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Resizing cases - 6.5 Creedmoor if it makes a diff

kimberkidkimberkid Member Posts: 8,857 ✭✭✭
I've been reloading 223, 308, 9mm, 45acp, and 8mm Mauser for over 2 decades and I've always used a full length re-sizing die ... I'm not a newbie to reloading.

I recently built an AR10 in 6.5 Creedmoor and I find myself in a position I've never considered before;

This is the only weapon I have in this caliber so this brass won't be used in any other weapon, do I need to full length resize these cases or can I just resize the necks?

I wasn't planning on reloading for it but the the cost of ammo was surprising and the performance of factory ammo was so dismal I don't have any other choice ... when I used my chronograph it varied over 400 fps and I had 3" groups at 100 yards. I had bought 3 boxes of this Hornaday 129 grain "Superformance" and was just disgusted.

So far I've only shot 1box of factory ammo then I bought 200 pieces of new brass and 500 projectiles. I've loaded and shot 50 hand-load rounds and with my very first trial batch I'm getting 1/2" MOA at 200 yards.

Anyway I'm getting ready to reload my 70 pieces of once fired brass ...
... So what say the GunBroker Brain Trust here on the reloading forms?
If you really desire something, you'll find a way ?
? otherwise, you'll find an excuse.


  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,345 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    It depends on your chamber. If the cases have lumps on them good chance you will be full length sizing in order to get it to cycle.

    I had a Belgium Browning BAR in 06. It had a very tight and round chamber and would accept neck sized only brass flawlessly. It also spit them out so hot I couldn't pick them right up. No other autoloader I ever shot did that.

    New barrels can require some "wear/iron in" in order to shoot good. A good copper solvent like Shooter's Choice and JB Bore paste will help.

    I generally like cases full or even lightly compressed and the bullet ogive about .003 from engagement. Autoloaders don't always play by the rules.
  • nononsensenononsense Member Posts: 10,933 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1

    quote:I recently built an AR10 in 6.5 Creedmoor... I need to full length resize these cases or can I just resize the necks?

    I don't consider myself to be included in a 'brain trust' but I have a couple of comments to make regarding your question.

    First and foremost, I think you need to consider the fact that this is a semi-automatic rifle and not a bolt action. Semi-autos can be a little tedious when it comes to feeding rapidly and consistently from a magazine. Neck sizing is generally frowned upon for semi-autos. Your question will also bring up the size of the chamber, which will eventually answer the question about sizing. Semi-auto chambers are usually a tiny bit oversize from the start in order to achieve full function with a wide variety of ammunition. If the fired cases are oversize from the start then you may have to consider full length resizing in order to prevent failure to fire or really, failure to chamber (function) completely.

    No matter which part of the process you choose, be sure to set your headspace correctly when sizing.

    If you want to play with the idea of neck sizing for a semi-auto, then neck size 10 pieces and reload. If you have no failure to function and the inspected brass is in great shape then I think you could consider it. However, I would feel more confident if I could run 50 or 100 neck sized cases first.

    You see where this is going. Run some tests and if it works, great! If not then you need to include full length resizing into your process of reloading.

  • MIKE WISKEYMIKE WISKEY Member, Moderator Posts: 9,831 ******
    edited November -1
    AS ABOVE. However, what sizing die are you using?. a neck sizing die will do just that, using the f.l. die backed out 1 turn (or less) may work better as you will partialy resize the body without changing headspace.
  • Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,325 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have only seen neck sizing for an autorifle attempted one time.
    It was some sort of AR10 derivative in .308. It didn't work.
    I don't think the expert who was advising the beginner knew he was shooting an auto, it was at an F class and Long Range shoot. Not many autos there.
  • kimberkidkimberkid Member Posts: 8,857 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    My thought with neck sizing only was that it would be less wear and tear on the shoulder of the case, and the only "testing" I've done so far is that when I neck size them only (and providing I put the rim under the extractor) the case will chamber and the bolt does lock with only slight pressure with my thumb.

