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Old April 20, 2007, 02:10 AM   #1
45auto45
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.308 Gurus, need assistance.

Reloading a batch of 308. I have trimmed, swaged and belled, in prep for loading. Before I load, I mad up some dummy rounds to spec length and decided to cycle a mag worth thru- my m1A, well some wouldn't eject and some would. Can some of this be due to the extractor,(new rifle) or the case bottom a little bigger in dia.? When I drop the mag and cycle the bolt by hand, it will then extract.

Second part of question, I am considering a Carbide sizer from Dillon, will this help me for case sizing to possibly eliminate this problem at the bottom of the case?? Does the Dillon do full case or just neck? Also, anybody beside Dillon making a 308 Carbide sizer???
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Old April 20, 2007, 06:39 AM   #2
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Unless you are loading cast bullets in your 308, there is no need to bell the case. Chamfering will take care of your needs.
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Old April 20, 2007, 07:28 AM   #3
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Try a small base sizing die, or at the minimum, a full lentgh sizer, these usually will take all of the "bulges" out of a case and return the case as close to SAAMI specs as possible. Also might want to m ake sure you shoot brass that has b een fired only in your gun. Brass from other guns may not work in yours. No need to bell or flare the case unless using lead bullets.
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Old April 20, 2007, 10:16 AM   #4
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Get a case guage. If they drop in they should work in your rifle. If they don't, send your resizing die back to the manufacturer. You shouldn't need a small base die for an M1A.

(You might also try 100 rounds of ball ammo to "break in" your rifle.)
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Old April 21, 2007, 03:46 PM   #5
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Fired brass

Use brass fired from your gun to reload. Make up your dummy rounds from brass fired in your gun. this will eliminate several areas of concern. Some surplus .308 brass is from machineguns, and can have swollen heads, which can cause problems.

Full length resize your brass. Neck sizing is fine for a bolt action, but often causes trouble in an autoloader. Don't bother with a carbide sizer for your .308. They are very expensive, and you still have to lubricate the brass, just not as much. It may make sense for a high volumn reloader to invest that kind of money, but as a beginner, you are better off waiting. Standard dies should work just fine, if you do things right.

Unlike straight walled cases, belling the case mouth is not needed on bottle necked cases (unless you are loading cast bullets), a chamfer on the case mouth is enough. (Tip: don't shoot cast bullets through your M1A, the lead/bullet lube can clog the gas system)

If your rifle is brand new, fire it a bit, before you start shooting reloads. 100 or more rounds of GI ball ammo shoudl let you know if your gun is running right. Then, if you have a problem with the reloads, you know it is the ammo, not the gun. Stick to GI ammo or reloaded equivalent for best results.
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Old April 22, 2007, 10:12 AM   #6
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What loading data are you using? If you are on the light side the action won't have enough force to elect the shell and simply rechambers it. If you are using a powder that is too fast you can have the same situation.
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Old April 23, 2007, 10:49 AM   #7
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I have a bunch of Accurate Arms powder left so I will definetly use that up first as I have had this around awhile. I was thinking of keeping it at about 2500 fps.

44AMP,

Thanks for the tip on using a few hundred rounds of factory ball before using reloads. This rifle is new and hasn't been fired yet.
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Old April 23, 2007, 02:18 PM   #8
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OK, now I'm feeling real stupid here! Can someone tell me what the Case Gauge looks like?? The local gun shop doesn't have one and one of the sales people wasn't to sure what they looked like either.. He brought up on the computer what looked to be a gauge which identifies a cartridge case if your in the field and came across a case you don't recognize. I told him I've never seen one, but sounded to me it's a gauge you drop a spent shell into to see if it fits.. Educate me!!
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Old April 23, 2007, 02:22 PM   #9
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Go to www.midwayusa.com and look at the pictures.

It looks like a round cylinder that has been "chambered" with a regular chambering reamer.
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Old April 23, 2007, 02:32 PM   #10
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http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.co...u=000157832321
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Old April 23, 2007, 04:34 PM   #11
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go to Midway. They got it all.
Books to.
Did you crimp the bullets?
If not, chamfer the case mouth. Full length size and crimp bullets for auto loaders.
Plus what the other guys said. Have fun.
Look around the midway site. They got videos.
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Old April 23, 2007, 05:38 PM   #12
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Case guages are nice for pistol rnds. I have found the stony point headspace comparator to be way more usefull for rifle loading. Set up your sizeing die to bump the shoulder .003" as measured with the comparator. You will have min brass workage and absolute reliability. Once you use the comparator for headspace or the one for col, you will never go any other way. Since getting mine, I can hardly belive anyone ever loaded without them.
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Old April 26, 2007, 11:37 AM   #13
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I don't crimp for the M1A.

I assume you cleaned the chamber prior to testing? There have been lots of problems with the SA Inc reproduction extractor. Your's probably falls into that category. Get a USGI extractor and extractor spring (try billricca.com).

Ty
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Old April 27, 2007, 01:24 AM   #14
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Got this rifle back about 1990 and has never been fired, yet! If I have problems with the extractor, I will swap it out.
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Old May 11, 2007, 03:03 PM   #15
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New issues here!!!


