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Can you solve my reloading mystery? (SOLVED-sorta)

Victor Co Heather

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<span style="font-weight: bold">Expert at reloading? I need your help!</span>

I'm relatively new to reloading (<1000 rnds) and I have the strangest problem with one of my rifles. It seems to show signs of overpressure with any of my handloads (variable powder and bullet weights)... but if I use factory then it shoots perfectly. (also note, I'm not a <span style="font-style: italic">complete</span> moron, my primary rifle, a GAP .308, shoots my reloads without incident
grin.gif
)

Here are the facts:

The rifle in question is a custom .308 Remington 700 with a Montana Rifleman 20" 1:10 SS #7. The action has been blueprinted/trued. Round count as of today is 705 rounds.

The first few hundred rounds were shot with factory 168FGMM, no pressure signs and very accurate. (.75 moa?) I started having trouble when I began reloading for it.

Here are all the reloading recipes I've tried (none worked):

<span style="font-style: italic">(Please note the Hogdon Powder manual lists Max Load for 175s as 45.0g and for 155s is 47.5g-- all these loads are under, some way under)</span>

175SMK
IMR4895 <span style="font-weight: bold">42.7</span> (chronoed 2624 FPS) <span style="color: #FF0000">*TOO HOT*STUCK IN CHAMBER</span>
Fed Brass Reloaded 0 times
210M Primers
Temp: 59.5F

175SMK
IMR4895 <span style="font-weight: bold">41.5</span> (chronoed 2624 FPS)<span style="color: #FF0000">*TOO HOT*STUCK IN CHAMBER</span>
Fed Brass Reloaded 0 times
210M Primers
Temp: 60.0F

175SMK
IMR4895 <span style="font-weight: bold">40.5</span> (chronoed 2581 FPS)<span style="color: #FF0000">*TOO HOT* STUCK IN CHAMBER</span>
Fed Brass Reloaded 0 times
210M Primers
Temp: 66.0F

175SMK
IMR4895 <span style="font-weight: bold">38.5</span> (chronoed 2379 FPS)<span style="color: #FF0000">*TOO HOT*STUCK IN CHAMBER</span>
Fed Brass Reloaded 0 times
210M Primers
Temp: 68.7F

And some 155s:

155 Lapua Scenars
IMR4895 <span style="font-weight: bold">42.0 (</span>chronoed 2633 FPS)<span style="color: #FF0000">*TOO HOT*STUCK IN CHAMBER</span>
Fed Brass Reloaded 0 times
210M Primers
Temp: 66.0F

EVERY one of these loads stuck in my chamber, even the slow ones! I needed to pop each case out with a cleaning rod.

After getting frustrated, having to tap each piece of brass out of my chamber, I ran some factory 168 FGMM through her and it cycles like butter! No pressure signs at all.

Here is a pic of the a price of brass from the 175SMK IMR 4895 38.5 grains, you can see the marks where it bound up in the chamber:

brass_marks.jpg


This is a normal piece of Federal brass shot from my other .308, so you can see there are not supposed to be the marks on it:

normal_brass.jpg



All my brass was full-length resized with RCBS match dies and checked with a wilson case gauge, everything was/is within SAAMMI specs.

My brass wasn't too long. Here is a pic of a piece that stuck, as you can see the case length is withing specs:

Case_length.jpg



The COAL is also good to go:

COAL.jpg


Headspace is perfect:

headspace.jpg



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So gunners, any ideas why my rifle won't shoot my handloads? (Note: The exact same reloads were shot out of my GAP Nesika .308 and my friend's GAP Surgeon .308 with no pressure issues.)

Is it a weird chamber issue? Need the necks turned? IMR 4895 too fast of a powder? What could it be?

cry.gif










 

dar1246

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

If this is the first time shooting handloads from this gun.

I had a problem like that 7 months ago.It was the reamer that cut the chamber. Sometimes that happens.
Factory loads will shoot but handloads lock the bolt up. I would check that.
 

Hawk Gunner

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

I had a similar issue. Im no expert either so my logic may be off. I figured it was federal brass being soft and expanding too much. I switched to winchester brass and the problems stopped.
 

