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Ok guys, be gentle ha, 7mm rem mag reloading. I have read so many damn threads and watch plenty videos on reloading belting cases my head hurts. I have about 50 pieces of brass (Hornady and Remington) but I can purchase virgin brass if needed. I also have 2 different 7mags. Tikka T3 Lite and a Browning A-bolt2, but after reading and watching all the videos, I should have kept the brass separate so that it was formed to each chamber independently. I didn’t know that at the time, so oh well. Have to work with what I have.

So correct me if I’m wrong. Well just say I’m using the Tikka.
1) Shoot factory ammo in Tikka. It should stretch and form to the Tikka chamber.
2) It may be allowed to chamber but may require trimming.
3) It may also take 2-3 firings before I notice resistance when closing the bolt. Now the Brass will need to be worked.
4) At this time I should bump the neck back .002” and neck size only. That way you minimize working the brass too much, but it also allows you to now headspace off the shoulder rather than the belt. This step is where opinions differ. Some say FL resize, while others will back the die off about 1 turn, color or “soot” the neck shoulder area. In small increments, neck size the die until it gets close to the shoulder then bump the shoulder back .002”. FL resizing and trimming creates more bulge at the belt and case head separation issues.
5) I’ve seen RCBS dies, Redding and Lee Collet dies that folks have used. Anyone better than the other? I’m using 308 RCBS dies in my Hornady Lock N Load press. Haven’t bought the dies yet so open to all options.
6) Larry Willis collet die? Some say it’s a must have, others say it a very good tool but not needed and have hardly used it.

So as you can see, I could be on the right track and then again I could be all over the place. So any help you guys can provide would sure be appreciated.

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Just treat it like any other chambering. In step 4), adjust your FL die (I prefer Forster) to bump the shoulder 0.002-0.003”. Done.

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I use a FL sizer and bump the shoulder back .002" every time I size for everything I load for.


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I used cheap Herter's dies for a lot of 7mag reloads years ago. I never fl sized any of it. I did trim and anneal it. Elk and deer never seemed to notice.


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Originally Posted by SDupontJr
4) At this time I should bump the neck back .002” and neck size only. That way you minimize working the brass too much, but it also allows you to now headspace off the shoulder rather than the belt. This step is where opinions differ. Some say FL resize, while others will back the die off about 1 turn, color or “soot” the neck shoulder area. In small increments, neck size the die until it gets close to the shoulder then bump the shoulder back .002”. FL resizing and trimming creates more bulge at the belt and case head separation issues.

Both techniques are considered FL sizing. One is the wrong way (usually as indicated in the instructions from die manufacturers - e.g. FL die should contact the shell holder and then some) and the correct way (back off die and than then progressively screw die in).

Bought and sold a Larry Willis collet die - just never needed it. Had .264 Win Mag, 300 Win Mag, .338 Win Mag, and .375 Taylor.

My recommendation: Redding body die (for FL sizing) and Lee collet (for neck sizing).

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The Larry Willis collet die is not a necessity in many, if not most cases. I've loaded many belted rounds without needing one. If your regular FL die set for .002" shoulder bump allows for smooth chambering brass then it's all you need. The Willis collet die comes into play if you've got a chamber/brass/die combination that allows the case to get fat enough just ahead of the belt to affect smooth chambering.


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This is how I set up my sizing die for bottleneck cartridges.

1. Take a once fired factory round and blacken the neck and shoulders with a Magic Marker or Sharpee pen. Some people like to smoke the neck and shoulder, but I find the Magic Marker/Sharpee pen a bit better.

2. Carefully lubricate the case.

3. Loosen the lock ring on the sizing die and back off about two turns from when the die is set to touch the shell holder.

4. Size the case. Note where the marks are on the case and turn the die down about a half a turn and size again. Turn down some more, and resize again. What you are looking for is the marks on the blackening just touching the shoulder.

5. Clean the lube from the case and try it in the rifle. It may chamber just a bit on the snug side. If so, turn the die down ever so slightly, lube and size again. Wipe off the lube and try in the rifle. If it slides in as easily as a factory round, you should be good to go. If not, usually one more very slight adjustment should fix the problem.

6. Tighten the locking ring for the die and you're done. You have just set your sizing die up for a custom fit to your specific rifle, rather than a generic one size fits all guns.

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Holy crap yall are quick and johnny on the spot, Ha.

So I may try this when I get home just to see unless you guys say otherwise. I may try to chamber all of the once fired brass I have shot from both rifles just to see if they will all chamber in my Tikka. If they chamber with no resistance, does that mean the chambers in the A-bolt and the tikka are similiar enough to just do a neck size and bump or should I just FL resize from the get-go and start fresh?

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Start with Virgin Brass and drive a positive headspaced false shoulder,out of the gate. From there,never move more brass than you have to. Hint.............


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Originally Posted by Jordan Smith
Just treat it like any other chambering. In step 4), adjust your FL die (I prefer Forster) to bump the shoulder 0.002-0.003”. Done.

Same here. Set the die for the gun you wanna reload for and it’s a one time deal most of the time. 2-3 thou is great fit and you’ll likely never wear the brass out unless you’re hammering the heck out of it or you never anneal.


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Originally Posted by beretzs
Originally Posted by Jordan Smith
Just treat it like any other chambering. In step 4), adjust your FL die (I prefer Forster) to bump the shoulder 0.002-0.003”. Done.

Same here. Set the die for the gun you wanna reload for and it’s a one time deal most of the time. 2-3 thou is great fit and you’ll likely never wear the brass out unless you’re hammering the heck out of it or you never anneal.

