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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DISCLAIMER: I am just preparing to start reloading. Forgive me if I'm an idiot.

From what I've read during intarweb searches, full length resizing is generally not recommended for semi-auto rifles. Supposedly you need small base resizing dies.

This doesn't make sense to me... doesn't full length resizing return the brass more to a factory dimension than say a neck resizing die?

Do the small base dies full length resize also, and THEN hold the brass to a tighter tolerance or something?

I've also read that small base resized/loaded brass is not recommended in bolt guns.

None of this makes much sense to me. help?
 

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FL resizing for bolt guns is usually not necessary if you are using fire-formed brass from that weapon. Neck size is usually all that is necessary, or maybe that and bump the shoulder back a hair.

You should FL resize your brass for an M14 or any other semi-auto. Small base dies may or may not be required, depending on your weapon and what you want to do with the reloads.
 

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A small base die is a full length die(sizes neck and body). The difference is where the curve of the shoulder starts.(lower on the case body) So the distance between the shoulder and the rim(case body) is shorter.
Doing this does stress the brass more. So keep the amount of times you resize the brass down to three or four times depending on the hardness of the brass.


case on the right was sized with a small base die.

Small base dies are recommended for semi auto rifles, but not required. It really depends on the rifle itself. Some rifles run fine with FL dies others don't. I use small base dies because of personal preference.

Glenn
 

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From the RCBS web site;
(http://www.rcbs.com/questions/dies_questions.aspx)

Q. I see a Small Base Die Set listed for my caliber. Do I need these or should I buy a Full Length Die Set or Neck Die Set? How does each set differ?

A. The Small Base Die set is intended for use for ammunition to be used in auto, semi-auto, and lever action rifles so that the loaded round chambers and extracts easily. The Small Base Sizer Die sizes the case from the shoulder to the head of the case a couple of thousandths smaller than a Full Length Sizer Die. In certain calibers it also sets the shoulder of the case back a thousandth or two more than the Full Length Sizer Die. The Full Length Die Set or Neck Die Set is not normally recommended for ammo to be used in auto, semi-auto, or lever action rifles. The Full Length Die set is recommended for ammunition used in bolt action rifles, particularly for ammunition to be used for hunting. The Neck Die Set can also be used to produce ammunition for use in bolt action rifles. The Neck Sizer Die sizes only the neck of the case so it will hold the bullet firmly. It does not size the body of the case nor does it set the shoulder back. Neck sized cases will usually chamber for three or more firings, depending on the powder charge and chamber dimensions. However, over a period of time, a slight drag will be noticed when the bolt is locked. At this point, cases will need to be full length sized and the shoulder set back so they will chamber and extract easily.
 

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I use Dillon dies to partial F/L resize and they are small base dies I only bump the shoulder back .004"-.005" and I have not had any issues, when I F/L sized them so the fell between the HI/LO cuts on my case gage I was pushing the shoulder back twice that and I felt I was overworking the brass, be advised that most don't size this way especially for a service rifle as if the chamber gets fouled and you don't get a good lockup it could be bad news so do so at a risk, it does nor affect accuracy but does extend brass life to some degree YMMV
 

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FL is probably adequate unless you've got a particularly tight chamber or are using machinegun fired brass.
 

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Not to Hijack the thread, but I FL resize and trim the cases to spec each time. Don't forget to trim, a long case neck or borderline long case neck can be dangerous in a semi-auto.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the great info everyone. I'm definitely planning on trimming all rifle brass.
 

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1KPerDay

I highly recommend that you get a copy of the Sierra Bullets reloading manual. Sierra correctly points out that reloading for a semi-automatic rifle has different requirements from reloading for a bolt gun. In fact the manual has a chapter specifically devoted to reloading for gas guns.

As this thread demonstrates, getting reloading advice on an internet forum is not advisable. Following it can be downright dangerous.

Under certain conditions, the M1 Garand and M14 / M1A are liable to have "slam fires" and "out of battery" slam fires. In the former the bullet may go somewhere you do not want it to go. In the latter, the pieces of the rifle & cartridge will go places you do not want them to go.

The M1 & M14 have heavy, floating firing pins and fast, high energy cycling of the action. Chamber then eject a live round and you will see a dent in the primer from the firing pin.

If your brass is oversized, and/or the chamber is hot & dirty the chances of a slam fire increase.

From the Sierra reloading manual, edition V, page 172:

"Full length sizing is the only option in the service rifle world."

Sierra also states on page 173:

"Neck sizing...is dangerously out of place in a service rifle. Stick to full length resizing - ALWAYS - when reloading for autoloaders."

Neck sizing is OK for bolt guns but is dead wrong for the M1, M14 / M1A, and M16 / AR15.

Regards

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
1KPerDay

I highly recommend that you get a copy of the Sierra Bullets reloading manual. Sierra correctly points out that reloading for a semi-automatic rifle has different requirements from reloading for a bolt gun. In fact the manual has a chapter specifically devoted to reloading for gas guns.

As this thread demonstrates, getting reloading advice on an internet forum is not advisable. Following it can be downright dangerous.
Does this include your advice to get a copy of the Sierra Bullets manual? GI2GI6

j/k

thanks
 

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Does this include your advice to get a copy of the Sierra Bullets manual? GI2GI6

j/k

thanks

I was thinking about how ironic the statement was too...GI2

But his point is valid. Every load needs to be worked up to slowly in your rifle. I hear about people that use loads that I wouldn't be comfortable with for anything in the world but they claim to have no issues with safety or reliability.

