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ricky5042
08-28-2013, 04:41 PM
Hi all how do I check my head space without a gauge? I ask because when up the club one of the guys said the problem iv been getting with the head separation is because of the head space and not the brass! can anyone shed any light on this please.
He said if I can get 2 bits of selotape on the back of the shell and still close the bolt then my head space is wrong and that's why the shell are separating! I got 2 on and I felt a bit of resistance and a lot of resistance with 3 on the back of the case.


Rick

Boyd Allen
08-28-2013, 04:48 PM
Assuming you are reloading, how do you set up your FL die? This is likely the source of your problem.

Dick Grosbier
08-28-2013, 04:51 PM
You may just have your resizing die set wrong. What Caliber are you referring to and what are you using for a full length sizing die? The tape test is pretty basic but I think this person told you pretty much right. It does not necessarily mean you have a headspace problem with your rifle, unless you are talking factory loads. If you are getting case head separations with Factory loads you probably do indeed have a headspace problem.
Dick

ricky5042
08-28-2013, 05:29 PM
Hi I realise the tape thing is not a good way to check it but it was the guy at the range who said my head space was wrong and to try it! the rifle has only fired 550 rounds since new I am the first owner its a howa 1500 in 308 the shells im reloading are lapua from a friend who shoots to 1000 yards so his loads were worked up to 2900fps so quiet hot and the brass he reloaded 12 to 14 times and iv reloaded them twice, iv checked some ppu ammo I fired and they show no sign of splitting!
I have an rcbs die which is set 1/8 turn over because the shells wouldn't cycle in my rifle without full length sizing.

Rick

sicero
08-28-2013, 05:51 PM
I am not sure what you are refering to "1/8 turn over".
Screwing the die 1/8 turn moves it 0.009 in or out.
All tape is not the same thickness. Measure it. Kenny

ricky5042
08-28-2013, 05:58 PM
I was told it was called over camming the die setting it 1/8 over its setting.

Rick

sicero
08-28-2013, 06:18 PM
OK now I understand what you meant.
I hardly ever set a die by instructions. Kenny

ricky5042
08-28-2013, 06:29 PM
Hi would me over camming the die cause there to be to much space and consequently split the cases?

Rick

abintx
08-28-2013, 07:15 PM
Hi all how do I check my head space without a gauge? I ask because when up the club one of the guys said the problem iv been getting with the head separation is because of the head space and not the brass! can anyone shed any light on this please.
He said if I can get 2 bits of selotape on the back of the shell and still close the bolt then my head space is wrong and that's why the shell are separating! I got 2 on and I felt a bit of resistance and a lot of resistance with 3 on the back of the case. Rick

Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KICBv-0U87Y I believe Gordy uses one piece of cellophane tape. :)

ricky5042
08-28-2013, 07:36 PM
I see! looks like my head space is way out!

adamsgt
08-28-2013, 10:06 PM
Make sure your decapping pin isn't bottoming out on the case. I was guilty of this recently and was wondering why the shoulder wasn't being pushed back as I kept adjusting the die. The really sad part is that I did this the first time 3 or 4 years ago and forgot it. :(

Dick Grosbier
08-28-2013, 10:30 PM
he reloaded 12 to 14 times and iv reloaded them twice

Rick
You are absolutely pushing the shoulder back too far. His 12 to 14 firings have not hurt the cases as much as your 2 firings. If you push the shoulder back more than .001" to .002" you will have this problem, each time you fire the brass it stretches back to the size of your chamber and it does not stretch uniformly it stretches right at the web of the case. Stretch it 5 or 6 thousandths and it gets thin and separates if not on the first firing on the second or third. I have been there and done that. You need to measure from the shoulder to the head of the case and make sure you are not pushing it more than .001" , or .002" maximum. You will need some sort of beveled bushing to put on shoulder to give you a surface to measure to. If you have no other device available back the die off 1/8 turn and you should do better.

abintx
08-28-2013, 10:46 PM
Make sure your decapping pin isn't bottoming out on the case. I was guilty of this recently and was wondering why the shoulder wasn't being pushed back as I kept adjusting the die. The really sad part is that I did this the first time 3 or 4 years ago and forgot it. :(

Today, when I really want to remember something, I write it down using my Word program, then stick it in my "General Info" folder located within "My Documents" system folder [I hope I said that correctly]. Works like a charm. :)

Boyd Allen
08-28-2013, 10:53 PM
Ricky,
We all have to start somewhere. No one is born knowing this stuff, and sometimes we run into people that think they know more than they actually do, and they send us off in the wrong direction. I think that this happened to you. The first time that a case is fired in a particular rifle, the shoulder is blown out to a pretty close fit to that chamber, and if you set your FL die PROPERLY (which you evidently do not yet know how to do) FL sized cases will only have their shoulders set back .001 to .002, and truthfully, if the ammunition went in easy, you can set the die so that the shoulder is in the same position as the fired case, and it should work fine. You will notice that I did not make reference to turns of the die, but rather in thousandths of an inch, which would imply that some sort of accurate measuring device was used. Hornady sells one, that they somewhat incorrectly call a headspace gauge, that is designed to be used in conjunction with a caliper, either dial or digital to measure the shoulder to read dimension of fired and sized cases so that FL dies can be accurately set for the proper amount of shoulder bump. The separations that you are getting are most likely the result of the way that you are setting your FL die, which is in fact dead wrong. Not to worry, we all are in the process of learning different things, and you can easily learn to set your die, if you can follow simple instructions, and reading your question, it is obvious that you have the right stuff to get that done.

ricky5042
08-29-2013, 09:04 AM
Ricky,
We all have to start somewhere. No one is born knowing this stuff, and sometimes we run into people that think they know more than they actually do, and they send us off in the wrong direction. I think that this happened to you. The first time that a case is fired in a particular rifle, the shoulder is blown out to a pretty close fit to that chamber, and if you set your FL die PROPERLY (which you evidently do not yet know how to do) FL sized cases will only have their shoulders set back .001 to .002, and truthfully, if the ammunition went in easy, you can set the die so that the shoulder is in the same position as the fired case, and it should work fine. You will notice that I did not make reference to turns of the die, but rather in thousandths of an inch, which would imply that some sort of accurate measuring device was used. Hornady sells one, that they somewhat incorrectly call a Headspace gauge, that is designed to be used in conjunction with a caliper, either dial or digital to measure the shoulder to head dimension of fired and sized cases so that FL dies can be accurately set for the proper amount of shoulder bump. The separations that you are getting are most likely the result of the way that you are setting your FL die, which is in fact dead wrong. Not to worry, we all are in the process of learning different things, and you can easily learn to set your die, if you can follow simple instructions, and reading your question, it is obvious that you have the right stuff to get that done.



