NOT resizing?

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NOT resizing?

Post by desben on Wed May 25, 2016 11:23 am

In one of his detailled post on reloading 38 (http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-496743.html), Ed Harris advocates NOT resizing cases before seating, and using a Lee factory crimp die as the last step. Is that a thing, do people do this? I'm curious mostly in respect to .38, but Ed also does this for .45.

Ed Harris wrote:By loading the "fat" factory Remington bullets or as-cast bullets in unsized brass, and profile taper-crimping in this manner [Lee FCD], case life is improved, bullet deformation is reduced and bullet pull is more uniform, because the brass work hardens and springs back much less when it is worked only once in profile crimping, versus when being cold worked three times in the usual method of full length resizing, expanding, seating and crimping.
...
My .38 Special wadcutter reloads average sub 2-inch 5-shot revolver groups at 50 yards from Ransom Rest in long series of targets.

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Re: NOT resizing?

Post by fc60 on Wed May 25, 2016 11:34 am

Greetings,

I use the Ed Harris method for loading the Remington HBWC in 38 Special.

Tests in a barrel tester show that the groups were much smaller at 50 yards. I can usually fire 20 rounds and end up with 18-20 X's.

The barrels I used were both a 38 Special Kit and Gold Cup Mark III.

I get X-ring groups with 2.7 grains of the old Bullseye or 2.6 grains 700-X.

With other HBWC bullets, I load the traditional method sizing first.

Cheers,

Dave

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Re: NOT resizing?

Post by LenV on Wed May 25, 2016 11:45 am

I have no idea how it would improve case life. I seriously doubt that it would work in a 45. The case would still be hot and expanding as it leaves the barrel. I have over 50 re-loads on some of my brass and will keep re-loading them until they split. I have seen very few split cases from re-loading with our Bullseye reduced loads. I guess my answer would be "No". I suppose you might get a tiny increase in performance in your wheel guns but not noticeable if not using a machine rest. Plated brass totally different story on re-load life.

Len

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Re: NOT resizing?

Post by jglenn21 on Wed May 25, 2016 7:49 pm

only thing I do occasionally on my older brass is to run them all the way through a bulge buster to re-size the rim when they get beat to the point of being too large.( won't pass through my home made Bruce Martindale ring).

still work fine for the short line

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Re: NOT resizing?

Post by james r chapman on Wed May 25, 2016 8:29 pm

I found in .38 spl that some brass will not hold the bullet from seating deeper in the case on recoil. even using the Lee FCD. As I recall it was Federal brass that had the problem. Was much easier to resize then run it thru a custom machined sizing plug. It allowed the Rem 148 gr hbwc's to seat about 1/2 way in under thumb pressure. the chamfer was then taken off and crimped in the next operation.

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Re: NOT resizing?

Post by JKR on Thu May 26, 2016 6:58 am

I'm not sure how this would apply to other cartridges, but I'm getting great 50 yard accuracy from my 32 wc by not resizing my slow fire ammo.

Jim

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Re: NOT resizing?

Post by desben on Thu May 26, 2016 8:55 am

Thank you everyone for the feedback. I reload with BDX bullets, and their 148 hbwc are fat like the remington, .360. So it seems it's something I could try.

Jim Chapman, are you saying that that by NOT resizing, the cases were too large and wouldn't provide enough tension on the bullet? But resizing ensured you have proper tension on the bullet so it doesn't move. Without resizing, recoil would make the bullet drop inside the case?  (I thought recoil would bring the bullet OUT, not in).

(the other Jim), 32 wc is just a smaller 38 wc in my mind. Thank you for sharing.

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Re: NOT resizing?

Post by james r chapman on Thu May 26, 2016 12:26 pm

The crimp keeps it from coming forward. Just rattling around in the boxes caused some to go deeper.

Of course if your using a crimp groove then it won't move

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Re: NOT resizing?

Post by noylj on Thu May 26, 2016 10:20 pm

Things I found produced more accurate ammunition for my S&W M52s:
1) Rem 148gn L-HBWCs (There may be others, but I can't imagine any being better and I really can't imagine any being less expensive)
2) Unsized fired cases--even more important, unsized, fired R.P cases
3) A lot of flare so bullet was "in the case" and would not move while entering the seating die.
4) Use of a Redding Profile Crimp Die. I have NO IDEA what Lee FCD has a large enough carbide ring NOT to size down the Rem. bullet (maybe a .40S&W?), but compared to all my roll crimp dies, including a Lee FCD with the ring removed, the Redding was the best, but the Lee FCD was next best.
5) Once I did those 4 things, what powder and what charge weight (as long as I got 675-775 fps) wasn't really that important any more.

