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Old October 8, 2013, 09:22 PM   #1
jersurf101
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NATO brass not chambering

I have resized some once fire .308 brass for my savage 11. All of the brass that was run through my gun is chambering fine. I have a decent amount of LC 06 that has been through my brother's M14. This brass goes into the chamber smoothly but will not chamber fully. The bolt will not lower at all on any of this brass.

I think the problem is that I am not getting the shoulders set back far enough. I am using a Lee .308 win die on a Lee challenger kit. Is it possible I need a new sizing die? The sizing die I have cannot go any lower as it is touching the shell holder on the ram. The micrometer says that the shoulders on the LC read 1.72" while the Nosler and Winchester that were fired in the gun measure 1.715" if that helps. Is this a known problem with a Lee sizing die?
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Old October 8, 2013, 09:35 PM   #2
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Not sure if this will help but two things I do for brass like that is . Make sure it's easy to size , Nice and slippery and bring the press arm down 2 or 3 times .

extra lube on the shoulder may set it back a bit . A different shell holder may size the case a little different . all this is assuming you are maxed out on the die and the ram of your press . Is there any space between the ram/shell holder and your die when sizing the brass .

Do you have a case length gauge . What do the LC 06 cases look like compared to others that chamber fine .

I really have no idea what's wrong just throwing stuff out there that could help .
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Old October 8, 2013, 09:40 PM   #3
jersurf101
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I don't have a case length gauge which is a good idea. I definitely have the die bottomed out. I work the brass pretty good through the sizing die(like 6-8 times through)

I had't thought about extra lube

I appreciate the input metal god
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Old October 8, 2013, 09:43 PM   #4
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squeze play

you might need a small base die with that brass .
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Old October 9, 2013, 06:13 AM   #5
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When you full length size one of those cases and when the ram's pushed the case full into the die, is there a space between the die's bottom and the top of the shellholder?

If so, that may be why your sized cases don't fit easily into a chamber. The press springs up from pressure and if the die was originally set to touch the shellholder without a case in it, the case isn't sized enough setting the shoulder back enough.
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Old October 9, 2013, 06:27 AM   #6
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I thought on lee dies you turn die down till it touches shell holder and then go 1/4 more turn?.
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Old October 9, 2013, 07:35 AM   #7
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I use the Lee .308 dies as well. Screw the die in until it touches shell holder, then lower ram and screw die in 1 Full turn more. Run case into die and put about 25lbs of pressure on the handle. Pull case and check in your rifle. If it still won't fit, apply more pressure to handle and recheck.

You have to seat the die deeper than just touching the shell holder in order for it to set the shoulder back to factory spec.

Once you fire them in your bolt gun, then you will only need to neck size and I use the Lee collet neck size die for that using the same process as above to set up the die.
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Old October 9, 2013, 07:45 AM   #8
jersurf101
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I'll try screwing the die in more. Thx for the help fellas.
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Old October 9, 2013, 08:13 AM   #9
Bart B.
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I think if you screw the die down one full turn (1/14th inch), that'll be too much. The press won't be able to put maximum force on the case pushing it up into the full length sizing die. 1/8th turn down may well be enough. The press lever arm should "cam over" as the ram reaches the top of its stroke when the shell holder stops hard against the die's bottom.

While correctly full length sizing .308 Win. cases has produced the best accuracy with them for decades, until one totally understands the way those cases fit the chamber when fired and how their dimensions change from firing as well as sizing, they may think otherwise.
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Old October 9, 2013, 08:21 AM   #10
F. Guffey
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I do not assume, I have hammers, I have big hammers, I have little hammers and I have all the hammers in between,presses? Same thing, I have big presses and I have little presses and I have the presses that are between the big press and the little press, and I have inverted presses. The case installs upside down, it is called a arbor press. When it comes to a case whipping my press it is a matter of getting a bigger press.

The secret? Is knowing when to know a bigger press is necessary. Back to “I do not assume”, When a case will not chamber after sizing I measure the case from the shoulder back to the case head before sizing and again after sizing. When returning a case back to minimum length/full length size the die contacts the shell holder when the ram is up, if the die does not contact the shell holder the case can not be full length sized, because full length sizing depends on the operator of the press to adjust the die down to the shell holder with an additional turn of the die be it an additional 1/4 turn, 1/2 turn or full turns. Again, if the case is holding the die off the shell holder when the ram is raised the case is not being full length sized.