Hi thanks for that Boyd I got a couple of 308 dies from a friend yesterday so im going to use one of them and set it as it should be so I don't get the same problem again, I will see if I can measure the shoulder with the comparator I have and if not il have to get the head space gauge.
Thanks

Rick

Boyd Allen
08-29-2013, 12:50 PM
:)

dardascastbulle
08-30-2013, 04:53 PM
Hi thanks for that Boyd I got a couple of 308 dies from a friend yesterday so im going to use one of them and set it as it should be so I don't get the same problem again, I will see if I can measure the shoulder with the comparator I have and if not il have to get the head space gauge.
Thanks

Rick

Ricky,

Using a headspace gauge is not going to help you. You need to use the rifle's chamber to set the FL die correctly. Listen to what the other posters have offered. Remove the firing pin from your bolt. Use the bolt to determine where the FL die needs to be set. Adjust the die so that the bolt will close with a VERY SLIGHT bit of resistance at the bottom. Then lock the die down - that is where you want to be. Presto! All done.

Matt

ricky5042
08-30-2013, 05:22 PM
Hi Matt im going to give it a go tomorrow and see how I get on, the 2 lee dies I have neither of them have FL on them so im not sure if they are full length dies so im going to try them both and see if the result is the same.

Rick

abintx
08-30-2013, 06:35 PM
Hi Matt im going to give it a go tomorrow and see how I get on, the 2 lee dies I have neither of them have FL on them so im not sure if they are full length dies so im going to try them both and see if the result is the same. Rick

Here's a picture of a Lee two die set: http://www.midwayusa.com/product/738184/lee-rgb-2-die-set-308-winchester

The first one, is a Bullet Seating Die the second one, with the decapping pin sticking out, is the Full Length Sizing Die.

How many of the two dies you mention above have a decapping pin protruding?

A good quality Full Length Sizing Die with bushing capability, and a good quality Bullet Seating Die are all you'll ever need.

Stay away from the neck sizing die and a body sizing die. Those two variants will get you into big trouble, real fast. :)

ricky5042
08-30-2013, 06:49 PM
Here's a picture of a Lee two die set: http://www.midwayusa.com/product/738184/lee-rgb-2-die-set-308-winchester

The first one, is a Bullet Seating Die the second one, with the decapping pin sticking out, is the Full Length Sizing Die.

How many of the two dies you mention above have a decapping pin protruding?

A good quality Full Length Sizing Die with bushing capability, and a good quality Bullet Seating Die are all you'll ever need.

Stay away from the neck sizing die and a body sizing die. Those two variants will get you into big trouble, real fast. :)


Hi I got 2 sets of lee dies so I have 2 with pins sizing dies 2 seating dies and 2 crimp dies but my lee dies for the 223 have FL on the de capping sizing die but the 2 iv just picked up don't so im not sure if they are full length or just neck sizing dies, oh iv been advised to neck size to save over working the brass and once fire formed they told me I would only need to neck size.

Rick

TheoW
08-30-2013, 07:07 PM
Ricky,
Matt gave you some explanations describing how to full length resize in the simplest terms he could. Please reread them over again until you understand them. If you continue in the manner you're heading you will do irreparable harm.

Good luck, Ted.

ricky5042
08-30-2013, 07:25 PM
I managed to find a pic of the neck sizing die and its different to the dies I have 2 full length dies il be using them tomoz to size my Lapua and rws brass iv been given.

Rick

Boyd Allen
08-30-2013, 07:55 PM
The fellow that told you that you could just neck size to save brass is shooting light loads. If you do, you may get away with it for some time, but if you load to get the full potential that your various calibers, you will not be able to just neck size, and if you do not get the right tools to work with, chances are you will not set your FL dies correctly. Do you have a metal dial or digital caliper that measures to .001"?

Charles E
08-30-2013, 10:40 PM
Ricky,

I wish the Sinclair book on reloading was still available, but it doesn't seem to be. There are too many people getting in the act, who, as is almost necessary on an internet forum, must assume certain things about the reader. I'm just one more, and what I say may not help. But consider Varmint Al's page

http://www.varmintal.com/arelo.htm#Neck

I happen to agree with him. Now consider Boyd's remarks in his last post (#23 in this thread) -- I happen to agree with him, too.

How can that be? Because benchrest shooters, for what they consider good reason, load to higher pressures. Loading manuals will keep you in the region where you don't have to full-length resize, or at least, not very often. It isn't uncommon for benchrest shooters to load to 65,000 to 70,000 psi (piezo, NOT copper units of pressure). Under 60,000 psi, little need to FL resize. Over that, could well be. And as you head over 65,000 psi, almost always.

That said, you need to set your dies up for the proper head clearance (the proper term for "headspace"). A good book helps to understand, but in the end, you also need tools -- a gauge and a caliper. The right brand of $30 calipers are good enough. Sinclair use to sell some & probably still does. The gauge is best made with the chambering reamer. Absent that, I suppose some sort of gauge universal for your chambering will have to do -- Stony Point, Hornady, Wilson, whatever brand.

Using the gauge isn't as easy as it might seem. Best is to de-prime all the cases without running them through a die. Measure all of them, particularly any that fit tightly, though be aware that this tightness may come from an area other than the body length (what you're trying to measure). Anyway, take the longest (largest number), and set your FL die up so that after using it, you get a reading about .001 less than before sizing of that longest case. Take .0015 less if you have to. Brass is springy; if you move it back .0005, or less, it may not stay there (read more of Varmint Al).