Belisarius

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

Some flexing in the chamber maybe? Soft barrel steel is the only thing coming to mind. Just guessing out loud.
 

dar1246

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

Is your bolt stiff to close on factory loads? Then on handloads no matter how you load them or prepared your brass lock the bolt up? Reamer

same problem it is a hard one to figure but you sound like this isnt your 1st time loading. Look at that
 

Winchester 69

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

Perhaps a little off-topic, and I don't think it has anything to do with what you're experiencing, but does your Hodgdon manual have loads for IMR powder? They aren't the same.
 

dmgreene

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

What's the neck diameter of your reloads compared to the factory loads? Have you tried to reload any of the once fired factory loaded brass? The only thing that makes sense to me is that maybe you have a tight neck chamber and that you have a lot of brass with thick necks.

David
 

sawgunner2001

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

You got all the lube off the case? That is one possibility that I can think of.

Also, you are right on the upper limit for case length at 2.015". That is the published maximum case length for .308 Win casings.
 

Victor Co Heather

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: dar</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Is your bolt stiff to close on factory loads? Then on handloads no matter how you load them or prepared your brass lock the bolt up? Reamer</div></div>

My bolt isn't stiff closing factory loads at all... tho I think the reamer idea could be right.

FWIW, I also used Lapua brass and it didn't completely stick in the chamber but was noticeably hard to extract.

 

Victor Co Heather

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: sawgunner2001</div><div class="ubbcode-body">You got all the lube off the case? That is one possibility that I can think of.

Also, you are right on the upper limit for case length at 2.015". That is the published maximum case length for .308 Win casings. </div></div>

Yep, got all the lube off the cases and yes the case is at what the limit is set but was not over.. plus I am told that most chambers can easily go to 2.025 before having any real issues.
 

Victor Co Heather

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Winchester 69</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Perhaps a little off-topic, and I don't think it has anything to do with what you're experiencing, but does your Hodgdon manual have loads for IMR powder? They aren't the same. </div></div>

I believe Hogdon owns IMR, when I went to the IMR site it gave took me to the Hodgon manual.
 

One-Eyed Jack

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: dmg264</div><div class="ubbcode-body">What's the neck diameter of your reloads compared to the factory loads? Have you tried to reload any of the once fired factory loaded brass? The only thing that makes sense to me is that maybe you have a tight neck chamber and that you have a lot of brass with thick necks.

David </div></div>
This is my thought too. Since you have a caliper, measure the diameter at the neck of a loaded round and compare it to your factory rounds. You may coincidentally have a small chamber and the neck cannot open enough to prevent high pressure in the case. There might be some information about the chamber in the diameter of the expended cases in different rifles.
 

dar1246

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

If all the ideas that are presented to you fail. Check the reamer.

If you have the same problem I did. That is where the problem will be. I had all kinds of advice on handloading. I I finnally did everything I could possible do. Try the stuff, but do not discount the reamer.

One persons advice was you should be able to reproduce the same as a factory round. Tried that nothing. Reamer was where the problem was. Thought I had a tight neck chamber. Needed to buy small base dies. I could go on and on. I heard everything possible. I would go through the steps.

Call your gunsmith and ask him did he cut the chamber to Sammi specs or did he tighten the chamber up/
 

308isgreat

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

Looking at your reloaded brass pics it appears that maybe you have a sizing die issue. I say this becuase in the picture it looks like the case/shoulder junction may be a little squashed. If the sizing die is set too tight or you have too much lube on the case this issue can arise. If this happens, it won't matter what pressures you get, the cases will be very hard to extract.

FWIW I've used IMR 4895 in a boatload of different 308's over the years and none of the loads you have listed should be over pressure.
 

doc76251

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

Cut your brass back to 2.000". Me thinks you have a short leade.

If that fixes it scrub the dog snot out of your chamber with a bronze brush. It may have not been short once but depending on the geometry of the cutter/reamer it could be powder fouled causing it to crunch the necks shut. There is no way the powder charges you are listing are over pressure unless something is preventing the bullet from leaving, like a compressed neck.

Cheers,

Doc
 

Victor Co Heather

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: doc76251</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Cut your brass back to 2.000". Me thinks you have a short leade.

If that fixes it scrub the dog snot out of your chamber with a bronze brush. It may have not been short once but depending on the geometry of the cutter/reamer it could be powder fouled causing it to crunch the necks shut. There is no way the powder charges you are listing are over pressure unless something is preventing the bullet from leaving, like a compressed neck.

