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  • #16
    Originally posted by DanielM View Post
    I have found over the years, by actual testing, that some of the steps which seem popular make no difference at all to how the loads perform, and some may in fact have adverse effects either on velocity SD or case life. As a result, I do not clean primer pockets, I do not tumble my brass, though I do give it a rinse in hot soapy water to remove any grit if it is dirty. I throw all my charges, recording the settings on the thrower for next time when I have settled on a charge. I don't full-length size, and prefer Lee Collet Dies for my neck sizing. I have several rifles which will average well under 1 moa with my loads (running average of five round groups, not just the best one) and brass which has gone well past 30 loading cycles and is still perfectly serviceable.

    I use some calibres for which factory loads aren't so readily available, or for which factory loads are very expensive, so apart from accuracy and the ability to use loads which are tailored to what I want I save money too.
    Hi Jimbo

    With new brass I neck size to square up the neck, trim to length and chamfer, other than for good quality stuff which already comes properly prepared (RWS for example - fearsomely expensive but great stuff). I've never turned necks.

    With cleaning your primer pockets, try this experiment: make up a batch of reloads in clean brass, then give them a few loading cycles without cleaning, testing accuracy and velocity SD as you go (without changing any other variables). What I found when I did this is that the amount of residue didn't increase, and performance was entirely unaffected. I have batches of brass which went literally dozens of reloading cycles without ever having primer pockets cleaned, and haven't bothered to clean a primer pocket for years. It is a step which adds no value.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Pmacc60 View Post
      Daniel I respectfully disagree, I believe that the less you pay attention to detail the more chance of failure. Neck sizing does extend case life but beside that the rest your leaving to chance. Clean cases aid in inspection, case life and the over all quality of the round and rifle it's being fired in. Like others have already stated measuring every powder charge is an imperative, powder chargers are suspect be can be off and inconsistent at times . Just for safety it's a good idea to check. I also use BR primers because I find it gives me more consistent numbers on the chronograph . What you do works for you but we are exchanging information to young and new loaders and to go through all the steps is important because of safety reasons.
      You didn't say what detriment or what steps cause detriment. Most of us base our answers on empirical results and thirty plus years of reloading has forged some of my opinions as well! I am leery of anyone who gives advice about skipping steps on any tried and true method. That is mostly based on my job and having to fix what is messed up by others skipping useless steps! That is no reflection on you and your thoughts on this particular subject and this is why I started with respectfully disagree. I'm glad you elaborated on your post, it clears up some points of concern.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by DanielM View Post
        I have found over the years, by actual testing, that some of the steps which seem popular make no difference at all to how the loads perform, and some may in fact have adverse effects either on velocity SD or case life. As a result, I do not clean primer pockets, I do not tumble my brass, though I do give it a rinse in hot soapy water to remove any grit if it is dirty. I throw all my charges, recording the settings on the thrower for next time when I have settled on a charge. I don't full-length size, and prefer Lee Collet Dies for my neck sizing. I have several rifles which will average well under 1 moa with my loads (running average of five round groups, not just the best one) and brass which has gone well past 30 loading cycles and is still perfectly serviceable.

        I use some calibres for which factory loads aren't so readily available, or for which factory loads are very expensive, so apart from accuracy and the ability to use loads which are tailored to what I want I save money too.
        Hi, the little round primer pocket brush is on the end of my Lyman power trimmer so it's there so l use it.
        I have never, in over 45 years, touched the neck on a new batch of brass regardless of who's it is. I do use some Norma for my Weatherby. I also have never tempered neck brass.
        You should try the RCBS II lube, it will wash right off when put in a bucket of water. Cleans the inside to.
        You spend a lot of time looking at the neck, don't overlook the web, especially if you are loading to full pressure. I use a thin piece of spring steel wire with a fine point ground on it bent to ninety deg angle to check for case web thinning. Slide it down the brass to the base and move in and out a little and you can detect the beginning of case thinning as the brass may be working/flowing forward. This works before any visible sign on the outside of the case.
        what do you mean you measure every charge, not just weigh them ? I have found my RCBS powder dispenser is VERY susceptible to slight changes in technique.
        I have a very accurate analytical balance and certified check weights and would never trust thrown charges unless I was way below max charge. I found my balance in a sale and got a $2500. balance for very reasonable. It weighs to .01 grain resolution. A good check weight is about $35.00. Of course a variance of a large case is probably less troublesome that a variance on a small capacity case operating at full loading.
        I guess it amounts to each his own. Jim

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        • #19
          Originally posted by DanielM View Post
          I have found over the years, by actual testing, that some of the steps which seem popular make no difference at all to how the loads perform, and some may in fact have adverse effects either on velocity SD or case life. As a result, I do not clean primer pockets, I do not tumble my brass, though I do give it a rinse in hot soapy water to remove any grit if it is dirty. I throw all my charges, recording the settings on the thrower for next time when I have settled on a charge. I don't full-length size, and prefer Lee Collet Dies for my neck sizing. I have several rifles which will average well under 1 moa with my loads (running average of five round groups, not just the best one) and brass which has gone well past 30 loading cycles and is still perfectly serviceable.

          I use some calibres for which factory loads aren't so readily available, or for which factory loads are very expensive, so apart from accuracy and the ability to use loads which are tailored to what I want I save money too.
          Hi Jimbo

          I'm aware of using a bent wire to check for incipient case head separation, but the reason for this problem has nothing to do with brass "flowing forward". Instead it is the result of the way the case walls grip the chamber on firing, right back to the start of the thicker web area. The case head moves back to meet the breechface, causing stretching at the point where the web meets the thinner case wall. If that stretching exceeds the brass' elastic limit you'll see necking and eventual failure here. Once you understand that you can avoid the problem by attention to the sizing process: if you consistently FL size and push the shoulder back, especially if you go down to minimum spec, you are actually creating the problem for yourself, as the firing pin drives the case all the way into the chamber, it then grips the walls as the propellant fires and the casehead has to stretch back to meet the breechface, taking up all that clearance your sizing created.

          If instead you neck size only after the first firing, the case has a lot less clearance and the degree of stretch is much lower, within the elastic limit of the brass (ie fully recovered), thus eliminating the circumstances which lead to case head separation. I have cases which, as I said, have gone dozens of reloading cycles as mute evidence of this.

          Even with problem children like my Lee Enfields, a little attention to the initial fireforming (using a thin strip of tape or an o-ring around the case in front of the rim to push the case hard against the boltface and keep the round concentric on these notoriously oversized chambers, for that first firing) and thereafter neck-sizing only, maximises case life for me.

          As for measuring propellant, I meter by volume as I said. The smallest cases I load are .22 Hornet and 9mm Parabellum, without problems. Results, such as velocity SD, not suppositions.

          Cheers

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