If you're only using one reloading press, set the lock ring, with the case fully up in the die. But just in case, when you take the die out & put it back next time, do another check. And if anyone knows a good, basic book the equal of

http://www.amazon.com/Sinclair-Internationals-Precision-Reloading-Shooting/dp/B001EJDAH6/ref=pd_sxp_f_i

please post the reference..


(http://www.varmintal.com/arelo.htm#Neck)

mks
08-30-2013, 11:23 PM
Ricky,

Using a headspace gauge is not going to help you. You need to use the rifle's chamber to set the FL die correctly. Listen to what the other posters have offered. Remove the firing pin from your bolt. Use the bolt to determine where the FL die needs to be set. Adjust the die so that the bolt will close with a VERY SLIGHT bit of resistance at the bottom. Then lock the die down - that is where you want to be. Presto! All done.

Matt

Matt,
With all due respect, setting the FL die by feel may be working for you, but if the die doesn't fit the chamber, it is a good way to get into some serious trouble. You really should be measuring shoulder set back and making sure it is no more than 0.002". If you still have resistance on closing the bolt, there is a problem in a different part of the case that needs to be corrected. DO NOT keep pushing the shoulder back until it fits.

Let's all be safe,
Keith

Boyd Allen
08-30-2013, 11:42 PM
+1

ricky5042
08-31-2013, 08:07 AM
The fellow that told you that you could just neck size to save brass is shooting light loads. If you do, you may get away with it for some time, but if you load to get the full potential that your various calibers, you will not be able to just neck size, and if you do not get the right tools to work with, chances are you will not set your FL dies correctly. Do you have a metal dial or digital caliper that measures to .001"?


Hi iv decided to full length size, yes I have a digital calliper.

Rick

ricky5042
08-31-2013, 08:14 AM
Ricky,

I wish the Sinclair book on reloading was still available, but it doesn't seem to be. There are too many people getting in the act, who, as is almost necessary on an internet forum, must assume certain things about the reader. I'm just one more, and what I say may not help. But consider Varmint Al's page

http://www.varmintal.com/arelo.htm#Neck

I happen to agree with him. Now consider Boyd's remarks in his last post (#23 in this thread) -- I happen to agree with him, too.

How can that be? Because benchrest shooters, for what they consider good reason, load to higher pressures. Loading manuals will keep you in the region where you don't have to full-length resize, or at least, not very often. It isn't uncommon for benchrest shooters to load to 65,000 to 70,000 psi (piezo, NOT copper units of pressure). Under 60,000 psi, little need to FL resize. Over that, could well be. And as you head over 65,000 psi, almost always.

That said, you need to set your dies up for the proper head clearance (the proper term for "headspace"). A good book helps to understand, but in the end, you also need tools -- a gauge and a caliper. The right brand of $30 calipers are good enough. Sinclair use to sell some & probably still does. The gauge is best made with the chambering reamer. Absent that, I suppose some sort of gauge universal for your chambering will have to do -- Stony Point, Hornady, Wilson, whatever brand.

Using the gauge isn't as easy as it might seem. Best is to de-prime all the cases without running them through a die. Measure all of them, particularly any that fit tightly, though be aware that this tightness may come from an area other than the body length (what you're trying to measure). Anyway, take the longest (largest number), and set your FL die up so that after using it, you get a reading about .001 less than before sizing of that longest case. Take .0015 less if you have to. Brass is springy; if you move it back .0005, or less, it may not stay there (read more of Varmint Al).

If you're only using one reloading press, set the lock ring, with the case fully up in the die. But just in case, when you take the die out & put it back next time, do another check. And if anyone knows a good, basic book the equal of

http://www.amazon.com/Sinclair-Internationals-Precision-Reloading-Shooting/dp/B001EJDAH6/ref=pd_sxp_f_i

please post the reference..


(http://www.varmintal.com/arelo.htm#Neck)


Hi I am loading to the higher end of the scale because im trying to get a load to get me out to 1000 yards.
one of the guys down my club is a smith and when I see him il ask him to bring his go no go gauge in so I can check my head space.
Thanks

Rick

ricky5042
08-31-2013, 08:21 AM
Keith is so right.
Giving advice on what to do without taking measurements on several cases and the chamber is foolhardy. First off, you mention more than one brand of case being used and that's a no-no, as far as I'm concerned. While the firings on the cases doesn't sound excessive under normal conditions, it may be in this condition which gives rise to the problems you are having.
Your die may not fit your chamber properly and that may be giving you problems.
You haven't mentioned measuring the case at the area of the web. That may be giving you a problem and all the shoulder bumping in the world won't help that.
May I assume Dorset is still in Great Britain? Do you have a gunsmith that you can go to where good measurements can be taken? Not everything can be solved on the internet.


Hi yes it is in the uk, one of the guys at my club is a gun smith so im going to ask him when I see him to check my rifle out for me.
The cases that have split were from a friend with a rem 700 and after him shooting them they wouldn't cycle in my rifle so I wound the die down until they cycled in my rifle and from what you say that was not the correct thing to do! im new to reloading and have learnt a valuable lesson.
The new dies iv got have sized the brass from no adjustments from me and they cycle so im going to load 5 and see if they show any signs of rupturing.
Thanks

Rick

Charles E
08-31-2013, 08:56 AM
one of the guys down my club is a smith and when I see him il ask him to bring his go no go gauge in so I can check my head space.

I think there is still a misconception. The head space (head clearance) of your rifle's chamber is probably fine. And if not, so what? It is a complete system, all pieces have to fit, and there is a cycle of firing, reloading, firing, reloading, etc.

Consider what we in the States call "Wildcat" cartridges -- there is no CIP or SAAMI standard, no "go gauges" & "no-go gauges" (actually, that's a slight mis-truth, but only trivially so) -- and yet it all works. Why is that?

One way to go is to have a good gunsmith chamber up a barrel for you and make a set of dies to fit that chamber. When you wear out that barrel, go back to him (or her) and get another, reminding them of the first. You still have to set the die up properly, but at least you've cut down on all variables but one or two.

