Bolt handle tight to lift up on some shots.

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Indy Bob, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. Indy Bob

    Indy Bob Member

    May 12, 2012
    Indianapolis IN
    I may know the answer to this question about the bolt very hard to lift up on my 22-250 after only "SOME" rounds are fired. (Is it too much pressure?????).

    What is faking me out is the fact that I am loading 10% lower than the books say for H-380. My loads were 34.5 gr of H-380, 53 gr.Hornady Match HP, CCI LR primer. I weigh my power to 1/10 gr. (balance beam ... I am VERY picky to have it right on).
    I used a gauge to measure the bullet in relationship to the grooves in the rifling and the bullet is "just touching" the grooves. Brass is fire-formed and only neck sized. I have also used a flash-hole reamer to eliminate poorly punched flash-holes.

    I know there are more modern powders now ...... but I have used H-380 years before ..with that same load recipe. My rifle was not used much at all so this load is one I have used years before. I may ??? have had some of that problem back then

    What are other variables that might be causing my problems.

    Does anyone have a suggestion for a different powder for this 22-250 and the 53 gr bullets?
  2. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

    Jan 27, 2006
    Sumpin ain't right here! Typo I hope! Your load of 34.5gr is almost 4gr below Min. If that is truly your load, your are treading on dangerous ground. Going that far below Min can be just as dangerous as going way over Max.

    This will surely increase pressures as the published data most likely allowed for plenty of jump to the lands. Loading up close will give Max pressure in any chamber.

  3. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    Most reloaders are aware that cartridge cases (especially bottleneck high power rifle cases) grow longer with each firing. The only place the brass can go, in a bottleneck case design, is into the neck area which obviously grows longer BUT ALSO GROWS THICKER IN THE NECK AREA with each firing!

    The longer condition is easily corrected by case trimming, using any of several commonly available tools made for the purpose. The neck thickening phenomena is not so easily corrected. When neck diameter reaches max blueprint diameter with a seated bullet, it is a good sign to retire the case as worn out.

    The neck lengthening and thickening phenomena are accompanied by case wall thinning just forward of the case head web. Excessive reloading or a cartridge case will eventually lead to a case head separation, if the thickened (albeit trimmed) neck does not damage the firearm first.

    Every reloader should have a good dial or electronic caliper. Every reloaded high power rifle ammo case neck should be measured to insure that it is not over blueprint dimension. If you have a tight chambered rifle and an over diameter case neck; you have a recipe for possibly wrecking your rifle and likely being injured.
  4. Indy,

    I bought a Browning BLR 22-250 from a friend about a year ago. He gave me some factory ammo at the same time and I ended up buying some new Hornady Super Performance ammo also. I had problems with the lever action getting stuck and not ejecting the brass similar to what you are talking about with your bolt gun. I kept thinking the load was too hot for the gun and I asked him if he had had any problems with it in the past - he said no.

    I had cleaned and lubed all that I could without taking down the action of that BLR (problems will happen if you don't know what you are doing, and I didn't).

    I finally decided that I needed to lightly coat the chamber with oil (I used Silver Bullet Gun Oil) and it did the trick. My guess was (and confirmed by the previous owner) that the rifle hadn't been fired for quite a while and the chamber hadn't gotten enough lube. I've shot factory loads as well as handloads through that gun in the meantime without any issues with the lever ejecting the case.

    Simple fix. Good luck.
  5. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    When you wipe oil onto a cartridge case just before loading, or treat a chamber with oil or a similar coefficient of friction reducing material; you alter the normal distribution of pressure forces and abnormally increase the thrust and load onto the breech (bolt) face and the firearm's locking mechanism upon firing.

    This practice may make for easier or more reliable operation of a firearm with mechanical problems (like a very dirty or rough chamber) in the short run, but doing so is almost universally considered to be bad (and/or potentially dangerous) practice.

    Chambers and breech faces should be wiped dry of oil, with a tight patch, at the end of the cleaning process. Doing so will still leave enough oil in the pores of the steel to prevent rust until the next cleaning, under normal circumstances.
  6. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    ND, USA
    I'm with Steve on this one.
    34.5 is a long way under the MIN starting point, and that's a recipe for a kaboom.
    What manual is that data from and how current is it?

