Author Topic: Problems with .308 full length resizing  (Read 10621 times)

Offline DrJohn

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Problems with .308 full length resizing
« on: August 24, 2016, 08:18:37 AM »
So I went and bought a .308 semi auto, and decided to change from neck sizing to full length.  I obtained a carbide 3 die set from Dillon to use in my XL650.  After setting the decapping, resizing die per instructions I started to process some of my fired once brass.  Things went well as long as I was using Hornaday or Remington brass.  When I switched to Federal or Speer I ran into problems. I check each case with a Dillon case gauge, and while all the brass was acceptable according to the gauge, I noticed that some of the Federal and all of the speer brass had a small raised lip next to the extractor groove - almost like a belted round would have.  I trimmed a few to length and tried to chamber them in my Remington 700.  NO GO, the brass would not chamber and I could not close the bolt.  Just for kicks I turned down this raised area, and I was able to close the bolt!  I adjusted the resizing die figuring I screwed something up, but in order to get rid of the lip, the die was low enough that it pushed the neck down too far and the head sat below acceptable on the case gauge.  I am stumped.

Federal case with the "belt"



Fits in the case gauge



Sizing die adjusted down to get rid of belt, case now sits too deeply in gauge


Checked headspace using Hornaday Headspace gauge - not much difference between go and no go rounds

Offline Carl

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2016, 05:30:10 PM »
You MAY have an OVER-SIZE chamber or a gun firing slightly out of battery.( I doubt either)  'Trimming' over sized brass is NOT A GOOD IDEA,

THINK...If the chamber were proper dimensioned and gun firing in battery...the brass would not be swelled this way.

You might also try NOT sizing quite so deep as a cure as over resizing can CRUSH a belly in some softer brass and cause this to happen...
I suspect it being the over doing of the size die...back off a turn of the die and see what happens...size till brass fits chamber or GO-NO-GO gauge if available.
A DRY ERASE marker on the neck will determine when proper die depth is reached...or just back off 2 turns and walk your way tighter to get the 'sweet spot'
Your eyeball and a micrometer are your best gauges , compare a not yet sized case to the same AFTER resize to tell if die crush is trouble before questioning gun chamber dimensions.

Let me know ,or pass additional info for better ideas from me...I loaded many millions of rounds in my past

Good luck...WE CAN FIX THIS.

Offline Davew223

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2016, 06:15:09 PM »
Need some more info:

1. Which rifle was this brass originally fired in?
2. Was it factory ammo?
3. Have you tried to resize the Fed or Speer brass fired from the other rifle?
4. Are you using lube with those dies?
5. Have you tried using a bullet comparator with a bump gauge insert to measure the amount your brass is stretching?
http://www.sinclairintl.com/reloading-equipment/measuring-tools/bullet-comparator-inserts/sinclair-insert-style-bullet-comparator-prod34014.aspx 
(This is also a much better way to go than a go-no go both for the headspace and for bullet seating depth.  You just have to understand that your measurements with this tool are relative.  They only apply to your tool because it is measuring to "it's" spot on the ogive or "it's" point on the shoulder.)
6. Have you measured the diameter of the sized and unsized brass right above the E-groove and compared that measurement to a factory round? 


My list of possible causes is:

1. The rifle that fired those rounds has excessive headspace and the brass is stretched beyond its ability to be full length resized.
2. The rifle that fired those rounds has an excessive chamber diameter and ...
3. The die was not fully reamed.
4. The die was cut to be a steel die but found it's way into the carbide coating bin.
5. You are not using lube. Pistol carbides don't need it but bottle neck rifle do.

If it is 1 or 2, I would junk all the brass that had been fired in that chamber, you are likely very close to case head separation.  Even the Rem and Horn brass.  There is a decent chance that the barrel can be cut down at the breech and re-chambered / headspaced to fix either of these issues.

If it is 3, 4 or 5 the Federal and Speer should be trashed, I'm not sure about the Remington and the Hornady.  I would have to do some measuring and thinking on that.

You may want to look into a Redding body die with the competition shellholder set for sizing and the Lee collet neck sizer.  This setup will let you do minimal sizing and has the least neck runout of any setup I have ever used.


Offline Davew223

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2016, 06:30:10 PM »
machinisttx? I know you have some ideas.

Offline Davew223

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2016, 06:59:25 PM »

You might also try NOT sizing quite so deep as a cure as over resizing can CRUSH a belly in some softer brass and cause this to happen...
I suspect it being the over doing of the size die...back off a turn of the die and see what happens...size till brass fits chamber or GO-NO-GO gauge if available.


