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Centerfire Rifles - Manually Operated Lever action, bolt action or other non gas operated centerfire rifles.

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  #81  
Old 11-01-2019, 10:21 AM
American Muslim Gun Owner American Muslim Gun Owner is offline
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Thanks for the link Phil. I read it twice and I like their recommendations on what to start off with. I will start shopping around to see who has what in stock and try to order everything from the same place once things start to go on sale.

If I may ask, why did you switch from Redding to Forster dies?

I'm waiting for the weather to improve and the fires to go away so I can break-in the rifle as well as myself.

Last edited by American Muslim Gun Owner; 11-04-2019 at 8:56 AM..
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  #82  
Old 11-05-2019, 11:21 AM
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I switched from Redding to Forster dies for a few reasons.

1) I use a Forster Co-Ax press. The die rings that come with the Redding dies can work in the Forster press, but I prefer the Forster rings that come on their dies for use in the Co-Ax. The Forster rings are inexpensive, so this is not a biggee for me to switch Forster rings to Redding dies. A minor thing, but it is one of a few things for my switch.

2) The Forster dies are bigger in diameter, making the white on black graduations on the micrometer style bullet seater easier to read vs the smaller diameter Redding die which has a silver finish. The graduations are closer together. For my old eyes, the Forster was easier to read and also easier to turn.

3) A minor thing, but when I adjusted one of the Redding dies to a length where it needed to be for my particular 223 reloads, the die was too long to fit back into the Redding die case. So, it was either leave it out of the Redding case and store elsewhere, or screw it back down (out of adjustment) so I could store it in the case. I mentioned this to Redding, and they were somewhat dismissive in their response.

4) Forster will hone a full length (FL) die to a neck size to suit your chamber. It is something like $12 for Forster to do this. I do not believe Redding offers this service.

Phil

Last edited by Phil3; 11-05-2019 at 11:27 AM..
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  #83  
Old 11-05-2019, 3:12 PM
sigstroker sigstroker is offline
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Someone makes dies with changeable bushings for different neck sizes.
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  #84  
Old 11-05-2019, 4:37 PM
mtenenhaus mtenenhaus is offline
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Forster makes dies with interchangeable bushings...and as Phil noted they can custom hone your full length and bullet seating dies.

I just had this done and it's quite nice. Didn't take long, i think it ran approximately 31 dollars all together which included shipping back to me. I did however have to pay shipping to send the dies there.
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  #85  
Old 11-05-2019, 6:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil3 View Post
4) Forster will hone a full length (FL) die to a neck size to suit your chamber. It is something like $12 for Forster to do this. I do not believe Redding offers this service.
Yeah, too bad Redding stopped offering this service. Randall (AR15.com) still offers this service if I recall. Also, it's to match your brass, not the chamber.

Regardless, both Redding and Forster make great dies.

Last edited by smoothy8500; 11-05-2019 at 6:43 PM..
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  #86  
Old 11-06-2019, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by smoothy8500 View Post
Randall (AR15.com) still offers this service if I recall.
Also, it's to match your brass, not the chamber.
Correct.
You hone the die so that the die will not size the neck diameter any more than required.
Most non-bushing dies will over-size the brass by 10 thousandths of an inch or more and then pull the neck expander button through the neck to get it back to the proper size to hold a bullet.
The dies are made to work with the absolute thinnest brass which is almost always thinner than the brass we are actually using.
When you do not have a bushing die, you are stuck with the neck diameter that the die maker chose.

I can hone the neck diameter so that it better matches your brass, much like how you would us you had a bushing die and could select a bushing.
Ideally, that would be 1-2 thousandths smaller than is necessary and then you let the button expand the case neck the last 1-2 thousandths.
That's around 5x less working of the case neck every time you size it compared to factory dies.
It's a permanent modification though so if you ever wanted to go to a dramatically thinner brass, the die might not size it enough after honing if you chose to go for minimal sizing with your specific lot of brass.
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  #87  
Old 11-06-2019, 6:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
Ideally, that would be 1-2 thousandths smaller than is necessary and then you let the button expand the case neck the last 1-2 thousandths.
Just curious about needing the expander since I use a Forster honed die. When I sent the die in for honing, they required the loaded neck diameter based on what brand/lot of brass I was using.

Is the expander still required? I was under the impression that it wasn't since the neck was sized to a given number as a bushing would.
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  #88  
Old 11-06-2019, 6:43 AM
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had i known i would have just sent the dies to Randall
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  #89  
Old 11-06-2019, 9:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothy8500 View Post
Just curious about needing the expander since I use a Forster honed die. When I sent the die in for honing, they required the loaded neck diameter based on what brand/lot of brass I was using.

Is the expander still required? I was under the impression that it wasn't since the neck was sized to a given number as a bushing would.
You can absolutely size the necks without an expander bushing as long as your necks are of consistent thickness.

I have come to the conclusion that I get better seating pressure consistency by still using a button.
I used a bushing with no expander for several years and then eventually noticed I was not getting as consistent of seating pressure with the no-expander-button sized cases as I was with the expander button-sized-cases.

I was using a Redding bushing marked 1 thousandths larger than my loaded case necks and going for very low seating pressures though (I could seat bullets with just thumb pressure on top of the Wilson seater) so maybe I was just running too large of a bushing and this would not be a problem for people running a smaller bushing.