    I would back off of the lands at least 0.005" too, maybe even 0.010" to start with.
    Once you've got a promising load with your desired powder charge & velocity, then maybe fiddle around with COAL to fine-tune if needed.

    Typically, I used WW748 or IMR4064 for .22-250 loads regardless of bullet weight.
    Both worked very well in all of my rifles as far as accuracy and velocities.
    WW748 was more inconsistent velocity-wise at low temps than 4064 but I could pretty much duplicate the Winchester factory 55gr load accuracy (which my 788 just loved). Since a lot of my shooting is winter coyote hunting my main choice was 4064.
    I don't have a .22-250 at the moment...but I'll have another again someday.
  7. Thanks for the clarification Hammerslagger.

    I didn't think to discuss the cleanup of excess oils. My assumption was that all of us wipe excess oils at the end of the cleaning process. But, better to post it than to assume.

    Your descriptions of the pressures on the breech face and the oil left behind in the pores of the steel make sense. I was trying to say that after some time of not being used and / or cleaned, the chamber becomes dry and needs a little help in releasing the case.
  8. okiefired

    okiefired New Member

    Aug 1, 2011
    1. Steve hit the nail on the head in the first reply.
    2. Never lube the chamber, polish maybe, but no lube...period.

  9. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    I think steve nailed it on the first reply. Too low a starting charge and bullet jammed into the lands = dangerous pressures. I figure that load is on the verge of detonation and thats why some seem ok and others stick a little. Bump your charge up to 38 grains or so and back your seating depth off .050" and Im bettn pressures relax.
  10. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    And lube in chamber is bad juju, makes for split or dented cases.
  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Heres a little history on H380.. Bruce Hodgdon named it H380 because it was an Ideal powder for .22-250 with 55 gr bullets at a 38 gr charge Hence H for Hodgdon, 380 for 38.0 gr charge. And thats with a 55 grainer, you are running 53 grianers so ideally youd want to put at least 38 grains in there to start with.
  12. Indy Bob

    Indy Bob Member

    May 12, 2012
    Indianapolis IN
    Thanks to ALL of you for replies!!
    I feel I have learned a lot today from this forum, ... JLA, Steve, ... and others.

    About that load of 34.5 gr of H-380.......
    I must admit I never purchased a loading manual. This load was given to me by an avid shooter back in the mid to late 60s. I know .... stupid :(.... but the loads were always accurate and I never changed them. Little did I know I was on the verge of disaster. NOTE: This is my 3rd spell of reloading since the mid 60's. It was sold in '69 and I did not own the rifle for about 20 years and got it back virtually unfired in about '88.! (verified information!!!) In the late 80s I reloaded and shot a little.... then "parked the rifle" in my gun case for another 20 years. So ..... I have been blessed that I did not shoot the rifle much and increase the risk of injury or worse.

    Today .... I went out and bought a Hornady loading manual, a bullet puller, and a digital calibers.
    I pulled all the bullets I had loaded, and reset my bullet seating die for the factory specs of OAL to 2.350. I will gradually move bullet out AFTER I get loads settled down.
    I will start at 38 gr. of H-380.

    I cannot thank you enough. (and some others too).
    I have more to learn and you will see me showing my ignorance when you see more thread questions.:rolleyes:

    Bob Indy
  13. sliclee

    sliclee New Member

    Jun 5, 2011
    Miami Beach Florida
  14. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

    Jan 27, 2006
    Good point. Indy what is your case length? Should be between 1.912-1.902.
  15. Indy Bob

    Indy Bob Member

    May 12, 2012
    Indianapolis IN
    No .... I have checked that with my new digital calipers and all to the trim length of 1.902+. I have a new Lee Challenger kit plus some other things and I used their case trimmer tool to trim extra brass to length before my reloading, and only a small amount of brass came off. Cases are all about 1.903 to 1.9035.
    Note: I am like a kid with a new toy using that calipers. I measured some cases for every dimension I found on the diagram of the brass!! :D

    Guys ..... I have some new brass coming from MidwayUSA and should be here tomorrow. I am going to read some of Sticky's articles at the top of the forum, plus my new loading book.
    Basically ......... I am going to start fresh... and try to do this correct this time.
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