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Old May 6, 2018, 05:22 PM   #1
Jwilson904
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Head space issue?

I think my chamber is bad in my mid 90s remington 700. First I was having case head seperation on the 2nd firing occasionally with Remington brass originally fired in the rifle as factory loades. So I bought some new Norma brass and loaded 5 of them without sizeing. Shot 4 of them at the range today and I can see the case is almost cracked right above the head.

Do I need a new a barrel?
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Old May 6, 2018, 06:25 PM   #2
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Sounds more like a reloading problem. JIMHO
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Old May 6, 2018, 06:41 PM   #3
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...new Norma brass and loaded 5 of them without sizeing.
Shot 4 of them at the range today and I can see the case
is almost cracked right above the head.
Yup... hie thee to a gunsmith for a headspace check.


BTW: What is the fired case length vs unfired/new Norma brass ?
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Old May 6, 2018, 06:48 PM   #4
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Have the headspace checked. What caliber?
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Old May 6, 2018, 07:05 PM   #5
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Sounds more like a reloading problem. JIMHO
What specific aspects of reloading would cause that with one firing?
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Old May 6, 2018, 07:14 PM   #6
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That is pretty amazing.

New gun to you or have you owned it all along. Caliber (not relevant exactly but helps get our brains around the setup)


Keep in mind head space is not likely the issue, chamber yes, but that is more than head-space.

I shoot guns that I change barrels on, if your head space gets too long the rounds simply will not fire and the action of sizing back is what cracks them but that tends to take 5-6 rounds if its a full shoulder setup aka the recommended cam over most die and press mfgs say to do.

The reason too long a head space stops the ignition is the shell travels forward as the firing pin hits the primer and it does not impact the primer with the immediate force needed to make the primer explode. You can have a significant dent but that dent is formed by slow action over time as its all happening. You need a sharp smack which if done right the case move forward a tad and then POP the primer gets pushed down into the anvil and the firing pin form the required OOOMPH that makes it go bang.

Yours is not that issue so its not head space.

Unclenikck probably has idea on a chamber that is too large an OD and if that can cause it in your application.


How recently did you start reloading?
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Old May 6, 2018, 07:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RC20 View Post
That is pretty amazing.

New gun to you or have you owned it all along. Caliber (not relevant exactly but helps get our brains around the setup)


Keep in mind head space is not likely the issue, chamber yes, but that is more than head-space.

I shoot guns that I change barrels on, if your head space gets too long the rounds simply will not fire and the action of sizing back is what cracks them but that tends to take 5-6 rounds if its a full shoulder setup aka the recommended cam over most die and press mfgs say to do.

The reason too long a head space stops the ignition is the shell travels forward as the firing pin hits the primer and it does not impact the primer with the immediate force needed to make the primer explode. You can have a significant dent but that dent is formed by slow action over time as its all happening. You need a sharp smack which if done right the case move forward a tad and then POP the primer gets pushed down into the anvil and the firing pin form the required OOOMPH that makes it go bang.

Yours is not that issue so its not head space.

Unclenikck probably has idea on a chamber that is too large an OD and if that can cause it in your application.


How recently did you start reloading?
30-06. I bought the gun new. The brass measures.003 longer using a hornady comparator. And the case head measure .003 larger after firing. Thanks for the help
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Old May 6, 2018, 09:05 PM   #8
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What specific aspects of reloading would cause that with one firing?
The OP said the separation did not happen on the factory firing but on the first reload. If the rifle has excess headspace you can have the barrel rechambered/replaced or you can size your cases to match the chamber they were fired in.
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Old May 7, 2018, 11:38 AM   #9
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The OP said that his first loads (agreed they are reloads) of NEW non fired Norma Brass cracked.

Where I fall off the edge is the .003 growth in diameter.


Norma brass is the best brass out there. I have seen (can't find it) test with Norma and other brasses and it beats Lapua for longevity.

If it cracks Norma Brass, there is a non head space issue. RP is about even with Lapua in my experience, interesting it survived a few firings.


