Very short brass life

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by theEMP, May 19, 2014.

  1. theEMP

    theEMP Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone. Question on brass life. I have a bunch of federal cases, about 200 saved up for my 300 win mag. I had one split at the head on me on only the third firing. I am shooting loads that are close to max for this rifle. So having had one split I've started checking my brass closer with the good old paper clip method and after the second firng I have had to cut about 10% of my cases. So what could be causing this? My primary thought is that its just the cheep federal brass but I want to make sure it isn't some issue with my resizing technique (full length RCBS) or with my rifles chamber. Any help would be great!
     
  2. AZShooter

    AZShooter Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a headspace issue.

    The splitting issue might be caused by overworking the brass during full length sizing. Are you adjusting your FL die to move the shoulder back just enough for easy chambering? Or are you setting the die up so it makes contact with the shell holder?

    Most case head separations I have seen were caused by improper die adjustment.
     
  3. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

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    What AZshooter said about over working your cases is probably what is happening. In my experience Federal cases are softer than most others and they stretch and flow easy and don't last long. Primer pockets got loose quickly for me also.
     
  4. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like Federal belted mag brass to me...

    My 7mmSTW has done the same thing many many cases. I swapped to Nosler and haven't had anymore issues.
     
  5. theEMP

    theEMP Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I set up my dies how RCBS said to, run the die down until it touches the shell holder then go 1/8th turn. So I may be over working the brass as well. how do you guys set up your dies then? The other thing that may be factoring into this (headspace issue?) I have never been able to get up to book max with any loads in this rifle. For instance IMR7828 book lists 73.0-77.0 grains. I was getting pressure signs, extractor marks, at 75 grains. Now I was using the super short cut powder but I had the same issues kind of issues with RL22.
     
  6. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    +1! I have Federal brass with 5X in my .300 Win Mag without any problem -- FL (RCBS and Redding dies) without contact with shell holder.
     
  7. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    That depends on bullet used too. For instance, Hornady 9th ed, calls for 73gr of 7828 on .208gr A-Max bullet as maximum load. My current load for the .208gr A-Max is 74gr of 7828SSC without pressure signs.

    Also, how close are you to the lands?

    Sorry not very good scan pix but hopefully you can get the gist of it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Good luck!
     
  8. Outlaw6.0

    Outlaw6.0 Well-Known Member

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    +2. I've used Federal for years. If you overwork them, they will go to pot very quickly.

    OP- There are two ways to set up your dies to minimize overworking your brass.

    1). Start with a case fired in the rifle you intend to reload for. Back your dies off a couple turns. Size the case & put the sized case in your rifle. Check stiffness when you close your bolt, if it's tight, turn your die in 1/4 turn or so & repeat until your bolt closes without any resistance.

    2). Spend the trival amout of $$ to pick up a shoulder bump gauge. This mounts to your micrometer to measure from the base of the cartridge to the shoulder of your cartridge. Set your dies so it only bumps the shoulder ~.002; check the cartridge in your rifle & adjust as necessary (if necessary).

    HORNADY LOCK-N-LOAD™ HEADSPACE GAUGE TOOL | Sinclair Intl



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  9. theEMP

    theEMP Well-Known Member

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    Great info! When I get home tonight I will try setting up my dies how ya'll have recommended, and will probably pick up the Hornady head space gauge.

     
  10. Outlaw6.0

    Outlaw6.0 Well-Known Member

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    No worries, if you get stuck or have questions, shoot me a PM I'd be more than happy to help.


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  11. cajun

    cajun Active Member

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    Get a head space gauge and measure how much you are setting back a fired case. Trying to measure bolt stiffness on closing is very subjective. Also get some better quality brass.
     
  12. theEMP

    theEMP Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone. I did just buy a headspace gage and have set up my die for a 0.002 bump. I am going to get some new brass as soon as I find some. What is everyone's opinion on Hornady brass? Is it worth the money or am I better off spending the extra 20 or so bucks for Nossler?
     
  13. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    For the money, I would pick Winchester or Hornady, over Remington or Federal brass any day.

    I also use ALOT of Nosler/Norma/Weatherby brass, too. Those 3 brands are all manufactured by Norma.

    I always recommend the Nosler, if someone wants the highest quality brass available.
     
  14. Outlaw6.0

    Outlaw6.0 Well-Known Member

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    I've had pretty decent luck with most if not all of the major brands; it just depends on how much work you want to do to it. I do have to challenge your statement that Nosler is thet highest quality brass available. It is good stuff, however, Lapua it is not. :cool:



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