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Once-fired brass: Prep center or hand tools? Login/Join 
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I am finally almost ready to start loading my first handloads on my new bench. I have a few hundred once-fired cases of Federal GMM brass that was fired through this rifle. It has been wet-tumbled with stainless pins and Lemishine.
How much prep should be necessary for loading these? I won't be weighing cases and bullets, for a while. I need to figure out how to run the press before I get into all the minutiae in Nikonuser's magnum opus on handloading for competition Smile

So, for my first 100 rounds: how much case prep?

Edit: new question. Do you use a "prep center" suite of powered tools? Separate power trimmer and chamfer tools? Hand tools?

Bruce

This message has been edited. Last edited by: RNshooter,




"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."
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Posts: 3452 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you can, spend extra for "Fully-Prepped" brass, de-primed and de-crimped if it's military spec'd.
If it's done right, even cleaned brass with non-crimped primers should be close to being ready for reloading.
In .45, I rinse and clean my fired brass, let it dry, and reload....Deprime, resize, re-prime, flare case mouth/drop powder, seat bullet and run thru final Lee Factory Crimp die.
You can polish fired brass to your hearts' content, but I don't think it makes a difference in most reloads.

To answer your question, if it runs nicely thru your press, concentrate on whether it needs to be litely lubed...and what you need to do after it's reloaded to remove any excess lube. I try to use dies that don't need much/any lube and it's worked out fine. But 9mm, and full loads, are a pain to prevent powder spills between strokes on my 650.
My .45's are a snap by comparison...with minimum case prep after firing.
 
Posts: 917 | Registered: March 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a Dillon 650 and several single stage presses. I only load 308 on the single stage presses.

I resize, trim, chamfer and debur. I use a case gauge to help with the sizing. I also use Unique case lube-an old school favorite. Priming is done by hand. It's a slow process but it allows me to watch it every step of the way.

For once fired factory brass I may skip the trimming step and just load it.
 
Posts: 1011 | Location: hampton roads, va. | Registered: October 03, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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No short cuts when it comes to prepping rifle brass. FL size, check too see if it needs trimming. A lot of times trimming is required on the 1st firing, depending on how the round was crimped. Check for crimped primer packet, remove as required. After the initial trimming you should be good for 3-4 firings before it's needed again if your only pushing the shoulder back the min. 0.001"-0.002" for bolt, 0.002"-0.003" for simi-auto. After the first reload you can neck size if you want. Most shooting for accuracy will FL size though. If NS is done it will only fit the gun it was fired in.


David

P229R 9mm, Nitron, Beavertail Frame, Night Sights, DA/SA, SRT & Short Reach Trigger
 
Posts: 3462 | Location: Piney Woods of East Texas | Registered: November 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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OP are you talking semi auto or bolt gun? For me loading mostly for Garands, the prep is the same for once fired other than you have to ream or swage any crimped primer pockets.

I still size, gauge, size again if needed, trim if needed, clean primer pockets if desired. After a couple firings I add checking for incipient case head separation to the routine.


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Posts: 2046 | Registered: February 27, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yeah, they are probably going to need a trim after sizing. They should be uniformed to length anyway.

Some very satisfying moments come from shooting better groups because you're givng the rifle what it wants. I find taking game with handloads is another fun moment. Enjoy crafting!


--------
After the game, the King and the pawn go into the same box.
 
Posts: 3352 | Location: AZ - West side of the valley | Registered: October 26, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am reloading.308 for a Remington 700.
I will not skip any prep steps.

Thanks for the replies.

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: 3452 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Rifle brass needs more work than most pistol brass.
I believe .308 can only be reloaded a few times before its susceptible to case head failures. Some reloaders advise keeping track of how many times .308 cases are reloaded and dump them after 5-8 firings...or even less. Keep watch of any "banding" around the base...and check primers to make sure they are not getting badly deformed from your loads. Lighter loads help, but watch tour accuracy and reliable ignition.
This is what you need to watch out for:
 
Posts: 917 | Registered: March 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Now shopping for case prep tools. What works?

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: 3452 | Location: NV | Registered: October 06, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by RNshooter:
Now shopping for case prep tools. What works?

