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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently started using SIG brand brass in .223 REM, and most recently - .243 WIN. Mostly because I'm buying it off-the-shelf, and around here - buy it when you see it, or it won't be there when you need it. I found the last bag at Cabela's, so I snapped it up.

(On my last thread concerning the shoulders of my .223 rounds collapsing during the seating operation - I was questioning the quality and the hardness of the brand of brass; it turned out, I had incorrectly set up the seating die in the first place. My bad, and I did correct my screw up).

So, I got some more of this SIG brass in .243 WIN, and I've included some pics. We all like shiny, new brass, and this stuff looks good. $25.99 for a 50-count bag. (Remington and Winchester are the same price, or a dollar or two more).

I've reloaded this SIG brand twice, and I have to say, it seems like pretty good brass. The primer pockets are nicely formed and are easy to clean. the case mouths are all round - no dented rims were evident. (I checked each round in the bag just to see if the shell length is consistent - it is). All 50 pieces were 2.036[SUB]5[/SUB]".

Of course, it's just a rookie opinion, but I do have a relevant question to ask. Is it necessary to full-length size brand new brass, and trim it to size, as well?

I'm trying to make certain that I improve my reloading skills; at the same time, I've always been curious because of the varied opinions I've read on the reloading forum.

What problems could occur if I were to load this length right out-of-the-box, instead of trimming it to 2.035" as directed in the book? Again, it's an academic question, (I always trim my brass to-length), but I'd like your knowledgeable opinions and insights. Will it cause head-spacing problems; possible case failures - jamming in the chamber/throat of the bore? Pressure build-up?

Thanks, in advance.

Gr8rtst.
 

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I only neck size as well (dented or not) and then check OAL.

I also look inside and remove any flash (if any) that's present from the flash hole punching operation.

I'll run a hand held, RCBS chamfer tool backwards (like draw filing) around the inside of the case neck to lightly break the edge and they're ready to load.


Years ago, I recall reading in a magazine's Q&A section where it was stated that new brass already meets SAAMI dimensional standards as-received and doesn't need to be sized full length.
 

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I neck or full length all new brass. It is usually ok to neck size only for bolt guns but all my lever guns and pumps and autos get full length sized. I chamfer and deburr all new brass,,,,,,,
 

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Depends on the quality of the virgin brass that makes me decide what to do with it. I really don't get serious about the brass until it is once fired in my chamber. As of late, I have been buying a lot of Sig brass along with Starline and Lapua. The Lapua is ready to go right out of the box. When it comes to Starline, I neck size with a true neck die, chamfer, debur, and then open up with a Lyman M die. The Sig stuff I usually just chamfer, debur, and open up with a M die unless it's out of round.

Out of many thousands of rounds of virgin brass, I have never attempted to FL size and I have never had a case that did not fit into any chamber.

You mentioned in another thread that you bought Sig annealed brass. The truth is that all brass is annealed from the factory, other wise the case would not survive the first firing. Most brass makers polish off the annealing discoloration. Lapua and Sig do not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks, gentlemen.

I do neck, and full-length size my brass, but the more I learn, the better quality of my loads will be.

Gr8rtst.
 

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As a precaution, I always full length size any new brass I get, then check the case length and trim if needed. Most of the brass I have purchased in recent years has had several that had dented case mouths anyway. To me, it's just as easy to be sure, than to load them up and then encounter chambering issues. The one exception to this was some 7.62X51 brass I bought that was sold as "processed"--cleaned, sized, length checked/trimmed, and primer pocket crimp removed. I spot checked case length, found it was good, and just loaded those.
 

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There is no good reason to resize new cases. Back the full-length resizing die out one turn, or use a neck sizing die, to get rid of any case mouth dents. Then chamfer the case mouths. Measure the case lengths, only trim if over length. Then load.
 

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you might be right there may be no good reason to re-size brand new brass. for consistency sake I treat all brass the same, I trim and full length re-size and inspect each and every piece throughout the process. I am sure it is overkill but ends up giving me a quality product, which is why I reload to begin with. YMMV
 

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If you had one of these gauges you could drop the case in and see if it needs to be sized. A fired case will not fit into it. I dont know how else you would know. Well , I guess you could slip one into the chamber on your barrel and see if it slides in easy with your finger. I wouldnt use the bolt.
View attachment 695817
These are a great and underutilized tools. I use them for all the bottleneck cases I reload. I'm using the L. E. Wilson brand, but I assume the Hornady work the same. I find that they are even more needed for lever action rifles. Fired cases should fit in the gage. I have only one rifle whose cases will not because the diameter of the neck portion of the chamber is oversized.

