First time loading for .308 Winchester and need some help/advice.

AMT

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I’m fairly new to reloading. So far I’ve only loaded pistol. 9mm, 45ACP, 45 SUPER, 44AMP, 357AMP, 50AE. Probably a few thousand rounds total. So, I understand the basics. This is the first time loading for rifle and I’m starting off with .308 Winchester. I have some questions and am hoping for help.
  • I am using an RCBS #15501 .308 Winchester Full Length Reloading Die Set.
  • I am trying to process mixed brass. It is mostly LC brass.
  • I am using Hornady One Shot spray lube (as that I all I have right now).
  • I set up the FL / deprimer die in my Rock Chucker.
  • I have an old cookie sheet and lay out 15-20 brass on it. I spray it with the One Shot, and agitate the brass so they roll around and get a coating of lube all over them.
  • I grab a shell and insert it into the #3 shell holder and cycle it up to pop out the primer and size the shell. It seems like every LC brass is expanded and is extremely hard to cycle through the sizing die. The other non-LC brass cycles with minimal effort.
  • Around the 100th shell (mostly LC, with a few others mixed in) I ripped the rim off a case. Yup! Stuck case! I found on YouTube how to remove it, and thankfully I had the stuff to succeed.
Now I’m ready to continue. But first…..

Lube recommendations? Is the “home made” lanolin and rubbing alcohol really “that good”? Does anyone have any suggestions for something that doesn’t come in a paste and needs to be applied to each individual shell (like Imperial Sizing Wax).

Am I doing something wrong?

I am open to any and all suggestions.

Why does it seem the LC brass is wider, as it is significantly harder to run through the sizing die?

Thanks & sorry for making this post so long. I wanted to include pertinent info.

Thanks!
 

v0lcom13sn0w

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the lake city was prob fired from a machine gun meaning its been expanded more than it would from say a bolt action rifle.

second, in my experience one shot isnt ideal for sizing 308. i use rcbs case lube and a lube pad for it. the largest caliber i use one shot for is 6.5 grendel or 300 blackout. i put about 200 cases in a gallon zip lock spray a ton of one shot in there and then shake the bag.
 
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I use one shot case lube but only spray about 5 cases at a time. You will notice that one shot "runs" after you spray it. Also has a low flash point so it will evaporate pretty fast. I would figure that by the time you got to 99 or 100 it was gone and you were sizing a dry case.

Never thought of the plastic bag Idea, That might work because it won't evaporate.
 

Xaevian

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I load or loaded for .25-06, 7-08, 7x57mm, .300 savage, .308, 8x57mm, and .458 Socom. I use One shot with no issues. I size 50-150 at a time. I set the brass up in loading trays and spray from 2 different directions ensuring lube gets into the case mouths.

I am not a high volume loader though and have only loaded about 1200-1500 rounds. I did have a stuck case the very first time, but that was just my inexperience and now I spray from 2 different angles.

YMMV.
 

po18guy

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LC and most all military brass is thicker than commercial. IIRC, the surface finish is slightly rougher than commercial as well. They need a pretty good spritz of one-shot to avoid sticking in the size die. Remember that military ammo was not designed or manufactured to be reloaded. As far as the military is concerned, it might as well be steel cased. Shoot it and leave it. So, we get challenges like resizing and removing the primer crimp.

My advice would be to hose them down fairly well with lube. Might also polish the interior of the size die with crocus cloth wrapped around a wood dowel. Drive it with an air or electric drill motor - it will be warm as you do this.
 

BigDog67

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I load or loaded for .25-06, 7-08, 7x57mm, .300 savage, .308, 8x57mm, and .458 Socom. I use One shot with no issues. I size 50-150 at a time. I set the brass up in loading trays and spray from 2 different directions ensuring lube gets into the case mouths.

I am not a high volume loader though and have only loaded about 1200-1500 rounds. I did have a stuck case the very first time, but that was just my inexperience and now I spray from 2 different angles.

YMMV.
I do this as well, all the way to .300 Win Mag. No issues ever. I've never had it "evaporate" even after 2-3 days.
Spray from all sides, at an angle that will get it into the neck as well.
 

ma96782

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Check your resized brass to ensure that it'll chamber in your rifle{s}.

STORY:

Do you use a headspace gauge to TEST your resized brass?

L.E. Wilson Case Length Headspace Ga 22-250 Remington

I use a F/L re-sizer die and got into the habit of using the gauge to test my resized brass.

I usually made my reloaded .308 Win ammo to fit my M1a easily. But one day, when I tried the same ammo in my son’s bolt action Rem 700 (.308 Win)....well, it didn't chamber.

Humm.....ok, so I screwed down the sizing die down a tiny bit more.

