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Originally posted by MikeinNC:
Nikon you mentioned somewhere in this thread that you use a "mandrel" for the inner necks of your brass. And removed the expander ball....to eliminate the excessive working of the brass...

What kind of mandrel are you talking about...and what tool is it used in...is it a neck turning tool that you use for something else or another type of tool that is outsourced for another job??


Sorry, I just saw the question now.

The mandrel is indeed one that is used for neck turning. It's .002 under (so .306) and I got it from Sinclair International. It's their NT-A30 model. (Wow, I bought that in 2009 according to my records.)

http://www.sinclairintl.com/re...3136-65131.aspx?sku="nt-a30"

You will also need the die.
http://www.sinclairintl.com/re...8807-74483.aspx?sku="05-3000"

I have a mandrel for .224 and .308, they use the same die above.
 
Posts: 2927 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well, back at it again after a few months of not loading as I went through my leftover Worlds ammo. I haven't been shooting much since so the surplus ammo was sufficient.

I'm getting back in the saddle now and I have prepped several hundred cases in preparation for TSRA in a few months. Beyond that the next big match will be the Nationals in Raton and as much club shooting time as possible.

I'm now considering getting the Autothrow to go with the autotrickler.
 
Posts: 2927 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have not been here in a while. Just some updates.

I finished loading my 400 rounds of match ammo for the Nationals in Raton in 10 days. It's been brutal.

I prepped all the cases first and had those done by August 18th. All F/L sized, trimmed, polished and so on.

I did three sessions of powder load and bullet seating, 100, 100 and today, 200. I still use the autotrickler which had been working great for me. I elected to not get the autothrow device and just stick with the measuring spoon dip and throw. I just didn't think the autothrow would speed up anything at all, and it was another gadget to adjust and so on.

At the end of my session today, I am left with about a tenth of a pound of Varget from the lot of 20 pounds I bought last year. I was afraid I would not have enough and would actually have to use some of the new lot I bought last month, but it worked out just fine. I'm glad because I loaded some ammo with the new lot to go to a match this past weekend, and I believe I may need to do some adjustment for this lot. I'll worry about that after the Nationals, but for now, all 400 rounds are from the same lot, the end of that lot.

I also had to point all 400 bullets, which makes for a whole lot of time at the press. I think it's time to look for a Arbor press for pointing and seating. Age is making itself felt.
 
Posts: 2927 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is what 400 rounds of match ammo looks like. Now to add the foam on top, close the boxes and load them in the SUV for the trip later this week.

http://img.gg/Up99iMW
 
Posts: 2927 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think it's time to look for a Arbor press for pointing and seating. .


I've always wondered what the deal is with that type of press...guess I've got something to do now this weekend.



"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

 
Posts: 5957 | Location: Texas! | Registered: October 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have bought a Rockchucker press and a Hornady electronic scale, so far. Next purchase is .308 dies.
What dies will give me the most consistent and accurate results for slow, precision loading. I won't be going to the lengths that Nikonuser is (both in loading and shooting) but I only care about accuracy, not speed or cost.

I see dies called "Gold Medal" and "Competition" but I don't really understand what each is offering over the others.

Any advice is appreciated.

Bruce




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3259 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What these competition dies offer over the regular dies is control over the process and closer tolerances.

If you read this thread from the beginning, you will have noticed that I use Redding Competition dies. I have accumulated many other die sets over the decades, but I'm pretty much only using the competition dies nowadays.

For the sizing process, all dies should allow you some measure of control over the shoulder setback, but the area were you will need the control is the neck itself. Regular dies will squeeze the neck more than it should be and on extraction, the expander ball will reopen the neck to the diameter of the ball. You have no control over how the neck is being resized, it just is.

A competition sizing die will use a bushing to set the OD of the neck to the exact size that you want, to control the size, you just insert the bushing of the proper diameter in the die and have at it. Using different diameters allows you to control the neck tension of your cases. I recently went to a size smaller on sizing to increase neck tension. For some reason.

For the sizing die, the objective here is to align the bullet perfectly with the mouth of the case and push it in to the exact depth that you want. My Redding competition die has an inner sleeve that holds the bullet perfectly straight. The sleeve moves up as the case comes up around the bullet.

The second aspect, depth, is much more easily controlled with a competition die where there is a micrometer on top that you use to move up and down by just twisting in. You can calculate the number of clicks you need to move a specific distance. High degree of control.

