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Old July 4, 2012, 08:10 AM   #1
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Join Date: July 4, 2012
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Need Help .243 Sako Forester

Hi There
Please can somebody assist me.
I am reloading a Sako .243 Forester.

Problem: After firing my rounds, I have GREAT difficulty in lifting the bolt in order to remove the spent cartridge. This Only happens with my reloads, and not purchased/first time fired rounds.

Please note that the following can be removed from possible causes:

Hot rounds (overloading with powder)

I am at the point of giving up......

Can anybody be of assistance ?
DesMarx is offline  
Old July 4, 2012, 10:45 AM   #2
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You need to give us an idea of your loads, and it would help if you had pictures of your loaded and fired reloads.

I will say, regardless of your loading data, if your SAKO functions perfectly with factory ammunition, but not your reloads, I can say with a 99.999% expectation of being correct, your reloads are too hot.

Now what is causing that, not enough information to really provide a good analysis.

Some things to consider. Always trim your cases. Cases grow the most on the first firing, if you did not trim, it is highly likely the case neck is pinced in the throat.

How do you measure your powder charges? Scoops or do you weigh?
If I'm not shooting, I'm reloading.
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Old July 4, 2012, 11:03 AM   #3
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Lots of reasons why that might happen, and Slamfire covered most of them. One problem I had a couple of years ago was my rifle would have a hard opening after firing and we finally narrowed it down to a too-long machine screw that was binding the bolt. Why it would only bind after firing was a bit of a mystery, but we ground off one thread and the problem went away.
Dennis Dezendorf
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Old July 6, 2012, 12:24 PM   #4
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My feeble faculties wander toward case lube left on the case letting the fired case back out of the chamber and pushing against the bolt face, and the fact that you may have to lightly lap the chamber to remove a burr or excess metal left from the reaming process. Do your fired cases have any kind of shiny spot on them caused by a piece of metal? Have you cleaned the chamber with an ammonia solvent? Many rifles in 243 have a tight chamber; I'd try sizing your reloads with a small base die and see if that changes things. Too long case length will cause pressures to rise as noted above.
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Old July 6, 2012, 04:38 PM   #5
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Join Date: August 13, 2009
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Can you give some details on how you know your reloads arent hot? You may have overlooked something? Dumped powder from a measure back into the wrong container? Old powder? Scale needs calibrating (weigh a projectile).

A projectile jammed tight into the lands can raise pressure - an old Sako could have a very short throat compared to a modern Rem etc. That combined with a tight chamber + thick brass could make a "max book load" well over max for that rifle.

If your loaded rounds chamber and eject normally before firing then I would try firing a round with an absolute minimum charge from a new supply with the projectile seated well back from the lands and see if the problem goes away - work forwards from that point.

Always interesting to see how a problem resolves - please post any solution you find?
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Old July 6, 2012, 05:02 PM   #6
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You need to "full length" resize, adjust your die down when the ram is at it's highest point until it lightly kisses the shell holder, then chamber the brass and make sure it fits nicely.

Also some powder bullet combinations are the reason for "hard bolt lift", try to reduce some powder weights (if you must use the same powder) by 10%.
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Old July 6, 2012, 05:35 PM   #7
Join Date: March 6, 2012
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Sounds like too hot of a load. Any other symptoms of overpressure? Flattened primers? Cratering?
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