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Thread: Bolt Click (Again)

  1. #1
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    Bolt Click (Again)

    Last year I posted how bolt click crept into my Nesika 6BR; my Harrels die just wasn't fitted quite right and clearly wasn't sizing the base at all. Wouldn't be that big of a problem, but we are talking bout 800-900 pieces of Lapua brass here. So I contacted Harrels, sent them 3 pieces of brass again, and they sent me the 2.5 Die; it appears to be the correct die and I suspect I never would have had issues if this is the die I used all along (re-sizes the base by about 1/2 thousands and shoulder about 1 thousands). However, due to brass memory (and my stiff loads), this was not sufficient to fully fix/counter the problem, and I'm still getting heavy bolt-click. I guess I could go with the BR 3 size. However, due to the memory of the brass, I'm not sure this would eliminate the bolt click fully and I'm wondering if the solution would be to have someone polish or hone-out the chamber and open up the base area beyond the "memory" of the brass.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
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    wear?

    Also, does bolt click cause significant wear on an action?

    Because I have about 400 varmint rounds already loaded up that will give me heavy bolt click for sure...that's a lot of "clicken".

  3. #3
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    Since barrels have a limited life, and your brass has considerable value, if you can find someone who has a light touch, and has done it before, I would give serious consideration to having the back of the chamber opened up a LITTLE. One thing that causes click problems is reamers that are create chambers that are too close to the diameter of the solid head of the case. High pressure loads can increase the diameter of this part of the case, and make the part of the case adjacent difficult to effectively resize. Having a chamber that is a little larger, at the back, than your current one, should help, and not be too difficult to do. I would also give some thought to the dimensions of whatever reamer is going to be used to chamber your next barrel. It may be that buying your own reamer is the best way to know that you will continue to have the fit that you want.

  4. #4
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    Maybe try a ring die to size the very base of the brass?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boyd Allen View Post
    Since barrels have a limited life, and your brass has considerable value, if you can find someone who has a light touch, and has done it before, I would give serious consideration to having the back of the chamber opened up a LITTLE. One thing that causes click problems is reamers that are create chambers that are too close to the diameter of the solid head of the case. High pressure loads can increase the diameter of this part of the case, and make the part of the case adjacent difficult to effectively resize. Having a chamber that is a little larger, at the back, than your current one, should help, and not be too difficult to do. I would also give some thought to the dimensions of whatever reamer is going to be used to chamber your next barrel. It may be that buying your own reamer is the best way to know that you will continue to have the fit that you want.
    Boyd, thank you for the thorough feedback! Both of your comments are exactly where I was leaning. 1) have the chamber polished out a bit, and 2) carefully select the next reamer so there is a tad more room in the case head area.

    In your opinion, how much should I "aim" to open up the bottom of the chamber? I'm thinkin 1/2 thousands to 3/4 thousands. My new Harrels BR 2.5 is reducing the brass by .0005 at the datum line (and I'm not sure if if the brass is hitting in the lower head region where the die doesn't touch).

    Thank you!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSM View Post
    Maybe try a ring die to size the very base of the brass?
    Surely crossed my mind. But I was afraid that no matter how much I set the brass back (within reason), it would just return and give me bolt click. Have you done this to fix bolt click, just curious how much it had to be set back?

    Normally I'd just get a new set of brass and utilize the properly sized die...but I'm just dealing with too much brass good brass here

  7. #7
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    How about using coloring a tight case with a marker? See where the marker is rubbed off when you chamber it. Could be the shoulder diameter, the body diameter, the web diameter, or maybe even the base-to-shoulder length.

  8. #8
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    I hear your frustration. I had a Panda that would do it. I never used a ring die for it...I simply got rid of it and went with a BAT. Same brass that was used in the Panda does not produce bolt click. Both chambers were made with the same reamer and about .002" headspace difference. I've heard of the ring dies work with success, but most likely need to be used all the time. Get a hold of pbike257 on 6mmBR.com and ask him the specifics. I know a guy that uses a pbike one and it works.