Good post scotty. I PFL using just run of the mill RCBS dies. Accuracy/precision is good enough for me:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
7mm RM brass shown after sizing. Figured that would be the best representation for the op, since he's asking about that cartridge. Be sure to set your die with brass that has been fireformed to your chamber. I also have 2 7mm rem mags, but they are both Winchester model 70 classics and they look like the chambers have been cut with the same reamer. Got lucky on that one!!!

The shoulder bump is the key (.002-.003" is about perfect). I treat all of my belted mag brass just like any other brass. It shoots just the same as standard non belted stuff and feeds excellent. Never an issue.. Some guys want to make newbies think the belt is a hinderance, but that shows their lack of knowledge and experience.


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It does make me laugh when folks piss and moan about a belt. It’s really nonexistent to me.


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Originally Posted by Big Stick
...drive a positive headspaced false shoulder,out of the gate.
Yup, if starting with brass that has excessive headspace in the chamber in question, I always start with a false shoulder.

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Originally Posted by beretzs
It does make me laugh when folks piss and moan about a belt. It’s really nonexistent to me.
I thought when I first loaded for .300 WM it was going to be an issue when FL resizing, wrong! I just treated like any other cartridge and never had an issue.

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All of the above is good advice. The only thing I will ad is that I never, not ever, resize a case without having the firearm there to check the sized brass in the chamber. I size a case down until there is a little resistance (in a bolt action) then screw the die in just a little (.001-.002) more. You can check how much you are setting back the shoulder with a caliper and appropriate size socket or or a dedicated tool if you want.


I am continually astounded at how quickly people make up their minds on little evidence or none at all.
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Originally Posted by SDupontJr
Holy crap yall are quick and johnny on the spot, Ha.

So I may try this when I get home just to see unless you guys say otherwise. I may try to chamber all of the once fired brass I have shot from both rifles just to see if they will all chamber in my Tikka. If they chamber with no resistance, does that mean the chambers in the A-bolt and the tikka are similiar enough to just do a neck size and bump or should I just FL resize from the get-go and start fresh?
If the brass all chambers in the Tikka, then you know the A-bolt chamber is at least as tight as that in the Tikka. In that case, the AB-fired cases may have excessive headspace in the Tikka chamber, and I would measure the base-to-shoulder length of both using a pistol case (9mm Luger works great for the 7RM) slid over the 7RM case mouth to contact the shoulder. If the difference is more than 0.003" or so, I would use a false shoulder on the AB-fired cases.

A neck-size and bump is PFL-sizing, or FL-sizing to your chamber's dimensions. The "FL-sizing" referred to in the die instruction sheets usually means FL sizing to SAAMI specs, which is not what you want. The last thing you want is a "fresh start" if you've already fired-formed the brass in your chamber or if the brass fired in the AB chamber is longer than virgin (somewhere in-between virgin and fire-formed in the Tikka chamber, assuming the AB has a tighter chamber which it may not). As Stick said, you want to move as little brass as possible, in general.

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Originally Posted by beretzs
It does make me laugh when folks piss and moan about a belt. It’s really nonexistent to me.

My bitch with belted cartridges isn't the belt per se, but the amount of slop that is often present in the fit of new brass to chamber even when both chamber and brass are within specification.


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Originally Posted by Blacktailer
All of the above is good advice. The only thing I will ad is that I never, not ever, resize a case without having the firearm there to check the sized brass in the chamber. I size a case down until there is a little resistance (in a bolt action) then screw the die in just a little (.001-.002) more. You can check how much you are setting back the shoulder with a caliper and appropriate size socket or or a dedicated tool if you want.

Good post Blacktailer. That is very important. Now, I can generally gauge how much shoulder bump I'm getting with just the feel of resistance when you chamber a freshly sized piece of brass. But when you want to be gnats azz you can use a comparator or some guys will use something like a 40 S&W case and a caliper. I'll usually zero out my caliper and then your reading for set-back is right there with no guess work:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

I'm more likely to do that with the ammo I load for my precision rifles though, or if you have multiple rifles chambered for the same cartridge. Its good to know the chamber dimensions of each rifle and how they compare. Most times you can get away with loading to the shortest chamber length with a .002" shoulder bump and still maintain good brass life. That is something the op should check, since he has 2 rifles chambered in 7mm rem mag..


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.
Originally Posted by Pharmseller
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Well just tried and they don't chamber in the tikka. No biggy, but at least now I know and to keep separate.

Beretzs, your correct thus me asking. Seems most on the web are just totally against the belt. And of the others I read or watched, seems like just another thing.

Jordan that's a good point. It seems that most of what I read about the complaints were due to saami specs. Seemsthat FL sizing to its specs works the brass too much and causes bulge at the belt. Thus the next firing, more stretch to fill chamber and thus thinning and head / case seperation. But I guess in saami defense, they are ensuring that it will chamber it all rifles.

So, basically by bumping the shoulder back .002" or so, your headspacing off the shoulder? In theory?

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Originally Posted by mathman
Originally Posted by beretzs
It does make me laugh when folks piss and moan about a belt. It’s really nonexistent to me.

My bitch with belted cartridges isn't the belt per se, but the amount of slop that is often present in the fit of new brass to chamber even when both chamber and brass are within specification.

Some guys are always going to bitch about something. Again, I've never had any issues and I've shot and owned a chit ton of belted magnum rifles. You better just stick to your tried and true 308 mathman..


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.
Originally Posted by Pharmseller
You want to see an animal drop right now? Shoot him in the ear hole.

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