To use them clean and deprime cases. Measure the case length to make sure it isn't longer than the gage. Drop the case into the gage and measure from the case head to the neck end of the gage. For most of my bolt action guns the case head does not rise above the gage, but on my .30-30 rifles and half of my Savage 99s the case head will be about .005" - .008" above the top of the gage. Adjust the resizing die to reduce that measurement by only .002" - .003". I measure all my cases before and after resizing. Often new cases will fall below the minimum.

A box of 50 .35 Remington case often give inconsistent measurements from case to case both before and after resizing. This is due to the small shoulder and low pressure of the cartridge.

I have a .32 Winchester Special rifle that was clearly made wrong. The shoulder of the fired cases is about .060" farther from the case-head than spec. If it were a rimless case the rifle wouldn't even fired, but because of the rim no one noticed since 1949. If I were to resize these cases back to nominal length I would have very short case life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
What he said^^^ I also trim mine to a uniform length; some factory brass is long.
For the sake of furthering my skills at reloading, by acquiring knowledge and personal experience, and doing what I am always told not to do - (curiosity being what it is); I took a couple of new pieces of this Sig brass, not sized, but empty, of course, and slipped a few cases into the chamber of my .243, by hand to see if they would go in without sticking. They went in and out without sticking. Yeah, I used the bolt to extract them.

Nevertheless, I always do go through the full-length resizing step, and like many of you stated, I also check each trimmed case length, and then check the C.O.L. of the finished round to make certain they are all the same length.

I also started keeping the same cases together in the same batch I loaded them from. I'm learning, coming along, kicking and creaming, being an old dog.

I usually use Winchester, Remingtion and Federal brass; Starline, when I can find it in the appropriate rifle calibers, but I wanted to try this SIG brand. I think it's interesting that all 50 cases i checked the untrimmed case length was exactly 2.036".

Trimming it to 2.035" was nothing short of quick work.

Now, I'll pick up some new Winchester brass today and do the same. The SIG supply ran out and Lapua brand brass is way above my budget.

I'm curious to see what those 50 Winchester cases are at the pre-trimmed length.

I must confess to being addicted to driving to Cabela's - alot, these days.

The range is closed, so what is an old retired reprobate to do with his time but reload shells.

Besides, it's raining again.

Gr8rtst.
 

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When I buy new rifle brass the first thing I do is make sure it chambers easily in the gun I'm going to load it for. If the necks are not dented and I'm loading boat tail bullets I just go ahead and load them. If loading flat base bullets I usually bevel the inside necks. I don't usually do the whole full length resize, trim, and chamfer bit with new brass unless I'm loading hunting rounds.
 

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Im picky about my rifle brass. no matter where it comes from, or who the Mfg. is, I always do a full prep on them just to be safe, I like everything to be consistent, and uniform for reloading. Full length size, trim, de-burr and inspect... you never know.. and, its nice to know you're starting with uniform products to avoid any other potential gremlins popping up along the way that will have you scratching your head...

in the grand scheme, its not a lot of time wasted to do it, especially 50 rounds.. they're all probably really really close, and could probably just use a neck size and trim. but it is a pain in the butt when you get those one or two out of whack brass that wont chamber.. it doesnt take much to run into a slightly ovaled case every now and then..
 

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Me too. I actually spend a fair amount of time on new brass. As the key to accuracy is consistency, I try to start with brass that is as close to "the same" as possible.
In addition to the steps mentioned above, I also use a primer pocket uniformer and a flash hole uniformer. Both these tools only remove metal once. The primer pocket uniformer is a great tool that I find is excellent at cleaning the primer pocket without enlarging it on fired brass.

Never used Sig brass. I have had burrs of metal in Winchester brass flash holes from them punching out the hole. I've never seen that burr in Lapua or even starline.

I once tried weight sorting brass, that showed no increase in accuracy for me personally.

good luck !
 

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Longer brass may require adjustment of the die if you are seating and crimping in one operation. You don't want any more crushed shoulders! Been there, done that, don't plan on doing it again.
 
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