Nothing wrong with the head space of .003 growth. Totally normal. Again if the head space (real head space) was excessive, they simply would not fire. I been there and done that.

I now use specif brass for the 1917 (also 06 by the way) and it just grows to fit the chamber and minimum set back and it does fine.

I have fired full resized brass in a Model of 1917 that did not crack until 5 reloads. That gun truly has excessive head space.

The only cambering I have heard of doing similar to the OP is the 303 in a SMLE. Lucky to survive one firing. Large chamber for combat.
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Old May 7, 2018, 12:02 PM   #10
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"...new Norma brass and loaded 5 of them without sizing..." BNIB brass is not ready to load from any manufacturer. That is not a reason to require a new barrel though.
A headspace issue is a possibility. You having extraction issues too. How difficult is it to open the bolt?
Mind you, 3 thou is a lot of case stretch, even though cases stretch the most on the first firing. So you might have an oversized chamber. Isn't likely though. This something new that started recently? An oversized chamber would have caused issue right from the get go.
In any case, you need to take it to a smithy.
"...using a Hornady comparator..." Isn't how you measure case lengths.
"...too long a head space stops the ignition..." Nonsense. The extractor will hold the cartridge against the bolt face.
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Old May 7, 2018, 01:20 PM   #11
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No issues opening or closing the bolt.
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Old May 7, 2018, 03:17 PM   #12
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30-06. I bought the gun new. The brass measures.003 longer using a hornady comparator. And the case head measure .003 larger after firing. Thanks for the help
The case head increases in diameter .003" when fired? That is 15 times as much case head expansion as there was before the Internet; today we got so many people making stuff up and then there are all of those claims made about cases being soft like FC.

The case head expansion for new factory ammo at one time was .00025", after that someone made4 up a deal that claimed the .00025" expansion was for each firing meaning it would require 4 firings to expand the case head .001". I have always disagreed because I can not have it both ways, the case when worked hardens so I would not thing it is practical to go beyond one firing, after one firing start on another new factory case.
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Old May 7, 2018, 05:37 PM   #13
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I have only exceeded 0.003" or greater case head expansion once in my entire life.

That one pretty much ruined the case and the primer pocket.
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Old May 7, 2018, 06:30 PM   #14
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Would that be expansion along the horizontal axis or the diameter of the round?
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Old May 7, 2018, 07:52 PM   #15
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Y
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Old May 7, 2018, 08:05 PM   #16
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That would be the rim diameter. As Mr Guffey says, I measure before and then again after.

I guess that wouldn't be case head expansion, but case head expansion went way overboard as well. I don't remember the measurement, but I could dig that case out of the archive if it is important to the cause.

And it is the diameter. Horizontal axis would have no meaning as most cases lengthen after firing. Some don't.
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Old May 7, 2018, 09:56 PM   #17
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30-06. I bought the gun new. The brass measures.003 longer using a hornady comparator. And the case head measure .003 larger after firing. Thanks for the help
Lets be clear, after firing a case for the first time the case in .003" longer, over all. Right??

That's not a big deal. New brass often stretches (and stretches most) on its first firing.

The case head measuring ".003" larger" bothers me. To be clear, are you saying the case head (the solid part just ahead of the extractor groove) is .003" larger in diameter after firing?

If so, this is a very NOT GOOD thing. And it would account for early case failure. .003" is 3 times the .001" limit generally accepted as max allowable case head expansion.

.003 case head expansion is BAD, and something a "standard" headspace check may not even see.

The regular heaspace gauges (GO, NOGO and Field) only measure distance from the bolt to the chamber shoulder. If your chamber is that large in diameter (allowing .003" case head expansion at normal pressure) a headspace gauge check (.30-06) won't see it.

To be certain, you need to have a chamber cast made. If the chamber cast shows your chamber to be grossly out of spec (and that's what .003" head expansion with factory loads sounds like to me) THEN you need to talk to the gunsmith and Remington.

Remington, to see if despite the time that has passed, it is a warranty matter. (the most they can do is say "no", right?)