    I bought 2 sets of dies, the Hornady custom grade 2-die set which only has the full length re-sizing die and the seating die ... and a Lee 4 piece set which included the collet neck sizing die and a full length resizing die ... both de-cap; a seating die and a factory crimp die. I'm using the Lee collet/neck sizing die, Hornady seating die and the Lee crimp.

    I think I'll give it a try and see ... I know that some bolt shooters/reloads fire form the brass and only resize the necks ... this not being a bolt gun I thought I'd ask and see what the prevailing thought was.

    I didn't mention it before, but I'm shooting a JP Enterprise Barrel which came with a bolt that's head spaced for this barrel as from what I understand there is no "standard" for the AR-10 like there is for the AR-15. Also I'm using a Dillon 550B press which turns out very good quality ammo, but it does struggle a bit with extruded powders like Varget which is what I'm using ... I already weigh my projectiles and put them in groups of + or - .3 grains which is the limit of the scale. Back when I used to shoot matches I would use my RCBS RL-5 and load one at a time until I realized the Dillon would meter granular powder very well ... and with me behind trigger, the benefit of trickling every charge was only "maybe" evident when shooting from the bench [B)]

    Today's my day off so I think I'll give it a try and see what happens ... I'll report back later!
    If you really desire something, you'll find a way ?
    ? otherwise, you'll find an excuse.
  • kimberkidkimberkid Member Posts: 8,857 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Well I neck-sized 20 rounds and they shot as beautifully as the first time I loaded them ... with one serious exception [:(]

    When I was experimenting with an empty once fired case at home I didn't have any trouble extracting the the case by pulling the charge handle ... however, after I loaded them, when I wanted to clear the chamber the charge handle wouldn't pull back ... to clear the chamber I had to drop the mag and fire the round in the chamber or I suppose I could have used the "mortar" technique like we were taught to do with a stuck round.

    Anyway, I'm still in the "getting to know" this rifle, round and scope ... Getting the feel for how it performs at different distances and what to expect with what seems to be a pretty good recipe with Varget.

    The first 20 rounds I trickeled every charge and at 100 yards I was getting 5 shots resulting in the pervibal 1 ragged hole that measured 5/16" and at 300, 3 of the 5 were touching the other 2 were about 1/8" away. So I decided to try the Dillon powder drop ... so far my experience is it can vary up to about 1/2 a grain but even at that I'm about 1.5 grains from max load. At 200 yards the worst of 5; 5 shot groups has been 1 1/8" and today of the 20 rounds, I was shooting at 435 yards and had a 2 5/8" four shot group 1 round I flinched and called it "bad" ... It's I the upper right hand corner of the picture below ... it would have given me a 8" group ... but I'm not including it in the group [:p]
    If I'd had any more ammo I'd have just shot another target, but that will have to be another day.

    Anyway, from here on out I'll be using the f/l resizing die ... Just to brag a bit, here's today's 435 yard target

    If you really desire something, you'll find a way ?
    ? otherwise, you'll find an excuse.
  • 243winxb243winxb Member Posts: 264 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    [url] [/url] Superformance in Gas Operated Firearms. quote: Due to the longer duration of peak pressure produced by SuperformanceT, the post peak/declining port pressure at common carbine and mid-length gas port locations is still higher than that produced by standard propellant. This has a tendency to flood the system with a larger volume of gas, at a higher velocity, that tries to open the bolt of the gun too fast. It's a timing issue. The cartridge case is still swollen from the application of pressure during firing while the gun is simultaneously trying to extract the cartridge case before it has had an opportunity to settle back to its original size, or more simply: the gun is still in the process or firing while it's trying to extract the cartridge case.
    [url] [/url]
  • TANK78ZTANK78Z Member Posts: 1,300 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Great shooting .. I personally feel every rifle , no matter the action type , reacts differently to each and every variable.
    Just received my brand new Ruger 77VT in 204 , first 5 groups of 5 rounds each at 100 meters using factory Hornady superformance 40 gr ammo were all under 1", the average was .602"
    For me thats fantastic for the first time out.
    Next week I will try out the 200 meter range, by then I will have enough brass to start reloading them and see what happens.
    I would follow on your current path, it is what seems to work for your rifle.
    To me the learning curve is fun , trying to outsmart the problems, and getting great results from persistence.
    May I ask what scope you are using?
  • kimberkidkimberkid Member Posts: 8,857 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by TANK78Z
    May I ask what scope you are using?

