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Thread: 30-06 sizing issues

  1. #21
    Boolit Master



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    Reloading is like most things in life. You get out of it what you put in. Successful reloading is pulling the trigger and it goes bang without blowing anything up. Reloads can run the full spectrum from marginally safe and functional to as precise as humanly possible. For my big game hunting 3" MOA is adequate. For my varmint hunting 3/4" is adequate and for F Class 1/2" MOA is marginal.

    The more we strive to achieve more than just adequate the more useful "reloading gizmos" become. Most of my competition rifles will do 3/8" MOA out to 300 yards on demand for 10 shot groups on calm days.

    For big game hunting 5 rounds per year is a good year. Between varmint and long range competition 6,000 to 8,000 rounds per year is normal.

    I keep hearing about all these "reloading gizmos" that I apparently don't need. I would truly love to know which "reloading gizmos" I don't need?
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 06-04-2016 at 07:37 PM.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master


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    Case neck shavers are pretty much useless unless you are case forming, have a custom tight neck chamber, or another particular problem that needs to be solved.

    A runout gage solved my occasional flyer problem, halved my group sizes, plus (since it is an RCBS Case Master) also detects incipient case head separation. If you shoot bottleneck rifle and care about accuracy, you should have a runout gage.

    Anyone can prove their utility by grouping cases by eccentricity, shooting some indexed in the chamber and some not, and comparing group sizes.
    I give loading advice based on my actual results in factory rifles with standard chambers, twist rates and basic accurizing.
    My goals for using cast boolits are lots of good, cheap, and reasonably accurate shooting, while avoiding overly tedious loading processes.
    The BHN Deformation Formula, and why I don't use it.
    How to find and fix sizing die eccentricity problems.
    Do you trust your casting thermometer?
    A few musings.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    Our old range used to host The Crawfish Inventational and BR shooters would come from all over the country. My buddy and me being members of that range would go and speak to the shooters after they had fired their targets and but stuff and pick their brains. Too a man or woman I found them very helpful in answering what might have been stupid questions. Try benchrest.com and see if they can shed some light on your problems. But here is a suggestion that you may or may not have tried. First size without the expanding rod in place. Measure runout,then size the same cases (only need to be a few) with the expander in place. If the runout with the expander in place is greater than sizing w/o the expander you have found your problem. Here is another one Buy some M die expanders in 30 cal. Mike and number each one. Run a case into the F/L die and then lube the inside of the case neck with imperial die wax. using an M die body install the smallest M die expander and run your case into the m die. Do a few cases as before. When done measure case runout after all cases have been run through the f/l die prior to be run through the M die. Than run the cases through the M die and measure all cases after their trip through the m die. Notice we are only changing one variable here at a time in order to try and find what is causing your run out problem. Make sure the expander is good and tight in the m die body first before running cases through it. Now for the creme on the cake. If you have a lathe take the ram out of your press and measure it for concentricity and straightness. By the way most BR shooters I have watched use basically hand tools to win the BR matches. Most powder charges are thrown via powder measure only occasional ones are weighed. In doing the ram you may or may find that it isn't straight or out of round. And had that slot for the primer thingy. If that is the case you'll have to get one made custom w/o the slot for the primer thingy. There are so many variables to play with that it would make your head spin. Some BR shooters rarely size their cases because of the tight chambers so brass springback for them isn't a problem. I have seen some use a RCBS partner press for use with dies, some prefer to use the wilson dies and use the two piece die where you insert a loaded case in one end and the bullet in the other and insert a mandrel to seat the bullet using a small arbor press. One thing you have to remember is that these guys go by the motto of doings things in the proper order.Frank

  4. #24
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for all the feedback on this problem. Yes, I have commercial brass that I also use. This is not the only brass I have. I have tried the dies without the expander ball and the runout is 1/2 to one thou. With the expander, it goes nuts. To get rid of the expander ball, I made an expander die that is piloted to the inside of the neck as it came out of full length sizing without the ball. After annealing about 20, then re-running them, I am getting about 2/3's of them close enough to live with. As I said in my original post, I am building a case annealer.

