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Old June 3, 2014, 09:50 PM   #1
Vale.308
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Reloading .308 issue. Need input.

I am new to this forum and new to reloading .308 so I would really appreciate some help.
Im using a RCBS .308WIN SB T/C die set, a small hand held, fixed length case trimmer with a drill, and RCBS rock chucker press. I started building .308 without any instruction from anyone but a reloading manual and youtube. The brass Im using I have only fired once, maybe twice now. I did completely resize the cases when I built them.
I've had trouble chambering a few rounds into my Rem700 AAC-SD so I discarded those. When I load a round the bolt seems to have a lot of resistance when I lock it down. Some rounds more than others. It also takes a good amount of effort to extract the case after firing it. In a few instances the case was so stuck I had to put pressure on the bolt handle while lovingly and firmly tapping my stock down on the concrete shooting table to eject the fired case. I've been using factory ammo since and haven't had any problems. I enjoy reloading when I can find the components and would like to build ammo effectively. Is this a sign of too much pressure from over charging, or do I have my dies set up incorrectly? What am I doing wrong? Thanks for the help.

I'm using:
Sierra .308 DIA 168gr. HPBT Match bullet
Accurate 2230 powder @ 42 & 42.5 grains
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Old June 3, 2014, 10:06 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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Well, you're about a full grain over Accurate's max load, so that would probably explain your bolt opening problems. Did you not work up to this load from a listed starting load?

If you sized cases will not chamber you are most likely not setting up the die correctly. It sounds like the die is not screwed far enough into the press and is increasing the brass shoulder length instead of shortening it. How are you installing the die?
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Old June 3, 2014, 10:06 PM   #3
geetarman
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If you are sure you have your dies set correctly, one thing you might check is to see if your primers are below flush with the base. That will cause a definite problem trying to chamber a round. That does not explain the problem with extraction.

Are you gauging all your trimmed brass for correct OAL?

Was all this brass fired through your gun?

If you are trimming back to minimum length and the primers are even or below flush, you should not be having issues unless something else is going on.

Are your primers flattened when you extract the brass? I do not have a loading manual in front of me and I have never used the powder you are using but if those loads are not at the top of the chart for your manual, you should be ok.

I am guessing your bullets do not have a crimping groove so I am guessing you are taper crimping.

Are you using military brass?

HTH
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Old June 3, 2014, 10:12 PM   #4
JasoninSD
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Vale,

If you are having trouble closing the bolt on a loaded round you might need to set your dies a little further down. Normally I set my die to contact the shell holder and then turn it down just a little more. I can feel the ram contact the die and then a little bit of pressure to finish the down stroke. It might be a little harder on the brass but I do not have any problems closing the bolt on a reloaded round.

I am assuming your brass is trimmed to the proper length. If the brass is too long that can cause an issue with chambering a round.

Jason
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Old June 3, 2014, 10:37 PM   #5
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

This is true. I have more then a few(like 200) of my fathers handloads that will not chamber in my savage 11 .308. These were loaded as deer rounds for the CETME and neck sized only. Screw your dies in just until the bolt will close easily on the case. This way the brass is worked as little as possible.
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Old June 3, 2014, 10:54 PM   #6
Brian Pfleuger
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I strongly recommend against "turning it in until" anything.

Over sizing your brass is asking for short lived cases at the least and head separation at worst.

Use Hornady's headspace gauge kit, the appropriately sized nylon spacer or just a socket of appropriate size (10mm for .308) and actually MEASURE how much you're moving the shoulder. Any more than 0.002 is too much for a bolt gun.

You will have 0 problems closing the bolt and your cases will last for literally dozens of reloads.
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Old June 4, 2014, 10:52 AM   #7
Bart B.
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Read post 35 in the following to learn how to use a nylon spacer to measure case headspace; i.e., how much you set their shoulder's back.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...+spacer&page=2
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Old June 4, 2014, 11:35 AM   #8
F. Guffey
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Quote:
I've been using factory ammo since and haven't had any problems.
Quote:
If you sized cases will not chamber you are most likely not setting up the die correctly. It sounds like the die is not screwed far enough into the press and is increasing the brass shoulder length instead of shortening it. How are you installing the die?
You can make a comparator, you can purchase a comparator, you can read and do research, a comparator is used to compare. You fired new ammo and did not experience a problem. You should compare the fired cases with your sized cases if you are having trouble chambering your reloads. If you are having trouble extracting your reloads you have to consider you are creating too much pressure with your reloads.

