AR-308 – Precision Loading Pt. 2 – Case Neck Thickness and Uniformity

Now that we’ve cleaned, sized, trimmed, and finished the basis brass prep steps, it’s time to sort the brass that we’ve prepped so that we can uses batches of consistent brass for precision loads. We are now at the final stage of brass prep as covered in the brass prep overview post.

For this stage, we’ll use the Redding Case Neck Gage (Redding #26400).

Redding Case Neck Gage - A tool used to profile brass for utmost accuracy - Image Copyright 2011 Ultimate Reloader

Here’s a video showing the process of using the Redding Case Neck Gage to sort some once-fired 7.62×51 brass that I’ll be using for the AR-308 project:

Now that we’ve wrapped up brass prep, it’s time to move on to the next steps in the precision loading process. I do enjoy this kind of loading. With all of the precise tools at hand, some times I feel like I need to put a white lab coat on- kind of fun.

Stay tuned- we’re going to have fun finishing these loads!

4 thoughts on “AR-308 – Precision Loading Pt. 2 – Case Neck Thickness and Uniformity”

  1. Excellent review Gavin! Can you also check the wall thickness at the base of the body towards the head of the casing with this tool? I can’t seem to remember where I came across it, but I do remember reading that rifle cases can potentially thin out or become damaged in that area over time? I haven’t seen this type of damage in any of my .223 casings; have you or anyone else heard of a possible blowout/tear at this particular area of the casing?

    I have one other trivial thought about about using these types of tools, what about the primer flash-hole? I’ve noticed that the flash-hole isn’t always perfectly centered in the primer pocket and was wondering if that anchor point for this redding product could translate into a “wobble” at the point of where you’re measuring overall thickness of the case neck? Could that potential “wobble” throw off the measurement or is it too small to be considered? Can you see if you can find a case with a flash hole that’s slightly off center and see if it affects the accuracy down the line towards the neck?

    Thanks again Gavin, I really enjoy the great reviews, photos and videos!

  2. Very cool.

    Eric-You are talking about case head separation or “insipient” case head separation. Google and you’ll find pictures and videos on youtube. Easiest way to check for it is with a paper clip feeling inside the case, or sacrifice a case or two in your segregated batches and open it up with a dremel. There are also tools as you say to measure the wall thickness. So short answer is yes, and you need to keep an eye out or else you get case head separation or case wall failures. Can happen with .223. The likelihood of it happening is a function of your brass, your load, your chamber, and resizing techniques.

  3. I’d be curious to see tests once you have your final load work-up complete – one batch using your ‘sorted’ brass and one using cases from the same lot but un-sorted. I have my doubts as to whether the shooting platform being used can benefit from this kind of toil and trouble…

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