338 lapua oal reloading

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by deerslayer1435, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. deerslayer1435

    deerslayer1435 Member

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    hello, I am fairly new to reloading and just got started in reloading the 338 lapua to save money. To start of with I'm using lynman full body dies, lapua brass trimmed to 2.724 once shot, nosler partition 250 grain bullets and 91 grains of h1000 powder, my question is after trimming my brass and I load up the shell the longet overall length I can get to work is 3.55 inches and it seems most people are loading around 3.681? I am shooting a savage 110ba and was wonder if this length can vary on the gun or what. Also for some reason a factory shell that measures in at 3.681 will work but my reloads won't? Any help or comments appreciated
     
  2. Shane1

    Shane1 Well-Known Member

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    I would trim the brass to 2.714, sierra revised the trim length awhile ago, especially in a savage they're know for tight chambers and sticking cases. Every bullet has a different shape. Oal will be different with every one, you should really get a oal gauge like the hornady to see where each bullet hits the rifling and adjust accordingly. Partition is a pretty stubby bullet they'll hit the rifling much sooner then a long slender match bullet. Load to book max oal until you buy or build a oal gauge. You could paint the bullet with a marker chamber it and if it shows little nicks from the rifling seat deeper until no marks, then seat another 30 thousandths to be safe but with that style bullet I doubt you'll gain much if anything seating it longer then book max. If you don't have any loading books you better get one asap before you hurt yourself. Jamming that bullet in the rifling without any load work up watching close for pressure could cause major pressure spike and or put the bolt permanently in your forehead.
     

  3. deerslayer1435

    deerslayer1435 Member

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    gotcha man I will take your advice on both and research on how to use the hornady tool thank you
     
  4. deerslayer1435

    deerslayer1435 Member

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    And I don't want the bolt to do that sounds painfull lol... Also what bullet do you recommend for hunting and accuracy both plan on hunting out to 800 yards I no most of the bullets out there aren't designed for hunting?
     
  5. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Actually, the SMK is a fine game hunting bullet but I use the 250gn SGK loaded 30 off the lands (which is as long as my magazine will take (Savage 11-11 LRH).

    It is possible to modify the mag to take a longer OAL but mine shoots just fine at 30 off with H1000. I hear Retumbo is a bit better and I have a jug but I have more H1000 and Retumbo is stupid hard to get right now,
     
  6. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    +1, work out a way to find out how far off the lands you are. Also, when you say 3.55" is the longest you can "get to work" what do you mean? Note that the OAL listed in a reloading manual might be for a different bullet than you are shooting. I shoot 300 gr pills in my 338LM and there is a huge difference in ogive vs lands between a Lapua Scenar, a Berger OTM, and a SMK at the same OAL.
     
  7. deerslayer1435

    deerslayer1435 Member

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    After you said this I looked in my manual on the first page of the lapua sections were it says all the detail of the bullet like the brass length, overall length(I guess just a common length) and after looking closely I seen were each bullet has its own overall length and surprisingly the bullet that I'm using it says to seat it at 3.55 oal wich is what I was seating it at anyways..also I found out if I seat the bullet longer that this like at 3.686 I found out that when I close the bolt on the gun it just seats the bullet farther down like at 3.55 inches soy question is should my bullet be able to slide that easily because I don't use great force to close the bolt down?
     
  8. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    WHOA......First off, you either have a neck tension issue or gorrila hands. :D

    You should not be able to 'slide' the pill into the case when closing the bolt normally.

    Your neck tension is way too loose if you can. It's on the lands if it's 'sliding' into the case neck. If it is, measure the COAL by removing the case and pill after 'sliding' it into the case and closing the bolt. That will be loaded to the lands, if it don't go any farther (you will see tiny rifling marks on the bullet ogive where it contacts the rifling at the end of the throat). You are determining COAL the hard way but it will be a valid measurement for that particular pill....and ONLY that pill.

    Different bullets have different shaped ogives and different shaped ogives enter the throat area at different lengths depending on that ogive and bullet length itself...

    Back to the neck tension thing.... Its imperative that the neck of the case holds the pill tightly enough that rifle recoil don't move it and it don't move jostling around in your coat pocket either....

    You are loose as a goose.....:)

    Now, what kind/type of reloading dies do you have and describe the way you size the brass and seat the pills......

    Meanwhile, I'll get my popcorn in the microwave....
     
  9. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Additionally, some rifles shoot well 'loaded to the lands' some don't and the only way to determine that is by doing a load ladder but lets get through the neck tension first....
     