IF your chamber is bad (oversize) there are two options. Replace the barrel with new, or pull the old barrel, cut off enough of the chamber end that it can be rechambered and rethreaded, and reinstalled on the action. (this is not always a possibility, but is possible, sometimes, depending on how much of the original chamber has to be removed to "clean it up" so it can be re-chambered.

Get a chamber cast done, or do it yourself, and measure carefully, to get an idea.

And, remember that despite what we all feel ought to be, and what usually is, a gun isn't "broken" if it fires each round once, without case failure.

Good luck, and please tell us if its really .003" case head expansion, or not..
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Old May 8, 2018, 10:42 AM   #18
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Yes the case head right above the rim measures .003 larger than an unfires case . Pretty sure that is my problem. No the case length is not .003 longer the shoulder is bumped out .003 after firing.

I will definetly get a new barrel in stalled probably an after market barrel. Now I just need to find a good gunsmith in my area.

Thanks for all you guys help.
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Old May 8, 2018, 11:26 AM   #19
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If it does not go back to Remington I would go with what they call a Remage barrel.

Its the same setup as Savage with the Remington threads and a nut. It saves a lot of Gun Smith costs (they don't have to do threads nor chamber work, you adjust the head space via the screwing in of the barrel)

Once the original barrel is off with about $125 or so in tools you can take the barrel off and put a different one on or be able to replace the barrel down the road if you shoot it out (obviously not a hunting thing, target thing but I do shoot 30-06 target)

Note: Not having gotten into base expansion I had no idea what was excessive. Good to get that nailed down.
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Old May 8, 2018, 03:57 PM   #20
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Thanks RC i looked at the remage barrels and would do it my self but am afraid of removeing the old barrel. Do most stocks work with the remage barrel nut?

Last edited by Jwilson904; May 8, 2018 at 08:03 PM.
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Old May 8, 2018, 05:21 PM   #21
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"30-06. I bought the gun new. The brass measures.003 longer using a hornady comparator. And the case head measure .003 larger after firing. Thanks for the help"

And this problem "just showed up out of nowhere"?
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Old May 8, 2018, 06:54 PM   #22
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Yes no problems with first firing from factory ammo. 2nd firing with Remington brass has cracked the cases 3 or 4 times. Thought I was sizing the brass to much driving me nuts.

New norma brass the weakened case showed up the first firing.
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Old May 8, 2018, 06:57 PM   #23
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Thanks RC i looked at the remage barrels and would do it my self but am afraid of removeing the old barrel. Do most stocks wotk wuth the remage barrel nut?
Agreed, can you send it back to Remington? I shoot a lot and will shoot out a barrel, ergo going with Savage that had that built in capaiblity as it were.

Don't tell them it was with reloads if you do.

I don't know about nut clearance in a Remington, I have opened up the Savage stocks to accommodate the larger barrels I put on. I like Laminated stocks and its easy to do with a round object and a 60 grit sandpaper.

I think its doable with plastic stocks, not sure on Fiberglass. Boyds makes some very good stocks for a reaonsl price (and shapes) and mine have been drop in no need to bed as contact was very uniform up and down the receiver (and the barrel free floats of course)

If you elect not to or can't send it back, then the best bet is order the Remage, have a smith pull it and install the new barrel and it will still be a lot less as no machine work needed.
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Old May 9, 2018, 07:32 AM   #24
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IMHO
This is still related somehow to improper case handling during the reloading process. Otherwise why would factory loaded ammo not show the separation at least once in a while?
Only handloaded cases are showing the problem(even new cases).
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Old May 9, 2018, 09:17 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Mobuck
IMHO
This is still related somehow to improper case handling during the reloading process. Otherwise why would factory loaded ammo not show the separation at least once in a while?
Only handloaded cases are showing the problem(even new cases).
I definitely agree with Mobuck. I would use some virgin brass & fire-form some cases to headspace properly to your rifle. Then reload via neck-size only & see if that corrects the problem. While it is highly desirable that your rifle use standard ammo (which it does with factory 1x) the beauty of reloading is that you can match the ammo exactly to the rifle. If you need help on how to creat your fire-form loads, that's another question.

JIMHO & FWIW
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