internal neck size for.222 after pressing ?

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by Bucky, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

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    Just been "dicking around" with some old .222 brass in the shed, and I have noticed that they are exiting the press @ .217"-.218", and guess what, the "expander ball"is that size also.

    Alarm bells are going off in my head, and I am wondering if i am up for a new expander ball for my RCBS dies ?..

    I would have thought that .221-.222 on the expander ball is heaps, and would give me lower working pressures also. Keeping in mind that I am seating .224 projectiles

    Any comments....

    Feel free

    Cheers Bucky
     
  2. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

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    Not loading .222 but .223 which is the same .224 bullet, i.e. same neck. I neck size only with a Lee Collet die which is a different process than the expander ball. It uses 4 fingers that squeeze the case mouth over a mandrel. It is adjustable. I have some cases sized, primed and ready for charging and seating. Right now its 25 deg. so when it warms up a bit I will go up to the shop and see what the ID of the cases are.

    From what I have read there are different opionions on proper inside diamiaters for a .224 bullet. Some say .180-.190, others .220-.221. Like all reloads and ammo guess it depends on YOUR GUN. Almost all problems related to getting consistant sizing has to do with two factors.

    1. Sizing with an expander ball is INFERIOR to using a die with a BUSHING

    2. Brand of brass MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE

    I don't know what your concerns are but if you are getting good results (accuracy, function) ??
     

  3. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

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    I put on the Foul Weather Gear and ventured up to the Reloading room. Measured the Prepped .223 brass. I did 10 cases that came out of the Lee Collet Neck Sizing Die. They all measured .215 Inside Diameter. Measured some fired ones and they said .227-.227+, but under .228. My cases are Federal that are fire formed Factory Bulk 55gr FMJ Rounds to my chamber in a Marlin 7XVH .223. They shoot in the .3XX range groups with "ONE" GROUP at .226, I did that "ONCE".....LOL. Have not full length sized any and only shot Sierra 52gr Match Kings. I HAVE NOT annealed any of the cases yet which also is supposed to yield more consistent neck sizing, if annealed EVERY reloading. These cases are on their second reloading and didn't require trimming second time after trimming for first reloading.
     
  4. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

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    SWO1
    I am just "dribbling on" a fair bit here....BUT

    :rolleyes:

    When I first got my rifle, shot it in, and I really made a name for myself, as I never missed anything I pointed the little .222 Ruger at. There were literally 10 people wanting to buy the rifle from me, and wanting my reloaded bullets, which by the way was a good little money spinner for me.
    Almost 20 years later, I have learnt heaps, but and I have a fair bit of "milti fired" brass (approx 400) that I am trying to bring back to spec, its accuracy one day, then not the next.
    This may well be caused by inconsistent internal neck size, and variations in "clamp pressure" on projectiles, as I hope that with my experience, I have eliminated most other variables.

    To add to the confusion, I have some brand new Lapua case, that I have been drouling over,
    "to load up or not to load up ..?"
    "to order another 100 or 200 shells, and get rid of everything else ..?"
    "to get a new die set, or an expander ball ..?

    I have not seen any projectiles that vary much at all, but have got and seen a lot of fired, and pressed shells (worked) that do. Also the actual thickness of the neck, caused by "working and reworking the brass", has a fair bit to answer for, as you know.
    If the brass in the neck is too thick, then after the expander die passes thru it, during the pressing stage, I am left wondering if the brass springs back.
    I have never neck sized brass, and I am wondering if this may well help resurect the old brass, but in order to do this I must have some specifications to guide me .

    I hope this makes sence, as I am starting to confuse myself (hehehe)

    Cheers Bucky
     
  5. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

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    I will throw in a favorite expression of mine at this point: " Paralysis by Analysis". A condition were we tend to Over think a lot of things at once and end up taking no action. From all I can gather the cause for improper neck sizing is ALMOST NEVER the dies. Its the BRASS. If you have some new Laupa cases I would load some up and see what they Mic. Annealing after every loading SHOULD make the necks more pliable they will spring back after running thru the expander ball. But if the ball is already 190 then you arnt going to get any larger. Have you measured fired cases and noted what they are before sizing, then remove the expander ball from the die, run them thru and see what the ID is ??

    I don't know how many loadings you have on your brass, but the .222 is FAST, I.E. creates a lot of pressure and tends to wear on cases that are full sized faster than larger calibers as say your .270.

    Also a 20 year old gun, as you say yours is, probley has quite a few rounds thru it. Have you had the chamber and crown checked ??? 6MM and below are famous for "shooting out barrels"
     
  6. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

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    Just remember that I am trying to resurect old brass, so I am in "deep thinking mode", and am actively chasing solutions, and learning more and more, all the time.