Cheers,

Doc </div></div>

Thanks Doc, I've ordered a GIraud power trimmer so I'll give cutting the brass back a try. Do you think it would be worth having a smith re-ream the chamber to spec? Turn it back and recut it? I would rather the stick to be less finicky than it is.
 

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: dar</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Call your gunsmith and ask him did he cut the chamber to Sammi specs or did he tighten the chamber up/ </div></div>

I emailed him and he was not very helpful...
 

steve marshall

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

The first clue is that it only happens with your reloads. 2.015" is MAX length. Try trimming your brass and see if the rounds feel better. Better yet see if they stick with and without a bullet seated. Just because most chambers are cut long enough not to worry about doesn't mean they all will. Custom doesn't mean perfect. Next thing. Are you resizing when reloading this brass? The fact that your brass fits a Wilson gage tells me that you are doing what should be done but not necessarily what must be done. How does your brass look on the other end of the Wilson gage? And out of curiousity, how did you calibrate your calipers?
 

dar1246

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

One way you can check the lead. Load a false round seat the bullet out 20thousands. Now take a black sharpie and color the bullet itself. Load it and then unload. See if it is into the lands. Repeat steps until you find where it is
 

mgd45

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

My Hornady manual has the trim to length for .308 Win as 2.005". That's also the same case length as factory loaded Hornady .308 168 grain TAP ammo, so I trim all my .308 cases to 2.005"......yours seems a little long.
 

psinclair

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

Any blown primers? Or just stuck cases? How does it feel when you re-prime? Loose pockets?
 

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: PGS</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Any blown primers? Or just stuck cases? How does it feel when you re-prime? Loose pockets? </div></div>

No blown primers, just stuck cases. The primers feel ok on the next reload but may be a little stretched? Hard to tell.
 

Victor Co Heather

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: steve marshall</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The first clue is that it only happens with your reloads. 2.015" is MAX length. Try trimming your brass and see if the rounds feel better. Better yet see if they stick with and without a bullet seated. Just because most chambers are cut long enough not to worry about doesn't mean they all will. Custom doesn't mean perfect. Next thing. Are you resizing when reloading this brass? The fact that your brass fits a Wilson gage tells me that you are doing what should be done but not necessarily what must be done. How does your brass look on the other end of the Wilson gage? And out of curiousity, how did you calibrate your calipers? </div></div>


1. The resized brass alone chambers and extracts easily. I'll try trimming the cases down anyway to 2.0".

2. Yes, I'm full-length resizing all cases.

3. The other side of the wilson gauge shows that the necks are at the high side of the gauge but not out of spec.

4... I'm not sure how to calibrate my calipers...
blush.gif


 

Victor Co Heather

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: dar</div><div class="ubbcode-body">One way you can check the lead. Load a false round seat the bullet out 20thousands. Now take a black sharpie and color the bullet itself. Load it and then unload. See if it is into the lands. Repeat steps until you find where it is </div></div>


Trying this now. Thanks!
 

psinclair

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

doc76251 has the best suggestion. Trim back to 2.000.

I checked a Federal factory case for lenght: 2.005 (unfired)

Good luck and let us know!
 

95LTZ

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

I agree with the trimming of the brass. The other easy fix is to scrub the throat area real good. Sometimes there can be a stuborn carbon ring build up in the throat area. This constricts the bore at this point causing pressures to spike somewhat. I had an HS Precision 308 HTR years ago that had a similar problem. I decided to start at square one, beginning with a squeaky clean bore. Thorough cleaning along with a neck within specs but on the tight side required the stars to be aligned a just right. Keep us posted.
Semper Fi
 

Jedi

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

OK
lets attempt to fig this out real quick

Factory loads shoots zero issues, if this is true pull one apart and pour powder into one of your resized cases. Then seat bullet from pulled round on top of your case containing powder
Yep it needs a primer hoping i dont need to state obvious.

If it has issues with pressure ie sticking in chamber etc
then its something your doing to your brass

Trim to same length as factory unless you have measured chamber.

Unless you have measured chamber you should be running to spec on MIN side not MAX



good luck
 

lanwickum

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

what chamber you have cut in the barrel. Match, nato, sammi, ect...

