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  #1  
Old 11-28-2012, 1:44 PM
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Default okay, making the move to .308 reloading from pistols...

I am going to guess that I need to do the following:

1. Decap and clean brass (no crimped brass here so skip reaming/swaging)
2. Lube
3. Resize
4. Trim
5. Clean again
6. Prime
7. Drop in powder/flare case mouth (with Lee die perhaps)
8. Seat bullet and taper crimp?

Is this correct, is there anything that I should look out for? Now that I have my 44 in the shop I am gonna move to start reloading all of that .308 and .223 brass I have. Maybe even some 7.62 rounds in the future if I ever run out of the steel shelled stuff...

Any new devices or technology that allow fast trimming of rifle brass or whatever?
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2012, 1:52 PM
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No need to flare your rifle necks like your pistols, the sizer die will do it for you. If your going for precision you might want to ream the flasholes. I trim mine with a hornady hand trimmer. Not fun or fast but it's what I have.
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  #3  
Old 11-28-2012, 1:57 PM
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don't decap the brass before you clean. No need. See Dillon for the case trimmer and look into case gauges to check the brass. I don't know how I lived without a case gauge.
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  #4  
Old 11-28-2012, 2:13 PM
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You dont need to do #7, but do chamfer the case mouth, there is a cheap tool for that. And, Case gauge is a must, I was not able to chamber my first batch because I didn't sized right.
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  #5  
Old 11-28-2012, 2:42 PM
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Instead of a case gauge I size a case test in the gun I'm loading for. If loading for a bolt action no need to crimp. If loading semi auto or a tube mag just enough crimp to keep bullet from seating deeper while in mag or chambering. If I'm loading with a boat tail bullet I don't even chamfer.
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  #6  
Old 11-28-2012, 3:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stilly View Post
These will be shot out of either an Enterprise .308 (FAL) or a PTR-91 .308 both are semi autos with detachable mags. (really the ptr-91 will get most of the action.)
To reinforce what others have said. If you are loading for a semi-auto then purchase a case gage. It's that critical.
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  #7  
Old 11-28-2012, 3:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stilly View Post
These will be shot out of either an Enterprise .308 (FAL) or a PTR-91 .308 both are semi autos with detachable mags. (really the ptr-91 will get most of the action.)
To reinforce what others have said. If you are loading for a semi-auto then purchase a case gage. It's that critical.
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2012, 3:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stilly View Post
These will be shot out of either an Enterprise .308 (FAL) or a PTR-91 .308 both are semi autos with detachable mags. (really the ptr-91 will get most of the action.)
To reinforce what others have said. If you are loading for a semi-auto then purchase a case gage. It's that critical.
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  #9  
Old 11-29-2012, 4:57 AM
thai562 thai562 is offline
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Yeah, that is what they look like. I bought a Lyman gauge for $12 new, if u want to save some money.
You put your sized case in the gauge, and feel the bottom of the gauge. If the case is sticking pass gauge you need to resize again.
If the case passed that test, move to case length test
Put the sized case into the gauge, place them on a flat surface, what part of the case tick pass the gauge is what you need to trim.
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  #10  
Old 11-29-2012, 3:09 PM
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I shoot a RAW Fal and a PTR91 both and set the sizing die up with the chamber of the guns and the use dial calipers to check case length I find it much faster than stuffing every case in a little gauge. So a case gunge is not a must but a preference.
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  #11  
Old 12-01-2012, 4:40 PM
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For reliable chambering, semiauto rifle brass is usually sized (shoulder set back) a bit more then for a bolt gun. The case gauge will show you that both length and shoulder are set properly. Using the case gauge and perhaps a little trial and error will get you going OK, as long as the brass fits the gauge properly and chambers reliably you're fine.