    I have straight line and neck sizing only dies from Wilson and some I have made for other calibers, but not for the -06. IT may come down to that at some point, but I am not looking for benchrest accuracy, but do like to see what can be accomplished with what I have.
    These are not valuable cases, but I would like to find what the cause is. I have formed a fair amount of 06 brass for others such as 7 and 8 mauser. I also shoot a couple of wildcats that I form the cases for. These are the only ones I have had this difficulty with.

    I am going to check out the press to see if everything is concentric as that has not been checked on either one of my presses but i have not yet figured out how I'm going to set up the indicators from top of press to ram. The ram does not appear to be bent, but something COULD be off center. Not likely, but worth checking anyway just for peace of mind. I may build a die blank with bearings or a bushing to use an indicator holder that will rotate.

    When I really want accuracy, I don't use this type of die anyway. It just gets under my skin that this has been such a problem.
    I still have a few hours left in building my annealer. When I get it finished, I will try this again and post the results but it may not get done this week as I need to get some parts out for a customer. Airplanes don't land very well with pieces missing!

    Thanks for everyone's input on this. As a tool and die maker, this one has been a challenge.

    Ron

  5. #25
    Boolit Buddy paul edward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atr View Post
    OK,,,50 year old brass....well here is my tale: about a month ago I was at the range with my buddy and there in the dirt / mud was a mess of spent 30-06 cases that hadn't been there the week before. I picked several up and noted the date 1943 manufactured.
    Is it possible that the corrosive primers used in 1943 vintage 30/06 military ammo may be responsible for damaging the brass?

  6. #26
    Boolit Master


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    No. Perhaps you are thinking of Mercurial primers, which are detrimental to brass. They had been phased out for decades before WWII.
    I give loading advice based on my actual results in factory rifles with standard chambers, twist rates and basic accurizing.
    My goals for using cast boolits are lots of good, cheap, and reasonably accurate shooting, while avoiding overly tedious loading processes.
    The BHN Deformation Formula, and why I don't use it.
    How to find and fix sizing die eccentricity problems.
    Do you trust your casting thermometer?
    A few musings.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master
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    After some frustration, and some procrastination, as well, I think I have found a solution to the problem I was having, and a way to correct it.

    A re-cap of what I had done.

    Cases were once-fired .30-06 brass traded for on the forum. I have lubed with RCBS case lube that I have used for years. This, however was not the problem. I was lubing the inside of the neck with graphite mixed with shot in a medicine bottle, which I have also done for a long time.

    Necks were pulled out of shape, and off to one side by as much as .008 of center and twisted to one side. Some of the fixes I tried were (in no particular order) another set of RCBS dies which I have two sets), another set from a neighbor, another brand of dies, also from a neighbor. Another attempt was to use a Lee collet die, which left me with the problem of no body sizing, but still didn't correct the run-out problem. Next thought was to anneal the brass, so built a case annealer. That didn't work either, but was later instrumental in the long run. Many replies were received, and I have tried most of them.

    I called RCBS, and they sent me a new de-capping rod and the adapter that holds it it the die. My old one was off center, but this still didn't fix the problem. I adjusted the die in about 10 different ways, but still no success.

    Lots of different possible fixes, but no cigar.

    Here's what finally got the job done:

    I made a sizing die and pin to expand the inside of the neck out to .315. The body did nothing except hold the pin. I made the pin with two steps, one to center on ther neck as they were, then a second step to go to .315.

    I then used my de-capping die with an 8 mm expander ball to expand the neck out further. Lots of RCBS lube was used in both theses steps.

    I used one of my size dies and honed it out to size to .306 or .307 on the inside. This worked on many of the cases, but not all, and being military brass, some of the cases were a little too large to hold the bullet. I then took the cases that were still off center (the ones still off-center were much better, but still not quite where I wanted them).