Many of the best shooters in the States go that route. The somewhat famous Vietnam era sniper Carlos Hathcock use to say something like "I don't work on sticks, I just shoot them."

But it is a little expensive to go this route, or you may actually enjoy reloading. And at this point, you have to understand how it all works, and you are plain not going to get all this information from an internet post. Too many people assume you already know something, or waste your time assuming you don't know something & go on & on about it so you miss whatever they do have to contribute. Or they forget to mention a step because t is so obvious to them, etc.

Now as you start getting to the upper linits of the pressure curve, things begin to get more dangerous. There is always a certain danger, obviously. But as you approach the limit of elasticity in brass, that danger grows considerably. Yes, a good rifle will handle a case failure -- usually. We're usually talking about high-pressure gas now, not flying bits of steel. That takes even more pressure. The eyes are the most vulnerable, BTW.

What is involved is not difficult, it is jut a little complicated, there are more variables than one might suppose, as with most systems. Things need to work together; that is more important than blindly making measurements & checking them against a CIP standard.

Just as a teaser -- I shoot 1,000 yard benchrest, it is my primary form of competition. I also shoot some short-range benchrest. I run higher pressures in my short-range rifles, for a reason.

Get a couple good books & wear them out.

John S
08-31-2013, 10:23 AM
Buy new Lapua brass and a Lee Collet die for neck sizing only.

The new brass should chamber perfectly and the Lee Collet die will not affect the length of the brass.

Or chase this dog around and around and around.

Best wishes.

Boyd Allen
08-31-2013, 10:48 AM
Rick,
To accurately adjust your FL die, I suggest that you purchase one of these. http://www.hornady.com/store/Lock-N-Load-Headspace-Kit-With-Body-1-Each/
Use a punch to deprime a case that was fired in your rifle with at least a moderately stout ( but safe) load, measure the case, and then set your die to bump the shoulder back no more than .002. If the case is once fired from new, you can probably set the die so that it is the same length, shoulder to head, as fired. Check all cases after sizing, since mixed cases may each respond differently to a die setting. For that reason it is best to keep them in sets by make and number of firings. You may want to keep in mind that one complete turn of the die moves it .071", so as you approach your final setting, very small moves are the rule.
Boyd

ricky5042
08-31-2013, 11:12 AM
Hi I enjoy re loading and I work to get the best load for my rifle :) when I had my howa 223 I didn't have these problems every thing went really well I found my most accurate load really quickly and I was full length sizing the 223 brass every time I reloaded it, the first lot of brass I started with were old military ammunition I fired from my gun, the gun was an old one which I got from a local shop but this rifle is a brand new one with only 550 rounds from new so I was expecting similar results from reloading the 308 cases, the first rounds I fired were ppu 175gn which showed no signs of pressure and I reloaded them twice and again no pressure signs, I have only had split cases since iv been using the Lapua brass I was given which were reloaded 12 and 13 times, so I sized and de-caped 40 rounds and went down the range and when I went to chamber a round it was really tight to close the bolt and some got stuck so I stopped using them as I was told the base of the case was too big and id need to run them through a small base die and then id be ok to use them, in the end I just used a kinetic hammer and pulled them all, then another member said it was the shoulder that was the issue and to adjust the die to push the shoulder back so I looked at my die and noticed the pin was a long way out of the bottom and it was bottoming out on the case which is why it was not sizing them correctly so like a numpty newbie I set it back up so the pin was only sticking out a 1/4" and then set the die so I over cammed it like I was advised by another friend so i did this and sure enough the cases cycled in my rifle so I left it and started re loading and doing my load testing it all went ok for a while and I was checking for pressure signs on the primers and didn't notice anything untoward until when on the 300 yard range with 3 different loads to test 46-47 & 48gns of elcho 17, a load id tested a couple of days before right up to 49.5gns as I was putting them over a crono to check velocity anyway I fired my first 3 46gns then 2 47gn and on my third the case wouldn't eject so I pushed it out with my rod and it had all but a hair completely separated! since then I have had 8 to 10 which show the ring round the base where the first one split. I have listened to all the comments and from how I read it I was the one who has caused this by not setting my die up correctly so I have taken the die out and have scrapped the brass and im going to try again with the new brass iv been given so here's hopping it was me and not my rifle that is the problem and just to make sure iv given 50 rounds which I had already primed to a friend to load up and use in his rifle and see if he gets the same problem iv been having with the brass.
sorry to waffle but I thought you needed a run down on how this has all come about.
Thanks

Rick

ricky5042
08-31-2013, 11:20 AM
Rick,
To accurately adjust your FL die, I suggest that you purchase one of these. http://www.hornady.com/store/Lock-N-Load-Headspace-Kit-With-Body-1-Each/
Use a punch to deprime a case that was fired in your rifle with at least a moderately stout ( but safe) load, measure the case, and then set your die to bump the shoulder back no more than .002. If the case is once fired from new, you can probably set the die so that it is the same length, shoulder to head, as fired. Check all cases after sizing, since mixed cases may each respond differently to a die setting. For that reason it is best to keep them in sets by make and number of firings. You may want to keep in mind that one complete turn of the die moves it .071", so as you approach your final setting, very small moves are the rule.
Boyd


Thanks Boyd im hopping my friend has one I can use to save buying one just yet.
I have just started to sort the brass in to batches of 50 so il have 4 batches in total with a few spare cases so I can keep track of the brass, how many firings do you get from your cases? be it Lapua RWS Remington? I ask because iv been told I could get 5 or 6 then replace them and even I should get up to 20 loadings from the Lapua brass!
Thanks

Rick

Boyd Allen
08-31-2013, 12:33 PM
The accuracy with which you set your FL die will be a major determiner of case life. When your cases fail, if it is near the head, it is highly likely that excessive shoulder set back during FL sizing is the culprit. If you set dies properly, even less expensive cases should have much longer lives then you are currently getting. Fundamentally, it is all about getting the die setting right. The other issue is how much cases expand in a rifle's chamber during firing, and how much the FL die works the neck. If you wan to get an idea of what is taking place in this area, measure the diameter of a fired case, at its mouth, then a FL sized case, and finally a FL case sized with the decapping/expanding assembly removed from the die. What you will observe is that the case neck is pulled down quite a bit smaller than it needs to be, before the expander is drawn through it. All of this work hardens necks, and will eventually result in their splitting. If you are stuck with that die, the solution is to carefully anneal, but I suggest that you do not pursue that for the moment, because if it is improperly done, the result can be dangerous.

