Problems with 30-06

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by dbach, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. dbach

    dbach Member

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    I just started loading 30-06, so I'm learning.

    I bought some once fired brass and I think it is causing a problem. It is marked HXP then a number, usually 74 but it varies. Sometimes there is a 78 or an 80, it's random. The problem is that after I reloaded it the bolt is hard to close. It will close but it is difficult, much more difficult than it should be. I cleaned the brass, FL resized, trimmed then loaded as usual. I have double checked my cartridge overall length and I'm good there.

    I think it has something to do with the way the brass head is formed. Some of the HXP's heads are longer than comercial brass. I suppose pictures are in order. I'll try to get some tomorrow.

    So who makes HXP brass? And why is it different? I bought 100 pieces and most of it is the HXP headstamp (75% +/-). There are some HXP's that are like any other piece of 30-06 brass and some that are longer. What gives?
  2. 243winxb

    243winxb New Member

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  3. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    It's got to be some kind of surplus and it may have been fired in a long chamber. FL sizing might not set the shoulder back enough for you. Try loading an empty, sized case in the chamber and closing the bolt--does it still close hard?

    You could fire a few with a (greatly) reduced load which should fire-form the case to your chamber. Make sure your dies are truly FL sizing--I've had some in the past that only SAID they did. If your rifle chambers factory ammo smoothly then there is obviously something going on with the brass. You might just want to buy some new stuff and start there. The -06 is a pretty reloader-friendly cartridge.......
  4. dbach

    dbach Member

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    The rifle chambers factory ammo just fine, no problemo. Mixed in with the 100 pieces I bought are a few pieces of Winchester and Federal and they also chamber fine.

    "Try loading an empty, sized case in the chamber and closing the bolt--does it still close hard?"
    Did that, the brass either gets stuck or the bolt has a lot of resistance.
  5. dbach

    dbach Member

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    The HXP 74 Brass is on the right. The one on the left is RP 30-06. See the difference in the length of the head? or whatever it's called.

    Attached Files:

  6. 243winxb

    243winxb New Member

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    Sorry, photo no help to me. Poor quality. Camera have a Macro setting for close ups?
  7. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    The HXP has a more relieved extractor groove for the large extractor on M1 garand rifles. It should reload and shoot fine. Adjust your FL die to touch the shellholder. That will ensure the entire case is getting resized clear to the web. Then trim your brass. The reason its sticky is because that ammo was probably fired in worn out milsurp rifles with a little headspace issue. It causes the cases to bulge a little at the web and if you dont resize the entire case itll be sticky in your bolt action.
  8. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    Agreed! Screw the FL sizing die deeper into the press until the brass chambers.
  9. reynolds357

    reynolds357 Former Guest

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    He might have a tight chamber. I have one rifle that come hell or high water it is not going to shoot anything your try to reload that was first fired in another rifle. It will chamber and shoot factory just fine. You can load new brass and it shoots it just fine. Try to full length size anything shot in another rifle and you will have a rod stuck in the end of the barrel knocking out the spent brass that will not extract. I have had a couple people attempt to prove me an idiot on this rifle and they turned out to be the ones looking like an idiot. I can use a "small base" die to resize the shot brass and then "fire form" it in my rifle. It then works fine.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
  10. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    dbach:

    Greek military ammo is what CMP is now selling. My son-in-law has lots of it and has shot it in his two Garands with no problems. He gave me the empties but I have yet to load them or shoot them in my Garands. I anticipate no problem (??).

    There are reloading dies and then there are RELOADING dies. If you have gravitated towards the cheapy ones (fill in the blank) then that may be the problem if you have them adjusted down on the shell holder. And are they Full Length sizing dies or just Neck resizing dies?

    LDBennett
  11. cowboy898

    cowboy898 New Member

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    Dbach,
    I had the same problem when I first started reloading my 06 and I had to lower th FL die down to fix the problem. The last part of the casing was not being resized.
  12. dbach

    dbach Member

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    Thanks guys/gals ... members.

    I'm using Full Length RCBS Dies. I had the die adjusted so that there was a slight cam over. I resized another case and noticed a slight bit of daylight between the bottom of the die and the top of the shell holder. I lowered the die a small amount, and now have no daylight and the press is a bit harder to cam over.

    The problem seems to be solved. The bolt closes much easier now, even though there is still a slight resistance sometimes.
  13. Texxut

    Texxut Member

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    I have been shooting and reloading the HXP brass for years, good brass.
  14. reynolds357

    reynolds357 Former Guest

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    I do not understand how that could happen. If you set up and lock your lock ring and have camover, unless there is something seriously screwed up in the press, there is no way to then have daylight.
  15. 243winxb

    243winxb New Member

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    The press springs. Lee has said to check to see if the base of the die & shell holder are in full contact when sizing brass.
  16. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    I also had a shellholder that was tall. When the dies made contact with the shellholder you were still too far away from the bottom of the case to effect a FL size. Look at your shellholders as well because that is what indexes the dies.
  17. dave98

    dave98 New Member

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    I have used and reloaded Greek 30-06. I have found it to be o.k. brass but nothing special. The case neck thickness would vary more than say Lake City brass. As loaded it would group about 3" or so at 100 yards from a scoped Rem.700.
    As for your hard closing bolt look at the primers. My guess is yes you seated them but they are sticking up just a little. Stand your loaded cartridges on a flat surface and see if the wobble.
    If you plan on reloading surplus ammo I would invest in a primer pocket reamer to resize the primer pocket and eliminate the crimp. You only have to do it once to a case.
  18. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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  19. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    The best case gage you can buy is the rifle the ammo is intended for. After sizing a test piece of brass, trim it, and then try it in the chamber of the gun you intend to use it in.

    The sized and trimmed case should drop into the chamber. If it stops part way the body may not be getting sized enough because the sizing die is set up wrong in the press. If it is only a hard closing bolt on this test case the case shoulder may be in the wrong place and that again means the sizing die is not in the press correctly. But... This test case MUST BE trimmed as a too long of a case can also cause hard bolt closure as the end of the case runs into the end of the case's part of the chamber.

    Primer seating could also cause hard bolt closures. The primer has a star shaped anvil in it whose three legs are suppose to seat against the bottom for the primer pocket. With a hand priming tool you can feel the anvil do that. But if you use the press to seat the primers you can be sure the primer is seated correctly if the primer's cup is below the case surface by several thousandths of an inch. You can feel that with a pass over the primer with a finger tip.

    Military ammo once fired cases have the primer crimped in. In order to full seat new primers in those cases you have to remove the crimped surfaces around the edge of the primer pocket. You can physically remove brass with either a special tool made by RCBS or you can use a common counter sink. Another way is to swage the crimp material back into the case with another special RCBS tool in your press. When you fail to remove the crimp, primers often fail to full seat correctly which can lead to hang fires and failures to fire or messed up primers as they attempt to seat into the primer pocket. This can also make bolt closure hard or not even possible in some cases.

    LDBennett
  20. Popgunner

    Popgunner New Member

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    One thing I've seen is that milsurp ammo can be set up to be fired in machine guns. Usually it's made with the shoulder set forward a little to prevent chambering in rifles (sometimes it's loaded hotter too). Machine guns often have adjustable headspace & can spit out brass with the shoulders too far forward wheather the brass started long or not. Sounds like you're setting the shoulders back whatever the cause was.

    Hopefully it wasn't those cheap crappy can't trust 'em for nothin RCBS dies:D:D:D
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