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Reloading Berger Bullets

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Powder residue entire length of case....help

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  #1  
Unread 02-02-2013, 04:00 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Nebraska
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Powder residue entire length of case....help

Out shooting this morning with new Savage LRH 6.5x284. I was looking for a starting point so I tried 3 different loads/bullets.

new lapua brass
r22 50gr
CCI 250
OAL approx. 3.100 (throat of barrel still has .200" free bore). I chose this length so that all bullets would have 100% neck contact (namely the VLD).

#1 140gr Hornady SST. shot pretty well, around MOA. Slight extractor mark on some cases.
#2 140gr accubond. Shot pretty well, just under MOA Slight extractor mark on some cases.
#3 140gr VLD. Only shot twice due to powder residue on outside of case all the way to the base.

I do not believe these loads are over pressure. Primers are not flattened and no heavy bolt. I will take a look when I clean the gun to see if there is a burr around extractor slot as I believe this may be the culprit to burnished heads.

I stopped shooting the VLD's when I noticed the residue. I would guess that I'm under pressure and not sealing the chamber. Has anyone seen this before?

Are the Lapua cases hard (they do come with necks annealed)?

Thanks in advance
Scott
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  •   #2  
    Unread 02-03-2013, 05:51 AM
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    Re: Powder residue entire length of case....help

    Virgin brass and light loads may be your problem. You did not say what your loads were. When I fire new virgin brass, I want a load with pressures around 50,000 psi. That will firmly fit the brass to my chamber and force the case head against the bolt face.

    Some shooters have reported that excessively light loads can cause action blow ups. I cannot verify that.
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      #3  
    Unread 02-03-2013, 09:46 AM
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    Re: Powder residue entire length of case....help

    Thanks Gene. I was using 50gr R22 (Berger book suggests 49.0 - 51.8), with CCI 250.

    I think I will try 50.5 ans 51 to see if the problem goes away. If it persists I will work on the 140gr AB as they shot around 3/4" 5 shot group. Maybe the new LR accubonds will shoot better once available!

    Scott
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      #4  
    Unread 02-03-2013, 09:48 AM
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    Re: Powder residue entire length of case....help

    FYI: temp was around 30 degrees.
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      #5  
    Unread 02-03-2013, 10:04 AM
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    Re: Powder residue entire length of case....help

    That is a weird deal - I've never had an issue like that. To Gene's point, it sounds like a poor case/chamber seal. Can you measure headspace and case diameter on the virgin brass versus fired (especially w/ the Hornadys that didn't have the issue)? Maybe it will show something??

    If you determine the cause please post it - always interested in solutions to issues I'll probably have some day.

    Good luck!
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      #6  
    Unread 02-03-2013, 10:49 AM
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    Re: Powder residue entire length of case....help

    VarmintH8R,
    I'm running the cases thru a redding (B-series, expander) neck sizer to uniform mouths as they are dinged due to shipping. FYI: I did not like the initial work the expander was doing so I took the die apart and noticed the usual burrs, stoned and polished to remove. I took a few measurements:

    Headspace using Hornady gauges:
    Fired 3.845"/3.844"
    Loaded unfired 3.837"/3.836"
    Looks like about .007" - .009" gap. Would this be considered excessive for such a sharp shouldered round?

    Neck OD:
    Fired .2967" - .2965"
    Loaded .294" - .2938"
    After necking .2929" - .2925"

    Scott
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      #7  
    Unread 02-03-2013, 12:11 PM
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    Re: Powder residue entire length of case....help

    Hi Scott,

    Disclaimer first - I am not a pro, so my experience is just that - practical experience. I will always defer to the pros. That being said:

    I don't shoot 6.5-284. To get a frame of reference, I went and checked what virgin and fired brass I have on hand. I did some measuring (hornady headspace gauge also) and found:

    300WSM, Winchester M70, Winchester cases, insert E
    Unfired: 1.735" to 1.736"
    Fired: 1.738"
    Max spread: 3 thou.

    22-250 rem, Cooper M54, Winchester Cases, insert B
    Unfired: 1.561" to 1.563"
    Fired: 1.565"
    Max spread: 4 thou.

    Based on that, the headspace change you are seeing is greater than the two different cartridges that I have on hand are showing. Excessive? I am flat-out not qualified to answer that. As you are using Redding dies, I would reccommend shooting them an email - my experience with their tech service has been great.

    As an aside, I got into shooting/reloading 280AI a year or so ago. I was doing some research as Nosler standardized (through SAAMI) this chambering so they could market brass and ammo. I was considering buying some brass to save the effort of fire-forming. What I found is they had reduced headspace by 14 thou vs the original PO ackley design. Thus, their brass is 14 thou short in an original PO ackley chamber. Based on what I was reading, shooters/reloaders considered 14 thou "free" headspace excessive and a safety concern for case stretching / case head seperation. As a frame of reference you may want to Google it and see what they say as well.
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