alinwa
08-31-2013, 01:44 PM
Ricky,

I may be misreading but I get the impression you're still not HEARING what these people are saying :)

This is not a brass brand issue

This is not a die brand issue

This is not a rifle brand issue

This is not a "headspace" issue

This is not an AGE issue

This is not a sorting issue

This is most likely not even a settings issue

This is a FIT issue and all the careful setting in the world CANNOT fix it if the die doesn't scrupulously fit, actually MATCH your chamber.


I see suggestions like annealing and it sets my teeth on edge because annealing is a very advanced procedure, one to apply when all other aspects are well understood...... FIT, the fit required for repeated trouble-free reloading of your cases is tricksy, fit is hard and in your case complicated by the fact that you seem to have serendipitously stumbled into good fit on your old Howa 223. The Howa is/was easy, automatic even.....This isn't a pat on Howa's back nor is it a difference in chamberings (223 VS 308) it's pure-dee LUCK.

You got lucky first time with fit.

Now you're struggling with fit.

YOU MUST FIND A FIT! If you hope to reload cases many times.

Meantime, be aware that rupturing cases is kinda' like blowing a tyre, generally uneventful, anti-climactic. BUT, that ONE time in a thousand thousand, hot day on the M5 and you get a boomer that sets you sidewise in traffic.....cases are like that. Mostly "ppfffffft" and a whiff, sometimes a curl of smoke. BUT!!!!..... that ONE time of cataclysmic gasket failure coupled with a warm load and you may well be scrabbling about in DarkWorld......... on your knees looking for your missing retinas.....

Let's avoid that, shall we?

Please take the time to find your fit.

And Wear Those Safety Glasses My Peeps!!!!




al

Hunter
08-31-2013, 06:08 PM
Meantime, be aware that rupturing cases is kinda' like blowing a tyre, generally uneventful, anti-climactic. BUT, that ONE time in a thousand thousand, hot day on the M5 and you get a boomer that sets you sidewise in traffic.....cases are like that. Mostly "ppfffffft" and a whiff, sometimes a curl of smoke. BUT!!!!..... that ONE time of cataclysmic gasket failure coupled with a warm load and you may well be scrabbling about in DarkWorld......... on your knees looking for your missing retinas.....

Let's avoid that, shall we?

...

And Wear Those Safety Glasses My Peeps!!!!

alinwa, I usually enjoy reading your posts; the above is one of the best I've read on this board. It amazes me how many shooters I see without glasses; I used to be one such shooter -- until I experienced one of those cataclysmic gasket failure-type events.

abintx
08-31-2013, 08:13 PM
iv been advised to neck size to save over working the brass and once fire formed they told me I would only need to neck size. Rick

NEVER NEVER NEVER just neck size EVER! Here's what happens.

When you just neck size, the body of the case continues to expand at each firing [the interior volume increases also] until, at some point, you will not be able to seat the case in the chamber.

Then, you have to bring the body back into specs to be able to seat the round. Most who neck size, also use a body die. They have to at some point, or they throw the brass away. In order to bring the body back into specs you OVER WORK the brass by having to move it a longer distance to meet specs. It becomes a perpetual, alternating process, between neck sizing, and body sizing. There is nothing consistent about it.

Accuracy is all about consistency, consistency, and consistency. There is nothing consistent about working one part of the case many times and another part a few times. Over Working brass has nothing to do with frequency and has everything to do with how far brass has to be moved to bring it back into the original designer's dimensions.

FULL LENGTH SIZING, which should be done each and every time you reload, with a properly dimensioned Die, moves the case's ENTIRE dimensions from .0005" to no more than .001" to bring it back into specs. And, as an added benefit, you only need one die to do that.

When brass is moved miniscule distances there is NO Over Working and consistency, consistency, and consistency is maintained, which promotes accuracy.

So, if someone suggests neck sizing only, don't just walk away from them, run from them as fast as you can!

Purchase a properly dimensioned, Full Length Die [preferably with bushing capability] and use it each and every time you resize. It will serve you well and prevent a whole host of problems. :)

Charles E
08-31-2013, 09:11 PM
Rick, Be aware that not all of us on BR Central agree amongst ourselves, either. For example, I disagree with the last post by abintx (we're up to #40 now). Which might or might not make one of us wrong, it would depend on a host of factors. Just part of the problem/fun of the sport.

Edit:

while not the answer to a maiden's prayer, I did find this, which is a good start to the kind of thinking one must go through... Not a substitute for a book, though, where the author's words have been gone over by an editor, and hopefully a couple other readers, then re-worked by the author, all before publishing.

http://www.kriegerbarrels.com/Proper_Reloading_Practices-c1246-wp7875.htm

BTW, SAAMI in the States is similar to CIP in Europe. The two don't always have the same numbers, they're standards, not "truth."

Further edit:

here's an article from the Border Barrels site. It's not directly relevant to your "head space" question, but it does get into factors that can and do affect pressure:

http://www.border-barrels.com/articles/Pressure_Trials_Consortium.htm

Both of these are a lot more reliable than "What some guy said..."

abintx
08-31-2013, 11:35 PM
Edit:

while not the answer to a maiden's prayer, I did find this, which is a good start to the kind of thinking one must go through... Not a substitute for a book, though, where the author's words have been gone over by an editor, and hopefully a couple other readers, then re-worked by the author, all before publishing.

http://www.kriegerbarrels.com/Proper_Reloading_Practices-c1246-wp7875.htm

BTW, SAAMI in the States is similar to CIP in Europe. The two don't always have the same numbers, they're standards, not "truth."