To measure your chamber itself requires a bunch of other tools such as a comparator set, OAL gauge (requires a specific special case for each caliber), and a headspace set. These are used together to primarily find the rifling and seat your bullets to the desired jump, then measure the cartridge OAL at the bullet ogive. Because semiautos are limited to mag length, this is usually not something that can be achieved in those style weapons. Hornady makes the tools for a semi-reasonable price, maybe $80 to $100 for all together? It's probably easier to ask around here and find somebody close that you can borrow from. You only have to measure to your lands once per chamber. These tools can also be used to measure fired brass, and then compare that to sized brass to see how far the shoulder was bumped back.
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  #12  
Old 12-01-2012, 10:24 PM
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Neck sizing is only for brass that has already been fired in your gun, and not for semi autos anyway. I use One Shot spray lube on my .223 and .308 cases, it's fast and easy. After trimming to length, don't forget to chamfer/deburr the case mouth. The trimmer leaves a nasty sharp edge that should be knocked down. It's a cheap little tool and a process you can do in front of the TV.
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  #13  
Old 12-01-2012, 10:50 PM
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Yes, you trim after you resize.

To know how to adjust your sizing die, get the RCBS Precision Mic _specifically_. This will allow you to measure the headspace imparted by your rifle to brass you've fired in it and then adjust your sizing die so that you bump the shoulder on the brass back perhaps 0.002 from what you measured. You'd take ten measurements and use the average as the value to subtract the 0.002 from. This will help keep the brass from being worked more than you have to.

For fast trimming of brass, yes, there is such a thing - the Giraud trimmer. It is not cheap, and there isn't really a substitute to be recommended for what it does if you are after fast.

Skip the Hornady LnL tools that were suggested for loading into/near the lands in that gun. There is no point to that for a semi-auto .308 or .223 (some might argue for single-loading, you can still get some benefit out of it, but I don't see you doing single-loading in a FAL - do you?)

For lube, the favorite of many is Imperial Sizing Wax. Note that your sizing may not be consistent using any particular lube until you've gotten the hang of knowing how much to apply. Too much = dented necks. Not enough = inconsistent sizing. Your RCBS Precision Mic will help you determine whether your shoulders are getting bumped as you intended, or whether you need to alter your lubing technique (assuming you see at least one or two rounds bumped as you intended, but some are not bumped enough).
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  #14  
Old 12-01-2012, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stilly View Post
Alrighty, so I found a lyman .308 case gage for about $19.70 which is a few dollars cheaper than the dillon, but does the dillon do anything else to be worth the extra cash plus shipping?

I did not have a lee trimmer and gauge for the .308 round so I got one of those ordered for about $10 BUT that just trims the brass down to proper length after I resize it correct?

Lube, resize, measure, trim if needed then start the priming...

I figured that iw ould give that Lee tube paste lube a try, that only goes on the outside correct? I just rub a lil on and then resize it? Could I also substitute the lanolin/castor oil lube mix from swaging?

Also, I THINK this Lee set has a full length resizer. I thought those were bad and I was supposed to stick to neck sizing only. If so then how do I get a neck sizer?
OH wait, Neck sizing only for bolt actions, auto guns use full length sizing I guess.
thanks so far.
A case gauge is only as good as your ability to measure how much of the case is sticking out of it.
Calipers will not do that accurately.
Calipers will help you on trim length, no need for a case gauge for that.
The most critical adjustment on shouldered cases (as opposed to straight wall handgun) is the length of the shoulder from the base of the case.
On a straight wall case, the case stops in the chamber against the case mouth.
On a shouldered cartridge, the case stops against the shoulder.
This length is critical to the safety and to the life of the brass.
The more you size the brass, the sooner it wears out.
You only need to size it enough so that it functions through the rifle.

