Brass issue

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by NCBoy, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. NCBoy

    NCBoy Well-Known Member

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    About a year ago, I purchased a 6.5 - 300 Weatherby Mag. The gun is awesome to shoot and came with 200 pieces of brass and reloading dies. I was able to purchase 6 pounds of h870 powder which it loves. I am having a problem with the brass. The brass was supposedly shot 1 time. The brass has seperated on me twice and my smith said it is old brass. I need to buy some new brass or learn to form new brass. Can someone give me advice about forming the new brass. I am relatively new to reloading.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    NCBoy,

    No offense intended here, but the 6.5x300 Wby is a poor choice for someone who's relatively new to reloading. Wildcatting, at least where most cartridges are concerned, is getting into advanced handloading. You'll run into problems (like this) that are much less common with standard cartridges. Add to this the belted case, and the extremely low expansion ratio ofthis cartridge and you've got a very touchy combination.

    From what you've said here, this sounds like simply a case of dies being improperly adjusted, and creating a headspace problem. This, in turn, leads to the case headspacing on the belt, allowing the shoulder to move too much upon firing and inevitably creating a stretched weak spot that will result in a head separation. I would suggest 1) checking the existing brass to see if the other cases are already exhibiting this stretched area ahead of the web, and 2) adjusting the dies to where they're setting the headspace off the shoulder, as they should. This should keep this from happening again, but you may need to form some new cases. Yeah, another feature that simply goes with wildcats like the 6.5x300 Wby. Hope this helps, and let us know if you have any other questions.
     

  3. NCBoy

    NCBoy Well-Known Member

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    Kevin, thank you for your response.

    I took the brass to my gunsmith and he said the fit was good but the brass was old and needed to be replaced. What is the procedure for forming the brass?

    Thanks again
     
  4. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    You will probably want to start with standard 300 Wby Mag brass (though you could use 300 H&H as well), and just neck it down to accept 6.5mm bullets. Normally, when going this far down, you'll want to do this in steps, probably using an intermediary die or two. That is, neck the cases down to say, 7mm, relube and then take them down to 6.5mm in a second step. Some of the more involved wildcats will call for special forming dies that provide these intermediate steps, but I can't say for sure on this one without doing a little digging. After the case necks have been reduced to accept the new caliber of bullets, the brass gets fire formed in the chamber, and you're done. From that point on out, it's no different than loading any other cartridge.

    There's plenty of articles on this process, as well as some things written in the various manuals, that should make all this pretty clear. Just takes a little digging, but you shouldn't have any trouble in turning these up. There've been a couple books done on on case reforming specifically that would be a help here, but they may be a bit more than you really need. Pricey, too. Give it a shot with what I've described so far, and let us know if there's anything more you need.