You say the extractor won't hold the rim and you end up having to use a rod to get the brass out? Or are you simply using a rod? How hard do you beat the bolt handle before it comes off the brass and how hard you have to beat the rod to get the brass out? Extractor should hold onto the case very well before it rips or bends the brass rim.
I am assumeing the bolt won't pull out the brass. If this is the case I would also look at timing issues with the bolt. You can read up on bolt timing if you feel you need to. Since you say the action was trued. The smith should check bolt timing but not have not retimed after trueing the lugs ect if it was needed.


Resizing brass hardly ever to never gets it back down to factory dimensions. You could try a small base die. Mostly used for semiauto rifles to help with extraction of reloads. How rough is your chamber. looks like it may be scaring up the brass a bit circumficially. If really rough it could act like barbs holding the brass in the chmaber. Never seen it before, but anything is possible.

My quick and random thoughts.
Good luck, let us know what you find.
 

dar1246

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

When I check to see where the lands on the 308 build I did. I seated a 155 lapua dow to like 2.760 COL. to where the lands hit the bullet. The 168 where stuff into the lands at 2.800 factory specs.Therefore the round would get stuck everytime on handloads.
This really wasn't what I was looking for. The Longer the bullet I want the option to seat the bullets out not cram the futher inot the case.
Take the 175s and do the same thing.
 

bigwheeler

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

It appears from your case gauge you are sizing right on the brink of too small.
I didn't see anything in these posts where you have actually checked headspace.
Try a few loads in fired cases that are neck sized only. Your photo of the fired case
looks like it stretched rearward to me. Put a piece of scotch tape on the back of an
sized case and chamber it. The tape is .003 and should make the bolt close tight
but you should be able to force it closed as the tape deforms. It works best with the
extractor removed but on a 700 it may not matter at all. But the case and the symptoms are signs of too much headspace imho.
 

Victor Co Heather

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Karl2U</div><div class="ubbcode-body">OK
lets attempt to fig this out real quick

Factory loads shoots zero issues, if this is true pull one apart and pour powder into one of your resized cases. Then seat bullet from pulled round on top of your case containing powder
Yep it needs a primer hoping i dont need to state obvious.

If it has issues with pressure ie sticking in chamber etc
then its something your doing to your brass

Trim to same length as factory unless you have measured chamber.

Unless you have measured chamber you should be running to spec on MIN side not MAX



good luck </div></div>


This is genius! I won't be able to do this until next weekend but will post results when I do. Thanks for the ideas.
 

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: montana</div><div class="ubbcode-body">what chamber you have cut in the barrel. Match, nato, sammi, ect...

You say the extractor won't hold the rim and you end up having to use a rod to get the brass out? Or are you simply using a rod? How hard do you beat the bolt handle before it comes off the brass and how hard you have to beat the rod to get the brass out? Extractor should hold onto the case very well before it rips or bends the brass rim.
I am assumeing the bolt won't pull out the brass. If this is the case I would also look at timing issues with the bolt. You can read up on bolt timing if you feel you need to. Since you say the action was trued. The smith should check bolt timing but not have not retimed after trueing the lugs ect if it was needed.


Resizing brass hardly ever to never gets it back down to factory dimensions. You could try a small base die. Mostly used for semiauto rifles to help with extraction of reloads. How rough is your chamber. looks like it may be scaring up the brass a bit circumficially. If really rough it could act like barbs holding the brass in the chmaber. Never seen it before, but anything is possible.

My quick and random thoughts.
Good luck, let us know what you find. </div></div>

Re: Sticky brass, the bolt handle will come up but will not pull the brass from chamber. Tried to force it and pulled off my bolt handle! (yeah there is a thread somewhere about that too.)

Re: The chamber supposedly has be cut to SAMMI spec.

Thanks for your input Montana!
 

ranger1183

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: M.45</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><span style="font-weight: bold">Expert at reloading? I need your help!</span>

I'm relatively new to reloading (<1000 rnds) and I have the strangest problem with one of my rifles. It seems to show signs of overpressure with any of my handloads (variable powder and bullet weights)... but if I use factory then it shoots perfectly. (also note, I'm not a <span style="font-style: italic">complete</span> moron, my primary rifle, a GAP .308, shoots my reloads without incident
grin.gif
)

Here are the facts:

The rifle in question is a custom .308 Remington 700 with a Montana Rifleman 20" 1:10 SS #7. The action has been blueprinted/trued. Round count as of today is 705 rounds.

