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  #1  
Old 11-07-2018, 2:36 PM
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Default Rifle brass sizing

Hello all,

Quick question I have about sizing fired rifle brass. Do you guys run the sizing die down to the shell holder and that's it? Or do you guys do what this gentle man in the video says? If so what's your experiences with it?

"Resizing Fired Cases to Reload The Real Gunsmith" on YouTube

https://youtu.be/yDE84oOuz0c

Thank you.

John

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  #2  
Old 11-07-2018, 3:09 PM
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If you don't have guages. You will or should size a case and test it in your rifle. If the bolt does not close. Adjust the die 1/16 th of a turn more. Try another case.

Yes the first time adjust the die so its contacting the shell holder.

Case guage is easier.

Look for another video. I almost fell asleep trying to watch that.
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  #3  
Old 11-07-2018, 3:27 PM
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Wow, he's more effective than Ambien. Yes, adjust die incrementally. Case gages are good, but they are showing the minimum and maximum SAAMI specs. Your chamber is probably somewhere in the middle. You want the resized case about .003" less than chamber length for optimum case life and reliable chambering.

Last edited by smoothy8500; 11-07-2018 at 3:33 PM..
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Old 11-07-2018, 3:29 PM
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So basically adjust the die until the bolt will close with some resistance?

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Old 11-07-2018, 4:10 PM
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I think you want the bolt to close with NO resistance. If there's slight resistance on one, another one might fail to chamber. That's why you size them to be .002-.003 less than the chamber length, depending on whether it's gas- or manually-operated.
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Old 11-07-2018, 4:18 PM
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I have a shoulder bump gauge that came with my dies from whidden. I bump my shoulder back
.002 for my bolt gun. I think its also called a headspace comparator.
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Old 11-07-2018, 4:44 PM
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I bump my shoulder back
.002
Oh no, someone just conjured the fguffey....
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Old 11-07-2018, 4:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jwfire25 View Post
So basically adjust the die until the bolt will close with some resistance?
The ejector spring will create slight drag. It takes some practice to learn the difference between that and a bolt closing on a tight case, which is resistance or pressure on closing.

Last edited by smoothy8500; 11-07-2018 at 4:50 PM..
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Old 11-07-2018, 4:47 PM
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I use the RCBS case gauges. Measure my fired case and set the die to bump it back .003 from the fired dimension.
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Old 11-07-2018, 4:49 PM
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Originally Posted by JackEllis View Post
I think you want the bolt to close with NO resistance. If there's slight resistance on one, another one might fail to chamber. That's why you size them to be .002-.003 less than the chamber length, depending on whether it's gas- or manually-operated.
^^^^^this
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Old 11-07-2018, 6:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jwfire25 View Post
Hello all,

Quick question I have about sizing fired rifle brass. Do you guys run the sizing die down to the shell holder and that's it? Or do you guys do what this gentle man in the video says? If so what's your experiences with it?
Straight Walled Cases: (Pistol's) I simply raise the ram, screw in my die until it touches the shell-holder, and give it like an 1/8th or so turn more (varies press to press) just to get a GOOD cam over. Then just forget about it.

Bottleneck Cases W/ Gauge: I use Hornady's Lock-N-Load headspace Gauge, and bump shoulder's back .002" after cases are fire formed for my bolt gun. I've gotten very accurate loads doing this, but I've also never tested how accuracy changes not doing this. After reloading for a while, I feel as if this is just a waste of time for me because you will never get a consistent shoulder bump so I'll adjust my die for EVERY case. Yup it's a waste of time. I'ma just aim for .002 shoulder bump and forget about it next time I get around to 30-06 loads. Been busy with the 50.

Bottleneck Cases w/out Gauge in Bolt Gun: Take a once fired case, and repeat the following steps until desired bolt stiffness is achieved. 1) Shove case in gun and close the bolt. 2) Take case out of gun, and size brass 1/10th of a turn more. 3) Put back in gun, test fit. 4) Repeat step's 1-3 until desired fit is achieved. Bolt close should have "just a little bit more resistance than it does with an empty chamber" best results when firing pin and spring is removed. Once you figure out where you want your die, set the lock ring (Get rid of your Lee o-ring lock rings), and then just check on it every once in a while make sure it isn't moving around on ya. Especially important if you get different brass, check the die.

I don't shoot any semi's, only bolt gun's so I have a pretty picky process for how I re-size my brass. Ever since I got my 50 cal, I don't use, have, nor want to buy a gauge for it, so I re-size my brass based on bolt stiffness. Works great for me. Average <0.75 MOA.



