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Old April 30, 2005, 10:53 PM   #1
Rodger Peterson
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Headspace

I use Wilson headspace guages, and noticed that Remmington Rifle brass always comes in very short when purchased new. Is this your experience also?
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Old April 30, 2005, 11:13 PM   #2
DAVID NANCARROW
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I had not noticed that myself, and buy Remington brass occasionally for my 308. Is it the overall length coming up short or is the shoulder set back too far?

If its overall length, I would try a full length resize on the cases.

Normally, I full length resize new cases just to be sure that everything is nice and round.
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Old April 30, 2005, 11:54 PM   #3
Rodger Peterson
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I didn't express the question very well. My guages are showing the shoulder set back too far. My last two purchases have come in this way 30-06. Out of the box, and after full sizing. After first firing, the shoulder set back is corrected. I dread getting new brass lately.
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Old April 30, 2005, 11:59 PM   #4
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Thats okay, Rodger-its midnight here, and who is sharp in the middle of the night?

I would be pretty pretty bent about having the shoulder set back too far. If its just a few .001's no biggie. If its something I am loading for max accuracy, I normally put in a medium load of my favorite powder and seat the bullet long so everything fireforms correctly.
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Old May 1, 2005, 12:44 PM   #5
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Easy fix

If you're buying brass, the fix is easy: Rub money on the problem. In this instance, get Norma or LaPua brass, not Rem, and poof, no more problem.

Long as you're spending $$ on new brass you might as well get the good stuff.
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Old May 1, 2005, 12:47 PM   #6
Mike Irwin
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"After first firing, the shoulder set back is corrected."

I'm not sure that I see the problem, then.

It sounds like Remington is simply making their brass so that it will fit even in the tightest chambers.
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Old May 1, 2005, 11:00 PM   #7
Rodger Peterson
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I agree I'm buying cheap brass, and I agree there are tight chambers. But stretching the brass must weaken things, I would think in the webbing. Seems that first firing must really degrade the life of the brass, let alone the punishment on the bolt face.
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Old May 1, 2005, 11:47 PM   #8
Smokey Joe
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stretching brass

The brass does undergo stretching so as to exactly match your chamber when you fire it the first time. It's called fire-forming, and it's pretty normal. In an Ackley Improved cartridge, you put the unimproved cartridge from the factory in the chamber and fire it, and it stretches out to the "improved" dimensions.

Long as you neck-size the brass after that first stretching, no harm done. The brass will then fit yr. chamber perfectly with no further stretching.

If you get premium brass in the first place, it'll be a little larger for one thing--very tight fit in tight chambers, but a better fit in all the others, but also it'll be more uniform in weight, interior space, drilled not punched flash holes, etc, etc.

And that's the whole idea behind precision reloading: To make each cartridge as close to exactly like all the others as is humanly possible, given the limitations of our skill, knowledge, and equipment.
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Old May 2, 2005, 12:45 AM   #9
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Rodger, you already know this and I hate to mention cause it is a waste of money, but fireforming with reduced loads may be the only sure way for now to get your cases into spec without the weakening and possible dangers that may occur from fireforming at full pressure. Got any hard cast bullets on hand?
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Old May 2, 2005, 10:03 AM   #10
DAVID NANCARROW
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Unless this brass is way, way out of spec, I think you're going to be okay with loading the bullet long so the case fireforms correctly.

As Smokey Joe stated, once you fireform the brass, you should be okay with neck sizing after that point.

I've never used the premium stuff and for the time it takes to segregate maybe I'd be ahead of the game, but I typically resize it, trim it if it needs to be, clean the flash hole burr, segregate by weight, and normally load a heavy weight bullet with a minimum charge long so it puts the case head where it should be and fireform.

Is there a better way?
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Old May 2, 2005, 07:08 PM   #11
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Yeah, if you want to possibly avoid seperating caseheads with this brass later because it was weakened by the condition Rodger is describing in shooting short cases that will not properly headspace. It will cost more in this case to load up with hard cast or pulled bullets and shooting reduced loads with SR 4759 or IMR 4198 even Accurate 5744 would be good for this. The benefit will be that your cartridges will now be fireformed to the correct length of the rifles chamber! And you will avoid the potential of weakened cases and casehead seperation in the future. Fireforming should only be done with reduced loads. Check the manual!

Seems easy enough for anyone to understand that shooting these short cases at high pressure is going to cause case stretching and weaken the brass. I sure don't want this in the back of my mind when I am later shooting the same cases with full power loads!
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Old May 2, 2005, 09:03 PM   #12
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I think the big question that needs to be asked is just how short is "very" short.

Short enough to close in a no-go chamber? If that were the case, then I would be worried.

A few thousandths? Even up to .0015? I don't think I'd worry much at all.

Keep your first loads mild, set your bullet out so that it touches the lands, and shoot.
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Old May 2, 2005, 10:03 PM   #13
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Hey Mike, .0015" is a few ten-thousandths and less than .002" on your caliper or mic. When machinists use mic's that measure in ten thousandths they are expressed in tenths and not, a few thousandths. What you are showing could be expressed as 1 1/2 thousandths (a few?), or 15 tenths. Not trying to be overly critical, but short case/headspace issues deserve very careful detail and attention to it especially if the shoulder is short and still has a full length neck! That is what I'm reading into this!
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Old May 2, 2005, 10:20 PM   #14
Rodger Peterson
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I think I read somewhere that .012 is the max tolorance on headspace. I'm not overly concerned about damaging the rifle, as mine is tough not accurate, M77. The Wilson headspace guages I use are a go, no go type, and I would not get an accurate reading with my calipers. I do wish I had some Remmington factory ammo on hand, I would pull a bullet and check it in my headspace guage. The question would then be if it passed, how do they get proper headspacing on a short shouldered cartrige? Or are we getting cases they reject?
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Old May 2, 2005, 10:54 PM   #15
vinconco
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Stoney Point cartridge headspace gauge. Takes all the guesswork out.
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Old May 2, 2005, 11:27 PM   #16
Mike Irwin
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Yeah, extra 0 crept in there.

I still want to know what constitutes "very" short, though, before I become worried.
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Old May 3, 2005, 01:26 AM   #17
Sturm
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I think vinconco hit the nail on the head with the Stoney Point HS gauge! Use the comparator with your calipers and you can measure length to shoulder!
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Old May 3, 2005, 08:29 AM   #18
DAVID NANCARROW
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If there is any advantage to having a Ruger, this is one of them. A CRF should hold the base of the cartridge next to the bolt face, so the fire forming should go correctly. Unlike a push feed-especially Remington where the case head floats. Great idea on the Stony Point. I use one regularly, and it has helped my groups a lot.
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Old May 3, 2005, 10:30 PM   #19
Rodger Peterson
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Seems in my situation, fireforming is my best option. This thread shows how much knowledge and experience the folks on this forum have. Thanks for the knowledgable posts..
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