Originally Posted by Johnny5
So here's the deal, I have excessive headspace on my .338 Lapua (Timeberwofl Action). I confirmed this with a no-go gauge and some .003 paper. The best I can figure it is somewhere between .005" and .010" over the no-go gauge tolerance. This explains alot of problems I have been having including:
-Failure to extract un-fireformed brass. This was my first indicator but the gunsmith assured me the headspace was fine and opened up the extracotr claw instead.
-Excessive force required to full length size brass.
-Near case head seperation after firing full length sized brass.
The accuracy has been erratic but I'm not sure if this is attributable to the headspace or not as most of the rounds I fired were necksized only.
Anyhow for all the gunsmiths on the board could this have caused any damage to the action (It's been fired around 200 times)? I only want to know because I would like to know how far I should be going with the gunsmith on this one.
Another questions is how much headspace should there be for optimum function and accuracy? The intent for the rifle is a long range hunter in conditions which don't require a "loose" chamber so accuracy is primary.
The amount of head space will vary depending on the rifles use.
I would recomend a max of .003 for factory rifles that only shoot factory ammo because it
varies in size and if you don,t reload brass is not a problem.
For the accuracy buff I will normally set head space less than .0015.
And for the belted cases I like .0005 to minimize brass stretch at the first firing.
As a general rule I would say that .001 to .003 is the best range for head space and then
minimum sizing of reloads.
The only thing I would recomend other than getting the head space issue resolved is to toss
the brass that you fired in it because with excessive head space case head separations
are common due to stretching the web area of the brass.
Hope this helps
J E CUSTOM