Possible head space issues

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by ACLakey, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. ACLakey

    ACLakey Active Member

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    Last year I had a barrel put on my Savage 12 action chambered in .223AI and it has never shot all that well. With extensive load development, bedding and a recrowning job the best I can get it to do is a 1" average at 100 yards. I picked up a neck sizing die and ran some brass through it and found that they would not chamber(could not close the bolt). That got me thinking that possibly there is a head space issue. If I FL resize the brass the rifle chambers just fine. Any thoughts? Possible solutions?
     
  2. Kevin Cram

    Kevin Cram <b>SPONSOR</b>

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    There could be several factors why the rifle won't better. I don't believe headspace would be it. It could be the crown is not cut square to the bore, the bedding is not stress free, or the barrel is not free floated. The rings and bases may have a loose screw, the scope might be bad or even in a bind. The chamber could be out of round, or worst case you got a bum barrel. You pretty much have to diagnose it one by one and see what's wrong.

    Even if the headspace was a little long once you fire a piece of brass in the chamber the brass will match the chamber ( unless the headspace was very excessive ) Some rifles need to have the shoulder bumped back about .001" - .002" and it will re-chamber perfectly. If you use a Hornady Bullet Comparator Body and Hornady Headspace Bushing Gauge you can measure a fired round from the base to the addendum on the shoulder then re-size just enough to bump the shoulder back a few thousandths by using a body bump die.
     

  3. ACLakey

    ACLakey Active Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I have systamaticly eliminated all of the items on your list and am down to the chamber being out of round or possibly a head space issue. I will be indexing some brass this evening to see if is possibly out of round.
     
  4. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Have you asked the someone that chambered and set the headspacing what it is set at and have you shot it at 200 or 300 yrds to see what the groups are doing there.
     
  5. ACLakey

    ACLakey Active Member

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    Ok, I blackened the neck and taper as shown below then neck sized the case as recommended.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    It appears as if I have the die set properly as it is sizing the neck with out effecting the shoulder.
    I also marked up a neck sized case and put numbers in each quadrant. I started with the number 1 faced up and tried to chamber the brass, then went to the line between 1 and 2 then number 2 up ect.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The results of this little test are as follows
    1 - chambered fine
    1/2 - bolt pushes home, tough closing bolt
    2 - will not allow bolt to push home
    2/3 - will not allow bolt to push home
    3 - will not allow bolt to push home
    3/4 - bolt pushes home, tough to close bolt
    4 - bolt pushes home, tough to close bolt
    4/1 - chambers fine
    It would appear the chamber is either out of round or not square with the bore...any thoughts or suggestions?
     
  6. ACLakey

    ACLakey Active Member

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    I just called the gunsmith that put the barrel on and he said the threads on the barrel looked as if they were cut a little off center. I asked what he ment and he stated that one the threads on one side of the barrel were deeper than the other......that would have been nice to know. He is retired now for medical reasons and sold the business but is a family friend that always did good work for me in the past. I think that little bit of information explanes a lot of the issues I am seeing. I am going to fire form a bunch of brass with this turd and get a quality barrel for it soon. Thanks all for the help thus far.
     
  7. Movin

    Movin Active Member

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    Deprimer a spent round and mount in a lathe between pintles. Check the chamber end for both lateral runout and out of round and the midsection for out of round.

    This problem shouldn't be possible?? How did you wind up with that?!!
     
  8. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    It kinda seems you may have two problems, being able to turn the case and only chamber in one spot seems like a egged chamber and the threads being of would cause an accuracy issue because when the barrel nut is tightened it would torque the barrel in relation to the action putting all kinds of stress on things.
    Could the barrel be tweeked enough to actually allow the case head to be that far out of square that is seems like an egged chamber but you actually have a long side and a short side causing head space problems in one area?
     
  9. Kevin Cram

    Kevin Cram <b>SPONSOR</b>

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    It appears that you do have a out of round chamber according to your test. If the threads were cut out of round to the bore then when tightening the barrel nut your not getting even contact between the receiver face, recoil lug and barrel nut more than likely creating some stress. It sound sas if the whole barrel is jacked up. Rather than spend time beating your head against a wall trying to make it shoot I'd tear the barrel off and get a good aftermarket barrel for it and go from there.
     
  10. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Bummer, burn it out on varmints !!:D
     
  11. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    +1

    If you can't rotate the brass without it not chambering you
    need to stop wasting your time and money. also it looks like the chamber is loose (To large)
    near the case head because of the ring on the case near the back.

    Shillen sells pre chambered barrels for the Savage and with the cost of ammo/components to
    load it will be paid for in no time.

    There are other barrel makers that sell pre chambered barrels also.

    This is a very accurate round and should shoot well under 1 MOA with a good barrel and
    chamber.

    J E CUSTOM