The first few hundred rounds were shot with factory 168FGMM, no pressure signs and very accurate. (.75 moa?) I started having trouble when I began reloading for it.

Here are all the reloading recipes I've tried (none worked):

<span style="font-style: italic">(Please note the Hogdon Powder manual lists Max Load for 175s as 45.0g and for 155s is 47.5g-- all these loads are under, some way under)</span>

175SMK
IMR4895 <span style="font-weight: bold">42.7</span> (chronoed 2624 FPS) <span style="color: #FF0000">*TOO HOT*STUCK IN CHAMBER</span>
Fed Brass Reloaded 0 times
210M Primers
Temp: 59.5F

175SMK
IMR4895 <span style="font-weight: bold">41.5</span> (chronoed 2624 FPS)<span style="color: #FF0000">*TOO HOT*STUCK IN CHAMBER</span>
Fed Brass Reloaded 0 times
210M Primers
Temp: 60.0F

175SMK
IMR4895 <span style="font-weight: bold">40.5</span> (chronoed 2581 FPS)<span style="color: #FF0000">*TOO HOT* STUCK IN CHAMBER</span>
Fed Brass Reloaded 0 times
210M Primers
Temp: 66.0F

175SMK
IMR4895 <span style="font-weight: bold">38.5</span> (chronoed 2379 FPS)<span style="color: #FF0000">*TOO HOT*STUCK IN CHAMBER</span>
Fed Brass Reloaded 0 times
210M Primers
Temp: 68.7F

And some 155s:

155 Lapua Scenars
IMR4895 <span style="font-weight: bold">42.0 (</span>chronoed 2633 FPS)<span style="color: #FF0000">*TOO HOT*STUCK IN CHAMBER</span>
Fed Brass Reloaded 0 times
210M Primers
Temp: 66.0F

EVERY one of these loads stuck in my chamber, even the slow ones! I needed to pop each case out with a cleaning rod.

After getting frustrated, having to tap each piece of brass out of my chamber, I ran some factory 168 FGMM through her and it cycles like butter! No pressure signs at all.

Here is a pic of the a price of brass from the 175SMK IMR 4895 38.5 grains, you can see the marks where it bound up in the chamber:

brass_marks.jpg


This is a normal piece of Federal brass shot from my other .308, so you can see there are not supposed to be the marks on it:

normal_brass.jpg



All my brass was full-length resized with RCBS match dies and checked with a wilson case gauge, everything was/is within SAAMMI specs.

My brass wasn't too long. Here is a pic of a piece that stuck, as you can see the case length is withing specs:

Case_length.jpg



The COAL is also good to go:

COAL.jpg


Headspace is perfect:

headspace.jpg



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So gunners, any ideas why my rifle won't shoot my handloads? (Note: The exact same reloads were shot out of my GAP Nesika .308 and my friend's GAP Surgeon .308 with no pressure issues.)

Is it a weird chamber issue? Need the necks turned? IMR 4895 too fast of a powder? What could it be?

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</div></div>

I ran the load data and the end result very much appears to be that it's not a load issue. It sounds to me like a brass vs. chamber issue. As in your brass just isn't contracting enough after firing. If resizing doesn't work, I'd try a different brand of brass. If that fails I'd be inclined to say its a chamber issue. Without reboring the chamber you are likely limited to using factory ammo.

Good luck.
 

Victor Co Heather

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: dar</div><div class="ubbcode-body">When I check to see where the lands on the 308 build I did. I seated a 155 lapua dow to like 2.760 COL. to where the lands hit the bullet. The 168 where stuff into the lands at 2.800 factory specs.Therefore the round would get stuck everytime on handloads.
This really wasn't what I was looking for. The Longer the bullet I want the option to seat the bullets out not cram the futher inot the case.
Take the 175s and do the same thing. </div></div>

Ok, so I did the sharpie thing and if I'm doing it correctly, there is a light line when I seat my 175smk to a COAL of 2.826" (does this sound right?) From the bottom of the cartridge to the land mark on the bullet is 2.169"

Not sure what this tells me exactly but it would seem my normal handloads are sitting about .005ish off the lands.

