Any sign to be alarmed? Headspace separation?


Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2009
I got back to reloading 270 WIN cases, which I haven't done for a while now, but after I ran them through FL sizing die I notice a ring close to the head, could this be a sign of the head space separation? Any ideas what might caused this?


Thank you!
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looks like you need to run a papper clip down them boys.and if you can feel the ring on the inside toss them boys and start over.and what ever you were useing in that load I would back off a little.or you can keep a good eye on the next run of case's so you want have one to I think that one will do if you load it again.just make sure it doesn't have a groove in the inside at that same spot.
Expansion at the pressure ring is more a function of the size of your chamber than anything else. The brass expands at the spot where it goes from having a solid brass case head to the open powder column


it is not unusual, here it is on a 30-06 case from a standard factory chamber


That is not to say that evidence of a case head separation does not show up in this area, it does. Normally case head separations are in belted cases though

Most brass will show this sort of mark, doesn't mean headspace rather just expansion marks. If you had head space the case would show definite cracks or complete seperation. FL resise the case run it through your tumbler and the mark should dissapear. Lou
If you are getting a ring around the case as I see ,it means that you have used the cases ,(1) many times at near max loads,(2) have always full lenght sized, (3)
chamber of the rifle has had many rounds thru it.
I would have the rifle checked out by a gunsmith and see if you need to have the
chamber redone.
Once you see the pressure ring around the case , do not use them or you will have head seperation!
Thank you for replies, I went through all of my 270 brass cases and all of then have pressure rings of some sort, even factory ammo which never been re-sized and fired just once, as far as full length sizing I do it after 4 - 5 neck sizing them and when its time to get them anneal. I think it has to do with my factory chamber, which is made by Savage...

Here is an image of just once fired factory ammo cases


Lately I been reloading 308 WIN cases for my TC ICON PH loading such with 44 grains of IMR 4064 never produced such rings even on the cases which I reloaded at least 10 times...
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Jinx .......

Your cases appear fine to me, although it's a little hard to see your pictures well enough. If your cases are inclined to separate, it will usually happen much closer to the white arrow. You should be measuring clearance (at the shoulder) that your handoads have in your particular chamber. Excessive chamber clearance is the only thing that causes headspace separation. Read this article Headspace Separation


- Innovative
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Larry is correct. Your case photo shows only the normal rub of an FL sizing die.

The "bright ring" that is the incepient indicator of a head seperaton occurs after firing, not after sizing.

None of that means you AREN'T getting excessive case stretching, only that what your photo shows isn't of that type.

Most, if not all, head seperations are the result of repeated excess shoulder set back when FL sizing, not high pressure or excess rifle headspace, as such.
on the second picture cases were never re-sized just once fired factory ammo right out the box.
Your chamber dimension looks a little big at the back. If you have good brass it will be like that the whole way around. If the brass is thin on one side it will bulge more on one side. I had a Savage 25-06 that was worse than that, I used to pitch the ones that bulged on one side and neck sized. Groups didn't seem to mind it.
It's already been covered but that's pretty much normal. My Glock rounds all look like that as do my rifle rounds. I don't load hot. Factory ammo is dang sure not hot.
Thank you all, from the comments I had received here I load them again using 52.4 grains of RE-17 and 140 gr SGK, I'll see how they survive the range, looks like its going to rain after Christmas day, o well not the first time, just hope its not a freezing rain :D
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