On a regular die, you usually need a tool to move the depth and when you have the one you want, you lock it down and go to town.

As my barrel is used up and the lands are worn away, I can easily add a few clicks to seat the bullet just a little further out over time.

Brands to look at: Redding, Forster, RCBS There are others, just look at the features they offer and the price you are willing to pay.

Remember, dies last about 3 minutes short on an eternity. Well, that's not true; I have an old RCBS die the stem of which I mangled using tools trying to adjust the seating depth over the years. I retired that set over a decade ago when I went with the Redding Competition dies.
 
Posts: 2927 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks, Nikonuser. I did read that you use the Redding dies. I wasn't sure if buying those would be asking for headaches in the sense of them being more complex than a novice could handle.

I'll look at those, first.

I will work my way through the 300 or so rounds of Federal GMM that I have left. That will net me 500 rounds of once fired Federal brass to start with. Once I get my technique down and figure out what shoots well in this rifle, I have 100 virgin Lapua cases waiting to be loaded.

Thanks,

Bruce




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3259 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by RNshooter:
Thanks, Nikonuser. I did read that you use the Redding dies. I wasn't sure if buying those would be asking for headaches in the sense of them being more complex than a novice could handle.

I'll look at those, first.

I will work my way through the 300 or so rounds of Federal GMM that I have left. That will net me 500 rounds of once fired Federal brass to start with. Once I get my technique down and figure out what shoots well in this rifle, I have 100 virgin Lapua cases waiting to be loaded.

Thanks,

Bruce


I was not aware that you were just getting into handloading. (Sorry, I lose the thread on these long running discussions and I participate in so many threads at other sites, plus age is gaining on me.)

Bushing dies are more complicated to set up, but once they are set right, they are so much better than regular dies. If you're willing to take on the additional challenge, I and others here will gladly assist you if needed.

The one extra aspect of these dies is the busing selection, which is where you get the extra control. Since you have lots of once-fired Federal brass, plus the added bonus of 300 rounds of loaded ammo, you can easily decide on which bushing you need. Follow me on this.

The Redding bushings come in two flavors; Steel and Titanium Nitride finish. The bare steel ones are very inexpensive, the TiN ones are about 4X the price but the run smoother Guess which ones I use.

Now, if you run the bushing dies without the expander button, you want to make sure you use quality brass or you need to turn the necks on regular brass. Of course, using an expander button negates most of the control afforded by bushing dies, but it still works the brass much less that regular dies.

I haven't a clue how good Federal brass is, but I suspect it's ordinary quality meaning you do want to use the expander button for it. The Lapua brass, you can process without the expander button. Keep that for future reference.

To select the bushing you need for the Federal brass, get your micrometer out and measure the OD of a loaded FGMM round just below the mouth. Do this for a dozen cartridges and measure all around each. You will come up with a number in the .350-.358 range. Whatever the number you decide is the most common one, subtract .002 or .003 from it, for neck tension and that's the bushing you want to use for the Federal brass. It will most probably be different for the Lapua brass. I currently use .354 for my Lapua brass (I recently increased my neck tension for the hot loaded 210gr bullets.) For Winchester brass, I use a .351 bushing.

If you want to bypass all this bushing stuff, any of the regular dies will do a decent job also, but as you can probably see, they have to squeeze the mouth more to allow for any brass thickness and then they enlarge back to fit the bullet and finally they tell you to use a crimp die to overcome the lack of neck tension.
 
Posts: 2927 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Really helpful info, all of that. Thanks very much.

I see that there are "National Match Competition" sets:

https://ads.midwayusa.com/prod...LEAQYASABEgLtSvD_BwE

They don't appear to be TiN coated. That one also includes a crimp die. Unnecessary? Any item number you can point me to?


A couple of other questions:

Special equipment for neck turning?

Are the $29.99 Hornady calipers good enough or should I be forking over the $169 for "better" ones?
I see the sense in having good gear, especially for measurements that run in 0.001 but I don't want to waste resources that can be better applied elsewhere.

Other gear I have set aside:
A Franklin Armory Reloading Tumbler with stainless media for wet tumbling. I tumbled some brass with Lemishine and it came out like new.
A Hornady GS-1500 scale.

I have some Varget and Federal GM primers on the way with some Hornady 168 gr bullets.

