I think I got hosed.

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Prairie Dog50, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. Prairie Dog50

    Prairie Dog50 Active Member

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    all,
    So I have a .22-250 model 12 fv savage that we were trying to come up with a load for to go p-dog hunting. After trying 4 different kinds of brass, 6 different bullets, 2 different primers, and having all of them blow out and flatten primers I concluded that something was wrong with the gun. Took it to a custom rifle maker/gun smith, he checked it with go/no go gauge and said the head space was too long. However he did not have the savage barrel nut wrench, so he could not complete the job by fixing it. So I took the gun to another gunsmith who assured me that the headspace might be correct and that there could be other overlooked problems that were causing the blowing out and flatning of primers. Went to pick the gun up today and he said that he used a bore scope and found an excessive amount of copper in the rifleing so he cleaned it very thouroughly. I could see where excesive copper would create extra pressure. But what I don't understand is where it came from. When I clean the barrel, I do a very thorough job, and I use sweets which is known to be a very strong solvent. The cleaning method that I prescribe to consists as follows...
    1. Hoppes no 9 powder solvent on wire brush, 30 strokes(to break up powder and carbon residue that lies on top of copper)
    2. Dry patches until they appear as clean as they were when I put them in.
    3. Hoppes no 9 powder solvent on wire brush, 30 strokes, this time I let it soak for 30 minutes.
    4. Repeat step 2
    5. Hold gun up stock down barrel pointing straight up. Use old pistol cleaning rod with big cotton swab on end to jam into back end of barrel through reciever. Next poor sweets down inside of barrel and let soak for 30 minutes.
    6. Repeat step 2.
    7. Repeat step 3.
    8. Repeat step 2.
    9. Repeat step 5.
    10. Repeat step 2.
    11. Keep doing this until copper is no longer visible.
    I last cleaned the barrel probably 100 shots before he saw it, is it possible that the gun built up that much copper in 100 shots? I have never heard of this...
     
  2. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Well-Known Member

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    1. Excess headspace causes head separations and probably not blown primers.

    2. There is a difference between blown primers and flattened primers. A blown primer means the pressure was so excessive that the primer pocket loosened so much that the primer fell out when you removed the cartridge. A pierced primer means the pressure was so excessive that a hole was burned in the primer (a bad firing pin can also do this). Flattened primers are harder to read; in a strong bolt gun, as long as there is at least a small amount of rounded radius at the periphery of the primer, it's not flattened excessively.

    3. I doubt copper buildup in a barrel could cause such excessive pressure as to pierce or blow primers. That said, I would never let a 22-250 barrel go 100 rounds without cleaning it. Also, Hoppes is VERY OLD technology. I quite using Hoppes over 2 decades ago and for the the most part have quit using brushes as well. Consider using Wipeout.
     

  3. newmexkid

    newmexkid Well-Known Member

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    I too feel that 100 rounds is excessive during cleaning intervals. Have you considered sending the rifle to the manf'?. I use a mixture of Kroil and top engine cleaner for the carbon.
     
  4. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

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    Not sure I can help you with the cause of your pressure problems, but I will comment on your cleaning process....too much! does your rifle have a factory barrel or a custom barrel? my custom barrels can be cleaned with about four patches total, after 20 rounds not 100.
     
  5. ken snyder

    ken snyder Well-Known Member

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    Brief check list: too much powder, Moly bullets on a cleanly stripped barrel. gas check bullets and a tight neck or donuts. Holes in primers with a good pin are from too large of a firing pin hole. Blown out of pocket primers are from over worked (too much pressure) brass or improper pocket cleaning that enlarges the pocket. The ABSOLUTE BEST diagnosis tool will be to shoot factory rounds and I'll bet the problem goes away, if it doesnt, you need to find the problem.
     
  6. Prairie Dog50

    Prairie Dog50 Active Member

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    The problem is definitely not there with factory ammo, I have shot winchester, and hornady factory ammo and the primers appear just fine. As far as my cleaning method, and waiting till 100 rounds to do it; guys, this is a prairie dog rig, and for personal preferances, I don't want to stop after every 20 shots to clean the gun. I know it will make for better accuracy, and the barrel will last longer...but when I'm prairie dog hunting I want to shoot accurate, dependable hand loads, for a whole weekend. If I'm doing any cleaning, it will be done at the hotel, after a full day of shooting. I know that this will not be a bench rest competition gun, but I know for a fact I have done it this way with 4 other rifles and they all consistenly shoot sub moa. I have never had this kind of problem before.

    Ken, what you said about the brass being over worked makes sense. I just read a handloader magazine article about neck sizing and then form firing new brass. It said that many handloaders like myself, fall into the trap of believing that major brass manufactures don't know what there doing, so to fix all of their mistakes we should full length size our new brass. (Yes I did this, maybe the brass is overworked). Aside from going and buying new brass and starting over, is there any way to tell if the brass is overworked?
     
