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Sizing 308..again

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by motorcyclist, May 31, 2014.

  1. I adjust my sizing die down to touch the shell holder then add 1/2 a turn or so. This lets the press cam over when sizing/depriming. The sized cases still will not drop in the case size gauge. I've found that if I size/deprime a batch, remove the neck sizing insert, load a case,cycle the press, turn the case third of a turn, cycle the press, turn again and cycle the press it will drop in the gauge perfectly. Lot of work! Am I still not adjusting the die correctly? Could it be something with the die?
  2. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    If you are doing all that, I submit your die is likely out of round. Brand?
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014

  3. Lyman 2 die set. I got a deal on a bunch of old but NIB reloading equipment and they were in the box. Sales receipt was from 1969. I thought the dies were new as everything else in the box was.
  4. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
    Like Fred, I suspect the die. However, loosen the locknut, lower the ram on an unsized case and tighten the locknut. I doubt that the problem could be caused by the die being off-center but it can't hurt to check.

    Which brand of case lube are you using? I use Dillon spray lube for rifle and Hornady One Shot for pistol.

  5. I'm using Imperial sizing wax. I started with it loading 223 and has worked well for me. I did have a problem with the 308 cases sticking in the sizing die and pulled a rim off. I wound up lubing the crap out of the cases to size them. There must be something up with this sizing die.
    When I started 223 (first rifle loads) I bought a new RCBS die set and haven't had a problem other than breaking decapping pins. Solved most of that when I adjusted the pin to 3/16" below the die...just like in the instructions!
  6. creophus

    creophus Born Again

    Mar 18, 2005
    If you're using Federal Gold Medal Match brass, that's probably your problem. That stuff looks like it will be great to reload, but I've had nothing but problems with it. I could not get it to chamber in my DPMS LRT-SASS.

    I got a small base die and everything, still it turned out to be junk. I have never had a problem with Win., Hornady, etc. brass.

    ETA: If the die is out of round, you will probably be getting cases that are OOR also. Try rolling one on a flat surface and see what it does.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014
  7. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

    Aug 7, 2003
    Louisville KY
    Check you overall length. If your brass is too long it could cause problems with the resize.

    Are you actually getting the die to touch the shell holder with brass in the due? Your primer punch might be set too deep and keeping the die from going all the way down

    I've shot thousands and thousands of federal gm match reloads and it works fine
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
  8. cqb451


    Nov 7, 2005
    Dixie & SW Asia
    A Redding 308 body die will full length resize and most importantly bump the shoulder back where it belongs. :thumbsup::thumbsup:

    Bought one some time back because I got tired of dealing with the problems stated here.
    Since problems, even with my Savage 10 HB which has the tightest chamber I've come across.
  9. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

    Aug 7, 2003
    Louisville KY
    I've seen lots of people have this type of problem before and its usually because they aren't paying attention to some of the finer aspects of adjusting their equipment. That's not to say you don't find dies out of spec. But 9 times out of 10 its the user.

    Take out your decapping pin assembly and run a piece of brass up into the die. If it will fit the gauge you know what your problem is. If not you've eliminated one potential source of the problem.
  10. Evidently it was the sizing die. I ordered a RCBS standard 308 die set and cleaned some more brass. Adjusted the sizing die and went at it. Every case dropped into the gauge just fine after one pass.
    When I removed the old die I happened to look inside and found swirl marks like it had been honed for a piston fit. The new RCBS was smooth and unmarked as were all my other sizing dies. Were older dies sized like this? I'm guessing Bubba played with it for some super special chamber.
    Thanks for all the help.
  11. SWThomas

    SWThomas The Gunny

    Aug 17, 2013
    Camp Lejeune, NC
    I've never followed the instructions that come with a sizing die. I used a bump gauge to determine when I've got the die set to bump the shoulder back to exactly where I want it. Die instructions are designed so you size the brass back to SAAMI spec. That is oversizing the brass and it won't last as long. Size the brass in accordance with your chamber dimensions.
  12. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

    Aug 7, 2003
    Louisville KY
    Obviously you have never read the instructions. They explain how to do it both ways.

    In semi-auto firearms you want a full length re-size. Its the only way to to it properly for reliable feeding. With a cartridge like a .308 you full-length resize and reload four times and throw the brass away. By the 5th reload you will get a small percentage of case head separations. Its not much but its enough to ruin a good match or a hunt.

    My rule of thumb in hunting guns is full-length resize as well. I'll take 1/4 MOA less accurate ammo that will reliably feed in my bolt action under all weather conditions and with dirt, snow, debries etc in the action any day over a neck-resized round that may cause problems on a $10,000 guided hunt and a shot of a lifetime on a trophey animal. I don't know anyone who can take advantage of 1/4 MOA accuracy advantage and I've run with some pretty big name hi-power rifle shots with some national titles to their names in my day.
  13. SWThomas

    SWThomas The Gunny

    Aug 17, 2013
    Camp Lejeune, NC
    Interesting. What dies do you use? No sizing die that I have ever used explains how to set a die using a bump-gauge. A case gauge, yes... but not a bump gauge. Huge differece.
  14. jmorris


    Apr 13, 2006
    I have had one die (out of who knows how many) that I had to turn about .020" off of it to be able to run it lower, without binding on the shell plate.

    I would suggest you check everything else before you chuck it up in the lathe though, maybe even see if you have a thinner shell holder somewhere.
  15. Hoser

    Hoser Ninja

    May 22, 2002
    Keep in mind a case gauge is just that. Just because a case does not drop right in a gauge does not mean it wont chamber.
  16. SWThomas

    SWThomas The Gunny

    Aug 17, 2013
    Camp Lejeune, NC
    Exactly. IMO, cae gauges are only good for spot-checking pistol rounds. They're absolutely worthless for rifle.