Trouble shooting? For me? Not a problem. When I want to know if my press die and shell holder whipped the case the die is contacting the shell holder. When the case whips my press, die and shell holder there is a gap between die and shell holder. When I want to know ‘by how much’ I use a feeler gage to measure the gap in thousandths. It is a simple matter of the presses' ability of overcoming the resistance of the case being sized.

While I always have the feeler gage out I use it to increase the presses ability to overcome the cases ability to resist sizing by jacking the case up and off the deck of the shell holder, something like a poor mans small base die.

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Old October 9, 2013, 08:28 AM   #11
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"The press lever arm should "cam over"

I do not assume, it is assumed 'the press cams over', I have 4 Rock Chucker presses, I do not have a Rock Chucker that cams over, they lock up, jam, up and or go into a bind, if (BIG IF) my Rock Chucker presses crammed? over I would be able to measure the amount of cam over. I have at least 8 presses that cam over, none of them are Rock Chucker s.

When I adjust a cam over press I adjust them differently than I do a non cam over press.

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Last edited by F. Guffey; October 9, 2013 at 08:30 AM. Reason: move the a closer to the t
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Old October 9, 2013, 08:35 AM   #12
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"extra lube on the shoulder may set it back a bit . A different shell holder may size the case a little different"

If the deck height of the shell holder is .125", how can a different shell holder make a difference?

Lube on the shoulder is a bad habit.

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Old October 9, 2013, 08:47 AM   #13
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The Lee dies have stops to prevent camover. I don't think the aluminum can handle that much leverage safely.


jersurf101,

Three possibilities:

First, when the errant case is up in the die, look sideways at the press to see if there's a crack of light between the shell holder and the die. You just need enough force to close that gap. Lee recommends ¼ turn beyond contact as a starting point, but check. You can watch the fellow in the Lee help video demonstrate this.

Second, run the cases up into the die three times, as mentioned, but turn the case about a third of a turn in the holder each time and hold them up in the die for a count of five each time to let the metal lose a little bit of its spring. I can almost always get at least two more thousandths off a shoulder this way. That may be enough, depending on your chamber.

Third, if that last method doesn't get you enough shoulder setback, follow Mr. Guffey's point on using a feeler gauge. To do this you will need to use wrenches to loosen the decapper rod from in the die so you can remove it. Then, when sizing each case, slip a 0.005" automotive feeler gauge into the mouth of the shell holder just under the head (bottom) of the case in the shell holder. That will force the case up an additional 0.005", driving it that much deeper into the sizing die. This will lengthen the cases by squeezing more shoulder metal up into the neck, so check for need to trim afterward.

The last to items may seem like a lot of extra work, but remember you only have to do this once. The cases won't give you this problem after being fired in your chamber.
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Old October 9, 2013, 10:42 AM   #14
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The round was probably fired through a military rifle with excessive headspace. I have the 4th option to suggest. Lyman shell holder is 0.01" thinner. I switch it in from time to time for casings that have a little bit of "attitude problem". Certainly I will need to screw down the die a little.

-TL

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Old October 9, 2013, 02:57 PM   #15
jersurf101
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Thank you guys for the help. I now have some trouble shooting to go and I will let you know how it works out. I am sure that with hour help I will figure this out.
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Old October 9, 2013, 08:45 PM   #16
jersurf101
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So it turns out I needed to learn to use my die. A little less then 1/4 turn past where the base of the dies touch the shell holder does the trick. I played with the depth to work the brass as little as possible once I figured out what was going on. The cases feed into my Savage nice and smooth and the bolt closes on them easily. For the record Lee states this in the DIRECTIONS for using their dies and their equipment has always worked well for me. I was in no way trying to slam Lee.

You guys are awesome and really helped me out.

Thanks.
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Old October 10, 2013, 06:32 AM   #17
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Guffy

The manufacturer's do not have a standard for the shellholders. So one maker's deck height will be different then the others. If lowering the die does not help you can also take some 600 grit paper and lightly polish the top of the shellholder. This will reduce the deck height.
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Old October 10, 2013, 08:15 AM   #18
F. Guffey
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Pa-Joe, Not since the 50s. I called RCBS about a hand primer that did not like my shell holders, RCBS instructed me to ship my shell holders to them for exchange. RCBS is too kind, I turned down their offer, modifying a shell holder to fit the Auto hand primer takes less time than it takes to write out a label.

