Question for rifle reloaders
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  1. #1
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    Question for rifle reloaders

    I'm starting to use the Hornady head space gauge I bought recently so I'm looking for any help, advice you would like to put out there.

    I measured 10 pcs. of fire formed brass, .308, that I ran through my AR10. The longest piece, using the head space gauge, was 1.630". So If I understand right I should resize this brass so it's about .002 shorter than that measurement, final length being 1.628". Is that correct?

    Again from my understanding sizing brass properly helps to keep the brass useable longer. How much does this headspace thing influence accuracy?

    I have some other once fired brass that I already sized and the longest one of those is 1.632" I'm guessing I should size it again to bring it down to that 1.628"?

    Thanks in advance.
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    Are you using small base dies for your AR?

    Also, resizing other than the neck wears out the brass faster, but you are bringing an AR10 into the picture and for best reliability, you should be using small base dies or dies that bring back to near new size.

    Case trimming is more important after using small base dies. For a Semi-auto rifle you are shooting for reliability first, then accuracy. I've never used a head space gauge for rifle cartridges and only the simple drop gauge for spot checking 45 ACP and 9mm.

    Typically, a head space gauge is to bring it within a minimum spec and not what your actual chamber is. Chambers typically run a few thousandths bigger.

    To the average shooter, the differences between casings means nothing unless you are competing at a national level in 1,000 yard or meter distances. You get a bigger bonus hand weighing each powder charge and bullet sorting to a 0.1 of a grain than anything case related.

    Maloy
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    All my Bottle neck rifle cartridges are fired in bolt action rifles, I neck size and trim to max length so my brass lasts a long time, fits my rifles perfectly and are very accurate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by maloy View Post
    Are you using small base dies for your AR?

    Also, resizing other than the neck wears out the brass faster, but you are bringing an AR10 into the picture and for best reliability, you should be using small base dies or dies that bring back to near new size.

    Case trimming is more important after using small base dies. For a Semi-auto rifle you are shooting for reliability first, then accuracy. I've never used a head space gauge for rifle cartridges and only the simple drop gauge for spot checking 45 ACP and 9mm.

    Typically, a head space gauge is to bring it within a minimum spec and not what your actual chamber is. Chambers typically run a few thousandths bigger.

    To the average shooter, the differences between casings means nothing unless you are competing at a national level in 1,000 yard or meter distances. You get a bigger bonus hand weighing each powder charge and bullet sorting to a 0.1 of a grain than anything case related.

    Maloy
    It's funny, I never really bothered with this stuff when loading .223! I just sized, trimmed, primed, charged and shoved a bullet in the case and it was all good! For some reason I'm trying harder? with the .308 AR10. I'm thinking my efforts may be in vein.

    I don't know if the dies are small base. They are Hornady dies, what they call Custom Grade. Something else I guess I don't understand is if you don't size the body how will it fit in the chamber? Doesn't the entire case expand to some degree and need resizing?

    As for the headspace thing I get the idea that setting the case shoulder back just a .001 or .002 helps to limit case expansion and thus wear on the brass. I guess that is my questioning on that point. I do try to be fairly diligent with the trimming process.

    Yeah I'm definitely not doing in long range competition shooting but would like to get this rifle as accurate as I can. It's kind of a shame but I'm thinking this rifle may not be very accurate. I will be disappointed but I do have more testing to do before a final decision.

    Thanks for your input.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbusmech View Post
    All my Bottle neck rifle cartridges are fired in bolt action rifles, I neck size and trim to max length so my brass lasts a long time, fits my rifles perfectly and are very accurate.
    So would the neck sizing only work for a semi-auto rifle too?

    Thanks for your input.

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    Quote Originally Posted by darbo View Post
    So would the neck sizing only work for a semi-auto rifle too?

    Thanks for your input.
    No! Some may chamber but the majority won't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by darbo View Post
    So would the neck sizing only work for a semi-auto rifle too?

    Thanks for your input.
    Neck sizing is only useful if you will fire the same brass out of the same rifle every time. It leaves the fire forming of the shell casing in tact, meaning that you don't wear the brass out by regularly pushing it back down to factory specs and only resizes the necks down to smaller than bullet diameter and bumps the shoulder a wee bit. Neck sizing dies state that explicitly that they are neck sizing only - got some RCBS for my AR10 since that is currently the only .308 that I own - works great, as in they chamber and fire just fine, but I can't speak to longevity since I haven't had a chance to shoot it enough to tell .

    If you have more than one .308 and use neck sizing dies, the rounds may not chamber in another rifle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yissnakk View Post
    Neck sizing is only useful if you will fire the same brass out of the same rifle every time. It leaves the fire forming of the shell casing in tact, meaning that you don't wear the brass out by regularly pushing it back down to factory specs and only resizes the necks down to smaller than bullet diameter and bumps the shoulder a wee bit. Neck sizing dies state that explicitly that they are neck sizing only - got some RCBS for my AR10 since that is currently the only .308 that I own - works great, as in they chamber and fire just fine, but I can't speak to longevity since I haven't had a chance to shoot it enough to tell .

    If you have more than one .308 and use neck sizing dies, the rounds may not chamber in another rifle.
    Good info. I have just the one .308 so maybe I need to look into a neck sizing die.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yissnakk View Post
    Neck sizing is only useful if you will fire the same brass out of the same rifle every time. It leaves the fire forming of the shell casing in tact, meaning that you don't wear the brass out by regularly pushing it back down to factory specs and only resizes the necks down to smaller than bullet diameter and bumps the shoulder a wee bit. Neck sizing dies state that explicitly that they are neck sizing only - got some RCBS for my AR10 since that is currently the only .308 that I own - works great, as in they chamber and fire just fine, but I can't speak to longevity since I haven't had a chance to shoot it enough to tell .

    If you have more than one .308 and use neck sizing dies, the rounds may not chamber in another rifle.

    agreed!
    the other thing that I would consider in a semi auto rifle is what IF the case body gets a minor ding in it?
    AR are known to beat the brass up on ejection.
    with a bolt gun you can virtually force a neck sized round into chamber, its kind of hard to do that with a semi auto, although a AR, especially with a assist that might be easier.
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    Quote Originally Posted by olfarhors View Post
    agreed!
    the other thing that I would consider in a semi auto rifle is what IF the case body gets a minor ding in it?
    AR are known to beat the brass up on ejection.
    with a bolt gun you can virtually force a neck sized round into chamber, its kind of hard to do that with a semi auto, although a AR, especially with a assist that might be easier.
    to be honest, once you size the brass ding of no ding it will chamber and i figure 50,000 PSI will press that ding right out when i pull the trigger
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