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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All, finally tested my first time loads at the range last week. Overall everything went very well, decent groupings for the different formulated batches and going to select one of the five produced to further perfect. No reported velocities because had older chrony without a tripod and wasn’t going to chance that. Two issues to speak of though so I need the Forum’s input (Mr. Jim Brady and other Friends very much appreciated).

1. Chambering issue in bolt action of my very first batch- I believe I figured it out? So probable improper sizing (once fired PMC brass) which was NOT lubed enough; sizing die NOT installed with consideration of the quarter twist advancement and same case was resized MORE than once (please remember very first time at reloading and perfectionist at heart). Used an older lube pad for that batch until I got my hands on One Shot spray. So there was a noticeable shoulder morph as compared to the other loads produced. Only able to chamber and fire two rounds out of twenty. Other rounds DID chamber in autoloader.

2. The other batches fired and performed well- Virgin Lapua Brass. However, after examining each case I noticed what I call a “flash burn” of external case mouth and neck. After tumbling cases throughly; still no polish. Is this of any concern? Gentlemen, thank you,
 

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The “flash burn” as you describe is actually soot from the combusted gunpowder and is usually a result of to low a gunpowder charge. The cartridge case mouth didn’t expand enough to seal the neck portion of the chamber when the cartridge was fired. Look at the load data you’re using to see if you can increase the gunpowder charge without exceeding the maximum listed gunpowder charge. If you can, post a picture of the sooting on the cartridge case neck.

Can you post the load data your using such as,
The cartridge bring loaded.
Who’s data is being referenced. Load manual or Internet.
The gunpowder used and the charge weight.
How is the gunpowder charge metered.
The bullet brand, style, weight.
Primers used.
 

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Chambering issue in bolt action of my very first batch- I believe I figured it out? So probable improper sizing (once fired PMC brass) which was NOT lubed enough; sizing die NOT installed with consideration of the quarter twist advancement and same case was resized MORE than once (please remember very first time at reloading and perfectionist at heart). Used an older lube pad for that batch until I got my hands on One Shot spray. So there was a noticeable shoulder morph as compared to the other loads produced. Only able to chamber and fire two rounds out of twenty. Other rounds DID chamber in autoloader.
,
As far as the chamber issues - just a guess here: Maybe one of two things (or both). When you sized the cases, did your shell holder 'just touch' the base of the sizer die? That is usually the way that the sizer die is adjusted - so that as much of the case enters the die as possible to fully re-size the fired case. That way the case is completely resized to factory specifications and the case shoulder is set back to the proper position.

The other would be the case length. Two quick things about this. One - a case that is too long can enable the case mouth to bind at the end of the gun's chamber when attempting to chamber a live round for firing. If everything else is set up right (the case is sized to the right proportions and the shoulder is set back to where it should be) if you have 'hard chambering' the problem could be the length of the case is too long.

You want to check your case length to make sure they are within tolerances listed in your reloading manual. Another benefit of checking and trimming your cases is uniformity. Uniformity produces the best accuracy and function. Two guns of the same caliber may well have differences in tolerances in the two rifle's chambers. One may function with a round that the other will not chamber.

And the case lube? I'm a simple kind of guy. I just use the old fashioned RCBS case lube. You can use the lube pad or just put a little on your fingers and apply to the case. Keep the lube off of the case shoulders so you don't get hydraulic dimpling. You only need just enough to lubricate the case so it doesn't get stuck in the sizer die. Don't over-do it.

A quick fix would be to make sure your sizer die is set up to just bump the shell holder as the case being sized in fully inserted - and - use an inexpensive Lee case trimmer to make sure the case isn't too long and all of your cases are uniform in length.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I wouldn't worry about it. Upon firing there's a lot of heat and pressure going on right there
Ok, thanks.
The “flash burn” as you describe is actually soot from the combusted gunpowder and is usually a result of to low a gunpowder charge. The cartridge case mouth didn’t expand enough to seal the neck portion of the chamber when the cartridge was fired. Look at the load data you’re using to see if you can increase the gunpowder charge without exceeding the maximum listed gunpowder charge. If you can, post a picture of the sooting on the cartridge case neck.

Can you post the load data your using such as,
The cartridge bring loaded.
Who’s data is being referenced. Load manual or Internet.
The gunpowder used and the charge weight.
How is the gunpowder charge metered.
The bullet brand, style, weight.
Primers used.
I. Hodgdon’s 2022 magazine: .308 Win. Hornady 168 gn. BTHP. A2460 40.50 gn. (Hand charged every round with newly purchased scale and calibrated scale with every use-for all loads). Brand new Lapua brass sized, Not trimmed and case length was < 2.015”. Federal large rifle primer # 210. COAL was 2.750”. These rounds were fired from a Ruger M77 Mark II bolt action hunting rifle-nice grouping and I need much practice at my marksmanship. I can offer the other load data if needed? Please let me know? Rest of Lapua cases had same flash fingerprint. Weird?
 

