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Old October 11, 2011, 11:12 AM   #1
Hog Buster
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Chambering Test

Every now and again I see posts here regarding reloads that are hard to chamber in rifles. In most cases the reply’s concern full length sizing the cases and making sure of the shoulder set back. With a little down time to waste I’ve found another thing which just might cause hard chambering.

I took a hundred cases and full length sized them. Half were lubricated inside the neck with case lube (Dillon spray on a Q-Tip) and half weren’t. All were Remington 30/06 with 4 to 5 times reloaded. I then ran each empty case thru my Model 70. All of the ones that had inside neck lubrication chambered fine. The ones without inside neck lubrication didn’t fare as well. I found 9 out of the 50 that gave some resistance when closing the bolt.

This intrigued me so I tried the same test again with more and got pretty much the same results. 8 out of 50 un-lubricated were hard to chamber.

This led me to believe that while all the cases are being full length resized, the inside neck un-lubricated ones are being stretched a bit by the expander ball friction. Not much and not it all cases, but just enough to eliminate a little set back causing hard chambering with some.

I then took the 17 cases that chambered hard, resized them, with inside neck lubrication, and ran them thru my Model 70 again. They all chambered fine with no resistance. This leads me to believe that lubricating the inside of bottled necked case cases might be the answer to occasional hard chambering that I and others have experienced in the past.

While not too scientific, this test has taught me one thing, lubricating the inside of bottled necked cases necks is important. I will continue this process in the future.
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Old October 11, 2011, 11:18 AM   #2
hooligan1
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That's interesting Hog-buster, You may be onto something. What I have read about rifle cartridge loading, has lubricating inside the necks as one of the steps to full-length re-sizing. It is also a step that some people maybe overlook as they are getting the cases ready for sizing... Good way to spend down-time man..
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Old October 11, 2011, 11:35 AM   #3
Qtiphky
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Interesting

I just loaded 40 rounds for my 300 WSM. I didn't lube the inside of any of them for whatever reason, and didn't have the same results. I had about 12 of them that were nickel and the rest were brass cases. They have all been shot from the same gun and each and every nickel one was hard to chamber while the brass ones went in like butter. Does nickel "stretch" more than brass? Maybe if I had lubed the nickel ones they wouldn't have been hard to chamber?

Hmmmmm, maybe I should try that next time. Very interesting.
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Old October 11, 2011, 11:51 AM   #4
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Very interesting...thanks for sharing. That will be stored in the back of my mind if I ever have that problem!

Just a quick thought...are you annealing your brass?

Not sure it this makes a difference because it it was too soft, you'd get less friction (tension) thus less stretching. And if you brass is work hardened, then you would have more friction but also more case neck rigidity. Hmmmm....
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Old October 11, 2011, 12:00 PM   #5
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Thats why I measure and trim if necessary AFTER I size the case.
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Old October 11, 2011, 12:49 PM   #6
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No. I’m not annealing. However I do recognize that some batches and brands of cases may be softer than others.

I also trim after sizing, but the problem seems to be with shoulder set back, not length. Like most reloader’s I don’t use a case gauge, I just full length size and trim to length which could allow for improper shoulder set back from stretching with the expander ball.
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Old October 11, 2011, 12:52 PM   #7
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Kraigwy,

He is talking about the shoulder setback being stretched back out a bit from the friction of the expander ball being drug back out of the case neck. Unless you measure headspace after you FL size then you would never catch this problem the OP has theorized (is this a word??).
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Old October 11, 2011, 12:56 PM   #8
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ICH

Down here in the south it ain't called theory, it's called "Figurin' Out".

Kraigwy's a good ole boy, "Bless his Heart".
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Old October 11, 2011, 01:10 PM   #9
kraigwy
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Quote:
Kraigwy,

He is talking about the shoulder setback being stretched back out a bit from the friction of the expander ball
I don't recall the expander ball ever stretching my cases at the shoulder. Neck yes but not shoulder.

Guess you learn something every day.
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Old October 11, 2011, 01:22 PM   #10
Hog Buster
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A few years back I had trouble with reloaded Federal bottle necked cases being hard to chamber, amongst others, too soft, etc. Thinking back being lazy and not lubricating inside the necks probably exacerbated my problems with them.

For years I used a inside neck lubricator that consisted of a tray of graphite with 3 brushes mounted in it. It got misplaced some where along the line and I just didn’t do it anymore. I guess that was my bad.

I’ve encountered hard chambering off and on since then, but it was so infrequent I didn’t pay it much mind. Then the other day I accidentally ran a 30/06 case thru a 270 die with my old Bonanza and amazed myself how easily it was done. Wth all the leverage that press has it set me to thinking. If it was that easy to reform a cases it would be just as easy, if not more so, to stretch one. Apparently it is.

Batch to batch and manufacturer to manufacturer I’m sure that there’s difference between cases that can cause some to be more susceptiable to stretching than others. Since I now mostly use Remington cases I may never find out. I’ll leave that for other tinkers to learn, but I’ll sure keep lubricating inside bottle necked cases when sizing.
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