Unique Reloading Issue, Ruger American 270 Win

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by thatguyshm, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. thatguyshm

    thatguyshm Well-Known Member

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    Hello all,

    Long time lurker here. I have been loading for years, and I come from a long line of loading. This gun has made me extremely miffed and quite PO'd. A friend of mine received a Ruger American in 270 win. I do not like the caliber for very petty reasons, and honestly have never fired a round from one. That being said, I am reloading for my friend, and have come across a very difficult situation.

    I have loaded several rounds for this firearm, and none will allow the bolt to close easily. I have looked at this from every angle that I honestly can. I need help in every way imaginable. I reload precision rounds all the time, from 223/5.56, 257 wby, 308, 300 wm, 338 fed, 7mm rm, anything you can imagine. This certain 270 has me pulling my own hair out.

    Here is the problem laid out pretty simply. The bolt wont close. I've started from scratch. I've used RCBS fl resizing die, and a Lee die. I've seated with both as well. I've miked the case of a factory round that will fit. It works smooth as butter. My reload is every way the same. The factory round is Remington round nose, 130 gr. I am loading 150 hornady sst's. I have seated the round up and down, nothing will chamber easy. I can force the bolt closed if I'm using around 3.210" COAL, with book being 3:340", as well as the Hodgdon site saying 3.285" COAL. Nothing works. So I thought maybe it was the round. I tried one for my 6.8 SPC, 110 vmax at 3.210", still a no go.

    I have trimmed all brass to 2.530", so I thought maybe that might be the problem. I took one down to 2.505", without any projectile, just resized and slid into the chamber. Still wouldn't close down. So at that point I started on the brass itself. I took a once fired, in his other 270win rifle, and it slid in. I resized, measured and it was at 2.548", which is over the length of 2.530". So I trimmed it down after sizing, and it wouldn't close.

    I have tried several different types of brass. I have miked everything out, every part that may oversize. Everything is at or under the factory case that chambers with no problem. I have never had this issue before. The same exact case measurements from a once fired vs the factory will not allow easy bolt closure. I have worked the projectile in and out. I have trimmed short, allowed long. I can't think of anything that can change this.

    I am intrigued at this point and can not give up until I have figured this out. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Here are my steps:

    1. Polish in walnut medium for several hours, brass-o as additive.

    2. Full length resize in both LEE and RCBS 270 Winchester dies.

    3. Trim cases to 2.530" length.

    4. Chamfer and debur.

    5. Clean primer pocket.

    6. Seat with LEE hand primer CCI large rifle primers.

    7. Charge with Supreme 780 at 55.0 gr, 150 Hornady SST's to depth from 3.210-3.285".

    8. Fail at chambering.

    9. Swear excessively. Throw random objects.

    10. Scratch head.

    So any help will be amazing. Anyone have any issues like this? Anyone loading for a Ruger American? If I need to add any information please let me know. Thanks

    Seth
     

  2. Catfur

    Catfur Well-Known Member

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    Does the virgin brass fit in the chamber, before any steps are done on it?

    Does the sized brass fit in the chamber, before any more steps are performed on it?

    No answers, just some questions that may help nail down the problem.
     

  3. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    First off, I'm not being a smarta$$ when I suggest trying a paper shim.
    I ran across an issue similar to this, & got "beat up" on every aspect of my hand loading technique from the "know it all-internet ninja-hand loading crowd".

    I was loading for a rifle that didn't belong to me, but also on a cartridge I load on a regular basis. My loads were butter smooth, & proven at long range, on every other rifle I loaded for in that chambering. But no matter what I tried, trimming necks, running dies down, etc. Nothing would work.
    I was stumped.
    Turns out, it was a Very tight chambered rifle, & even though I'd bottomed out my Redding FL sizing die, on the RCBS shell holder on, on my Hornady Press, the brass still wouldn't fit. UNTILL I folded a small piece of paper, & put it between my shell holder & the brass. Like a shim if you will. Worked like a charm.
    I still plan to get a whole set of shorter height shell holders (like .005 or .010 shorter ht.) just for this. I cringe at the thought of a paper shim as a "fix".
    I had done everything as properly as my tools would allow. Running the dies down as far as they'd go & still too long etc. & got told by the internet experts, & armchair quarterbacks, that I was an incompetent idiot, & had no business loading precision LR Hunting rounds. (At which i am no rookie)
    But It wasn't until I came across the perfect storm of an Extremely tight chamber, & the slight amount of err in my shell holders that I lost, & regained my confidence in my loading ability, & trouble shooting.

