Belted Magnum questions for you guys..

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by AtownBcat, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. AtownBcat

    AtownBcat Well-Known Member

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    Today I have had to throw away(in the bucket for recycling), 150 pieces of RWS Brass. It had all buldged at the area right above the belt to .512-.514, new brass is .507.(Using the blade or knife portion of my calipers right under the belt.) I had been having trouble with a sticky bolt, but not heavy from the bottom but almost stuck at the very end of the bolt lift. My brass had only been fired 3 times. I believe this was caused because of a couple things.
    1. My load is on the warm side 77.7 retumbo 210/208 burger/Amax both shot great. CCI Mag Primer. Neither bullet actually touching the lands. The primers are pretty flat but I didnt have loose pockets and there was no ejector mark.
    2. I have been pushing my shoulder back way to far. According to my new(and bad ass) headspace guage that I got from Innovative Technologies, I have been pushing the shoulder back .0075. This was happening because I was trying to get my redding body die as low as possible to get as close to the belt as possible. I also bought a special collet die for belted magnums from Innovative Technologies, but the max that can be saved is .511 and all my brass was past that point.

    So I need to buy new brass and start over so I wanted to see what you guys with belted magnums are doing about this issue. What brass seems to hold up the best for you? I thought RWS because of the thickness would have been the toughfest and maybe it is but I was over working it.(I was shocked to learn the first time you shoot virgin brass it as .020 clearance at the shoulder)I know Lapua isnt doing 300WM any more...
    I know a few of you guys have suggested h1000 but this gun is shooting .3 moa groups consistantly and I really hate to start from scratch again...
     
  2. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    Wow! That's a shame having to chuck all that RWS brass! I think you already have it figured out, hot loads and improper headspace will cause exactly what you experienced! There is no tougher brass than RWS so start headspacing off of the shoulder instead of the belt and just enough to close the bolt without too much force. All you need is a thou or two clearance......Rich
     

  3. kc0pph

    kc0pph Well-Known Member

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    You should be able to size all of that brass you chucked back down to good specs. Larry Wills at IT makes a collet die set that is exactly what you need. Now over pressure is not good in any case. I just talked with him a little bit today and his dies are 100 including shipping. I was going to buy one until he told me they wont fit the 378 wby case (The parent for my cartridge). You already have his gauge (Which i ordered today) so use the collet system and his gague and you should be good. Also lower your pressures. If you want to shoot hot loads then expect to only get a few shots down the tube before the brass needs retiring.
     
  4. AtownBcat

    AtownBcat Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies, I actually already have his die. My problem was that it will only handle brass that is .511 or smaller. Anything over that is to much to save(according to Larry) He said "and I dont mean .5115..." so that gives you an idea.
     
  5. joe0121

    joe0121 Well-Known Member

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    I really like the RWS brass I have. I actually got RWS ammo for cheap. Ammo was meh but I wish I had known how good the brass was I would have bought 500 rounds of the ammo for the brass. midway had a sell for basically a buck a round on time.
     
  6. AtownBcat

    AtownBcat Well-Known Member

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    I just checked midway but all they show now is 22lr stuff. I am working on buying some in bulk though so i will post if i find some for a good price..
     
  7. joe0121

    joe0121 Well-Known Member

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    Do a group buy! If you got the cash buy a crap done than post up a group buy. Usually you get a great price buying in large bulk. You can sell what you dont want on here. You save and we save. I dont know why people on here dont do group buys more often. I dont have the cash or I would.


    I got the ammo a long while ago I think it was on clearance?
     
  8. AtownBcat

    AtownBcat Well-Known Member

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    Thats what Im going to do. I do not want to make any money, but I dont want it to cost me any either(dont mind it costing me some time). I will PM a mod and get the ok. I will also post on the Hide.
     
  9. joe0121

    joe0121 Well-Known Member

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    Let me know. gun)
     
  10. 338winmag

    338winmag Well-Known Member

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    Well here is my $.02 on your issue.

