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Bushings- Need help


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I have no idea what the whole bushing thing is about other than it 'uniforms neck tension for consistentcy?'
What I mean is, can someone please explain it to me. Like I was a child as I want to m maximize my 308 and 223 on my 1050.
What do I need, why do I need, how can use it,.... Many thanks!

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Bushing dies for rifle calibers work brass less and give you more control over neck tension.  A normal Full Length size die will squash the cased neck much smaller than it needs to be, then expands it out to what is usually needed.  The body of a bushing die is like a normal Full Length die, but there is a floating bushing in the neck region.  The bushings are available in different internal diameters.  The thickness of the brass in the neck of a case will vary somewhat between batches, and if it's thinner you will want a smaller bushing to achieve a smaller ID.  The hardness of the brass in the neck will vary between lots of brass, and for softer brass you may want to size it smaller to hold the bullet harder.  I typically don't need that much control in Service Rifle, except maybe at 600 yards.  


Occasionally you'll have a lot of brass that will be an outlier, and a bushing die may save it for you.  I have a large lot of IVI (Canadian) 7.62x51 which has really soft necks, and the soft necks have such a weak grasp on a bullet after going through a size die with a normal expander that bullets push back into the case.  A bushing die, with a smaller than usual bushing may allow me to use this brass in autoloaders.  


There is a guy named Zediker who has written a lot about loading for Service Rifle, who has written a good bit about tools such as bushing dies, with the rules of thumb you need to guide you.  Some of it is available for free:  http://www.zediker.com/articles/articles.html#AR_topics

Here's another good, short article:  http://panhandleprecision.com/redding-bushing-dies-select-proper-bushing/

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Bushing dies work best with custom tight neck chambers and neck turned brass. The bushing floats and can move from side to side and even tilt.


The Redding bushing die FAQ tells you if you reduce the neck diameter .004 or more at one time you can induce neck runout. And the average factory chamber will let the case neck expand far more than .004.


The Redding bushing die FAQ also tells you if your neck thickness varys .002 or more to use the dies expander.


The reason so many reloaders use a body die and a Lee collet die is because this method produces cases with less neck runout than bushing dies.


At the Whidden custom die website they tell you they get more concentric cases with non-bushing full length dies.


Forster will hone the neck of their full length dies for $12.00 to your desired diameter.




The average reloader with a off the shelf factory rifle is better off using standard non-bushing dies.


Below the Forster full length benchrest dies have a high mounted floating expander. The case neck is held and centered in the neck of the die when the expander enters the case neck. This method greatly reduces case neck runout and makes very concentric cases.





Edited by bigedp51
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  • 2 weeks later...

No..... A bushing in a bushing die does not "float".  A bushing die, FL or NK allows you to control the OD of a sized case.  This allows you to do a few things like control neck tension and eliminate the use of an expander button if you turn your brass.  increasing or decreasing neck tension can have a positive effect on accuracy.  Eliminating the expander button can help to eliminate excessive wear on case necks and reduce work hardening as well as the chance of split necks.  


Generally speaking, you want .002-.003 tension for a gas gun and .001-.002 for a bolt gun and a bushing die, or a custom honed die allow you to set the neck tension for a specific case or a specific neck turned batch of cases.  If you switch to thicker neck cases you would have more neck tension than a thinner necked case.


As already pointed out, bushing dies will not size all the way to the shoulder and all new brass should be FL sized in a normal FL die before using a bushing die.


Bushing dies will allow case modification; i.e. you can neck down 6.5 CM to 6mm by putting a 6mm bushing in a 6.5mm CM bushing die etc.  


All things being the same, any quality die will load quality ammo with minimal runout provided you have good brass.  I have all kinds of .223  and .308 dies from shooting NRA HP for years, the bushing dies are a bonus as you can work the brass necks a little less but that's about it.  For the money, I really like the Wilson dies with a carbide button.  If you are mixed brass, there is not an advantage and they do cost more.

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