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New problem, need expertise!

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Unread 11-02-2009, 05:44 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
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Re: New problem, need expertise!

Originally Posted by Coyboy View Post
I have noticed with certain lots of Winchester brass that the case heads/ web areas are undersized in dia.

This causes the bulge in the case body ahead of the web. as the webs are to thick to stretch to chamber dimension.

If you size the brass FL and the bulge is still noticable than most likly it is an undersized web, That or measure your webs and compare them with a cartrige diagram, you can also measure the bulged area and comapare that to what the cartrige diagram shows.
This would be my 1st choice for the perceived problem also.

Most factory ammo is sized smaller than SAAMI specs so it will chamber in any chamber
clean or dirty. If you have access to a micrometer measure the fired case at the bulge
and then compare it to the SAAMI chamber specs and this will tell you if it is a chamber
problem or a brass problem.

I would not think it was a head space problem because Kevin is a good smith and could
not miss the head space enough to create this problem unless the wrong gauge was used
by mistake (I once used a field gauge buy mistake but caught it before the chamber was

The only other thing I can think of is, If the tail stock is knocked off center by a few thousandths
it will make the rear of the chamber a little larger than the reamer. (Been there to)

Most factory ammo will have a slight amount of expanding at the base and some is normal
If you could post a picture we could probable tell if it was excessive.

Either way I know that Kevin will take care of you.

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Unread 11-02-2009, 07:18 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 753
Re: New problem, need expertise!

Ok, you've got an Ackley case which means you start out with a factory case and blow it up to the new chamber like a balloon inside a piece of PVC pipe.

The key to getting the Ackley stuff right is in the initial fire forming. Here's a grossly over exaggerated example to illustrate the point.

Lets take the 22-250AI as the example. I build the gun set up for 80 grain bullets for long winded dog shots. I run down to the wally world and buy a box or two of 40 grain verminator bullets and off I go to the range to fireform my cases.

That is my first mistake and here's why:

In order for the AI to work right during fire forming I have to make sure the ass end of the case is shoved up tight against the bolt face. The only way to do this when you have a cartridge that starts out physically smaller than the chamber is to seat the bullet long so that it has a good healthy bite into the lands. You effectively headspace the initial fire forming off the throat and the bolt face instead of the shoulder because the cartridge is no where's near the shoulder yet.

What happens if you fail to do this is the striker pushes the whole thing forward until something stops forward motion, be it either the shoulder of the chamber or the throat of the barrel. Pressure acts on everything it touches at a right angle. This means it's pushing forward, outward, and REARWARD because there's nothing to stop it until the case contacts something that will resist being pushed around. (the chamber, bolt face) The rearward movement is what should concern you. Your case webs are being stretched out like the pivot girl after the homecoming game. Worse actually.

Start over with new brass, load conservatively, seat your bullets long so that it takes a bit of "umphff" to get the bolt closed, and then go shoot em. If you still have problems then I speculate you have a chamber problem, the reamer either went cockeyed or the headspace is somewhere in the bad place of tolerance.

Last, I personally avoid using dies from any company other than Redding or Wilson as the others seem to run on the tight side and this will only raise even more hell when fiddling with fireformed wildcats as the brass has to move even further.

Hope this helps.


Chad Dixon

Last edited by NesikaChad; 11-02-2009 at 07:22 PM.
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Unread 11-02-2009, 08:51 PM
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Re: New problem, need expertise!

A friend is supposed to bring some assorted factory rounds to try other than Winchester.

JE Custom - I'm not worried about Kevin in the least. In my limited experience in dealing with him I know he's a stand up guy. He communicated with me every step of the way, confirming specs and delivered exactly when he said he would. If this turns out to be bad brass then we've figured it out if not, well things happen sometimes and I'm sure everything will be made correct.

Nesika Chad - I understand what you are saying but wasn't it one of Ackley's intentions that factory loads be used or was that only supposed to be in a pinch? I used the 120 grain loading, the heaviest I think are available and used 110 grain Accubonds to work up loads with. The dies are Redding.

Not a great picture:

Last edited by Crane; 11-02-2009 at 10:26 PM. Reason: Added text
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Unread 11-02-2009, 09:36 PM
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Re: New problem, need expertise!

A better one. Notice the dark area between the two bright lines.

Last edited by Crane; 11-02-2009 at 09:40 PM.
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Unread 11-02-2009, 10:10 PM
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Re: New problem, need expertise!

Here's a picture of the rifle. The med Z-Rings are a little high with the 20 min rail and the 40mm objective on the Elite 6500. It has the STOCKYS STOCKS Coffee thumbhole on it. All metal except Stainless barrel is Duracoated Wilderness Brown. Sorry for the picture quality.

Last edited by Crane; 11-02-2009 at 10:21 PM.
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Unread 11-02-2009, 11:47 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 5
Re: New problem, need expertise!

I have the same problem or issue with a 280AI. Posted questions about it last night on another forum. There is some other guy with a 223AI who posted the same issue 2 days ago as well. Answers are all over the map. Range from "normal" to you are about to have case / head separation. Bulge area on my fired rounds averages .013 larger than unfired case.
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Unread 11-03-2009, 08:26 AM
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Posts: 1,530
Re: New problem, need expertise!

Crane- I think you may have misunderstood Chad's post. You have proven that factory ammo will shoot out of the gun if needed to in a pinch. What Chad is saying is that the case needs to be positioned properly in the chamber in order to stretch properly. Your stretching the cases at the head instead of the neck shoulder area. He is saying that you need to make sure that the case is held against the bolt face when fire forming by using the COAL to hold it there. Please don't take what I'm saying wrong as I'm trying to be helpful. Maybe try loading up and forming a round or 2 as Chad describes and see what happens rather than using factory ammo for fire forming.
"I may be dumb, but I'm not stupid." - Terry Bradshaw
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