338 Lapua resizing issues

This is a discussion on 338 Lapua resizing issues within the Cartridges & Calibers forums, part of the Sniping Related category; Hay all, im just having a little issue with reloading my 338 Lapua brass and was looking for a little help, i bought myself 100 ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member archaos's Avatar
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    338 Lapua resizing issues

    Hay all, im just having a little issue with reloading my 338 Lapua brass and was looking for a little help, i bought myself 100 factory Nosler custom 338 rounds and was intending to reload the empties as they are genuine Lapua brass. I just bought a Lyman T-Mag press and i was given a set of RCBS full length dies as a present. I have cleaned the cases and deprimed them. The issue is resizng, i have included a pic below to show the case neck size after fired with no attempt on resizing. The force required to resize is enormous and the cases are getting jamed it the die only after about 3mm of travel when the neck is starting to resize. The dies are resizing down to 0.366 outside diameter without the expander ball (well only a couple of millimeters as the force required seems way too much to resize the whole neck). I have been reloading for years, from pistol to rifle and have never need to apply this much pressure. Does anyone else have the measurements for the neck of there Lapua brass after being fired but before being resized. Am i missing something, are my dies the issue. I have set the dies up correctly. ( i own many presses from Dillon RL550B's to super simplex)

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  2. #2
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    Obturated neck diameter seems about correct
    Sized neck diameter seems about correct (0.366 = 0.338 + 2*0.015 -0.002)

    Force required: how was the case(s) lubed before sizing? All the way up to the neck? Inside the neck? I would expect the force on the lever arm to be close to 2X that of a 308 case during resizing, maybe a bit more. But check the inside of the die near the neck for any burrs. Also a drop of oil on the lever bearings and ram helps.

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    Be careful of over lubing big cases, same as normal watch for dimples on the shoulder when you FL size. If you are getting significant stretch when neck sizing then you need to measure your cases for stretch at each firing, it is a fair indicator of brass flow, an indicator of the pressure that the brass can take. (nothing beats mic' ing your cases though). FL sizing a big case takes big force, it is a lot more surface area (yes I know, I am trying to keep it simple) working on thicker brass so it will require far more force. Get worried if they are hard to extract from the die otherwise follow your basic rules for loadig.

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    If your full legth resizing that case will take some force to do. On a big single stage press i noticed 3times as much force as a 308 round if notmore.

    If you only hve one rifle thats being fired threw i would look into a neck die or just backing your FL 3/4 out and just do a neck size and a sholder bump.

    Tom

  5. #5
    Senior Member archaos's Avatar
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    yeah just seemed alot of force so i didnt continue. But if its more than double the FL 308 then all should be good, i will keep everyone posted.

    Thanks all for your advice, its better than doing damage, just sit back and relax, get the correct answers, then move on.
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    I'll be watching this with interest as I am getting into .338 lapua myself. Sounds like I may have to get a heavier press - the old RCBS JR might not do it. I'm guessing a Lee hand loader really won't work, as in the occupation loading sticky or in the field loading.
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    I have to old heavy presses. The First original Rockchucker made by herters. An then a Lyman.

    They work for the 30-378 cases and bigger. Honestly not sure how the JR will work might be ok.

    Tom

  8. #8
    Senior Member archaos's Avatar
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    All good now, there was a bit of what looked like glue or tar on the side wall of the die, as soon as i got rid of it all was great, here is a pic of two factory Nosler 225gr Accubond and 2 of my reloads using 235gr predator projectiles. The predators are a little longer at 97.7mm OAL, so they are a single shot feed, but with the 338 you should really only need 1 shot. (The projectiles are available from wello, have a look at his site for some really interesting projectiles, the BC is outstanding)







    http://www.predatorprojectiles.com.au/index.html
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  9. #9
    Senior Member RePete's Avatar
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    Glad that it was something simple.

    Try a little lube inside the neck using a Q-Tip. That will ease the expander ball.

    I use Lapua brass and as Tom stated it should be no more effort than a .308.

    The lube I use is Lee Case Lube and wear surgical gloves when lubing and sizing.
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