Further edit:

here's an article from the Border Barrels site. It's not directly relevant to your "head space" question, but it does get into factors that can and do affect pressure:

http://www.border-barrels.com/articles/Pressure_Trials_Consortium.htm

Both of these are a lot more reliable than "What some guy said..."

Indeed. This book, authored by the preeminent Benchrest shooter of all time, received I'm sure, a good once over by a host of people. However, "What this guy said ... " can pretty much be taken to the bank as something very reliable: http://www.brunoshooters.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=BSS&Product_Code=TBSC Read it and reread it. There are a host of gems everywhere, including his thoughts on sizing brass. Digest everything in this book and you'll never frequent this site again. :D

Charles E
09-01-2013, 08:58 AM
Indeed. This book, authored by the preeminent Benchrest shooter of all time, received I'm sure, a good once over by a host of people. However, "What this guy said ... " can pretty much be taken to the bank as something very reliable: http://www.brunoshooters.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=BSS&Product_Code=TBSC Read it and reread it. There are a host of gems everywhere, including his thoughts on sizing brass. Digest everything in this book and you'll never frequent this site again. :D
Reasonable start. At least Bart Sauter and Larry Costa were involved with the publication of the book.

Now, I don't have the book. But I doubt you'll find in there, without further context information,


NEVER NEVER NEVER just neck size EVER!

and


FULL LENGTH SIZING, which should be done each and every time you reload, with a properly dimensioned Die, moves the case's ENTIRE dimensions from .0005" to no more than .001" to bring it back into specs. And, as an added benefit, you only need one die to do that.

I do have one from-the-factory rifle, a Savage 112 Tactical in .223, manufactured in the 1990s, that I use when I have to fire a Factory Class match. For dies, I have (1) a Redding die set, both FL and neck, and (2) a Bonanza that can both size the neck and bump the shoulder, but does not size the rest of the body. I have about 50 cases for this rifle, and about 1,200 rounds through the barrel. What's that work out to, around 24 reloads on each case?

The cases have never been FL sized. Why? I keep pressures down to a little less than what's listed as "max" in the loading manuals. By the way, the chamber runs .010 longer than SAAMI, I did measure that. While I didn't measure the chamber at the head, I'd guess the base diameter in the chamber is well over .005 above SAAMI minimum for cases. And I'd guess the dies are under SAAMI maximum for dies -- otherwise they'd be defective. So, were I to FL size every time, I'd be moving the brass far more than the .0005 to .001 you mention. About 10 times as much.

If you are summarizing Mr. Boyer when you make your statements, I find it hard to believe he didn't, somewhere farther up in the book, note that he is talking about Benchrest chamberings. That he specifies his resize reamer as well as chamber reamer. I have no idea if he prefers his chamber reamer to be .0025, .003, .0035, or .004 over the resize reamer at the base, but likely it is somewhere in there.

But that's not the situation here. The original poster stated:


the rifle has only fired 550 rounds since new I am the first owner its a howa 1500 in 308

We're talking about a Howa in .308 -- with RCBS dies, another thing the original poster mentioned.

We're in the General Forum.

In short, I think the content in your post has a lot in common with the Christmas Goose.

mks
09-01-2013, 10:42 AM
NEVER NEVER NEVER just neck size EVER!

Accuracy is all about consistency, consistency, and consistency.

So, if someone suggests neck sizing only, don't just walk away from them, run from them as fast as you can!



I think you might be overstating the benefits of FL sizing, just a little.;)

The purpose of the case is to contain the powder, align the bullet to the throat and support the primer during firing pin fall, while adding minimal dynamics to the system before the bullet exits the barrel. The case will never fit the chamber better than after it is fire formed. Any mechanical working of the brass that you do to it afterwards can only make the fit worse, and add inconsistencies due to extra motion of the looser brass in the chamber.

Alignment of the bullet is better with a tight-fitting case. Further, sizing only a fraction of the neck allows the unsized part of the neck to align the bullet right where it matters.

Support of the primer is also more consistent with a case that isn't rattling around in the chamber, if only a thousandth or two.

Whenever a part of a system is loose, system dynamic response gets noisy. By always firing loose cases, you are making the dynamics consistently noisy. That is a kind of consistency that doesn't help accuracy.

I do FL size when necessary to reduce bolt closing force. I have to accept that the accuracy of the FL sized case won't be quite as good.

Boyd Allen
09-01-2013, 11:11 AM
I think that we have gone a little far afield from the original question, and gotten into things that are well beyond what should be taught to someone who is at the beginning, working with a factory .308 and a one piece FL die. If he gets his die set right, the problem that he originally came to this forum with will be solved. This is not to say that there are not lots of other issues that relate, that could be discussed, but at this point, it seems to me that keeping things simple has some virtue. Do this and this will be the result. Once he has accomplished the initial task, if he reports other problems, we can deal with them, one at a time.

Sometimes, when I would teach some new math concept, to a class of seventh or eighth graders, I would explain it in the simplest, and most direct manner that I could manage, and after making sure that the class seemed to understand what I had said, I would ask them if they wanted me to continue on, and make my explanation more complicated. I knew what the answer would be, but I asked it to make a point, to emphasize that this is the basic idea, and that if you remember this, you will have the basic concept. The class understood that while they grasped the basic idea, that if I went on and on with endless details and variations, that they would likely become confused and forget the important core concept along the way. Certainly, after they had had some practice with simple examples, variations would be introduced, but not until they had the basic operation well in hand. I think that it the same when teaching someone anything for the first time. Keep it as simple as possible, sticking to the basics, stop when that is understood, and practice that before continuing.

Charles E
09-01-2013, 12:49 PM
Boyd,

Yes and no. Your post #33 should have been all he needed. Great post, by the way, so I'll repeat it here, with just a touch of red for newer reloaders.


