New Pressure Signs

Lucky Se7en

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Minuteman
Jun 5, 2014
132
31
RI
I have a load that has been giving me a sticky bolt lift which wasn't really there before. I'm a little surprised that my milder practice load is giving this sticky bolt lift but the much hotter factory ammo seems to be fine. Based on the values I'm seeing from the books and what people are posting on the site, the powder charge is definitely not the problem. Regardless I bumped it down to 40.0 grains to see if there was any difference and there wasn't much. I was thinking that maybe I need to FL size the brass next rather than just neck sizing so I tried a load with the brass FL sized to fit in the my LE Wilson headspace gauge and it seems to have made the bolt lift heavier. It is longer than what the published COAL is and on the longer end of what people are reporting in the Reloading Depot, but I picked the depth from measuring where the bullet contacts the lands and bumping it back 0.03". It is very possible that I screwed up my measurements back when I started with this load, but if this is the culprit it's weird that the bolt lift has become heavier now after the barrel has a little over 3k rounds through it when the throat should theoretically be eroding. I'm not seeing any other pressure signs on the brass or primers. I'm getting a muzzle velocity of almost exactly 2500 ft/s out of a 20" 1/12 twist barrel with this load. Do you guys see anything that sticks out that I am missing?

Caliber: 308 Win
Bullet: 168 gn. Hornady A-Max
Brass: PPU
Primer: CCI #200
Powder: 41.4 gn. Varget
Headspace: 1.626"
Neck Tension: 0.003"
COAL: 2.856"
 

Fursniper

Captain, USMM (retired)
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Minuteman
Feb 13, 2017
2,173
52
Arizona
Sounds like you're brass is too long, you're not getting any brass springback. Post your trim length.
 

Lucky Se7en

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Minuteman
Jun 5, 2014
132
31
RI
I trim to 2.005” after I resize. I would think that if I was having a problem with the gun itself I’d be having issues with factory ammo as well. I have switched powder lots once with this load, that seems like an extreme change though
 
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