  9. #9
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    For a varmint rifle, I would open it up by at least a thousandth, maybe half again more. We get to throwing numbers around and sometimes we forget what the actual dimensions look like. Open your calipers a thousandth, and hold the gap up, between you and a light. Now measure any of your factory chamber brass, before and after sizing, about .3 up from the head. I think that that should put it into perspective.

    A friend has a .243 Ackley, and he had made a bump die using the chambering reamer, but needed a way to size the bottom of the case a little. I looked around and found him a used non-carbide .45 ACP FL die, that he polished out a little on his lathe, and removed the guts from. It does the job just fine. I think that I paid all of $10 for the die. He has done so many favors for me, it was my turn.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSM View Post
    I hear your frustration. I had a Panda that would do it. I never used a ring die for it...I simply got rid of it and went with a BAT. Same brass that was used in the Panda does not produce bolt click. Both chambers were made with the same reamer and about .002" headspace difference. I've heard of the ring dies work with success, but most likely need to be used all the time. Get a hold of pbike257 on 6mmBR.com and ask him the specifics. I know a guy that uses a pbike one and it works.
    Thank you. My other Varmint rifle is in fact a BAT. Shoot, maybe Nesika's are more prone to this happening...in which case that would b a bummer because this is my "hummer gun"...chambered in PPC I won the only NBRSA match I ever shot...which is pretty good for a rookie kid like me so I give much of the credit to the gun, and chambered in 6BR it still pumps out 1s and 2s with nearly 7000 rounds down the tube..no exhaggeration.

    And gosh, that really shocks me that it happened with one action and not another using the same reamer and brass. I never would have imagined.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boyd Allen View Post
    For a varmint rifle, I would open it up by at least a thousandth, maybe half again more. We get to throwing numbers around and sometimes we forget what the actual dimensions look like. Open your calipers a thousandth, and hold the gap up, between you and a light. Now measure any of your factory chamber brass, before and after sizing, about .3 up from the head. I think that that should put it into perspective.

    A friend has a .243 Ackley, and he had made a bump die using the chambering reamer, but needed a way to size the bottom of the case a little. I looked around and found him a used non-carbide .45 ACP FL die, that he polished out a little on his lathe, and removed the guts from. It does the job just fine. I think that I paid all of $10 for the die. He has done so many favors for me, it was my turn.
    Okay, thanks. I love that perfect fit...but here I just need the situation fixed.

  12. #12
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    Thanks again!

    Thanks again everyone!

    The cost-free approach I haven't tried is having Harrels send me another die...I think the BR 3 would squeze the body by .0015 and the base .001...and maybe they make a tigher one yet. I'm pretty sure there would be no charge. And then if that doesn't work (bossibly because the issue is below where the die can reach), I can send the barrel to a buddy who has the tools and ability to polish it out for me (the shipping back and forth just hurts a bit).

  13. #13
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    The question is...what constitutes a perfect fit? Often we become enamored with getting as close a fit as we can, as if that was somehow a goal in itself. I suggest that clearance is only a means to an end, and the suitability of a any fit needs to be evaluated in light of how well it performs, even though this runs against a traditional American male value.....that if some is good, more is better, and too much is just right ;-)

  14. #14
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    I don't believe it prudent to lay the blame of bolt click on a particular action. All actions have primary extraction which is where the click comes from, getting the brass backed out of the chamber.

  15. #15
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    I took some advice from another poster here and had my sleeved XP actioned 6PPC polished about .003 to deal with the tight chamber problem. That fixed it. In the future I'll either have reamers custom made with fatt butt chambers or have them polished the same way. I also have a 220 Beggs that was given the same treatment. It worked very well.

    On the action, it may well depend on which Nesika you have. I have a "K" that exhibited a bolt click with almost everything. It was even barely discernable on an empty chamber if you paid attention. According to Jim Borden, there was/is a design flaw in the cams that require some intense machine work to correct. He said he would rather build a complete action than ever do one again. After some telephone time with Chad Dixon I was able to perform redneck engeneering/machining with a jewelers file that corrected the problem to my satisfaction.

    Rick

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