Sorry, I'm a single stage only guy.  With all the dies I have used, with the exception of carbide pistol, you set the die to make contact with the shell holder so they square up to each other near the bottom of the stroke.  Are the rifle Dillion carbide dies in the 650 reamed to not make contact?

Offline Carl

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2016, 07:20:44 PM »
Sorry, I'm a single stage only guy.  With all the dies I have used, with the exception of carbide pistol, you set the die to make contact with the shell holder so they square up to each other near the bottom of the stroke.  Are the rifle Dillion carbide dies in the 650 reamed to not make contact?

This is not always the correct way to set a die...PLEASE UNDERSTAND...the PRESS and die dimensions are not always so predictable. single stage or progressive multi-stage ALL REQUIRE PROPER SETUP OF DIES AND YOU*N ARE NOT DOING IT CORRECTLY.(for use with this choice of mixed brass).DIES are made to do a job on shell cases and NOT to do this on varied dimensions of every type or individual loader. Your improper die adjustment is contributing to your current problem and may also over stress and shorten casings that can lead to case head separation .

I hope to advise,not be critical of your work...I have seen this before .

My shop has 4 AMMOLOAD 5,000 round per hour loaders ,four Dillon 1050 loaders,a Dillon 1000, 2 Dillon 550B and 6 RCBS Rock Chucker presses.

http://www.sinclairintl.com/GunTech/Setting-Up-Your-Full-Length-Sizing-Die/detail.htm?lid=16081
« Last Edit: August 24, 2016, 07:38:17 PM by Carl »

Offline DrJohn

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2016, 08:04:58 PM »
Thanks for the great info so far!  All the Speer and Hornaday brass was fired in the Remington 700. The Federal could be either the 700 or the LR-308. I am not sure which.  All were factory loads.  All cases were lubed before sizing.  I don't think the 700 has a chamber issue as it shoots 1/2 MOA at 100 yards all day long.  I plan to trash all the brass so far, nothing has been fully loaded, just sizing so far.  I checked and ALL the fired brass will chamber in the 700 and the bolt closes easily.  Kinda hard to tell on the LR-308.

Offline Davew223

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2016, 08:35:53 PM »
Carl,
Dr John is the one having the issue.  I was just asking if the Dillon was different to setup than the RCBS and Redding as per RCBS and Redding before I gave any bad information.
 

Offline Carl

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2016, 08:56:03 PM »
Carl,
Dr John is the one having the issue.  I was just asking if the Dillon was different to setup than the RCBS and Redding as per RCBS and Redding before I gave any bad information.
 

OK. I have to add that straight wall carbide dies do set tiis way as a rule of thumb BUT ....
If all loaders,shell holders,cartridge cases,and dies were the SAME SPEC...WHY ARE THE DIES MADE ADJUSTABLE???
Because all things are not the same and the situation is the final adjuster...If ,in this case,the shells were all fired in the same ,properly headspaced
chamber,they are then all fire-formed the same ,discounting metallurgy and manufacturer adherence to SAAMI SPECS.

So,in this situation,either chamber dimensions ...if different weapons were involved ,or different manufacture specs ...
If same weapon were used, the brass should all be fire formed to the chamber so I think the die is CRUSHING a bit due to metallurgy and or slight cartridge length differences.

NOTE that while non carbide dies are TAPERED to shell dimensions,Carbide dies are made with washer like rings and so actually are often requiring slightly different adjustment methods.


Offline Davew223

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2016, 10:54:06 PM »
Yea .5 moa would be extremely unlikely with a chamber bad enough to cause your issue.  That would rule out 1 & 2, you are using lube so that leaves 3 and 4 or something along those lines.  Since you were having the same issue with both Speer and Federal, I would rule out a bad batch of brass.

Keep in mind that what I say next is coming from a guy that is almost as particular as a bench rest shooter when it comes to loading and in some ways more so because I have to worry about velocity variance and they don't.  For my 7 mag I turn my necks on a lathe so that I do not have to do any resizing at all. The barrel is a Kreiger with a minimum chamber. The neck expands to the chamber, releases the bullet and springs back giving me just under .002 for neck to bullet tension.  Every 4-5 loading's I use a Redding body die with their competition shellholder set which allows me to do the absolute minimum case sizing and bump the shoulder back about .001 while having firm contact of the shell holder to the die. That eliminates any misalignment of the ram and the threads on the press.  I have that rifle shooting under .15" at a hundred and am going for sub .1 MOA.  I do full length size for the AR but I sort the loaded rounds to .0015 either way in base to ogive for 3 Gun and hunting, and weigh every charge to less than .05 grain variance.  The rest are for plinking or get re-seated.   