    Yes to a new die set, or at least a "checked", and new expander ball, at 2215" or 222"

    No to checking the chamber and the crown, yet.. I can get the rifle checked very easily by a gun smith, it just means a 30 mile drive, and a 3 hr of "hang shyte" from my gunsmith mate.

    Actually the rifle would have had between 2500 and 3000 rounds thru it, and I look after it, or what I condider "real good".
    Have seen foto's posted of my "over the bonnet" groups ?.
    I would say that the Rifle itself is fine, as most of my roo shooting was done with a different rifle.

    Keep attacking
    Cheers
    Bucky
     
  7. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

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    With under 3000 rounds it shouldn't be the gun. I have seen your groups and "you can shoot". I suppose RCBS does provide different size expander balls....??. I know Redding does in 001 increments. And to go to a bushing type die is Double/Triple the cost.

    I know from your previous posts you are exacting in your reloading and hope I didn't offend you with any of my comments. but I Truly believe its an inconsistent sizing issue caused by Brass. Given the fact you have new unfired/unloaded Prime Brass I would prep some and see how they compare to the old. Then load some up and see what ya get ...... :D Cheapest, fastest of the probiable causes to prove/eliminate.

    KEEP US INFORMED
     
  8. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

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    Never an issue SWO1, anything constructive is fine with me, you can hit me with it all day Mate.
    I just trying to get to the bottom of a problem, with all this old brass, and at the same time increase my knowledge of general reloading.
    In the morning myself and SWMBO are off to Melbourne , in her little Hyundai Getz, and looking into a couple of gunshops, for a neck expander or spiggot (whatever it is called) to give me the final necksize I am chasing.
    If that dont work for me, then its a new die set with an expander ball of .2215, or .222 diameter, which is what the new Lapua brass is set at.

    Then of course its the Mrs turn to go off to a couple of dress shops, whitegoods stores, and one of those friggin shopping Malls, that I so hate

    And thanks for the tip about those Redding expander balls

    Cheers Mate
    Bucky
     
  9. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

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    SWO1
    Went out in the "Man Cave" last night before bed and did some more brass meaurements.
    PMC Pressed> all .241" OD.......All .218"-.2185" ID, walls 095-0125"
    PMC fired > all .2515"-.252" OD ....All .2285"-.229" ID,

    RP Pressed > all .2185" OD ...All .2185" ID, walls .010"-.014"
    RP fired > all .2515" OD ....All .2285"-.229"ID.

    WW Super Pressed > all ...2415"-.242" OD....All .2185"-.218" ID ...Walls .0095"-.012"
    WW Super Fired > all .2515"-.251" OD......All .2285"-.229" ID


    New Lapua Brass ..> All .245 OD......All .221-.2215" ........Walls .011"-.0115" (wow)

    Keep in mind the person driving the calipers is me, and that would make the variation just about right

    Basically showing me 2 things.
    Nothing is worn enough to be replaced, its just the expander ball needs to be a bit wider, and a bit of neck wall trimming needed
     
  10. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

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    Looks like to me your old brass is a mixed bag of varring wall thickness. The Laupa is pretty consistant and THICK...MUCH like Mil Spec brass. should last longer than standard commercial. I would say put the older stuff aside for a while and go with the Laupa. OR....separate the Brass by what they mic and load in batches and see how they do in like groups.
     
  11. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

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    SWO1

    I ended up buying a new Lyman Universal case trimmer, from Optics Planet, and also a Lyman neck turning kit, and Lee delux Die set, from MidwayAustralia. Everything here under 1 week after ordering.

    I measured the Expander at .222", that I was looking for.
    The Collet Neck Expander, is an interesting setup, but it didn't take long to to figure it out.
    You gotta love "You Tube", not much reading required.

    Everything then got disassembled, and thoroughly cleaned. That is a standard practice every time I fire up on reloading.

    I destroyed 8 or 10 cases, setting up the neck turning attachment, but that was OK as there are heaps to resurect. (350+)

    First thing to do was to brush thru the inside neck, then turn them down to 010", and those that were still out, got crushed immediately.
    Next I popped out the primers, with the full length Die, and then checked the ID, @ .222"
    Just for the hell of it, I then ran them thru the Neck Sizer Collet die, and they still sat at .222".
    Trimming to length, and shamfering the inner and outer neck is all now done.
    Any rounds not come up to spec after that, got crushed.

    I will load up some test rounds, in the next 2-3 weeks, and give them a go, but until then I'll just try to get every bit of .222 brass to the same specs, and categorize them into their brand names.

    Cheers
    Bucky
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013