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Old December 17, 2012, 02:30 AM   #1
solocam72
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sticky bolt after full length resizing?

Any of you guys had this problem? I have had it happen a couple times now, my resizing die is set to where the shell holder slightly cams over on the bottom of the die at the top of the press stroke. My 7mm rem mag was a little sticky when I closed the bolt on a freshly loaded shell, the first time it ever happened to me was when the new short magnums first came out, I bought a new 7mm WSM and it was really sticky to close the bolt, so I took it to a reputable smith and he ordered the go no go gauges for it thinking it was a chamber issue, when the gauges arrived it ended up checking out fine, he thought that maybe because the WSMs were so new on the market that it was stil a spec issue and his advise was to take off a few thousandths from the bottom of my new redding sizing die, It made more scense to me to take it off the top of the shell holder instead of my new die so we went that route and it solved the problem. I've had this happen a couple different times now and my remedy is to take a few thousandths off the top of the shell holder to bump the shoulder back just enough to close the bolt reliably. Sound feasible?
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Old December 17, 2012, 06:25 AM   #2
ruger357w
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I had this same problem with my 308 winchester. All I did was screwed my resizing die down until my press stopped over caming and the problem was solved. hope this helps.
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Old December 17, 2012, 07:14 AM   #3
F. Guffey
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Any of you guys had this problem? I have had it happen a couple times now, my resizing die is set to where the shell holder slightly cams over on the bottom of the die at the top of the press stroke. My 7mm rem mag was a little sticky when I closed the bolt on a freshly loaded shell, the first time it ever happened to me was when the new short magnums first came out, I bought a new 7mm WSM and it was really sticky to close the bolt, so I took it to a reputable smith and he ordered the go no go gauges for it thinking it was a chamber issue, when the gauges arrived it ended up checking out fine, he thought that maybe because the WSMs were so new on the market that it was stil a spec issue and his advise was to take off a few thousandths from the bottom of my new redding sizing die, It made more scense to me to take it off the top of the shell holder instead of my new die so we went that route and it solved the problem. I've had this happen a couple different times now and my remedy is to take a few thousandths off the top of the shell holder to bump the shoulder back just enough to close the bolt reliably. Sound feasible?



No, it does not happen to me. The problem with sizing a case that will not chamber should not happened to a reloader. A reloader should know if a case is sized before lowering the ram IF THE PRESS WHIPPED THE CASE.

The cases being sized chambered before being fired, if the reolader checked the dimensions of the case before firing they should be able to measure the case after returning the case to minimum length by full length sizing. Sizing is not a motion the reloader is required to attempt, I know what the case is supposed to look like after sizing by comparing it with a case that will chamber. Then there is the gun smith, he ordered a go=gage? I wpuld have asked to see the cases that would not allow the bolt to close with out resistance, I would have compared the ‘tough to chamber’ cases with cases that would chamber: For example, I would compare the casses that would not chamber with cases that were minimum length cases such as new, over the counter, factory ammo.

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Old December 17, 2012, 07:26 AM   #4
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Lots of reasons could cause shell stickyness.

1. trim your brass to its >(minimum) acceptable tolerance.
2. consider using a Small base resizing die.
3. a headspace comparator gauge like the Hornady tool is nice to set your dies up with.
4. seat your bullets to their suggested cartridge OAL >(minimum.)