With that said and with full understanding of where I am coming from, backing off the die and not having die to shell holder contact is doing nothing but allowing slop and misalignment. The reason that dies are adjustable is not to set the amount of sizing of the brass, it is to be able to set the dies in various presses to the correct height so the contact the shell holder at the top of the stroke of the ram as per Dillion, RCBS, Redding, Wilson and Forester.  Otherwise, they would have  precision, matched threads and presses and dies would cost 5 times as much or more. If you need to adjust the amount of sizing, that should be done by using either a custom die, ground to your specs, or by using the needed shellholder like the redding comp's.  Their like $20 a set and come in .002 increments.  Ok, I feel a little better.

Now, from a practical standpoint, what Carl said is absolutely correct, especially if you are mass producing rounds that need to function in any firearm  Unless the die is way out of spec, backing it out a turn or 2 and screwing it in until you get it sizing correctly will work just fine and you should be able to dial in a load for each gun that shoots close to .5 MOA. If you get the comparator body in the link on my first post and pick up the bump gauge insert, http://www.sinclairintl.com/reloading-equipment/measuring-tools/bullet-comparators/sinclair-bump-gage-insert-prod35265.aspx , you can measure a fired case out of each rifle and use those measurements to adjust your full length die to near minimum but adequate sizing. 


Offline Carl

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2016, 11:40:47 PM »
Solid advice DAVEW223,you followed shooting to a science I ,at one time attempted,but the economy of VOLUME and the shooting along side of Jim and Kay Clark and Jerry Michalik ect..bowling pin and silhouette matches just spoiled me to speed and volume although I did get a ways into Handgun metallic silhouette shooting
All that shooting just advanced to reloading...My fondest memory was walking the Texas street in downtown Shreveport with an old man ,eating lunch with him..and years later discovering the stories
were TRUE as the man was Elmer Keith who,at the time was just a cool old man to me.

Karma,and thanks for your SCIENCE backing my experience...

Offline Davew223

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2016, 12:14:54 AM »
Competition shooting is a small world, I met Jerry a couple years ago in line while we were registering for the Rockcastle 3 Gun Pro Am and my cousins wife has gotten to know Lena through Babes with Bullets.  It is the only sport where a novice can find themselves squaded with the best in the world.  A couple years ago I wandered up to a range in Ky and found myself shooting with Jim Higginbotham.

Offline DrJohn

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2016, 06:57:41 AM »
Okay I took a random sample of fired once, non-resized brass and here are the measurements just above the case head. 


R= Remington, H= Hornaday, S= Speer, F= Federal

R
.4690
.4685
.4680

H
.4690
.4690

S
.4710
.4700
.4705
.4700

F
.4680
.4705
.4710
.4685

All the successfully resized brass is .4680

So the largest must be reduced .003 by this die.  SAMMI spec is .4714 so the die is undersizing by .0034  Could this be a small base die and the federal and speer brass is just harder?
« Last Edit: August 25, 2016, 07:14:46 AM by DrJohn »

Offline Carl

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2016, 07:24:40 AM »
SAAMI Specs,for any interested

http://www.saami.org/pubresources/cc_drawings/Rifle/308%20Winchester.pdf

The,by design,sharp shouldered,carbide ring/sizer is possibly 'cutting' rather than squeezing down the casing in some cases and though I would camfer a die for my 'volume' use...
it would be best to simply adjust the die to your ,and your guns satisfaction.,Or avoid use of the brass identified as a problem.

For any interested C and H dies makes Dillon dies and others and I have found their production very consistent and economical .

Offline DrJohn

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2016, 07:34:38 AM »
Dave, I was using the Hornady version of the Sinclair bump gauge, those were the headspace measurements in the photo.

Offline Davew223

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2016, 10:55:33 AM »
Are you planning on loading the same recipe for both rifles or working up a separate load for each?

Out of curiosity, measure the thickness of your shell holder.  I am not sure about Dillon but the industry standard is .125" from the face that contacts the top of the ram to the face that contacts the base of the brass. 

Did you clean those dies before using them?  (Brake Cleaner)

Do you have another sizing die you can try in the dillon?

