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  #1  
Old 02-08-2017, 01:15 PM
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FL sized WCC brass won't chamber


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Something interesting happened at the range yesterday. I was shooting cast loads in my .308 using mixed FC, R-P, and WCC cases. All the cases were once fired range pick-ups that had been full-length sized, trimmed, and chamfered. All had the exact same 200 grain Lee gas check bullet seated to an OAL of 2.80. Funny thing, none of the WCC cases would feed in my Ruger Hawkeye rifle. They would come up out of the magazine and hook on the Mauser type bolt, but I could not force the bolt handle down after the rounds were chambered. No problem whatsoever with the RC and R-P cases. So when I got home, I measured the external dimensions of the WCC cases: length, neck diameter, body diameter, and head diameter. All were under the max. I couldn't find any scuffing or anything indicating interference with chambering except perhaps some burnishing mid-shoulder on every round. So, I conclude the headspace was too long, preventing the rounds from completely chambering. I guess the WCC brass must have "sprung back" more than the FC and R-P brass. Any comments, opinions, or experiences with something like this?
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  #2  
Old 02-09-2017, 05:53 AM
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Use a small base die.
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Old 02-09-2017, 06:20 AM
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Measure the cases that you picked up and see where they are preventing chambering. Since there is no telling what they were fired in, your resizing die may not be set up properly for them. If the die is already screwed into the press as far as it will go (make sure there is no light between the bottom of the die and the shellholder when you have the ram all the way up with a case in the die), then no, your die isn't going to handle them. If you only have a few, toss them.

You could remove the decapping pin and try to slip a feeler gage between the shellholder and case head to get a few thousandths more sizing, also. Sounds like that brass is going to be some trouble.....
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Old 02-09-2017, 06:28 AM
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Try chambering the resized WCC cases without seating the bullet.
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Old 02-09-2017, 10:27 AM
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Buckled shoulder-why does this stuff go wrong with bystanders?

Buckled Shoulder: Too much crimp can buckle a shoulder. Sometime you can feel the bump right below the shoulder.

Case Mouth: Also, If the cases expanded too much for a lead bullet can lead to problems. If the flare remains in the case after bullet seating it can cause the jam as you describe. It does not take much too make chambering problems.

My most recent adventure was with the case neck problem was recently in a 45-90 with lead bullets. It was in a single shot rifle. There was no way to get the round to chamber. Why does this stuff happen where there is a bunch of onlookers. These cases were tried in the rifle before loading rounds. Cases tried in the chamber narrowed down were the problem was in expanding the neck-no shoulder to buckle.

I use the WCC white box brass. This brass works OK for me. With your care preparing the cases I suspect the problem is in the loading process. Good Luck.
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Old 02-09-2017, 01:39 PM
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This only involved 14 cases, so I am not terribly upset over it. Here's some answers to above posts: The die was screwed down so it was touching the shell holder, so there's no more adjustment available to push the shoulder back further. Measurements taken on the loaded cases at three places along the length of the case body indicate that the cases are sized below SAAMI max dimensions. Measurements taken on the case neck are also below SAAMI max dimensions. Case length is 2.005. What I can't measure, and what seems to be the likely culprit, is from the base of the case to the datum on the shoulder. On each case that was attempted to be chambered,there is a scuffing or burnishing midway up the shoulder. I believe this is where the rub is, so to speak. Likely, the WCC brass has more spring in it, and after sizing, returned partially to its pre-sized dimensions. Annealing I suppose would allow good resizing, but for just these 14, nah. In all my years of reloading .308, these are the first WCC I have ever used, and also the first I have ever had that would not chamber after sizing.
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Old 02-09-2017, 02:26 PM
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A cheap and easy way to compare the datum with your other cases is to use a deprimed .40 S&W case. Set it over the neck on your .308 cases and measure case head to case head.
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Old 02-09-2017, 02:58 PM
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Confused?

If everything was OK how come those fourteen didn't chamber? Fourteen of how many? That would have to be some more spring back. I've loaded WCC brass repeatedly with no trouble.
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Old 02-09-2017, 07:00 PM
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14 out of about 100. All were range pickups with headstamps of FC, R-P, Perfecta, Barnes, Hornady, HP, PMC, GFL, and WCC. None had aver been trimmed or chamfered, and some had crimped primers (Hornady, Perfecta, and GFL). All were full length resized, trimmed to 2.005, and chamfered in the same batch. All were then loaded with cast bullets with gas checks. Only the WCC would not chamber. Actually, one of the WCC pieces did chamber, but 13 wouldn't.

Thanks, Monty for the suggestion on comparing the datum. I think that tells the tale. In comparing the WCC cases that didn't chamber to the others that did, there is between .015 and .020 difference between them, with the WCC being the longer ones. Apparently, the batch of WCC that I scavenged was pretty hard and did not hold the resized dimensions.
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  #10  
Old 02-10-2017, 12:31 AM
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.015-.020" more is alot of variation, even if the WCC cases are severely work hardened.

Just to satisfy curiosity try annealing those cases and resize again. If the shoulders push back all is good. Then you can work on closing up the excess clearance in the chamber. If you can get the bolt closed on the .015" case that tells me the other non WCC cases have too much and the die could be backed off to obtain better case life.
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Old 02-10-2017, 01:29 AM
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I had a similar problem with some ranged harvested sevumag brass, all RP. There were some that wouldn't chamber after FLR, trimming and annealing and I eventually "machined" another .015 off the end of my FLR die, then adjusted it so that the brass would just chamber.

