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303 British SMLE Cases

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    Posted: September 09 2018 at 7:27am

When shot from your SMLE, do your cases look like those in the image?

Both my SMLE's produce the same results as pictured. I'm in the process of special ordering a custom die from Lee Precision to address the "blow out" in the neck area so that my case shoulders aren't worked everytime they cycle through a full-length sizing die.

I'm considering ordering 25 dies vs paying the setup fee of $150. If I did this, the cost of the order would be $21 a die and I would probably sell the rest through eBay or other sources.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2018 at 9:07am
Yup, perfectly normal on some L-E's. That's the "generous" chamber they were famous for.
What I do is to back off the F/L sizing die a little so they don't constantly push & blow the shoulder out wrecking the brass.

All the gruesome details here:
That (Partial full length resizing) is my preferred technique.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SW28fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2018 at 10:16am
Why not just neck size?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stanforth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2018 at 10:57am
If you are only using one rifle, the fired case is NOW correctly sized to your chamber. Back off the sizing die so that you just size the neck. You will then have cases that are far better suited to that particular rifle than factory cares.
 
In my .303 rifles (SMLE III and No.4 1*) the chambers are quite different so I keep the cartridge cases separated.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ranch Dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2018 at 12:40pm
Originally posted by Shamu Shamu wrote:

Yup, perfectly normal on some L-E's. That's the "generous" chamber they were famous for.
What I do is to back off the F/L sizing die a little so they don't constantly push & blow the shoulder out wrecking the brass.

All the gruesome details here:
That (Partial full length resizing) is my preferred technique.
Thanks for the reference Shamu! Got it done. In the image, you can see the start of the thin "bright" line on my smoked case. Used about six cases just to make sure I had the die setup. With the Lee Pacesetter die, it ended up being half a turn off she!! holder contact (.0355").


Originally posted by SW28fan SW28fan wrote:

Why not just neck size?
Well, turned to the Lee Collet die for that but it is a true neck sizing die and I could not chamber the rounds as the case's web made chamber contact.

Back to the bench and range.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2018 at 12:56pm
Ranch Dog,buy one of these,it is RCBS. Follow the set up directions and you're good to go...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2018 at 3:44pm
I actually just purchased that very same die! And have been keeping my new (well, once fired now) PPU brass in specific containers to that specific rifle!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ranch Dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 09 2018 at 5:21pm
Originally posted by Goosic Goosic wrote:

Ranch Dog,buy one of these,it is RCBS. Follow the set up directions and you're good to go...

I appreciate the suggestion, but if it is a true neck size die without body contact, I'm not sure it is going to solve the issue I'm having. 


As I noted above, I have the Lee Collet Die, and it does a great job on the neck and makes no other contact below the shoulder. What is preventing me from using the Collet die is I'm unable to chamber the brass. I need a bit of sizing somewhere aft of the shoulder and .035" above the base of the cartridge. The .035" comes from the full-length Pacesetter die being one turn off the she!! holder. That is the math of the thread pitch and verified with a gap gauge.

I'm kind of curious if I will be able to use the Collet die after the next round on the brass. The fit issue might be some effect from the aggressive fireforming that takes place. I use the Collet dies with bolt guns chambered in 30-30 Win, 300 Sav, 308 Win, 7.62x39, and 35 Rem.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 10 2018 at 6:56am
There are 2 reasons why I don't just neck size.
1: You eventually have to F/L resize anyway as the body expands a tad every time its fired. Consistency being everything in reloading I prefer to not suddenly swap back to a F/L resize periodically.

2: by just backing the shoulder of a hair the round chambers more easily.

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You might want to bring your resize die down a hair, the shoulder "ring" should just completely encircle the shoulder.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ranch Dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 10 2018 at 12:16pm
Originally posted by Shamu Shamu wrote:

There are 2 reasons why I don't just neck size.
1: You eventually have to F/L resize anyway as the body expands a tad every time its fired. Consistency being everything in reloading I prefer to not suddenly swap back to a F/L resize periodically.

2: by just backing the shoulder of a hair the round chambers more easily.
I understand that. With the 300 Sav, 308 Win, and 35 Rem; I never return to the full-length die before the case necks need to be retired (tossed). The 30-30 Win is just like the 303 Brit, very similar cartridges and bolt, so it will be worth the fine adjustment on the sizing die. Have levergun 30-30 Win AI that I will do this same adjustment with.

Originally posted by Shamu Shamu wrote:

RANCH DOG
You might want to bring your resize die down a hair, the shoulder "ring" should just completely encircle the shoulder.
Okay, thanks, I see what you are saying. Probably just another 1/16 or 1/8 of a turn.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 10 2018 at 3:43pm
Sounds good, sneak up on it don't overshoot it.
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