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Max Online: 16728 @ 03/25/12 08:51 AM
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#5750337 - 05/19/15 08:40 AM More beginner questions: case length questions
Korean Redneck Online   content


Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 2277
Loc: Houston
Got some more general questions:

1. Is it common to see a case length shorter than listed in a manual? My 308 (with some before and after fl resizing) were ranging from 2.008" to 2.018" and manual says it should be 2.015". Same with my 223; manual says 1.760" and I got 1.754"-1.759". Is this a problem?

2. Is there such a thing as "too much" fl resizing? I'm not even sure how to ask this question other than is there a way to set up your die where it sizes the cases build too short?

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#5750409 - 05/19/15 09:17 AM Re: More beginner questions: case length questions [Re: Korean Redneck]
jdk1985 Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/15/11
Posts: 11708
Loc: Waco, TX
1 - Absolutely common. Your numbers are not a problem. Trim length on 308 is 2.005 (or the length of your shortest case, which in your instance is 2.008). Trim length on 223 is 1.75. Basically, trim length is .01 less than max length. Not sure if this needs to be said, but trim after FL sizing.

2 - I don't think you can do too much FL sizing. Fireman and others will say to FL size only enough to bump the shoulder back .002". This will work your brass a minimum amount and still allow the case to chamber. Sizing any beyond that point works the brass more than is absolutely necessary, which tends to mean shorter case life (fewer number of reloads). That does not mean that doing a full on FL size will be unsafe, etc.

EDIT - See 603s post on case head separations - did not think about that at the moment. I was assuming your chamber would appropriately allow for a FL size.



Edited by jdk1985 (05/19/15 10:04 AM)

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#5750450 - 05/19/15 09:37 AM Re: More beginner questions: case length questions [Re: Korean Redneck]
603Country Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 07/03/12
Posts: 4879
Loc: Central Texas
Years ago, when I was loading for my 220 (first barrel), I messed up and trimmed WAY too much off the necks of the cases. Heck, I was new at it and just messed up. And I continued in my ignorance and loaded em up and shot them. They shot great. I shot those same Norma cases for years. I'd much rather have cases too short rather than cases too long, though I do want them all to be the same length and neck tension.

Regarding sizing cases, yes you can FL size them too much. Depends on your rifle chamber and your dies. My 220 (second barrel) has a real snug chamber. With the FL dies I have, I can't set the shoulder too far back. I can barely set the shoulder back far enough. On the other extreme, my 223 (first barrel) was a factory barrel with a roomy chamber. When I switched from a neck die to a FL die, I (for a time) was setting the shoulder too far back, creating too much headspace, and I had some case head separations. When I realized what I had been doing, I adjusted the die to set the shoulder back just enough but not too much, and no problems after that. So...when FL resizing cases fired in your rifle, you should adjust the die so that the shoulder is set back just enough to allow the reloaded rounds to chamber without binding. That will give you good case life.

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#5750547 - 05/19/15 10:25 AM Re: More beginner questions: case length questions [Re: Korean Redneck]
Korean Redneck Online   content


Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 2277
Loc: Houston
Great, thanks for the responses. I think I get it now.

I am trying the method recommended by fireman; the 0.002" bump off the shortest fired case. I even bought me a set of headspace gauges to measure the shoulder length. I was just troubling me that the overall length was less that the book. My first thoughts were that I resized it "too much."

So the COAL dimension in reloading manuals are basically the max length it should be?
I too have a very tight chamber, or at least that what my gunsmith told me he did when he installed my barrel. So i should be in the clear when it comes to this head separation issue. Is that a correct statement?

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#5750831 - 05/19/15 01:22 PM Re: More beginner questions: case length questions [Re: Korean Redneck]
603Country Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 07/03/12
Posts: 4879
Loc: Central Texas
The .002 shoulder setback should be perfect. personally, I don't really measure the precise setback, but just will take a fired case that takes a bit of effort to chamber and put it in the press, with the die backed off. Then hand screw in the die as far as it will go when it touches the case shoulder. Then lower the ram and screw the die in 1/8 of a turn or so. Then size the case and chamber it in your rifle and repeat till it just chambers without binding. Set the die right there with the lock ring and you are good to go. The method isn't scientific, but works just fine and requires no additional equipment for measuring. I would expect any case head separation concerns to be a thing of the past, once you've got the FL die set properly.

