Bumped shoulder back too far

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by handle, May 18, 2011.

  1. handle

    handle Member

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    I sized 200 lapua 223 cases and loaded 100 of them last week. Loaded them up with my usual load of 24.9gr of ar2208 (varget) and 75gr vld's. Running them through the chrony 2 days ago I've lost about 40-50 fps, the bolt is a tad sticky and is a little harder to eject. Primers are flat as a pancake as well. I'm still using the same batch of powder and same seating depth. I'm guessing I have bumped the shoulder back too far resulting in a head space issue. What would be the easiest way to fireform the brass back? I have 85 loaded and 100 sized and primed. Have been reading of using a fast burning powder and some form of case filler for the empties, what about the 85 I have loaded.
    Cheers for the help
    Ben
     
  2. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    The most likely causes are
    (a) mixed up load data
    (b) scale not calibrated
    (c) cases need trimming
    (d) bullet seating depth changed from jump to jam

    Otherwise, I'd want to know if I had a headspace issue before messing around.

    There are a couple of ways to check and cross-check.

    A very crude check would be to remove the firing pin and apply layers of tape to the case head to see how many layers it takes before you begin to feel the bolt crushing the tape as it closes. This is by no means precision testing because it requires more feel than something solid and tape isn't all created with equal thickness. So, you would need a mic or caliper to measure the tape thickness to get an idea.

    Secondly, you can get a set of Hornady Lock and Load Headspace inserts for your calipers and measure the case length from the datum line to see if the cases are within SAAMI specs. If so, and IF your chamber is also within specs, then you should be good to go.

    Thirdly, use HNL headspace gauge to measure some of the loaded/unfired cases to the just fired cases and see how much they've grown.

    Headspace gauges will tell you if the chamber's in spec.

    I would be inclined to use several methods and cross-check and if there's any doubt, take it to a gunsmith.

    Hopefully, it's something simple.

    Be safe.
    -- richard
     

  3. handle

    handle Member

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    Just pulled a few of the loaded rounds, powder was fine, checked the scale with the 20 gram weight provided it was spot on, case trim length is fine and seating depth was good as well. Just ordered the lock n load headspace inserts should be here early next week. The first 200 rounds I loaded for this gun were fine no signs of pressure at all and fine with factory ammo.
     
  4. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "What would be the easiest way to fireform the brass back?"

    Chamber 'em. Point down range and pull the trigger. ?? :rolleyes:
     
  5. handle

    handle Member

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    So it won't damage the rifle?
     
  6. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    I kinda gather that maybe the cases were new and unfired; correct? A quick way to check your case headspace when compaired with once fired case that have not be resized, is to get your hands on a roller bearing inner race that has either a .312" to 8mm I.D. These are very square and can be bought at mosy any bearing outlet store for about $5 (they are actually better than the ones that come in the kits). But on the otherhand you would have to bump the shoulder back about .025" to see a significant spike in pressure, and even then they might even ignite the primer. I suspect the real problem is in the seating depth and running a near max load. Take five or ten rounds and seat the bullets about .015" deeper, and see if it helps.
    gary
     
  7. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    I would put some tape on the back of one of the loaded cases and chamber it, adding tape till it will not chamber to see just where the shoulder is at. I do this all the time with mine to double check, I was having a similar issue with a Savage 270 WSM with new brass and found that I had about .013 head space on new cases. It would show pressure signs like very flat primer and bolt lift from the case slamming back in the chamber.
     
  8. MTBULLET

    MTBULLET Well-Known Member

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    With out knowing what load you have, I'd hesitate to recommend "point down range and pull the trigger".
     
  9. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    He stated the load, and has fired some from it. Doesn't look or seem hot to me.

    I agree with Boomtube.
    He can fire em back to rough form, check trim, and pay attention with sizing.
     
  10. MTBULLET

    MTBULLET Well-Known Member

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    sorry, meant to say, after re checking load. my bad.
     
  11. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    ""What would be the easiest way to fireform the brass back?"

    Chamber 'em. Point down range and pull the trigger. ??

    So it won't damage the rifle? "


    No. And firing is the ONLY way to "fireform" anything, we don't have another option.

    The fact that your load's shoulders are set back a tad further than ideal isn't a safety factor for one shot. But, if you continue to repeat it, the cases can stretch to the point of a head seperation and that IS potentially hazadous.

    I assume you have some effective means of measuring the head-to-shoulder length or you wouldn't know they are now set back further than ideal. So shoot the things and enjoy it, then resize them correctly next time and all will be well, at least over the normal life expectancy of the cases anyway.

    What's "correct" you may ask? Okay, measure to the shoulder on the fired cases and then set the shoulders back to the same place; that's it.

    We DON'T need to go back one or two or three thou more as some gurus suggest, just put 'em back where we found them after firing. After all, the empties chamber nicely so all we need do is keep our reloads the same shoulder length, right? And that WILL greatly reduce case stretch on the next firings, right? lightbulb
     
  12. handle

    handle Member

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    Cheers for the help guys, will be taking the rifle out west next weekend so hopefully I'll get through them without any trouble.