Anyone use custom reloading dies?

Discussion in 'Hand loading your Sako' started by Chris Anderson, May 6, 2019.

  1. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Well-Known Member

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    I'm working with a precision gunsmith to build a very accurate rifle and he mentioned that some people buy a precision chamber reamer with a companion resizer reamer so the they can resize the brass to exactly fit the chamber the rifle has. Have any of you tried that?

    If so how much of a difference do you think it made? Obviously going with a precision chamber reamer and companion resizing reamer doubles the cost of that part of the materials required for a rifle build and, while I have no problem spending money on tools that will contribute to the accuracy of the rifle, if the quantifiable accuracy increase is small there are many other things I can spend that money on.

    Oh and, the reamer cost difference would be from about $200 to $400 and the rifle is going to be an accurate walking around varminter with a barrel that has something like a Remington Mountain Rifle contour.

    What would you do?


    Thanks
    ChrisA
     

  2. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Your fired brass will EXACTLY match your chamber. All that needs done is slightly squeeze the case neck back to the proper dimension to hold the bullet firmly. Anything else you do to the brass is unnecessary (if your fired cases won't easily go back into the chamber then either there is a problem with your chamber or you're loading them way too hot.)

    If this is the .221 Fireball you've been writing about then get a set of Lee .222 Collet dies. Saw the proper amount off of the bottom of each die, which will have the effect of converting it to a Fireball die. Neck-sized brass doesn't need trimming nearly as often. The Collet dies make the straightest neck you can get on a case. And you don't have to remove any messy lubrication. You should never need anything other than neck-sizing with the Fireball.

    Anyhow, that's how I do it and both of my Fireballs are marvelously accurate -- and, I shoot them more than any other rifle I own.
     
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  3. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Well-Known Member

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    Actually the donor rifle I have is in .222 Remington but I could use the collet dies for the .222 until I get ready to rebarrel to .221 Fireball and then:


    :)


    And then there's:

    I'm all over that. Lubing and cleaning cases is a DRAG.

    Thanks for a great tip stonecreek.
    ChrisA
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  4. kirkbridgershooters

    kirkbridgershooters Well-Known Member

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    I believe too many people spend too much time and money chasing an accuracy myth that doesn’t give them any real benefit.

    You are talking about a walk around rifle that doesn’t need to put every bullet in the same hole. There is so much you can do chasing accuracy that you won’t ever use, so you are better off leaving that to bench rest competitors.

    I shoot a lot of varmint rifles and have as many as 5 in the same cartridge and I have one load that I use in all 5 guns. Granted, I could get better accuracy if I handloaded to each gun’s particular characteristics, but you don’t need to do that and you can spend a day shooting varmints at considerable ranges and still hit what you are shooting at.

    I have 4 PPC rifles and I still load with Redding dies and I full length resize them the same as I do for all the other cartridges that I shoot. Although the PPC’s were created for bench rest shooting, you don’t need to push the precision to the limit to hit what you are shooting at...

    8534DC01-B4F3-456F-A125-67F3EDC2D248.jpeg
     
  5. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Well-Known Member

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    Well, judging from the gun room pictures you've posted (or is that just your reloading room and the guns are in a bigger room somewhere else ;)) you're no neophyte at reloading.


    Which leads me to ask, how do you decide which load you'll use in those 5 rifles? There must be a not insignificant amount of time reloading / shooting and evaluating to figure out what components provided acceptable accuracy in all 5 rifles.

    For me reloading is just a means to an end, and the end is to get out shooting, so the quicker I can get to an accurate load the better.

    One last question. If you were going to build yourself an accurate walking around rifle just how accurate would it be?

    I subscribe to the often quoted axiom "Only accurate rifles are interesting" and I'd like mine to be very interesting.

    To me an accurate rifle will deliver the projectile exactly where the cross hairs are pointing when I pull the trigger. That way all I have to do is hold the cross hairs exactly where I want the projectile to strike.

    Thanks for the time you spend sharing your knowledge and experience.

    Sincerely
    ChrisA
     
  6. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    A bullet only hits "exactly" where the crosshairs are pointing at one point along it's trajectory, which is where the rifle is zeroed. The rest of the time it is either above or below your line of sight or is being driven to one side or the other by the wind. NOTHING is as precise as you believe. When varmint hunting with a walk about rifle you would be much better served to learn & practice good field shooting skills, range estimating, reading the wind, & knowing your trajectory than worrying about minutia regarding load development or accuracy. All the built in error caused by a multitude of factors when hunting far outweighs anything you gain from having a rifle that shoots .5 MOA versus 1 MOA. Very rarely do my rifles hit exactly where my crosshairs are, as I adjust my aim point to the conditions. Some people call it "Kentucky Windage". It's a very valuable skill you can't learn on the internet. I started to get fairly proficient at it after shooting about 5,000 rounds at PDs. If you think hitting small varmints at extended range is all about the gear & is a point & shoot affair, your in for a surprise.
     
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  7. kirkbridgershooters

    kirkbridgershooters Well-Known Member

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    I don’t know where any one of my guns will hit exactly, unless I was to shoot it to find out. I do have 4 custom made rifles and I used Sako actions and had Dennis use Lilja barrels twisted for the weight of bullet I wanted to shoot in it.

    I have been shooting them for years and never have bought into the fast twist hype as velocity is still a better ingredient than BC for most varmint shooting.

    As I progressed from a single gun in any cartridge to multiple guns, I already had a load that shot well and used it in the next rifle. I also sight a gun in with those loads so that the center of the group is in line with the crosshairs.

    To think you need a one hole gun to shoot varmints is not true. I spend lots of time and money in the prairie dog and gopher fields shooting and have found that worrying about accuracy minutiae is best left for the tinkerers that are consumed by reading articles and making their decisions on someone else’s experience rather than their own...
     
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  8. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    I've found the same to be true. The little 40 grain polymer-tipped bullets have been more consistently on-target in the prairie dog fields for me than heavier .224" bullets. They can be boosted fast enough in even a .221 Fireball to make that cartridge as effective as as something like a .22-250 with heavier bullets. A cross wind might move the heavier bullet only 4 inches at a given yardage while the little 40 grainer might be blown 6 inches off, but either is a miss with a dead-on hold and a 6 inch hold-off is no harder to do than a 4 inch hold-off.

    By the same token, I like the 32 grain .204" bullets better than the 40 grainers for PD shooting.
     
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  9. dgeesaman

    dgeesaman Well-Known Member

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    I have two Sako 6PPCs and the chamber dimensions are nearly identical.

    I tried a Forster and two Redding dies. All of them pushed the brass body diameter in several thousandths, at least .005” and it still wouldn’t set the shoulder bump properly.

    I ended up with a Harrell’s die. #0 I believe. This sized the brass just right for both. At $80 it’s the ideal option.

    David
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  10. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Well-Known Member

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    Hmm. I've never heard of Harrell die's. I'll check those out.

    Thanks David
     
  11. dgeesaman

    dgeesaman Well-Known Member

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    They do a few calibers only but they stock several size variations for each one.

    Send your fired brass in and they will provide the die in their series that matches most closely.

    It’s a terrific deal and if the sizing isn’t the way you want they will support you too.
     
  12. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Well-Known Member

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    I would think that the chance of them stocking a die for 222 Remington would be pretty likely. I'll give them a call.

    Thanks
     

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