Bruce


I’m a fan of K&M Tools. Start with their general prep kit to uniform and deburr your primer pockets

https://kmshooting.com/



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Posts: 6150 | Location: Utah | Registered: December 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When the WFT trimmers came out, I ordered 1 for each of the 3 rifle calibers I planned to reload. They work great, but there are newer trimmers that also chamfer and debur in one step now.


For most rifle case prep, I use the Lyman Case Prep Xpress


In the pic, I've got it set up for chamfer, debur, primer pocket crimp reamer, flash hole reamer and pocket cleaner



“I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.”
 
Posts: 2679 | Location: SE WI | Registered: October 07, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I use the RCBS trim pro with 3 way cutter for .30 cal. With a power drill adapter. For other calibers I trim with the standard cutter and chamfer/deburr with a Hornady Duo power tool. Saves carpal tunnel after a few hundred cases.

Primer pocket reamer uniformed cleaner I use the Lyman hand tools chucked in a cordless drill.


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My hovercraft is full of eels.
 
Posts: 2046 | Registered: February 27, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Prob get blasted for this....

I'm a firm believer in the new reloader using hand tools to get the "feel" of what they are doing. And it slows them down enough to be aware and intentional in what they are doing.

Need to learn how it should be and what it feels like, so when one steps up to power tools or automation it is quicker to spot errors.

That being said, RCBS primer picket uniformer, Lee Trimmers, and old fashioned chamfer/debur tools are great starting points.

Andrew



Duty is the sublimest word in the English Language - Gen Robert E Lee.
 
Posts: 627 | Registered: May 01, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For many years, I used manual tools for all steps in handloading. About 12-13 years ago, RCBS introduced the Trim Mate, a device on which I jumped immediately. In those days I was ending my run in Service Rifle with its once-fired brass from military sources with their attendant primer pocket crimp. The Trim Mate made short work of this and other aspects of brass prep.

I was trimming with a manual trimmer but in soon I was using a power screwdriver to run the trimmer. After that, I would run the trimmed brass through a couple stations on the Trim Mate.

I got one of the first WFT gadgets out there and soon found out that it was a massive pain in the wrist and fingers to use.

By that time I was heavily into F-Class competition and I opted for the Giraud trimmer and never looked back. A few years back, I sold my Trim mate to a good friend and I have not missed it. It worked great for me while I was using it, but it was just gathering dust after I got the Giraud. I also never bought a single piece of once-fired brass after I got going in F-Class and so never needed to remove a primer pocket crimp.

The neat thing with the RCBS Trim mate is that the tool heads all fit on a handle and I was able to use existing heads take from my manual tools without skipping a beat. So, while I agree that getting the feel of the various steps is a good thing, after that initial discovery, simply transfer the tool head to a Trim Mate and keep on going.

I see that RCBS has a couple other models for the Trim Mate; a Brass Boss and a Universal Prep Center. That last one looks really interesting if you don't want to get into a Giraud and you have to deal with primer pocket crimps.
 
Posts: 2996 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Giraud is the Best and there are multile Inserts for different calibers. Buy once, cry once. It's a lifetime acquisition and if you're serious about relaoding, it's the one to get. But not cheap. You get what you pay for. +1 for learn first with handtools if you wanna save money.
But if you want to step up your process, the Giraud is the only way to go.
 
Posts: 917 | Registered: March 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of markstempski
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quote:
Originally posted by drshame:
Rifle brass needs more work than most pistol brass.
I believe .308 can only be reloaded a few times before its susceptible to case head failures. Some reloaders advise keeping track of how many times .308 cases are reloaded and dump them after 5-8 firings...or even less. Keep watch of any "banding" around the base...and check primers to make sure they are not getting badly deformed from your loads. Lighter loads help, but watch tour accuracy and reliable ignition.
This is what you need to watch out for:


Wow, have never seen that before. I think especially when used in semi auto rifles brass should not be reused many times. How much is many, well depends. I always use the small base dies and used to trim cases, not anymore gets tossed into the emergency use only bin before that is needed. Would that there were affordable lots of LC match cases around. Usually just get Starline or splurge for some Lapua cases.


Mundus Vult Decipi
 
Posts: 1066 | Location: Duvall WA, USA | Registered: February 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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