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Boondoggle

"Generic" AR-10 load for mixed brand brass

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So I think I've settled on the bullet powder combo I hope to run in my new rifle.  I'm looking at the Speer 150gr BTSP and Alliant 2000-MR.  Coming from the precision bolt gun world, all brass is fire formed to the chamber and then just neck sized as well as using only one brand of brass.  I've got a boat load of (2000+) mixed .308 brass to load.  I obviously can and do sort them but I can't imagine doing an OCW for each brand and the loading accordingly.

So the question is, can I pick one brand initially, work it up so it's not too hot and then just load the rest of what I have?   I suppose I can get case capacity for all to see if there's a huge difference in volume and either work that up separately or just not use it.  Any and all thoughts and info are most appreciated.

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Finding out different case capacites by weight is pretty easy, and I do it as a matter of course. A good idea for safety purposes. After that,  I do as you suggested. I load a single brand at a time, then see how the groups match up when I load the next brand, looking for signs of high pressure. For mid range loads, you are probably fine. If you start to push the pressures towards max loads, then I would maybe get a software program like Quickload lets you look at what projected pressures are by case volume, bullet, and powder combinations. I tend to step back one or two levels from max loads anyway, as I don’t get the opportunity to do much distance shooting.

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Thanks. That's good info and makes sense.  So I could start with say with FGM brass and run a full OCW then take that charge weight back off maybe 5% and then load 6-8 rounds and look for primarily vertical stringing?  Since I'm limited to mag length I don't have to chase an optimal COL so an full OCW for each brand of brass doesn't seem like it would net much.

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Sounds like a good plan to me. I think you would be safe in doing that. I am a long way away from being a reloading guru however, see what everyone else says.

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I would suggest Full length sizing Cases or Small Base Sizing , FL at the very least . I use FL neck Bushing Redding Die now a days . You may have Chambering issues with just Neck sizing .

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Just work up a nice, warm load for the smallest capacity case you have. Then you’ll be fine on the larger cases. I find MY mixed brass varies aprox .5 grains of h20 in capacity. Yours may vary. I would full case resize for semi-auto. I bump my shoulder back .003-005” and never have had a malf. Running fire formed brass in a s-a is asking for trouble.

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8 hours ago, Boondoggle said:

Thanks. That's good info and makes sense.  So I could start with say with FGM brass and run a full OCW then take that charge weight back off maybe 5% and then load 6-8 rounds and look for primarily vertical stringing?  Since I'm limited to mag length I don't have to chase an optimal COL so an full OCW for each brand of brass doesn't seem like it would net much.

You will never get anywhere near the lands with a 150 grain bullet in a standard semi-auto chamber. You won’t have enough bullet in the neck if you do. Measure a factory 150 grain round. There’s a reason they are short. I load my hornady 150 gr fmj’s to 2.7- 2.725 max. Use the cannelure and crimp! I’m sure people will beg to differ. We’re talking military grade semi-auto here, I’m assuming? 

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My "generic" load of .308 Win "range ammo" with "I-don't-care-what-brass-it-is" is the Hornady 150gr FMJ-BT projo, CCI 200 primer, and 43.6 grains of RL-15.  It's never over-powered, never under-powered, and does a decent job of keeping the rounds where I want them, no matter what rifle or scope, out to about 300 or 400 yards.  I've blasted them to 600 yards with effectiveness, and not far off on the scope, no matter what rifle. If it wasn't a FMJ round, I'd hunt it.

Like he said, kinda - I load them 2.720" and that gets you to the bottom of the crimp area - and crimp 'em. 

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Thanks for the recipe.  I already have some RE-15 so I'll give that a shot.  I should have mentioned that I'm neck sizing and then running the brass through a Redding body die to FL size and bump the shoulder back.  It's two steps but I've found it doesn't work the brass as hard as a regular FL sizing die

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Hey Guys,

So in general, how do I know "how much" Crimp to put on my rounds?  I have the Lee Factory Crimp Die. I only reload .223 and .308 at the moment and they are for AR15 & LR308's.

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If you crimp too much, you'll bulge the cases at the base of the shoulder.  It takes some experimentation.  You will be able to see the crimp - you'll see the taper of it. Just don't go too far.  If all your cases are the same length, all your crimps will be the same - set the die.

