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Posted: 9/8/2010 4:34:07 PM EDT
I am in the process of teaching a fellow shooter how to reload. I gave him an OLD Herters press my father had out in the garage, and he is in the process of buying the rest of the stuff. He has encountered something that i never have. When he resizes his twice fired .243 brass, it is SUPER hard to size even with the proper application of Imperial Sizing Wax. We are also using a Lee case trimmer, and the stem will not even begin to go into the cases. I guess my father reloaded them the first time, and they were hard to size then as well.

What could be causing this. I don't think it is the dies or the case trimmers, becasue we have tried 2 different ones and the result is the same. Could it be that the chamber in his gun (1990 vintage Rem Model 700) is smaller than it is supposed to be? Or is the .243 known to cause the necks to thicken because of the brass flowing forward?

Please advise!
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 5:04:57 PM EDT
I also started with an old Herters press, and dies. 243 was my first caliber.
I changed to lanolin/alcohol based lube, and LEE dies, smooth as butter.
Before, with the old dies, it was sometimes very hard too size. Try polishing the die body.

The old Herters press should give you more than enough leverage to size.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 5:42:25 PM EDT
Like your friend I'm getting ready to start reloading again. Reloaded pistol like 30+ years ago. It is my understanding with bolt guns you really don't need to full length resize and only neck size.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 6:06:31 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BamaInArk:
Like your friend I'm getting ready to start reloading again. Reloaded pistol like 30+ years ago. It is my understanding with bolt guns you really don't need to full length resize and only neck size.


Maybe so, if those cases were fired in the same gun, and it still chambers OK. If it is unknown brass, full length size.
Link Posted: 9/8/2010 9:38:13 PM EDT
Originally Posted By west467:
Originally Posted By BamaInArk:
Like your friend I'm getting ready to start reloading again. Reloaded pistol like 30+ years ago. It is my understanding with bolt guns you really don't need to full length resize and only neck size.


Maybe so, if those cases were fired in the same gun, and it still chambers OK. If it is unknown brass, full length size.


I certainly agree with the above. If you didn't fire those rounds yourself in that particular gun, and recently, full length size them.
That's what I do with my 243 brass and it has very little negative affect that I can determine up to 400 yards.
As far as it being hard to size the cartridges, be sure the die body has been cleaned out, even if its new I shoot a little brake cleaner in it before I use it. Make sure there's no crud on the expander button too and use powdered graphite inside the necks. Some use a wet lube but I worry it might affect the powder charge if stored for a long time.
One other thing I can think of that might help you is to turn the outside of the case necks to uniform them and eliminate excessively thick necks.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 5:48:37 AM EDT
Well the first place I'd look is the die interior. Disassemble, clean, inspect. They may have a bit of rust or hard dried lube or oil preservative remaining in them.

As an aside, why are you trimming before sizing? Should reverse the order of that.

Link Posted: 9/9/2010 9:34:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2010 9:37:07 AM EDT by AeroE]
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