 

dar1246

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

At that measurement 2.826 COL, If you are touching the lands. It will have little indentions all the way around the bullet.
I don't think you should even be close to the lands at that COL (2.826). Now I know you mention early about SAAMMI specs. Check these and see if you are within your specs. I think here is your problem.
I can seat the 155 lapuas out to 2.825 and works great. I still off the lands by 30thousands.
 

dar1246

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

Try seating the bullet to where the lands is just off the o-give. Then see what measurement you have on your COL.
 

doc76251

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

Go back to basics and take everything down to minimum specs.

2.005" on brass.

2.80" on COAL

Start from there and report the results. We'll get you where you need to be.

Of course it wouldn't hurt you to scrub the dog snot out of your chamber. Just sayin'

Cheers,

Doc
 

MitchAlsup

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

I have a slightly different Idea. When I first started to reload for my M40, I started suitably low (43.0 g Varget) and got what I now believe as "Secondary Pressure Spike". This will give the brass every indication that excessive pressures are being utilized, and scare the crap out of the reloader.

http://www.shootingsoftware.com/barrel.htm

After some discussion (here and elsewhere) I slowly proceeded upwards and did not run into the pressure signs (again) until I arrived in the high 47.8 gr Varget range (155 SMK PALMAs and 155 Scenars).

Secondary pressure comes from shooting to LOW a charge. The bullet decelerates in the barrel, the supersonic blast wave runs into the back of the bullet, and the remaining powder detonates. This detonation creates pressures up towards 130K PSI and is exceedingly dangerous. Please do not underload to such a degree.

A scan of the above loads (assuming they were accurately weighted) indicates they are all quite low. One would be expecting 175 SMK loads in the 44.0-44.5 range, and 155 scenar loads in the 46.0-47.8 range. The fact that you are not seeing the pressure go down as chargeweight goes down is indicative that you are heading in the wrong direstion.

Suggestion, make up one case, properly sized so it just barely fits in your chamber gauge, prime it and powder it to 0.5gr above the minimum CW indicated in your favorite reloading reference manual. Make sure this case has no signs of pressure already recorded, and shot it your next trip to the range. One and only one. Take a box of factory so you get some good trigger time and feel satisfied with your shooting.

If factory shoots fine, and this one shoots fine, you need to move upwards in chargeweight to avoid the dreaded secondary pressure spike.
 

was21

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

One thing that I did not see mentioned......

Are you sure...ABSOLUTELY SURE... of your charge weights?

Have you checked that your scale is accurate?

Just a thought.

Also...pulling a factory FGMM 168 round and using that powder with your load {168smk} is a worthwhile idea.

good luck and be safe.

Wes in AZ
 

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: was21</div><div class="ubbcode-body">One thing that I did not see mentioned......

Are you sure...ABSOLUTELY SURE... of your charge weights?

Have you checked that your scale is accurate?

Just a thought.

Also...pulling a factory FGMM 168 round and using that powder with your load {168smk} is a worthwhile idea.

good luck and be safe.

Wes in AZ </div></div>

Yeah, my charge weights are 100% accurate. Two scales verified.
 

69daytona

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

I had that problem with a match chambered 30-06, my match dies would not get the base small enough. I switched to RCBS small base dies and have never had a problem no matter what brass I use.
 

sandwarrior

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

I agree with Doc,

Don't start with stuff you can't measure. START WITH THE STUFF YOU CAN CONTROL AND MEASURE.

1. clean the snot out of that barrel.

2. COMPARE FACTORY MEASUREMENTS TO THAT OF YOUR RELOADS! They work, yours don't. Find out what's different. See if there are any marks on the necks of newly resized brass when you chamber it. Either on the side or one the very end. That will show if you have a tight neck or short leade. Where you find a difference is probably your problem. The sharpie will tell you if your hitting where you shouldn't.

3. Have you tried another can of the powder you intend to use? sometimes you will get a "hot lot". And sometimes you get the hot can in that hot lot. None of the loads you gave should have been overpressure. Nor, should they have caused secondary ignition. This ususally happens with low loads of slow powder. IMR4895 and Varget aren't usually two powders to cause this.

I'm of the opinion as are many that it's a brass problem not a load problem. You need to find it. I also looked at your pic of the brass body. If that is after resizing then I think you have a wide chamber at the body. I get that mark all the time when sizing down the body of a case fired from a large chamber.
 

