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Belted magnums reloading, from scratch

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  #22  
Unread 08-09-2009, 06:34 PM
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Re: Belted magnums reloading, from scratch

Quote:
Originally Posted by larrywillis View Post
MagnumManiac,

The bulge on belted magnums happens just "above" the case web. If a case is going to stretch - this is where it will happen. That's why you only see case separations in this part of the case.

So, why does this bulge happen only on belted cases? It's because factory loads headspace on the belt (and headspace at the shoulder is off by a mile). The very first firing REALLY stretches (and seriously weakens) the case. That's why belted cases need extra attention when reloading. If you measure the area above the belt (and just above the web) you'll see a large bulge that gets larger at each reloading. New cases start out at .507" above the belt. You need to measure your cases!



It's obvious that the brass flows forward during firing. In fact, the brass flow you're referring to comes FROM just above the web. Read my website, and you'll get a better understanding of what happens when firing (and reloading)a belted magnum case. My website fully describes the whole story. If you have more questions, just let me know.

- Innovative
Larry,
What you're showing me in that pic is case thinning from oversizing, it's not a bulge above the belt, it's a classic 'stretch ring', which can/does happen in any belted/rimless/rebated case!
Your quote under the pic contradicts what you stated earlier; "Normal dies push brass REARWARD forming this bulge"!

I'm sorry but your theory is all backward.

BTW, I measure all my belted mags before and after firing, and the chambers in all my guns run no more than .006" above the base to shoulder measurement. I think you need to look at standardised chamber drawings to show that no chamber, other than H+H, run at .012"-.015" as you mention, if they did, a seperation would occur on the next firing if the brass was sized back to minimum dimensions!

I have never had a head seperation with ANY belted mag, or the 'bulge' you refer to!
I simply think it doesn't exist, and you're selling a product that isn't required.
A stretch ring can be easily avoided by fire forming your brass with low pressure, but I don't bother doing this with anything other than my Ackley cases, and the 375Weatherby mag, which I've never had a seperation in either.

Woods,
It takes a few firings for a case to stretch as illustrated in the above pic by Larry.
It DOES NOT occur if you size your brass correctly, or on the first firing of a case, and can be completely eliminated/avoided by 'bumping' the shoulder .001"-.002" back from chamber specs.
It would take 3 firings of the above case at .010" under chamber spec to develop a stretch ring like that, which is solely due to the above mentioned 'over sizing' condition, not because it's a belted case!
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  #23  
Unread 08-09-2009, 07:06 PM
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Re: Belted magnums reloading, from scratch

Well...let me enter the conversation. I'm a pretty experienced reloader and own one of Larry's collet dies.
It works as he says and it works well.
AND the way I have seen "bulges" is in brass that comes out of a chamber of a rifle that is a bit too generous. Then when resized the sizing die leaves the bulge because it has to Overwork the brass more than it would had it come out of a tight chamber.
As you probably know no normal manufacturer makes a die that will size down to the belt because they want to leave a small safety zone so that the belt can't get hit during resizing changing the intended way a belted mag headspaces.
I have a friend with several custom wby's made by a well know custom maker. All of these guns are steller shooters....and almost all of them get "the bulge" after 1-2 reloadings.
The first night I got Larry's die I paid for it by reclaiming a good number of 270 wby and 300 wby brass (worth about $1 ea).
The die is well made....does what it should....and brings back the brass to factory spec.
And yes....there is a need for the die....the problem does exist but admitedly in a small portion of guns on the market.
And...oh yes...I would certainly use it for belted mags used in semi auto's. I would suspect there are some accuracy reloaders out there that think it helps them by bringing back the spec in that area of the case....just as many report that virgin belted mag brass shoots better than resized brass.

Last edited by kraky2; 08-09-2009 at 07:10 PM.
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  #24  
Unread 08-09-2009, 08:23 PM
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Re: Belted magnums reloading, from scratch

MagnumManiac,

You are correct on sereval of your comments, but there's more to the story. The cut-away case (in the picture) was fired 4 times, and headspace was -.005" with a Redding FL die. It might easily have gone another 15 or 16 loadings if it was headspaced .001" at the shoulder. You say that this case doesn't show any bulge? Not so. I'm not sure how much bulge you're looking for . . . . but you can see it if you measure it with calipers. This particular case measures .513" diameter above the web. That's a .006" bulge, and in a tight chamber . . . . it won't fit . . . . not even in the same rifle that fired it.

Why won't fit in the same rifle that just fired it? Because the downward reloading pressure (with a conventional FL die) causes this slight bulge in these weakened cases. Even shooters that neck size need to bump the shoulder, and again . . . . . that pushes straight down on the weakened case.

