Neck sizing vs full length
This topic has a lot of baggage. My focus is on long range bolt action rifles and my recommendations will reflect that. I won't even try to address this topic completely.
In my opinion, any loading for “other than bolt guns” should be full length resized every time.
So if you have a bolt rifle you have the option to neck size.
Erik Cortina (Brux/Lapua team captain) recommends a Redding full length bushing die for consistancy. I agree generally but this advice can break down if you shoot a no turn chamber and several varieties of brass. Deciding which bushing to use can be a massive headache. Bushing dies are not usually combined with expander rods so case neck thickness is critical to achieve consistent neck tension results.
I like a Lee collet neck die combined with a redding body bump die. This adds an extra step but has the potential to get the best of all worlds. The Lee collet die forms the brass around a mandrel such that neck thickness is nearly irrelevant and irregularities remain on the exterior of the neck. Bushing dies force the irregularities to the interior of the neck.
Use the body die to push shoulder back .002 or so and set neck tension with lee die. I ordered 2 mandrels undersized for my Lee collet die since as brass hardens neck tension drops. This brings up a new subject “annealing”. You can force hard brass down to same relative dimentions as “soft” brass but if you anneal your brass you can keep your die settings the same.
I hope to post an annealing guide, but I have some practice to accrue before that. I have been using my new brass in lieu of annealing but am running out.
Back to topic- I will do 2 loads neck sized without annealing and expect high repeatability, but even if rounds chamber easy, they are not consistent. In competition, consistancy is a winner. So I plan in future to anneal after every fireing and bump and neck size.
These tecniques are a bit down on the list of things to do to improve your groups, but these tasks are what makes this game fun for me.
Good luck friends!
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