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Old March 29, 2014, 09:00 AM   #1
riverratt
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head separation after 3?

I have read many post on here saying that y'all are getting alot more loads out of rifle casses than i am. I full length size for a 30/06 and after 3 loads im about to have head separation? I set the die up by touching the shell holder and addind an 1/8 turn farther down. Is this normal for full length sizing to have such a short case life or is this a case that i need to use a feeler gauge and set my dies to that. I trim my cases to the recomended length (dont have my notes and dont remember what it is) and have to trim my cases after every fireing? A case of to much headspace in the gun, die or something im doing? Been loading this way for years and thought it was the norm but aparently not.
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Old March 29, 2014, 09:04 AM   #2
jwrowland77
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Sounds like you're giving yourself to much headspace and working the brass too much. I have by FL dies just touching shell holder maybe a tad higher (1/8 turn out). After the first firing, I neck size only until they get sticky on closing bolt, then I'll FL size again.

My mentor has always told me though, 4 and done.
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Old March 29, 2014, 09:05 AM   #3
steve4102
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Are your cases actually "separating" or do they just look as if they are going to?

Have you checked the inside of the case with a paper clip?

Gotta picture of these cases?

Details of your load, might help as well.
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Old March 29, 2014, 10:03 AM   #4
riverratt
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Sorry not tech savy have no clue how to post pics plus my phone takes horable pics. I am shooting a sierra 165gr hpbt gameking over 57gr imr 4350. This load produced the best accuracy. I worked up to 58.3gr before i saw the first sigh of over pressure (hard bolt and createred primer). I have used a paperclip and felt the inside of the case, i can feel a noticable dip on the inside. The head isnot separating yet but there is a promonent ring around the case where the die stopes.
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Old March 29, 2014, 10:18 AM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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If you full length size by generic instructions, yes, depending on the brass and your guns chamber, 3 reloads may well be it.

Don't do that.

Size the brass for your gun. The shoulder should be set back no more than 0.002 from fired condition.

In fact, it probably doesn't fully form to your chamber in one firing so you can size the brass to not move the shoulder at all.

For .30-06, a 3/8" spacer would be what you'd use to measure the shoulder.
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Old March 29, 2014, 10:21 AM   #6
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Buy one of two tools. Either a Wilson Case Gauge which has a "min-max" indicator on the end to help set a sizing die properly

OR

A Hornady headspace gauge that allows you to measure the "headspace" on a fired case and then compare it with a sized case from your sizing die setup.

For maximum case life you should only adjust the die into the press far enough to bump the shoulder back enough to show a .003" shorter headspace on a sized case versus a fired case.

For different rifles the fired case headspace measurements can be different so only use the Fired vs Sized comparison with cases fired in the same rifle.

For most, the max .003" "bump" will be more than enough. Some (like me) only bump .0015".
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Old March 29, 2014, 10:24 AM   #7
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Rowland is right. You are just resizing too much, by which I mean that you are pushing the shoulder back too far when you FL resize. And when you fire that resized round, the case is stretching too far and causing the problem with your brass. You can partial resize (partial FL resizing, which doesn't touch the shoulder) until after firing and reloading again, the reloaded rounds get a bit tough to chamber. After that, screw the die in in small increments until the empty resized case chambers easily, which indicates that you have pushed the shoulder back enough, but not too much.

Your rifle chamber is apparently a bit more loose than the FL sizing die. I have a Hornady die for my 260 which is the same way. I lost a few cases after I tried to completely FL resize, and then had to find how much to size the brass until I got it just right. No brass problems after that. I call it partial resizing, but the actual term might better be said as 'almost FL resizing'. You can do this without having to buy any case measuring tools. It just takes a bit of experimentation.

I've reloaded for several of my rifles where the cases lasted 10 or 15 reloads. The brass lasts longer if you don't run your reloads too close to max.

Last edited by 603Country; March 29, 2014 at 10:30 AM.
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Old March 29, 2014, 10:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
but there is a promonent ring around the case where the die stopes.
If this is what I think it is, this is normal.

