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    Rifle reloading questions

    Hey, i have a couple of rifle reloading questions.

    I recently reloaded a batch of 30-06 cartridges. I have reloaded this caliber and bullet combo before with no problems before. However, this time some of the cartridges would not chamber. If I tried to chamber them, took them out then really jammed the bolt in they would chamber. I have not had this problem before and all the brass had onky been shit with factory loads in the same rifle. What is going on here?


    My other question is about neck sizing as opposed to full length sizing. Is it worth the extra money to get neck sizer dies or do you just adjust the full length dies? Also, how do you adjust the full length dies to only neck size?

    Thanks in advance!

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    You don't really say how you loaded them.

    My own personal procedures is to keep my brass segregated into lots and in separate containers. I used large plastic, open mouth jugs that are about 1 gallon size. I label them MY BRASS & UNSIZED BRASS and if I have multiple rifles of the same caliber, l also add which rifle the brass is for. I keep all brass that I have shot in a particular rifle in it's own set of containers.

    The MY BRASS container has only brass that has been shot in that rifle. The UNSIZED container has brass from another rifle or unknown source.

    Procedure with MY BRASS- It will be neck sized only for the life of the brass as long as it is used in the same rifle all the time.
    Procedure with UNSIZED BRASS-It will be full length sized before it is shot in any rifle. Once it is reloaded and shot in a particular rifle , it goes in the MY BRASS container for THE particular rifle that it was shot in.

    As far as dies go, I use a neck sizer 99% of the time. The full length dies is used only once, just prior to the brass being loaded for a rifle for the first time. After it is "fire formed" for a particular rifle, it is always neck sized only from then on. Once a die has been adjusted and the lock ring set, I never change the adjustment as long as I have no reason too.

    The other thing I do (as a double check) is to chamber every round I have reloaded in the rifle I have reloaded it for. This ensures you won't have a problem in the field when hunting. I also store reloaded ammo in plastic boxes that are labeled with the load data, rifle it is to be used in and date loaded. Once you get into a habit of doing your own procedure, it is pretty easy.

    Another thing...if you really want to get into reloading technicalities, lots of shooters/reloaders I know, separate their brass by manufacturer and set up a method to keep track of how many times a piece of brass has been reloaded. Depending on your loads, brass can have a limited life.
    Last edited by Colorado Cowboy; 04-27-2014 at 07:12 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerm8352 View Post


    Also, how do you adjust the full length dies to only neck size?

    Thanks in advance!
    Didn't answer this question...sorry. I don't! Dies are cheap and I used separate sizing dies.
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    Good advice CC!

    You need to figure out where they are to tight and why they wont or are hard to chamber. Have you checked case detentions, case length, combined over all length, ect. Are you using the same bullets you used before? My first guess would be your bullets are seated out to far or the case is to long.
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    Sorry about leaving out info. The cartridges are all the same brand and all have only been shot in my rifle. I shot them once, full length resized them. (Probably shouldnt have done that but I am a newbie) trimmed them all to a uniform length and then primed, charged and seated a bullet. I used all the same components but some chamber easily and some do not. How do I find out what the problem is?

    Thank you for all the help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jerm8352 View Post
    Sorry about leaving out info. The cartridges are all the same brand and all have only been shot in my rifle. I shot them once, full length resized them. (Probably shouldnt have done that but I am a newbie) trimmed them all to a uniform length and then primed, charged and seated a bullet. I used all the same components but some chamber easily and some do not. How do I find out what the problem is?

    Thank you for all the help.
    Although it is not very common, some of your comments suggest that you may have an out of round chamber i.e. some chamber easily and some do not. This can be checked by measuring the diameter of the case body, or (better choice) have a gunsmith make a chamber cast of your chamber, and measure it for you. Another possibility is that you are stretching the case body after sizing. Are you brushing the inside of the case neck before resizing. If the case is hard to pull over the expander ball, or you hear a shriek when pulling the case over the expander ball, case stretch is a definite possibility. Try brushing the inside of the case with a bronze or nylon brush that you have sprayed with one of the wax type case lubes (Hornady, Lee), or dust it with a dry lube like Motor Mica.
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    MM is correct. If you have a set of calipers, measure OAL of the bad rounds. Also check diameter at the base, length of neck. Cases are made of brass and under pressure tend to grow in length under pressure. the only place the "displaced" brass has to go is the neck...which gets longer and can make the bolt hard to close on it. About every 5 loadings or so, I check oal and trip if needed.

    You can also have a problem if the bullet is not seated deep enough. I keep a "master" I use to check the seating die adjustment once in awhile. That's why it is important to chamber each round prior to using it for hunting. You sure don't want one not to chamber correctly went you need it to.
    Last edited by Colorado Cowboy; 04-27-2014 at 11:23 AM.
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    Check the case and bullet of 1 that wont chamber for marks where it is tight in the chamber. You can also mark on the bullet and case with a sharpie to see where its tight easier.
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    My guess is that if the brass has only been shot one time and they were factory loads that the problem is your overall length. Check all your brass and bullets for marks as already suggested, but I'd bet it's a length problem and you'll see marks up near the tip of the bullet where you were probably jamming the tips into the lands with that excess bolt pressure you said it took to close the bolt. That should never be done as it's either a sign of a case that needs more reworking, or an overall length problem. The latter can be corrected by just turning your seating die down a little bit and running the batch back through to seat the bullets a little deeper into the brass. I do basicly the exact same procedures as CC mentioned, but I only use one manufacturer's brass and have one set of Forster dies that I use for both full length and neck sizing. To do neck sizing only I just back off the die about the thickness of a nickel from the full size depth setting. Eventually if you shoot a brass casing enough with only neck sizing you'll need to do a full length resizing and that will vary with how close to max you're loading them. Also, you really shouldn't have needed to do any trimming after they were only shot that one time, as usually brass will stay within trim specs for at least a few firings before trimming is necessary.
    Last edited by Topgun 30-06; 04-27-2014 at 10:50 AM.

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    Sounds like the ogive of the bullet is hitting the rifling (bullet seated long), or the shoulder isn't getting bumped back quite enough. You can smoke the shoulder of the brass with a candle flame then chamber the EMPTY brass. Use the smoke to set your die length also. You want to just touch the smoke for a cpl thou bump. Sinclair comparator body with shoulder and ogive inserts will be your friend for knowing where you are and maintaining those specs.

    You can use a full length die to neck size only or use it to bump the shoulder and neck size by getting a die for a different cartridge that has body clearance but the same caliber and shoulder angle, provided it's made. I use a 7mm Rem Mag to bump and neck size for 7STW.
    The problem with full length sizing fired brass is the die, when set low enough to size ahead of the base, will bump the shoulder back maybe .010" or more. This will cause excess expansion/contraction of the brass.

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