It is not the manufacturer that does not have a standard, it is the reloader that does not take the time to measure. I have shell holders that have a deck height of .118", not much chance of getting it confused with anything else, the ram and shell holder is integral meaning it is one piece. I have 6 integral shell holders made by RCBS, all of them have a deck height .125", Presses that used interval ram/shell holders were available in 1950 +/-.

I am a case former, I am a wildcatter, and I am a reloader, I do not wake up in a new world every morning, my shell holders have a deck height of .125", The world I wake up is much simpler than most worlds. If I want to check the ability of a die and shell holder to restore a case to minimum length/full length size, I remove the primer punch/seizer plug assemble and check with a head space gage.

When a head space gage is placed into the shell holder with the sizer die setting on the shoulder of the gage there is a gap between the bottom of the die and top of the shell holder, the difference is the difference between a go-gage length chamber and a full length sized case. If the world I woke up in was the 'other world?' I would have to list the manufacturer name of the die and shell holder.

Then there are those that do not understand it is not necessary to grind metal from the shell holder and or bottom of the die.

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Old October 10, 2013, 08:33 AM   #19
F. Guffey
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“If lowering the die does not help you can also take some 600 grit paper and lightly polish the top of the shell holder. This will reduce the deck height”


“you can also take some 600.....” I understand the difference between can and may, point, I wouldn’t, I have a machine that makes pilots, guides and gages, that would include tapered gages. the machine grinds in-line, it grinds angles and it grinds to length, meaning it will also butt grind.

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Old October 10, 2013, 10:21 AM   #20
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PA-Joe, the reloading industry does have a shell holder height standard of .125" that's been around for decades. But they have a few thousandths spread. I've measured half a dozen or more makes and they're all +/- 0015" of .1250" height. But like SAAMI specs and standards for ammo, barrels and chambers, not every company abides by them to the Nth degree.

jersurf101, good to learn your die's set right to do all the right stuff resizing cases.

Guffey, in the reloading industry, the operation of reforming a fired cartridge case to approximately its original dimensions has been called full length sizing for decades. There is no dimensional specification, but as long as the fired case diameters from mouth to pressure ring are reduced any amount by the die, that's full length sizing. And few, if any, presses will size a bottleneck case to a GO headspace gauge dimension if set as you describe. That dimension on the case will be longer. And specs for virtually all ammo have their maximum dimension at those places is less (shorter) than a GO headspace gauge. I tried that years ago when someone told me to do it, but in my ignorance at the time, fired cases so sized would not fit the chamber of two rifles while the headspace gauge did with ease. 'Twas easy to measure the difference between the gauge and sized cases that had a greater dimension from head to shoulder.
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Old October 10, 2013, 11:51 AM   #21
F. Guffey
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http://www.saami.org/PubResources/CC...Winchester.pdf


Jersurf101,

“I think the problem is that I am not getting the shoulders set back far enough. I am using a Lee .308 win die on a Lee challenger kit. Is it possible I need a new sizing die? The sizing die I have cannot go any lower as it is touching the shell holder on the ram. The micrometer says that the shoulders on the LC read 1.72" while the Nosler and Winchester that were fired in the gun measure 1.715" if that helps. Is this a known problem with a Lee sizing die?”

1.715” and 1.720” ? I am the fan of standards, and transfers and verifying. That puts me in a class all by myself. To use a gage like the Hornady comparator there must be a way to zero/index the tool, I know, a comparator is used to compare, problem comparators are referred to as head space gages, the head space gage is a standard. Back to the comparator, the comparator compares before and again after. that would be before firing and again after firing, problem, most measure the case after firing and after sizing.

The measurements from the datum to the head of the case as in 1.715” and 1.720 are no where to be found listed in SAAMIs chart for the 308W. The maximum chamber length from the datum to the bolt face is 1.640”, the minimum is 1.630”, SAMMI list the case length from the datum to the case head as 1.634 with a min. of -.007”.

