splitting case necks

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by dustinm12, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. dustinm12

    dustinm12 New Member

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    This is my first post and I could really use some expert help.

    I am slightly new to reloading. I understand the basics, but do not know enough information or have the tools required to find out certain things. I am currently using a .308 Rem. 700 police action on an AI stock. I started reloading 155 gr HPBT with re-15. I have never loaded up to the maximums I have found in all the reloading data I have. this weekend I went out and ran through about 15 rounds and found that 2/3 of the case necks split. Not only this, but at 600 yards my rounds were all over the place. I am not saying I am an expert marksman, but every time my rounds were hitting low. So i would raise my elevation, shoot, then it would continue to be low. at least 7 times I raised my elevation, but still hit low of the target. I pulled one of the rounds when I got home and found that the powder was around 42.6 to 42.8 grains. Can someone just give me an idea if they might know what is happening?
     
  2. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    Your brass is hard and you need to either anneal the necks or toss it. As for hitting low where you just holding over? If so you've come to the right place to get straitened out, folks here will get you lined out pretty well on better methods, and don't forget to drink your cup of humble when you go shooting.
     

  3. MTBULLET

    MTBULLET Well-Known Member

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    Wow, where to start?
    first, find an old grey beard at your shooting range/club. get to know him/her, ask for help. and learn how to anneal and trim brass, it's not hard to do.
     
  4. TXBlkCld

    TXBlkCld Member

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    Another newbie here. What does "anneal" mean? Please forgive the ignorance
     
  5. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    You put the case in a flame for a small period of time (anywere from 5-15 seconds depending on the temp of the flame and how hot you want to get your cases) so it softens the case. You only want to soften the neck, softening the head will cause some serious safety problems. Do a search to get a much more detailed answer.
     
  6. MTBULLET

    MTBULLET Well-Known Member

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    I strongly urge you to buy several reloading manuals and READ them. Without basic information you are headed for a really hard time in loading.
     
  7. bbutturff

    bbutturff Well-Known Member

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    Very good advice. Also, to learn more about annealing go here:

    The Art and Science of Annealing
     
  8. 375fan

    375fan Well-Known Member

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    dustinm12,

    How many times have the cases with split necks been reloaded?
     
  9. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    Please give us more details. What brass are you using? Did you start with that brass in new condition or are you using brass you found on range or given to you? If you are mixing brass this could be why your groups at 600 yds are poor.

    You mentioned you adjusted the scope and the point of impact remained low. Maybe there is an issue with the scope?

    None of us are capable of knowing what you already know so take the following comments as intended to help.

    In regard to brass only use new brass of same manufacture. Segregate the brass by number of times fired. Watch for signs of metal fatigue. Usually you can get 6-12 firings from a piece ( or more) of brass depending on how much you are work hardening or "working" the brass. Hot loads or excessive sizing can fatigue the brass making for a shorter life.

    To be frank I have never annealed any of my brass but would consider it if the brass I were making required fireforming to make something like an ackley improved AND the brass was expensive like Lapua or RWS. For rem, win, or fed I have never bothered and I have been reloading for over 30 yrs.
    Your choice.

    Factory chamber neck diameters are larger than necessary. Upon firing the necks will expand to make contact with the chamber neck. If your brass is sized in a full length sizing die that has a sizer ball, the necks will be reduced in diameter in the top of the die. With the return stroke the sizer ball will open up the neck for "proper" neck tension which is usually around .003" smaller than the diameter of the bullet. The extra expansion in the chamber neck combined with the sizing of the necks smaller than necessary for the sizer ball is work hardening the brass so it splits. To be honest unless there are extremes in dimensions the splitting shouldn't happen for at least half a dozen firings or more.

    Either you have some extreme dimensions in the chamber or you are using very old brass. Fill us in on the details.

    One solution that can help extend brass life would be to use a S bushing style die so you are only sizing the necks down enough for proper neck tension. It would eliminate the excessive "working" of the brass during sizing. An even better solution is to rechamber with a minimal neck clearance chamber further reducing the working of the brass. Obviously this is best to do when you rebarrel.

    Your turn. Give us more details and we will help you figure out your problem.
     
  10. dustinm12

    dustinm12 New Member

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    Well I do have a little more information. All the cases that did split were from Remington Core-Lokt ammunition that I had bought and fired before then reloaded only a few times. I'm waiting on my new bullet puller so I can check on my powder loads. I am also planning on taking some of my rounds and my gun to a gunsmith to get them checked out before I go out again or start reloading again.

    I have started looking into case annealing and I'd like to get into doing that to extend the life of my brass, but its hard to do since a decent machine costs over $300. I don't plan on trying to do it by hand. I don't need anything else that could go wrong. But hopefully after speaking with a professional gunsmith I will be able to figure this problem out.
     
  11. MTBULLET

    MTBULLET Well-Known Member

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    you don't NEED a machine to anneal.
    a few old brass to learn with
    a propane torch
    a dark room
    a can of water
    a deep well socket adapted to run in a cordless drill/screw driver helps
    within a few minutes you'll have the process down
    tons of info about annealing on the web, and very easy to do.
     
  12. Sully2

    Sully2 Well-Known Member

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    No machine needed at all. I use a baking pan...with about 1" of water in it...stand the casings up in the water ( cant get the head too hot that way) and heat the mouth and shoulder area and you'll see it change color......then tip it over in the water with the propane torch.

    If you cant anneal via hand held propane torch....then give up reloading cause there isnt any part easier!!!
     
  13. dustinm12

    dustinm12 New Member

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    Sully2,

    I have read a lot from people using the same technique you are talking about with tipping the cases over in water. The only issue I keep hearing about this way is not being able to evenly heat the cases all the way around. I guess that's why so many people are suing sockets with a drill so they can turn the case inside the flame. Do you do anything special to help with this or no?