Bolt won't close????

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by LAHUNTER, Oct 8, 2003.

  1. LAHUNTER

    LAHUNTER New Member

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    This is my first post on this forum and I hope someone will have the answer. I have had this problem before and still never got it fixed, yet. My bolt will not fully close when I chamber a shell that I have reloaded. I full length sized the shell, cut case to just under specs, seated bullet to specs (or just under) and still the bolt won't close. I have tried numerous things, but to no avail.

    I was wondering, how far does your resizing die go down on your case. Does it go all the way down, or does it stop about a 1/2" above the primer? I have taken a pic of a reloaded shell (top). My dies stop at the line (where the pen is pointing). Is this normal, or is it supposed to resize all the way to the bottom of the case? It seems to get really tight in my gun near the bottom of the case. Someone please help me with this one. Thanks.

    [​IMG]
  2. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    Welcome to TFF LAHUNTER! Glad to have you with us. Lets see what we can do here.

    It appears that the resizing die may not be adjusted properly. With the cartridge holder in place, pull the handle until the cartrige holder is at the top of its stroke. Screw the sizing die down until it just touches the cartridge holder and then back off about 1/8 of a turn. This will allow the case to be fully inserted into the sizing die. What lube are you using for your resizing step?

    Now, to take this one step further. Has that case been fired in another rifle and then resized for this rifle? If so, was it fired in a semi-auto rifle first? I'm asking these questions because of that shiny ring above the case head. That shiny ring is usually an indication that the case head is about to separate, or it may indicate that the case was fired in another rifle chamber. Please let us know and we can help further. What caliber is this?
  3. LAHUNTER

    LAHUNTER New Member

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    INPLANOTX,

    Thanks for trying to help. I am reloading for a .270, and the cases were fired before in my gun, but they were hard to chamber then also. To my knowledge they weren't fired in a semi. I bought them once fired.

    When full length sizing I raise the shell holder to the die, then (according to the directions) lower the ram and turn the die "in" another 1/4 to 1/2 a turn.

    I measured the reloaded shell vs. the factory shell, and they are almost identical. The only place they differ is where the "shiny" area stops. (where the pen is pointing). The reload is .003" wider. Do you think this is whats not letting me close my bolt?

    Thanks for helping,
    LAHUNTER

    ps. I am using lee dies and lee/rcbs lube.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2003
  4. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    LAHUNTER,
    Sounds like you are resizing them correctly. The case is going all the way in the die, correct?

    Now for some questions.

    1) Is the rifle new?
    2) Have you tried factory ammo? Did they chamber properly?
    3) You said you bought once fired brass, they may have been fired in either a Remington 7400 pump or 7600 auto, in which case this could cause the problem.
    4) Did you buy the die set new?

    Sorry to ask so many questions, but the answers can lead us to the problem. From what I can tell right now, I need one more piece of information from you and it takes a little patience.

    Straighten out a paperclip and bend one end about 1/4" from the end. I'm trying to get you to make a "feeler guage". See if you can file a point on the 1/4" bent tip. When you have this finished, place the bent tip into the case and go all the way to the bottom of the case that has the shiney ring. Drag the point of the feeler up the wall of the case. When you hit the shiney area, do you feel that the point has ridden over a trough? It should feel distinctive. If you feel the trough then what you have is a case that is about to separate from the rest of the shell. It tells you that this is not once fired brass, but expired brass and should be thrown away, immediately!

    If this is not the case, with the feeler, then there may be something wrong with the sizer die. The case should go all the way into the die. Period! Are you lubing the outside of the case?

    Well, that should be enought to get us closer to the answer. Let us know when you get the answers. Thanks.
  5. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    Okay, never mind, I think I now know what is going on. LAHUNTER, you said the case is not going all the way into the die, right? It is stopping on the line. Why won't it go all the way into the die?

    1) Tell me where you are applying lube to the case.
    a) there should be lube on the neck and whole body of the case, but not on the shoulder.
  6. LAHUNTER

    LAHUNTER New Member

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    inplanotx,

    Thanks for trying to help.

    1) Is the rifle new? No
    2) Have you tried factory ammo? Did they chamber properly? Yes
    3) You said you bought once fired brass, they may have been fired in either a Remington 7400 pump or 7600 auto, in which case this could cause the problem. ?????
    4) Did you buy the die set new? Yes

    "Okay, never mind, I think I now know what is going on. LAHUNTER, you said the case is not going all the way into the die, right? It is stopping on the line. Why won't it go all the way into the die?"

    1) Tell me where you are applying lube to the case.
    a) there should be lube on the neck and whole body of the case, but not on the shoulder.

    It is stopping at the line. There is a very little bit of brass that is still showing and the rim when I full length size. So, I think that it is going fully down, but I don't know why there is a visible line where the die stops resizing (where the line starts until the rim near the primer).

    I was applying the lube to the entire case, (even the shoulder). I know I have read that it could cause the shoulder to dent. I try to be careful. This last batch that I reloaded I made sure not to get any lube on the shoulder. Everything "seemed" to work a little better. I also only turned in my FL sizing die 1/4 of a turn instead of 1/2. I don't know if it was coincidence or what?