High pressure and extracting the case: A case has spring back, spring back is something like a memory as in the case remembers what it was before it was fired. There is a big chance you knocked the memory out of the case meaning the case has no memory of what is was before it was fired. In that situation the case expands and flows and does not snap back, spring back or jump back.

Then there is sizing, the die is adjusted to the shell holder, there is absolutely no reason for a beginner reloader to get fancy. I would suggest you make sure the die makes it to the shell holder before lowering the ram, a gap between the bottom of the die and top of the shell holder indicates the case did not get sized especially if the cases were fired with heavy load or as they say "a machine gun".

F. Guffey
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Old June 4, 2014, 08:05 PM   #9
Vale.308
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Thanks for all the replies. I'm here to learn and appreciate all the input. When I make it back to my loading book I can give more specific info but for now this is what I know. To set my sizing die, with the shell holder installed and no case, I brought the ram down putting the shell holder all the way up. I then screwed in the sizing die until it made contact with the shell holder and tightened it down. Then left the primer (push rod?) just far enough out to push out the primer.
With the crimping die, I used a factory round that I know operates well, in the shell holder and ran it up. I slowly threaded in the die until it made contact, then did the same with the center rod that sets bullet depth. Then slowly adjusted from there until I got the same OAL as the factory round. I will post all my measurements later tonight. My powder data I got out of an older book and will update that soon but it did have a load for 165/168 grain bullet with 2230 powder listed at 42.5 grains @ around 2600fps. I'm starting to think the problem is between improperly set dies and crappy cases. I'm using lake city brass that originally shot great through the rifle and another brand I wasn't as familiar with. The boxes were marked CCI and the cases are stamped with cbc 12 and cbc 13. Thinking back I had a lot of similar extraction issues with that cbc ammo when I was running it through a semi auto DPMS. Although, it ran just fine through an M1a this last weekend so who knows. Some of the cases I'm using now did run through my semi auto but I figured the sizing die would take care of that. Let me know if I'm doing anything wrong here and I'll give all my measurements later. Thanks.
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Old June 4, 2014, 08:16 PM   #10
Vale.308
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Also, primers. I'm using winchester standard large rifle I think. I'll verify when I'm home but I know they're not the magnum primers. I use the hand held rcbs primer installer. I've been told to check the primer for signs of pressure but the push rod from the installer leaves them pretty flat and flush with the case, if not slightly below flush so I don't know what a "flattened primer" looks like. The firing pin leaves a pretty decent crater in the primers if that helps. I'm not seeing much of a difference in my hand loaded primers than the factory stuff.
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Old June 4, 2014, 08:42 PM   #11
Bart B.
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Use a magnifying glass to see the rounded edge of a new primer then compare it to a fired one. Higher pressures tend to flatten the primer cup and make that edge sharper. Compare the side of a pushed out fired one to that of a new one. Really high pressures flatten the primer enough that it's wider at its top than the sides. Check out these pictures of low, normal safe max load and way too hot; left to right:

https://www.google.com/search?q=flat...9%3B1280%3B960
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Last edited by Bart B.; June 4, 2014 at 08:48 PM.
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Old June 4, 2014, 09:04 PM   #12
SSA
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Your dies are not set up correctly.
You're putting too much powder in the case.
There is no reason to crimp for a bolt action.
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Old June 4, 2014, 09:23 PM   #13
Vale.308
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Bart, thanks that helps. My cases from this last trip don't look bad compared to that but I'm going to look into it further. And a shooting buddy told me earlier that I don't need to crimp my rounds for my bolt action. Looks like I'm going to do more research and start over on setting my dies.
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Old June 4, 2014, 09:38 PM   #14
Vale.308
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Thought I'd throw this in.
After sizing, trimming, dechamfer and deburring, my case length is 2.014" +/- .002"
That's pretty consistent

Built overall length 2.780" +/- .003"

My Accurate powder book says
165/168 grain bullet
2230 powder, 42.5 grains @ 2640fps.
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Old June 5, 2014, 12:46 AM   #15
HiBC
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some suggestions:

If this load is max or near max,did they specify military or LC brass?
It typically is thicker,therefore less case volume,which requires a reduction in charge.


