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headspace challenge.

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Old 12-06-2013, 11:18 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: utah.
Posts: 24
headspace challenge.

I just got my case gage for the lapua today so i went right to work. i checked my gage with brand new brass and they were sitting as expected so i moved onto my 2x fired brass that i had full length resized. They were sitting a little high so the instructions said to screw in the die, resize and check again. so i did, no change. i continued to try this but it is not fixing the problem. Am i missing something?
Could my resizing die (RCBS) be out of speck?

Anyways thanks for the help.

anther random question, thought on using brass that show ejector marks, ok/no go....
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:47 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 440
Re: headspace challenge.

Do you have any way of measuring/comparing the new and 2x fired/resized brass from the just below the datum line to the base?

Do NOT do this yet, but you may have to take 1 or 2 thousandths off of the top of your shell holder. Is your shell holder touch the base of the die now after adjusting down?

Also, what brand/style of press are you using? Could be a touch of flew in your press.
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:59 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 224
Re: headspace challenge.

Originally Posted by shawn338lapua View Post
anther random question, thought on using brass that show ejector marks, ok/no go....
Should be ok. You may find the primer pockets loose when you prime them though. When I load a primer and is a lot looser than others, I mark that piece of brass, fire it, and toss it.

Also, you an clean the primer pocket, on the suspect brass, take a new primer and turn it anvel side down on the reloading table, but the brass over it and push the brass down over the primer, if the primer slides right in, I would toss that piece of brass.

Oh, and figure out what is causing the elector marks and quite doing it. That's usually a pressure sign.
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:25 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: utah.
Posts: 24
Re: headspace challenge.

its the lee challenger breech press.
yes the shell holder does come in contact with the die.
and no i don't have an accurate way to compare the 2 brass. what is the best way to do that?

farout, thanks for the info, thats what i am trying to do i have been getting pressure signs at pretty light loads so one thing at a time until i get this figure out.
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:35 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 200
Re: headspace challenge.

I had a similar problem with some brass, the cases would actually grow slightly after F.L. resized. I milled a few thousands off the shell holder (as mentioned by acloco ) and was able to bump the shoulder right where I need them.

A simpler fix is to just buy a shoulder bump die.

Good luck with your loads.
Bob the nailer
one ragged hole...the quest for accuracy continues.

NRA Life member
Varmint Hunter Association member
American Gunsmith Association
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:33 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 429
Re: headspace challenge.

Depending on the press, if the case is not fully into the die at the top of it's stroke, then FL sizing is NOT occuring. This can only be assessed with a case in the press, if it is not all the way into the die and the shell holder is not in contact with the bottom of the die, then only partial FL sizing is taking place, this will in fact lengthen the base to shoulder measurement because the walls of the case are being squeezed long before the shoulder is and all of that brass is being pushed into the shoulder making it longer.
You need to use your comparator on a fireformed case, not a resized one, then compare a factory case to a fireformed case, if you don't have the SAAMI specs for your cartridges headspace, this will give you your chambers dimensions and allow you to bump the shoulder back .002" below your chamber specs.
This is why I use the RCBS Precision Mic, it's simple to use and is furnished with the SAAMI specs for headspace in whatever caliber you're using it for, makes the job of determining the exact chamber specs very easy and gets your dies adjusted correctly with ease.
Unless you have an under minimum chamber, altering a shell holder should not be needed, although rare, it does happen. I have a 25-06 that is right on minimum and has to be FL sized with the press fully camming over to achieve the correct dimensions for my chamber, but neck sizing only poses a better option with the cases only needing to be bumped every 4-5 reloads and the brass has lasted a long time.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:52 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: utah.
Posts: 24
Re: headspace challenge.

the shell holder comes in contact with the die. The body die seems like the most promising, but will i need to buy a neck sizer as well or can i bump the shoulder and send it through the FL to size the neck?
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