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7 STW brass wont chamber

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Old 05-23-2009, 03:54 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 170
7 STW brass wont chamber

I bought 150 new winchester STW brass and the belt on 50 of them is too big [long] to chamber. About half of them [25] were really tight and the other half I couldn't close the bolt. The belts on the whole batch were .004 -.007 longer than the other 100 pieces.

Anyone ever had this happen?

I'm pissed because I already sized, trimmed, chamfered, flash hole deburred, uniformed primer pockets, neck turned and primed the whole batch. I loaded a dozen for a new load and discovered the problem at the range. All this in preparation for a trip to Idaho for Shawn Carlock's course in a couple of weeks.

Anything I can do with them?
Outside of a dog a gun is mans best friend.
Inside a dog its too dark to shoot.
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Old 05-23-2009, 05:58 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 183
Re: 7 STW brass wont chamber

What kind of dies do you use?

I had a similar issue with my 257 Wby and I just pulled my hair out trying to figure out the problem.
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Old 05-23-2009, 06:03 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,090
Re: 7 STW brass wont chamber


I tho't I was the only one that that kind of stuff happened to......

I've never experience that problem.

Plus I don't think shoving the case deaper into the resizing die will help any.

I feel for ya.........

Also, great timing, Murphy strikes again.........
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:25 AM
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Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,057
Re: 7 STW brass wont chamber

Check the headspace on the brass and on the rifle. If the rifle is set at minimum headspace then talk to Shawn and decide on whether to reset the headspace while you are there. That is what he does for a living!!!!

Make sure it is not a belt diameter problem. For belt diameter problems there is a guy in Fla who makes a gizmo die for belted cases. Grinding off the bottom of a die causes the die to size right up the the belt and will help that problem. However, that also sets the shoulder and body taper back which reduces case dimensions and can cause you grief. You can take and cut a die in half and use that if you have the appropriate tools or know a person who has metal working machines.
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Old 05-24-2009, 09:58 AM
WRG WRG is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: North East
Posts: 133
Re: 7 STW brass wont chamber

I think Buffalobob it talking about Larry Willis @ Innovative Technologies and if he is, Larry is still taking orders for the next production run. Who knows when that will be! The sizer die that he offers allows the case to be sized up to the belt where all other dies stop just short the belt.

In my experience with belted mags, not being able to close the bolt has always been a headspacing issue and remember that measurement is typically taken off the belt not the head of the case.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I assume you have reloaded for this rifle in the past. So you should know what the case diameters / measurements should be for the case to fit properly?

If not, I would measure a fire formed case to determine your chambers dimension and see how much of a difference there is in headspacing from the new brass after sizing and the fire formed case. After sizing the brass there should only be 0.001 - 0.002 max headspace and NO MORE. Anymore than that and your asking for serious trouble. But in this case not having enough headspace will cause this problem or "maybe" just maybe your trying to cram the bullet into the rifling and may not realize it. How far off the lands do you typically run? If you seat the bullet to SAMMI specs, you should be all right provided you know how much free bore you have. Like others have said, those spec's are only guide lines and may not always apply to your rifle.

Overall, there could very well be a simple explanation to your problem with a little more information. Though I have never seen this before "first time for everything" I still I find it hard to believe that the belt being to long would cause this problem. There is typically more than enough room in a mag chamber to account for this. Unless of course we're talking about a custom barrel with real close tolerances.


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Last edited by WRG; 05-24-2009 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:18 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 170
Re: 7 STW brass wont chamber

This is a custom barrel. Yes I have loaded for it before. It is not a bullet in the lands issue as I cannot seat full length resized brass with no bullet seated.

I'm assuming that the chamber is the same shape as the die with a rim that the belt cannot go past. Belted mags headspace off the belt. Correct? I cut one of the pieces in half and the bolt still wouldn't close. Definately belt length!

I bought 3 bags of 50 shells. 2 bags were the same lot, one was different. During my brass prep they all got mixed up with eachother but it is 50 pieces that I'm having a problem with and those 50 pieces have longer belts [.004 + longer] than the other 100, and longer than the 80 pieces of remington brass that I had been loading.

I came to the conclusion that it is a manufacturing defect and really was asking if there was something I could do to the brass to salvage it as I'm up against a time line and we all know that many components are hard to find. I'll see If Winchester will make good on this bad lot but that won't help me today.

If I could buy Lapua or Norma in STW or 8mm rem mag I would but Winchester and Remington are my choices unless I buy Nosler at $2.00 a piece which I haven't heard great things about. I should have just stuck with Remington brass as it shoots well in my gun and there is plenty of it around. Problem is that once you shoot 1/2" you want 1/4", and I thought Win brass would be an upgrade.

Thanks for everyone's responses so far.

Outside of a dog a gun is mans best friend.
Inside a dog its too dark to shoot.
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:34 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Alaska
Posts: 3,384
Re: 7 STW brass wont chamber

If the belt extends too far froward from the case head, there's not a thing you could do that would be worth the time and/or money doing. You'd either have to change your chamber headspace to match these defective brass, which would be nutzo, or correct the faulty brass by turning back the front edge of the belts to a proper length on a lathe or some other custom tooling set-up. And that wouldn't be worth the time, even if you owned or had access to your own customized lathe turning equipment and did the work yourself.

The cases would only have value to someone who might have a chamber with headspace set long enough to accept these POS cases.
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