Fired cases stretch, and brass does flow toward the case mouth. However, conventional FL dies DO push brass to towards the head of the case. This is especially true if it's a tight die (tight compared to your particular chamber). Conventional FL dies are "tapered" and when pushed down on a case, the brass moves inward AND rearward. When the die stops at the belt, that's where the swaged brass builds up. After a belted case is loaded several times it accumulates, and it becomes impossible to resize properly.

Belted magnum chambers often measure up to .008" over the size of an unfired case. All of the cartridge drawings in the world won't give you a better picture than one of your fireformed cases. When a fired case gets stretched like the one in my picture, it's obviously beyond reloading. Like you say, it would separate on the next firing. That's why it it so important to watch the headspace closely, and inspect your cases.

I never wear my barrels or waste my powder, bullets and primers on firingforming my cases with "mild loads", although (I agree) it can solve the initial case stretching problem. I want all of my handloads to be ready to go, to chamber perfectly and to never separate.

(So far over 2,800 shooters agree)

- Innovative
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  #25  
Unread 08-09-2009, 08:39 PM
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Re: Belted magnums reloading, from scratch

I have a collet die from Larry. I don't use it often, because I don't shoot my belted Mags a lot. I only push the shoulder back .001" and the brass will get tight in the chamber if it's shot enough. His die works exactly as advertised and does resize the area just in front of the belt (where other dies don't even touch).

If you just throw your brass away when it gets to that point, you don't need his die. If you have a belted magnum and can't resize your brass to the point they feed easily and it's because of expansion in front of the belt, then you could use his die.


AJ
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  #26  
Unread 08-09-2009, 09:26 PM
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Re: Belted magnums reloading, from scratch

Quote:
Originally Posted by MagnumManiac View Post
Larry,

Woods,
It takes a few firings for a case to stretch as illustrated in the above pic by Larry.
It DOES NOT occur if you size your brass correctly, or on the first firing of a case, and can be completely eliminated/avoided by 'bumping' the shoulder .001"-.002" back from chamber specs.
It would take 3 firings of the above case at .010" under chamber spec to develop a stretch ring like that, which is solely due to the above mentioned 'over sizing' condition, not because it's a belted case!
Here is a typical example of measurements of head clearance taken on a belted mag with a Hornady Headspace Gauge from the case head to the datum line

Manufacturer / caliber / new case / once fired / full expanded (after 3 or 4 firings) / head clearance on new cases / % expansion first firing
Beretta / 338 win mag / 2.097" / 2.120" / 2.124" / .027" / 85%
Browning / 300 win mag / 2.253" / 2.270" / 2.273" / .020" / 85%
Beretta / 300 win mag / 2.253" / 2.270" / 2.2725" / .0195" / 87%
Win P-64 / 264 win mag / 2.109" / 2.136" / 2.1385" / .0295" / 91%

On these the actual headspace measured on the belt varied from .003" to .007".

So 85% to 90% of the case expansion occurs on the initial firing. Wouldn't this be when the most thinning at the web would happen?

And I do headspace on the shoulder as soon as possible with the belted mags and I still got a head separation on that 338 win mag on the 6th firing of the case. I push the shoulder back no more than .001" and always leave a slight crush fit.

MagnumManiac, do you have any data to support your claims?
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  #27  
Unread 08-09-2009, 10:23 PM
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Re: Belted magnums reloading, from scratch

Woods .......

The Hornady tool is pretty good. However, one of the reasons I developed our Digital Headspace Gauge is to get the most consistent readings. It's also a more accurate technique to compare your one of your fired cases (at the shoulder) to one of your handloads.

With one press of a button our gauge displays the clearance (at the shoulder) that YOUR handloads will have in YOUR particular chanber. This info allows you to set your die height perfectly. You can read all about it on our website.

Our gauge works on all calibers, and it's almost like having all custom dies. I've found that measuring actual "chamber clearance" is easier than measuring a specific length to the shoulder of your case . . . . and no math is required.

- Innovative
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  #28  
Unread 08-09-2009, 10:44 PM
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Re: Belted magnums reloading, from scratch

Larry,

Thanks for the pic a few posts back. That photo really puts the explanation together. Just dropped my last weeks "fun" budget on a base and scope for the 7STW. I hope to have the $$$ together soon and call for your die and gauge.

I just shot the 7mm STW for the first time this last weekend. All the posts I read had me concerned about excessive recoil. Recoil??? I've had hotter loads out of my 30.06! Mind you, the 06 is a light sporter. That Sako will add some weight to the backpack.

Anyway, I should have this one set up this month and will be giving you a call. One statement you said really summarizes the issue. I will be reloading a particular cartridge for my particular rifle. I think the intent of your die and gauge will help me achieve that goal.

All people have their own opinion on what is the "best" product. I am only concerned with what is the best product to fit my needs.
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