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Re: NOT resizing?

Post by Jerry Keefer on Thu May 26, 2016 11:14 pm


Presently longline testing quite a bit in prep for the season. I was fortunate to acquire a case of each.. So far,  the Rem/ Peters is producing outstanding hand held groups. Not that the others are shabby, but the R&P shoots tighter..Two days of shooting, and no target under 93 with the best a 98..
I pulled bullets to measure bullet diameters and compare powders.. One thing that is very common to each, is a bullet that measures .357 or a few tenths under.. The powders are definitely not identical.. Even in the Rem. brand.. Different box, a different powder.. so, either Rem loads a different bullet in their  match ammo than is sold on the bullet after market, OR,  their loading process purposely swages the bullet down from 360, to .3567/.357..which would take some of the squeeze away for the tight stock 52 barrels. Even then, I believe it  is too tight..
The Douglas blank in this Model 52, is .357 at 14 twist..and is shooting some great scores with this ammo..
I would hate to try and estimate the number of 38 spl, I have reloaded and shot in competition, but a quick figure is several hundred thousand.. 20 years + of competing , and placing in the VA State Governors 20 every year.. National and Regional Championships all over the east coast, and training heavily for these events..Double distinguished  High Master...10 or 12 twist revolvers that often shot inch or less... I always resized my brass...


Last edited by Jerry Keefer on Fri May 27, 2016 8:18 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: NOT resizing?

Post by 243winxb on Fri May 27, 2016 8:09 am

Lee Factory Crimp Die - The carbide ring in the die, may post size the brass and bullet smaller. Lead will not spring back as much as brass. If the loaded round is sized down more than .005" , the bullet will become loose in the case.

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Re: NOT resizing?

Post by Sa-tevp on Fri May 27, 2016 9:16 am

Jerry, for HBWC what dimensions do you like to size and expand to? Any preferred dies and expanders? 

Stephen

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Re: NOT resizing?

Post by Virgil Kane on Fri May 27, 2016 10:16 am

This is copied and pasted from the OP link to the Ed Harris response.

"If your target revolver or match auto pistol has tight chambers, cases expand very little so that .360 diameter bullets will hold friction tight in fired brass until the shell head on the loading machine rotates to the final station in which rounds should be full-length profiled and taper-crimped only enough to remove all mouth flare. Unless your gun has sloppy service chambers, it will be necessary to resize the brass to prevent bullets from dropping down against the powder under vibration of the loading machine, which causes DANGEROUS variations in seating depth! 




Ed Harris says to resize unless you have very tight chambers.

My M-52 has a very generous chamber and coupled with a very tight. .3546 groove diameter has caused no end of problems in finding accurate loads. In my 38 revolvers I can get away with not resizing for about 2 loadings and then the cartridge will not fit in the chamber unless they are forced in with thumb pressure. If by chance I mix up my M-52 brass with my revolver brass and do not resize the case there is no way the cartridge will fit in my revolvers if it was fired in my M-52. For this reason and that I can see no difference in accuracy between sized and un-sized I run all 38 brass through a full length sizing die.


YMMV





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Re: NOT resizing?

Post by Jerry Keefer on Fri May 27, 2016 11:34 am

Sa-tevp wrote:Jerry, for HBWC what dimensions do you like to size and expand to? Any preferred dies and expanders? 

Stephen
My expanding punch is .354
Brass is rather elastic.. The side walls on average are .008/.009  across the big three manufacturers.
It's difficult for the case to exert enough pressure to reduce the bullet diameter, within reason.. .354 case ID causes no distortion to the bullet OD on my loads.. My  bores are .357
I want my my bullets to remain at .3575/.358 when the enter the bore..

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Re: NOT resizing?

Post by fc60 on Fri May 27, 2016 12:01 pm

Greetings,

Mr. Ed Harris mentioned that the ammunition companies seated the bullets, after priming and charging, Then final sized them and applied the cannelure. Most all commercial ammo I have measured gauges at 0.375" outside diameter.

A 0.360" bullet in a case with 0.008" wall thickness equals 0.376". Food for thought.

