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Old February 19, 2000, 12:12 AM   #1
jcoyoung
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Just finished loading up my first batch of about 40 test loads. I am using a Hornady lock-n-load Auto-Progressive (single stage style).
<UL TYPE=SQUARE>
Winchester Brass
Remington #9-1/2 Large Rifle Primers
Sierra 168gn HPBT Match King
Winchester 748
</UL>

Bullet is seated so that OAL of cartridge is 2.800. My rifle is a Remington 700VS.

The problem:
About half of the cartridges won't allow the bolt handle to close all the way. Others require higher than normal force to close the bolt. The rest chamber nicely.

I've measured the offending loads and all the dims are right on or slightly below the maximum. I've put the loaded cartridges in a Lyman case gauge and everything is in spec. There is no obstruction in my rifle chamber.

Any ideas?

Thanks ahead of time.
Jason


------------------
"Ray guns don't vaporize Zorbonians, Zorbonians vaporize Zorbonians" The Far Side

[This message has been edited by jcoyoung (edited February 19, 2000).]
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Old February 19, 2000, 12:29 AM   #2
Mal H
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Does your case gauge check the shoulder dimensions or only the max case length? Some guesses: you might see if the shoulder to head dimensions are all the same; you might have failed to pull down on the handle the same amount when sizing.
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Old February 19, 2000, 12:44 AM   #3
jcoyoung
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I am using new brass, but ran them through the resize die anyway.

From the users manual that came with the case gauge, it looks like the gauge only touches the middle part of the shoulder. Theoretically, the beginning and end of the shoulder can be off.

I think I may try resizing the brass to see what happens. I guess I'm off to buy a bullet puller. A chamber OAL gauge will probably come in handy too.
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Old February 19, 2000, 01:10 AM   #4
bfoster
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jcoyoung... A few points.

First, is the case length under minimum?

Second, it is a good idea to size new brass. The brass can get banged up a bit in the neck area and insertion of a bullet may or may not make it sufficiently round to chamber easily if the brass is near maximum and the chamber near minimum.

Third, when you size the brass lube (very, very lightly) the inside of the case necks. If you don't do this sometimes the shoulder of the brass can be stretched as the expander is withdrawn from the case.

Fourth, are there any marks on the bullets from the lands of the barrel? Throat dimensions do vary- usually not this much- but it is possible as factory barrels use a seperate throating reamer.

Fifth, have the die checked.

Sixth check the chamber.

Seventh, when you trimmed the cases did you deburr? If you did, how good a job did the deburring tool do?

Good luck, Bob
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Old February 19, 2000, 01:30 AM   #5
jcoyoung
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I think Third is what happened. I didn't put lube on the inside. (Stupid me )

There are marks on the bullet (very small). I figured the bullet may need to be seated lower since the OAL might include the tip of the bullet not present on the HP bullets. So now I have a cartridge with a really short OAL (oops!). This one still has problems sticking - Which leads me to believe it is a problem with the shoulders.
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Old February 19, 2000, 01:39 AM   #6
Mal H
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If you find you need to lube the inside of your case necks, use "motor mica" instead of case lube. Regular case lube is difficult to remove from the inside of the neck.

Have you been able to compare all dimensions of one of the bad cases to a good one, or even better, a factory load? Your 2.800 OAL should give plenty of clearance for the 168 HPBT.
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Old February 19, 2000, 01:48 AM   #7
Ricciardelli
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If your seating die is set too low it will "bell" or "bulge" the case at the base of the shoulder and possibly the neck.

This will cause difficult chambering.
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Old February 19, 2000, 02:03 AM   #8
jcoyoung
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OK, the shoulder to head distance is a little long (1.571) but the good ones and the factory ammo have a similar measurement. Hmmm

I colored a bullet of one of the bad ones, chambered it, and closed the bolt as far as I dared. There are scratches in the surface in only one location. The scratches are near the neck and run in a diagonal direction. I have a bad feeling that there is *something* getting in the way, but I don't see anything. Maybe I should take it to a 'smith to take a look thru a borescope.

I will also try my friends 700 to see if he has the same problem.
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Old February 19, 2000, 02:27 AM   #9
bfoster
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jcoyoung... I hope that the cartridge you chambered had neither a primer nor powder. Safety first!