The fired case expands everywhere, but below the pressure ring/web under normal safe pressures... It looks like this yes? Post #1, that's normal.

http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f...h-mark-102588/

Same link as above, notice the difference in position between a true case head separation and an the case web.

Post #8.
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Old March 29, 2014, 10:26 AM   #9
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
My mentor has always told me though, 4 and done.
Just noticed this....

That is an incredible waste of brass. Properly sized cases can be reloaded literally dozens of times.

I have some that's been over 10 and you can't tell it from new brass once they've all been tumbled. I have never lost a single case to head separation, or any other use related cause.
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Old March 29, 2014, 10:46 AM   #10
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Most the cases I throw in the recycle bin are due to the neck splitting.

I do the paperclip check. I've been able to get more than 4 reloadings per with no problems. Like I said, I check every time with a paperclip and haven't had any issues. I use a RCBS neck sizing die for my .308. Still waiting to order one for my .223, .243 and 7 RM
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Old March 29, 2014, 12:45 PM   #11
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Per Brian, I have a lot that are pushing 10 and I am not tuning to each rifle as I have 5 I shoot and to track brass and setup to each wold be a major pain

I do shoot a lot lower loads and not after absolute maximum accuracy but good enough for my kind of fun.

I am seeing the neck splits for the first time so its time to get into annealing which I am not keen on as its a nebulous process (yes I know there are those that will disagree but when you do it by eye, as they found with the 1903s, it don't work so good).

We don't have the tools that would allow the kind of precision needed to do it really correctly (by feel basically but also there is nothing to loose so.... (my opinion of course!)
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Old March 29, 2014, 01:02 PM   #12
riverratt
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Steve yes it looks like the pic in the first post. My grandpaw always said that was the first sign of head separation, guess its not? He also told me if i feel any dip in the case with a paperclip then the case is done. I am finding out that alot of what he said wasnt exactly true so i am releaning everything i thought i already knew.
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Old March 29, 2014, 01:08 PM   #13
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You should get way more than 4. My 308 , I am getting 14 before I throw. I still have no split necks or such, but figure after 14 I got my use out of it.
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Old March 29, 2014, 01:52 PM   #14
schill32
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head seperation

Having head separation can be from exceeding the powder recommendation for your load. You could be loading a hot round. look for a pressure signs on the primmer and rim of the casing after being fired. I also get around 8 reloads from my casings and then the necks may start to split. When this happens throw them away but for the rest of the brass you can anneal them to bring them back to life.
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Old March 29, 2014, 02:24 PM   #15
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For rifle brass I am getting 10+ reloads out of my 280 Rem as well as 308 and 223. And so far the only reason I have tossed them was because the primer pockets were not as tight as I would like.
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Old March 29, 2014, 03:01 PM   #16
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Another +1 to the paper clip check! And if you can, post a pic of this separating brass.
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Old March 29, 2014, 03:20 PM   #17
F. Guffey
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Quote:
I full length size for a 30/06 and after 3 loads im about to have head separation?
No one has asked what rifle you are loading for, no one has asked what you did with the first round you fired, no one has asked if you compared the length of the fired case with the first case you sized as in the length of the case from the shoulder to the head of the case, problem, to most everything is head space.
The case has head space? The die has head space and worst, everything is a head space gage.

I measure the length of the chamber from the shoulder of the chamber to the bolt face. I dig out my feeler gage and then adjust the die off the shell holder, how much? Depends on how far off the shoulder of the chamber I want the shoulder of the case. I am the fan of cutting down on all that case travel, to reduce case travel I use transfers and standards.

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Old March 29, 2014, 03:56 PM   #18
F. Guffey
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I have by FL dies just touching shell holder maybe a tad higher (1/8 turn out).
I have no clue what a 'tad' is but a 1/4 turn is .0178", I have one rifle that requires a .014" gap between the top of the shell holder and bottom of the die. I have an M1917 Eddystoner with a chamber that is .002" longer than a field reject chamber from the shoulder to the bolt face, that chamber is .016" longer than a minimum length sized/new unfired factory round from the shoulder of the case to the case head.

Problem, no one knows what a minimum length/full length sized case is.

To test the length of the chamber I used trashy old cases fired in trashy old chambers, problem, none of the cases were fired in a chamber as trashy as the one in my M1917 Eddystone.