(To cut a die or shellholder) I myself wouldn't resort to such a draconian tactic to remedy this type of issue. Reason being: You would loose your dies lifetime warranty and there are a few other things you need to check out first.
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Old December 17, 2012, 08:55 AM   #5
solocam72
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The gun smith I was referring to builds custom barrels, Benchmark Barrels is the name, he also owns the company, he has been building custom rifles for many years. He did ask me for my fired brass and new brass, I don't recall exactly what all he did? I do remember him darkening the case with something and slowly chambering it and that's when we could see the problem was coming from the shoulder, that's when he suggested he could take off a few thousandths from the bottom of my die body, believe me he has the machinery there to do it! But after we talked it over I asked if it would matter if we took that small amount of material off the top of the shell holder instead of the die, a 6 or 8 dollar shell holder made more scense than a new sizer die, losing the warranty on the die. Anyway that's what we done and it worked fabulous! Look up Bench Mark Barrels those guys turn out some amazing stuff! I believe they hold some records with there barrels? I don't keep up anymore but I have known the owner/operator for many years
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Old December 17, 2012, 09:20 AM   #6
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I'm talking a tiny amount of material, a few thousandths, I havnt calipered my hair on my head but I would say that was about the amount of material removed from the top of the shellholder, then I readjusted the die by unlocking the large lock ring and screwing the die body down til it contacted the top of the shellholder about a quarter turn past this (maybe a little less) then set the lock ring, the shellholder slightly cams the bottom of the die at the top of the press stroke, by removing that TINY bit of material off the top of the shell holder it bumped the shoulder of the case back just enough for them to chamber perfectly. All I can say is it worked fabulous!
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Old December 17, 2012, 09:50 AM   #7
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Forgot to mention I didn't have any factory ammo for him to look at, the WSMs had just hit the market, I was the first in my area that I know of to own one. This was also the first WSM he had dealt with, that's why he didn't have the go no go gauges for it, when I bought the rifle I also bought a box of factory ammo, I used it in the barrel break in process so all I had was the fired from my gun cases for him to look at along with the few I reloaded that were difficult to chamber
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Old December 17, 2012, 10:16 AM   #8
F. Guffey
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“All I can say is it worked fabulous!”

In my opinion, grinding the bottom of the die and or top of the shell holder is a bad habit, again, my opinion, it is possible to determine if the press restored a case to minimum length/full length sized the case before the ram is lowered. The part of the case that does not get stuffed into the die will be hanging out between the die and shell holder, meaning, the case will hold the die off the shell holder if all of the case is not sized. Then there is that part were the WSM cases take a hammering when fired. To size a case the press must have the ability to overcome the case’s ability to resist sizing. Lowering the die an additional fractional turn of the die increases the presses ability to overcome resistance to sizing.

Before lowering the ram, measure the gap between the die and shell holder with the ram up, if there is a gap measure the gap with a feeler gage (some of the more talented use light), again, if there is a gap the case won, the case whipped the press, to increase the presses ability to overcome resistance screw the die down an additional fractional turn.

I size cases for short chambers without grinding the die and or shell holder, I change the deck height of the shell holder, RCBS shell holders allow for the case to be raised in the shell holder .012” for most of the cases I work with.

Must be understood!: The limit to sizing is controlled by contact between the die and shell holder. Your smith purchased a go-gage, in the hands of most smiths and reloaders, a very useless tool, your smith could have removed the primer punch/neck sizer plug from the die then used the go-gage to check the distance from the deck of the shell holder to the shoulder of the sizer die to determine of the die/shell holder combination had the ability to restore the case to minimum length, again, once the die contacts the top of the shell holder,’that is it’. The go-gage should be chamber go-gage length, the gap between the bottom of the die and top of the shell holder when the go-gage is installed in the shell holder with the ram up should indicate the difference between a minimum length case and a go gage length chamber when measured from the usual places.

Usual places: Case, from the head of the case to the shoulder/datum. Chamber, from the bolt face to the shoulder of the chamber/datum.

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Old December 17, 2012, 10:28 AM   #9
F. Guffey
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“I bought the rifle I also bought a box of factory ammo”

Your combination, press, die and shell holder failed to restore the fired cases to minimum length/full length size, I suggest, when purchasing a new box of ammo for a new rifle save one round, especially if the new box of ammo chambers and fires, there is nothing like standards, transfers and verifying.

