OK I need help!

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by valphillips, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. valphillips

    valphillips Member

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    I have a custom 338 lapua built on a lawton 8500 action with a hart barrel. I have been shooting and reloading HSM brass for the last 8 months with no problem. Now i picked up 100 rounds of lapua brass reloaded 20 and went to shoot. the first round acted a little funny not a stiff bolt lift but it didnt want to eject either. the next round however would not eject at all the bolt moves freely but will not eject i had to use a cleaning rod to tap it out. thinking it was just a bad piece of brass and checking for pressure marks i shot one more and this one did not even budge i had to use a cleaning rod to get it out again but it was much much stiffer. after examining everything i can not find a difference in the brass size or anything but if i even drop one of the already fired cases in there it is stuck all the other pieces eject just fine and i am loading the same exact amount of powder in the lapua brass as i was the HSM any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    val
    ps. im shooting 84grs of h1000 behind a 300gr smk and federal 215m primers out of a 30 inch 1 in 9 twist barrel.
     
  2. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

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    Very big NO NO --- I have been shooting the 338 or a variant of it for 20 years. Lapua brass is all I have ever used and the long story short is that when you change components even lot numbers you always have to check. This is why when I develop a load I have enough components for the life of the tube when I start load development. Before I started to compete and learn from my mentors I had the same thing happen to me that has happened to you! My rifle was a AI AWM in 338 and I was able to buy some once fired brass and did not think about any differences and I had sticky bolt lift and hard extraction.

    In summary the load in the once fired Lapua brass had to come down by 2 grains of 7828 with a 250 SMK. I know this does not seem like much but it allowed the rifle to function and shot the same velocity and almost POI.
     

  3. valphillips

    valphillips Member

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    ok thanks for the help... it just doesnt make sense to me i dont have a stiff bolt lift the case just doesnt want to come out. is it cause lapua brass is stiffer?
    thanks again.
    val
     
  4. RockZ

    RockZ Well-Known Member

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    The case capacity could be less.
    Have you measured it?
    Reduce the load a couple of grains like Boss mentions and see what you get.
    In fact, reduce the load until you can get the brass out normally.
    I had the same problem with my 7-300win AI.
    I was developing more pressure than I thought.
    I had a low velocity through the chrono.
    Didn't make sense until I shot at 600 and 1000yds doing drop tests.
    I was getting over 100 fps more than the chrono indicated . So I was getting more pressure too.
    The lot of powder I had was about 5% faster than the standard .
    That's why my brass was hard to extract.
     
  5. valphillips

    valphillips Member

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    ok i have an update. i checked case capacity they are identical. so I dropped my powder down to 80grns of h1000 and shot one it got stuck even harder than the last ones the bolt is not stiff at all it lifts fine until you get to the part where it comes back. Now i have measured the brass the lapua brass is wider by about 3 thousands all the way around. that is the only thing i can find different. again there are no pressure marks at all. Any suggestions at all? Just stick with the HSM brass?
    thanks
    val
     
  6. flashhole

    flashhole Well-Known Member

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    You might try polishing your chamber to make sure there is no powder residue that can gum things up. Any pics you can post of the brass that is giving you problems?
     
  7. BIG MO

    BIG MO Well-Known Member

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    Yep, I've experienced the same condition before and polishing the chamber with flitz and a shotgun bore mop solved the issue. Same condition on another rifle the chamber was so rough we had to use emery cloth and then polish with flitz.
     
  8. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

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    Edited
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011
  9. BIG MO

    BIG MO Well-Known Member

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    I agree, polishing the chamber is a debatable procedure. I've done it, it cured the two rifles problem, and I have witnessed no ill effects. Varmit Al gives a pretty interesting argument for the benefits on his website, from an engineers point of view.

    And I would think everyone would agree, a chamber that is so rough it scratches the brass and/or will not allow extraction, needs to be polished.
     
  10. valphillips

    valphillips Member

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    Yeah i thought about the camber being rough so i colored a piece of brass that was sticking and put it in and could not see any rough spots or gouges. also remember only the lapua brand brass is getting stuck the HSM brass is not sticking at all. I have cleaned the chamber a few times now. also when i stick a piece of brass that i have not sized yet in it will get stuck just the same. i got this brass from brassmanbrass.com is there a chance it is a knock off of lapua and put the lapua headstamp on it? Thanks for all the info i am really lost without all your help!!!!
    val
     
  11. BIG MO

    BIG MO Well-Known Member

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    You have a real head scratcher on your hands.

    One of the rifles I chamber polished did the same thing. Bolt would rotate upward normally with no resistance but trying to pull the bolt rearward was a no go. No signs of overpressure on brass or primer. No scratches on brass to indicate a rough chamber. Same load and velocity used in other rifles with no ejection problems.

    But, with virgin brass it would eject just fine. It would only stick with brass that had been previously fired.

    Is the Lapua Brass softer or harder than the HSM brass? Making it more likely to be grabbed by the chamber? I don't know. But I am interested in learning the cause and solution to your problem.

    Please update your post with new findings.
     
  12. valphillips

    valphillips Member

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    The lapua brass seems to be alot harder material to me. also it is once fired could the camber of the rifle that fired it before be bigger and now the stiffer brass wont shrink enough after it expands when it gets shot? I think i am just going to sell the lapua brass i got and buy some more HSM brass i guess that is what i get for trying to fix something that isnt broken. Again thanks everyone for the responses and help if anyone comes up with more ideas please let me know i would love to know why this is happening as well.
    thanks again
    val
     
  13. jmsbigsmooth

    jmsbigsmooth Well-Known Member

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    under loading can be more dangerous than over loading.
     
  14. Loner

    Loner Well-Known Member

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    What you are experiencing is too large of diameter not over pressure. Headspace pressure
    will slam the bolt lugs back and make the bolt tight. Case diameter sticking will allow the
    bolt to lift normally until the extractor tries to pull the case and then it stops like it hit a
    brick wall. How do the unfired lapua cases chamber? You may have to by some undersized
    dies if your dies won't bring them down. I ran into this on a barrel set back and finally had
    the chamber redone. Something was wrong with the reamer in that particular case.