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Reloading Berger Bullets


Belted Magnums--Headspace on Shoulder or Belt?

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Unread 07-22-2010, 08:39 PM
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Re: Belted Magnums--Headspace on Shoulder or Belt?

Hey boomtube, perhaps I shouldn't have said "disagree" and rather said "add caveats to". From previous posts I realize you know exactly what you are doing.

It is a little difficult to measure headspace on a belted magnum but I did figure out a way to do it. That was awhile ago and the only specifics I remember are that my belted magnums all had acceptable headspace. One is a 6.5 rem mag rebarrel and the case has zero headspace, IOW, when chambered the case belt is tight to the recess in the chamber. Those Remington cases have a gap of .017" at the shoulder. Most of the others were between .004" and .007" IIRC.

It would be interesting to pull them out and go through the process of measuring the headspace again. Come to think of it, I only have 2 belted case calibers left. Shoulder gap is easy.
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Unread 07-23-2010, 10:19 AM
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Location: Mountians of SW NC, near Asheville
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Re: Belted Magnums--Headspace on Shoulder or Belt?

"I think that everyone is mistaking headspacing with shoulder bumping. Headspacing is done at chambering and with belted magnums is done on the belt."

You are correct in both comments. That's why I intially mentioned that headspace issues are reserved for gunsmiths. We reloaders only need to concern ourselves to making our cases fit the chambers we have. Technically, case sizing isn't headspacing, per se, but it is working towards what headspacing is all about from a reloaders perspective. That's what the OP actually meant with his oriigninal resizing question, he really doesn't give a rat's butt what a technically correct defination of headspace measurement is, he just wants his cases to be properly resized for longest possible life and maximum safety; resizing to match the chamber shoulder accomplishes that. Using any of the several so-called "headspace" precision case measuring tools (such as the one in Woods photos) makes it possible.

Simply jamming a case as far into an FL sizer die as we can and saying we have made it meet SAAMI specs is true enough but it's also an over-resizing mistake that removes much of what handloading potentially offers. Measure the fired shoulder length and put it back in place when FL sizing and we've done the best we can do.

Woods: "..boomtube, perhaps I shouldn't have said "disagree" and rather said "add caveats to". .."

We're cool, no offense taken, perhaps I should have better explained myself earlier. (I just get writter's cramp sometimes! ;) )

Last edited by boomtube; 07-23-2010 at 10:38 AM.
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Unread 07-23-2010, 11:01 AM
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Location: Dillon MT
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Re: Belted Magnums--Headspace on Shoulder or Belt?

Originally Posted by boomtube View Post
BobbyL, I was specifically addressing the OP's question of how he should resize cases his belted magnum hunting rifle, nothing I said was meant to address BR shootin' or BR accuracy techniques. Nothing I said or intended to say about FL sizing for easy belted magnum chambering and long case life could possibly be a certain process for best accuracy, seems that's clearly a matter of experimentation for each rifle. Surely you aren't suggesting everyone will get best accuracy in every rifle simply by setting fired shoulders back 2 thou, even if it were possible for most of us to be that repeatable. ??
No of course i wasnt suggesting that every rifle will be able to do this. Just something i have noticed that does make a difference. There is of course a lot of other things like neck tension that can make a big difference in how well the rifle shoots. Its not like everyone is trying to get the most accuracy out of every rifle they have. Most find something that is good and stick with it. I take the extra steps and make sure that my rifles are doing the best they can. Set aside my mistakes while driving them...
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Unread 07-23-2010, 10:23 PM
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Re: Belted Magnums--Headspace on Shoulder or Belt?

Originally Posted by phorwath View Post
I understand the OP's question to be with regard to reloading cases that have already been fired in the chamber of a belted magnum cartridge. And I understand the question to be - which is preferable:

1) Resize the case so that the shoulder of the chambered casing contacts the shoulder in the rifle chamber before the forward edge of the belt contacts the belt recess cut in the chamber or,

2) Resize the shoulder of the casing back further, until the forward edge of the belt makes contact with the belt recess cut into the rifle chamber before the shoulder of the casing can make contact with the shoulder cut in the chamber of the rifle.

Option #1 is preferable in order to increase case life, and to improve the centering of the bullet to the bore of the barrel.

The OP made it reasonably clear that he's not asking about how to set the headspace of a rifle chamber when cutting the chamber in the barrel with a chamber reamer.
You stated that much more clearly than I was able to late that night, thanks. I realize we have some really good gunsmiths on here and I appreciate the knowledge they add to the discussion. Phorwath was able to communicate my question better than I was. I also use the Hornady headspace guage to compare all of the cartridges I load and then set my sizing dies to minimally size the case. Again thanks for all of the responses, I always learn a little something from these discussions.
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