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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy,

I am working with 1x fired Hornady brass. I use a RCBS small base die. I am having a hard time getting the shoulder pushed back or something else is wrong.

A friend says to anneal the brass because it may be getting hard which causes neck issues.

I can say that its difficult to size in the die and I have properly lubed the inside of the neck and case.

Any thoughts?

TC
 

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How do you know it's not pushed back far enough? Are you using a case gauge to test it? If so, it might be that your shell holder needs trimming or the die itself isn't to spec.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have a LE Wilson case gauge. Some of the brass cases have the rim protruding from the second tier (deeper tier) in the gauge. Those handloads will not go into battery in order to fire them. I have never really had this issue before with any other of my 6.8 barrels.

TC
 

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Technically, if the case seats between the up and lower tiers of the gauge, it should be good to go headspace-wise. Since this is a small base die, I'm guessing that the case body isn't what's holding things up either. Do you have any factory ammo to compare with your resized brass in that same gauge? Can you post a photo?

There are definitely times when a particular shell holder doesn't really work with a specific sizing die so that might be worth looking into.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Excellent advice. I am using a RCBS small base sizer die with a Lee Press (cheapest version). It takes Lee shellholders.

I do have a new RCBS rebel press with a RCBS shell holder. I can consider that option, too. Up to this point, I have only used Lee Products (press and shellholder wise).

I will try to get some pics by tonight.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
PS: the rim sticks up above both tiers (protruding out of the case gauge). I have found some cases that when seated fully into the gauge, the rim sticks up above both. I just wanted to be clear on that.

TC
 

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I too have a Lee Challenger press and use Lee Dies for my 6.8 SPC stuff so it's hard for me to speak to your particular combination, but if I were you... I would try the RCBS case holder with that die you mention just to see if there is a difference. Assuming you setup the die according to the instructions, I doubt swapping out the press itself will make much difference.

Now one little gotcha might be that when you are first screwing in your die according to instructions, you are stopping at where it just makes contact with the shell holder vs screwing it down enough to take all that little spring tension that Lee presses have to keep the shell holders from just flopping out. Not sure what your instructions say, but definitely take out that slop before screwing an additional 1/4 turn like the instructions might say for certain dies.
 

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PS: the rim sticks up above both tiers (protruding out of the case gauge). I have found some cases that when seated fully into the gauge, the rim sticks up above both. I just wanted to be clear on that.

TC
If your cases are sticking above the case guage (out of the gage completely) then you definitely aren't sizing it enough. An unfired factory round should be compared in the gauge so you can see what you're looking for since those rounds are most probably to spec headspace-wise.
 

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j_m_mongo, once-fired brass should not need to be annealed.

Is this the first time you have used this die, or have you successfully reloaded with it before? Is this once-fired Hornady brass from your rifle? Have you inserted a resized piece of brass into your case gauge that hasn't had powder added and bullet seated? Was this brass from factory rounds or new brass you reloaded. Curious, how did you remove the primer pocket crimp that Hornady applies to their factory rounds?

Die instructions do not set-up your dies to give optimum performance from you rifle. Shoulder set-back should be 0.003" to 0.004" measured with a case comparator or 9mm shell and calipers. Remove the primer before measuring. Adjust your die height to achieve this amount of set-back vice following instructions to push the shoulder back SAAMI specs which may be 0.015" or more.

If a bare, resized case fit into your chamber or case gauge without issue, it could be possible that the integral crimp feature in the bullet seating die is touching the case mouth and putting a slight bulge in the case neck that is difficult to see but will prevent a case from chambering. Back-up the bullet seating die from the press to prevent contact. Only use a collet crimp die like the one for Lee to crimp your rounds. The integrated crimp feature in the seating die will only cause issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
"If a bare, resized case fit into your chamber or case gauge without issue, it could be possible that the integral crimp feature in the bullet seating die is touching the case mouth and putting a slight bulge in the case neck that is difficult to see but will prevent a case from chambering. Back-up the bullet seating die from the press to prevent contact. Only use a collet crimp die like the one for Lee to crimp your rounds. The integrated crimp feature in the seating die will only cause issues. "

That makes perfect sense. Another one to add to the toolbox! Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok gents, I have an update. I isolated the cases that would not chamber. I used the die “turn in method” that I have seen for bolt guns.