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Old 02-10-2017, 02:02 AM
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All of this is sort of academic at this point. As I said earlier, these are the only WCC cases I have ever used. I have never had bolt close problems before, except after multiple firings with only collet neck sizing. I then FL resize and go a few more times with neck sizing only. I have always had enough cases that none ever get reloaded but a few times. Yes, I will still pick up range brass (essentially my only brass source for cast bullet loads) and reload it, and likely have the occasional problem as I recently did with the WCC brass. Thanks everyone for your input.
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  #13  
Old 02-10-2017, 06:42 AM
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I had 300 late military cases that had to be sized in regular die and then a small base die in order to get them to chamber in a bolt action. The 7.62x51 brass has probably been fire in a belt fed machine gun. You will probably see some marks from the links on them.

Once they are fired in your rifle, you should not have any problems just using the FL die.
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
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All of this is sort of academic at this point. As I said earlier, these are the only WCC cases I have ever used.
Quite right Byrl

RJ
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Old 02-10-2017, 07:28 AM
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Annealing I suppose would allow good resizing, but for just these 14, nah. In all my years of reloading .308, these are the first WCC I have ever used, and also the first I have ever had that would not chamber after sizing.
I have never found anything suspect about cases from Western Cartridge Company. They have been around for many years. And then there is the press, I never get into mortal combat with the press, my press(es) wins ever time. There are times the case has more resistance to sizing than the press I am using can overcome. When that happens I go to the next press. If that does not solve the problem I determine f the case refuses to allow the press to win. If the press can not overcome the cases ability to resist sizing I determine; "by how much".

If I adjust the die to the shell holder with an additional 1/4 turn (.017+) with the ram up the die should make it to the shell holder when returning the case to minimum length/full length sizing. If there is a gap between the shell holder and bottom of the die when the ram is raised the case did not get sized. When determining how much of the case will be hanging out of the chamber when attempting to close the bolt I measure the gap between the bottom f the die and top of the shell holder. I could remove the die with the case before lowering the ram; in the perfect world there should be .125 case head protrusion of the shell holder has a deck height of .125".

I understand reloaders have so many variables, tolerances and snap backs, jump backs and spring backs; not me. My dies and presses have threads. I use threads to overcome the cases ability to resist sizing. I have small base dies, my small base dies do not size the base of the case because of the .125" deck height of the shell holder, my small base dies have a small base. In the glossary of terms it is said the small base die is a good fitting full length sizing die.

I have dies that are mistakes, I inverted a case and then stuck the case head into the die first, the case head was too large and would not start into the die. And now I have two sets of dies that have the same problem, they are not small base dies, they are dies with very small openings. The dies want to keep every case that is stuck into them and the cases have to be removed with a stuck case remover.

F. Guffey
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Old 02-10-2017, 07:28 AM
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A shoulder that is 0.020" too far forward, was fired in something with WAY too much headspace. If that is the measurement (and you didn't mean to put 0.002" instead of 0.020"), then DON'T use those for anything. Range scrap. Likely to separate soon!
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Old 02-10-2017, 07:46 AM
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A shoulder that is 0.020" too far forward, was fired in something with WAY too much headspace. If that is the measurement (and you didn't mean to put 0.002" instead of 0.020"), then DON'T use those for anything. Range scrap. Likely to separate soon!
Byrl said one of the WCC cases would chamber. My guess its the one that was .015 longer than the other non-WCC cases. If so it would make the rest up to .005" too long which isn't out of the question for an unknown chamber. My point is the other commercial cases he reloaded could have the shoulders pushed back somewhere around .013-.014" too far.

Fguffey, Byrl mentioned the die was tight against the shell holder. If thats true, it would seem unlikely his press is "giving up".
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Old 02-10-2017, 01:09 PM
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Fguffey, Byrl mentioned the die was tight against the shell holder. If thats true, it would seem unlikely his press is "giving up".
Tight against the shell holder: What does that mean? I have threads on my presses and dies. 1 turn equals .0711", 1/4 turn after contact equals .0178", 1/2 turn equals .0356". If the case does not get shoved into the die there will be a gap between the top of the shell holder and bottom of the die. If the reloader can figure a way to remove the die with the case before lowering the ram and if that reloader has a dial caliper/depth micrometer he can determine how much of the case is protruding from the die.

Again; in the perfect world there would be .125" case head protruding from the die. I do not know what press he is using but there is a big chance he is confusing spring back, jump back and or snap back in the press with what he things is the case compressing and then recovering.

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Old 02-10-2017, 01:19 PM
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Tight against the shell holder: What does that mean? I have threads on my presses and dies. 1 turn equals .0711", 1/4 turn after contact equals .0178", 1/2 turn equals .0356". F. Guffey
Guess you lost me. If there is zero clearance between the shell holder and the bottom of the die you can't take any more out by screwing the die further down. There is a way he could verify the depth of the case in the die. Remove the shell holder from the press and then remove the die. A depth mic would give him the dimension. Or just measure the step in the shellholder.
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Old 02-10-2017, 01:49 PM
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Die on Shellholder?

My memory is foggy but it seem like die instructions for most dies said touch the shellholder. Next, the die is turned in more-one eighth turn or more. This step was to avoid having the die move away from the shellholder when the slack in the press was taken up resizing. Seems like this was about the press and not the dies-if my memory serves. You guys with this outlaw brass may benefit from getting a Wilson or similar case gauge.
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