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Problem reloading 7.7

 
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hottarod



Joined: Apr 02 2009
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 10:37 pm    Post subject: Problem reloading 7.7 Reply with quote

My brass is all once fired Graf's or Norma. The problem I'm having is that it won't full re-size so I loose the neck sizing part of the process. I have the Lee pacesetter dies. I get down to the last 1/8th to 1/16th of an inch that needs sizing on the base of the brass and it sticks tight. I did some mic'ing and found that the Lee die is .467 at the mouth. My fired brass tapers out to .473 at its widest point. I size it as much as I can without getting it jammed in the die.

To get it to hold a bullet I have to put a partial crimp on the end of the brass, seat the bullet and then crimp the bullet again after seating it. I'm using the Hornaday's that have the crimping groove in them. I'm not sure this would make for a good shooting round since the bullet is loose inside the neck except for the crimp. The round will chamber fine in my gun but I haven't tried firing one.

Is the Lee die too tight or has my fired brass expanded too much? I have so far been unsuccessful finding a technical person at Lee to talk with.
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gwsiii



Joined: Aug 21 2003
Posts: 2207
Location: Hayden, AL

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 7:39 pm    Post subject: reloading Reply with quote

I haven't forgotten about you, trying to find someone to answer, I don't reload so I have to check around. Trey
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DEFUC



Joined: Aug 17 2004
Posts: 200
Location: UP of michigan

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if its the brass that was fired in your gun ,you just need to neck size it and reuse..if you got it from someonelses gun,youll need to reform it to a size that will fit your die..I suprised it wont go into your FL size die,the normal nominal diametre of 7.7 is .473 and always goes in mine just fine,...Shannon Z is the guy you really need to solve this for you,he is The Man when it comes to forming/resizing 7.7 ammo.normally you dont crimp rifle target ammo, friction tight works best for consistant accuracy,as the crimp messes up "pull" during firing.If your set has a .467 limit its too small for 7.7,minimum case tolerance is .466 I think
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gwsiii



Joined: Aug 21 2003
Posts: 2207
Location: Hayden, AL

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hottarod, in the meantime see Shannon's reloading 6.5 and 7.7 article some good info there. Trey
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hottarod



Joined: Apr 02 2009
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This brass will only be fired in my personal gun and I did read Shannon's reloading post. I finally got to talk to a tech at Lee Precision. He gave me a few options.

1. Send my die back with some spent brass and they would check my die first to make sure it simply isn't too tight. I mic'd it again and its .467 just inside the mouth of the die.

2. Assuming the die is the right one then if I wanted they could hone my die out some so that it wouldn't work my brass so hard. That would be the same as a custom die so its not a cheap option.

2. They don't make a 7.7 neck sizing die from what the Lee guy told me. I can buy a .303 neck sizing die and shim up my shell holder a bit with a washer around the brass so it doesn't get into the shoulder of my brass. It only comes as a 2 die set with a bullet seating die which I totally don't need.

3. Have my fairy wave her magic wand and I will live happily ever after.

Option 3 would be nice but my fairy is on vacation. I think I may just hone out the mouth of the die and continue trial fitting my brass until it goes in ok. Thats the only option that I can really afford.
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Smokey



Joined: Sep 07 2006
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get some castor oil at any drug store. It's the best sizing lubricant I have ever used, and you probably won't have sticking cases if you use it.

Alternately, I use a .30-06 Lee collet die for 7.7 Japanese. While it only does part of the neck, that's all you need for a good grip on the bullet. Additionally, the bullet will be held centered with the bore. I get excellent accuracy this way.
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hottarod



Joined: Apr 02 2009
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found a neck sizing die for 7.7. RCBS makes it. If you are in the market for one they are on sale at Midway for $20. I hope this will solve my sizing problems so I can get on with reloading and shooting my Arisaka.
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smzeigler



Joined: Aug 22 2003
Posts: 34
Location: Northern Virginia

PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hottarod,

It sounds like your dies are out of spec. I will be surprise if that is the reason, but based on your description, not sure what else it could be. I've had to reduce the expander on some of my Lee dies, but otherwise I find them to be very good dies. I agree with Dave. Send them back for an exchange. Lee will honor your request it that is indeed issue. Send me your email and I will send you my latest version of the 6.5mm and 7.7mm reloading article - it is much improved over the first version.

I recommend imperial die wax - it is the best thing on the market. A large tin goes a long way and cost about $5. I have no experience using castor oil, but I doubt it cleans up as easy as die wax.

Best Regards, Shannon
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hottarod



Joined: Apr 02 2009
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got my RCBS neck sizer in and my brass is now ready to re-load. The neck sizing operation did not feel like it put a lot of work on the brass which is good. Cartridge length is perfect too. All I'm waiting on is my primers. I've had them on back order since early April. The last few times I've called to check they have told me the same date so I think I'll get them soon.

For this test I'm using Hodgdon 4350 in 48 to 50 grains, Win LR primers and Hornaday corelock 150 grain soft tips. This looks to be effectively a 300 yard round on my ballistics software. It is almost identical to the Hornaday LeverEvolutions I shoot in my 30-30. I suppose these will be fine for my first reload test but not very impressive. I have a load profile for Varget that I may use later on if I want to heat em up.

I haven't decided what to do with my Lee full sizer. The Lee person told me that those dies were set tighter than the original cartridge spec's to allow for some spring back in the brass. That supposedly puts the brass back to as manufactured, never fired size. Well this is a 67? year old rifle and doesn't really need that much resizing. As the cases are now, they don't need anything but neck resizing but after 3 or 4 reloads where will they be? I guess they can't ever get any tighter than the chamber will let them.
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DEFUC



Joined: Aug 17 2004
Posts: 200
Location: UP of michigan

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds like a nice loading, you can safely go out to about 54gr of 4350,or down as far as 42-43gr with the 150s ..the 7.7 should substantialy out perform the 30-30 out beyond 150yds or so ,tho with the right loading 30-30 can be a barn burner,I have a load or two I make for my personal bolt actions that seriously out perform the factory stuff,designed for the old lever guns.
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hottarod



Joined: Apr 02 2009
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well now after buying the RCBS neck sizing die I was able to go back and use the Lee full sizer and re-size all my 7.7's. I re-adjusted the decapping pin. I guess the problem was that I had it a bit too deep into the die. It didn't look like it to my eye but it apparently was. I wasn't thinking that the shell was so thick inside the base where the priming hole is. Its thicker than I would have thought.

Having run all my brass through the RCBS neck sizer made no difference either. I shot some 7.7's last week end and ran these through the Lee full sizer and they came out fine as well.
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gwsiii



Joined: Aug 21 2003
Posts: 2207
Location: Hayden, AL

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:19 am    Post subject: reloading Reply with quote

Glad you got everything running right. Thanks for the update. Trey
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