    Anyway, sounded similar to your issue.
    Good luck
     
  4. thatguyshm

    thatguyshm Well-Known Member

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    I do not have virgin brass, it is all once fired from my friends separate 270. The once fired fit with no problem. I have been stumped on this all day, and have grown wary of it. I am literally cursing the firearm as it sits on its bipod in the middle of my living room floor.

    Fire formed brass from a separate rifle fits perfectly. Smooth as glass. Once full length resizing, no go. I spoke to my father quickly tonight, as it was rather late, and he suggested backing the die off .020-.030" off the shoulder. It makes sense, as every other aspect measures perfectly. I was wondering if anyone had any kind of repeatable way to measure the shoulder angle? I gave one more hail mary and tried about .120" off the shoulder, as opposed to the .010-.015 I have been running.

    His only advice to me was that the .270 is extremely finicky when it comes to neck resizing. I am case resizing to about .220" off the bottom of the case. I have always been taught to size the neck as far as possible, but have never loaded for the cursed .270. I load for .30-06 and have no problem from 155-200 gr rounds, so this is driving me batty.

    Does anyone have a good sizing length for the .270? Also, as I KNOW I am over thinking this, what would be the best way to fix the 100 or so cases that I have sized, trimmed, chamfered/deburred to fit a different neck angle?

    I am going to try to shim up a case tomorrow until the neck angle is also formed in my dies tomorrow, as ruining another case doesn't matter a bit to me at this point. I have NEVER been so frustrated with loading as I am right now. I have die formed 7mm RM brass to 257 WBY with less frustrations.

    Thank you both for your responses, and I hope I addressed them.

    1. I can't find virgin brass. So no help there.

    2. Resized without any other case prep does not allow easy chambering, but forced can get some brass in. When I mike it, it comes out around 3.348"ish I belive.

    3. Haven't tried shimming yet, next step.

    4. Going to try backing it off until only half the neck is sized and go down by .010"s or so until perhaps it will work.

    PS, I hate 270 winchester.
     
  5. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Hmmmmmmm!!!!!

    Fired cases form other 270 I chambers smoothly. Correct?

    Same case resized doesn't chamber in subject rifle. Correct?

    Will that case chamber in the rifle in which iit was originally fired?

    If no, then WTH? Die problem?

    Being a somewhat a really impatient fella, about now or a lot earlier, that die would have had several counseling sessions with the bench grinder!

    Maybe check case conentricity across its length.

    PS, the 270 loads like any other of the '06 family of cases. It just shoots better.:D:D
     
  6. thatguyshm

    thatguyshm Well-Known Member

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    Correct on both counts. And as I stated in my initial post, I've used two different sizing dies, so I'm thinking that isn't where the issue is. I'm assuming this rifle has only had a max of about 40 rounds down the tube, so my first task today will be dissasembly and full cleaning. Scrub out the chamber. I'm not a big fan of the bolt on this firearm, so I'm going to look at every inch of that as well. But still have a hard time accepting this issue.
     
  7. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    Another bit of food for thought

    It's not uncommon for brass from one rifle to not fit in another (which you already know, as per "no new brass available") but if your dies are properly FL sizing the brass it shouldn't matter.

    So my next guess would be a lube issue? Not quite enough so it's getting hung up in the die? Might try just barely lubing the inside rim of the case neck to see if it prevents the expander ball getting partially hung up & stretching the brass back out on the up stroke?
    You'd have to scrub it all out again, but...
    Wild a$$ Guess but worth a shot at this point.
    I'm still betting the paper shim will allow full re-sizing & it'll fit tho. Not a permanent fix, but it can tell you if you have err on your shell holder if your bumping the dies on the up stroke when it cams over. At least you'll be able to identify the problems.

    Ps. I Love anything 270, 30, & 338, but have a severe hatred for anything 7mm. So putting myself in your shoes, & pretending it was a 7mm I'd be throwing a tantrum by now. So I understand fanning the fire with problems on a cartridge you dislike.
    Strange how we all develop a fondness or hatred of certain cartridges huh. Makes it hard to accept its not the cartridges fault. There's an issue somewhere, you've just gotta find it, & fix it.

