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Too much force for FL resizing .308

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2012 at 21:53
Gil P. View Drop Down
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Whenever I full length resize .308 Winchester case I always have to use an extremely large amount of force to do it. My reloading bench is screwed into the studs in my wall and it causes my bench to lift up whenever I pull the lever down, I have to stand up in order to push the lever down. I know this is not normal, what am I doing wrong?
I am using a Redding T7 press, Redding dies (series A), Lee case lube wax (maybe im applying too much?). I am applying the Lee case lube into the neck as well with a neck brush.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2012 at 22:12
Gil P. View Drop Down
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I cleaned the the FL resizing die with some degreaser and used the Lee lubricant to lightly lube the inside walls of the FL die. The die is set up so that it just touches the shellholder when the handle is all the way down if that helps.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2012 at 23:09
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Do you have this problem with all the cases you load for or is it just the 308?  How do the cases look after you resize them?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/03/2012 at 23:47
Gil P. View Drop Down
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The cases look and function just fine after being resized and 308 winchester is the only case I reload.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2012 at 06:16
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How many times have you reloaded your brass?
 
I'm thinking 1) too much lube.  2) fire hardened brass needs to be annealed. 3) Your action is a bit oversized, I'd measure a fire formed case and see how oversized it is from spec casing size for 308s. 4) Your FL die might be on the small side, try another die.
 
I had a Lee FL 270cal die that did the same thing.  Found out it was undersized to the limit of it's spec.  Lee replaced the die and it made a world of difference.
 
Good luck!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2012 at 09:14
dsr View Drop Down
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Sounds like your die is a small base die. Too much lube you will get lube dents in the brass. Also try Imperial Die Wax for hard to size cases, it works well for hard to size cases like BMG.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2012 at 09:43
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When I do my brass I usally go touch the shell holder like you but then I back off 1 full turn.I also knock out my primers before I resize so as to not create a suction inside the brass!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2012 at 12:33
Gil P. View Drop Down
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budperm: I am trying to resize once fired brass
1) I used less lube, it seemed to help a little bit
2) It is only once fired, could that fire harden it enough to cause a problem?
3) Measured using a digital caliper my case sizes are: New unfired, .460 around; Once fired .468 around; Resized, .462 around.
4) How do I know if my FL die is too small? Ill call Redding and see if they can tell me.

dsr: Ill see if I can get my hands on some Imperial wax

stickbow46: I tried backing off about 1/2 to 3/4 turn and it didnt seem to help, I dont have a seperate tool to remove primers either. By backing the die off, you wouldnt be resizing the entire case anymore, is that bad?
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2012 at 12:39
dsr View Drop Down
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Gil P,

Midway USA or Sinclair International carry it.

It is possible that your chamber is slightly over sized.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2012 at 12:44
Gil P. View Drop Down
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dsr,

Thanks for the info, I think there might be some local places in my area that might carry it so I wouldnt have to wait.

Is there a way I can measure my chamber? Is there anyone else who can measure their 308 fired cases and compare them with mine?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2012 at 13:03
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Are you getting your brass really clean before sizing?  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2012 at 13:07
Gil P. View Drop Down
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I am, it is spotless and shiny before I resize it. I am not using a tumbler though. Im putting my brass in a drill and tightening it down lightly so I dont mar or dent the brass and get some steel wool, run the drill and just hold the wool on the brass. It gets it very clean very fast. Im not cleaning the inside of the brass other than with a neck brush. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2012 at 13:21
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It's hard to advise whether the resizing force you're having to apply is appropriate or not without being there.  We can only compare based on our experience with sizing other cases using similar press designs.  How much reloading experience do you have with other dies, cases, and presses?

I've been reloading for 37 years.  Sometimes it does seem the amount of force required is excessive for the small amount of brass being displaced.

All I can tell you is if you're certain you have really clean brass and you're not using small base dies, if you're having to use excessive force, you're either using too much or the wrong type of case lube, or you have either a chamber on the high side of specs, dies on the low side of specs, or a combination of all the above.

This assumes you're setting up your sizing die correctly in the first place.

I've found that the case lube used makes a world of difference in how easy it is to size cases, and more isn't better.  I've settled on the various spray lubes, because I've found it's easier for me to control the amount of lube with the sprays vs. other methods of coating.  I don't use the wax for anything besides neck turning.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2012 at 13:41
Gil P. View Drop Down
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RifleDude,
I am new to reloading but the amount of force needed to resize my once fired 308 cases seems to be obviously excessive. It causes my reloading table-top which is screwed into studs to warp so much I feel like its going to rip out of the wall. I have no other experience with any other dies, or presses. Cases however, I do.

 An interesting thing to note is that yesterday, I was at the range, and someone next to me was shooting some Federal GMM .308 win. He shot two boxes and left all of his once fired brass on the ground, so I picked it up since I actually saw him take the new rounds out of the box and load them up. These cases are EXTREMELY difficult to FL resize more than the once fired Winchester brass out of my own rifle. I am surprised none of the Fed GMM cases have gotten stuck. This makes me think (and im new to reloading) that if anything, the other man's rifle has an oversized chamber and mine must be normal.

I am using very little case lube and it has made FL resizing a little easier. I am going to try the Imperial wax and see if that helps. What kind of spray lube are you using?

Is there a way to measure my dies? I used the backside of my digital caliper (it measures inside diameter) and if I remember right, it was something like for .464

Thanks for all the info

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2012 at 13:44
budperm View Drop Down
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I'm beginning to suspect that your chamber is oversized and your die is undersized.
 