    I then set the now oversized die back in the press in the normal manner, then put the expander / de-capping rod back in the die. I ran the case all the way into the die, then backed it out a little, maybe 1/4 of the length of the neck. I then adjusted the expander-ball to just touch the inside of the neck. Theoretically, the expander should not have been having any effect, but what I found was that it actually did, though to only a small amount. Next step was to run the case in, then back it out through the expander, turn it a quarter turn or so, then repeated that as much as three or four times. I then took the case out, put it in my run-out gage to check it. Most of the cases that still weren't true would then show little runout.
    A few still didn't quite go to wher I had determined I wanted them to be, so they went back in the die for another attempt, turning them several times as I ran the case in and out of the die.

    All this was done using plenty of lube, (RCBS) trying not to get so much as to put dents in the shoulder. (Even so, I managed to dent a few.)

    The cases were now running from zero run-out up to .002 thou. (That was an arbitrary number that I chose because they were military cases.)

    The interesting part was that cases that were right at .002 did not respond to this treatment as well as the ones that were farther out of whack. Some of the ones that had been the worst were now closest to being true. Many of them had zero run-out, some less than a thou.

    There have been a couple that just couldn't get closer than .002.

    Because some of them are too large by a thou or so, I run them through a Lee collet die and tighten them up to the correct neck tension.

    So far, I have done about a hundred or so and seems to be working well. I know that doing it this way is hard on the brass. but so is throwing them away. I don't have a lot of money invested in them, but still want to save them. This is where the annealing machine is put to good use. The brass had been annealed as part of my attempt to correct this problem early on. It will then be annealed again when I get the cases all re-formed. I have about 6 or 7 hundred yet to go, and it is a lot of work, but have learned from it.

    #1 use enough lube inside the neck not to pull the cases out of round.

    #2 military cases were not the only ones this happened to. I found some of my commercial was also this way, and am correcting it the same way.

    #3 what we think is good ain't necessarily so. Check it with a run-out gage.

    #4 we often pooh-pooh military brass, but it does work. This is not match grade, but will shoot well.

    After looking at what some of these cases were on the run-out gage, then looking at some of my loaded stuff, I now realize were some of my fliers were coming from. Most groups were decent, but I wanted something better for the rifle I built in my shop. I'm not a gunsmith, and it is my first and only build. I took a lot of pains building this piece and want to see what it will do with "reasonably" good ammunition. Not benchrest, just the best I can do. I feel confident that I can now get it to 1/2 moa by working with the load. Time will tell that tale, though.

  8. #28
    Boolit Buddy
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    When locking down the expander plug after adjusting the die body I lower the ram with the pin loose til I have some tension on it and then lock it???
    Just surfing and thought maybe?

  9. #29
    Boolit Master



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    I had similar problems and it turned out to be dirty chamber especially the neck area after cleaning more often the problems went away.
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  10. #30
    Boolit Man
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    I'm not criticizing your process fast ronnie, but I would have probably just full length resized with the original FL sizing die and then run them through the Lee collet neck sizer. Maybe even used the FL sizing die without the expander, although that may not work with the Lee collet.

    My measurements with the Hornady headspace comparator showed that Garand fired 30-06 grows some .015-.020" over actual headspace. I would imagine that M1A and machine gun fired would be likewise. Squeezing them down is difficult, even when annealed.

    Has anyone ever tried one of the Redding form and trim combo dies? It looks like they size several thousands over what your FL sizing die would, then you use the FL sizer.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master
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    fast ronnie

    Since you are a tool maker I know you have a highly trained eye. Rather than use a run out gauge try loading a few rounds and rolling them on a smooth flat table top or even a surface plate. Just watch the tip of the bullet as they roll and you will be able to see any run out in the loaded rounds - including any run out caused by the seating die.
    EDG

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    Yes. they were Very visible when rolling them. did try resizing them in the original die, also. No cigar. The method I described in post 27 was the only thing that worked, and I still have a small few that are not coming out right. Maybe 1 in 20 or 30 cases will not come closer than .005 t.i.r. Overall, I am satisfied with the results, but will not know the final verdict until I go to the range with them.