What did I do? The next best thing, I started forming 30/06 cases from 280 Remington cases, how could I miss, the 280 Remington case is ahead of the 30/06 shoulder by .051", can't miss, correction, I can not miss.

I adjusted the die off the shell holder .010" then sized a case, it chambered, . I added 005"" to the gap to increase the length of the case. It chambered, then I added .001" to the gap to make it . The bolt closed with a slight felt resistance.

The .010" is the equivalent of a no go-gage plus .001", the .016" is the equivalent of a field reject length chamber + .002".

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Last edited by F. Guffey; March 29, 2014 at 04:00 PM. Reason: add is, then remove a 9, then change t to T
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Old March 29, 2014, 08:28 PM   #19
William T. Watts
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I’m the fellow jwrowland77 is referring to about shooting a case four times and done, I have fired lots of cases five times or more but no longer have to because I have an ample supply of either new or once fired cases for several calibers. If one can master annealing no doubt this will allow additional firings, I suspect people spend more money and time than I want to invest learning the secret of how to. Non-the-less Guffy has the right idea once the shoulder has been moved forward leave it there, don’t move it any more than is necessary for ease of chambering. I have no illusion about what I can do and what I can’t do but I have a problem when someone make a statement that folks are throwing money away when they fire a case 4-5 times and recycle. I think that’s prudent and being smart and maybe saving themselves from headaches when tackling something they just aren’t equipped to handle. Once the powder residue has advanced past midway of the shoulder it's time to recycle the case. Thats my .02! William
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Old March 29, 2014, 09:03 PM   #20
603Country
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Well, do like the rest of us and stay in your comfort zone. I don't toss em after 4. I shoot em till i get neck splits or loose primer pockets. As for early retirement of brass, that's an individual judgement that we all have to make. If you don't load em hot, you should get more life than 4 reloads.
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Old March 29, 2014, 09:08 PM   #21
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riverratt, you need to read this over.

http://www.shootersforum.com/handloa...eparation.html
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Old March 29, 2014, 09:48 PM   #22
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Case head separation after 3 reloads could be "about right" for a Garand with a generous headspace.

For a manual action rifle, it is a sign of excessive headspace in my opinion. The easiest way to get longer brass life is to neck size. If neck sizing isn't a viable option adjusting your FL resizing die to partially resize is the next easiest answer to getting long brass life.

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Old March 30, 2014, 02:48 AM   #23
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Oh yes it can happen with a bolt gun . I know because it happened to me and my 308 . I agree with the others that say it is a short case head space issue . It was the problem for me .

See pic .
cases on the left LC-11 reloaded 3 times , Cases on the right WCC-06 reloaded 6 times and annealed once after 5 reloads . You can also see the case on the far left does not have separation yet but Will come apart the next time fired . As soon as you start to see that line the case is done .
http://imageshack.com/a/img62/2971/mjcn.jpg

After learning from guys here at TFL how to measure and size my brass right I have not had another head separation . I was setting my FL die per what Redding says and it was sizing my cases .008 shorter then my fire formed cases . I was even getting a few 10+ thousandths shorter . To this day it blows me away that the thickness of 2 pieces of paper is WAY to much cases head space .

I recommend a cases head space comparator .
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Old March 30, 2014, 08:08 PM   #24
schill32
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head seperation

riverrat
I think your making a hot load or the bullet is on the lanz . and your building too much pressure.
When I loaded for 30/06 for hunting, bolt rifle at max load, and not realizing that the bullet was touching the lanz, after I fired it I had head separation, so I would check your powder charge and your AOL
I shoot the CMP course with my M1 Garande and have gotten at least 12 reloads or more from them. When I see the necks start to split on some cases, then I know the brass is getting hard so I throw away or you can anneal the necks and then the brass is like new. I load for the M1 with IMR4895 @ 44.5 grns of powder and you should ONLY FL SIZE for semi auto rifles.

Steve
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Old March 30, 2014, 08:16 PM   #25
James K
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Have you had the rifle headspace checked? If that is, or gets, bad enough, you can have case separation on the first shot with a new factory case.

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