Brass prep for longrange

Dec 8, 2017
I asked this same question on benchrest central but from the responses I got I don't think they seem to understand the importance of extremely low SD and ES.
First off most of my chambers are turn neck to make the necks thinner and more concentric to aid in a more consistent bullet release..
I shoot out to a mile or so. Like every long range shooter I am looking at getting my SD and ES as low as possible. Here is my question..I know sd and es doesn't need to be that low out to 500 yards or so but the farther you go the more difference it makes...
When it comes to brass prep what method gives you the most consistent results...
1) weigh sort brass before any other prep
2) trim to length and then weight sort
3) trim to length, neck turn and then weight sort
4) other methods you may use

Thanks in advance for your input
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Dec 8, 2017
I should have explained....My chambers are mostly neck turn for that very reason...thinner more concentric necks for more consistent bullet release...
I will edit my original post to clarify...


This one goes to 11
Feb 13, 2017
Sunny Colorado
You'll find a ton of relevant info in the reloading section. Many here do not turn their necks, some do. With a tight chamber, you have to, so I think you'll find quite a few that set neck tension with a mandrel. I do and it has worked great so far. I probably do too much measuring and sorting, but it comes with being a geek I guess. I even sort new brass by factory concentricity.
Nov 25, 2012
Southern NM
I prep my ELR brass the same way I prep my F/O LR brass. With new brass I do the following steps;

  • Expand the necks with a mandrel
  • Trim neck necks to uniform length with Giraud trimmer. Since it indexes off the shoulder will provide consistent neck length
  • Turn necks to uniform thickness generally .013 to .0135. Use 21st Century lathe neck turner with carbide mandrel
  • Uniform primer pockets and debur flashholes even with Lapua brass
  • Fire form brass
Reamers are cut to provide about .005 neck clearance for necks turned to the thickness listed above to prevent drag. This tip was provided to me by Larry Bartholome who has won many national and international titles and have the good fortune of shooting with him on a monthly basis. Many of the High Master shooters I compete with no longer weight sort their brass (Lapua) since they have not seen a tangible benefit and don't do so myself. At a 1000 yards or further the goal is trying to minimize vertical dispersion. Accurate charge weights within a kernal, consistent neck tension and bullet uniformity and concentricity IMHO are the key elements. Cases are cleaned after every firing, annealed, sized with Type S dies with out expander, trimmed and inside of necks brushed with soft nylon brush. Bullets are sorted by length, trimmed ,pointed and measured again after pointing using hoover tools. Powder charges are weighed to the kernel on a Entris 64. Bullets seated on a arbor press with a psi gauge and rounds are grouped by seating pressure. TIR at the ogive needs to be .002 or less and bullet seating depth within .002. Ladder tests run on fire formed brass and seating depth tweaked.

I certainly didn't come up with steps listed above but basically adopted the same processes used by the best F Class shooters I know and applied them to ELR as well.

With my F/O rifles have been able to achieve SD's less than 3 fps and less than 8 fps for my 338LM.
Likes: mercracing


Full Member
Jul 23, 2014
Brisbane Australia
^^ That’ll work , similar to my procedures but I don’t trim every time . My ESs have dropped since using
the AMP annealer every firing . Neck tension is very consistent , using just a Coax press and off the shelf
Forster dies . The excellent numbers and groups don’t lie .
Nov 25, 2012
Southern NM
AMP annealer has been a great addition to my reloading equipment and never use the Benchsource any more. Use a Coax with Whidden, Forster and Redding dies and they all are GTG. Have a custom Forster FL die for my Dasher with with the neck reamed to specific diameter. Provides very consistent neck tension and no runout.
Dec 8, 2017
Thanks for the input guys. I am going to have to try one of those amp annealers. I currently have a bench source which has been a god send...
Nov 20, 2011
I would fireform my brass and size it before trimming it to length.
I would also re-neckturn the brass after fireforming so you get rid of the donut that forms at the neck/shoulder junction.
The long-range Benchrest guys only worry about extreme spread and standard deviation is ignored for the most part.
If your extreme spreads are not good try switching primers as they are your cheapest tuning tool.


Oct 18, 2012
Thanks for the input guys. I am going to have to try one of those amp annealers. I currently have a bench source which has been a god send...
Their is a AMP for sale right now on in the for sale section. One other tool is a hydro seater by 21st century. So you can measure seating pressure. That my next tool I'm buying with Wilson seater dies. My OCD is getting the best of me lately over the Last 3 years. From buying a E scale to measure to the kernel, to a Better dies to, a AMP annealer. It has made difference at long range. It has cut my vertical in half at 600 yd from 5-6 inchs to 2-2.5 inchs in my 308.
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Sergeant of the Hide
May 30, 2018
DFW, Texas
I went to check the price on that AMP and every time I searched for it the forum would send me to a paypal "donate to accurateshooter" page, where it said the minimum donation was a dollar!:ROFLMAO: