How To Reload Capital Cartridge Brass For Competitions
In a perfect world, new reloading brass would slide right into the chambers of our target rifles without any preparation or modification. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Most competition rifles are custom made. As such, different reamers are used for the chambers of the same caliber, which produce necks of varying diameters.
One of the biggest reasons why shooters reload their own brass is for match shooting. That’s why we’ve taken the time to outline a standard reloading brass process for beginners in the match shooting and reloading world.
Step 1: Full-length resize the pieces to insure that they all have the same shoulder-body configuration. Redding dies are the best for this step, as their manufacturing tolerances are very exacting and they produce excellent results.
Step 2: Trim all cases to the same overall length. This ensures that the necks of each case grip the bullet in the same way
Step 3: Chamfer the necks. There is usually a burr around the neck as a result of case trimming. It needs to be removed before you use the expansion die in the next step.
Step 4: Expand the necks so that they all have the same diameter. Although this step is very simple with the expanders available, it is advisable that you purchase the same brand expander as neck turner. That insures that the mandrels are the same.
Step 5: Turn your necks to a uniform diameter and concentricity. There are significant differences between reloading for hunting and reloading for long range target shooting. Hunting rifles have fairly standardized chambers which will handle most all reloads without neck-turning. However, nearly all long-range target rifles are custom made. As such, their chambers will vary from gunsmith to gunsmith. That is why we are required to neck-turn the brass.
Step #6: Deburr the flash hole and use a primer pocket tool to “smooth” out the pocket
Step #7: Check the concentricity of your cases from the shoulder along the neck
Step #8: Weigh all of your cases. Some shooters divide their cases into “lots” for loading and shooting. Most F-Class shooters weigh the cases to obtain cases to within +/- one grain in weight and discard the others. I don’t mean throw them away, just don’t use them. There are a lot of shooters that believe this isn’t necessary and they will be happy to take them off your hands. Or, you could chamber a hunting rifle in 6.5x284 and have all the brass you’ll ever need.
Step#9: Use a Redding Neck Sizing die with the proper bushing to neck size the brass for your chamber.
Step #10: You will now want to check the headspace. I recommend a Redding Instant Indicator Die to determine the head space in relation to the SAAMI length. This die allows you to correct and size your brass. This tool also lets you check the seating depth of the bullet as well as the uniformity of your bullet. This tool is a “must have” for all competition shooters.
Step #11: Square the heads with the base of the case. This is easily done with a Sinclair length trimmer.
This is a simple outline of the process for reloading brass for competition shooters. As you progress, you will work in your own methods and incorporate new equipment, making the job much easier. If you have any other tips, feel free to leave them in the comments section.