And now the new ammo is just passing, in the gauge test. Remember, there is a high and a low cut, to test the re-sized brass to still be acceptable. Now, the ammo would work just fine in both rifles.

Lesson Learned:
Just a tiny bit can mean the difference. And the lock ring "might have" moved.

There are various ways to TEST. Another popular one is to use the Hornady kit.

Hornady Lock-N-Load Headspace Ga 5 Bushing Set Comparator

Bottom line: chambers vary and a little bit could be all the difference.

And.......cam over, while re-sizing. I hope you're doing that...RIGHT?

Aloha, Mark
 
Last edited:

ma96782

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As for the LC cases.

OK, I use to buy 1x fired 7.62 x51 mm NATO brass from the recycle place. They probably got it from the base. Back then, M60s were what most of the ammo was shot out of.

Anyway, the brass was difficult to re-size. I believe that the M60's chambers were "generous." Hey, it's a machine gun.

FF today.....the surplus LC brass is probably coming from a M240.

Aloha, Mark

PS.....LC is usually thicker/heavier vs. commercial brass. So, it's usually also harder to resize.
 

gmerkt

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i use rcbs case lube and a lube pad for it.
This is my choice. The contemporary RCBS case lube is water soluble. After sizing, I place the cases in a large plastic bowl and rinse the lube off with water. Then I place the drained cases on a shop towel on an old cookie baking pan to dry. I'm not in a hurry; kept in the house overnight they are dry next day.

You want enough lube on them to do the job without making a big chore of it. I tend to drizzle the lube on the center of the pad. Cases are tightest in the die at the web, not up on the neck. So you don't want a lot of lube at the shoulder to avoid hydraulic dents from excess lube. So when I roll mine in the middle of the pad, they are getting more lube on the web and less on the neck and shoulder areas.

I've got some Imperial sizing wax, it's good lube but not water soluble.

My experience with spray lube (forget what brand) wasn't favorable to my needs. I've sized lots of LC brass in small base dies using the RCBS lube. They've always sized fairly easily and never close to getting a stuck case. As a matter of fact, in close to 40 years of reloading I've never experienced that.

One other thing, you might consider lubing inside the neck as well. With lube on a Q-tip. This makes for easy passage of the sizing ball which reduces case length growth. As well as making the work easier. I tried the powdered mica technique, that didn't work nearly as well for me as regular lube on a Q-tip.
 

3MTA3

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Lube recommendations? Is the “home made” lanolin and rubbing alcohol really “that good”? Does anyone have any suggestions for something that doesn’t come in a paste and needs to be applied to each individual shell (like Imperial Sizing Wax).
Dillon case lube is made from liquid lanolin and alcohol. Works well and way cheaper to home brew. Use 99% alcohol and there is also a fuel treatment that is 99% alcohol. You can also use Heet which is 99% alcohol, but the remaining 1% is not water. You can get it here for less than 2 bux a quart:

You can also use Castor oil instead of lanolin. Also works well and doesn't separate. You need to use a bit more of it than lanolin, so the cost is just about even.
 

gmerkt

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Do you use a headspace gauge to TEST your resized brass?
This is highly recommended. Yes, military 7.62mm NATO brass is thicker than commercial .308 and you usually have to adjust a sizing die to accommodate the difference if you're changing back and forth. Otherwise, the 7.62 sized case may be too "long" to chamber in a .308.
 

DizzyJ

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the lake city was prob fired from a machine gun meaning its been expanded more than it would from say a bolt action rifle.

second, in my experience one shot isnt ideal for sizing 308. i use rcbs case lube and a lube pad for it. the largest caliber i use one shot for is 6.5 grendel or 300 blackout. i put about 200 cases in a gallon zip lock spray a ton of one shot in there and then shake the bag.
This could be true for the brass.

2) are you letting the Hornady oneshot COMPLETELY dry before inserting into the die?
 
OP
AMT

AMT

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Check your resized brass to ensure that it'll chamber in your rifle{s}.

STORY:

Do you use a headspace gauge to TEST your resized brass?

L.E. Wilson Case Length Headspace Ga 22-250 Remington

I use a F/L re-sizer die and got into the habit of using the gauge to test my resized brass.

I usually made my reloaded .308 Win ammo to fit my M1a easily. But one day, when I tried the same ammo in my son’s bolt action Rem 700 (.308 Win)....well, it didn't chamber.

Humm.....ok, so I screwed down the sizing die down a tiny bit more.

And now the new ammo is just passing, in the gauge test. Remember, there is a high and a low cut, to test the re-sized brass to still be acceptable. Now, the ammo would work just fine in both rifles.

Lesson Learned:
Just a tiny bit can mean the difference. And the lock ring "might have" moved.