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On 9/28/2018 at 8:16 AM, Hey-Who said:

Hey Guys,

So in general, how do I know "how much" Crimp to put on my rounds?  I have the Lee Factory Crimp Die. I only reload .223 and .308 at the moment and they are for AR15 & LR308's.

Lee factory crimp die is my go to die, just about every caliber I reload.  a lot less case length sensitive then typical dies. Ram fully up, screw in until the collett  completely closes (no more) without a round. Put a round in, ram up, and look down the die, if the collet is closed you are good. Inspect round afterwards of course, nothing wrong with a small amount of in or out to taste, but you can damage the die by over crimping. If you run max length cases it will  look like a collet crimp, "Trim To" length brass it will look like a nice roll. On my 300 Weatherby loads, non cannelured (ELD-X) bullets, I back off about 1/8 turn. As with collet pullers, a little grease between the collet and the die body sure doesn't hurt.  

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1 hour ago, Albroswift said:

Lee factory crimp die is my go to die, just about every caliber I reload.  a lot less case length sensitive then typical dies. Ram fully up, screw in until the collett  completely closes (no more) without a round. Put a round in, ram up, and look down the die, if the collet is closed you are good. Inspect round afterwards of course, nothing wrong with a small amount of in or out to taste, but you can damage the die by over crimping. If you run max length cases it will  look like a collet crimp, "Trim To" length brass it will look like a nice roll. On my 300 Weatherby loads, non cannelured (ELD-X) bullets, I back off about 1/8 turn. As with collet pullers, a little grease between the collet and the die body sure doesn't hurt.  

What he said. I use the Lee crimping die also, for everything I load.

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On 9/28/2018 at 7:32 PM, 98Z5V said:

If you crimp too much, you'll bulge the cases at the base of the shoulder.  It takes some experimentation.  You will be able to see the crimp - you'll see the taper of it. Just don't go too far.  If all your cases are the same length, all your crimps will be the same - set the die.

I use a dillon electric case trimmer on my .223, .308, '06, and belted mag cases in my progressive press. Sets up on a caliber specific die, vac attachment, very fast and accurate way to mass produce trimming. Unfortunately doesn't work with pistol length brass.  Just got a Lee Deluxe Quick Trim trimmer, a caliber specific die setup, came with a drill motor adapter. Trimming a batch of 44 Mag this weekend, going to see if I can get that run that on the Dillon. 

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I don't understand it, we put men on the moon with lessor tetechnology than our phones have now....but noone can seem to figure out how to do the pistol cartridge trimming setup in a press for speedy production; ala' Dillon' s rifle cartridge setup.

I am missing the hangup with figuring this out.....

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Dillon:

The dillon trimmer is too short/ too fat to reach down into the tool head for the pistol length cases, but I agree, it could have been designed (or re-designed)  a little differently.  It's good at what it is designed for. 

LEE:

I ran a couple last night, just messing around, first trial in the Rock Chucker, worked perfectly but no case feeder/ progressive features obviously. The Lee trimmer depends on the shell holder (or plate) being forced against the die base otherwise the inner collet and shell spins.On the Dillon the tool head is just about 1/16" too thick, kind of a boss around where the die meets the tool head. Flipped tool head over, reinstalled die, worked great, so need to mill the boss off one of the stations (or just run tool head upside down) rig a vac attachment, good to go. The Lee produced a trim length +/- half a thou variance on the 5 cases I played with, and chamfers/ bevels to boot. Mickey Mouse having a drill motor hanging out the top of the die but awesome looking results.  

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On 1/1/2019 at 4:42 PM, Albroswift said:

Lee factory crimp die is my go to die, just about every caliber I reload.  a lot less case length sensitive then typical dies. Ram fully up, screw in until the collett  completely closes (no more) without a round. Put a round in, ram up, and look down the die, if the collet is closed you are good. Inspect round afterwards of course, nothing wrong with a small amount of in or out to taste, but you can damage the die by over crimping. If you run max length cases it will  look like a collet crimp, "Trim To" length brass it will look like a nice roll. On my 300 Weatherby loads, non cannelured (ELD-X) bullets, I back off about 1/8 turn. As with collet pullers, a little grease between the collet and the die body sure doesn't hurt.  

Cheers. Thank you for the info, I really appreciate it my friend.

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