I think Redding marks their bushings as being 1-2 thousandths larger than they actually are because I had significant seating pressure when using a bushing marked the same as my neck diameters.
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  #90  
Old 11-06-2019, 9:58 AM
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I have come to the conclusion that I get better seating pressure consistency by still using a button.
Thanks, I may experiment with that idea in the future. Considering that I'm not turning necks, there probably is variation in thickness within a given lot.

Last edited by smoothy8500; 11-06-2019 at 10:06 AM..
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  #91  
Old 11-06-2019, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by smoothy8500 View Post
Yeah, too bad Redding stopped offering this service. Randall (AR15.com) still offers this service if I recall. Also, it's to match your brass, not the chamber.

Regardless, both Redding and Forster make great dies.
Yes, honing the FL die gives the primary benefit of reducing work hardening of the brass during the resizing process. It is NOT to match to the chamber. It can't. If the die was honed for a nice close fit in the chamber neck, a bullet would likely fall into the case! So, I stand corrected on that, thank you.

A loose chamber is going to work the brass harder than a tighter chamber and nothing you can do about that short of rechambering the barrel to a tighter neck. Or use brass with thicker necks. On my last rifle, I used a custom reamer with a specified neck diameter. I expect this will help extend brass life, a good thing since it is pricey Lapua brass!
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  #92  
Old 11-06-2019, 10:09 AM
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Brass is always going to spring back in the opposite direction of where it was moved. If you have only the sizer that squeezes it down, it's going to spring back out, maybe to too loose a dimension. If it's squeezed down a smidge smaller that what you want it to be and then pushed out by an expander, it springs back to a tighter diameter. Which is what I think I would want. As mentioned above, what really gives consistent bullet tension is the inner diameter.
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  #93  
Old 11-06-2019, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
You can absolutely size the necks without an expander bushing as long as your necks are of consistent thickness.
Yep, one reason I use Lapua brass on my bolt guns. Consistency in the brass.

Your comment on using the button is interesting. I will have to try that. I have a set of Redding 223 dies, and outfitted one with a carbide button, which helped reduce the drag in the case. That seemed to help bullet runout, but not by much. I did notice a reduced effort on the press.

I also got a Hornady resizing die using a mandrel. I have not played with it much, but so far, I have mixed thoughts. This die simply mashes the blown out neck (from firing), back down to size around a mandrel in the neck. I think I prefer your way of using a button to "slightly" pull back through the neck. But, this works best with consistent neck wall thickness.

Last edited by Phil3; 11-06-2019 at 10:16 AM..
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  #94  
Old 11-06-2019, 10:15 AM
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Oh dear, I just realized we've inadvertently sent the "Neck-tensions" Bat signal...
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  #95  
Old 11-06-2019, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigstroker View Post
Brass is always going to spring back in the opposite direction of where it was moved. If you have only the sizer that squeezes it down, it's going to spring back out, maybe to too loose a dimension. If it's squeezed down a smidge smaller that what you want it to be and then pushed out by an expander, it springs back to a tighter diameter. Which is what I think I would want. As mentioned above, what really gives consistent bullet tension is the inner diameter.
Yup. Spring back seems to be around .001", give or take... If it was zero, good luck getting the fired case out of the gun!
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  #96  
Old 11-06-2019, 10:56 AM
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I did notice a reduced effort on the press.
You need a hand die and arbor press to really notice the inconsistencies in bullet seating pressures.
A typical press that you would size cases with has FAR too much mechanical advantage to feel minute differences in seating pressure.

I was working around 4-10 lbs of bullet seating force.
You won't feel that low of seating force on a case-sizing press as you are only feeling the press linkages at those forces.
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  #97  
Old 11-06-2019, 11:51 PM
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I use Redding dies with buttons in my reloading. They do provide added consistency.
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  #98  
Old 11-08-2019, 6:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
You need a hand die and arbor press to really notice the inconsistencies in bullet seating pressures.
A typical press that you would size cases with has FAR too much mechanical advantage to feel minute differences in seating pressure.

I was working around 4-10 lbs of bullet seating force.
You won't feel that low of seating force on a case-sizing press as you are only feeling the press linkages at those forces.
I would ordinarily agree, but will mention two things in my case. One, I was using the Forster Co-Ax "short handle" reducing leverage, and secondly, the use of the carbide button did make enough of a difference to notice while using the short handle. I rather doubt I could detect any difference with the longer handle. Neither handle however, allowed detection of round to round variation in seating pressures. As you said, I would need the arbor press and hand die setup (Wilson) for that.
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  #99  
Old 11-08-2019, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil3 View Post
Neither handle however, allowed detection of round to round variation in seating pressures.
As you said, I would need the arbor press and hand die setup (Wilson) for that.
This is what I am talking about.
You can FEEL that you are seating a bullet, but you can't make out the variations because the leverage of a case sizing press is so great right at the END of the stroke.

The leverage of an arbor press is the same no matter where you are in the stroke.
The mechanical advantage of an arbor press is much lower than the mechanical advantage of a case sizing press at the end of it's stroke so you have a much better FEEL of the bullet sliding into the case.
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  #100  
Old 11-08-2019, 2:26 PM
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Yes, I agree. I thought about getting the arbor press, but had doubts I could realize a benefit from it at just 100 yards, the only distance I have access to. I still may get the arbor press and dies anyway. Making quality ammo is satisfying in its own way.

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