    How do you lube your case w/o getting lube on the shoulder?
  7. LAHUNTER

    LAHUNTER New Member

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    Guys, I just took some pics of what my full length sizing die looks like when the handle is all the way down. Does it look normal?
    Also the other pic is what the shell looks like when I am finished. Can you see the color difference. Is the die supposed to stop resizing right there? Does all this look normal? Sorry about the poor quality pics. They were from a plam pilot.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  8. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    The picture of your brass in the die shows that the die is properly adjusted.

    Resize one of the factory rounds you fired in your rifle and see if it chambers properly. If so, the questionable brass has had the head balooned. In a practical sense, this is not recoverable, and is marginally to very unsafe. If there is no discernable gutter in the case sidewall, the danger is minimal. If you feel any gutter with your bent. sharpened paperclip, the danger is immediate.

    Personally, I would discard that lot of brass, just on general principals. I run on the theory that brass is cheaper and easier to replace than are eyes.

    Pops
  9. misiu

    misiu New Member

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    Welcome to our site LAHUNTER:

    Armedandsafe is doing such a good job of helping you that I am hesitant to pitch in but thought I might add a couple of things that might help since I have been reloading for over 40 years.

    1) You can try seeing if you have a problem with the cases stretching by using a hacksaw and cutting the case above the line you refer to then cutting the case in half lenghthwise and examining the inside of the case wall-if it is creating a thin point it will be very obvious. In this case don't walk but run to the nearest garbage pail and throw the brass away-it could be very dangerous!!!

    2) In answer to your question about how far down the die should resize to it should go to about 1mm (1/16th or so) of an inch from the main case wall-so your die is definitely NOT sizing all the way it should-I reload for over 20 different rounds and all dies go approx the same depth including Lee dies that a friend uses. It is entirely possible that you simply have a BAD die and you should return it to Lee for replacement. As a means of checking this see if you can get your hands on a die set from RCBS or another and see if this helps.

    3) The only way to be entirely sure of what is happening is to use a micrometer (if you can get your hands on one) and check for case head expansion-this will answer most of the questions.

    Hopefully this is of some help and feel free to ask more questions as between us we should be able to help-reloading can be great fun and satisfying but it can also be dangerous if done wrong-and you have done the smartest thing you could and that is to get help when you are not sure.

    Good luck to you!!!!
  10. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    Thanks, misiu. I hadn't thought about trying another die. DUH. Incidently, inplanotx has been doing most of the responding. I just hijacked the thread because it felt good. :D

    LAHUNTER: remember the only difference between .270 brass and 30-06 brass is the neck and headstamp. If you also have 30-06 dies, pull the expander ball from the rezsizing die and try that.

    Pops
  11. LAHUNTER

    LAHUNTER New Member

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    Good news and bad news.

    First off, thanks for everyones help on trying to help a newbie with reloading. With everyones help, I think I have my FL resizing die working properly. I simply adjusted my FL sizing die "in" a little more. Lee's instructions told me turn the die between a 1/4 and a 1/2 turn, neither of these worked for me. I took someones advice and simply turned it furter in (5/8 turn past the shellholder). I tried it on some of my problem cases, and those now chamber smoothly in my gun. I am gratefuly for everyones help, again. That was the good news.

    The bad news is, I found out first hand what happens when you don't use enough lube. I knew I should have lubed that case! I now have a stuck case in my resizing die. (I will chalk this one up to inexperience/stubborn headedness). Won't do that again. I tried to remove it first w/ pliers, then I drilled the primer pocket out and still nothing. Does anyone have any tips on getting a stuck case out?

    I can't wait to get past all the problems and stupid mistakes, so I can actually start enjoying reloading. Does anyone know the warrenty on LEE dies? If not, does anyone have any old .270 dies that anyone is willing to part with at a decent price.

    LAHUNTER
  12. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    Glad you got your problem fixed. Sorry about the stuck case. You can buy a stuck case puller or my home remedy. A good set of vise grips to grab the case bottom and a hammer! Good luck!
  13. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    I don't have the numbers with me right now, so all I can do is give you a generic idea of how to build a stuck case puller.

    Drill the primer pocket and tap for 1/4" bolt. Drop a long bolt through a deep wall socket, which will allow the brass to enter, but not the die. Put a washer(s) on the head of the bolt if necessary. Crank that bolt down and it will bring the case out. Remember the decaping pin and expander plug are still inthere, so make sure the bolt doesn't screw far enough into the case to bend them.

    Not a very good description, I know, but I'll be able to get to my extractor as soon as I'm allowed outside.

    Pops
  14. LAHUNTER

    LAHUNTER New Member

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    armedandsafe,
    that sounds like a great idea. I will have to try that one, hopefully I won't have to go through this again. I am such an idiot, I knew better than that. Either way. I was actually considering getting a better quality die, like redding. What a coincidence. I never really liked the non locking washer by lee. I like the locking allen screw on RCBS. Does redding have some sort of locking device?

    Thanks again everyone.
  15. cvixx

    cvixx New Member

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    another possibility

    You mnay have the die in too tight. In some instances the shoulder is pushed back and expands enough to make it impossible to chamber. Had that problem with an 06, in one particular rifle. Worked in others but one was tight chambered,
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