I have never had the chance to visit an ammo factory and when you ask questions of them, they are very elusive.

Mr. Harris had the pleasure of working with the NRA as a Technical Writer and got to communicate with the factories. I respect his comments.

Side note. I inherited a large stash of 38 wadcutter from a shooter that fired with the All Army Team in the late 50's and early 60's. It contains TargetMaster by both Remington and Peters, some Western yellow box, and a few Federal. All of the ammo has fired X-ring groups at 50 yards in the barrel tester and several guns. Of course, back then, the Military tested the ammo prior to issuing it to the shooters and 38 WadCutter was very popular.

Cheers,

Dave

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Re: NOT resizing?

Post by james r chapman on Fri May 27, 2016 1:12 pm

Shooting primarily ppc with the..38 the last thing you want is a tight chambering cartridge! NO alibis! Sometimes you have to give up a little something for that..

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Re: NOT resizing?

Post by Jerry Keefer on Fri May 27, 2016 1:20 pm

fc60 wrote:A 0.360" bullet in a case with 0.008" wall thickness equals 0.376". Food for thought.
Cheers,
 Dave
Hello Dave
I quickly checked the Rem/Peters lot and the over the bullet, the case measure  .3745/.375 so minus .016 average wall  the bullet is holding at approx. .358+
Sounds good..I don't know where this ammo originated from.. I acquired it from an estate..I was in the right place at the right time..

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Re: NOT resizing?

Post by james r chapman on Fri May 27, 2016 3:31 pm

Jerry Keefer wrote:
fc60 wrote:A 0.360" bullet in a case with 0.008" wall thickness equals 0.376". Food for thought.
Cheers,
 Dave
Hello Dave
I quickly checked the Rem/Peters lot and the over the bullet, the case measure  .3745/.375 so minus .016 average wall  the bullet is holding at approx. .358+
Sounds good..I don't know where this ammo originated from.. I acquired it from an estate..I was in the right place at the right time..

New Remington Wadcutter March (RTG38S3) .3765 at mouth and..375 base of bullet..fired cases on order of .381.

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Re: NOT resizing?

Post by fc60 on Sat May 28, 2016 12:48 pm

Greetings,

Photos say a lot more than words. Hopefully, I have sorted out this image hosting thing.

Anyway, compare the difference in the two loading techniques. The larger group is sizing the brass to 0.375" at the first station.

The second, smaller, group is seating the bullet in a primed, flared, and charged case with NO SIZING. After the bullet is seated to depth, I use the Lee Carbide Factory Crimp die to close the brass case around the bullet. Final outside diameter is 0.376", if memory serves me well. Oh yes, I applied a roll crimp to ensure positive functioning.

Looking at image 0002, it notes I sized the RP-HBWC down to 0.358 prior to loading . Probably due to the 0.360" bullets shearing off Lead in the sized cases. The smaller group was loaded with bullets as received in the bulk carton.

Nonetheless, the loading in unsized cases has been my method since.

Barrel is from my Gold Cup MKIII mounted in a barrel tester. Groups are 20 shots at 50 yards.

Cheers,

Dave




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Re: NOT resizing?

Post by LenV on Sat May 28, 2016 1:29 pm

fc60,  Good pictures and great results. But. It makes me wonder if the smaller group is because of not re-sizing or is it because you re-sized the bullets down to .358 in the resized cases? One of the things that makes Rem bullets shoot so well is they are soft and large. Just curious.

Len

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Re: NOT resizing?

Post by james r chapman on Sat May 28, 2016 7:14 pm

As stated, you changed multiple variables on the 2nd target.

Remington Hbwc's don't like being made into Stars/Deltas

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Re: NOT resizing?

Post by Jerry Keefer on Sat May 28, 2016 8:47 pm

But.. the old Remington match ammo, I pulled yesterday, the bullets all were .3575 /.358 
Which tells me, if, the Rem HBWCs the factory uses is the same .360 diameter we get after market, the factory is also squeezing it down similar to the  Lee die..I can see the logic behind it. Very secure, with the C-groove..Never a chance of set back, and the bullet is down in diameter where it should be.

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Re: NOT resizing?

Post by james r chapman on Sat May 28, 2016 10:48 pm

I agree, but, sizing the bullet first, then.seating it in an unsized case, the running it thru the Lee fsd isn't the same as sizing the case, belling the mouth to seat the .360 then crimping . Imho

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