There are various ways to TEST. Another popular one is to use the Hornady kit.

Hornady Lock-N-Load Headspace Ga 5 Bushing Set Comparator

Bottom line: chambers vary and a little bit could be all the difference.

And.......cam over, while re-sizing. I hope you're doing that...RIGHT?

Aloha, Mark
Cam over? When the shell holder makes contact with the bottom of the die there is no more movement. I will have to study more about the "cam over" and why it is beneficial. I cannot see any reason for it. As mentioned, once contact is made, there is no more....



This is my choice. The contemporary RCBS case lube is water soluble. After sizing, I place the cases in a large plastic bowl and rinse the lube off with water. Then I place the drained cases on a shop towel on an old cookie baking pan to dry. I'm not in a hurry; kept in the house overnight they are dry next day.

You want enough lube on them to do the job without making a big chore of it. I tend to drizzle the lube on the center of the pad. Cases are tightest in the die at the web, not up on the neck. So you don't want a lot of lube at the shoulder to avoid hydraulic dents from excess lube. So when I roll mine in the middle of the pad, they are getting more lube on the web and less on the neck and shoulder areas.

I've got some Imperial sizing wax, it's good lube but not water soluble.

My experience with spray lube (forget what brand) wasn't favorable to my needs. I've sized lots of LC brass in small base dies using the RCBS lube. They've always sized fairly easily and never close to getting a stuck case. As a matter of fact, in close to 40 years of reloading I've never experienced that.

One other thing, you might consider lubing inside the neck as well. With lube on a Q-tip. This makes for easy passage of the sizing ball which reduces case length growth. As well as making the work easier. I tried the powdered mica technique, that didn't work nearly as well for me as regular lube on a Q-tip.
I do have some RCBS case lube and the pad. I will give this a shot. I did notice that when i removed a couple of the shells that i saw the neck dented in (hydralicing?). Then i started looking at the remaining once fired, unprocessed brass, and noticed that a few have dents in the neck area already. What i saw, when i removed them, i blew off as they must have been that way when i put them in and i never noticed it. I will definitely pay more attention.



Dillon case lube is made from liquid lanolin and alcohol. Works well and way cheaper to home brew. Use 99% alcohol and there is also a fuel treatment that is 99% alcohol. You can also use Heet which is 99% alcohol, but the remaining 1% is not water. You can get it here for less than 2 bux a quart:

You can also use Castor oil instead of lanolin. Also works well and doesn't separate. You need to use a bit more of it than lanolin, so the cost is just about even.
I saw this "home made" recipe on online. That is why i was asking if it really worked, and if it was significantly "better" at lubing the case. This is something that I have to experiment with as well.



Thanks to all so far!
 

DizzyJ

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Imperial sizing wax or a home brew of lanolin and ISO are my go-to lubes these days.

The only time I've stuck a rifle case was when I was using Hornady One-Shot and DID NOT allow it to fully dry.

Don't be skimpy with the lube either. Make sure the case has plenty of overage.
 
OP
AMT

AMT

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This could be true for the brass.

2) are you letting the Hornady oneshot COMPLETELY dry before inserting into the die?

No. I put 15-20 rounds on a cookie sheet. Then i agitate as i spray them watching to see if they are completely coated. Then i run those few rounds through the sizer. I honestly don't think it's drying in the few minutes it takes to process those rounds. By that last couple rounds there is still a slick coat on them.
 

DizzyJ

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No. I put 15-20 rounds on a cookie sheet. Then i agitate as i spray them watching to see if they are completely coated. Then i run those few rounds through the sizer. I honestly don't think it's drying in the few minutes it takes to process those rounds. By that last couple rounds there is still a slick coat on them.
Let them completely dry. It DOES make a difference.
 

Dyjital

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Lube recommendations? Is the “home made” lanolin and rubbing alcohol really “that good”?
Yes.
One shot has left me with stuck cases. Lanolin is natural and not a bad thing to have in contact with skin. Non-petroleum based.
This is easiest done in a 1 gallon bag. Spray the bag full of brass, shake and move it around well, open bag. Come back the next day after alcohol is evaporated and size your brass. Caution made because too much on the shoulder will dent.

Home brew, I'm still on my first $2 spray bottle that I made almost 5 years ago. It goes a LONG way. I've used on thousands of .223 cases, .308, 6.5 (but mainly bulk .223).

Typically larger calibers like this I use creme and only lube the body with a q-tip ziptied to the press so every couple of cases I can run a lubed q-tip around the inside of the mouth of the case.

Once you have sized your brass once, you can reduce the amount you size down by sizing just below your headspace. Just bumping the shoulder enough back to chamber. Brass gets worked less this way.
 

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