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Small base vs. X-die

This is a discussion on Small base vs. X-die within the Ammunition forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Originally Posted by topclass2017 ....sizing using a FL then an x-die Am I reading this correctly? You size first with a FL die THEN you ...


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Old May 3rd, 2017, 11:38 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by topclass2017 View Post
....sizing using a FL then an x-die
Am I reading this correctly?

You size first with a FL die THEN you size it in the X-die?



If you are using an X-die you set that batch of brass up with the die and use ONLY that die every time you size it.

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Old May 3rd, 2017, 01:25 PM   #17
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Interesting enough, I have had a few reloads (maybe 5 out of 500) that I could not close the bolt on my Remington 700 even when the case had passed the wilson case gage or EGW test ...
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Some case gages ONLY check the cartridge headspace, and NOT the diameter of the body of the case.

If the troublesome cases get jammed in the chamber as the bolt closes, then probably the body diameter has not gotten resized small enough - lowering the resize die a little bit might help.
Or a smallbase resize die.

And some individual cases just seem to have more size 'rebound' after going thru the resize die than others. You need to tinker with adjusting the resize die so that they ALL get resized enough to work.

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Old May 3rd, 2017, 04:54 PM   #18
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Lots of good detailed info in this post. I'll go big picture from 36 years of reloading:

If you intend to use once fired brass that was used in who knows what, possibly machine guns, your best die for the fewest troubles will be a full length small based die, normal or X.

If you intend to buy bulk new brass such as IMI or Starline or use once fired brass that was first fired as a factory load in YOUR rifle, then a standard full length die should work just fine.

As always, it's wise to check your loaded ammo in a case gauge.

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Old May 3rd, 2017, 06:36 PM   #19
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You will be asking your self "WHY DIDN'T I BUY THAT SB DIE!!!" the first time you are trying to get a stuck case out of you rifle and you don't want to use your boot or ram the butt of that beautiful flamed walnut stock on the shooting bench for the tenth time!

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Old May 3rd, 2017, 07:15 PM   #20
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I used a SB .308Win sizer briefly about 15 years ago. It sized the case head smaller than the factory brass, shaving brass in the process.

The claims of the X-Die seem like black magic. There is nothing wrong with touching up the case mouth occasionally with a trimmer to make them more uniform. How much force is required to size the case with a mandrel in the neck that limits the ID of the neck?

It is easy to go overboard with reloading procedures. The case needs to fit the chamber easily without excess length, both OAL and shoulder length.

Taking a suggestion from other readers, I resize with two strokes, rotating the case about 90 degrees between strokes. That second strokes sets the shoulder back up to .005". Adjust your die and recheck case length.

Check case length with Wilson or other gage. Not too short on the base, not too long at the mouth.

I reamed the necks 5 shots ago and do not use an expander ball. Seating force is very uniform, "like buttah!"

Crazy step? I must confess that my first step is to iron the slight dents from the neck before resizing. I use a homemade expander button about .317" diameter.

I reload small batches of only 25-40 cartridges.

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Old May 4th, 2017, 02:36 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by shooter86314 View Post
I used a SB .308Win sizer briefly about 15 years ago. It sized the case head smaller than the factory brass, shaving brass in the process.

The claims of the X-Die seem like black magic. There is nothing wrong with touching up the case mouth occasionally with a trimmer to make them more uniform. How much force is required to size the case with a mandrel in the neck that limits the ID of the neck?

It is easy to go overboard with reloading procedures. The case needs to fit the chamber easily without excess length, both OAL and shoulder length.

Taking a suggestion from other readers, I resize with two strokes, rotating the case about 90 degrees between strokes. That second strokes sets the shoulder back up to .005". Adjust your die and recheck case length.

Check case length with Wilson or other gage. Not too short on the base, not too long at the mouth.

I reamed the necks 5 shots ago and do not use an expander ball. Seating force is very uniform, "like buttah!"

Crazy step? I must confess that my first step is to iron the slight dents from the neck before resizing. I use a homemade expander button about .317" diameter.

I reload small batches of only 25-40 cartridges.
When set up properly an Xdie will keep the neck of a case from thinning out and can significantly reduces the need for trimming.
Why would you use a mandrel when neck sizing?
I know my neck turning lathe has a mandrel, but there is none in the neck sizing dies.
What is reaming the neck?
Most of the additional steps that accuracy handloaders perform are really not necessary for generic semi auto rifles although there can be slight advantages.
For precision rifles there can be a 30 to 40% increase in accuracy if everything is done to the T. Case weight segregation, flash hole deburring,primer pocket uniforming, annealing, neck turning, fire forming brass to chamber, knowing your particular CBTO and managing ogive to lands measurement. The use of precision competition collet dies are a great help. Adjusting neck tension and keeping runout to a minimum are an important. Bullet seating depth can have tremendous effects on chamber pressures and really needs to be observed with care.

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Old May 4th, 2017, 07:33 AM   #22
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nf1e said:
Quote:
Why would you use a mandrel when neck sizing?
I don't use a mandrel. Maybe that's not the correct term, but that's what RCBS calls it:
Quote:
The sizer features a specially designed mandrel with an expander ball and decapping pin attached.
from RCBS: https://rcbs.com/Products/Dies-by-Ca...h-Die-Set.aspx

Quite frankly, I don't understand how the x-die reduces trimming. Hence, it's black magic to me.

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Old May 4th, 2017, 06:47 PM   #23
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nf1e said:

I don't use a mandrel. Maybe that's not the correct term, but that's what RCBS calls it:

from RCBS: https://rcbs.com/Products/Dies-by-Ca...h-Die-Set.aspx

Quite frankly, I don't understand how the x-die reduces trimming. Hence, it's black magic to me.
shoooter86314,

I switched to an 'X' die early on and will stay with it! However, I trimmed every load before the change and trim every loading after the change to an 'X' die and there IS a difference in how much brass is removed.
The 'X' die wins hands down and if trimmed to the min they recommend you could say you do not need to trim again for the case life we are stuck with with our M1A's... I trim MY brass and set MY 'X' die @ 2.007 and it removes very little after every firing...

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