Rick,
To accurately adjust your FL die, I suggest that you purchase one of these. http://www.hornady.com/store/Lock-N-...h-Body-1-Each/ (http://www.hornady.com/store/Lock-N-Load-Headspace-Kit-With-Body-1-Each/)
Use a punch to deprime a case that was fired in your rifle with at least a moderately stout ( but safe) load, measure the case, and then set your die to bump the shoulder back no more than .002. If the case is once fired from new, you can probably set the die so that it is the same length, shoulder to head, as fired. Check all cases after sizing, since mixed cases may each respond differently to a die setting. For that reason it is best to keep them in sets by make and number of firings. You may want to keep in mind that one complete turn of the die moves it .071", so as you approach your final setting, very small moves are the rule.
Boyd

But it wasn't enough, it was Rick himself that wanted more.

Just as a curiosity, I thought about you post & came up with an idiot procedure for setting dies for a chamber. Additional purchases are (1) a cheap FL die, and a Lee collet die - or any neck die. Here it is.

1. Take the new FL die and have it cut off about 1 inch up from the base. Now it will resize the base of a case, whilst touching nothing else. (A die is hard, it may take carbide tooling, but there are no dimensional issues here. I've done this, can't remember if we used carbide or if it wasn't necessary.)

2. Neck size the new case, seat a bullet, then fire.

3. Drive out the primer as you suggest, and measure the headspace.

4. Run the case through your makeshift base die.

5. If it still chambers easily, neck size it, seat a bullet, and fire again.

Repeat 1-5 until it won't chamber easily. Since the base has just been resized, it must need shoulder set-back (i.e., headspacing). As soon as the case won't camber easily, measure it with the recently purchased Stoney Point. Set your as yet unused FL die so the headspace is moved back between .001 and .002, whatever it takes to "stick" at .001 or a bit more.

With the press ram fully up, with a case in the die, screw down the lock ring, and lock it. Take the die out, re-seat it in the press, and run another case through, to check that you've set the lock ring correctly. Repeat this sequence until you can take the FL die out, reposition it, and get the desired reading.

Your FL die is now properly set for your chamber, assuming the same press and shell holder. That portion of the chamber is not subject to wear, you are set for the life of that barrel.

Whether to use it (FL), or the neck die, or a neck & bump die is your business.

Boyd Allen
09-01-2013, 01:17 PM
Charles,
Digressing slightly from the topic of this thread, a friend, who works on a budget, chambered a rifle in .243 AI and made a bump die using his chambering reamer. After a number of firings, predictably, his cases became tight at their bases. Since he had done me some favors, I picked up a used, non carbide, .45 ACP die set, for $10 and suggested that he use the sizing die (the bare die body with all of the other parts removed), either as it came, or polished out to a better fit, to size the bases of his cases. It has worked just fine ever since.

ricky5042
09-01-2013, 03:00 PM
NEVER NEVER NEVER just neck size EVER! Here's what happens.

When you just neck size, the body of the case continues to expand at each firing [the interior volume increases also] until, at some point, you will not be able to seat the case in the chamber.

Then, you have to bring the body back into specs to be able to seat the round. Most who neck size, also use a body die. They have to at some point, or they throw the brass away. In order to bring the body back into specs you OVER WORK the brass by having to move it a longer distance to meet specs. It becomes a perpetual, alternating process, between neck sizing, and body sizing. There is nothing consistent about it.

Accuracy is all about consistency, consistency, and consistency. There is nothing consistent about working one part of the case many times and another part a few times. Over Working brass has nothing to do with frequency and has everything to do with how far brass has to be moved to bring it back into the original designer's dimensions.

FULL LENGTH SIZING, which should be done each and every time you reload, with a properly dimensioned Die, moves the case's ENTIRE dimensions from .0005" to no more than .001" to bring it back into specs. And, as an added benefit, you only need one die to do that.

When brass is moved miniscule distances there is NO Over Working and consistency, consistency, and consistency is maintained, which promotes accuracy.

So, if someone suggests neck sizing only, don't just walk away from them, run from them as fast as you can!

Purchase a properly dimensioned, Full Length Die [preferably with bushing capability] and use it each and every time you resize. It will serve you well and prevent a whole host of problems. :)


Firstly I wear glasses so im covered there :D
Hi when I was loading my 223 I was using lee dies and was full length sizing every single time and my best group at my clubs 50m range was 0.060"
and when I got the brass off my friend he only neck sized and I full length sized them twice then started noticing head separation! so im guessing the 12 or 13 times he neck sized them made the base really thin and with me full length sizing has put them under to much pressure and that's why they are rupturing!

Rick

ricky5042
09-01-2013, 03:17 PM
Thanks for all the replies guys :) when I next get some powder il load 5 and see how they go then il do as you all have suggested and let you know how I get on.

Rick

Charles E
09-01-2013, 04:32 PM
...so im guessing the 12 or 13 times he neck sized them made the base really thin...

Rick
You really do not get it, do you? Neck sizing did not make the brass thin. In effect, you made the brass thin by when you started pushing back the shoulder, then firing the now-shorter case (after your too-aggressive FL sizing). Firing a too-short to-the shoulder case MADE the case stretch under 55,000 psi. And in stretching, it didn't stretch evenly, never does. It usually stretches most just above the web. Well, in this scenario, "stretching" = "thin spot". Next, you then oversize with a FL die again, and it stretches again on firing, like before. It doesn't take too many cycles of this before you get head separations. And you did.

ricky5042
09-01-2013, 04:48 PM
So in effect him neck sizing the brass for his rem 700 has made the brass to long fat or what ever which made me full length size the brass just to get it to cycle in my rifle, so his neck sizing inadvertently was the cause of the failures! all be it with my help :D
I am going to fire a few rounds when I get some more powder then measure them and back the die off size 1 then try it in the rifle until I get to the point there is a bit of resistance when closing the bolt and from what iv read that should be a better fit to stop the separation issue after a few reloads :)

Rick

Boyd Allen
09-01-2013, 05:10 PM
Ricky....buddy,
You really do not have this at all. Get the tool that I suggested, learn to set your FL die. Your failures came from setting you FL die wrong. Period, the end. Until you do this, we are wasting our time.

ricky5042
09-01-2013, 05:18 PM
Yes I know this and as said if my friend has one he will check my head space if not il buy one so I get it right :D

jo191145
09-01-2013, 06:48 PM
If I may make another point.