    Keep us posted. I'd like to see what you find out.
     
  8. CogburnR

    CogburnR Well-Known Member

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    Sounds to me like a short chamber.

    Did you measure the shoulder length and resize to bump the shoulder back a couple thousandths?

    If you don't have a proper gauge for it you can use a 40 S&W case over the neck to measure differences from the base to shoulder length.

    If the shoulder needs to go back farther then either the base of the die needs a few thousands taken off or a shellholder needs a couple thou taken off the top.

    I usually grind a couple thousandths off the bottom of the die if needed.
     
  9. thatguyshm

    thatguyshm Well-Known Member

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    So I grabbed a fresh case from my tumbler, loaded into the Ruger and it slid in easy as pie. I took it out, lubed inside and out with Imperial wax, sized the case and it was a no go. So then, on a whim, I lubed the case itself and slid it into the firearm, wax all over the case. Turned in almost as easy as the factory case. I'm not the brightest bulb in my living room right now, I have a 40watter flicking across the way. But I'm assuming this is a shoulder problem. Next step I'm going to do is to grind down the bottom of the die so I can maybe bump back the shoulder. I am getting to about .010" from the neck, and am thinking perhaps this may solve some of the issues.

    It is funny though, as I love my 7mm. Its easy to load and shoots great. I love my 6.8 as well, same cal as the 270, but I just want to take a torch to this Ruger 270.

    So I will grind down the die. I just tried the shim method and that didn't work. I appreciate all the help. I just know I'll be bald by the time this is over, pulling out ALL my hair.

    Seth
     
  10. thatguyshm

    thatguyshm Well-Known Member

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    UPDATE

    I ground about .200" off the shellholder. Slid the first brass through, dented the rim a tiny amount, sized very hard. Backed it off about 1/32nd of a turn, no dent, but still sizing hard. I tried sizing brass that I had already sized, so I would just have to push back the neck a touch. Couldn't fully run the brass through the die on my second attempt. But the one that did push the neck back some slid in easy as pie.

    I hate this round.
     
  11. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    I've got two 270's and while not my first choice( I got free brass and dies from my brother when I was looking at a "truck" gun) for a caliber, they go bang at the range just fine. Then my wife get's me another one, so I'm in I guess.:rolleyes:

    I'm leaning with the others that she's a tight/short chambered rifle.

    Have you tried small base dies?? Some rifles just need to get the brass squashed all the way down to fac. dimensions and fl dies do NOT do this. Are you using win brass?? If you are you'll likely have to ream the primer pocket to even get a primer to seat level-- that alone could bind her up. I hate win 270 win brass (though refined it is fine); my fingers get calluses just thinking of cutting more 270 pockets with a hand uniformer.
     
  12. thatguyshm

    thatguyshm Well-Known Member

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    I finally got upset and I figured what better way to tune a fine precision operation than a frickin' grinder. I took about .200" off the shellbase. Then I had to play up and down a little bit, got a few lube dents in the shoulders from learning where it liked the lube and where it didn't. I have currently sized, trimmed, chamf'd and deburred over 150 and every single one finally fits in the chamber. So I am assuming as so many had suggested, the chamber is a short/tight chamber. Now I have to try and seat 150gr horn sst's in them, another challenge for another day.

    I could not have done this without you all. Thank you very much, and you will hear from me whenever I have my next dilemma.

    Seth
     
  13. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    :D confidence booster when you win ain't it :D
    Congrats, & thanks for the heads follow up.
     
  14. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

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    Having read the thread I note that you are primarily trying to use once-fired brass from this rifle back in this same rifle. If so, why not try just neck sizing it and leave the shoulder alone? A fairly inexpensive option is a Lee Collet Die which is very easy to set up and use. I've even taken random brass that would fit in my rifle (i.e. did not need to have the shoulder bumped), neck sized it, and used it with no problems.

    Lee Collet Neck Sizer Die 270 Winchester

    By doing this you'd avoid all of your shoulder problems, work the brass far less, and keep your hair. :D I do this with my own 270 and it shoots exceptionally well. You can often get several reloads out of the brass before worrying about the shoulder.

    I usually buy the whole 3 die set from Lee as it's so inexpensive rather than just the Collet die, but obviously it's your preference.