    I'm using a Leupold Mark 4 ER/T 8.5-25x50 in a 1 piece
    Leupold 30mm mount ... I could saved a couple hundred bucks if I'd gone with the LR/T instead but I splurged. The clarity is amazing ... I've got a Nikon 45-60x70 (?-IIRC) spotting scope and I can see my 435 yard target better with the Leupold, at a lower power than I can with my spotting scope!

    Here's the rest of the build list -

    Spikes 308 Jack receiver
    Geiselle SSA-E Trigger
    JP Enterprise Barrel, 10" Red Heat-Sink, Adjustable Gas System, Stainless BCG & HD captured Recoil System
    Atlas Bi-Pod
    Accu-Shot PRM (Precision Rail Monopod) ... (which is more trouble than its worth)
    Magpul PRS Stock
    PSA Charge Handle w/extended latch for scope
    PSA spring and pin kit
    CAA Pistol Grip

    If you really desire something, you'll find a way ?
    ? otherwise, you'll find an excuse.
  • TANK78ZTANK78Z Member Posts: 1,300 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Very nice build !
    I have a spare ar-15 lower with a POF trigger group that I need to top off.
    It will probably be made into a long range target type in 223, thinking a White Oak armaments heavy 20 " varmint barrel and a 16.5 " thin profile hand guard.
    Will probably get another Vortex viper PST 6-24x50 mrad FFP, to mount on it, decent glass at a reasonable price.
    And yes years ago I bought a rear mono-pod and agree they are not worth
    having, I just stick to a nice rabbit ear bag.
  • MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 13,107 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I wouldn't even consider anything other than full length resizing for a semi-auto platform.
    With a bolt action, you have full control of the bolt closing and can regulate how much force you put into that closing.
    With a semi-auto, you have no control over the process. Some SA actions might allow the cartridge to be fired w/o full bolt closing with a really bad result.
  • kimberkidkimberkid Member Posts: 8,857 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks for everyone's comments ... if anyone that wants to share load info, I'm still taking notes!

    I have gone to full length resizing, and ditched the Geiselle trigger in favor of a lighter RRA Varmint trigger(also less than 1/2 the cost), also ditched Accu-Shot in favor of a bag ... I also ran out of Varget and have been playing with some Accurate Data 2200 powder which I've had for several years. The plus is that I've got 12-13 pounds of it from the same lot ... just loading them on my Dillon 550B the velocity only varies about 100fps


    I don't know how sensitive it is to temperature yet, but in moderate weather it's OK at 100 yards ... this wasn't built to be a 100 yard gun but until the hunting seasons end I've lost my 400-500 yard range as the berm backs up to a wooded area.

    Well I'm pretty much in love with this round and considering re-barreling one of my two 308 bolt guns into 6.5 as well.

    I've got a Remington VSSF in 308 ... Northland Shooter's Supply sells barrel nuts which are threaded for Remington barrel threads ( and they sell Criterion barrels that have the shoulder removed and the threads extended ( You use a Savage barrel wrench to install the new barrel ... basically a drop-in barrel change just like you can on a Savage.

    The delima is that I've also got a SiG SSG3000 and Benchmark makes a drop-in 6.5 Creedmoor barrel for it ... both conversions, with the barrels are about the same price by the time you get the tools.
    If you really desire something, you'll find a way ?
    ? otherwise, you'll find an excuse.
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