Setting Up a Sizing Die

  • Excellent video. Lots of things I had not considered.

  • Another excellent video, thank you.
    You talked a bit about fire forming; question.
    I fireform new cases jammed but with the ejector in place. So, it is no problem fireforming without the ejector? This seems to be preferred, is that correct?

  • @mamalukino The proper method is to remove the ejector. It is possible for the ejector to push the bullet in deeper, depending on how much friction there is between the bullet and the case. Some prefer the false shoulder method because the ejector can be left in, as the spring pressure can not overcome the pinching of the brass. Though the false shoulder typically only works when necking down during wildcatting. It's not something you can readily do with a factory case, unless you over-expand the neck too large to chamber first with an over-sized expander, and then partially size the neck.

    Removing the ejector and seating a bullet into the lands is more reliable, and easier.

  • Thanks Greg.

  • To all,

    That was well thought out and very educational. It's worth going back and watching it again to pick up on the key points.

    I feel confident, that as I set up my bench and begin reloading for future long range matches, that Greg's experience, wisdom, and willingness to guide me will be invaluable.

    Two quick questions off topic:

    1.) When is your next class (e.g. May 2019)?

    2.) Do you prefer to hunt coyote alone (i.e. I prefer to fish alone)?

    Thank you from all the newbies pulling shots and dreaming of barrel #2.

  • @lathoto said:

    1.) When is your next class (e.g. May 2019)?

    2.) Do you prefer to hunt coyote alone (i.e. I prefer to fish alone)?

    Folks can schedule training with us whenever they like. We do specialized training all throughout the year. We only pre-schedule 1 or 2 "canned" classes a year. Presently we have none of those scheduled other than this may, which is full.

    Yes, I prefer to coyote hunt either alone, or with @brittel. He's very much on my wavelength, so its not taxing on me. I rarely take others out, since telling someone "don't slam the door" or "follow exactly behind me" 20 times a day is no fun. ;)

  • @orkan
    I am going to fireform some new Lapau brass and will be doing it from now on with the ejector removed.
    When I fireformed new cases in the past, I have been using the published load data by manufacturer to determine a powder charge 1/2 way between minimum and maximum. i.e. .223 with 80 grain SMK with 22.7gn H4895.
    What do you recommend as to powder charge?

  • @mamalukino With jammed loads, I'll typically pick a low charge and work my way up until I see pressure.

  • I have a question regarding once fired brass in a non wildcat standard chamber like 308 Winchester or 260 Remington. I'm interested in the 260 especially after watching the video and will probably watch it several more times. Lets say you buy or load some rounds that have been sized to fit every ones gun and you shoot them in your gun and save them to reload. Are these considered "fire-formed" even though they fit your chamber like a rat turd in a violin case before firing? Don't know where I read that, like it though. Can the measurement I get from this amount of forming be of any value or to maximize my efforts should I fire form using the method you describe? Since I purchased some new Hornady 260 ammunition I have a sample of unfired and fired brass shot in my rifle and it is consistently measuring .004 to 0045 movement of the shoulder forward.

  • If you have a spring loaded ejector in the face of your bolt, it must be removed to fireform all new cases, otherwise you are going to set your headspace by stretching the body and web area of the brass which will lead to two undesirable results: your headspace will be inconsistent and you will have work hardened the top of the case web which sets you up for case head separation.

  • As I previously mentioned elsewhere, the lack of a spring loaded ejector does not automatically remove the possibility of improper brass expansion during forming.

    The momentum the case carries will often propel it forward in the chamber as far as the extractor will allow it to go. If there is no false shoulder and no jammed bullet holding it to the rear, there is always the possibility of case web expansion.

    Thus there are only two proper forming methods I'm aware of: False shoulder or jammed bullets.

    @bigfoot new brass tends to be small and loose in most chambers to facilitate feeding. Match cartridges tend to have closer tolerance, though still small. The first firing can always be done with a "forming" technique to ensure the best brass flow. When that brass is used in a different chamber, that new chamber dimension will dictate the behavior of the brass.

    It's also important to note that just because headspace is short, doesn't guarantee the case web/head will expand first. It has very much to do with the components being used and the subsequent timing of the pressure curve they create. In some instances, the case will be thrust rearward before the brass grips the case wall. Though what I say above as well as in the video is a "golden rule." Most of the time if there is space between the base of the case and the bolt face, you'll have web expansion.

    As a rule, if I care about the brass at all, my first firing will be with bullets jammed... wildcat or not. Some stuff just gets loaded and shot... but I always batch check the headspace first. If it's not within a few thousandths, as in less than 10, I'll form it first. Given that the first firing on brass can not be trusted at all, forming on the first firing loses you nothing. Most forming loads shoot quite well.

  • @orkan
    Thanks, you've answered a question that's been haunting me. I was trying to digest the information from the video and had a suspicion as to the correct answer and you confirmed it.

  • Awesome video Greg, never thought about firing virgin cases without the ejector. Will use this method on my new DT.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I would love to see a video on controlling runout and neck tension!

  • This was great, thanks !!!
    I ordered a set of "setback gauges".

    I also like the "why" bushing sizing dies have issue. The non-bushing dies allow the brass sizing operation to result in lengthening the case, whereas the bushing die may change the case elsewhere during resizing. Elsewhere ( like farther down ) being bad.
    I've added non-bushing sizing dies to my wishlist.
    I'd seen people say "don't using bushing sizing dies" before, but they didn't include the "why" part :)