A smith can plug and pour a chamber profile of your gun to check it.
 
How close are the dimensions of your FL resized casings to OEM specs?  I measured my resized casings and compared them to the specs and their were .002" smaller in diameter of neck and .001-0.0015 smaller in hte body indicating a slighty undersized die.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2012 at 13:52
stickbow46 View Drop Down
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I notice when I start using hot loads that the brass becomes a little harder to FS as the 308 brass bends a little more shape like a banana.in turn causing me to push down with some extra force.As Ted explained it's kind like finding your nitch with the press.
 
Another thing to take into account is the physical size of most people:Example,I'm 6'2 @ 290lbs with hands like baseball mitts as my wife calls them,now my grand-son is 5'10 @ 160lbs so both of us will reload totaly different.Please don't take this the wrong way  I'm not saying smaller people are weak only that physical strength varies from person to person!
 
If you can find someone in your area who also reloads maybe you can hook up with them & see how they are doing it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2012 at 13:54
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BTW,
 
Why are you doing a FL resize?  Do you have more than one gun in that caliber?
I usually neck size only and take advantage of fire sizing the casing to custom fit your chamber.  I other words, firing it makes the casings size to the chamber.  Resizing the neck only provides proper bullet retention and the rest of the casing fits the chamber better.  Do this should improve accuracy.  This should only be used if you do not mix your ammo between guns.  I usually reload 5 to 7 times before annealing and doing a FL resize.
 
Note:  Some semi-autos dont't like fire size ammo and if your sharing ammo between multiple guns a FL should be used to prevent feeding issues.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2012 at 14:00
Gil P. View Drop Down
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OEM specs for the neck of a 308 case is .454, my resized case measures .452 (.002" smaller).
OEM specs for rearmost portion of the body is .470, mine is .464 (.006" smaller).

For a fired unsized case the neck measures .455"
the Rearmost portion of body measures .464" also fired/ unsized
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2012 at 14:30
Gil P. View Drop Down
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Those measurements are with my winchester brass. I also measured the Federal GMM I picked  up and the neck measurement is the same when resized, but just like the winchester brass, the rearmost portion of the brass body is the same whether it was resized or once fired. The GMM meausres .470 (right at specs) resized or once fired.

So my die is not resizing all the way down the case? I have it set up like the instructions say, screw it down until the die touches the shellholder when the handle is all the way down.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2012 at 20:35
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Die instructions get us in the ball park but then we usually need to tweak the die for minimum shoulder set back.
 
Cases dent at the shoulder if the lube on the shoulder/neck is too thick but cases don't stick because of excess lube.  
 
I prefer Imperial (wax) but, fact is, Lee's water soluble lube (a soap) is as good as any.  I suspect you're failing to put it on thick enough on the lower part, down near the head.    That's where cases are thickest, that's where they're hard to size and that's where they get stuck in dies.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2012 at 23:06
Gil P. View Drop Down
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Ill try putting it on thicker on the lower part of the case and let you know if that works. I will also try putting more lube into the FL sizing die body inner walls and see if that helps, I may not be putting enough in there.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2012 at 23:14
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1.  +1 to Budperm's comments on resizing.  There's no reason to full-length resize after the first firing, if you are only using the cases in one rifle. 
 
2.  I suggest that you get a Lee collet die, and see how that works.
 
3.  One other thought.  The studs in your wall, like chair legs and other supports, are meant to take pressure coming from a specific direction (and not from all directions).    
 
 


Edited by Longhunter - June/04/2012 at 23:20
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/04/2012 at 23:22
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Originally posted by Gil P. Gil P. wrote:

What kind of spray lube are you using?

Is there a way to measure my dies?


I've used Hornady One Shot, RCBS Case Slick, and Lyman Quick Spray, all with success.  Couldn't tell you which is better, as all have worked well.  i basically get whichever I find in stock in local gun stores.  I also tried Cabelas brand lanolin-based spray, and it didn't work worth a crap... had cases get stuck in dies using it.  So, I stick with petroleum-based lubes rather than lanolin- or wax-based.  The petroleum based lubes seem to be easier to apply with a thinner film.

The best way to measure your die dimensions is simply to measure the sized cases you're getting from it compared to other dies, factory ammo, and published SAAMI specs.  That will tell you where your case dimensions are within the tolerance range.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/05/2012 at 00:10
Gil P. View Drop Down
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Originally posted by budperm budperm wrote:

BTW,
 
Why are you doing a FL resize?  Do you have more than one gun in that caliber?
I usually neck size only and take advantage of fire sizing the casing to custom fit your chamber.  I other words, firing it makes the casings size to the chamber.  Resizing the neck only provides proper bullet retention and the rest of the casing fits the chamber better.  Do this should improve accuracy.  This should only be used if you do not mix your ammo between guns.  I usually reload 5 to 7 times before annealing and doing a FL resize.
 


I thought FL resizing was just the way to reload. I do not have more than one gun in that caliber. "Do this should improve accuracy." Are you saying that neck sizing gives better accuracy over FL sizing? I can just back my die off to resize the neck couldnt I?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/05/2012 at 00:12
Gil P. View Drop Down
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Well, I think I solved my problem. My cases now size easily, thanks for all the help guys.

I used much more lube for the inside of the die body, I guess I took applying a "thin coat" too seriously, I am also using more lube for the cases themselves, especially near the lower portion (thanks Crosswire).

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