338 Lapua issue

jaggerz

Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2013
Messages
10
I’m having trouble with my loaded shells being too tight to chamber. Gun is a savage 112 target. Cases are federal and die is rcbs neck sizer. The only things I’ve checked so far are:
Neck sized but empty cases chamber and extract easily.
Necks measure .370 unsized and .365 after running them thru the die. .366 loaded with smk.
I chambered and shot 2 shells today. They were overly snug going in but the bolt closed without too much effort. Well the 2nd one wouldn’t extract. I was able to get the bolt open with considerable effort but had to knock the case out with a cleaning rod. Bullets are seated .02 off the lands and the trim length is within tolerance.
Is there something simple I’m overlooking? Should I skip the neck sizer and full length size instead? I’m at a loss here. Need someone to tell me where I’m going wrong.
 

MagnumManiac

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2008
Messages
3,149
It is often the case that the body at the bottom above the web is where the trouble stems from.
If you use a sharpie and colour a case from extraction groove forward, chamber it and raise and lower the bolt a few times, you should see where any scuffing is coming from.

In high pressure rounds, it is more desirable to Partial FL Size rather than neck size only.
It won’t change case life doing so and, it may just be that you get tighter groups doing so.

Cheers.
:)
 

wildcat455

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2017
Messages
416
Location
Black Canyon City Arizona
If I had to guess:
maybe your throat is too tight?
Concentricity off on loaded rounds?
Perhaps you are actually "in the lands" and are unaware?

Either way, examine your bullet to familiarize any markings on it pre chamber. Then chamber a loaded round, and extract it. If it chambered hard, look for marks. This because you say brass alone chambers easy, and because you had an extraction issue.

To me, it sounds like the bullet is touching somewhere. Pressure building high due to potential jammed or concentricity issue, causing your stuck case
 

SVG308

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Messages
15
Had an issue on my 338LM where the bolt would "click" towards top of travel. Issue was size of case just above web was too tight for my chamber. Ordered a small base die and haven't had a problem since.
 

jaggerz

Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2013
Messages
10
Had an issue on my 338LM where the bolt would "click" towards top of travel. Issue was size of case just above web was too tight for my chamber. Ordered a small base die and haven't had a problem since.


Thanks man. I was kinda hoping that’s what someone was going to say. The first time I loaded my casings that was the issue. 2nd round they got real tight. Bad part is I have all my cases loaded and no puller because I’ve never needed one.
 

SVG308

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Messages
15
I got the dies from C4HD. Not sure why but my Redding body die just wasn't sizing far enough down the case. Rifle was built by GAP so I know the chamber is top notch.
 

dougduey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2011
Messages
1,220
Location
San Antonio, TX
I have been dealing with something similar with my Christensen Arms 338 Lapua. I've been getting pressure signs very early in the way of sticky or stuck bolt and stuck case with FL resized brass that had been fired 1-2x. Even when I dropped the charges way down, I was having the same issues. A guy on the Christensen Arms FB page said he had the same issues because the CA rifles have really tight tolerances and had to anneal his brass after every firing to eliminate the issue. I had someone else suggest that I may be bumping back the shoulder too much. So, I reset my die pretty significantly to bump the shoulder only a few thousands (it doesn't touch the shell holder at all--backed out one full turn and only turned down 1/4 turn to get the brass to chamber easily). I just bought a new Forester FL die to replace my Lee FL die, so I'm going to play with it and see what happens. Sounds like it may be the same issue by not sizing enough down the case
Thanks for posting this info

Doug
 

bigedp51

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2010
Messages
1,022
You said you are neck sizing only, try a standard full length die and size the case body and bump the shoulder back slightly. Do not go to a small base die unless it is necessary.

A small base die will reduce the case diameter .002 to .003 more than a standard die. And the small base die will also push the shoulder back .002 to .003 more than a standard die. A small base die will size the case back to SAAMI minimum dimensions. And if you do not pay attention to shoulder bump you can end up with case head separations.

I highly recommend the Forster full length benchrest dies with their high mounted floating expander. These Forster dies produce cases with very little to no neck runout.

Just remember chambers and dies can vary in size and a skinny chamber and a fat die can cause your problem.
 

jaggerz

Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2013
Messages
10
I ordered a rcbs full length sizer yesterday. Hopefully that will solve the problem. One thing I don’t understand about your advise. If I set my die tight to the shell holder that all I can do to full length size right? How would I bump the shoulder back slightly? Sorry if that’s a dumb question
 

bigedp51

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2010
Messages
1,022
I ordered a rcbs full length sizer yesterday. Hopefully that will solve the problem. One thing I don’t understand about your advise. If I set my die tight to the shell holder that all I can do to full length size right? How would I bump the shoulder back slightly? Sorry if that’s a dumb question

One way to adjust the die for minimum shoulder bump is to place feeler gauges between the shell holder and die. Example start with a .010 feeler gauge and adjust the die downward to contact the feeler gauge. Then full length resize the case and see if it chambers without resistance closing the bolt. If resistance is felt closing the bolt then use a thinner .008 feeler gauge and keep going down with thinner feeler gauges until the bolt closes without resistance.

7FfXhJ7.jpg


Redding makes competition shell holders that do the same thing as using feeler gauges but you never have to touch or adjust the die. You will have five shell holders and you start with the + .010 (plus 10 thousandths) shell holder and work downward + .008, + .006, + .004, + .002 until the case chambers without resistance.

RB11601.jpg


If you have a Hornady cartridge case headspace gauge you just measure a fired case and change shell holder for .002 shoulder bump.

Below a "fired" 5.56 Lake City case in my Hornady gauge, and then I select the proper competition shell holder for .002 shoulder bump.

H0SXHH8.jpg
 

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