Buy new brass.
Using brass fired in another gun multiple times is not a good idea.
Brass hardens with firings whether necksized or fl sized. Now take that brass and put it in a different chamber and it will not as easily,reliably expand to the new chamber dimensions.
Brass also goes through an initial stretch on its first virgin firing. Depending on the differences in headspace between virgin brass and the chamber it can weaken the brass quite a bit.

You took brass that had been stretched/weakened and hardened through neck sizing and multiple firings to the point it would no longer fit the original rifle. Then you squished it to the point it would fit yours(or more)
Sorry you just can't do that.

You need to grab a good gunsmith and have him run you through this stuff until you understand it fully.
Your playing with more than fire.

ricky5042
09-01-2013, 07:16 PM
The brass iv had all the problems with has now been scrapped! I have 110 once fired Lapua brass which a friend was given from an FT/R shoot at bisley, other than some RWS brass I have that's all I have to work with for now.
Until I get some more TR140 I cant reload any more rounds so im going up a local shop run by a former military marksman who is going to run me through loading up some rounds with the same brass iv had issues with and a friend is going to fire them in his 308 rifle and inspect the brass to see if there is any evidence of rupturing as iv been getting in my rifle.

Rick

jo191145
09-01-2013, 10:32 PM
It's good you scrapped the 12+ fired brass. That's a good move.

Firing your brass out of a friends rifle really won't tell you much and now your subjecting it to forming to another chamber. The only chamber that matters is yours. If you feel it's beneficial to do so just shoot a few and toss em in the trash afterwards. Perhaps I'm overly superstitious but I never want to subject any of my brass to different environments that the whole lot doesn't go through.

Hopefully your military marksmen guy will have the proper tools to do measurements. If you have any fired brass from your gun bring it along so he can compare.

Bottom line, setting up your fl die on the marks men's press will be educational but you will need the tools to do it again on yours. It won't be the same between the two.

ricky5042
09-03-2013, 05:11 PM
It's good you scrapped the 12+ fired brass. That's a good move.

Firing your brass out of a friends rifle really won't tell you much and now your subjecting it to forming to another chamber. The only chamber that matters is yours. If you feel it's beneficial to do so just shoot a few and toss em in the trash afterwards. Perhaps I'm overly superstitious but I never want to subject any of my brass to different environments that the whole lot doesn't go through.

Hopefully your military marksmen guy will have the proper tools to do measurements. If you have any fired brass from your gun bring it along so he can compare.

Bottom line, setting up your fl die on the marks men's press will be educational but you will need the tools to do it again on yours. It won't be the same between the two.


Hi I have nearly 200 cases from the friend who gave them to me so I have put them all in to a bag with scrap on so when my club weighs the brass in for a local charity I will give them to them to weigh in as well as there's.
I am getting a friend to load and fire some through his gun to see if the brass shows signs of splitting from his rifle and if they do then it is definitely the brass at fault, iv only done this as I already primed them so im doing it this way so the case is dead.

Rick

Dick Grosbier
09-03-2013, 06:54 PM
I am getting a friend to load and fire some through his gun to see if the brass shows signs of splitting from his rifle and if they do then it is definitely the brass at fault, iv only done this as I already primed them so im doing it this way so the case is dead.

Rick

If you insist on firing these cases again which is probably a bad idea . Check very carefully for a shiny line around the base of the case where they were separating on you. If you see a tiny little bright line they are ready to separate already.
Dick

MarkR
09-03-2013, 08:24 PM
A good reloading manual or two might help you understand the intricasies and dangers of just "winging it" while reloading. Eyes can be put out, faces ruined or even death can occur if you do not fully understand what you're doing. As well, find a knowledgeable person to team up with for a while at your club so that they can mentor you. And please quit shooting your brass in someone elses rifle, that does you no good whatsoever. Thats the best advice that I can give you. :)

r44astro
09-03-2013, 11:38 PM
The brass iv had all the problems with has now been scrapped! I have 110 once fired Lapua brass which a friend was given from an FT/R shoot at bisley, other than some RWS brass I have that's all I have to work with for now.
Until I get some more TR140 I cant reload any more rounds so im going up a local shop run by a former military marksman who is going to run me through loading up some rounds with the same brass iv had issues with and a friend is going to fire them in his 308 rifle and inspect the brass to see if there is any evidence of rupturing as iv been getting in my rifle.

Rick

Long post and I haven't read it all so someone may have already covered this. The only case separation problem I've had was with a used 6ppc I bought. I found that the bolt clearance was over .050. Set barrel back re-chambered and all is OK.

ricky5042
09-04-2013, 07:41 AM
I wont be using the problem brass in my rifle and the brass is in the scrap bin bar a few a friend is going to try in his rifle and that was his choice he offered as he cant understand why they are doing it in my rifle and he said its the brass not my head space! but if it still happens when iv loaded a few of the once fired Lapua brass I have then it will be going to a gun smith to have the head space sorted out, its a new rifle with only 550 rounds through it other wise I may have considered to have it re barrelled and have done with it!

Rick

243winxb
09-04-2013, 10:35 AM
Gauging Success - Minimum Headspace http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/lid=12897/GunTechdetail/Gauging_Success___Minimum_Headspace_and_Maximum_CO L http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/Firearms%20%20and%20%20Reloading/SAAMI.jpg Hot loading to reach 1000 yds may expand the web area of the brass. Standard dies may not resize this correctly.

Al Nyhus
09-04-2013, 08:43 PM
ricky5042- Since a pic is worth a thousand words, here's how the Hornady/Stoney Point case guage works:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v467/tenxal/anneal23163.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/tenxal/media/anneal23163.jpg.html)
Fired case, primer removed

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v467/tenxal/anneal13162.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/tenxal/media/anneal13162.jpg.html)
Same case f.l. sized with shoulder pushed back .001 (one thou.)

The ability (and tools required) to properly determine how far the shoulder is being pushed back when the case is resized is the first thing any handloader should have a handle on.

Good shootin'. -Al

ricky5042
09-05-2013, 06:35 PM
Hi Al thanks for the pic :) I will be looking into getting one as soon as im back from holiday.

Rick