Neck Turning made Easy

 BY: Bob Buckland (aka: Farmer Bob)

The following was written in response to email questions from Greg Manning to Farmer Bob


Greg Manning wrote:

Bob...I am interested in how to begin neck turning and what steps to what stage of the case do you know the
stopping point and if some of your cases are within tolerances which
ones not to turn, etc.     Thanks Greg

From Farmer Bob:


I think this is going to be a book!
First, use new brass as the best starting point.  Second choice would be once fired.  
If you go beyond that, necks must be annealed, as they become too hard for the multiple step process.
Once fired brass gives you the advantage of a fire formed case, and hopefully
some neck growth.

Measure chamber.   I suggest one of the slugs from Sinclair. If you can,  run a longer neck, than the trim to
length listed in the book, you will get better support for the bullet. Some guys weigh their cases before touching them. I like to get a little closer, and make things equal.

Dies are important, I use a Redding complete comp. set. Has the bushing for neck sizing. I do not recommend trying to
neck size with a full length die.

(1)Decap all cases.

(2) Tumble or Vibrate clean.

(3)Check for any media left in the cases.

(4) Use Sinclair primer pocket tool, seats on the head, and will cut the primer pockets perfectly even, I
have both the hand, and the power driver adapter. Use the
power. The Sinclair tool will produce a perfectly even in depth pocket,
you cannot go to far.

(5) Neck size all brass.

(6) Measure all case lengths, and use the measurement of the shortest one. You are going
to have to make a decision here based on the measurements of the brass you are using.
If you have chosen to trim to book length, set up and trim them all to that measurement.
If you want the necks to grow, trim to the shortest length that is longer than the listed length.
The objective here is uniform length. Cull out all cases shorter than the listed trim to length. If they are all short, trim to the shortest length regardless.

(7) Inside Flash hole uniform, cut till you get a perfectly smooth feel, takes a little time. This is one of the top
things you can do to improve accuracy. Flame front from primer ignition, must be even.

(8) At this point, you need to inside chamfer the necks. inside only, we are going to turn the neck, so the outside does not
matter. The inside will let it slide on the sizing mandrel easier.

(9)  You should get a .001 oversize mandrel with the Sinclair tool, one
reason I said talk to Bud at Sinclairs.

(10) Run all the cases over the mandrel, even and steady. Don't come down hard on the mandrel, it will
bottom and you could possibly set the neck back. Use a tiny , tiny amount of Imperial sizing wax on both the turning tool mandrel, and the sizing mandrel.

(11)  The turning tool will come with a bunch of instructions on how to lock and adjust the cutter. This of course will
depend on the tool you have chosen. You want the cutter to cut only about 85% of the neck. Start by making sure you do not touch with the cutter. Slowly adjust down, until you have barely cut the neck. Do the complete neck and just barely cut the shoulder. If you chose the Sinclair, they will tell you all about about it, and combined with the instructions, and playing a little, you will get a smooth average cut, leaving just a bit untouched. You do not want a perfect cut all the way around, as you will have trimmed away to much brass. You will probably waste a few cases getting set up. Once you have decided your cut depth, it will be locked in and you will not have to adjust again, for this brass. Some may cut all around, most will not. If you cut several and they clean up all around, your to deep. Now all the cases can be weighed, and separated into lots. I do this for
my target rounds, and my hunting rounds.

(12) Back in the tumbler, just to remove sizing wax, and any shavings left over. Keeps brass, and wax from making the powder stick while loading.

I hope this helps, Its really easier than it sounds. Your will now be on your way to making your rifle perform to its potential.

This is the beginning. These rounds will be accurate. When they are fired they will now fit the chamber exactly on center.

Grand Finale!
In the above steps we full length sized the neck. ( the whole neck, not the case). Now when you reload these, only size the portion of the neck down to about .010" below your bullet seated depth. The fire formed, after turning brass, neck will now fit the chamber perfectly centered and supported at the part of the neck that you did not size on this second go round. The part you did size, which by the way is; (minimum seating depth, .224 + .010) ( substitute the bullet diameter (minimum
seating)  for your actual seating depth determined by how far off the lands you seat, will be held perfectly in the center and aligned with the rifling.

*** These are your most accurate rounds***

Farmer Bob