Thanks,

Bruce




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3259 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The National Match set is for semi-autos; as you well-know, they shoot AR-15s and M1As and even AR-based .308 rifles at the National Matches at Camp Perry. Service Rifle stuff. If that's what you want to do, those would be good sets for that.

For a bolt action precision rifle, you can do better because you're not loading from a mag and you don't have to worry about rapid fire.

Even though I have all the equipment for turning necks, I just don't bother with my Lapua match brass. I got that equipment from 21 century shooter supplies.

http://www.xxicsi.com/products-1.html

The calipers you mentionned should be good enough for now, just measure multiple times. I have a Mitutoyo set as well as a Frankfort Arsenal model. The problem with the Frankfort Arsenal is that it ate batteries; the Mitutoyo requires light and I don't load in the dark so they work fine for me.

What do you use for seating primers?
 
Posts: 2927 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I forgot to point you to the set:

https://www.midwayusa.com/prod...ch-bushing-2-die-set

Just get the bushing you need.
 
Posts: 2927 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Okay, so no neck turning, for me. I will buy Lapua brass instead of a $700 lathe. I see what you mean about spending more on materials to avoid having to prep them!

We are still unpacking from the move but I have a RCBS hand priming tool, somewhere.

My next project is to build a reloading bench and put all of my gear on it and decide what else I am missing before I get started. The wife has decided that the "office" isn't really needed in the age of laptops so the desk is getting tossed and replaced with my bench. I am thinking a Kreg base on casters and a butcher block top. 24"-26" x 60"-65".

Edit: make that a plywood top. Those Kreg table bases are spendy!
I ordered the dies. On sale at Brownells.

Baby steps.

Bruce




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3259 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here's a book I'd definitely recommend.

Handloading for Competition

Snipershide.com also has some great resources on their reloading pages.

Keep asking questions.

Andrew


Duty is the sublimest word in the English Language - Gen Robert E Lee.
 
Posts: 547 | Registered: May 01, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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More good information.

Keep it coming.

Bruce




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3259 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A question on a different caliber, .223:

I have seen some Winchester.223 billed as "Made by Lapua". Does that mean genuine Lapua brass in that Winchester box? I might just buy some for the brass for when I start loading .223 for accuracy.

Bruce




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3259 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by RNshooter:
A question on a different caliber, .223:

I have seen some Winchester.223 billed as "Made by Lapua". Does that mean genuine Lapua brass in that Winchester box? I might just buy some for the brass for when I start loading .223 for accuracy.

Bruce


Where have you seen that? I have never heard of such, but then again, I haven't seen or heard everything. Winchester makes its own brass, which is passable though you have to cull it, round out the mouths and fix up the flash holes. Out of a bag of 100, I get over 90 decent cases.
 
Posts: 2927 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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https://www.sgammo.com/product...ster-ammo-usa3162w-m

The 900 round cases explicitly said "Made by Lapua". This is less obvious.

I wrote to them and they replied:

"They put a Winchester headstamp on the brass but its made in Sweden by Lapua under contract for Winchester
Thank you
Sam
SGAmmo"

It sounds legit. It might be worth buying some for shooting and then reloading.

Bruce




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3259 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by RNshooter:
https://www.sgammo.com/product...ster-ammo-usa3162w-m

The 900 round cases explicitly said "Made by Lapua". This is less obvious.

I wrote to them and they replied:

"They put a Winchester headstamp on the brass but its made in Sweden by Lapua under contract for Winchester
Thank you
Sam
SGAmmo"

It sounds legit. It might be worth buying some for shooting and then reloading.

Bruce


Lapua is in Finland.

Lapua is part
of the Nammo Group.

The Nammo group has an ammunition production facility in Karlborg, Sweden. So this ammo would be made by Nammo, not Lapua.

I will bet a SHOT show in Las Vegas next month, I'll see if Nammo Group is there and I can ask them about this.
 
Posts: 2927 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Good analysis.

Ping me when you're at the SHOT show. I figure I owe you dinner for all the good advice. Smile

Bruce




"I cannot spare this man. He fights!"
-Abraham Lincoln

"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats."
-PJ O'Rourke
“It is just as difficult and dangerous to try to free a people that wants to remain servile as it is to try to enslave a people that wants to remain free."
-Niccolo Machiavelli

 
Posts: 3259 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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