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CamoToe1 01-20-2013 08:44 PM

.223 Case Length Gauge
 
4 Attachment(s)
I was feeling pretty good about my reloads. Every round went bang and accuracy was much better than the factory stuff I'm used to shooting. That is until I picked up a Dillon Case length gauge. It looks like I have been pushing the shoulder back slightly too far. I set my RCBS FL dies just as instructed. Decapping pin set 3/16" proud. Screwed sizing die down until it touched the shell holder and then tightened 1/8-1/4 turn. I felt the "Camming action". I'll probably continue to use them, but will be backing off die.

JonM 01-20-2013 09:36 PM

the instructions for cranking down are not a good way to set sizing die length. thats why case cages are important. properly sized cases will last much longer than bumping the shoulder that far back.

CamoToe1 01-20-2013 09:51 PM

It seems I learn best the hard way. I'm sure I've shortened the life of about 400 brass, but its too scarce to dump right now.

Learn from my mistake and get a case length gauge! $30.00.

Trez 01-21-2013 02:00 PM

Ive never had any problems with just using the dies...

...And besides they dont make them in any of my calibers... :(

minniehill 01-21-2013 11:12 PM

My die is set about a nickel away from the shell holder.

dalv 01-22-2013 01:37 AM

Hey Guys,
Got my interest up - reloaded for years (off and on) and back into it pretty good the last 5 years. Just got my first progressive and lovin it!
I usually check case length with digital calipers.
I can see the gauge being easier but could use a little more help on advantages.
Currently load for .380, 9mm, 38/357, .40, .45, starting 44 Mag, .223, 22 Hornet , 204, 308, 30-06 and looking into 32/20.
So, pretty experienced with the press but new to the gauge.
Your thoughts appreciated.
dalv

CamoToe1 01-22-2013 11:37 AM

I'm new to reloading but here is what I've been told/ read. Straight wall cartridges can be measured with digital calipers, but bottle neck cartridges require a case length gauge or case micrometer. What you are measuring is headspace, which essentially is where you are setting the shoulder of the cartridge. If the shoulder is not set back far enough, you run the risk of firing out of battery in semi autos. This is obviously very dangerous. If the shoulder is set back too far, as in my case it is hard on the brass and can cause excessive pressure in the chamber. You may want to look into a case mic, since you reload so many different cartridges. If I'm wrong someone will surely be around to correct me.

dalv 01-24-2013 01:03 AM

Makes sense and I believe you are correct. Might have to look in to it.
Thanks

samnev 01-28-2013 08:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CamoToe1 (Post 1104979)
I'm new to reloading but here is what I've been told/ read. Straight wall cartridges can be measured with digital calipers, but bottle neck cartridges require a case length gauge or case micrometer. What you are measuring is headspace, which essentially is where you are setting the shoulder of the cartridge. If the shoulder is not set back far enough, you run the risk of firing out of battery in semi autos. This is obviously very dangerous. If the shoulder is set back too far, as in my case it is hard on the brass and can cause excessive pressure in the chamber. You may want to look into a case mic, since you reload so many different cartridges. If I'm wrong someone will surely be around to correct me.

The above is 100% correct. I learned early on not to follow the instructions that come with the die set for proper adjustment. I smoke a lubed case that has been checked in a case length gauge and screw down the die about 3/8" from the shell plate/holder. Then see where the smoke has be pushed back to and repeat until the die resizes to the neck/shoulder junction. Then recheck in the case length gauge. This procedure has never failed me in 40 years of reloading.

CamoToe1 01-30-2013 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by samnev

The above is 100% correct. I learned early on not to follow the instructions that come with the die set for proper adjustment. I smoke a lubed case that has been checked in a case length gauge and screw down the die about 3/8" from the shell plate/holder. Then see where the smoke has be pushed back to and repeat until the die resizes to the neck/shoulder junction. Then recheck in the case length gauge. This procedure has never failed me in 40 years of reloading.

Not sure what you mean by smoke a case. Please expand on this.

I took once fired brass from my chamber and slowly adjusted my dies out until my sized cases reach the top mark on my case length gauge. As long as my gun remains reliable this should prolong the life of my brass, right?


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