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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I thought I could just use the Dillon trim die to resize my 308win casings in one step. When I put the processed brass in the case gauge, many needed a little push to go all the way and don’t freely fall back out. And 3 or 4 out of a batch of 150 didn’t fit in the case gauge at all. I want to use the brass from the same process for both bolt and semi guns. I am think I need to add a small base die in the flow. Should the SB die be used before the trim die or after? What else can I do to get consistent resizing? Any suggestion will be appreciated.
 

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When I put the processed brass in the case gauge, many needed a little push to go all the way and don’t freely fall back out.
First thing that comes to mind is why some “resize” and case gauge and some do not. If the die didn’t perform its job, why do some work?

What you describe, I have seen often, almost in but something stops it right at the rim. If we look at sizing dies one will note that it can size the neck, shoulder and most of the body, except where the radius begins at the mouth of the die. The entire rim of the case is in untouched because that part is in the shell plate.

This is where most people get mystified when a firearm malfunctions and they “plunked” all of them in the barrel first. That’s because the barrels contact little if any part of the rim. A case gauge will catch imperfections caused by the extractor and/or ejector though, so a plunked round will pass but fail in a case gauge or sooner or later cause a malfunction going into the breech face or bolt.
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You can push through or roll size the base to make sure it’s ok before you load.

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or just take your rounds that almost make it and put them into the case gauge backwards and give them a little twist.

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If that is not the problem, then I would want to runout check the ammunition to make sure it’s not crooked enough to fail.

I am reading that you are using the Dillon trim die as your only sizing die?

Using a universal decap die?

What expander are you using?

If you’re not using an expander at all what is the ID of a sized neck?

What case lube and application method are you using?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Here is my work flow:

1. Tumble clean brass (2-3 hours)
2. Decapping with Lee universal decapper
3. Swage with Dillon super swager 600
4. Lube casing with Dillon spray lube
5. Trim with Dillon RT1200 on staton 2 (Dillon 550), sizing with the trim die
6. Use Lyman M die in station 4 to set neck tension. Same tool head as trim die
7. Tumble again to clean off the lube

I use the same walnut shell tumbling media before and after lube. Only change it when it gets too grimy.

I am thinking to replace the Lyman M die with a small base sizing die that has a neck expander.

How do you roll size the rims?

Oh I should mention that I use the same steps for my 223/556, which has been working well. The only difference is that I use a Dillon 223 resizing die instead of the Lyman M die. I got the M die for 308 because I could not find any FL sizing die in stock anywhere when I sourced all the equipment. I am now eyeing a couple of eBay auctions for rcbs SB dies.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I looked up DC roll sizer. Didn’t know it was a thing. Looks like it would work well. It’s expensive though. The lowest priced manual model costs $590. Motorized version is $1100. I will prob try the small base sizing die first. I have reloaded about 70 rounds before I got the gauge in the mail. I used chamber check using my bolt and semi guns. All the rounds fired fine. The ar10 didn’t eject the last empty casing. It ended up resting on top of the feed lip. Seems repeatable in 5 strings.
 

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The ar10 didn’t eject the last empty casing. It ended up resting on top of the feed lip. Seems repeatable in 5 strings.
That is most likely an issue with not enough gas to get the brass all the way out.

Are these loads near the bottom end of the load data?

Keep in mind that all gauges are not created equal. Just like chambers, there are min and max tolerances. Who knows, you might have a min spec gauge.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am using Tac and smk 175’s. I have pushed to 44.2gr in a ladder but I discovered that I was having inconsistent powder drops and stopped experimenting. I then bought a CM lite trickler to play with but I didn’t get too far when the frame on the Dillon cracked. It’s at Dillon now to be repaired. The last empty casing issue was happening with all the charges during the ladder. I didn’t vary my gas settings. There are 20 ticks on my lwrc csass. It’s set at 5, which is the lowest setting that 168gr FGMM can cycle reliably.

I just ordered the Dillon 308win sizing die. It’s back in stock. Ordered Dillon 308 case gauge as well.
 

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If you are relying on the case gauge the first step is figuring out why a case will fail. If it Is the rim, you can crush a 308 case so far undersize the body will fit in a 223 case gauge and the rim will still fail.

No matter how far “under” a die will size a case, the rim in still going to be in a shell holder or plate.


All the rounds fired fine.
That is good news, if the ammo runs in all of your 308’s despite failing the gauge, not a lot of reason to size the brass more than necessary. Who’s gauge do you have?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you are relying on the case gauge the first step is figuring out why a case will fail. If it Is the rim, you can crush a 308 case so far undersize the body will fit in a 223 case gauge and the rim will still fail.

No matter how far “under” a die will size a case, the rim in still going to be in a shell holder or plate.




That is good news, if the ammo runs in all of your 308’s despite failing the gauge, not a lot of reason to size the brass more than necessary. Who’s gauge do you have?
I got the case gauge from eBay. Some patent pending design that checks head space and min/max case lengths. I had never heard of the brand. It was what I could find at the time. I ordered the Dillon case gauge a couple days ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Here's what I have found with 308 cases. I size and trim with the Dillon die and trimmer. I then have to run it through a Redding die with a small base Redding Small Base Body Die 308 Winchester.
That’s what I am doing too. I couldn’t find any 308 FL sizing die before. Ordered the Dillon couple days ago. Hope it’s a small body die like their 223.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Just wanted to report back.. I got the Dillon case gauge yesterday, and put all of the 150ish resized brass through it. All but 1 fit perfectly. I am not sure what happened the 1. Tried it in my Remington 700 and it didn't fit either. Maybe it was not resized and got mixed in somehow. Since the press is away for repair, I just tossed it. Evidently the Ebay case gauge is built differently. I tend to trust Dillon more of course. And the fact that all the live rounds I made fired okay in both semi and bolt guns, makes me feel better about my process. When the Dillon 308 resize die comes in, I will still replace the Lyman M die with it. I don't think it will hurt.
 
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