17 am

Neck sizing!?? That is so outdated. Don't neck size its a waist of time. I have gone down that road and spent a lot of money on custom neck sizing dies. One I paid $200 for to have custom made. :oops: Its simply not worth it.
If you really have to neck size, though I see no benefit, get the lee loader in 7.62x54r. It sizes the necks for 30cal bullets but will do. Big waist of time though. No accuracy gain whatsoever. Just create lots of problems too and really shortens brass life. :crazy:

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Re: Neck only sizing

Postby MJ1 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:49 am

Yes collet die is what I have coming. I have them in 303 British and 6.5X55 Swedish.

So it's one washer .060" well I missed that point :lol:

In the selection from ACE I have two .059" with a .467" ID hole and 9.024 OD I have time to poke around at ACE or Orchard Supply while I wait for Graf's to ship. Plus I have boxes of left over metric stuff from a 100 years ago when I was in the Honda business.Off to Denny's for Veterans Day waffle then Applbee's for the free lunch.

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Re: Neck only sizing

Postby Grindl » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:24 pm

Grimstod ; After reading all of the data on this site for the last several years , and your trials and tribulations of using all sorts of special bushing dies to size your brass , I came to the conclusion that was not the way to go .

So I experimented with using only a Lee 7.62x54 FL Die first . Then trimming to length . Unfortunately ; it only gave me a .0015 interference fit for a .308 bullet . I then purchased the Lee Collet Die , as recommended here , by many members here . The only modification I made to the collet die was to polish the mandrel to .3055 for , which by my tests , was the correct "fit" for my rifle ... I don't believe in bushing dies , as they disrupt the material inside the neck , in my opinion . I "set" my neck at .305 and I have found it to improve the accuracy in my "F" rifle by roughly 15% , from before I started using this process , and have virtually eliminated flyers . My horizontal spread is approx. 8" and my vertical deviation is about 1-2" avg. , at 600 yds...

BTW ...I read the full article , and watched the video . And I fully concur with the author . Neck sizing only is not a solution to anything , and I suggested several times in this topic , that cases had to be F/L sized at least every other firing .

I'm shooting a somewhat "heavy" load for a 155gr Palma bullet , and I've had two cracked cases , ( 1/8" forward of primer ) out of 760+ rounds in the last two months . Using brass that has five to seven firings . Some day ; I'll win the lottery and I'll be able to buy a couple hundred Lapua cases..... I do not suggest this is the best way , or the only way to work brass , but it is a system that works for me . I'm lucky to have the benefit of weekly contact with some of the top "F" class shooters in the world . And the only corrective loading advice I've been given , was to stop using BR-2 primers , and go to Wolf if I could find them . Or S&B as a decent substitute . Unis "GINEX" from Serbia was listed by Laurie Holland , as having a low SD , but that's another topic .

There are as many ways to load , as there are shooters pulling triggers , and there is no "BEST" one way . It's what works for your rifle / load combination . And the care put into the process .


@ mj1 : The .059 thick washer should work fine . Just make sure not to turn your die to deep and get bell-mouth on the front of the case . :thumbup:
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Re: Neck only sizing

Postby MJ1 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:47 pm

The .308 collet set showed up in 24 hours so I set up a test case and when I turned the die in till it started to make the neck snug on the 174g SMK, just a little resistance inserting the bullet , I gave the die a 1/4 turn more ran the case and then tried to seat the bullet but in only went in part way then crushed the shoulder back. Definitely to much neck tension. I will give another go in the morning again in small steps. you can just make out the ring on the bullet where it stopped. :crazy:

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