Offline DrJohn

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2016, 10:44:15 AM »
Was planning on one load for both. Everything is clean. Dillion doesn't use she'll holders like a normal press, they have a rotary table that holds the cases.

We did a quick test this am. Fired 3 rounds different factory in each rifle and 2 reloaded FC head stamp also.  All the Rem 700 rounds resized fine. For the DPMS the reloaded FC and factory Speer were fine, but the factory FC and factory Hornaday both formed the lip.

The Dillion die is a small base die, I have a regular RCBS FL die on the way.

Offline Davew223

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2016, 11:10:54 AM »
I was going to ask if they were small base but I did not see any SB's on Dillon's site.  I think your problems will go away with the RCBS's.

Offline DrJohn

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2016, 01:29:49 PM »
I just checked the chamber on the Remington 700 with an OAL gauge. It measures 2.9025 with a 168 gr BTHP.  The Hornaday manual says OAL Max is 2.810.  That is almost a tenth of an inch!   The OAL on the LR308 is 2.889.  The FC factory loads OAL 2.803. Also a 168 gr BTHP.

Offline Davew223

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2016, 02:23:37 PM »
OAL is not a measurement I pay any attention to with the exception of fitting into a mag or with the Henry Big Boy.  I'm sure there are some other exceptions but I haven't found them.  I take a neck sized brass and cut 3 equidistant slits in the neck with a Dremel parallel with the long axis of the brass just to the shoulder.  Then I push the bullet I will be loading into the neck just far enough for it to be held by the brass and very carefully place it into the chamber and close the bolt.  This will allow you to get a measurement of where that bullet meats the lands in that chamber with a bullet comparator gauge and a set of calipers.  I mix up a little JB Weld and rub it into the slits so it will stay so I have a starting point for setting a seating die and it will also allow me to see how much throat erosion I am getting.  Ojive to tip will change drastically from one bullet design to another, just look at a round nose vs a VLD, and even base to tip measurements will not be consistent even in a in a box of SMK's. 

That doesn't surprise me about the Rem chamber, they are usually pretty generous with their throat.  Longer throat = longer bullet jump to the lands = lower pressures = less lawsuits.

       

Offline DrJohn

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2016, 02:32:30 PM »
What you describe is pretty much what I was doing.  I was looking for a tight chamber in the LR to explain what is happening, but no dice, these rounds are fully chambered before the firing pin hits the primer... guess I will test fire some more and try them with a regular FL die and see if that helps.

Offline Carl

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2016, 02:51:53 PM »
Dillon needs dies made to a somewhat different spec as they are not designed the same as RCBS,LEE,etc.
Some 'other' dies will work but I don't understand why you don't just adjust the die rather than discover on your own that a
Dillon shell plate is not the same thickness as a common shell holder. You might eventually find a die that works without
adjustment...but why?

I tried...I really tried...

Offline DrJohn

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2016, 04:17:42 PM »
Because I tried to adjust the die and when I back it off enough to not make the ridge, it doesn't step the neck back enough and won't fit in a case gauge, when I turn it down far enough to flatten the ridge it sets the neck back too far and the case falls too far into the case gauge.  If you have another meaning for adjust the die I am all ears.

Offline Carl

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2016, 04:30:38 PM »
Because I tried to adjust the die and when I back it off enough to not make the ridge, it doesn't step the neck back enough and won't fit in a case gauge, when I turn it down far enough to flatten the ridge it sets the neck back too far and the case falls too far into the case gauge.  If you have another meaning for adjust the die I am all ears.

Communication is tough with text,you probably explained this already,though I did not comprehend...
unless you load a LOT,I would either try a non-carbide die or chamfer the sharp carbide ring if it were gouging brass rather than brass that is swollen due to chamber differences.
A small base die may be the problem as I do not use them for volume production loaders as they slow the process too much.

Offline Davew223

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2016, 10:56:21 PM »
+1 on thinking the small base die might be the problem.  Even if it is not, why work the brass more than you have to?  With the volume Carl is loading I have to believe that he is loading commercially.  If that is the case, he is loading rounds to fit in any SAAMI chamber so I would listen to him. I am running a min chamber on the 7mag and I don't use SB's, regular FL dies oversize the brass more than I need.  Judging from the dimensions you posted from once fired brass, you don't have a tight chamber in either rifle so standard dies will probably serve you better. 

Offline Carl

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Re: Problems with .308 full length resizing
« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2016, 11:42:28 PM »
70 to 100 thousand rounds per month may be more than hobby level , but ,that is now just in my past.