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Reloading Berger Bullets


First hand load was a misfire

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Unread 04-29-2010, 10:01 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bay,CO florida.
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First hand load was a misfire

I finely set up for reloading and loaded up 35 rounds total with Varget using 165gr SGK. Starting with 5 rounds ea with 42.5gr,43,43.5,44,44.5,45,45.5. It was very disappointing on my first round, IT WAS A DUD! A total of 7 of the 35 rounds were duds! after taking the rounds apart and looking at them and comparing them to the rounds that fired it looks like I seated the primers to deep. Is this possible? The firing pin marks were not as deep compared to the ones that fired. This is all new to me so it was scary to use the hammer style bullet puller the first time, but it worked. Now I have to remove the unfired primers. should I just use my collet decapping die slowly or put some water in the case then run it through just like any other case? By the way I was shooting a put me together 308 Savage 110 action sent to Shilen, and they did some handy work and made a 26" Bull CM, And they set it up real nice. I had been working on a Boyd thumbhole stock for a couple of years. Topped it with a Zeiss 6X20X50 Conquest. It looks like the 44gr and above grouped better. I did not measure the targets but these holes were touching each other. I dont think this rifle is broke in yet. I got 70 rounds down the tube. I was a little disappointed with my first outing of hand loading, But I do understand experencance is the best teacher. Bill Maylor..
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Unread 04-29-2010, 10:41 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 693
Re: First hand load was a misfire

Bill, what kind of brass and what primers did you use? Did you use any kind primer sealants? Primer pocket uniformer is nice tool to have to set primer pockets to same dimensions...

as far as misfired primers, use FL or neck sizing die just extend decaping assembly more out slowly lower you lever, no water necessary even if it ignites no biggie, wear eye protection and you'll be fine

Last edited by Jinx-); 04-29-2010 at 11:19 PM.
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Unread 04-29-2010, 11:45 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 937
Re: First hand load was a misfire

I got a bad batch of winny primers once...1 out of every 3 would misfire...threw the whole brick away and never had a misfire since.

Never used winny primers again...
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Unread 04-30-2010, 01:19 AM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: South of Canada and North of Wyoming
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Re: First hand load was a misfire

You might have an issue with your firing pin. You could have a bad batch of primers, but I have never heard of that big a failure rate before. My first suspicion would be the firing pin and next the primers. In fact, my first suspicion would always be the firing pin.
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Unread 04-30-2010, 04:23 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Laurel, Montana
Posts: 311
Re: First hand load was a misfire

To me it seems more like a headspace problem than the primers or firing pin. You said you just got the rifle back, have you shot any factory rounds out of it and how did yhey do? How did you set the die up and was it full length?
Try placing a piece of scotch tape over the end of the case(across the primer)and chamber a round. Will the bolt still close? You could either be overworking your brass making it to short, or your headspace is a little off(Long). Way back when I started rebarreling savages, had the same identical problem happen.
Good luck whatever it is.
If you need a 308 headspace gage, i could let you borrow a set or your local smith would probably check it for you.

Last edited by elkoholic72; 04-30-2010 at 04:27 AM.
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Unread 04-30-2010, 05:29 AM
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Location: Carlisle, PA
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Re: First hand load was a misfire

Originally Posted by elkoholic72 View Post
To me it seems more like a headspace problem than the primers or firing pin.
+1. Assuming it's a new chamber headspace is the most likely culprit.

I'd definitely try at least a No-Go gage in it - preferably both gages. If it's only a few thou off it's a piece of cake to fix since it's a Savage and has the barrel nut.

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Unread 04-30-2010, 08:41 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Sedalia, MO
Posts: 1,256
Re: First hand load was a misfire


It's almost impossible to set a primer too deep, so I seriously doubt that that's what caused your misfires. I'm with Fitch and Elkaholic here, I think you've probably got a headspace problem. Could be the brass and how far the shoulder was bumped, or, as they pointed out, it could be in the chamber. Few questions for you;

You mentioned this is a new rifle, but is it having any misfire problems with factory ammo? I assume that's what accounted for the first 70 rounds you mentioned?

Did you use new brass, or fired brass from another source to make up your first reloads? If it was new brass, did you run it through a sizer first?

If you did, how'd you set the die up? Usually, setting a factory die to contact the shell holder won't cause a huge headspace issue, but with certain combinations, it's possible.

Do you have a gage to help you adjust the die set-up, and see what's coming out of the chamber after a case is fired? If not, I'd recommend one. Plenty of good ones availabel depending on what style you like, but it'll allow you to know whats truly stacking up when a round is in that chamber.

The only other thing that jumps to mind wold be too much grease in the firing pin spring, but that's a stretch, and really only applicable when there's way too much and the temps are well below freezing. Dosen't sound like a possibility here, but hey, it's been mentioned now.

Keep us posted and let us know what you find.

Kevin Thomas
Lapua USA
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