Should I be worried?

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Jul 1, 2020
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I’m fairly new to reloading and still learning quite a bit as I go. Recently bought a new Savage 110 chambered in 300 win mag. Worked up a load with some R19 that was pretty decent but with less than favorable results and the difficulty in finding powder currently I’ve switched to H4350. I’ve been using the same brass for several reloads and have recently discovered I’ve been resizing incorrectly the entire time. Now on to my concern. I worked up a load of 69gr of H4350 with federal 215 primers pushing a 168 Nosler E Tip. I shot 3 rounds that resulted in a slightly heavy bolt lift and a little more force needed to work the bolt than normal. But not excessive. Other than that no high pressure signs and everything else looked fine. Regardless I did not shoot the rest of what I had loaded. Went home and pulled them. Reloaded some with a slightly lower starting load. First round seemed fine. Chrono read just under 3000 FPS. Second round spiked at 3028. Bolt lift wasn’t excessive but I had to almost literally beat the bolt back for extraction. The case completely separated right above the belt and the rest of the brass was stuck in the chamber. Primer looked fine. I didn’t mess with it at the range just packed up and left. When I got home which was in about an hour I was able to use a .410 bore brush and remove the case with zero effort. Got a factory load. Chambered fine. Shot a round in the backyard (very rural) and it extracted just fine with zero high pressure signs. I have since discontinued all the old brass I was using and am about to start working up loads with all new brass. I’ve also read about the error of my ways in regards to resizing and chamber length.

My main question is what are the odds I’ve done damage to my chamber or barrel I can’t see? I’ve cleaned both thoroughly and see no visible signs of damage. The bolt looks fine. No imprinting on the face. Extractor works as it’s supposed to. Any help or insight is appreciated. Thank you
 

memtb

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Doubtful that you did any damage to the rifle. While the round appeared to have been a bit “hot”, from your description, I think your good to go!

With only a few reloads on the brass, and then experiencing a case separation....you may have a bit more headspace than is desired. You may consider sizing your brass by merely “kissing” the shoulder.....to prevent excessive set-back of the shoulder. The case stretching to fill the chamber when fired, then setting the shoulder back (potentially a bunch) will bring about premature case failure....generally a separation just forward of the web!

Take this for what it’s worth.....I’m not an expert on the subject! memtb
 
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Mustang72

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Texas
Doesn't sound like any damage was done. I bet with fresh brass you can work back to up to that load without any pressure signs--but maybe not. I had a similar problem a few years back with a 7mag. Once I switched to new brass everything went back to normal but that was a load I had been using for quite a while. It could be that you hit pressure or it could be just an old brass issue. Work back up with caution!
 

aushunter1

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Wow, I hope you took pictures on that case as Ive never seen a full case head separation.

I would be getting the chamber checked with a bore camera!
If there is any blemish you will have a hard time extracting fired cases but you will knw soon enough if you fire more rounds out of it..
 

BoomFlop

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The other thing to remember is an all copper bullet will produce higher pressure.

You also didn’t mention your distance to lands. Are you sure you aren’t jammed into the lands? Might be something to consider checking as well. Copper tends to like a big jump.

Good luck to you!
Steve
 

mwkelso

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Just a thought here from one of my prior experiences.
I can’t speak to the case separation, I haven’t experienced this before. But I have forgotten to make sure my chamber was completely dry and free of any lubricant/oil, and was therefore experiencing pressure signs on a load well within proper limits according to the book.
Might be worth double checking after each clean with a patch wrapped around a brush.
Good luck on the rest, I am very curious to see what comes of it!
 

19elkhunter51

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Dec 18, 2008
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Based on your explanation, it sounds like an incorrect shoulder set back that caused a case head separation. It only take one or two reloadings with excessive headspace to cause that type of separation. I would check the other cases for beginning separation.
Also based on your explanation, probably no damage to the gun. If your are very concerned you can buy headspace gauges that will tell you if you stretched the bolt lugs out of tolerance.
 

WYO300RUM

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All said here is very good advice and I agree.
Just something I noticed about E Tips years ago when I tried them. I got excessive pressure from low end loads. I never had pressure problems with Barnes or Hammers now. I would also try other bullets .
 

WYO300RUM

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They were all loaded to Nolser specs which has them set significantly deeper than accubonds or something of the like.
Are you loading the E Tips to same data as Accubonds ?; Without looking at manual , I wouldn't . I'd start at lower end for Accubond, Ballistic Tip, Partition , etc. data. More bearing surface, copper is harder than guilding metal. But that's just me.
 
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Flintlock

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Oct 6, 2006
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Central Oklahoma
I would say it was bumping the shoulder back to far. Not a belted round but I was working on loads for my
309JDJ, a 444 Marlin case, neck down to 30 cal. I loaded about twenty rounds and all shot great. Got my velocities and scope set. I went back to the bench, decided to load some 308 rounds for the next weekend so I changed shell holder and dies and got that done. I then decided to load more 309JDJ the next day. I took the shell holder out and dies, and replaced with the 444 shell holder and 309JDJ dies from my bench. Loaded some and went to the range to shoot. I had two that separated about 1/8" from the rim. A few of the others after inspecting had very easy to see rings around the base of the brass where the other separated.HUM.
Went back to the bench and found I had put another 444 Marlin shell holder in the die, not the one I used the first time. I had two different brands and doing some measuring the one I installed was about 1/16th longer which bumped my shoulder back too far and caused the space in my chamber for the brass to flow forward since it head spaced on the rim. I chunked that shell holder and haven't had any more problems. This was on a Single Shot Contender pistol.
In saying all of that, it only took 1/16" or less to cause this. I've seen this on a .264 Win Mag that a friend loads. He bumped the shoulder too much instead of neck sizing. He had a couple separate. Sometimes it will split the neck down to the should if the brass is real strong or new with all of the space at the shoulder.
You should be good on your rifle.
Good luck in your reloading. Remember, when working up loads, only change one thing at a time and try that and then go to the next change if needed. That is the only way to truly see what works.
Mike
 

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