***The less you work your brass while still getting a consistent perfect fit, the longer your brass lives. This isn't how you're supposed to or have to do it. It's just how I re-size my brass for my bolt guns. Personal preference. There's plenty of people who get great results screwing in the die until it cams over and forgetting about it. Whatever works for you.***

I finally read some of the other members replies saying no resistance. I've always gave it some slight resistance just so I work my brass a little less. With my Serbu BFG-50 the lugs on the bolt don't lock, it just slides up and down freely without any resistance so I size my brass to be a little tighter of a fit. Never had any issues.

Last edited by Distinct_Editz; 11-07-2018 at 6:24 PM..
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  #12  
Old 11-07-2018, 6:34 PM
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Awesome thank you for the response. I've always just ran the die to the shell holder. I will be using the head space guage to measure from now on

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Old 11-07-2018, 7:09 PM
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Full length sizing makes sure the case will be loaded smoothly, but the case won't last for many re-sizing. If you reload for bolt action, you may not need to full length size the case. This will keep your brass last longer. Only neck sizing is needed. If you reload for semi-auto, then you'll need to resize full length to ensure smooth chambering.
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Old 11-07-2018, 9:39 PM
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Full length sizing makes sure the case will be loaded smoothly, but the case won't last for many re-sizing.
Exactly why we are discussing minimal re-sizing. Neck sizing will still eventually require a full length re-size within a short time.
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Old 11-08-2018, 9:30 AM
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Full length resize, just not all the way down, so the sized shoulder length is .002” shorter from it’s fired dimension.
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Old 11-08-2018, 9:36 AM
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So I have a batch of 15 cases that won't size down enough to go into the rifle without resistance. The shell holder is touching the die. What would cause this? I have fired none resized brass that measures 1.626. And this problem brass after resizing measures 1.630. Its only been shot twice and I only used 41 grains of Varget.

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Old 11-08-2018, 9:44 AM
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I'm so disappointed that our resident developmentally disabled reloader hasn't chimed in.
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Old 11-08-2018, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by jwfire25 View Post
The shell holder is touching the die. What would cause this?
Is that with the case in the die? Raise the ram to re-size another case and look to see if there is a slight gap between the die and shell holder. Under the pressure of re-sizing there will be stretching of the press/frame which creates a .004" gap. Bring the ram down and screw in the die another 1/16th of a turn. Test again with another fired/lubed case.

Last edited by smoothy8500; 11-08-2018 at 10:37 AM..
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:09 AM
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What lube & how much are you using on those cases?
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwfire25 View Post
So I have a batch of 15 cases that won't size down enough to go into the rifle without resistance. The shell holder is touching the die. What would cause this? I have fired none resized brass that measures 1.626. And this problem brass after resizing measures 1.630. Its only been shot twice and I only used 41 grains of Varget.

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Crappy dies is usually what causes it. What die set are you using?

I had a set of RCBS standard dies that I kept chasing my tail on trying to bump size my brass correctly. I was having the same issue you are over and over. If I didn't over size the brass, the die wouldn't work. Then I'd have case/head seperation after about 3-4 firings. I switched to Forster dies and haven't had an issue since. And yes I consider RCBS standard dies crappy dies for the purpose of what your doing.

The only other thing could be if your running one brand of shell holder with another brand die. I know that has caused issues for some people in the past, although I've never had that issue myself.
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:32 AM
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What lube & how much are you using on those cases?
To add to this as well, any signs of hydrualic denting on your case shoulders?
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:32 AM
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You can grind a few thousands off the top of your shell holder. Put it in a bench grinder or put it face down against 220 grit sandpaper on a hard flat surface, and move the shellholder in a figure 8 pattern.
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Old 11-08-2018, 1:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwfire25 View Post
So I have a batch of 15 cases that won't size down enough to go into the rifle without resistance. The shell holder is touching the die. What would cause this? I have fired none resized brass that measures 1.626. And this problem brass after resizing measures 1.630. Its only been shot twice and I only used 41 grains of Varget.

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Try Imperial sizing wax
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Old 11-08-2018, 1:39 PM
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All my equipment is hornady. Press and the custom dies. I am using one shot lube. I dont use very much because I have crushed brass before.

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Old 11-08-2018, 1:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mjmagee67 View Post
I'm so disappointed that our resident developmentally disabled reloader hasn't chimed in.
just a matter of time.
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Old 11-08-2018, 2:31 PM
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All my equipment is hornady. Press and the custom dies. I am using one shot lube. I dont use very much because I have crushed brass before.

