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Brass prep questions

This is a discussion on Brass prep questions within the Accuracy forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Got a couple of questions regarding brass prep. The majority of my brass is LC from factory XM80C ammo that I bought. The remainder is ...


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Old April 7th, 2017, 07:54 PM   #1
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Brass prep questions

Got a couple of questions regarding brass prep. The majority of my brass is LC from factory XM80C ammo that I bought. The remainder is Federal brass from Gold Medal Match.

My rifle heads spaces at 1.631" based on the card that came with it from SAI.

Based on head space gauge measurements my brass after sizing ranges between 1.623-1.629 inches.

I normally trim my brass to 2.005" but only if the brass is over 2.010" after sizing. If the brass is between 2.005" and 2.010" I leave it alone.

First question: Would there be a significant accuracy improvement by segregating my brass based on exact headspace measurements?

Second question: Should I always trim to 2.005" regardless of how close it is? Does that make much of a difference?

Thanks for any feedback.

Regards,
Badger

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Old April 7th, 2017, 09:26 PM   #2
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No idea here Badger5th.
I use the Lee trimmer tool in my drill press and trim my brass every loading to keep things consistant and mine measure 2.007... I do not know but would think a longer neck is better for accuracy if a uniform neck tension is maintained.
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Old April 7th, 2017, 11:03 PM   #3
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The degree of improvement achieved by segregating brass by OAL or headspace will depend on the general accuracy of the rifle. For an M14 clone that isn't a freak of nature, my guess is that it's not at all worth the effort.

Do you crimp into a canellure? The amount of neck tension would also change due to neck length, as stated above, but I don't think the difference would be enough to matter in this platform. A consistent crimp should have more of a benefit than exact neck length.

I personally only trim brass occasionally when it's new (and generally only for bolt guns) if it comes from the factory at longer than minimum spec. It's common for it to start out a bit below minimum. I only trim it again when it (or some pieces within a batch) reaches the maximum length, and I trim it back to the minimum. Brass tends to stretch fairly consistently from one piece to the next, as long as it's all fired the same number of times with the same powder charge.

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Old April 8th, 2017, 05:53 AM   #4
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I trim my cases to 2.0 every reload. That's that.

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Old April 8th, 2017, 07:04 AM   #5
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Your doing it right. At least imo. It's more about finding a bullet weight and velocity combo that performs in your rifle. That doesn't mean we can cut corners in any way, but those minor details are overkill.

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Old April 8th, 2017, 05:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizzman View Post
The degree of improvement achieved by segregating brass by OAL or headspace will depend on the general accuracy of the rifle. For an M14 clone that isn't a freak of nature, my guess is that it's not at all worth the effort.

Do you crimp into a canellure? The amount of neck tension would also change due to neck length, as stated above, but I don't think the difference would be enough to matter in this platform. A consistent crimp should have more of a benefit than exact neck length.

I personally only trim brass occasionally when it's new (and generally only for bolt guns) if it comes from the factory at longer than minimum spec. It's common for it to start out a bit below minimum. I only trim it again when it (or some pieces within a batch) reaches the maximum length, and I trim it back to the minimum. Brass tends to stretch fairly consistently from one piece to the next, as long as it's all fired the same number of times with the same powder charge.
No cannelures on my bullets (SMK and A-Max's only). I do keep track of how many firings foreach case. Notice the shiny ring of doom in front of the case head after 4-5 sizings on average.

Regards,
Badger

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Old April 8th, 2017, 05:55 PM   #7
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I'd segregate the brass by manufacture, and keep doing what your doing. It's an M1A not a bench rest or long range varmint rifle.
The rifle is so hard on brass in the first place anything after 3 loading should be considered a Christmas present, JMHO.

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Old April 9th, 2017, 07:43 PM   #8
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Many, many years ago I did all I could to make my M1A shoot better.

I resized, trimmed and weighed the cases and sorted them into 2.0 grain batches.

I used Federal BR primers (yeah, in an M1A, never had an issue).

I weighed every powder charge of every powder I tried (long, long list).

I even weighed the darn Sierra match bullets (that was a waste of time, too).

None of that helped my rifle.

Finding the right load worked wonders for the group sizes but didn't do the rifle any good (that's another story, told before).

Some rifles are average, till you find the "magic load" for that rifle.

