I'm struggling a bit in my reloading process, specifically in how to efficiently neck tension. I currently am F/L resizing every round, am not annealing, and am not using bushing dies (but maybe should be). There must be a more efficient way to expand or tension case necks for initial turning, load development, and then loading. I feel I am working the necks back and forth unnecessarily during my process, as follows for new or factory brass:
My questions are:
- De-prime, clean brass, ream primer pockets and debur flash holes.
- Full-length size (Lee non-bushing F/L die without mandrel), bumping shoulder to -.002”. This should resize neck to 30-06 SAMMI spec 0.340” OD.
- Expand next with K&M Expand Mandrel to fit on neck turning pilot. K&M 30 Cal Expander Mandrel leaves 0.3085” ID.
- Trim necks to length with Lee Quick Trim.
- Turn necks with K&M turner to not less than 0.0125” thick.
- Tension necks using either mandrels or modified pin gages, as desired during load development. I must re-tension the necks since they were expanded for turning. I start by re-tensioning using either a standard or undersized mandrel in the F/L die, depending on the tension desired, and then expand as needed with pin gages:
- Add undersized mandrel to F/L and contract neck to 0.3035” ID (0.0045” tension without spring-back). If needed, expand to either 0.0030 or 0.0025 tension with pin gages in Hornady bullet puller in press.
- Add standard mandrel to F/L and contract neck to 0.3055” ID (0.0025” tension without spring-back). If needed, expand to either 0.0020 or 0.0010 tension with pin gages in Hornady bullet puller in press.
My questions are:
- Is there a better way to do this using what I have?
- If I moved to a F/L bushing die, would I use it in Step 2 (I would think so)? After using it to bump the shoulder and tension the neck some, the K&M Expand Mandrel would make the inside of the neck uniform and ready for turning. Then I assume I would only have to tension with bushing as desired, saving the expansion.