    As far as the seating die, I'm planning on using a Wilson straight line. I've had good success with them before.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast ronnie View Post
    The interesting part was that cases that were right at .002 did not respond to this treatment as well as the ones that were farther out of whack. Some of the ones that had been the worst were now closest to being true. Many of them had zero run-out, some less than a thou.

    There have been a couple that just couldn't get closer than .002.
    Often times, a more drastic correction in reforming/reshaping will result in less "spring back."
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  14. #34
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    If any of you guys have a lot of once fired Lake City or Frankford Aresnal 30-06 brass that was made prior to about 1965, I will be a buyer. I want it unpolished with the anneal marks still on the necks and shoulders. I hold this stuff in higher regard than you folks do. It can go back to the 20 and 30s if you have it.
    The most accurate ammo I ever got my hands on was a load of FA 36 Match. corrosive of course, but super accurate and good brass than loaded at least ten times each with good accuracy. I also have a pile of SL 52 brass that is quite servicable.

  15. #35
    Boolit Buddy

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    I resize with no expander ball and the use a Lyman M die to expand as needed.

  16. #36
    Boolit Master

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    I just leave the lock nut on the decapping rod a little loose. I've switched a few of my dies over to a carbide expander ball but they are expensive! I also polish the steel expander balls with 1200 grit emory cloth follow by steel wool. And I lube the inside of the case neck. All of this helped but the most noticeable difference was leaving the locknut loose.

  17. #37
    Boolit Grand Master


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    try a different shell holder.
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  18. #38
    Boolit Master


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    A year ago I bought 25 30-06 surplus cases. The hardest time I had was getting the primers out with a universal dépriming die, I then resized them and used a NOE expander to size the necks, since I was loading cast boolits. Checked OAL length and adjusted accordingly. Seated the boolits and they loaded and shot fine in my Winchester model 70. I have a Garand, but never thought to try them in it. I would suggest firering them first th the planned and go from there.

  19. #39
    Excellent thread and link to Rick Averill's Lapping Reloading Dies. Thanks for posting that link EDG. I am a cast bullet bench rest shooter and have used Averill's method almost exactly to lap out Wilson SL seating dies when loading oversized 30 cal. cast bullets, with success. The only difference being is that I made a small hole lap from a section of aluminum shotgun cleaning rod. Worked perfectly. Have copied the article for my reference file.


    Along with the Wilson SL seating dies, I also use FL sizer bushing dies exclusively when I can find them for the cal. that I load for. The down side is when none is made for the cal. that I am working with at the time. Then the lapping of a regular sizing die would come into play such as the 6mm X 223 which I am working with now. I have not attempted lapping out a common sizer die but am now going to give it a try because I am experiencing all the problems stated in this thread with that 6mm.

    As a note of interest with regard to out of concentric cases. Many years ago I remember reading an article written by an Army officer, who talked about that. One statement that he made was that some cases are just naturally crooked and no amount resizing will ever straighten them out. I have found this to be true, especially with fired military brass.

  20. #40
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by R. Dupraz View Post
    Along with the Wilson SL seating dies, I also use FL sizer bushing dies exclusively when I can find them for the cal. that I load for. The down side is when none is made for the cal. that I am working with at the time. Then the lapping of a regular sizing die would come into play such as the 6mm X 223 which I am working with now. I have not attempted lapping out a common sizer die but am now going to give it a try because I am experiencing all the problems stated in this thread with that 6mm.
    There are people who can modify a standard sizing die to utilize bushings. That might be something to consider. I don't have links to any of them handy, but a search of the Accurate Shooters forum should provide some info. Also, if Forster offers their BR dies in the chambering you're dealing with, they will hone the neck diameter to your specification for a very nominal fee. Also something to cnsider.
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check