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Your loading .308 right? I have a set of Redding competition shell holders that I don't use. If you want to give them a shot, I'll send em to you for a low low price. They have different thicknesses on each holder. allowing you to adjust how much bump you get on the brass.
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Old 11-08-2018, 3:17 PM
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Oh no, someone just conjured the fguffey....
IBFG
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Old 11-08-2018, 3:32 PM
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Your loading .308 right? I have a set of Redding competition shell holders that I don't use. If you want to give them a shot, I'll send em to you for a low low price. They have different thicknesses on each holder. allowing you to adjust how much bump you get on the brass.
Your shell holders wont help his problem.
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Old 11-08-2018, 4:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwfire25 View Post
So I have a batch of 15 cases that won't size down enough to go into the rifle without resistance. The shell holder is touching the die. What would cause this? I have fired none resized brass that measures 1.626. And this problem brass after resizing measures 1.630. Its only been shot twice and I only used 41 grains of Varget.

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Seems like your FL die is not properly set-up.

Check this out, look for the FL die set-up instructions - https://www.hornady.com/support/user-manuals#!/

Also, for FL sizing, use Imperial Sizing Wax.
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Old 11-08-2018, 6:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jwfire25 View Post
I have fired brass that measures 1.626. And this problem brass after resizing measures 1.630"
I just noticed his numbers. Isn't it odd that his fired brass is smaller than the SAAMI minimum Go Gauge? Still, dies should bring it down to 1.627" approximately.
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwfire25 View Post
So I have a batch of 15 cases that won't size down enough to go into the rifle without resistance. The shell holder is touching the die.
Insert one of the troublesome cases back into the press and run the ram up so the case is in the die (don't forget to lube!) and take a flashlight and put it behind the shellholder and die.
I bet you will see light coming through between the shelholder and die.

When you say the shellholder is touching the die, you probably mean WITHOUT a case in the die.

It takes a good amount of force to size a case.
When you apply that force, all the slop in the press linkage goes away.
Also, as you apply that force, the press frame stretches.

THAT is how you get a gap and cases that are not sized enough even though you thought the die was all the way down against the shellholder.

That's also why you can screw the die down even more and move the shoulder back some more.
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Old 11-09-2018, 6:43 AM
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The only other thing could be if your running one brand of shell holder with another brand die. I know that has caused issues for some people in the past, although I've never had that issue myself.
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjmagee67 View Post
I'm so disappointed that our resident developmentally disabled reloader hasn't chimed in.

just a matter of time.

You do not know that problem? has caused other a problem in the past because shell holders are standard. the height of the shell holder is .125". The case head sits on the deck of the shell holder and the die sets on the top of the shell holder (again), the difference in the two heights is .125".

Many years ago C&H was located in El Monte, California. In the 60's they sold dies in a fiber counter display box. The instructions were on the bottom of the box; before the Internet finding instruction on the bottom of the box was not a problem for reloaders.

The instructions suggested the reloader use their dies with shell holders with a height of .125"; tyoday reloaders do not know how to measure the deck height of the shell holders. If they did they would not say the die must match the brand of shell holder.

I have shell holders that are mistakes; for me that is not a problem because I am a case former; a case former can take advantage of shell holders that do not have a deck height of .125".

I was offered 'a deal' to exchange all of my shell holders that were different, that included shell holders that would not fit my automatic hand primer systems, I thought the offer was generous and considerate because I have three different sets of RCBS shell holders, I thanked them and kept my shell holders.

And then there is that automatic response: Grind the top of the shell holder or the bottom of the die I have never found it necessary to grind the shell holder and or die. And then there are dies that are nice (and expensive). Anything that can be accomplished with the Redding competition shell holders can be accomplished with standard shell holders, the reloaders has to know what they are doing.

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Old 11-09-2018, 7:04 AM
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Well, yes, but it’s easier than sending the rifle back to the manufacturer demanding they adjust the chamber.
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Old 11-09-2018, 7:18 AM
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Thank for the responses. As some have said, maybe I wasn't running the shell holder all the way to the bottom of the die with case inserted. I can't confirm I was doing that

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Old 11-09-2018, 7:58 AM
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Quote:
Thank for the responses. As some have said, maybe I wasn't running the shell holder all the way to the bottom of the die with case inserted. I can't confirm I was doing that
Yes you can; any reloaders should be able to check if the press won or the case won. If the press won the die will make it to the shell holder. If the case wins the die will not make it to the shell holder. That means there will be a gap between the bottom of the die and top of the shell holder. Many years ago I started using the feeler gage to determine the gap.

Before that I verified the ability of the die to return the case to minimum length. And it has never been a problem for me to verify the shell holder.

AND if the shell holders did not have the correct deck height I used a feeler gage between the deck of the shell holder and case head to increase the presses ability to overcome the cases ability to resist sizing.

And then there is the ability to increases the length of the case from the shoulder of the case to the case head: I use feeler gages between the top of the shell holder to the bottom of the die to increase the length of the case from the shoulder to the case head. Again, there are some chambers that require an increase in case length from the shoulder to the case head .014". Again; not a problem.

