Reloading problem with solution

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by LDBennett, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Can anyone guess what caused this? This is 6mm BR.

    I worked on this for a hour trying to determine what caused it. It would not collapse the brass with the stem, that holds the expander button in the die, out of the die but the minute you put the stem back in it would crush the case. There was nothing wrong with the stem or the expander button or the de-priming pin or its holder or with the position of the stem in the die

    Give up?

    The tiny hole on the wall of the die that allows excess lube to escape apparently also allows air to escape because it was blocked by junk (??). When I cleared it with a small drill that fit the hole, the problem went away. What's with that???? I had just loaded 100 rounds (reloads with spent primers) and was loading a couple of extra rounds that were pre-primed new brass and had pulled the de-priming pin out of the die (by removing the entire stem, then reinstalling it) to keep from de-priming the new cases. I put the stem back in with the de-priming pin in it and tired to do a couple extra reloads again and this started. Only clearing the tiny hole that is positioned in the die just below the shoulder solved the problem.

    Live and learn. In over 20 years of reloading I have never had this problem before!

    LDBennett

    Attached Files:

  2. scrat

    scrat New Member

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    You are so right. Never heard of it. Same time Wow those cases are soo cool in a way. LOL something to keep on the bench shelf for display for sure.
  3. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    Yup, I've had that problem on a couple of cartridges. One was my old .22-6mm Imp (30° shoulder) and also my .25-06.

    What brand lube do ya use?
    I used to use the Lee tube stuff...if you used to use too much and forgot to clean it out before putting the die away it would clog the vent with a nasty little plug.
    I've been using Imperial and Hornady paste lube lately and haven't had that problem...but maybe becuase I'm better about cleaning it out before storage.
  4. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Bindernut:

    I've used the same lube for 20 years and NEVER had this problem before. On this particular batch of cases I had reduced the lube on each case (RCBS lube from an RCBS pad well squeezed) because the cases are so short and offered very little resistance to sizing. But the hole got blocked, somehow. You know, it may have been partially blocked from new. I never have checked those holes but do clean the inside of every die before its first use and then never again. I may have to change that approach! This die has not had all that much usage in the five or so years I have owned it. The cases that have gone through it have always been very clean. Oh well, live and learn. I only lost the cases shown in the photo.

    LDBennett
  5. res45

    res45 Member

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    LD I've been reloading for 25+ years never had that happen to me but have seen it a few time but that the worst case so far. That little air hole can easily close up about anytime,I think the short mag brass is a little more subsitable to that also because of the extra case width shoulder area as compared to a standard case in the same caliber.

    I keep a little piece of wire hanging on the reloading bench tool rack just to keep those little holes open.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
  6. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    I've never seen that happen with RCBS lube...but the last time I used it was about 20 years ago when I started reloading. Didn't think that stuff would gel up enough to clog up that vent hole...but you're right in that it may be a bit of that cosmoline type stuff that new dies ship in that was plugging it from new too.
    Either way, keep a little wire or pick handy and you should be good to go.

    I suspect it's more of a problem with a fairly straight-wall or steep shoulder design...the 6mmBR has both (very similar to any of the Ackley Improved chamberings).

    Drifting off-topic...
    How do you like the 6mm BR? It and the .22BR has always kind of intrigued me for a varmint gun but I've never took the plunge to build or buy in either caliber.
  7. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Bindernut:

    I don't think it was captured lube that did the deed but captured air (??). I think the lube just acted as a sealant on the case walls.

    This gun started out as a Ruger 77 in 243. It was a steal as it was covered with surface rust and the owner just wanted it gone. The rust came off leaving no trace of damage. I re-barreled it to 6mm BR myself just to say I had done it. My lathe is crude and it was a real task to thread the barrel (no thread counter and no emergency stop for threading up to a shoulder). I got it but I sweated bullets! I'd never do another barrel job on this lathe!

    I relieved the barrel channel for the varmint barrel and pillar bedded the receiver. The accuracy was down at first and case ejection is not there but who cares when you are single loading. The first problem was the target crown had burrs on it so I had to grind a chamfer on the cut (using the Brownells spherical tooling and grinding compound) as no matter how small the cut the crown always had a burr there. That helped but I still am not totally satisfied with the accuracy. The standard reamer makes for a pretty deep chamber and the Sierra 70 grain HPBT Match bullets (30 grains of H335) barely hang onto the case with zero free bore. Perhaps a heavy (longer) bullet would shoot better and fit deeper into the case.

    It shoots 3/4 inch at 100 yds on average for five 5 shot groups. But hey, the machinist is an amateur. The barrel was not a match air gaged barrel. The stock is the original wood stock modified. But I built the rifle myself. I can say that and that is enough. It was not a complete bust as 3/4 inch groups are not terrible, only not bench rest competition capable, which I have no interest in doing. It was just a project. I have yet to do any real detailed load development and that might help. Maybe next year (???). Maybe not?

    The 6mm BR is a nice cartridge and it might be nice to have a real bench rest gun in that caliber or maybe a Thompson Contenter with a 20 inch barrel. But for now this gun is fine.

    LDBennett
  8. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I understand the trapped air thing... a bit of lube or something plugging that vent hole keeps the air from escaping is probably causing those collapses.

    I think that's why it happens more often with a straight-walled bottleneck case as opposed to something with a lot of body taper (your 6mmBR or any Ackley Imp compared to a .30-30 as an extreme example). In a tapered case, most of that air can escape alongside the body as it moves up in the die...but in a straight case it has to escape through that vent hole instead.

    Your rifle sounds like it was a fun project. One of those "I did it myself" projects that is probably just as satisfying to shoot or maybe even more than a store-bought or custom gun built by someone else.
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