S. D. Meacham Tool & Hardware Co. Inc.
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Bushing Type Neck Sizing Die Instructions
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT SIZE BUSHINGS TO ORDER?
To determine what size bushing to order with your die, measure the neck diameter of several of your loaded cartridges. If these measurements very by more than 0.0015 inches you may find that the accuracy of your reloads will increase if you separate you brass in to lots of the same neck thickness or turn you case neck. This will be true regardless of what die you use. Subtract 0.003 inches from your smallest neck diameter and order that diameter sizing bushing. Extra bushings are available as well as a kit containing all of the bushings available for any caliber. We will make other diameters available if we find that we have under-estimated the range of bushings that will be needed. Bushings are available in complete sets for those who want to experiment with different neck tensions.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Remove the knurled top and decapping assembly from the top of the black die body. Set the correct sizing bushing in the top of the die body and push it down with the top. Screw the top down until it touches the top of the body. The top should be the correct length to allow the bushing to move axially about 5 thousandths of an inch. This allows the bushing to “float” and center on your case necks. Raise the press ram to the top of its stroke and screw the die body down to touch the shell holder and then back it off half a turn. Set at this height, the bushing should size about 0.400 of the case neck. Lightly lube your case necks before sizing. The die body is reamed larger than your fired case so it should not size the case. If your chamber is very large or if you want to size less of the case neck, back the die out and set the lock ring (not shown).
TROUBLE SHOOTING FOR THE BUSHING NECK SIZING DIE
SEATED BULLETS SLIP OUT OF THE CASE NECK:
The Guide line of using a bushing 0.003 inches smaller than the neck diameter of your loaded cartridges is just that, a guide. How tightly your bullets are held in your cases depends on several things. If your necks have been work hardened by repeated sizing and firing, they will have a greater tendency to spring back to the size they were after you fired them. Try using the next smaller bushing. Of course you will now be working the brass more at each re-sizing, though not nearly as much as you would with a conventional die. You may need to either anneal your case necks or if you do not want to set up to anneal case necks you may have to replace your cases.
BULLETS ARE NOT HELD IN THE CASE AS TIGHTLY AS I WOULD LIKE.
Although they probably will not allow bullets to fall out of the case, new or freshly annealed cases may be so soft that a thousandth extra sizing will be needed to get the bullet pull you want the first few firings. Then drop back to a larger bushing. You will find that because your cases are being worked much less than they were with a conventional sizer/expander, you will need to anneal less often.
THE SIZING THE SIZING BUSHING IS LEAVING A STEP ON ONE SIDE OF THE NECK WHILE THE OTHER SIDE IS STRAIGHT. YOUR DIE MUST BE CROOKED.
This has been the most frequent complaint and it is what got us into making the Deal To Anneal case annealing cups. Every time, I have been able to trace the problem to either improper annealing of the case necks or to cases that were much thicker on one side than on the other.
Many shooters anneal their case necks by either holding the head of the case and turning it back and forth in the flame or by standing the cases in a pan of water. Both methods have the same fault. You can not heat the case necks uniformly all of the way around. One side gets annealed, probably over heated, and the other side remains work hardened. When these cases are forced through a sizing bushing, The softer side compresses. The hard side compresses little if at all. The result is a step on the soft side where the bushing stopped. The problem never appeared before because the shooter had been using a full length die which held the case body reasonably concentric with the case neck. Kind of by definition, a bushing neck sizer only touches the case where the neck goes through the bushing. If you are annealing cases either by the fingers or the pan of water method, there is a better way.
MORE TROUBLE SHOOTING
RELOADS SHOW GREATER VELOCITY VARIATION SINCE I STARTED USING THE NECK SIZER.
Under some circumstances, the primer can actually blow the bullet out of the case before the powder can ignite. Each powder charge is effectively burning in a different size case. The problem can be solved by increasing neck tension, changing to a less forceful primer, or turning all case necks and annealing so that all cases have the same hold on the bullet.
A BUSHING IS STUCK IN THE DIE BODY.
Remove the die top and decapping rod. Find a hard flat steel surface like the anvil at the back of a bench vise or a smooth block of steel. Turn the die upside down and tap the top of the body square on the hard surface. The inertia of the bushing should cause it to fall out. Run a fired case into the die. The case neck will probably push the bushing up into the threaded portion of the die body where it will be easier to remove. Bushings should drop into and out of the top of the die body. Don’t force one in. If it will not go easily, look for a bur on the bushing, probably where the size was rolled onto the bushing.
MY CASES ARE BEING SIZED JUST AHEAD OF THE CASE WEBB.
The die bodies are bored just over SAMMI maximum for your cases dimension just ahead of the rim. If your chamber is badly oversize you will notice that fired cases are larger just ahead of the case web. If this is the area that is being sized, there isn’t much that can be done. If the web it’s self is being sized then the die body is incorrect. Call and we will get it corrected
THE DIE LEAVES A SHOULDER AT THE END OF THE NECK THAT WAS NOT THERE WITH MY OLD DIES
The sizing bushing reduces the neck to the correct diameter but does not touch the case behind the neck so it remains the same size as the chamber. Your old dies sized the body as well as the neck. If your chamber is very large you will notice this step. Be sure you are not sizing the case further down than necessary.
CAN I GET A CARBIDE/TiN BUSHING? I HATE LUBING AND CLEANING CASES.
I do to, but our volume of sales is too small to offer them at this time. Our bushings are carborized and hardened steel and should last long enough that when they wear out you won’t be able to remember how long you have had them. Wipe the out side of your cases before you neck size them as you would with any die and lube the necks. Be glad you don’t have to lube the inside of the necks or trim your cases as often.