  10. deerslayer1435

    deerslayer1435 Member

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  11. deerslayer1435

    deerslayer1435 Member

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    it seems like I never had had the problem with the bullet sliding in until I started sizing my brass wich I use a lynman case trimmer to trim.. Before hand if I had my pills seated to long the bolt just wouldn't be able to close down
     
  12. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Interesting.

    I had a Redding and sold it BTW. I presume the Redding and the Lyman both use an insert pilot that goes in the neck to align the case for trimming...

    If so, are you using the correct pilot?

    I typed out a rather long reply and lost it. Sometimes this site irritates me...:)

    Some questions that will allow us to deduce whats happening other than too big of a pilot on your trimmer...

    1. What brand is the brass?

    2. How many times have you loaded them?

    3. Are your dies bushing dies or fixed cavity dies?

    4. What position is the expander ball in, high or low?

    5. Do you FL size or Neck size?

    Don't worry about the bolt blowing back, it won't no matter how much overpressure/overcharge you have. All modern receivers have cross drilled vent holes to let an overpressure out if the case fails. You will probably uchre the action but you won't rearrange your face.

    Something is fishy ir you are Charlie Atlas when you close your bolt....:D
     
  13. deerslayer1435

    deerslayer1435 Member

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    First of as a inexperienced reloader I want to thank you for your time and help.. I am using actual lapua brass fired 2x at most. I am full length resizing the brass as for question 3 and 4 I'm not sure I think it is a bushing and I don't no if its in the high or low position and didn't no it could be changed but when I get home from work I will post a picture.. However last night I was exsperentimg and made sure I had the right pilot as(and I did) I took a never fired lapua bras and loaded it to a very long length of 3.70 and tried to put it in the chamber to see if it would slide the bullet in however the bullet would not slide and of course the bolt would not close! So I kept pressing the bullet down till it reached a length of 3.65 and when I would go to close the bolt at that length it was short enough to allow the bolt of the rifle to maybe used as if it was a press, pressing the bullet down to 3.54 inches wich is what my book says to use as a oal. I then took a rubber mallet and tried to see if I was able to hit the pill and make it seat farther and I was unable to unless I used great force.. So with that said I'm lost unless the bolt is being used as a press.
     
  14. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    If it's a bushing die. the bushing fits inside the die body and is removable and you need to size your neck to your pill and order the appropriate sized bushings. Bushing dies are considerably more expensive than a fixed cavity die, like 2 times as much so, if you paid less than a hundred bucks for the die set (new) it will be fixed cavity.

    If it is a bushing die and you haven't calculated the diameter of the pill versus the neck diameter of the case, you probably have the incorrect bushing installed.... but I don 't think you have a bushing die, I think it's fixed cavity.

    The reason I ask about the expander ball has to do with it's relative position in the die itself. You want the ball to expand the inside of the neck BEFORE the neck reaches the upper cavity and the outside gets sized. one reason I always remove the decapping pins from all my dies and use a dedicated decapper die plus a dedicated decap die has a much stronger decap assembly so you rarely break pins. I use a Lyman BTW.

    If, the expander ball is HIGH in the die cavity, it elongates the neck an excessive amount because it's working the neck brass against the inner diameter of the upper cavity. Consequently, your cases grow excessively, you trim the cases to over all length and the necks get progressively thinner, eventually craking. The metal goes somewhere. In this case you are trimming it off and the neck gets thinner and thinner.

    As a rule (and I can get disputed on that on this forum), I myself don't ever use a neck sizer die. It stays in the box if it came as a set. I tend to buy dies one at a time and so I don't buy neck dies if I don't have to. Reason being, a neck die only resizes the neck and shoulder datum area. You want to resize the body as well (which goes against the grain on fireforming brass) but again thats how I do it.

    The Lapua case is an abnormality in itself because of the length and diameter versus generated pressure upon ignition. To that end, you are right against the benchmark for annealing and annealing properly is a whole other subject.

    Even with a fixed cavity die, it's possible to alter the neck tension by reducing the diameter of the expander ball with fine crocus cloth or even fine steel wool (depending on how much you want to reduce it and increase neck tension, however, after the first firing and subsequent resize, the neck is starting to workharden and won't be as ductile as it was when the case was virgin brass.

    With any die, bushing or fixed cavity, you can 'bump' the shoulders back. You can get a dedicated bump die but all dies for bottleneck cases will bump shoulders back. oftentimes too much. The more you bump the shoulder back, the farther the case neck end, intrudes into the throat and that intrusion can cause hard ejection or no ejection at all in the case of a tight chamber.

    Lots of things going on.