.223 Headspace problem?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by tlshootst, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. tlshootst

    tlshootst Active Member

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    I have a Tikka varmint .223 that shoots Blackhills reloads just fine. I bought some new Win. brass at cabelas last year and worked up some loads with Win 748 powder. I started at 26 g. witch was way to much for this rifle. Totaly flattend the primers on the first 2 shots. Third shot case sepparated in half! I backed down to 24 g. and worked slowly up to 25 g.
    Now here is the problem, after the shot the primer sticks out .027 of the brass. The bolt can't grab the case and extract it. It doesn't matter what powder charge I use. I can't even get the brass into the shell holder to reload because of the primer sticking out.
    I have 400 rounds of this new brass all primed and I am totaly stumped. I don't know If the chamber accepts the Lakecity brass better than this new Win. brass?
    Anybody have any ideas I would really appreciate it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  2. KDB

    KDB Well-Known Member

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    I don't have a definitive solution for you but here are some ideas to check. I don't think that it is a headspace problem because your Blackhills LC brass shows no signs, right?

    I would recommed getting some good brass, Lapua or Norma, load them and see if you have the same problem. Sounds like the primer pockets are not to spec on the winchester brass or the webbing in the case head is too thin causing the primer to push back after firing.

    I would also check the fired cases against the unfired cases and see if the shoulder angle is different, if the case has streched more than normal. If so, then that would be a better indicator about a headspace issue.

    I hope that this helps.
     

  3. larrywillis

    larrywillis Well-Known Member

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    tlshootst ..........

    When a case separates it's because of excessive headspace clearance, and when a primer has enough room to back out it's because you have a WHOLE LOT of headspace clearance.

    - Innovative
     
  4. tlshootst

    tlshootst Active Member

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    Thats what I thought but why does BlackHills ammo shoot just fine?
     
  5. Winchester 69

    Winchester 69 Well-Known Member

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    Is there any chance that the Winchester brass is .222?
     
  6. larrywillis

    larrywillis Well-Known Member

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    Using 222 ammo would be a REAL headspace problem in your 223 rifle. This picture from my website shows a 300 Win Mag case that was fired in a 300 Weatherby rifle . . . . what a stretch . . . . and dangerous.

    [​IMG]
    300 wby. / 300 Win. / 300 Win.​

    tlshootst .........
    Your Blackhills ammo worked fine, because the headspace clearance (at the shoulder) was within acceptable tolerances. Check your personal email messages.

    - Innovative
     
  7. tlshootst

    tlshootst Active Member

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    My Speer manual shows 1.557 from bottom of case to the top of shoulder to neck junction. Doing the best I can with a digital caliper the Blackhills amo measures 1.560, the new Win. brass measures 1.538
    Thats .022 shorter. Then I measured the fired Win. brass and the case has not streched, still measures around1.538
     
  8. larrywillis

    larrywillis Well-Known Member

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    I'd try to find a more accurate way to take measurements ...

    - Innovative
     
  9. KDB

    KDB Well-Known Member

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    Larry...would there not be alot of case strech if there is that much headspace?

    Tlshoootst:

    The 223 is headspaced off the shoulder and can be checked with "go" and "no go" guages. You can make a dummy round (with no charge) and place a piece of scotch tape on the case head. Close the bolt. Add another piece of tape to the case head (now 2 pieces thick), and try to close the bolt. Do this process until you cannot close the bolt. This process works the same as a "no-go" and will give you an approximate indicator of your headspace clearance.

    Was the brass full length or body sized before loading...my thinking here is that the shoulder could have been bumped too far back causing the headspace issue.
     
  10. larrywillis

    larrywillis Well-Known Member

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    I agree . . . . excessive chamber clearance will always cause a case to stretch, and case stretching ALWAYS happens when the shoulder is pushed back too far. There are a jillion weird methods to avoid measuring things - none of them are accurate. Nothing beats taking a measurement properly to eliminate the guesswork.

    - Innovative
     
  11. KDB

    KDB Well-Known Member

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    I also agree with you that a solid numerical measurement is better than a guessimate, but for the sake of agrument, if Tlshootst's cases show virtually no signs of streching and the primers are protruding from the case after ignition, how can it be a headspace issue?

    At this point my curiousity is peaked. Anyone else have any other conclusions?
     
  12. larrywillis

    larrywillis Well-Known Member

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    Think about this . . . . If it wasn't a headspace issue . . . . the primers wouldn't have any clearance to back into. This is definitely a headspace issue. When you measure your cases correctly it becomes obvious. There's no better way to see exactly what's happening than to compare YOUR handloads to one of YOUR fired cases.

    - Innovative
     
  13. tlshootst

    tlshootst Active Member

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    I admit I don't have anything but a digital caliper to measure with. That is exactly what I don't understand why the primers push out? The case should stretch back to the boltface but they are not allowing room for the primer to push out. I think I will try a different brand of brass.
     
  14. KDB

    KDB Well-Known Member

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    Well good luck. As a said earlier, try some lapua or norma, it is expensive but the quality is excellent. Let us know how it turns out for you.

    KDB