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Forster FLS die neck honing sizes

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I am just about to send my 223, 6BR and 308 FLS dies back to Forster to have their necks honed. This should make the dies work the brass less and hopefully give less expander ball induced runout.

I have neck diameter measurements of bullet seated no neck turn Lapua brass of 0.2465", 0.268" and 0.336" respectively. To anyone that has taken these measurements, so they sound about right? I have two vernier calipers and they read about 2 thou different. I have decided to trust the most expensive and newest set, but before I irreversibly alter the dies would like some reassurance.

I was going to ask Forster to hone 3 thou under my measurments to allow for 2 thou neck tension and 1 thou brass springback unless anyone can recommend different. Mine are all bolt guns, the BR will have a 0.272" neck chamber and the 223 & 308 have factory barrels.

Can anyone offer any thoughts before I dive in?

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Remove the expander-ball from the de-capping stem of your Forster sizing die.

 

Buy an appropriate neck mandrel(s) and holder and expand the necks from the inside.

 

I would imagine that Spud will help with mandrels etc.

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I would suggest having a word with these folk http://www.whiddengunworks.com/custom-reloading-dies/ I use their custom bushing dies at present. If I'm not happy with a specific bushing, I can easily go up a diameter or down a diameter. To me, bushings are much cheaper than mandrels. Bushings give a lot more options as your brass evolves over time and flexibility if you decide to neck turn.

 

Regards

 

JCS

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So that's two votes for buying new kit.

Anyone have experience of honing Forster dies?

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Thanks for the link.

It was primarily that article that made me want to give honing a go.

It's relatively cheap and might turn out to be an elegant one pass solution. If it all goes hideously wrong then it won't be disastrous as these Forster dies had already been upgraded by combinations of Redding bushing & body and Lee collet dies which give measureably better runout.

I'm just looking to tinker with these Forsters to get the best out of them. After they have been honed I will compare the expander ball and mandrel options as Pimp suggests, but that mandrel will be that of a Lee collet die first as that's what's laying around.

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I went the way The Gun Pimp suggested. I took some convincing but I wouldn't go back to what I was doing before.

With a neck mandrel honed to the size you want (easily done with an electric drill and fine grit wet and dry paper) you get exactly the right neck tension every time, regardless of die or bushing size.

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So that's two votes for buying new kit.

Anyone have experience of honing Forster dies?

 

As you say, honing is a relatively cheap option - you already have the dies so from that perspective, whilst there are other options, you can get these existing dies honed for not much cost. I have done this with a 0.308 Forster FLS die, honed the neck to 0.3345 however I do turn necks. For 'no turn' I suggest getting Forster to make you a custom expander ball that lightly skims the inside of the neck, the size of the ball is going to depend upon the new neck diameter after honing.

 

Martin

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As you say, honing is a relatively cheap option - you already have the dies so from that perspective, whilst there are other options, you can get these existing dies honed for not much cost. I have done this with a 0.308 Forster FLS die, honed the neck to 0.3345 however I do turn necks. For 'no turn' I suggest getting Forster to make you a custom expander ball that lightly skims the inside of the neck, the size of the ball is going to depend upon the new neck diameter after honing.

 

Martin

Thanks Martin, reducing the expander ball diameter is something I hadn't considered at all.

However thinking it through, whilst a smaller ball would work the necks less from the inside and maybe cause less runout, wouldn't that mean the brass would have too much neck tension when bullet seating?

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Thanks Martin, reducing the expander ball diameter is something I hadn't considered at all.

However thinking it through, whilst a smaller ball would work the necks less from the inside and maybe cause less runout, wouldn't that mean the brass would have too much neck tension when bullet seating?

 

Not necessarily reducing the size of the expander ball, rather making sure it's diameter just skims the inside of the neck after it has been reduced down by the die. How much the case neck is reduced depends on the bushing (or honing) selected and the size of the expander needed to just skim depends on the honed diameter.

 

For example, the case neck on a 0.308 Lapua case is typically around 0.015.

If your die is honed to size the fired case neck down to say 0.335 then the internal diameter of the neck will be 0.305.

An expander ball diameter of 0.306 will skim the inside of the neck, smooth out any internal inconsistencies and expand it back up the least amount, so not over working the brass. This would provide you with about 0.002 neck tension before allowing for springback which will vary depending on whether you also anneal your cases.

 

Forster can probably confirm this for you if you decide to order.

 

John Whidden now produces a set of 5 expander balls of differing diameters that can be matched with the selected bushing size to give the required outcome.

 

http://www.whiddengunworks.com/product/expander-ball-kits-and-sets

 

As you already have the dies and can get Forster to hone them you probably don't need a new set from Whidden.

 

Martin

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I would suggest having a word with these folk http://www.whiddengunworks.com/custom-reloading-dies/ I use their custom bushing dies at present. If I'm not happy with a specific bushing, I can easily go up a diameter or down a diameter. To me, bushings are much cheaper than mandrels. Bushings give a lot more options as your brass evolves over time and flexibility if you decide to neck turn.

 

Regards

 

JCS

JCS, Any idea if the Whidden expander sets have the same thread as Hornady Die Expanders?

Cheers

Chaz

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Not necessarily reducing the size of the expander ball, rather making sure it's diameter just skims the inside of the neck after it has been reduced down by the die. How much the case neck is reduced depends on the bushing (or honing) selected and the size of the expander needed to just skim depends on the honed diameter.

 

For example, the case neck on a 0.308 Lapua case is typically around 0.015.

If your die is honed to size the fired case neck down to say 0.335 then the internal diameter of the neck will be 0.305.

An expander ball diameter of 0.306 will skim the inside of the neck, smooth out any internal inconsistencies and expand it back up the least amount, so not over working the brass. This would provide you with about 0.002 neck tension before allowing for springback which will vary depending on whether you also anneal your cases.

 

Forster can probably confirm this for you if you decide to order.

 

John Whidden now produces a set of 5 expander balls of differing diameters that can be matched with the selected bushing size to give the required outcome.

 

http://www.whiddengunworks.com/product/expander-ball-kits-and-sets

 

As you already have the dies and can get Forster to hone them you probably don't need a new set from Whidden.

 

Martin

Ah yes I see what you are saying thanks for explaining.

I am looking to achieve the same result with the expander ball doing minimal work but my measurements have been taken from the outside neck diameter.

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Hi All Just got a new forster die from hannams in 308 neck sizer only, very impressed with the ease of use and looking down at the end of the depriming pin its right in the centre/middle of the case hole ? unlike my other redding die which needs to be spun around a bit to find the most coencentric position . the redding die is also much harder to push up and down . just waiting for the forster ultra seater die to come through the post .very happy with the new dies .Hope this helps with anyone wondering what to choose .

 

Cheers Richie

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