To chamber a dummy when testing for bullet seating depth problems carefully place the dummy all the way into the chamber by hand then attempt to close the bolt. The diagonal lines you see may have been caused by the rotation of the bolt if you loaded from the magazine, ar single loaded in a "normal" fashion.

Does your rifle chamber factory ammunition? If it does it is very likely that the headspace is OK, though it wouldn't hurt to have a competent 'smith check. Make sure s/he disassembles the bolt- the ejector can give a false impression.

And if the die is too high (following up Ricciardelli's note) you may simply not have sized the brass quite enough.

Bob
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Old February 19, 2000, 02:03 PM   #10
WalterGAII
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I'd suggest taking your calipers and running them from the base past the shoulder. If the caliper engages a "bump" at the shoulder, then you've slightly buckled the shoulders when sizing, or seating, or crimping.
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Old February 19, 2000, 08:41 PM   #11
PEA SHOOTER
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Why dont you take a match to a dummy round {empty case and seated bullet ]and "smoke" the case a bit,, then try to chamber it?
you will see where it is binding in the chamber?
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Old February 22, 2000, 08:04 AM   #12
Schmit
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You might want to also make a cast of your chamber. That way you have something you can compare measurements against your reloads with. Just a thought.

------------------
Schmit
GySgt, USMC(Ret)
NRA Life, Lodge 1201-UOSSS
"Si vis Pacem Para Bellum"
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Old February 22, 2000, 12:35 PM   #13
Alan B
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Call midway and get a length/head space case gage for 308. (part no 880-646 $20.99) better safe than sorry. Almost every time I have has this problem is was because the case was not going far enough in to the resize die and the case had the right length but the shoulder was to far from the back of the case, a few thousands can make a big difference. Are the dies screwed down as far as the manfacturers instructions require?
They are easy to use and measure over all length as well as the shoulder position.

[This message has been edited by Alan B (edited February 22, 2000).]
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Old February 22, 2000, 12:47 PM   #14
Paul B.
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Jcoyoung. Your seating die may be set a tad too low, placing a tight crimp on the necks of your brass. Whem using new brass, after sizing it, I always trim to the "trim to" length, which on .308 Winchester is 2.005".
If I don't do this, I fing that some rounds will have the shoulders bulged slightly, making chambering either impossible, or very difficult. Somehow, I strongly suspect this is your problem. To fine out, break down the offending rounds. Remove the decapping pin from your resizer and resize the brass. Then, after removing the sizing lubricant, see if your brass now chambers without difficulty. if it does, trim the brass to minimum length, (2.005") and reset your seating die. to properly crimp the cases.
If what I suspect is the problem is correct, trimming all your brass to the minimum length should cure the situation.
Hope this helps.
Paul B.
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Old February 23, 2000, 04:38 PM   #15
Big Bunny
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If all else fails...... write to the die manufacturer and enclose a coupla cases, most manufacturers state you can do this in their warrenty papers and they will help you or replace die which may be oversized for your individual rifle but within SAMI tolerances.
Keep us all at FL posted of your saga !

------------------
***Big Bunny***
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Old February 26, 2000, 11:46 PM   #16
jcoyoung
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OK, I think I solved the problem.

The die was set too high. (DOH!!) I noticed that the new-never fired brass would not chamber. After about an hour of lowering the die a little, lubing a case, resizing the case, wiping lube off the case, and trying the EMPTY case in my rifle, I FINALLY got the die set low enough to allow the empties to chamber. I had to lube up some necks with case lube - which I thoroughly cleaned out. I tested all the empties to see if they chambered. Since all the empties chambered ok, I will assume that the loaded ones will have the same success. I'll find out on the next trip out to the range.

I am going to a Gun show in Crete tomorrow and I plan on picking up a few items.
<LI>Stuck case remover. (I have 2 .308 die sets, only 1 is usable)
<LI>Impact bullet puller(to resize the first 40 I made)
<LI>Stoney Point Chamber OAL gauge
<LI>Pure ground mica

Thanks for eveyones help. I couldn't have figured it out without you guys.

Jason

------------------
"Ray guns don't vaporize Zorbonians, Zorbonians vaporize Zorbonians" The Far Side
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