Reloading for a gasser

Im2bent

Private
Minuteman
Jun 30, 2020
18
5
Ok remember abusing a newbie is verboten. Yes I searched and read a million posts on this subject and now I have a massive headache and my right ear actually started ringing. I have been reloading for a long time but I am always looking to improve methods and I am adding an ar to my collection. I want to reload 6.5CM for some PRS shooting. First off in a gasser what is the cutoff as far how far to go into precision reloading? Do I go bushing dies and expanding mandrels? Neck tension I have seen .003 for gassers yet there was a thread about bullets being jammed back by the bcg pretty much destroying your seating depth. Some said taper crimp others said no that destroys the bullet shape if overdone. Some said even taper crimping did not prevent bullet movement when chambering. Neck turn or don't bother? Expanding mandrels or the smaller turning mandrels? Separating components by weight/lot or don't bother in a gasser? All else being equal I am looking for general technique not brand specific stuff but a general overview for precision ammo in an large frame ar platform. Yes the more precise the ammo the less variables but is there a point its not worth going past for a middle of the road semi? Thank you for your thoughts. With some trepidation I will now click on post thread....
 

Gustav7

Son of a Gun...
Hessian
Belligerents
Minuteman
  • Jul 18, 2019
    1,079
    585
    Ohio (OH)
    Most of what you asked is preference, so theres no "right answer"... Some guys do more than others.

    I can tell you what I do/don't do:
    Neck turn - no
    Bushing die - no (I use a non-bushing FL sizer)
    Mandrels - yes - Its not "whether to use one mandrel or another"... its "what mandrel gets me to my desired neck tension". For my 223 AR and my bolt guns, I run 2-3 thou neck tension and it seems to work pretty well. For large frame AR, I'd prolly run 3-4 but others may do different.

    Crimp - sometimes I do, always with a Lee FCD
    Weight sort brass - no

    Its all preference and choice. I'd start with buying some decent brass and bullets, prepping the cases minimally and start doing a proper load development and practicing. You're prolly gonna end up changing whatever you're doing later anyways.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: TheOfficeT-Rex

    TheOfficeT-Rex

    Not a good shottist
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
  • May 19, 2019
    329
    198
    There is no cutoff to how deep the rabbit hole goes, gasser or otherwise...

    The techniques are the same - good reloading practices are good no matter the platform. How far do you need to go to get "PRS worthy" ammo for a large frame AR? That's over to you- you will need to test these things for your gun and decide what's worth your time. For example, I haven't seen setback issues in 6.5CM at 2k tension and a small lee FCD but I'm sure someone else has had them go from giants to midgets... If you're worried about it, you can go the mandrel route and get them in several diameters to test. Also, I doubt your AR has a tight chamber that would necessitate neck turning, but if you feel it helps, do it.

    If all else fails-
    get good dies (who ever tickles your fancy, but get a micrometer seater. You'll thank us later)
    get good components (Berger, lapua, peterson, etc)
    Load a 140 class bullet over 41.5gn of H4350 @ 2.81
    Shoot and adjust

    The 'fun' is in the tinkering with each variable to get the best load. Just try to only change one variable at once ;)
     

    padom

    SuperMod
    Staff member
    Moderator
    Minuteman
  • Mar 13, 2013
    9,851
    4,647
    Southeastern, Pennsylvania
    Im going to make this REAL easy for you to get going making precision rounds for your 6.5cm gasser. Get a Might Armory or Forster FL Sizing die and THATS it. You do not need anything other than a properly setup FL sizing. Now, the Forster FL will work great, but the Mighty Armory is a work of perfection. The type of steel, the finish/quality, the decapping pins are pretty much unbreakable and the expander leaves you with .003 neck tension, perfect for a large frame gasser.

    Set your FL die up in your press to bump shoulders .003, trim to length, chamfer and debur and your ready to load. Get some new Hornady 6.5cm brass which Ive used 10,000's over the years in my gasser with excellent accuracy. I have NEVER crimped a rifle round in my life and havent found a need to.


    When you get consistent accuracy like this, with 3+ different bullets, I find no reason to use anything other than Hornady brass and FL sizing dies in my 6.5cm gasser. The 6.5cm build, tune and barrel are a bigger factor when it comes to extreme accuracy out of a 6.5cm gasser. BUT, the single biggest factor, and Ive been preaching this for years when it comes to consistent accuracy is PROPER load development. You put the time in, and select a charge in the center of the node, you will have far more consistent accuracy across powder lots and weather conditions than any loading technique, step, etc.