Here is the important part...
A case gauge only shows you what the "industry standard" shoulder length is.
A case gauge does NOT show you what YOUR rifle's chamber shoulder length is.
In order to learn your specific rifles chamber shoulder length, we measure 4-5 fired cases and average the measurement.
In order to obtain that measurement, we need a measurement tool.
I recommend the RCBS precision micrometer.
It is cartridge family specific. For example, the 308 model also works for 243, 260, 7-08 etc.
Now, once you have the length of your chamber, you start adjusting the dies while full length sizing a case.
For a bolt action, you want to size the cases until they are 0.001" shorter than fired cases.
That leaves just enough room for the bolt to close on the sized case.
For semi-autos, levers and pump actions, size for 0.002" to maybe even 0.003" shorter.
That will ensure that they function through the gun.

If you adjust the dies correctly for each gun, there is no need for a neck sizer.
I full length size all my precision bolt gun brass and I have gotten 12+ reloads from the same batch of brass.
That was enough to wear our two barrels so I don't feel bad about retiring that brass and starting a new batch at my next rebarreling.

You trim the case length after sizing.

Lightly lube only on the outside of the case.
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  #15  
Old 12-05-2012, 10:23 PM
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You will get tired of that Lee trimmer quick. I predict that after 3 cases, you will start looking for a better trimmer.
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  #16  
Old 12-05-2012, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
A case gauge is only as good as your ability to measure how much of the case is sticking out of it.
Calipers will not do that accurately.
Calipers will help you on trim length, no need for a case gauge for that.
The most critical adjustment on shouldered cases (as opposed to straight wall handgun) is the length of the shoulder from the base of the case.
On a straight wall case, the case stops in the chamber against the case mouth.
On a shouldered cartridge, the case stops against the shoulder.
This length is critical to the safety and to the life of the brass.
The more you size the brass, the sooner it wears out.
You only need to size it enough so that it functions through the rifle.

Here is the important part...
A case gauge only shows you what the "industry standard" shoulder length is.
A case gauge does NOT show you what YOUR rifle's chamber shoulder length is.
In order to learn your specific rifles chamber shoulder length, we measure 4-5 fired cases and average the measurement.
In order to obtain that measurement, we need a measurement tool.
I recommend the RCBS precision micrometer.
It is cartridge family specific. For example, the 308 model also works for 243, 260, 7-08 etc.
Now, once you have the length of your chamber, you start adjusting the dies while full length sizing a case.
For a bolt action, you want to size the cases until they are 0.001" shorter than fired cases.
That leaves just enough room for the bolt to close on the sized case.
For semi-autos, levers and pump actions, size for 0.002" to maybe even 0.003" shorter.
That will ensure that they function through the gun.

If you adjust the dies correctly for each gun, there is no need for a neck sizer.
I full length size all my precision bolt gun brass and I have gotten 12+ reloads from the same batch of brass.
That was enough to wear our two barrels so I don't feel bad about retiring that brass and starting a new batch at my next rebarreling.

You trim the case length after sizing.

Lightly lube only on the outside of the case.
Man, that's a large amount of good info. Glad I'm starting with .38 spl & 9mm luger before 6.5x55 Swede
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  #17  
Old 12-06-2012, 3:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stilly View Post
the important thing to remember about brass is the stretching it does BETWEEN the shoulder and the bottom/base. AND you trim the top/neck to compensate for that stretching.
The stretching occurs between the shoulder and the base.
The sizing die moves the location of the shoulder down during resizing, but it is NOT pressing the brass down to do that.
The sizing die squeezes down both the diameter of the case and the shoulder location.
When this happens, the extra brass squirts up into the neck of the case almost like pushing playdoh through the extruder tool...

It's that extra brass that you need to trim off every few firings before the case length grows too long.

It would be smart to get the rcbs precision mic and measure your brass before you size any more of it incorrectly.
Them adjust your sizing die in small increments to set the proper shoulder location.

If you take a piece of masking tape and wrap it around the die body (7/8" diameter portion), then put marks on it like a tape measure every 1mm, each mark will be 0.001" of adjustment.
Lacking that, the width of each one of the letters or numbers around the die will be about 0.002" of adjustment.

