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Should I stay with this load?

 
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  #1  
Old 11-04-2002, 05:09 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 23
Should I stay with this load?

Hello all,
I'm using a great load the only problem is I get a cratered primer 1 out of 10 times. If I drop the charge I get velocity extreme spreads that are too high, but no more cratered primers. I just wanted to run it by some people so I know I'm not crazy to keep shooting it.
My load is:
.308 Lapua brass
175 SMK
44.0 gr Varget
CCI BR-2 primers
.010" off the lands
(According to the Hodgdon website 45 grs is Max with Win. brass, Win primers giving 2690fps out of a 24" barrel.)

Now out of my 26" Krieger barrel I'm getting around 2680fps @ 80 degrees. I've reloaded them 4 times and the primer pockets still aren't loose. I looked at some factory federal 175gr match ammo that I shot last winter and noticed some barely there cratered primers. (if they were any smaller they wouldn't exist!) The 1 in 10 cratered primer that I get now is alot larger then the factory's crater. So it might be from a week firing pin spring?

Since I know this isn't easy with out seeing the primers I showed them to a reloading store owner, with 30 some years experience and a competive long range shooter. They both said they are safe to shoot.

I believe since the powder and velocity is under max and the small factory cratered primers I should be ok?

So what do you guys think? Should I move on to a different powder? Or would I be crazy for staying with a load that has occasional cratered primer?
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  #2  
Old 11-04-2002, 05:45 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sask. Canada
Posts: 2,410
Re: Should I stay with this load?

Primer craters might be from the primer jacket being soft, or possibly varying in hardness which should not happen but can. If there isn't any bright circular marks on the case head and extraction is easy with no bolt uplift resistance - shoot the suckers.

When the printing is gone from the base of the case, your primer has plumb vanished, the flash hole is about the size of the primer pocket and it angles out to the extreme edge of the case, the case has a belt formed on it like a magnum, only it wasn't a magnum..., you can't find your ejector plunger and spring, your bolt appears to have been locktited in place (red locktite - not that pussy blue stuff!), you start coughing and choking from the nasty smoke injected into your nostrils, your ears are ringing like someone just stuck a vacumm cleaner to each side of your head, you have to pick little sharp things out of your cheeks below the safety glasses and you have to beat the bolt open with a three foot piece of two-by-four - then you got pressure... Little bit of primer cratering just ain't no big deal. Lots of factory loads crater primers, ever check Weatherby factory stuff?
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  #3  
Old 11-05-2002, 03:20 AM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Palmer, Alaska
Posts: 2,539
Re: Should I stay with this load?

I would look for some other sign as well, a 44gr load is not light but it shouldn't be excessive unless yours is an exception...which is possible.

Myself, I work up until I seen possitive signs then back down, but that's just me. At just over 65,000 psi, things start to let you know your over for the most part.
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Brent Moffitt
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  #4  
Old 11-05-2002, 08:02 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 23
Re: Should I stay with this load?

Ian M,
The frustrating thing is that I got a few light oval marks on the case heads when I had my old factory Rem. barrel and shooting factory Federal 175 Match? Since my ejector button seems light (someone else agreed that it felt light)I stopped worrying about the marks,since everything was factory at the time. Now with a new barrel and handloads I still get a few oval marks on my case heads. It just seems odd to have a light ejector button AND a light firing pin spring! Since all this happend with factory stuff, I don't know what pressure signs to trust. Besides not going over max powder charge, or over max velocity, loose primer pockets,flattened primers,or a stiff bolt lift.

[ 11-05-2002: Message edited by: Siso ]
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  #5  
Old 11-05-2002, 09:49 AM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sask. Canada
Posts: 2,410
Re: Should I stay with this load?

I was being a smart-ass with the comments about reloading self-destruction, although believe it or not I have seen all of those "symptoms". I participated in some of it, saw some with friend's disasters.

Suggest that you simply do not have a problem. Your primer pockets are staying tight, your extraction and ejection is normal. We find that some brass in some rifles will show pressure signs as opposed to another brand in the same rifle - using the same charge of powder, same bullet and seating depth. Even changing primer brands can cause enough variation to exhibit "signs".

Safety and accuracy is what this is all about. Sounds to me like you have a very nice rifle and load. Matter of fact that is about what we shoot (44.0 - 45.5 depending on the rifle) and I go through thousands of similar rounds a year - logged 4970 rounds through one rifle in two years.
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  #6  
Old 11-12-2002, 09:01 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 23
Re: Should I stay with this load?

Thank you guys for the replys. Does anybody out there think this load is UNSAFE? Even if you think it is safe, let me know, I'll feel better. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

Thanks!
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