If you are crimping on a 168 gr matchking..not the best plan.It has no crimp groove.No place for the crimp to go.The load the die applies to the cartridge goes up,trying to crimp into the solid bullet.The shoulder collapses just a bit.The cartridge case gets a little larger at the shoulder.Measure over the shoulder for dia,then measure the case 1/8 in or so behind the shoulder.If it is larger at the shoulder,one problem identified.

It might be worthwile to put marker on the ogive of a bullet to see it you are contacting the rifling.You may be seating the bullet deeper closing the bolt.

I suggest against using this bolt gun ammo in the DPMS or the M1A.
You will need to be careful with the head clearance on the semi-autos,they need a little more,Like .004 to .006 in.

The WW primer is a little more sensitive to slam fire.
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Old June 5, 2014, 08:28 AM   #16
cw308
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Your OAL length is OK but your case length should be trimmed back 2.010 max is 2.015. Setting up your die,you seem to be doing it right. only cam over slightly by screwing down your die 1/8 to remove the slack in the die threads. Are you chamfering your brass necks inside & out for easy loading, uniform your primer pockets, tumble your brass & lube when sizing. Doing this and you shouldn't have a problem. You shouldn't crimp 308 bolt rounds,also keep your powder at a safe load. Start with the low range and work your way up to reach a safe and accurate load. Be Safe Chris
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Old June 5, 2014, 09:52 AM   #17
Bart B.
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Any slop in die threads is removed when its lock ring is tightened against the press.
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Old June 8, 2014, 05:51 AM   #18
stubbicatt
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If you decide to measure and set up your shoulder setback, this little tool is quite handy.

Cool die lock ring

Else follow the die manufacturer's instructions. Also, FWIW, I have had a shell holder that was too tall, and wouldn't allow the case shoulder to set back sufficiently.
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Old June 8, 2014, 07:51 AM   #19
trapper9260
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I have read this post and may i ask did you make a dumb round to make sure it chamber the way it should? So guns for what is stated in the data is different for the gun you are usen . After you can chamber it then,you go with the starter load and test fire.If it dose not feed good with cast but with jacket it feeds ok then the extend neck die is set too much for start the cast boolit. You do not need much to get it to start. also I found in my DPMS LR 308 did not feed the round right with cast and got a Lee Factory Crimp die and took care of the problem.I also found that Marlin is a tight chamber and had a problem feed with cast and got the LFC die and took care of the problem.Also for what is stated to make sure you trim your case to lenght and your primers is seated right also. Also make sure you sizen die is full size your case also.
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Old June 8, 2014, 01:29 PM   #20
Bart B.
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Another way to help set your full length sizing die up in tiny, accurate increments in height for desired fired case shoulder setback:

http://s860.photobucket.com/user/jep...ent-1.jpg.html

If your die won't set the case shoulder back far enough, grind off a bit of the die's bottom or slide a feeler gauge between the case head and shellholder before sizing the case; correct thickness, naturally.
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Old June 9, 2014, 04:52 PM   #21
waveslayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vale.308 View Post
I am new to this forum and new to reloading .308 so I would really appreciate some help.
Im using a RCBS .308WIN SB T/C die set, a small hand held, fixed length case trimmer with a drill, and RCBS rock chucker press. I started building .308 without any instruction from anyone but a reloading manual and youtube. The brass Im using I have only fired once, maybe twice now. I did completely resize the cases when I built them.
I've had trouble chambering a few rounds into my Rem700 AAC-SD so I discarded those. When I load a round the bolt seems to have a lot of resistance when I lock it down. Some rounds more than others. It also takes a good amount of effort to extract the case after firing it. In a few instances the case was so stuck I had to put pressure on the bolt handle while lovingly and firmly tapping my stock down on the concrete shooting table to eject the fired case. I've been using factory ammo since and haven't had any problems. I enjoy reloading when I can find the components and would like to build ammo effectively. Is this a sign of too much pressure from over charging, or do I have my dies set up incorrectly? What am I doing wrong? Thanks for the help.

I'm using:
Sierra .308 DIA 168gr. HPBT Match bullet
Accurate 2230 powder @ 42 & 42.5 grains
Sounds like a Varget or 4064 loads
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Old June 9, 2014, 07:27 PM   #22
mehavey
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Quote:
> With the crimping die, I used a factory round that I know operates well,
> in the shell holder and ran it up. I slowly threaded in the die until it made
> contact, then did the same with the center rod that sets bullet depth.
> Then slowly adjusted from there until I got the same OAL as the factory round.
Potentially dumb question:

- Are you crimping and seating all in the same ram stroke ?
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