I've recently obtained some 338 win mag rounds and cases. The factory loaded ammo seems to all have a "ding" in the case, but the handloaded rounds seem flawless. Some of the unprimed factory cases have not so perfect neck. Will these be acceptable to shoot or reload? Will the resizing dies fix such deformities?
These rounds and cases were inherited by my would be mentor, so bare with me. Many rounds were labelled with max or close to max loads. Organizing them has been a challenge, but i'm getting there. I feel confident that the 338 loaded rounds and cases are virgins. new cases and new factory loads. Would it be a good idea to pull all of them and lower the powder to the minimum as i am new to this? I have shot a few, but upon furthur inspection of other cartriges, i ran across this box of split neck and obvious headspace... (whatstheword?). They were 270 at just about max load, and i think they've only been reloaded 2wice.
There were a lot of loaded 270's that seemed to have that bright ring and a slight bulge. good thing i don't own a 270 ;)
If they are all labeled then that helps. Check to see where the loads are at compared to suggested minimum and maximum loads. If you haven't ever shot anything loaded with that powder and bullet, make sure you either start with or load up some closer to minimum loads and work your way up. If you are not seeing pressure signs, then you can keep moving up. By doing this, you should be able to find out if those loads will be okay in your gun or not. I definitely wouldn't just pop one of the max loads into your gun and shoot it though. You never know, they could be fine in your gun or they could be way over the max.
I pulled apart my first bullet today. One of the hot loaded 270 rounds. 53 grains of imr4350 with 150 grain speer spitzer. Before i pulled it, i noticed the slight buldge and rind around the base. After pulling, i noticed the neck was cracked. The label said only fired twice.
The 338s, however, were loaded light. 200gr nos bt w/imr4320 60gr=2672/sec and 3160 me w/nickel plated virgin cases... So im not too scared of those, but i still may pull them.
His 270 was stolen, and he didnt use the 338 much because he didnt own it very long. From what ive read, i imagine that both the rounds being kinda hot and the rifle being fired so many times, there could be some head space problems. so hopefully the culpret will get some incipient head seperation to the eye.
Im just glad i didnt give those rounds to my dad for his 270.
Whats the price of scrap brass nowadays?
As a suggestion consider cutting one of the brass in half with the"bright ring" at the base. If you notice a groove above the base on the inside then you confirmed near head separation. As the case fires it tends to stretch and the brass flows from the rear forward.
Another suggestion is take a paper clip and straighten it out and make a small hook about 1/8" long. If you suspect a "bright ring" in the future you can feel the groove on the questionable brass if it is there or not rather then throwing it out or cutting in in half. Continue to use the cut in half brass for a bases as to what the groove feels like.
Hopefullly I just saved you a major extraction problem and a trip to your friendly gunsmith.
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