I set up the sizing die as usual. I turned the die in a total of four turns. I checked each case after each turn with my LE Wilson Case Gauge. The fourth turn was a winner. I could feel the brass sizing after the fourth turn, too. I used a marker and marked my press and the total amount of turns equaled 3/8 of a turn.

I believe that I have the issue solved.

I will give updates upon next chamber check or range trip.

TC
 

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Ok gents, I have an update. I isolated the cases that would not chamber. I used the die “turn in method” that I have seen for bolt guns.

I set up the sizing die as usual. I turned the die in a total of four turns. I checked each case after each turn with my LE Wilson Case Gauge. The fourth turn was a winner. I could feel the brass sizing after the fourth turn, too. I used a marker and marked my press and the total amount of turns equaled 3/8 of a turn.

I believe that I have the issue solved.

I will give updates upon next chamber check or range trip.

TC
Not sure I follow what the the "turn in method" is....or why the 4 turns you mention are important.

I generally, raise the ram with the shell holder in place and I screw the die in until it touches the shell holder (taking out any slop), then for some dies, I turn it in another 1/4 turn depending on what the setup instructions say and then I tighten the die down. I then lube up a case, and run it up into the die, then pull it out, clean it off somewhat and test in my case gauge, if it's been sized too much, back the die out a smidge...too little screw it in a bit more until I am happen with the resulting headspace on the piece of brass.

Is that roughly what you did?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Yes, the process you described and I ended up turning in the dies three more times to get the shoulder set back enough to fit properly into the case gauge. Does that make sense?

1. Set up die in press. Remove slop with 1/8 turn. Size case and check with case gauge.
2. Turn die in again, size case and check with case gauge.
3..Turn die in again, size case and check with case gauge.
4. Turn die in again, size case and check with case gauge. This final turn got the shoulder back far enough to allow the case to fit properly in the case gauge.

There are videos on Youtube called the “die turn in method" and some refer to it as "size to the chamber."
 

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Yes, the process you described and I ended up turning in the dies three more times to get the shoulder set back enough to fit properly into the case gauge. Does that make sense?

1. Set up die in press. Remove slop with 1/8 turn. Size case and check with case gauge.
2. Turn die in again, size case and check with case gauge.
3..Turn die in again, size case and check with case gauge.
4. Turn die in again, size case and check with case gauge. This final turn got the shoulder back far enough to allow the case to fit properly in the case gauge.

There are videos on Youtube called the “die turn in method" and some refer to it as "size to the chamber."
Interesting. I just call that "properly setting up my sizing die". When I started I wasn't properly and precisely measuring shoulder bump when I set up my sizing dies and it caused me several issues (some of which you can read about on this forum!).
 

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j_m_mongo, once-fired brass should not need to be annealed.

Is this the first time you have used this die, or have you successfully reloaded with it before? Is this once-fired Hornady brass from your rifle? Have you inserted a resized piece of brass into your case gauge that hasn't had powder added and bullet seated? Was this brass from factory rounds or new brass you reloaded. Curious, how did you remove the primer pocket crimp that Hornady applies to their factory rounds?

Die instructions do not set-up your dies to give optimum performance from you rifle. Shoulder set-back should be 0.003" to 0.004" measured with a case comparator or 9mm shell and calipers. Remove the primer before measuring. Adjust your die height to achieve this amount of set-back vice following instructions to push the shoulder back SAAMI specs which may be 0.015" or more.

If a bare, resized case fit into your chamber or case gauge without issue, it could be possible that the integral crimp feature in the bullet seating die is touching the case mouth and putting a slight bulge in the case neck that is difficult to see but will prevent a case from chambering. Back-up the bullet seating die from the press to prevent contact. Only use a collet crimp die like the one for Lee to crimp your rounds. The integrated crimp feature in the seating die will only cause issues.
For removing crimps I have a swagger set from RBCS. Lyman also makes a reamer that you can use.
 
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