A Sizing Brass Question

Forums Reese Bottom Chat Room A Sizing Brass Question

Viewing 6 reply threads
  • Author
    • #1072
      Wynne Echols

      I stumbled across an article online today that suggested that a brass case, while being re sized, will take the shape of the inside of the die and if not done properly will experience a certain amount of spring back which could lead to such things as inconsistent neck tension and shoulder bump. The article suggested that rather than using a fairly rapid up and down that the reloader should maybe leave the brass inside of the die for(some longer period of time, say 10 seconds) until the brass relaxes in the die. Comments, please. Thanks, WWE

    • #1074
      Al Barr

      Wynne, I try to not rush any step in my reloading procedure.

      As for spring back on brass, I firmly believe that it happens and that it is due to work hardening of the brass during the reloading and firing. I have experienced inconsistencies both in shoulder bump (measure able by me) and neck tension (just going by “feel”).

      I don’t have any idea whether holding the brass compressed for ten seconds would cure spring back, but my gut feeling is that it would not be consistent. If someone has tried this method, with measurements, and it worked, please let me know because that sure seems easier than annealing cases.

      Maybe I overdo it; but I Anneal cases every three firings.

    • #1119

      Al, I will address this topic. There is of course spring back when you fire a brass case in a rifle chamber, good thing too as if there wasn’t we would never be able to extract the shell from the chamber. In the resizing process we deal with the expansion of the brass from the firing, the spring back is so small that the Brass still does need resizing though. What we do when we resize a case as compared to a case being fired in the chamber is insignificant. Now with that said there is a small bit of spring back if you do not let the case “REST” in the die for a moment. Wynne is correct about 10 seconds seems to be the correct amount of rest. I do leave mine in the die longer as I use that time to clean the primer pockets and de burr and chamfer the necks for the next piece of brass.

      I have measured brass so many times and in so many ways that it is not funny. To get a correct, or maybe I should say accurate measurement you are going to have to use an accurate tool. 99.9% of all reloaders will use a Dial Caliper for this purpose, and I say with no reservation, that if that is what you are doing it is almost a waste of time. Dial calipers are just not accurate enough to measure even at .001 and certainly not any smaller than that. I have dial Calipers made by the best ==Starret, Advanced Scientific Measuring Tools, A-Tec, long Island Indicater Service there prices run from a couple of hundred dollars to a $1,000 a set. Luckly I didn’t have to buy them myself. None will measure to a “CONSISTANT” .001 each and every time. As a matter of fact you can measure the exact same piece of brass 10 times and come up with 6 different readings using a Dial Caliper. I say this for some “JOBS” there are times when a Dial Caliper is the right tool to use, looking for a .001 difference on a piece of brass is not the place for them.

      If resizing a case is done correctly, the difference is so small as to be of any worries at all. Benchrest shooters especially 100 and 200 yds are known for tuning there loads at the range thus the load at the range and do not pre load for a match. I know at least a dozen very successful shooters who have 30 to 40 firings on there brass, and not a single case has ever been annealed not once. If brass gets so work hardened that it will not resize due to spring back it would have split long ago.

      I was at one time a big advocate of annealing brass. Even bought a Machine a Bench Source Annealer for this purpose and still have it just don’t use it very much. I was a firm believer that annealing after every firing would make my brass more consistent. So I put this theory to a test. I took 50 cases and annealed them after every firing, at the same time I took 50 cases and never annealed them at all. I always judge my results from what I see on paper, after I had 30 firings on all of these 100 cases I observed there was absolutely no difference on the target not in group size or in score NONE.

      Another observation I made was one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received was to leave the brass in the die for a period of time to let it relax and thus conform to the die. Once I started doing this one simple thing the amount of pressure ( measured with a setting pressure gauge on my press ) became extremely consistent.


    • #1125

      Been loading for 30+ years and never heard this discussed before! Interesting and sounds logical. Wish this discussion had taken place a few weeks earlier because I just bought an annealer!

    • #1126
      Al Barr

      I’m extremely glad to read your post, because it never occurred to me to leave the brass in the die that long. Good info; backed up by a head to head test.

      The only thing that I differ on is that case necks will split before the brass work hardens enough to not spring back. My previously mentioned experience with a 6.5×55 did not follow that pattern; although I didn’t dream of leaving the cases compressed in the sizing die for 10 seconds.

      Good info. Thanks

    • #1138
      Tony Graham

      I don’t think much of it matters! I think it is 75% mental. There are things that I do, that I’ll not discuss that to me make all the difference in the world. When I sit down at the bench and did not do everything in my arsenal, it will show up on the target. I’ve won the big show at 1K, my wife has placed high at the nats and my nine year old has won a monthly 1K match. It is not an issue with my wife and son. They just shoot! They don’t spend hours on end thinking about the load prep. I don’t shoot well every day, that’s just me. But when I do, I am hard to beat (Reese Bottom’s 500 target is my nemesis).
      My point is that if you think it matters, you better do it! When I started shooting 1,000 yard BR I annealed after every firing. I did and won. Got lazy and lost! I still lose pretty regular at Reese’s Bottom, but if I ever figure that range out, look out!

    • #1139

      I have a different philosophy than you do, I also agree with some of what you are saying. When it comes to “MY” reloading Technique I will not and don’t keep secrets. The things I have learned over the 48 years I have been reloading I share gladly with anyone willing to ask a question, but that’s just me. Winning is just not that important to have to guard what I know.

      I also like to win, but it is “NOT” the reason I drive 4 1/2 hours one way to the Bottoms. When I do win a match and I have won many, I want to beat the field when they are having there best day, not there worst, shooting the best ammo that it is possible to have, not having to just get along because they have not found that right technique “YET”. I want it to be as even steven as it can be. That is a win, any other way is a hollow victory ” IN MY OPINION” it is after all the only one I am qualified to speak to.

      I also have won at 1,000 yds. The very first match I attended and the first time I had ever competed at a 1,000 yds I finished second to Danny Biggs he is a national Champion. Danny shot a 597 and went clean in two relays missing those three points in the last relay when the conditions had changed quite a bit. I shot a 595 and went clean on the last relay that was an extremely good day. The second match I shot at 1,000 yds I once again finished second to Danny Biggs again he shot a 599 and I shot a 598 so I was closing in. In the third match I won that match with a 598-39x and it was a very windy day with changing conditions for every relay, Danny Biggs was not at that shoot for me the win didn’t mean a lot in and of itself. The fact that I had gone clean in one relay and only dropped 1 point in each of the other two relays in that howling wind, when the 2 nd place shooter scored a 582, was the success to me. That fake wood trophy didn’t mean a thing. on that day I was into my testing of annealing and not annealing, the brass I shot on that winning day was not annealed. And until I read your post I didn’t even realize I was being “LAZY” by not annealing.

      I do agree with you on the fact that a lot of reloading is mental, if you think it works that just could be the difference in wither or not it does. Doesn’t mean that the technique works, it may or may not, but you thinking it works is a different thing for many shooters. Myself I test and test a lot, and have learned long ago to trust what I see on paper. If I believe one thing to be true and the paper “PROOF” says different I will always go with the paper results. But that’s just me…


Viewing 6 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.