    This is all out of a 22" Bartlein 6.5cm +2






    This was even old factory 140 Amax ammo that shot great


     
    Last edited:

    Precision Underground

    Rifle Gear
    Commercial Supporter
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
    Jun 21, 2017
    2,344
    2,097
    Tallahassee, FL
    To me no matter what you’re reloading for there’s no need to get too OCD unless you’re shooting bench rest or trying to get crazy small groups. For .3-.5 moa ammo you just need to be consistent and straight. I’ve got $150 dies and I have sets of 4 dies from Lee I bought for $50. I can make .3-.5 MOA ammo on both. Yes the more expensive ones are nicer and may be easier to set up but that’s more of a luxury/preference than a factor in making good ammo IMO.

    I do no sorting, no toiling over hundredths of grains or a couple of thousandths in trim length. Use good components and be consistent in everything you do (especially neck tension)and you’ll be fine. I think most guys would be much better served to spend time dry firing and working on fundamentals rather than sorting components or weighing powder to the .01.
     

    Precision Underground

    Rifle Gear
    Commercial Supporter
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
    Jun 21, 2017
    2,344
    2,097
    Tallahassee, FL
    And as Padom said above Hornady brass is fine. That’s all I use in our large frame because it’s suppressed 100% and the brass comes out looking like it came from the bottom of a 10 year old range pick up bucket. It hurts my feelings to see my Lapua brass being spit out like that and reality is we likely can’t shoot the difference between Hornady and Lapua.
     

    Im2bent

    Private
    Minuteman
    Jun 30, 2020
    18
    5
    Thank you for your help mighty sizer ordered. A member here has reached out to me about brass. It happens to be Hornady. I was leaning towards small primer due to the supposed longer primer pocket life but srp are impossible to find right now and if the price is right the brass life is a diminishing return on investment. And who knows with lrp I might not have primer issues. What do you think about the Forster ultra micrometer seater dies?
     
    Last edited:

    Mad_Charlie

    Sergeant
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
    Aug 28, 2012
    399
    27
    68
    West Central Fl.
    Thank you for your help mighty sizer ordered. A member here has reached out to me about brass. It happens to be Hornady. I was leaning towards small primer due to the supposed longer primer pocket life but srp are impossible to find right now and if the price is right the brass life is a diminishing return on investment. And who knows with lrp I might not have primer issues. What do you think about the Forster ultra micrometer seater dies?
    You won't go wrong with them, I have been using them for every bottleneck cartridge I shoot for quite a few years now. I like them better than Redding, and I do use a lot of Redding products.
     

    Precision Underground

    Rifle Gear
    Commercial Supporter
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
    Jun 21, 2017
    2,344
    2,097
    Tallahassee, FL
    Thank you for your help mighty sizer ordered. A member here has reached out to me about brass. It happens to be Hornady. I was leaning towards small primer due to the supposed longer primer pocket life but srp are impossible to find right now and if the price is right the brass life is a diminishing return on investment. And who knows with lrp I might not have primer issues. What do you think about the Forster ultra micrometer seater dies?
    I use a lot of Forster micro seaters. They are good. LRP brass is fine.
     

    Im2bent

    Private
    Minuteman
    Jun 30, 2020
    18
    5
    I’m a seeing a lot of this posted. Anyone claiming a gas gun will shoot one hole with factory match ammo is either talking about 3 shots that happened once or FOS. Even with hand loading that would be a feat to repeat consistently IMO. Anyone talking about one hole groups in a gas gun needs to put up a video of 5+ shot strings or gtfo.
    Wrong thread?
     

    padom

    SuperMod
    Staff member
    Moderator
    Minuteman
  • Mar 13, 2013
    9,851
    4,647
    Southeastern, Pennsylvania
    I’m a seeing a lot of this posted. Anyone claiming a gas gun will shoot one hole with factory match ammo is either talking about 3 shots that happened once or FOS. Even with hand loading that would be a feat to repeat consistently IMO. Anyone talking about one hole groups in a gas gun needs to put up a video of 5+ shot strings or gtfo.
    Who are you talking to?
     

    Im2bent

    Private
    Minuteman
    Jun 30, 2020
    18
    5
    Ok this is crazy I just got notification the mighty sizer has already shipped. That is some service.
     

    Snuby642

    Two Star General
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
  • Feb 11, 2017
    5,100
    6,057
    Given an ample sized hole I can put all my shots into it.

    Seriously given the statements above from solid experts I think I have been over doing neck tension for gassers and am going to fire up my new 223 and 6.5 mandrells on every thing (damn 308 on back order).

    Can't wait to see if .002 will hold a 123gr grendel.