Thanks from Doc
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Old April 9th, 2017, 09:40 PM   #9
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This is what I'm working on right now. I bought a RCBS mic headpace gauge to measure all headpsace and resize closer to my chamber. So far I saw no improvement.

What I found out is that factory ammo (at least winchester 7,62x51 nato) does not have a consistent headspace one ammo from another from the same box. Maybe it doesn't matter that much?

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Old April 10th, 2017, 05:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badger5th View Post
Got a couple of questions regarding brass prep. The majority of my brass is LC from factory XM80C ammo that I bought. The remainder is Federal brass from Gold Medal Match.

My rifle heads spaces at 1.631" based on the card that came with it from SAI.

Based on head space gauge measurements my brass after sizing ranges between 1.623-1.629 inches.

I normally trim my brass to 2.005" but only if the brass is over 2.010" after sizing. If the brass is between 2.005" and 2.010" I leave it alone.

First question: Would there be a significant accuracy improvement by segregating my brass based on exact headspace measurements?

Second question: Should I always trim to 2.005" regardless of how close it is? Does that make much of a difference?

Thanks for any feedback.

Regards,
Badger
Sounds like you are doing OK. A couple of suggestions, both of which have been discussed in several other threads.
Head space: I would suggest you obtain an gauge to measure your fired cases, like a Mo's (what I use) , an RCBS (I have not used) or a Wilson (I have used too) and measure the head-space of your fired cases - then set your sizing die to only set the shoulders back .003 or so (check a few for function as you are setting the die). Doing so will increase your case life by several firings. I hate to go through brass prep and then have them separate after 2 or 3 firings.
Next - consider getting a bushing die to size your necks without pulling an expander ball back through a sized neck. Or, take the expander ball off and add another step using a Lyman M die or a Sinclair expander die to expand the neck concentric to the case. Pulling an expander back through the necks can stretch the cases --------------
As other posters have said, unless you have a match prepped M1A with a great barrel - doing what you are doing - topped with a quality bullet and powder charge the rifle likes - will be "plenty good" for you.

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Old April 13th, 2017, 10:14 AM   #11
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Sace HS..

The RCBS case HS gauge is a valuable tool, use it to keep the case HS at least .004" shorter the the chamber HS. A long CHS can cause seriousl problems to the the rifle and the shooter.

Accuracy wise, I get the best groups with a cases .006" short of my chamber HS... Art

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Old April 13th, 2017, 04:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by art luppino View Post
The RCBS case HS gauge is a valuable tool, use it to keep the case HS at least .004" shorter the the chamber HS. A long CHS can cause seriousl problems to the the rifle and the shooter.

Accuracy wise, I get the best groups with a cases .006" short of my chamber HS... Art
Thanks Art,

I have the Hornady HS gauge myself. My cases after sizing are just about .006-.007 shorter than chamber HS (1.631" is my CHS per SAI factory measurement card I got on purchase).

Regards,
Badger

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Old April 14th, 2017, 10:19 AM   #13
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I had the pleasure of shooting many matches with a gentleman named Clovis Bull in and around Nevada years ago. I remember one time he took me aside and asked what I was doing for reloads. I went through a lengthly explanation of my loading process including my brass prep, primer seating, carefully weighed powder charges, and bullet seating, to which he scratched his head and replied: Gee - all I do is fill the case with powder and stuff in a bullet... now Clovis was a character for sure, but he was a long time shooter, still using the Winchester Model 70 he purchased in 1937. God only knows how many barrels were put on that rifle. I think he was about 97 when he died several years ago. He was always pulling my leg about something, usually "how is your sex life Brownie?". My only comment on loading for the M14 is that, unless your loading for 1000 yards, it really doesn't matter all that much how perfect your loads are.

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Old April 24th, 2017, 05:28 AM   #14
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Sounds like you are doing it right. Only thing I might suggest is if you have not already, take a look at the Redding competition shell holders. They are saving me stretch and I found that she likes to eat them about .05 over SAMI max. Checked with my Wilson Case gage
AmI asking for trouble....... maybe.

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Old April 24th, 2017, 06:05 AM   #15
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take a look at the Redding competition shell holders. They are saving me stretch and I found that she likes to eat them about .05 over SAMI max. Checked with my Wilson Case gage
Sounds like you may have a 7.62 chamber if you need .005" over SAAMI 308W max?

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