Brass hard to cycle after fired and brass shaving in bore.
This post is not about gunsmithing but reloading. I simply did not feel like creating a new account on another site when I am sure I'm not the only person that reloads on this one.
I recently gotten into long range shooting and I will admit that I am now addicted. So I order 1000 .308 new casing to be reloaded for my first time. After shooting around 200 rounds I decided I would play around with once fired casing. I first threw them in an overall length gauge that my old man has and they were short by 10 or 15 thou. I figured it would fix it by running it through the dies to reform the casing but it did not gauge after running and it seemed like I should not have been putting that much pressure on the press to cycle it.
I have two questions on this post. The first being should there be a force applied to the press to the point to were you become worried about ceasing the casing in the die or breaking a part on the press? I have loaded all these rounds using standard so I didn't just pull them out of my a**. I also comparied the velocity to powder charge and my rifle only shot 50 fps higher.
My second question. Have noticed that after 30 or so rounds without cleaning that my accuracy drops from shooting 6 inch groups to maybe I'll hit the target and maybe I won't. While cleaning I see brass shaving on the cleaning pad. Its obvious where its coming from but why am I getting these shavings if I'm very close to a standard charge? I will add that as a machinist I noticed a burr on the OD of the mouth and would get rid of it so I chamfered the both OD and ID of the mouth with an RCBS deburring station.
Did you lube the cases before attempting to resize. You will most likely want to lube the exterior of the case and inside the neck. 6" groups @ what range?
With a properly adjusted press and a lightly lubricated case, you should not experience significant resistance when resizing the brass. Any bench mounted single stage press I have used can be operated comfortably for hours with one hand working the handle. An occasional dab of lube on the inside of the case neck to keep the resizing ball slick is also a good idea. If your pushing hard something is wrong.
Lack of lubrication is my first guess.
Improper adjustment of the reloading die is another possibility. You want to be reforming the case as close to the end of the stroke of the press as possible. Thatís where the press has the maximum mechanical advantage. If you are stopping your stroke by crashing the shell holder into the die, you donít have things set up correctly.
If those two things donít pan out, we would also like to know what kind of press you are using, and are the dies clean and in good working order. We are also assuming your brass is in good order. You might also lubricate the moving parts of the press itself. Mine move so easily that they can pinch a finger with just gravity pulling down on the handle.
If your shooting a bolt action, and have dedicated the brass to one gun, you only need to resize the necks, not the entire body. You will probably find that this gives you longer case life and a more consistent fit between the case and your chamber.
Semi automatic guns usually function better with fully resized sized cases.
Brass shavings- If your bullets are slightly crimped in place your probably seeing brass from the crimp being shaved off as the bullets exits the case. The little rolled knurl on the bullet for crimping may also be the blade shaving brass from inside the neck of the shell.
0.010 to 0.015 inch short on a case length does not concern me from a safety prospective in a bottle neck case. Head spacing is controlled by the shoulder on the case, not the case mouth. As you reload over and over again, a shell tends to grow in length. The point in keeping cases trimmed is to prevent the neck of the case from growing past the end of the chamber and into the rifling. When this happens the case does not have room to open up and release the bullet properly and pressures rise dramatically.
I also noticed your shooting a 308.
You did not say if this was once fired mill speck or commercial brass.
Mill speck brass is usually softer with slightly thicker case wall and usually has crimped primers. Crimped primers can be a problem to knock out. The softer brass and thicker necks can also be an issue and could explain the brass shavings your seeing.
I had put enough lube on the case before cycling, or attempting to cycle. I have been shooting at 950, I could squeeze an extra ten yards or so by setting my bench up in the road.
Brass is new from Federal and Ive been using a Dillion X650, dont quote me exact model. Im shooting it through my CZ 550 and will only be firing it through this rifle. I guess I could swap the dies, I assume that a full sizing die is in there right now.
Do you think not crimping as hard should do the trick for the shavings?
Based on your questions, I believe the best thing you can do is look for a local course on reloading. Until you understand the basics of what you are doing, things could go from just not working great to something more dangerous.
As a note, I do not know of any serious long range shooter who would crimp their brass!
There is no need for crimping brass if the cartridges are not being fired in a full automatic weapon.
I have seen dies that are soft with a poor finish. Even with a good lubricant these dies require a substantial force to get them to work. Polishing can help but the soft dies will never be entirely satisfactory. The biggest offender seems to be Hornady.
I would not crimp bolt action rifle ammo.
Measure and trim case length after you resize, as the case will grow in length after every firing.
Get a book.
Have fun with it, Mike
Originally Posted by garrettec2011
If you are reloading and can't be quoted as to what press you're using, then you had best stop loading and as stated previously, "the best thing you can do is look for a local course on reloading".
My 2Ę worth, no my $2.00 worth
NRA Life Member 1976
Pull the expander ball/ decapping rod out of the sizing die and try one. Make sure the sizing die is clean and free of rust dirt cosmoline ect. The 650 Dillon is a progressive multi stage press I would use only one station to try to isolate your problem. You should feel some resistance when resizing but not the degree of difficulty you are expressing
You need to get a few good books on reloading.
The questions you are asking indicates that you are not at all knowledgeable about proper reloading procedure and technique. I am not writing this to offend, but you really need to increase your knowledge.
A few hints:
1. Read up on how you determine the proper amount of sizing of the case to fit your chamber.
2. Do not crimp.
3. Find a good book on reloading before you hurt yourself.
4. See # 3 above.
After some searching I have realized that I had my terminology wrong, which was one topic in hornadys book to make sure you know the terms of reloading. I have read both Hornady seventh edition and Nosler number four. But I learn much better visually so I am currently seeking for classes in my area and hopefully attending one if not more till I have a full understanding of the details. Safety is a big concern for me which is why I only tried to cycle three casing but stopped because I knew there was to much pressure being applied.
Thanks for everyones input.
Are you talking 950 FT or 950 YDS? If you are talking the latter, that starts getting into anal reloading to get 6in groups at 1000yds. It's not exactly for the beginner, but the worst you can do is assemble a bunch of inaccurate loads as long as you follow SOUND RELOADING PRACTICES. Don't just jump to max load measures. Don't just change components out. Know what pressure signs are. Understand what you are doing before doing it.
If you are shaving brass off the cases, it's not a wonder accuracy suffers. I question why it takes 30rds for it to happen. I would suggest taking another look at the case OAL. I have NEVER had any brass that were consistent and the correct length. That is important when it comes to crimping, and as others have said, you really shouldn't be crimping these rounds.
As for the sticking part, are you cleaning the cases first? That is the first thing I do, then trim, size, clean in soapwater, then prime, charge, and seat bullets. You might need to clean the dies out, as the accumulate gunk over time. Also check the venthole on the top of the die for being plugged. There is a hole up there somewhere.
Watch how much lube you use, and never lube the shoulder or outside neck. If you get weird dents, it's normally from too much lube
It sounds like you have the sizing die set too low. Are all the components from the same manufacture? Read their setup instructions. Pushing the shoulder back too far is begging for problems. Best case scenario is shortened brass life. Worst case involves pressure spikes and case separation.
Best I can suggest is join a reloader forum for what you are using. Your problems cannot be solved with one post, and be honest with what you know and don't guess. Reloading can be a cost effective way to shoot and tailor rounds for your particular gun that exceed factory round accuracy, but it can also lead to damaged/destroyed guns and serious injury to yourself and bystanders if done wrong.