The difference between 1.720” and 1.640” would lead me to believe you are using the incorrect datum, I make datums, I collect datums and on occasion I purchase datums. when I use a datum the plaine is zero.

F. Guffey

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Old October 10, 2013, 01:26 PM   #22
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I don't know why that didn't jump out at me before. He's not measuring at the datum, but where the neck meets the shoulder. His numbers are about right for that.

I hate to beat a dead horse, since the OP reported the problem solved in post #16, but getting the basics of the measuring right seems worthwhile, and maybe this will help someone else trying to make the same measurement.

Mr. Guffey is correct that the normal measuring point is an intersect with the shoulder of a bottleneck cartridge called the datum line. It's actually the intersection of the outside of the shoulder with a plane through it and perpendicular to the axis of the case. This intersection describes a ring around the shoulder at 0.400" diameter. Here's a drawing I did awhile back to explain this:





The reason for using that datum is to get around having to estimate exactly where the vertex of the slight radius of a corner is. The old way of measuring headspace was where the slopes of the side and shoulder would intersect, but it requires that estimation factor and is a less repeatable measurement for that reason. Same with the neck and shoulder junction.

If you don't have a tool for measuring this exactly, comparative measurements approximate to the datum line are good enough for adjusting dies. You just won't necessarily get a number you can compare to anyone else's number. That's because this will hit the shoulder a little bit off from the datum line, so the lengths won't be exactly right. But if the hole through the spacer is anywhere close to the datum line diameter, then using this method to see how much you are pushing a shoulder back works just fine.

Below is an improvised measurement using a spacer from Lowe's that claims to be for 3/8" bolts. The actual ID is 0.409", IIRC, and that's close enough to the .400" datum diameter for comparative measurements of shoulder setback. You can see from the number, 1.594", when it should be about 1.640" that the spacer sets a little lower on the shoulder than an actual datum diameter hole would. This is mostly because of the chamfer in the hole, and not the fact it is a little large. Since you zero on the length of the spacer, that chamfer subtracts from the absolute value measurement.




Nick
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Old October 10, 2013, 01:41 PM   #23
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"Guffey, in the reloading industry, the operation of reforming a fired cartridge case to approximately its original dimensions has been called full length sizing for decades. There is no dimensional specification".

Depends: Who measures? I do. There is field reject length, there is no go- gage length and, there is go-gage length, there is factory, new over the counter minimum length ammo, and I ask : Who Measures? I answered that question with "I do". There are minimum length/full length sized cases.

We all remember the old saying about the chamber being reamed to accommodate all factory ammo, factory ammo is shorter in length from the datum to the case head than the chamber from the datum to the bolt face and we never ask 'by how much?'

IT IS NOTHING FOR ME TO MEASURE THE LENGTH OF THE CHAMBER AND COMPARE THAT DIMENTION WITH THE LENGTH OF THE CASE FROM THE USUAL PLACES WHEN DETERMINING THE AMOUNT OF CASE TRAVEL I WILL HAVE WHEN THE CASE IS FIRED.

Then there is SAAMI, it is not east to size cases for a chamber I do not have, that is the reason I determine the length of the chamber first.

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Old October 10, 2013, 04:20 PM   #24
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Unclenick, great post with lots of good info.

One can buy one of those spacers, borrow a GO headspace gauge, put that spacer on the gauge neck, measure it with a caliper, record the caliper reading then zero the caliper. Return the GO gauge to its owner.

Using that recorded reading on the caliper to zero it means you can measure fired case headspace and get a good idea of your rifle's chamber headspace; just add .001" to the reading. Also use on bottleneck cases and see how their headspace changes from new, after firing and again after full length sizing. Also where the die needs to be set in the press to get a given amount of shoulder setback.

I used steel tubing cut and squared to exact 1 inch lengths to do that long before gauges such as the RCBS Precision Mic was available.
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Old October 10, 2013, 04:39 PM   #25
F. Guffey
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Bart B., I make datums, I collect datums and on occasions, I purchase datauns, the answer to your question begs another question: WHY? The plane is the 'measure from' anyone can zero 'from'.

Not a problem but if all measurements are going to agree the datum, round hole circle must be 90 degree to the plaine, if the hole has a radius the plaine of the datum will be below the top of the datum.

The Wilson datum has a radius that is convexed, since the early 50s.

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