Headspace problem?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by lineman69, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. lineman69

    lineman69 Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2008
    Just looking for some imput from you guys.Ive been working up a load for a new custom built 300 WSM.Im using norma brass 168 bergers & RL17.I have tried 59 to 65 grains and all loads give sticky bolt lift but not really flattened primer. Im afraid my original assesment that this gun has a head space problem.Looking for your thoughts or experiance.I dont feel that im off on my loads as I load 67.5 GR. in a factory 300 WSM. at max.load. Any imput would be welcomed.
  2. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    There are several things that can cause this problem and hear are a few.

    First= check and see if a bullet will go in a fired case. (If it won't the neck of the case is to long
    for the chamber and must be trimmed.

    Second= If you are seating against the lands you will have to back off 10 or 15 Thousandths

    Third= Look at the fired brass and if it has rings around it then the chamber may be rough
    and cause extraction problems.

    And last but not least , Spend 35 to 40 dollars and buy a head space gauge and prove that
    the head space is or is not correct. If you can get some shim material in .002 thousandths
    you can try 1 small piece on the bolt face (Stuck on with grease) and see if the bolt will close.

    If it doesn't then you are allright. If it does then add the other shim and if it still closes you
    may have a problem. and if you can get three shims (Total=.006 ) is two much and I would
    recomend having the shoulder back and re head spacing.

    Caution; The head space gauge is very hard so don't force the bolt closed on it just close it
    with your finger tips until it stops to prevent chamber damage.

    I'm sure the membership can come up with some other reasons you are having problems
    and will chime in.


  3. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

    Dec 4, 2008
    If you haven't already done so, check to see if you are sticking with brand new brass. I've been finding that a lot of the magnum sized cases are not being sized down enough with many of the dies being made. Mic your sized brass at the web and check against the the chamber spec (use a fired case if necessary) In other words, Mic the fired case that sticks and then Mic it again after resizing. You may find that there is little if any difference. Good luck....Rich
  4. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

    Jun 13, 2007
    What do factory loads do when fired?

    PTG sells head space gauges for around $30 or so, but your smith should have used them.

    You can use masking tape for the shim. Measure the thickness first of a strip.

    Most chamber reamers are not cut short where a case would be too long and never seen that much stretch on one firing to make them touch, but could happen.

    Why do you suspect headspace?

    You will get stretch on the shoulder and it will move forward up to the chamber limit, but that should not be the cause of hard bolt lift. you have the same thing happen in any other chamber and barring some other issue, that does not cause hard bolt lift.

    Bolt timing could be an issue also.

  5. lineman69

    lineman69 Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2008
    Thank you all for feed back. A little more info yes im using brand new brass FL sized.Never have bought a any factory ammo.I have to small rings after firing around case right below shoulder so I hope these are the problem and also I hope its an easy fix for the smith when he returns from a hunting trip.Im the anal type about my stuff and this being my first build Ive been really wondering if it was going to be just the way i want it the gun shoots bug holes just sticky had me worried ya know.Well thanks again.