My experience has been that if I keep my loads low enough to keep my 168 grain bullets at around 2500 - 2550 fps then I get good results and long case life. I can push my loads up to over 2600 fps but then my cases will only hold together for three or four reloads and if I'm really picky, I start culling out the cases for expanded primer pockets by the second reload.
 

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Does this include your advice to get a copy of the Sierra Bullets manual? GI2GI6

j/k

thanks
Yup.

If you like being able to count to ten on your fingers and having binocular vision, then never forget - there is an infinite amount of reloading info on the 'net....some of it is even accurate.

Regards

Jim
 

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I was thinking about how ironic the statement was too...GI2
Hardly ironic.

Sierra Bullets has a factory, a bank account.....assets.

Therefore Sierra has a lot to lose - unlike anonymous 'net posters publishing recipes for reloading disasters.

(present company excepted, of course).

Regards

Jim
 

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Hardly ironic.

Sierra Bullets has a factory, a bank account.....assets.

Therefore Sierra has a lot to lose - unlike anonymous 'net posters publishing recipes for reloading disasters.

(present company excepted, of course).

Regards

Jim
Am I missing something?
Is your reaction one of anger or resentment due to my choice of words?
Are you trying to counter my post, which in essence is agreeing with your post?
Am I assuming the wrong intent on your part due to me not understanding your choice of words?

I ask these things because I'm trying to better understand how to communicate effectively with others on this site and not to create an argument.

I was referring to your statement, not about Sierra's information. I understand why Sierra would publish their information, in fact that is why I use the Hornady reloading manual; Hornady actually publishes loads that were worked up using the M1A itself. I assumed that it was apparent that while I thought your remark was ironic I completely agree with your point.

Ironic in that while you were making your recommendation to not give any credence to reloading information posted on the Internet, you made your own reloading recommendation on the Internet.

Sorry if you were insulted. I also, take offense sometimes when it seems as if people assume that I was attacking them when my intent was to exchange good solid information while trying to develop an atmosphere of friendly joviality.
 

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Am I missing something?
Is your reaction one of anger or resentment due to my choice of words?
Are you trying to counter my post, which in essence is agreeing with your post?
Am I assuming the wrong intent on your part due to me not understanding your choice of words?

I ask these things because I'm trying to better understand how to communicate effectively with others on this site and not to create an argument.

I was referring to your statement, not about Sierra's information. I understand why Sierra would publish their information, in fact that is why I use the Hornady reloading manual; Hornady actually publishes loads that were worked up using the M1A itself. I assumed that it was apparent that while I thought your remark was ironic I completely agree with your point.

Ironic in that while you were making your recommendation to not give any credence to reloading information posted on the Internet, you made your own reloading recommendation on the Internet.

Sorry if you were insulted. I also, take offense sometimes when it seems as if people assume that I was attacking them when my intent was to exchange good solid information while trying to develop an atmosphere of friendly joviality.
"Ironic" is not correct. Reason being I was recommending that the poster go to a known reliable source of info.

Had I offered reloading info which I pulled out of my own 4th point of contact which differed from that of a known reliable source, then that would have not only been ironic, it would have been hypocritical.

I may be getting overly sensitized to all the bad info out there re: reloading.

Could be my kindly side does not want to see even strangers getting hurt.

Could be my selfish side does not want to be next to one of them on a public range or at a match when bad stuff happens....I could catch a fragment myself.

At any rate, I'm not upset.

Regards

Jim
 

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Gentilemen can we keep on subject please.
NMC_EXP, You make a valid point about slam fires and free foating firing pin. That's why I use a small base die, trim the case to 2.005" and Know my rifles headspace.
1KPerDay, The dies are tools. But it is knowledge, wisdom, and common sense what will keep you safe. If you know someone who reloads, ask them to show you. Most competent reloaders will be happy to assist you. Try to set up a system of reloading you follow each time. I say this from experience. I staid up too late at night reloading and did not follow my regular order. I usually fill a case with powder and put a bullet on top to know it's full. These I just filled with powder and put the bullets on when I though all the cases where full. But I missed one case. It was fired in the rifle, no ejection so I cleared the case and the next bullet hit the other bullet and by GOD's grace did not close the bolt. That could have been a catastrophic event if the bolt closed.
So keep up your research and keep asking questions.

Glenn
 

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Try to set up a system of reloading you follow each time. I say this from experience. I staid up too late at night reloading and did not follow my regular order. I usually fill a case with powder and put a bullet on top to know it's full. These I just filled with powder and put the bullets on when I though all the cases where full. But I missed one case. Glenn
+1000... Great post.

Reloading should be done without any other distractions. There may be folks that can watch a football game and handload at the same time, but I'm not one of them and don't recommend it... GI8 Loading late at night when you're tired is sorta the same thing...

Personally, I'm paranoid about short charges, overcharges, or missed charges. I don't let any bullets get anywhere near the cases until I go up and down the rows of cases in the block with a small flashlight, looking inside each case to confirm that there is a powder charge and it looks the same in each case. MCORPS1

(Sorry OT again, but I thought it was worth mentioning...)
 

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+1000... Great post.

Reloading should be done without any other distractions. There may be folks that can watch a football game and handload at the same time, but I'm not one of them and don't recommend it... GI8 Loading late at night when you're tired is sorta the same thing...

Personally, I'm paranoid about short charges, overcharges, or missed charges. I don't let any bullets get anywhere near the cases until I go up and down the rows of cases in the block with a small flashlight, looking inside each case to confirm that there is a powder charge and it looks the same in each case. MCORPS1

(Sorry OT again, but I thought it was worth mentioning...)
I loaded one case w/out the powder once---now I also use the flashlight and look inside every case at the powder charge before bringing the projectiles out. Good post....

Siefly
 
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