As for COAL, by which I assume you mean the overall cartridge length, the loading manuals just show the recommended length. In many, if not most, cases that's an optimum length for that cartridge and bullet combination. But...rifles vary, and your specific rifle chamber and the location of the lands might allow a longer cartridge length, with the bullet seated a bit further out. That's quite common. My 260, once I measured the distance to the lands, wanted an overall cartridge length that's exactly what's recommended in the loading manuals. But with the 220 Swift and its first barrel, the lands were rather eroded and I was seating bullets further and further out ("chasing the lands" is a phrase I've read). Finally, prior to barrel number 2, my overall cartridge length was way past what the reloading books recommended. Those rounds, if I still had any, probably wouldn't chamber in barrel number 2.

I would suggest a new reloader use the max loaded overall cartridge length shown for that bullet. As you get a better understanding of how it all works, then you can measure the max length in your rifle (for that bullet) and adjust to the desired cartridge length to have that bullet a short distance off the lands.

I hope this helped.

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#5750846 - 05/19/15 01:35 PM Re: More beginner questions: case length questions [Re: Korean Redneck]
Korean Redneck Online   content


Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 2277
Loc: Houston
603, it does help. Now i feel better about it all. I'm jst approaching reloading cautiously because of several fears; mostly related to messing up my rifle. I just want to me sure a short case length wasn't going to have unforeseen consequences on the rifle.

As for the seating procedure, i got some advise from fireman and I am going to try and do it his way. I even bought myself a bullet comparator to do so. I hope this will resolve the concern you pointed out. And sorry, i thought for some reason CAOL mean CASE and not Cartridge.

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#5750972 - 05/19/15 03:24 PM Re: More beginner questions: case length questions [Re: Korean Redneck]
603Country Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 07/03/12
Posts: 4879
Loc: Central Texas
It's good to be cautious. I was wondering if you were confusing case length with cartridge length. That's why I phrased things as I did. Sounds like you have it under control now. And any advice from Fireman is solid gold, except for the MOA/MOA versus Mil/Mil. (Kidding....just kidding, Fireman).

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#5751218 - 05/19/15 06:33 PM Re: More beginner questions: case length questions [Re: Korean Redneck]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Really? Are you kidding me? I sat down for almost an hour and wrote a several thousand word document laying it all out, and you still need more information!?

Just kidding.

I supose I should have added at the top of the document in all caps THIS INFORMATION IS ABOVE AND BEYOND WHAT THE LOADING MANUALS HAVE. THIS INFORMATION IS TO LOAD PERFECT AMMUNITION FOR YOUR RIFLE AND NO ONE ELSES!

COAL is cartridge overall lenght. And it has zero bearing on the precision loader. Thos specs are for mass produced cartridges by huge manufacturers cranking out ammo to fit everyone's rifles. SAAMI specs, ignore those specifications. I almost never look at loading manuals anymore for rifles.
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#5751406 - 05/19/15 08:28 PM Re: More beginner questions: case length questions [Re: Korean Redneck]
DStroud Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/02/11
Posts: 1160
Loc: Waco
Lots of good info given above. Reloading is a good example of the saying" Education teaches you the rules. Experience teaches you the exceptions."
For the most part oversizing usually shows up down the road with case separation but can create immediate issues with certain actions for example I have had TC Encore that would get light primer strikes with normal FL sizing.

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#5751803 - 05/20/15 07:55 AM Re: More beginner questions: case length questions [Re: FiremanJG]
Korean Redneck Online   content


Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 2277
Loc: Houston
Originally Posted By: FiremanJG
Really? Are you kidding me? I sat down for almost an hour and wrote a several thousand word document laying it all out, and you still need more information



Haha, yes I do. Don't take it personally. I do this with every, especially at work. I'd be on crappy engineer if I wasn't always asking for more info. It's my thing, it's my shtick...
Overly cautious and overly, annoyingly inquisitive.

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#5752301 - 05/20/15 12:46 PM Re: More beginner questions: case length questions [Re: Korean Redneck]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
I understand. I was just messing with you.
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#5752725 - 05/20/15 05:51 PM Re: More beginner questions: case length questions [Re: Korean Redneck]
Buzzsaw Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 5023
Loc: Frisco, Texas
Welcome to the anal club
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#5752732 - 05/20/15 05:57 PM Re: More beginner questions: case length questions [Re: Buzzsaw]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Originally Posted By: Buzzsaw
Welcome to the anal club



Sig line worthy.
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#5752908 - 05/20/15 07:16 PM Re: More beginner questions: case length questions [Re: Korean Redneck]
Buzzsaw Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 5023
Loc: Frisco, Texas
lizard It really would be
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