    First, you bought two of the best tools for reloading.
    Second, Larry owes me big time for marketing his 2 products all the time. :D I live by them. The Digital Headspace gauge is rocket science.

    Now here is where Larry will disagree with me. Maybe others will too. I use the Belted magnum collet die for 338 win mag and 7mm rem mag and 300 win mag. The first two after 2 firings can be up as high as .512, maybe even .513. I have used the collet die on these cases with these measurements way too often to say toss them. My 338 win mag is on 8th generation firings and 7mm rem mag has been up past 6 firings. The die takes them back to approximately .510 everytime.

    It could be a safety factor but even though I am super anal when it comes to safety, I have had no issues with resizing at the belt when fired sizes are over .511. P.S. I use Imperial resizing die wax for lubricant.

    I do not fire hot loads but my loads are at the fairly high end.

    Just a thought
    338winmag
     
  11. MagnumManiac

    MagnumManiac Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately you have fallen into the trap of FL sizing your brass way too much from the beginning. High pressures are NOT the cause of this case stretching, it is ONLY caused by excessive sizing of the shoulder. SAAMI specs dictated for factory loaded ammo is fine and dandy, but once it's been fired in your chamber it's a completely different kettle of fish. As you've found out, (the hard way!), you must be very careful with how much you bump the shoulder back, .002" is maximum if you want your brass to last more than a few firings.

    Your brass can be salvaged, run it through your body die with the press camming over, there should be no gap between the shellholder and die bottom when doing this. This will reduce the dimensions just above the belt, no matter what anyone tells you!
    Once this is accomplished, you will need to fireform the brass back to your chamber dimensions with a mild load, a true fireforming load without a projectile would be better, but this will suffice. :D

    Once you have fireformed the brass, measure the base to shoulder length and adjust your body die to bump the shoulder .002", this will allow the case to headspace off the shoulder.
    If this is done correctly, you will eliminate that bulge forever, it only occurs when the brass stretches just above the belt due to excessive shoulder sizing. Under no circumstances do you want a belted bottleneck cartridge to headspace off the belt, other than the 300H+H, 375H+H, 458WM or 458Lott.

    BTW, even though there are advocates for the Larry Willis die, I do not believe in it, it's a complete unnecessary gimmick if you size your cases correctly to headspace off the shoulder. I am yet to run across this 'bulge' in any of my belted cartridges and, I load for a hell of a lot of 'em.

    gun)
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  12. AtownBcat

    AtownBcat Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the post! I am glad to hear from someone who has used the die. I tried to get a piece of brass(before i measured the area on the belt) through the collet die, but all I had was the RCBS lube and it didnt go well..(minor surgery required).. But it is nice to know that all this brass might not be ruined. It did take an unbelievable about of pressure to get the brass in the die...the imperial wax may fix this problem.

    Im sure as Larry and stated he has to be on the lookout for lawyers....lol

    Once you use the collet die how long before you have to do it again...?
     
  13. MagnumManiac

    MagnumManiac Well-Known Member

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    That will depend totally on how you proceed with the sizing of your cases, if you continue to knock the shoulder back .0075", then you will have to do it on every firing. If you size them back to .001"-.002", then everything should be fine.

    If you want to continue trying to repair your brass, I would first run it through your body die as I suggested above, then try the collet die, even though I am not an advocate, I am not going to dispell the notion that it may work for you and salvage your brass.

    Good luck and good shooting. :D

    gun)
     
  14. AtownBcat

    AtownBcat Well-Known Member

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    Now my head is spinning...ok here is my only issue with what you said...all of my brass(80% of it at least) was fully prepped and ready for loading.(so right now there is .0075 headspace. The brass will go in the rifle but i have a tough time getting it out.
    I do believe that this headspace guide will allow me to set the shoulder back .002 or less in the future. What type of load do you recomend? I have some re 25 that was way to unstable for me so I can use that. I also have some 200 g accubonds that it didnt like...

    So my measurements .512-.514 was after the body die...