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  • Question about neck turning

    I just got the rcbs neck turner and although I’m waiting on a few mandrels, i do have the .223 mandrel to mess around with.

    Should the cases be fully prepped ( sized, trimmed, Deburred, chamfered and cleaned ) before I take neck measurements and “cut” as needed? The directions say they should BUT when I tried to put the mandrel into a fully prepped case it wouldn’t fit. I polished the mandrel with some non-abrasive rouge but didn’t do much.

  • #2
    I've never used the RCBS turning tool but the K&M I use and others have a specific sizing mandrel that you run the case necks over after they've been sized to get the right fit for the turning mandrel.

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    • #3
      TC730w, stole my thunder. Once you crossed the expander mandrel bridge, are you attempting to fit your brass to a specific chamber? At that point you need an outside micrometer or faster a tubing mic. I neck turn all my bottle neck cases. Don't know if it helps, but to me it does not hurt. Some tight necked rifles demand neck turning. That's want got me started many years ago. If you have a large amount of cases to be turned, you may want to turn them under power (electric drill and case holder). New processes often take you down paths, that you don't fully understand at the start. Enjoy the learning curve.

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      • #4
        Found a great article on accurate shooter. Answered all my questions.

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        • #5
          If your rifle has a custom bench rest barrel your rifle's groupings might improve with neck turning. If it is a factory barrel it might not improve your rifle's grouping. You then preferably also have to use the bushing die sets. Try first to only cut the high points on the neck. Keep neck thickness on 0.012" or 0.013". If you go less than this the necks could loose a proper grip on the bullet. With neck turning you have to first anneal the cases, otherwise you will en up with a lot of split necks.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Reloader270 View Post
            If your rifle has a custom bench rest barrel your rifle's groupings might improve with neck turning. If it is a factory barrel it might not improve your rifle's grouping. You then preferably also have to use the bushing die sets. Try first to only cut the high points on the neck. Keep neck thickness on 0.012" or 0.013". If you go less than this the necks could loose a proper grip on the bullet. With neck turning you have to first anneal the cases, otherwise you will en up with a lot of split necks.
            Perhaps I've misunderstood, but if they are new cases haven't they have already been annealed? so why anneal them again? I turn most of necks on cases I often shoot, especially 6mmPPC cases for my bench rifles, and I've never annealed any. And split necks are rare even though turn them quite thin. (about .0084")

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Offfhand View Post

              Perhaps I've misunderstood, but if they are new cases haven't they have already been annealed? so why anneal them again? I turn most of necks on cases I often shoot, especially 6mmPPC cases for my bench rifles, and I've never annealed any. And split necks are rare even though turn them quite thin. (about .0084")
              Agreed. If I am turning new brass, I am not going to waste time annealing it. Even if it were new and not annealed, or fired, I would not anneal before turning as harder brass does not move as much when you run a cutter over it.

              As for bullet grip, neck thickness is not a relevant factor. While I don't have a chamber (nor do I think I want a chamber) that warrants anything less than 0.011, what matters is the bushing you use when sizing. Brass is very stubborn, which is why is works so well under high pressure. Stuffing a bullet in to a thin or thick neck with the same internal diameter is going to yield pretty much the same result.

              I also cut into the shoulder. There is a bunch of FUD out there over that one as well. - don't do it or you will split your cases. I have yet to have one fail.
              Friends don't let friends shoot factory ammo.

              Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.
              -Winston Churchill

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              • #8
                I was just watching a YouTube channel again on neck turning and I couldn't help but wonder that, if you were using high quality brass anyways, whether you would be better off measuring with a ball micrometer and just throwing the few outlier brass that exist. Or at least measuring before to see if the neck turning gear and time is worth the investment.

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                • #9
                  The mandrel needs to be paired with the expander. I use the K&M tools, in which I run the necks over the iron for the caliber I'm working with, this assures a nice close tolerance fit, which is necessary if one desires a consistent cut. Once all the turning has been done you can then set the necks to the desired tension specification if necessary.

                  HBC

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                  • #10
                    I neck turn my brass for certain rifles only, mainly target rifles. I turn to have consistent neck thickness. I don't have tight chambers. I like neck thickness around 0.012'-0.13'.
                    I use the 21 st Century Shooting neck turning lathe. I use the expander mandrel for consistent ID neck diameter, then use the turning mandrel when actually turning the necks. I normally cut to the neck and shoulder junction. I have not had any problems with split cases at all.
                    I use Lapua brass for all my rifles that Lapua makes cases for. They are good cases but they do have their variances, small yes but differences. Maybe neck turning is not necessary but that is my preference.
                    "The United States Marine Corps is a drug and I am a recovering addict."

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