Resizing some .338 win mag brass with a Bonanza die.
I sprayed a fired case with Dykem to see what the die was doing.
It resized a little under half the neck length and I couldn't see any other contact other than maybe on the edge of the shoulder/body transition.
Die was screwed down pressing pretty hard against the shell plate to get the maximum penetration, using a Hornady LNL progressive press.
I tested with a new brass and it does the same, penetrated to the belt but less than half the neck length got touched.
The OD of the neck on fired brass is about .001 smaller where it makes contact with the die.
Bullets have some retention in fired unsized cases so apparently they don't expand a whole lot, other calibers I've checked the bullets will fall through pretty easily.
Does this sound normal or is there something weird going on?
Sounds like a neck sizing die. I would expect more neck sizing than half though.
Did you buy this new? If not I could easily see this die as having been modified by the owner before or the factory. Forster Bonanza has been catering to the accuracy bugs and customizing fit for years. Not that the other companies don't offer the service but Forster had been a go to company for that for decades.
I bought it used on eBay, no history, and It's marked FL sizing.
It doesn't have any obvious signs of having been modified so if it was it was done well.
Other than the questionable neck sizing I'm glad that it's acting as a neck size only as that's what I was planning to buy next.
In fact I was shopping for them when I decided to test this die out.
I wish I had saved a fired case to compare neck diameter before/after sizing, guess I need to go shoot again.
Neck tention is just over .001.
I don't need to magazine feed so it should be fine, but inquiring mind wants to know.
Another way you MAY gain some neck tension is to change brass brands. Winchester in some calibers is thinner than others.
With your caliber you may not have a lot of choices.
I suppose you could ship it off to Forster with an explanation of the issue. If it's factory stock they could replace it.
What type of press are you using?
Did you screw the die down till it contacts the ram?
Bonanza dies have not been made in years! Forster bought them out a long time ago.
And, you get what you pay for at a Fun Show.....
It could be that you have a nice tight chamber and your brass has good spring back.
I have loaded for so many different firearms there is no way to count them. Through all this experience I have found some casings for some particular rifles size with very little effort while others take considerable more effort.
I have also found that while some necks expand to where a bullet will fall right through there were some that were no as loose.
What's most important is weather or not the die is sizing the case properly for your rifle. If it is then all is well.