The rcbs precision mic for 308 will not work for 270.
You would need a 270 one.
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Last edited by ar15barrels; 12-06-2012 at 4:02 PM..
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  #18  
Old 12-06-2012, 4:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
A case gauge is only as good as your ability to measure how much of the case is sticking out of it.
Calipers will not do that accurately.
Calipers will help you on trim length, no need for a case gauge for that.
The most critical adjustment on shouldered cases (as opposed to straight wall handgun) is the length of the shoulder from the base of the case.
On a straight wall case, the case stops in the chamber against the case mouth.
On a shouldered cartridge, the case stops against the shoulder.
This length is critical to the safety and to the life of the brass.
The more you size the brass, the sooner it wears out.
You only need to size it enough so that it functions through the rifle.

Here is the important part...
A case gauge only shows you what the "industry standard" shoulder length is.
A case gauge does NOT show you what YOUR rifle's chamber shoulder length is.
In order to learn your specific rifles chamber shoulder length, we measure 4-5 fired cases and average the measurement.
In order to obtain that measurement, we need a measurement tool.
I recommend the RCBS precision micrometer.
It is cartridge family specific. For example, the 308 model also works for 243, 260, 7-08 etc.
Now, once you have the length of your chamber, you start adjusting the dies while full length sizing a case.
For a bolt action, you want to size the cases until they are 0.001" shorter than fired cases.
That leaves just enough room for the bolt to close on the sized case.
For semi-autos, levers and pump actions, size for 0.002" to maybe even 0.003" shorter.
That will ensure that they function through the gun.

If you adjust the dies correctly for each gun, there is no need for a neck sizer.
I full length size all my precision bolt gun brass and I have gotten 12+ reloads from the same batch of brass.
That was enough to wear our two barrels so I don't feel bad about retiring that brass and starting a new batch at my next rebarreling.

You trim the case length after sizing.

Lightly lube only on the outside of the case.
So if fired brass from your bolt rifle comes out 2.018, full length size it to 2.017?
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  #19  
Old 12-06-2012, 5:19 PM
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So if fired brass from your bolt rifle comes out 2.018, full length size it to 2.017?
What length is that measurement?

The measurement we are first concerned with on 308 cases will be right around 1.630".
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Old 12-06-2012, 5:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
What length is that measurement?

The measurement we are first concerned with on 308 cases will be right around 1.630".
Oh, right. That was shoulder length. Nvm
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  #21  
Old 12-07-2012, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stilly View Post
did you study the BoLee also?

do I need one for .223 brass also?
I don't know who BoLee is, but you will need a precision mic for 223 if you want to be able to accurately measure your case shoulder lengths after firing and after sizing to properly understand how much sizing is occurring with your dies.
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  #22  
Old 12-07-2012, 1:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stilly View Post
Alrighty, now what is the deal on lube again? I SEE, the imperial sizing wax dent can happen if you use too much because that extra bit will be pressed into the case shoulder or whereever there cause it has no place to go.
That can happen with any lube, not just Imperial Wax... BUT!

Do not be sparing with your first few cases through the sizing die. It is too easy to get stuck by going light initially with the lube. If you dent the case, you'll know you went overboard. But if you stick a case, you'll be far more upset. That's a real pain.
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Old 12-09-2012, 2:53 PM
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if you get the hornady headspace gauge set- it comes with 5 or 6 gauges so you can set the shoulder right for 223, 308, 270, 338 and... many others with 1 single purchase (like 25.00)

any lube will yield dents if you use too much.. it takes very little to use
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  #24  
Old 12-09-2012, 7:24 PM
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if you get the hornady headspace gauge set- it comes with 5 or 6 gauges so you can set the shoulder right for 223, 308, 270, 338 and... many others with 1 single purchase (like 25.00)
it's too bad that the hornady system is not repeatable.
Take a hornady comparator and have 3 different people measure the same case and you get 3 different numbers.
Take an RCBS precision mic and all 3 people will end up with the same dimension.

Which would you prefer?
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Last edited by ar15barrels; 12-09-2012 at 8:38 PM..
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