Case Life Expectancy

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by Uncle Russ, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Member

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    I am having a .300 RUM built on a Rem 700 long action. The rifle is being built by a gentleman of great reputation and will have a 5 contour Lilja barrel, non-fluted, 27 inches long plus a muzzle brake.

    He will develop a load for the rifle which will probably consist of: Remington brass, Federal 215 magnum primer, some unknown amount of Reloader 25 (I would guess in excess of 95 grains), and a 180 grain bullet--not sure which one, but it will have a BC of .511. He full-length resizes each time.

    I asked him how many loadings I could expect with hot loads from the brass and he said he limits himself to 2X loadings.

    Three questions:

    First: How does that assessment compare to the experiences of other experts out there. Is two loadings about the most I should expect?

    Second: How can I tell by inspection or measurement of the brass--at any point in its life--whether it might have one more loading left in it? I know of course to inspect for head expansion, cracks, dents, etc. but what--beyond that could be done?

    Third: If a person backed off to approximately factory loadings, what kind of brass life should one expect from magnum cartridges.

    I appreciate the input--all of my past reloading many years ago was with .223, .308, .270, and .30/06 and of course I got pretty good brass life out of those cartridges.

    Russ
     
  2. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner Well-Known Member

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    in most custom chambers the primer pocket will become notably loose, if you want longer brass life, bump the charge down.
    RR
     

  3. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    With some rifles I only get one loading. All depends upon what things in life are important to you.

    My advice is buy 200-300 pieces of brass and sort it. Take the best 100+ pieces and set it aside for hunting. Use the other for developing loads and drop charts. Use your 308 for practice.

    This last Fall we killed 8 animals and the rifle was fired less than 30 times. That included four checks for zero- when we got to Wyoming - 4 rounds, when we got to Idaho - 3 rounds, when the rifle was fallen on -3 rounds and 3 rounds at a rock at 1860 yards. The trip cost me about $5,000. I am not going to whine about the cost of 30 pieces of brass for 8 animals, of course a lot of people would. This last Sunday we fired about 180 times with the 308. That's about two boxes of Sierra 175 MKs added to the cost of admission which was $108. We pay that price every month until hunting season rolls around. That is the cost of practice so you can kill 8 animals at ranges out to 910 yards with your custom magnum.

    This is not a cheap sport. My remarks not meant to be insulting, they are just meant to get you to think about the real cost of things.
     
  4. yobuck

    yobuck Well-Known Member

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    i would pretty much concur with buffalobob.
    the time to think about brass life is before you decide on the cartridge.
    there is a price to pay if you want to play.
    the 300 rum is an excellant long range cartridge.
    but the distance you gain comes at a price.
    barrel life is less, and brass and powder will cost more.
    if your going to load lite to save a few bucks, why own it?
    if you only use it for hunting, 100 rounds will last quite awhile.
    you certainly dont want a case coming apart while your shooting at an animal. listen to your gunsmith and limit it to 2 loads, then use that brass for practice, and get new for hunting.
     
  5. remingtonman_25_06

    remingtonman_25_06 Well-Known Member

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    I"m not sure what kinda loads most are running in there 300 RUMS, but they cant be to much more then what I was running mine at, although mine was a factory chamber, I dont see how that can limit you to two firings per case. That just seems abnormally low IMO.

    I was getting 8 out of the 300 RUM (Rem) brass before I simply tossed them, these were FL sized using RCBS dies. These were being pushed to somewhat max velocities, 3200fps with 200g AB's, and 3000fps with 210g VLD's with H-1000. By no means are they low end or even medium loads.

    I would count on at least getting 5-6 if you stay within the pressure limits for the cartridge and neck size only if possible.
     
  6. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Member

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    Buffalobob and yobuck: Understood completely, my friends--I assure you in no way am I having second thoughts--with two custom rifles totaling over 10 grand with the scopes, I am not one to whine about the cost of ammunition--reloaded or otherwise. My real problem in that regard is that, unlike what President Obama apparently thinks, I am most decidedly NOT a rich American and it ain't just shooting--I have too many damned expensive hobbies to support in the manner in which they have become accustomed. :D More than sticker shock, having reloaded mild stuff in the past, I was just surprised at the notion that I would have to discard after two firings. I was expecting him to take the normal BR approach and advise me just to neck resize as long as I could--but not so.

    I suspect the tightness of the chamber may have something to do with it as well.

    A couple of other questions now that I have you guys on the line:

    I am buying a full set of reloading equipment--most of it from Sinclair.

    1. They no longer sell the NECO gauge so I am going to buy that direct. Can anyone think of a function it won't perform for which I would need a separate micrometer?

    2. When you use "small base dies" does that refer just to the base of the cartridge or is the whole case sized down narrowly.

    3. My builder is not available to ask (although I will when he is)--but when custom builders of hunting rifles cut a chamber tight, does that usually mean you can or cannot fire factory ammo in it?

    Thanks, and I'll warn you---I may have other questions as well.

    Russ
     
  7. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    I do not use small base dies and have no thoughts on them one way or the other.


    What I assume your gunsmith is building you is a minimum SAAMI chamber. This will accommodate any ammunition that actually complies with SAAMI specs and most of the name brands will. A minimum SAAMI chamber will be a snug fit for the cartridge and it will not be flopping around in there like a run over toad frog. The cartridge and bullet will be aligned with the center of the bore. Such a chamber is very accurate while still allowing the use of commercial ammunition. The real question would be what kind of throat is he putting in it. You would like to be able to reach the lands with a high BC bullet but not have the throat so short that the bullet is shoved back into the case eating up capacity.

    A regular resizing die works fine with a minimum SAAMI chamber being as it puts the cartridge back into SAAMI dimensions.

    I do not think you will get increased case life with max loads with a tight chamber being as the first thing to go is the primer pockets and they are not in the chamber but are in the bolt face.

    I do not think you actually need a Neco. If you want one and can afford it then fine. Most of the concentricity gauges will do what a person needs until they decide to go into competition reloading. You can go down into the reloading section and look at the endless number of threads involving runout.
     
  8. yobuck

    yobuck Well-Known Member

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    i am a firm believer in full legnth resizing of ammo used for hunting. since im strictly a hunter, i full legnth all my loads. that said, there are steps to be taken to assure straight loads. although ive been using r.c.b.s. dies for years, i would advise getting better dies. as bob said, there are excellant threads here on loading. dont rush into buying that equiptment.

    i would figure on doing at least some neck turning. a collet type sizing die and competition seater would also make sence. but read first, then decide.

    your spending all this on rifles, what about the important stuff, binnoculars. what are you using?