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Old December 17, 2012, 10:33 AM   #10
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Well so long as the shell holder cut works. Hey I'll have to keep that trick in mind. Machining a die down has accrued to me in the past. I just hated to think having to do it to a Redding is all. Shell holder makes more sense solocam72. Nice resolve to your issue Sir

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Old December 17, 2012, 11:44 AM   #11
solocam72
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Very much agree F. Guffey, I should also mention that this method I used should NOT be a go to method if you ever encounter this same problem, there are several other variables that could be the culpret and one should go through all of them to rule out any other possible cause
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Old December 17, 2012, 11:54 AM   #12
solocam72
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I use a redding big boss single stage press, all of my dies are either RCBS or REDDING
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Old December 17, 2012, 12:59 PM   #13
Tom Matiska
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Sometimes but not always? on a case with a lot of shoulder? Any difficulty on the extraction stroke when the expander plug is pulled back thru the neck? Or when seating the bullets? Possible your shoulder geometry is being tweaked after the resizing stroke?
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Old December 17, 2012, 01:09 PM   #14
243winxb
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Spring in the Press or Slop in Linkage

You should make sure the the sizing die is adjusted so that the shell holder contacts the base of the die when the ram is at the top of its stroke when resizing a case. With a good strong press like you have, hard to believe there would be any spring or slop.
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Old December 17, 2012, 02:40 PM   #15
solocam72
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Tom Matiska, your post is exactly what was going on, the fired case would go back in and chamber fine but would not after resizing, I use a dry neck lube and even tried a qtip rolled over my lube pad and lubed the inside of the necks to make them come back over the expander plug with very little resistance on the down stroke but that stil didn't fix the problem, as I previously stated I was full length resizing, with the shell holder at the top of the press stroke I screw the sizer die down til it contacts the top of the shell holder then go about another 1/8th turn so that the shell holder slightly cams on the bottom of the sizer die when at top of press stroke, this is as full length sizing as I could go! By removing the small amount off the top of the shell holder and readjusting my sizer die the same as above mentioned about an 1/8th of a turn at a time til the cases started to chamber fine with no stickiness when closing the bolt. Like I said it worked great and instead of messing with a new die I chose to take the small amount of material off the top of the shell holder instead as it is doing the exact same thing.
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Old December 17, 2012, 02:44 PM   #16
solocam72
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At that time my Redding big boss press was nearly new and super tight so I highly doubt it was due to slop/wear of my press, I havnt had any more issues since and I've loaded several thousand rounds through it
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Old December 17, 2012, 08:50 PM   #17
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Posted this on several other threads, but it comes up from time to time.
I had a similar problem, where I could not get any shoulder bump at all-measured, with the LNL headspace gauge.

It was suggested I send the die back to Hornady for grinding.

Then someone told me I needed to go 1/4- 1/2 turn PAST contact with the shellplate, with the die- so that the press cams over hard- and takes all the slack out of the press.

Worked like a charm. Got my .002 shoulder bump...

Suggest you do the same. Screw in your sizing die another 1/4-1/2 turn past contact so you get a solid, hard cam over.
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Old December 17, 2012, 08:55 PM   #18
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In my 7 Mags over the years, I only full sized unfired cases. On successive loads, I put the thickness of a nickel between sizer and holder. The BMags headspace on the belt, so the shoulder doesn't move.
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Old December 17, 2012, 10:18 PM   #19
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This problem is common with the WSM's. I have a .270 WSM that you can not reload brass shot in another rifle for with standard dies. You can neck size new brass or factory ammo shot in it, but the only way to use brass shot in another rifle is to size it with a small base die. If you reload brass shot in another rifle, it will chamber, but it is very sticky. Heres the kicker, it will not eject. You have to take a rod and drive it out. I tried turning the necks, inside cutting the necks, trimming short, etc. etc. and nothing worked. Small base die makes the once fired brass work, then I just neck size.
I borrowed a couple sets of standard dies and they all did the same thing. Thompson just cut a tight chamber. I am sure it is within spec, but must be right on the bottom end of the spec.
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Old December 18, 2012, 08:44 PM   #20
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As noted above, this is common with the WSMs. Had to do the same thing on a 300 WSM. Took a little off the top of the shellholder and no more issues. Very tight chamber.
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Old December 18, 2012, 11:05 PM   #21
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With bottleneck cases, it's often a good idea to measure the case headspace (head to shoulder dimenions) with a good tool on the fired case then again after running it through a full length sizing die. Make sure the shoulder's not any further forward after sizing the case. 1 or 2 thousandths shorter in case headspace is best. Unless the chamber is too short, most full length sizing dies can be set in the press to do this.
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