  7. ken snyder

    ken snyder Well-Known Member

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    If factory loads show no problem, then it is a reloading concern. Extracted cartridges that show no sign of over presure will exhibit high pressure signs on subsequent fireings of reloaded brass. It is not a one fired brass problem but a very good diagnosis of pressures that are a little overboard. Stretching occurs (generally) a little bit at a time and will show its ugly head. Take this advice with a grain of salt ( if it is not possible to get at least 6 firings off of nothing fancy done to it brass then put the gunpowder on a diet, chances are very excellent that you will significantly increase accuracy as well.) -- p.s. it is in my opinion that over pressure signs are very often accumilative and show up in brass life.
     
  8. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps your scale needs calibrating?

    Like others have stated, factory loads work fine. So, the rifle is basically sound.

    There are numerous reloading issues that may result in excessive pressure.

    Don't overlook the obvious...
    - too much powder
    - wrong powder or components
    - cases need trimming
    - bullet seating depth

    Be safe.
    Richard
     
  9. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    If I read this right you had one smith with gauges checked it out and it had long head space, that is a known problem and needs addressed before you change your sizing die as it will change after getting the barrel set.
    I've experience very similar results due to long head space, massive pressure signs, primer issues with new brass reloads. Factory ammo was fine due to being so anemic and once fired were fired and resized were fine. So I fire formed everything and was rocking on till I started getting head separation then I had to track down the real culprit, I bought all the gauges and found head spacing over .009 long after resizing and .013 on new brass. Fixed it and ALL issues went away, now I have .004 on new brass and .0015 on resized and outstanding case life at the power level I want to be at!!!
     
  10. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    bigngreen is correct.

    I probably mis-interpreted. I thought there was some question about whether the smith really used proper gauges.

    But, if it really was checked with the correct gauges and if the bolt closed on the no-go and/or field gauges, then that MUST be addressed first.
     
  11. Prairie Dog50

    Prairie Dog50 Active Member

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    I took some brass to the gun smith from several handloads after he had "cleaned the gun properly", (savage model 12 fv) and even though they showed several spots where the bolt face had imprinted itself on the base of the case, and even though several of them had flattened and cratered primers he said that they looked fine. So after hearing this I worked up several loads for a ladder test today. The first shot at the minimum charge, as stated in the speer reloading manual, blew the primer out of the pocket and stuck the case inside the chamber. BTW the load was 55 grain v-max, winchester brass, cci no 200 large rifle primer, and a min charge of 32 grains of varget. The one and only shot that I got to take chrony-ed at 3806. Took the same load with a different oal for my mauser action based .22-250, and was able to shoot the whole ladder test without any problems. The first charge on the mauser was chrony-ed at 3351. The gun smith that used the head space gauge and that diagnosed the savage as having too long of a headspace did not have a savage barrel nut wrench, so he recommened that we take it to Shillen, in Ennis Tx.
     
  12. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Did you check your case length? I know my buddies 22-250 Savage is on the tight side and if you don't keep it trimmed it will do exactly what your experiencing since the brass is getting into the throat and pinching the heck out of the bullet making for high pressure thus high velocity. This also can be related to excessive head space since your moving major amounts of brass each pull of the trigger and then you resize and you push a part of that up the neck you can be moving the length out of spec each time you fire it.
    To me it sounds like Smith #1 was on track but honestly couldn't do the job right, smith #2 hosed you and stopped doing his job at the first easy thing he found that was not ideal and not fully inspecting the situation.

    Long head space causes a whole chain reaction of all bad stuff!!!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2011
  13. ken snyder

    ken snyder Well-Known Member

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    The rifle shoots factory loads without problem, it shoots loads for a different rifle with out problems. I can not even consider the Rifle has a headspace problem. The rifle has an ammunition problem. Try this grab the barrel and twist as hard as you can, is it loose, I will concede if it is! The only time oal is the head spacing is when the bullet is stuffed and headspaces the cartridge off the bullet ogive, oal and headspacing are not the same thing. I am willing to bet a dinner and a carwash that the problem is the 1 out of 3. Don't forget oal is maximum magazine length, and makes no implication on throat depth or the ogive on the bullet. Take the rifle and get the headspace adjusted, but do not shoot anymore defective loads in it -- sounds harsh, but blowing primers out of the cartridge is only a matter of time before a 100% guaranteed catastrophic life changing event. unless you think there is the possibility that the other 2 loads are magically screwed up just right to eliminate the problem - harsh but something I would tell my best friend!
     
  14. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    as stated above, calibrate your scale.

    also, if case length is too long, the case mouth will crimp the bullet upon firing which, in my experience, will greatly increase pressure.

    A hint is if the expansion ball of the sizing die enters the case with difficulty and if a bullet will not easily fall into the case.