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What PRR1957 said. Lapua brass is thicker, and a maximum charge with that powder is 43grns, with a 6000psi difference between min. and max. charges. Try 42grns on some test rounds to see if it cures it, and check for accuracy loss/gain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
As far as the chamber issues - just a guess here: Maybe one of two things (or both). When you sized the cases, did your shell holder 'just touch' the base of the sizer die? That is usually the way that the sizer die is adjusted - so that as much of the case enters the die as possible to fully re-size the fired case. That way the case is completely resized to factory specifications and the case shoulder is set back to the proper position.

The other would be the case length. Two quick things about this. One - a case that is too long can enable the case mouth to bind at the end of the gun's chamber when attempting to chamber a live round for firing. If everything else is set up right (the case is sized to the right proportions and the shoulder is set back to where it should be) if you have 'hard chambering' the problem could be the length of the case is too long.

You want to check your case length to make sure they are within tolerances listed in your reloading manual. Another benefit of checking and trimming your cases is uniformity. Uniformity produces the best accuracy and function. Two guns of the same caliber may well have differences in tolerances in the two rifle's chambers. One may function with a round that the other will not chamber.

And the case lube? I'm a simple kind of guy. I just use the old fashioned RCBS case lube. You can use the lube pad or just put a little on your fingers and apply to the case. Keep the lube off of the case shoulders so you don't get hydraulic dimpling. You only need just enough to lubricate the case so it doesn't get stuck in the sizer die. Don't over-do it.

A quick fix would be to make sure your sizer die is set up to just bump the shell holder as the case being sized in fully inserted - and - use an inexpensive Lee case trimmer to make sure the case isn't too long and all of your cases are uniform in length.
Jim thank you and you’re always inspirational-OAL was < 2.800/2.810” for .308 Win. Mine were 2.750. Big time into weights and measures. I think I had used once fired PMC brass from another shooter at the range-brass just boxed up (from my Dad (RIP)) that day. Other shooter was maybe…IDK? Part of equation? My Lapua brass rounds chambered almost like silk and performed well-my marksmanship sticks a little? Practice, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok,
What PRR1957 said. Lapua brass is thicker, and a maximum charge with that powder is 43grns, with a 6000psi difference between min. and max. charges. Try 42grns on some test rounds to see if it cures it, and check for accuracy loss/gain.
Ok, I believe starting load for that formula was 42.0 grains and I was under midrange load. Max. Was I believe 46.0? Data not tangible as I speak. Just thought Lapua brass is king and expected hat brass to tarnish? Nickel plated next?
 

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Doc, load data changes all the time (many reasons why), and the manuals can't always catch up. Use this website, it's where you'll see any updates first.
Lapua makes some of the best brass, stick with it. It's better brass because it's a bit thicker, longer life. For a non-belted magnum cartridge, the .308W has some high chamber pressures, thicker brass is a plus there. Like mentioned above, they're brass because they need to expand, to seal the chamber, and brass is the best choice to do that with.
When pressure isn't high enough, a symptom of that is carboned necks and shoulders. It's no big deal, you live with it to accommodate that load, or change the load.
In some cases, it can be an indicator it's time to anneal your brass. Every time you fire, and resize brass, you're "working" it. The more it's worked, the more brittle it becomes, the less expansion it has. When Privi commercial ammo first hit our market, there were lot shipments where the brass had signs it was annealed, but it hadn't been done right. Some rounds would split a neck on the first shot. So just because it's new, "trust, but verify".;)
Forgot to add, I'm no fan of Nickle plated brass either.
 

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The “flash burn” as you describe is actually soot from the combusted gunpowder and is usually a result of to low a gunpowder charge. The cartridge case mouth didn’t expand enough to seal the neck portion of the chamber when the cartridge was fired. Look at the load data you’re using to see if you can increase the gunpowder charge without exceeding the maximum listed gunpowder charge. If you can, post a picture of the sooting on the cartridge case neck.