Lumpy Grits

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

Were did you get your powder? Did it come from a sealed can? Is it "fresh"?
Have you tried any other powder at all? Like 4064 maybe?? Varget?
IF you can chamber your loads OK and can't "clear'em" after firing then the best thing to do is try another type of powder..........
PM me if you would like to talk....I hate typing. I have a covered 600+yd range 20 min. from my place in Palmdale.
Respectfully,
LG
 

Suasponte

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

Measure your brass diameter just above the rim at the bottom of the Case! They should be at .467 to .470 Max. I bet your not getting a full length size on your brass. Are you caming over with your die? I had a set of dies that was FL dies that I could not get a full length size with.

Check your base diameters and make sure your at .470" or a little less.

Terry

Cartridge Diagram for 308

I had something similar happen to me like this! It was with Frontier Match brass fired out of a AR10. My buddy gave me a whole bunch of it! I preped it all and what I thought was full length sized them! They all checked out fine just as you show! They chambered without any resistance and after firing would not extract. After I checked the remianing loads they all had base diameters over .470". Pictured below is one of the remaining brass that I have not done anything with yet. The die was sent back to the Mfg and returned! It now gets me a true full length size!

bases.jpg


Also, if you have more than one 308 keep your brass seperate. I color code my stuff or use one color of box for a given rifle! I use the Cabela's Green 50 round boxes for my Remingron and the Black type for the Savage.
 

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)


<span style="font-weight: bold">UPDATE</span>: Cleaned the snot out of the chamber, trimmed some of the brass, pulled factory FGMM and made some different variations to test.

(First pulled a 168 FGMM factory apart and made two cartridges)

Cartridge #1:

168 SMK
Federal Brass Reloaded 1 time, FL resized,
Brass case length 2.010"
Powder: 41.5 grain of the factory powder.
210M primer
COAL: 2.800"

<span style="color: #FF0000">RESULTS: Brass was sticky on extraction, but did come out with the bolt handle.</span>


Cartridge #2:

168 SMK
Original Federal brass (zero reloads obviously) case length 2.009
Powder: 44.0 Varget
Factory Primer
COAL: 2.814"
<span style="color: #009900">
RESULTS: Brass came out very easily, not even a hint of stickiness.</span>

Cartridge #3:

175 SMK
Federal Brass Reloaded 1 time, FL resized,
Brass case length 1.995" (short!)
Powder: 43.0 Varget
210M primer
COAL: 2.810

<span style="color: #FF0000">RESULTS: Brass was sticky on extraction, but did come out with the bolt handle.</span>

Cartridge #4:

175 SMK
Federal Brass Reloaded 1 time, SMALL BASED DIE REIZED
Brass case length: 2.013"
Powder: 43.0 Varget
210M primer
COAL: 2.810 "

<span style="color: #FF0000">RESULTS: Brass was still slightly sticky on extraction, the least of the bunch.</span>


Here is a pic of the striations from the binding in the chamber:

brass.jpg




My only conclusion... someone wanna buy a custom Left handed Remy 700?







 

Victor Co Heather

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: suasponte</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Measure your brass diameter just above the rim at the bottom of the Case! They should be at .467 to .470 Max. I bet your not getting a full length size on your brass. Are you caming over with your die? I had a set of dies that was FL dies that I could not get a full length size with.

Check your base diameters and make sure your at .470" or a little less.

Terry

Cartridge Diagram for 308 </div></div>

Thanks Terry- I will check the measurements and post. I am over-camming my FL dies but will check again.
 

Suasponte

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

What mfg of die. Redding? I had two set that was supposed to be FL's! Neither of them would get me a FL. I sent both back and WALLA! No more problem!

PS: I'll give you $50 for the Remy!!
grin.gif


Terry
 

dar1246

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

Have check your chamber If it was cut correctly. Some reamers are tighter than others. After you keep check everything else, you might not sell it so cheap if you can get the chamber check.

A 308 is the easiest to load for. You should not have this hard of a time to load this cartridge. I know I'am stating the obvisius. Check all your measurements. Then load and shoot. If it isn't shooting correctly. Maybe take the gun to a gunsmith and have him check it out.
 

former naval person

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Re: Can you solve my reloading mystery? (w/pics)

Try inserting a bullet into a fired case. If it enters easily you have enough neck clearance. If it is tight or won't enter all the way, you may have a tight neck chamber. JMHO