I am having inconsistencies in bullet seat depths. I set the seat for a max of 2.800 OACL, I range from .026 under to .015 over. Dies are locked in and everything is tight, what gives??? I'm having to measure each round. Are the numbers I've stated going to create problems?? The rounds that are oversize, I put aside. I'm loading 150 gr FMJ with AA 2460 at 43.0 gr. I realize the bullets that are seated a little deeper will create a little more case pressure, but with the load at 43 gr, I'm not pushing high velocities. Any ideas?????
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Old May 11, 2007, 03:06 PM   #16
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Sounds like inconsistent stroking of the press ram. Make sure you go all the way down and up.
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Old May 11, 2007, 05:12 PM   #17
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I do!
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Old May 11, 2007, 07:26 PM   #18
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If you're seating and crimping in the same step try to do them seperately, this might help your OAL problem.

For the carbide dies I just found out the other day they were even available, so I haven't looked at them yet. I do know that the reason they were only made for the straight walled cases was there was only a carbide sizing ring on them. You might want to check the carbide rifle dies to make sure they aren't just for neck sizing.
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Old May 12, 2007, 12:38 AM   #19
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I will try doing a separate crimp, it just adds an extra step to an already long process when processing rifle ammunition.
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Old May 12, 2007, 10:50 AM   #20
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"...it just adds an extra step to an already long process..."

It's all relative; accuracy, consistency, time to reload, quantity, quality, etc, etc. It depends on what you want out of it what you will have to put into it.

If you just want to go out and blast away, try the loads with varying OALs and see if they are acceptable, which they should be. If you are trying to get the most accuracy out of your rifle it will take some time.
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Old May 12, 2007, 11:04 AM   #21
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45auto45:

Are these cartridges with the -0.026/+0.015 differences made from the same brass that you belled earlier?

I don't think I've ever belled a bottleneck cartridge for loading. All I ever do is use this product:
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...eitemid=742818


I deburr the case mouth and it puts a very light bevel on it at the same time. This is sufficient for the bullet to slide into the case in my experience. Another thing to consider is that your case mouth expanding ball (on your resizing die) may be oversized or a defect, sizing the mouth too large to hold the bullet properly.

I would start from ground zero, not bell my case mouths, deburr them with the Hornady or similar tool (many folks make them), use a consistent ram stroke, and measure your batch for consistency.
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Old May 15, 2007, 12:40 AM   #22
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I stopped belling anymore, just need to guide the bullet in the die to get er in, all is well after that. I did in fact fail to mention something, the bullets used are pulled!! I asked a friend who loads lots of .308's and even he said he has inconsistencies with pulled bullets. I have accepted them as they are. They are just for shoot em up ammo.

"Are these cartridges with the -0.026/+0.015 differences made from the same brass that you belled earlier?"

They were tossed back in with the rest of the brass and made no difference. I in fact deburred ID/OD of brass. I am not going to worry about that ammo anymore and have this ammo set aside for testing. I agree, I think they will be fine. I only loaded to about 2600 fps so I believe the case pressures generated by the lower seated bullet will not effect of cause harm. I feel comfortable and good to go!
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Old May 15, 2007, 09:54 AM   #23
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Your OAL is going to vary from one round to the next because the seating die works off the bullet ogive, not the tips. Don't worry about it; it's working fine.

Ty
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Old May 16, 2007, 05:50 PM   #24
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Thanks to everyone, I jus tend to get anal with loading!!
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Old May 17, 2007, 08:34 PM   #25
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The Dillon carbide rifle dies are full length, fairly small base, and NATO spec headspace (slightly longer than commercial for the military actions). They are intended for people using their progressive reloaders at high volume to feed class III weapons. I have them in .308 and .223. They still require lubrication, so you don't get out of that, as you do with pistol dies, but they don't easily score and they leave a nice smooth finish and last a long, long time. Good dies, if pricey compared to steel.

Failure to function is most likely underloaded ammunition. 43 grains of 2460 only produces about 39,000 PSI in the capacious Winchester cases. If you have military cases it isn't quite so soft. Not much for the .308, in any case. 45 grains and 2700 fps with a 150 grain bullet are more normal. 43 grains will do well with a 168 grain or 175 grain match bullet.

I've had my M1A (well-seasoned) fail to function with 147 grain mystery surplus ball before. It just doesn't like a light load/light bullet combinations. I ran AA 2520 in it one season and discovered that powder doesn't like to light up. I had to deburr all my flashholes to get consistency from it. Group size cut nearly in half when I did. I never found deburring flashholes made any difference with stick powders that I could see. They light easily. I mention the 2520 experience because it might prove true for your 2460 (I haven't tried it), and flashhole deburring tools are cheap.

What the others said on your pulled bullets is right. The puller wasn't careful and distorted the ogives, and that ogive is what the seater die pushes against. These will never be great loads, accuracy-wise. Get some good bullets if you want to learn what the rifle can do? I recommend the 175 grain Sierra MatchKing for that experiment, since the 10" twist in military .30 cal barrels was prooved out for that bullet weight and shape in the obsolete M1 ball from between the WW's. Once you know the rifle's potential, you won't get frustrated or fooled by bad bullets.

The Lee Factory Crimp Die for .308 may be used with the .308. Winchester's Supreme Match uses something like it that indents the bullets slightly. It isn't required, but is worth a try, particularly if you find that bumping rapidly up your gun's feed ramp tends to tip the bullets in your cases and increase runout. That can open you up a couple m.o.a. The U.S. military bullets are glued in with sealant pitch, and that increases the start pressure and helps keep the bullet in place.

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