Can you post the load data your using such as,
The cartridge bring loaded.
Who’s data is being referenced. Load manual or Internet.
The gunpowder used and the charge weight.
How is the gunpowder charge metered.
The bullet brand, style, weight.
Primers used.
Nickel plated brass will crack or split a lot faster than regular brass.
Ok, got it.✅
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Doc, load data changes all the time (many reasons why), and the manuals can't always catch up. Use this website, it's where you'll see any updates first.
Lapua makes some of the best brass, stick with it. It's better brass because it's a bit thicker, longer life. For a non-belted magnum cartridge, the .308W has some high chamber pressures, thicker brass is a plus there. Like mentioned above, they're brass because they need to expand, to seal the chamber, and brass is the best choice to do that with.
When pressure isn't high enough, a symptom of that is carboned necks and shoulders. It's no big deal, you live with it to accommodate that load, or change the load.
In some cases, it can be an indicator it's time to anneal your brass. Every time you fire, and resize brass, you're "working" it. The more it's worked, the more brittle it becomes, the less expansion it has. When Privi commercial ammo first hit our market, there were lot shipments where the brass had signs it was annealed, but it hadn't been done right. Some rounds would split a neck on the first shot. So just because it's new, "trust, but verify".;)
Forgot to add, I'm no fan of Nickle plated brass either.
Got it and valuable info. I am always questioning everything and sometimes drive people nuts. Reloading is where there’s no room for error (like the yesteryears when I was professor of surgery and taught my students to never make assumptions). Now I am a student again with my Great People at this Forum coaching and teaching me. Much appreciated and humbled. Understood and perhaps may begin an annealing protocol for brass and will still experiment (as per manual AND your newly offered website info.). Thanks Trapp 55-you’re great.
 

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Lapua brass is pretty darn good from what I hear. Personally for .308 I prefer Lake City ("LC") military 7.62mm for all of my .308 and 7.62mm NATO loading. A lot of guys will say "Don't use it because it was likely fired from a machine gun!" Well, none of the 7.62mm NATO brass has complained yet about their previous lives.... Only down side is that you have to remove the primer crimp once. I full length size them, remove the primer crimp with a chamfer tool, check and trim to length (if necessary) and load away. Great brass and lasts many firings. Cheap - too. I use it for my practice Match loads and my M80 Ball loads.
 

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(once fired PMC brass)- Virgin Lapua Brass.
Evidently you did not size the once-fired PMC brass enough. Did you check it in a rifle before you loaded the rounds to see if it would fit? Get a piece of your brass that does not fit the chamber and keep adjusting the sizing die down until it does. The virgin Lapua brass should not have needed any sizing except to make sure the mouth was round and of the proper size. Instructions that came with the dies are just a starting place for adjusting your dies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Evidently you did not size the once-fired PMC brass enough. Did you check it in a rifle before you loaded the rounds to see if it would fit? Get a piece of your brass that does not fit the chamber and keep adjusting the sizing die down until it does. The virgin Lapua brass should not have needed any sizing except to make sure the mouth was round and of the proper size. Instructions that came with the dies are just a starting place for adjusting your dies.
Yes, correct-sizing issues-not fully resized as novice and thankful of you’re response.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok, thanks.

I. Hodgdon’s 2022 magazine: .308 Win. Hornady 168 gn. BTHP. A2460 40.50 gn. (Hand charged every round with newly purchased scale and calibrated scale with every use-for all loads). Brand new Lapua brass sized, Not trimmed and case length was < 2.015”. Federal large rifle primer # 210. COAL was 2.750”. These rounds were fired from a Ruger M77 Mark II bolt action hunting rifle-nice grouping and I need much practice at my marksmanship. I can offer the other load data if needed? Please let me know? Rest of Lapua cases had same flash fingerprint. Weird?
Thank you. I can and will make incremental charges with data soon with chronographic velocities as such. Thank you for support and knowledge.
 

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Hello All, finally tested my first time loads at the range last week. Overall everything went very well, decent groupings for the different formulated batches and going to select one of the five produced to further perfect. No reported velocities because had older chrony without a tripod and wasn’t going to chance that. Two issues to speak of though so I need the Forum’s input (Mr. Jim Brady and other Friends very much appreciated).

1. Chambering issue in bolt action of my very first batch- I believe I figured it out? So probable improper sizing (once fired PMC brass) which was NOT lubed enough; sizing die NOT installed with consideration of the quarter twist advancement and same case was resized MORE than once (please remember very first time at reloading and perfectionist at heart). Used an older lube pad for that batch until I got my hands on One Shot spray. So there was a noticeable shoulder morph as compared to the other loads produced. Only able to chamber and fire two rounds out of twenty. Other rounds DID chamber in autoloader.

2. The other batches fired and performed well- Virgin Lapua Brass. However, after examining each case I noticed what I call a “flash burn” of external case mouth and neck. After tumbling cases throughly; still no polish. Is this of any concern? Gentlemen, thank you,
Welcome to my world, even after praticing at it myself for a short time it never ceases to amaze me the lessons I learn through my boo boos, we're on a wild and wonderful ride. You've got you a bullet puller? I've just about worn out my first! You may as well get yourself a stuck case set up so you're prepared when it happens. : )
 

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random thought here: take a oversize brass brush [chamber size] with a good carbon solvent spin that brush with a drill in the chamber. check with a bore light till super clean. a carbon buildup can happen. i speak from experience.
welcome to the addiction!

rick
 
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