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Old 11-09-2018, 8:05 AM
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Correct. What I mean is I can't recall it. I will check when I get home. I'm stuck at work because of the fires. Thanks for your insight
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Yes you can; any reloaders should be able to check if the press won or the case won. If the press won the die will make it to the shell holder. If the case wins the die will not make it to the shell holder. That means there will be a gap between the bottom of the die and top of the shell holder. Many years ago I started using the feeler gage to determine the gap.

Before that I verified the ability of the die to return the case to minimum length. And it has never been a problem for me to verify the shell holder.

AND if the shell holders did not have the correct deck height I used a feeler gage between the deck of the shell holder and case head to increase the presses ability to overcome the cases ability to resist sizing.

And then there is the ability to increases the length of the case from the shoulder of the case to the case head: I use feeler gages between the top of the shell holder to the bottom of the die to increase the length of the case from the shoulder to the case head. Again, there are some chambers that require an increase in case length from the shoulder to the case head .014". Again; not a problem.

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Old 11-09-2018, 8:16 AM
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Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
Insert one of the troublesome cases back into the press and run the ram up so the case is in the die (don't forget to lube!) and take a flashlight and put it behind the shellholder and die.
I bet you will see light coming through between the shelholder and die.

When you say the shellholder is touching the die, you probably mean WITHOUT a case in the die.

It takes a good amount of force to size a case.
When you apply that force, all the slop in the press linkage goes away.
Also, as you apply that force, the press frame stretches.

THAT is how you get a gap and cases that are not sized enough even though you thought the die was all the way down against the shellholder.

That's also why you can screw the die down even more and move the shoulder back some more.
This, I've seen this a lot helping newer reloaders. They do the whole "screw it in until the die touches the shellholder" approach then tighten the lock ring. Most presses have enough slop that when you run a case into the die you will see some amount of light between the shellholder and bottom of the die.

Run a lubed case into the die and look for light. If you see light between shellholder and die, back the case out and screw the die in ~1/8 turn. Check again and repeat until you see no light between the die and shellholder. Lube another case and double check the die setting. Then you'll be sizing cases just fine.
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Old 11-09-2018, 9:02 AM
LynnJr LynnJr is offline
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The guy in the video is spot on. He is correctly setting up the die while most don't. Once you have any clearance at all the bolt drops no matter how much or how little.

Last edited by LynnJr; 11-09-2018 at 9:06 AM..
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Old 11-11-2018, 9:54 AM
fguffey fguffey is offline
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Quote:
That's also why you can screw the die down even more and move the shoulder back some more.
It is impossible to move the shoulder back with a die that has full body support. I have never considered the difficulty reloaders have in understand the sequences of events between raising the ram and lowering and the effect sizing has on a case.

I understand I will not get an answer, I also understand all I will get for my efforts is lip service.

Is there anyone on this forums that understands why it is impossible to move the shoulder back on a case when sizing?.

And then there is the light that helps reloaders determine the gap between the shell holder and bottom of the die? I started with a feeler gage; after the Internet reloaders started to 'bump' the shoulder back. Same thing; it is impossible to bump the shoulder back on a case, 'bump' is something the press does. If a reloader has a non-bump press he has a press that is not a cam over press.

F. Guffey
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Old 11-11-2018, 10:43 AM
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mjmagee67 mjmagee67 is offline
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Originally Posted by fguffey View Post
You do not know that problem? has caused other a problem in the past because shell holders are standard. the height of the shell holder is .125". The case head sits on the deck of the shell holder and the die sets on the top of the shell holder (again), the difference in the two heights is .125".

Many years ago C&H was located in El Monte, California. In the 60's they sold dies in a fiber counter display box. The instructions were on the bottom of the box; before the Internet finding instruction on the bottom of the box was not a problem for reloaders.

The instructions suggested the reloader use their dies with shell holders with a height of .125"; tyoday reloaders do not know how to measure the deck height of the shell holders. If they did they would not say the die must match the brand of shell holder.

I have shell holders that are mistakes; for me that is not a problem because I am a case former; a case former can take advantage of shell holders that do not have a deck height of .125".

I was offered 'a deal' to exchange all of my shell holders that were different, that included shell holders that would not fit my automatic hand primer systems, I thought the offer was generous and considerate because I have three different sets of RCBS shell holders, I thanked them and kept my shell holders.

And then there is that automatic response: Grind the top of the shell holder or the bottom of the die I have never found it necessary to grind the shell holder and or die. And then there are dies that are nice (and expensive). Anything that can be accomplished with the Redding competition shell holders can be accomplished with standard shell holders, the reloaders has to know what they are doing.

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